Phantasy Star III: Care and Feeding

Game manuals are a dying breed. As the industry shifts toward online distribution and cheap packaging, manuals grow thinner and less informative. In fact, some modern titles don’t even include them. And why should they? Most of today’s games have extensive, intrusive tutorials that make manuals unnecessary. Yet there’s one important thing that only manuals have: drawings of the game’s characters telling you not to set your new purchase on fire and throw it in the toilet.

The majority of games lack such warnings, of course. That sort of thing was seen mostly in Japanese releases during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when game companies felt the need to inform players of the best ways to care for the imposing technologies of CDs and game cartridges. My favorite little warning section comes from the manual for Phantasy Star III.

I don’t know Japanese well enough to fully translate this, but I’m not worried. I tried to do the same thing with a Demo Demo PlayStation cover, and someone dropped in to correct my largely wrong interpretation. So I’ll just translate this Phantasy Star III cartridge-care guide as best I can. It’ll all work out in the end.

“Thank you for purchasing Phantasy Star III for the Sega Mega Drive, which is what we call the Genesis in Japan and Europe. Observe that the cartoon characters on the right are happy. If you are not happy while playing this game, the problem obviously lies entirely with YOU and not with the people who rushed the game through development, leaving in bugs and unexplored concepts. So it's YOUR fault.”

“To turn on your Sega console, point at it and scream at the top of your lungs. Sega systems are hardened, manful devices that require verbal abuse to activate, unlike frail and sensitive Nintendo consoles.”

“Your Phantasy Star III game cartridge is made of precision electronics. It can bring good luck to a woman if she sits upon it on the day of her wedding. However, if the cartridge emits comical star effects, the bride will know only shame and disappointment throughout her marriage.”

“Do not attempt to sexually stimulate your Phantasy Star III cartridge by curiously stroking the contacts. Your Phantasy Star III cartridge has taken a vow of celibacy.”

“Do not take your Phantasy Star III cartridge out to the desert and stare at it with a look of simian contemplation while the green light of an alien sun beats down upon you and your curiously hovering game. You will find no enlightenment.”

“Do not attempt to call upon demons by soaking your Phantasy Star III cartridge in virgin blood. At best, you will summon only messy and disobedient eye creatures.”

“While superficially similar to human beings, androids can be detected by observing their eyes during a Voight-Kampff test. Note that while Phantasy Star III allows you to marry and have children, you are not permitted to do either with the android characters, as this would be an abominable crime against God and nature.”

1 comment:

  1. I *love* this article! Almost makes it worth buying PS3 again... almost ^^~

    I would also like to say that the translation is 100010% accurate and anyone who disagrees obviously needs to spend time improving their Japanese with subbed episodes of Dominion Tank Police. So there :D