Nintendo won’t let you read this 1996 Super Mario 64 guide

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Facepalm: A few weeks ago, a Nintendo fan at Comfort Food Video Games uploaded a high-quality scan of the Super Mario 64 Complete Clear Guide, an officially licensed guide released in Japan in 1996. It was super cool since copies of the book can cost hundreds on eBay.

In addition to tips and tricks for completing the game’s notoriously difficult levels, it also includes tidbits about the development process and interviews with the creators. Also in the guide are photos of incredible dioramas of the game’s cards. It was the first Super Mario game to feature 3D graphics, and Nintendo was worried that kids would get lost in the game, so they created the dioramas that served as maps for the levels.

The guide is a small, unique piece of Nintendo history and many fans were excited to read it for the first time. Then, heartache. The Internet Archive, which hosted the scans, received a copyright infringement notice from Nintendo of America’s attorneys, so it removed the guide.

“Frankly, I’d like to dispute the legitimacy of that and how Nintendo of America would have anything to do with a 1996 Nintendo of Japan licensed Gem Books guide, but I can’t really fight the Nintendo legal team here,” CFVG said to Kotaku. “It’s incredibly disappointing.”

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

Nintendo has made it a trend to take down conservation projects. It’s a bit more reasonable if they close a shop that sells classic Nintendo ROMs or even distributes them for free. But this was a book that has been out of print for two decades, and no one was making any money from it.

Fortunately, CFVG . has shared the guide file around, so if you want it, look it up, and you’ll probably be able to download it somewhere. For now, enjoy a few more screenshots.

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