ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/GFX-Art/ASCII etc.)

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/GFX-Art/ASCII etc.)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-13 @ 20:44

Hi,

this thread is for all the CGA-Lovers out there. It is intended to be a collection of interesting informations
and software-recommendations for users with XT-Computers and CGA graphics-cards/chips.

I currently use my Schneider EuroPC which is upgraded to a NecV20 and has a build in CGA/MDA Chip.

Most software used the standard cga-palette in that time, but there were some titles that let's you choose
the palette or changes it in game.

Thx
Doc
Last edited by dr.zeissler on 2017-5-16 @ 12:50, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby leileilol » 2017-5-14 @ 00:13

Striker is one. Centipede is another. There's also Mean18, Decathlon, Tetris (Spectrum Holobyte), etc.
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DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby Joey_sw » 2017-5-14 @ 06:04

Bushido & Alley Cat they uses both palette 1 & 0 sets.

Moon Patrol uses only the Green-Red-Brown palette.
-fffuuu
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby xjas » 2017-5-14 @ 06:56

California Games changes the palette *mid screen* to show >4 colors at once.

Image
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 07:10

but that are ntsc color artefacts when using composite mode.
therefore I only have a schneider europc i'll have to stick to cga-rgb :(

But this game looks awesome on cga (alternative palette)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR0oAjhXBcE&t=130s

more colors, mean lower res (160x100) or textmode.
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 09:01

Does someone know a tool where I can watch cga-images and switch between the palettes?
otherwise I have to use paintshop-pro and convert the images to the cga-palette I want.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby MMaximus » 2017-5-14 @ 10:46

From memory here are a few games I remember playing which used the "green red yellow" palette:

Burger Time
Digger
Styx
Pitstop II
Defender of the Crown
The Three Stooges
Targhan

I'm certain you can change the palette in Crazy Cars by Titus (probably by pressing F1 or another function key) so it's likely you can do the same with other Titus games (Galactic Conqueror, Off Shore Warrior, Fire & Forget...)

I've seen the Rick Dangerous video and that's not how I remember it to look on my CGA XT back in the day :confused: . On the video it looks somehow composite-like...
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby derSammler » 2017-5-14 @ 10:58

dr.zeissler wrote:but that are ntsc color artefacts when using composite mode.
therefore I only have a schneider europc i'll have to stick to cga-rgb :(

No, that's plain RGBI CGA. It uses a very clever trick to do so, which sadly only works on the original PC/XT due to tight timing requirements.

Composite mode looks like this:
Image
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 11:27

MMaximus wrote:I've seen the Rick Dangerous video and that's not how I remember it to look on my CGA XT back in the day :confused: . On the video it looks somehow composite-like...


He used an EuroPC with an Amstrad EGA Monitor in CGA mode.
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 11:29

derSammler wrote:No, that's plain RGBI CGA. It uses a very clever trick to do so, which sadly only works on the original PC/XT due to tight timing requirements.


Thx for making that clear! I'll check this on my EuroPC.

http://www.oldskool.org/shrines/lbd/graphics/
The only game I ever ran that used some of the above tricks to do some primitive copper effects was California Games (1987). Its video selection menu had the normal CGA 4-color mode, but it also had a mysterious CGA "more-color" mode. The "more-color" mode was only used in two places: The title screen and the hackeysack portion. Why? Because those screens had a clear horizontal division of a graphic on the top half of the screen and one on the bottom half. The "more-color" mode would switch palettes at a certain scanline to display one set of colors on the top graphic, and a different set of colors on the bottom. As you can imagine, this was unnervingly time-critical, and self-programming vertical-retrace interrupts took too long (hey, you needed all the speed you could get) on a 4.77MHz machine, so this trick only worked on the one machine that they could hard-code the values into: The original IBM with an original CGA. I always used to think that this mode didn't do anything until I brought it over to my friend's house and saw it work. It worked pretty well, oddly enough. Maybe I was just easy to impress. :-)
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 11:31

Some games used the "red" instead of "mangenta" (afair galaxian)

http://www.oldskool.org/shrines/lbd/graphics/
CGA (Computer Graphics Adapter) always struck me as finicky. The video memory layout was interlaced, which means that the first 8K was every even-numbered scanline and the last 8K was every odd-numbered scanline. Plus, there were 192 bytes unused at the end of both 8K sections, so that became annoying to skip as well. Finally, you had one of two fixed palettes of nasty, ugly colors (cyan, magenta, and white; or red, green, and yellow) to choose from. While some of the best artists could deal with four colors adequately, the crappy color set usually disgusted the user. Well, I quickly found out that by fiddling with the video registers, I could get an unadvertised (to my manuals, anyway) color palette that seemed to combine the two palettes. The resulting 4-color palette had black, white, cyan, and red--much nicer. I'm sure this palette was advertised somewhere because some game I had used it, which is what got me sending random bytes to the video ports in the first place.
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 11:43

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 11:48

What Do you think is the nicest CGA-Game?
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby Jo22 » 2017-5-14 @ 15:44

The last demo doesn't work on my PC/XT (8088, CGA).
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-14 @ 17:02

8088mph does not work on rgb-cga machines, only on composit. That's way it's not working on my EuroPC too.

Btw. this russian? converter tool is nice, but it has no option for changing the palette, it seems only support the standard-cga-palette.
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby derSammler » 2017-5-14 @ 17:16

8088mph does not work on rgb-cga machines, only on composit.

Of course it does. You just won't see all the colors, which will make the demo way less impressive. ;)
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby Calvero » 2017-5-14 @ 19:13

dr.zeissler wrote:- what cga-games allow to change the cga-palette in game ?


I think the DOS versions of Taito games let you change the CGA palette ingame.
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-15 @ 07:29

PC-Paint 3.1 can be used in CGA and there you can choose for every possible palette.

The "cga-convert-program" above generates rle/cga binary files from bmp-bitmaps, but I can't use/display them afterwards,
so I will go for Paintshop-Pro 5.x instead, because I can't find a progam that is optimized for cga and theire palettes.
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Re: CGA Games with option to change the palette

Postby reenigne » 2017-5-15 @ 07:54

dr.zeissler wrote:Does someone know a tool where I can watch cga-images and switch between the palettes?
otherwise I have to use paintshop-pro and convert the images to the cga-palette I want.


I wrote one, which you can get at http://www.reenigne.org/misc/cgaart.zip. It's not finished yet and there are some bugs, but it can accomplish a wide range of CGA conversion tasks, including this one. After unzipping, run "cgaart name_of_input_mage.png" from the command line. For this purpose, a pixel-exact 320x200, 640x200 or 640x400 image (e.g. DOSBox screenshot) should work best. The first time it starts up it will take a minute or so to do anything but it will start up immediately on subsequent runs.

Change the Diffusion settings to 0 and the mode and palette registers to the ones that were used when the screenshot is created. The program should then have recreated the contents of the CGA memory when the image was made. Next, turn off matching by clicking the "Match" button so that it is unpressed. Now changing the mode and palette registers will not modify the CGA memory but instead show what the recreated CGA memory contents would look like with the new register values.
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Re: ColorGraphicsAdapter (CGA) Thread (Games/Demos/Intros/Slides)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-5-15 @ 10:19

Sounds good, hopefully it will run on my iMac with wine. The img_cga2.rar is quite nice with gui, but it's laking some features like
changing the cga-pal and the output of an usefull image-format like gif, pcx or lbm.
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