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How to Make your own "Mystery Screenshot"

by Rick Powers - August 17, 2001, 12:55 pm EDT
Source: Sonic Team

Rick tells everyone EXACTLY how Sonic Team made the "mystery screenshot" ...

Sonic really opened up a can of worms. Everyone is dissecting that "Mystery Screenshot" as if it were a legit game and not the creation of a web developer that needed art.

Folks, don't take the screenshot at face value. Yes, the mystery game is likely to be Sonic (since anything else would be a HUGE let down), but that doesn't mean that the screenshot is from that game. In fact, it's a Dreamcast Sonic Adventure 2 screenshot. How do we know? Because we made our own. And now you can too!

First, go to this Sonic Team page and grab the upper right Sonic 2 screenshot.

Next, go to the SpaceWorld page and grab the "Mystery screenshot".

Finally, you'll need Adobe Photoshop, with the standard Mosaic Pixellate filter. I can't be positive it will work on Paint Shop Pro.

The first thing you need to do is reduce the size of the screenshot. It's not the same size as SonicTeam's mystery shot ... so go to Image, Image Size and reduce the height to 135 pixels. Do NOT constrain the proportions.

Next, Choose Filter, Pixellate, Mosaic. Set the Cell Size to 16 Squares.

There you have it. The only real noticable difference is in the color of the Purple Square in the center. It's likely that Sonic was blurred out before the screenshot was pixellated, making that square much lighter in color. But the colors of all the other pixels are dead on (not quite perfect, but close enough to account for different Photoshop color settings).

Folks, this is NOT unequivocable proof that the Mystery game is Sonic. In fact, this proves that the screenshot was simply borrowed from the Dreamcast version. However, it is a very good indicator that they used a Sonic shot because it WILL be a Sonic game.

Thanks to all of you who e-mailed us with examples and pictures, including sanjuro, who pointed us to the exact screenshot to use. No one quite had ALL the steps in place, but it helped us discover a lot.

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