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What was your favorite graphical effect?

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What were your favorite and least favorit graphical effects in the early 8-bit machines and arcades?

 

I personally liked highly saturated vector lines. There was an air of futurism about them. Think most any color vector game. Perhaps a couple of monochromatic games also fit the bill.

 

I also like the simulated silver shimmering of color-cycling text through part of the palette. This is prominent in Liberator, the word "Liberator" in the intro text, the explosions, and parts of the ship. It's also on the startup page of Atari 400/800 Defender.

 

And then there's anything with a lot of flying particles and debris when something explodes. Love it!

 

I tended to dislike things done with text-characters and tiles. Or anything with tiled graphics. Don't exactly "hate" it, just tended to not be interested because it felt cheap. I didn't like a lot of 16-bit sprites either, they always felt like paper cutouts simply being positioned around the game screen. Artificial in a way as opposed to something plotted each time bit by bit.

 

 

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The star field in Star Raiders of course (wow, I'm flying through space).

 

Also the walking robot demo on the 130XE. Awestruck at the time.

Edited by high voltage

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"Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" -- Yoshis Island
Shooting the boss -- Yars' Revenge
Blowing up Death Star -- all games with this scene
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" -- Tempest 2000

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Atari's Red Baron (1980) took the vector graphics up a couple notches with scaling and 3D. As a kid I thought it was amazing. Battlezone was similar but Red Baron just stood out.

I know exactly what you mean by tiled graphics, and they were easily identifiable. In a way they are cheap because they are saving lots of expensive ram that bitmaps require. I was impressed with highly detailed smooth multidirectional scrolling, even if it used tiled graphics.

Intellivision Auto Racing (1979) was a good example. I was impressed with having a larger world to roam and in fact there was nothing stopping you from driving off road and exploring that world. Atari had some scrolling arcade games a couple years earlier but Intellivision Auto Racing looked so much better.

The MCP in Intellivision Mazeatron. It was big and scarry, although the animation was minimal.

The screen shaking effect in Intellivision Star Strike. Each time you hit the station the shaking gets stronger and stronger. Edited by mr_me

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I had to look up the walking robot -- agreed, very cool, and subtle too. This had to be super early.

https://youtu.be/e-ZbgXolZQs

I wasn't part of the "demo scene" for 8-bit computers, but I can certainly see how they'd be exciting at the time.

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"Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" -- Yoshis Island

 

This is one emulators still screw up on. The SNES classic even does it. When you touch a fuzzy, the background layer temporarily disappears. That doesn't happen with a real cart.

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This is one emulators still screw up on. The SNES classic even does it. When you touch a fuzzy, the background layer temporarily disappears. That doesn't happen with a real cart.

 

In that case, I think it's being done deliberately to avoid triggering epileptic seizures. https://www.reddit.com/r/miniSNESmods/comments/73errv/flashing_background_on_yoshis_island_when/

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The first graphic that I remembering making me take notice and say wow is easy for me to remember.. it was your ship's explosion in Defender (arcade). It looked like fireworks and I remember thinking it looked almost "3D"  :lol:

 

The next one in memory is another explosion.. this time when you killed the ship in Eliminator. Anyone remember that? That explosion was really amazing and cool for the time.. at least I thought. :P  e.g. @ the 55 second mark:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7WEImBebuE#t=55s

 

Other times I was blown away was maybe seeing a game like Cobra Command.. but that doesn't really count since it was Laserdisc. Also seeing Mario Bros (not super) for the first time ever running on a Famicom while I was visiting Japan in the 80's. But that's not exactly an "effect". 

 

 

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Parallax scrolling used to impress the hell out of me as a kid, as did Sega-style "super scaler" games like Space Harrier. I also remember my brain breaking when playing Hard Drivin' in the arcade for the first time due to those beautiful polygons!  :lol:

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I must admit to being a little mesmerized by the Atari 2600 early screen saver feature where you can watch color palette swaps of games at rest. I still think it's kind of cool now.

