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Miscellaneous

48 files

  1. 3D Game Alchemy for DOOM, DOOM II, Heretic, and Hexen

    "More twisted levels and hellish horror!" declares the cover for this update to the prior year's Tricks of the DOOM Programming Gurus. And they are quite correct. This is not just Tricks version 2.0, this is an almost complete re-write from start to finish which, while almost 200 pages shorter than the previous edition, manages to contain more information between its covers. It does this by culling a good 75% of the empty pages from the first book (seriously, Tricks has dozens of pages which are completely blank compared to around 30 or so here), but also chopping out program-specific information and replacing it with generic how-to which explains the same concepts in a fashion more broadly applicable to whatever development tools you happen to be using. The end result is a tighter, more streamlined book which assumes you are familiar with how to use the software even if you're not that good at designing levels.
    Despite the title, this book is still very much a DOOM-centric tome. While the designs discussed can be used with Heretic and Hexen, and there are tables and charts describing the quirks, enemies, and things specific to those games, make no mistake: the book's writers know you're here for the DOOM content, and they are only too happy to provide.
    The CD-ROM which SAMS included with the book knows it too, coming packed with a fully registered version of the (now woefully obsolete) WADAuthor program for Windows and WADED program for DOS to build levels, along with its own graphical library of enemies, weapons, sprites, tiles, skyboxes, objects, and things to add spice to your own creations, and the DOOMShell 5 program which lets you point-and-click your way through level customizations easily. As if that isn't enough, you can bear witness to over two thousand levels created by talented designers, including several hundred DeathMatch-specific maps, either to use as-is or build off of for your own nightmares.
    Given the release of numerous source ports and new level-making utilities, the software in this book is outdated and mostly unusable on modern systems, but the design concepts and general information within are still rock-solid bases from which to start your DOOM level design education. Included in this download is the 3dgamealchemy.iso which you can extract and burn to its own CD, or mount to a virtual drive and explore (which is why the file size is so large), and get the full 1996 experience!
    Enjoy! ❤️

    304 downloads

    1 comment

    Updated

  2. Akuji The Heartless Mini Strategy Guide

    Akuji The Heartless Mini Strategy Guide

    230 downloads

    0 comments

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  3. Best Action & Arcade Games Strategies & Secrets

    Well, here's something completely different! Your beloved Retromags Goddess providing you (yes, you specifically!) with a book about games from the MS-DOS era!
    Wait, sorry, I got my notes mixed up. This is actually just the next in a long line of books dealing with classic DOS games brought to you by yours truly.
    In order, this book covers:
    Duke Nukem 3D Quake MechWarrior 2 Crusader: No Remorse Hexen Heretic Star Wars: Dark Forces Descent Doom II Doom Earthsiege 2 Earthsiege Terra Nova Wing Commander IV Wing Commander III Fury3 Magic Carpet Renegade Now, you don't get full walkthroughs for all of these games. What you get instead for most are general, overall strategies that will serve you well throughout a playthrough, taken from articles and reviews written by the staff members of Computer Games Strategy Plus.
    The book also came with a CD-ROM containing playable demos for nearly all of the games covered by the book, plus eighteen other games not covered between the covers. My copy, sadly, is lacking this disc, but the good news is that some other enterprising soul uploaded it to Archive.org, and you can grab your own copy of it to play around with!
    Now, enough words! Download this book, enjoy the nostalgia, pay me my tribute by kicking that 'Thanks' button like you're Duke Nukem's mighty boot, and prepare for the next awesome release from your Retromags Goddess! ❤️
    *huggles*
    Areala

