Run MSX Games on Mac OS X (Lion)

I don’t know if you know MSX 8bit computer running 3.58 MHz Z80 from Zilog, but if you are one of game mania, you might hear “Metal Gear”, which is originally written in MSX hardware.

Most of my teenager ages, I spent lots of time on the MSX/MSX2 games and programmed codes of BASIC/Z80 Assembly (Even machine language!). I think that experience is great helpful to make me at present time working as a software engineer closed to hardware.

Anyway, while looking at something fun during this long weekend (yes, the next Monday is Memorial Day.), I found the MSX simulator called, openMSX (

This is the note the openMSX to play some games. I don’t want to reveal where you can get actual games, but it is already exposed secret.

1. openMSX

2. Machine Files

Most of machine rom files can be found in

The machine files can be copied to /Applications/

The default BIOS is C-BIOS_MSX2+, but you can just rename it other and make the another one to symbolic link. For example, you can download the NMS 8250 ROM files and extract to /Applications/ and make a symbolic link named C-BIOS_MSX2+. you can specify the default machine by:

  • Press “Cmd-L”
  • type “set default_machine Philips_NMS_8250”
  • type “save_settings”

It will create settings.xml in ${HOME}/.openmsx/share, which will be used for the default setting.

3. Setup

cp /Applications/ ~/.openMSX/share/machines/
cp nms8250*.rom ~/.openMSX/share/machines/

nms8250*.rom files would be gotten over the internet. I got it from

4. Command

While running a game or software, you can do CLI command like savestate/loadstate for reserving the machine states, which can be used save/load. The useful commands are described in

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