Another classic Nintendo console, another insane dump of instruction manuals – Ars Technica

Last year, the NES Classic’s launch was met with something that I argued was more interesting and valuable in the game-preservation sense: a gigantic dump of NES and Famicom instruction manuals, all free to download in PDF format. They included a range of weird and rarely seen game-instruction books from across the world, and unlike their source product, people could actually get them.

We are passionate fans of the days when games actually included printed instruction manuals, so one of the first things we did with review units of the SNES Classic was tap through its menus to the “instructions” tab, then jot down the URL where Nintendo would eventually dump a similar motherload of SNES and Super Famicom instruction manuals.

That day has arrived.

This year’s digital dump of instruction manuals (in English and Japanese) is now live since the SNES Classic has officially launched, and the 2017 dump is different for a few reasons. Nintendo’s second-generation game manuals have simply held up better over time, owing to heftier paper stock and larger booklets, so existing archives aren’t as scattershot as those for NES manuals. Additionally, the Super Nintendo and Super Famicom systems were a rare example of Nintendo standardizing its manual designs across the Pacific; both came in portrait format.

So unlike last year, we’re not seeing as many rare designs or cultural differences. But Nintendo has still delivered something quite valuable: rich, source-material reprints that combine high-resolution scans and obvious digital clean-up work on the drawings, comics, and CGI renders in these old books. Not only that, but this collection combines first- and third-party booklets in one place, and they’re all free to download from one easy-to-access site.

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