The completely underappreciated possibilities of Mode 0 on SNES. . . .

So, I was [very roughly] messing about and trying to see how close I could get to matching one of the boss battles from Shinobi III on Genesis by using only two of the four available background layers in SNES’ Mode 0 (it’s actually the underground boss at the end of Round 3, which the video should automatically jump to), and it turns out that the SNES can get pretty dang close indeed:

Here’s how it looks in the Genesis original (the boss uses one background layer and the actual background the other):

376765784_Round3boss.png.19fcb23c21e212c22a84f4dcf658ee2f.png

And here’s how it would look if it were done in Mode 0 on SNES (the boss uses one background layer and the actual background another):

621461153_ShinobiIIIMode0.png.bc710f858c5e22a6b074c5470a84bf56.png

The kinda amazing observation here being that I would then still have every single sprite and two full backgrounds spare on SNES to do whatever the hell I want with them. That’s just bonkers when you think about what that means in terms of how much more you can add to a scene like this just by taking full advantage of the four full backgrounds that are available in Mode 0 on SNES. I mean, I could literally have three huge bosses that size on-screen at once on SNES and still have every single sprite spare, plus I could even make one of them a semi-transparent ghost version using the SNES’ colour math capability if I liked too. :-o

Edit: Here’s a couple of other examples too:

Here’s those three huge bosses I was talking about:

Edit 2: Well, I just added a fourth boss:

Edit 3: Actually, make that six bosses:

It’s crazy that, given the many possibilities, almost no one has really tried to push Mode 0 to its limits thus far.

Note: I used this awesome little tool created by Rilden from the SNESdev forums to reduce the colours to work/fit within the limitations of SNES’ Mode 0: https://rilden.github.io/tiledpalettequant/

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