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Early Japanese Manuals

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Mentski, Jan 27, 2024.

  1. Mentski

    Mentski

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    Ok, so here's a thing which I'm not sure if it's ever been properly researched or not: Early Japanese Mega Drive manuals were hole-punched.

    I'm not sure when it stopped - I have the first 3 releases, G-4001 (Altered Beast), G-4002 (Space Harrier II), and G- 40003 (Super Thunder Blade), and all of which have 6 holes punched in the spine in groups of 3. Pretty sure Alex Kidd (G-4004) was, too but don't have a copy to know...

    [​IMG]

    So... Did Sega expect Mega Drive owners to put their manuals in binders? Did they sell an official binder? When did this stop?

    I don't know when this ended, but the next first party title I have in my collection is G-4011 (Super Hang On) and the holes are gone by then. Ditto G-4012 (Fist of the North Star), and G-4013 (Ghouls and Ghosts)

    Additionally, Third Party titles such as Thunder Force II (T-18013) and Herzog Zwei (T-18023) are punched, so what was the deal with the Third party catalogue? I've always been under the impression that for at least MOST third parties Sega did the cart manufacturing for them, with a few outliers who made their own carts (Sunsoft and EA, obviously, with their completely different cart design, and possibly Namcot and Capcom, too? Who used the generig MD cart design but their own logo on the back?). These early Technosoft games, I assume went through the same manufacture process as Sega's first party titles, but what about others?

    There was a rumour that if you had a hole-punched Super Shinobi that was the only completely uncensored versions, but as that is G-0019 I find that a dubious claim, and my unpunched version has Spider-Man, Batman and Rambo in it. (...and I'm pretty sure the Godzilla boss NEVER had spines, right?)

    As Sega Retro is the place for anal attention to detail about this (and I say that lovingly), perhaps it's something worth looking into.
     
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  2. LockOnRommy11

    LockOnRommy11

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    This is fascinating, and I love the idea that SEGA hole-punched their manuals for the user to do the rest. I imagine they just expected the user to buy some sort of treasury tags, as I can’t see them wanting the manuals to be stored outside of the plastic boxes that they went to the effort of producing. Remember, this was at a time when the biggest competitors of the prior decade (Atari, Nintendo) used cardboard boxes. Plastic boxes were a real novelty.

    I suspect that, coupled with the premium boxes, this was a simple cost-cutting measure that they dropped for some reason.
     
  3. Mentski

    Mentski

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    That's why I just find it strange, because when you have a plastic case, it's not like the manuals need any "archival protection", which may have been the case if the games were shipped in cardboard and more likely to be thrown away. Obviously this was a quickly discarded idea.

    Is the hole spacing the same as and A5 binder? (I guess I should pick one up to check...), some different Japanese standard, or some Sega propriety thing, and most important of all, did Sega sell an official manual binder... because if they did, I kinda want one.

    If they did, I can't find any evidence, and as these holes were gone by 1989, they wouldn't've been on sale long...

    The last first party title to contain a punched manual appears to be Super League (G-4006, released April 89), The two Technosoft games appear to be the only third party titles witch punched manuals, with Thunder Force II in June 89, and Herzog Zwei dated December, 89. so they came out after Sega had given up on the whole thing. Super Hydlide appears to be the only other third party title to be released during that timeframe, in October 89, that isn't punched...

    It just makes me have more questions, like were those Herzog Zwei manuals put together MUCH earlier in the year when it was "still a thing"?
     
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  4. Can't contribute too much except to say that Alex Kidd is indeed hole-punched. That's the earliest MD game I have and is the only one with hole-punches.
     
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  5. Ted909

    Ted909

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    It might've been a wider Sega thing around that time and not just isolated to Mega Drive manuals.
    [​IMG]
    This is the 85th edition of Harmony. Everyone knows about the mid 90s issues of this with the Sonic cover artwork, several of which are now scanned in full, but it existed for much longer without those - some sources seem to suggest as far back as the late 1960s. And this is one of our few rare glimpses of the magazine from outside its more famed time period, courtesy of @yog49.
    [​IMG]
    Yes it's very much possible that this was holepunched after the fact for ease of their personal binder archiving and I'm reading far too much into it all, but it is conspicuous that it just so happens to be the Mega Drive launch one that covers all of those three early titles originally brought up in this thread. Do we think there's even more examples outside of these to strengthen this case?
     
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  6. Ashura96

    Ashura96

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    I believe my manuals for Thunder Force II MD and Curse are hole punched. Those being the earliest JP releases I own, so I will double check when I get the chance.
     
  7. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I bought Curse new, I don't remember the manual being hole punched, but it was so long ago that my memory may be failing.

    Edit: Yeah, looking on Ebay I don't see any hole punched manuals, so probably not sold that way.
     
  8. Ashura96

    Ashura96

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    Yeah I misremembered. It's only TF2 that I have with it
     
  9. Asagoth

    Asagoth

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  10. Ted909

    Ted909

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    Pre-1990s issues of Harmony came up in conversation elsewhere today, and I was reminded of Masato Nishimura's old post showing off some of the earliest editions he found of it (possibly the oldest ever ones to be documented at all thus far).

    Turns out I may well have been correct in my previous posts' guessing - I'd completely forgotten until digging up and seeing this again that he actually specifically mentions the Mega Drive hole punch thing in relation to them being the same. Case closed?