Promotional / Other Documents
This leaflet has been kindly provided by Chris Green - many thanks to him for being able to share the pages of this document finally in high quality.
What I also like about this document is the previously unseen (on the internet) marketing page which explains how Konix aimed to take over the world.
16th aug 1989
This document is either one of two things: a seemingly a desperate attempt from Konix to try to get the Multi-system project funded. Or a standard document sent out to potential investors.
It's an interesting document not only because of the way that the company has tried to show potential investors how lucrative it would be to invest in this project, but it also provides us with some interesting technical information about how the production Multi-system was to be built. This can be derived from the bill of materials at the back which (unfortunately) has some photocopied ring-binder holes obscuring a couple of the letters of some of the components.
It's very interesting to see, that as usual with consoles, the memory chips are one of the most expensive components, even more than the custom chip which did all the hard work or even the CPU! No wonder Konix started with only 128K and later begrudgingly upgraded it to 256K (understandably, as it would have cost more to make and sell the machine, and eaten into their profit margin).
Although, as I've described in the games section of the website, this game didn't look too exciting, to be fair this was because the video of it showed what was clearly an early build with no on-screen information and not a lot else going for it. If it was ever fully developed, it may have been an interesting simulator - especially as it was intended to use the Power Chair (if you had one).
This document helped Konix to decide that it would have been a worthy game to have in their launch line-up. It's a very simple document, but totally authentic and very interesting to see how companies pitched for the chance to write games for a new machine.
This is the full text of Craig Vaughan's article from Retro Gamer issue 8. Kindly provided by Craig.
The reason it's archived and posted here is that it includes an interview with John Mathieson of Flare Technology who along with Martin Brennan and Ben Cheese developed the Flare One / Multi-system and he also went on to later develop the Atari Jaguar and the Nuon.
It was a real shame that it didn't make it into the magazine, but then the article was so informative as it was that this was probably not included to keep the page count down.
Technical Reference Documents
This document gives a full technical explanation of the Konix Multi-system which would have been thoroughly useful for games developers to understand the new hardware they were writing games for.
As a developer, you will know how to write code for different computer systems and probably be very comfortable writing code to be run by a specific processor, for example the Z80 or 6502. However with every new computer system, comes the challenge of knowing how the sound, graphics, memory map and how any other kind of I/O subsystem may work. This document details those.
This is one of the earliest possible versions of this document and has hand written updates to the design in it for the changed processor and the addition of the floppy drive controller. The Mulit-system was intended to use cartridge first like the Super Nintendo or Megadrive, floppy was a financial choice as cartridges cost a lot more to produce.
Circa 1988 (last edited 13th June 1989)
This document was kindly provided by John Mathieson through Lee Hammerton. It was saved in either a really archaic version of MS Word or some other word processing program which lead to the ASCII art tables and diagrams being completely screwed up.
It took me a few hours worth of work to salvage what we have here which is 99% as close to perfect as I can get it but for a few formatting glitches. The pagination is wrong - this got broken, so it's best to read through it in a sequential manner rather than rely on the table.
If someone would be kind enough to offer to reformat it correctly - please feel free.
The document naturally has the previous version's hand-written annotations and drawings properly entered.
Circa 1989 (last edited 4th October 1989)
As with the document above, this came from John's mysterious word processor and as such required the same sort of extensive manual fixing.
5th October 1993
The 3rd Document from John is thankfully in perfect condition and required no fixing. It is from a much later SS4 revision of the Slipstream chipset and now mentions CDROM, and the 386sx processor
This is the last possible step in the Slipstream product evolution before Flare developed the Atari Jaguar Flare Two based hardware. It will be interesting if any Jaguar enthusiasts can spot any early signs of Jaguar technology in there...
Although not much use without the corresponding (working) development kit hardware, this software still has some files included which explain various aspects of the multi-system hardware. Archived here for reference purposes.
26th mar 1989
This document has been kindly donated by Jason Daniels from Pagoda Software who worked for some time at PDS and was partially responsible for some of the Konix development of the PDS system. It's missing a couple of pages, but it's interesting to read the instructions for the development kit.
This early version does mention a serial dongle that is required for the program to run, although there's some doubt that latter versions needed this.