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Gamemaster: Conquering Super Nintendo Games


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About This File

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". :D

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! ❤️

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Ha, I guess I didn't have all of his books. I had all of the "How to Win at..." books, but I never knew he did anything beyond that. But it was much harder to follow people and their work before the web came along. 

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1 hour ago, WraithTDK said:

Ha, I guess I didn't have all of his books. I had all of the "How to Win at..." books, but I never knew he did anything beyond that. But it was much harder to follow people and their work before the web came along. 

Beyond the "How to Win at..." series, Rovin did this one and another Gamemaster guide to Sega Genesis, then pretty much stepped away from the video game world entirely, mainly to focus on his career as a novelist (he wrote movie tie-ins, and a number of books under Tom Clancy's "Op Center" brand). St. Martin's Press brought in a new Gamemaster, Hank Schlesinger, to continue the "How to Win at..." series, and he wrote books on Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and the Game Boy Pokemon games before St. Martin's called it quits in the text-based video game world. :)

Also, if you've never seen a picture of Rovin, the guy could cosplay as H.P. Lovecraft. The resemblance is uncanny. :)

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Thanks for posting!

Technically, there is a third Gamemaster book, a 1995 book of codes and tips, though nowhere near as deep as the SNES/Genesis books (though it is MUCH larger size wise)

51VDYGJK8XL.jpg

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4 hours ago, MSR1701 said:

Thanks for posting!

Technically, there is a third Gamemaster book, a 1995 book of codes and tips, though nowhere near as deep as the SNES/Genesis books (though it is MUCH larger size wise)

51VDYGJK8XL.jpg

Oh wow! Yes, thank you! I've never seen that one before. :)

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