Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders

Infobox VG
title = Sunset Riders

developer = Konami
publisher = Konami
designer = H. Tsujimoto (director)
released = (Arcade) September 4, 1991 (Mega Drive/Genesis) March 3, 1993 (SNES) August 6, 1993
genre = Run and gun
modes = (Arcade) Single player 2-4 player Co-op (Mega Drive/Genesis) 1-2 player Co-op Versus Mode (SNES) 1-2 player Co-op
cabinet = Upright
cpu = Motorola 68000 (@ 16 MHz)
sound = Z80 (@ 4 MHz) YM2151 (@ 3.579545 MHz) K053260 (@ 3.579545 MHz)
display = Raster 288 x 224 pixels (Horizontal) 2048 colors
input = (Arcade) 8-way Joystick, 2 Buttons (Console) 1-2 Controller(s)
platforms = Arcade Mega Drive/Genesis SNES
nihongo|"Sunset Riders"|サンセットライダーズ is a run and gun arcade game created by Konami in 1991. It is set in the wild west. The game was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES video game console in 1993. The arcade version was directed by H. Tsujimoto, who is also credited with directing the arcade version of "Super Contra".


The game, which is set in a fanciful version of the American Old West, revolves around four bounty hunters who are out to claim rewards given for eliminating the most wanted outlaws in the West. There is no true "storyline" aside from collecting progressively larger rewards. At the beginning of each level the player is shown a wanted poster, showing the criminal, the reward for stopping them, and the cliché line "Wanted dead or alive".

Arcade Version

Gameplay (Arcade Version)

"Sunset Riders" is similar to other run and guns, such as Konami's "Contra", but with less emphasis on jumping and a greater focus on shooting. The game includes a total of four playable characters to choose from: Steve, Billy, Bob, and Cormano. The characters are slightly differentiated: Steve and Billy use revolvers, Bob carries a rifle, and Cormano is armed with a shotgun. The rifle and shotgun shoot somewhat slower than their revolver counterparts, but have a wider spread, making them ideal for taking out enemies without too much precise aiming. On the full-size arcade cabinet up to four players can play simultaneously, each as a different character.

The player can fire in 8 directions, slide to avoid bullets, and perform surprisingly acrobatic jumps onto and from rooftops, offering additional vantage points from which to fight. Many enemies can do the same. Unlike "Contra" (but similar to "Metal Slug"), colliding with enemies does not kill the player; only bullets, pits and other obstacles are fatal. Throughout the levels there are doors that can be opened, as in the games "Rolling Thunder" and "Shinobi". Enemies may come out of some doors, while others yield power-ups. When the player emerges from one of doors containing a power-up a short animation plays, showing the protagonist being kissed on the cheek by a female bar fly or taking a swig from a bottle of liquor, and when done, throws it away, making a shattered glass noise.

Some enemies use stick-dynamite as a weapon; if quick enough, this can can be picked up and thrown by the players. Once thrown, the dynamite will start to blink at an accelerated pace, which represents the remaining length of the fuse. When it explodes it will eliminate both players and enemies, even if the enemies initially threw the dynamite. In addition, there are many opportunely placed boulders, barrels, and torches suspended above ground that can be used to the player's advantage. At the end of each level, the cash bounty is awarded to the player who inflicted the most damage on the boss.

Power-ups/Bonuses (Arcade Version)

There are three types of hidden items in the arcade version. All of the gun power-ups are lost when the player gets killed.
* Rapid fire: Represented by a gold sheriff's badge marked with a large revolver, this item allows players to hold the button to fire (instead of hitting it repeatedly) and accelerates the bullets slightly.
* Dual fire: Represented by a silver sheriff's badge emblazoned with two revolvers, this icon gives the player a second weapon. Steve and Billy fire their dual revolvers at different angles, while Bob and Cormano aim their paired rifles/shotguns in the same direction for a wider shot spread.
* Monetary award: A pile of gold coins (worth $2000) or a roast turkey (worth $500). In addition, once a character's guns are fully powered up, any rapid/dual fire items he picks up are worth $1000 each.

Stages And Bosses (Arcade Version)

There are a total of eight levels in the arcade version. Each boss says a short phrase at the beginning and end of each battle. A few of the phrases contain minor translation errors. Most of the game consists of side-scrolling on foot, however Stage 2 and Stage 7 are done primarily on horseback. In addition, there are two bonus rounds, one after level 2 and the other after level 5.

Home Ports

Mega Drive/Genesis

While the SNES version is fairly faithful, the Mega Drive/Genesis version has some very drastic changes made to the mechanics and overall gameplay. Most notable of these changes are the removal of the characters Steve and Bob as well as four out of the eight original levels. In finer detail, the set designs have been either changed or cross-transferred in some cases. The boss fights also differ due to a change in platforms or weaponry used by the boss. However, the Mega Drive/Genesis version does allow some options that are not available in the SNES version such as the ability to shoot dynamite, a full length Native American level with enemies of its namesake, a two player versus mode, and a bonus stage on horseback. As for the layout itself, each stage consists of two parts: a half-stage where you must save a captive from a group of enemies and then the boss stage. Each half-stage takes around the same amount of length as a normal stage, so it leaves the effect of being eight stages long.

Due to size constraints voice clips of each boss were replaced with text-based voice bubbles. This was done to every speaking line in the game aside from death groans and the sound clip, "Thank you nice boys!", of which is spoken each time a captive is saved.

The Mega Drive/Genesis version has an entirely different bonus stage in which the player(s) must catch power-ups and rewards being thrown from a quickly moving wagon while riding on horseback. A gold star is required in order to make it to each bonus stage. A bonus stage occurs after every boss fight (except for the last).

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Although the SNES version is somewhat close in quality to the arcade version, it also made substantial changes much like the Mega Drive/Genesis version. One of the biggest changes to the Super NES version was the replacement of the Native American enemies in the sixth stage, with the regular cowboy enemies in their place instead. This changes some of the gameplay on that stage, since the regular Native enemies fired flaming arrows and set up boulder traps, attempting to block your progress. Also, Chief Scalpem (or Wigwam, as he is called in the Super NES version) says, "Get ready for a Pow-Wow", and "I'm Pow-Wowed out!", with correct grammar. Not surprisingly, this only affects the caption. As the voice clips couldn't be redone, they were simply shortened to, "Ready for Pow-Wow", and "Pow-Wowed out!". Other changes to the U.S. Super NES version include removal of female enemies and giving all the female barflies in the game longer dresses instead of their normal corsets and underwear. Also none of the characters drink anything or get kissed by female barflies when they come out of doors, instead simply posing when they get a power-up from a door. Also, due to Nintendo of America's censorship policies involving alcoholic references, the "SALOON" was changed to a "TAVERN".

Much like the arcade version, the SNES version consists of eight stages with the player(s) on horseback on stages 2 and 7. Each boss has a battle and death phrase (some of which were edited by Nintendo of America's censorship policy) and all but one sound clip is kept in the game.

ee also

* "Mystic Warriors"
* " Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa"
* "List of Western computer and video games"

External links

* [ Sunset Riders Mega Drive/Genesis version information]
* [ Sunset Riders SNES version information]
* [ Sunset Riders information at arcade-history]

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