We now know the reason for that smug expression

Those of you in North America old enough to remember the days before the internet will no doubt recall the Nintendo Power Line. This telephone service offered gameplay tips and hints for struggling players, and was your only hope in a period where online FAQs and strategy guides didn't exist.

The service lost some of its importance with the emergence of the web, and was finally switched off on June 1, 2010. However, there's always been a part of us that admired the seemingly endless knowledge and wisdom of these gaming gods; how could they possibly know every Nintendo title inside out?

Turns out the reality is somewhat disappointing. Imgur user portnoyd has posted photos of two Nintendo Power Line binders, showing hastily-sketched maps, awkward illustrations and even clippings from magazines.

That's another childhood memory ruined, then.

[source kotaku.com, via imgur.com]