I'm always a bit disappointed the first time I flip through an instruction manual that's associated with a game from Taito's Bubble Bobble series.
I guess it's because all of these single-screen platformers are so bursting with color and charm that it can be a bit of a bummer to discover their manuals tend to be black-and-white affairs.
If you can get past that initial devastating blow, though, you're likely to find that these manuals do have their moments, despite being (mostly) free of color.
The booklet below, made for the Japanese GameBoy version of Bubble Bobble, is a good example.
One thing I've really come to like about Japanese GameBoy manuals in recent years is how many of them feature a single color that bolsters and even brings a bit of softness to their otherwise monochrome pages.
The miniature illustrations on the following pages are completely fabulous--and tooth-achingly adorable--don't you think? And of course the subtle injection of color makes them even more so, in my opinion.
I particularly love one of the illustrations below, by the way--with the one in question being the one that depicts a couple of Zen-Chans being swept off a platform by water attack.
Embarrassing admission of the day: I'm pretty sure I've never played this version of the game long enough to encounter any of its bosses, such as the huge Banebou that can be seen in the screenshot above. (Don't worry, I'm going to rectify matters soon.)
An old-school Taito instruction manual wouldn't be an old-school Taito instruction manual without at least a handful of funky illustrations, and thankfully Bubble Bobble's manual comes through in that regard--and then some, if you ask me--in its final pages.
My favorite of the bunch is the Drunk doodle, of course, but they're all pretty damn cute.
After the brilliance of the last two pages, the ones above could be considered kind of a letdown. Oh, well, at least they allow us to ogle tiny depictions of some of this game's items, right?
See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts