What does AI think our favourite games look like?

The last few years have played host to some truly impressive advances in artificial intelligence. No longer is AI confined to simply playing a really good game of chess or pretending to be a psychologist — now it can actually produce visual art, given an appropriate stimulus.

Well, uh, kind of, anyway. It can certainly produce images based on an appropriate stimulus, though whether or not you’d care to call it “art” is, of course, a matter of opinion.

We decided to put one of the many AI imaging tools out there to the ultimate test: by feeding it the names and synopses of some of our favourite games from recent months. So let’s see how it gets on with them, shall we?

Blue Reflection: Second Light

Hypnogram, the site we’re using, struggled a bit when simply given “Blue Reflection: Second Light” as a prompt, so we also gave it a couple of short synopses it might be able to drawn some inspiration from. Here’s “magical girls who have lost their memories in another world”:

AI art: Magical girls who have lost their memories in another world
Magical girls who have lost their memories in another world

This actually isn’t all that bad. While it’s a bit horrifying if you look too closely at it, if you bang your head and squint a bit, that actually looks like a couple of sad magical girls. The fairy wings over on the left are a nice touch, and the frilly, ribbon-covered outfit is absolutely appropriate for magical girls. The one on the right looks like a combination of Hiori from Blue Reflection Ray and Natsuki from Doki Doki Literature Club.

What about “the gayest girls in gaming find out who they really are?”

AI art: the gayest girls in gaming find out who they really are
The gayest girls in gaming find out who they really are

This one’s great, because it sort of looks like porn without actually being porn. We’ve definitely got some hints of what I can only assume are girls kissing in several parts of this image, along with some distinctly stereotypical “eSports” outfits going on. That orangey-black thing on the right looks like some sort of Frankenstein controller, too. Plenty of “gay girls” and “gaming”, then — though unsurprisingly, not a whole lot to do with Blue Reflection: Second Light.

While these two were processing, the simple “Blue Reflection: Second Light” prompt failed completely, so that’s that.

Cupid Parasite

This time around, just feeding the title in actually worked:

AI art: Cupid Parasite
Cupid Parasite

I actually rather like this one; it’d look good as a nice big print on a wall, I think. I appreciate the literal interpretation of “parasite” with the strange betentacled entity in the middle, which looks distinctly like several parts of itself probably shouldn’t be there. There seems to be some sort of “hummingbird” inspiration in there too — and the background gives the impression of being in the bloodstream, but if you look closely, the “cells” are actually flower petals. Aww.

Now, what about the more literal “Cupid descends from the heavens and becomes a human woman, attempts dating”?

AI art: Cupid descends from the heavens and becomes a human woman, attempts dating
Cupid descends from the heavens and becomes a human woman, attempts dating

Actually not all that bad. That’s actually recognisable as Cupid, although the wing looks more like a fennec fox’s ear. Apparently Cupid’s interpretation of becoming a human woman simply involves putting the head of a human woman on like a mask, though, which is perhaps a little concerning. On the whole, though, a big success — and I appreciate the fact that all of this is rendered in an art style somewhat akin to an indie game with hand-drawn art.

Tales of Arise

The “title only” prompt for this one took a good while to process, but I think you’ll agree that the results were well worth it:

AI art: Tales of Arise
Tales of Arise

I mean… from a distance, this actually looks like some mid-’90s PlayStation box art for a really great RPG. It’s only when you get up close that you realise it’s actually The Horrifying Adventures of Chin-Face and No-Face. And I can see that… whatever that thing is in the foreground being some sort of entertaining mascot character — badass, yet also a source of great comic relief. Very good stuff.

Now, do we get anything else if we feed it the grossly oversimplified synopsis “man with an iron face meets pink-haired lightning girl, adventure ensues?”

AI art: Man with an iron face meets pink-haired lightning girl, adventure ensues
Man with an iron face meets pink-haired lightning girl, adventure ensues

Well, I think we’ve found the artwork for the back of that PS1 jewel case too, haven’t we? I can just picture the marketing blurb being artfully arranged around the outside of that touching portrait in the middle.

Metroid Dread

Oh. Now this. This is good. Here’s what happened when we just put the title in:

AI art: Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread

That actually looks… kind of proper — though it’s playing up the “horror” angle a bit more than Nintendo might normally do themselves. I can see that being an image in a manual or artbook, though — or perhaps the background to a menu screen or something. Very cool.

Well, that’s going to take some beating, but what happens if we put in the synopsis “Nintendo lady who can crush you between her thighs runs away from robots”? Let’s find out, together!

AI art: Nintendo lady who can crush you between her thighs runs away from robots
Nintendo lady who can crush you between her thighs runs away from robots

We certainly appear to have a fairly formidable-looking lady in the foreground, and she does indeed appear to be being pursued by a robot… a robot being ridden by Yoshi, which would certainly put an interesting spin on Metroid lore, I’m sure you’ll agree.


I could spend all afternoon doing this, but that’s probably enough for now. If you want to have a play with the tool for yourself, head on over to the Hypnogram website and give it a try — unlike many other AI imaging tools out there, this one is completely free to play with on the understanding you might get the occasional error during processing!

Pete Davison
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