I have some good news and some bad news to share with you in terms of this PC Engine port's instruction manual. Let's start with the good news: Rainbow Islands' manual is in full color--unlike many of the ones produced for this system. The bad news: the illustration that appears on its front and back covers is the only one to be found in all of its 14 or so pages.
Still, let's not dwell on the negative. Although this CD-based title's instruction manual pales in comparison to its gameplay, I think it's worth checking out anyway. (As always, click on the scans shared here if you want to take a better or closer look at them.)
Unfortunately, the manual's "story" page, above, isn't as interesting as it probably would've been had Taito published this game instead of NEC Avenue. After all, Taito had a history of producing PC Engine manuals that featured plenty of charming, if strangely childish, illustrations. (The one packed along with the company's PC Engine ports of Don Doko Don, Mizubaku Daibouken and The New Zealand Story are good examples.)
Under NEC Avenue's care, though, Rainbow Islands' manual is crammed full of color screenshots rather than illustrations of any ilk. They're nice enough screenshots, it has to be said, but who on earth would rather encounter screenshots than illustrations while flipping through a game manual? Not me, I'll tell you that much.
At least the designers responsible for this instruction manual provided readers with looks at a good number of the game's stages--and even what I'm guessing is one of its endings, based on the colorfully congratulatory screenshot seen in upper-right corner of the page below.
That said, I would've exchanged all of this manual's color for a few doodles or drawings or other pieces of art. Oh, well, you can't always have everything, can you?
See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts