NES Light Gun Mod Shoots Real Laser
I'm going to fry that dog from Duck Hunt.
Image: Seb Lee-Delisle.
Straight out of my pew-pew-pew dreams comes British artist Seb Lee-Delisle with a brilliant hardware hack for the old NES lightgun. As part of the Brighton Digital Festival, Delisle is putting on a presentation called Hacked On Classics, which puts modern guts inside old technology. Thus, the NES lightgun with a real laser in the barrel was born:
Looking closer, this is more than a laser pointer hot-glued into the barrel of a plastic handgun. The thing that makes lasers in real life less fun than lasers in Star Wars is visibility: real lasers project light on their end target, but don't really look like anything to observers. There is no such thing as a lightsaber, even if someone tries to sell you one on Kickstarter.
Delisle added LED strips down the barrel of the gun to give it a nice sense of motion. Pulling the trigger also fires up a vape pen, which releases just enough vapor to make the laser visible as it fires. A projection screen shows the game that players are shooting at, and a tracking camera follows the laser shot and projects a splash effect with an attached four-watt laser.
It takes a disappointing amount of gear and trickery to make real lasers look more like sci-fi lasers, but it looks like it's worth it. Maybe we can get this sort of gear upgraded in time for the NES Classic to bring Duck Hunt back to living rooms.
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