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Topic: Are USA NES Virtual Console games DARKER than their NES Counterparts?

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dhowerter

1. Posted:

Are USA NES Virtual Console games DARKER than their NES Counterparts?
(and sometimes maybe darker than the same game on someone else's Virtual Console - see below)

I really want to know this.

I've seen lots of screenshots and lots of videos online (often a video taken of an actual TV) where a specific NES game on the Virtual Console looks nice and colorful and bright and then the SAME game on the Virtual Console in DIFFERENT videos (also a video taken of an actual TV) looks dull and muted and darker.

I've also seen screenshots / videos online (again usually of an actual TV) where a specific NES game on the Virtual Console looks dull and muted while DIFFERENT videos (videos taken of an actual TV) of the SAME game on a ACTUAL NES looks nice and colorful and brighter.

I'm not sure these are the best examples, but they should illustrate what I mean:

Super Mario Bros 3 (Colorful /bright - actual NES):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py2ZZQuTnCs

Super Mario Bros 3 (Darker / muted - Virtual Console):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNpZQUnJu4s

Super Mario Bros 3 (Colorful / bright - ALSO the Virtual Console O_O)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ZbyHZ0oMg

Just go to Time 1:19 on SMB 3 Colorful /- actual NES video and compare it to Time 0:13 on the "darker" Virtual Console video. It is the same scene and notice how much darker the colors in the VC video are (just compare the green "bushes" in the background of both videos.
Heck, notice how much darker in general the VC SMB 3 image is compared to the white Wii menus you see at the beginning of the video.

BUT then go to the "Colorful" Virtual Console video and now its bright and colorful too. o_O

Next up, Mega Man 2: (again not the best videos, but they will do)

Mega Man 2 (Colorful /bright - actual NES):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5lEfbkuUKs

Mega Man 2 (Darker / muted - Virtual Console):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNC0zyQtb18

Mega Man 2 (Colorful / bright - ALSO the Virtual Console O_O)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dD9qZ2cmI

Just go to Time 0:52 on Mega Man 2- Colorful /- actual NES video and compare it to Time 3:25 on the "darker" Virtual Console video. It is the same scene and notice how much darker the colors in the VC video are (just compare the blue color in the background of both videos.)

BUT then go to the "Colorful" Virtual Console video at Time 1:04 (same scene again) and now its bright and colorful too. o_O

So there seems to be a lack of consistency in terms of brightness / vividness of colors (unless I'm missing something) between the SAME game in different Virtual Console videos,

AND

a difference between the actual NES cart (brighter / more vivid colors) and at least some of the Virtual Console videos (same game - darker / more muted colors).

Questions:

1. So what's going on here? Am I missing something?

2. Are YOUR NES Virtual Console games bright /colorful or are they dull / with muted colors?

3. Is the darkness related to region? specific game titles? the type of TV? (HD TV or SD TV)

If it is specific game titles, how do you explain the incosistency in brightness / colors between the same game looking brighter / more colorful in some Virtual Console videos and darker / less colorful in others?

4. One last thing, for the "darker" NES VC games, what would be the best thing in terms of TV Settings to adjust on your TV to FIX IT? _

(Changing the "Picture" level? How about changing the "Color"? "Brightness"? "Sharpness"? - I assume this would be more or less the same method whether you have a SD TV or a HDTV..)

If you have some of the darker NES VC games, please share the solutions you use to make them as good as possible (hopefully just as good as the NON dark versions ;-)

Thanks!

.

Edited on by dhowerter

dhowerter

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pixelman

2. Posted:

I've noticed this too, and it really annoys the crap outta me. I also have a widescreen tv, so not only are the games darker but they're stretched out of proportion. It's pretty terrible that Nintendo has absolutely zero customization options available.

Edited on by pixelman

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DiggerandIndy

3. Posted:

I've noticed that, too. Doesn't bother me, though.

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KingMike

4. Posted:

From what I understand, NES doesn't use an RGB color scale (like I think the rest of the consoles on VC do), but is instead based on the NTSC signal in the TV.
That explains why I've seen SMB with a purple sky as much as a blue sky when played on different TVs.
Here's a video I recorded some time ago of the Famicom game Dragon Scroll. This was using the AV output of my US NES, connected to a USB video capture device (with no TV tuner).
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7427409326901068152#
The title screen is more of a tan color on my TV (compared to the greenish color here). The ground was also much more brownish.
You'll also notice the game was clearly designed with overscan in mind (as the capture device displays all 240 lines.
For reference, the P meter was at the very top of the screen on my old CRT).

Comparison photos:
Title Screen. Again, looks tan on the TV, compared to green in the video.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/title-sm.jpg
Forest. Brown and green parts of the ground more pronounced.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/forest-sm.jpg
Inside of a building. Shows how the graphic glitches were meant to be hidden by overscan.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/building1-sm.jpg

Edited on by KingMike

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theblackdragon

5. Posted:

In terms of the VC videos you're linking, the 'dark' versions both look like they were taken with a capture card, and the 'bright' version looks like it was a camcorder pointed at a SDTV. that would probably explain why some VC videos on YouTube are darker than others. idk about VC games actually being darker, though... if they actually are, it hasn't bothered me yet :3

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dizzy_boy

6. Posted:

i heard this when super mario bros came out on the european vc.
some people even claimed the game ran quicker, and complained that it wasn`t a faithfull port of the original game.
personaly it doesn`t bother me in the slightest, just as long as i have some good games to play.

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WaLzgi

7. Posted:

I don't notice it

EDIT: By the way, like dragon said, your evidence is faulty because the cameras aren't the same. Some record brighter than others. Besides, my version of Super Mario Bros 3 isn't that dark

Edited on by WaLzgi

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Punny

8. Posted:

I never noticed that. It doesn't screw up the gameplay, so it doesn't bother me!

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Poochy123

9. Posted:

Super Mario Bros. 3 is definitely much darker on the VC (on my TV, anyways) than it is on the original NES. That's really the only one that I have where the difference is quite significant.

@pixelman: It's kind of a hassle, but you can go into the Wii settings and change the output from Widescreen to Fullscreen before you play your VC games or if you have the option to change the settings in the same manner on your actual TV, that works as well. I don't believe they will be the exact same ratio, but it's definitely an improvement over the stretching that occurs otherwise.

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KingMike

10. Posted:

To go with the Dragon Scroll video I posted above, here's the photos of my old TV I mentioned:
Title Screen. Again, looks tan on the TV, compared to green in the video.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/title-sm.jpg
Forest. Brown and green parts of the ground more pronounced.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/forest-sm.jpg
Inside of a building. Shows how the graphic glitches were meant to be hidden by overscan.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/building1-sm.jpg

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pixelman

11. Posted:

@Poochy123: Yeah, I know about that. But as you said, it's a hassle. :P

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TheLonelyGamer

12. Posted:

They are, I've noticed.

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Hokori

13. Posted:

Yes especially In Star Tropics the Exits were really Grey and hard to see on NES
But on VC they R black

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MegaStoneSmash91

14. Posted:

Yes, the VC games are darker. Once I stuck Mega Man 2 in my NES and then started up MM2 on VC. I switched between the NES and Wii multiple times and I saw a huge difference between the two. No doubt, the VC version is darker.

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dhowerter

15. Posted:

KingMike wrote:

From what I understand, NES doesn't use an RGB color scale (like I think the rest of the consoles on VC do), but is instead based on the NTSC signal in the TV.
That explains why I've seen SMB with a purple sky as much as a blue sky when played on different TVs.
Here's a video I recorded some time ago of the Famicom game Dragon Scroll. This was using the AV output of my US NES, connected to a USB video capture device (with no TV tuner).
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7427409326901068152#
The title screen is more of a tan color on my TV (compared to the greenish color here). The ground was also much more brownish.
You'll also notice the game was clearly designed with overscan in mind (as the capture device displays all 240 lines.
For reference, the P meter was at the very top of the screen on my old CRT).

Comparison photos:
Title Screen. Again, looks tan on the TV, compared to green in the video.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/title-sm.jpg
Forest. Brown and green parts of the ground more pronounced.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/forest-sm.jpg
Inside of a building. Shows how the graphic glitches were meant to be hidden by overscan.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/building1-sm.jpg

Wow. Thanks for the detailed post. Yeah, I see what you mean. The same Famicom / NES game shown in the video, compared to the pics on your SD TV looks much more dull / muted and in some cases, looks like it has completely different colors! O_O

Amusingly, I've seen people in various forums (with USA locations - including in this thread) say their VC NES games DON'T look darker (including also the videos I posted of the bright VC SMB 3 and the bright VC Mega Man 2 shot by a camera on a SD TV) and others say they DO look darker.

