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VGA games with only 16 colors

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Reply 40 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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thx, but no games for my 286/8 🙁

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Reply 41 of 82, by Jo22

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2020-01-26, 18:50:

thx, but no games for my 286/8 🙁

You're welcome. The games that I mentioned before (Digger&Asteroid) use 640x480 and should work fine on a 286/8.
Well, Digger should, at least. In fact, I ran that one on an ancient 286/8 (or was it 286/6 ?) motherboard with a dated LCC socket and 256KB memory.
Picture was monochrome, though. Perhaps a BIOS/VGA card related issue, can't remember. 🙁
Anyway, I believe both games use VGA standard palette, which is close to EGA's.

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Reply 42 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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I picked two and saw 386/486, but the other titles seem to work on 286...thx!

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Reply 43 of 82, by thepirategamerboy12

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filipetolhuizen wrote on 2015-08-14, 00:03:

Darkseed is another 16 colours game, but ran in a higher resolution than 320x200/240.

Yep, Darkseed uses the 640x350 16 color VGA mode. That's one of my favorite parts about the game, and I think it looks fantastic especially on a CRT.

Reply 45 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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Most interesting are VGA Games that use 16 colors but not the EGA-Palette, like GODS.

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Reply 46 of 82, by thepirategamerboy12

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2020-02-04, 20:57:

Most interesting are VGA Games that use 16 colors but not the EGA-Palette, like GODS.

And I'm pretty sure Prince of Persia falls under that category as well, right? Also, the EGA and VGA modes on Chip's Challenge look noticeably different. The VGA palette looks a bit better, but it's not a massive difference. Where it's most noticeable is in the opening Epyx logo (which looking back on it now actually seems to use slightly more than 16 colors...)

EGA:

Epyx EGA.png
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Epyx EGA.png
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635 views
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VGA:

Epyx VGA.png
Filename
Epyx VGA.png
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5.01 KiB
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635 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 47 of 82, by Jo22

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Oh I wished I could remember now all my DOS games from 90s that I played on my 286. 🙁
Several of them were from the shareware scene and featured 640x480 as it was the most natural thing..
Anyway - here's something more to test. A Win 3.x driver for palettized VGA in 640x480@16c (can do color cycling).
Just drop it into system dir, configure Windows for VGA and change system.ini accordingly (display.drv=vgapal.drv).

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    vgapal.zip
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    35.94 KiB
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception

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Reply 48 of 82, by Jo22

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There's another game that uses EGA/VGA palette and 350/4x0 line mode; The Last Half Of Darkness. 😎
Not sure if it does any palette tricks, but it should run on that Amiga board (game has 4/8MHz option).
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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 49 of 82, by Jo22

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Discovered a few more 640x480 VGA games at dosgames.com.

Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II
Incunabula: The Unspoken Secrets
Ultris: The Ultimate Tetris
Continuing Adventures of Cyberbox
Gripple
The Incredible Machine 2
Rocks-n-Diamonds (800x600 ?)
Battle Bugs (800x600 ?)
Cube
Battleship
Nephew's Puzzle Pack
Rebel Decade Chess
AT-Robots
The Search for Freedom
Syndicate
MinerVGA
Mortar Mayhem
Theme Hospital
Break Through Bukulu
Yabog
Ack! Man

In most cases, they may use standard 16c palette, though. 🙁

What may use a custom palette is the strange game "Alpha Waves".

Edit: I also was looking for these 16 color "VGA" games in CGA resolution (320x200).
However, this was more tricky, because they are far more difficult to detect visually.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 51 of 82, by Jo22

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jmarsh wrote on 2020-02-23, 23:30:

Theme Hospital is definitely not 16 colours.

Thanks for the information my friend! 😀
I was looking by the screen shots and the "Resolution:" information at dosgames.com.
The screenshot that I saw hinted for dithering (watch the gras and the coloured bar at the bottom) and "lower than 256c" colour information, so I added it.
Of course, I did not play the game, because previously there was no reason to. Too much work if I had to cycle through all the games I mentioned.. 😅

Edit: Of course, I don't mean to disagree with you. Other screenshots on the web do indicate a high colour count, indeed.
Please think of my list as some kind of check list, that someone can counter check.. 😉

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 52 of 82, by thepirategamerboy12

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This is my list of some 640x480/400/350 16c VGA games that haven't been mentioned yet.

These are either PC-98 to DOS/V ports, PC-98 to IBM PC with English Translation, PC-98 to IBM PC with Chinese Translation, or native Chinese games:

Princess Maker 2
Yume no Sei
Farland Story
Richman 3
HR2
Air Management II/Aerobiz Supersonic
3x3 Eyes: Sanjiyan Henjō
Variable Geo
Knights of Xentar
Cobra Mission

Two Western ones that come to mind are Shadow President and a pretty obscure game called Battle Cheese.

Reply 53 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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Thx! Hopefully they will be playable on ultra low-end 286/8/1MB 😀

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Reply 54 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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thepirategamerboy12 wrote on 2020-02-04, 21:04:

And I'm pretty sure Prince of Persia falls under that category as well, right?

Prince of Persia is fantastic on Mac...we already discussed this in another thread. I tested it on LC (68020/16/OS 6.0.😎 It natively supports: B&W, 16 greytones (very nice!) and 256 colors. I think SQIII also supports B&W as well as 16colors and 16 greytones. These games look very good on mac. Sound is also excellent.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 55 of 82, by pan069

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2020-02-04, 20:57:

Most interesting are VGA Games that use 16 colors but not the EGA-Palette, like GODS.

I did some screenshot work on GODS a few months back.

