Game Manuals – The Battle Blog

Heather talks about gaming manuals. Which ones were your favorites and do you miss them in your game boxes?

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Saving the Awesomeverse one game at a time. Original Reviews, Retrospectives, Sketches, and Coverage of your favorite past and present games.


  1. Lightspeed (also called Hyperspeed) had a very in depth manual that gave you schematics for the ship you pilot and the components explaining the advanced technology as well as life cycle and psychological information about the various aliens you encounter.

    Wierd Dreams came with a pocket novela detailing the eventa that lead up to games concerning a daemon, the main characters narcolepsy, and his obsession with pasta which never comes up during the game itself.

    The main reason these manuals were so large was because they used for the word look up that was considered copy protection back in the day. I’m glad that’s gone but the the in depth background information that resulted from it.

  2. Please play Senran Kagura for your Tuesday show. My man jugs would be proud. 😛

    Wanna know what my favorite manual was?

    Lunar Star Story for the PSX. That thing was beautifully massive. Manuals haven’t really been interesting since the PSX era so I don’t blame games for not having them as much anymore.

  3. I hate that most devs these days are too cheap to include a staple of gaming in their cases. Then again, we live in an age where games are patched after release because early adopters are suckered into bug testing the game, and content that should be included as a game is often released later as DLC which is sometimes in the form of a small unlock key download for content that’s already on a disc but is locked out. Yeah, we live in an age when nothing makes sense anymore. I miss the days when devs actually cared about their products. The manual is just one of multiple ways in which modern devs like to show that they don’t care, least of all about the gamers who buy their games.

  4. Instruction booklets were a big deal for me and I used to spend way too much time looking at them. To this day I always reach for the booklet when I open a new game…but there’s nothing there anymore. : (

    When I was a kid I found my brother’s old Metroid instruction booklet despite the game being broken or lost by that point, and for years that was my only experience with the Metroid series. And I thought it was awesome; had the story, areas, bosses, all the little minion aliens…it even had my brother’s codes for various points in the game that he’d written down in the little “notes” section in the back

    When I was a slightly older kid I got Fire Emblem for Christmas but the box I got had no cartridge (I guess due to a manufacturing error). It was almost a week before I had a chance to go to the store and get it exchanged for a box with an actual game in it, so until then I read the instruction booklet till I practically had it memorized. Those games have pretty rad instruction booklets too.

    Other booklets I remember for more content related reasons are Megaman X (which had excepts from Dr. Cain’s journal and the like) Diablo II (because it was a freakn’ tome of an instruction booklet), Raphsody a Musical Adventure (had the lyrics for the songs in the back) Okage (filled all the empty space with lots of cool monster artwork) and Shadow of the Collosus (had a fancy letterbox thing going on). I’m sure there’s a lot more I just can’t think of off the top of my head…

    This video made me nastolgia very hard. Thanks for making it! ^_^

  5. So many to choose from. For starters, my favorite was the instruction manual for Ecco The Dolphin and Castlevania Bloodlines. Because each had interesting backstories and extra tidbits for fun reading. The Ecco The Dolphin one had even at the end of the manuel, scientific fun facts about dolphins, and a poem written by a sailor about his experience with a pod of dolphins that was beautiful to read.

    Castlevania added in more of the backstory to the plot of the game. And helped me ease into the Castlevania Franchise when I didn’t get a chance to play the first two games.

    For PC, it would have to be the World of Warcraft and American McGee’s Alice. World of Warcraft was a freaking NOVEL in detailing the history of the Battle in Azeroth, lore surrounding important characters and stories behind each and every race you play. I may be cheating with AMA though, as the manuel wasn’t interesting but it came with a companion “diary” written by Alice’s doctor who is tending to her at Rutledge’s Asylum, and it offers a interesting outsider’s POV of Alice’s condition while she is fighting inside her mind to save Wonderland.

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