There are video games that break the fourth wall and talk directly to the gamer. The best example was always the TV show "Hugo" where you control the character with your telephone. He would comment on the gamer's skill and even knock on the screen.

Are there examples where game characters mock players by telling them to read the manual?

2 Answers 2


Examples can be found on the "Read the Freaking Manual" trope page of TV Tropes. This trope refers to not reading the manual, rather than being specifically told to.

Examples include:

  • Hotel Mario, where Mario and Luigi tell you to "check the enclosed instruction book".
  • Mass Effect, where one of two characters will comment "Always a good idea to RTFM, ma'am".
  • F.E.A.R., where an NPC has a belt buckle that reads "RTFM".
  • Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors, where Penn tells the player to 'read the manual, carefully'.
  • Zoda's Revenge, where you are asked if you remember the events from the previous game; answering no, you are told "well maybe you should read the instructions".
  • The second and third examples don't necessarily break the fourth wall, though.
    – Joachim
    Jun 5, 2021 at 9:27
  • 1
    thanks, exactly what I was looking for!
    – keanni
    Jun 8, 2021 at 8:06

This site may help you find what you're looking for. Examples are:

"One classic wall-breaking moment in Metal Gear Solid is the advice to contact Meryl by codec by looking up her codec frequency on the back of a disc case, a reference to the game's disc case.

  • Can't get Meryl's frequency because you threw away the jewel case or lost it? No problem! Contact Colonel enough times and he will give it to you! But, of course, you have to check the Frequency List for it.
  • A similar moment appeared in its earlier prequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, where Snake is told to look up a radio frequency on a package, a reference to the game's package."

"In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, Murfy straight-out takes out a copy of the game's manual and uses it to explain to Rayman what's going on."

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