We miss the colourful manuals which used to come with games - sadly for the most part they have become a thing of the past as publisher cut costs and titles utilise more in-game tutorials.
Of course the Super Nintendo had some of the best game manuals, and Nintendo have now released scans for the games included on the SNES Classic Mini, all available to view on the official website.
Highlights are the fancy brand new manual for Star Fox 2, but more recent additions include the comic strip which can be found in F-Zero's manual and the amusing way the sprites in the Contra III: The Alien Wars manual have been worked into the text.
Be sure to take a look and share some of your favourite parts from these retro game manuals with a comment below.
I hate losing to any driver whose blood is red!
Why oh why didn't they just include the option to view them on the SNES Mini itself.
I forgot all about the F-Zero comic.
That "F-Zero" comic set the tone for my love for the "F-Zero" franchise. Spent many times doodling the vehicles at school during boring classes that added no value to my life, patiently waiting to come home to play SNES. Kids will never know...
Instruction manuals are a lost art. I wish they'd put a little effort in to the digital ones if they'll insist on not including them any more.
There's always space for leaflets and system manuals in several different languages though.
You can save these though, and print and bind them yourself, if you're so inclined, although if I recall, there's a resource out there that has much more than just these SNES Mini games included.
I won this weekend to honor beautiful women everywhere. My butt wasn't on the line, and I certainly didn't battle like a red-blooded man.
I would have loved for these to be included on the system itself as well. :3
@Folkloner they did, but it is just a QR code to this page presented here.
I spent hours poring over the manuals for F-Zero and Mario World growing up, copying that artwork. Manuals are a lost art.
That artwork makes me want to play Comix Zone again. Switch port please, Sega?
@gaga64 Very true. I have manuals for a lot of the games on this system still (and every game but SF2T (have SF2.) They're so fun to dig into just as much as the GB and NES era stuff as well. They got more bland and sterile if informative into the GBC/GBA (N64/GC) era but it sucks they're gone now. In game nagging is the thing which is annoying or forced tutorials you usually can't skip. Any cheapo stunt to save a buck. At least Nicalis is doing them still on their releases (Isaac and Cave Story so far) and they're 80s style which is awesome.
The instruction manual with the EU version was the main reason i bought Binding of Isaac, and now i'm obsessed with that game.
It's a shame more switch games don't come with them as there is the perfect space in the case for them
There are also some good smartphone wallpapers to download in the Star Fox 2 manual. They are located at the bottom of the characters page.
totally agreed. they wouldn't take much space.
"self-contained" oh except scan this to see manuals. bah.
Sniff, those old Nintendo manuals where lovely. Nice pictures, colors (thirdparty's just had black and white manuals). Later came the super-boring manuals. And now the super-boring manuals are digital-only.
The old manuals were so nice. Like @Hikingguy I used to love the manuals. I'd open the game, play it clueless for a while and later that night when it was time to stop playing I'd page through the manual of my new game, taking it all in for the complete experience.
Shame that no longer exists, and the very idea of "tangibility" of a product you buy seems to hold no value for so many. Imaginary rentals seem "good enough" for some reason. I imagine in an era when there's less excess to have so much "stuff" tangibility will have meaning again.
This reminds me of the message on the cartridge label for the Super Famicom version of F-Zero. It explained the game is the first adventure of Nintendo’s new hero Captain Falcon. I’ve no idea why Nintendo didn’t follow through and use him in any other games though (other than his awesome Falcon Pawnch appearance in Smash Bros)!
Nicalis seems to be the only ones putting in any effort into their instruction manuals nowadays.
This is why I love Rockstar as you still get lovely manuals, fold-out maps and other inserts!
Can anyone else figure out the diagram in the Punch Out book - the one with the 2 opposing arrows representing ouch power and speed?!?!
Totally love this whole thing - can't wait to show these to my eldest son - awsome bedtime reading!
@BulkSlash Who knows - maybe they will!?
Dr.Captain Falcon? Mute City Chronicals? Nindenfalcons? BoxBoy 2.Falcon? Captain Falcons Pilot Wings Flying School for the Futuristically Insane? (Seriously - that one would be awesome!)
Agreed. Game developers adding concept art into digital manuals shound't be hard at all.
@TJM I totally want to play that last one now!
Wow they included the entire Earthbound player's guide. Downloading now...
I love old school game manuals. In Europe they went naff towards the end of the N64/GBC era as they went black and white and really thick as contained about a million different languages. The US manuals stayed in colour throughout the GBA/GC era, not sure about Wii.
It would be nice if digital manuals could be like this i.e. just PDF versions of proper manuals full of artwork, stories, jokes, puppets, nice design etc. But I guess the cost saving isn't just on printing and paper, it's on the time and effort that used to go into them too.
Boo I say! Boo!
@Hikingguy I used to read the manual on the way home from the shops too! We always had the manual handy playing a new game. I also still have our sticky taped together Zelda map with all of the secrets marked bacause dad bombed every rock and burnt every tree, literally every one that you possibly could reach. Manuals were great and eliminated unnecessary and boring tutorials.
Also my Wii u shovel knight has a one page card, no manual 😓
@Hikingguy I'm definitely going to have a better look at my shovel knight case when I get home tonight but I can't recall any manual in it. Maybe you have a collectors edition of some kind? If so I need to get one of those because I adore that game it's amazing. I just wish the Wii u version and the 3ds one had the battletoads boss in it! Come on I mean it was a Nintendo Game and they released the boss exclusive to ps4, makes no sense and it's just unjust!
@Shane76 I can understand them ditching print as digital presents such a simpler, more flexible and cheaper way of getting information to customers. However, that doesn't mean they can't produce beautiful digital manuals. They could be parcially animated and included with the game to be accessed through the menu. If the file size was an issue for carts they could make them a download option.
Someone else here made the point about them as an alternative to in game tutorials. I think game designers think that playing through the tutorial is more fun than reading a manual but I tend to disagree. I like the feeling of working out and remembering what to do using the written and drawn information - it emphasises the 'way finding' element of game playing over the route following one of tutorial play.
@Hikingguy You were right, Shovel Knight has the booklet! Just the regular version. Also has the download code for the soundtrack.
Anybody having problems downloading the manuals for Ghouls n Ghosts and Mega Man X? I get an error message. The rest have worked a treat.
I do kind of miss beautiful print manuals.
I love that Super Metroid manual. Its a shame the new 3DS game did not get a full color manual.
The F-Zero comic in the manual. That definitely helped me appreciate the F-Zero universe more.
To be fair, the quality most of the the manuals are provided in, they do take up several times the space of the actual games themselves.
Nintendo probably wanted to keep production costs low, so I'd be surprised if there was anything more than 128MB of flash memory inside the SNES mini.
If there's any disappointment here, it's that they've only included the manual for Zelda, and not the sealed mini-hintbook it came with.
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