Strategy guides, then. Some were official. Some were... less official. Unauthorized, even, free to explore a game's mysteries without the nagging presence of the developers hanging over them. Of course, being unofficial meant these guides couldn't use official artwork for their covers. They had to produce their own alternate, non-copyright-infringing cover art. Can you see where I'm going with this? That's right, here are some unofficial strategy guide covers and boy howdy are they a mess.
Would you like to see the first disc of Final Fantasy VII recreated in LittleBigPlanet 2? It's terribly cute. More info here.