So Much Paper! Guides, Guides, Guides.

An update: Mega Man V for Game Boy is gone. I went into the thrift store the other day to check up on it, and the price had been reduced to $79.99 + tax down from $114.99.  It was still way too expensive for me to buy, even if it is rare and a cool game and was reduced to about half of what it’d normally go for on eBay.  A part of me knew I wouldn’t see it again when I left that day, but I hoped anyway.  On some level, I wish I had been bold enough to buy it for that price, but another part of me hates parting with my money for the sake of greedy companies.  I know I complain about this a lot lately, but as someone who really enjoys game hunting in a small town, it’s hard to see the hobby becoming more expensive than it already is.

Goodbye Mega Man V.  May I someday find another copy of you as beautiful as you were.

Anyway, on the bright side, I did find some game guides!  Like all the other prices at that store, the price of guides is also increasing.  I can remember in recent past when game guides were only $3.99.  They later selectively pushed up the price to $5.99 if they were for really “good” games (also known as anything Zelda/Mario).  $5.99 feels pretty steep for that sort of thing, and I was shocked (but not really surprised) to find that some of these game guides were now $7.99 a piece!  There were about 20 of them there, and about half of them I couldn’t bear to leave without.  I am, after all, a sucker for RPGs.

The first guides I picked out were for Tales of Symphonia and Wario World for GameCube.  I had to phone my boyfriend because I could’ve sworn I already had the Tales of Symphonia guide, but it turned out that my memory was serving me half-correctly: we had the Tales of Symphonia art book!  I think I regularly get Tales of Symphonia confused in my head with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles which further complicates matters, but thankfully it all got straightened out.

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Next up were some great RPG guides for a few Playstation games: Grandia, and Dark Cloud 2.  Now some of you may know to what large extent I dislike the first Dark Cloud, but I’ve heard Dark Cloud 2’s praises sung all over the internet.  I found the game last year and was excited to see the guide pop up for the taking.  Grandia is another grandiose adventure I can’t wait to undertake some day if I ever finish Ultima IV…

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The next two guides were for Final Fantasy Anthology and Final Fantasy Origins for PS1.  I’ve owned these games since I was in my teens and rounded out my collection of other Final Fantasy PS1 remake books when I bought my friend’s game collection last year.  These two I actually went back for the next day after asking around to see if they were worth picking up, and in hindsight, it should’ve been a no-brainer, especially for FFII and FFV!  Thankfully they were still there when I arrived.  Of all the manuals I bought, these were in the worst shape of all.  The Anthology manual is missing a little bite out of its back cover and shows a lot of wear as well, but no pages are missing.  Final Fantasy V has been on my list for a long time, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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Last but not least, I stumbled upon some Suikoden manuals for Suikoden II, IV and V.  I don’t own the fifth game, but I do have the other two.  I’ve learned today that the Suikoden II manual is quite rare and valuable, and for the price I paid, I suppose it was a pretty good deal.  I was also told that the manual apparently runs players through the beta version of the game, but I wouldn’t know better one way or another since I haven’t played it yet.  Either way, I’m glad to have it!  These manuals were all in really good shape and had the previous owner’s notes still inside on loose papers.  You can see them sticking out of the Suikoden II and Suikoden V books.

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Though I don’t normally buy so much paper in one swoop, I can never say no to a good game guide!  Finding these books has reignited my excitement to play through these games.  Work will die down in the next little while and I’ll finally have more time to get back to doing what I love: game collecting, streaming, and LPing!  Since my last post, I’ve really been into Famicom games since picking up Duck Tales and Rockman 3.  Stay tuned for some stuff I ordered off of eBay to make its way here.  I’m trying to find some Japan exclusives that are easy on the English-speaking!

Hope you’re all having an excellent weekend.  Thanks for reading!

-GG

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19 Responses to So Much Paper! Guides, Guides, Guides.

  1. Red Metal says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s been more than a decade since I considered even buying a strategy guide. GameFAQs really did a good job making them redundant. About the only real advantage strategy guides had over online text guides was that it had pictures (which really helped when it came to finding hidden items), but now, most online guides have those as well. Then of course, if all else fails, one can watch a Let’s Play; that’s what got me through Isle of the Dead. All in all, strategy guides were helpful back then, but not so much these days. It doesn’t help that some adventure games were made deliberately obtuse so as to push the sales of hint books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hungrygoriya says:

      I hear ya! I usually pick them up for RPGs just for the sake of not having to search online for stuff all the time, and I also really like the art in them. It might just be me, but I glaze over when I read a site versus an actual book, so it helps me focus! Now if only the books had a Ctrl + F function…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hooooooly shit, that’s quite the motherload! I love strategy guides. Even at the start of the internet era, there was something special about holding a physical guide in my hands and flipping through it while playing a game. RPGs are massive and I rarely want to revisit them over playing something new, so I always strived to get the most out of a single playthrough. It became a tradition whenever a hot new RPG released to grab the game and guide. I still do that from time to time (recently with Final Fantasy XV), but adult bills usually means Gamefaqs.com isntead of buying a guide. I only have 10 guides on my shelf nowadays from lack of space, and mostly spring for the fancy hardcovers to display whenever Gamestop runs a good sale. My girlfriend and I did find some good ones at a used game shop while we were in Seattle over Christmas.

