Back in October 2020 I did a feature on a project that was trying to find every Super Nintendo manual in existence, scan them and upload them onto the internet. I’m happy to report that, as of July 2022, the project has now completed a significant—and for many of you reading this it’s primary—milestone.
When I published that feature, the team (including Arachness, BuffaloJoe, Timber, SNES Central and Grant Kirkhart) working on the project—led by streamer and archivist Peebs—had uploaded around 600 scans, and had only around 100 manuals remaining until they had scanned the instructions for every game ever released in the West during the console’s lifespan.
That was good progress, but also, the deeper they got through the SNES’ library, the harder it was going to be to find booklets for the weirdest and rarest games in the collection. Then, last week:
That means that the project’s archives now have an English manual for every single Super Nintendo game ever officially released in the language. Sometimes that’s the North American version, sometimes it’s the PAL (European/Australasian) version, sometimes it’s both if there were differences beyond just the cover artwork, spelling and mailing addresses in the back (like the way Contra 3 was called Super Probotector in PAL regions).
It’s not quite every game ever released in the West, since some games could get different unique releases depending on the language market, but since this is an English-language website I figured this was an important milestone for our readers to know about!
And it’s still very close. The team is just a single game shy of that “every Western manual ever” achievement by a single release: an original scan of the unique German-language version of Daze Before Christmas (though they do have a translated version of the rare English-language Mega Drive release in case anyone needs the information).
After that, though, it seems their work is never done. Even when every manual has been scanned and uploaded, some games—including many RPGs—had important information written down elsewhere, like on separate maps/posters, so they’re looking at getting those uploaded and scanned wherever possible as well. They’ve also got a Super Famicom manual section to chip away at as well.
If you want to take a look through the complete library, or just bookmark it for a future time in need, it’s available here, though you can also just search for a particular game on the Internet Archive and it’ll come up there as well. And for something more action-packed, in addition to collecting their manuals Peebs is also working his way through the SNES library and trying to beat every single game on Twitch (at last count he only had 47 to go!)