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  1. Ultima Online Unofficial Strategies & Secrets

    Considering it's an outdated strategy guide for a version of a game that's been unplayable since the early 2000's, this book is oddly expensive on the second-hand market, with listings usually in the $20-40 range. Equally unusual, this guide was essentially co-authored by a bunch of members of the same guild, who shared their tips and techniques with Sybex, making it something of a curiosity for that alone. In any case, this is the very definition of a historical artifact of a bygone era, which is why it's so important for us to preserve it. Ultima Online is still around, and still playable today, but it looks nothing like it did in 1997 when this came out.
    Use it as anything but a trip down memory lane at your own risk.
    (Blank pages were omitted to save time and space, so if you notice page numbers skipping, don't worry, you aren't missing any content).

    132 downloads

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  2. Ultima Online: The Second Age Official Strategy Guide

    Ultima Online: The Second Age was the first major update/expansion to Ultima Online. Released in 1998, a year after Ultima Online's debut, it added a new swamp/marsh zone called "The Lost Lands" (which included two new cities), a plethora of new enemies to fight, and the ability for players to construct their own cities. A plethora of other mechanics were implemented and enhanced as well, including a real-time text translation service allowing players world-wide to break the language barrier, modifications to the user interface, and an expansion of in-game chat features.
    For many, The Second Age is considered the definitive version of the game, as a massive number of players joined UO with this specific edition. This has led to a plethora of user-created servers (known as 'Shards') dedicated to running versions of the software that most closely mimic the look, play style, and features of this specific instance versus the version of the game running today. Indeed, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, the shard is free to play, with the software that can be found here:
    https://www.uosecondage.com/
    Because of that, this guide has actually retained its value on the second-hand market, making it a $20-30 acquisition for anyone wanting their own copy. After learning this, it pushed this book to the top of the preservation stack, and I'm delighted to offer it up for your perusal and digital hoard.
    The only down side? My copy was acquired second-hand, and is lacking the full-colour poster map that came bound as a tear-out sheet between pages 144 and 145. If anyone else has a copy of this poster already scanned, please don't hesitate to contact me, and I'll add it to the file with full credit to you.
    Otherwise, enjoy the download, smack that 'Thanks' button, and I'll see you with the next upload shortly! ❤️

    113 downloads

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  3. Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge Official Strategy Guide

    This was published in 2002 to coincide with the release of the expansion, the fourth for Ultima Online, which was noteworthy for none other than Todd "You're Damn Right, I Created Spawn!" McFarlane joining the design team to populate a new zone within the now much larger map of Britannia with all sorts of twisted nightmares from his imagination.
    For some reason, the two expansions that happened prior to Lord Blackthorn's Revenge (Ultima Online: Renaissance and Ultima Online: Third Dawn) both dropped without getting corresponding strategy guides, official or otherwise. Because of that, the guide to Lord Blackthorn's Revenge had to cover an awful lot of territory, as the playable world within the game had more than doubled since Second Age, with entire new continents now populated with extensive new dungeons. But in addition to covering all the updated content, this book offers a slew of extra content of use/interest to fans of Ultima who couldn't care less about playing the MMO. This includes an overview of the grand Ultima timeline featured in all the games which had released up to that point, a character glossary for major NPCs, significant events that had taken place both in the online and off-line games, a guide for new players, an interview with Todd "Did I Mention I Created Spawn?" McFarlane, and a bunch of other goodies. Even if you couldn't care less about a twenty year old expansion to an MMO, you'll probably find something worth reading if you have even a passing interest in the Ultima world or RPGs in general.
    This is a remarkably well put together book, with a lot of great information. Obviously it's more useful if you're familiar with Ultima Online, but even if you don't know much (I never played the game myself, though I had friends in college who did, so most of my knowledge comes from their accounts), it's still a really cool book that deals with far more than just stat tables and skill progression lists.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    113 downloads

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  4. Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Game Boy Strategies, 3rd Edition

    Jeff Rovin might have figured out how to get the money from video game books flowing, but brother, Corey Sandler and Tom Badgett's output over the years stuck a vacuum hose into the pockets of America's youth, siphoning off birthday cash, allowance money, and everything else they could get their hands on. This here's the third edition of their already best-selling Game Boy book, and for a mere five dollars, it promised nothing less than total dominance and the latest info on the most recent games.
    You've got to hand it to these guys for attacking their topics with such mercenary zeal. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis...no system was safe from this daring duo and their game-addicted progeny. This edition was condensed down to a more portable mass-market paperback from the previous versions' trade paperback size, also resulting in a price cut ($4.99 vs. $9.99), no doubt making it that much easier to sell, while scaling down the size of both the text and interior images.
    It's competent, accessible, and everything you would want something like this to be. Which is good, because it's the fifteenth book these guys churned out in four years, so you'd expect them to have mastered the formula. They don't disappoint.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    400 downloads

