These days we are spoiled by great retro game books, but those are usually divided into two categories. On the one hand, you have a comprehensive catalog, usually categorized by console or publisher. On the other hand, anything related to a large franchise. From time to time, you will stumble upon something so narrow and obscure that it has no economic reason to exist-just a writer who loves a subject so much that it can’t help himself.
That is The Legend of Argus: the complete history of Riga, 154 pages in-depth discussion of Tecmo’s classic shield swing platform game series. The book has recently launched a new expanded version with posters, trading cards and stickers-and an expanded version of the deluxe version, which adds a wax pack of trading cards.
This is something you might expect from a book about Mario or Sams, but for a book carried by a half-forgotten shirtless hero, as the preface author Kurt Carata put it, “a huge The barbed yo-yo”. This is great.
In the book, you will find a summary of Rygar’s history, news clippings, port failures, interviews, fan art, music scores, puzzles, and breakthroughs in action figures and marketing. It’s all bite-sized, with dozens of small parts instead of a long narrative-this matches the layout, the design looks like an old game magazine, and the small, paperback format.
Legend of Argus Now available from the writer Brian Riggsby’s website.