Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Along with the game disk, you get an orientation guide, an ID card, and... GAAAHHHH!!!

In this age of digital media and Internet deliverables, the idea that 25 years ago people were shelling out $30 to $50 for a 5¼" floppy disk in a cardboard box must seem bizarre and incomprehensible.

Software today tends to come with little more than a disc and a "quick install guide"—often there won't even be a CD jewel case, and sometimes the only thing you get is a file downloaded from the Internet. Yet in those halcyon golden days, things were very, very different. The absolute minimum you could expect with a game was a printed manual, often a thick tome containing instructions, backstory, and even hints.

More than that, if you were buying a game from one of the really notable production houses, you got a variety of Bonus Material known as Feelies. These were real, tangible props, ripped straight from the game world. They were often incorporated into the game's Copy Protection mechanism to make it a little less jarring. Such things are almost entirely in the past now.

Nowadays, game publishers sometimes make "collector's editions" of certain games, which usually means that if one pays extra for the game one gets various feelies and supplemental materials included with the purchase.

Japanese domestic video and game releases are often noted for their high-priced (and high-quality) "feely content", primarily because of tighter retail controls (which enable very premium pricing).

See also Revenue Enhancing Devices. Has nothing to do with Brave New World. Not to be confused with the Alternative Rock band of the same name.

Examples of Feelies include:

Video game examples

Action Adventure

  • The NES game StarTropics included a letter from the main character's uncle. To get past a certain point in the game, a player needed to dunk the letter in water to get a secret code. Enough players lost the letter or bought the game secondhand that the code (747) was even printed in an issue of Nintendo Power. The Virtual Console release includes a digital version of the letter that you can click with the Wiimote to "dunk" it in a bucket of water and reveal the code.
  • The original The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past both came with large fold out maps of Hyrule. The latter's map had maps of the first three dungeons on the back of it.
  • The PSX game Alundra came with a partial map on cloth or a similar material, and the disc art was randomized between five different scenes.
  • The cooking game Order Up! comes with a paper chef hat.
  • One release of Medievil came with a poster for the second game, which also had a maps for the first levels on the othe side.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising comes with a 3DS stand and with six trading/AR cards.

Adventure Game

  • Shadow of the Comet had a envelope which contained some of Bolskines letters and a report from the mental institution he was committed to, detailing his mental health decline.
  • One of the first Full Motion Video CD-ROM games, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, shipped with a stack of miniature newspapers, each loaded with clues to the various cases.
    • This was a continuation of the contents of its boxed-game original. The various "Consulting Detective" sets, and some third party "Call of Cthulhu" adventures set the feely bar very high in the mid-eighties.
  • The company best known for its feelies was Infocom, whose Interactive Fiction game packages came stuffed full of swag. Each game included as part of its manual a full color printed piece, often a magazine or brochure from the game world, some innocuous device used as copy protection, and a pile of random assorted toys.
    • Zork practically personified the trope, including with all games in its series a short manual with instructions and backstory to the games, maps with a portion of the game's layout, post cards, or various other goodies related to the plot.
    • However, it was fellow Infocom production Deadline that actually started the tradition. Deadline, a police drama text adventure, packaged a LONG list of items with the game including a police folder, an inspector's casebook, a bag with three (plastic) pills, notes from police interrogations, coroner's notes from the "victim", an official memo from an in-game officer, a lab report of a piece of evidence in-game, and finally, a photo of the crime scene, complete with chalk outline.
      • The "pills", of course, turned out to actually be candies similar to SweeTarts, for anyone brave enough to try them.
    • Infocom's adaptation of The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy included peril-sensitive (read: opaque) sunglasses, a packaged microscopic space fleet, lint, a "Don't Panic" badge, demolition orders for your home and planet, and no tea. Also no small towel; Infocom did its audience the honor of assuming they already knew where their towel was.
      • The text of the second demolition order is pretty much the same as the first, run through a simple substitution cipher, but with a few amusing differences. Anyone got a bar code scanner to check out what names are signed?
    • Sherlock: Riddle of the Crown Jewels included another miniature newspaper, a London tourist's map, key fob and magnifying glass.
    • The infamous Leather Goddesses of Phobos included a 3D Comic Book and the special glasses to read it, and a scratch-and-sniff card keyed to several locations.
    • The Lurking Horror came with two feelies: a college I.D. card from GUE Tech, the school in which the game takes place, and for that moment when you first reach into the game's box, a rubber centipede.
    • Hollywood Hijinks included a "lucky" palm-tree swizzle-stick.
  • As it was sort of a throwback/homage to text adventures, Starship Titanic came with an in-flight magazine (which contained hints, if you read into it) and a pair of 3D glasses (used late in the game)
  • G. Kevin Wilson's Once and Future originally shipped with a stack of postcards, letters and telegrams between a Vietnam War soldier and his family back stateside.
  • Myst III: Exile had a collector's edition that contained a soundtrack, a "Making of" DVD, a tiny pewter statue of an in-game animal, and amusingly enough for anyone who's ever played the often confusing games, a full strategy guide.
  • Space Quest IV included a satirical magazine called "Space Piston", which included an interview with the game's hero on his past exploits, advertisements for fake products, fake letters to an advice column on time-machine repair and a three-breasted alien centerfold reclining on the time machine that formed a central part of the game. Space Quest V shipped with a copy of a National Enquirer-esque tabloid magazine that featured more fake ads, satirical stories (Rednecks terrify family of aliens, Tribble gets bad case of mange), a horoscope and clues to solving a puzzle that would be otherwise impassible in the game. Space Quest VI had the Popular Janitronics magazine, which like the above, was required to solve a Copy Protection code at one point. Unfortunately, the Compilation Rerelease omitted these. You can find some of these materials at the following link.
  • Similarly, the recent Sam and Max Freelance Police games have Case Files that you can order. The first one included a "Max for president" button, a Ted E. Bear magnet, and a postcard from the moon, along with other things.
  • These were a staple of the Quest for Glory games by Sierra. Generally the games included 2 instruction books, one that was straightforward and that played humorously, maps, etc.
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders came with a free issue of The Daily Inquisitor, the tabloid the protagonist works for. Several of the articles provide vital hints, such as how lightning can mend crystals.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 7 came with the Cyber-Sniff 2000, a scratch and sniff card which would prompt you to use when the game would indicate a number and say "Cyber-Sniff 2000!". Which is nice when it's coconut oil suntan lotion, or ocean spray, but less than glamorous in Larry's cabin. .. Which is the engine room with faulty plumbing.
  • Heavy Rain includes a sheet of origami paper and instructions on how to fold a Spanish Pajarita origami like the ones the Origami Killer leaves lying around.
  • Blackout contain a prequel novel describing the setting from some of the game's minor character's point of view.
  • Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade came packaged with a hard-paper Grail Diary. The very detailed 63-page booklet contains Henry's field research about the Grail and doubles as a subtle Copy Protection method, as the in-game information and metapuzzles resort to it. The high quality of the book made it look like a collector’s item and some editors didn't realize the booklet was not a cosmetic addition so it was not included in any form in some versions. Wired wrote an article praising the quality of this feelie. The Steam version fortunately included it in a PDF file

Card Battle Game

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! video games tend to come with actual promo cards.

Driving Game

  • The Japanese version of Gran Turismo 4 features a 300-page book about cars, mechanics, and driving technique. Now guess how the manual is in the American release...
    • For the record, it's missing about 285 pages.
  • Gran Turismo 5 had several special editions. The American Collector's Edition included a custom-etched keychain, a 1:43 scale model of the Nissan GT-R, a 300-page APEX Magazine book with hints on driving technique, tuning & future technology, a download key for five unique "Chrome Line" edition cars and a Certificate of Authenticity. The European version included all of these extras, with the exception of the scale GT-R. The Euro/Australia/New Zealand-exclusive Signature Edition contained the APEX book, another coffee table book of cars and locations, a GT-branded wallet and USB pen drive, custom-etched keychain, a download voucher for the five "Chrome Line" cars as well as one for six unique "Stealth" edition cars and a 1:43 scale Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The wallet even contained an entry card for a Gran Turismo Academy-style competition where the winner would receive an actual Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
  • Need for Speed Most Wanted came in two version. The standard version and a black edition. The Black edition had a 2nd DVD which contained videos which went over the making of the game and other various things. The game disc also had an extra that could be used for a special challenge mission that was only in the Black version. It also features some pre tuned cars for use in quick race mode.
  • Need for Speed Carbon also had a special edition of the game as well. This version has 4 cars that are not in the standard version of the game, along with 3 unique challenges, unique vinyls, and a second DVD that goes over how the game was made.

Edutainment Game

  • The Carmen Sandiego games of years past often included special editions of commercial information manuals, such as the Fodor's travel guide, from which vital case info needed to be mined.
    • The USA and World games came with The World Almanac and Book of Facts, which made for quite a large package.

First Person Shooter

  • The Halo 3 Legendary Edition came with all the bonus features of the deluxe edition, plus a mock-up of Master Chief's helmet—though not a wearable one. Unless your head was slot shaped.
    • Halo: Reach is going up another notch with its feelies. The Limited Edition includes a replica journal from Dr. Catherine Halsey (the in-universe creator of the SPARTAN-II program); while the Legendary Edition includes the entire Limited edition plus a detailed statue of Noble Team (the game's central protagonists) made by McFarlane Toys.
  • Modern Warfare 2 came in three versions: a bare-bones version with just the game, a 'Hardened' edition with a tin box and artbook, and a 'Prestige' edition which includes all of Hardened's stuff plus working night-vision goggles and a foam head of the main character's commanding officer to wear them (when you're not using them.) Of course, the Prestige edition is slated to cost about $100 more than the standard version...
    • Call of Duty Black Ops continued this trend with the similar 'regular' and 'Hardened' editions. The 'Prestige' edition came with all of the 'Hardened' extras plus a working remote-control car modeled after the explosives-rigged RC-XD Killstreak reward for a similar premium.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 included several bonuses in the collector's edition, which—unusually for CE versions—came at no extra charge to those that pre-ordered. These included a second DVD containing "making of" videos, an extensive series of UnrealEd tutorials (which probably helped to kick off the massive number of mods and maps for that game), and even a cheap Logitech headset for making use of the then-new voice chat feature.
    • Unreal Tournament III continued the tradition of rewarding pre-orderers, with a painted tin box, glossy artbook and another Making Of/How To Use UnrealEd DVD. Several game shops also had a promotion going that would net you a free copy of Unreal Anthology, a box set of every previous game in the Unreal franchise on a pair of DVDs.
  • Duke Nukem Forever came in a "Balls of Steel" edition which included a desktop-size bust of his Dukeness, as well as a pair of dice, poker chips, a deck of cards, a numbered certificate of authenticity, postcards, a foldable paper standee, a comic book, and an art booklet.

