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Author Topic: The instruction booklet  (Read 1310 times)
ultra7k
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« on: March 14, 2014, 03:40:59 PM »

So I've been thinking, these past few years the instruction booklet that used to come with games is now, more or less a thing of the past. For me, it was the first thing I used to thoroughly examine upon purchase. Well written ones told me more or less everything I needed to know on how to play the basics of the game, plus it had cool art and in older ones, hints.

Some notable manuals from days of yore:

Dragon Warrior for the NES. I think that thing was chock full of hints, even if the art in it was kind of crappy (I don't believe we got the Toriyama art here?). Was also in colour, I believe.

Faxanadu - This manual was pretty cool, it had pieces of art in that sort of added to the imagination of the player and what he was doing. For some reason that really sticks out to me.

I never had a SNES/Genesis so I can't comment on those.

Tactics Ogre - the manual was accompanied by a spread that revealed a greater picture once you opened the case. It had the main character fighting off a gryphon that extended to the backside of the front cover. Really cool.

Final Fantasy VII - I loved that manual. Full glossy colours, and screenshots that provided semi-hints.

Baldur's Gate (PC) - This is more like a tome. I bought this game after flipping through the manual, and seeing the level of detail the writers went into to create this world. Sure it had lots of rules and what not, but it was AMAZING.

Much to my chagrin, when I cracked open LR:FFXIII, there was no manual, or at least one that met my expectations as to what an RPG manual should be. I guess I always figured that RPGs would have manuals, because there was always so much emphasis on story that they tended to go hand in hand.

Anyways, any manuals that stand out in your mind over your gaming history?
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Aeolus
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 04:34:10 PM »

The early Zelda ones were always amazing as was Super Mario World's (it had a map of the overworld and everything).

Illusion of Gaia requires special mention for being a packed in Strategy Guide for getting all 50 of those blasted Red Gems.

Secret of Mana also had a nice guide up to the Earth Palace, presented in a fortune-teller format.

Really though, the format really hit its stride during the NES/SuperNES/GameBoy era. After that though, everybody started skimping and cutting back. I think the GBA era was the last era to truly have Instruction Booklets.
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Annubis
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 05:40:33 PM »

ALL HAIL THE KING !



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ultra7k
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 05:57:35 PM »

My eyes! They are blinded!

Actually, what was that game...I could have sworn it was also done by MicroProse back in the day...Some kind of combat flight simulator. I recall it coming with two manuals the were pretty thick.
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Klutz64
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 06:09:22 PM »

Illusion of Gaia requires special mention for being a packed in Strategy Guide for getting all 50 of those blasted Red Gems.

I've been trying to remember the name of that game for the last six months. Thank you!
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Kevadu
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 08:07:55 PM »

If your manuals aren't so big they have to be spiral bound they aren't real manuals.

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Aeolus
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 09:07:08 PM »

Yeah yeah, five sixths of those things are copy protection anyways.
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Kevadu
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 09:17:31 PM »

Yeah yeah, five sixths of those things are copy protection anyways.

Eh, I own the game.  It didn't have any copy protection at all.  It was just that friggin complicated.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 09:33:01 PM »

Maxis' manuals were great back in the day. Sc2K came with some particularly evocative supplementals.

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Tomara
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014, 03:12:07 PM »

The French and Germans had this thing where Nintendo published Super Nintendo RPG didn't just come with a manual, but with strategy guides. The Dutch Lufia (actually Lufia II) came with one as well. It didn't offer solutions for all the puzzles, but it had otherwise complete maps for every dungeon.

I guess it would be a waste of paper to publish a game that way nowadays, but put some extra art in those strategy guide and I'd be the kind of collector's edition I'd love to buy.

BTW are you guys forgetting about the Lunar hardcover manuals? Those were cute.
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CluelessWonder
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 08:54:07 AM »

Not a manual but I am mentioning it since it was a piece of paper that came with the game:  Star Tropics  submarine code.  I thought dipping the letter in water and getting the code was the neatest thing ever back then.  Actually I still think it is pretty neat.
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2014, 11:51:08 AM »

The Warioware games always had really entertaining instruction booklets.
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Holykael1
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 06:27:23 PM »

Blizzard battle chest manuals are a joy to look through.
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ultra7k
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 03:46:14 PM »

Was surprised that Rune Factor 4 gave me a nice, traditional manual.
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insertnamehere
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 01:21:08 PM »

- The "manual" for Arc the Lad Collection supposedly has 150 pages, but it is a compilation.
- Growlanser Generations' could barely fit in the case with both discs and I'd be lucky to make it stay closed, but again compilation.
- Sakura Wars (5) because the manual is slightly longer than the case.
- Assassin's Creed 1's manual has really fun notes from characters in the game.
- FF10's stuck out to me because it was the first manual I'd seen with over 60 pages.
- Recently got Tales of Xillia on clearance and was sad it didn't come with a manual, since something about the case feels hollow or empty without one.
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