The high and low of things is that for our purposes, this was the textmode graphical standard used for Commodore 64s, used in its programs and ... perhaps on its BBSes? (I only ever called Crunchy Frog, a C64 board, from my PC, and the memories are slim. I remember it ran off a 2-floppy-drive setup where the BBS software lived on one disk and all user/message/activity data lived on the other, continuously mulching itself FIFO-style. In any case, if I wasn't calling in from a Commodore machine, I wouldn't have seen PETSCII, only unintelligible garble.) I wouldn't be surprised if it saw some use in that context among warez crackers and couriers but I have no idea if that analogous-to-ANSI-on-the-PC situation was actually the case, as I was not part of that scene or community. (I never owned a Commodore machine -- well, not before 2010 -- and all the piracy I witnessed at my elementary school labs was of the sneakernet variety.) To say I may not have a full grasp of all of the details would be an understatement. I'm guessing that PETSCII allows for some XBIN-style character remapping (and possibly assigning custom palettes of foreground and background colours, from the looks of things), but I could be totally off base.
This is not a complete collection, but one mostly gleaned from outstanding C64 "scene" galleries up at The Pixelling Cow ... from which in the future you'll be seeing me sharing further, non-PETSCII, C64 game-related artworks. But let's begin at a beginning, and start with a title screen:the original C64 title screen.) ... Kind of makes me wish that after all those years, I'd waited just a little longer to share that arrangement of MULE's theme song! the game's actual artwork to mind. Hi makes a bold gambit, showing us an unmistakable scene from a game that never made it anywhere near the C64 (its authors were more Apple 2 kids, if memory serves correct)... that being iD Software's DooM, of course:
Well, that may be as elegant a summation as one can achieve with static images, but when you start to animate PETSCII the sky's the limit. Specifically, the Monkey Island bit here is outstanding, starting at 2:09: