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MusicallyInspired

AI neural net (ESRGAN) upscaling and game remastering

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Posted (edited)

All due respect to those involved with the LA adventure game remasters, but this kind of blows it out of the water. This was done with ESRGAN and a Manga109 dataset-trained model. This requires a bit of GPU memory to run through. This method has also been used to great effect for upscaling sprites and textures in 3D games like Doom, Hexen, Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII (you have no excuse now, Square), Mario 64, Metroid Prime, and tons more.

Full Throttle Highway:

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Full Throttle: Kick Stand

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Full Throttle: Inside Jet (original, upscaled, remastered)
 

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Sam & Max: Street
 

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Grim Fandango: Office Hallway
 

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Grim Fandango: Office Entrance

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Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Throne (in order: original, upscaled, special edition, original scan)
 

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Monkey Island 2: Cliff Face (original, upscaled, special edition)
 

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Monkey Island 2: Big Tree (original, upscaled, special edition)
 

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Edited by MusicallyInspired

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I'm not sure I'd agree that it blows all of these remasters out of the water, but it's definitely very impressive and cool that AI can do this stuff.

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I agree it's not perfect, but especially with these shots I've shown above, the remasters look either blurry or washed out completely while the upscales preserve a lot more detail. Especially in Full Throttle's case where most of the remastered backgrounds were just upscaled with inferior filters and hand-pixel edited on top for certain areas.

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I'd say this could certainly provide a solid base for remasters. The Grim Fandango backgrounds look incredible, and would already work much better in the Remastered version than the upscales used now. Here are many more from Grim: https://imgur.com/a/bIlY7pW and https://imgur.com/a/uZJPXvq

Also Escape from Monkey Island... wtf?

Edited by Laserschwert

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I took most of yesterday and wrote a script that extracts background resources from a Sierra game, converts to PNG, and upscales with ESRGAN. I'm doing all the Sierra games and uploading them to a Google Drive folder. I'll upload more as time goes on: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r6wxN7xQzuV9bm4H_rw3u4aCOO5r43P4?usp=sharing

For PQ4 (and some screens in PQ3) I'm going to try a different model that's more accustomed and trained to restore low resolution live photos. It's coming out more like a painting, and while that's cool, I think it can do these better.

For QFG4, all the backgrounds are in pieces with foreground objects as different picture resources entirely so I'm going to take more time with that one and stitch them all together before upscaling.

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This is very cool, and it eliminates the biggest cost factor for the remasters, which is redoing the backgrounds. Had the artists had these to start with, we would have had much better (and cheaper) remasters coming out.

It doesn't take care of the character animations though. Most of the characters were originally designed as pixel art, and upscaling them using this algorithm would therefore create unwanted artifacts. I'd swap out the DOTT and especially the FT remastered backgrounds for these ones though.

Edited by Bluddy

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Also Musically, would you like to make a similar post on ScummVM? There's no need for the remaster comparison part, but it would be nice to figure out a way to integrate these into the games, just as other communities are doing.

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I actually did. Didn't get much attention, though. It's in the Junkyard section. Probably should have posted it in the General section. Laserschwert here gave it some attention at least. :)

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