Given THIS quote by KingMike: "From what I understand, NES doesn't use an RGB color scale (like I think the rest of the consoles on VC do), but is instead based on the NTSC signal in the TV."

THAT might explain why there might be some variety, with some of you seeing darker NES VC games and others not.

Perhaps there is also something inside each of your TVs (the NTSC tuner perhaps?) which determines beyond the normal adjusting of brightness / picture settings, etc how bright / colorful the VC NES games look ;-)

Just out of curiosity, all of you who responded before to whether or not your USA NES VC games were darker or not, please mention if you're playing them on a SD TV (to be safe SD TV = NO COMPONENT INPUTS) or a HD TV AND if you're using Composite (yellow plug) or Component (red / green blue plugs).

.

Edited on by dhowerter

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MegaStoneSmash91

16. Posted:

I'm using an HDTV with component cables.

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Token_Girl

17. Posted:

I haven't noticed any major color differences between my VC games on my old SDTV, my family's newer HDTV or my boyfriend's HDTV (all with standard AV cables, too unemployed to justify buying component cables). I don't have an original NES to compare to though.

Edited on by Token_Girl

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WaveyChristmas

18. Posted:

ALL Nes VC games are darker and less colorful and it's pissed me off since the beginning, such a let down....The colors are darker, uglier, less colorful and washed out AND the games are darker overall and less bright. Using component cables obviously helps this, but it's still crappy. It's basically like polishing a turd, when the turd shouldn't of been a turd to begin with.

I use a seperate mode on my TV for VC Nes games, where i pump up the color and brightness and it totaly helps out alot! It makes all the difference and I highly reccomend it ;)

But really, why can't NIntendo fix this problem with a firm ware update? I hate looking at my Main Wii channel menu witha all of the washed out less colorful Nes Channels on there, and then you look at how gorgeous, beautiful and colorful the WiiWare, Snes, genesis, N64, Wii channels ect are :p

And anybody who says there isn't a difference color/darkness wise doesn't know what the hell they are talking about period. I've tested my Nes out and even with it's basic composite connection and it still has superior colors than Wii VC nes games even using a component connection....and I've PLAYED Nes games 'using' a component connection before. How you say? The Mega Man Anniversary collection for the gamecube, and wow do the MM Nes games have beautiful vibrant colors along with a super bright image, since that's how it should be considering you're using a component connection. When i compared that with the Mega Man Nes VC games it was like night and day...

Here's a simple comparison any of you guys can do....If you have Mega Man 9 or Mega Man 10, you can compare those 2 games to any of the Mega Man nes games on you Virtual Console....MM9 and MM10 are the perfect example of what Mega Man NES games should look like through a component connection, they both look wonderful, while the MM Nes VC games look like trash color/brightness wise. The inferior Color/Brightness on nes VC games really does hamper and ruin the experience and knocks down the fun....After all, these games are ment to be colorful, bright and vibrant.

Anyways, here's a solution like I said. Use a different mode on your TV and pump up the color and brightness to your desire. That's what I've done and I'm pretty damn happy with it. Still not quite up to snuff as what it should be but it's an improvement.

Edited on by WaveyChristmas

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MegaStoneSmash91

19. Posted:

@Waveboy I have compared the actual NES games to the VC and Anniversary Collection versions. I had on all three systems (NES, Gamecube, Wii) playing Mega Man 2. The VC version is most definitely the darkest of the three. The original game is second, and the AC version was the brightest of all (although the sound quality is terrible compared to the original and VC versions). But the Collection has always had bright and colorful graphics, even without the component cables. The AC basically contains the Complete Works versions of the NES games, and they underwent a graphics upgrade to be ported to the Playstation from the NES. Despite the darkness of the VC version, it's still better than playing MM2 on the Anniversary Collection (the A-B button swap and numerous audio problems make it less enjoyable to play).

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WaveyChristmas

20. Posted:

Ya, the B and A button swap and terrible sound quality killed the experience for me, The anniversary collection is garbage :p
Again though, try using a differen mode on your HDTV and raise the color and brightness alot higher for your NES VC games. I don't know if you're using a Plasma or LCD, but if you're using a Plasma you'll get better results since plasma's produce better colors to begin with.

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