Memories of Player’s Guides
Do you guys remember, way back when Player’s Guides were the way to go, before GameFAQs had so many reliable guides? Great times.
One of my favorite Player’s Guides was the one for Animal Crossing. I loved looking at all the furniture and clothes and tried to formulate what I would use to design my house with, and how much money I needed. Looking at all of the NES games was awesome too; My cousin (who was like 14 and I was 9), brother and I spent most of the summer of 2004 playing Animal Crossing, trying to find all of the NES games. We eventually got them all, some via codes, like the ones that you could only find on the island, because we didn’t have a GBA or link cable back then. We never got Punch-Out!! or Soccer, though I think I did end up making a custom town and got a present that had Punch-Out!! via one of those special delivery codes.
In games like Paper Mario and Yoshi’s Story, near the end of the book, it would list all of the enemies of the game. Those were just so fun to look at. Also with Paper Mario, it listed every item combination that you could make via cooking, and I actually ended up making almost all of them, including an Ultra Jelly, which took an Ultra Shroom and Jelly can, two of the rarest items in the game, and combined them to make an item that restored 50 HP and 50 FP. I was perfectly happy with myself 😛
But no guide maker can ever top Versus Books Perfect Guides. Those were the absolute best player’s guides ever and I was so sad when I found out they don’t make them anymore.
But my all-time favorite is definitely Earthbound. The whole thing was written partly like a travel guide, showcasing each of the cities and sometimes having a fake newspaper article about something that you were going to have to fix upon reaching said town. The actual guide portion was really fun too because it was usually one huge map of the town/road/building with little markers that had tips of what to do. On the right side of those pages, it talked about the enemies you were going to have to face, along with a clay model of about half of them. I loved the clay models so much that it’s probably the reason I love pre-rendered graphics so much today. That and Clay Figther 63 1/3 of course 😛 But I really would sit down and just read th4 Earthbound guidebook, sometimes from cover to cover, whenever I went to my grandparents’ house. I probably read it twice as much as I ever actually played the game, considering I’ve never even gotten past Moonside 😛
I’m hoping that Player’s Guides make more of a return in the coming years. Games are finally getting super-hard again, as you can see with Donkey Kong Country Returns, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (well it has less save points than Radiant Dawn at least :P)