Why is it important: One of the highlights of this week’s Nintendo Direct is the re-release of Earthbound and its prequel on Nintendo’s subscription service. Players digging through the service’s menu have rediscovered the complete Earthbound Player’s Guide, which Nintendo has made available online as a free PDF file. It’s part of the nostalgia that many gamers would love to see in other classic games.
Nintendo should consider their 135-page Earthbound Player’s Guide very important. For several years, he offered a free PDF of the original 1995 manual online. However, with the re-release of the game for the Nintendo Online subscription service, a new generation of users have taken notice of the well-crafted manual, which is often praised for its art style.
Users view the Nintendo Online News Feed on the Nintendo Switch home screen, found QR code leading to a PDF file. The document came with Earthbound cartridge copies when it was released in Western countries in 1995. It served as both a guide to the game (when there was such a thing) and a guide to strategy. Nintendo offered free digital versions with the 2013 Wii U Virtual Console re-release and the 2017 Super Nintendo Classic Edition.
Not sure if this is already known, I had to dig into it, but Nintendo is offering the original Nintendo Player manual for EarthBound for free if you scan this code! I found it in the Nintendo Switch Online home screen button! pic.twitter.com/XkWxZP11N2
— Jack McCloud – ♡ Happy Married ♡ (@Jack_McCloud) February 10, 2022
Nintendo still keeps manuals online for everyone Super Nintendo Classic Edition and NES Games of the classic edition. However, Earthbound is the only game that includes a player’s guide. They are useful for those who play these games on Nintendo Online, but not all manuals for classic Nintendo Online games are available.
Game manuals are fading away these days, but these games date back to an era when most games were designed with players reading the manual. For example, when Nintendo re-released StarTropics for Nintendo Online, some players stuck because to continue in sections of the game, the information from the original manual was required.
While the manual for StarTropic is on Nintendo’s website, the subscription service did not inform players of this, as they did for Earthbound. This seems like a caveat given that Nintendo has included manuals for every game released on the Virtual Console for the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS.
In past decades, Nintendo has published complete manuals for other classic games that it has never republished, even though it has released corresponding games for Nintendo Online. If the company can do it for Earthbound, why not for Zelda games or other games? Especially for those who are more graphic. It would be great to see more examples of what has become a lost art form for both old players and new ones.
In any case, players who are looking for other guides to classic games can always turn to sources such as Internet Archive. Another source is GOG. It includes manuals for the classic games on sale, and many of the Steam pages also have them.