    6 comments

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  5. Ultima Online: Age of Shadows Official Strategy Guide

    Age of Shadows was the fifth expansion for Ultima Online, released in early 2003, and like the previous year's Lord Blackthorn's Revenge, also featured a darker vibe. The primary purpose of this expansion was to add a crap-ton more land to help with the player housing situation. To that end, the team created a new land mass called 'Malas', an area that was essentially a giant, broken-up continent with hundreds of smaller island-like locations connected by bridges. Major changes came to the housing system, allowing players to customize and create structures of much broader and grander design than the small number of prefab options which had been available for the last five years. Established players who had already built and maintained homes were allowed to convert their old homes to the new design standard, ensuring they wouldn't be left out of the fun. In addition to alleviating the housing bubble, the expansion also introduced two new playable classes (the Paladin and the Necromancer), and added a Diablo-style explosion of magical item attributes and properties, allowing for a much greater range of possibilities for the loot tables. 
    But it wasn't all fun and games. All that extra stuff came with an increased monthly fee, and players discovered the new and powerful magic items turned the UO experience from a skill-based roleplaying experience into a loot hunt for the best gear so as to allow accelerated character growth. The combination turned off veteran players, who left the game in droves, and marked a significant downturn in the game's place in the much more crowded MMO marketplace.
    This guide is an oddity, being mostly a reprint of the Lord Blackthorn's Revenge book (minus the Todd "Hey, I'm the Spawn Dude!" McFarlane interview), with only the last fifth or so being devoted to the new content unveiled in the expansion itself. Not bad if you skipped buying the LBR guide in 2002, but otherwise...
    Enjoy! ❤️

    124 downloads

    2 comments

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  6. Quake III Arena Official Strategy Guide

    I'm not sure why Prima (or anybody, really) thought this game needed a strategy guide. I mean, Quake III Arena was literally nothing more than 'deathmatch-on-demand' with the possibility of fighting against AI bots if you didn't have any real-life friends. All the weapons and power-ups were culled from iD Software's previous Doom and Quake titles, and chances are if you bought Quake III you had already been playing deathmatch with your friends for five years and had a solid understanding of techniques like rocket jumping. The only thing really new for this game were the levels themselves. But, you know, props to Prima for managing to still get 200 pages' worth of content out of it somehow. Good on you, guys!
    Unlike previous guides to Quake games, this one's also in full colour, so there's that...
    Enjoy! ❤️

    208 downloads

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  7. Totally Unauthorized Combat Guide to Duke Nukem 3D

    Guides which brand themselves as "totally unauthorized" are a mixed bag. I mean, the writers of the authorized guides get their info from the game's publisher and developer, they get the rights to use artwork, screenshots, and other assets, and typically offer some bonus features like interviews with the developers, a CD-ROM stuffed with extra goodies, and other tidbits. The "unauthorized" guys, though? They have to make do with whatever artwork the in-house artists come up with, don't get any special access to designers and programmers, and have to build their strategies from scratch. To stand out, the unauthorized guides are usually a few bucks cheaper than the official one right next to it on the shelf, and that's usually all they've got. But occasionally an unauthorized guide will go above and beyond the call of duty to kick ass and take names, making itself worthy of your cash despite not being authorized.
    This book, my friends, is one of those special snowflakes. Because despite Sybex buying the right to make the official guide for Duke Nukem 3D (and making a kick-ass guide in their own write, complete with its own CD on the back cover), Steven Schafer and the hooligans at Brady Games laced up the combat boots and waded into the trenches to make their combat guide totally worth the money.
    In here, you'll find the normal write-ups on weapons, enemies, and power-ups. In here, you'll see the same level maps as you'd see in the official book. But that's only the first 150 pages. From page 152 on, you're treated to an orgy of information concerning configuring and playing multiplayer DukeMatch games, a comprehensive breakdown of all the game's media files (textures, sprites, sounds, etc...), and a complete tutorial on how to make your own levels using the Build Engine (which is where all that index info on the game's internal media files comes in handy, and can help you best utilize and/or replace assets as needed).
    The official guide devotes a whole two pages to this. They're basically like, "Yeah, um, Duke Nukem 3D includes a level editor. It's called Build. Check it out!". Probably this was so people would feel enticed to fork over another $24.99 in order to get Sybex's Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook (which is a great book in its own right, well worth the buy if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of level creation, and will be appearing here in the not too distant future), but I'm not joking when I tell you this unauthorized book can teach you enough to make the level design book almost completely unnecessary.
    It also covers the secret DukeMatch-only level, "Faces of Death", which comes with the game, but requires a command-line interface trick to get working if you want to see it in single-player, and is something even the official guidebook doesn't bring up.
    I reiterate: the official guide leaves out all mention of the fact this level even exists, but the Brady gang gives it two full pages of maps and basic level info. What?!
    This book kicks some serious ass, and as far as I'm concerned, if you're a Duke Nukem 3D fan, you need it in your library.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    183 downloads

