Konami’s Famicom Disk Manual Back Covers

 There was a point in time where Konami were the world’s best developer of video game software.

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They also had the best box art and the best presentation. Today, I’ll focus on one element of this – the back of Konami’s Famicom/FDS manuals.

While their box art was the best in the business (I’ll save that for another day) an awesome little detail they started right off the bat on the Famicom was unified presentation. Their first gen of games came in Orange boxes, and had a unified design that mimicked Nintendo’s ‘pulse line of games.

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The manuals similarly were uniform, with a plain (old) Konami logo on the back.

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Upon rebranding the company with their awesome ‘two ribbons’ logo, a new motif began, and was maintained for the rest of their Famicom/FDS run. All boxes (or manual covers which doubled as box art in FDS games) would have the Konami logo top left, and the back cover would feature a single small image representative of the game.

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Pennant Chase Baseball back cover

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It’s most prominent on the Famicom Disk games, as they had full colour manuals.

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While Konami had similar branding discipline for at least a few years in the US with their awesome silver box line, their NES manuals simply had the game logo on the back. But interestingly, their silver box Game Boy games continued the trend.

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8/20 Konami Famicom Collector Cards

At some point starting in 1987, Konami decided to include a collector card with all their titles. Each card had an illustration related to the game. Some cards had screenshots or pieces of screenshots, others had artwork of scenes in the game.

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There were multiple cards for each game, so perhaps Konami thought kids would be encouraged to get the same games their friends had to trade cards? Apparently it didn’t work, so they stopped including cards a couple of years later,  and only the following 20 titles ended up with the cards:

  1. Ai Senshi Nicol
  2. Arumana no Kiseki
  3. Dracula II (Castlevania II)
  4. Contra
  5. Do Re Mikko
  6. Dragon Scroll
  7. Exciting Baseball
  8. Exciting Basketball (Double Dribble)
  9. Exciting Billards
  10. Exciting Boxing
  11. Exciting Soccer
  12. Falsion
  13. Getsu Fumaden
  14. Konami Wai Wai World
  15. Majo Densetsu II (Knightmare II)
  16. Meikyujin Dababa
  17. Metal Gear
  18. Salamander
  19. Tetsuwan Atomu (Mighty Atom aka Astro Boy)
  20. Top Gun

I have the bolded ones already, and I always like the idea of complete sets of something (when the goal is achievable) so I’m on a mini-collection quest to get one card of each game that had one.

Of the ones I have, I like Arumana no Kiseki and Astro Boy best.

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So now I have 12 to go. Some will be easy to get (there are plenty of cheap copies of Konami Baseball and Basketball), some will be harder (popular titles like Salamander and Metal Gear). Do Re Mikka will likely be hardest, it’s a very expensive music game that came with a piano keyboard controller.