Here’s what I think are the 7 most interesting things about the NES Zapper…
#1 – There were at least 12 NES games that utilized the Zapper, two of which were unlicensed. Check them out here.
#2 – In 1989, Nintendo made the Zapper mostly orange in order to comply with a new US law regarding toy guns.
#3 – While called a “Zapper”, nothing actually comes out of the gun. Rather, it contains a sensor that detects a white box that appears for just a frame where enemies are when you pull the trigger. Check out this video to see for yourself how it works:
#4 – In Japan, the Famicom Zapper actually looks like a real revolver:
#5 – Due to limitations with how the Zapper works, it only functions with old CRT TVs like you had as a kid. LCD and plasma screens are incompatible due to display lag.
#6 – Everyone hates this guy:
#7 – Duck Hunt for the Famicom/NES was developed by legendary developer Gunpei Yokoi’s Nintendo R&D1, the team that made Metroid, Kid Icarus, Super Mario Land, and the Game Boy (among other things).