Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Manual Stimulation: Banana (Famicom)

I've got two things to say about Banana's instruction manual: 1) I appreciate that its creators made sure it's an appropriate shade of yellow, and 2) it has absolutely nothing on this Famicom game's appealingly kaleidoscopic box art.

That first point is clear right from the start, of course, but it takes a few pages for the second point to sink in. Sadly, Banana's instruction manual is just a few pages long, so by the time you've come to terms with how boring it is, you're already at its end.

All that said, I decided to share these scans of Banana's manual anyway because so little information about this quirky puzzler, produced by the folks at Victor Interactive, can be found on the Internet these days. 

As you can see, Banana's manual begins rather, well, boringly. I have to admit, though, that I'm more than a bit curious as to what's said in the quote that fills the white box on the left-hand page. 

The next few pages of Banana's manual are similarly yawn-inducing. Granted, the huge majority of instruction manuals produced during the early part of the Famicom era were yawn-inducing, so I won't be too hard on the people who made this one.

Hey, what have we got here? A screenshot? Too bad it's not in color. Also, the quality is poor enough that you really can't tell what you're looking at if you've never before played the game. (Note: it's of the game's pause screen, which shows players how many bombs, boulders and ladders are in their inventory.)

Is it wrong that this is the Banana manual's most interesting page? Probably. It's easy to overlook, though, thanks to the inclusion of a few adorable illustrations of the game's protagonist and his girlfriend.

The instruction manual's last two pages focus on Banana's "design" mode which, you guessed it, allows players to create their own stages. Not the most thrilling of conclusions, I'll grant you, but at least it's likely to be useful information.

See also: 'Acquisition #141: Banana (Famicom)' as well as previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts


Viewtiful_Justin said...

No comment on the fruit drawings? Very well. Those fruit drawings are adorable!

Melody (Lizzi) said...

Awwww! Banana is back on your blog! xD
This game looks so cute!
Ok, the manual is kind of like really yellow but... thats the colour of a banana right? :3

Bryan Ochalla said...

I was going to, Justin, but decided against it for some reason. I guess I thought commenting on the adorable character drawings would suffice :P You're right, though, that fruit drawings are always a plus!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello Melody! Yes, this is one yellow manual, isn't it? At least it's appropriate in this case. Still, I wish the manual's designers had used a few other colors, too. Oh, well, at least the game itself is plenty colorful!

Kimimi said...

Looks like the ran out of ink once they got around to the manual! Not what I was expecting from the box art at all ^^~

Bryan Ochalla said...

Actually, Kimimi, like I said in the post, the lack of color in the manual doesn't surprise me too much given the year of its release. Heck, even NIntendo's own software from this same period tended to have monochromatic manuals. Still, it would have been nice for this particular manual to buck that trend, right? Oh, well, at least the box and cart art are nice :)

Kimimi said...

I guess I'm just spoiled by more modern manuals, sorry Bryan, didn't mean to sound so negative :S

Bryan Ochalla said...

Don't feel bad, Kimimi, you certainly weren't too negative! Also, I agree with you -- I really wish these old manuals had more "oomph!" to them if you know what I mean. Alas, most of them are pretty boring. Still, I want to share them because few people have shared photos or scans of them with English-speaking audiences.

Adam said...

Black and white manuals? Well I guess that's not much of a surprise, what company still does that? EA or Ubisoft or something.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Do I detect a bit of sarcasm in your voice, Adam? ;)