Neko Project2X

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Neko Project2X
Neko Project2X.jpg
General
Authorhcf
TypeComputer
Version0.8
LicenseMixed
Links
Download
Website

Neko ProjectX is a PC-98 emulator for Xbox (it is a port of the emulator Neko Project II). The PC-98 is a family of Japanese computers, they can have a hard disk and 2 floppy disks units, so this can appear to be a bit complicated to use... but I have made this emulator very simple, so that you don't need to know much things about this machine to be able to play: simply select your game in the rom list, and play. Also, I have replaced the drop-down menu of the original emulator, by a main menu and some shortcuts, more comfortable to manage with a joypad :)



WARNING!!!! READ THIS!!!!!


Several PC-98 games have ADULT CONTENT. Keep in mind that it can be a bad idea to download and test random PC-98 games without having checked if they are adult-rated, especially if you are playing with children.

There are several internet sites where you can check if a game has adult content, like these ones:

http://fullmotionvideo.free.fr/screen/!title.html http://www.pc98.org/


WHAT IS NEW IN THIS VERSION?


  • Savestates support: now we can load and save states (select "Load State" or "Save State" in the Main Menu).
  • Basic PC-9821 emulation: now we can launch PC-9821 emulation (instead of the basic PC-9801 one) selecting a game with "X" instead of "A", in the rom list. Read the "PC-9821 emulation" section for more information.

If you have any doubt between the core that you should use for each game (PC-9801 or PC-9821) simply launch a game with the normal A button (PC-9801). The PC-9821 version is only needed in the most modern games, like "Alone in the Dark" or the "Touhou" ones...


INSTALLATION AND SUPPORTED FORMATS


Copy the emulator in your hard disk. Roms MUST be placed uncompressed in the "roms" directory. The emulator supports a good amount of formats, both hard disk images and floppy disk images. Here are some of the supported formats, ordered from the best to the worst choice:

1- HDI: This is a hard disk image, it is the easiest format to launch: simply click and play.

2- FDI: This is a floppy disk image. It is easy too, although some games may have several floppy disks images, and you will need to change the disk when the game asks for it.

3- D88: This is a supported format that will work, but you will usually need to do some things to launch it (write some command...) so it is less comfortable.

4- FDD: This format does not work in this emulator... but you can use "Virtual Floppy Image Converter" to convert it to D88 (or to FDI if you are lucky).


This emulator currently supports PC-9801 games and some PC-9821 games.


HOW TO LAUNCH GAMES


If you want to play a game that has only one file (for example one HDI file, or one FDI file) simply click on it in the rom list, and the game will be launched. Easy, isn't it? ;)

If you want to play a game that has SEVERAL floppy disk images, you must select the FIRST of them. The emulator will automatically mount it in the "Floppy Unit A" of the PC-98 and will run it. If you need to insert another disk during the gameplay, please read the "CHANGING FLOPPY DISKS" section.


CONTROLS


Although the PC-98 is a computer and it uses a keyboard, I have mapped the most common keys in all the games to the buttons of our joypads, so we will be able to play several games with the d-pad and the normal buttons. Mouse has been mapped too :)

Here is the default mapping (anyways, you will be able to redefine the A,B,X,Y buttons in the main menu, if you need different mappings):

D-pad: It is mapped to the directional keys of the keypad (UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT)

A button: ENTER key B button: ESC key X button: SPACE key Y button: It is mapped by default to 2 keys that are used by several games as the "action key": the 5 of the keypad (used in games like "Columns") and the Z key (used in games like "Rusty").


LEFT ANALOG STICK: It moves the mouse cursor (only usefull in games that use mouse). WHITE button: Left-click with the mouse BLACK button: Right-click with the mouse


TRIGGERS: They control the key latency (you can think about it as the "speed of an autofire feature" or the "speed of the mouse cursor"). Let's see it:

LEFT TRIGGER: Decrease key latency. If you keep pressed a button, it will send less "push" commands per second. Use this if your cursor/controls move very fast, and you are unable to navigate by the menus of a game because options are selected too fast. Very usefull in games with menus like "Columns".

