They can often be an afterthought these days, but in console generations of years past, game manuals were often a must-read. Compared to the meager installation packages that come with games today, those classic manuals are on a whole different level in terms of the care and detail in them – and the page count is much higher too.
The current, as noted by my boxa community project by Hosted by streamer Peebs successfully scanned and uploaded every last English game manual for the Super Nintendo. You can Check out the entire collection here. Peebs was driven to put together a central resource for the guidebook during his eight-year quest to play and beat every SNES game for his Twitch viewers.
Flipping through the random instruction booklets can be a fun dose of nostalgia for a 30-year-old like me, but it can also be a useful resource for any gamer using the latest games. Various SNES titles are available with a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online.
We could not have done this without everyone’s help.
On twitter, discord, reddit. Spread the word and help follow the manuals here and there.
In 2 years we have gone from 52% of available manuals, to 100%
– Peebs – SNESManuals.com (eePeebsSNES) July 1, 2022
Nintendo provides online manuals for each bundled game Classic NES and Classic SNES but this is a much more comprehensive treasure trove of game history. Check out the user manual for something like Chrono Activator just one example of how extensive they were in the 16-bit era. Similar repositories are available for Nintendo 64 and Virtual boy titles.
The SNES Manuals Project is a collaborative effort, with owners of rare or hard-to-find titles contributing scans to the archives. According to Peebs, nearly 100 people attended the event. But what if someone happens to be devising a PAL manual for a German release Daze Before Christmas, you can help fill in the last remaining part of the puzzle. I’ll just be here flipping through old favorites like Saturday Night Competitions and one Upgrade house game which I never even knew existed. The instructions in the game are not exactly the same as the physical instructions with the notes at the end.