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Sunset Riders
Box artwork for Sunset Riders.
Release date(s)
Arcade icon.png
Sega Genesis icon.png
Sega Genesis
SNES icon.png
Genre(s)Run and gun
System(s)Arcade, Sega Genesis, Sega Channel, SNES
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchSunset Riders Channel
YouTube GamingSunset Riders Channel
Arcade Title screen

Sunset Riders (サンセットライダーズ?) is a run and gun arcade game created by Konami in 1991. It is set in the wild west. The game was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1992, and to the SNES in 1993.

Sunset Riders is similar to other run and guns, such as Konami's Contra, but with less emphasis on jumping and a greater focus on shooting. The game includes a total of four playable characters to choose from: Steve, Billy, Bob, and Cormano. The characters are slightly differentiated: Steve and Billy use revolvers, Bob carries a rifle, and Cormano has a shotgun. The rifle and shotgun shoot somewhat slower than their revolver counterparts, but have a wider spread, making them ideal for taking out enemies without too much precise aiming. On the full-size arcade cabinet up to four players can play simultaneously, each as a different character.

The player can fire in 8 directions, slide to avoid bullets, and perform surprisingly acrobatic jumps onto and from rooftops, offering additional vantage points from which to fight. Many enemies can do the same. Unlike Contra (but similar to Metal Slug), colliding with enemies does not automatically kill the player; only bullets, knives, pits and other obstacles are fatal. Throughout the levels there are doors that can be opened, as in the games Rolling Thunder and Shinobi. Enemies may come out of some doors, while others yield power-ups. When the player emerges from one of doors containing a power-up a short animation plays, showing the protagonist being kissed on the cheek by a female bar fly or taking a swig from a bottle of liquor.

Many enemies utilize stick-dynamite as a weapon; if quick enough, the dynamite can be picked up and thrown by the players. Once initially thrown the dynamite will start to blink at an accelerated pace, which represents the remaining length of the fuse. When it explodes it will eliminate both players and enemies, even if the enemies initially threw the dynamite. This particular rendition of the wild west also features plenty of opportunely placed boulders, barrels, and explosives that happen to reside above the heads of enemies and can be used to the player's advantage. At the end of each level, the entire cash bounty is awarded to the player who inflicted the most damage against the boss.


The game, which is set in a fanciful version of the American Old West, revolves around four bounty hunters who are out to claim rewards given for eliminating the most wanted outlaws in the West. There is no true "storyline" aside from collecting progressively larger rewards. At the beginning of each level the player is shown a wanted poster, showing the criminal, the reward for stopping them, and the cliché line "Wanted dead or alive".

Box Artwork[edit]

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