VGA Games

VGA graphics were introduced in April 1987 by IBM with the PS/2 series. At first, they usually were not called VGA, just PS/2 graphics. It was a far bigger step than from CGA to EGA, which is probably why game designers were more reluctant to embrace them.

In 1989, a few games supported VGA, but usually only for a better palette of their 16-color graphics. But then it went surprisingly fast. In 1990 VGA became standard, and in 1991 EGA was more or less a thing of the past.

VGA died out in the mid-90s, about the same time that 32-bit Windows took over from DOS. The last big game that ran in VGA mode only was probably Daggerfall. Since then, mode 13h has been the realm of hobby programmers, and even those are using it less and less.

There are far too many VGA games to list them here, but I do list those that used the far rarer hi-res mode: 16 colors at 640×480. In Japan this mode was fairly popular, since it translated well from the PC98.

VGA Video Modes

Mode Number  Text Res.  Graphics Res.   Description  Adapters  Max. Pages
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
         0h      40×25         ------   B&W Text     CGA+               8
         1h      80×25         ------   B&W Text     MDPA+              8
         2h      40×25         ------   Color Text   CGA+          4 or 8
         3h      80×25         ------   Color Text   (MDPA?)/CGA+  4 or 8
         4h      40×25        320×200   4 colors     CGA+               1
         5h      40×25        320×200   2 colors     CGA+               1
         6h      80×25        640×200   2 colors     CGA+               1
         7h      80×25         ------   B&W          MDPA (CGA+?)       1
         8h to Ch -- PCjr or other adapters; no longer used
         Dh      40×25        320×200   16 colors    EGA+               8
         Eh      80×25        640×200   16 colors    EGA+               4
         Fh      80×25        640×350   2 colors     EGA+               2
        10h      80×25        640×350   16 colors    EGA+               2
        11h      80×25        640×480   2 colors     VGA+               1
        12h      80×25        640×480   16 colors    VGA+               1
        13h      40×25        320×200   256 colors   VGA+               1

VGA Links

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Last modified 2008-12-06