Linux graphical bootsplash allows you to use custom graphics during early system startup. It makes it possible to place a nice graphic behind or above the kernel boot messages. It hooks into the fbcon layer and, if activated, searches the initial ramdisk for a JPEG picture to show. On any output operations to the console, it takes care of painting a margin around your text and a background picture behind the text with a set of special cfb functions.
It uses the BIOS...
... despite saying it does not.
iobase equ start-8 ;overlay some variables
ext_start equ start-4
mov AH,2 ;check for shift, ctrl, or alt
jz f1 ;use default if none pressed
prompt ;errors jump to command prompt