I'm loath to admit it, but I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the instruction manual that's included with every copy of the cult classic known as Mother (EarthBound Zero to some of you).
Why on earth do I hate the Mother manual? Well, for starters, it's not a manual, per se. Rather, it's a huge piece of paper--a poster, really--that's been folded into a two-inch-by-three-inch rectangle. (What can I say? I much prefer manuals that can be flipped through, one page at a time, to ones that require folding and unfolding.)
Another reason I'm not a huge fan of the Mother manual: There's a lot more text, and a lot fewer illustrations and screenshots, than I expected to see in such a production.
That's not to say it lacks any interesting art whatsoever. On the contrary, a number of interesting illustrations and photos (of what appear to be clay models) can be found within the folds of Mother's instruction manual. (They're fully responsible for the love I feel for this booklet, by the way.)
For instance, there are these models of the game's main party members (Ninten, Ana, Lloyd and Teddy):
I also like the models seen on this otherwise-text-filled page:
Click on any or all of the scans above or below to take a closer look at them, by the way.
Photos of even more clay models can be found on the following page, which details Mother's many enemy characters.
Interestingly, the game's items and weapons are illustrated rather than crafted out of clay. That's OK with me, though--especially when said illustrations are as well drawn as the ones in the scan below:
The pièce de résistance of the Mother instruction manual, though, has to be the world map that takes up the entirety of the manual's back side. (All of the above-mentioned illustrations, photos and text are included on its front side.)
I'm sorry the map above isn't perfect, by the way. It's large enough that I had to make nine different scans of it and then piece the best parts of each scan together like a puzzle. As a result, you'll be able to spot a few "issues" here and there should you look at it closely enough.
See also: Previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts