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COMPLETE NTSC & PAL Color Palettes


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***UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.



Original Post follows...


This is relatively important, especially for our game developers I'm hoping this helps and makes color conversion from one format to another a bit easier.


Download both raw color palettes here:


There is no bias and both palettes share the following same attributes per standard Atari 7800 configuration without any display device influence (And no 'warm-up' factor). This is system cold/factory default settings as follows:


Contrast = 0.05

Brightness = 0.00

Color = 0.22

Phase = 25.7

Colorburst = 180 degrees


This NTSC palette and the ones to follow are brand new and never released before due to error on my part, but this PAL palette has been released before under a different name, again due to errors on my part. Again, they are both the 'raw' ones for their respective regions.


Your input (especially PAL users as I am in NTSC land) is greatly appreciated for this thread.


Thank You,




Edited by Trebor
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Thanks for the captures NIKON. The NTSC and PAL palettes posted are both "raw". Funny thing is we had "raw" PAL for a while now. It was my messing up of notes that ended up using a PAL RAW palette trying to convert to NTSC YIQ (CRT) output.


I will have a better CRT/YIQ palette from the raw NTSC one now. The PAL one is doable as well.


Finally, the raw palettes may be very close to what you are seeing on your HDTV if you have your 7800 connected to them. The YIQ conversion palettes to follow is mostly for those CRT colors as posted previously showcasing Commando and Choplifter.

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As promised here are the YIQ and YUV palettes for NTSC and PAL consoles respectively. These are neutral with no additional tint/hue, color/saturation, brightness, or contrast added to them. Essentially, this is a palette evident on a traditional average display (aka CRT) from their respective regions.


Download both palettes here:


*UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.

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Hey NIKON and all interested screen capturing parties, something I just realized regarding the Dig Dug screen captures... If you're using a PAL palette you have to use a PAL ROM.


In the DIG DUG capture above a PAL palette is being used against a NTSC ROM.


This is how the PAL palettes (PAL_A7800 & PAL_7800_YUV) look against the PAL Dig Dug ROM:



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NTSC and PAL version both contain green asteroids (Albeit different shades).

NTSC also contains green-blue asteroids - With a stronger lean towards green.

PAL also contains blue-green asteroids - With a stronger lean towards blue.








These are accurate palettes without bias and sticking to calculations via technical documentation. The only reason it took this long is months ago I screwed up starting with a raw PAL palette in trying to achieve the correct NTSC palette. We now have the RAW video palettes for NTSC and PAL (NTSC_A7800 & PAL_7800), as well as what those colors look like on a typical standard traditional (I.E. CRT display) converted properly to their respective formats: YIQ for NTSC (NTSC_A7800_YIQ) and YUV for PAL (PAL_A7800_YUV).


Your millage may vary depending on display device both what you used on the actual hardware and what you are using via emulation. Unfortunately, many people use a TN panel as a reference monitor which causes horrid color shifts with even the slightest degree/angle of movement. A good IPS panel prevents any type of shifts and has generous viewing angles.

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Download complete, accurate, and finalized NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 palettes here [*UPDATED 2/28*]:


*3/2 UPDATE*...ADDENDUM... 'OMEGA' additional family palettes download here.


*3/13 UPDATE*...CRT, memories, or/and preference calls for less red and some more green in your Atari 7800 palette?

Download the 'Alternate Final' NTSC palettes here.

Download the 'Alternate Final' PAL palettes here.


***UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.



What started on October 18, 2012 ends a little over four months later and is truly and finally done. The previous palettes in this thread can be considered variants (And the most accurate compared to any prior groups or sets), but for default NTSC and PAL palette colors on a CRT display, these files are it.


Learned a lot, made a lot of mistakes, but so it goes with many things.


Like NTSC_YIQ and PAL_YUV, they contain all the technical and calculated appropriate settings for their respective region - but also includes final adjustment pieces missing in the aforementioned...gamma and saturation.


This is truly finalized. It seems so simple and clear now, and a tad bit frustrating I couldn't figure it all out sooner. Nonetheless, frustration pales to the true satisfaction obtained with these final palettes. Not only for NTSC, but I am very happy to be able to provide PAL ones too. :)


Displays and preferences will vary, but it truly does not look any better than these palettes remaining in harmony with technically accurate settings with no hand picking or manual manipulation. Everything calculated and adjustments against the entire palette were always performed.