    Congrats on the haul!

    Liked by 2 people

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Thank you! I used to like to try to play games blind, but there’s such an appeal to not feeling like you missed out on a secret item or an ultimate weapon or a recruitable character. I can’t wait to use them for some of the longer RPGs, if only for locations of secrets and things of that nature, or to read back over after I finish up an area. I actually don’t have that many hardcover guides, but I have over 50 guides in total at this point.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. thedeviot says:

    It’s rare I pick up a guide for a new release anymore, though I did buy the Splatoon 2 guide recently on the cheap. Most modern games don’t even require one since so many of them are so linear. Gone are the days of Doom, and Quake where maps were massive, and labyrinthine. Still, as has been said, there’s something to be said for a tangible book, especially when it’s for a game you’re really into. And some of the guides for retro titles are becoming quite collectible. Congrats on finding some of the ones you wanted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Thank you! I can never get enough art-filled media like game guides. I want to make high resolution scans of everything and share it all, but I don’t like the idea of jail 😛 Does Splatoon/Splatoon 2 have a single player mode?

      Liked by 1 person

      • thedeviot says:

        Yep! Both do. In each of them you find a character near the games’ hubs, and follow them down a sewer where you’re sent on massive campaigns. The second game is getting an expansion pack in July that adds an 80 stage campaign from the perspective of a villain. Beating it will unlock playable Octolings for the multiplayer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBr6GqyuWnA

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Though I have no idea what’s happening in this trailer, it looks like it’s a lot of new game. Very cool!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thedeviot says:

        All that’s been said so far is that you wake up in a subway terminal with amnesia, and you learn a ton of stuff about the new character’s past, and that it fleshes out a lot of back story of characters, and places introduced in the original game. The trailer also shows the new character in Inkopolis, and entering a Turf War match near the end of it before cutting back to her knocked out in the terminal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Gotcha! I wish I had more context for these characters, but this makes sense. I’m sure it’ll serve the fanbase well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kuribo says:

    I’m a big believer that RPG strategy games are the best ones to get both as a gamer and as a collector. I would think Suikoden guides are fairly valuable too since there are so many characters to get in those games. It is so cool that you got a Grandia guide! I think I may have told you this before but I absolutely love that game and my guide is in nearly perfect condition. It is a guide that will stay in my collection for good. I’m so glad that it is in your collection now too 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • hungrygoriya says:

      From what I’ve discovered so far, the Suikoden strategy guides are quite valuable. I’m always shocked to see the prices of things like that! The lady at the store thought they were “young reader” books… gotta love people that don’t have any idea what they’re selling.

      You’ve definitely mentioned your love of Grandia before. I want to play it (and also everything else) so, so badly but I’m so slow at games! I’ll be using the guide when the time comes, that’s for sure. I don’t doubt that your guide is as lovely as the day you got it 🙂 You show great care for all the things you own!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kuribo says:

        They probably didn’t make a ton of Suikoden guides because the series either didn’t sell that well here or it was a Japanese game where nobody could even figure out how to say it correctly. I secretly suspect that many people who collect strategy guides do so for RPGs and that is their favorite kind of guide to keep. I know I’m that way 🙂

        Grandia is a decently long JRPG so it would definitely be a time investment. I have a tough time keeping up on new games, let alone, going back and playing anything old so I sympathize with you. Most of the other strategy guides I owned from that era are more beat up so I wouldn’t say that everything I own is well taken care of but I do what I can 🙂

        Like

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  6. I still have my strat guides for FFVI, FFVII, FFIX, FFX, and FFXII! The one for IX is not that great since it pretty much just points you to a website for any details (they were probably in the midst of transitioning to more of an online FAQS), but the other ones are quite extensive. I remember buying the FFVI guide because that was the game that introduced me to Amano’s amazing artwork ♥

    One day you’ll find a reasonably priced copy of Mega Man V. I believe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love game guides! I try to only buy them for games if I think I really need them, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I know you can look everything up on the internet, but there really is something special about having a physical guide to look at while playing the game.

    Like

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