Fans loved the instruction manual that was included with physical copies of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth for Nintendo Switch. LOVED it. Not just because manuals are a rare treat these days, but also because it was a painstaking, loving homage to the booklet that came with the original Legend of Zelda game for the NES, one of the games that inspired the Isaac series. 
Most people didn't notice, but some elements of the original physical version of Cave Story® for Nintendo Switch were also inspired by classic bits of video-game ephemera. In this case, the influences are not as obvious as Isaac's nod to Zelda. But when they are pointed out to you, like we're about to do right now, the roots definitely show.
The Cave Story manual was originally intended to mirror the layout of the manual for another legendary NES game, Metroid. However, as work progressed, it was decided that the Metroid layout wasn't as appropriate for Cave Story as Zelda had been for Isaac.
If you compare the two booklets, though, you can see that the Cave Story manual still has plenty of Metroid DNA in it! Some pages were completed before the "homage" idea was dropped, and they still bear a close resemblance to specific pages in the Metroid manual.
Over the years, a lot of fans have asked questions about the mock "advertisement" that appears on the inner cover sheet of first-print physical copies of Cave Story for Nintendo Switch. Take a look at the image below:
It's not meant to be a reversible cover, as some people claim. The layout is actually a subtle tribute to a little-known Japanese advertisement for Daimakaimura (a.k.a. Ghouls 'N Ghosts) on the SuperGrafx game console. The original ad has artwork by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the well-known manga artist, anime director and Mobile Suit Gundam character designer. Check it out:
Naturally, we can't talk about the Cave Story  cover insert without reminding you that 25 copies were autographed by the game's creator, Daisuke Amaya (a.k.a. Pixel) with a silver Sharpie pen. Nearly six years have passed since those autographed copies were randomly distributed in the game's first print run, and to this date, we know of only one that has been found! If you have a signed copy, please reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know.