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Areala

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Files posted by Areala

  1. Complete Final Fantasy III Forbidden Game Secrets

    Holy cow, you guys, this book.
    This is one of the most ridiculous guides I've ever owned.
    Back in 1994, Final Fantasy III was released in the US, and like many people, I went absolutely ga-ga over the game. It's my favorite entry in the series, and I've beaten it multiple times and on multiple platforms, including the Game Boy Advance version with the extra content. In my obsessive quest to learn everything I could about the game though, I bought every magazine and book I could find about it, including Nintendo's own official guide and Peter Olafson's full-colour guide. And then...there's this one...
    Part strategy guide, part fanfic, Complete Final Fantasy III Forbidden Game Secrets is a nearly 500-page tribute to absurdity and lies.
    The author's name, "Hayaku Kaku", is written as '早く書く' in Japanese. This isn't actually a name, it's a fragment meaning "fast write", and it's a clue to why this guide is so bizarre. See, Final Fantasy III (or Final Fantasy VI as it's now known) is a massive game, and as noted in the introduction, not one you can finish over the course of a three-day rental. Writing a guide to a game that large requires an exceptional lead time if you're planning to match the game's release date, and from the contents of the book, it's easy to ascertain that the author (in this case, Bill Kunkel, aka "The Game Doctor" himself, with assistance from another writer named Ken Vance) was working off pre-release materials.
    One of the necessities for squeezing all of the story into the cart, as related by translator Ted Woolsey in an interview, was re-naming the bulk of the enemies, items, spells, and Espers in the game, in order to fit into the character limits imposed by the game. What's odd about this book is that it gets almost all of the character names and spell/Esper names correct, even when it comes to the bizarre spellings imposed by Woolsey to comply with the aforementioned character limits ('Fenix' instead of 'Phoenix', etc...). But the items? Almost all the item names in this guide are completely incorrect--it's likely the item list was among the last things Woolsey worked on, since the majority of his effort was likely focused on the game's massive story. If that's the case, it's almost certain Kunkel and Vance were working off incomplete information and a near-zero knowledge of the Japanese language. More credence is given to this theory since one of the screenshots includes the original Japanese "Bar" sign, which was censored by Nintendo, and read "Cafe" in the US edition of the game.
    'Spears' are translated as 'spheres' for some reason. Item names, as noted, often bear no resemblance to their final forms. What's more, the explanations of item abilities and magic spells often read as though someone gave them a very basic, machine-like translation from the original which were never edited for clarity. (Edit: see the update below, but this is exactly what happened).
    The maps, maps, and more maps hyped on the back cover are likewise odd. These are not maps, exactly...more like someone took pictures of the screen, printed those pictures out, then placed a sheet of tracing paper over them and drew over every building, tree, hill, stream, and other feature, but never bothered to fill in any of the information. Thus, what you get are a bevy of hand-drawn maps that show the entire area...but are almost completely worthless for all the work put into them, since they don't point out any useful features.
    Even as a walkthrough or secrets guide, the book is deficient. It will point out what items can be found in each area (well, most of them at any rate...Kunkel and Vance didn't find a lot of the off-the-beaten-path goodies), but it does not explain where any of them actually are in relation to the map, or what steps might be necessary to uncover them. In addition, a lot of the walkthrough is just plain incorrect in literally dozens of places. It's impossible for anyone well-versed in the game to go more than 2-3 pages without finding another mistake, whether it's a simple mistranslation or flat-out misinformation like: claiming you can earn experience in the "Beastfield" (the Veldt), when in fact, battles there don't earn you any XP; claiming it's possible to get Shadow back into the party via betting items at the Coliseum if you didn't wait for him on the Floating Continent; claiming Locke gains the ability to pick locks as the story continues; saying Celes can use her 'Runic' ability to learn spells faster; a screenshot of a character suffering the 'Imp' status effect incorrectly labeled as 'zombified' by the caption; claiming the 'Quartr' spell reduces the target's HP by 1/4th, when it actually results in a 75% reduction...the list goes on and on.
    Speaking of lists, while the book impressively details the Items, Magic, and Espers available in your quest, it also omits an awful lot of other useful lists which other guides did not. These include a list of Gau's available Rages (and the enemies he needs to fight in order to acquire them), a list of items bet & won at the Coliseum, and a list of enemies from whom Strago can learn his different Blue Magic spells.
    Also omitted are seemingly obvious things you'd want to point out in a strategy guide: while it explain that calling the Merton esper in combat causes a raging inferno to scream across the battlefield, it neglects to mention this afflicts both the enemies and your party. Now, sure, you're going to learn this as soon as you use it the first time, but knowing an attack could nuke my team BEFORE I use it is kind of the point of a strategy guide, right? Likewise, there's no indication that the Cursed Shield (or the "Bloody Shield" as this book refers to it) can be un-cursed, or that you can equip a Ribbon in order to remove nearly all the negative effects your character will suffer while trying to do so. The book assumes Cid will die, when it is in fact possible (and rather easy) to keep him alive.
    I seriously could go on for pages about everything wrong with this guide. There are a lot of books over the years which I have no problem labeled shameless cash grabs, but the level of hyperbole this book builds on its back cover compared to the results it delivers between the pages is a disconnect of truly epic proportions. Download this and read it to understand the nightmare which was the world of video game strategy guides in a pre- (or at least very young) Internet age, marvel at its inconsistencies, and boggle at the fact they were willing to charge $14.95 US (or 2.89 gold flemkes in "East Domo").
    In an old forum post at the J2Games website, which is no longer accessible since they removed their forum, Bill Kunkel spilled the beans about writing this book, and how much of a nightmare the project was. I almost feel sorry for him, and got the impression from reading it years ago that this project very quickly spiraled out of control in terms of the time they assumed it would take to write, and the results here speak for themselves. The good Game Doctor is no longer with us, but it's a shame his spirit is forever associated with this absurdity.
    Enjoy! ❤️
    Update: I discovered, to my delight, that Kunkel's recollections about working on this game guide in that old forum post on J2Games were collected in one of the chapters in his autobiography, Confessions of the Game Doctor. I've corrected some things in the above writing which I got wrong due to my own faulty memory (chief among them: his co-author was not Rusel DeMaria, but Ken Vance), but I'm reproducing this part of the book so you can see exactly what went into the creation of this guide.
    It was actually worse than I remembered!
    So, there you have it. A strategy guide written by two guys who cribbed all the relevant information about the game by having a local Japanese professor translate bits and pieces of Japanese guide books which Prima imported instead of actually playing through the game (something they apparently didn't even have access to).
    You really can't make this up.

    133 downloads

    6 comments

    Updated

  2. It's An NBA Jam Thing Official Player's Guide

    Oh no! Fifty-four NBA pro all-stars have invaded your gaming space, determined to play a game of 2-on-2 with you at the helm. Obviously what you need here is a strategy guide to explain the finer points of offense and defense, and really break the game down for...
    Sorry, I can't do this with a straight face. 😆
    This is a basketball game. It's kind enough to give you the stats for all the different players right there on the screen, and assumes you're smart enough to understand the guy who is good at shooting 3-point shots should probably do that instead of going in for a dunk. There aren't any special moves, no fireballs or jump kicks or fatalities, just a joystick, a button to shoot, a button to pass, and a button to make you move faster until the meter runs out. I'm impressed that Corey Sandler, the same guy responsible for a bevy of those "Ultimate Unauthorized" books from the previous five years, somehow managed to talk Brady into buying the rights to make an official strategy guide to a game as straightforward as NBA Jam.
    Midway, I am certain, laughed all the way to the bank with that money.
    You could use the $10 you spend on this book to instead play 40 games of NBA Jam in the arcade (or 20 if the operator was a greedy turd burglar and set the machine to 50 cents/play) and you'd get just as good at it through actually playing. I reiterate: this is a basketball game where every rule except Traveling and Goaltending have been suspended. It's literally about who can toss a sphere through a circle the most. This is not rocket science.
    The artwork is cool, the production values are high, and the paper quality is outstanding. It includes some cheat codes, some Game Genie goodies, and the necessary info to unlock most of the hidden characters in it, but you could get all that from an issue of EGM at half the price.
    Utterly baffling, but hey, here it is, so indulge!
    Donated by ModernZorker.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    106 downloads

