Bits and Bobs: Ys II Manuals

Manuals have come a long way since the old days haven’t they? Back then the best you could hope for was a hardback book stuffed full of exclusive hand painted art and a lot of “pointless” lore, and now you’re lucky to get a single “quick start” sheet and a few flyers… hang on, I’ve got this the wrong way around haven’t I? Where did the manuals go?

It’s easy to go on about the good old days when all this was fields and you could buy sweets that looked like cigarettes but it’s a fact that manuals then really were amazing and even manage to put most of today’s preorder bonus art books (read: fancy pamphlets) to shame. I present a few scans from the manual for Ys II (MSX version) as evidence:




Falcom were gracious enough to do something very similar for the PC remake thirteen years later too:




It’s not all sunshine and roses of course – it’s only fair to point out that these games cost the consumer a lot more back then (both in raw Yen-for-Yen amounts and including inflation) and a game wouldn’t drop to half price a month or two later, but there’s really something to be said for a good manual that really expands upon the game world and characters in it even if that information is often “useless” as far as completing the game goes.