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Duck Hunt is a fairly simple game. You have two options. One was simply 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... fucking... 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 that damn dog. There were even quite a few people clamoring for the dog to appear in Super Smash Bros Brawl before its roster was finalized, because it would give gamers the chance to finally beat the ever-living crap out of him. And hey, it's easy to imagine what his taunt would be.
This game has examples of:
- Annoying Laugh
- Cap: You get three bullets per target. Make them count.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: The ducks fly faster every level.
- Dueling Games: With Sega's Safari Hunt on the Master System.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: I wouldn't say "ashamed"...
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Distributor Meddling: The game exists in part to give the Zapper a reason to exist. The other reason the Zapper exists was to convince US toy chains still smarting from The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 that the NES was something different that they had to have.
- Fan Vid: The Adventures Of Duane and BrandO's song, beyond their trademark boastfulness, is really a tale of revenge against "that motherfucking dog".
- Gameplay Ally Immortality: The dog is apparently bulletproof. And when he laughs at you for the hundredth time, you will hate him for this.
- Kill Screen: At Level 100, the ducks move so fast, they're impossible to hit. And... that son of a bitch... thinks it's... funny. Averted with the clay pigeons that move really slow at that level.
- Light Gun Game
- Scoring Points
- Shaggy Dog Story: Not the dog, but YOU. Keep on shooting ducks, but you will always meet a Game Over, with that damn dog laughing at you in the end. ALWAYS.
- Urban Legend of Zelda: Shooting the damn dog.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Shooting the damn dog.
- This is actually possible in the bonus stage of the arcade version, Vs. Duck Hunt, where the dog leaps about as a distraction while flushing out the ducks.
- Naturally, it is also possible in Fan Remakes and parodies, like i-mockery.com's version.
- The dog can also be shot in the game Barker Bill's Trick Shooting, but doing so accrues a penalty.
- And if you can't get to any of that stuff, give this song a listen.
- Wild Take: Look at the duck's eyes bug out when you shoot them.
Kill the Dog from Duck Hunt contains examples of:
- Oh Crap: The dog's expression when shot.
- Shoot the Dog: Literally
- Take That, you son of a bitch!
- Who's Laughing Now?: The whole point.