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Wild Gunman[a] is a light gun shooter game created by Nintendo. Originally created as an electro-mechanical arcade game in 1974 by Gunpei Yokoi, it was adapted to a video game format and released in 1985 as a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is one of the few games making use of the NES Zapper peripheral.

Wild Gunman
Wild Gunman Coverart.png
Package of Nintendo Entertainment System version
Intelligent Systems
Producer(s)Hiroshi Imanishi, Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s)Hirokazu Tanaka
  • JP: February 18, 1984
  • US: October 18, 1985
  • CAN: February 3, 1986
  • EU: February 15, 1988
Genre(s)Light gun game


Original versionEdit

The original version of Wild Gunman is one of Nintendo's electro-mechanical arcade games created by Gunpei Yokoi and released in 1974. It consists of a light gun connected to a 16 mm projection screen. Full-motion video footage of an American Wild West gunslinger is projected onto the screen. When this enemy character's eyes flash, the player draws and fires the gun. If the player is fast enough, the projection changes to that of the shot gunman falling down; otherwise it shows the gunman drawing and firing his gun. A victorious player faces off against several more gunslinger opponents.[1]

The second version has 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!.

Video game versionsEdit

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 waits for the opponent's eyes to flash (accompanied by a speech bubble reading "FIRE!!") before shooting. It features a shooting gallery where opponents are to be shot from the windows of a saloon. A piece of Frédéric Chopin's "Funeral march" indicates the player's defeat. This version was also published on the PlayChoice-10 arcade system. The Famicom version for use with the Zapper gun 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 (modeled after the Colt Single Action Army) that can be used instead of the Zapper.

In popular cultureEdit

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Japanese: ワイルドガンマン Hepburn: Wairudo Ganman?


  1. ^ Wild Gunman (1974) at the Killer List of Videogames
  2. ^ "Craig Baldwin". Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Kohler, Chris (October 21, 2015). "Nintendo Re-Releases Marty McFly's Favorite Game This Week". Wired. Retrieved October 21, 2015.

External linksEdit