NES Zapper

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NES Zapper

The NES Zapper

The Zapper was a light gun accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It greatly helped to sell the Nintendo Entertainment System. Some of the games that used it were Duck Hunt, Hogan's Alley, and Gotcha! The Sport. In Japan the Zapper was released as a realistic six-shooter.

But in America, due to government regulations, it was released as an unrealistic sci-fi gun, originally appearing in gray in 1985, but later changed to orange in 1989 as a result of a soldier who filed a lawsuit and sued Nintendo of America inc., claiming that he had mistaken a gray NES Zapper for a real gun. The Zapper has been available as a standalone accessory in stores, as well as packaged with Duck Hunt in some regions.

Zapper proto

A prototype for the Zapper (lacking the handle grip). It was changed shortly before the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The gun was very accurate, using infrared technology to shoot onscreen objects. In total there were only 17 games for the NES that used the Zapper. The next "gun" type item to be released by Nintendo was the Super Scope on the SNES.

An updated version of the Zapper was released for the Wii titled simply the Wii Zapper, and came bundled with the video game Link's Crossbow Training, though was also used in various other titles.

Games that used the Zapper


  • There's a trick where you can hold the gun up to a lightbulb and it will shoot anything on the screen. You can do this if your Zapper is having problems.

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