At first glance it might look like a screenshot, but it’s actually a ton of magic beads.

Looking back at screenshots of the first Pokémon game, it’s hard to believe that it came out more than twenty years ago (and then again more recently for 3DS). Still, looking back at the pixellated, grey-scale images they do look a bit dated compared to later iterations. Now, a Japanese Twitter artist has breathed new life into Satoshi Tajiri’s creation with an insanely intricate, three-dimensional rendering with plastic beads.

In Twitter user @sappoi_san‘s amazing piece, hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny plastic beads have been combined to recreate the imaginatively named ‘player character’, Pikachu and a house too. As the text explains, the beads haven’t been stuck together with glue or tape, but fused together by being ironed over. The medium is perfect for recreating the chunky 8-bit images from the classic Nintendo Game Boy and has seen other crafty types recreating characters like a certain pair of Italian handyman siblings, and Dragon Quest characters.

The fuse beads, as they’re generically known, can take hours to carefully place side by side. While particularly complex 2-D fuse bead art can sell for hundreds of dollars because of its unique, blocky, game-like quality, a 3-D image like this will have required countless layers to be built up one by one – a testament to the artist’s love of the game.

In the photo below, an amiibo figurine has been helpfully placed for scale, revealing just how large the bead art is, and give us an idea of just how long it must have taken and how many beads were needed to put it togther.

Put next to an actual screenshot of the game, it’s amazing how close to the real thing @sappoi_san’s creation is and how at first glance the mind is tricked into seeing a game image before noticing the wooden floor and background behind the piece.

Somehow the bead creation looks more impressive, and more attractive than if @sappoi_san had made a more photographically realistic version, perhaps yet more proof of the beauty of imperfection.

Source: Twitter/sappoi_san via jin115
Featured image: Twitter/sappoi_san