I have actually briefly written about this guide before on the sitebut in 1996 a book with the title was published in Japan Super Mario 64 Complete Clear Guidewhich was not only a strategy guide, but also a collection of developer comments and photos of custom 3D dioramas made just for the guide.
While it’s hardly a lost relic – you can find copies anywhere on eBay for $200-$300 if you’re serious about reading it in the flesh – most of you reading this will never see the book have, or if so, only seen a few selected pages of it. It just doesn’t work, so it’s great to see someone (CFC David Shevlin) took the time to scan the entire book and upload it at a very useful 600 dpi.
I can’t stress how amazing the dioramas are and what a brilliant idea they were, a 3D space – a novelty back then! – display on a 2D page. Just look at this:
Wonderful. And they just keep going and going. The book is entirely in Japanese, however Translations were made from certain parts; like this interview with Miyamoto where he talks about how his kid got the chance to play the game during development:
To be honest, we did something with Mario 64 that we don’t normally do: we let kids play it. We had a line of about 10 middle schoolers and let them mess around on the stage at the King Bob-omb for half a day while we watched from the back.
My kid was actually one of them… but watching him try and climb that unclimbable hill dozens of times over and over again, as a parent I couldn’t help but think, “Gosh, does this kid have a mind?” (laughs) After that we asked the kids what they thought of the game and they said it was fun and they wanted to play it again.
I think up until now there has been this image with games that if you can’t beat it, it’s not fun or a good game, is it? It’s a philosophy that we also adhere to at Nintendo, but I thought if a game is that fun even when you’re stuck, then it must be okay. Up until this game, I was very skeptical that something like this would be fun.
OK, that’s enough highlights, scroll through the whole thing yourself here.
https://kotaku.com/super-mario-64-japan-guide-art-nintendo-miyamoto-sculpt-1848652533 Super Mario 64 Guide scanned in HD is now available for everyone to enjoy