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Shootout at Old Tucson (Arcade)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Shootout at Old Tucson was made in 1994 by American Laser Games for the arcades. Just few machines of it were sold as American Laser Games pulled out of the arcade business soon after release. As such the cabinets are very rare today. In episode 94 I interviewed American Laser Games founder Robert Grebe. As I talked to him about the home conversions of the game on which American Laser Games worked, he was surprised to hear from me that the development was stopped and none of them hit stores.

In episode 82 is showed how I modified my 3DO in order to avoid the RSA check. This modification allowed me to run the arcade game "Shootout at Old Tucson" on my Japanese home machine. Of course the trigger and the one button on the Gamegun were not sufficient as inputs for a whole arcade interface. Because of that I used my trusty oscilloscope to characterize the Gamegun. The full digital message of one input consists of 40 bits. I realized that between the gun's identification string and the positional information there is a huge gap. The trigger will occupy one bit and the black button on the gun will use up two bits. Pressing the button brought up the service menu. Therefore I knew that I was on the right track. I then improvised a dirty circuit made of the same eight bit shift registers I used in episode 28 for the SNES gun. Quickly I found out which bit corresponds to which function in the game. I will talk about the details of the circuit in an upcoming episode as it would go beyond the scope of this video and because the circuit is interesting on its own as it is compatible with all the 3DO based light gun arcade games made by American Laser Games.

In the service menu the gun can be calibrated and the buttons can be tested. The settings allow to set up the costs of a play, the number of lives and the difficulty. The used gun is semiautomatic, has a six shot capacity and an infinite supply of ammunition. The game consists of 11 levels, which are interrupted every few levels by two reoccurring levels one being a shooting training which is also used before the first level and the other one being riding themed. Before these reoccurring levels a boss fight takes place in form of a duel. Therefore for a single play through 21 levels have to be cleared. This number is relative though as the game has no ending and will carry on to loop the last group of levels over and over.

The aim of every level is to last a certain duration. Health is subtracted if the player gets shot or shoots a civilian. The player may however kill civilians by shooting at the dynamite which acts as screen clearing weapon. Shooting the bull skull will yield in bonus points.

As for the rarity of the cabinet no game play footage of the game existed so far. Because of this I decided to show each level, even though this is prone to get a bit stale. The first level takes place in front of a house. The player than is presented a rocky landscape outside of the town. The next place is called "The Blacksmith's". The location of the fourth level is a train station. Next bandits are shot in front of a tavern. Then the player is taken into a garden. The seventh level takes place at the gang's hideout. The fight goes on in front of a whorehouse. Next follows a rather dark level and then again a rocky landscape. The 11th level takes place in front of a church.

Personally I like the game. It is an oddity as it is the only American Laser Games light gun game to use no full motion video. I think the digitized sprites work well and allow the game to be more action packed and faster than the other light gun games made by American Laser Games. I am very happy that I got it to work and that I am able to preserve some knowledge about it.