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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:44 am 


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Ah, maybe that's the problem. I do still need to pick up a mouse (and probably keyboard as well) for certain games that do load, but won't play without them (Operation Wolf and Lemmings are good examples). The floppy issue might be trickier since the disks have to be formatted a certain way, but I guess I can live without that.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:24 am 



Joined: 23 Mar 2011
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Austin wrote:
Ah, maybe that's the problem. I do still need to pick up a mouse (and probably keyboard as well) for certain games that do load, but won't play without them (Operation Wolf and Lemmings are good examples). The floppy issue might be trickier since the disks have to be formatted a certain way, but I guess I can live without that.


The Marty can format disks by itself through the bios menu. Assuming you have a drive that works, that shouldn't be a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:39 am 


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I picked up some floppy disks but I've yet to try formatting them via the Marty. Maybe I'll try to do that this weekend when I get some more time.

Does anyone know if games have the ability to save data? I assume there is no internal memory on this thing, but I'm wondering if some of the shmups for instance will track scores if you have a floppy in the drive.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:39 am 



Joined: 23 Mar 2011
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It depends on the game. Most of the arcade games do not save, but a few do have the option. None of them auto-save though, it's always an option in the menus when available. Volfied actually has a full on stage editor which of course use the floppy drive to save.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:35 pm 


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It looks like Alone in the Dark and Prince of Persia both require disks. AITD it appears it's for saving based on the first message that appears when you boot the game ("bunch of Japanese text, then "SAVE", more Japanese text, then "A" - I am assuming it means to press "A"). It won't allow me past that menu.

Now if only I could figure out how to format the floppy. I bought a new pack of disks but can't seem to get the format function to work via the Marty startup/system screen. I see you can get replacement belts for the floppy drive, so I wonder if mine is even still functional. Might have to crack this open.

Prince of Persia seems to require a disk as well I am assuming, but I do not know because the message that comes up when I attempt to start a game is completely in Japanese. I do see an icon for a "Return" key on a Keyboard--so I am guessing either the game needs a disk in the drive, or it's asking me to start the game with a keyboard. I have no idea.

I've noticed in eBay auctions that some Marty games come with a floppy disk as well. Does anyone know if these disks are required, house specialized data, or something else? Or was it just a situation of, "Hey, our game saves your progress, here's a free floppy for that purpose"? I'm guessing it's specific data housed on the disk, but I am not sure.

SuperDeadite wrote:
It depends on the game. Most of the arcade games do not save, but a few do have the option. None of them auto-save though, it's always an option in the menus when available. Volfied actually has a full on stage editor which of course use the floppy drive to save.


Ah, OK, that makes sense. Thanks for the information. Based on the games that I have tried so far, it looks like many (if not all) I have tried do not offer the option to save. Not a big deal, but now that I'm aware of it I'd like to take advantage of it where I can.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:48 pm 



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Depends on the game, but a lot Towns software did come with custom boot floppies needed to launch the game instead of an auto-boot CD.

Personally I use the HDD for Alone in the Dark, but good chance it needs a floppy for saving and also to use as a memory cache if you dont use the HDD install.

If your floppy drive doesnt work its usually the belt, first thing to check.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:31 am 


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I wonder if the issue with Prince of Persia is the lack of a data disk that may have been originally included with it. (*Edit - No, it doesn't look like this game actually came with a disk, so that's probably not the issue).

I hear the drive trying to function when I attempt to go to format, but it's just briefly for a second or two, then it stops. No loud mechanical noise you typically hear with floppy drives though and the drive access light doesn't come on either. I'll be interested to see if the belt actually is snapped (or came loose). Or maybe the drive simply doesn't like the disks I'm using. Who knows.

HDD--is there a special interface I need to use one with the system?
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:56 am 



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Martys do not support HDDs. Towns PCs use standard 50pin SCSI.

I'm not sure if PoP even supports the Marty. But once again a lot of games that use a floppy for saving will not boot if it doesn't find a formatted disk in the drive.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:20 am 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
Martys do not support HDDs. Towns PCs use standard 50pin SCSI.

I'm not sure if PoP even supports the Marty. But once again a lot of games that use a floppy for saving will not boot if it doesn't find a formatted disk in the drive.


Ahh, OK, so you are using the HDD on a Towns computer, while I'm on a Marty. Gotcha.

I have read PoP should work (albeit it supposedly runs slow on the Marty). The game does load--I get the title screen, music and intro, as well as the main menu screen. I just can't seem to get to the actual gameplay itself, a message comes up whenever I try to start, but I can't get past that (nor do I know what it says, being in Japanese).
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:56 am 


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Figured I'd post an update here for anyone else looking for Marty information (information is sparse on the 'net, unfortunately).

