Friday, February 05, 2016

Manual Stimulation (City Connection, Famicom)

A week ago, I published a post about City Connection's packaging--in particular, its outer box and cartridge. (Check it out here, if you missed it the first time around.)

Although I usually include a photo or two of a game's instruction manual in my "Nice Package!" write-ups, I didn't do so in my City Connection post because, well, to be honest, I forgot to snap one.

In the end, that's OK, as you can see the entirety of this Jaleco-made title's manual right here, starting with its front and back covers:

Before you scroll any further, I have to warn you: City Connection was a fairly early Famicom release. For some context, it came out in the same year as Namco's Dig Dug port, Enix's debut title, Door Door and Nintendo's Mach Rider.

In other words, don't expect its instruction manual to be all flashy like the ones created for later releases like Yume Penguin MonogatariMother, or Hoshi no Kirby (aka Kirby's Adventure).

Actually, that's not completely fair, as the manual that accompanied copies of Taito's Chack'n Pop port featured some surprisingly snazzy illustrations, if you ask me.

Still, that was an exception to the rule of the time. Most Famicom games were sold with instruction manuals that were the definition of "bare bones," and City Connection is pretty par for the course in that regard.

That's to suggest City Connection's isn't worth flipping through once or twice. As you can see in the scans found above and below, it showcases some interesting pieces of pixel art.

Nintendo's designers took a similar tactic with their early Famicom manuals (Donkey Kong's is a good example), which has me wondering if it was mandated by that company's higher-ups or if the Jaleco's designers copied the efforts of their Nintendo counterparts.

Whatever the case may be, it's an interesting style, don't you think? Not exactly modern, but appealing nonetheless.

Strangely, the City Connection instruction manual actually offers up a few illustrations just as things come to a close. Why more of them weren't interspersed throughout its handful of pages is a mystery to me.

What do you think? Are you a fan of these old Famicom manuals, or do you prefer ones produced later in that console's lifetime?

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts

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