Games

Nintendo deletes scans of the 1996 Super Mario 64 strategy guide

Mario

image: Nintendo

Good morning and welcome to what feels like the 1097th episode of “Nintendo pulls cool shit off the internet‘, only this time it’s not even a tribute game or fan art, but a harmless old book.

Last week we shared some pictures of it Super Mario 64 Complete Clear Guide, a tome published in Japan alongside the game and notable for that, rather than just telling players where to go, it commissioned a series of incredible real-world dioramas to be rendered as 3D maps to serve. It was cool, we all enjoyed it.

To be clear, this book was published in 1996. In Japan. It was never released in the West, has not been released anywhere since, and has not been commercially available for decades. The only place you can buy a copy if you have the money is to spend hundreds on a copy via resale on eBay or Yahoo, which Nintendo wouldn’t see proceeds from. Oh, and those scans weren’t making anyone a dime.

It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Nintendo to just let that go and let Mario fans enjoy this thing they’ve never been able to enjoy before. Uploading high-quality scans to the public domain wasn’t just for recreation either; it consisted of preserving the contents of the book and making it publicly available long after the ability to buy the book outright had disappeared.

But no! Nintendo of America earlier today sent a takedown notice to the Internet Archive where the scans were hosted, which then passed it on to the scan uploader, Comfort food video games. CFVG sent me this statement after the takedown, which pretty much sums up the whole situation:

Unfortunately, archive.org sent me their usual takedown notification email, telling me that Nintendo of America disputed the scan’s copyright and it was removed. Honestly, I’d like to question the legitimacy of this and how Nintendo of America would have anything to do with a 1995 Nintendo of Japan-licensed Gem Books guide, but I can’t really fight Nintendo’s legal department here. It’s incredibly disappointing.

While I fully understand the protection of one’s intellectual property and copyrights, I didn’t think I would harm anyone by scanning and uploading a 27 year old guide that is extremely out of print. Honestly I think it helps Nintendo while only hurting the people selling this manual for literal hundreds of dollars. All I wanted to do was spread my love for this incredible guide and to a greater extent my love for the company.

I’m new to the video game preservation scene, but I can’t think of anything more depressing than how a bunch of hard-working people spend their free time and money meticulously archiving and preserving history while big companies like Nintendo do nothing to help. In fact, they are actively obstructing the cause.

nintendo please Stop doing that.

https://kotaku.com/nintendo-takedown-legal-threat-1996-book-scans-super-ma-1848700781 Nintendo deletes scans of the 1996 Super Mario 64 strategy guide

Curtis Crabtree

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