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Outrun Europa on the Spectrum - Where's my colours?


SozzlyJoe
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Well the YS article mentions it had been in production for a long time - and that was still two years before it actually came out right? So I guess it was the Speccy's Duke Nukem Forever.

Edit: And doesn't the police car in the first YS screen look a bit too much like an American police car to be in a game called "Europa"?

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I don't think the YS shots do stick to the two colour per character block limit. Check out the mountains in the first shot. In some part they go from black, to blue and border the cyan sky in less than 8 pixels. I reckon they were mocked up on a Tatung Einstein. Everyone used those for development in the 80's.

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The f---ers! Everyone knew and accpeted the whole small print (Screenshot from best looking computer version/arcade version) but it's amazing that they didn't get done for this.

The amount of crap these companies pulled on kids spending their pocket money back in the day was pretty awful, and then they wondered why some kids disappointed turned to piracy? I remember shaking my head when I read the justifications for the World Cup game disaster at the time and even more so over a decade later when some of the people involved were interviewed for Retro Gamer.

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The f---ers! Everyone knew and accpeted the whole small print (Screenshot from best looking computer version/arcade version) but it's amazing that they didn't get done for this.

The amount of crap these companies pulled on kids spending their pocket money back in the day was pretty awful, and then they wondered why some kids disappointed turned to piracy? I remember shaking my head when I read the justifications for the World Cup game disaster at the time and even mroe so over a decade later when some of the people involved were interviewed for Retro Gamer.

It is difficult to comprehend how they didn't get into any trouble. Was there not one person who bought this game and looked at the screenshots and thought to complain to someone?

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I've been banging on about this for years over at WOS. I even coloured in the graphics myself on a Speccy art package to see how they would really look in colour. Nearly the same but not 100% the same as the YS shots.

outrun.png

Nice work! Shows up how crap the real graphics were though, it's dithering gone mental. Everything is just a mess of crosshatching, wtf are those bulidings even supposed to be?

I am trying to remember if the budget release also used the fake screenshots or not. I suspect they dodged the issue by only showing C64 and Amstrad but can't be sure.

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I suspect that the dithering was added at the last minute when they decided that the colour had to go. I think without it, the graphics could have worked in full colour pretty much how the magazine screen shots showed it to look.

Still, lets see what issue 98 of Retro Gamer says.

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I have another good example of how press shots can be misleading. C&VG made The Last Ninja their game of the month in an exclusive review more than a month before the other magazines... and published pictures from a preview version, not the finished game. If you look at them, there is a "food" meter that disappeared from the final build. But, to compound the mistake, for years after EMAP publications continued to use the early preview shots instead of new screenshots from the finished game...

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Something that has bugged me since childhood - I had a Spectrum and suffered a little from the monochrome inferiority complex, where ports of the big ticket arcade games were almost certain to be mono to avoid the colour clash. But then, I saw the majesty of Outrun Europa, as reviewed by Your Sinclair:

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=YourSinclair/Issue71/Pages/YourSinclair7100046.jpg

Were there any Spectrum games that managed to avoid colour clash? I think Don Priestley managed it with Popeye, though I might have remembered wrongly...

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Were there any Spectrum games that managed to avoid colour clash? I think Don Priestley managed it with Popeye, though I might have remembered wrongly...

FTL's Light Force managed it for the most part, but at the cost of smooth gameplay because of the need to move by 8 pixels like Camel said previously.

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U.S Gold were fuckers for the Arcade screen shots on the back of the box - I remember seeing Breakthru and being really impressed. The actual spectrum version could not have been more different. Ahh naivety.

Edit: Just looked again. It's not that bad actually...

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Were there any Spectrum games that managed to avoid colour clash? I think Don Priestley managed it with Popeye, though I might have remembered wrongly...

A few avoided it by simply being so damn busy and colourful and explosiontastic that you never really noticed - Trantor and Extreme, for example.

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  • 6 months later...

I've just been reminded that we actually have the answer to this (one of our freelancers interviewed the developer quite a while back). You'll be able to read about it in issue 98.

Darren, did you ever get to the bottom of this? It's something that has been bugging me for years.

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FTL's Light Force managed it for the most part, but at the cost of smooth gameplay because of the need to move by 8 pixels like Camel said previously.

Years and years ago I got a book for the Commodore C16, that gave all sorts of technical info. Anyway, the way the C16 managed smooth scrolling was by altering the dimensions of the borders. This was done in pixel steps (0-7), after which you would then redraw the screen, moved by 1 character (8 pixels). Quite a clever trick.

Obviously the C16 could do this in hardware (just by using a POKE with the right value to change the border by), but couldn't something similar have been done on the Spectrum? Adding faked borders, that could be altered for scrolling should be do-able in software, if you took care with your chosen colours. And I'm sure I remember a game (possibly Sentinel) that somehow managed to scroll text in the normal borders, so perhaps the actual borders could have been messed around with too.

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Great thread, the Spectrum was never a console I've had much interest in, but it's been an interesting read all the same.

The f---ers! Everyone knew and accpeted the whole small print (Screenshot from best looking computer version/arcade version) but it's amazing that they didn't get done for this.

Leaping ahead to the current generation, I'm near certain that one of the 360 PGR game boxes has a shot with a car that wasn't available in the game (though was later added via pay-for DLC)

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I've just been reminded that we actually have the answer to this (one of our freelancers interviewed the developer quite a while back). You'll be able to read about it in issue 98.

Was this actually answered in issue 98? I had a quick look and couldn't see the answer

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Over at WOS a tool has been developed so I can edit the the graphics on this game, I've only spent an hour on it, I'm just focusing on the tracks graphics at the moment.

europa_colour.png

So as you can see, very messy still and very early days.

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Ha, it turns out that the colour was included all the time... Sort of.

151.png

POKE 24905,0

POKE 24906,0

It looks bloody messy and its clear to see why the colour was dropped.

Sheeeeeeeeit! That's amazing. Is this the Speccy equivalent of Capcom's on-disc DLC? ;-)

YS still definitely not off the hook though, there's no way they reviewed a colour version.

EDIT: I see there is another very informative video.

Man, I would reach down the internet and buy you a pint if I could. You have seriously solved one of the mysteries of my childhood that has bugged me my entire life. If only you could travel back in time and enter those POKEs for me, eh? It would be like the worst episode of Quantum Leap ever.

Seriously man, hats off. HATS OFF.

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