The NES Classic Edition is likely going to be very hard to find when it’s released tomorrow, but Nintendo has given fans a very pleasant surprise that anyone can enjoy: the original manuals for all the included NES games have been uploaded on the official site.
And when we say the original manuals, we mean the original manuals. Nintendo is treating these manuals as pieces of history.
“Any original instruction manuals included with this software are digital reproductions of the original printed manuals,” each booklet says on the last page. “They are as faithful as possible to those documents and feature a bare minimum of edits. Reference may be made to features that can’t be used in this version of the game, or the contact information may no longer be valid. Some copyright information may be out-of-date. Please also note that printed manuals were not always released in multiple languages.”
The manuals are often delightfully goofy, and it’s neat to be able to explore them again in such detail. Nintendo didn’t have to go to this trouble in order to make the NES Classic Edition a hit, but it’s the sort of thing that shows how much the company cares about its own history. The Final Fantasy manual, in particular, is a thing of beauty.