Pix2Pix memes: We turned 8 of your favorite video game characters into Cronenbergs
Pix2Pix is a newly released neural net implementation that can be trained to complete pictures. For the Cronenberg-esque characters below, we used a model that interprets drawings from an MS Paint-style interface, using its understanding of shapes and human drawings. If you're really, really good at drawing, it can actually generate something resembling a normal human. If you're like me though, it just spits out monstrosities.
Although the drawings below might fool you, I'm not a trained artist. I also tried to sketch each video character with as few lines as possible, and I used a mouse. I figured if we're gonna Cronenberg it up, we might as well go all in. The first image in each set is my drawing; the second is what Pix2Pix output.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Mario
We started with one of video-gaming's most iconic characters. Running Mario through Pix2Pix actually resulted in something resembling a living creature. However, Mario's hat turned into flesh during the transition and grew a mohawk.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Pac-Man
After Mario, we went further back in video game history to visit Pac-Man. Cronenberg Pac-Man is basically the destroyer of worlds and the harbinger of darkness. When you look into his beady eye and hair-covered snout, you know there is only terror left for you.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Inky
Next, we visited one of Pac-Man's nemesis, Inky. You can't tell it's Inky because I only had black ink to work with but trust me, it's Inky. The Pix2Pix version of Inky looks like Cthulhu and the guy from Ancient Aliens had a love child (or a hate child).
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Pikachu
Going back to Nintendo properties, we sent everyone's favorite electric mouse, Pikachu through Pix2Pix. At first glance, it may look like Jacobim Mugatu did the fusion dance with a slice of pizza, but if you look closer, you'll see this creature has a little smirk and a knowing look. What a sassy Cronenberg!
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Mega Man
The Blue Bomber went on a trip through Pix2Pix, and this thing came out. I'm reminded slightly of Danny DeVito for some reason, but it really just looks like a baby with male-pattern baldness. I was expecting more out of you Cronenberg Mega Man.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Big Boss
Big Boss was already just an explosion away from full on Cronenberg during Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I took a little artistic license and left the huge chunk of shrapnel out of his head to give Pix2Pix a fighting at looking human. On an "is-it-human?" scale of one to 10, with one being a platypus and 10 being Michael Cera, I give Cronenberg Big Boss a solid six. Unfortunately, he now has a hair eyepatch, and that's something we're both gonna have to live with.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Cyborg Ninja
Next up we have Solid Snake's former BFF Gray Fox. I just drew his mask, but we got an interesting result from Pix2Pix that looked like that monster from Pan's Labyrinth finally got a single eyeball and started wearing a toupee. My headcanon is now that the monster got his act together and opened a flower shop after the events of the movie.
Pix2Pix memes: Cronenberg Sonic
Sending Sonic through Pix2Pix finally cured him of the need to go fast. He has transcended and is now a fifth-dimensional creature that looks like E.T. in profile or like a failed Ripley clone from Alien Resurrection.
More gaming news and updates
Check out the latest from Mic, like this essay about the sinister, subtle evils lurking in rural America that Far Cry 5 shouldn’t ignore. Also, be sure to read our review of Tekken 7, an article about D.Va’s influence on one Overwatch player’s ideas about femininity and an analysis of gaming’s racist habit of darkening villains’ skin tones.