86 Bandai WonderSwan/WonderSwan Color Manuals Scanned

Want to skip the article and just see the scans? Click here.

On March 4th, 1999 Bandai launched a handheld called WonderSwan to take on Nintendo’s Game Boy which had dominated the market for years. The WonderSwan had been developed in a partnership between the late Gunpei Yokoi‘s company Koto Laboratory and Bandai. What makes this interesting is the fact that Yokoi was taking on his own creation. He worked at Nintendo for decades and was heavily involved in the development of the original Game Boy. He had stepped down from Nintendo in 1996, then founded Koto Laboratory and took his handheld experience with him to Bandai and lead development for the WonderSwan. Sadly Yokoi passed away before he could ever see the finished product on October 4th, 1997 after being struck by two cars after getting out to inspect the damage of a wreck he was involved in. While the WonderSwan never truly became a threat to the Game Boy, it did well considering the absolute stranglehold on the market that Nintendo had, and actually took a small share of the market from Nintendo until the Game Boy Advance was released in 2001.

A year after its initial release, Bandai took the original design of the WonderSwan and improved on it in 2000 by releasing a color version, called, you guessed it, WonderSwan Color. In 2002 they improved it even further and released the SwanCrystal with an improved screen, but by this point Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance had begun to take complete control of the handheld market and the WonderSwan died out not long after.

The total amount of games for the WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color reached to over 200 combined. A large majority were created by Bandai based on their anime properties. There were however quite a few games by third party publishers, including some famous ones such as Namco, SquareSoft, Capcom, and Sunsoft.  For a good overview of some of the more interesting ones check out Kelsey Lewin‘s video below. She’s one of the biggest WonderSwan collectors out there and arguably knows more about the system and its library than almost anyone out there.

With all that said, we’re thrilled to bring more exposure and some much needed high resolution scans for this system, and have them safely preserved on Gaming Alexandria and the Internet Archive for all to enjoy. A huge thanks goes out to bomberman for basically giving the manuals to us which allowed us to get them acquired  and scanned. Please check out the 86 manuals(!) on our WonderSwan scans page by clicking here.

About Dustin Hubbard

Founder and owner of Gaming Alexandria. Obsessed with high quality scans of games for all systems as well as preserving games before they are lost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *