X68000 Advice

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speedlolita
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X68000 Advice

Post by speedlolita » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:21 am

Any experts in the house? I know oli_lar had a site with a few dedicated pages but it doesn't seem to be up anymore. Does he still post here?

Was wondering what some of the must play titles are for the machine. Unfortunately I'm saving to move out at the moment so it's emulation only so far. Been using XM6 to emulate stuff.
Logged out 15/07/2014.

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retrojc
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by retrojc » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:33 am


Getting started


The Sharp X68000 is a series of computers released solely in Japan that boasted superior video and sound capabilities that was virtually only rivalled by the arcades. This is what the X68000 is typically known for: flawless arcade ports, at a time where ports were arcade titles only in name - especially on computers. Digging deeper though, you will find many quality originals, both commercial and homebrew. And, mercifully, a much lower eroge-game ratio than some of the similar systems.

The series début in 1987 at a price of ¥369,000. Using a historical YEN-GBP exchange rate, that came to £1500 at the time. While people say the machine would have done fantastically on other markets, power comes at a price. It seems Western computer buyers at the time were still price concious, as with the 8 bit days. While Commodore and Atari produced budget machines as well as more powerful business and multimedia examples, the Japanese market was different and Sharp stuck to producing full fat computers. Perhaps wisely, I believe that the sheer quantity of quality homebrew on the platform is testament to that price. I'd imagine that as NEC's PC-9801 series dominated Japan's computer market, yet was relatively weak in technical terms, Sharp saw a gap in the market. The X68000 screamed quality and premium; from the advanced design, aesthetics and their naming (Expert, Pro, Ace, Super) the system was a great leap over what was previously available.

I believe that the X68000 is criminally ignored today, with scant mentions in contemporary gaming media, with perhaps an occasional nod to the system's versions of Castlevania and Ghosts & Ghouls. While those titles are all well and good, they can be played on more modern systems (Castlevania Chronicles on the Playstation and MAME respectively) and the vast wealth the system has to offer is oft ignored. As I'm mainly a fan of shooters I aim to cover as many titles of that genre on the platform in this site.

The system itself is notoriously difficult to import successfully. Flaky power supplies, 5 and a quarter inch disks, archaic displays, weight and last of all, cost, make it a difficult machine to import and maintain. However, emulation is spot on for the most part with the machine's many options covered – you can fully configure a virtual machine or even use a real Roland MT-32 with some of the emulators to open up new soundtracks, if the game supports it (Hold down the 登録 key through loading to achieve this). If you are incredibly moral the system's bios and OS is public domain, so you will at least be able to emulate the machine itself without feeling guilty!


Emulation

There are several emulators for the X68000 to choose from, though the majority are Japanese in origin the best are in English and operation is simple anyway. I use a few emulators, but generally the program of choice is XM6 and all instructions I give will refer to it. WinX68k High-Speed and EX68 are the other two emulators I keep around just in case XM6 doesn't like something – occasionally certain games run only under certain emulators. MESS is the only western emulator for X68000 I know of that has been written. I haven't used it much but it works and would be good if you want to emulate the system in an arcade type set-up as it has a MAME type front end. There is also a Java emulator so you can emulate the X68000 via your web browser. However you need a very fast computer to do so.

The X68000 uses floppy disks as it's primary method for loading games and you will mostly come across .dim and .xdf file formats. To load a game, click floppy drive #0 (or FD0, depending on your emulator version)>open and browse for a game disk. If there is more than one disk, put the second in floppy drive #1. There may be more disks and usually the third goes in drive 0 after disk 1 (sometimes disk 0) has loaded, the fourth disk in drive 1 and so on. Sometimes There will be an 'intro disk' that shows an opening movie. You can usually skip these by putting the first game disk into drive 0. As the X68000 features soft eject drives the game may eject the disk after it has loaded, so if you reset the emulated machine you will have to reinsert the disk. You can keep an eye on your drive status in the status bar at the bottom of the emulator's window. A pane representing the drive, denoted by 0 or 1 and holding the name of the disk, if inserted, will flash according to its state – black for inactive and empty, grey for inactive with disk, red for reading disk and flashing green means the machine is prompting you to insert a disk. It is there by default, but you can toggle it by going to view>status bar.


