Phineas just couldn’t get enough of his new book. When Candace finally left the house with Jeremy that afternoon, Phineas had jumped into his game manual right after dinner. Even now, nicely tucked into his bed, he couldn’t place the book down. He had already memorized every piece of content written inside the manual, and yet he couldn’t get enough of it. The clock at his bedside said it was somewhere past 11pm, but Phineas had stopped paying attention to it a while ago. Aided by his flashlight, he marvelled once again at all the intricate details that were put into a simple game manual.
The young boy was reading the passage about the Viridian Forest for perhaps the eleventh time now, deeply captivated by all the side-quests and monsters that players could encounter in that particular place. A few in-game screenshots were displayed on the first page while the next showed a close-up of the outskirts of the forest’s lake. Two major side-quests were available there, and the manual gave every detail needed to accomplish the tasks efficiently. There was even a small section with random trivia about the area – like the fact that the term “viridian” means “green”. Each section was cleverly separated by text boxes designed as open scrolls and each page had decorations printed at the top and bottom. Even the writing had been printed to look like ink on parchment.
But the icing on the cake was the bookmark included within the manual. It was no regular plastic bookmark, but rather a long and thin piece of red fabric that Phineas had seen before in thick volumes. He was grateful for the idea since he often couldn’t keep the book open for later reference without it closing up by itself. Nothing was more frustrating than having to pause the game and search through all the pages again to find the exact place you had left off.
Phineas adjusted his flashlight to see the details on the pages better, but accidentally directed the light beam towards his brother’s bed. Ferb, sleeping on his side, grumbled softly when the light hit his face. He didn’t wake, however, and simply turned over noisily.
Phineas remained silent a moment, staring at Ferb’s back. Once he was sure his stepbrother was soundly asleep, he sighed and returned to his book. He quickly flipped through the rest of the pages until he reached the very end. He then turned the manual over and took a look at the spine. His copy number – 375 – was written in bold golden letters near the top. At the bottom, another decoration in the same radiant color was printed. The title of the game was also written down in gold.
But the part Phineas liked most about his manual was the front. He turned the book around and softly slid his fingers over the cover. It was rough to the touch, obviously made of some sort of fake leather fabric. The four corners were decorated to mimic iron-bound books of olden times, and golden waves that glistened under the flashlight danced around the edges of the manual. The five main classes of the game – the knight, the ranger, the archer, the rope maker and the mage – were represented by the shadow of each class’ signature weapon: a sword, an axe, a bow, a string of rope, and a wand. The name of each class was also written in embossed golden letters underneath each shadow. They were placed in a manner that, if connected, would form a star in the very center of the book. But that place was already taken by a pristine pink flat stone. Like the many other details of the book, the stone slightly raised out of the cover. It wasn’t actually a real stone, but the details put into it made it quite accurate. The tittle of the game was etched under the jewel in graceful golden letters that Phineas had read a million times over and was still reading again and again:
It didn’t take a genius to realize what the stone was. Phineas knew that the plastic jewel represented the Seer Stone, the most important element for the seer. He had learned all about it in the manual. The developers had really gotten into the game and had provided numerous facts about the whole world of Cantoria, which Phineas enjoyed to read again and again. With all the details that had gone into this book, and not to mention its extremely limited release, no wonder it had been so expensive. But for Phineas, it was all worth it.
The redhead was gently driven out of his admiration and wonder when Ferb began snoring. Finally sensing his body's fatigue, Phineas yawned and decided it was time to get some sleep. He laid the heavy book down on the floor at the side of his bed and shut off his flashlight before putting it away.
With weary eyes, he scanned the edge of his bed and suddenly wondered,
Hey, where’s Perry?As if on cue, the platypus came silently through the door, having returned from yet another late mission. He closed the door behind him and cocked an eyebrow when he noticed Phineas was still awake. On any normal occasion, Perry would have scolded the 16 year-old for being up so late. But this time, he was much too tired to care.
Phineas smiled as the platypus headed for his bed. “Oh, there you are Perry,” he whispered. He patted the empty space beside him. “Ready to catch some Zs?” he asked with another yawn.
If he could talk, Perry certainly would have answered with a “Yes, yes I am.”
But instead, the platypus merely smiled and nodded lazily, looking quite exhausted himself. He climbed up the bed, walked over to the empty space Phineas had motioned to him, and trampled on the mattress a few times before flopping down on his stomach. He hadn’t laid down for more than a second that he was already snoring peacefully.
Phineas softly stroked Perry’s back before setting his head down on his pillow. And just like his pet platypus, it didn’t take long for him to fall asleep. He was swept gently into slumber, into dreams of an entirely new world, of Cantoria, and all of its mysterious wonders.
My entry for KicsterAsh
's The Seer
game manual design contest held between April 30th and May 27th 2011. On June 20th, my entry was awarded first place. Thank you everyone!
I had a lot of fun with this, especially since I'm a big fan of video games. I tried to stick to a simple design with a few "special effects" here and there to make the book more attractive. I based my creation mostly on special/collector's edition types of manuals since its content, restricted release and high price point to something more than just a regular old guide book. I really wanted to show how valuable the book was by showing all the details inside, so of course I went a bit over the top and designed more than just the cover. I hope you guys like it anyway.
The little story I wrote is merely a more detailed description of the manual through the eyes of Phineas. I'm a bit embarrassed since I'm not a great writer, but I guess I can always take it off later on.
Anyway, The Seer
is really a fantastic story, and all of you Phineas and Ferb fans should read it. It may throw some off since it's different from the actual show, but that's what makes it so interesting. You can read the first book
and the rest of the story over at the fan group: PnF-The-Seer
Book Cover Contest organized by The Seer
fanfiction available at Phineas & Ferb ©
Disney/Dan Povenmire & Jeff "Swampy" Marsh