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The N64 Light Gun That Never Was
Topic Started: Aug 8 2015, 11:35 PM (4,746 Views)
Rocky
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Lot's of people think that the N64 never had a light gun. While that might be true, there was certainly one planned for release: let's travel back to the year 1997. The Nintendo 64 has launched with great success and things are looking good for Nintendo and their future. Meanwhile, a video games accessory company called Naki International (previously known as Nakitek), were working on a Nintendo 64 light gun. Titled the "Lunar Gun," the space themed firearm came with your standard fare of light gun features such as auto-reload, auto-fire, semi-auto fire, and a special button for things such as grenades and special ammunition. The Lunar Gun would be priced at $39.99. What made this gun truly special was the optional laser attachment that was able to be purchased along-side gun for $34.99. Now that Nintendo had this awesome gun being developed for their brand new console, what kind of software would be ready to go with it?

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'Mockup Box'

Kemco Games, also known as Kotobuki Systems, had a very interesting mark on the Nintendo 64's history working as a publisher and developer. They worked on the very successful Top Gear series for the N64 while also publishing arguably one of the worst games to hit the console: Daikatana. Where things really get interesting and more so, mysterious, was their 1998 rail shooter titled "Knife Edge: Nose Gunner." You probably never heard of this game and for a good reason. It was met with extremely negative critic reviews along with some devastatingly poor sales, so it never really made the public eye. The rail shooting genre almost always has a gun peripheral, and the gaming community was puzzled as to why Knife Gunner didn't have the hardware support to make it the experience it was supposed to be. Now I've done some research around the web and I found zero information regarding the development of Knife Gunner. I did come across a lot of uncited sources saying that the game was originally going to be a light gun game (that would make a lot of sense!) but the Kemco dropped it sometime in development: practically dooming the game's fate. I've tried contacting Kemco for their take on this matter but they have unfortunately transformed into a company that only develops IOS/Android games and their contact form doesn't work.

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Now here's where the story on how the Naki Gun and Knife Gunner intertwine. You can guys can probably surmise by now that the Naki Lunar Gun never met the light of day. It did, however make it to the Playstation (PSX) along with the same features I listed above. This begs the question, what happened that stopped the release of this gun? Well, we'll never know for certain because there was no other information released besides the announcement of the gun. And unfortunately, Naki International closed down sometime in 2004 so there's practically no way to contact them. So the only thing we can really do is speculate. Now, let's look at this from Naki's point of view and Nintendo's. Point number one: the N64's software library. The N64 was filled with platformers, 2d games, and fighting games. The kicker is that there were a lack of FPS games on the N64 and a SEVERE lack of on-rail shooters for the N64 (I believe Knife Gunner and Sin & Punishment were the only ones). Why would Naki invest in making a light gun when there's no dang software support for it? Especially in 1997-98! Point number two: the Super Scope. The failure of the Super Scope probably made Nintendo very weary of making another light gun peripheral and for good reason. These feelings definitely must have affected Naki during their development of the Lunar Gun. Point number three: CRT televisions. Light guns will only work on CRTs because they depend on the IR light to work; a byproduct that is missing in Plasma/LCD/LED technology. I believe Naki and Nintendo looked at the big picture and figured that CRTs would slowly be phased out come the new 2000 millennium. No CRTs=No Light Gun Support.

With all the contact lines cut off with Naki and Kemco, speculation is all we really have until hopefully, a Nintendo employee from the N64 era comes forwards and reveals their insight. My final thoughts: I highly doubt that Nintendo R&D were working on their own prototype after the lackluster Super Scope, so that's why I think they licensed it to Naki to "play it safe." Anyways, this was a fun little topic to research and I hope you guys learned something from it like I did! :n64:
Edited by Rocky, Nov 8 2017, 04:28 PM.
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Rocky
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Yeah this is all new to me too. I was browsing Etsy for N64 games and I saw this game called Knife Edge CIB for really cheap, and I ended up doing some research on it and this is how this whole post started!
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Rocky
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Shellshocker18
Oct 23 2017, 11:34 AM
So just for the record, we found where Rocky got his research regarding the N64 version of the Naki Lunar gun. It came from these 2 articles

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/naki-lunar-gun-aims-for-n64/1100-2467448/
http://www.ign.com/articles/1997/11/18/naki-shoots-ahead-with-n64-light-gun
(Fun fact the ign report released on my birthday, so at least something notable happened that day. Actually the ign article says another unnamed company was also working on a lightgun(haven't figured out who yet), and that there was 1 game coming to support the existence of both guns, which was presumably Knife Edge)

The reason I bring this up is because Naki doesn't mention this product at all on their official website, archived here, so this gun was certainly never produced. It also mentions a second model released in 1997, but the pictures aren't archived so we are unsure of what it looks like
https://web.archive.org/web/19981111191358/http://nakiusa.com/

Both the first and second model weren't released or made for N64, because there were no games to support even producing it. And Knife Edge honestly wasn't worth the trouble of producing the guns. Totally screwed that game, but it was 1 game that was below mediocre.

Also the gun is known as the Predator in Europe, and came from a company called Logic 3.
First model:http://www.blood-is-red.de/mw/index.php?title=Logic_3_Predator

2nd model made to be compatible with some Namco GunCon games: http://www.blood-is-red.de/mw/index.php?title=Logic_3_Predator_2

I don't doubt the gun was being made for N64. It was at least a plan. I agree that it didn't come out due to a lack of software and the fading popularity of bubble screen CRT tv. The ps1 at least had games like Time Crisis and Point Blank by then. There is also this ad which says the optional Laser Sight was compatible with N64

Spoiler: click to toggle


And for the record in case it wasn't made clear enough, Rocky's image IS a mockup, made using an image of the PlayStation box, the first image result on alibaba.com. I just wanted to make this clear because it confused the hell out of me at first as to whether this N64 box was real or not.

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This is about an hours worth of N-cyclopedia 64 research people, thanks to Danilochka. Not to put the Rocky of the past down because he alerted me to the existence of this gun in the first place. Just wanted to post some evidence.
What a weird post. It really comes off as condescending to be honest. You pretty much just paraphrased all the points I made and then posted links to sources I used?

"Just wanted to post some evidence." Evidence of what? Once again, I don't really understand the purpose of your post.
Edited by Rocky, Oct 23 2017, 08:14 PM.
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Rocky
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Shellshocker18
Oct 24 2017, 12:31 AM
I think the bottom part sounds like I'm calling you out when I wasn't so I'm sorry. Don't take it as condescending because that wasn't how it was supposed to be.

Evidence of the lunar gun being planned for N64. I went to go find some because you didn't link any and it involved Knife Edge which I was researching itself. I realized the box picture was photoshopped to be N64 and I don't think it will really do any harm but for a few minutes it irked me because I imagined it could fool someone into thinking it exists in some prototype form with a box, especially if they just saw the image and never read the post. I ended up with a bunch of sources by the end and thought I would post them to make researching the gun easier
Fair enough. My intention behind the picture was making a mockup of the box if it existed but I guess I could have made that more clear.
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