"Yawara": General Game Music and Sound Effect Player
Current Version: Bianca-1-0 (2nd Version, 1st Release, No Revision).
Copyright and Legal Notices
"Yawara: General Game Music Player" is composed of several
files, all of them `freeware', which means nothing can be charged for them.
Parts and/or modified versions of files cannot be distributed without express
permission of the author, because it is not `public domain'. It also cannot be
either incorporated or distributed with any commercial product or used for
any commercial purpose without express permission of the author. Permissions
are valid only for one release, not including previous or future releases.
When joined to any commercial product, this file MUST be included
within the pack and customers explicitly notified about its existence and
contents. The program needs segments of copyrighted material to work. Anyone
that uses them must have legal copies of them. The author cannot be
responsibilized for any damage or illegal act related to them or the program
itself. If you use the program, part of it or any information from it, in any
way, you are automatically agreeing with all these statements, independently
of your social, cultural, legal, religious or theological status. Thank you
all for reading this really long notice.
Programmer's notice: legal notice is a real pain, isn't it? "C'est
la vie". What the previous statements say is, in other words, that no one
should make money out of others' works or take credit in something they
haven't really sweat upon to make. It also says that you should purchase legal
copies of software, if not to enlighten your soul (if you have one, of
course), at least to keep the makers alive time enough to make another
enjoyable program (remember that good program makers are hard to find these
days). And, yes, I know that most (probably all) softwares supported by this
program are not anymore available. My opinion is that we cannot let them fall
into oblivion, isn't it yours, too? So, play that music and may the Unicorns
be with you!
What Is "Yawara"?
"Yawara" is a Brazilian indigenous word that means `the one
that kills with a single stroke', given to the biggest american feline, the
Panthera (Jaguarius) onca. The Time and the european colonization of
the american continent truncated the word to the well known
"Jaguar". Strangely, in Brazil, the feline is wrongly called
"Onça" (which also originated the scientific name), from a
truncated form of an Italian word for an asiatic feline, "Lonza",
but that's just academic. "And what does it all has to do with this
program?" Well, Yawara is a Brazilian word for a Brazilian program
and, like the big feline, it also "kills" with a single stroke a
problem I had with many MSX games: to play their musics.
Yawara was designed to present not only a game music player, but
also a good presentation and useful information for bold programmers, all
nested in a user friendly environment. Beside the background musics (BGM),
Yawara can also play the sound effects (SFX) of some games. The program
is a development of a music player that I made for
The program requires pieces of the games to execute, which contains the
music routines and data. Small ROM games (8 KB, 16 KB and 32 KB) are used
whole. The music routines and data of larger games must be extracted, using
some file utility (see the trouble shooting section of this document for more
information). The necessary game blocks are packed with each release of
Yawara. If the blocks of an older package are not available and you
cannot make them by yourself, write me an E-Mail.
Currently Supported Games
- La Abadia del Crimen
- Akumajou Dracula (Vampire Killer)
- Ale Hop!