Four X

  • Likewise, the "Big Box Version" of Civilization III comes with a Humongous (with capital H) 150-page gameplay manual tome; the Vanilla Edition features this same manual in a puny little Adobe PDF file.
    • In a similar fashion the retail edition of Civilization IV (thanks to the enforced use of DVD boxes) came attached to it's cunningly DVD-box-sized manual by a rather nice cardboard sleeve. Given the size of the manual, one could easily mistake it for a strategy guide.
    • Civ II Gold Edition tops that, with a 250 page instruction tome, and a general reference poster (with the tech tree, terrain info, and unit info).
    • Civilisation Chronicles, a compendium of Civ 1-4 with all expansions, came with a large manual compassing all the manuals, all of the technology chart wall posters, an interview dvd and a copy of "Civilisation:The Card Game", a game they never released independently, but still has card game reviews of it.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri didn't feature many feelies... but it did had an enormous manual, including things not requisite to understand the game, such as vital stats on Earth (including diameter, mass, atmosphere), Planet, and the primaries of both. It also had a wallchart of the entire (insanely complicated) tech tree, which could be very useful.
    • Somewhat amazingly, they still didn't cram in everything, and put out a separate Strategy Guide with even more info, including a large color map of Planet.
  • Illwinter's 4X strategy game Dominions 3 comes with a three hundred page spiral-bound manual, written in a personable and readable tone and including a complete spell grimoire. Yet it doesn't even come close to explaining everything...


  • Inverted in the modern trend of including software games (or at least a code for an online game) with many otherwise substandard toys. Also, due to the small size of USB drives, the toy itself often serves as the software!
  • Most Japanese game preorders come with at least a Telecard set of certain characters in fanservice moments, most of the time for the guys to gawk at their girls.
  • Many video games based on toys come with an exclusive toy not seen in the normal toyline, such as Bakugan, Beyblade, Zoobles, Lalaloopsy, and even Zhu-Zhu Pets.


  • The web-based MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing features a "Feelies Pack" that you can buy from the website. Every Feelies pack comes with a code that one can redeem for Styrofoam Packing Peanuts. Which don't actually do anything for you besides show that you purchased a Feelies pack. Every so often they'll talk about things they could include in a second Feelies Pack on their radio show.
  • Dofus is an MMORPG that can be downloaded for free, meaning there's usually no case or boxe available for Feelies. However, for their fifth birthday (and release of Dofus 2.0), a Collector's Pack was released. This pack included: one DVD with links to download the update, one leather-map of the game, one exclusive OST disc, one foil card of their Trading Card Game, one VIP-member card (giving acces to a specific house in game, a life-long reduction on their online shop, and other advantages yet to come), one month worth of subscribing to the game, and a limited-edition resina replica of the Ochre Dofus (a MacGuffin from the game), wich will never be sold again in the future. And that's not even counting some in-game advantages, like a complete exclusive panoply. For all the hardcore fans, it was US$30 very well spent!
  • City of Heroes' special edition came with a (random) Hero Clix figure of one of the three then-Big Bads, issue #0 of the comic book about the characters in a video game built around making comic-book-style super heroes and, when you pre-ordered, codes that allowed you to unlock special sprint auras.
  • Warhammer Online went balls-to-the-wall, which is pretty fitting considering that "over the top isn't high enough" should be Games Workshop's motto: a hardcover collection of concept art; a hardcover graphic novel that's a semi-setup to how the Old World got into this particular predicament; the DVD of the game; a mouse pad; and a completely game-play-legal metallic miniature of the lead Orc and his Goblin buddy to be used in the Warhammer Fantasy tabletop game. Shame what's happened to the actual game over time...
  • Every retail version of EverQuest's expansion packs came with a cloth or paper map of the world of Norrath and the new area that the expansion focused on. The Planes of Power went one step further and featured a figurine of the game's mascot character, Firiona Vie.

Platform Game

  • De Blob comes with refrigerator magnets. Seriously.

Puzzle Game

  • Interplay's Lexi-Cross shipped with an "HV Guide" that contained fake program listings. If you were playing the game for the first time, you would be asked for the title of a program scheduled for a certain time and channel.
  • The booklet for Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box has the Molentary Express ticket stapled inside. It makes the Find-out-what-the-ticket-says puzzle much easier.
  • The Interactive Fiction game The Weapon includes a fictional newspaper which adds backstory.
  • Lemmings 2: The Tribes was packaged with a full-colour illustrated children's book detailing the adventures of Jimmy McLemming of the Highland Tribe, travelling the island as he enlisted the other tribes' help in "the evacuation" i.e. you playing the game. There was also a fold-out chart of all the new lemming skills.

