Sunset Riders is a horizontally-scrolling platform shoot-em-up for up to four players set in America's Wild West. Four sharpshooter bounty hunters (Steve, Billy, Bob and Cormano) set out to claim the bounties for killing the most wanted outlaws in the West, before a final showdown against the infamous Sir Richard de la Rose.
The action takes place both on foot and on horseback, with play sometimes broken up with a wild west pursuit; such as having to run along the backs of a herd of fleeing Buffalo. Each level ends with players entering a one-on-one battle against one of the wanted men they have been pursuing.
Power-ups and bonus items can be obtained by entering saloons or defeating certain sack-carrying bandits. The power-ups comes in the form of either a golden sheriff badge (that gives the player's weapon auto-fire) or a silver badge that gives the player a second gun (making it possible to shoot in two directions simultaneously). Both power-ups can be equipped at the same time.
Other weapons that can be used by players include sticks of dynamite carried by female bandits that can be thrown back at the enemy before they explode and a mounted Gatling gun available only in the last stage.
A bonus mini-game appears at the end of Stages 2 and 5 in which players must shoot at enemies from a first-person perspective before the timer runs out.
Sunset Riders features eight stages of play.
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Game ID : GX064
Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 16 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.579545 Mhz), K053260 (@ 3.579545 Mhz)
In the 90s, the official Italian importer for Konami was Elettronica Videogames. Managers of the Japanese company usually visited the foreign partner, bringing a lot of new games and prototypes with them. In one of this circumstances, they brought with them the European prototype of Sunset Riders. In this version, the Mexican character was named 'Hermano' (brother). During a funny moment, trying to say something humorous, the chief technician of the Italian firm proposed: "Why not calling him Cormano?". Cormano, in fact, is the little town near Milan where the importing company was located.
King Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Konami Game Music Collection Vol.5 - KICA-7605) on September 26, 1992.
The US versions have the "Winners Don't Use Drugs" screen.
TIPS AND TRICKS
When you're facing off against the first boss, Simon Greedwell, there's a way to fire at him without being hit by his own gunfire. First, all enemies popping out of the house windows need to be cleared away, and the barrel on the left side needs to knocked down, exposing one side of the boss (but make sure you aren't hit and killed by the falling barrel). Then, position your player underneath that side so that he's firing upwards with the left hand at the left side of the boss (this is easier to do if you're holding two guns). If you do this correctly, you'll be able to gun down the boss while his own ammo passes by you harmlessly without touching you.
On the 2nd stage, as you're heading towards the train station where the second boss is waiting, there's an enemy-manned wagon that appears where the occupants throw out at least two logs that you need to jump over, lest you be killed by them. If you can anticipate the appearance of this wagon, you can shoot at the wheel almost instantly upon its arrival to destroy the wagon before they even throw out a single log at you.
On the 4th stage where you face off against the Smith Brothers in the saloon, they throw heavy explosives in your direction, so you need to keep jumping on and off the chandelier and in other directions to avoid their weapons. (Freeing the bar girls will render you intangible for a few seconds.) Don't try to jump onto the platforms where the Smith Brothers are standing while they're still alive, as you can be killed instantly when touching them.
On the 5th stage, the boss, El Greco, carries a whip causing instant death, and a shield. To succeed in hitting him, you need to try and jump around to shoot him from behind, as well as shooting him whenever he jumps, and to do your best to avoid being hit by the whip.
On the final stage, when penetrating Richard Rose's fortress, you need to use the Gatling guns provided to blast your way through two large wooden gates. Just jump onto the stands where your player will automatically grab the gun, point the joystick in the right direction and fire. But be careful, as the Gatling gun's ammo can kill other players as well as the enemy themselves