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Bits & Beats: 30 Retro Games with Donkey Kong Country-like Pre Rendered Sprites


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Rare's first game after becoming a subsidiary of Nintendo, Donkey Kong Country is among the first games to fully utilize pre-rendered 3D graphics for its visuals. A graphic technique that surprised everyone and was insistently imitated by other companies (with unequal results)

Pre-rendered graphics is the process of which the graphics you see in the game are not running in real time but instead, were rendered before-hand on different equipment. It usually consists of multiple elements (eg. furniture, trees, vehicles, etc.) rendered into one image and it is then placed in games.

This technology was created sometime in the early 90's to accommodate the limitation of computer hardware at the time because having to use real-time 3D environments would exceed the graphical memory, causing the game to load longer and sometimes crash.

• A game curation with featuring the fattest characters in 2D fighting games
• Fighters data with their height and weight
• Information related to each game such as release date, developer company, game genre and system it was released on.
• Official game box arts with a 3D presentation.

0:00 Intro
00:18 Viewpoint
00:42 Killer Instinct
01:08 Rise of the Robots
01:33 Uniracers
01:58 Vectorman
02:23 Doom Troopers
02:48 Baku Baku Animal
03:13 Rendering Ranger: R2
03:38 Blackthorne
04:03 Pulstar
04:28 Toy Story
04:53 Skeleton Warriors
05:18 Johnny Bazookatone
05:43 X-Perts
06:08 Sonic 3D Blast
06:33 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
06:58 Mario Kart 64
07:23 Sol Divide
07:48 Mischief Makers
08:13 Yoshi's Story
08:38 Klonoa: Door To Phantomile
09:03 Rampage World Tour
09:28 Redneck Rampage
09:53 Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
10:19 Shock Troopers 2
10:43 Blazing Star
11:08 Gex: Enter the Gecko
11:33 Prehistoric Isle 2
11:59 Progear
12:23 Outro


Gold Member
Cool video, I'll save it for later... I'd like to know if there's any advantage of using this technique these days

I mean, there are still limits to what we can render in real-time. But the gains would be too small compared to the downsides.

Some aspects still are "pre-rendered" though, for example lighting is still often baked to achieve higher quality than is possible in real-time. But with the advent of RT that's slowly going away.

Full background or character pre-rendering I see basically no use for today. It just limits what you can do and makes development longer and less flexible.
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