The garbled bit is the VGA frame buffer at a width of 320 pixels but the frame buffer was resized to allow for smooth panning. The bottom image is adjusted. At the top is the 16 color palette used. Each world in the game has a slightly different palette to set the tone of the world. It also changes the skin tone of the character from world to world. The use of the 2 primary colors is really good (yellow and green). The artist mixes those with the gray/blue and brown hues to create entirely new colors. It looks like a 256 color game, but it isn't. Really amazing.

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Reply 56 of 82, by digger

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MusicallyInspired wrote on 2015-07-12, 13:52:

Actually Sierra is an oddity it seems as they never made a game (to my knowledge) that took advantage of EEGA. Strange as they were always after more colours and went extra lengths to make standard EGA look like many more colours.

Come to think of it, the first Gobliiins game had a 16 colour EEGA version as well as standard EGA and VGA. Just a difference of drivers, though I believe.

This was probably done for compatibility reasons. Monitors were expensive back in the day, and quite a few people upgraded to EGA cards while keeping their CGA monitors, so they could play 320x200 games in 16 colors. CGA monitors did not support the extended palettes. Also, wasn't is true that the original IBM EGA cards (and many EGA clone cards) supported the extended palettes only in 640x350 mode? I believe that was deliberate, to prevent CGA monitors from being damaged when EGA cards tried to access those extended palettes.

I believe only some (more enhanced) EGA cards (EEGA as you call it) supported those extended palettes in lower resolution modes as well. Isn't that why Rambo III has options for multiple EGA variants such as "Boca" and such, with "(WARNING)" listed next to those custom EGA modes? To warn people not to pick those modes if they have a CGA monitor attached?

By the way, it might be obvious to state this, but (pre-VESA) games that supported 640x480 VGA mode (such as Simcity and the like) only supported 16 colors, since the VGA standard didn't support more colors at that resolution. Anything better than that was commonly referred to as "Super VGA".

Reply 57 of 82, by Jo22

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Hi, wasn't the lack of video memory not also one of the reasons that 640x350 mode got neglected?
I have no IBM EGA at hand, but from what I read online,
the original EGA card shipped with little memory originally. 😅
Also, there was 640x200 mode, still, which resolution-wise is viewable on CGA monitors.
For some reasons I don't know, it was not used very often, though.
So I can only guess why (memory layout, 64KiB segments etc). Or it's much simpler - maybe developers just had a 320x200 pels fetish, perhaps ? 😉

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 58 of 82, by VileR

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I think it wasn't a lack of video memory. The original IBM EGA only shipped with 64K, but it was also an expensive and slow behemoth that didn't catch on in the home market. By the time EGA became commonplace, it was mostly compact chipset-based clone cards, and almost all of those had 256K on board from the get go.

It was probably two other reasons that accounted for most games sticking with 320x200:

  1. Speed - far less stuff to move around video memory than with 640x350 (or 640x200).
  2. Graphical portability - you could support multiple standards (CGA, Tandy, EGA, whatever) by keeping the resolution and just re-coloring the artwork, instead of redrawing it completely. There were also non-PC platforms to think about, and 320x200 provided common ground with a lot of them. Remember that in the EGA era the PC still wasn't the primary platform for the great majority of commercial games.

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Reply 59 of 82, by Jo22

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VileR wrote on 2020-09-16, 20:29:

I think it wasn't a lack of video memory. The original IBM EGA only shipped with 64K, but it was also an expensive and slow behemoth that didn't catch on in the home market.

But isn't that true for EGA altogether ? 😕
When I was very young in the 90s, I pretty much associated EGA as a sub mode of VGA.
Just like that 256c MCGA mode of 320x200 pels..

VileR wrote on 2020-09-16, 20:29:

By the time EGA became commonplace, it was mostly compact chipset-based clone cards, and almost all of those had 256K on board from the get go.

It did ? 😳 Or was this more of an overseas thing (USA, Canada) ? I heard that the IBM PC was very popular there and wiped the homecomputer market pretty soon.
I ask, becaue I'm from Western Europe and I have never seen an EGA clone at flea markets in the last 20 years.
In fact, I've seen an original Creative Music System (Game Blaster) rather. And some other rare stuff, like an EACA EG2000.
And ISA VGA cards with both 9pin and 15pin connectors, of course.

VileR wrote on 2020-09-16, 20:29:

[*]Graphical portability - you could support multiple standards (CGA, Tandy, EGA, whatever) by keeping the resolution and just re-coloring the artwork, instead of redrawing it completely. There were also non-PC platforms to think about, and 320x200 provided common ground with a lot of them. Remember that in the EGA era the PC still wasn't the primary platform for the great majority of commercial games.[/list]

Except for simulations and text adventure games with graphics, of course. 😀
These typically ran in eye friendly resolutions of 640x200 and up (as of the late 80s, at least).
Some point&click adventures like Maupiti Island also supported 640x200.

By the way, speaking of non-PC platforms, this reminds me of the Sharp AX line of Personal Computers. It had JEGA, Japanese EGA.
In EGA mode, it ran either in IBM mode (640x350 pels) or in its native mode (640×480 pels).

http://www.duensser.com/pc_famax.htm
English translation

VileR wrote on 2020-09-16, 20:29:

Remember that in the EGA era the PC still wasn't the primary platform for the great majority of commercial games.[/list]

I do. Sadly. Sierra On-Line was notorious for this. Their platform-independant AGI interpreter was based on a pitiful 160x200 resolution.
And some Apple 2 games did only use 140x192, even. So they had do double the horizontal resolution to fit EGA.
Which is one of the reasons why AGI games look so abysmal even by 80s standards.
On the other hand, this perhaps made supporting Composite CGA or the PC Jr. more easy.
http://agi.sierrahelp.com/IDEs/AGIStudio.html

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//