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Nintendo Games Secrets


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Nintendo Games Secrets is a historical landmark in the world of video game publishing, being the first title produced by Prima for their newly-birthed "Secrets of the Games" imprint in 1990. From the humble roots of this black-and-white, mostly-text guide written by then-GamePro staff writer Rusel DeMaria, Prima rose to become one of the preeminent publishers of gaming strategy guides, eventually acquiring their closest rival, BradyGames, in 2015.

Prima's "Secrets of the Games" imprint played an enormous role in the company's success throughout the 90's, with multiple volumes covering NES, Genesis, Game Boy, TurboGrafx-16, and Super NES games in this format, as well as stand-alone guides for specific games like Secret of ManaSuper Mario WorldSuper Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

If you browsed a bookstore in the early 90s, and you were into video games, chances are good you drooled over one of these Prima books and tried to convince your parents to buy one for you. Maybe you succeeded, maybe you didn't, but either way, I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. I have thirteen more of these in my collection, so expect to see more in the future. :)

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A few pages of my copy of this book suffered from a printing defect where they were printed lighter than others. This only affects about four total pages, but it's still annoying. A lot of wonky margins and angled text in this one too; I did my best to correct the worst offenses. :)

*huggles*
Areala :angel:

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Thanks, Areala!!!

I own a sizeable collection of these early games (the Genesis, TG-16, Game Boy, SNES and NES books), and for the most part they are very good guides, and at times very good reads with bits of humor mixed in!  Thanks for collecting these as digital files for preservation!

Do have to ask, do you have access to the "Awesome" Games secrets series, and also the "(System) Game Secrets" books (the latter were from the same writers/publishers as the "Awesome" Game Secrets series)?  These were also very good, and the later books had very...interesting humor added in to the writing.  😉

Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, MSR1701 said:

Thanks, Areala!!!

I own a sizeable collection of these early games (the Genesis, TG-16, Game Boy, SNES and NES books), and for the most part they are very good guides, and at times very good reads with bits of humor mixed in!  Thanks for collecting these as digital files for preservation!

Do have to ask, do you have access to the "Awesome" Games secrets series, and also the "(System) Game Secrets" books (the latter were from the same writers/publishers as the "Awesome" Game Secrets series)?  These were also very good, and the later books had very...interesting humor added in to the writing.  😉

Thanks again!

You're very welcome, @MSR1701! I'm glad to see people enjoying this. The bookstore nostalgia is strong for me with these early Prima guides, so I'm delighted to share with others. I have just about all of the books in this series, I'm only missing the first Genesis and second Game Boy books (unless there are other ones I'm unaware of), so they'll all be here at some point. :)

The only one of the books you mentioned that I have is the first Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets book by J. Douglas Arnold. I'm pretty sure at some point we had one of the Awesome Super Nintendo Secrets (or at least we checked it out of the library multiple times). Zach Meston co-wrote a bunch of them, which is probably why they read a lot like the "Games Secrets" series, but I've never found any out in the wild. :)

I also have the Mortal Kombat 3 Player's Guide by Arnold and Meston (which, I just realized, has not been added to our cover Gallery yet...need to fix that), but that's about it. :)

You can get an idea of my collection by checking out my Gallery uploads for Strategy Guide Covers. Unless there's a box of them hidden away in storage, I think I've uploaded covers for just about every guide I own at this point. :)

*huggles*
Areala :angel:

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1 hour ago, MigJmz said:

on a roll! 👍

Thanks, @MigJmz! I'll never match you for quality or quantity of output, but I'll sure give it the ol' college try. ❤️

*huggles*
Areala :angel:

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Holy crap, I remember this book series. I had a few of them, and used to read them in Books-A-Million when my family went to the mall as a kid. I didn't realize they were published by Prima, and I'm SHOCKED to learn that Prima was acquired by Brady. I had books from both companies, but Prima always felt like the more dominant brand. It's like if Burger King bought McDonalds.

Anyway, thanks for the upload.

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1 hour ago, WraithTDK said:

Holy crap, I remember this book series. I had a few of them, and used to read them in Books-A-Million when my family went to the mall as a kid. I didn't realize they were published by Prima, and I'm SHOCKED to learn that Prima was acquired by Brady. I had books from both companies, but Prima always felt like the more dominant brand. It's like if Burger King bought McDonalds.

Anyway, thanks for the upload.

I apologize for the confusion. Brady didn't acquire Prima, Prima bought out Brady. Alas, Prima themselves left the printed guide business in 2019, selling their publishing wing to a holding company and discontinuing all physical book sales; they're now an online-only site offering e-guides and news. Part of the reason it's so important to preserve these now, since it seems highly unlikely anyone will reprint them, and some of them are ludicrously expensive or just plain impossible to find on the second-hand market. :)

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