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Duck Hunt
Box artwork for Duck Hunt.
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Wii U Virtual Console
Nintendo eShop
Release date(s)
NES icon.png
Arcade icon.png
Wii U Virtual Console
Genre(s)Light gun
System(s)NES, Arcade, Wii U VC
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchDuck Hunt Channel
YouTube GamingDuck Hunt Channel

Duck Hunt was the thirteenth game that Nintendo released for the Famicom. It was later released for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a launch title bundled with the console. The game was developed by Nintendo and is designed specifically for use with the NES Zapper light gun. Since its initial release, it has also been released in two combination cartridges: the most commonly seen Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt cartridge, and later in the Duck Hunt / World Track Meet / Super Mario Bros. cartridge. It also later made its way into the arcades under the name Vs. Duck Hunt, and it was included in the PlayChoice-10 arcade compilation cabinet.

Game Modes[edit]

There are three modes to choose from in Duck Hunt: Game A, Game B, and Game C. The objective of all these games is to shoot the various targets before the time runs out or you run out of bullets.

Game A[edit]

  • This mode should be picked for beginners.
  • Note: the NES controller in slot #1 can be used to control the duck's flight. Thus, a second player can help to reduce the difficulty by keeping the duck on screen, or increasing the difficulty by flying erratically or quickly to the edges.

In game A your dog scares up one duck for you to shoot. You are provided three bullets to shoot the duck and there is a limited amount of time before the duck flies away. There are 10 sessions of one duck per level and you must shoot a certain amount of ducks to advance to the next level. If you shoot all ten ducks in a level you get a "perfect bonus". As you advance through each level the ducks fly progressively faster and are therefore harder to shoot. Once you beat level 99, you will enter level 0: an impossible "kill-stage" where the ducks rapidly and erratically fly to the edges or leave the screen instantly.

Game B[edit]

Game B is pretty much the same game as game A except this time two ducks are scared out of the grass and you must shoot them both. This version is more difficult since you still only have three bullets and the time limit is the same. There are only 5 two duck sessions per level, making play slightly faster.

As with Game A, you can reach round 99 if you are skilled enough. If you complete it, you will enter round 0, where the ducks will move slowly rather than causing an instant gameover. Completing this round returns you to the first round.

Game C[edit]

The ducks are absent form this mode, being replaced by clay disks or "pigeons". Again, you are given three bullets with which you must shoot two disks that are launched from the bottom of your screen. As these disks progress through the air they get farther and farther away and much harder to shoot. If you can, it is easiest to shoot them as soon as they are launched. This mode is described as "the ultimate challenge" in the instruction booklet.

As with Game A, you can reach round 99 with enough patience. If you complete it, you will enter round 0. While the clays are launched at a slow speed, they will disappear half-way up the screen and require a quick reaction to hit.

Vs. Duck Hunt[edit]

In the arcade version, Vs. Duck Hunt, gameplay consists of alternating rounds of Games B and C, with 12 ducks/targets per round instead of 10 and sometimes requires the player to shoot three ducks/targets at a time instead of two. In addition, the player is given a limited number of lives; every duck/target that is not hit costs one life. When all lives are gone, the game ends.

After every second round, a bonus stage is played in which ducks can be shot for points as they fly out of the grass. However, the Duck Hunt dog occasionally jumps out, putting himself in the line of fire and creating a distraction. If the player shoots the Duck Hunt dog, the bonus stage immediately ends.

Point System[edit]

Points are awarded for hitting individual ducks or disks, as shown in the table below. An additional bonus is awarded for hitting all 10 targets in a round. If you max out your score, it will wrap to 0 points.

Duck Rounds 1 - 5 Rounds 6 - 10 Rounds 11 - 15 Rounds 16 - 20 Rounds 21 - 99
Black (A/B) 500 800 1000 1000 1000
Blue (A/B) 1000 1500 2000 2000 2000
Red (A/B) 1500 2400 3000 3000 3000
Discs (C) 1000 1500 2000 2000 2000
Bonus (A/B/C) 10000 10000 15000 20000 30000

In addition, you need to shoot a minimum number of ducks or discs on each round. The amount will start to increase on round 11, and will not decrease if you managed to wrap the round counter back to 0.

Rounds Ducks/Discs required to advance
1 through 10 6 out of 10
11 through 12 7 out of 10
13 through 14 8 out of 10
15 through 19 9 out of 10
20 through 99 10 out of 10
0 and beyond 10 out of 10, Game mode B/C only