A game preservationist called Kirkland has done a great service to the world of video games – he has created a complete set of US PS2 game manuals online in 4K that can be viewed for free at any time. Oh, and it cost $40,000 to complete.
As reported by Kotaku, Kirkland has preserved over 1,900 PS2 game manuals, variants, art books, mini-guides, and comics by uploading them to Archive.org in 4K, and in doing so has always opened the door to a time before digital. renaissance.
This manual is part of the joy of buying a new game, and you’ll read it to learn how to play the game, see special art and other surprises, and more. These manuals are mostly things of the past now either live online or have disappeared altogether, but Kirkland has helped ensure they will never be forgotten.
The entire package comes in at around 17GB (230GB before compression!) and is arranged alphabetically so you can jump into your favorite games with ease. For example, you can go directly to the Final Fantasy X game manual and learn about the controls, each character, the battle system, abilities, Aeons, and more. Also included is an ad for merchandise, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within DVD, and even an ad for Final Fantasy X-2.
As for why Kirkland chose to undertake this project that took him almost 22 years to complete, he said it was all about preserving a piece of history that he wanted “our children to be able to enjoy what we do.”
“The goal is to raise some awareness for game preservation efforts,” said Kirkland. “A lot of games growing up shape how we see and experience the world. Of course when we ‘grow up,’ we move on to other things but many of us have nostalgia for these things and want our children to be able to enjoy what we do. All in all ‘read the book your father read’ deal. And there were great efforts to preserve games: VGHF, Strong Museum, and grassroots efforts like MAME, redump.org, No-Intro, and Cowering Good Tools before that. What I always thought, ‘This is great! We’ll keep everything. But without the manual, we won’t know how to play.'”
Kirkland had to staple each manual and scan each page through an Epson DS-870 sheetfed scanner. He then uses several apps to clean them up before uploading them in 2K and 4K resolution.
The best PS1 game
This isn’t Kirkland’s first preservation rodeo, as he previously completed a full set of US SNES manuals in 2K and is currently working on SNES manuals in 4K and for the Atari 2600 and Game Boy.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and so on Twitch.