Yeah those "A4 manuals" can be really expensive. I think it's a Scandinavian-exclusive thing. Towards the end of the NES era, it became too expensive to print and manufacture games exclusively for the Scandinavian region. So the local distributer here, Bergsala AB, imported copies from other European countries such as Spain, and then put a sticker on the back of the box with Swedish etc text to cover the Spanish text and included an A4 manual instead of a proper manual. I know the A4 manual for the very late prints of Zelda 1 can fetch around 2000 SEK or more. That's about $300.
Originally Posted by bjork
Wait, someone fill me in here: the box says "cannot be used with the Mattel or NES versions of the Nintendo Entertainment System."
What was the console, then?
As the others said, Mattel distributed the NES in the UK among some other countries. But Europe was kinda weird when it comes to the NES because there were actually two regions. The so called PAL-A and PAL-B regions. PAL-A is the Mattel-distributed versions while PAL-B was the others. In Scandinavia we have a local importer/distributer of Nintendo products to this day called Bergsala AB, who were part of the PAL-B side. Other countries probably had their own importers. The PAL-B region was actually even further divided into smaller regions. Games from Scaninavia tend to have the region code EEC or SCN, while Spanish copies of games have the ESP region code and France and Germany had a couple of different region codes including FRA and DAS. All of these smaller regions were compatible with one another, so one could buy a German game and play on a Swedish NES etc. But PAL-A and PAL-B were NOT compatible with one another unless you do the region mod on the NES. It's pretty confusing.
The game in this auction is a PAL-B game, as can be seen by the "B" in the lower right corner on the box. PAL-A games have an A there.
Oh and as you can probably imagine, because of this, collectors in Europe often like to collect specific regions. There were around 210 games released in the SCN region for example and there are many Scandinavian collectors whose goal it is to collect all of those and don't really care about the other regions. So in Scandinavia, games that are marked SCN will usually fetch a higher price than those that are marked something else.