Brian Riggsbee is the author of The Complete History of Rygar, Video Game Maps: NES & Famicom, and Pixel Art: Metroid. As a former game developer he contributed to games such as Medal of Honor, Gods & Heroes, and numerous Disney games that continue to haunt his nightmares. When he isn't writing he can be found watching basketball, playing retro games, and eating massive quantities of pasta. Brian works at Slack and lives in San Francisco with his wife and boy.

Video Game Maps NES and Famicom by Brian Riggsbee

Do you have what it takes to navigate through the Lost Woods? Are you brave enough to battle the evil that awaits you in Dracula's castle? What mysteries will you discover on the road to rescue Super Joe? Only you can chart the path to victory!

Video Game Maps: NES & Famicom features maps from over 250 games. It's a celebration of NES and Famicom maps as seen in magazines, manuals, posters, ads, guides, and more.

• More than 250 NES & Famicom games
• Maps from popular magazines of the era, guide books, posters, advertisements, instruction manuals, and in-game maps
• Fan created maps from 13 artists
• Articles by cartographers Justin Andrew Mason and Ross Thorn
• Foreword by Konstantinos Dimopoulos, author of the Virtual Cities atlas


In the earliest days of video and computer gaming, we had no maps! We had to beg Mom and Dad to let us use our graph paper and No. 2 pencils to chart paths through dungeons instead of charts and tables for homework! Then came the NES and, along with it, some of gaming's most artistic and memorable maps. Brian Riggsbee's stylized book is a monument to the days of 8-bit pathways we walked in our childhoods, and knew better than we knew our own neighborhoods. -David L. Craddock, curator



  • "Getting lost in a book full of maps sounds ironic, but with each page, there is a recollection of an NES memory or the intrigue or curiosity that makes one say, "that looks neat - how have I never played that before?" Whether you have embarked on these journeys or will consider doing so, or enjoy the tease of these lands rife with mystery and danger and heroic antics, artfully preserved here, I expect you will treasure this tome as I do."

    – Jonathan Leung Founder of




I've always been drawn to maps. There's an allure to them. The promise of mystery and discovery. The rich details that allow your eyes to wander. They have the ability to transform a narrative into something much deeper.

I miss the days of leafing through a Nintendo Power and landing on a map that would unblock my progress in games like Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Shadowgate. A time when instant gratification wasn't a click away. I miss the days of swapping secrets with friends in the school yard. And the imaginative rumors kids would invent.

I long for the days of unwrapping artfully packaged, physical games that contain prizes such as cloth maps, steeped in myth and lore. And the joy of hand-drawing maps while lying prone on the living room carpet.

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a nostalgic person. And if you're reading this book then you are as well. Or perhaps just curious. Or both.

For this book I had to decide on what would constitute a map, and what would not make the cut. The obvious inclusions are those massive maps that are seen in beautiful fold-out posters, included with some games, magazines, and guidebooks. Also included are those more detailed maps occasionally seen in game manuals and the in-game maps that would show a character's advancement as they moved from level to level.

What is rarely included in this book are level layouts. Those that I opted to include tend to be hand-drawn representations of levels. Whereas I excluded many of those that are simply a collage of in-game images spliced together to form a pathway. Classifying these as maps is a fair designation, and one that I tend to agree with. However, I wanted the focus to be more on the purity of maps and less about level design.

Titles often differed between Japanese and English language releases. For this book I primarily listed the games with their English name, for the sake of simplicity. I decided to break course from this format when it came to Dragon Warrior versus Dragon Quest as the latter Japanese title has since become the common naming across languages.

Lastly, I want to express my appreciation to you for purchasing this book. It brings me immense joy to know there are others out there that share my deep appreciation for both the era in gaming and mapping.


Brian Riggsbee