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"Popeye" unusually high resolution for an early 80's arcade game?


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#1 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 1:58 PM

I thought that MAME was in error when it listed the resolution as 512x448, but that's what it is. That seems unusually high resolution for 1982. However I'm no expert on vintage arcade games so maybe it wasn't. What are some other high res titles from the time period?

#2 Matt Fisher OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 3:20 PM

I thought that MAME was in error when it listed the resolution as 512x448, but that's what it is. That seems unusually high resolution for 1982. However I'm no expert on vintage arcade games so maybe it wasn't. What are some other high res titles from the time period?


Funny, I was looking through Supercade by Van Burnham just last night and thought, "Boy, Popeye sure looks a lot sharper than those other games from that period." I guess it was!

Anyway, I'm certainly no expert on the topic, but Atari System II used medium-res monitors (512 X 384) beginning in 1986, which is the earliest use I could find:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Atari_System

Toobin' also used one in 1988. Beyond that, I don't know.

#3 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 3:30 PM

I always thought Popeye looked like it was at a higher resolution. The characters themselves look amazingly detailed for the time, but the backgrounds look about average or even below average. It's really a mixed bag.

Tempest

#4 fdurso224 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:08 PM

Hi guys,

Popeye is a pretty good game. But high resolution?

#5 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:35 PM

Hi guys,

Popeye is a pretty good game. But high resolution?


At 512x448 it's higher resolution than most older arcade games. By comparison, "Donkey Kong" and "Zaxxon" are 224x256. "Final Fight" and "Street Fighter 2" are both only 384x224.

#6 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:48 PM

I always thought Popeye looked like it was at a higher resolution. The characters themselves look amazingly detailed for the time, but the backgrounds look about average or even below average. It's really a mixed bag.

Tempest


Yep.

"Technologically, the arcade game uses a technique that was popularized by a few Bally Midway games which mixed high resolution foreground sprites with low resolution background displays. This resulted in extremely sharp and detailed graphics for the main characters, and contributed to its success. It also made the graphics difficult, if not impossible, to convert for home systems without a tremendous amount of compromise." http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Popeye

#7 Matt Fisher OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 9, 2011 6:11 AM

"Technologically, the arcade game uses a technique that was popularized by a few Bally Midway games which mixed high resolution foreground sprites with low resolution background displays.


I knew it! One of the other ones in Supercade that looked different was Wacko, so there's another early "High Resolution" game, at 512 x 480. I wonder how many more there are...

http://maws.mameworl.../maws/set/wacko

#8 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:43 PM

"Technologically, the arcade game uses a technique that was popularized by a few Bally Midway games which mixed high resolution foreground sprites with low resolution background displays.

Sounds just like the Atari VCS!

#9 Metal Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:57 AM

I thought that MAME was in error when it listed the resolution as 512x448, but that's what it is. That seems unusually high resolution for 1982. However I'm no expert on vintage arcade games so maybe it wasn't. What are some other high res titles from the time period?


Funny, I was looking through Supercade by Van Burnham just last night and thought, "Boy, Popeye sure looks a lot sharper than those other games from that period." I guess it was!

Anyway, I'm certainly no expert on the topic, but Atari System II used medium-res monitors (512 X 384) beginning in 1986, which is the earliest use I could find:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Atari_System

Toobin' also used one in 1988. Beyond that, I don't know.



I know this is a bit off topic, but just wanted to chime in to say that I really enjoyed Ban Burnham's Supercade book. Highly recommended reading in my opinion.

#10 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2011 8:53 AM

512 x 448 @ 60 Hz isn't possible for Popeye. That resolution would require at least a medium resolution monitor (25 kHz), or possibly a high resolution monitor (31 kHz). However, Popeye used a standard resolution monitor (15 kHz), i.e., the same Sanyo EZ monitors (or sometimes a Sharp equivalent) that Nintendo used in e.g., Donkey Kong, Punch-Out, and all their other arcade machines. 512 x 448 @ 60 Hz will not under any circumstances sync to a standard resolution monitor.

However, 512 x 448 @ 30 Hz will sync to a standard resolution monitor, and that's exactly what Nintendo did with Popeye; i.e. Popeye is interlaced. Bally Midway did the same thing with some of their games, e.g. Tapper.

To put it in terms that the current HDTV crowd tends to recognize these days, Popeye was roughly 480i while most arcade games of the time were roughly 240p. Both 480i and 240p are "standard definition" resolutions, both require the same horizontal scanning frequency, and a standard resolution TV or monitor can sync to either.

Edited by MaximRecoil, Mon May 2, 2011 8:54 AM.

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#11 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:43 PM

The backgrounds are also at 512x448 (just crudely designed) so anazingly only Amiga 1000 could ever do an arcade quality copy in the mid 80s. 

 

Sprites are very cool indeed. Does any one have arcade graphics rip?



#12 Torr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:34 PM

How was Popeye in such high res if it could be swapped out for Mario Bros or Donkey Kong? I figure all those games would run at the same resolution being 'conversion kits' of one another.



#13 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:38 PM

A lot of the Midway arcade games from 1983 to 1992 (Rampage, Xenophobe, Sarge, et al) were like this too. They had super sharp resolution but cartoony artwork provided by Brian Colin.



#14 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:22 PM

Yep, it is that resolution.  But it looks like they didn't take much advantage - Popeye, Olive and Bluto sprites are hires but the backgrounds look mostly chunky.  Some incidental objects also appear hires.

 

How technically - entirely possible it used interlaced mode or actually used a monitor with that resolution in progressive.  Had a quick look at the Mame driver, didn't reveal much.



#15 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:03 PM

Poor 5200 version really mangled little Sweet Pea's graphics on stage 2-- couldn't hope to match the arcade version's detail.

#16 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:40 AM

One of my favourite Nintendo games

#17 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:36 AM

I know this is a bit off topic, but just wanted to chime in to say that I really enjoyed Ban Burnham's Supercade book. Highly recommended reading in my opinion.

 

It's Van Burnham. She actually contacted me via email about a year ago asking if I could send her a picture of my Congorilla control panel. Apparently she had one and was doing a restore. Her book is one of the first that I purchased when I got back into classic gaming. I told her that I love the book. It's a good read with lots of info and great pictures. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



#18 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:36 AM

Poor 5200 version really mangled little Sweet Pea's graphics on stage 2-- couldn't hope to match the arcade version's detail.

When I was growing up I had Popeye on my Atari 400 and played the crap out of it.  I had a crappy TV back then that had a really bad overscan problem so the top and sides got cut off until it warmed up.  It wasn't until I took it over to my friends house that I noticed that Sweet Pea (and Wimpy for that matter) was even *IN* the game.  I thought that his Atari 800 was enhancing the game somehow.  True story.



#19 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:50 AM

How was Popeye in such high res if it could be swapped out for Mario Bros or Donkey Kong? I figure all those games would run at the same resolution being 'conversion kits' of one another.

 

I'm guessing it's just a trade off for 200% vertical resolution increase for 30fps not 60fps the same way Amigas do. To the video hardware it's still 512x224 x 60 screens each second so still double most arcade games..

 

It's a shame that so few home computers included selectable interlace feature.

 

The backgrounds are probably simple because...

A. Deluce Paint 3 wasn't out

B. The small 32ish colour pallette which would flicker like hell without 1000s of shades of colour to smooth out interlace transition flicker between the jarring 2bit palette values.  

 

Anyone who has ever seen Workbench 1.x in hi-res interlace vs dynamic interlaced HAM pictures will understand :)






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