The Stele Chronicles from Tie Fighter.
Myth and Myth2! Great backstory and fantasy art.
Fallout, definately, as commented on by many already.
Wing Commander (1, 2 and 3) had great documentation, fighter charts, tips and tricks, all written as for the fighter pilot.
NHL 2003 on the PC came with a 200 page player statistic book for the 2003 season!
San Andreas PC came with a cool ‘tourist guide’ of all the spots to see in the state.
I kind of miss this stuff. I was dissapointed when I bought Pacific Fighters (a complicated flight game) and got a 20 page manual on how to install the game and what video options are present., when they should know anybody interested in this type of thing will eat up any documentation and side info stuff-- things they probably compiled themselves in the making of the game.
Volo (and his name is just too short to post)
The manual was OK, it was the novella that was included that rocked. The Dark Wheel.
I’d like to see a Baldur’s gate manual written by Voldo.
Strike Commander had an awesome story that went into the manual. Heck, it’s one of the only game manuals that I’ve kept around.
Knights of Legend
Hey, don’t forget IV!
I remember some of the old tom vito games. (sewer shark) where the manual is written like an instruction for the main character.
Hey, don’t forget V. While Wing Commander V wasn’t a great game, what totally made it worth it was the large poster/star chart they provided, which managed to link ALL of the systems seen in the various Wing Commander games (ex Priv 2), coherently.
Yeah. Way to riff off Ultima IV’s Iolo, losers. Also, the guide had a few interjections from Elminster, correcting/insulting Volo as well.
The strat guide was written like a journal from a party of adventures, so it eead like fanfic. Miles better than the novelizations by Z.M. Pansternaddy.
I love good and thorough manuals. These newfangled dvd-boxes with their limited space make me very sad.
Indiana Jones 3 came with a grail diary that doubled as sort of a copy protection iirc… you needed it to identify the right grail in the end.
Ultima VII had a Fellowship Handbook and some kind of plastic Fellowship emblem.
Other manuals I enjoyed were Star Wars: Rebellion and Master of Magic, though for other reasons than backstory.
Alpha Centauri, not so much for the sci-fi (which was not good imo) but for the excellent speculation on how a planet actually might be able to support human life and where it might eixist, with all sorts of statistics and facts.
The Fellowship Manual is especially fun to read if you’re an Ultima geek (guilty) and see how Batlin spins the world to his creepy needs.