I found a fun little program that let’s you paint within the techniqual constraints of various 80’s personal computers – you can even export it and use it on the actual hardware. It’s called Multipaint <- you can download it here (requires Java, though).

And just cause I find old computers and pixels fun have I set the goal to create three Primcess of Prowess realated pixel artworks in Multipaint from three different 80’s computers.

So let’s start this chronology with the ZX Spectrum!

It’s tiny with squishy rubber keys.

Released in the UK in April 1982 with two different versions to choose from: the 16k version (yes, that’s the amount KB RAM the machine had) but you’ll want the 48k version so you can play all the games, with commercial realeases all the way to the early 90’s.

Quick! Grab all the games you can! No time to explain! We have to leave the country!

Let’s see what we have to work with here. We have 15 colors to choose from, two sets of seven colors with different brightness values + black.

We have a resolution of 256×192 pixels.
The screen is divided into cells of 8×8 pixels and you’re limited to two colors within each cell and you can’t mix the two different brightness levels either.

Example zoomed in

So taking this color palette into consideration the battle gear step mother clone (or what the hell is she anyway!?) seems like a good fit.

And here’s the result

Attack of clones

Clones also seems like a fitting subject, for The ZX Spectrum is a computer of many clones:

I have found clone named Hobbit

In the next part, whenever that comes, we’ll take a look at the Commodore 64.