"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 Penguin Adventure.

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

  1. La Abadia del Crimen
  2. Akumajou Dracula (Vampire Killer)
  3. Ale Hop!
  4. Amaurote
  5. Antartic Adventure (original Japanese version)
  6. Arkos
  7. Army Moves
  8. Astro Marine Corps
  9. Athletic Land (Colecovision version)
  10. Athletic Land
  11. Avenger
  12. Back to The Future
  13. Cabbage Patch Kids
  14. Camelot Warriors
  15. Circus Charlie
  16. Comando Tracer
  17. Comic Bakery
  18. Elite
  19. The Flintstones
  20. Freddy Hardest
  21. Ganbare Goemon - Karakuri Doutchyuu
  22. Ghostbusters
  23. Gojira Kun (Godzilla)
  24. The Goonies (updated on 2005-09-24, thanks to J.E.P.Mello)
  25. Gradius (Nemesis)
  26. Halloween!
  27. Hinotori Houoohen
  28. Hundra
  29. Hyper Olympics
  30. Hyper Olympics 2
  31. Hyper Rally
  32. Hyper Sports
  33. Hyper Sports 2
  34. Hyper Sports 3
  35. Jagur - Golden Triangle
  36. Jet Bomber
  37. Jet Set Willy
  38. Jet Set Willy II
  39. King's Valley
  40. Konami's Soccer
  41. Mad Mix
  42. Magical Kid Wiz
  43. Magical Tree
  44. Majou Densetsu - Knightmare (updated on 2005-09-23, thanks to J.E.P.Mello)
  45. Majou Densetsu II - The Maze of Galious (Knightmare II)
  46. Majou Densetsu III - Shalom (Knightmare III)
  47. Mask III - Venom Strikes Back
  48. Mon Mon Monster (PSG/FM)
  49. Mopiranger
  50. Mutant Zone 1
  51. Mutant Zone 2
  52. Navy Moves
  53. Nonamed
  54. Outrun
  55. Phantis
  56. Pippols
  57. Power
  58. Q-Bert (Konami)
  59. Rally-X (with some SFX)
  60. Road Fighter
  61. Robocop
  62. Rock'N Roller
  63. Silent Shadow
  64. Sol Negro
  65. Stardust
  66. Survivor
  67. Terramex
  68. Thexder
  69. Time Curb
  70. Titanic
  71. Trail Blazer
  72. Treasure of Usas
  73. Twinbee
  74. Warroid
  75. Yie Ar Kung-Fu
  76. Yie Ar Kung-Fu II
  77. Yume Tairiku Adobentchya- (Penguin Adventure)
  78. Zanac
  79. Zanac - Second Release

System Requirements

Basic Package Files

The "basic files" must be all placed in the same disk for the correct execution of Yawara. They are:

Other Files


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 troubleshooting.

Control Keys

The "shell" program uses the following control keys:

The playback programs uses the following control keys:

The following are special keys:

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 <Stop>.

<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".

Technical Data

The frequency bar graphics are divided in fifteen zones, each one coverring a range:

  1. from 27.3Hz till 46.2 Hz (F1+)
  2. till 65.4 Hz (C2)
  3. till 92.5 Hz (F2+)
  4. till 130.8 Hz (C3)
  5. till 185.2 Hz (F3+)
  6. till 261.9 Hz (C4)
  7. till 370.4 Hz (F4+)
  8. till 525.1 Hz (C5)
  9. till 740.8 Hz (F5+)
  10. till 1055.3 Hz (C6)
  11. till 1491.5 Hz (F6+)
  12. till 2110.6 Hz (C7)
  13. till 3023.3 Hz (F7+)
  14. till 4302.3 Hz (C8)
  15. above 4302.3 Hz (C8)

Trouble Shooting

"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 position.

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 nature.

About Some Modules

Special Thanks

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 blocks.

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.


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