Real Time Strategy

  • Example of a collector's edition: The CE for Medieval: Total War II includes the following, in addition to the game itself: figurine in its own packaging, four high-quality artcards, "Making Of" documentary, soundtrack, game map
    • Collector's Edition game manual with exclusive cover
    • A special Collector's Edition "Building Planner" poster
    • Exclusive game packaging
  • In a more recent example, the StarCraft Battle Chest, quite impressively for a game in an era where companies think a DVD case with a quick start guide is too expensive, features the original game and the Expansion Pack, a huge 70-100 page manual with tons and tons of game information and Backstory, and the two official Prima Strategy Guides for both games.
    • Blizzard is generally very good about this. The collector's edition of Warcraft III had lithographs featuring the four different box artworks; a thick manual signed by the games' designers; a DVD featuring the rendered cinematics from the game (as well as trailers and movies from previous Blizzard games); and a hardcover book containing concept art, high-quality screenshots, and backstory notes; and a music CD with the orchestral music from the game (though for some reason the cinematic music wasn't separated into individual tracks, but all in one suite); all packaged in a vinyl-covered slipcase. It was about $80 Canadian. Boo. Yah.
      • Even the standard edition of Warcraft III came with a hundred-page manual featuring concept art, detailed descriptions of every unit and a dozen pages of backstory for the entire setting.
      • The same can be found with World of Warcraft as the core game, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm had collectors editions with similar content to that given with Warcraft III. Wrath and Burning Crusade also included two decks for the Collectible Card Game. They all also included Virtual Feelies in the form of codes for Ingame pets.
    • The Diablo II Battle Chest came with a similar set of goodies, including Diablo I.
    • The StarCraft II collectors edition comes with a making of DVD, soundtrack CD, hardcover art book, and a USB thumb drive made to look like a dogtag (made of real metal, and it lights up when you plug it in) containing the original Starcraft and Brood Wars xpac. And it all comes in a huge box that resembles and opens like a spaceship bay door.
  • The first Homeworld game's manual is over one hundred pages long, describing in exhausting detail the society and politics of the planet the mothership comes from which gets blown up in the third mission.
  • The collector's edition of World in Conflict comes with an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall.
    • As well as a load of making-of DVDs, a documentary about the Cold War, and a nicer-than-usual box. The little chunk of the Berlin Wall is by far the coolest bit, however.
  • Total Annihilation Kingdoms came with a complete foldout map of the world of Darien and a huge backstory in the manual.
  • The preorder premium for Anno 1404 was a bag of natural almonds. Seriously. Three years after you get tired of the game you can enjoy a nice nutty topping on your cereal. That's nice of the marketing department, isn't it?
  • Red Alert 3 developers know their audience. Most of them would actually want to feel them.
  • The Earth Universe Edition, published by German publisher Zuxxez, included all parts of the Earth game series (Earth 2140, 2150, The Moon Project, Lost Souls and 2160, including all patches up to that point, even community map packs), a T-Shirt, a leather organizer with matching pen (both of remarkable quality), a manual with almost 400 pages and a soundtrack CD. The price for the whole pack was around 15€.

Rhythm Game

  • The manuals for the first two Guitar Hero games (the second moreso than the first) fall somewhat into this:
    • The first one is decorated as if it were a marble notebook; the pages are ruled, the text is in a font designed to look hand-written, and there are random doodles and sketches in the margins.
    • The second is titled "Guitar Hero Magazine" and is set up like an actual rock magazine. The cover outlines articles such as "A Rare Interview With Axel Steel" and "Clive Winston Retrospective" (all of which actually exist in the "magazine"), and the top mini-headline is "Getting Started | Controls | How To Rock | Star Power". The Table of Contents is designed like one in a magazine, and there's even a "Letters to the Editor" department.

