Mode 7 is definitely one of the coolest features of many SNES games. Remember hopping into your first go-kart in Super Mario Kart and seeing your favorite characters drive around in “full 3D” courses? Or play Secret of Mana and stand on Flammie’s back for the first time and look down at the world map? Don’t forget Star Fox’s polygonal Arwings flying through space!
Those are just a handful of games that use this unique feature, but as children it dazzled us. Finally, video games can be in 3D! If you’re like us, you’ve probably always wanted to know How Mode 7 works.
The Modern Vintage Gamer YouTube channel did all the hard work for us. They posted a video analyzing how the famous SNES graphics work; while Mode 7 is likely what you’ll watch the video for, the channel also looks at all eight different modes – with Mode 7 being more special.
This table breaks down seven of the modes (except the most famous) that developers can choose from. Basically, each mode sacrifices layers for more color, but there are some exceptions (as you can see with Modes 5 and 6). Mode 1 is the most common, with games like Super Metroid using this mode. Mode 2 allows two layers with the same number of colors, but both layers scroll individually – pretty perfect for beating side-scrolling!
What makes Mode 7 highlighted is that it supports scaling and wrapping effects like translation, scaling, reflection, and rotation. Thus creating that amazing 16-bit 3D effect. You can’t make verticals in Mode 7 – this explains why the downs look squashed in your RPG world map and why the coins just lay on the ground in Super Mario Kart – but it’s true impressive how this classic technology creates the illusion of 3D
We don’t want to spoil any more videos, so check it out for yourself! And let us know what your favorite uses of Mode 7 are, or any fancy graphics and features, in the comments!
https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2022/03/random-discover-how-mode-7-works-on-super-nes-in-just-10-minutes Random: Discover how Mode 7 works on the Super NES, in just 10 minutes