Which MSX emulators exist?
(mainly written by Marat Fayzullin [firstname.lastname@example.org] and with help of the
Emulator Page of Sean Young (which doesn't exist anymore))
Other MSX emulator related info can be found on several MSX WWW pages,
especially the general ones and the ones mentioned at the Emulator-sections of
the various Link-lists (like the links database of The MSX Resource Center (and my
- fMSX (Unix, Mac, MS-DOS, Windows, PC9800, etc.)
fMSX is a portable MSX/MSX2/MSX2+ emulator written in C language by
Marat Fayzullin. It is written in C, and its source code is freely
distributable for non-commercial purposes. Numerous ports and
extensions exist for different platforms, such as the MS DOS version
by Marcel de Kogel and Macintosh version by John Stiles. Further
development is greatly encouraged. The Windows95/WinG version is
available from the author for $35US (with a free demo). fMSX can be
obtained from http://www.komkon.org/fms/fMSX/"
fMSX-DOS has a special distribution site: fMSX-DOS Distribution Site.
Personally, I really like this emulator (as far as I use emulators!). It's
optimized to deliver maximal performance on the MS-DOS platform. For this
emulator, various 'Launchers' for Windows can be downloaded. For URL's see the links database of The MSX Resource Center (and my bookmarks, emulator section), but a very nice
one is fMSX QuickStart, by Arjan Steenbergen. It can be downloaded here.
- fMSX-Amiga (Amiga)
This is an Amiga version of fMSX branched from the portable version
by Hans Guijt a long time ago. It is quite different from the
mainstream version and optimized to deliver maximal perfomance on
- CJS MSX2 (MSDOS)
MSX2 emulator by CJS is able to access files in the MSDOS partitions,
emulates both MSX and MSX2, supports mouse, it is fast, and has very
extensive documentation. You may
have known its previous versions under names "PC MSX1 emulator" and
"MSX099". A real disadvantage is that the author seem to have given it up.
There have been no updates since 1995 or so. CJS MSX2 can be obtained from
- AmiMSX 2 (Amiga)
AmiMSX is written by Juan Antonio Gomez Galvez. Its performance is quite
impressive even on an A3000/25. It was crippleware, but now the keys are PD.
It supports PSG or SCC and requires at least OS2.0 and 680X20.
It can be obtained from: http://www.arrakis.es/~joanant/amsx.html.
- Virtual MSX (Windows)
The development on this emulator has stopped; the author is developing
the MSX emulator in MESS now.
Virtual MSX is not really worthwhile, as current emulators are much
better. For information on Virtual MSX (including uninstall, and converting
Virtual MSX file formats .tap and gmaster2.ram) go to http://www.msxnet.org/vmsx/.
Virtual MSX is a windows-only emulator by Sean Young and has an emulation
core written in assembly language, and extensive GUI. Only MSX
(not MSX2/MSX2+) is emulated though. Needs WinG.
- MSX4PC (MS-DOS)
This is a commercial MSX emulator produced in Netherlands. It is
programmed by Adriaan van Doorn and published by MCCM. It can be obtained
- BrMSX (MS-DOS)
A MS-DOS MSX emulator made by Ricardo Bittencourt. It is said to be the most
stable and complete emulator for MS-DOS. Especially MSX1 emulation is (almost)
perfect. Is also quite fast on slower machines. Now also MSX2 emulation. More info can be found
The emulator can be obtained if you become a member of the Yahoo! Group.
- Java MSX Emulator
In very early state of development. More info on: http://www.classicgaming.com/jmsxemu/.
- MSKISS (MS-DOS)
By ISS'98. Also in early state of development, but now also supports MSX2
and MSX2+. Can be obtained from: http://www.salleURL.edu/~is05562/msx_ing.html
- RuMSX (MS-Windows)
By Rudolf Lechleitner. The first MSX Emulator with full support for MSX2+
and MSX Turbo R, but still in development. Can be obtained from http://members.EUnet.at/lexlechz/msx.html
or http://www.msxnet.org/gtinter/r-emuj.htm or
- PowerMSX (MS-DOS)
PowerMSX is a MSX emulator for DOS. It seems development has
stopped now. More info and download on:
- No$MSX (MS-DOS and Windows)
This emulator has been solely programmed for the reason to play H.E.R.O.
and Beamrider, please notice that No$msx can hardly compete with other
emulators: not much work put into the project, and not much support planned
in future. Slowly its capabilities are growing though, it now also includes MSX2 emulation. More info and download (including some nice
tools!) on: http://www.work.de/nocash/msx.htm
- NLMSX (MS-Windows)
A new emulator developed by Frits Hilderink of the former MSX Computer Club
Enschede, The Netherlands. It was originally based on fMSX, by Marat Fayzullin, but has now only its Z80 core; the rest is totally rewritten. It is one of the most complete and accurate MSX emulators for Windows. More info and download on: http://nlmsx.generation-msx.nl/.
