Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Hogan’s Alley (NES)

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Hogan's_Alley_CoverConsole: NES
Released: 1985
Developer: Nintendo R&D 1
Publisher: Nintendo
Difficulty: Easy
Instruction Manual: Not Necessary – Link
Played as a child? Yes
Price: $2.00 (used) $500.00 (new)
Famicom Version? Yes, as Hōganzu Arei
Digital Release? No

HogansAlley_1There’s more to Hogan’s Alley than it originally seems.  If you’re doing a double-take and noticing considerable similarities (especially on the main screen) to Duck Hunt, that’s not a mistake.  Considering it was developed by the same studio, in the same year, and a launch title for the initial NES, this was the next logical step for a light gun shooter.  I was probably one of the few that picked this title up at its initial release but it impressed the hell out of me.  It was a surprising simulation of the FBI training program with cardboard cutouts for new recruits.  Basically, if you’ve ever seen a shooting range in a movie, this is the basic design for the program.  When Duck Hunt and Wild Gunman were the only competition, Hogan’s Alley (especially in the cityscape “Game B”) was a breath of fresh air and gave way to the more popular Lethal Enforcers and Crime Patrol series.

HogansAlley_2You have 3 games to choose from: one is a cardboard shooting range, one is a simulated town (complete with amazing music) where you take out the bad guys and spare the innocent, and finally a can shooting game that provides the most compelling gameplay of the mix.  The game was apparently named for the FBI training program, which I was unable to validate, but I can confirm it was part of a Special Police training school at Camp Perry pre-World War II and an actual training camp name at the Quantico FBI training camp.  While there’s not much else to say about the title, it’s just a fun time that demonstrates what we all love about light gun shooters.

Written by Fred Rojas

April 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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