Lastly, the only thing I can say is while NTSC users lucked out with a decent palette on many games, PAL wins hands down on original retail Ms. Pac-Man (Although thank BOB for Pac-Man Collection) and Xenophobe, arguably Ikari Warriors as well. Dig Dug we look near exact, Scrapyard Dog a similar story, and many others games the regions come very close to matching one another.


In the two posts following this one, I will throw some screen captures up; first NTSC and then PAL ones follow, all from commercial titles only though. I don't have the PAL ROMs for the homebrews and hacks - So it makes for a more awesome experience when you try them yourself. :-D


Please note, the screen captures especially at such a smaller size will appear darker and more saturated compared to their larger and full screen counterparts.


Thanks all for following and I hope this helps some if not many,



EDIT 2/26 & 2/28: EPILOGUE...PC displays can have a gamma of ~1.8 - 2.2. CRT displays can have a gamma of ~2.3 - 2.5. Display saturation level either by default or preference plays a part as well. What to do? Offer up the same base palette with six options.


FINAL = No Gamma or Saturation Boost


FINAL_G = Gamma Boost Only

FINAL_S = Saturation Boost Only

FINAL_GS = Gamma and Saturation Boost


FINAL_G-X = Gamma Boost Only EXTREME

FINAL_S-X = Saturation Boost Only EXTREME

FINAL_GS-X = Gamma and Saturation Boost EXTREME


All options are present for both NTSC and PAL, providing a total of fourteen palettes.


Sorry for this "epilogue", but I do believe it is more than worth it to download this final palette family set.


3/2 UPDATE....Addition to the above...HERE.

3/13 UPDATE...Alternate Family Additions...HERE.


***UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.

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Certainly your accurate work will be a valuable help for developers and an instrument very useful for people who use emulators.


I also think that can be a good idea to mark the topic as Pinned, so it is always easily accessible for users.


Robert, your study was a great marathon but patience is the virtue of the strong people. :)



Thank you again!

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And now that this is finally final* Here is the compiled version of PSP7800 (Prosystem port to Sony PSP for users running Custom Firmware).


I used the GS enhanced palettes posted above as the default for NTSC and PAL.


Thanks for your tireless efforts, Trebor.


This also includes a screen placement fix so that Donkey Kong XM is now properly located on the scree and the score isn't cut off.


Edited by 7800 Emucoder
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Also - for those interested, I'm currently working on trying to get Prosystem ported to the PS3 Homebrew Multi-emulator platform: Retroarch. It might take a while, I don't know this system at all. Once it's ported, there will be versions of Prosystem on Wii, PS3, X-Box 360, Android, Linux, among others as Retroarch uses the Libretro API, which is easily ported across multiple platforms.

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FINAL FAMILY LINE (Gamma & Saturation approximate Values):


FINAL = Gamma 2.20 - Saturation 100%


FINAL_G = Gamma 2.35 - Saturation 100%

FINAL_S = Gamma 2.20 - Saturation 150%

FINAL_GS = Gamma 2.55 - Saturation 150%


FINAL_G-X = Gamma 2.70 - Saturation 100%

FINAL_S-X = Gamma 2.20 - Saturation 200%

FINAL_GS-X = Gamma 2.70 - Saturation 200%


While there are many other gamma/saturation combos, a very noticeable hole in the above palettes in keeping in line with a CRT having a gamma of ~2.35-2.55 is offering up the following conditions:


The saturation intensity of FINAL_S but not as gamma bright as FINAL_GS. Perhaps a more moderate bump in saturation and gamma with the extreme palettes as well (And keep it within specs regarding gamma). In harmony with both thoughts, a 'better' or at least different gamma to saturation ratio.


That being stated, two alternative palettes for NTSC and PAL to the final set are being posted for those whose needs are not met by the last palette post.


FINAL_OMEGA = Gamma 2.35 - Saturation 150%

FINAL_OMEGA-X = Gamma 2.55 - Saturation 175%


That brings the total set to 18 different palettes: 9 options for NTSC and 9 options for PAL.


