How the hell did they get 1024 colors out of a 1981 PC?


If technical descriptions of how they achieved the amazing graphical feat flew over your head, this pictorial explanation makes clearer just how insane this thing is.

The idea that such multi-color trickery was possible came to me some time ago, as I was looking at reenigne's code for patching up composite CGA emulation in DOSBox; messing with that patch during development gave me a much better picture of composite CGA's inner workings. When I had ironed out the basic concept for this hack, I divulged it to reenigne for 'peer review' and for testing on real hardware. Soon enough, we had an improved recipe:

Take two familiar (though officially undocumented) tweaks. Blend to an even mixture producing a new effect.
Add one crucial new trick – an ingredient of reenigne's devising.
Test and calibrate until blue in the face.

It's also a great look at the workings of CGA for the interested but nontechnical layman.

Released at the Revision 2015 demo party, 8088 MPH is a vision of previously undiscovered possibility (a perfect entrypoint to the 19A0s!)—there's even MOD music, including digital samples, at 6:40m, like it's just no big deal at all to do that with 1981 hardware