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.