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Old 07 July 2020, 17:36   #1
petarku
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Game manuals - first impression

Hi everyone ,
I recently bought syndicate (amiga big box) from ebay and I was really impressed with the quality of the manual, both from appearance point of view and also from details inside.
Now i have very little originals in my collection (just swos , cannon fodder and chaos engine) so maybe I am really easy to impress
I am interested to know back in the days or at recent times did you have same experience with any of the amiga game you bought?

Best Regards,
Petar
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Old 07 July 2020, 18:45   #2
Predseda
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Yes. I have around 300 boxed games, but only few have really impressive manuals. Hired guns, Starglider 2 and especially Immortal for me.
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Old 07 July 2020, 19:25   #3
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For me, Infocom and Magnetic Scrolls games were the peak of manual and extra materials goodness. Back in the 80s, I bought The Pawn, The Guild of Thieves and Jinxter. Just unboxing those games was an experience.
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Old 07 July 2020, 23:08   #4
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F1GP , couldnt beleive how much detail it went into , about the tracks and detailed descriptions on how to setup the car, cornering etc.
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Old 08 July 2020, 00:01   #5
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The manuals for Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker were impressive, I thought.

A massive manual, going into huge amounts of detail, like the physics of the game, the scoring, etc, then, a shortcut keymap card, for all the in game keys, but finally, another huge manual, which was the history of snooker!

I think the keymap was Amiga one side, Atari ST the other.
Oh, and a poster and cue chalk came in the box too.

All in all, big box games impressed me, usually. That more than most though.

Probably because it was such a shit game, I got a lot of extras with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. A pack of stickers, a transfer sheet, the code protection sheet, a post card and, I think, a metal pin badge. All in a nice green ziplock bag. The manual was small, but well written (as much as a platform game manual can be) and decent quality.

I think I had a collection of pin badges at the time. It was probably a t h i n g...

The simpsons just had the manual and disk. Same with the addams family, but at least that manual was in loads of languages.

Oh!

Flight of the intruder. Now *that* was impressive.
A novel! The flight of the intruder book
Then, the large ring bound manual,
going into the history of flight, automatic weapons and landing systems, how to manually do both,
how to calculate the speed and angle required for different kinds of bomb drops.

Then, two large maps, and a section of the book on how to use radio navigation channels, and how to plan missions.
How to set way points, how to pick targets, how to select ordinance.

The different kinds of weapons, the different kinds of planes, explains acceleration, g-force, all the technical things on what keeps a plane up in the air, and how to take advantage of that.
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Old 08 July 2020, 10:55   #6
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All the manuals for Microprose games were great (F-19, F-117a, F1GP etc. pp.). A lot of interesting details and really good background info.

Last edited by StingRay; 08 July 2020 at 11:40. Reason: typo
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Old 08 July 2020, 11:14   #7
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Manuals?! Back in my day you had learn as you went, funnily enough the dealers weren't handing out copies of manuals

Though in all seriousness i did buy original games i couldn't get hold off, don't remember many coming with impressive manuals, not that i was impressed with a manual when i was that age!
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Old 08 July 2020, 14:55   #8
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The Ultima games had nice manuals, typically several for spells, monsters, installation and so on, printed on old timey-looking parchment-style paper.

Burntime has a manual that described in detail the different types of radiation and the effect of global warming, atomic warfare or catastrophes, and general pollution.

Not an Amiga game, but I owned M1 Tank Platoon 2 back in the day, and it's handbook propably was almost as thick as the real M1 tank's manual! It also included all kinds of military history, the rivalry between the Army and Marines, tactics, and so on.
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Old 08 July 2020, 15:36   #9
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For more complex games, manuals were essential. Games rarely had the key assignments or pop-up help in them, and you couldn't just look up the keyboard layout or whatever on your smartphone back then. I got a lot of pirated games with 2nd hand Amigas over they years - some simply weren't playable because key bits of information were missing.

Games like Railroad Tycoon, Frontier, Birds of Prey, most Sim games other than Sim City, had great manuals that made a huge difference to the playability of the game. As others said, the detail some of these games went into was immense - in particular, I remember both Frontier and Birds of Prey having chapters introducing the physics of flight, which was a great touch!
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Old 21 July 2020, 07:07   #10
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Midwinter also had a pretty epic manual.

F1GP was great, my Amiga copy had the lovely glossy cover and a mates PC version had a natty B&W cover.
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Old 21 July 2020, 11:34   #11
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The Settlers' manual is quite comprehensive and it came with a nice reference card.
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Old 21 July 2020, 13:21   #12
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I knew someone back in the day who studied the 200 Page manual to M1 Tank Platoon for a very long time... He was into those type of games..
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Old 21 July 2020, 13:55   #13
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Flight of the Intruder - did contain the paperback version of the novel, too. Several flight simulators did have huge manuals, tens / over hundred pages. Well, B-17 seems to have 230 pages...
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