English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Nostalgia & memories

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 23 August 2020, 10:43   #1
MrD
Registered User
MrD's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 105
Game manuals and illustrations, the best and worst

I love a good manual!

They're a creative part of the game as much as any other... except since they're sometimes (well often) an afterthought and written by somebody completely different they feel a little off-the-cuff and improvised, if they mention the plot of the game at all. They also have screenshots of things that sometimes don't exist in the final game.

But what I like the most in a manual are the illustrations, if there are any. We get to see the characters in the artist's intended style before they were squished down to low colours and low res. The best kind of illustration though has to be when they include a full-on comic. I know that Jazz Jackrabbit 1+2 for PC and Awesome Possum for Mega Drive do this, and a few of the Wolfchild ports have one too, but there a couple of Amiga ones as well:

Troddlers and Deep Space come with an introductory comic establishing the characters and setting. They're very different in style, but they're both absolutely bloody lovely. I can't find a good scan of Deep Space's owl comic anywhere.

Turrican 3 Payment Day has such a bizarre manual that I had to check that the Turrican 3 cover hadn't landed on another game's pages. There are illustrations of Turrican in there, but he's not the Kamen Rider-esque red and blue hero he is on the T1 title screen and sprite, or the super tough metal-plated pig-nosed Turrican that Bren becomes by T3. Instead he's drawn like a goofy springy robot man, almost like Sega's Vectorman. He looks a lot like Quik & Silva do on their very weird cover illustration, despite them being robot/armored bears ingame (and I refuse to believe anything else). I wonder if they shared an artist, and if the artist ever saw the game...

Anybody got any favourite manuals or manual illustrations?
MrD is offline  
Old 25 August 2020, 08:01   #2
RichL
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Birmingham, UK
Age: 47
Posts: 63
Not manuals as such but I used to love the goodies that came in the Magnetic Scrolls packages.

The Microprose manuals were always top quality.
RichL is offline  
Old 29 August 2020, 18:50   #3
Biscuit
Baked Produce

Biscuit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Age: 40
Posts: 798
The hint page at the end of the comic with Myth: History in the Making looks very nice. Hadn't seen that till recently.

Also, I was going through the manual to Apprentice and it has some good simple sketches of characters and icons. Not a favourite but I like finding these touches in unexpected places. I put some images here. https://leaderboard123.wordpress.com...ry-apprentice/
Biscuit is offline  
Old 30 August 2020, 22:58   #4
dreamkatcha
I've got a new byline

dreamkatcha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 976
You'll find a novella-length backstory in the Aquanaut manual, alongside a faux military report, which is pretty special if you're into extensive exposition. It fosters an intriguing, intrepidatious atmosphere that elevates the game beyond what it would ordinarily merit. Very impressive since without the preamble, the game is only mediocre at best.
dreamkatcha is online now  
Old 30 August 2020, 23:02   #5
Sgt Jack V
Registered User
Sgt Jack V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 62
The entire backstory and illustrations in Cybercon 3's manual
Sgt Jack V is offline  
Old 30 August 2020, 23:22   #6
Predseda
Puttymoon inhabitant
Predseda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The City of Townsville
Age: 43
Posts: 6,400
Send a message via ICQ to Predseda
Immortal. Great manual illustrations, one of the best.
Predseda is offline  
Old 30 August 2020, 23:33   #7
dreamkatcha
I've got a new byline

dreamkatcha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 976
Knights Of The Crystallion was delivered with a 22 page manual, plus a separate booklet featuring 20 pages of illustrated poetry. It makes sense in this case because the type of people who would buy a convoluted game like this would be more likely to bother reading the gubbins that came with it.
dreamkatcha is online now  
Old 31 August 2020, 14:37   #8
E-Penguin
Banana

E-Penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Darmstadt
Posts: 1,026
I remember the Worms manual being black ink on black paper. Couldn't read the bloody thing
E-Penguin is offline  
Old 31 August 2020, 15:14   #9
fxgogo
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Richmond / U.K.
Posts: 313
I used to go to school with the Flight simulator II manuals every day and pour over the techniques needed for good flying. Didn't help much though...')
fxgogo is offline  
Old 01 September 2020, 22:24   #10
RichL
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Birmingham, UK
Age: 47
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Penguin View Post
I remember the Worms manual being black ink on black paper. Couldn't read the bloody thing
I thought that was just the copy protection 4 sided leaflet that came with it?
RichL is offline  
Old 04 September 2020, 17:49   #11
Biscuit
Baked Produce

Biscuit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Age: 40
Posts: 798
Three of my favourite manuals are Sim Ant, F1GP, and A-Train. They felt massive and were full of info about exciting stuff like trains and insect pheromones and oh my god I must be sad. But somehow I found all this really interesting and useful as a 12 year old with only a bike that needs to understand the best racing line.

