Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt
Video duck hunt arcade game

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Duck Hunt, sometimes advertised under the name Duck Shoot[3], is a 1968 electro-mechanical arcade shooter game produced by Sega. A 25-cent video projection game, it features 10 animated ducks flying on a screen from left to right which disappear when shot with the attached shotgun controller.

The player receives ten shots, and the shot ducks are framed in a duck hunting score. Shooting the shot gun and hitting a duck produces a sound effect. The game dispenses a perforated computer card-style ticket showing shooting accuracy and score when game is finished which could be used for prizes or as a permanent record of the player’s score. Additionally, the game could be set to give a free game for a perfect score.


It resembles a first-person light-gun shooter video game, but is in fact a video projection electro-mechanical (EM) game, using rear image projection in a manner similar to a zoetrope to produce moving animations on a screen.

This was the first electronic arcade game with animated targets displayed on a screen, in contrast to earlier EM arcade games that displayed actual physical static targets. This gave Duck Hunt the appearance of a video game, several years before the first true video games arrived in the arcades (Computer Space and Pong). Duck Hunt thus anticipated the kind of light-gun shooter video games that would later appear in the 1970s, and was the first electronic arcade game to display a first-person perspective on a screen. Duck Hunt was later updated by Midway and re-released in January 1973.

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Purchase of a Duck Hunt machine comes with one roll of 3,000 paper cards. Replacement rolls could be acquired from Sega Enterprises for ¥3,000 each.[3]





In the late 1960s, Japanese companies Kasco (Kansei Seiki Seisakusho Co.) and Sega introduced a new type of electro-mechanical game, video projection games. They looked and played like later arcade video games, but relied on electro-mechanical components to produce sounds and images rather than a CRT display. They used rear video image projection to display moving animations on a video screen.[4][5][6] Video projection games became common in arcades of the 1970s. They combined electro-mechanical and video elements, laying the foundations for arcade video games, which adapted cabinet designs and gameplay mechanics from earlier video projection games.[6] They also ocassionally used solid-state electronics for sounds (like Grand Prix, Missile and Night Rider).


After Duck Hunt, Sega produced several more electro-mechanical arcade games based on similar technology, using rear image projection to produce moving animations on a screen. In 1969, Sega released the EM games Grand Prix, a first-person driving/racing game like Kasco’s Indy 500 that projects a forward-scrolling road on a screen, and Missile, a first-person vehicle combat simulation that had a moving film strip project targets on screen and a dual-control scheme where two directional buttons move the player tank and a two-way joystick with a fire button shoots and steers missiles onto oncoming planes, which explode when hit; in 1970, Missile was released in North America as S.A.M.I. Sega’s Jet Rocket in 1970 was the earliest first-person shooter and combat flight simulator game, with cockpit controls that could move the player aircraft around a landscape displayed on screen and shoot missiles onto targets that explode when hit. In 1972, Sega released Killer Shark, a first-person light gun game known for appearing in the 1975 film Jaws.

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The game also may have influenced Nintendo’s light-gun shooters. In 1974, Nintendo’s arcade light gun shooter Wild Gunman was a video projection EM game that used similar technology, but improved on it by using full-motion video projection to display live-action cowboy opponents on screen. In 1984, Nintendo released their own video game called Duck Hunt, which played similarly to Sega’s 1969 electro-mechanical arcade game of the same name.

Duck Hunt may have also influenced Kasco’s 1975 arcade game Gun Smoke, a light gun shooter that was the first holographic 3-D game. It was a hit in Japan, selling 6,000 cabinets there, but only 750 cabinets were sold in the US.[7] It was followed by two more holographic Kasco gun games, Samurai and Bank Robber, released between 1975 and 1977, as well as a 1976 Midway clone, Top Gun. The first holographic video games would later be Sega’s Time Traveler (1991) and Holosseum (1992).[8]

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