    180 downloads

    6 comments

    Updated

  4. Beyond the Nintendo Masters

    Follow-up publication to Tricks of the Nintendo Masters, which was itself followed by Winner's Guide to Sega Genesis.
    Like other publications of the time, this one is almost entirely text-based, with only some neat art pieces for the interior pages to break up the words. Unlike other publications of the time, this one contains a forward by sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, author of the Ender's Game series of books among others.
    At only 148 pages, it's much smaller than many of its contemporaries despite being the same price. The Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Game Strategies books offered over 100 more pages for the same cover price, and also included screenshots. In addition, the authors either were told not to give too much away, or just plain couldn't get too far into some games. The strategy section for Metal Gear, for instance, goes up to the point where Snake can locate the rocket launcher. It tells you to contact Jennifer on a specific frequency before you enter a certain room, then offers this nugget: "Which room? You figure it out." I'm sorry, I thought that's what I was paying you for...?
    Another me-too cash grab which is all-too-blatant when viewed through adult eyes.
    This copy was fairly beat up on the covers, and had some writing on the front title page which I simply blocked out in GIMP. I edited it up slightly, but again, my background is in writing, not graphic design, so my apologies if the obvious edits are distracting.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    320 downloads

    1 comment

    Updated

  5. Book of Adventure Games, The

    Unless you were alive back then, it's almost impossible to understand just how massive the adventure genre of gaming was for personal computers. Exhibit one, were I attempting to make a legal case, would have to be this book right here. It covers seventy-seven adventure programs released across various computer platforms, everything from Adventure to Zork III, and had a cover price of $19.95. Twenty bucks probably seems like an average price for a strategy guide, especially a 350-page behemoth like this guy, but in 1984 that was the equivalent of sixty US dollars in today's currency. How on earth could publisher Arrays, Inc. get away with charging that much for a black-and-white, mostly-text guidebook?
    To put that a bit more in perspective, purchasing a copy of Zork I: The Great Underground Empire for your Apple II home computer back in the halcyon days of 1981 would have set you back $39.95 (or roughly US $120 in today's money). Computer games weren't just costly, they were downright extravagant. And that was after you factored in the several thousand dollars that buying the home computer itself had already set you back. Sure, there were deals to be found when shops were looking to clear out last year's inventory to make room for the next wave of software, but there was no Steam Summer Sale where you could pick up a bunch of AAA-blockbusters for 75% or more off their list price. If you wanted to play Zork, or Wizardry, or Ultima, it was going to cost you. Minimum wage at the time was $2.75/hour, so you can do the math.
    Nobody wanted to dump $40 on a game they couldn't beat, there was no internet where you could consult a FAQ, and while BBS systems were a thing, modems were not a part of the typical home computer installation. So the notion that, for half the cost of a typical adventure game, you could get puzzle solutions and maps for over seventy-five of the most popular titles from the last few years? That was a no-brainer. It was such a no-brainer that one year later, Kim Schuette put out The Book of Adventure Games II, which covered forty-five more adventures that had either been left out of the first volume, or had come out in the meantime, and it too sold like gangbusters.
    I've had this book for almost as long as I've been alive. It (and its sequel) are long out of print, expensive on the second-hand market, and highly sought-after by retro adventure game enthusiasts and collectors. Chopping this one up was hard. But putting it out here, so it can have a new life and be seen and appreciated by others who may never have even known of its existence before now, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I hope you enjoy looking through it as much as I have done over the years, back when I was just a little girl, doing her best hunt-and-peck typing on her TRS-80 keyboard, trying to figure out how to beat The Sands of Egypt.
    This isn't just a piece of gaming history. This is a piece of my history. I hope you'll treasure it with me. ❤️

