Super Scope

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The Nintendo Scope.

The Super Scope, or Nintendo Scope in Europe and Australia,[1][2] is the official Super Nintendo light gun. The successor to the NES Zapper, the Super Scope was released in the European and North American markets, with a limited release in Japan due to a lack of consumer demand. It is a wireless gun and uses an infrared receiver which plugs into the right port of the console, comparable to the Menacer for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It has two action buttons, a pause button, a power switch and is powered by six AA batteries.[3]

Design[edit]

The gun body is a bazooka-shaped device, just under 2 feet long. Located about midway on top of the barrel are two buttons, the orange "Fire" button and the grey "Pause" button, and a switch used to turn the Super Scope off or select regular or turbo mode. In the middle on either side are two clips for attaching the sight. On the far end of the gun, on the bottom, is a six inch grip with another button labeled "Cursor".

On the end is the infrared transmitter the lens, approximately 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter, which picks up the light from a TV. The sight mount is shaped like a wide, very shallow "U", about five inches long. The end that faces toward the shoulder mount end of the Super Scope has a round open cylinder holder, where the eyepiece goes. The other end has a short, narrow tube, which forms the sight when one looks through the eyepiece that is in-line across from it. The end of the eyepiece is very simple: it is a cylinder with the diameter of a quarter, with a removable rubber piece through which the shooter looks. The sight is designed so that the aim will be correct at a distance of 3 metres (10 ft). The sensor is a small box, 2½" by 2½" by 1", with a standard SNES controller cord attached. On the front is an oval-shaped black area, receding back from the two sides to a red sensor about the size of a dime.

All of the Super Scope games made by Nintendo have a soft-reset to the game's main title. This is accomplished by pausing the game, then, while holding CURSOR, the FIRE button must be pressed twice.

Hit detection[edit]

The Super Scope makes use of the scanning process used in cathode ray tube monitors, as CRTs were the only affordable TV monitors until the late 1990s. In short, the screen is drawn by a scanning electron beam that travels horizontally across each line of the screen from top to bottom. A fast photodiode will see any particular area of the screen illuminated only briefly as that point is scanned, while the human eye will see a consistent image due to persistence of vision.

The Super Scope takes advantage of this in a fairly simple manner: it simply outputs a '0' signal when it sees the television raster scan and a '1' signal when it does not. Inside the console this signal is delivered to the PPU, which notes which screen pixel it is outputting at the moment the signal transitions from 1 to 0. At the end of the frame, the game software can retrieve this stored position to determine where on the screen the gun was aimed. Most licensed Super Scope games include a calibration mode to account for both electrical delays and maladjustment of the gunsight.[4]

The Super Scope ignores red light, as do many guns of this type, because red phosphors have a much slower rate of decay than green or blue phosphors.[4] Since the Super Scope depends on the short persistence and scan pattern of CRT pixels, it will not function with modern displays (such as plasma screens or LCDs) that continuously light each pixel.

Compatible games[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

A Super Scope was painted black and grey and used as a prop in the Super Mario Bros film. Called the "Devo gun", it is seen being used by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) in the film's climax.

The Super Scope shows up as an item in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Characters hold it like a bazooka or rifle and fire energy projectiles at opponents either in a continuous rapid fire salvo or in a large "charged" singular shot. However, it has limited ammunition, and can be thrown at opponents as an alternate means of combat. It also appears as a trophy in all 3 games.

In 1993, in a Congressional hearing on violence in video games, Senator Joe Lieberman said that he thought the Super Scope looked like an Assault Weapon. [5][6]

See also[edit]

  • BatterUP – The baseball bat controller for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

References[edit]

  1. ^ French page that states "Nintendo Scope" as name
  2. ^ an image of the boxart retrieved by an Australian page, which states "Nintendo Scope" and "Pal Version"
  3. ^ "Super Scope". Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  4. ^ a b Nintendo (1995). Super Nintendo Entertainment System Development Manual. 
  5. ^ http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/52848-1
  6. ^ http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/01/18/a-brief-history-of-dumb-censorship

External links[edit]

Media related to Super Scope at Wikimedia Commons