    5 comments

    Submitted

  3. Secret Code Overload

    This is a much better multi-game guide than some of Brady's other offerings. Ninety-six pages of cheats, unlockables, and GameShark codes for Nintendo 64, Saturn, and PlayStation titles...this stuff was like GameFAQs before there was a GameFAQs, ya know?
    Because of the way this book was printed, a lot of the text on the odd-numbered pages ran smack-dab against the gutter. I don't think anything got completely lost in the de-binding process, but you may see some white areas where I over-compensated for the close shave. My apologies; I suck at editing.
    Donated by ModernZorker, who isn't a member here, but sent me this in a care package anyway.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    95 downloads

    2 comments

    Submitted

  4. 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! ❤️

    169 downloads

    5 comments

    Updated

  5. Master of Magic: The Official Strategy Guide

    This is a testament to how useful a well-written game guide can be. Master of Magic is an incredibly complex and deep RPG/turn-based strategy hybrid, easily capable of overwhelming novice players before they've had a chance to get a handle on the rules. More than a simple walkthrough, this behemoth of a guide explains everything you never even knew you wanted to know about the game: its units, spells, weapons, monsters, diplomacy, missions, everything.
    It was one of the most popular titles of its ilk in the 90s, and remains accessible to this day thanks to being re-released on platforms like GOG and Steam, which include a number of quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes. This is a gold-standard guide book, pretty much the opposite of Complete Final Fantasy III Forbidden Game Secrets, written in conjunction with people who actually made the game to ensure every bit of it is accurate down to the last decimal place.
    Blank pages have been omitted in order to reduce file size.
    Long out of print, commanding a price ten times that of the game itself, your Retromags Goddess has lovingly sacrificed her copy to the guillotine so that players everywhere no longer have to scrape together fifty bucks or more to access it. You can show your love by leaving her a like.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    101 downloads

    5 comments

    Updated

  6. Totally Unauthorized Sega Games Guide

    Another totally unauthorized compilation book from BradyGames, this time aimed at the Sega Genesis, along with the Sega CD and 32X attachments. This is a pretty good book, all things considered. Lots of screenshots, printed in full colour on high-quality paper stock. Sega groupies will eat this right up!
    Donated by ModernZorker.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    126 downloads

    7 comments

    Submitted

  7. 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! ❤️

    100 downloads

    1 comment

    Submitted

  8. Totally Unauthorized Fighting Secrets III: No Mercy

    This book. Oh my gosh, this book.
    I've seen a lot of strategy guides in my four decades on this planet. I've seen a number of books and guides which have typos in them. Sometimes in the text, sometimes (very rarely) in the table of contents or the index. But I want you to take a minute and open up the cover image for this book, and take a look at it. Because never have I seen a strategy guide so rushed to market that it misspelled the name of one of the games it covers on the front cover.
    Can someone, anyone, please tell me about the game "Soul Egde"? Because I've certainly never heard of it. Soul Edge? Absolutely! But "Soul EGDE"?
    SOUL EGDE?!
    On the front and back covers of your book?
    Please, BradyGames, PLEASE tell me someone lost their job over letting that one slip through quality control.
    As if the black-and-white only presentation wasn't cheap enough. As if the text-only interior didn't already scream "we put this whole thing together the night before the deadline". But then you expected us to pay ten dollars, in 1996 money, for a book with the misspelled title of a game on the covers?
    You, sir, are the cash-grab guide book to end all cash-grab guide books.
    Debinding this book brought me nigh-on orgasmic pleasure. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
    Good day to you, strategy guide.
    I SAID, "GOOD DAY"!
    Enjoy! ❤️

