AI’s Silent Hill 1 Remake Proves Artificial Intelligence Has A Long Way To Go



  • As
    Silent Hill
    samples show, it’s hard for AI upscaling to fully replicate the detail and artistry of games.
  • Handcrafted remasters or remakes provide more convincing results in preserving the essence of classic games.
  • Memories of older games are best experienced on original hardware when possible.

Artificial intelligence can seem like an interesting tool for upscaling classic games, but if there’s anything that some samples with the original Silent Hill prove, it’s that the technology still has some serious limitations. AI has recently been a hot-button issues, with a lot of legitimate concerns about corporations replacing the artistic efforts and livelihoods of real people with comparatively soulless and low-quality AI content. There are some areas where AI can provide useful services outside of original creative work, but even when attempting possibly valid endeavors, the end results might not always be ideal.

AI upscaling is a concept that’s been around for a bit longer than the newer wave of AI-generated images and videos, arriving as a natural extension of upscaling software and processes that were already dependent on software. In theory, AI can be used to extrapolate low-resolution detail for a high-definition result, which can be useful when the source material is lacking. In the case of games, the obvious application lies in the limited textural detail of older standard-definition games, which look blurry or pixelated on modern displays.


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Long-awaited Silent Hill projects have seemingly only exacerbated the fanbase’s frustrations. While more games are upcoming, many fear the worst.

An AI Upscale Of Silent Hill Doesn’t Quite Work

An example of what an AI-upscaled Silent Hill might look like was provided by Reddit user AndrePeniche, who posted a series of screenshots from the game that they ran through an upscaler called Krea. The AI handles some of the simpler challenges in the images fairly well, like clarifying detail in dirty, weathered walls. When it comes to tasks that require a more nuanced touch, however, things can quickly fall apart. The best example of this is the single Silent Hill 4 screenshot thrown in, where the Twin Victims — already thoroughly detailed in the original screenshot — become an uncanny mess.

Characters are the biggest problem in the upscaled images in general, gaining uncanny and inaccurate appearances.

The easiest argument to make in favor of the look is that Silent Hill is supposed to be weird and unsettling, and the unconvincing quality of AI upscaling could help contribute to that atmosphere. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t compare to the handcrafted discomfort of the original games. Mishandling of detail can become distracting in a way that’s ultimately damaging to immersion, especially when looking at basic errors like incorrect text, and the sense that everything was designed with a specific visual purpose quickly becomes lost.

The Place Of Upscaling In Remastering Games

A castle bedroom in Final Fantasy 9 with Moguri Mod installed.

Perhaps the most well-received example of AI upscaling in a game is the community-made Moguri Mod for Final Fantasy 9, which uses the technique on the low-resolution pre-rendered backgrounds. The general positivity around the project comes from comparing it to the game’s official remaster, which also upscales backgrounds but with a more basic, smudgy approach. There’s an argument to be made that Moguri Mod and similar projects can be reasonable solutions for playing certain games that don’t have good remasters or remakes on modern displays, in part because a lot of manual work went into improving the upscaling results.

Even then, essentially any older game with low-resolution resources is simply going to look its best on original hardware and a CRT display, avoiding the weird artifacts that appear in something like Moguri Mod. Fond memories of dated games being visually impressive aren’t just nostalgia goggles, as the unique qualities of a CRT screen help make low-resolution art look sharp and detailed while blending pixelated colors and edges smoothly. Since these games were designed for the technology of the time, the resulting image is significantly more cohesive than the inferred detail of AI upscaling can manage.

What The AI Silent Hill Upscale Says About Remasters

A still from the Silent Hill 2 Remake trailer showing the game's fixed over the shoulder 3rd person camera perspective.

The other obvious solution to the lack of detail in older games is the one that can often be a pipe dream — getting an official remaster or remake that puts work into properly translating the art style to modern graphics. These can have problems of their own, like the aforementioned Final Fantasy 9 remaster or the particularly pertinent example of the concerns surrounding the Silent Hill 2 remake. When done right, however, an official remaster or remake has the resources to improve or replace assets by hand, making for much more convincing results.


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The current limitations of AI upscaling games might best be summed up in a comment from Reddit user Lyonface, who found the Silent Hill images reassuring because they’re “not replacing people nearly as well as people think.” The artistry behind great games has always been obvious, and translating them to modern hardware requires the same level of thoughtfulness and care. AI upscaling images of a game like Silent Hill can make for an interesting experiment, but the results ultimately come out in favor of the way that companies have been doing things all along.

Source: AndrePeniche/Reddit

Silent Hill 1 Poster

Silent Hill

February 23, 1999

Team Silent

Survival Horror



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