AI image generation has progressed to the point where it can give us a pretty good idea what characters in old video games looked like in their creators’ minds.
Twitter user Colin Williamson fed in a bunch of screenshots from 1993’s arcade classic Virtua Fighter, generally considered the first-ever fighting game made in 3D.
Using the increasingly popular ‘Stable Diffusion’ model, Williamson turned the original’s lo-fi polygon graphics into something closer to what we’d expect in a modern fighting game.
“When I played this game back in middle school, I was like, ‘That’s it. Graphics can never get better than this,'” Williamson said.
“My dad was like, ‘I’m not so sure, this looks kind of crappy.'”
Here’s a selection of what the AI came up with.
Williamson said he tried the same thing on characters from the sequels, but found it “way funnier when the source material is more abstract”.
“I feel like we’re maybe 10 years away from doing this kind of stuff in realtime on old games. The future is gonna be WEIRD.”
To get the images in his thread, Williamson siad he used prompts like: “ultra realistic photograph of (character description, hair) wearing (clothes separated by commas), (background description), 4 k, 8 k, shot with sony a7r”.
Next up, he says, is 199’s Virtua Cop. Based on the image he tweeted, should be just as hilarious.