Saturday 15 April 2023

Microsoft should give us back the EGA palette

I began to work on a side project with curses library which I learned how to compile and use during Legend of Saladir remake development. Rather than just copy-pasting curses code from Saladir I've been deep diving into curses and programming an isolated gui for the new game. While I was testing colors I noticed something strange with them and after some research on the internet learned I was not the only one to notice it.

At some point Microsoft decided to change (ruin) the palette of the console by replacing the age old EGA palette with something worse, of course, we are talking about Microsoft here. So as a result the dark cyan and blue colors are almost exactly the same and also yellow is almost white. It's just ridiculous how this has been approved, but it does seem to follow some kind of "guideline", whatever it is. Probably the "idea" was to "protect" eyes from bright EGA colors, because I can't think of any other reason other than to just annoy Windows users more.

When I say "EGA" some people may point out that the 16 color classic palette is actually CGA, but I've always referred it to EGA, since it was the palette used in EGA games, while CGA had only 4 colors, because the 16 color screen mode was useless in any purpose. The EGA palette is kind of interesting, because it wasn't designed to look good, but the RGB values were simply chosen from a limited set of numbers which were then permutated, thus creating the palette.

If it is possible to edit the color values of the console then this problem could be fixed, but I'm not sure about it. Microsoft doesn't usually give people any useful options in Windows, like for example that you could turn off updates or remove completely useless built-in software. However after writing this I did notice that you indeed can edit the colors of the console. Well, I didn't spend all this time just to remove this entry. After all Microsoft should probably had the alternative palette as an option you could turn on if your eyes were destroyed by the EGA palette.

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