The old-school Virtua Fighter characters that you remember from the arcade have gotten an AI makeover to look more realistic.
The game featured several polygonal characters to choose from, but thanks to AI, they have been given a real makeover. The new designs come from Colin Williamson, who fed the original character images into an image-to-image mode of the Stable Diffusion text-to-image deep learning model.
Williams elucidated the system, saying: “Describe the character and let img2img take care of it. As soon as I came up with a quality cue, I would run a set of around fifty and select the most entertaining ones. Nevertheless, the challenging task was contemplating depicting the characters’ clothes. I experimented with ‘negative prompting,’ where you advise AI things such as ‘please don’t draw distorted-looking hands,’ which achieved great results since your characters currently possess only six fingers in place of seven.”
Virtua Fighter, created by Sega-AM2 and designer Yu Suzuki, is an iconic game series. Initially released in October 1993, it has seen four main sequels and numerous spin-offs. Moreover, Virtua Fighter is considered the pioneer of 3D fighting games.
Classic VIRTUA FIGHTER + Modern AI = The Perfect Combo
The Virtua Fighter series is well-known for its straightforward design, with minimal secondary mechanics or emergent elements in many modern fighting games.
All characters featured in the series rely on martial arts forms based on real-world martial arts. Despite a few creative liberties taken to execute certain styles more effectively, there are no supernatural powers and uncommonly few superhuman feats within this series, thus leading to a credible semi-realistic combat system.
The rudimentary control scheme is straightforward, using only an 8-directional control rod and three switches (Punch, Kick, Guard). By utilizing various timings, postures, and button blends, players punch in standard and extraordinary pushes for every character.
This lets comprehensive registers of movements be present for a given character within the confined control system. Typically, in the single-player mode, the gamer takes on a long line of characters in the match (which may include one’s lookalike), all the way to the ultimate boss in Virtua Fighter in the latest version of the game.
The classic fighting game is bringing back some fond memories! It was an absolute favorite of many people when they were a kid in the 1990s.