Considering how well Nintendo's GameBoy sold outside of Japan, the number of quality titles that never left the handheld's home country amazes me.
Technos' Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe: Ohanabatake wa Dai-Panic is a great example.
Its gameplay is difficult to describe, as it's unlike anything I've played before or since. If forced, I'd probably defer to something like "single-screen arcade action," but of course that doesn't give anyone much of an idea as to what they'll experience should they pick up and play a copy of this 1994 release.
Would calling it a cute tower-defense game help at all? That's basically what Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe is, although even that doesn't completely do its gameplay justice.
For some additional detail, read this 2014 write-up of mine: "Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe: Ohanabatake wa Dai-Panic is both a mouthful and an eyeful." I'd say more here, but I want this post to focus on the game's adorable instruction manual.
And it is adorable, don't you think? That's mostly due to its wonderful illustrations, of course, but I'd say it's also due to the pastel hues its designers used while printing it.
Actually, it's a good thing those pastels are present, because they really spruce up a few of the manual's handful of humdrum pages and spreads.
The map seen on the page below shows off the many different lands that host Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe's stages, by the way.
One cool thing about this game's stages is you can tackle them in whatever order strikes your fancy.
The characters highlighted in the spread above are the bosses you'll battle after you conquer Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe's initial allotment of stages.
And here we have illustrations as well as descriptions of this GameBoy title's items.
Before Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe's instruction booklet comes to a close, it offers up a bevy of advice to those who are stumped by its challenges.
Not that I currently can understand that advice, mind you. Who knows, though, maybe that'll change in the coming months (or, more likely, years).
In the meantime, if any of you can tell me what kind of information is shared on these last couple of pages (above and below), I'd greatly appreciate it.
Also feel free to leave a comment or two below if you, too have played Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe and want to gush about it or criticize it. (Hey, as much as I love it, I also know it's far from a perfect game.)
See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts about Bubble Bobble Junior, BurgerTime Deluxe, Ghostbusters 2 and Snow Bros. Jr.