256-color VESA modes broken
As of 64f85f54a27d11f2ce4cf0aef2e2fb35918fe5cd, HelenOS support for 256-color (8 bpp) VESA modes on amd64 and ia32 is broken. Despite the fact that the boot loader sets up the mode correctly, the lack of a well-defined color palette cripples the usability of the system.
For example, using the HelenOS-supplied GRUB boot loader and the QEMU-supplied (2.11) VGA BIOS leads to an all-black default color palette, thus rendering the output completely black. The original real-mode VESA code that has been removed in e3fa1720e83c1029187354ec92323608505ed7e3 explicitly configured a 3:2:3 palette.
In the future, I would suggest more thorough regression testing in cases of removing code that has been in place for a good reason for more than 10 years.