Gun Fight [Model 597]

Arcade Video game published 47 years ago by Midway Mfg.

Listed in MAME

Gun Fight [Model 597] screenshot

Gun Fight © 1975 Midway.

Each player (2 people play at a time--there is no computer opponent) controls a gunfighter. Your left hand has a 4-way joystick which moves your gunfighter anywhere on your side of the screen. Your right hand has a gun grip which tilts up and down to aim your gunfighter's pistol and which has a trigger to fire. Your only goal is to shoot the other player, who is right across the screen from you; he will then fall down and say 'Got Me'. It isn't usually a straight shot, as there will always be cactuses, a moving stagecoach, or trees somewhere between the 2 players. (Another obstacle will be added for each hit scored.) Just shoot the other player for points. The game is time based, and not life based. The factory setting is for a 90-second game, but this is operator-adjustable down to as low as 60 seconds.

Goodies for Gun Fight [Model 597]
Click to enlarge
(members only)

This Upright model was mostly red, but it was covered with painted cowboy side-art. There was no marquee at all, the game had its title printed on the monitor bezel, down towards the control panel. The machine overall had an attractive look.

Game No. 597

Main CPU : Intel 8080 (@ 1.9968 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 256 x 224 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz
Palette colors : 2

Players : 2
Control : 4-way joystick, 2-way analog stick

Marquee bulbs: 1896, a 14 volt clear sphere bayonet type


Gun Fight was released in November 1975. It was also released as "Gun Fight [Cocktail Table] [Model 604]".

Gun Fight was based on Taito's Western Gun, a game which used TTL-based discrete logic hardware. Midway's Dave Nutting adapted the Taito game to use an Intel 8080 microprocessor. Gun Fight was the first Japanese title to be licensed for release in America. It was also the first video game to incorporate a microprocessor, and the expanded processing capabilities allowed for graphics and game-play much more advanced than "Pong".

Gun Fight was a pretty important video-games innovator. It was the first game ever to have 2 on-screen humans battling against each other at the same time, and as such it's the grandfather of the fighting games that take up most of the floorspace in modern arcades. It also introduced the idea of having separate controls for aiming and moving.

More than 8000 units were produced in the US.

A Gun Fight unit appears in the 1978 movie 'Dawn of the Dead'.


EARLY PRODUCTION MODELS, i.e. serial number 222, had silk-screen glass that was able to have a light to show 'Game Over' and 'Credit'. A wooden plate had additional cutouts to show and isolate the lighting behind the words. Though the holes to allow a lamp & socket to be placed, they were never used. The plate had two additional sockets, one per lower side, to enhance the lighting behind each cowboy. But they, too, weren't hooked up.


1. Gun Fight (1975)
2. Boot Hill [No. 612] (1977)


Designed and programmed by: Dave Nutting, Tom McHugh


Bally Astrocade


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.