- Antartic Adventure (original Japanese version)
- Army Moves
- Astro Marine Corps
- Athletic Land (Colecovision version)
- Athletic Land
- Back to The Future
- Cabbage Patch Kids
- Camelot Warriors
- Circus Charlie
- Comando Tracer
- Comic Bakery
- The Flintstones
- Freddy Hardest
- Ganbare Goemon - Karakuri Doutchyuu
- Gojira Kun (Godzilla)
- The Goonies (updated on 2005-09-24, thanks to J.E.P.Mello)
- Gradius (Nemesis)
- Hinotori Houoohen
- Hyper Olympics
- Hyper Olympics 2
- Hyper Rally
- Hyper Sports
- Hyper Sports 2
- Hyper Sports 3
- Jagur - Golden Triangle
- Jet Bomber
- Jet Set Willy
- Jet Set Willy II
- King's Valley
- Konami's Soccer
- Mad Mix
- Magical Kid Wiz
- Magical Tree
- Majou Densetsu - Knightmare (updated on 2005-09-23, thanks to J.E.P.Mello)
- Majou Densetsu II - The Maze of Galious (Knightmare II)
- Majou Densetsu III - Shalom (Knightmare III)
- Mask III - Venom Strikes Back
- Mon Mon Monster (PSG/FM)
- Mutant Zone 1
- Mutant Zone 2
- Navy Moves
- Q-Bert (Konami)
- Rally-X (with some SFX)
- Road Fighter
- Rock'N Roller
- Silent Shadow
- Sol Negro
- Time Curb
- Trail Blazer
- Treasure of Usas
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu II
- Yume Tairiku Adobentchya- (Penguin Adventure)
- Zanac - Second Release
- MSX with 64 KBytes of "common" RAM (neither Memory Mapper nor
MegaRAM will be recognized) and 16 KBytes of VRAM
- MSX-Disk (disk driver) and an MSX compatible formatted disk with all
- MSX-DOS, M80.Com and L80.Com if recompilation is desired or
- MSX-Music (FM I.C. and BIOS) required for FM based modules
- Konami Sound Creative Chip (SCC) required for SCC based modules
Basic Package Files
The "basic files" must be all placed in the same disk for the
correct execution of Yawara. They are:
- Yawara.Bin: this program loads the "shell". It shifts all memory
pages to RAM, allowing the execution of any music module. If it crashes your
system, try to run "Yawara.Saf", which will keep the BIOS ROM in
page 0. Using "Yawara.Saf" means that some modules, marked in the
lists with an asterisk "*", cannot be loaded. Don't try them,
because the system will probably crash.
- Yawara.Shl: this is the "shell program". It presents lists
which can be "browsed" like directories. containing all available
modules and the planned future releases. If "Yawara.Saf" was used
to start-up, "Yawara.SSh" will be loaded instead of the
- Yawara.xxx: these files are the music players. The extension
"xxx" describes the base execution address. For example,
"Yawara.C20" is loaded and executed at address &HC200. There
are many files of this kind, each one loaded at a different address. A
game that uses the area from &H4000 to &HD000, for example, must
be accessed by a player out of that range ("Yawara.270" or
something like that).
- YGMPDCSF.xxx, YGMPDBGF.xxx: these files contain default character set
fonts. They are loaded by the "shell". The music players also
use them when they cannot find the "presentation screens" (used
in the opening and playback screens).
- YawaraML.000: the base list. It has the same function of a root
- xxxxxxxx.GMM: game "xxxxxxxx" music module.
- xxxxxxxx.SMM: game "xxxxxxxx" source music module.
- YawaraML.xxx: module list "xxx".
- YawaraLS.YLS: module list source file.
- Yawara.Asm: Assembly source file of "Yawara.Bin".
- YawaraSf.Asm: Assembly source file of "Yawara.Saf".
- YawaraSh.Asm: Assembly source file of "Yawara.Shl".
- YawaraSS.Asm: Assembly source file of "Yawara.SSh".
- YawaraPS.270: Assembly source file of "Yawara.270". The other
playback files are created upon this one, replacing all occurrences of
"270" by the proper loading addresses.
Yawara may be executed by one of the following commands:
Try to run "Yawara.Bin". If the "shell"
is correctly loaded and executed, you won't need "Yawara.Saf". If the
system crashes, try the second loader. If none runs well, then you have a real
problem and will probably have to use a simulator (wrongly called "emulator").
I know, it's not a solution, but it's better than nothing. See the next sections for
The "shell" program uses the following control keys:
- <Up Arrow>: move cursor one item up.
- <Down Arrow>: move cursor one item down.
- <Space>: select an item.
- <Escape>: exit from Yawara and return to MSX-BASIC. This key may
not work ever, depending on which kind of modules you had executed. If
the systems hangs up, you must reset it.
The playback programs uses the following control keys:
- <Up Arrow>: move to the next sound effect entry.
