Retro video games do a lot about the predicament of dying over time. As we focus on protecting games, what happens to the instruction manuals that come with them?
In some cases, they are lost forever! Other times, we’m lucky to have people like Beeps, who make incredible time collecting and listing and ensuring that manuals are scanned and uploaded to every Super Nintendo game that is released later so that future generations can enjoy them as much as we did.
Beeps, an American in his mid-30s, tells me, “He led a crazy wild and different life, working in the IT industry, being an independent professional wrestler, working in a failed restaurant, and then getting out of my way. ”
For the past six years He also offers a Twitch channel, The place where he was Slowly Every Super Nintendo game tries to win. A lot of the time, to finish a part or see something, he has to consult the manual. “When I went to scan a manual for control projects or for playback, it often didn’t take long to realize that they weren’t there or that they were all scattered to distant corners. The Internet,” says Beeps. Old defunct websites, like incomplete scans. “
“Some of these manuals contain a ton of invaluable information. Scholzger A great example of this is because the first 75 pages of the guide are a storybook with many tips on how to find secret rooms. Other manuals contain very useful information for similar games Wing Commander Or ASP Air Strike Patrol When they use different button combinations for game commands. Knowing how to save the game makes a huge difference. If someone can’t figure it out, they may lose interest in the game. “
“Then there are RPGs like that And magic Information about items in the manuals and what all the writing does. When I was a kid, we made a lot of rent and you were lucky to find a sheet of paper with its restrictions glued to the inside of the plastic case. Just like buying second hand games from FunColland: Often you have a loose cart, and if you can not get help from a magazine or a friend who knows something, you should check things out. ”
Because that’s all the options Chuck, Beeps decided to do something about it. “I wanted to put it all together so they don’t have to struggle to find a manual scan if someone wants to play any bad games,” he says SNES Manual Archive, A site he built to host scanned copies of every Super Nintendo instruction manual. “My hope is that we can save some of that headache.”
Although Beeps normally began searching for manual scans many years ago, it was not until 2018 that he began to be active in collecting and archiving them. He had an idea about downloading existing manuals and comparing it to master release lists, aiming for the next, and trying to track them in the real world. Games are easy to find – “most likely you can get them for a dollar or two” – meanwhile Australia-based Beeps’ friend Erumaijo has also been instrumental because he says “a ridiculous amount of PAL manuals”, which are “things I have to import to scan PAL games” Helped. ”
That scanning is not as straightforward as it may seem, because the project has two objectives. The first is to protect the instruction manuals on the platform, no matter how vague the game, the other is to make sure those manuals are available. Everyone. “Making scans user-friendly and accessible to anyone with a bad internet connection is a big key to this project,” Beeps tells me, and while some SNES manual collections are already available online, they are “archive quality”.
“Each page is crazy high DPI and each is like 1GB. When archives are great, people can open it on their phone and browse quickly, so we try to keep the file sizes low and the readability high.”
Got about 600 manual scans On top of that SNES Manual Archive When it opened to the public in September 2020. Since then, a community has sprung up around the project, with fans around the world eager to help with their submissions.
“I was sent about 20 scans the first day, and then I got one a day,” Beeps says. “People are starting to let me know when they buy a booklet so I can mark it as coming in, so others are not buying it. I would say we now have a total of 15-20 manuals from people around the world that will be scanned and uploaded when they become available.”
Although it expects to expand its Super Famicom collection in the future, at least more than 100 manuals remain for Western games or editions of games. “The support of the people who contribute to the project is amazing. I am very thankful for each handbook that has been submitted.”