    188 downloads

    5 comments

    Submitted

  6. Castlevania - Symphony of the Night Survival Guide

    Castlevania - Symphony of the Night Survival Guide

    628 downloads

    0 comments

    Submitted

  7. Compute's Adventure Game Player's Handbook

    Another 500-page tome of PC gaming goodness. Compute's Adventure Game Player's Handbook provides walkthroughs for 37 games which are (mostly) of the point-and-click variety from the mid-90's catalogue of DOS offerings. And these are some top-notch games: some Leisure Suit Larry titles, a couple of Space Quest entries, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, both Ultima Underworld adventures, the CD-ROM sensation that was The 7th Guest, Laura Bow's first outing in The Dagger of Amon Ra, the H.R. Geiger inspired Dark Seed, the second Tex Murphy adventure Martian Memorandum, Sierra's Rise of the Dragon cyberpunk tale, and even Steve Meretzky's comical final entry in the Spellcasting trilogy...seriously, some of the best PC adventure games available at the time.
    Once again, not as outdated as you might think, since many of these titles are easily available and accessible from digital services like GOG and Steam, meaning you could re-play many of them today with minimal hassle and put this book to good use. Mostly text, but there are an awful lot of screenshots and computer-rendered maps along with other things like item lists and even the occasional cheat code or two which make this a great reference work.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    325 downloads

    5 comments

    Updated

  8. Deathmatch Manifesto

    The Deathmatch Manifesto is a fascinating book for a multitude of reasons. Published in 1997, really the dawn of the internet era for many home computer users, it's the first book of its kind to really dig in to the strategies used by gamers for fragging one another instead of the monsters. While competing against other human players itself went all the way back to the likes ofTennis For Two, Pong, and Space War, the concept of the "deathmatch" as it pertained to 3D gaming was in its relative infancy. Popularized by Doom, expanded on by Duke Nukem 3D, and levelled up by the release of Quake, there was a massive, untapped audience for this kind of thing, and Sybex sought to fill this void by publishing a guide not to beating the likes of those games, but rather beating the likes of those who had already beaten those games and were now looking for fresh blood to spill.
    Much of the book is devoted to covering basic and advanced Deathmatch tactics which have long since become staples of the FPS genre, especially in the aftermath of the success seen with Quake 3 and the Unreal Tournament franchise, but what makes this book important from a historical standpoint is the snapshot in time it offers the reader. Documented within is the genesis of FPS gaming, the rise of online gaming, snapshots of popular gaming culture like cartoons produced using Quake's graphical engine and a listing of a number of different Clans who existed at the time, and even a look at new and upcoming gaming peripherals, like the SpaceOrb 360 controller, the VooDoo graphics card, and the MMX instruction set for Pentium-class computers.
    I've included an .iso rip of the CD which came with the book. This includes a slew of deathmatch levels for your favorite games; demo file walkthroughs for every level in Quake, Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Duke Nukem 3D and the Atomic Edition/Plutonium Pak; a utility for converting Doom levels into Duke 3D levels; and a "secret Quake bonus" hidden somewhere on the disc for you to find. (No, don't ask me what/where it is--I'm not telling!). The DEATHMATCH.ISO file is included in the .cbz file, so open that with your favorite file compression utility, extract it, and get to playing around!
    As usual for books like this, pages which were completely blank were omitted in order to reduce file size.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    195 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  9. Duke Nukem 3D Official Strategies & Secrets

    Come get some!
    The man with the mightiest boot in all of FPS-dom is in town with a few days to kill. But who wants to waste all their time bumping into walls and burning through jetpacks to find all the secrets, easter eggs, and crazy loot? So do yourself a favour: use this official strategy guide, with all its excellent walkthroughs and maps, to make those alien bastards pay for shooting up your ride.
    This is a fun guide, with some extra developer commentary packed into the Appendix, and the obligatory CD-ROM on the back cover, stuffed with level maps, shareware, the entire first episode of Duke Nukem 3D, and other goodies.
    The CD-ROM isn't a part of the .cbz archive, but you can download your own ISO of The Exclusive SYBEX/3D Realms Duke Nukem Companion CD to play around with, because your Retromags Goddesss loves you and ripped her copy so you could have the complete experience.

    What are you waiting for, Christmas?
    Enjoy! ❤️

    547 downloads

    5 comments

    Updated

  10. Falcon 3 Strategies and Secrets (1994)

    Falcon 3 Strategies and Secrets (1994)

    91 downloads

    0 comments

    Submitted

  11. Falcon 3.0 Air Combat (1992)

    Falcon 3.0 Air Combat (1992)
    Missing one insert towards the back, but otherwise the book is intact.

