Someone Explains How the Nintendo NES Zapper Actually Shoots in 'Duck Hunt'

It’s not magic after all.

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Entertainment
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Ever wonder how the Nintendo NES system had a fairly accurate shooting peripheral so long ago, without the use of futuristic laser beams and VR? Turns out the Zapper gun, as well as other light guns early back, had technology that was quite simple.

YouTube’s The 8-Bit Guy recently dismantled and dissected the retro tech and revealed the Zapper’s function; basically, the screen flashes across three frames that, momentarily, diplays a white box that the zapper gun can detect. If the gun is pointed at the white box when the trigger is pulled, the gun records a successful shot — if not, it’s considered a miss. The NES’s Duck Hunt title — which was unfortunately missing from the newly released Nintendo NES Classic Edition — is perhaps the most well-known implementation of the Zapper’s accuracy as the player raced to shoot flying ducks for your laughing dog to collect.

While the technology is now ancient, it’s pretty interesting to learn how such an interactive accessory worked, and it’s not quite as straight forward as you may have imagined. Watch the segment in the video above to educate yourself.

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