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VGA games with only 16 colors

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Reply 20 of 34, by sf78

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MusicallyInspired wrote:

I thought the number of colours were printed on the box regardless whether it said VGA or not.

And again, Sierra was the worst offender. I remember buying the EGA version of Red Baron by mistake because it had this transparent sticker on the cover which you easily missed. I mean look at it, that is such bullshit! Obviously they had the little sticker in the corner where it said EGA/VGA 16 colors, but all the box images were from a VGA version anyway.

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Reply 23 of 34, by dr.zeissler

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That's an interesting topic.

Some early VGA games only use 16 colors. But that should mostly be the same EGA palette.
But there might be VGA games that use 16 colors specially optimized for VGA.

I think that the bitmap brothers used special 16 colors in their PC-conversions, or am I wrong here?

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Reply 24 of 34, by rmay635703

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Some “256” color games only used a fraction of that but more than 16

I remember well into the VGA ERA 16 color graphics seemed to be a selling point even when vga/ega was on the box

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Reply 25 of 34, by filipetolhuizen

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Afterburner also seems to be running with only 16 colours in both EGA and VGA modes. The palette differs a bit in each mode, though. Same with California Games that has EGA/VGA mode and MCGA/VGA mode. It tends to recommend EGA/VGA mode but MCGA looks a lot better IMHO.

Reply 26 of 34, by dr.zeissler

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I am interested in this toppic because of my 286/8 bridgeboard in my amiga 2000. I am using a 16bit ET4000 from diamond with 1MB.
Because the machine is so low-end, I mostly play EGA games on it. Setting this ET4000 in EGA Mode does fix some games that do not
run, if the card is still in VGA mode and has to display EGA. Interestingly some games do run on that ultra-low-end that I never expected,
the first is BodyBlows and the second is DynaBlaster. These seem to be excellently coded. The Bitmap brother-ports are also really great.

I am still collecting games because I have lot's of space on that setup (4x2GB PCDos 5.0).

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Reply 27 of 34, by Grzyb

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rmay635703 wrote on 2020-01-14, 00:37:

Some “256” color games only used a fraction of that but more than 16

This may have something to do with the fact that for a few years many PC games were conversions from Amiga, with 32-color graphics.

Reply 28 of 34, by eL_PuSHeR

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I think most Bitmap Brothers games (Gods, Speedball 2, Magic Pockets, etc) also used a 16c VGA palette.

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Reply 29 of 34, by Jo22

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Generally speaking, several games from the shareware/freeware sector used Standard VGA (640x460 in 16c, that is).
Games that comes to mind:

Digger
Asteroid
several chess games

Also, DOS/V games often used 640x400 view port..:

Marble Cooking
Rusty
Seasons of Sakura
Runaway City

(I assume, that the "mode" behind was 640x480 still.)

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Reply 30 of 34, by Stretch

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Reply 31 of 34, by leileilol

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The Dynamix Incredible Machine/Toons games also do the VGA640 palette thing at a lower vertical resolution, and are often mistreated as 4:3 modes in emulation (or at least i've always remembered them looking fairly letterboxed on real CRTs of the time, it wasn't like 640x400@70 VESA modes)

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 32 of 34, by HunterZ

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I don't know of any lists. Maybe we should start one.

Sierra's PC ports of Japanese games are weird ones that might be relevant:

It always bothered me that Firehawk's MCGA/VGA driver uses only 16 colors at 320x200, while the EGA driver runs 16 colors at 640x350 and uses a sort of dithering to simulate a much higher color palette. I wish someone would write a proper 320x200 256-color driver for it!

Similar deal with Zeliard, except somehow the 16-color MCGA still looks so good that I was convinced for a long time that it was using a custom 16- or 64-color palette. The only reason it's better in EGA is because it actually takes advantage of the higher resolution for some more detailed graphical elements in addition to using it for dithering.

Reply 33 of 34, by Jo22

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HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-20, 03:01:

It always bothered me that Firehawk's MCGA/VGA driver uses only 16 colors at 320x200, while the EGA driver runs 16 colors at 640x350 and uses a sort of dithering to simulate a much higher color palette. I wish someone would write a proper 320x200 256-color driver for it!

Or a proper 640x400 256c driver for it. 😉 640x400 was a standard resolution on Japanese Computers (PC8801, PC98, Sharp X1 etc).
In our place, in the west, some prominent ISA SVGA cards of the time could do that mode with as little as 256KiB of Video RAM.
Like the PVGA cards by Paradise/WDC. Also, 640x400 was the lowest VESA VBE mode, as well, so a VESA driver may do, as well.

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Reply 34 of 34, by HunterZ

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That would be boring, though, because it would just look like EGA.

I did a mock-up of what I'm talking about:

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EGA for comparison:

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MCGA for comparison:

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