And, naturally, the combined strength of three heroes.

A simple way of explaining the difference in video game graphics between now and the 16-bit era is that modern games look like CG and classic ones look like hand-drawn illustrations. But while that description works for the end results, it actually misses the mark on how old-school visual were constructed.

Those “hand-drawn” graphics of yesteryear were actually made like a mosaic, with the overall image crafted out of tiny dots of color. So when it came time for Japanese Twitter user @beads_teppei to pay tribute to Super Nintendo action role-playing game Secret of Mana (called Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan) by recreating its unforgettable title screen and box art, the artist didn’t reach for colored pencils, but for colored beads.

Yes, that massive piece of physical fan art is made entirely out of beads, each of which measures just 1.6 millimeters (0.063 inches) across. @beads_teppei bought up as many different shades of green as were available to craft the lush foliage of the Mana Tree, and the breathtaking finished piece is made up of 157,120 beads.

Another staggering statistic: 16, the number of months @beads_teppei spent working on this project, which is dedicated to Hiro Isono, the artist who drew the original cover illustration for Secret of Mana and a handful of other games in Square-Enix’s Mana franchise, before passing away in 2013 at the age of 67.

While it was at best a sleeper hit in North America at the time of its release, Secret of Mana has won respect and admiration in the years since for being one of the rare examples of a full-length, dramatic action RPG that allows for multiplayer play. Up to three human adventurers can undergo the quest together, and in a fitting parallel, @beads_teppei’s mom and older sister also pitched in on the Secret of Mana bead project. “There was so much detail work to do, and I asked myself so many times ‘What did I get myself into?’” recalls the artist, but in the end, it was all worth it.

▼ The work in progress

▼ Some of @beads_teppei’s other work includes bead-based salutes to Trigun star Vash the Stampede and the cast of volleyball anime Haikyu!!

Given the amount of time and effort that goes into each bead-based creation, @beads_teppei only produces a shared-on-Twitter project once a year, but for results like these, they’re worth the wait. Meanwhile, @beads_teppei points out that Isono’s family runs a website/online store celebrating his artwork here, in case you’re looking for even more inspiration.

Source: Twitter/@beads_teppei via IT Media
Feature image: Twitter/@beads_teppei
Top image ©SoraNews24
Insert images: @beads_teppei
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