5

We often hear about the SNES mode 7, where images can be distorted to make effects.

But since it's mode 7, it makes me think that there is a mode 1-2-3-4-5-6.

So what are they? What could be good examples of seeing modes 1 to 6 in action?

2
  • AFAIK it starts from mode 0, and all of them are just a way to draw the background, the math behind it tho is something I never delve into (not like its useful knowledge to any game dev if not curiosity of how game devs dealed with the limitations back then)
    – DH.
    Mar 12 '20 at 16:25
  • @DH they're all basically just hacks. You don't need to do anything like that anymore.
    – Nelson
    Mar 13 '20 at 4:52
4

Basically, modes 0 through 6 are the different background modes. They determine how many background layers are available to use, what bit-depth the graphics are in and what extra features are available. In general, there's a trade off between higher bit depth graphics and colour, and higher resolutions. The various different modes mix and match various features, so you can pick one that you need. This video explains everything in depth:

Mode 0: 4 background layers (each limited to 2 bit per pixel graphics/32 colours), tile characters can be 8x8 or 16x16 pixels, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, colour maths, limited interlacing and pseudo-horizontal 512-dot mode.

Mode 1: 3 background layers (two 4 BPP/128 colours and one 2 BPP), 8x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, colour maths, limited interlacing and pseudo-horizontal 512-dot mode.

Mode 2: 2 background layers (two 4 BPP/128 colours), 8x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, colour maths, limited interlacing, pseudo-horizontal 512-dot mode and offset-change-per-column.

Mode 3: 2 background layers (one 8 BPP/256 colours, one 4 BPP), 8x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, colour maths, limited interlacing, pseudo-horizontal 512-dot mode and direct colour mode.

Mode 4: 2 background layers (one 8 BPP/256 colours, one 2 BPP), 8x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, colour maths, limited interlacing, pseudo-horizontal 512-dot mode, limited offset-change-per-column and direct colour mode.

Mode 5: 2 background layers (one 4 BPP, one 2 BPP), 16x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, interlacing and true horizontal 512 mode.

Mode 6: 1 background layer (4 BPP), 16x8 or 16x16 tiles, with features supported being: mosaic, windowing, interlacing, true horizontal 512 mode and offset-change-per-column.

I'd recommend watching the video, as it gives helpful graphics and examples from SNES games as well as explanations.

1
  • do modes 5 and 6 have some kind of "unlimited interlacing?" Sep 12 at 9:21

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