We are spoiled for choice with great retro game books these days, but these often fall into two groups. On the one hand, you have extensive catalogs, usually broken down by console or publisher. On the other hand, everything that has to do with a large franchise. Every now and then you stumble upon something so narrow and dark that there is no financial reason for it – just a writer who loves a subject so much he can’t help it.
That is The Legend of Argus: The Complete Story of Rygar, a 154-page deep insight into the classic Shield-Swinging Platformer series from Tecmo. The book recently came out in a new expanded edition with a poster, trading card, and stickers – and a deluxe version of the expanded edition that adds a wax pack of trading cards.
Something like that could be expected from a book about Mario or Samus, but not so much from a book about a half-forgotten shirtless hero who, as the foreword author Kurt Kalata calls it, wears “a gigantic yo-yo with spikes”. And it’s awesome.
In the book, you’ll find an overview of Rygar’s story, press clippings, port breakdowns, interviews, fan art, grades, puzzles, and excerpts on topics such as action figures and marketing. It’s all bite-sized, with dozens of small sections instead of a lengthy narrative – which matches the layout that looks like an old game magazine and the small paperback size.
The legend of Argus is now available on author Brian Riggsbee’s website.