The Wild Gunman wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 01/23/14 04:57PM View full history

Early arcade game

The original version of Wild Gunman was one of Nintendo's early electronic arcade games created by Gunpei Yokoi and released in 1974. Like Sega's 1969 arcade game Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman was a first-person light-gun shooter, yet was not a true video game, but rather an electro-mechanical arcade game that used rear image projection on the screen. This gave it the appearance of a video game, but it was more sophisticated than what was possible in video games at the time, incorporating full-motion video as well as voice acting for the first time in the arcades and anticipating the cinematic laserdisc games of the 1980s.

The game consisted of a light gun connected to a 16mm film projection screen. Full-motion video footage of a Wild West gunslinger was projected onto the screen and when his eyes flashed, the player needed to draw and shoot, much like a quick time event. If the player was fast enough, the projection would change to that of the shot gunman falling down, otherwise it would show the gunman drawing and firing his gun. If the player won, then they would face off against several more gunslinger opponents.

The second version of the game had a plastic gunman figure mounted on top of a plastic battery box called Custom Gunman, which later became one of the microgames in the Game Boy Advance title, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

Later video game

An updated video game version of the game, replacing photographic images and live-action video footage with cartoon-style video game sprites, was released for Family Computer in 1984 and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. This version is by far more widely known than its 1974 ancestor.

In this version the player also waited for the opponent's eyes to flash (accompanied by a speech bubble reading "FIRE!!") before shooting. This was the first NES game that used voice synthesis. It also featured a shooting gallery where opponents had to be shot from the windows of a saloon. A piece of Chopin's "Funeral March" indicates the player's defeat.

Fun facts

  • This game makes an appearance as a microgame in Warioware Inc.: Mega Microgames$!
  • The game is featured in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II as an arcade cabinet. The game was never actually released in arcades and a specialized Wild Gunman arcade cabinet was made just for the movie. There was however, an earlier version that was released in arcades.

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