Evolution of the tree


New Zealand Story, NES, 1989

Skies in 8-bit New Zealand are happy, blue affairs. There are some small clouds, but nothing big enough to trouble the processor or your mood.

Super Street Fighter II, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive/SNES, 1994

We simply couldn’t leave Cammy’s stage out of our skies history. Look. It’s the, um, glorious Northern Lights.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, PSone, 1997

This is more like it. A stylized 2D moon shines on behind a film of transparent 3D clouds that rush over the landscape at a surreal rate. Very special.

OutRun 2006, PS2, 2006

But why have a flat layer of clouds when you can render the whole things in 3D? In climbing a hill in your Ferrari you yourself just feet below the cloud cover. Beautiful.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds, PS3, 2008

Perhaps the calmest sky we’ve ever seen, but it’s functional too. Wispy clouds, travelling on different drafts, indicate wind direction and speed. A halcyon day indeed.