All There In The Manual Video Games Discussion

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crazyrabbits
Topic
08:10:36 AM Jul 30th 2015
edited by crazyrabbits
Took out some examples that aren't correct. If the information is contained in the game itself (whether through an in-game glossary or otherwise), it isn't this trope.

  • In Final Fantasy XIII, much of the story (and various commonly used terms) make no sense unless you read through Datalog. However, it's better than most examples here, because it's conveniently located in-game.
    • Some - especially critics such as Spoony and Yahtzee, who both made a point of addressing this directly - would say it's actually worse than most of these examples. Instead of expanding on the universe or filling in plot holes, the datalog in Final Fantasy XIII basically has to be read if you want to understand even the most fundamental things about the setting, plot, and motivations of the characters. Needless to say, it's Final Fantasy, so this is a controversial viewpoint. Yahtzee puts this best:
    Yahtzee: You're supposed to weave exposition into the narrative, not hand the audience a fucking glossary as they walk in to theatre!
  • Illusionary Trauma doesn't explain much about the characters appearing or what the GDA even is. Though there is something that describes everything, it appears after the credits to avoid spoilers.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Important new plot points are set up in the Japanese only special editions of the original game. Thankfully, as of 2015, the Final Mix content for Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts II and Birth By Sleep has finally been released in North America and Europe via the 1.5 and II.5 HD ReMIX compilations for PS3.
    • You also need the spinoff on the GBA to understand some of the plot points of Kingdom Hearts II — which is a PS2 game like the first.
      • In an odd surprise from Square Enix, Re: Chain of Memories was released in North America in December 2008 (but not in Europe, because Square-Enix really hates Europe). For the unaware, this is a remake of said GBA game, but on the PS2, and in Japan it came bundled with the Updated Re-release of KHII.
      • 358/2 Days is pretty bad in this regard. While it's clearly intended for existing KH fans longing for backstory elaboration, anyone who just picked this up not knowing any better is going to be absolutely lost, as you need to at least understand what is going on in 3 separate games to make sense of the plot: the original Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories and KHII. It doesn't stop there, though: the Chambers of Repose and Waking, plot points introduced only in Final Mix+, are mentioned several times, and Ventus from Birth By Sleep makes an Early-Bird Cameo.
  • Malicious, a Download-only Title for PS3 is known for its great gameplay experience and colorful design, the main game is almost devoid of any sort of storytelling, typical of a download-only title you just pick your character up and go on to fight epic battles; that is, if you skip over the conviniently named "Backstory" menu on the Title Screen, in it there is a short novel detailing all of the game's backstory, everything that gives a meaning for what you do in the main game.
  • The Reconstruction, sort of. There's an in-game glossary that has background information and history on tons of things, some of which are part of the plot that the game itself only half-explains to you. Fortunately, though, none of it is really vital to understanding the actual plot.
  • In the first Shenmue every single character, from Ryo to Nozomi to the guys who exist only to get beaten up in the 70 Man Fight, has their own name and backstory, most of them fairly detailed and interesting. Did you know that the girl working outside the thrift shop is really the daughter of a wealthy family who ran away to escape an arranged marriage? Or that the reason Nozomi is in love with Ryo is due to him defending her from bullies? Unless you've gone out of your way to search for the bios most likely not.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 2, the text on the opening screen tells you that "Wart hates vegetables". This is the key to defeating Wart (the Final Boss); you have to grab vegetables and force-feed them to him.
  • The lore of Supra Mayro Bross: Quest for the Blue Orbs is found in the game description. The Gumbas have stolen the Blue Orbs and now it's up to Mayro to save the Musshroom Kingdom.
  • Syndicate (2012) has a lot of background conversations and collectibles that add details.

These examples could also use expansion/more clarity.

  • Betrayal at Krondor tosses the readers a huge bone concerning one of the main characters and clears up viewer confusion concerning Gorath, who has a beard despite being an elf. Apparently the beardedness is explained by him being half-human on his mother's side (which, unfortunately, is just as impossible in Midkemia canon) - something that is not remarked or even hinted at in the game or the novelisation and should have had huge repercussions for him, if true.
  • ...Endless Frontier, where the "Manual" is an entire game of it's own (the second OG game).
  • Humongous Entertainment included help files with every single one of their games, and gave the solutions to all the puzzles.
  • Think you've found a plot hole in one of Kinoko Nasu's visual novels? Well... you may be right. But it's just as likely that Nasu has addressed that very point somewhere, though maybe not in the same route or even the same game. There are so many rules to Nasu's universe that even hardcore fans have trouble keeping them straight.
  • Due to the state of the game, being a early access game, 7 Days to Die's story can only be found on either the games website or its trailer. Although, the story's yet to be implemented into the game itself.
  • The plot of Shatterhand isn't really stated at all in the game proper.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire does not have a campaign mode, and as such, you get no storyline with the exception of the opening cinematic.
  • Both the original System Shock and the sequel has some backstory, while not essential to know, that fleshes out the game more, particularly in the sequel, which explained the motivations of Captain Diego, Korenchkin and Delacroix for joining the Von Braun mission.
  • This is the only way you find out anything about the plot in the Virtua Fighter series, because there isn't even so much as an ending in the games. Although, come back in about a year, you may be enlitened.
  • All information regarding research and upgrade trees in Warlock: Master Of The Arcane are outside the game

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