This YouTube channel is using AI to gloriously remaster classic game intros and cutscenes

Square was a company that sent our imaginations flying twenty years ago. Back then, photorealistic games were still a distant dream. They had big-budget intros, cutscenes, and even big-budget endings. Before Overwatch made it a standard practice to release animated shorts of Pixar quality for every character, Blizzards' Diablo II and Capcoms Onimusha 3, put us in the spirit of demon-slaying with amazing mini-movies that lasted up to six minutes.These classics will look pixelated on modern TVs and 1080p monitors. Upscale YouTube channel and machine learning make these classics look almost as good on a modern TV as they did on an old CRT. Or perhaps even better. It all depends on how well the games' art style is integrated with the AI algorithms that bring it back to life.For example, the intros to Kingdom Hearts look amazing. These are the definitive versions, according to my scans.The hairstyle in World of Warcrafts intro is amazing. I was stunned by the transformation. The video also includes a comparison of before and after.Here's the Onimusha 3 opening filmtic, which runs at 4K 60 frames per second. Although it's not perfect, it is the best I have ever seen. It's more than enough to share this bit of gaming history with others.Here's 1999's Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver in 8K. This is a PS1 title!Although Upscale cannot seem to nail Chrono Cross quite yet, its second or third attempt at Chrono Trigger is pretty impressive:I'm not a fan of Upscales attempt to play Dirge of Cerberus. These machine learning techniques are being used by a few other YouTube channels, but I believe The Gaming Restoration has it down pat.Topaz Video EnhanceAI, also known as Topaz Gigapixel is the software that allows for these enhancements. We have written a bit about this program before. It uses the same generated adversarial networking technique modders use to upscale graphics in playable games, which can now be applied to cutscenes. The company sells an app that can produce videos of this nature for $299. It depends on the speed of your computer's GPU, how long you want and what resolution you require. It's easy to use, I know because I tried it with some anime music videos and trailers.The important thing to know, though, is the images the computer spits out arent necessarily truth it can invent details that arent there, or smudge ones that are, in the sometimes-inappropriate pursuit of clarity. I found that 4K videos looked better than 8K. You need to choose the right algorithm and check out quick previews before you commit.These are two algorithms that attempt to improve the same scene in Gundam Wing.These are both enhanced images. However, one is incorrect: This is an ethereal and dream-like sequence in which the background should be softened and blurred and not flat and sharp. The algorithm doesn't know this.Click here to see some examples of how I attempted to improve old content. Also, make sure you change your YouTube quality setting. ExtremeTechs Joel Hruska has a great series on trying to remaster Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.Truthfully, I hesitated to write about Upscale at The Verge because I thought lawyers would shut it off any second or that Upscales creators might get bored and stop writing. It has been almost a year since I first noticed it. You are a senior executive in the videogame industry. Would you consider not firing copyright missiles at them?I'm referring to the minimum amount of time you have spent remastering these scenes yourself.