    100 downloads

    1 comment

    Submitted

  12. Final Fantasy III Players Guide

    Final Fantasy III / Final Fantasy VI is, hands down, my favorite Final Fantasy title. And this right here just might be my favorite strategy guide of all time. Presented in full colour, flush with screenshots, along with copious artwork by artist Yoshitaka Amano, and a section at the end featuring some gorgeous full-size in-game maps, Olafson's guide is written more like a story as opposed to a walkthrough.
    At $12.95, this was an absolute showstopper of a book. It may be less complete overall than Nintendo's own game guide, as it doesn't contain things like monster stats, weapon and item lists, Gau's Rage tables, or other in-depth information one might expect to see in an RPG guide. But the sheer quality of Olafson's prose guides the reader through the story so well it feels like playing the game. It's one of the few guides I've read from cover to cover multiple times. It's just that good.
    This book is generally very expensive on the second-hand market. Copies on eBay routinely sell for $50 or more, and copies in excellent condition can fetch upwards of $100. For Final Fantasy III fans, it's a highly-sought collector's item. If you've ever looked at a listing and wondered why, I hope a flip through this book explains everything. If every guide followed Olafson's example, strategy guides would be regarded as works of art instead of simple cash grabs.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    1,021 downloads

    2 comments

    Updated

  13. Final Fantasy VII Unofficial Strategies & Secrets for the PC

    An unofficial, text-only strategy guide produced specifically for the PC edition of Final Fantasy VII. This is a pretty odd beast, considering virtually every other FF7 guide on the market is both full colour and packed with screenshots. Even though this was meant for the PC release, there's really nothing preventing you from using it to play through the PS1 version, since they're almost entirely identical.
    Not a particularly common guide, but also not a terribly interesting one thanks to its bland presentation. Ronald Wartow is a good writer though, and even if you've played through the console version many times, you may enjoy reading his take on the adventure.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    322 downloads

    6 comments

    Updated

  14. Full Throttle Official Player's Guide

    Lucasarts made very good adventure games, and this guide goes through it with a fine-toothed comb.
    Aside from a hint guide and a step-by-step guide, it has synopsis of the cast, trivia of all sorts, and most interestingly, interviews with people who worked on the game.  I find it interesting that the game making process is always documented so thoroughly on games Tim Schaefer was involved with, and still is, based on the videos on Psychonauts and other Double Fine productions.

    209 downloads

    0 comments

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  15. Gamemaster: Conquering Sega Genesis Games

    The second book released by Jeff Rovin under his "Gamemaster" moniker, this time aimed at helping you whittle down that backlog of Sega Genesis and Sega CD games you'd built up over the years. Like the rest of his video game books, this one's all-text, all the time. Like the Super Nintendo book, it dispenses with reviews and other unnecessary bits to focus entirely on cheats, Game Genie/Pro Action Replay codes, tips, and strategies to get you as far into the games as possible. There are some extra pages in the back where you can take notes, write down passwords, or draw maps.
    My version of this book has the previous owner's name and date of purchase inscribed on the first page. I thought about editing this out, but decided against it since it was part of this particular copy's history. Susan Forman, wherever you are, if you should run across this file some day I hope it makes you smile to know we've immortalized your specific book in our archives.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    370 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  16. Gamemaster: Conquering Super Nintendo Games

