X68000 resolution display.

Started by Recap, March 22, 2004, 09:37:28 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Firstly. I've just read your recent article and, like the whole site, it's very informative. Thanks for it. Unfortunately, I still have a question regarding this system's resolution, or more exactly, how the games are usually displayed.

I'm getting into X68000 emulation and have found that the system could display high and low resolutions (31.5KHz/15.98Khz), but would like to know what resolution the games normally used. I'm using WinX68k emu and it only displays scanlines in what it calls "15kHz games", which are very few (take Strider Hiryuu, for instance). Should I assume that all the other games were "31kHz games" so they don't need fake scanlines to simulate the original display? It seems very unlikely, 'cause many of them (like Akumajou Dracula, for instance) run in low-res with the emulator and get pixel-doubled when you change to full screen, what doesn't seem to be the way the original system did.

Some actual  X68000 users told me that some games did have the option to change between 15-31kHz, but haven't found the way to do it with the emulator.

I'd like to know your point of view on this subject. I really hate non-scanlined visuals and can't understand why this emulator only displays scanlines with certain games. Can't see how to change the full screen resolution, either. Any help would be appreciated.

- Recapitulador -


The X68000 supports both 15 + 31kHz resolutions, and it's true that many games do have an option to select the one you prefer (Strider is one).

Games like Dracula (and in fact almost all 31kHz games) use a pixel-doubled image unless they're using a hi-res mode.

I prefer this, but obviously you're some sort of freak, trying to shove scanlines where scanlines shouldn't go.  The emulator is perfectly replicating what the original hardware produced, stop fighting it and enjoy the pixel perfection.  ;)


Hmm. There's something I still don't get. Could you explain why Strider Hiryuu does have the scanlines option in WinX68 and Dracula does not, since both seem to be true low res games? Are there visual differences between them when they're displayed in the actual machine and a 15kHz TV?



It's a function within the game itself, Strider boots into 15kHz by default and offers a 31kHz option.  Dracula boots into 31kHz and doesn't have a 15kHz option.

As for your second question, you seem to be confused about what scanlines are.  If you take an image on a TV and stretch it vertically with the V-Size option the lines that make up the image grow farther apart.

A 15kHz image has these lines because it only has X number of vertical lines to fill the screen.  31kHz images have no apparent scanlines because it has 2x lines to fill the screen, the gaps are replaced with picture data.  There ARE still scanlines in a 31kHz image (on a real monitor, emulated is a different story) but they're half as wide as they are in a 15kHz image.

Basically older games had scanlines 'cause the CPUs were too slow, the RAM too scarce, and the ROM too small to fill the screen with a high-res image.  While I agree that scanlines are appealing in some cases, it's a side effect of primitive technology, not an intentional visual enhancement.


OK. I must have been explaining not too well. Sorry. Believe me, I do know what scanlines (fake or "native") are. Check these (yours) screenshots:


Assuming they're not scaled-down and that they're taken directly via emulator, you can see they're both low res. So, refering to how the game is displayed in a true X68000 computer:

A) Akumajou Dracula actually runs in low res (15kHZ), full screen display (with "native", visible scanlines if you use a 15kHz TV). Or:

B) Akumajou Dracula runs only in 31kHz, hi-res mode, so, since the game is low res designed (as the screenshot reveals), you only can display it in a non-full screen, "windowed" mode if you want to preserve its native resolution; displaying it in full screen would scaled up the picture, giving a grainy look.

So if it's finally B, as your words seem to imply, I can see why the emulator doesn't support fake scanlines with this game (as with many many others), but try to understand why I was not considering this option: Programming a game to run in a different resolution to the one it was originally designed for (assuming that the system can display the original low resolution with no problems) is non-sense, if you ask.

Keep in mind that many people are complaining today for some Neo-Geo to 128-bit systems ports: They're displayed in hi-res, but the games are originally designed in low-res.

If it's A, I can see no reason of why not supporting fake scanlines (with Win X68k emu) as with Strider Hiryuu. May be you can illuminate me.

Let me know your final word on this subject (A or B?), 'cause I'm not going to have too many chances to discuss it with a real (and current) X68000 user, I fear, and want to be totally sure once and for all. Thanks again.


Both of the above games run pixel-doubled on the real hardware, but Strider allows a 15kHz option while Dracula does not.  

I'd say the proper term is 'pixelly' not 'grainy' which refers to something else.

Personally I like the doubled pixel look, it's nice to be able to see the care and attention that went into a game.  Dracula was, perhaps, designed for low-res screens but since they didn't implement a 15kHz option it's clear they wanted a pixel-doubled look, or at least didn't consider an alternative to be important.

Neo fans like to whine.  I pay them no mind.  ;)


OK. Now everything's clear. Almost. Just a final question. The X68000 series is designed mostly to be used on 15kHz TVs (I've heard that's RGB is not an option, thoe); how is it possible that most of this system's games are 31kHz only?

"Personally I like the doubled pixel look, it's nice to be able to see the care and attention that went into a game."

I don't understand the second part of this statement, but if you like the pixel-doubled look better than a proper low-res display, you must be liking the emulation possibilities better than true "15kHz" gaming (arcades, consoles, whatever). Weird.

Anyhow, where may I get a list of 15kHz compatible X68000 games (Japanese sites also welcome)?


QuoteThe X68000 series is designed mostly to be used on 15kHz TVs
Wherever did you get this idea?  The X68000 runs primarily in 31kHz, as we've discussed.  Sharp made an expansive series of monitors to go with the system as well.  Whoever gave you the impression it was designed for TVs was confused.

As for RGB not being an option, I'm confused by this as well - the only video output on the X68k is RGB.

As for pixel doubling, I really do prefer pixel doubling to scanlines, and rarely use the scanline option on my XRGB.  All my emulators run doubled up without artificial scanlines or smoothing as well.  That said I don't DISLIKE scanlines, I just don't prefer them.

AFAIK there's no list of 15kHz games, since the X68k pretty much demanded a 15/31 monitor (as did most computers at the time) and since the emulator handles both with aplomb there's no reason to make the distinction.


Don't ask. Other people. Other boards. Anyways, RGB TVs are not common in Japan. Surprised (but happy) to know that it's the only output for the X68000.

I'm tempted to begin a FM Towns / Marty discussion now. Has it been touched here before?


A lot of things have been touched around here, but not the FMTowns/Marty.  The lack of a decent volume of software at prices mortals can afford kills the interest pretty quick, and I don't tolerate discussions of piracy, so...

I have an FMTowns, but only two games for it (Raiden + Image Fight).  I'd love to get more but there's just nowhere to get 'em.  Yahoo prices in Japan are ridiculous, one guy snaps up every single decent action game for the system at ludicrous prices.  Five copies of Tatsuhin Oh?  Sure, why not?  

Or did you mean the RGB output of it?  =)