Physical game guides are hard to come by these days, especially as the industry begins to rely heavily on cloud-first broadcasting and digital infrastructure. But if you remember those good times when toy boxes came with chunky brochures to peruse before jumping to your last purchase, A conservation scientist named Kirkland strives to preserve this nostalgia for future generations by conducting high-quality scans of the handbooks of the past. In fact, it just finished uploading His Complete Set of US PlayStation 2 Manual Scans.
Launched in the US in October 2000 – 22 years ago this Wednesday – Sony’s PlayStation 2 was one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time. With over 4000 games released worldwide and Sold nearly 158 million units worldwideAlmost everyone had a PS2. games like Jack and Daxter And the wicked cooper It helped popularize the console among children and teens, while titles like Metal Gear Solid 2 And the Animusha Continue to grow a “more mature” market. Devil May Cry 3And the Final Fantasy XAnd the Kingdom HeartsAnd the Questions and clatterAnd the silent hill 2 (Which is now being renewed), eyesAnd the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3—The PS2 hit list goes on forever, all bands.
My favorite aspect of buying a new PS2 game has always been to read the guide for tips, tricks, and cheats I can use on occasion. While that time has long since passed, Kirkland has now kept just over 1,900 of them, loading Every single US PS2 guide to Archive.org in full 4K For the fun of downloading and scrolling. The kit comes in about 17GB – it was 230GB before compression. This is chunky.
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Each guide is just as fascinating as you might remember the 2000s, with high-quality scans highlighting the often eye-catching art. It really is a portal through time! I mean, browsing Square Enix guide Musashi: Samurai Legend (One of my favorite PS2 games, ever) Fills me with nostalgia, transporting me back to my grandmother’s house when I’m staying up until 3am and cutting goofs like protagonist Miyamoto Musashi. Obviously, things haven’t changed much for me.
“The goal is to raise awareness of the game’s preservation efforts,” Kirkland said. my box. “Many games growing up shaped how we viewed and experienced the world. Of course when we grow up we move on to other things but there are many of us who are nostalgic for those things and want our children to enjoy what we did. Everyone “read the books your dad read.” And there she was. Great efforts to preserve games: VGHFFThe strong museumpopular efforts such as MamiAnd the redump.orgAnd the no introductionAnd the Good jitter tools Before that. Which I was always thinking, ‘That’s cool! We’ll get everything saved. But without the manuals, we wouldn’t know how to play it.”
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Unfortunately for guides, scanning can be a very challenging process. “My process is horrible. I pull staples and run most everything through my country Epson DS-870 Paper Feed Scanner. As a person of perfectionism, using a document scanner is disappointing for the quality, but a necessity because of the size,” he said. I spent seven months scanning SNES brochures and came to the letter “E” using only three flatbed scanners. With this setup, I was able From scanning nearly 75,000 pages in the last year alone.”
After the hard work of scanning each page, Kirkland used a suite of apps — like Adobe Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Textpad, and PDF Combiner Pro — to make them as clean and original as possible before uploading them all to Archive.org in both 2K and 4K resolutions. “I’ve spent entire summer vacations scanning brochures, only to get rid of them because I got better equipment, or better handled,” he said. “Lots of late nights.”
Kirkland said he dropped about $40,000 on the US PS2 lineup because he’s systematically bought every US release over the course of 22 years. “She got new editions when they got down to $20 for the first 800 editions, then started picking out used sports in good condition, and then she was looking for the individual variants (which is never ending).”
Kirkland’s 4K US PlayStation 2 Scan Kit It’s probably the largest and highest quality collection of handheld video game scans available to the public, but to him, it’s not quite ‘archive’ quality.
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“I consider that ‘functional preservation,’ at the moment,” he said. “Since I pop staples, I can always throw them on a flat surface to preserve them properly. But then it goes back to my idealistic nature. What is “good enough”? 2400 dpi in 48-bit color (more than 1 GB per page). At what point do we archive ink instead of photos? There is no easy answer.”
Perhaps more technological advances will eventually make the task easier.
“In the future, I would like to have an AI that can really reconstruct text and images as they are intended, correct skew and remove blemishes properly without blurring the line art,” he said. “As it is, no one really wants a 600dpi scan with core holes and black edges, they just want the polished, finished project.”
Of course, getting there requires an incredible amount of work on the part of the archivist.
While completing over 1,900 PS2 manual scans may seem like a lifetime’s worth of work to you, it’s actually just another milestone for Kirkland. I’ve already completed Complete set of US SNES guides in 2K (Collection of those to scan cost him $8000), and he’s in the process of chipping away at SNES 4K, Atari 2600And the game boy. “I’ve scanned about 300 original PlayStation manuals in the past few weeks,” he drops casually, as if it were nothing.
Kirkland says he has about 7,500 brochures on hand, about 3,000 of which have already been preserved. He only wishes that all this work would not fall on the backs of individuals with unusual motives like himself. “In an ideal world, companies would ramp up and export their original artwork that was sent to printing presses for preservation,” he said. “But a lot of those are lost to history and hard drives over time.”
However, cooperation brings with it its own challenges.
“At this time, it’s mostly a solo effort — and I hope to change it when I move to systems I can’t 100%,” he said. “I’ve been influenced in the past by collaborations, so I’ve been a little anxious to be associated with other projects, hoping for more quality control and direction.”
The work is hard, and many brochures that are in dire need of memorization are stuck in private collections or Raising prices by “investors”. But Kirkland plans to continue with the survey projects because, in his opinion, this work must be done before it becomes impossible.
It took the internet 25 years to make this happen, and all we have is the same scanned evidence from 2004 that looks like it came out of a fax machine, or NES brochures because NintendoAge Seniors The paranoid people were so going for it to fake their expensive Holy Grails that they scored themselves for $5 at a garage sale in the ’90s. It’s not right that you have to pay $200 to get the privilege to read a file Chrono player Already read manual.
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