by Damien Guard (DamienG)

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Main dialog and hover font from Beneath a Steel Sky, Revolution Software 1994. Some numbers and many symbols guessed as not used on-screen.

Info: Created on 29th April 2017 . Last edited on 30th April 2017.
License Creative Commons
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Numbers guessed: 3568. All symbols guessed except .,'?!&

Comment by Damien Guard (DamienG) 29th April 2017


A quick look on YouTube confirms the coherent interpretation,
e.g. a better-looking "Y" (less aliased, more outline-proof):
░▒░░░▒░ ░▒▒░░▒▒░
▒█▒░▒█▒ ▒██▒▒██▒
▒█▒░▒█▒ ▒██▒▒██▒
▒██▒██▒ ▒██▒▒██▒
░▒███▒░ ░▒████▒░
░░▒█▒░░ ░░▒██▒░░
░░▒█▒░░ ░░▒██▒░░
░░▒█▒░░ ░░▒██▒░░
░░░▒░░░ ░░░▒▒░░░
Before / After.

Bye, cool DG ;-)

Comment by dpla 29th April 2017

I forgot to say: Odyssey²-, even Atari-inspired "Y" (a strong classic).

Comment by dpla 30th April 2017

Yeah these were mostly done from screenshots / pausing my own machine. The Y is definitely correct - some of those YouTube videos seem to show it with the ScummVM HQ style filtering which distorts the shape to reduce the obvious low-resolution.

Comment by Damien Guard (DamienG) 30th April 2017

@Damien Guard (DamienG) - Another fine video game recreation / "rescue".  As always, I look forward to more!  :^)

Comment by Goatmeal 1st May 2017

Uh-oh! I cannot find the culprit on YouTube anymore…(*)
(Strange: "Y" looked the only damaged character, but
you are quite right, the quality was not top-notch)…
And no Amiga-PC conversion as the mistake… whatever!

* PS Here it is! (How lucky! -I was and you are- :/)
  (LINK #1)
Do you still think it is a codec or filter issue?(?)
because it occurs at 'any' column on the screen (and
I checked last time) with a different background too
e.g. here on the same video (everywhere, actually…).
  (LINK #2)
I even thought it was a modified game (customized by
hackers, cf. this case about ATASCII on Wikipedia [I
  (LINK #3)
provided my fix there]: it did not match the correct
rendition you made for Atari 400 on your good site)…
  (LINK #4)
If this rare video is not implicated, it might(!) be
a very special version from Amiga, e.g. a prerelease
or more likely a development one… (official/stolen?)

There is an unofficial(?) Russian version on YouTube
  (LINK #5)
with a neat extension to the original character set…
I have a clue: according to GOG it's now a free game
  (LINK #6)
(modders understand 'to any respectful improvement')
and I read that the texts were only: DE EN ES FR IT.

Many games will get (hastily or seriously) modified;
most of our font legacies get imitated, or modified…
(In the minimal style it's even easier and quicker.)

Cooking tips?
  What is your technique that works best in general?
  -Are you a ripper too, i.e. with 'hacking' tools?-
  If it were me, I'd take a lot of screenshots, then
  I'd crop the related 'texts', gather them together
  and begin a painstaking series of 'copy and paste'
  … or if it's overkill, I'd try with a long string,
  before looking for the missing (ASCII) characters…
  {After wasting too much time for being procedural,
  I'd change my mind to adopt your simpler method…?}
  Anyway I am sure your 'ripping' is time-consuming!
  [[Even without any outline/texture/palette info.]]

@Goatmeal: +1000!

-{Mono…sage mes…space}-

Comment by dpla 13th May 2017


• #1 & #2 &5 on youtube…:

• #3 on commons.wikimedia…:

• #4 on damieng…:

• #6 on gog…:

{Automatic ANTI-SPAM filter… sorry (it deletes all)…}

Comment by dpla 13th May 2017

It's possible the Amiga version or even earlier versions across platforms used a different Y.  The CD version I'm using is shown here

Tips?  I try and run the games os OSes in a system emulator and then try and get access to all the characters. Sometimes this is hard but other times easier - OSes let you just type everything and sometimes games do too if they use the same font for the file save dialog like Discworld does.

For older 8-bit computers I wrote code that uses heuristics to pull bitmap fonts from memory dumps - I need to extend this a bit further so it can read popular snapshot images and then I could put a huge dump of files online somewhere.

Hope that helps!

Comment by Damien Guard (DamienG) 13th May 2017

• Yes, I still don't get how 'lucky' I was to spot -and hastily post- this lame "Y" variant… :/ We will never know where it came from (I won't contact the YouTuber only for this sheer anecdote).

• Now I understand this (even more time-consuming method): you play the game in all its supported languages!(?) Wow! (And fortunately, as you explain kindly, there are places in/out game that let you input something… this is an easier way than ripping from the memory.) Thank you for the info, chef!

• Ah, very cool, too! Now I can be reassured about the faithfulness of your 8-bit conversions (I found no error on your page). I sometimes need to resort to such softwares, but I never coded a real one (since the 1980s and its Peeks and Pokes - at that time, the compressed images needed a disassembler, so I could only mod a few decent games, without any evidence to show nowadays, except the nostalgia, and casual details/proofs that I'm pixelizing since ca 1982)…

Of course, this all helped out; but the more I fell your devotion (without a lot of encouragement b.t.w.), the less I feel able to follow it… How patient you are in your field, too!

Comment by dpla 15th May 2017

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