ICON: Quest for the Ring (1984) and Seven Spirits of Ra (1987), both by Macrocom, used a tweaked CGA text mode that only displayed the top two pixels of every character. All the art was constructed out of these partial characters.
Here's an interview with the developers: https://www.mobygames.com/featured_article/feature,10/section,37/
@mogwai_poet I just installed 7 Spirits on the strength of this toot, and it is absolutely beautiful. I have no idea how to play it. (I did read the help screen, I just don't understand why I can't punch these birds)
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