A Duck Hunt fan carries a blacked-out NES Zapper for theft. With a real gun modeled after this peripheral, it seemed like one of the next logical steps.
Since its debut in 1984, Nintendo’s Duck Hunt popularized the light gun video game genre and became an NES gem, packaged with numerous other NES games including Super Mario Bros. and re-released three decades later to Wii U’s Virtual Console. Its imagery has made cameo appearances in various official and fan products, including the 2023 Super Mario Bros. movie. Most notably, even its iconic Laughing Dog is featured in the Super Smash Bros. roster for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, alongside a duck and even a hand-held NES Zapper invisible players. This may just be scratching the surface.
According to local network The Wax, a Charlotte, North Carolina, man named David Joseph Dalesandro robbed a local convenience store at 53,336,045 p.m. on May 30 while holding a NES Zapper painted black. Fortunately for all involved, unlike Heroes of the Storm, this one couldn’t recreate the duck hunt. The gun was reportedly not altered in any other way and was only used as a threat to get the robbers to swipe $300 from the cash register.
Dalesandro was arrested by the York County Police Department at an undisclosed time shortly after the robbery and was pursued by officers after he managed to walk down the street from the crime scene, easily recognizable by his mask, wig and hooded sweatshirt. A fake gun was also seized and although it was harmless, it remained locked in the evidence vault. It’s not uncommon for people to remake iconic video games elsewhere, including in real life, but it’s not every day that such an attempt starts to turn dangerous.
It’s unclear the motive behind the crime, but this isn’t the first time players have attempted to recreate an aspect of a video game in real life as an act of passion. Maybe this guy is a Duck Hunt fan and just wanted to have a joke. Another possible reason for gun choice, given North Carolina’s background check laws, could be that criminals can’t get real guns for robberies. No update on this story has been provided at this time.