I decided I'm going to order a floppy drive belt as well in relation to my earlier posts in this thread. I've toyed with the disk format function through the Marty BIOS but nothing happens. A snapped belt could very well be the reason nothing's happening.

On another note, I ended up having CD-ROM drive problems (disc drive refusing to spin, issue started this past Friday). I did some research and it appears there is nowhere to get a replacement laser mech. Nobody has been able to pinpoint the exact make/model. Fortunately the drive is about 50/50 right now in terms of functionality, so it's not a complete paperweight yet, but things aren't looking good for these things over time.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 5:40 am 



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There's a high chance your laser is fine, recent discoveries have shown a lot of CD issues with Marties are caused by failing capacitors. This is especially true for Marty's PSU. Crack it open and change every single cap in the psu, and there's a good chance your issues will be fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:34 am 


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Yeah, I have been leaning towards that as well. I am going to order a PSU cap kit in the coming days. I'm crossing my fingers that's the underlying cause.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:04 am 


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Old but did you have any luck?
Had around 4 martys here with "broken lasers", replacing the power supply caps worked in every machine.
You should also look for the ones on the main board, have seen much heavy leak damage there.

Prince of Persia works on Martys but you have to format your user disk in the options menu. (just try them all with a disk in the drive)

@Disk drive problems;
If your CD problems are caused by the power supply, there is a high chance that your disk drive will also fail.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:17 am 


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Yeah, I had someone do the PSU cap kit. Unfortunately, it didn't really affect the disc read problems I was having. The original owner ended up offering to buy it back for what I paid, so instead of continuing to deal with the issue I jumped on the offer. So.. no more Marty for me at this time. Neat little system, but based on the issues I had, the idea of it likely becoming a really expensive paper weight wasn't cool in my book.
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:38 pm 


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I also have disc reading problems with my FM Towns PC...what should i do? I don´t have anyone who could repair it. :(
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:38 pm 


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Hi

I'm getting ready to enter the fm towns world but I have some question and ask for help. It's clear to me that computer type fm towns II is a better option than Marty. I will try to get anything between ME to HC models (I´m excluding FMV because it´s more expensive, more rare and also have somebit of emulation).

My question is about game compatibility across the various models and processors speeds.

Will every game runs without glitches on higher clock units like Mx, Ma (66mhz), HB, Hc (Pentium 60 and 90) or even the crazy stuff like overdrive Pentium mmx processors add on ? Or to appreciate all fm towns library you have to had two fm towns (a faster and a slower) like pc9801/pc9821?


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:49 pm 



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My overdrive equipped Fresh generally runs everything. 486 and later Towns machines have "Fast Mode" (same thing as Turbo mode on western PCs) that can be turned off to run in 386x16 compatibility mode. However some games are really picky on the amount of RAM. Shadow of the beat II will refuse to run if you have more then 4mbs installed.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:36 pm 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
My overdrive equipped Fresh generally runs everything. 486 and later Towns machines have "Fast Mode" (same thing as Turbo mode on western PCs) that can be turned off to run in 386x16 compatibility mode. However some games are really picky on the amount of RAM. Shadow of the beat II will refuse to run if you have more then 4mbs installed.


Thanks Superdeadlite! You always helped me with old japanese computers questions! :D

I readed something about Shadow of the Beast II didn´t run if you have more than 4MB in slot 2. But at least, you can exchange memory (if you have a spare) just to play these games. Better than have two computers!

A little more complicate if you have a Pentium processor (requires two memories with same size and specs) but I think can be done.

What overdrive processor did you use?


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:03 pm 



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I have an AMD 586x133 actually. 486 based Towns machines accept Overdrives and compatibles, but they use a custom connector that plugs in vertically. Every one of these kits I've ever seen has come with a CPU pre-installed though.

Not much point in getting a Towns that's any faster then a 486x33 though. All the games that can use faster speeds properly are western dos ports. The infamous Mahou Daisakusen is a terrible port, doesn't matter how much horsepower you give it, it will always suck.

The only reason to get the Pentium is if you want to install Win 95...which is rather pointless really.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:53 pm 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
I have an AMD 586x133 actually. 486 based Towns machines accept Overdrives and compatibles, but they use a custom connector that plugs in vertically. Every one of these kits I've ever seen has come with a CPU pre-installed though.