- <Down Arrow>: move to the previous sound effect entry.
- <Left Arrow>: move to the next music entry.
- <Right Arrow>: move to the previous music entry.
- <Space>: play the selected entry. Some sound effects may be played
together with some musics or even other sound effects.
- <Return>: silence. Some music modules have special entries to
silence only the BGM or the SFX.
- <Select>: change the type of bar graphic.
- <Escape>: exit the playback program and returns to the
The following are special keys:
- <F4> and <F5>: general control.
- <Stop>: reset the game music routines. Works for all modules, but
there's no guarantee that it won't crash the system.
I haven't time enough to test all modules for valid music code entries.
If a music or effect crashes the music routine, then try to press
<F4> and <F5> controls a generic register, used by some
modules to define some feature of the music module, like playback speed
(`tempo', speed) and intensity (volume). "Survivor" and
"Circus Charlie" have speed and `tempo' control. "Hinotori
Houoohen" is the only, by now, with volume control. "Akumajou
Dracula", "Treasure of Usas" and others have a sound effect
entry that activates a `volume fader', so I didn't check them for manual
volume control (maybe "Hinotori" also have a "fader", but
I didn't check it). Finally, not all music modules have sound effects, mainly
those that don't have specialized music activation routines.
<F4>/<F5> may be used to find valid entries in music modules. An
example is presented in "model.smm".
The frequency bar graphics are divided in fifteen zones, each one
coverring a range:
- from 27.3Hz till 46.2 Hz (F1+)
- till 65.4 Hz (C2)
- till 92.5 Hz (F2+)
- till 130.8 Hz (C3)
- till 185.2 Hz (F3+)
- till 261.9 Hz (C4)
- till 370.4 Hz (F4+)
- till 525.1 Hz (C5)
- till 740.8 Hz (F5+)
- till 1055.3 Hz (C6)
- till 1491.5 Hz (F6+)
- till 2110.6 Hz (C7)
- till 3023.3 Hz (F7+)
- till 4302.3 Hz (C8)
- above 4302.3 Hz (C8)
"How do I do to get the ROMs and game blocks required by Yawara?"
By now, all released modules have the required blocks available. Most
Japanese ROM games can also be found in FTP sites in the Internet. If you've
got a good mirror copy (one that works and is not modified by some stupid
pirate), them it will probably work with Yawara. ROMs that are used whole have
the extension ".ROM" and don't require any kind of modification.
Larger games, like MegaROM and disk games, must have their music routines and
data blocks copied to separate files, which have numeric extensions
(".000", ".001", ".002" and so on). You must use
some kind of file utility that allows block extraction to create those blocks.
You may try SJ. The position of the blocks
to be extracted are presented in the respective module source file. To make
it clear, by now, you don't have to extract any block or look for good ROM
copies, because all required files are available for download in this Page.
"Why is Yawara resetting my system?"
Some modules don't like turbo R starting in R800 mode:
if you format a disk in turbo R, the resulting disk will have a special
bootstrap sector that will be recognized by the turbo R's start up BIOS
routine, automatically activating the R800 mode. Yawara will turn the
Z80 mode on in turbo R and any latter MSX (there are none by now, but we
never know...) If it crashes anyway ("Zanac" uses to do it), restart
turbo R with key <1> (on the main key set) pressed, forcing it to
start in Z80 mode, then run the program. If you have a Brazilian disk driver
interface, try to restart (the computer, not you) holding <Control> key
down. If the interface has already started up with one logical driver, try the
reverse: release the <Control> key during start up. The position of the
logical driver "A" work area in the memory may be the
"X factor" of the system crashing, because it defines the stack
pointer address (it is set ever at the highest free address, at the border of
the work area). The <Control> key trick does not work with most
non-brazilian interfaces. turbo R starts with only one logical drive and
allocates less memory for it than other systems (if there are only one
physical drive, of course). Keeping <1> key pressed during start-up will
create two logical drives in turbo R, what will modify the stack
The current version of the program doesn't use BIOS anymore, allowing a
far better control of the system behaviour. During start up, it copies the
BIOS ROM to RAM, so games that use the 0000H-3FFFH area (page 0) may be loaded
and executed (Colecovision convertions, for example). Some systems may not
"like the joke" (the idea of having BIOS on `volatile memory' is too
much for them). If your MSX don't allow it, run "Yawara.Saf". It
will keep BIOS in ROM, but you won't be able to run modules that use page 0
(don't try them, the system will crash, 'cause the program don't check if page
0 is ROM or RAM). Programs that require RAM in page 0 are marked with an
asterisk "*" in the lists.