    88 downloads

    6 comments

    Updated

  9. 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! ❤️

    76 downloads

    3 comments

    Updated

  10. 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! ❤️

    101 downloads

    4 comments

    Submitted

  11. RPG Companion: An Insider's Guide to PC Roleplaying Games

    For all the time I've spent giving Brady Games guff about the quality of their mid-90's content, this is a pretty darn cool book. Maybe because it's aimed more at PC gamers, maybe because it's written by Ronald Wartow (who could both write about games and play them with equal skill), maybe it's because he solicited input from some of the industry's top designers, but this is a badass tome: 500 pages of knowledge, lore, and history all wrapped into one big bible-thick slab.
    With the resurgence in availability of these games on modern systems thanks to services like GOG and Steam, the usefulness of books like this has come 'round again. Twenty-five years later, we can play through these games again without the need to hack around with boot floppies, CONFIG.SYS files, driver mishaps, IRQ conflicts, and restarting in MS-DOS mode to free up memory. This one contains walkthroughs for twenty-six different games, and while they aren't step-by-step, hold-your-hand sorts, they (along with the principles Wartow introduces in the early chapters) will get the job done while still leaving it up to your skills to actually play the game.
    Lots of tables, interviews, screenshots, hints, cheats, and other information is dispensed about each game as well. Some of this stuff gets downright hacker-esque, with tips on hex editing, mucking around with your save files, where to find update patches, and other things books of the day didn't often comment on.
    It also shipped with a free issue of "Interactive Entertainment", a magazine-on-CD which lasted for about 25 or so issues before it was folded in to become the cover disc for "Computer Games Strategy Plus" magazine. My copy was missing this CD-ROM, but Archive.org has more than half of them available for download if you want to see what they were like.
    Anyway, this is an awesome book, and it belongs in the library of anyone who grew up a classic era PC gamer, or who is interested in that era of PC gaming history.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    126 downloads

    6 comments

    Submitted

  12. 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! ❤️

    91 downloads

    5 comments

    Submitted

  13. Official Sega Genesis Power Tips Book, Volume 2

    Another awesome Genesis compilation book from Prima. Full-colour, just like the first, with a slew of new games, only a couple of which were looked at in the previous edition. Strategies and tactics for 35 games, with a bevy of cheats, passwords, and other goodies for 35 more. An excellent addition to your digital library, if I do say so myself.
    Donated by ModernZorker.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    152 downloads

    1 comment

    Submitted

  14. Official Sega Genesis Power Tips Book (New and Updated Edition)

    A great Sega Genesis compilation guide from Prima: full-colour, tons of excellent games, just an ultimate walk down nostalgia lane. For $15 back in the day, this was a solid book. As the name implies, this is a newer, more up-to-date version. I don't own the original release sadly, so I can't tell what all is new or updated about this version. Maybe someone else can provide that info?
    My copy had a printing defect with the pages dedicated to Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, where the print portion pulled deeper into the gutter than on other pages. This means some of the text got cut off when the book was de-bound--it's still usable, and it affects only 2 out of the book's 112 pages, but I wanted to point it out, since this is a defect with the book itself, not my own scanning incompetence. I'm not a good enough graphical wizard to fix this, but if someone else out there wants to take the time, that would be awesome.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    169 downloads

    2 comments

    Submitted

  15. 1,001 More Secret Codes

    The follow-up to 1,001 Secret Codes, released a year earlier. This book doesn't present any walkthroughs, guides, or strategies, it's simply a compilation of cheat codes, passwords, unlockables, and other goodies to help you get the most out of games you already own.
    That said, they still manage to misspell the occasional game title, so that mid-90's Brady "quality assurance" is still alive and well. 😂
    Oh well. At least it wasn't on the front cover this time.
    Donated by ModernZorker.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    119 downloads

