Black Tiger CPC-Spectrum Comparison

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Black Tiger is quite infamous for being one of the laziest speccy port.

And even more infamous because the speccy's original version is not even that good to begin with.

  • Graphics : the Amstrad version use unmodified Graphic Data.

The Sprites and tiles are stored in RAM in 1bit per pixel, sprites are also masked in 1 bit per pixel. the 1bpp data is then turned into Mode1 2bit per pixel when they are to be displayed into the Video RAM area. Which is somewhat CPU intensive.

  • Also some Raster interrupt are used in order to get more than 4 colours displayed on the screen.

But the main problem is that it is quite useless as the Game's window is still monocolour ! So it simply wastes CPU power.


  • ZX Spectrum

Black Tiger (Spectrum)

  • Amstrad CPC

Black Tiger (Amstrad)

  • AmstradCPC mockup

Black Tiger (Mockup Amstrad)

What If ?

  • What we quite got :


  • What we could at least have :

BlackTiger mega map speccy recolored.png

  • As the sprites are 1bpp + 1bpp mask , this means that if properly recoded in 2bpp they use the exact same amount of DATA in RAM, but could then be in 3 colours, the 4th colour being used as a mask, as used in super wonderboy (this is not shown on mock up)
  • Also it may be possible to apply some kind of "attribute colour" on the tiles so the Background and Foreground tiles, while still being 1bpp/2 may be able to set the ink (other than black) into one of the 3 other inks (from the Mode1 palette) as shown on the Map Mockup.
  • Then get rid of Rasters interrupts/palette change to gain some CPU or even free the minimal RAM needed by such routine..

There, you have a better version than the speccy one.

Lazy port ?

It is also worth noting that the Disk version actually uses multiloads as it seems to reload data between each levels. So it would seem that the Amstrad version is just a lazy, hurried port.

Such a shame for what used to be one of the best Arcade Game of 1987.