Almost a year ago, Michael Graf found a treasure in his parents’ house – or rather: a treasure was forced on him. Namely, a box of old game manuals that his parents wanted to throw in the trash. In the trash, those philistines! Micha grabbed the box, saved it to Munich and has been waiting ever since for the opportunity to leaf through the old tomes again.
This opportunity came when our freelance author and communication scientist Christian Schwarz knocked that we might do a podcast about manuals – but hello!
Because we loved manuals – not all of them, of course, but the well-made ones. Which is why we look back on some remarkable specimens together in this podcast episode. Or look at it actively, because Micha has it on the table.
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- Already the manual of the first Diablo created a universe from which only Diablo 2 really benefited.
- The Zeus manual even knew how to make the installation instructions a pleasure to read.
- The Homeworld manual told a backstory that no longer plays a role in the game itself, but is still important to better understand the actual plot.
- The X-Wing and Tie Fighter manuals came with mini-novels starring brave pilots.
- Wing Commander not only had manuals that deepened the universe, but also detailed loads of technical details about fictional spaceships – for good reasons.
- In addition to cloth cards, Richard Garriott’s Ultima series always included “Chronicles” written from the point of view of Ultima characters.
- At the time, Micha guarded the Master of Magic manual like a treasure – because of its tables and statistics.
- And then of course there are Elminster’s notes in the Baldur’s Gate 2 manual…
- And has anyone ever filled in the note field?
With that in mind, we discuss the role that game manuals played back then – and why, sadly, they no longer exist today.
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