Ever wonder how did the “Duck Hunt” Gun Works?

The Duck Hunt gun, officially called the NES Zapper, seems downright primitive next to today’s technology. But in the late ’80s, it filled plenty of young heads with wonder. Duck Hunt is also one of top 100 games by Nintendo ranked at 77th best games created by Nintendo.

Bit of Legacy

Duck Hunt features a nameless non playable character a hunting dog, simply called as a “Dog”, and often referred in media as “Duck hunt dog” or a “Laughing dog” The dog accompanies the player in the “Game A” and “Game B” modes, in which he serves to both provoke the ducks and retrieve any fallen ones. The dog is infamous and iconic for laughing at the player whenever the player fails to shoot any of the ducks on screen. The dog has been labelled as “one of the most annoying video game characters ever” by numerous gaming critics and journalists

For many children of the ’90s, a good portion of your childhood probably revolved around sitting too close to the TV, colored hand gun and blasting waterfowl out of a pixilated sky in Duck Hunt (also, trying to blow that dog’s head off when he laughed at you, by the way the dog has made his place In a lists for “Top 10 Video Game Dogs”, 1UP.com placed the dog seventh, praising his confidence for “laughing at a frustrated human with a loaded rifle”).

History of “THE GUN”

The Duck Hunt gun, officially called the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Zapper, seems downright primitive next to the Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect, but in the late 80s, it filled plenty of young heads with wonder. How did that thing work?

The Zapper’s history goes back to the mid 19th century , when the first so-called “light guns” appeared after the development of light-sensing vacuum tubes.

In the first light gun game, Ray-O-Lite, players shot at small moving Ducks mounted with light sensors using a gun that emitted a beam of light. When the beam struck a sensor, the targets – ducks, coincidentally – registered the “hit” and a point was scored.

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Zapper then fell into the hands of American kids in October 1985, when it was released in a bundle with the NES, a controller and a few games. Early versions of the peripheral were dark gray, but the color of the sci-fi ray gun-inspired Zapper was changed a few years later when a federal regulation required that toy and imitation firearms be “blaze orange” (color #12199, to be exact) so they wouldn’t be mistaken for the real deal.

There are plenty of other games that we used to play like Hogan’s Alley with Zapper Gun but among them Duck hunt is most iconic, recognizable and popular zapper compatible game.

Technology Behind Zapper gun

While older versions of light guns are emitting beams of light, The zapper and recent versions of such guns worked by receiving light through a photo diode and use it to figure out where on the TV screen you are aiming.

This target flashing method helped Nintendo overcome a weakness of older light gun games: cheaters racking up high scores by pointing the gun at a steady light source, like a lamp, and hitting the first target right out of the gate.

The premise for the psychological horror VR game Duck Season by Stress Level Zero is based in part on Duck Hunt

And In the 2015 Adam Sandler film Pixels, the dog has a cameo appearance in it, where it is given as a “trophy” by the aliens after defeated by human race. “Laughing Dog” is later adopted by an old lady which was attacked in alien invasion, You can watch the clip below

Hope reading this article has bring back some golden teen age moments for a while in front of your eyes,bit attached to every 90’s kid, brings technology behind the thing under light which is very casual when you were actually using it. and knowing how well character development goes later on is really fascinating. Don’t you think so? Tell me your views, i will be glad to hear it from you.

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Written by Navdeep

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