Emulation links

XM6 v2.01 and bios download link here:
http://www.emuasylum.com/index.php?page ... p%20X68000
First link in bullet points. Most of the versions floating round on English sites is v 2.0, this is 2.01.

English and Greek versions of WinX68k High-Speed:
http://www.zophar.net/x68000/winx68k-high-speed.html

And EX68:
http://www.zophar.net/x68000/ex68.html

MESS:
http://www.mess.org/

Java emulator:
http://homepage2.nifty.com/m_kamada/jav ... .htm#trial
(Try Otoko Dama, the third title when at the green screen, double click the double circle on the left hand side of game.bat)

Best site to get roms is here, no waiting on downloads:
http://www.thegamearchives.com/?val=0_2 ... 22_0_0_0_0

There are a few titles missing from that site, they can be found here:
http://www.doperoms.com/roms/Sharp_X68000.html


Controls

Keyboard can be used for most games and set up is usually numpad 2/4/6/8 for movement and z/x for buttons one and two. Escape usually pauses. You can change the button layout by going to tools>options>keyboard and click on the key's no., entering a new key by pressing it and accept by right clicking. So for no. 4C input down, 47 is left, 49 is right and 44 is up.

Joysticks

The majority of X68000 shooters can be controlled by joystick, and a few require it. It is fairly straightforward to setup – select the X68000's stick type from the first drop down menu under 'type' in tools>options>joysticks. Atari (standard) is fine for most games, but I use Cyberstick (digital) as there are more than two buttons. Then select your joystick from the first drop down menu under 'devices'. You can change the button configuration by clicking on 'setup', next to the drop down menu. If you are unsure which button is which on your joystick you can find out (in Vista, I assume it is similar in XP/ Windows 7) via control panel>game controllers, clicking on your joystick and then 'properties'. Press your joystick's buttons and the corresponding button will be highlighted in red.

Emulator/system settings and quick keys

You should be able to play games straight away with default settings, but I'd recommend doing the following to get the best compatibility rate. Set the emulator's system clock to 12mhz via tools>options>system and while you are there turn the amount of ram up to 12mb. Most games require 2mb, but it doesn't make much difference so you may as well do it. Click on the 'misc' tab in options and enable 'fast floppy' for slightly better loading times.

As usual alt + enter toggle fullscreen and F12 enables mouse mode.

Quickstart

Download XM6 and bios here: http://www.emuasylum.com/index.php?page ... p%20X68000

Unzip both into the same directory, delete the archives and create a subfolder called 'Roms' – put your disk images here.

Open XM6.exe. The movement keys are automatically mapped to numpad 2/4/6/8 – leave them if you like that, but if you don't (like me) change them by going to tools>options>keyboard and click on the key's no., enter a new key by pressing it and accept by right clicking. So for no. 4C input down, 47 is left, 49 is right and 44 is up.

After accepting those settings you will see a sign in Japanese with an image of a disk, and floppy drive #0's status pane will flash green, prompting you to insert a disk. Insert a game disk via floppy drive #0>open and select a game disc. If there is more than one disk, put the second in floppy drive #1. The game will automatically load and once it has done so use the cursor and z/x keys to control the game.

Savestates and loading is done by the file>save command, loading via file>load. Unfortunately the save files are quite large for some reason.


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retrojc
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by retrojc » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:33 am

had to go into the archives for that!

writtern by Oli, top guy.

speedlolita
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by speedlolita » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks for that! :D

Think I'll import a junk X68000 some time and spend months fixing it up. :mrgreen:
Logged out 15/07/2014.

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retrojc
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by retrojc » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:39 am

are you on FB? as theres a sharp x68000 club


http://www.facebook.com/groups/x68000/

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retrojc
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by retrojc » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:40 am

think you gotta be invited, so send me a url of your facebook page, or addd me and i'll join ya up!

http://www.facebook.com/boringgg

speedlolita
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by speedlolita » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:10 am

Logged out 15/07/2014.

Stainy
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by Stainy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:02 am

I'm going to have to check this XM6g out :) so I can play some kick off on the x68000 ;)

Stainy
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by Stainy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:05 am

speedlolita wrote:https://www.facebook.com/cxd9615gb

:V

Ta.