- MESS (Windows 9x/NT, Unix, Mac, Amiga)
MESS emulates over a hunderd different machines, one of which is the MSX1. The
MESS code is based on MAME. Currently, there
is no disk emulation or MSX2 support; however it emulates many cartridge types.
Also tape emulation is done through .wav files; authentic emulation (does not
catch BIOS hooks). More info is on: MESS homepage and
MESS MSX driver WIP.
- openMSX (Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, etc., and Windows)
One of the newest MSX emulators. Development started in 2001. It is a totally new concept of emulating an MSX. The purpose is to emulate the MSX standard as accurately as possible. Therefore, it is object oriented: all devices are seperate objects that communicate with each other via the motherboard, like in a real MSX. It is currently one of the most accurate MSX emulators available. Note that it is completely Open Source and Free software. More info is on http://openmsx.sf.net.
- blueMSX (Windows)
A very recent emulator (started at the end of 2003), originally based on fMSX, but now totally fMSX code free. It has many ideas similar to openMSX and is also one of the most accurate emulators. Furthermore, it has a very nice and userfriendly GUI and has loads of features. This emulator is also open source. More information is on http://www.bluemsx.com
What is the best MSX Emulator?
That depends on what you want (play only games? graphical frontend or GUI? most accurate emulation? most features? best sound quality? works on Windows or Linux or another OS?). The best thing to read for this is the MSX Emulator Comparison on The MSX Resource Center.
Is it possible to make a fMSX [.CAS] tape-image of a [.WAV] file
(with data from the tape)? (Or is there another way to use my old cassettes in
This is possible, but not always necessary. Some newer emulators can handle the .wav files directly. Anyway, some people have made such a program, or are working on
The author(s) of the No$MSX
emulator also made a tool to use cassettes in
emulators. It is a DOS program called TAPE2HDD. Look here for details and download.
- Ricardo Bittencourt wrote
such a program, it is called CAS Tool 1.0. You can find it on his Brazilian MSX Software
- The castools package by Vincent van Dam. It contains 3 tools: wav2cas
(converts wav files to .cas files), cas2wav (the other way round) and casdir
(which shows the contents of a .cas file). Get it here.
- Zoran Majcenic is also making
a program like this. It's a Linux program that creates dsk-files from sampled
tapes. You can get the program from his small MSX page.
- MESS can read .wav files directly.
It does not catch BIOS calls, it emulates the tape via the real I/O ports
(PSG and PPI).
- Miguel Colom made a program called MSX
Cas2Files, which can convert WAV 22050 Hz digitized MSX tapes into files.
The page also contains info about the MSX tape format. The programs are for
Also on JJC Soft Site there are some utilities collected for using tapes on MSX and emulators. Check out this page: http://www.dlcsistemas.com/msx/html/utilities.html.
Is it legal to spread MSX ROMs and cartridge ROMs?
(written by Marat Fayzullin [email@example.com])
No. Nobody seems to care though, mainly because there is no profit to be
made on these ROMs any longer. Nevertheless, be aware of the fact that by
using the system ROMs not taken out of your own MSX machine and ROMs from
cartridges you haven't bought, you are formally commencing an act of
I have some BAS, BIN or other files. How can I use them in my
Most MSX emulators cannot work with normal MSX files, but need the files on a
disk-image (which is a direct copy of a diskette). If you want to use a certain
(MSX-)file with you emulated MSX, it has to be on a disk image. Putting the file
in the same directory as your emulator will not work, unless you use the CJS
MSX2 emulator. That emulator can use files that are in the emulator's
directory. For more info how to use disk-images, check out the section on DSK files!
Why does holding down the CTRL key in fMSX have no effect?
I don't know, it works on the Unix version I use sometimes (e.g. fMSX Unix/X
2.0B/0.2). But the problem can be solved by using an adapted diskROM. It
seems the diskROM provided with Virtual MSX (see above) works fine.
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