Original Post

I recently got a french VB manual from Canada on ebay, the right one on the attached image. It’s not here yet, so I could not have a look at it and scan it in, but I was wondering if anyone knows the story behind this manual? Did it come with Virtual Boys sold in Canada? Or could it be ordered from Nintento of Canada?

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If I had to guess, I’d say that the Canadian importer made an unofficial French manual and inserted it in the vboys sold in Canada. In Spain, something similar happened with Top Gear 2 for the SNES: it was the British version, imported by a company which made a B/W manual and inserted it into the game prior to distributing it in the country. In fact, the back of the box had a sticker with Spanish text just on top of the English text.

As you can see in the pic, there’s no country code in the B/W manual (in the colour manual you see something like VUE USA or something like that).

I don’t know for certain, but I do know that games/systems released in Canada these days ALWAYS include either separate instructions in French, or the manual has an English half, and a French half. I actually think it’s the law since Canada is considered a bilingual country (silly law really since almost no one speaks French outside of the province of Quebec)…

the virtual boy was released officially in canada, right? there’s even a commercial in french:

so it looks like nintendo of canada made this b&w manual and included it in vb systems sold in canada, which would mean that it is an official one. well, i am looking forward to getting it to have a closer look at it and its quality.

Yes it was… But since the original price was so high, I never bothered to get one when it first came out.

what was the original price of the vb in canada? was it the same as in the usa?

the manual arrived today, by the way. it is the complete manual, same as us but in french and in black and white, but no cheap photocopy, also, on the back it says “Nintendo of Canada” where it says “Nintendo of America” in the US manual. Scans soon. 🙂

The prices in Canada and the US for systems and game typically follow the exchange rate though with a small premium added(I’d say it probably cost about 30-40$ more even after exchange). That’s not to talk about taxes(at the time, the VB would have been taxed an additional 15%).

As for the French manual, Canadian language laws forced publishers to include French manuals in all games and systems at least for sale within Quebec and New Brunswick. Due to a lawsuit enacted by Quebec(I forgot if it was a private entity, a public group or a gov’t action), this became very much enforced. Mostly, companies just throw in the French version with all copies to make things easier.

I’m not sure whether the VB was released prior or after the legal action(it would have cut it close since I believe it was the lack of manual in PSX games that triggered the action). If it was after, then the manual was sold with all VBs. If before, then it would only have been included in Quebec or NB if legit.

If it means anything, the precautions booklet that came with Mario Clash that was bought in Canada(and not in Quebec or NB) has a french side, though it’s in the same book.

cool, thanks for the clarifcation, realyst!

can you tell us more about that french side in the mario clash manual? my canadian vb manual also came with a mario clash booklet, but it seems to be the same as a us manual.

Alas, the manual’s the same. It was the precautions booklet that had French. But I just noticed it has Spanish too…so it’s likely the same as the US one:(

Sorry for getting your hopes up(should have dug it out before commenting).

The sad thing is I can’t even say that there wouldn’t have been a French manual. I got the cart second hand and most anyone outside Quebec and New Brunswick’s Dieppe area would have just thrown the French side out.

Though if I were to guess, I’d say that there probably wouldn’t have been any French manual outside of Quebec since the game manual equality thing would have been in its early infancy at the time(early to mid PSX era was when it just started). I’ll ask around to see if anyone around here remembers anything to that effect. A guy runs a retro console store nearby who I know for a fact has come across a few VBs. He may know.

Cool! I am looking forward to what you can find out.

The precaution manual is the same as the US one, btw.

Here’s what I found out:

This guy remembers starting his store around the time the lawsuit was threatened against Sony(and maybe Microsoft). Nintendo wasn’t actually named but followed suite voluntarily anyways to avoid the wrath of the angry French parents.

The Virtual boy had already risen and fallen at that time. So it doesn’t appear the VB games ever had standard French manuals. Some may have, but it wouldn’t have been standardized. This guy doesn’t remember ever seeing one himself.

As an aside, my boxed copy of Star Tropics for NES has a French side on the instruction manual. So that’s why I’m leaving open the possibility that maybe some of the few titles had French instructions, it’s just not likely.


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