I never played Secret of Mana 2 on the Super Nintendo, but I could recognize its trees in a blink. I saw them in countless other games, their lush branches decorating the corners of fantasy worlds filled with magic, dragons, and bugs. Oh, so many bugs. I’ve never played the first Star Ocean, the Suikoden series, Terranigma, or Chrono Trigger. But I know them. They are games I’ve always appreciated in a disjointed state, their plants and furniture dissected and laid out on sprite sheets like tiny organs on an autopsy table.
I saw all this because, when I was a teenager, I illegally ripped art assets from commercial games. (more…)