RIGHT TRIGGER: Increase key latency. If you keep pressed a button, it will send more "push" commands per second. Use this if your cursor/controls move very slow. This is very usefull to move the cursor faster in some strategy games like the "Farland Story" ones.


START: Opens the Main Menu (see "Main Menu" section for more info)

Some usefull shortcuts: LEFT ANALOG STICK CLICK: Insert a new disk in the Floppy Unit A. RIGHT ANALOG STICK CLICK: Insert a new disk in the Floppy Unit B. LEFT TRIGGER + RIGHT TRIGGER: Enter "Typing Mode" START + BACK: Exit to the rom list.


TYPING MODE


If you need to type some text, or press a key that is not mapped in the normal controls, press LEFT TRIGGER and RIGHT TRIGGER at the same time, and you will enter into "Typing Mode". A virtual Keyboard will appear, and now you can type whatever you want (press with the A button in the keys that you want to type). Exit from the Typing Mode with the B button.


MAIN MENU


You can open the main menu during the gameplay by pressing START. You can navigate by the menu with the D-pad, select/change options with the A button, and cancel with the B button. These are the options of the main menu:

  • Resume: It returns to the gameplay
  • Reset: It resets the PC-98.
  • Reset with DIP SWITCH 2-8: Some games like "Rusty" or "Destructor" will show you an error message when you launch them, asking you to switch the DIP SW 2-8 (even if the message is in Japanese, you will be able to read these numbers!). If this is the case, go to the main menu and select "Reset with DIP SW 2-8". The PC-98 will restart with this option, and the game will begin.
  • Disk in Floppy A: Insert a new floppy disk in Unit A. This is the same that you can do clicking on the left analog stick.
  • Disk in Floppy B: Insert a new floppy disk in Unit B. This is the same that you can do clicking on the right analog stick.
  • Redefine keys: You can redefine the keys mapped to the buttons A, B, X and Y. Select the button that you want to redefine; then a virtual keyboard is displayed, and you can select a new key to map to that button of the joypad. This is usefull if you are playing a game that uses a key that is not mapped in the default controls.
  • Change clock speed: By default, Neko ProjectX emulates a PC-9801 at 10 MHZ. This is good for the main part of the roms, but if you see that a game works very slow or very fast, you can change the clock speed selecting this option and pressing "A" button until you get your desired speed. For example, "Runners High" is a modern game and it needs a fast PC-98, so you will need to put the clock at 40 MHz to get proper speed, while "Arkanoid" is an old game and it needs a slow PC-98, so you should configure the clock at 2 MHz to avoid the game run too fast. After changing the clock speed, it will be needed to select the "Reset" option to apply this change.

Note that PC-9821 emulation uses higher clock speeds than PC-9801 emulation.


  • Mouse speed: It changes the speed of the mouse cursor.
  • Load State: We can select a slot, and then load its state.
  • Save State: We can select a slot, and then save there our current state (a "stat" folder is needed to run this feature).
  • Save config as INI file: If you select this option, the emulator will save a config "INI" file in the "cfg" folder (a "cfg" folder is needed!) with all your settings related to key mapping, dip switch 2-8, clock speed, and mouse speed. Next times that you start this game, the emulator will automatically select your saved settings.


CHANGING FLOPPY DISKS


OK, so you have a game that has several floppy disk images and you want to play it. You have to select the FIRST of them in the rom list, and the game will begin (the emulator will insert it in the Floppy Unit A). If an error is displayed, you will usually need to insert the SECOND disk on the Floppy Unit B (clicking on the right analog stick) and maybe after that you will need to press a key, or go to the main menu and "Reset".

During the gameplay, sometimes you will be prompted to insert a new disk, and you can do it pressing the left or right analog sticks (depending if you want to insert it in the Floppy Unit A or B).

Please, note that when you press the left or right analog stick to insert a new disk, the emulator will show you the files with a similar name. So, if you have a game with several files, you must make sure that their names are similar (for example "Farland Story 1 - Disk 1", "Farland Story 1 - Disk 2", and so on...


PC-9821 emulation


In the rom list, we can launch a game with the normal PC-9801 emulation, using the "A" button as always (we will emulate an old PC-9801 computer). The main part of the games will work well.