    3 comments

    Submitted

  16. Totally Unauthorized PlayStation Games Book, Volume 3

    First we released Volume 2, then we released Volume 5, now we release Volume 3. I know you're all giddy with anticipation!
    Presented in full color with minimal screencaps (since this was an unofficial guide, after all), this is a pretty ordinary, just-the-facts type of guide to a variety of best-selling PS1 hits. Average in almost every way. The text for Tekken 2, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 was lifted from Totally Unauthorized Fighting Secrets III: No Mercy, so if you already have that one, this was not as great a value as it seemed on the cover.
    Still, ten game strategies for ten bucks, in colour, and on decent quality paper? You could do worse.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    96 downloads

    1 comment

    Submitted

  17. Game Boy Game Secrets, 2001 Edition

    Another solid game compilation guide, this time from Prima, who seemed to do better at these kinds of things than Brady much of the time. This covers a slew of great games that most people would be interested in playing: top-notch stuff like Link's Awakening DX, Donkey Kong Country, two Wario Land titles, and even contains a bit about the Game Boy Camera peripheral. It's nothing mind-blowing, but the production value is high, there are plenty of full-color screen captures, and the writing for the walkthroughs is on point and descriptive. Well worth the download, IMO.
    Donated by ModernZorker.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    175 downloads

    2 comments

    Submitted

  18. Totally Unauthorized PlayStation Games Book, Volume 5

    These unauthorized compilation books from BradyGames really aren't that great. About the best thing you can say about this one is that it's in colour, and it covers nine different games, but even then there's just not a lot of content in those 128 pages. The strategies are fine, but there aren't any screenshots, just the occasional bit of artwork Brady could get away with including without obtaining an actual license to use assets. The code list which takes up the last few pages is honestly the best part of this. The Tomb Raider II section is just a list of where each item is found in each level, but it doesn't give you any help on actually beating any of the stages or anything. Boo!
    At least with fighting games, it's pretty easy to nail down a move list and go from there. Then again, if one of the fighting games you're covering is Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi...well, do I really have to say anything?
    The thing is, if these books didn't sell well, then it's hard to see why Brady would have kept cranking them out. I mean, five volumes of this stuff is about four too many, but Brady did a metric shit-ton of these compilation books spanning multiple eras and multiple platforms, so somebody must have been buying them.
    This one was donated by ModernZorker, who isn't a member here (maybe think about fixing that, bro?) but who does write about video games and other nerdy things in various places around the internet, and who, according to him, made his wife's day by getting it out of his house. Now it's making my day by going into the recycle bin.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    104 downloads

    2 comments

    Updated

  19. Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Official Strategy Guide

    Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation was a grand and confusing piece of art, with some excellent ideas and some utterly brain-wrecking puzzles which were clearly put there to pad out the play time and prevent people renting the game and beating it over a weekend. This was the first Tomb Raider released on the Sega Dreamcast, but aside from slightly better graphics than the PlayStation edition, it and the PC incarnation are all the same game, so this guide can walk you through any incarnation.
    Much like Tomb Raider III, Last Revelation absolutely screamed for a strategy guide due to the aforementioned hair-pulling puzzles and some generally obnoxious gameplay elements which made things far more difficult than they should be. It's the most difficult of all the "classic" era entries, even harder than picking Nevada last in TR3, so if you managed to complete it without resorting to a walkthrough at any point, hats off to you. It's also the longest single entry in the franchise, comprising 42 stages in total, although some of these are re-visits to older stages with some minor tweaks due to story progression. It's the first Tomb Raider game to feature no hidden levels or special bonuses for collecting all of the in-game secrets (of which there are 70), although the British paper The Times teamed up with Core Design to release a special, PC-only downloadable level which celebrated the 75th anniversary of Howard Carter's excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb. Interestingly enough, this level wasn't just DLC, it was a full-fledged mini Tomb Raider game all on its own which didn't require the full version of Last Revelation in order to run, and came with two other TR-themed puzzle games to mess around with. This guide doesn't cover that bonus level, but if you're interested in playing it, you can find it at Stella's Tomb Raider Page. Both the GOG and Steam versions of Last Revelation come with the Times bonus content, just FYI.
    Anyway, at nearly 180 pages, this is also the longest classic-era Tomb Raider game guide Prima ever made.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    134 downloads