First 14 are here, and now these last 4 are attached here:


I know I stated no more palettes, but I am not changing anything with these palettes outside of gamma and saturation, and since the range of gamma can vary relatively greatly among CRT's, I'm trying to cover all bases for everyone's preference or displays while maintaining the correct base palette values ('NTSC_A7800_FINAL').


I hope you enjoy these two additions for each region under the 'Final Family', especially if not content with the last final set offered and/or may have the aforementioned issues with them.



***UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.

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  • 2 weeks later...

By means of fulfilling a(n indirect) request:


For those whose CRT, memories, or/and preference calls for less red and some more green in their Atari 7800 palette compared to the FINAL palette this is for you...


15 percent more green against every value of red. However, just doing that is hand-picking and manually manipulating values unevenly. So, if we add green we must also proportionally take away green during the YIQ conversion. There is Red, Green, Blue to work with...So to even green out this change also is 15 percent less green against every value of blue.


What are some resulting notes?

Overall you lose some red against certain palette colors, especially in the balance of red/green...For example, an orange-ish color becomes more yellow-ish.


"Consequently" what red has lost to green, it gains with blue. So, some blues will appear redder, meaning closer to a purple shade in some values.


A game most affected by this alternative which seems to really have chosen the most transient of palette colors (For its sky and ground) is Choplifter. You'll notice a slightly redder (purple) sky and greener ground. Not horrible as seen on an LCD, but considerably more, especially in comparison to the original "FINAL" palette.


This 'alternative' final palette keeps the technically correct RAW data, while accounting for CRT's which have less red, but more green at their default/neutral position. The change was made inside the YIQ conversion in which a 15% tolerance is a reasonable max.


We can't realistically go any higher unless you want to mimic a really bad CRT. We can go less green and redder. In theory, a shift from the original final could be broken down into 5% & 10% difference tolerances in addition to the 15% offered in the 'alternative' final palette.


That being stated, we're really splitting hairs with a 5-10% tolerance variety though. If you want the 5%, stick with the original FINAL. If you want the 10% stick with ALT_FINAL. Therefore, no matter which choice, you either have exactly what you want or it is within 5% of your preference. Seems fair enough :)


We stripped down this alternative palette to two varieties - original default values and a 50% saturation bump. It is being posted here along with the original FINAL default and 50% saturation bump, this time separate downloads for each region as a matter of simplification.


If you're content and happy with the original FINAL palette you're all set. And there's nothing new here for you.


If you fall into the too much red/orange influence, not enough green/yellow categories, this post is for you.



DOWNLOAD the entire 'ALTERNATE FINAL' palette set here: DOWNLOAD *The MOTHERLOAD* - ALL FINAL (Original & Alternate) palettes here:


***UPDATE: Download the ENTIRE NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set HERE.

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All palettes have been consolidated and standardized...


Palettes start with the technically accurate settings for the Atari 7800 Palette:


Contrast = 0.05

Brightness = 0.00

Color = 0.22

Phase = 25.7

Colorburst = 180 degrees

[Colors 1 & 15 Match]


Divided into the following folders and respective region (NTSC or PAL), which have these descriptions:


A7800_RAW_PALETTES ('NTSC_A7800.pal' & 'PAL_A7800.pal')

Unaltered RAW video output of the Atari 7800.


A7800_FINAL_PALETTES ('NTSC_A7800_FINAL.pal' & 'PAL_A7800_FINAL.pal')

RAW video output converted to YIQ (NTSC) & YUV (PAL) aka the console displayed on a CRT.



RAW video output converted to YIQ (NTSC) & YUV (PAL) aka the console displayed on a CRT with lessened red and greater green tint/hue adjustment from the A7800_FINAL_PALETTES.



All three sets contain the following variety adjustments:


G = Gamma 2.35 - Saturation 100%

S = Gamma 2.20 - Saturation 150%

GS = Gamma 2.35 - Saturation 150%


G-X = Gamma 2.50 - Saturation 100%

S-X = Gamma 2.20 - Saturation 175%

GS-X = Gamma 2.50 - Saturation 175%



Download the entire NTSC & PAL Atari 7800 set here:



*UPDATE: YOU CHOOSE - Above corrected and more added.

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