Wild Gunman

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Wild Gunman
Wild Gunman Coverart.png
Package of Nintendo Entertainment System version
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Producer(s) Hiroshi Imanishi
Composer(s) Hirokazu Tanaka
Platform(s) Arcade, NES, PlayChoice-10
Release date(s) NES
  • JP: February 18, 1984
  • US: October 18, 1985
  • CAN: February 3, 1986
  • EU: February 15, 1988
Wii U Virtual Console
  • EU: October 22, 2015[1]
  • NA: January 7, 2016
Genre(s) Light gun game
Mode(s) Single-player

Wild Gunman (ワイルドガンマン Wairudo Ganman?) is a light gun shooter game created by Nintendo. Originally created for arcades in 1974 by Gunpei Yokoi, the game was updated and released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, being among the few games making use of the NES Zapper peripheral.

Original version[edit]

The original version of Wild Gunman was one of Nintendo's electro-mechanical arcade games created by Gunpei Yokoi and released in 1974. It consisted of a light gun connected to a 16 mm 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. 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.[2]

The second version 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 Microgames!

Home console version[edit]

Screenshot showing typical gameplay of Wild Gunman for the NES

An updated video game version of the game, replacing photographic images with cartoon-style video game sprites, was released for Famicom in 1984 and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.

In the NES version, the player also waited for the opponent's eyes to flash (accompanied by a speech bubble reading "FIRE!!") before shooting. It also featured a shooting gallery where opponents had to be shot from the windows of a saloon. A piece of Frédéric Chopin's "Funeral march" indicates the player's defeat.

Although Wild Gunman was also available on the PlayChoice-10 arcade system, the movie Back to the Future Part II features an unreleased Nintendo VS. System version. The Famicom version for use with the Zapper peripheral was released in Japan the same year, and in the United States on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. The Famicom version was also available packaged with a plastic, western-style revolver accessory (modelled after the Colt Single Action Army) that could be used instead of the Zapper.

In media[edit]

Experimental filmmaker Craig Baldwin's 1978 short Wild Gunman features footage from the original 1974 video game re-edited, sped up and slowed down to surreal effect.[3] The game also appeared as an arcade machine in a scene in Back to the Future Part II. On October 21, 2015, or "Back to the Future Day," Nintendo re-released the game on the Wii U Virtual Console in honor of its appearance in the film.[4]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there is a collectible sticker for the Wild Gunman and for its successor, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the character, Duck Hunt, can summon any of gunmen as one of their attacks. The characters' Final Smash also causes opponents to get caught in the middle of a shootout between the gunmen and the enemy characters from Hogan's Alley.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kohler, Chris (October 21, 2015). "Nintendo Re-Releases Marty McFly's Favorite Game This Week". Wired. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Wild Gunman (1974) at the Killer List of Videogames
  3. ^ "Craig Baldwin". Hi-beam.net. Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  4. ^ Kohler, Chris (October 21, 2015). "Nintendo Re-Releases Marty McFly's Favorite Game This Week". Wired. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 

External links[edit]