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Remastering old games: do more resolution and colors make the graphics better?


yeah. it’s a shame, because the book itself was done beautifully (it really looks like the red book of westmarch and has nice initials and miniatures.
For the swedish translation it was the other way around interestingly:

This is all anecdotal of course. My (or Guga’s rather) point is still valid, I think. If I understood the terms correctly, remakes are original realizations of a shared idea, and remasters let you experience the original work.
I think if you attempt to mix both approaches (like it was done with the Monkey Island Special Editions), you’ll get the worst. They fail as a remake, because they are confined to the form dictated by the original, and they fail as a remaster (unless you play them in classic mode), because the original isn’t accessible, it’s been replaced with something else.

I think a good example from a different medium could be the psycho “remake” by Gus van Sant.(disclaimer: Haven’t watched it, just read about it online). They updated the time frame to the 90s and shot it in color (graphics “improvement”), but most shots are the same as in the original.


You can combine both but it might cause conflicts due to a lack of resources and bad decisions/execution. These might be issues for some gamers only, whilst the pub/dev have achieved their goals.

The SEs of MI could have been better if they would have a) provided all variations (so, that you can experience the alternatives), b) offered both games for desktop (Win, OS X, Lin) without making compromises for mobiles, c) created great instead of awkward graphics, d) enhanced the interface, e) added content to the games …

A new version should be so good (and independant), that you don’t miss the originals (digital versions). A few games (no adventure) were able to pull this off.


There is also a revised version of the 2nd translation, which was released in 2012. I’ve read all three German versions, I remember not liking the 2nd translation (many silly word choices), but finding nothing wrong with the revised version. It’s been to long since I have read the 1st translation, so I can’t really compare, but the 2012 revised new translation might be the best. The 1st translation did not take into account the different forms of English spoken by different groups / characters in the original, and pretty much translated everything in the same traditional sounding German.


There is a new video titled “Remastering Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango” in which some DoubleFine developers explain how the high resolution graphics were created and how the developers wrote a wrapper around the old SCUMM engine to use it with the updated graphics/sounds.

I suggest watching this video to anyone interested about the SCUMM engine.

Since I have read a lot of people suggesting that the remastered graphics of DotT were created with some upscaling filter, here is the exact point of the video where they debunk this myth and show how the graphics were re-drawn on Photoshop:

Will we get a new game from Ron Gilbert and Team in near future?

If it is a myth, it’s self-devised. The developers appear on a video describing some up-scaling techniques during the development phase. I saw this video.

Perhaps they changed their approach at some time, or perhaps they were meant to describe something else entirely, but they did demonstrate the technique.



The problem is still that it looks like it’s just upscaled + slightly touched up because of those strange edges they’ve kept.

We talked about it in another thread starting with this image:

Edit: Here is a post including the original image:


I upscaled the original background art with a few filters that smooth the edges and I can assure you that the result is a complete garbage and that “slightly” retouching them wouldn’t be enough.

I still find it probable that they used upscaled old backgrounds as a guide, though.

So maybe the details that seem strange to you are caused by the fact that the artist didn’t interpret the shape of the original object correctly.


the idea that you could obtain the latter from the former with a filter was completely ridiculous to begin with :slight_smile:


That wasn’t the idea. The idea was that upscaling the original art you could obtain something that would require just a few modifications to get something good. That’s not science-fiction, it’s just not true in this specific case.


I would like to see Monkey Island 2 made in UE4 with all perfection and features… keeping same point&click style and cameras. :o)


For example here is a screenshot of another room you’ve upscaled:

But that’s not the point: People get the impression it’s just upscaled partly because there is just not really a lot detail added and maybe partly because sometimes those strange shapes are there which don’t look like what people imagine when looking at the original mess of pixels.
(btw. in the screenshot above the Stormtrooper mask looks extremely goofy, although admittedly the original didn’t look perfect either)


Thank you for this video! I watched some parts of it. Now I know why the backgrounds weren’t improved. What a pity that they didn’t have the Softimage files!
For more significant visual improvements, they also could have created drawn versions of the backgrounds - with higher resolutions and exactly the same color palettes, so that the remastered room screens wouldn’t have been rendered but could have looked more detailed. Though this would have been too expensive. Nonetheless I think that there have been some screens with a lack of detail in GF.

The controls part for GF was also interesting to me (Link). I didn’t know that the mouse control was done by the same guy who did the mouse control scheme for GF in ScummVM.
Funny that they could keep the name “verb skull” due to the fact that Manny Calavera has a calavera (=skull) as well. I think, it’s in fact a coin interface.


Here’s an article that summarizes the opinions of Ron Gilbert, Brian Moriarty & Tim Schaffer on the subject:


At this moment I am playing the revamped 2015 version of the original 1996 Resident Evil.

That is how you do it, boy is it good!

Not only did they completly redo the graphics, music and sound from scratch. Gameplay changes make it more challenging, some puzzles have become more complicated and best of all. It is almost a completly new game! They just changed it so much that when you think you are familar with a certain part of the mansion, booom. There is a new door to a room or an entire courtyard that wasn´t there before! It perfectly blends the new and surprising with the classic and familar.

Absolutly loving it! I just wish some other games like Maniac Mansion could come out with lovingly overhauls like this, but of course we know that will never happen.


But then it isn’t the “original” Resident Evil anymore, it’s a “new” game - isn’t it? :slight_smile: Like the old Ocean’s 11 compared to the new Ocean’s 11 …


No, I would say it´s still like 60% the old game. It´s really hard to tell. A big chunk of the rooms is the same, a big chunk is different. Some puzzles I could solve with my 20 year knowledge of the old game, many were completly new. The story is the same, the characters are the same. It is a new game, heavily based on the original classic, let´s go with that.


How about the voice, um, “acting”? :rofl:


Well, if you´re nostalgic for that, you won´t be getting that anymore since it´s been completly redubbed and done much better. So no “Jill Sandwich” or “Master of unlocking!” or “I hope this is not CHRIS´S BLOOD!!!” :grin:


Tl;dr, sorry…

But I have to say I’m with Brian. The art is bound with the technology, and the game play with art, and vice-versa. Loom was constructed with what was possible at the time. Though I enjoy playing Lucas titles with updated graphics (because I like the games, and there is something new in them), as an artist and a designer I have to say that when one create something, there are always constraints that are part of what you create. So if you create something wonderful with certain boundaries, it is a piece of art as it is, and could not really be better if you polish it later. What you could do is to take the original idea and start over. An idea has no form, therefore there is a possibility to create something even better with the same idea. Rarely this works though, as Hollywood has proven. The remake of Psycho was inconceivable.


On 2018-12-04 a remastered version of Flashback will be released (e.g. GOG):

  • Completely remastered sound and music - okay
  • Tutorials for those who need a boost! - okay
  • A brand new “Rewind” function - Well okay, I guess that’s nice for “modern” gamers.
  • Post-FX graphic filters - AHAHAHAHA

Here a comment from GOG forum:

Wow, this is the most HD I’ve seen since Simon the Sorcerer HD!

There will better be an option to disable this horror!
Are the people doing those kind of remasters blind or am I the problem?


Rewind feature:

Original screenshots