Video Games

Every US PS2 Game Manual Has Now Been Preserved in 4K (and It Cost $40,000)

A game preservationist called Kirkland has made a huge contribution to the world of video games. He has created a complete set of his 4K online PS2 game manuals that you can always watch for free. Oh, it cost him $40,000 to complete it.

As reported by Kotaku, Kirkland stores over 1,900 PS2 game manuals, variations, art books, mini-guides and comics. Upload them in 4K to Archive.org, In doing so, the door to the pre-Digital Renaissance era was opened forever.

Kirkland’s collection of PS2 games (Image credit: Kirkland and Kotaku)

These game manuals were part of the joy of buying a new game, reading them to learn how to play the game and see special art and other surprises. These manuals are mostly a thing of the past, either published online or completely gone, but Kirkland helped make sure they were never forgotten.

The entire package is about 17GB (230GB uncompressed!) and is organized alphabetically so you can easily jump to your favorite games. For example, you can jump to the Final Fantasy X game manual to learn about controls, each character, the combat system, abilities, ions, and more. Also included are product ads, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within DVD, and even Final Fantasy X-2 ads.

As for why Kirkland chose this project, which took nearly 22 years to complete, he said it was all about preserving a piece of its history, saying, “We want our kids to enjoy what we did. I want to be able to do that,” he said.

“The goal is to raise awareness for game preservation efforts,” said Kirkland. “So many games have grown up and shaped how we see and experience the world. There are a lot of people who think and want their kids to enjoy what they did. And there’s been a huge effort to save the game: VGHF, Strong Museum, and grassroots efforts like his MAME, redump.org, No-Intro, and Cowering’s Good Tools. I always thought, “This is amazing!” I will save it all. But without the manual, we have no way of knowing how to play them.

Kirkland had to take the staples out of each manual and scan each page with an Epson DS-870 sheet-fed scanner. I then used various apps to clean them up before uploading them in 2K and 4K resolutions.

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