The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

Sometimes DOSBox gets the colors wrong

I wrote before that when running Windows 3.x in DOSBox, you should always get SVGA drivers and set it to 256 colors, or the palette will be wrong. This is an extreme example of the colors even being wrong in display, but something else is more common: That the colors look right on screen, but are corrupted when you take a screenshot. Take a look at this Super Nibbly screenshot, for example:

Super Nibbly, wrong palette

Yes, ouch. This is definitely not what it looked like on the screen. What do? How do we shot screen in such a case?

The answer is really frightfully simple. If we can’t let DOSBox take screenshots, we take screenshots of DOSBox. On Windows, an excellent tool for this is IrfanView (it should work on Linux with Wine too). IrfanView has a capture utility (started by typing c) that can be set to automatically take screenshots at certain intervals. This in itself is often an advantage (look here what happens when you concentrate too much on the screenshots, and too little on the game), but there will usually be some editing to do afterwards. This is what we get:

Super Nibbly, correct palette

Well done indeed. This is what it looked like on the screen. The IrfanView method is not only useful for palette troubles, but also for some arcade games, where DOSBox does not catch the explosions.

Here are some Super Nibbly screenshots, correct palette, of course. If you want to download a shareware game with similar gameplay, try Nibbly’96.


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