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Master Shooter (FamilyComputer Clones)

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Master Shooter was developed in 1993 by NTDEC for clone systems of the FamilyComputer. Like most NES games I played it on a Famicom AV.

The player uses a six shot revolver which is reloaded by shooting of screen. The game consists of two halves. The first half is presented as 5 levels of a shooting gallery, which could be played with two players in a competitive fashion. The first level lets you shoot on bottles. The second one on standing targets whereas the third level has moving targets. In the fourth level ghost girls are shot and finally UFOs. Normally the NES doesn’t display too many targets at once at the screen because of the way it tries to detect hits and if so it does not display them in the same horizontal line. However in this first half the game does exactly this and amazingly it works! Best to my knowledge Master Shooter has the most individual targets on screen amongst any NES light gun games. Between the levels of the first half an animation of dancing women is shown while cheerful music is played.

After those 5 levels the game compares the score of the two players and lets the winner access the second half of the game as a reward. If the first half is played in single player mode the game will continue to the second half even if just a single target was hit and the rest of the first part was waited through. The second part of the game plays similar to the game Bronx Street Cop released in 1989 for the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC. Gangsters appear in a street surrounding and have to be shot quickly as they open fire to the player when too much time passes.

Beating the game will reward the player with a very festive ending screen. I like the music of the game. While not being exceptional it is very well done and might be the best music I heard from a Taiwanese NES game. Personally I dislike that the game doesn’t allow the player to select which of two halves is played. Furthermore it is rather short and the difficulty is a tad bit too easy. Sadly the achieved scores are not shown upon conclusion which decreases the replay value of the game. The second half can be difficult as the game needs fast shooting, but as the zapper is not a light pen type device the game can’t know and therefore display the location of missed shots. Because of this it’s not possible to correct the location where the gun is shooting at from the hip based on missed shots. I am glad I played this game, but I don’t particularly like it. The game is a great example to show that many Taiwanese games were quite advanced and well made. Therefore it is sad that they are often missing in so called “complete NES” books and lists.

NTDEC made a lot of games during its lifespan. The company spawned labels such as Mega Soft and Caltron. For a variety of reasons Nintendo took legal actions against NTDEC in 1991. The most funny one has to be the name NTDEC itself as it is an acronym for “Nintendo Electronic Co.”. It is assumed that NTDEC morphed into ASDER after they lost the lawsuit. ASDER continued to develop games and is still operational today.