Update [Fri 25th Mar, 2022 10:00 GMT] - Well, that didn't last long. Last week, we reported on a stunning collection of online scans from the 1996 Super Mario 64 guide; a true relic that would likely cost a hefty sum if you wanted a physical copy today.
Thanks to an update from Kotaku, we can now report that the scans have now been taken offline after a copyright strike from Nintendo of America, which Internet Archive passed onto the original uploader, Comfort Food Video Games.
Before we give our own opinion on this, here's a quote from the uploader courtesy of Kotaku:
"Sadly archive.org sent me their usual takedown notice email telling me Nintendo of America challenged the copyright of the scan and it was removed. Frankly I’d love to challenge the legitimacy of that and how Nintendo of America would have anything to do with a Nintendo of Japan licensed Gem Books guide from 1995 but I can’t really fight the Nintendo legal team here. It’s incredibly disappointing.
While I fully understand protecting one’s IP and copyrights I didn’t think I was hurting anyone by scanning and uploading a 27 year old guide that is extremely out of print. Truthfully I think it helps Nintendo while only hurting the people selling this guide for literal hundreds of dollars. All I wanted to do was spread my love of this incredible guide and to a larger extent my love for the company.
I’m a rookie to the video game preservation scene but I can’t think of anything more depressing than how it’s a bunch of hard working people spending their free time and money painstakingly archiving and preserving history while major corporations like Nintendo are doing nothing to help. In fact they’re actively hindering the cause."
This is obviously a disappointing turn of events, although not especially surprising if you're familiar with Nintendo's previous takedowns. On the one hand, of course, the guide remains Nintendo's copyright and it has every right to defend it, but let's be honest here, it's been out of production for years at this point. The likelihood of Nintendo reissuing such a product - particularly outside of Japan - is incredibly slim when you consider the number of times Super Mario 64 has already been released on various platforms; we daresay it's missed its chance.
On a more positive note, we'd wager that the cat is now out of the bag. With something like a collection of online scans, you can bet that this thing is already in circulation outside of the Internet Archive. Nintendo has proven itself thorough when it comes to copyright claims, but we doubt that even it will be able to nail this one down completely.
Were you able to view the Super Mario 64 guide before its takedown? Do you own a copy of the original? Let us know.
Original Story [Tue 15th Mar, 2022 14:30 GMT]
Proper game guides really feel like a thing of the past now, with online walkthroughs and YouTube guides being a far more convenient, if a bit sterile, alternative.
One of the best examples of a game guide done right is the original 1996 Japanese guide for Super Mario 64, complete with commentary from the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto and a set of gorgeous dioramas based on the game's levels.
The guide is fairly difficult to get hold of these days, and you'd be looking at parting with a decent wad of cash to bag one on eBay. Thankfully, all 152 pages have now been scanned online in HD, so everyone can view and appreciate the incredible work that's gone into it. Granted, the whole thing is in Japanese, but we'd wager most readers know Super Mario 64 inside and out by now.
Here's a sample of the delights held within, but you can check out the full guide over on Internet Archive (link removed due to copyright claim).
Be sure to take a look - maybe its time for another playthrough of Super Mario 64!