Self-extracting MSX MegaROM games

for fast loading via tape interface

by: Stanislav Borutsky, a.k.a "borus", a.k.a "cax" (pronounced "sakh")

What's new & change log

17/07/2005MicroWAVer 0.91: mostly a bugfix release (yes, after about 1.5 year from the previous one !)

Bugs fixed in this version:
  • fixed memory switch problem during loading (some BIN games didn't work)
  • fixed bug: BLOAD patching killed BASIC programs - now BASIC programs are not being patched at all
  • fixed bit-packing algorithm (wrong char-frequency counting)
  • fixed bug in bit-packing-rate calculation
  • fixed bug: now char frequency/conversion table is built BEFORE packing of ROM,BAS,COM (BIN was OK)
New features in this version:
  • in "-cd -xp" mode: the bps rate of the loader is changed from 2205 to 3150 (so the loader is 2 sec shorter now)
  • square waveform is used by default. In 3675 bps compressed mode ("-cd -c") you can use "-sine" to make a sine waveform. My tests show that there is no real difference between square and sine waveforms in terms of MP3 packing. WAVs with 3675 bps can be packed as 128 kbps MP3, those with 5512.5 - at 192 kbps (of course, at max quality and with frequency filters switched off).
  • renamed "MicroWAVer Catapult" to "MicroWAVeRunner" (I hope openMSX authors are happy now)
  • name of first file in the list is used (6 chars) as "Found:" filename (instead of "LOADER")
  • created icon for the MicroWAVeRunner
  • added ability to drag-n-drop input files into list in MicroWAVeRunner

I started to write this version because I found a very stable way to load WAVs/MP3s into MSX: using my DVD player (DivX-capable, based on mtk1389 chip). I just switched off all sound filters in DVD's menu and it works 100% stable. It didn't fail even once this way (and I had a lot of problems setting appropriate volume on my PC and portable CD player in the past). And it's very convenient to connect MSX to TV and to DVD which is already there !
08/12/2003MicroWAVer 0.9: adds the ability to load big files into ramdisk - the size of file is limited by the size of disk only !
Big file is splitted into parts during WAV encoding and will be merged back during loading into MSX.
This will appear on the screen as a number of files with the same name.
Also added: the size of pause between files in a WAV will be enlarged automatically
if the default pause or the pause set by the user (-p parameter) is not enough to unpack the file in time.
05/12/2003MicroWAVer 0.88: finally fixes loading for files that can't be packed (for example, COMs packed by CAPCOM).
Change in command line parameters: use "-ldr" only instead of "-ldr LOADER". Frontend changed accordingly.
Another fix: if you convert only loader, finalizing header sound won't be attached (by WYZ's request).
03/12/2003MicroWAVer 0.87: critical bug fix release - previous version (0.86) created non-working WAVs and BINs for ROM,BAS and COM files.
Oooops. Now it works OK again.
01/12/2003MicroWAVer 0.86: bug fix - mwaver won't crash anymore when trying to pack already packed files;
new feature - in MSX-DOS mode, all files are packed before encoding to WAV, which results in faster loading.
As a nice side effect, mwaver generates self-extracting .COM files.
Author of these pages (Cax) celebrates 6 month (half a year) from the beginning of the project !
More than 400 unique visitors from about 30 countries around the globe surfed this site in November.
Thank you very much for your interest !
27/11/2003MicroWAVer 0.85: added COM files support on MSX with 64K RAM only - COM file is loaded into address 0x100.
No ramdisk is created in this mode. Of course, COM works only if it don't need MSX-DOS calls (don't access disk, etc.)
COM is converted to binary; if it fits 8000-E000, .bin version file is created as well as a nice side effect.
26/11/2003MicroWAVer 0.82: regular and TSR loaders unified into one, available as built-in loader.
23/11/2003Return Of Jelda link is fixed; missing games in all2wav.bat were added.
23/11/2003New in MicroWAVer 0.81: in the end of loading via K7.COM, motor relay wasn't switched off - fixed;
RAM disk technical info and patch file usage added to documentation;
"-cd" and "-cd -c" modes generate a sine-approximated wave (like msxf2w does) instead of square-wave.
This result in more robust performance of WAVs played from audio CD, and smaller MP3s.
You can encode "-cd -c" mode WAV produced by MicroWAVer using the following LAME command line switches: -k --cbr -b 128
15/11/2003MicroWAVer 0.8 is out ! Includes first draft of usage documentation and updated frontend.
Now with revolutionary ability to store MSX-DOS on a ramdisk and execute .COM-files, and with new loader for DOS (K7.com) -
loads files of any type and stores them on a ramdisk !
09/11/2003First success with running full-featured MSX-DOS on a ramdisk, loaded via tape interface.
(many thanks to authors of SND.COM - network MSX-DOS sender for Yamaha MSX2, from which I took the ramdisk emulation code)
Requires MSX computer with 128K RAM, 64K of which is used for running MSX-DOS,
16K for patched DISK.ROM with ramdisk abilities, and 48K for ramdisk space.
Up to 102K of VRAM (configurable) can be used as ramdisk space. Max ramdisk capacity is about 160K !
09/11/2003 MicroWAVer 0.71: you can patch ROM with multiple patches (only one was possible in 0.7);
with k7_tsr.bin loader (added to distribution set) + patched basic files you can use multi-part games with their original loaders.
02/11/2003 From now, MicroWAVer and MicroWAVer Catapult will be distributed as single download file. New in version 0.7:
tokenized basic files patching, loading, packing and converting to BIN; internal & external ROM patch tables, play WAV button added.
28/10/2003 Project web page is redesigned and splitted into smaller sections, each in separate file. See the old design here.
27/10/2003 Salamander is reworked for use with MicroWAVer. Only 1 MW-problematic game (Topple Zip) remains !
19/10/2003 F1 Spirit and A1 Spirit are reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
18/10/2003 MicroWAVer Catapult 1.1 is out. Catapult is a frontend to mwaver.exe (both should be in the same dir).
Please leave your feedback in my guestbook.

