31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Nine – “Favorite Video Game Book”

31 Day NES Well-Red CoverI’m presuming (you know what they say when you “presume”) that because you’re here reading a blog and not watching a cheap prostitution of one’s talents a vlog that you enjoy reading. Or at the very least, video games interest you enough that you’re making yourself do it.

And by the way, there’s a difference between bibliophilia and bibliomania. If you’re a lover of books, make sure you know which one you are. I’ve known some weirdos who obsess over books just because they’re books, but not because they read them. Bibliomania can be characterized by obsessive-compulsion and harm to interpersonal relationships and health. Heck, one time I had to leave a Barnes & Noble because this girl looking at the books in the aisle beside me said “There are too many human characters. I want moar monsters!” and then proceeded to perform impersonations of Godzilla. But for all you erudite and actual bookworms out there, our question for the day is…

What is your Favorite Video Game Book?

*Note that any form of physical or electronic readable material that is not a video game itself counts as “book”.



timemage The Timely Mage

While I don’t own a lot of video game books I’d say my favorite might be the Final Fantasy VIII guide only because of sentimental reasons. I know it’s not necessarily the best answer but it’s all I’ve got. I used it over and over again through each playthrough until it began to fall apart and then my wife was awesome enough to surprise me with another one to replace it. I also have to mention the guide for Final Fantasy XIII. While the game wasn’t the greatest and the guide wasn’t too necessary it was actually really well constructed and my first hardcover guide.




blackmage The Black Humor Mage

Comic books count, right? If that’s the case then I really like the Injustice series. It’s part of the story to the video game series Injustice: Gods Among Us, and tells a pretty good DC story. Although some of the artwork can be a little lackluster at times, Injustice does justice for the video game by expanding the story and not limiting it to arcade-fighter style plot.




ragemage The Rage Mage

So I guess all these “haters and losers” round here like Final Fantasy. I’m gonna say the book I love to hate is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within the crappy novelization based on the crappy movie based on the crappiest parts of the FF franchise. It’s written by three old white men who never made it out of ‘Nam. Yes, now you no longer have to sit through a 1 hour and 48 minute cutscene of 90’s CGI. You can now spend over 20 hours having that same cutscene explained to you in the language of amateurese. Minus the CGI. It’s like your inbred cousin calling you on a phone with bad reception and telling you about the movie in adjective-laden run-on sentences, never getting to the point, dwelling on the “good” blue stuff filling the planet before they be killing the planet and saving the world from the phantom alien ghost zoo, or from James Woods.

All your favorite characters are back for more meaningless, dystopian mouth-breathing dialogue, like Donald Sutherland’s career-widower, the Rob Schneider guy, the obvious villain in black, the frickin’ Planet, and butter-face Aki Ross who dreams of Protoss. All your favorite lines from the movie are here too, such as: “Curse you, Square!”, “Thanks a lot, FFVII!”, “Where the purgatory are all the Moogles and Chocobos?!”, “I spent my birthday money on this?”, “Why did I drag Jessica with me? She’ll never speak to me again!”, and “I wonder how fast ambulance response time is to this theater… I feel another heart attack coming on.” Purchase your copy today and secure a discount on engraving of your epitaph!


Prequel to Final Fantasy XIII.



FF3-NES-Summoner2 The Green Screen Mage

Halo: Contact Harvest. A story where Sergeant Johnson is the lead? Sign me the hell up! Johnson, my sweet baby Osmo, a Huragok and Unggoy duo, first contact between humans and Covenant, Jiralhanae making Sangheili climb ladders because they know their legs aren’t built for ladders, the San’Shyuum conspiracy, the start of the Human-Covenant War! If you’re a fan of Halo, I guarantee you’ll enjoy this book.




whiteoutmage The White Out Mage

I’ve not read many (if any) books in this “genre”. And so I must turn to a gaming guide. And what better gaming guide to turn to than the Nintendo Player’s Guide for Super Mario 64! Mind you, I was a good little gamer and I tried my hardest to find every single star by myself. But for the ones that caused me to turn blue in the face, I turned to the guide.




Untitled2 The Well-Red Mage

I can recommend the novelization Ico: Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe. The video game Ico is shrouded in mystery and a lot of the backstory, culture, mythos and history of the world surrounding the Castle is explain in the novel. It even gives us an explanation of who Yorda and the Queen are and why this all happened to them. It’s fairly well written until the final confrontation. There just isn’t any good way to translate a tense boss fight into literature, and it’s at that point that I think the novel reveals too much. I actually stopped reading at that point and only forced myself to finish it several months later. It’s still very fascinating with all that said.



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21 replies »

  1. I’ve still got my FF7 & 8 & 9 & 10 strategy guides!!!! Love them!!!
    Also Silent Hill & 2. Annoyingly I got the guide for SH4 but then threw it away thinkin I’d never get the game & then got Silent Hill Collection for £3 (2, 3 & 4, but already owned 2 cos there’s an extra bit o 2 you don’t get in Collection for some reason)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d probably nominate the Mario chapter book. It was fairly short and aimed at kids, but it was definitely cool to read a Mario adventure as opposed to playing it for a change. Wario even got to show up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I nominate Sonic and the Silicon Warriors. When I was younger, I owned four books based on Sonic. The stories did not actually resemble the games at all, one was about Dr Robotnik imprisoning Sonic’s friends in robots, another featured time travel, another spoofed famous cinematic monsters and the fourth, Sonic and the Silicon Warriors, involved Sonic entering a computer and fighting spoofs of Street Fighter characters. I also enjoyed some adventure game books that featured characters from the Mario series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well The Umbrella Archives is a compilation of the Resident Evil series that gives details of all of the creatures, summarizes each game, character, in-game document and lays out a timeline of ALL of the canon up to Resident Evil 5

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I was in Japan, I bought an artbook from Lost Planet. That was pretty damn cool, despite that I couldn’t read Kanji!
    The Umbrella Archives is my favorite BY FAR!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Do art books count? I have the FFIX art book and one for FFVI. I actually specifically bought the FFVI strategy guide to have the pictures by Amano (and attempt my amateurish hand at sketching). I really, really want The Sky, Amano’s collection of Final Fantasy artwork.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I loved the Warcraft novels. My favorite in particular was Arthas: the Rise of the Lich King. Lord of the Clans was great too (possible reference material for a Warcraft movie sequel?)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess strategy guides count. So I’ll pick the strategy guide to the horribly title-formatted DRIV3R. It’s the first strategy guide I can remember reading. Most of it I could read online, but there are a few exclusives, like concept art and interviews and stuff. I’ve since stopped reading strategy guides because I’ve come to regard them as cheating.

    It was either that or the adaptation of The Price of Dawn (which – not to sound too hipster – only a few people will know).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Glad to see so much strategy guide representation here! I used to collect a bunch of them back in the day. For me, none comes close to the greatness that is the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time strategy guide. This game stands out for being told in a narrative style. For example, the guide would say something like, “Link used his new Slingshot to shoot down the ladder, so that he could escape the room.” It stuck out so much to me, that years later, I used that style to write a strategy guide guestbook for my wedding, giving tips and tricks to how I, got the girl, haha.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks! Yea, I just had to implement strategy guides for my wedding in some way and the guestbook was a perfect way to do so! I still collect some hardcover strategy guides with art in them, but they’re nothing compared to the good reads that all the old guides were, particularly the charming Nintendo Power guides. P.S. The OoT guide I’m talking about is the Nintendo Power version.

        Liked by 2 people

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