"Does Yawara run in emulators?"
As far as I know, no MSX emulator perfectly simulates a real machine.
Some can (almost) render the graphic elements right, some can (almost)
reproduce the sounds right and some can (almost) simulate the MSX CPU right,
but no one can do them all at the same time. Yawara is supposed to run
in emulators with good enough CPU and sound IC simulation.
"I have found a secret music...!"
People that want to try to create modules for other games must be
careful. Most music routines are not prepared to receive invalid codes and
produce "strange" results for them, some even sounding "good
enough" to be valid or "secret" entries. "Akumajou
Dracula", for example, has a lot of them, playing tracks from different
musics, sounding like different or special arranges, but are actually invalid
activation of the music routine, not "secret musics". If someone
tries them or creates music modules for other games, be careful to not
classify invalid entries as hidden musics, because they can lock up some
systems (Compile games, for example) or even damage the computer, sending
erroneous data to the PSG (or PPI) control ports ("Zanac",
"Thexder" and so on). I recommend the use of an emulator during
tests (I don't think emulators can burn down PC ICs and if they do, it won't
be a so great loss...) Sound effects are harder to check due to its
About Some Modules
- "Yume Tairiku (Penguin) Adventure":
this is the first game to which I created a music player. It is, so far, the
most complete module and my favourite. Thanks to Konami...
- "Hinotori Houoohen" ("compilation story of the legendary
bird goddess of the fire" - wow! amazing what one can write with just
five "kanji"): those people that have already seen the
"anime" or listened to the original soundtrack will notice that I
invented the titles, because the musics don't match the
O.S.T., except for the refrain of "Hinotori", played on the
opening screen and endlessly when you find a "houoozou" (Hinotori
- "Akumajou Dracula" (`castle of the devil Dracula', "Vampire
Killer"): the musics match the
Famicom CD I have, though there are musics in MSX not available in the
disk ("game over", "stage clear" etc.) and two musics
available in the CD not present in MSX ("Underground", in the
naming screen, unexistent in MSX, and "Voyager", from the ending
demo, replaced by another music or an arrange so different I couldn't
identify it). And I found a strange problem: music with code 83H in MSX is
named "Out of Time" in the CD, assigned to the clock tower stage,
and music 85H is named "Walking on the Edge" in the CD, assigned
to an underground stage. "Walking on The Edge" comes before
"Out of Time" in the CD. Are the music titles swapped or are the
order wrong (in MSX or in the CD)?
- "Zanac": the game known as "Zanac 2" seems to be a
second release of "Zanac", not a sequel (what would explain the
unchanged presentation screen). There are modules for both and I couldn't
hear any difference (though I had no time to check it for new entries).
Note: before starting a new music, press <Return> to silence the current
one, or else the new music won't play correctly (or play anything at all).
- "Survivor": it was the first Spectrum game convertion I scanned.
The playback speed is not defined by the interruption, but by a loop! I'm
using a "ratio counter" (similar of those used for integer line
drawing) to simulate the loop delay via interruption. The module checks the
system frame drawing frequency (60Hz/50Hz) to use the proper ratio value.
You can change it in "real time" pressing <F4>/<F5>
keys. This same problem appears in other games, like "Avenger",
which also has, now, playback speed control.