    After teaching everybody "How to Win" for five years, Jeff Rovin adopted a new moniker for himself: "Gamemaster". A bit ironic, since Rovin himself never actually played the games for which he was writing down strategies, but the 90s were nothing if not the "fake it 'til you make it" era, so there you have it.
    The book's broken down into two separate sections; the first features varying degrees of secret codes and strategies for 90 different titles, although nothing terribly comprehensive for any of the games no matter how complex or long said games might be. A little over three pages devoted to Final Fantasy II, about the same for Zombies Ate my Neighbors, but only one page or so given over to most action, platformer, and sports titles. The second section is literally nothing but cheats, passwords, Game Genie and Pro Action Replay codes, and the like; stuff you'd find in any magazine's cheat column. At $5 for a solid 230 pages of content, this isn't a bad deal. Rovin's introduction and afterward are also interesting reading, with Rovin making the case that the government has about as much reason to come after video games as they did with comics books back in the 1950s. Nice to see a guy who is a parent opining that it's really up to the parents to be responsible for what their children play instead of assuming an involuntary rating system will do anything except give kids a reason to rent the more mature titles on Friday night.
    There are a lot of errors, omissions, and mistakes in this book though. The back cover claims Super Metroid is covered inside, when it doesn't appear in either section. The table of contents labels the second section of the book as "NES Short Takes" instead of SNES Short Takes. The front cover refers to the Zelda titles as "Link Games" (which makes it sound like carts you could connect to other carts a-la Sonic the Hedgehog 3), and the back cover mentions a game called "Streetfighters II".
    There are also oddities in the presentation of some material. Rovin sometimes offers up passwords without explaining where they put you or what they'll give you (see Wings 2: Aces High), and does the same with Game Genie codes (see Final Fantasy II). Yeah, it doesn't take long to type in a couple of codes and see what happens, but maybe I'd like to know what I'm getting into before plugging in the ol' Game Genie. Especially if one of the codes you're going to give us is a "Gunslinger" code which can be used to change any item in the game into any other item in the game. If you don't explain what that code does, and how to use it, you haven't done anybody any favours, Jeff.
    Anyway, my copy of this book has some slight water damage on the first couple of pages, but everything came out legible. Enjoy! ❤️

    366 downloads

    4 comments

    Updated

  17. Gitaroo Man Official Guide

    Gitaroo Man Official Guide (Japanese)
    Scanned and edited by boringhexi
    2001

    178 downloads

    1 comment

    Updated

  18. How to Beat the Video Games

    Now this is a piece of retro gaming history. While not the first book written describing strategies for winning in the arcade, Michael Blanchet was among the earliest authors putting pen to paper and explaining the ins and outs of video games as he saw them. A recent college graduate, he worked in an arcade by day, dispensing both quarters and tips for fellow gamers, and picking up strategies from his regular customers. It didn't take long for him to realize there was a thirst for this kind of knowledge, and after winning top marks in an arcade gaming tournament for his performance in Battlezone, he got noticed by an agent for Simon & Schuster. They were looking for a book about arcade games, since "Mastering Pac-Man" by Ken Uston and "How to Master the Video Games" by Tom Hirschfeld had both become recent best-sellers. Blanchet said he had some ideas he'd been kicking around, and the result was the publication of this book in 1982, which reportedly sold over 80,000 copies.
    Blanchet was able to parlay the success of this book (and its successor, "How To Beat Atari, Intellivision, and Other Home Video Games") into a regular newspaper column which ran twice a week up until the industry crashed, at which point Blanchet left video games journalism and moved on to the next phase of his life.
    Your Retromags Goddess is pleased as punch to be able to bring you this awesome piece of early video game history as her first scan for 2024.

    147 downloads

    3 comments

    Submitted

  19. How to Win at Game Boy Games

    Jeff Rovin and his sons branch into the portable gaming market with this book. Like the others in this series, this is an all-text, all-the-time format.
    My copy of this book had a few pages where the print seeped dangerously close to the margins. I don't know if this was a problem solely with my copy, or if every book looks like this, but if it looks like the margins jump around at some point, it wasn't anything I did on my end while creating the file, I promise. There was also a corner gouged from one corner on the second-to-last page in my copy which shall remain immortalized in this scan. I try to take good care of my books, but accidents happen, alas.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    398 downloads

    5 comments

    Updated

  20. How to Win at Nintendo Games #2

    Volume 2 of the series which keeps on giving gave everybody more of what they already got last time, and we were all delighted by that, thank you very much!
    While this series wasn't specifically aimed at children, the ad in the back for a bunch of books in the "Truly Tasteless Jokes" series seems...well, tasteless. Then again, it's not like Rovin had half a dozen of these guys under his belt for St. Martin's Press to advertise, and crass humour likely sold just as well as video game books, so who knows: maybe they made a fortune off the cross-promotion.
    Now I want to get one of those dirty joke books and see if they advertise Rovin's material in the back.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    422 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  21. How to Win at Nintendo Sports Games

