Unlike the CPC, the Plus has no built-in ROM, they are all located on the cartridge (or on a romboard-like expansion). The famous Burnin Rubber and Locomotive BASIC cartridge that was bundled with the 464Plus and 6128Plus, holds updated versions of the CPC 6128 system ROMs:
And of course, the Plus showcase game, Burnin' Rubber.
I guess some bug-fixes and/or improvements were made to the Firmware and Locomotive BASIC ROMs, but the AmsDOS got noticeably modified too. Now it can properly initialize itself on a 464Plus (which have no floppy disc controller!) and also displays, on a cold boot or after a reset, a two choices menu to let you choose if you wanna play Burnin' Rubber or boot into the Locomotive BASIC (and after about 30 seconds, Burnin' Rubber is automatically selected).
|GAME |JEU |JUEGO |SPIEL
ù on a french keyboard)
Because of all these changes, the address of AmsDOS routines in the ROM changed, thus software that used to call AmsDOS routines directly into the ROM itself didn't felt very well on the Plus. So Amstrad released a Firmware v3 based cartridge which basically holds the exact same ROMs of a CPC 6128.
With ParaDOS, your Plus will boot straight into the BASIC (and you will have a much better DOS too :).
Three versions of the Burnin' rubber and Locomotive BASIC cartridge exist, with differents keymap and charset:
System Cartridge v4 (CPR files for emulator. An unofficial version with Parados 1.0 is included in the archive)
This is the cartridge for 464Plus and 6128Plus with an english keyboard (QWERTY).
System Cartridge f4 (CPR files for emulator. An unofficial version with Parados 1.0 is included in the archive)
This is the cartridge for 464Plus and 6128Plus with a french keyboard (AZERTY).
System Cartridge s4 (CPR files for emulator. An unofficial version with Parados 1.0 is included in the archive)
This is the cartridge for 464Plus and 6128Plus with a spanish keyboard (QWERTY with special spanish keys such as
Amstrad released this cartridge to solve software compatibility issues with the new Plus ROMs. This cartridge holds the same ROMs than a CPC 6128:
I know it was released with the french Plus and also sold separately. Often refered to as ”Cartouche anciennes ROMs” in french. Very little, if any, advertising have been made for it. I don't know if it was ever released in other countries, I've only seen this cartridge with the french firmware f3 in it.
Here are several (unofficial) CPR files with the 6128 ROMs for all the Firmware v3 versions (ie. english, french and spanish):
When the AmsDOS v0.5 initialize itself (on a cold boot or after a reset of the machine), it sends command to the disc drive interface (the FDC765) and waits for it to reply. On a machine without any disc drive interface, such as the 464Plus, nothing will reply to the AmsDOS so it will wait forever, thus freezing the machine.
Therefore, this cartridge works perfectly on the 6128Plus but not on a bare 464Plus (it must have a DDI-1 or compatible drive interface).
This cartridge embed a diagnostic software used to test the hardware of the Plus design and especially the new features provided by the ASIC (enhanced palette, sprites, DMA driven sound etc). I guess it was only intended to technical staff/support and wasn't released to the public back then.
The Plus and GX-4000 were both commercial failures and only a few games were released.
I tried to gather all the latest informations I could find about them to this day (August 2009). While compiling all the infos and materials to make this page, I ended up with a list of games that were advertised in magazines but probably never came out (they are listed at the bottom of this page). I've also heard about some people selling fake/bootleg cartridges on ebay.
I'm not that much into gaming stuff, so this page might not be kept up to date, you should check the websites linked below to get more and/or up to date infos about cartridge games.
You can download all the released games listed below in a single big archive including manuals, covers and screenshots (most of them come from CPCMania website).
This game is also known as Chase HQ 2. For a very long time it was considered as yet another unreleased game until recently… someone in the UK has been spotted with this cart. A worldwide bunch of retro-fanatic is now hunting down this guy and his holy cartridge, in hope of getting a dump of it (And I bet a six pack that they will forget to note the part number! :).
Most of these games were advertized in magazines but probably never got released.
Aka “La bande à Picsou” in french.