Best Instruction Booklets?

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 20th, 2013, 10:51 pm

I think most classic gamers can appreciate a glossy, colorful instruction book that's fun to read.  Sadly they are in short supply when it comes to modern systems.

So which systems had the best instructions?

One that comes to mind was the Atari 2600.  Especially when they moved to the white instruction books, which were a piece of art.  The illustrations were amazing and the background story really expanded upon the limited gameplay.  It got you psyched up to play!

Another great system for manuals was the Super Nintendo.  Sure the Genesis had those nice clam cases, but the SNES had those colorful, glossy black manuals.  These may have been the high point of manual quality.

Your thoughts?  Fond memories?

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby Rev1 » November 20th, 2013, 11:51 pm

SNES definitely had some of the best overall manuals with the full glossy pages. I think individual call outs are also helpful. The Lufia games and Arc the Lad (PS1) are some of the best manuals I have ever seen. Hard back, colored glossy pages, fabric used for bookmarks. Those games are some of my favorite collectibles.

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby darkrage61 » November 21st, 2013, 12:06 am

Definitely the Genesis for me, they were highly informative and detailed, even the ones in the later inferior cardboard packaging were still pretty good.

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby Sut1 » November 21st, 2013, 5:01 am

Some of the best (although they could vary quite wildly) was the Amiga/ST instruction booklets.
Big glossy and informative. Chaos Engine and Lotus 2 spring to mind. Also games like Elite 2 would through actual books in there and maps etc. Awesome !

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby ActRaiser1 » November 21st, 2013, 8:45 am

For me it was the PC games in the late 80s/early 90s.  Does anyone remember Lucas Arts game boxes with tons of stuff in them?  And then combine that with the official guidebooks and we're talking a novel's worth of extra story content.  Tie Fighter and X-Wing for the win!

On the console side, I loved the SNES manuals.  Always colorful, glossy fun to read on the car ride home from picking up a game.

Good times.

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby Tron1 » November 23rd, 2013, 12:19 am

Part of what made instruction manuals & box art so awesome during the Atari & NES days was due to the limitations of the graphics in the games. When all you had was a stick man on the screen it was pretty cool seeing what the game was supposed to represent.

I remember the nifty brochures that came with nearly every Intellevision game. The cover had a bunch of actors in all sorts of costumes representing games, but the best part was all the screen shots and descriptions of the game inside.

The Zelda manual was arguably my favorite. I also loved the two page class tree I got with SNES Ogre Battle.    

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Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby NewModelArmy1 » November 25th, 2013, 7:49 am

c-64 era, nothing else even comes close.

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Re: Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby scotland » July 19th, 2016, 7:12 am

The C64 was a golden age for manuals. The games were getting longer, but there was no hard drive. Disk copying was rampant, and so feelies could be DRM. Manuals and box art helped make the product look professional. The Commodore keyboard, with its function keys and special keys, augmented the simple 1 button controller in non-obvious ways. Some games even had entire books of backstory. It really was a complete package. Other home computers were probably similar.

Here is a Kotaku article on the 'slow decline' of game manuals

The comment section is more interesting than the article. The manuals, label and cover art were all wonderful parts of older games, and are very memorable.

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Re: Best Instruction Booklets?

Postby Herschie » July 19th, 2016, 3:47 pm

I loved the instruction manual for "The Legend of Zelda": Image

Talk about treasure! And it was a fairly interesting read.

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