These days, strategy guides are big business, but it hasn’t always been this way. In the early 90s, for example, magazines and cheat lines ruled, leaving strategy guides to, well. Do their own thing.
Not that this was a bad thing. Indeed, in this case, it’s an awesome thing, because we’re talking about the 1993 strategy guide for Mario Paint on the SNES. This guide, as recounted to us by 1UP, was not a walkthrough. Mario Paint wasn’t that kind of game. Instead, it was an album, a collection of templates that kids could copy to have their artwork looking sweet.
And at the end of this album? Something wonderful. A feature on Steve Miller, the winner of the Mario Paint 1992 Animation Contest. Yeah. Animation. Meaning that, long before digital cameras, Steve would painstakingly “paint” a picture, then film it (on tape), then paint another, stop-motion-style. The results, shown in highlight form above, are like 1992 frozen in carbonite.