As Chinese kids, back in our childhood in 80s-90s, we didn’t have many luxuries like “Nintendo Power" or video game guide books as kids in North Americas do. If any kid got a Famicom, he would be considered of a higher class, and other kids just kind of ‘worshipped’ him and would be so happy if invited to that kid’s home and play some games. Even better, if that kid got some guide books or pirated ones from Hong Kong or even Japan, he would be treated like a ‘boss’ with many ‘faces’ (Chinese slang for being respected, or vanity) among the group…
I didn’t enjoy that much of material satisfaction since parents discouraged me from buying video games and all sorts of merchandise related. BUT, I did have a Famicom, or even several of them, coz my dad was in fond of all kinds of electronic things (radios, CD players, and Famicom of course), and I had chances to play video games and I enjoyed the happy hours spent together with my little friends. We exchanged catridges to play coz they were quite rare back then, even rarer for those with high quality, and even even rarer for those pirated from HK (no legit and authentic ones sold in China).
In this post, I’m gonna share some of my guide books I could afford to buy in 90s… I can still remember how often I opened these books seeking for guidance, cheats, or just for fun. To me, they are ‘Nintendo Power’.
Cheap price, with a lot to read
This book is great for those who has some knowledge to Famicom, but wants to dig further in hardware system. It has detailed layout for the whole thing:
with extra page for PCB layout:
The major section of the book is for “cheats", up up down down left right left right B A Start, you know. The games included in the book are available in HK and Japan, most of them are Famicom version, or even Famicom exclusive.
The book even got ‘maintenance and repair’ section, most of the entries deal with problems caused by different TV standards in China:
Another book I bought in mid 90s:
This book is even better. Besides cheats, you got something solid to read, like background stories, character and stage analysis, stuff like that. Would this be the earliest walk-through in Chinese gaming history :D?
Some problems for these books are:
1. Can’t match the original title and the translated one. Kids like me were no good in English back then. We just played. We didn’t know what we were playing, coz we didn’t recognize one single word on the screen, so we called games in our own way. But there is one game for sure we can call it out right: Contra
2. Most of the cheats are workable, but somehow, some of them are fake, like the famous “water level in Contra". But, hey, what the heck, it adds fun to reading!
3. No picture. What you got is your imagination! Sometimes the reading feels so dry!
A pocket size guide book for PC games in early 2000s:
Because of the use of CDROM, guide books become rarer and rarer. And now, Internet can do the trick. I think no one will spend a whole afternoon reading walk-through or seeking cheat codes on Internet nowadays, but there were kids reading guide books day and night back in 80s-90s…