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Alley Cat (1984)

Posted at 17:08 on December 4th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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This early IBM PC masterpiece is Billy Williams' 1984 port of his 8-bit Atari game of the previous year.


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Posted at 14:06 on December 5th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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This was one of the very first games i ever played on IBM PC, but considerably later than 1984 of course. That was around 1995 i think, yet it still impressed me somewhat, despite the obviously dated graphics and overall simplistic organization. In those days i hadn't even played a lot of Spectrum, besides, a true color monitor was a bit of a luxurious rarity to me, so this summed up gave me an indelible impression. It was lively, dynamic, comic, smoothly animated and somehow enticing. Ironically, today this game would seem fitting for the age range of 5-13, yet those kids nowadays play something rather more sophisticated and all too often explicitly violent. And here we are again, instead of kids talking about the game that most of us played probably a little later than 13. Shall we perhaps... give it another shot like in The Good Old Days? ;)

Incidentally, PCJr version was slightly better. Namely, the palette was tad richer and more natural. At least the giant cheese this time isn't acid green but properly yellow:

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Well, what can i say.. CGA graphics rarely made any sense when it comes to colors.
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Edited by Vagabond at 16:32 on December 5th, 2014
Posted at 10:27 on December 6th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Moebius at 14:06 on December 5th, 2014:
Well, what can i say.. CGA graphics rarely made any sense when it comes to colors.


I think they went for contrast in this case. You could not have chosen a colour combination more appaling and more eyestraining than that. ;) Yet, I still like it because I had such a good laugh at it as a child and made King's Quest even more fairy tale like. Nowadays I love the very distinct look of CGA graphics: I just take a look at it and think (and feel) about the good old PC-DOS days.

As far as Alley Cat is concerned: I remember this one being one of the first games I actually contributed something to the Abandonware scene, by uploading some screenshots of it on a site (I think it was C-DOS Abandonware or something like that).
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Posted at 12:09 on December 6th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I think they went for contrast in this case.

I seriously think it was just a weird limitation. Never got deep into specs of CGA adapter, but to me it was always quite obvious that it simply lacked the capacity to display proper colors in certain resolution modes.

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Nowadays I love the very distinct look of CGA graphics: I just take a look at it and think (and feel) about the good old PC-DOS days.


Yes, but do admit, that's because you got used to it :) I myself share the same warm feelings about it now, but i think proper colors would by no means diminish the effect :)
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Edited by Vagabond at 12:10 on December 6th, 2014
Posted at 10:13 on December 8th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Moebius at 12:09 on December 6th, 2014:
I seriously think it was just a weird limitation.

It certainly was, but why those two colours? Why this ugly pink and strangely mint tone? Why not real red and blue? Or Blue and green?

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Yes, but do admit, that's because you got used to it :) I myself share the same warm feelings about it now, but i think proper colors would by no means diminish the effect :)

I admit it. Totally agree with you on this, it would not have been any different with any other colours... except for the fact that if they had chosen more sane colours there would not be the need to justify liking this coulour mode. :)
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 12:29 on December 8th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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It certainly was, but why those two colours? Why this ugly pink and strangely mint tone? Why not real red and blue? Or Blue and green?


Because those were the only available colors in that graphic mode? And they picked the closest to those would-be natural ones? I mean, it's not the only game where exactly these colors were used time and again seemingly for the lack of better options...

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except for the fact that if they had chosen more sane colours there would not be the need to justify liking this coulour mode


Heh, now that's deep... :) So basically having things somewhat flawed and imperfect ultimately constitutes the purpose of living since what we enjoy is evidently the friction between our own notions of excellence and the outward manifestation? I'm afraid it's getting terribly philosophical in here.. ;)
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Posted at 14:00 on December 8th, 2014 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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There is a universal truth in it. If things are too smooth, too perfect, you have nothing to talk about and all too often, you won't even remember them. Too much polish can hurt ;)
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