If you want to play a rom that needs a "modern" PC-9821 computer (for example, "Alone in the Dark" or the "Touhou Project" games) then you must select the game using the "X" button in the rom list. Then, PC-9821 emulation will start.

If you don't know if you must use PC-9801 or PC-9821 emulation, simply use the normal "A" button (PC-9801). A lot of games run well with this option.

PC-9821 emulation has 2 limitations, that will be hopefully fixed in later releases:

  • Emulation is slow in several games.
  • Extended memory is not supported yet, so games that use this feature halt in the initial "Himem is testing extended memory" message.


FAQ


Q: How can I know if a game has adult content or not? A: Some sites have a catalog of PC-98 games with a flag saying if a game has adult content or not. For example http://fullmotionvideo.free.fr/screen/! title.html or http://www.pc98.org/

Q: How can I know if a game needs Japanese knowledge? A: Unfortunately, I have not found a site that has this kind of flag for the games, but you can see the screenshots or the genre of the game, to guess it. Please, if you find a site with details about the Japanese knowledge needed for each game, let me know!

Q: Please, tell me a few games playable without Japanese knowledge, and without adult content! A: OK, here are a few: the English translations of the games Farland Story 1, Farland Story 2, Farland Story 3, Farland Story 4, Farland Story 5, Farland Story 6... Do you need more? Well, you can play Columns, Carax'92, Jump Hero, Popful Mail, Prince of Persia (it is in Japanese, but it is playable simply clicking on the first option of the menu), Runners High, Rusty, Car 2 Grand Prix, Dungeon Master, Elvira-Mistress of the Dark, Galaga, Gods, Lemmings, Mety's Snow War, Mole Mole, Net Guardian, Push'n Pop, and many more...

Q: My game displays a weird Japanese error when launched! A: I can suggest two things: first of all, if the error message contains something "similar" to "SW 2 8", go to the main menu and select "Reset with DIP SW 2-8". Second, if you are trying to launch a game that has several floppy disk images, maybe you need to insert the image number 2 in the Floppy Unit B (you can do it pressing the right analog stick) and after that, go to the main menu and select "Reset". If that fails, I'm sorry but I cannot help more, as I don't know Japanese.

Q: How can I launch games with multiple floppy disk images? A: You must select the FIRST of them, and the game will begin (the emulator will insert it in the Floppy Unit A). If an error is displayed, you will usually need to insert the SECOND disk on the Floppy Unit B clicking the right analog stick) and maybe after that you will need to go to the main menu and "Reset". During the gameplay, sometimes you will be prompted to insert a new disk, and you can do it pressing the left or right analog sticks.

Q: My game runs too slow! A: Go to the main menu pressing Start, then try to increase the clock speed (for example at 40 MHz if you are in PC-9801 emulation), and choose "Reset". This trick works well for PC-9801 emulation, but unfortunately it is usually not enough when we emulate a PC-9821.

Q: My game runs too fast! A: Go to the main menu pressing Start, configure the clock speed at 2 MHz, and choose "Reset"

Q: How can I play PC-9821 games? A: Select them with "X" in the rom list.


THANKS


I want to say thanks to all the people that helped me in my projects: Neobomb, Hyper_Eye, Madmab, Freakdave, weinerschnitzel, XtecuterX73, SPPV, darknoir, the Surreal64 CE team... Besides, big thanks to all the people that make possible the Xbox scene and the emuxtras project, Neobomb (again!), Wimpy, Waal, Bigby, Madmab, Perr, Mega Man, SPPV... Thank you very much for your work!

Lots of thanks to the kind people of the Tokugawa Corporate Forums who helped me in my first steps with PC-98, mainly Ben, peter_j, Trickless, Ryo Cokey, Don Rumata, DrJones, Starscream the 2nd and Kobushi. And of course, thanks to the creator of the original Neko Project II and all the developers who released variants of it.

Huge thanks to gradius3 for all his support, ideas and beta testing help!

The sources of the emulator are in the same package, so if anyone wants to see them and try to improve them, it will be very wellcome. You can contact me if you want to do it.


Thank you for reading this! :)

HCF

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