Resurrecting Duckhunt

Bringing old things back to life holds a great sense of joy for most people. The never ending pursuit of recapturing our youth leads us down roads we’ve long forgotten. Along the way, we tend to bump into forgotten memories which jostle other forgotten memories which allows us to relive happy times we haven’t thought of in years, sometimes even decades. For some, the roar of a 351 small block sweeps them back to high school and the fast nights of cruising down main street with the FM radio cranked up as high as it would go.  For those of us who were born in the 80’s and 90’s, video games can bring back such memories. Who among us can forget our first encounter with Link, the elegant theme music of Final Fantasy or up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a-select-start?

Advances in processor technology has allowed us to relive our favorite games via emulators – programs that emulate processors of older computers. The games are ‘dumped’ from the ROM chips (where they are stored) into files. These game files can then be loaded into the emulator program, which allows you to play the game as if you were playing it on the original system.

Guts of NES Zapper

Technology is truly a beautiful thing. It allows us to move forward, allows us to do today that which was not possible yesterday. There are a few cases, however, where this paradigm does not hold true. One of these has to do with the Nintendo Entertainment System and its “Zapper” gun controller. The NES was the most popular game console of its time, and rightfully so. From the minds of Nintendo engineers, programmers and audio experts came some of the best video games ever made. Unfortunately, some of these great games cannot be played on your Raspberry Pi favorite emulator due to the incompatibility of the Zapper gun and modern digital monitors.  None of us can forget the fun that Duckhunt brought. The game came as standard issue with all NES systems, so we’ve all played it. But its nostalgia is currently entombed by a technological quirk that has yet to be solved.

From one hacker to another – this can no longer be tolerated. First, we’re going to learn how the Zapper works and why it doesn’t work with digital displays. Then we’re going to fix it.

Continue reading “Resurrecting Duckhunt”

NES crammed into a light gun

[GonzoMPM-1] Has gutted an NES knock off called Super Joy III and crammed it inside of a light gun. Inspired by a daughter that loves duck hunt, he wanted to consolidate the package and make it more portable. He’s managed to pull off some nice finish, it look almost professional in the picture above. The unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries in the handle. The game system works just fine, and he claims that the controls are actually more responsive now. The light gun works as well if you have a CRT television around.

You many notice that there is no cartridge slot. There really isn’t a need for one in this mod. The Super Joy III comes equipped with 76 games on the board. He notes that he can make an external cart at some point, but may leave it off in favor of the compact design.

While he acknowledges that this is not a completely self contained gaming device, we feel it earns honorable mention for being cool.

[via technabob]