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This 52-Page 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' Manual Is a Tribute to a Lost Art

Nintendo’s new fighter won’t ship with an instruction manual, so a Redditor created one and it’s beautiful.

by Matthew Gault
Dec 7 2018, 1:38pm

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate today and it doesn't come with an instruction manual. To remedy this, one Redditor has designed their own manual for the fighting game. The document, which people can download and print as a full color book, runs 52 pages long and covers both the basics and the esoteric systems of the deceptively simple fighting game.

It’s a beautiful and functional tribute to the lost art of the video game instruction manual—something Nintendo mastered during the days of the NES and Super Nintendo. Its manuals were bright, colorful, clear, and often fully illustrated. The original Legend of Zelda manual, for example, contained a bestiary with with full color illustrations art of the game’s monsters inserted next to pictures of the 2D pixel art.

fan made smash bros guide
Image: OharaLibrarianArtur

In Nintendo’s Smash Bros. series players pummel each other until they knock their opponents out of the fighting arena. The more damage a character takes, the farther they fly when they’re hit. Over twenty years, Nintendo has pushed that concept to extremes and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate comes with 76 different fighters, 300 stages, and dozens of new game modes. It’s a lot for newcomers to navigate, especially without a manual.

fan made smash bros art
Image: OharaLibrarianArtur

Enter Redditor OharaLibrarianArtur, who created a manual for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that walks new players through all of its features and introduces pro- Smash concepts such as fast falling, aerial tether, and directional influence. More than just a rote recitation of concepts, OharaLibrarianArtur went to the next level and pulled screenshots from the game, and added some of his own graphics, to help players learn how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate works . His fan made manual looks and feels like one of Nintendo’s old school instruction books.

fan made smash bros guide
Image: OharaLibrarianArtur

OharaLibrarianArtur’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate manual is full of little touches such as the Nintendo Official Seal of Quality and a blank, lined page at the end of the book for notes. You can read through the whole manual here, download it as a PDF designed to be printed and stapled, or grab a zip file with high quality versions of all 52 pages.