You’ll see a lot of pieces wishing Nintendo Happy Anniversary. On October 18, 1985, the console released and changed the face of gaming as we know it. And thanks, Nintendo. I feel old.

Now as we hurtle towards the holidays and the billion-dollar franchises releasing during the window, let’s pause and remember a classic. No, not everyone’s favorite, Super Mario Bros. Duck Hunt.

Sure, I remember cranking out hours on end of Mario, but the best memories? The dog laughing his ass off when you missed a duck. Today? That would be some kid hurling four-letter words at you with reckless abandon playing online. Progress….

Duck Hunt

It was a Day One launch title for the NES in North America in 1985 and made use of the NES Zapper peripheral. Who remembers that? Check it out below:

NES Zapper

Now, think today. Can you imagine if one of the big three console makers decided to launch a controller in the shape of a handgun? Good lord, the media coverage would be insufferable.

During the 80s? My dad, me and my two brothers were having a blast making sure the other didn’t cheat and laughing our asses off right along with the dog. I’m pretty sure that dog’s personality has been transferred to one of my border collies.

Lightning blue merle border collie
Come on, can’t you see him as the new Duck Hunt dog? If you can get him off the couch.

Here’s the gameplay footage you can show to your kids:

Yeah, expect the groans of why does it look like that? Technology kids. Technology.

[divider]Wii U Release[/divider]

If you have a Wii U, you can play the game today via the Virtual Console. It’s not the same feel, as the NES Zapper has been replaced by the Wii Remote. Still, it’s nostalgia at its finest.

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Other spots to play Duck Hunt? You can do it online thanks to Matt Surabian’s coding skills. Now, the voiceovers? Indifferent, but funny. You can also create your levels, but it’s browser based. Want to piss off Chrome’s CPU usage? The level creator is the perfect way to make any browser angry on a Monday morning.

That Damn Dog

Critics have long labeled the dog as one of the most annoying video game characters. Me? The fella is iconic. Sure, it’s a bit grating after missing repeatedly, but we all knew the trick to that.

With time, the Duck Hunt Dog has made his way into the hearts of gamers. In 2014, Super Smash Bros for the Wii U introduced the dog and the duck as a playable duo. The game also features an unlockable Duck Hunt stage.

Other media appearances included an appearance in the 2015 movie, Pixels. Yeah… Not many saw that one. It was a cameo appearance by the dog after he was given as a trophy when Sandler and Joseph Gad’s characters defeated the creatures from the game Centipede.

Legacy

To me? It brought the whole family into the living room. My family loved it when we lived in Iceland and Wilmington. A constant stream of Duck Hunt games interspersed with Mario.

It was also the first time I remember getting to use the game’s controls against it. To say the NES Zapper was inaccurate would be an understatement. Quick fix? The barrel pressed against the TV to hit the duck. Remember your mom telling you to quit standing so close to the TV? Duck Hunt was one of my reasons why.

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The game consistently ranks in the top 100 all-time of Nintendo properties. Masahiro Sakurai, director of Smash Bros. for the Wii U, called Duck Hunt “the most-sold shooting game in the world” and cited it as one of the many reasons the duo was included.

Will we ever see a remastered Duck Hunt? Hell, everything else gets a remaster. Nintendo is working on a new console. And the company holds on to nostalgia like no other.

Sound off in the comments. Did you love the dog, or despise that laugh? What are your memories from the first NES?

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