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19/7/2019 NES Zapper NES Zapper - Wikipedia

NES Zapper

NES Zapper - Wikipedia

The NES Zapper, also known as The Gun or Beam Gun in Japan, [1] is an

electronic light gun accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

and the Japanese Famicom. It was released in Japan for the Famicom on

February 18, 1984 and alongside the launch of the NES in North America in

October 1985. [1][2]

NES Zapper in original gray, released in 1985
NES Zapper in original gray,
released in 1985

The Zapper allows players to aim at the television set display and "shoot"

various objects that appear on the screen such as ducks, clay pigeons, targets,

games to move the cursor (by pulling the trigger while not pointing at the screen) or starting the game (by pulling the

trigger while pointing at the screen). [3]


History Accessories and third-party counterparts

Technical details



See also


External links


It was released in Japan for the Famicom on February 18, 1984, made for the

game Wild Gunman. The Famicom version of the NES Zapper resembled a

revolver-style handgun. [1]

The Zapper was first released in North America in October 1985 as a launch

title with the NES. [1][2] The North American version of the NES Zapper

resembled a futuristic science fiction ray gun with a color scheme matching the

NES, rather than a revolver like the Famicom version. Early versions of the

Zapper had a dark gray barrel and grip, but the color was quickly changed to

bright orange. [4]

The re-released NES Zapper in orange, introduced in 1989.
The re-released NES Zapper in
orange, introduced in 1989.

In North America, it was included in the Nintendo Action Set, a bundle that contained the NES console, the NES Zapper,

and two games—Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros.—as a multicart. [5] The Zapper was also available for purchase

separately. [6]


NES Zapper - Wikipedia

Accessories and third-party counterparts

In Japan, Bandai released the Hyper Shot, a large light gun shaped like a

machine gun. In addition to functioning as a light gun, the controller has

equivalents to most of the Famicom controller's buttons; it has B, Start and

Select buttons, as well as a stick to input directions, but no A button. The

controller was bundled with Space Shadow; while the Hyper Shot can be used

as a controller and light gun for any game, Space Shadow was the only game to

support some of the Hyper Shot's exclusive features. In Space Shadow only, the

In North America, Bondwell released the Deluxe Sighting Scope, an accessory

for the NES Zapper, under the brand name QuickShot. [9] The scope is a sight

that snaps onto the top of the NES Zapper. [10]

The Deluxe Sighting Scope on an orange NES Zapper
The Deluxe Sighting Scope on an
orange NES Zapper

In 1990, Konami released the LaserScope, a headset accessory for use with the NES Zapper, in the United States and

Japan. [11] It is voice-activated, firing a shot whenever the wearer says "fire", although some reviewers criticized its ability

to do so [12][13] . It plugs into the second controller port, requiring the NES Zapper itself to be plugged into the first

controller port. [14] The headset also includes stereo headphones for use with the NES. [15] The headset also includes an

eyepiece with a crosshair that sits in front of the wearer's right eye. [16] It was designed for the game Laser Invasion, but

works with any game compatible with the NES Zapper. [13][17] In the United States, Laser Invasion came with a coupon for

a $5 discount for the LaserScope. [11]

Nexoft released The Dominator ProBeam, a wireless version of the NES Zapper. It has a built-in scope with crosshairs and

uses infrared to communicate with the NES. [18] It is heavier than the NES Zapper. [19]

Technical details

When the trigger on the Zapper is pressed, the game causes the entire screen to become black for one frame. Then, on the

next frame, all valid targets that are on screen are drawn all white as the rest of the screen remains black. The Zapper

detects this change in light level and determines if any of the targets are in its hit zone. If a target is hit, the game

determines which one was hit based on the duration of the flash, as each target flashes for a different duration. [20][21][22]

After all target areas have been illuminated, the game returns to drawing graphics as usual. The whole process is almost

imperceptible to the human eye, although one can notice a slight "flashing" of the image but this was easily misconstrued

as a simulated muzzle flash.

The NES Zapper can only be used on CRT displays; it will not work on LCDs, plasma displays or other flat panel displays

due to display lag. This darkness/brightness sequence prevents the possible issue caused by pointing the Zapper right next

to or into a light bulb. [22][23][24] Older light guns did not use this method, making it possible to cheat and get a perfect hit

score in a way not possible using the NES Zapper.



NES Zapper - Wikipedia

Day Dreamin' Davey (gun optional) [ 2 7 ] Day Dreamin' Davey (gun optional) [27]

Gotcha! The Sport! (requires gun and controller) [ 3 0 ] Gotcha! The Sport! (requires gun and controller) [30]

Gumshoe [ 3 1 ] Gumshoe [31]

Laser Invasion (gun optional) [ 3 3 ] Laser Invasion (gun optional) [33]

The Lone Ranger (gun optional) [ 3 4 ] The Lone Ranger (gun optional) [34]

Mechanized Attack (gun optional) [ 3 5 ] Mechanized Attack (gun optional) [35]

Operation Wolf (gun optional) [ 3 6 ] Operation Wolf (gun optional) [36]