Friend request sent :)

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ncf1
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by ncf1 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:45 pm

GET YOURSELF XM6, gets some disk images, and fire this up because damn, its fantastic! I'd heard about the Sharp x68000 some while back but never fired up and emulator, for the past week I have played through some titles and by and large the games are brilliant; very consistent, and very flexible, in that you have a lot of options akin to an arcade cabinet with many games. The sound is extremely impressive, I'm not sure if I would say better than the Amiga just yet but certainly rivals it, and the graphics are just fantastic. As mentioned, a criminally underrated machine, just unbelievable I stumbled on this, most games are simply terrific.

Anyone even thinking about looking into the X68000 quite wasting time, get stuck into it because it is absolutely worthwhile and thank God I didnt have one during my youth because I guarantee, I would not have gone to school. Or maybe I would have, but I would have brought the whole machine with me. Damn right I would have.

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oli_lar
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by oli_lar » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:19 am

speedlolita wrote:Thanks for that! :D

Think I'll import a junk X68000 some time and spend months fixing it up. :mrgreen:
Personally I wouldn't - usually its one of two problems (disk drive or power supply) but its very likely that unless you are well acquainted with electronics it'll be a very frustrating experience given theres no western communiity as such for support. Auctions on Yahoo Japan often have a picture showing the X68k working if you don't want to chance babelfish. I'd go for a model with at least 2mb ram and a hdd. Another point is that like the FM Towns certain games are very expensive now - Nemesis '90 is something like £120 or so. You can copy games, but you'd need a 5" 1/4 drive working on a PC or a Compact model, which uses 3 " 1/2 - you'd need to put all your games onto small floppies though as none were released on 3 1/2.

Other than the fb group the X68000 SIG is for your hardware needs and Tokugawa for software. I've got a few reviews on a blog, but yeah I just don't get the time for it (hence being up at 6 on a sunday!) http://x68000archive.blogspot.co.uk/

In terms of games to play theres a few suggestions there - Aquales, Nemesis '90 kai, Etoille Princesse, R+R, then there is Mad Stalker, Gaiarm, Choujin, Star Mobile, Angel Dive, Naious, Zero Rei, Die Bahnwelt etc. Theres loads of top notch arcade conversions if thats your bag as well. I keep coming back to Dash (toaplan).

BTW, the difference between Xm6 and XM6g is that g does transparency, a graphics effect, while XM6 doesn't (on Aquales and Etoille Princesse there are certain bits that don't display properly). g is a bit more buggy though.

NCF1 - good to see you've joined the enlightened!

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ncf1
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by ncf1 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:47 am

Oli I was amazed, just the sheer quality.. the games are what I *hoped* the C64 would perform like, and at the time we had no idea such a machine existed... I would have broken both my fathers arms just to get him to buy me one! (although I doubt he would have appreciated my gesture).

I'll rip into those games you suggested.. have lots to try so should be great fun !!

AmigaJay
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by AmigaJay » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:53 am

Yeah about from arcade conversions, what are the best games for this platform? Obviously MAME can be used for the arcade titles, did the machine have many original titles? because all your hear from anyone who has played one is how good the arcade conversions were (not to put a downer on it but the computer was around £3000 (Y370000) In 1987, so you did need a 2nd mortgage to own one let alone buy the games!) and it was used as a development system for some of the arcade companies so explains pixel perfect ports, but kinda defeats it as a games machine, hey my machine can do this!...thats great i want one, how much?...oh ummm £3000....censored off!!

speedlolita
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by speedlolita » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:04 am

That's what proper PCs cost then.
Logged out 15/07/2014.

AmigaJay
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Re: X68000 Advice

Post by AmigaJay » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:36 am

speedlolita wrote:That's what proper PCs cost then.
Yes, that's why they werent taken seriously as games machines until the price dropped around the time of Doom, the X68000 never sold well in Japan due to its price, even the FM Towns sold better, but obviously both were well behind the NEC PC- series of computers.
The Megadrive launched a year after in Japan, sure the arcade conversions mostly weren't upto par to X68000 versions but they were good decent enough graphic and gameplay wise only at a 5% cost of the X68000.

Thats why I'm asking what original exclusive games were on the X68000 (no crappy anime or love story games aside!) because taking the arcade games out I see no good reasons for people to buy or bother to emulate one of these.

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