- "Jet Bomber": the program is so "nasty" that the
normal execution flux sends invalid data to the PSG register 7. It sets
both joystick control bits to 0, id est, for input, what won't probably
damage the MSX circuitry. My music module uses its own PSG set-up routine,
avoiding any risk. As far as I could check, the game, fortunately, never
sets both bits for output, what would put the joystick control ICs in
short-circuit, melting them down and digging a crater that would reach the
center of Earth and start a "China Syndrome"...
- "Majou Densetsu - Knightmare" (`legend of the supernatural/demonic
castle'): there are two sound effects that sound very
strange. Both play the same notes, but one with noise off and the other with
it turned on. I don't know which one is the real entry.
- "Antartic Adventure" and "Athletic Land": they are
both Colecovision converted games. I remember someone saying that
"Antartic Adventure" was `exactly the same ROM'. I think that guy
didn't really checked it or he made some mistake and compared the same
machine ROMs. "Antartic Adventure" was surely recompiled, for it
starts at 8000H, not 0000H. It also uses the system interruption hook.
"Athletic Land" was modified, too. The Colecovision version starts
at 0000H, but it makes sure that the system hooks are disabled. The other
version starts at 4000H and was completely modified (some musics are also
slightly different in the second release version). All these games don't use
any MSX BIOS routines, of course, and the PSG ports are correctly readjusted
to A0H~A2H. The music routines are basically the same of all later Konami
- "Rally-X": except for "Jet Bomber", the worst coding
I have ever found. It seems the programmers used some kind of midle-level
programming language (I'd found branches to the next instructions
- "Circus Charlie": this game has "tempo" control. Use
values between 4 and 6. Anything else will make it sound strange...
- "King's Valley": the game tries to modify itself. Of course, if
it is an original ROM, nothing would happen to the code, but if it is loaded
in RAM, with some "game loader", the game will not run the same
way. A similar problem happens to other games, like
- "Treasure of Usas": I've found a different version of the game.
At first, I thought it was just a scrambled mirror copy, but the differences
are too extensive, as if it was recompiled. I think it was. I couldn't hear
any difference in the musics. Similar problem appears with
"Yie Ar Kung-Fu", part I and II, which have different
- "Mad Mix" and "Rock'N Roller": "Mad Mix" has
a very interesting code. The game is probably the same of Spectrum version,
but the interruption handler was rebuilt to allow it to play some music and
sound effects. The coding style is a bit messy (the current module doesn't
play correctly some effects just after others had been executed - playing a
music corrects the problem). The activation routine has an interesting
behaviour: if an effect is cast before another one is finished, a new PSG
channel is requested to execute it, so up to three effects can be played at
the same time (though sometimes the routine "shakes" itself a
little and one or another effects are restarted). It also happens to
- "Amaurote" and "Halloween": considerably well done
music routines, though not optimized. I think both games have their music
routines programmed by the same person (or one was copied from the other),
because both use the same code structure, containing even the same
"bugs". My mirror of the game was modified by some idiot pirate.
The game locks up at a certain point and I don't know if the music routines
are not damaged...
- "Silent Shadow" and "Stardust": they have similar
music routines, almost identical. The code is not very optimized, but does
the job, and probably was not programmed by the same author of the games,
at least, not of "Silent Shadow". The game code uses invalid
instructions, which probably will work on most Z80 in the market, but will
bring big trouble to some emulators (and some new version of MSX, who
knows, with a different CPU). This same problem is present in many other
Spectrum converted games.
