Unlike most shoot'em-ups at that time, players control a gunman walking on feet and move between the grounds. He can shoot diagonally when the players move him sideways.
A family of outlaws known as the Wingates stroll into a peaceful frontier town and kill its sheriff, plunging it into lawlessness and making it easy prey for bandit raids. It's left to a lone gunman to fight back against the Wingates and restore order.
It received a Spiritual Successor in 2004 called Red Dead Revolver, and that received a Spiritual Successor 6 years later called Red Dead Redemption, followed by its prequel eight years after the release of the first RDR.
Tropes used in Gun.Smoke:
- Anti-Frustration Features: The NES version has unlimited continues and lets you keep any weapons not removed from losing lives.
- Composite Character: Wingate, the final boss of the NES version, is a redesign of the arcade's eighth boss Los Pubro with the Wingate family's name.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted, despite the fact it being a vertical scrolling shooter: You can shoot diagonally when moving left and right.
- Guns Akimbo: The player always holds two pistols and shoots with both, regardless of the direction.
- Knife Nut: Roy, the second boss in the arcade version. He spends a lot more time flipping around than attacking, so in a way he's easier to defeat than the first boss.
- Ninja: The boss of the third stage in the arcade, and the fourth stage in the console/computer versions. He specializes in throwing shurikens and teleporting to random places with smoke bombs.
- The console versions adds these as regular enemies, as well.
- Nintendo Hard: The game is so notoriously difficult that the NES version is actually easier.
- No Hero Discount: In the NES version, the villagers gladly sell items and weapons. Darn good, but you'd think they'd give the gunman saving them a bit of leniency in terms of payment (especially since the money is also the game's score).
- Pixel Hunt: The wanted posters required to end the stage and fight the boss are hidden, so they must be shot and uncovered, otherwise the stage loops. You can buy them instead, but it's not worth the trouble.
- Power Up Mount: In the arcade and NES versions, the player can obtain a horse that allows him to move faster and absorb a few extra hits before dying.
- Spiritual Successor: Received one a whole 19 years later called Red Dead Revolver.
- Victory Fakeout: After Wingate is eliminated along with his goons, his theme starts up again as "he" was actually a body double, and then the real one appears.
- "Wanted!" Poster: Each stage begins by displaying a wanted poster of the area boss, his name, and the weapon he uses.