Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Manual Stimulation: Don Doko Don 2 (Famicom)

At the end of my post about the Don Doko Don Famicom instruction manual, I mentioned that the manual you see here makes its predecessor "look like something that was pulled from the gutter."

Harsh, I know, but I stand by it. I mean, just look at the cover of the Don Doko Don 2 manual, below. It alone is more stupendous than anything you'll find in the first Don Doko Don manual.

Don't take any of this to mean I think the original Don Doko Don manual is a stinker. I think it's pretty snazzy, actually.

Maybe not as snazzy as, say, the manuals publisher Taito created for the Famicom Disk System version of Bubble Bobble, or the PC Engine ports of The New Zealand Story or Mizubaku Daibouken, but still worth the occasional ogle.

I say without hesitation, however, that the Don Doko Don 2 instruction manual is snazzier than all of the above-mentioned booklets--perhaps combined.

Every page of the Don Doko Don 2 booklet features something fabulous, usually in the form of a stunning drawing.

OK, so they're not all as jaw-dropping as the gigantic one that opens the Don Doko Don 2 manual. But, really, not every illustration can be of a huge, crying, king-turned-into-a-frog, right?

At any rate, the pages that follow shine a light on the game's story. Besides all of the art they produced, I also love how the designers who worked on this booklet used pops of red and pink to add drama and interest to the proceedings.

The spread above educates readers on how to play Don Doko Don 2. There's not much to tell them, however; as is the case in the original Don Doko Don, in part two, you dispatch enemies by smacking them with your mallet, picking up their squished bodies, and then tossing their corpses at oncoming clueless baddies.

There's one big difference between the first Don Doko Don and the second, though, and that is Don Doko Don 2 isn't a single-screen platformer like the original is. Instead, it's a scrolling platformer that apes Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 in various ways.

That genre swap probably explains why the Don Doko Don 2 instruction manual contains this rather detailed map.

Don Doko Don turning into a full-on, side-scrolling platformer à la Mario with its sequel also probably explains why the Don Doko Don 2 manual features a fairly extensive explanation of the game's HUD (or UI, or whatever you like to call such things) as well as its collectible and useable items.

Don Doko Don 2's items are showcased on page 10 (above), by the way. And its enemies--some of them, at least--are given the spotlight on the pair of pages below.

I kind of like the "reverse image" thing half of the enemy illustrations have going on in the preceding spread, by the way. Sure, it makes it somewhat difficult to tell exactly what some of these creatures are supposed to be, but I like the style all the same.

The Don Doko Don 2 instruction booklet wraps up with a few hints for struggling players.

Sadly, I can't share these words of advice with you--as I don't know them myself. Maybe some kind soul who comes across this post will translate them for the rest of us?

See also: the Yume Penguin Monogatari, SonSon, and Pizza Pop! instruction manuals

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