Loom EGA/VGA comparison

The original EGA background art for Loom was made by Mark Ferrari. The character art was done by Gary Winnick and Steve Purcell. Gary Winnick designed the sprites and did most of the sprite animation, while Steve Purcell did the larger character portraits and some additional animation. Ken Macklin did the effects animation, such as moving water and twinkles.

Hover the cursor over the images to see the remastered VGA version. If you're on a iOS device, you can simply tap the images.

The dithering might seem excessive on the EGA originals, especially when you watch the images up close. But remember that older CRT-monitors was smaller and softer, so they would smooth out the dither to a certain degree.

All copyright and credit belong to Lucasfilm Games. You can buy the remastered VGA game here. You will find sources for the image captions and some further reading at the bottom of the page.

For some incredible reason, the VGA version does not have a properly centered logo. We're off to an awkward start.

The game designer, Brian Moriarty, wanted a monochromatic blue look for the opening panorama, with the last leaf in the tree the only thing to have a different colour. This was completely disregarded in the remaster.

The original art was a moodier and more minimalistic piece, with a more consistent sense of light.

The EGA version of this dock feels more like nighttime to me, thanks to its deep blue shadows. The VGA version decides to render each object in a separate hue, which makes things easy to read, but lacking in atmosphere.

The remastered backgrounds of Crystalgard are some of the more successful ones in the VGA update. Please note that the EGA dither gradients might seem harsh here, but they would appear a lot smoother on the CRT monitors for which the game was designed.

I really like how foreground elements would occasionally break the borders of the gameplay region. Like the tree in the image above. Quite a mature touch for such an early game. The forest backgrounds in Loom took inspiration from Eyvind Earle, and you can see that in the EGA version of the tree trunks. There's not much of that stylization left in the VGA conversion unfortunately.

The VGA remaster of this background is really nice, but the EGA version still has a crisper and more vibrant look.

In this VGA remaster, the gravestones are a clear demonstration of the gradient fill that was recently introduced in Deluxe Paint at the time.

Mark Ferrari painted most of these EGA dither patterns pixel by pixel. Just incredible work.

While the remaster is smoother, some of the definition and vibrancy of the original have been lost.

The EGA original of the background above is just stunning, contrasting the intense reds with the cold blue of the swords. The VGA version not only pulls down on the saturation, but also adds tones and gradients in the shadows that breaks the realism of the lighting.

This is a pretty striking image in both the EGA and VGA versions.

The remaster creates a feeling of serenity with its pastel colours, but lacks the power and magic of the original. That fractal cloud pattern in the background of the VGA version adds to the cheap quality of this VGA background.

There are two major VGA remasters of Loom. The first VGA release was for the japanese FM-Towns computer, and included these great portrait VGA remasters. Contrast this with the VGA version available today, it has added voice recording, but 1/3 of the dialogue have been cut due to space limitations. The result was that all these portraits had to removed from the release. A real shame, as most of them are really good.

Again, the VGA versions of these portraits look great. As with the portrait remasters in The Secret of Monkey Island, it's more a case of choosing two different illustration styles.

"Ask me about Loom".

I've decided to put the poorest VGA art here at the end. The VGA releases adds a couple of closeup conversation images that was not in the original EGA version of Loom. They are not up to the standards of the rest of the illustrations. The bottom one with sheperdess Fleece and Bobbin is not used in the game at all, and can only be seen by going into the game data.

Thanks for visiting! Hope you found this page interesting.
Some of the sources for the image captions include:

- GDC presentation Classic Game Postmortem: Lucasfilm Games' Loom with Brian Moriarty.

- Q&A with Brian Moriarty on the Space Quest Historian Youtube channel.

- GDC presentation "8 Bit & '8 Bitish' Graphics-Outside the Box" with Mark Ferrari.

- PC-CD and FM-Towns comparison on movie-censorship.com.

- Loom trivia on Mobygames.

- Email correspondence with Mark Ferrari.