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Video Game: Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt is a shooting game for the Nintendo Entertainment System; it came either on its own or as a two-fer with Super Mario Bros. (or as a three-fer with Super Mario Bros. and World Class Track Meet, though that version is rarer than the others.) It's a fairly simple game. You have two options. One was going to the target range and shooting at clay pigeons to improve your aim. You could shoot at one or two at a time, and could keep going until you didn't hit as many as the round target required. Almost nobody remembers, or cares, about this part.

No, the main attraction, as you can imagine, is hunting ducks with your trusty hunting dog. Depending on the mode, he would flush out one or two ducks at a time, and you had three shots to nail the ducks before they got away. Later rounds introduced faster ducks that tried to escape more quickly. Until, of course, they wouldn't even appear on the screen, resulting in a Kill Screen.

This game overall is widely remembered for a few reasons. One of the most prominent is that it was a pack-in for most releases of the Nintendo Entertainment System, for even more versions than Super Mario Bros. Eventually the two were combined into one cartridge to be the pack-in game. It was also remembered for the Zapper Light Gun that was required to play, being perhaps the most popular light gun created. It set the standard for making home light gun games for ages.

But most of all, it is remembered to this day because of that... annoying... dog... twitch, twitch. See, whenever you didn't manage to hit a duck, the dog would snigger at you in perhaps the most annoying fashion possible. And it would repeat said sniggering if you didn't take out enough ducks to advance to the next level. There's an entire generation of gamers who hate the Duck Hunt dog more than Scrappy-Doo. Seriously. Nearly every single reference or parody that's been done at some point includes shooting the dog. However, the reactions that followed when people found out that he's a Secret Character in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game indicated a better future for him..

This game has examples of:

  • Annoying Laugh: The dog does this when you miss both ducks in a round, and at the Game Over screen.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: In "Game A", the first player shoots ducks with the light gun and the second player can control the ducks with the normal controller.
  • Cap: You get three bullets per target. Make them count.
  • Difficulty By Acceleration: The ducks fly faster every level.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Well, maybe "ashamed" isn't quite the right word...
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The dog is apparently bulletproof, to the disapointment of many a player.
  • Kill Screen: At Level 100, the ducks move so fast, they're impossible to hit. And the dog thinks it's funny. Averted with the clay pigeons that move really slow at that level. Why the duck moves so fast is up to speculation.
  • Lesser Star: Aside from the dog, this game is largely remembered for being the other game that came bundled with the NES, with Super Mario Bros. being the main star. Usually in the same cart.
  • Light Gun Game: One of the most iconic NES Zapper games.
  • No Sympathy: The dog's laughter brings doubt on the title of "Man's Best Friend".
  • Scoring Points: But of course, the aim of the game is to get as many point as possible.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Not the dog, but YOU. Keep on shooting ducks, but you will always meet a Game Over, with the dog laughing at you in the end. ALWAYS.
  • Spiritual Successor: Wii Play's target practice is obviously based on Duck Hunt. Minus the dog.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you shoot the dog in the bonus round of Vs. Duck Hunt, he'll chew you out for it.
  • Wild Take: Look at the ducks' eyes bug out when you shoot them.

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alternative title(s): Duck Hunt
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