Friday, February 1, 2013

Video Game Artwork

Who remembers fuse beads?  Perler Fuse Beads?  My younger sister had these when we were growing up and at some point I thought it'd be cool to use these to create video game related artwork.  I remember trying to create something that resembled the "Z" logo from A Link to the Past, although I don't have it anymore and I don't know if any pictures of it exist.

I got into cross-stitching back in the summer of 1994.  My older sister was starting to do it and I'd watch her after I got back from school.  I'd been playing Mario Paint for about a year at that point and while watching her stitch little X's onto fabric, I realized that I was basically doing the same with with Mario Paint's pixel creation portion of the game.  Dr. Potts actually was the wizard when it came to looking at in-game pixels and recreating them in Mario Paint.  If I remember correctly, he made two separate characters for the main character in Secret of Mana and was able to animate them to look like he ran in the game.

That summer of 1994, I decided that I would create a pattern, using the pixels from Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.  Specifically, from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda, and A Link to the Past, with the Nintendo logo in the middle.  My initial plan was to have the characters facing each other with the Nintendo logo in the middle and a border of various items from the game and turn it all into a pillow.  At the time, Super Mario World and A Link to the Past were the most recent and current iterations of those various franchises (1990 and 1991 respectively).  I began this project back in 1994 and only last February 2012 did I finally complete the last item in the border.
If you follow the patter from the lower left corner to counter clockwise (New Link - Old Mario - Old Link - New Mario) that by the time it reaches around, that there's only once space between the pouch and chest from A Link to the Past.  The question of what to put in this square tied me up and kept me from finishing this project for almost 20 years.  Keeping in mind that I didn't map out and line everything up as it probably should have been, I think it turned out rather well, considering it was the first thing I'd ever cross-stitched.  You'll also have to forgive me for not having/using the correct color pallet in respect to Mario from Super Mario Bros.

Since then though, I've done a couple of other pieces that have incorporated either aspects of video games or used artwork from video games as a frame of reference.

Eternal Darkness (Gamecube)
I created the seven seal Protect Area sigil using the Mantarok sigil as the power source.  It's currently above the bedroom door.

Admittingly, this one turned out more pixelly than I had intended and I probably could have made it larger, but it was my first project in roughly 13 years.  I still don't have a frame for it yet.

Plants vs. Zombies
Each of these are about two inch squares.

The Konami Code
A pattern I created for Dr. Potts as a Christmas turned birthday present last year (2011 Christmas - 2012 birthday).

That's all I've made for the time being.  I'm not sure if I'll do anything this year as I want to focus more time on painting miniatures, of which I will most likely post pictures from that endeavor.   

It Happens All At Once


  1. I'm so thrown in such a good way to realize that you worked on the Zelda/Mario piece for almost twenty years! That is just amazing.

    I also want to mention that looking at the full-sized pictures of the plants vs zombies pieces, I can see the cross-stitch texture which is really cool. And I want to say that I particularly love the chili pepper. Good choice.

  2. For the PvZ patterns, I originally wanted to to the Cherry Bombs since I use them more often than the Chili Pepper, but they would have been too pixelly for the size of frame that I was using. I was actually surprised with how well the Chili Pepper turned out because when I was stitching it, the teeth looked like a mishmash of random colors.

    You probably can't tell either, but the Sunflower took about 1,500 stitches.

  3. Yeah, it's funny: I never really use the chili pepper either. But I really like how it looks. Definitely do not detect the 1500 stitches on the Sunflower. If I were to guess, I'd think 500 or so. Shows what I know.

  4. Exact counts.

    ED Sigils: 488 (not including back stitching)
    ED Deep Into That Darkness: (Unknown at this time)

    Sunflower: 1884 stitches
    Pea Shooter: 1125 stitches
    Chili Pepper: 765 stitches

    Konami Code: 2044 stitches (includes back stitching)