(Photo: CRPG Book Project)

For the last several years, gaming enthusiast Felipe Pepe has been recruiting journalists, modders, and fans for a free, crowd-sourced ebook about the history of Computer Role-Playing Games (CRPGs). That’s a complete history, not just another rundown of the best-known hits of the genre, which means scaling back to the ’70s and ’80s, when taking screenshots of games couldn’t be done with the press of a button. Furthermore, most of the existing online images of these games (and even more modern ones), were designed for marketing purposes and don’t offer a sense of what the games looked like in action.

So roughly three years ago, Pepe started taking his own screenshots, trying to “capture the essence of each game” by highlighting inventory screens, battle systems, and memorable scenes. He also saved every image as a non-watermarked, high-quality .png file, not just for his own use, but for anyone else who wants to use them for research or just nostalgic purposes.

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After joining forces with fellow gamer CRPG Addict, Pepe has amassed an album of more than 16,000 images culled from 400 different RPGs. Check out a few below, then kill one, two, or 36 hours browsing the full album.

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[via Gamasutra]