Role Playing Game

  • Autoduel, a game published by Origin Systems who also published the Ultima series, came with its own miniature car repair set. This set included a very small hammer, wrench, and Philips and Flathead screwdrivers.
    • The screwdrivers were perfect for disassembling computers.
  • Most of the Ultima games came with a cloth map of Britannia, along with other game-specific feelies.
  • The Lunar series of games for the Playstation were some of the last major releases to have feelies, including hardcover 70-page instruction manuals, cloth maps, the soundtrack, and a replica of a pendant worn by the second game's heroine.
    • This was a hallmark of the late lamented Working Designs production house. Another of their game remakes, Growlanser Generations, came with a replica of the jewelry-based weaponry the two games in the set used, among other things. They never skimped on the quality, either.
  • The collector's edition of Final Fantasy XII comes with a DVD detailing the history of the past games, including an interesting "movie" of Final Fantasy VII
  • The 'Chaotic Evil' Special edition of Neverwinter Nights 2, which, in addition to to standard game, contains the full version of Neverwinter Nights and its two expansions, a paper map of the game world, a booklet of concept art, a ring embellished with the logo, and a Troll miniature. It also confers several minor in-game goodies too. It costs approx $8 more than the vanilla game by itself.
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn had a pre-order edition and a collector's edition; each resulted in a different special merchant with powerful equipment appearing somewhere in the game. These were later added to a simple patch for download. However, the game's manual was very nearly a bludgeoning weapon (and would have been a good one if it had been hardcover instead of spiral-bound), and the collector's edition, at least, came with a cloth map, other versions came with a map-poster and a novel.
    • The Baldur's Gate manuals were typically longer because only half of the manual was dedicated to the game itself. The other half was dedicated to the D&D second edition rules (abridged) as interpreted for the Infinity Engine. And then the other half was just a list of all the spells in game, which by BG2 borders on a Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • The Elder Scrolls Morrowind comes with a full-color map of Vvardenfell which is all but essential to finding one's way around the game without getting lost.
    • The previous game, Redguard, came with a burnt-around-the-edges map and the Pocket Guide to the Empire, written in-universe, with notes and sketches added by the previous owner in the margins.
    • And the collector's edition of the sequel came with a replica of the in-game currency, as well as an updated edition (written some 400 in-game years later) of the aforementioned Pocket Guide.
  • Golden Sun came with a partial map of the game world.
    • The sequel came with a complete map of the game world, as well as a primer on the plot and characters of the original game on the flipside.
  • (To quote Amazon.com) "The Fallout 3: Survival Edition is the ultimate Fallout 3 package that includes a life-size replica of the Pip-Boy 3000, the wrist-mounted device worn by characters in-game. The Pip-Boy 3000 has been painstakingly recreated and modified for real world display as a digital clock. In addition to the Pip-Boy 3000, the Survival Edition will include all of the items from the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition including the Fallout 3 game, a customized, metal Vault-Tec lunch box, 5" Vault Boy Bobblehead, The Art of Fallout 3 hardcover book, and The Making of Fallout 3 DVD."
    • The original Fallout's manual was definitely a Feely. It was spiral-bound and written entirely in-character: it described a simulator sold by Vault-Tec. The manual included a chapter on nuclear weapons and nuclear war so you could understand what your ancestors did to the world to make it so dangerous.
    • Fallout: New Vegas continues the trend with its special edition. It includes poker chips from each of the casinos in-game, a deck of cards with characters or places from the game on each card, a making of DVD, a comic book showing the backstories of several characters and a special silver poker chip which has some significance in-game.
  • The original Final Fantasy for the NES game came with four foldouts, not only the map of the world, but also sheets with all of the class details, weapon and item details, and monster stats (albeit with the main boss shadowed out and several monsters provided with ??? vulnerabilities). And the 80-page manual included a walkthrough of the first half of the game, along with some other useful information.
  • We're not even going to get started on the various feelies The Witcher has shipped with in its various versions. The other wiki's article on it even includes a section just for that.
  • Chrono Trigger (both the original SNES and the DS remake) came with fold-out posters of art scenes depicting the characters.
  • Some versions of Final Fantasy VIII came with a cloth map of the world.
  • Wild ARMs 5 came with an art book depicting characters and scenes from all five Wild ARMs games.
  • Atlus USA provides Feelies with some of its larger-profile titles through its Atlus Spoils program, which offers things like soundtracks, artbooks, and sometimes even plushes related to the game at no extra cost.
    • The initial release of Persona 3 was delayed a few weeks so they could get their art book just right. The art book itself was full of interesting sketches and minor spoilers; some of the material never made it into the game (including concept art of the main character as a girl).
    • Every copy of Knights in The Nightmare, Luminous Arc 2, and Super Robot Taisen OG:Endless Frontier was released in a special box containing the game and an OST of the game. Knights in The Nightmare in particular featured about 32 songs on its OST, and featured a pre-order bonus of a 93-page artbook that went so far as to tell players that it might be best to hold off flipping through it until after the second playthrough.
    • Raidou Kuzunoha 2 made waves, though; it was released in a special edition boxed-set, featuring the game, and a Jack Frost plushie, dressed up as the titular Devil Summoner.
    • Atlus' release of Magna Carta: Tears of Blood came packed with an artbook.
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey came with an OST. Unfortunately, the ones packaged with the game were defective. Upon being informed of the problem, Atlus set up a page on their site where a replacement could be ordered free of charge.
  • The indie lab Introversion pretty much kicked this trope in the 21st century with Uplink and the completely game-separate digital riddles you have to crack to access the goodies. The /Misc folder of the game CD contains, in addition to "Diary of a Hacker.txt" and a few screenshots from the developers' desktops during the game's development, a mysterious file called "GameBible.zip" that's been passworded with no explanation - with the password nowhere to be found unless you take a gander at the game's box and convert the seemingly out-of-place symbol string on the back from hexadecimal to ASCII. After the .zip cracks, inside you'll find the directories book1, book2 and book3. The readme.txt in the directory has the lead designer Chris Delay congratulating you for discovering the first Book, hinting at where the remaining two Books can be found. The second one is said to be found on the Uplink bonus disk available from Introversion. And the third one, "who knows where that might be hidden". The Last of the Bedroom Programmers, indeed.
  • The American release of EarthBound came in an oversized box which included a player's guide, written and presented in the style of a travel guide with newspaper clippings.
  • The Level-5 and Studio Ghibli game Ni no Kuni is set to come with an entire spellbook, with its spells actually usable (and required!) in-game. By referencing the book, you can figure out what you need to do in the game.
  • Secret of Evermore came with a poster of two drawings that would seem to be ancient maps from the prehistoric and Roman areas of the game, plus a more straightforward map of the overworld.
  • Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver come with the Pokéwalker, a companion virtual pet/pedometer integrated into the main games. Any Pokémon from one's game can be loaded onto the Pokéwalker and run on one of numerous courses, where one could find rare Pokémon and items and send them back to the main game; additionally, the Pokémon gains experience from steps counted on the pedometer by walking.
  • .hack//G.U volume 1's special edition came with an extra DVD with info about the first four games and a figurine of Haseo.
  • The collector's edition of Two Worlds came with a tabletop RPG that featured a handy illustration of a four-sided die with five sides. The rpg was basically a D&D ripoff with a bunch of stuff left out to make it fit into a tiny book.
  • In Germany, people who preordered the Royal Edition got:
    • A sword (a full-size replica of the in-game sword Kilgorin, or Elexorien in some cases. About 80 cm long, stainless steel)
    • A letter opener version of a similar sword
    • A full game world map
    • The Knight Shift Soundtrack (and when it got published, a discount on the Two Worlds soundtrack)
    • A T-Shirt
    • A leather organizer with matching multi-purpose pen (red biro, black biro and pencil)
    • A set of playing cards
  • The limited edition of Ys VII as released by Xseed comes with a soundtrack CD, an artbook with images from Ys VII, Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys I+II Chronicles, as well as a cloth map of the world of Ys.
  • Record of Agarest War. Really Naughty Limited Edition. Ellis. Pillowcase. Vira-Lorr. Boobie mousepad. That is all.

