Before strategy guides and that pesky, know-it-all internet came along, completing tricky games was a serious challenge. There was a time when players couldn't simply Google "how do I unlock Simon Belmont's luscious locks in Smash Bros.", and instead had to figure everything out by playing over and over again.
Often, though, players would use good ol' pen and paper to create their own guides for themselves, drawing out level designs and scribbling down anything that could turn out to be useful in the future - hence why game manuals used to come with notes sections at the back. As a way of preserving this dying trend, and to create something rather beautiful to share with the world, artist Philip Summers is releasing a new, hand-drawn guide to NES classic Ninja Gaiden.
The whole guide is written from protagonist Ryu's perspective, not only featuring maps for every single stage, character profiles, and art for every single character, but also a set of journal entries to "flesh out the story that is told in the game". Just like Summers' other hand-drawn guide for Contra, this work will be available from Gumroad under a free / pay what you want download model.
It launches tomorrow - coinciding with the release of Ninja Gaiden on Switch - so make sure to check back and download it for yourself to make your way through the game.
Do you have memories of drawing your own guides? Do you now find yourself searching online for the answers you need? Let us know with a comment below.
I know the chap that did this. very cool. It should be in print.
@YANDMAN that's cool. I'm very impressed with the colors.
Everything was better before...
Very nice. I miss classic instruction manuals and the like.
This is great!
I love instruction manuals and wished more games came with them. Because reading them can be quite disturbing, for instance the first Mario game said that the blocks which you smash used to be people...
Also keeping scores in the back, when the only game I had was Sonic (Built in) to my Master System II, I used to play it all the way through and write down the score at the end, to try and beat it next time I played. (Sad I know, but that was replayabilty back in the day)
The Contra one was fantastic. This guy is truly gifted!!
So cool! . I loved the illustrations of Ryu.
Manuals and game magazines really need to come back in full force.
@Cobalt We sound like our dads... but it's so true!
@MysticGengar and @Bunkerneath
Pick up a physical copy of Monsterboy. It comes with a full color "manualette", complete with new manual-smell!
@michellelynn0976 He does some amazing work, give him a follow on Twitter.
@AcesHigh You know, I'm a dad myself...
Oh, good old times!
The coolest guide I remember was the one from the game "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego".
It was a thick guide with information about all countries that appeared in the game, so if you have the tips from a witness you would check the guide for help to figure out the country you should visit next.
It was really great, made you feel like a proper detective looking the notes for clues etc.
Shame they don't do that anymore....
Nowadays if you get something printed on the back of the front cover it is already a bonus.
For me, the best guide that was actually bundled with the game was the thick hint guide that was bundled with Phantasy Star II. It was actually shrik-wrapped to the back of the cartridge. At the time, I think that was the first time for a bundled hint guide. I marked that thing up so many times after countless playthroughs.
Bought! Love to support stuff like this.
@YANDMAN I will.
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