    After three successful books covering Nintendo games of all genres, Rovin turned his roving eye to a sports-centric edition of his best-selling series, and thus, How to Win at Nintendo Sports Games was born. While some games, like Ice Hockey, were covered in previous volumes, even these titles get an expanded treatment, often re-measured against other games about the same sport. There's also a short section on some Game Boy sports titles, and a very short "Sports Shorts" section with a half dozen tips for sports-themed carts.
    As with all of Rovin's other material in this series, this is all-text, all the time. Of course, the upside to this was they were inexpensive as well: four or five dollars as opposed to the ten or twelve other, more graphically complex guides could command.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    268 downloads

    9 comments

    Updated

  22. How to Win at Super Mario Bros. Games (1990)

    Searchable PDF version of this book

    500 downloads

    0 comments

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  23. How to Win at Super Nintendo Entertainment System Games

    Jeff's a bit late to jump on the Super Nintendo train, since it had been out in the US for a year by the time this edition of his best-selling series was published. But if you thought the man had earned enough bank with eight prior game book releases, you had another thing coming. Still unofficial, still unendorsed by Nintendo, and still written by watching his kids and their neighborhood cronies play the game while he took copious notes. Why waste a perfectly good system?
    Some of the games in here benefit little from Rovin's advice; the short write-up on Final Fight may as well be condensed to read, "Walk right and punch people." The Pilotwings strategy is literally just some passwords and a few tips on how to tackle the game's bonus stages (although the cheeky entry under "Enemies" made me giggle). On the other hand, games like Super Mario World, Link to the Past, and Wanderers From Ys get quite a bit more attention.
    Methinks Jeff's son Michael had a girlfriend at this time in his life. The name used for all the passwords in Super Castlevania IV is MEGNMIKE. Awwwwww... 😍
    Enjoy! ❤️

    397 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  24. Lara Croft Paper Doll

    This most excellent paper doll was included as an exclusive bonus for people who purchased the Tomb Raider I and II Official Strategy Guide from Prima back in 1999. The doll herself was printed on thick cardstock, with scoring lines, while her clothing came on high-gloss paper stock.
    I've done a high-resolution 600dpi scan of the doll by herself, so you can print her out, dress her up, and take her on all sorts of adventures outside of her video games. Where will you travel? What treasures will you discover? It's all up to you!
    Enjoy! ❤️

    457 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  25. Mastering Nintendo Video Games

    The first of a four-book, me-too Nintendo video game hints series. It was followed by "Mastering Nintendo Video Games II" which was a minor updated edition that reused much of this book's content. "Tricks of the Nintendo Masters" came next, and the series flared out and died with "Beyond the Nintendo Masters".
    "Mastering Nintendo Video Games" was clearly inspired by Corey Sandler and Tom Badgett's "Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Game Strategies", what with its reliance on cute little icons and block text. Like other books of the time, this one focuses mainly on tips and strategies for accomplishing specific things in each game, like beating Elecman in Mega Man, or finding the raft in Zelda II. There aren't any pictures or screenshots of any kind, although some of the sections (especially the one on Super Mario Bros. 2) contain some computer-drawn diagrams to illustrate what you're going to face or what you should do.
    The bad news is, the book also contains a number of hints that are either of little to no use, or are flat-out wrong. The Castlevania II portion, for instance, suggests that you should show the Ferryman some garlic, but this will do absolutely nothing except waste your garlic. Otherwise, this is a paint-by-numbers strategy book with tips mainly cribbed from the pages of Nintendo Power and GamePro.
    My copy was acquired second-hand and the previous owner had made notes in pen on a few of the pages. I did my best to clean these up, but my background is in writing and not image manipulation so...sorry.

    161 downloads

    3 comments

    Submitted

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