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)
@jennatar Yeah I've never tried myself, just admired it from afar. It's from the era of game manuals so it might be worth trying to find one!
@mogwai_poet Ted actually peeked over my shoulder while I was noodling with the game. I asked him to note the graphics, and then I showed him your toot. He was ASTONISHED.
@tsturm Here's a writeup of some more tricks you can do in CGA, if you'd like to read more! https://int10h.org/blog/2015/04/cga-in-1024-colors-new-mode-illustrated/
What a lesson for game developers.
Today, we have fast CPUs, massive amount of RAM and amazing GPUs, even in smartphones.
But they forgot what optimization really means.
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