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Steel Gunner (スティールガンナー, Sutīru Gannā) is a first-person shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1990; it runs on Namco System 2 hardware, and was the second game from the company to utilize lightguns (the first was Golly! Ghost!, which was released earlier in 1990 and it was also their fourth game to allow scores not ending in "0"). A sequel, Steel Gunner 2, was released in 1991 and the US version of it was also the second game from the company to feature the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Winners Don't Use Drugs" screen in the attract sequence (the first was Tank Force, which was released earlier in 1991) - and it would later go on to feature in five more US-released Namco titles.

Steel Gunner
Steel Gunner flyer.jpg
Arcade flyer
Designer(s)G. Iwasaki[1]
Composer(s)Y. Takayanagi
  • JP: December 1990
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)2 players can play simultaneously
Arcade systemNamco System 2
CPU2x Motorola 68000 @ 12.288 MHz,
1x Motorola M6809 @ 3.072 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63705 @ 2.048 MHz
Sound1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x C140 @ 21.39 kHz
DisplayHorizontal orientation, Raster, 288 x 224 resolution


In Steel Gunner, players must take controls for Garcia and Cliff, who are cops in the Neo Arc (which is a pun on Newark, New Jersey) police force; their mission is to stop a radical terrorist group, STURM (it is never explained what the letters stand for), as they have captured the well-known authority on physics, Dr. Ryan, and his assistant, Dr. Ellis, in order to create an abominable war machine. Like how Phelios created the illusion of allowing scores not ending in "0", this game creates the illusions of not having any scoring counters (like The Return of Ishtar and Yokai Dochuki) - but it has the text of "1UP", "HI-SCORE" and "2UP" on its title screen, which indicates that it does. The players can shoot absolutely anything on the screen, including all background objects and even innocent bystanders; however, if they should do the latter, it will cause them to lose energy. Both players are armed with two weapons - a machine gun with unlimited ammunition and a limited number of missiles (four at the start of the game, with another four being awarded at the end of each act). When launched, the missiles will damage or destroy everything on screen (including innocent bystanders); but if an innocent bystander crosses the screen unharmed, the players will regain a small amount of energy. The players will also regain energy at the end of each act, depending on how accurate their shooting was - and unlike in most other shooters, shooting at background objects does not count towards accuracy or add to the players' scores. Upon reaching the final battle with STURM's leader (named Gatse Bernard), players must try to destroy him without running out of energy, as the game will not let them continue if they run out at that point.