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Dear Rolling Stone: That's not what Luigi looks like
by Frank Cifaldi on 04/08/13 06:00:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Something was really bugging me about the Super Mario Bros screenshot above, as seen in a fun little profile piece on Shigeru Miyamoto published by Rolling Stone today. It took me a second to realize it, but: that's not Luigi! Luigi doesn't look like that! He looks like this!

So what happened, here? Well, Rolling Stone -- a publication I assume is still adhering to some pretty strict editorial guidelines that probably haven't been revisited in years -- chose to only run images provided officially by Nintendo of America. There are two problems with doing this for an article about the original Super Mario Bros.: first, the only screenshots Nintendo has are from the 2004 Game Boy Advance release of the game (which had a lower horizontal resolution than the original NES, hence why the screenshot looks squished), and second, none of the screenshots actually have Luigi in them.

So what do you do? Well, in Rolling Stone's case, I guess you doctor a screenshot. Kind of badly. Here's the original, which has been on Nintendo's press site for about nine years now:

And here are the two brothers, side-by-side. It looks like Luigi lost some of his arm, there!

So I guess what I'm saying is that Rolling Stone needs to go back to hanging out with rockstars and going to concerts and stuff and leave the vintage video game screenshots to the experts.

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Tyler Doak
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Frank Cifaldi
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Yes, that's a game that exists. Thanks for reminding us.

Renee Johnson
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Why... Why all the random antialiasing? They could have just selected Mario and gone nuts with the Hue slider without messing with the resolution at all. What did they even do?!

Oh, yeah, and something something, what a disgrace, use faithful material, something. Yes, that too. :P

Yama Habib
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Photoshop does that automatically when you color replace with the magic wand tool.

Morgan Ramsay
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@Yama: Or, you can use advanced features like the "Anti-alias" checkbox.

Adam Bishop
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While it's not quite the same thing, this reminded me of this article on Mansa Musa in the Mirror. The text on the image says "Artist's impression of Mansa Musa" but it's pretty clear that they just Google image searched his name and grabbed the first picture they found, which happens to be the character model of Mansa Musa from Civilization 4.

Badr AlOmair
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So using unofficially-sanctioned images gathered randomly from the web is not allowed in the Rolling Stone strict editorial guidelines. But doctoring images is still ok?

Christian Nutt
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Or, for that matter, firing up the ol' emulator and taking a nice fresh screen. Though I can understand why they wouldn't do that with Nintendo in the mix.