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|Developer(s)||Tim and Chris Stamper|
|Publisher(s)||Ultimate Play The Game|
|Genre(s)||Arcade adventure; Maze|
Gunfright is a ZX Spectrum video game developed by Ultimate Play The Game for U.S. Gold in 1986. The game makes use of the same scrolling isometric projection engine used previously in Nightshade. The player takes the role of sheriff in the town of Black Rock. Some outlaws are headed into town and Sheriff Quickdraw needs to take them down. Gunfright was released on the ZX Spectrum at the same time as another wild west-themed title, Outlaws, for the Commodore 64.
Typically for an Ultimate release, players are given a tantalising and humorous introduction :
- "The Governor Of Black Rock
- How'de Pardners!
- NOW Y'ALL LISTEN UP.
- Seems we got ourselves a new Sheriff in town, reckons he gonna clear the town of the meanest and fastest Gun Totin' Bunch of Rootin' Tootin' Gun Slingers which ever did hit the Wild West, goes by the name of Sheriff Quickdraw.
- Yes Siree.
- - Meanwhile in the Sheriff's Office -
- .WHOLE LODA BADDIES A WHOOPIN' AND A WAILIN'..
- ..........HEADING STRAIGHT FER TOWN...........
- ......LOCK UP YER HOUSES......................
- ............BAR UP YER SHOPS..................
- ........AND WAIT FOR THE SHERIFF TO CLEAR.....
- ..................OUT THE MOBS.........END....
- Sheriff Quickdraw springs into action and, within the blink of an eye, is away on his trusty steed Panto.
- "Wha, eye jus' git on ma Horsey, rustle up thim that Bunch of no good trouble Roosters and raad thim straight out a' Town, No Messin'. Acomin' in here, a wailin', a hollerin', a yellin', a robbin' and a shooting' aller these here fine friendly Town Kinsfolk. Ah gotta git some er that nee-or-mality restored to this here lil' ole Town. An' ah bes' get ready beefer thim Gunslingers arrive, an ain't nobody gonna stand in ma way, Nooo Sir. Ahh just gonna git ma somma that amm-une-nee-shon an a'hm ready for thim baddies, as soon as they've hit town. Wha eye might even make ma sell rich with all thim bag fat rewards on offer."
- Dang-Nabbit, go git thim villans, Sheriff Quickdraw."
Taking on the role of Sheriff Quickdraw, players must track down and kill a band of outlaws who have arrived at, and are terrorising, the town of Black Rock. The game begins with a short targeting sub-game, in which vertically scrolling bags of money can be shot at using crosshairs. This supplies the player with an initial sum of cash to buy ammunition.
After this stage, the action mostly takes place within a scrolling 3D environment, similar to that used in the earlier Ultimate release, Nightshade. Streets and buildings are rendered isometrically, with walls disappearing to outlines when the player enters a building or walks behind a wall (see images below).
In this stage, the sheriff must locate the wanted outlaws one by one. Once an outlaw has been found and shot (shooting the outlaw does not kill him, but only initiates a duel), the action again shifts to the targeting sub-game. This time, the player must try to shoot the rapidly moving outlaw as quickly as possible. The player can either wait for the outlaw to draw first, which is advisable in the early stages, since he stops moving to do so and draws his gun slowly; or the player can take the initiative and shoot first, which makes the bandit draw as well. This latter strategy is necessary in the later stages, since each outlaw is faster than the last. If the player successfully shoots an outlaw, a bounty is paid (increasing with every round), and a new outlaw enters the play environment.
During gameplay, players often encounter helpful townsfolk who will point the way to outlaws. They need to be protected, and the player has to pay a fine if any are shot by either bandits or the player themselves (the latter is sometimes necessary to avoid losing a life). Some outlaws are mounted on horseback and the player may have to saddle up to pursue them. In a characteristically humorous touch, players do this by using a pantomime horse.
The levels are marked by each outlaw to be found, shot and defeated on a duel.
Some of them are named after real-life bandits.
- Buffalo Bill
- Billy the Kid
- Sundance Kid
- Jesse James
- Butch Cassidy
- Ma Barker
- Wild Bill
- Rumpo Kid (a reference to the movie Carry On Cowboy)
- Clever Jake
- Milkie bar Kid (a reference to the Milkybar Kid)
- Klondike Pete
- Bronco Colorado
- Wayko Kid (a reference to The Waco Kid, Gene Wilder's gunslinger character in the movie Blazing Saddles)
- Lone Ranger
- QD McGraw
- Gun slingers
- Hill Billys
Once reaching level 20, the game loops on the last four characters (Mexicans, Gun slingers, Bandits or Hill Billys).
- "Looking For An Old Angle". Crash Magazine, Issue 51. Newsfield. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
- "Gunfright", C+VG (Future Publishing) (52), February 1986: 18
- "Gunfright Review", CRASH (Newsfield Publications) (29), June 1986: 134
- "Gunfright Review", Your Sinclair (Dennis Publishing) (8,), August 1986: 34
- "Gunfright Review", Sinclair User (EMAP) (52), July 1986: 43