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Sunset Riders (サンセットライダーズ Sansetto Raidāzu) is a side-scrolling run-and-gun style shoot-'em-up released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1991. The game is set during the American Old West, where the player takes control of a bounty hunter who is seeking the rewards offered for various criminals. The coin-op version was released in two variants: a 2-player version and a 4-player version. Home versions of Sunset Riders were released for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) in 1992 and for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 .
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".
The player can play as one of four bounty hunters: Steve and Billy are armed with peacemakers (for faster shots), while Bob and Cormano both use shotguns (for wider shots). In the 2-player version, each player can choose the character they want to control before starting the game, while in the 4-player version the characters are pre-assigned based on the order of the players.
The game's controls consist of an eight-way joystick for moving the character and two buttons for shooting and jumping. The player's gun has unlimited ammunition and can shoot forwards and upwards while the player is standing or jumping. The player can jump between different floors when possible by holding the joystick up or down while pressing Jump. During the upper levels, the player can shoot downwards (diagonally or vertically) while crouching (whereas on the ground level, the player can only shoot forwards while crouching). The player can also slide by holding the joystick downwards diagonally while pressing Jump.
Two badge-shaped power-ups can be obtained by defeating sack-carrying enemies: the Silver Badge grants the player a second gun, allowing their character to shoot at two directions at the same time; while the Gold Badge allows the player to fire continuously with the shoot button press down. Both power-ups can be used together. The other two items includes gold dust piles and roasted chickens, which will provide the player with additional points. The player can also find power-ups by entering certain buildings as well. Certain enemies will also throw dynamite sticks at the player, which can be picked up with the shoot button and tossed back at them. The player loses a life every time they get hit by the enemy, along with any power-ups they may had been wielding.
The game consists of eight stages. The objective is to reach the end of each stage and defeat the outlaw awaiting at the end in order to collect the bounty offered for the boss. The further the player progresses through the game, the greater the bounties will become If more than one player is playing, the player who attacks the boss the most will get the bounty at the end. Some stages feature segments where the character is riding on a horseback. In addition to the regular stages, there are also bonus stages set from a first-person perspective where the player must shoot at enemies coming from eight directions.
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 picked up are worth $1000 each.
Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)
The Genesis version of Sunset Riders features the most changes made to the game between the two home versions of the game. Out of the four main characters from the arcade game, only Billy and Cormano are featured. The controls are identical to the arcade version aside for addition of two shooting buttons instead of just one: one buttons allows the player to walk and shoot at the same time, while the other shoot buttons keeps the character still when pressed down, allowing the player to change their aim only.
Only four stages are featured in contrast to the arcade game's eight stages, which are divided into two segments: the first segment has the player rescuing a kidnapped girl awaiting them at the end, while the second segment ends with a battle against the stage's boss. The bosses featured in this version are Simon Greedwell, Paco Loco, Chief Scalpem, and Richard Rose.The power-up items have also been replaced, with almost all of them serving the same function (such as the extra Gun and the Bullet, which replaces the Silver and Gold Badges respectively). Unlike the other versions, the player can cause a dynamite stick to explode by shooting it. To access a bonus round, the player must collect a Star item located in either segment of each stage. The bonus rounds differs from the ones in the arcade version, in which the player character is riding on a horseback, chasing after a moving wagon, which features a woman who will toss extra coins and lives to the road for the player to collect.
In addition to the standard game mode, the Genesis version features a two-player versus mode where each player will fight each other to a gunfight. The player must shoot each other until either player's damage meter runs out. The first player to win two out of three rounds will be declared the winner. There's also an Option Mode that allows the player to adjust the main game's difficulty, number of lives and continues, as well as the game's controls.
In contrast to the Genesis version, the SNES version of Sunset Riders features relatively fewer changes, as it features all four main characters (although only up to two players can play) and all eight stages with their corresponding bosses. The power-up items are also the same. Instead of an additional shooting button like the Genesis version, the sliding ability is now assigned to its button.
The SNES version however, features changes that were not made in the Genesis version. The barfly that kisses the player character in Stage 1, as well as the saloon dancers from Stage 4 are dressed more conservatively compared to the arcade version. The Native American enemy characters from Stage 6 were removed and replaced with regular outlaws, leaving only Chief Scalpem (who is renamed Chief Wigwam in the SNES game) as the stage boss. The dynamite tossing female bandits were removed from the SNES port as well (although, they were not in the Genesis version either).
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Arcade. Level/area: Operator's manual, page 2.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 3.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 4.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 7.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 8.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 9.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 10.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Sega Genesis. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 05.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Super NES. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 4.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Super NES. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 7.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Super NES. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 10.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Super NES. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 9.
- ↑ Konami. Sunset Riders. Super NES. Level/area: Instruction manual, page 8.
- Sunset Riders at Museum of the Game
- Sunset Riders Mega Drive/Genesis version informationfa:سوارکاران آفتاب