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StaceyPowers

The old days of walkthrough manuals

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Who here is old enough to remember the olden days of gaming back before we could just look up playthrough videos on YouTube when we hit a wall in a game?

I remember when devs would make you pay for official walkthrough guides if you needed help, lol.

I’m really glad those days are over, but I admit I sometimes get nostalgic for such inconveniences … if you actually managed to beat a puzzle in a game that was plaguing all of your friends, you felt really accomplished.

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I have the guides for several games that I bought when I was younger. A few different Final Fantasy games, Zelda OoT & Majora, DK64 (that one's not mine though), and a few random assorted others. They're handy to have if you're not all that familiar with a game, and just fun to read if you are.

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I never played video games at this point in time, but I can't imagine having to pay for a walkthrough, though it is a fairly good marketing strategy. Did companies make a decent amount of money that way?

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11 hours ago, kingpotato said:

Yeah I do remember purchasing gaming magazines, most of them had news about  of new games and of course walkthroughs and cheats for some PS2 games

Same here - I always liked looking through gaming magazines because they also gave you reviews of games currently.

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4 hours ago, Darya said:

I never played video games at this point in time, but I can't imagine having to pay for a walkthrough, though it is a fairly good marketing strategy. Did companies make a decent amount of money that way?

How old are you kid ? 😆

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4 minutes ago, kingpotato said:

How old are you kid ? 😆

Not as old as y'all, clearly. 

But yeah, pretty young, I'm 14.

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20 minutes ago, Darya said:

Not as old as y'all, clearly. 

But yeah, pretty young, I'm 14.

Yeah that explains it, these magazines stopped to be popular around 2006-08 when youtube became popular instead.

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Considering that cheaper guides ran typically $20+ they made quite a bit of money. Collectors editions were obviously more expensive. Bradygames and Versus Books are/were the biggest 2 guide publishers that I'm familiar with.

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@Darya Yeah, they made money on them. Consider also that in those days, a lot of games were ... well ... hard. Gaming was more of a niche interest back then, so there were less concern about making games that anyone could feasibly beat. Game devs also were frankly not all that concerned if you played yourself into a situation you couldn't progress out of (you are much less likely these days to make a fatal mistake at the start of the game which stops you from beating it in the end).

Add to that the fact that we didn't have YouTube back then. It could be harder--if not impossible, in some cases--to find free guides to help you through difficult sections of challenging games. So the walkthrough manual might be the only solution. They had a kind of "collectibility" status as well for some folks.

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Posted (edited)

These days people are keeping entire game on the youtube or any other streaming channel. So that pretty much shows you how to solve some of the levels and find the way around. So it's definitely fun to try out the walk-through videos instead.

Edited by skyfire

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