Simulation Game

  • Buzz Aldrin Race Into Space had a huge manual which detailed the history of the space race and provided all the context needed to enjoy the game.
  • Loom and The President Is Missing both shipped with audio cassettes that gave supplemental information for the game.
  • The older Maxis manuals, with their commitment to wit, wisdom and just generally going above and beyond the call of duty, were worth the price of admission alone. Of particular note were the Additional Information sections at the end of the manuals, such as Sim Earths "Introduction to Earth Science", A-Train's History (of railways) section, SimAnts abridged biology text on ants, and SimCity 2000s Gallery section, which included pictures, poetry and prose designed to stimulate and inspire city designers. The last survivor was SimCity 3000s manual, which despite being a real 100-page book, only features gameplay information.
  • Origin was generally pretty good about feelies. The manuals for the first, third, and fifth Wing Commander games, along with the Xbox Live Arcade game Wing Commander Arena, were presented in the format of an in-universe magazine.
    • The first Wing Commander also included blueprint posters for several of the fighters you would pilot over the course of the game. The stats on these posters were also used as answers for the games' Copy Protection questions.
    • The collections Kilrathi Saga (WC1-3, modified to work in Windows 95/98) and Prophecy Gold (Prophecy and its follow-up Secret Ops) also included brand new manuals made especially for the combined product, with data that the individual game manuals lacked.
  • Falcon 4.0 featured an "Commander's Edition" of the game where the packaging was a three-ring binder filled with over 500 pages of manuals on everything from installing the game to the detailed avionics systems the game simulated. Also included was a pilot's map of the Korean Peninsula and even mission briefing sheets to be photocopied and filled out with your various waypoints, targets, radio frequencies, and fall-back airfields.
  • During the surge of flight sims during the early and mid-90s, extensive manuals were common "feelies". In many of the hard-core non-survey sims, a significant manual was a requirement not an "extra" as mastering the avionics systems was quite a feat in and of itself. Microprose and EA's line of Jane's games were particularly noted for their extensive documentation, befitting their status as hard-core sim titles.
  • The old MicroProse floppy game F-15 Strike Eagle III not only came with a thick, richly detailed manual complete with an entire chapter about the actual developmental history of the titular aircraft, a real-life account of one of the developers (who also happened to have been a real F-15 pilot during Desert Storm) and complete alternate histories for some of the Twenty Minutes Into the Future campaigns, but also came with a photo-essay book obtainable only through the purchase of the game about the actual real-life squadron the player flew for in the game, and authentic squadron patches.
    • F-19 Stealth Strike Fighter for Commodore 64 by the same company came with a thick manual describing, among other things, the basics of aerodynamics, air combat maneuvers, detailed take-off and landing procedures, and extensive, if propaganda-ridden info about weapons and aircraft encountered in the game. In the box one could also find a keyboard overlay with controls, and two double-sided military-style maps (though the geographical detail was questionable) of the areas you flew over.
  • Frontier- Elite 2 Came with a manual that was written in the style of an instruction manual for your spacecraft, a travel guide to many of the star systems featured (With a short explanation of the in game history), a book of short stories set in the game universe, and a wallchart of most inhabited star systems within the game. And the one floppy that the game fitted onto.
  • TIE Fighter initially included "The Steele Chronicles," which gave backstory to the player character and additional details about the campaign story through his perspective.
  • The Software Toolworks game Life & Death included a surgeon's mask, two latex gloves, an "Operating Procedures Manual", a "memo" to "All First-Year Residents", a book detailing the "History of Surgery", parts of a book called "Anatomy and the Surgical Technique", and a beeper which served as the game's copy protection (as failing to return phone calls within the game would keep you from completing surgery).
  • The manual for Impressions' "SimGreek" game Zeus: Master of Olympus was a humorous 180-page paperback of Democrates and his first city's meager beginnings as most of Greek's divine pantheon and some significant cultural figures advise him on the gameplay mechanics.

Milo: "To build a Gymnasium, click on the Culture tab with as much machismo as you can muster. Then, click on the Gymnasium button with all your might. Now, let out a roar of triumph, and make sure that the Gymnasium is along a road so that it can function."

  • Microsoft's earlier PC-borne version of the arcade flyer Crimson Skies came with an issue of Air Aviation Weekly, an aviation magazine, set in the game's late 1920's alternate history, with all the relevant gameplay information neatly tucked among the interviews, articles and era-flavoured advertisements.
  • Flight of the Intruder, a flight sim about Vietnam-era Intruder-bombers, came with a book by the same name, by Stephen Coonts. At least the Amiga version did...
  • Another example of a collector's edition: The Collector's Edition of The Sims 3 comes with a USB drive shaped like the iconic "plumbob."
  • Early versions of Creatures 2 came with stuffed Norn plushies, affectionately dubbed "norndolls" by the fandom. They were actually created because fans requested Norn stuffed toys.
  • Zoo Tycoon 2 came with a good quality writing pen that had a sculpted animal on top.
  • Harvest Moon pre-orders typically come with stuffed farm animal toys, usually their Series Mascot which is a cow.
  • World War I combat flight simulator Red Baron came with an instruction manual; two additional booklets featuring ace biographies, combat tactics, and a brief history of the war in the air; and printed maps of the various fronts. The latter were helpful for orienting oneself in-flight within the game.
  • The Collector's Edition of Il-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover comes with an extensive hardcover "Pilot's Instructions"-handbook, a reprint of pilot's notes for the Mk.I Spitfire and a fabric map of the English Channel area.

