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By John Szczepaniak, April 2012

We've been having something of an interesting debate on the HG101 forum, regarding the "actual" or correct colours which an emulated GB image should have. The GameBoy system only displays 4 tones, OFF, light, medium and dark. On the original model this had a yellow or green tone to it, on the Pocket it was more silvery, and on the Super GameBoy it was anything you chose it to be.

The following are two variations of a yellow palette (1 and 2), provided by two different emulators and then standardised for all images. A green palette (3) as was used in the recent AeroStars article, a monochromisation of the lighter yellow palette (4), a starker black and white palette (5), and a silvery one based on a photograph of the GB Pocket (6). This required me to tweak it by eye, so it's not really scientific. I created a colour table in Corel PhotoPaint, converted every image to optimised 4 tone GIF, and then applied the table.

Game screens taken from VGMuseum. Titles chosen based on their popularity, and because AeroStar caused this debate.

What do YOU think of GB palettes? Myself (Sketcz), I prefer number 1, the darker yellow palette. The light is too washed out, the green is actually a bit too green for my taste, while the monochrome screens are all cold and souless. The sixth is interesting, since I feel it's closer to actual hardware than straight greyscale - the fact that the OFF pixel isn't white makes the screen feel warmer.

Or not! Debate and let us know.

1 dark yellow
2 light yellow
3 Green
4 Greyscale
5 stark b/w
6 actual GB Pocket?

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