The History Of Gaming Through Manuals

There was a time when a game manual wasn't just a place to print out what each button did. Manuals were, at one point, the first step of the journey into a intricate fantasy world.

Manuals explained the interface, but that was the least important thing they did. Much more importantly they served as the ferryman to a new world. They explained the reason for your existence, the history of your new life and kicked off what would become a grand adventure.

My old gaming manuals aren't around anymore, not because I threw them out, but because I wore them out. Days, months spent worrying over the minor details of their printed words left them in tatters.

Fortunately, I'm not the only one who understands their power and value. Website has collected and scanned nearly 9000 gaming manuals with the help of 465 enthusiasts. The manuals come from an amazingly diverse selection of platforms including the 3DO, Amiga, Jaguar, CD-i and PC. Though it appears there are no TRS-80 manuals.

Most recent scans include Gauntlet Legends, Tekken 3 and Pokemon Yellow.

Did I mention this was entirely free and voluntary? Pretty amazing stuff.



    haha oh man i was literally playing Syndicate last night and had to keep referring to the manual. Any info that I would've otherwise referred to a gameFaq about (ie: how many people you need for the persuadatron to nab before you can get cops and other agents, specific details about what certain other weapons did, etc) was listed there!

    The problem is that with so many games becoming electronically downloaded, no-one bothers to refer to the manual any more because there's so many in-game tutorials on how to use items... This becomes so goddamned annoying & tedious for me when I'm playing the game through for a second time and just scream "I KNOW HOW TO PLAY JUST LET ME PLAY!!!!"

    Case study: Frantically tapping the A button in Zelda: OOT only to have my npc ask me if i'd like to hear this again & I've already tapped A again >.<

    I love replacementdox, it's really awesome. And I still read manuals for new games before I play - including those on Steam.

    Quest for Glory 2 had a great manual. There was like a lore book which if you read properly would help you solves things in game - at the time it blew me away.

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