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1. Bowser is a...wizard?
Ever wonder how Bowser keeps coming back to life? The answer may be black magic.
The original Super Mario Bros. instruction manual references “the Koopa, a tribe of turtles famous for their black magic.” Since Bowser went by “King Koopa” back then, we can only assume he’s a dark wizard in disguise.
2. Disgruntled Goombas
The narrative of Super Mario Bros. is that Mario is fending off evil invaders and saving the princess. But what if her people actually hated her?
The Super Mario Bros. instructional manual says the iconic Goombas are not part of the Koopa army. Instead, they are Mushroom Kingdom subjects who rebelled against Peach.
Considering how many are in the game, there may have been a coup against her before Bowser even arrived.
3. Goro is into polygamy
The Mortal Kombat villain Goro is known for having extra arms. But did you know he has extra wives as well?
The instruction manual clarifies that Goro is a polygamist with a whopping seven wives. We can only imagine that Goro’s bedroom gives new meaning to the term “Finish Her!”
4. Sonic isn't naturally fast
Most players simply assume Sonic the Hedgehog is fast on his own. But what if he’s just as big of a liar as Lance Armstrong?
The instructions for the original Sonic casually mention that he wears “power sneakers that give him super speed.” The implication is that anyone with these shoes could enjoy being “Sonic fast.”
What a poser. nintendolife
5. Link’s Brutal Death
The Legend of Zelda games are usually pretty kid-friendly. Unfortunately, the manual writers for Legend of Zelda II didn’t get the memo.
One page features the dead body of Link, who has seemingly been sodomized by a sword. On top of that, a silhouette of Link under attack makes his sword look like a certain part of his anatomy.
Maybe Link is into this? No kink-shaming, hero of Hyrule.
6. Quake’s orgasm-powered zombies
Zombie soldiers are already pretty scary and gross. But Quake’s instruction manual found a way to make one of your most common foes even grosser.
It states that Grunts have special implants in their minds. Whenever they kill something, they get a surge of orgasmic ecstasy. Surprising no one's adapted Quake into a porno yet.
7. Wario's weird body
What do you really know about Wario? After reading the Wario World instruction manual, you’ll know more than you ever wanted about his freakish body.
For example, his stomach has a capacity of 100 liters and his bladder has a capacity of 5 liters. Human stomachs can only hold about 3-4 liters and our bladders less than one.
Wario has also never thrown up and he has perfect teeth. And his hands have a PSI of 80, but he mostly uses these apple-crushing mittens to pick his nasty nose.
8. Dr. Robotnik is a feminist
Sometimes all it takes is a single word to change how we look at a villain. That’s what happened with Dr. Robotnik in Sonic Heroes.
The instruction manual gives us his qualities, including that he is a romanticist and a self-professed gentleman, and a feminist?
This is both insane and inaccurate, but we’ll be happy to retract the statement if Fourth Wave feminism involves turning people into robots.
9. Birdo is transgender
Every now and then video game companies accidentally create a cultural icon. That’s what happened with Birdo, the unassuming enemy character from Super Mario Bros. 2.
The manual says Birdo is “a male who thinks he is a girl” and would prefer to be called “Birdetta.” This may have been nothing more than an odd joke, but plenty of players have championed Birdo as the first transgender video game character.
Regardless of original intent, later games referenced issues about the character’s gender.
10. License to kill...players?
As far back as the N64, Nintendo was hip to piracy and took measures to stop it. And in one instance, this included threatening players.
The GoldenEye 007 instruction manual had a full page telling players not to copy the game. But that same page has Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond pointing a gun at the reader. The implication is clear: Nintendo will murder you over your ROMs in a real-life deathmatch.
11. The Mushroom Kingdom hospital
It’s an open secret that “Dr.” Mario never went to medical school. But what if the Mushroom Kingdom malpractice went even deeper?
The Dr. Mario instruction manual claims Mario is a doctor, Peach is a nurse, and the entire viral outbreak stems from their experiments at Mushroom Kingdom hospital.
The only thing keeping this from being a zombie movie is that Mario is using his advanced medical knowledge to throw vitamins at the bacteria until they die.
12. Duck Hunt is two player
What if the best shooter from your childhood was secretly a multiplayer game?
Most players never read the Duck Hunt instruction manual, but it had a hot tip: a second player could plug in a controller and control the duck.
This simple tip completely transforms this classic game into the ultimate multiplayer experience.
13. StarTopics secret letter code
In many ways, StarTropics had the coolest instruction manual, mostly because of a letter it included from your character’s uncle.
The letter could be torn out of the book and seemed to do nothing more than set up the plot. But at one point the game encourages you to dip that letter in water. Doing so would reveal a secret code that you needed to proceed with your game.
14. Captain Commando: Capcom's Forgotten Mascot
Who do you think Capcom’s mascot is? You might be tempted to say Mega Man, Ryu, or Jill Valentine. But the real answer is Captain Commando.
He popped up in places like this Ghosts ‘N Goblins instruction manual to tell us about things like the “Challenge Series” of video games.
His demeanor was so polite Capcom probably forgot he existed, which is why no one ever sees him anymore.
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