Let Grandpa Script tell you about game manuals - Destructoid

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I am a twenty-something years old guy who loves video games. There is a certain magic in this interactive media that you can't get anywhere else.

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Reading one of these blogs will either make you laugh or make you cringe very hard:

Grandpa Script tells you how it was back when games had manuals.

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Ah, the days of my youth... like the scent of fresh lemons, you see.

Do you remember when games came with informative, colorful manuals?

Of course you don't, you whippersnapper! You were not even in the belly of your mother during the golden age of gaming. We were fortunate and behaved younglings. Went to church everyday. Had absolute respect for the elders. Fought in the great lemon war to protect our freedom. That was me as a wee lad, oh yes it was.

Nowadays kids don't appreciate their lemons. They don't respect their """old""" man. They only go to church on Sundays. I tell you, this generation is spoiled rotten! All they care about is their greasy hair and "rock" music, and they spend all day playing those newfangled electronic games!

Oh, that is right. Video games. That's what I was talking about, right? My memory is failing me, I tell you!

Young'uns, this is a manual. It taught you how to play the game. Unlike the hand-holding games of today, if you wanted instructions on how to play it, you went to the internet. Or you read the game manual. Either way, you were forced to READ, which is healthy for your spine!

The Super Mario World manual had detailed instructions on every action you could do with every item, with nice illustrations to boot. It also had the game's story and even a map with descriptions of the stages.

Of course, being the first video game ever made, Super Mario World's manual was rough around the edges. It was cool, but was it hip? Not hip like fedoras, it wasn't.

So, the next game manuals took it to the next level. They had trivia. More backstory. Tips and tricks. Some of them even had comics to appeal to our young minds, thanks to the popularity of that animated mouse, Donald.

In short, those manuals were the real deal. One of my favorites is LEGO Island's manual.

It was good. Great, even. But as an old man of experience, I knew they could get better. That was when PC games came and ushered us into a new golden age.

Just... just look at this beauty:

Those manuals were extensive. They basically gave you any information you could ever hope for and more. You could really get lost just reading all the backstory contained in those pages. For some games like RPGs, it was almost essential to read the manual to really understand how the game mechanics worked. If anything, there were perfect for a quick reference.

But now, look at the manual of one of the latest releases:

Grey. Boring. Like these new "movies" thing the kids keep talking about. Where's the ART? Where's the BEAUTY? Where's my heart pi- HNNNNNNG...


*pant* Oh. *pant* That was close. It's a good thing I don't actually exist or else I'd be dead.

Anyway, my point is: I miss the good old days. In my time, manuals were made with love. They were big, colorful. And the players read it with love. But nowadays manuals are tiny, frail things.

Okay, maybe games like Mario don't really need a manual. Everybody knows how to play Mario. Don't they teach that in elementary school like they used to? But games like RPGs, where manuals could truly shine, don't receive the adequate treatment. It would be handy to have a quick reference sheet to check the attributes of a class, the evolution of a Digimon, but we don't even get THAT. It's an abuse!

What was that you just said? Iron Hare? Huh? Oh, you "don't care"? Aaaaaarrrrghh you damned youngsters! You don't understand what it's like to love! Why can't you understand the concept of love? Is there no end to the madness? You are spoiled brats that have no respect for tradition! In my day, all we had to eat was rotten lemons AND WE LIKED IT!

I've about had it with you, GET OFF MY DAMN LAWN!














It's okay. I prefer to be left alone anyway. And I will always have my old manuals to keep me company. As long as I have my dearest manual of all time, I will be happy...



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