Thomas came up with it back in 2012 while we were working on Stay Frosty 2:
What is the color limit of the objects (presents, extras etc.)? It seems like they can only have two colors, right? Can those two colors be used at any line or is there just one color transition point (looks so)?
Also, why do the fires only have one color?
Also I think it would help to increase the hue while the objects flicker.
I took to calling it LumaBoost and have used it in Stay Frosty 2 and Draconian. In Stay Frosty 2 the bump in luma starts with 2 and increases if flicker increases, in Draconian it's always a bump of 2. Space Rocks was finalized just days before so doesn't use it (I was most likely out of ROM space). John's been using the technique for his projects as well, I see references to it in our discussions for Scramble and Mappy.
One thing to be careful of is to not use colors ending with $xE or $xF, otherwise a boost results in the darkest luma of the next color.