Authentic Link's Awakening Game Manual
from to on 30 May 06:48

Won an original Link’s Awakening Game Boy manual on a Goodwill charity auction. Had to share the nostalgia.


threaded - newest on 30 May 08:49 next collapse

This makes me sad. Because this post is basically, “hey, if you weren’t alive at the time, this is what this iconic game manual looks like.”

And granted, I guess thats EVERY post on this sub…

Maybe I’m just having a sad day. Because I love the content. I don’t mean to imply I’m anti-this post.

I’m just like “yeah…it’s the manual…just like every game ever gets…”

And then I hear Jon Lajoie singing at me “BUT YOU WERE WROOOOOOOOOONG!!!”

Games today don’t get manuals, and I feel like an old man yelling at clouds… on 30 May 09:10 next collapse

Whew. I hear you so hard. FWIW, I did actually win the cartridge in this auction as well, but since it’s just a cartridge and no box, I didn’t think many people here would appreciate a pic of a cart as much as they would a pic of the manual.

I’m also an old man yelling at clouds so I’m right there with you. Isn’t it crazy that we’ve found ourselves here so quickly?

And also, mad props for referencing Jon Lajoie. A very talented individual who doesn’t get enough credit. I love his work! For anyone reading this thread who has never heard of him, I encourage you to check him out. He has an awesome sense of humor!

I commiserate with you. The days of manuals are gone. And for what it’s worth, the Zelda material is super sad for me as well because my late baby sister and I bonded tightly over the Zelda games. So these games are just super bitter sweet to me as well for so many reasons. When I play these games, I hear her laughter and feel her next to me. The games mean more to me than most, I suspect.

You’re not alone. In fact, it sounds like you’re my favorite kind of people! Thanks so much for commenting. I wish it weren’t true, but the day of the manual has come to a close and you and I are the minority. But you are not alone. Let’s appreciate what we have left. The next generation will never be so fortunate!! Do not be discouraged. Sounds to me like you’re pretty rad!

We all have sad days. You are not alone! on 30 May 12:05 collapse

the Zelda material is super sad for me as well because my late baby sister and I bonded tightly over the Zelda games

First off, I hope you have been able to find your solace. Losing family sucks, but when it’s someone that close to you it frankly changes you. This internet stranger’s heart is with you, FWIW.

My brother and I bonded over the Zelda franchise (specifically the OoT/MM era, plus WW). We grew up rough, weren’t sure if we would even make it to our thirties, and those adventure games helped us escape from some pretty crappy experiences. To us, it’s more than a franchise: it’s a culture.

Link is (usually) never the same character in the games; they’re like reincarnations. Being a Link doesn’t mean being one singular person. To me, being a Link means being steadfast, flexible, compassionate and, above all, adventurous. Things anyone can do/be, and that’s why I think the Zelda franchise fosters some truly amazing gamers when they play those games. Although I do find myself regularly curbing the invasive thoughts to break people’s pots… small price to pay!

I digress, the explosive prevalence of the Internet has led to printed walkthrough manuals being a thing of the Early Aughts. Ahh, it’s great getting older! on 31 May 04:23 collapse

Thanks for the supportive and insightful reply. It sounds like your experience was similar to mine, as we also struggled through adversity together (our N64 was powered by a light socket and we couldn’t run the heater if we wanted to play it). Unfortunately she couldn’t overcome our childhood trauma, became addicted, and in the end decided to take her own life.

The Zelda obsession started with OOT for her. Eventually her love for the games led her to a degree in computer science and a hobby restoring consoles. I grew up, enlisted, and unfortunately we parted ways for the rest of her life. In spite of geographic separation, we always kept in touch and often shared the joy of the next Zelda products and rumors.

Whenever I play the games, hear the timeless soundtrack, or see any Zelda artwork, I remember her laughter as Darunia burst into dance at hearing Saria’s Song, her groans of sadness as the Great Deku Tree passed away, her gasp of delight as Anju and Kafai were reunited, and even her grumbles of anger as the Skull Kid declared that he “got rid of” Epona.

