Difference between revisions of "FM Towns emulators"

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(Undo revision 32904 by 162.158.34.9 (talk) FM Towns emulation barely works on MAME.)
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:A new FM Towns emulation project, started in January 2020. Compatibility is preliminary, but some games like Afterburner II boot and run.  Currently available as source only, but the author is interested in offering binaries in the future.

Latest revision as of 21:42, 22 May 2020

FM Towns
FMTOWNS 2F.jpg
Developer Fujitsu
Type Home computer
Release date 1989
Discontinued 1997
Predecessor FM-7
Emulated

FM Towns system is a Japanese variant of PC, built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but later became more compatible with regular PCs. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released, a game console compatible with existing FM Towns games.

The "FM" part of the name means "Fujitsu Micro" like their earlier products, while the "Towns" part is derived from the code name the system was assigned while in development, "Townes". This refers to Charles Townes, one of the winners of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, following a custom of Fujitsu at the time to code name PC products after Nobel Prize winners. The e in "Townes" was dropped when the system went into production to make it clearer that the term was to be pronounced like the word "towns" rather than the potential "tow-nes".

Emulators[edit]

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version FMT Marty Active Recommended
UNZ Windows V0.5 L30
Xe Windows Linux 2.16.2 ~
FM Towns/Bochs Windows Linux [1] ~
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.221 ~ ~
Tsugaru Windows macOS 2020/05/06

Comparisons[edit]

UNZ
The only FM Towns/Marty emulator with very high compatibility, last updated in 2010. Despite the website and documentation being in Japanese, the emulator is available in English. It cannot run ISOs directly: images must be either burnt to a CD and read from the disc or mounted to a virtual drive. Floppy disk images, however, can be loaded directly. The emulator requires a number of ROM files, which can be found here. The only noteworthy thing UNZ isn’t yet capable to run is Windows 95.
Xe
An old multi-system emulator for Linux (x86 and PowerPC) with decent FM Towns Marty support. Windows port requires GTK+ Runtime. It requires a very odd BIOS file to work, obtained by concatenating the two MAME-ready ROMs into a single file named ‘marty.rom’, then placed into a subfolder titled ‘bios’. On Windows, this can be achieved using the command copy /B mrom.m36 + mrom.m37 marty.rom.
FM Towns/Bochs
A patch of Bochs that makes it somewhat compatible with FM Towns, deemed to be the first working emulator for the system. Just like regular Bochs, its configuration file needs a lot of tweaking to work (rough documentation here). It has been long abandoned, compatibility is very spotty and emulation is remarkably slow, so don’t hold your breath.
MAME
Preliminary driver. It’s not a skeleton anymore, but it’s far from being up to snuff.
Tsugaru
A new FM Towns emulation project, started in January 2020. Compatibility is preliminary, but some games like Afterburner II boot and run. Currently available as source only, but the author is interested in offering binaries in the future.