I genuinely really liked those big manuals that started to look like mini text books. It added to the illusion of cramming a whole world into a game.
Biscuit is offline  
Old 09 September 2020, 00:48   #12
fractalsister
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Arvika / Sweden
Posts: 36
Some truly great manuals/packagings I remember:

The Ultima games, especially the ones with the cloth maps

All the Infocom games (personal favourites: Deadline, LGOP, Wishbringer, Suspended)

Murder on the Atlantic (not so fun game, though)
fractalsister is offline  
Old 09 September 2020, 15:18   #13
E-Penguin
Banana

E-Penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Darmstadt
Posts: 1,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
I thought that was just the copy protection 4 sided leaflet that came with it?
It could well have been just that bit - I just recall the horror at trying to find some codes to type in and not being able to read it.
E-Penguin is offline  
Old 11 September 2020, 21:30   #14
RichL
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Birmingham, UK
Age: 47
Posts: 63
Yes, it was horrible wasn’t it!!
RichL is offline  
Old 02 October 2020, 05:46   #15
ReaperX
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Houston
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fractalsister View Post
Some truly great manuals/packagings I remember:

The Ultima games, especially the ones with the cloth maps

All the Infocom games (personal favourites: Deadline, LGOP, Wishbringer, Suspended)

Agree, and I'd like to add the Magnetic Scrolls adventures to this list.
ReaperX is offline  
Old 02 October 2020, 10:22   #16
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 5,173
Yeah, the Worms copy protection was annoying, but effective in that it couldn't be photocopied. Thankfully it was dropped for Worms: DC.

There were lots of games with excellent manuals back in the day. Particularly memorable ones for me:

- Sim Ant
- Sim Life
- (Basically all of the Sim games IIRC had excellent, detailed manuals)
- A-Train
- Railroad Tycoon, including a nice flashcard for identifying the little pixelly buildings in the days before pop-up help text
- Civilization (again, included a good flashcard)
- Frontier included not only a lovely manual (including a chapter entitled "Mechanics of Space Flight" which gave an introduction to the Newtonian flight model) which was framed as the manual for your ship, but also a brief novella of background story
- Birds of Prey, again a very detailed manual that went beyond pure gameplay requirements to give an introduction to flight dynamics

Special mention for my Dune II manual. I bought it as a budget re-release, and the manual had clearly been photocopied (badly) from the original. Not only that, two pages with kinda important information on unit types were totally blank I'm sure the original manual was good, but I've seen people put more effort into pirated manuals than this re-release did.
Daedalus is offline  
Old 21 October 2020, 15:39   #17
Macca
Zone Friend
Macca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Gloucester
Posts: 676
Dungeon Master / Chaos Strikes Back had a good manual. Giving you the back story and such like.

Lords of Midnight / Doomdarks Revenge were great giving you the back stories. Pretty much a small book in them.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight gave away the first book. Not sure if this was the name of the game though but the book was brilliant and really got me interested in that world.

Frontier has already been mentioned I enjoyed the story behind it.

Ishar had a good story book if i remember correctly as well.

Manhunter had a great story and then almost a walkthrough to complete the first game.

The Infocom games had the magic ink hint solutions as well which were great.



M.
Macca is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Worst platform game BippyM Nostalgia & memories 107 Today 09:46
Worst in-game titlescreen ever onkelarie Retrogaming General Discussion 116 10 December 2017 14:55
WORST game music comawhite015 Nostalgia & memories 98 27 November 2017 07:43
What's your worst Amiga game Developer? scifi Nostalgia & memories 134 08 March 2016 18:57
Name the worst Amiga game you've ever seen scifi Retrogaming General Discussion 172 07 August 2015 18:35

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:37.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.16547 seconds with 13 queries