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What Is The Nes Color Palette?


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#1 burly

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:04 PM

I was just wondering if anyone knew what exact colors were available in the NES color palette. I'm planning a game, and I came across the idea, but didn't know if there was enough information for me to get the colors to see.

If anyone could help that'd be great.
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#2 Smarty

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:19 PM

I'm sorry, but that is beyond the extend of this forum. I'll give you a chance in graphics though, even though it's quite off-topic.
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#3 AlcanderX

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:04 PM

image removed
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#4 danimations

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:50 AM

I just wanted to thank Alcander for the graphics palette! I'm making some animations based on NES pixel designs and will find the chart very useful.

What are the practical limitations of this palette? Typically in games I see less than 16 colours actually in use at any given time...?
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#5 Smarty

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 04:56 PM

I just wanted to thank Alcander for the graphics palette! I'm making some animations based on NES pixel designs and will find the chart very useful.

What are the practical limitations of this palette? Typically in games I see less than 16 colours actually in use at any given time...?

A palette has no practical limitations whatsoever, it's just a color index. And Game Maker itself does not use palettes.

But if you mean you somehow want to emulate how NES games would look by restricting the amount of colors used, 16 seems correct - if you're not counting the colors used by sprites.

However, on those old 8-bit machines they usually applied programming tricks to alter the colors per scanline, which means that effectively it would be possible to show the entire NES color palette on a NES, but no more than 16 colors horizontally. Again, this is not counting the sprites.
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#6 Robbiee

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 02:49 AM

Just for some further reading about the specifications of the NES' graphics capabilities.

Palette Information
PPU Info
More info on the PPU

Hopefully that should help to get a better understanding of what the limit of the NES.
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#7 Bass.EXE

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 02:52 AM

There are usually only 3 to 5 graphics in one sprite, with the exception of Plant Man in Megaman 6 (I believe he has 6 colors), because Megaman 6 was very advanced for the NES.

That's about all I know about the color number limitation, and all that I really care about. It's going to look like an NES if you just use the color palette.
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#8 Sporknife

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:36 AM

Im pretty sure it's something like 3 colors per 8x8 box, and a max of 6? boxes a sprite, and only 16 colors on the screen at one time. not really sure though.
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#9 Dmaster270

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:41 AM

I'm pretty sure it's 4 colors per sprite.

@Bass.EXE
Capcom used two different sprites for it's Megaman sprites. One for head, and one for body.
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#10 brenleyman

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 02:19 AM

I'm pretty sure it's 4 colors per sprite.

@Bass.EXE
Capcom used two different sprites for it's Megaman sprites. One for head, and one for body.

It's probably five, counting a transparent color
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#11 Zee

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 06:06 PM

I'm pretty sure it's 4 colors per sprite.

@Bass.EXE
Capcom used two different sprites for it's Megaman sprites. One for head, and one for body.

It's probably five, counting a transparent color



Not true, and time for a history lesson folks. I know this is a necrobump, but this topic came up when I looked for "NES color palette" meaning it's still indexed in google, and therefore still reasonably accessible. So to make this more useful to people curios of other NES limitations here is some quotes from other places.

By the Numbers

The NES is capable of, numerically...

Running at 1.97 Mhz with 2kb of RAM, with the ability to read up to 64kb of ROM/RAM at any time.
The ability to display up to 8 sprites per scanline (so there can only be 8 total sprites on any horizontal line of the screen), 12 sprite and 13 background colors onscreen out of a palette of 64, with a separate Picture Processing Unit to render graphics without overtaxing the horribly weak CPU, and its own Video RAM of 2kb.


And for a very good wealth of technical knowledge, check this link.
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#12 MegaMan

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:07 AM

Well, there is really 32 colors available in screen. First 16 colors for sprites, last 16 colors for background.

Sprite color: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Background color: 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Only 4 colors groups in each sprite and background. Only in sprites have one transparent(T) each which is total of 12 sprite colors. In sprite and background, usually Black ( B ) color is in each color group which is total of 10 sprites color (MegaMan's body armors: 1 Blue, 2 Light Blue, 3 Black, 4 Transparent) (Mega Man's face: 5 Skin color, 6 White, 7 Black, 8 Transparent) (Robot Master QuickMan's body armor 9 Red, 10 Yellow, 11 Black, 12 Transparent.) (Robot Master QuickMan's face: 13 Skin color, 14 White, 15 Black, 16 Transparent.) and 13 background colors.

Sprite color: (01 02 03B 04T) (05 06 07B 08T) (09 10 11B 12T) 13 14 15B 16T) total 5 per characters. 10 Max.
Background color (17 18 19 20B) (21 22 23 24B) (25 26 27 28B) (29 30 31 32B) total 13 background colors Max.

Making 8 bits Nintendo game wasn't easy job, but at least you know what color limits.

Edited by MegaMan, 19 June 2009 - 02:08 AM.

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