- "Ghostbusters": most Spectrum converted games present a
hazardous bug, they set to wrong values the joystick control bits of PSG
register 7 (bits 6 and 7). This bug can literally burn the computer, for it
causes an internal short-circuit of the joystick coupling devices. Bit 6
must be always zero (input) and bit 7 must be always 1 (output). Setting
both for input may not cause much problem, but some routines set both for
output. That's what happens in "Ghostbusters". The silence routine
sets both bits to 1. To fix the bug in this game, the following piece of
code must be changed:
85BAH: 3E 07 ld a,07H
85BCH: D3 A0 out (A0H),a
85BEH: 3E F8 ld a,F8H <- change to -> 85BEH: 3E F8 ld a,B8H
85C0H: D3 A1 out (A1H),a
- "Jet Set Willy": the same bug of
"Ghostbusters" is present in this game, but in a far more
dangerous form. The PSG joystick control bits are both set to 1, all the
time. It means that while you are playing this game, the PSG, the
joystick coupling circuits or all of them are melting down. This game seems
to be released as a cartridge, which cannot be fixed except by a new ROM
recording. Another solution is to use a mirror copy of the game,
which is loaded into the computer memory and can be easily modified. The
datum at address 7040H (F8H) must be changed to B8H.
- "Jet Set Willy II": it seems the programmer of this sequel
learned more about MSX, for it does not have the dangerous bug of the first
game, but it learned nothing about programming at all. The game has two
independent and very different music routines, both different of the first
game, so one cannot argue it resulted due to adaptation. It seems two
different programmers did the mess and then tried to join the pieces. A
waste of time.
- "Nonamed": the same kind of problem of "Jet Set Willy"
affects "Nonamed": change byte at position EB14H (FFH) to
- "Outrun": the music routines use invalid Z80 instructions. As
far as I could check it, they are valid for turbo R's R800 CPU.
- "Mutant Zone" (1 and 2): this games has something different of
other Spectrum converted serial games, each have a different music. And just
to make it not so good, both set the PSG control bits wrong. To fix
"Mutant Zone 1", change datum at A0A0H (38H) to B8H. For
"Mutant Zone 2", change datum at 99D3H (38H) to B8H.
Special thanks go to all my friends (I won't name them because I would
probably forget someone), my Family and people around the Net that really care
for MSX. Special thanks to Adriano
Cunha for being a very good friend.
Congratulations go to
Ricardo Bittencourt for his BrMSX. It helped a lot in Yawara
development and is responsible for the weekly tax of module releases.
I dedicate this program to Cassandra,
a wonderful friend that is now flying on the wings of Hinotori. May the
Unicorns guide her in the Dreamland...
The "Y" Files
Finaly, the Yawara files. The source files are not required,
except in case you didn't get the game blocks of some release package. The
source file of a module has information necessary to create the necessary
- Yawara.zip: this file contains all
basic files. Unpack and copy them all to a 720 KB disk.
- Yawara1M.zip: this file contains all
modules from "A" to "G". Updated on 2005-09-24.
- Yawara1B.zip: this file contains all
game blocks required by the modules from "A" to
- Yawara2M.zip: this file contains all
modules from "H" to "L".
- Yawara2B.zip: this file contains all
game blocks required by the modules from "H" to
- Yawara3M.zip: this file contains all
modules from "M" to "P". Updated on 2005-09-24.
- Yawara3B.zip: this file contains all
game blocks required by the modules from "M" to
- Yawara4M.zip: this file contains all
modules from "Q" to "Z".
- Yawara4B.zip: this file contains all
game blocks required by the modules from "Q" to
- YawaraSr.zip: this file contains the
- YawaraSM.zip: this file contains all
module source files. Updated on 2005-09-24.
First of all, unpack the "Yawara.zip" file. You can do that
using "Unzip", a freeware found at several sites (try
ftp.unicamp.br). Copy all extracted files
to an MSX formatted disk. Now, you will have to select what musics you would
want to listen to. It happens that there are currently so many games with
modules available that you won't be able to put them all in the same disk. I
don't have hard disk for MSX, so I have no way to know if it will work with
Yawara (it should, once no direct disk access is made). Unpack the
modules and game blocks of the musics you want to listen to and copy them to
the disk. Now, you just have to run the program, as already explained.
Page last modified on 2005-September-24 Saturday.