MicroWAVer 0.6 is out (mwaver.exe - command line version) - now packs 16K and 32K ROMs and converts them to BIN automatically !
16/10/2003 MicroWAVer Catapult 1.0 is out.
13/10/2003 Dragon Slayer 1 (Romancia) is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
10/10/2003 MicroWAVer 0.5 command line version is out, now with built-in loader. A complete solution.
08/10/2003 I discovered that loading from MP3 encoded at 320 kbps from WAVs generated by MicroWAVer works !
It's better than using Audio CD, sound quality of which is affected by CD burner, player cache, quality of CD itself and other factors.
So portable MP3 player is the best device for 100% stable loading.
06/10/2003 I finished Visual Basic to C conversion of MicroWAVer. Now it runs in command line, don't need VB DLLs and controls, and runs faster.
Many thanks to WYZ, the author of MicroWAVer !
30/09/2003 Konami Game Master is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
29/09/2003 Family Billiards is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
23/09/2003 Hole In One Special and Super Triton are updated to work with MicroWAVer without SCREEN8 workaround.
Arsene Lupin, D.D.S, Hard Ball, King's Valley 2 (MSX2 version) are updated to work with MicroWAVer without width80 workaround.
Strategic Mars is reworked for use with MicroWAVer.


Added games: Hole In One Special and Hacker

20/09/2003 Aliens is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
19/09/2003 Predator is removed from the list, because original disk version is unstable.
18/09/2003 Zanac-Ex is fixed again and doesn't reboot before start anymore.


Added game: Project A2


Added games: Digital Devil Story and Hardball

17/09/2003 MicroWAVer workaround info added for the following games: Super Triton, Arsene Lupin, King's Valley II (MSX2), D.D.S., Hard Ball
14/09/2003 Added links to database of game descriptions.
13/09/2003 Sofia is fixed.
12/09/2003 Golvellius and Gall Force re-tested and considered working OK now.
11/09/2003 Super Rambo Special is fixed.
10/09/2003 Fantasy Zone is fixed.


Added games: Fantasy Zone and Super Rambo Special (both games are converted to use with MicroWAVer)


Added games: Defcon and Sofia (Defcon is converted to use with MicroWAVer)


Added games: King's Knight, Knither Special, Mahjong 2 (Hai no Majutsushi)

24/08/2003 all2wav.bat work now also on Win95/98/ME.
22/08/2003 Nemesis (Gradius) is reworked and now can be used with MicroWAVer.
21/08/2003 Zanac-Ex is reworked and now can be used with MicroWAVer.
20/08/2003 Marked with (MW) games that require reworked BASIC loader for use with MicroWAVer.
19/08/2003 WAV-conversion tools (2wav.bat) work now also on Win95/98/ME.

Fixed SCC games and added new ones
NOTE: SCC detection routine seems don't work on some MSX machines. In these cases try to use SCC in slot 1, if not specified otherwise
Salamander, Nemesis 2 (Gradius 2) Beta, A1 Spirit, F1 Spirit, King's Valley II for MSX1 and for MSX2, "Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake" Demo - in English and Japanese, Contra (Gryzor) and Pennant Race.


Added game: Parodius - Tako Saves Earth


Added games: Super Boy 3 and Shogun


Added games: Super Lode Runner, Super Pierrot, Vaxol, Victorious Nine II, Young Sherlock, Zoids


Added games: Acrojet, Cross Blaim, Black Onyx 2, Borfes, Dynamite Bowl, Craze, Deep Dungeon 2, Deep Forest, Gate Of Labyrinth, Jagur, Higemaru, Return Of Jelda, Magnum, Malaya No Hibou, Mon Mon Monster, O.G.R.E, Replicart, Robowres 2001, Vampire Killer


Added games: The Three-Eyed One, Arsene Lupin in Babylon, Dragon Quest 1, Family Billiards, Final Zone Wolf, Konami Game Master II, Hydlide 2, Mirai, Punky 2, Dragon Slayer 1 - Romancia, Topple Zip, Inquiry Parodic (XYZ)


Added game: Zombie Hunter


Added games: Aliens, Arkanoid 2, Druid, Girly Block, Golvellius, Ninja Kun, Super Triton


Added game: Mr.Ghost


Added game: Strategic Mars


Added games: 1942, Bubble Bobble, Fairyland Story, Gall Force, Super Runner


Added games: Eggerland Mystery 2 and Woody Poco


Added game: Valis: The Fantasm Soldier

25/06/2003 Got an idea to use "sox" to squeeze WAV files.


Added games: Firebird (Hinotori), Goemon, King Kong 2 (English), Knightmare II: Maze Of Galious, Metal Gear, Nemesis (Gradius), Penguin Adventure, The Treasure Of Usas, Zanac Excellent, Arsene Lupin in the Castle (Zariostr)

14/06/2003 First self-extracting MegaROM created.
01/06/2003 Received parcel with my first private MSX computer - Russian Yamaha MSX2 (YIS503IIIR).