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Every US PlayStation 2 Game Manual Now Scanned in 4K

Every US PlayStation 2 Game Manual Now Scanned in 4K
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Physical game guides are hard to find these days, especially as the industry is starting to weigh in on cloud streaming and digital-first infrastructures. But if you remember those good times when game boxes came with chunky brochures for you to peruse before making your final purchase. Game preservationist Kirkland tries to preserve this nostalgia for future generations by creating high-quality scans of old manuals. Actually, it just finished installing All US PlayStation 2 manual scans.

Released in the US in October 2000 (this Wednesday, 22 years ago), Sony’s PlayStation 2 was one of the most popular consoles ever. With over 4,000 games released worldwide and sells approximately 158 million units worldwideAlmost everyone had a PS2. games like How & Daxter and sly Cooper Titles like this helped popularize the console among kids and tweens. Metal Gear Solid 2 and Onymusha a more “mature” market continued to grow. Devil May Cry 3, Final Fantasy X, kingdom hearts, Ratchet and Clank, Silent Hill 2 (now restructuring), eyes, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3– The list of PS2 hits goes on endlessly, they are all very good.

My favorite aspect of buying a new PS2 game was always reading the guide to see what tips, tricks and sometimes cheats I could use. While that time has long passed, Kirkland has now retained a little over 1,900 and is loading of each US PS2 manual to Archive.org in full 4K resolution for your downloading and scrolling pleasure. The set comes in at roughly 17GB – before compression it was 230GB. This is so delicious.

Read more: Each English Language SNES Guide Now Available Online

Each guide is as cool as you can remember it from the 00s, with high-quality scans that often highlight stunning art. This is truly a portal through time! I mean scan Square Enix’s guide Musashi: The Legend of the Samurai (one of my favorite PS2 games ever) fills me with nostalgia and takes me back to my grandma’s house, beating the idiots until 3 am as the veiled lead character Miyamoto Musashi. Frankly, not much has changed for me.

“The goal is to raise some awareness for game conservation efforts,” Kirkland said. Kotaku. “A lot of games growing up have shaped how we look at and experience the world. Of course we move on to other things as we ‘grow up’, but there are many of us who are nostalgic for those things and want our children to enjoy what we do. The whole ‘read the books your dad reads’ deal. And to protect the games. great effort has been made: VGHF, Mighty Museumand grassroots efforts WE ARE THE OWNER, redump.org, no loginand Cowering’s Good Tools before this. I’m always thinking, ‘This is great! we will have everything protected. But without the guides we won’t know how to play them.”

Read more: The Ten-Year-Long Struggle to Fund Oakland’s Scrappy Video Game Museum

Unfortunately, scanning for guides can be quite an arduous process. “My process is terrible. I pull the staples and go through most things Epson DS-870 sheet-fed scanner. As a total perfectionist, using a document scanner is disappointing in terms of quality, but a must because of its volume.” I was able to scan.”

After the tedious work of scanning every page, Kirkland used multiple apps like Adobe Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Textpad, and PDF Combiner Pro to get it all as clean and pristine as possible before uploading it to Archive.org both in 2K. and 4K resolution. “I spent all my summer vacation scanning manuals, but only to throw them away because I got better equipment or better rendered,” he said. “Lots of late nights.”

Kirkland said he has dropped nearly $40,000 into his US PS2 collection as he has regularly bought every US release for 22 years. “I got new releases when they were down to $20 for the first 800 releases, then I started collecting used sports games in good condition, then I started hunting weird variants (never-ending).”

Kirkland’s 4K US PlayStation 2 scan set It’s probably the largest, highest-quality collection of video game manual scans available to the public, but to him, it doesn’t quite make up for the “archive” attribute.

Read more: Video Game History Foundation Begins Nintendo’s ‘Destructive’ Retro Policies

“I’m thinking about this ‘functional protection’ for now,” he said. “Because I’ve removed the staples, I can always throw them on a flat bed to keep them properly. But then it comes back to my perfectionist nature. What is ‘good enough’? 2400 dpi (more than one gigabyte per page) in 48-bit color. At what point do we archive ink instead of image? ? There is no easy answer.”

Perhaps further advances in technology will eventually make the task easier.

“I would love to have an AI in the future that can actually regenerate text and images as intended, straighten skew and neatly off-screen without blurring the line art,” he said. “As it stands, nobody really wants a 600dpi scan with punch holes and black edges, they just want the polished, finished project.”

Of course, getting there requires an incredible amount of effort on the part of the archivist.

While finishing 1,900+ PS2 manual scans may seem like your life’s good job, this is actually another milestone for Kirkland. It has already been completed Full set of US SNES manuals 2K (gathering them to scan it cost him $8,000) and on the SNES 4K, it’s in the process of falling apart, 2600and game boy. “I’ve scanned about 300 original PlayStation manuals in the last few weeks,” he casually speaks as if nothing was there.

Kirkland says he has about 7,500 manuals, of which about 3,000 have been preserved. He just wishes that this work didn’t have to get on the back of an unusually motivated person like him. “In a perfect world, companies would step up and release original artwork sent to the press for preservation,” he said. “But most of them were lost to history and hard drives over time.”

Kirkland's massive PS2 game collection, date unknown.

After hella hours and hell of money, this is a pretty big collection.
Photograph: Kirkland

But collaboration brings its own challenges.

“Right now it’s mostly a solo effort and I hope to change it when I move to systems that I don’t get 100% of,” he said. “Collaborations in the past have burned me, so I’ve been a bit wary of connecting to other projects in hopes of having a little more control over quality and direction.”

The work is grueling, and many of the best-preserved manuals are in or in private collections. It is priced by “investors”. However, Kirkland plans to continue dredging projects because, in his view, it must be done before it becomes impossible.

“The internet has had 25 years to make this happen, and all we have are the same scanned manuals or NES manuals from 2004 that looked like they came out of a fax machine because NintendoAge oldtimers They were such paranoid people that they would forge their expensive holy grail, which they earned themselves points for $5 at a garage sale in the ’90s. It doesn’t seem right to me that you have to pay $200 for the privilege of reading a book. Chrono Trigger actually a legit manual.”

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