Gun.Smoke is a classic arcade game that was released by Capcom in 1985

Gunsmoke arcade game flyer

Gun.Smoke - 1985

Gun Smoke Marquee banner from old arcade machine

Gun.Smoke is a classic arcade game that was released by Capcom in 1985. It is a top-down scrolling shooter game that is set in the Old West. The game is known for its challenging gameplay, unique power-up system, and memorable music and sound effects. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the game, exploring its history, gameplay, characters, and legacy.


Gun.Smoke was designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, who was also the creator of other popular arcade games such as 1942 and Final Fight. The game was released in 1985 and was originally developed for the arcades. It was later ported to several home consoles, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC.

The game was one of the first to feature a persistent high score list that could be saved for future players to try and beat. This feature was innovative at the time and helped to make Gun.Smoke a popular game in arcades.


Gun.smoke screen shot

Gun.Smoke is a vertically-scrolling shooter game that is set in the American Old West. The game features three levels, each with its own set of enemies and obstacles. In each level, the player must shoot their way through hordes of bandits, avoiding obstacles such as cacti and boulders along the way.

The player controls a cowboy named Billy who is on a mission to defeat a notorious outlaw named Wingate. The game is played from a top-down perspective, with the screen scrolling vertically as the player moves upwards through each level. The player controls Billy using a joystick and three buttons: one for shooting, one for changing direction, and one for using a special attack.

One of the most notable features of Gun.Smoke is its difficulty. The game is known for being challenging, with a high level of difficulty that requires quick reflexes and precise aiming to succeed. This is partly due to the game's use of a limited bullet supply, which forces players to use their shots strategically and conserve ammo whenever possible.

GunSmoke poster

Another unique feature of Gun.Smoke is its power-up system. Throughout the game, the player can collect various power-ups that provide benefits such as increased speed, increased firepower, and temporary invincibility. These power-ups are dropped by defeated enemies and can be collected by running over them with Billy's horse.

The game also features a unique scoring system. Each enemy that is defeated earns the player points, with the number of points increasing based on the difficulty of the enemy. The game also includes a bonus stage after each level, where the player must shoot down as many flying targets as possible within a limited time frame.


Gun.Smoke features several memorable characters, each with their own unique traits and abilities. The main character is Billy, a cowboy on a mission to defeat the notorious outlaw Wingate. Billy is armed with a revolver and can shoot in eight directions, making him a versatile fighter.

Wingate is the game's primary antagonist, and he is the leader of a gang of outlaws that terrorize the Old West. He is a formidable opponent, and players must defeat him at the end of the game to complete it.

Other memorable characters in the game include the saloon owner Miss Kitty, who provides the player with valuable information and power-ups, and the Indian chief Horsehead, who aids the player in the final battle against Wingate.


The arcade hardware for Gun.Smoke was developed by Capcom and is based on the company's own arcade system board called the Capcom Play System 1 (CPS-1). The CPS-1 was introduced in 1988 and was used in a number of Capcom arcade games during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Gun Smoke arcade Cabinet

The CPS-1 was built around a 16-bit Motorola 68000 CPU running at 10 MHz, which was a popular processor used in many arcade systems of the time. It also featured a separate sound CPU, a Zilog Z80 running at 3.579545 MHz, which was responsible for generating the game's sound and music.

The system had a custom graphics chipset, known as the CPS tilemap system, which was capable of displaying up to 2048 colors on-screen at once. This allowed for detailed and colorful graphics, which were a hallmark of many CPS-1 games.

The arcade cabinet for Gun.Smoke featured a 19-inch CRT monitor, which was common for arcade games of the time. It also had a standard set of controls, including a joystick and three buttons for shooting, changing direction, and using a special attack.

In terms of memory, the CPS-1 had 68000 program ROMs that ranged in size from 128KB to 2MB, as well as sound ROMs that ranged from 128KB to 512KB. The system also had 32KB of battery-backed RAM for storing high scores and other game data.

Overall, the hardware specifications of Gun.Smoke's arcade system were typical of the era and were designed to provide fast-paced and responsive gameplay, as well as vibrant graphics and sound.


Gun.Smoke was well-received upon its release and remains a beloved classic among retro gaming enthusiasts. Its challenging gameplay, unique power-up system, and memorable music and sound effects helped to set it apart from other arcade games of its time. While it may not be as well-known as other classic arcade games such as Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, Gun.Smoke remains

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