15 Dots Enough: Alaskan Military School's low-res game demake videos

By Brandon Boyer

15pxSF.jpg With gaming's current trend toward the nostalgic taking us on Bit.Trips and Extreme invasions, and with indies giving us de-made versions of modern classics, it more or less follows logically that we'd eventually see the imageat top. Recognize it? Likely not off the bat, but you'd be surprised what a little motion and original sound can do to a 15-pixel panorama. Below the fold, then, the answer to the riddle plus several handfuls more in the lowest-res high-res gallery you'll ever witness, courtesy UK animation group Alaskan Military School and their viral videos for just-completed British games festival GameCity.
Alaskan's Street Fighter II video nails an honestly quite legible one-on-one bout, with Ken's whirling signature Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku rendered in a simple -| |- cycle. Their version of foundational PlayStation rhythm classic Parappa might be less readable without first-hand knowledge of the game, but if you've spent any time in its opening dojo level, the dog-wonder and his erstwhile teacher's palette fill in all the gaps. And the last of the short-version virals: Noby Noby Boy, the PS3 follow-up to Keita Takahashi's cult classic Katamari Damacy, in which the low-res boy performs reaches his stretching point and pops into his bands of alternating colors. And finally, the team's epic finishing flourish: a mega-mix of the selections above bolstered by a handful of others that begs for a contest to recognize them all, with a hint that possibly its least recognizable section (the crowd-cheered guitar licks) comes from a very undeservedly overlooked game, but that the Theme is no less Legendary. For more information on Alaskan Military School and their collected animated output, check their official site and Vimeo page.

Published 7:30 am Wed, Nov 4, 2009

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22 Responses to “15 Dots Enough: Alaskan Military School's low-res game demake videos”

  1. DeWynken says:

    That’s so obviously Daredevil vs Incredible Hulk.

  2. JMG says:

    While I do think the animations are very well done, and a cool idea, I think that almost all of the recognizability comes from the soundtrack, rather than the images.

  3. Takashi Omoto says:

    In order :

    – SF II (Ken vs.. Blanka?)
    – Parappa the Rapper.
    – ??
    – World of Warcraft (had to search Leeroy Jenkins for this one)
    – Sonic the Hedgehog
    – Outrun
    – Flow?
    – Noby Noby Boy
    – Guitar Hero (doesn’t matter which one)
    – Doom
    – Elite

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Recognizability comes from the soundtrack, rather than the images”

    This. I thought the still image at the beginning was far more interesting than animating the games. A larger series of images of 15 pixels would be better study.

  5. Takashi Omoto says:

    The ?? is Punch Out (Super Macho Man fight). And I meant Flower, not Flow. But yeah, graphics had little to do with figuring these out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure that the slot @ 2:20 is Gitaroo Man not Guitar Hero..

  7. Anonymous says:

    The cheering one sounds suspiciously like Blades of Steel

  8. m0nkeybl1tz says:

    It’s kinda like this: http://www.stevenread.com/supermonkeykong

    Except that’s an actual game.

  9. Anonymous says:

    left out Gauntlet in there between doom and Guitar Hero

  10. MollyMaguire says:

    As a resident of the The Last Frontier state, I have to say that I love the name ‘Alaskan Military School’. I wonder how many hits they get from members of the private militia who are looking for training?

  11. adamnvillani says:

    Looks nice, but count me with those who are calling this a FAIL. If they really wanted to test their ideas, they’d lose the detail on the sound, too. As it is the sound is a dead giveaway. Unless, of course, you haven’t played the game.

  12. Agies says:

    I think they screwed up on the Gitaroo Man section. Looks too much like a minimalist Guitar Hero.

  13. mypalmike says:

    Don’t get cocky.
    It’s gonna get rocky.

  14. Anonymous says:

    first one is street fighter

  15. Rob_Haines says:

    Definitely Gitaroo Man’s Legendary Theme. Still one of my favourite games ever (although the Elite docking sequence brought a nostalgic tear to my eye ;) ).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? You guys are downers. Look at it like a fun experience and less like a challenge to your “game-thority.” Sheesh.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That would actually be The Legendary Theme from Gitaroo Man as featured in Guitar Hero.

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