    2 comments

    Submitted

  20. Tomb Raider Chronicles Official Strategy Guide

    A fine guide for a middle-of-the-road game. Once again, Chronicles received a release on the PlayStation, PC, and Dreamcast, but since they're all exactly the same with no platform-specific differences other than control layout, you can use this book no matter which version you're trying to beat. What's interesting is that this game isn't a sequel to Last Revelation, but rather a series of non-connected mission packs showcasing some of Lara's past exploits
    This is a compact book, and they could have started and ended with just the walkthrough bits, but Prima went above and beyond with a few extra pages at the end. The first bonus section is a short look back at the previous four Tomb Raider games, showcasing Lara's development and her biggest accomplishments along with some screenshots to refresh our memories. At the time, Chronicles was touted as being the last time we'd see Lara, at least for a little while, so this was a nice inclusion.
    Following the retrospective, we then get four pages of notes on how to use the Level Editor which shipped with the PC version of the game. This tutorial comes from Nick Connelly, one of Core's level designers, and explains how to build, texture, light, and populate a room. It's a basic room, nothing to set the world on fire, but it's a nice introduction and explanation of what can be made using the level editor. There are much more comprehensive tutorials available online to explain the ins and outs of the level creator, but this is certainly a fine start.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    103 downloads

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  21. Tomb Raider III Official Strategy Guide

    Of the classic, PS1-era Tomb Raider titles, Tomb Raider III is probably the most difficult, and not always for the right reasons. With Core Design's employees struggling with epic burnout after being forced to churn out two sequels in two years, this game had the largest design team yet behind it, but by now the cracks were starting to show. With the public clambering for more everything, and no time to build a new in-game engine, they still managed to pack in new moves, including crawling, hand-over-hand climbing, and sprinting. Lara's arsenal was upgraded. There were new outfits to wear and new environments to explore, new enemies to slay, and new traps to contend with. The devs put a major focus on the idea of multiple ways to reach the same goal this time around, something they briefly toyed with in a couple of places in the first two games; this time, it was practically law. Instead of linear level progression, once players beat the opening stages set in India, they could choose to visit London, Nevada, or an island in the South Pacific, before taking Lara to Antarctica for her final confrontation.
    The other Tomb Raider games could easily be completed without a guide; you'd occasionally want to refer to one if you couldn't locate that last secret, or were having difficulty understanding one of the puzzles, but by and large, it was within most players' abilities to complete the game without one. Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II fostered level design that wanted to surprise and delight the player. Tomb Raider III, on the other hand, was designed in such a way as to be openly hostile, with massive, sprawling levels filled with death traps and obtuse puzzles, along with enemies placed specifically to force the player to waste resources. Picking the wrong location after finishing India, in fact, is tantamount to the game kicking you in the nuts/ovaries, and the "wrong" choice is not telegraphed in any way. If you ever flip through a strategy guide for Tomb Raider III that does not instruct you to go to Nevada upon finishing India, throw that book away.
    Fortunately, this Prima guide does not make that mistake, and the path Kip Ward lays out is the "easiest" way through the game. That doesn't mean you get a cake walk, it just means you won't flip the difficulty switch to "screw you" without realizing it. Kudos also to Ward for providing a walkthrough of sorts for Lara's Home, explaining how to get into the secret treasure room, find the Racetrack key, and unlock the Quad Bike course. None of this is essential to beating the main quest, but it's possible to explore her mansion without realizing there's more to it than just beating the Assault Course and learning how to jump around.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    128 downloads