Track & Field II (gun compatible) [ 3 9 ] Track & Field II (gun compatible) [39]


Baby Boomer (gun optional) [ 4 2 ] Baby Boomer (gun optional) [42]

Chiller [ 4 3 ] Chiller [43]

Super Russian Roulette [ 4 4 ] (requires gun and controller; compatible with CRT and Super Russian Roulette [44] (requires gun and controller; compatible with CRT and HDTV)


In the 1989 animated series Captain N: The Game Master, the main character Kevin Keene uses the reissued orange NES

Zapper as a weapon during his time in Videoland. [45] The gun fires laser blasts which are used to destroy the enemies he

encounters. It also had a freeze-ray option which fires off Tetris-shaped blocks of ice [46] that encircle and trap foes inside a

cube of ice.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo's successor to the NES, also received a light gun peripheral, the

The Wii, a Nintendo system released decades later, received the Wii Zapper peripheral. The Wii Zapper is a plastic casing

for a Wii Remote with a Nunchuk that allowed players to hold the controller like a gun. The accessory was not technically

or visually similar to a Wii Zapper, but did facilitate point-and-shoot gameplay. The Wii U Virtual Console releases of

Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Hogan's Alley, and The Adventures of Bayou Billy use the Wii Remote's pointer in place of the

NES Zapper; although it is possible to use the Wii Zapper with them, it is not required. [47][48]

The Wii U game Splatoon and its Nintendo Switch sequel Splatoon 2 both include several N-ZAP weapons, which are

heavily based on the NES Zapper's design. Two variants of the weapon, the N-ZAP '85 and N-ZAP '89, use the gray and

orange colors of the NES Zapper respectively; [49][50][51][52] the N-ZAP '83, which uses the red and gold from the original

Famicom controller (not the Japanese NES Zapper design), appears in Splatoon [53] and Splatoon 2 [54] as well.

See also



NES Zapper - Wikipedia


DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, John (2003), High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (2 ed.), McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 379, ISBN 978-0-07-223172-4


Burnham, Van (2001), Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age, 1971–1984, Cambridge, Massachusetts:

MIT Press, p. 375, ISBN 0-262-52420-1



NES Zapper Instruction Manual, Nintendo, 1985, US-2, "Point the Zapper away from the screen and shoot. The arrow will move from one game to another. When the arrow points to the game you want, shoot directly at the screen. The game will start."


Lunsford, Jason (2000). "The Zapper FAQ Version 0.90" ( (txt). Retrieved 8 February 2019.


Kent, Steven (2001), "The Seeds of Competition", The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond- The Story That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World (First ed.), Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, p. 305, ISBN 0-7615-3643-4, "The Nintendo Action Set, which included everything in the Control Deck packaging plus the "Zapper" light gun and the game Duck Hunt, sold for US$149, as did the Master System and gun set, which included the "Light Phaser" and the game Safari Hunt."


Kohler, Chris (2005), Retro Gaming Hacks, O'Reilly Publishing, p. 19, ISBN 978-0-596-00917-5, " gun was included with most NES packages."


Zapper light










Retrieved 15 November 2014.




Popular Science ( Bonnier Corporation. 1991. p. 10. Retrieved 19 February 2019.


-RoG-. "The Konami LaserScope!" ( I-Mockery. Retrieved 15 November 2014.



"Susan Bach, marketing coordinator for Konami Inc., demonstrates the Laser Scope voice command headset,

a hands-free unit for use with all Nintendo zapper games."




"Zapper Guide Part 1" ( The Warp Zone. Angelfire. Retrieved 15 November 2014.


NES Zapper - Wikipedia

22. US 4813682 (, Okada, Satoru, "Video target control and sensing circuit for photosensitive gun", issued 21 March 1989

24. Jono1874 (26 October 2011). "NES Zapper Strobe Light Trick" ( YouTube. Retrieved 5 January 2014.

1985. p. 2. Retrieved 19 February 2019. "This game requires the Zapper™, Light Gun Attachment."

29. Freedom Force Instruction Manual ( (PDF). Sunsoft. p. 2. Retrieved 19 February 2019. "This game requires the use of the Nintendo Light Gun Zapper®."

30. The J Man (21 January 2008). "Gotcha: The Sport" ( Just Games Retro. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

31. Gumshoe Instruction Booklet ( (PDF). Nintendo. 1986. p. 2. "This game requires the Zapper™, Light Gun Attachment."

32. Hogan's Alley Instruction Booklet ('s%20Alley.pdf) (PDF). Nintendo. 1985. p. 2. "This game requires the Zapper™, Light Gun Attachment."

2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

34. Kalata, Kurt (27 September 2017). "Lone Ranger, The" ( Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

40. Wild Gunman Instruction Booklet ( (PDF). Nintendo. 1985. p. 2. "This game requires the Zapper™, Light Gun Attachment."



NES Zapper - Wikipedia

Nintendo Wire. Retrieved 8 February 2019.

8 February 2019.

8 February 2019.

External links

Bleeding Cool . Retrieved 8 February 2019. External links List of NES games supported by the

This page was last edited on 17 July 2019, at 07:45 (UTC).