Sports Game

  • Caveman Ugh-lympics came with a very funny one-sheet newspaper, 'The Ugh-zaminer'.

Third Person Shooter

  • The Crusader games had fold-out newsletters, and much of the manuals was written in an "in-world" format. Incidentally, if you kept track of the dates and events in said fold-outs, it becomes clear that Crusader, Wing Commander, and System Shock are all, in fact set in the same universe!
  • Gears of War 2, the Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition came with a picture book explaining the back-story of the planet Sera (well, some of it, Wild Mass Guessing for this series lives off of it being vague), and inside the book was the very picture of Dom and his wife, Maria, that Dom repeatedly looks at throughout the game. It even had the in-game back of the picture message written on the back of the hard copy, as well.
    • The Golden Lancer surely deserves a mention.
      • As do the Gear-shaped "dog tags" that EB offered as a pre-order bonus in Australia.

Turn Based Strategy

  • Heroes of Might and Magic II and III come with fold-out cards showing creature statistics and town construction dependencies and a manual nearly reaching 150 pages.
  • Colonization came with a large manual and nice fold out "cheat sheet" showing all the unit types and the buildable structures.

Visual Novel

  • Games by Purple Moon, another production house exclusive to The Nineties, always came with them. Rockett's World games had dolls of the characters and Secret Paths games had plastic stones like those won from the puzzles; both came with cards for a series-specific card game. The rest of the dolls and stones, as well as booster packs, were sold separately. And if that wasn't enough, the first editions of the first games (released simultaneously) came with a shirt, a lip gloss and a backpack.
  • A Japan-only limited edition of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth came with a "Gyakuten Meets Orchestra 2008" pamphlet, character illustrations and portraits, a DS cartridge case, the "Melodies of Gyakuten Kenji" soundtrack, and a "Memories of Gyakuten" Promotional Trailers DVD. (A limited-edition Ace Attorney Investigations-themed Nintendo D Si was also released.)

Wide Open Sandbox

  • The Grand Theft Auto games came with maps. The original on PC actually came with three maps on two poster-sized sheets, which contained maps of Liberty and Vice cities, as well as San Andreas.
  • "Red Dead Redemption" came with a map of the game world.
  • The Collector's Edition of Saint's Row 2 came with gun mold packaging, an artbook, a double-sided map/3rd Street Saints poster and a gold bullet-shaped 1Gb USB stick containing wallpapers and buddy icons. The EB Australia-only Initiation Pack took that even further and added a Saints "ID card", money clip, EB vouchers, a Saints "rule book" containing character bios, shops and info plus a Saints basketball singlet all packaged in a Freckle Bitch's pizza box.
  • The original Saints Row came with an instruction booklet made to look like a journal written by an undercover cop within the Saints. As you played through the game, it became clear who the writer was.
  • Saints Row: The Third had something different depending on which country you got it from. The North American version came with a soundtrack and a computer headset that not only let you listen to music and communicate with your friends, but also auto-tuned your voice. The Australian version, however, had two special editions. The first one was the "Smooth Criminal" Edition, and it came with sunglasses, cufflinks, a bullet-shaped ice cube tray, and the soundtrack. The second one was the "Maximum Pleasure" edition, and it included a Professor Genki head, a Professor Genki keyring, and a Professor Genki banner pen.
  • The special collector's edition of Spore came with not only 2 DVDs (one about the making of the game and another from National Geographic about how Nature and evolution inspired the game) but also a Art of Spore book that had early concepts, development pics, and ads for even more books about Spore.

Non-video game examples

Anime and Manga

  • Sometimes even TV special editions have them - especially in anime releases, with one of the most common inclusions being an "art box" meant to house further volumes.
  • Some releases go really whole hog, though: just check out Bandai's English release of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya: cosplay items, single CDs, iron-ons, pillowcases with the three main girls on them...
  • The first part of the Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition of Gurren Lagann features a toy Core Drill with an LED light [dead link].
  • The German version of Ikki Tousen shipped its collector's edition box with a pair of girl's panties.
    • SHUFFLE! did this recently for one of its DVD boxes.
  • The special edition Naruto DVD sets come with feelies such as figurines, headbands, wristbands, and storyboard books.
  • The Complete Collection Ninja Nonsense box set came with a ninja headband and Onsokumaru squeeze toy.
  • The first edition of the Japanese Get Ride! Amdriver DVDs came with a collector card featuring the characters. Unfortunatedly, since the DVDs didn't sell that well and Konami apparently produced too large a first edition, this meant you could still buy first edition DVDs over a year after release for the normal price...
  • One DVD collection of .hack//Sign included a box containing three pins. one of Tsukasa, Mimiru, and a pink baby grunty.
  • The three-disk collector's edition of Professor Layton and The Eternal Diva came bundled with a book of the storyboards from the film.
  • The first printing of the FUNimation Hetalia Part 1 and 2 dvds came with a limited edition bandana. This kicked off Funi bringing back limited editions dvd for some of there shows. The Limited editions for the movie and world series have continued to come with bandanas. Also a Con excursive white one was a freelie for spending 50 dollars at their booth, though some did turn up at an Anime News Network Panel.
  • Really, Funimation is pretty good for feelies - Kodomo no Omocha (aka Kodocha )'s English release by Funimation came with a fold-out art box and a little wallet-type bag with the series' cute animal mascot...thing, on it, too.
  • ADV Films has been known to add some cool feelies from time to time though - in addition to most of their releases having a version of the first volume available with an art box, often they'll fill said box with extra goodies. Such as:
    • The release of Azumanga Daioh (anime, obviously, not the manga) had an art box with the first volume, but every volume in the series additionally came with a booklet (featuring character design art and translation/pop culture notes), a reversible cover for the DVD case, and one or more decorative pins, featuring everything from various characters to the cute animal mascots.
    • The release of Excel Saga tended to come with really... unusual feelies. Such as one volume coming with a "tapping sumo" game (and this was in addition to all the volumes already having on-disc features like Easter Egg -riddled menus, games, and "AD Vidnotes", which was basically Pop Up Video for anime).
    • And perhaps the weirdest and yet most "appropriate": Najica Blitz Tactics - a Fan Service -heavy spy series where a "panty shot drinking game" would have gotten you drunk by the halfway point of the first episode - came with an actual pair of Najica-branded panties. And a towel.
  • The English release of Witch Hunter Robin Vol. 1 had a version that not only came with a full art box to house the rest of the series (and an actually attractive one, at that), but also a soundtrack CD, a shot glass, and a pair of "art cels" - prints of character art on transparent plastic much like an animation cel. It was kind of cool, especially if you were already the kind of fan who collects cels to begin with.
  • Sometimes the feelies and other extras are cooler then the actual series; a prime example being the American release of the first volume of the otherwise rather forgettable Comic Party series, which came with an awesome art box - a white box covered in sketchy, pencil-drawing-like art, with a clear slipcover that had animation-cel-like full-color character art that matched up perfectly to some of the drawings. It also came with a guide booklet filled with pop-culture notes (helpful, since the series is about the underground world of Doujinshi and thus features tons of Japan-specific or doujin-community-specific references), as well as a mini-Pencil Board that was autographed (by one of the English dub's voice actors).


