The ancient texts have been resurrected! Thanks to a resourceful Twitch streamer, every single English-language Super Nintendo game manual is now available for free online. The collection covers more than 700 games dating back to Super Nintendo’s US launch in 1991, when the internet was young and the mighty Mario was just a tiny clump of pixels.
Kerry Hays, who goes by “Peebs” on Twitch’s video game streaming platform, started collecting English language manuals in his quest to beat every single US Super Nintendo game created. Back in olden times, the detailed paper manuals contained tips and diagrams, and sometimes even added backstory to the game.
Hays started scanning (yes, scanning) the some 850 documents in 2020, and now his complete catalog is available for free on the Internet Archive.
The online shrine emits nearly noxious levels of nostalgia, tracing the evolution of some of the video game world’s most iconic characters and stories. As a video game lover, Hays says he did it for the good of the art.
“Preservation to me is, everybody has access to this stuff when they want it and where they want it,” Hays told NPR.
The Mario franchise, created by Japanese game designer Shigeru Mayamato, is one of the most valuable media franchises in the world. Its first Japanese release was Donkey Kong in 1981. The rest is meticulously preserved history.