On a sudden idea, I wondered how Pico-8’s palette would look in Dwarf Fortress. The result doesn’t look that bad, I’m giving it a spin to see how it looks in game.

The default palette, based on EGA.

Dwarf Fortress (or at least the Classic Version) emulates the look & feel of an old terminal, using by default an IBM font with the classic 4-bit EGA palette (1 bit for RGB, one for intensity). The exercise was to make a palette looking like this one as closely as possible with Pico-8’s colors, eventually tapping in the extra colors if needed. And in the end they were indeed needed.

My take on the challenge, second iteration.

I have a few notes regarding the color selection:

  • I started with having a black to white ramp using the color 6 and 7 for grays but it turned out that the normal light gray is not really discernible from the white in many situations. Nevertheless, I love how they look on the stone parts.
  • The lack of blues and cyan made me cheat a little bit and I fear that the light blue and light cyan are maybe a bit too close.
  • The yellow and light gray blend quite a lot on my screen, so maybe they should be changed at some point?
  • I couldn’t use the browns as they were too dark. The orange works well here.

Here’s a few screenshots. They’re took with that palette and the CLA tileset1:

Click on the picture to open it.

Click on the picture to open it.

Click on the picture to open it.

Click on the picture to open it.

And here’s the palette code. Download this file or copy-paste the code block in colors.txt and the game will adopt those colors.

[BLACK_R:0]
[BLACK_G:0]
[BLACK_B:0]
[BLUE_R:29]
[BLUE_G:43]
[BLUE_B:83]
[GREEN_R:0]
[GREEN_G:135]
[GREEN_B:81]
[CYAN_R:18]
[CYAN_G:83]
[CYAN_B:89]
[RED_R:190]
[RED_G:18]
[RED_B:80]
[MAGENTA_R:117]
[MAGENTA_G:70]
[MAGENTA_B:101]
[BROWN_R:255]
[BROWN_G:163]
[BROWN_B:0]
[LGRAY_R:162]
[LGRAY_G:136]
[LGRAY_B:121]
[DGRAY_R:73]
[DGRAY_G:51]
[DGRAY_B:59]
[LBLUE_R:6]
[LBLUE_G:90]
[LBLUE_B:181]
[LGREEN_R:0]
[LGREEN_G:228]
[LGREEN_B:54]
[LCYAN_R:41]
[LCYAN_G:173]
[LCYAN_B:255]
[LRED_R:255]
[LRED_G:0]
[LRED_B:77]
[LMAGENTA_R:255]
[LMAGENTA_G:119]
[LMAGENTA_B:168]
[YELLOW_R:255]
[YELLOW_G:236]
[YELLOW_B:39]
[WHITE_R:255]
[WHITE_G:255]
[WHITE_B:255]

PS : This is not the post I was mentioning last time, still working on it.


  1. I was too lazy to set up many tilesets to test the palette, I used Lazy Noob Pack to hasten the process. ↩︎