  • The Death of Superman came with black armbands with S-Shields printed on them for fans to wear.
  • Some of the trade paperback collections of popular comic strips included them.
  • An issue of Fantagraphics' anthology comic Critters included a flexidisk of a song from one of the stories...with a B-Side written and sung by Alan Moore!


  • When the film Zotz, based on the book by Walter Karig, was in theaters, patrons were given plastic versions of the amulets.
  • One version of the (VHS) movie The Indian in the Cupboard came with a plastic Indian figurine, a plastic key and a 'keyhole' molded into the side of the VHS case. In addition, the insert on the VHS case was reversible, with the cover art on one side and a wooden cupboard on the other.
  • DVDs used to come in big cardboard boxes twice the length of the actual case, in an attempt to convince people that there was more than just a disk being sold.
  • The VHS tapes of Free Willy 3 came with a whale necklace identical to the one in the movie. It's arguably the one thing kids at the time remember about the movie.
  • Some original VHS versions of Bad Taste came with barfing bags and some came with extra cradboard finger to make alien's Flipping the Bird on the cover into less offensive inverted V-sign gesture.
  • The theatrical release of The Last Mimzy had keychain versions of the titular character given to patrons on the first week of release.
  • And let's not forget the Transformers' DVD case, which transformed into a feeble Optimus Prime.

Live-Action TV

  • All the Mystery Science Theater 3000 sets released by Shout! Factory (Volume 13 onward) have come with 50s-style movie posters for the four episodes in the set. In addition, the 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Volume 13) came with a Crow figurine, Volume 16 a Tom Servo, and Volume 19, Gypsy.
  • The Mister Rogers' Neighborhood "Adventures in Friendship" DVD contains a red cardigan sweater cover with a zipper. Would this make it a McFeely?
  • One season of Heroes released on DVD came packaged with a model of a set of Samurai armor.


  • Some original copies of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album shipped with various thematic props such as cutout masks and badges designed by the Beatles themselves.
    • There were a few examples of LPs shipped with swag in the 70s and 80s when the record companies liked to throw a lot of money behind record releases. Stickers, posters and even iron-ons in the sleeve were common, such as Prince's album Controversy which contained a large poster of Prince showering in his underwear. Notably, the Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers in 1971 featured a cover photo taken by Andy Warhol of a man's crotch in blue jeans with a WORKING ZIPPER. The Public Image Ltd album Metal Box (1979) was originally shipped in a 16mm metal film cannister instead of a sleeve, and in 1980, The Durutti Column, borrowing an idea from PIL, released an album with a cover made of sandpaper meant to destroy the artwork of the albums on the shelf next to it.
    • Live at Leeds, by The Who, was in its vinyl release packaged with several replicas of documents from the group's early days, including a rejection letter from EMI and their contract from Woodstock. The replicas were convincing enough that a good many people, upon coming across them secondhand, were at first convinced they'd discovered the genuine article.
      • One of those contracts showed up on an episode of Pawn Stars and went for $200, but only because Rick (who did know what it was) didn't handle the sale.
  • Klaus Schulze's Timewind included an excerpt from the graphic score of "Wahnfried 1883", which can be seen here. Furthermore, the CD's of the Special Edition had a vinyl texture on top.

Western Animation

  • The VHS release of Quest for Camelot came with a necklace whose charm featured the two-headed dragon. Annoyingly, said necklace was under not the shrinkwrap on the new movie, but under the plastic of the clamshell cover—meaning that you either had to partly ruin the cover to get the blasted thing out, or you had a heck of a time lining it up neatly on your video shelf.
  • Similarly, a year later, the VHS release of the Animaniacs movie Wakko's Wish came with a rolling toy of Yakko, Wakko and Dot on snowboards stuck under the plastic.