Not much point in getting a Towns that's any faster then a 486x33 though. All the games that can use faster speeds properly are western dos ports. The infamous Mahou Daisakusen is a terrible port, doesn't matter how much horsepower you give it, it will always suck.

The only reason to get the Pentium is if you want to install Win 95...which is rather pointless really.


Thanks!

What about the VRAM jump from 512KB to 1MB (33mhz models to 66mhz models)? Do I need the double Vram size or just to use windows 3.11?

And a last question, about FM towns "upscale" automatic function.

http://labo.main.jp/newage/towns/fmt_dvmon.html

According to this page all white FM Towns convert 24khz to 31khz and latter models also convert 15khz to 31khz. (you can enable it for MA and MX models with a program). But maybe I'm not interest in converting 15khz. Do you know if there a way to disable this feature on latter models?


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:24 pm 



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I've never heard of anyone upgrading Towns VRAM.

As for the upscaling. It doesn't really upscale, instead it just adds a big black border around the game.
However proper 15khz can be restored by adding a Towns Video Card. You just plug one in to the legacy (white connector) slot on the later Towns models and connect your monitor to it's video output. No software required.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:19 am 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
I've never heard of anyone upgrading Towns VRAM.

As for the upscaling. It doesn't really upscale, instead it just adds a big black border around the game.
However proper 15khz can be restored by adding a Towns Video Card. You just plug one in to the legacy (white connector) slot on the later Towns models and connect your monitor to it's video output. No software required.


Sorry for my english. I was thinking about an official upgrade from Fujitsu. I checked specs and found that with MA series and latter models VRAM was rised to 1MB.

http://twinklemagic.la.coocan.jp/towns_kai/data/ma.html

But I think it didn't make difference in games.

Nice to know about the video card. Any card works? (412, 412a, 418)?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:46 am 



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I know of no games that require the extra VRAM. I'm sure some of that later DOS ports like Wing Commander Armada can probably take advantage of it though...

As far as I know, any of the cards will work. Some of them just have external pots to adjust the S-Video/Composite and some don't. Mine is the third and final version iirc.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:03 pm 


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hyrulebr wrote:
Hi

I'm getting ready to enter the fm towns world but I have some question and ask for help...


Now i'm part of family! :P

I bought one Fresh FT in working condition! :D

too much to learn!


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:56 pm 



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Can one use an old Pentium 200MMX or perhaps even a 486 of some kind and build their Own FM towns COmputer that will play all the CD Games? Or am I better off buying a Real FM Towns Tower and Upgrading it?

What is the sweet spot? 66mhz? Or one of the latest windows 3.1 / 95 Versions?


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:24 pm 



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Towns machines use standard Intel CPUs but everything else is proprietary. Basically all the games that westerners would want to play run on TownsOS.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:43 am 



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SuperDeadite wrote:
Towns machines use standard Intel CPUs but everything else is proprietary. Basically all the games that westerners would want to play run on TownsOS.


So what is the way to go??

Marty?

Marty + try to attempt CPU upgrade?

FM Towns Tower of some kind?

Thanks!!


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:14 am 


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Get a tower. Some Towns games won't play on Marty because they need more than 2MB RAM (like Mahou Daisakusen, Samurai Spirits, & Super Street Fighter II).
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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:43 am 



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gameoverDude wrote:
Get a tower. Some Towns games won't play on Marty because they need more than 2MB RAM (like Mahou Daisakusen, Samurai Spirits, & Super Street Fighter II).


And none of those games are really worth playing. Ok ports in their day, but now? No point besides the curiosity really.

Normally I would recommend any of the 486 Computer units as the best overall due to the CPU, faster CD-ROM, HDD option, other add-ons like MIDI, and of course RGB output. However, the guy making Rhea for Saturn is making such a device for the Marty which is a nice bonus there. In the end though, you really need to make a list of the games you actually want to play, then see what you need to run them.


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 Post subject: Re: FM Towns Computer / Marty Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 am 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
gameoverDude wrote:
Get a tower. Some Towns games won't play on Marty because they need more than 2MB RAM (like Mahou Daisakusen, Samurai Spirits, & Super Street Fighter II).


And none of those games are really worth playing. Ok ports in their day, but now? No point besides the curiosity really.



True. There are better ports out there that won't cost so much. Samurai Shodown is $8 on PS4/XB1 & I'm sure the FMT version costs many times that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOXn6pOAni0
This video you posted about Turbo Outrun on the Towns 2H (like a Marty in specs) vs. the Towns 2 Fresh is a good comparison. It runs just a little choppy on the 2H but somewhat better on the Fresh.
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