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  22. Tomb Raider II Gold Official Strategy Guide

    You were expecting Tomb Raider III, weren't you?
    Isn't it just like Lara Croft to surprise us like that? The Divine Pony-tail is never where you expect her. Rather like this strategy guide here, which covers both the standard Tomb Raider II game and Gold level pack expansion. You would expect such a book would be larger than the stand-along Tomb Raider II guide, right? More levels = more pages, of course.
    You might think this, but then, like Marco Bartoli thinking he could stop Pistols Spice, you would be wrong. Kip Ward re-wrote his entire manuscript into a format which would become the standard for Prima's Tomb Raider guides from this point on (a design standard which they almost certainly cribbed from Zach Meston's guides for Dimension Publishing): hundreds of screenshots, one after the other, each one accompanied by a tiny block of text explaining the next step to mastering the stage.
    The layouts and paste-ups for these things must have been hell.
    Because of this, we get 112 pages of pictures explaining exactly how to complete every level and find every secret. Just the way Lara would want it, don't you agree?
    Of course you do.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    103 downloads

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  23. Tomb Raider II Official Strategy Guide

    The second installment of the Divine Pony-tail's adventure takes her globetrotting polygons to the mountains of Nepal, the depths of the ocean, the Great Wall of China, and the mine-infested canals of Venice in search of the Dagger of Xian, which turns you into a dragon if you stab it directly into your heart.
    That sounds painful. Don't do that, boys and girls.
    This Prima guide is in full-colour, featuring a walkthrough by Kip Ward filled with copious screenshots and illustrations of Lara Croft adorning every single page! What more could a love-struck woman such as I, Areala fans of Tomb Raider II ask? So, while it pained me to put my beloved TR2 guide beneath the cruel guillotine for debinding, the ability to spread the Gospel of the Divine Pony-tail will hopefully more than make up for the sacrifice.
    Enjoy, my beloved disciples! Enjoy! ❤️

    140 downloads

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  24. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Unauthorized Game Secrets

    This is the second edition of Prima's A Link to the Past strategy guide. This book was a massive best-seller for Prima. It was re-printed more than twenty times (this particular edition is a 22nd printing from 1997, which, it should be noted, is well into the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 era) and sold in excess of 125,000 copies.
    The first edition of the guide contained strategies and walkthroughs for The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Those were dropped for this edition, but replaced with a walkthrough for Link's Awakening on the Game Boy. This lowered the page count, but not the cover price. Cheeky of you, Prima...
    Enjoy! ❤️

    160 downloads

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  25. Tomb Raider Game Secrets

    The world was introduced to Lara Croft, aka "The Divine Pony-tail", with the release of the original Tomb Raider game in 1996, and I, Areala the world has yet to stop worshiping her for the goddess that she is. Oh sure, she's had the occasional makeover from time to time, to smooth out her polygon counts in her more curvy regions, or to increase her resolution to high-definition standards, but make no mistake, this was the Lara the world fell in love with, triangular boobs and all.
    This was one of the last guides produced in black and white by Prima; by the time they did their Tomb Raider II book, everything was full-colour. It's a pity they couldn't have done it for this book, since sitting right next to it on the shelf was Dimension Publishing's official guide, which made this one look downright pedestrian with its greyscale gradients. But even in the mid-90's, going full-colour for a strategy guide was a luxury most publishing houses outside of Nintendo were not willing to spring for, except for the occasional mid-book insert like you got with Prima's Super Metroid and Secret of Mana guides.
    On the plus side, there is a short interview with some of the Core staff which explains how they developed the game, which is neat from a historical perspective.
    Nevertheless, whether you prefer Nick Roberts's stoic British sensibilities in this guide, or Zach Meston's irreverent, American, devil-may-care prose which graced Dimension's offering, you absolutely must download this book, and properly thank your Retromags Goddess for willingly sacrificing her collection of Tomb Raider goodies for your benefit.
    Enjoy! ❤️

    129 downloads

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