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Mercenary Kings getting 200-page NES-inspired strategy guide

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Tribute Games' 16-bit style action-adventure platformer, Mercenary Kings, is getting some extra old-school authenticity in the form of a 200-page strategy guide and art book, the Mercenary Kings Master Codex, that's inspired by Nintendo Player's Choice guides of yore.

Off Base Productions has turned to Kickstarter in its effort to get the Mercenary Kings Master Codex made, seeking $65,000 to offset labor, production and fulfillment costs. That's just $10,000 less than Tribute Games was looking for last year when it successfully funded Mercenary Kings through Kickstarter, bringing in more than $116,000 in donations.

The full-color, softcover strategy guide promises to detail the game's basics, missions, crafting systems and enemies. It will also serve as a record of the game's development, packing in concept art, sprite sheets, developer interviews and more. Creators Off Base Productions name-check classic strategy guides, like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Nintendo Player's Guide and Chrono Trigger Perfect Bible, as well as modern tribute books, like Fangamer's Mother 3 Handbook, as inspiration.

On Kickstarter, Off Base is offering numerous backer tiers. Access to a digital version of the Master Codex starts at $5. A physical copy will cost a minimum of $20, with other incentives — including a variant cover, poster, a bullet-shaped USB drive with a copy of the guide and the game and other goodies — available at higher funding tiers.

Mercenary Kings is currently available for Windows PC through Steam early access. The game is also bound for Mac, Ouya and PlayStation 4.

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