KiSS originated in Japan, and its name comes from the phrase kisekae ningyou,
which loosely translates to "clothes changing game".
It was originally developed in 1991 for a NEC computer, but since then the specification
has been formalised (and broadened, to allow for more capable hardware). This is known
as the KiSS General Specification (KiSS/GS), and is available
on The Big KiSS Page, maintained by
Since its introduction it has been ported to a number of operating systems & platforms;
this page includes player software for RISC OS. All the KISS software on this site that was written by me has been tested on:
- VirtualRPC (RISC OS 4.02)
- Iyonix (RISC OS 5.20)
- ARMini (RISC OS 5.20)
- Raspberry Pi (RISC OS 5.20)
If you install this software on a 26-bit version of the OS, you may need to
install a 32-bit clean version of the SharedCLibrary module.
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This site was originally intended as a sort of Home Page for !PlayKISS, my KiSS player for RISC OS.
Since it was first constructed, I've been contacted by authors of other KiSS
programs for RISC OS, and with their permission their programs have also been
put up on this site. As far as I am aware, these programs run on 26-bit
KiSS data sets are usually stored in LZH archives (with a few using ZIP), and use DOS naming
conventions. To avoid the crazy ADFS limitations of 77 files and 10-character filenames,
all the programs here provide a range of methods of reading the data. They will all load dolls
stored in standard RISC OS directories, and they all support SparkFS. PlayKISS and RiscKiSS support
X-Files; and PlayKISS and AKiss support RISC OS directories with the three types of KiSS files (configuration,
palette and cel files) in sub-directories.
Unfortunately, David Pilling's freeware SparkPlug program won't handle LZH
archives, so this won't work for most dolls; and unless I've missed something, ArcFS can't handle
So if you haven't got SparkFS, you will need some other decompression tool to unpack the doll.
One such utility is "lharc". You can find out about lharc (and its desktop front end,
DtLHARC) by clicking here.
If you use lharc, I strongly recommend that you unpack KiSS dolls into a X-File or raFS.
You can, of course, use raFS to store unpacked doll archives. However, you should be aware that you
cannot drag a raFS "disc" to the KiSS players on this site; if you try, the programs will not be able to make sense of the filenames. Rather, you should unpack dolls into a directory inside the raFS disc; you
can then drag this directory to the program.
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Variations on a theme
There are several different variants of the basic KiSS definition. These differ in two main ways -
their treatment of colours, and the sophistication of any animation.
There are (currently) 5 distinct colour models used. These are:
The original (1991 vintage) colour model. Dolls are built from a 16-colour 12bpp (bits-per-pixel) palette.
The "Standard" colour model. Dolls are built from a 24bpp palette with up to 256 entries.
- Extended Palette
An extension of the standard colour model. Each cel (the smallest graphical element) uses either a 16 or 256 colour palette, but the total number of colours may exceed 256.
- Cherry KiSS
True colour. Each pixel of the doll uses 32bpp, using 24bpp colour and 8 bits of transparency. The basic 24bpp colour obviously allows considerable flexibility, but the greatest strength is the subtle shadowing effects that can be generated from the 8 transparency bits.
Although Cherry KiSS offers much to the artist, it has high memory and processor demands. Hybrid dolls try
to minimise this strain by mixing true colour and paletted cels in the same set.
Most, but by no means all, modern dolls use the French KiSS scripting language that permits animation of varying complexity, sound, etc. There are 4 major versions of the language:
The original release. Most KiSS players support FKiSS, and dolls are common. FKiSS provides features
to support animation and sounds.
- FKiSS 2
Widely supported by KiSS players, and popular with doll artists. FKiSS 2 adds collision detection and
can make animation conditional on the current state of the doll.
- FKiSS 3
Only supported by a few players.
Dolls are becoming increasingly common. FKiSS 3 provides variables, simple arithmetic,
if/else/endif, subroutines, and mechanisms to make cels unselectable with the mouse.
- FKiSS 4
Only supported by !PlayKISS and DirectKISS on Windows.
Dolls are still rare, the last time I looked
FKiSS 4 offers better variable and structure handling than FKISS3, arbitrary grouping
of cels in actions and events, keyboard and mouse events, attached obje
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