Now I wonder, was that a feature of the hardware or did that have to be programmed into the games?

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i never stopped to think about this!

 

probably one of the ones that impressed 14-year-old me the most (and still) are the rotation effects in Super Castlevania IV.  soooo coool.

 

Speaking of mode 7, me and my friends were greatly impressed with the airship effect in Final Fantasy II. We hadn't seen anything like it before.

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I must admit to being a little mesmerized by the Atari 2600 early screen saver feature where you can watch color palette swaps of games at rest. I still think it's kind of cool now.

Now I wonder, was that a feature of the hardware or did that have to be programmed into the games?

 

It's only in the early, numbered games by Atari, not any of the third party games, so I think it was programmed in. Maybe a shared snip of code that was reused by many games. Agreed, mesmerizing. I'd love a screensaver of that. 

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Sticking to games looking back one thing that surprised me earlier on with the NES era was Silent Service.  I had never seen a faked up 3Dish effect where as you moved in on Japanese ships that they'd scale up in size and shape adding more detail as that was just not something normal.  Few NES 80s games did something so different to make a memory, but where that was limited the SNES was the opposite.  I still get a smile out of the simple things like Mode7.  It was one to see it in a picture, but then to have it happen in early games I had like the rotating and spinning rooms/stages of Super Castlevania and Super Ghouls n Ghosts was insane, as was the moments that FF2 had as well.  I didn't get them early but F-Zero and Pilotwings did that so amazing as well from the fast race, to the slow drift of the parachute and hang glider along a space to a touch down as it was just crazy as it felt like stuff I'd just feel a PC was doing then a bit.  But then you had those chips, and Star Fox comes up, or later Yoshi's Island.

 

One end showing us nice fairly smooth well run polygons on a non-3D system making for a fun game, to then the crazy use for all the scaling, rotation, and other bizarre tricks on Yoshi which felt like it should have been from the next generation as much as those ACM visuals DKC and SMRPG had going on for them.  The NES felt like a gradual increase of great expansion with less pop and more ease, but the SNES went from like your Mario World common style more colorful wow factor to the one crazy special chip effect after another hiding inside a cart that would yet again years into it make you go wow, the SNES can do that??

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I was impressed at any kind of smooth scrolling of large graphic items, like the terrain in Pegasus ][ or Cavern Creatures on the Apple II. And then there's the simple 3-D wireframe shapes like cubes or triangles. That just blew me away!

 

Given that the series has no graphics chip of any kind, let alone any color generation circuitry or hardware palette stuff..it's all the more impressive.

 

 

I must admit to being a little mesmerized by the Atari 2600 early screen saver feature where you can watch color palette swaps of games at rest. I still think it's kind of cool now.

Now I wonder, was that a feature of the hardware or did that have to be programmed into the games?

 

It would be programmed. There's no hardware or timer or anything like that that starts the effect. And not all games have it anyways. I often fell asleep to the effect. the light flickering on the wall. A nice downtempo mood. All is quiet at 12am. that sort of thing.

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Well, count me in as one who was blown away by 3d anything when it was very early. That first feeling of "being" in an environment as opposed to just playing a game with a movable player on screen...hard to top if you were there bitd. Now it's just no big deal.

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Good point on the mode-7! People forget how amazing that was as well with the graphics scaling and rotating so smoothly. The effect in F-Zero wasn't the graphics per-se.. but the fact it felt like you were going at such a high rate of speed. Pilotwings, the "descending" in Actraiser, the ship in Final Fantasy II.. that was pure eye candy modern stuff man, and we ate it up!  :lol: 

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The 3D dungeons in Phantasy Star look and work better than any 16-bit 3D dungeons.

 

Dude it still holds up to this day. First off, it was disappointing that Phantasy Star II did not have 3D dungeons, but furthermore, I could not believe how long it took before we'd see anything else that could even touch it! I mean  Double Dungeons on the TG16 was somewhat similar, but Phantasy Star on the old SMS still blew it away. Good call!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imlbwFg9Peo

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