VOGONS


First post, by WDStudios

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The original Command & Conquer was a DOS game. It ran at 320 x 200 with nonsquare pixels to stretch the image out over a 4:3 display. This was 100% intended and the artwork was designed around the fact that the game used nonsquare pixels. And God saw that it was good.

The Win95 port, by contrast, has a major mistake regarding the cinematics and rescaling. It comes with an application that lets you switch between a 640 x 400 resolution mode and a 640 x 480 resolution mode. Both produce 640 x 480 output, but one accomplishes it by rescaling, while the other does it by adding black bars to the top and bottom of the image. Most of the game looks correct in 640 x 400 mode, which is the mode that most closely mimics the behavior and appearance of the DOS version. For example, the main menu screen looks fine and the things that you would expect to be perfectly circular, are perfectly circular:

e0tt1yG.jpg

The same is true when you're actually playing the game.

HOWEVER, the cinematics, mission-select screens, and score screens, which were solid 320 x 200 images in the DOS version, got padded out to 640x400 partially through the use of one-pixel-thick horizontal black lines. Making matters worse, these lines are added before any rescaling is done. When the resulting, finely combed 640 x 400 image is upscaled to 640 x 480 so that things remain the correct shape, the result is horrifying:

A4e7uut.jpg
8SIHeVO.jpg
DPJC3nh.jpg
7s5fowH.jpg
C5QsK1k.jpg

You can get the proper combing effect by changing to 640 x 480 resolution mode, which adds black bars instead of rescaling the image, but then everything is too short and fat:

ZuvJ20W.jpg
Qu0FASh.jpg
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You should theoretically be able to fix this by manually adjusting the Width parameter in the ddraw.ini file to something like 528 (technically 533.33 rounded to the nearest multiple of 16) but I tested that and it doesn't do anything.

Red Alert managed to mostly avoid this issue by being designed specifically for 1.6:1 in both its DOS and Windows versions, though other signs of aspect ratio confusion can still be found.

Since people like posting system specs:

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Reply 1 of 10, by Joseph_Joestar

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I hated those interlaced movies back in the day, both for C&C Gold and RA95. They just looked like crap.

I did like the larger viewport of the Windows versions and the revised sidebar icons for units, buildings etc. but it wasn't worth the tradeoff. Also, I vaguely remember the music being a bit less compressed in C&C Gold, but I could be wrong about that.

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Reply 2 of 10, by WDStudios

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-06-23, 06:36:

I did like the larger viewport of the Windows versions and the revised sidebar icons for units, buildings etc.

Oh yes, being able to see 4x as much of the map at once was a huge improvement!

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 3 of 10, by Zup

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-23, 06:56:

Oh yes, being able to see 4x as much of the map at once was a huge improvement!

Maybe. It depends on how difficulty got balanced. A bigger viewport makes the game easier (you can see more terrain) so, unless they rebalanced difficulty, the game won't be as difficult as intended.

I wonder if they made the game thinking in 320x200 or 640x480 resolutions...

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Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 5 of 10, by WDStudios

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kolderman wrote on 2021-06-23, 07:26:

Pretty sure every game with a dos version is better than win95. I can't think of any examples otherwise.

SimAnt. Although that was Win3.1

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 6 of 10, by gerry

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-23, 06:56:
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-06-23, 06:36:

I did like the larger viewport of the Windows versions and the revised sidebar icons for units, buildings etc.

Oh yes, being able to see 4x as much of the map at once was a huge improvement!

this outweighed any negatives for me, played both a great deal, one of the greats

Reply 7 of 10, by chinny22

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Like most I'd been playing the dos version for a few years before seeing 95's version so I'm sure its partly due to what I was simply used to
but I never liked how the units looked in 95, they were small and pixel-ish. Dos was blocky but felt more in scale.

I preferred the dos version of both games, at first I didn't have a choice on my hardware but even after upgrading I stuck with dos.
It took all the fixes in TFD patch for me to finally move on from the dos version.

I don't think C&C Gold was a mistake though. Much like TFD or any gog game today it upgraded the game to run easily on the then currant OS

Reply 8 of 10, by The Serpent Rider

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Pretty sure every game with a dos version is better than win95.

No thank you. I prefer Dungeon Keeper Gold with Direct3D acceleration.

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Reply 9 of 10, by WDStudios

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-06-23, 09:04:

I don't think C&C Gold was a mistake though. Much like TFD or any gog game today it upgraded the game to run easily on the then currant OS

Yes but it did so in a very noticeably amateurish and incompetent way.

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 10 of 10, by BLockOUT

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for me in terms of gameplay the 95 version is way better because the resolution is better
while on DOS it looks more pixelated.

same goes to civilization1, some people just love the DOS version, while i hated it because as a child i could play civ1 on a Mac color classic at school.
Then on a store i was able to buy the Windows 3.1 version of civ1 and i loved it, altho it needs the patch to fix some things, i loved it. I would never play the DOS version again