    1 comment

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  8. Quake II Authorized Strategy Guide

    It's a Quake II strategy guide which printed the maps twice: one in green-and-greyscale, once in full colour! And they're just as useless no matter which version of them you're viewing! Hooray!
    Otherwise, this is just your bog-standard strategy guide to an FPS. There's the obligatory enemy list, weapons load-out, multiplayer tips, a page and a half on using the console, and those full colour maps!
    Also, whoever had the bright idea to only put page numbers on every other page, or just stop them for a bit then start up again later, deserves to be dipped in horseradish and thrown to the jellyfish. 😡
    You don't need this. You're going to download it anyway, because you're a digital hoarder, and that's totally fine. I'm just pointing out the obvious.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    265 downloads

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  9. Unofficial Quake Level Design Handbook

    You've no idea how long I've wanted to bring this one to the site.
    Stupid expensive on the second-hand market, even moreso if you want a copy with the CD intact, but not as outdated as you might think considering people are still making levels for the original Quake to this day! Matt Tagliaferri knows his game level design, and this book brings together every trick and tip in his arsenal to help you build the best Quake level your heart can dream up.
    I've included a rip of the ISO file for the CD-ROM within the download, so you can mess around with that. The qED software itself won't work with current versions of Windows, but the bonus levels are playable in the main game or any one of its many source ports as-is. Just open the .cbz file with your favorite file compression software, and you'll see the QUAKE_LEVEL.ISO file right in the front. You know I wouldn't be your Retromags Goddess if I left it out.
    Pretty straightforward, but I need to point out the back cover text promises the level editor will be compatible with Duke Nukem Forever, because that game was on track to come out a year after this book was published!
    Enjoy! ❤️

    191 downloads

    1 comment

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  10. 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

    174 downloads

    6 comments

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  11. 007: Nightfire - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    007 - Nightfire - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    146 downloads

    2 comments

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  12. Return To Castle Wolfenstein - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    Return To Castle Wolfenstein - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    159 downloads

    0 comments

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  13. Command & Conquer - Red Alert 2 - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2000)

    Command & Conquer - Red Alert 2 - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2000)

    162 downloads

    2 comments

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  14. Command & Conquer - Renegade - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    Command & Conquer - Renegade - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    124 downloads

    0 comments

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  15. Spyro The Dragon - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (1998)

    Spyro The Dragon - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (1998)

    287 downloads

    0 comments

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  16. Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    Alone in the Dark - The New Nightmare - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    181 downloads

    1 comment

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  17. Alias - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2004)

    Alias - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2004)

    101 downloads

    1 comment

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  18. Mario Party 4 - Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    Mario Party 4 - Official Strategy Guide (2002)

    194 downloads

    1 comment

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  19. Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Sacred Card - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2003)

    Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Sacred Card - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2003)

    121 downloads

    0 comments

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  20. Command & Conquer - Generals Zero Hour - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2003)

    Command & Conquer - Generals Zero Hour - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2003)

    128 downloads

    1 comment

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  21. Command & Conquer - Tiberian Sun - Advanced Strategies - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2000)

    Command & Conquer - Tiberian Sun - Advanced Strategies - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2000)

    148 downloads

    1 comment

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  22. Command & Conquer - Yuris Revenge - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    Command & Conquer - Yuris Revenge - Prima's Official Strategy Guide (2001)

    135 downloads

    0 comments

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  23. Yu-Gi-Oh! - Trading Card Game Rule Book - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    Yu-Gi-Oh! - Trading Card Game Rule Book - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    127 downloads

    0 comments

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  24. Super Smash Bros. Melee - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    Super Smash Bros. Melee - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    260 downloads

    0 comments

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  25. Mario Kart Super Circuit - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    Mario Kart Super Circuit - Prima's Official Strategy Guide

    263 downloads

    0 comments

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