Bittersweet memories, but no matter how much sadness I feel at her loss, the games ultimately remind me of the happy moments and warm my heart. I am happy to have had her as my sister, even if only for a relatively short time.

“The flow of time is always cruel… its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it… A thing that does not change with time is a memory of younger days…” on 01 Jun 03:29 collapse

It sounds like she was a great person, and I’m happy you’ve found peace. I’m sure she’ll rest well knowing that.

I know all too well that time holds no prejudice to anyone. Take care, friend. on 30 May 09:26 next collapse

I can smell it. I can smell now the difference between Nintendo booklets and Sega booklets and PC booklets (Christ, trying to type in the Age of Empires 2 cd key).

I have 1000 games on Steam, and I know a lot of them come with some sort of PDF, and I’m not saying things aren’t better, but I can miss that one aspect of the first half hour of experiencing a new game being reading, touching, smelling its lore and artwork. on 30 May 11:47 collapse

This is something me and my brother always did whenever we collectively bought a new game for our N64/GameCube. I’ll never forget snapping that shrink wrap off, popping open the case, and whiffing in the wood-pulpy smell of a freshly-printed, made-with-love Wind Waker manual. It was all ogre when we bought the walkthrough manual; not even my wife smells that good.

Or should I have mentioned Pokemon Stadium…? on 31 May 06:00 collapse

Tunic has a manual. on 30 May 08:55 next collapse

If anyone loves old game manuals, I’d recommend the game Tunic. It’s such a charming little game and, without spoiling too much, the manual is a core part of it. on 30 May 10:46 next collapse

There’s even a deluxe edition of the game that comes with a physical version of the manual! Though having all the pages from the start is a little spoilery. on 30 May 13:59 next collapse

I can also recommend the game Vermis, which is just the manual, with no game attached on 01 Jun 03:57 collapse

If you can snag the physical edition of untitled goose game, it comes with some absolutely killer swag on 30 May 12:07 next collapse

Like those occasional illustrations in Alice in Wonderland or Narnia, game manuals provided a window into a world you couldn’t fully see (in the case of old consoles, due to low res or low poly graphics) and served as a jumping off point for so many children’s imaginations to fill in the rest of the details.

<img alt="Screenshot of Defender for the Atari 2600 with a spaceship flying around with blocky pixel graphics" src="">

<img alt="Cover of the Defender manual, featuring a realistic painting of humans being abducted by alien spaceships" src=""> on 30 May 12:16 next collapse

Vimm’s Lair has scans if as many old manuals as they could find, if anyone likes looking through old manuals. on 30 May 12:27 next collapse

This is an awesome post. Thank you for sharing it. I really appreciated reading your comments, and I hope you’re doing well on 31 May 04:29 collapse

Thanks! Just hoped that it would make someone out there smile! on 30 May 15:29 next collapse

Is there a widely accepted reason why they stopped adding manuals to games?

I was allways reading them before playing the game, and it got very excited for game play. on 30 May 16:17 next collapse

Cost cutting, the advent of digital distribution, as well as technological and game design improvements that allowed for such information to be conveyed in game, all contributed to game manuals becoming less and less valuable. Due to these factors, they kept getting smaller and smaller until one day the just stopped being commonly made.

Though my nostalgia still misses them (and strategy guides). on 31 May 03:56 collapse

I remember going to Toys R Us with Dad, picking a game out, and then eagerly reading the game manual on the long drive home. It got me SO hyped!! Definitely wish they still made manuals! on 31 May 04:46 next collapse

And for all you manual lovers that wish new games came with them, there is a very talented artist who goes by the name “mbpuk” that makes some really awesome mini manuals that fit in the Switch game case! on 01 Jun 04:05 collapse

The manual to A Link to the Past contains basically the franchise’s design document. Go read the little lore section at the beginning of that manual and tell me they haven’t been just pulling nouns out of it to make games out of for the last 20 years.