The other day I got a copy of the Japanese version of Metal Gear. It's still on route as I write this. And I was wondering, when it gets here, how would I know if it works? Metal Gear for the MSX is the only Konami game that's region locked and you need a Japanese MSX to make it work - and I don't own one.

Other than knowing if Metal Gear works, I'd actually would want to play it! And there's a whole bunch of other games that also change apearance or behaviour depending on the region of the MSX they're running on. Sounds like fun to be able to see that happening using the real cartridge! So, let's figure out if there's a workaround!

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The Technical Data Book explanation for the LINE command wasn't very easy to wrap my head around. It's definitely more complex than the BASIC LINE command! Finally got it to work, so here's a quick write-up for my future self. And hopefully will benefit someone else one day.

Going to presume it's clear how to use the VDP commands in general, this is a quick explanation of the LINE command and just focusing on those registers.

I'm thinking that a practical example with pseudo code will probably work better than formulating a wordy explanation.

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The GR8NET is a beautiful piece of equipment. It's not always user-friendly though and the manual can be overwhelming. Here are the steps I took for the lastest update to v0.12

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I recently purchased a Moonsound cartridge for my MSX but noticed it's not always easy to find demo disks that work with it. So I'll be listing a bunch of them here even though they can be found elsewhere. Hopefully this will make them more visible.

Please, let me know on twitter @bitsofbas if there's something wrong or if you've got one that I don't have! I'll be adding more as I find them.

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My favourite MSX is the Philips NMS8250. -- It’s got the perfect form factor, it fits under my monitor and I always have it on my desk in front of me. I’ve got a Moonsound, Music Module, FM-PAC and a MegaFlashRom (MFR) for the SCC. I love the different sound chips for the MSX.

But the 8250, no matter how wonderful, has one big fat problem: The audio mixer is broken by design. As soon as another sound cartridge is used, the PSG sound fades to inaudible. Even original Konami SCC cartridges sound wrong. So when I want to play a game or enjoy a music demo, I need to pull out another MSX which is obviously pretty inconvenient.

Recently I heard about the GR8NET. Initially I was curious about its network capabilities, but soon I found out it also comes with MSX-AUDIO, MSX-MUSIC, SCC and PSG on board. Plus all of these are connected directly to a LINE-OUT plug. With this cartridge the 8250 mixer is completely bypassed and I can finally enjoy the MSX that’s on my desk and connected to my speakers.

It only arrived some days ago and I’m still learning how to use it. It’s not the easiest device to use out of the box, so hopefully this guide will help new users (or existing users that keep their GR8NET in a drawer) make the most of it.

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