Mode 7 is one of 7 graphics modes of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The graphics mode allows backgrounds, but not sprites, to be scaled and rotated, eliminating the need for separate backgrounds for each frame of rotation. However, the mode is most famous for the Super Nintendo's signature pseudo-3D effect, which was used in many games. The SNES's hardware could manipulate an input background image in such a way that the game appeared to be 3D, though the effect was actually 2D in nature. The Mode 7 effects can be augmented with software effects or add-on chips.
As a hardware feature, Mode 7 graphics could be implemented quite easily in many games. No other console at the time featured a comparable hardware effect, and many ports of Super Nintendo games using Mode 7 required the effect to be implemented entirely in software, a very tedious task.
Many popular racing titles on the console featured Mode 7 support. For example, Super Mario Kart and F-Zero, two of the most popular games released on the console, both used Mode 7 to imitate a large 3D racetrack. Other games used Mode 7 more subtly, such as in Star Ocean, where the lids of treasure chests were animated using Mode 7.
Selected games that use Mode 7
- Brett Hull Hockey '95
- Chrono Trigger - Used in the racing minigame
- Final Fantasy IV - Used in the overworld
- Final Fantasy VI - Used in the overworld
- NHL Stanley Cup
- Secret of Mana
- Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2)
- Star Fox
- Star Ocean
- Super Castlevania IV
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Used in the mine cart stage.
- Super Star Wars
- Kirby Super Star - Used in the intro.