IHaveOneQuestion wrote: ↑Sun Oct 29, 2023 11:34 am
From what I gather the nes is so limited the developers have to fight hard in order to overcome its limitation (such as using the background to render big bosses). Maybe I'm wrong. On the other hand, the snes is more powerful. And though the most beautiful scenes are usually "prerendered" like this one
It depends what you compare with. When the NES was released there was pretty much nothing like it as far as home video game systems went, and the hardware was most nearly underused by games in its earlier days, as most games didn't scroll at the time and games normally used very simple BGMs. It uses a custom video chip with great sprite and scrolling capability making it similar to arcade systems of the time and much more capable than most consoles and computers in these areas (while lacking in others like RAM). And it was still quite expensive when new.
Later games used the hardware to its fullest and relied on mappers, extra RAM and other hardware in the cartridge to get around the limitations. But the NES still had a lot to give and I know some developers complained that Nintendo killed it too fast. Like Sunsoft who had to scrap a lot of games when Nintendo denied them licenses in order to focus on the SNES.
The technology improved in square at the time so the difference between one generation and the next, like the NES and SNES are pretty large (though there where in-between systems like the Sega Master System and the PC Engine that filled that gap).
That screen from Seiken Densetsu 3 doesn't really do anything special AFAIK. It simply uses background tiles in multiple layers which the SNES offers natively. It's just very beautifully drawn by the artists, those delicate sunrays are quite characteristic for Square Soft games I think. Maybe the screen uses some transparency effects I don't know, but that is also one of many features offered by the two very capable video chips in the SNES, and not some special trick.
One simple technique often used on NES is taking advantage of the 8 sprites/scanline limitation. By placing 8 invisible sprites with the lowest index numbers at a certain height, any other sprite that will go there will start to clip and gradually disappear as there can't be 9 or more sprites shown on those scanlines. Zelda 1 uses this at cave entrances and dungeon doors so that Link is clipped when he enters to make it look like he is partly obscured by the edge of the door as he enters.
Castlevania: Simon's Quest uses this at the height of the swamp surface to make Simon's lower body be clipped off as he enters the swamp water.
Using backgrounds for large bosses is very common. Rockman games uses this a lot. The main drawback is that the lines the boss appears on can not contain any other background tiles or they would move with the boss (since the boss is moved by scrolling that part of the background). That's why those lines just has a black backdrop (though this color can be any one single color) on those boss fights.
One pretty unique thing with the NES is that the sprite and tile graphics tables (AKA pattern tables) are on the cartridge instead of in the console itself. On the Game Boy, SNES and most other systems these tables are in the console itself as part of the video RAM.
This allows the NES to use either ROM or RAM for these tables, and most NES games do use ROM. With a mapper to allow switching multiple banks of ROM, games can animate the full screen by simply bank switching the graphics, very cheap and powerful.
This is indeed very powerful stuff, someone made some proof-of-concept cartridges that ran all kinds of advanced video (something like Doom) by using the fact that the pattern tables are exposed to the cartridge slot, something not possible on other systems.