A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

Gunhawk is lightgun game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System that can be played with either the NES Zapper or a standard NES controller.

In Gunhawk, you will control the eponymous mech as you shoot your way through 5 multi-stage sectors to escape the enemy base. Between levels, you will have the opportunity to upgrade the Gunhawk's capabilities and become more powerful. 

As you clear each sector, the story of the game will unfold through dialogue cutscenes. Optional events give you a chance to tap into enemy communications for additional upgrades, but this will not be without risk.

The zip file on this page contains an NES rom file of the game as well as a copy of FCEUX, a NES emulator, with which to play the game on Windows. Double-click on PlayGame.bat to run the game in the included emulator.

Physical NES Copies

Physical copies of Gunhawk that can be played on real NES hardware are in the works. They will be available at https://skyboygames.com/store once they are ready.


Created by Skyboy Games

Music, HUD and City Graphics by DV-i (https://dv.dvihypermedia.net/)

How To Play

Screen Guide


Gunhawk features two control schemes: Zapper and Cursor. You can choose to use either of these control schemes whenever you start the game.

Zapper Aim

Zapper - Line-up your target with the Zapper's gunsights and pull the trigger to fire.

D-Pad - Press Left or Right on the D-Pad to move the Gunhawk left or right.

Alternatively, you can turn the gamepad 90 degrees and use Down or Up to move the Gunhawk left or right.

Cursor Aim

D-Pad - Move the targeting reticle around the screen.

B-Button - Fire at target under reticle.

A-Button - Hold to make D-Pad move the Gunhawk left or right instead of moving the targeting reticle.


Every time you clear a stage, you will get a chance to upgrade the Gunhawk. If the Gunhawk is damaged, one of the upgrade options will be replaced by a chance to repair damage in lieu of taking an upgrade.

Hacking and Branches

At certain points of the game, you will have the opportunity to hack into enemy communication lines. Doing so will allow you spy on an enemy conversation and potentially get extra data to upgrade the Gunhawk. There is a chance, however, that your hacking attempt will be detected and the Gunhawk will take damage instead of getting an upgrade.

Secret Intel Choosing to hack at some parts of the game will allow you to take alternate routes and encounter different enemies.

Game Over

If the Gunhawk takes too much damage, the game will end. At this point, you will see your final score and can return to the title screen.

Secret Intel You can hold the A button while pressing Start to continue from the stage where you were defeated. However, your score will be reset.


Story Overview

On a distant planet under military control, a mysterious pilot, Nue, has commandeered a powerful prototype mecha codenamed 'Gunhawk'. Using the Gunhawk, Nue must escape the enemy's base by blasting his way through legions of foes. 

While escaping, Nue is contacted by Emma, a leader in the local resistance. She offers to help him escape, but can she truly be trusted...



A mysterious pilot who has taken control of the powerful prototype mecha known as 'Gunhawk'. 


A leader in the local resistance. She offers to guide Nue and help him escape the enemy base.

Secret Intel Intelligence suggest the Gunhawk can hack into enemy communications at certain locations, revealing our adversaries.


Special Techniques

Charge Shot

Between shots the Gunhawk charges weapon energy. When the energy meter is full, the next shot will do much higher damage. Firing a charged shot completely discharges the weapon meter.


Double-tap left or right movement to make the Gunhawk quickly dash in that direction. While dashing, the Gunhawk will be briefly immune to damage but will lose any accumulated weapon charge.

Attack Interrupt

Some enemies will show a brief spark before they attack. If these enemies are hit at this moment with a charged shot, their attack will be interrupted. Mastering this technique will allow you to defend against enemy attacks while inflicting damage.

Upgrade List

Max HP

This upgrade increases the maximum amount of damage the Gunhawk can take.

Charge Speed

Increase the speed at which the Gunhawk's weapon charges to allow more frequent charged shots.

Charge Damage

Increases the damage inflicted by the Gunhawk's charged shots.

Dash Charge

Taking this upgrade allows the Gunhawk to keep weapon charge even when dashing.

Safe Dash

Increases the invincibility window while dashing.

Fire Rate

Increases the rate at which the Gunhawk can fire.

Shield Damage

Increases damage against shields, allowing the Gunhawk to break them faster.


Choosing this upgrade will immediately reward you with points. The more times you select this upgrade, the higher the point reward becomes. Are you willing to forego upgrading the Gunhawk for a high score?

Enemy List


Scouts rarely attack directly, but they send intel back to the enemy and can waste your time.

Light Attacker

An agile attack mech that uses hit-and-run tactics.



Combat mechs that use rapid-fire weapons to attack foes and limit their movement options.

Secret IntelSome Suppressors carry large shields. You can attempt to shoot around the shield or destroy it with repeated attacks.


A large assault vehicle equipped with highly damaging cannons.

Secret IntelIntel reports seeing multiple variants of the Gunboat. Some with incredibly high firepower.


A unusual assault vehicle that weaves with surprising agility for such a heavily equipped vehicle.

Secret IntelThere seem to be multiple Dragonship variants on patrol. Unfortunately, details on their capabilities is sketchy.

Danger Level

When you clear the game, you will start again from the beginning but with all acquired upgrades and score. However, enemies attacks and behavior will be more aggressive. Complete the game multiple times in a row for the ultimate challenge.

Secret Intel You can no longer continue from Game Over once the Danger Level has been increased.
Secret Intel If you hold A+B down while pressing Start or Shooting the Title screen, you will start the game at Danger Level 1. Be ready for a challenge!


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Gunhawk_1_1_RC1.zip 2 MB
Gunhawk_1_1_RC1.nes 40 kB
Gunhawk_1_0_RC5.zip 2 MB
Gunhawk_1_0_RC5.nes 40 kB

Development log


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I am trying to play this game on an emulator, but it looks like you need a light gun, to choose the control method?

You should be able to select the gamepad control method by pressing Select then Start at the input selection screen. Select and Start are usable in all menus that let you make a choice.

Incidentally, depending on the emulator you use, you may be able to tweak settings to allow mouse clicks / screen touches to emulate lightgun zaps. That's what I do with the copy of FCEUX bundled in the zip file version of Gunhawk.

Thanks, that worked.


1. This game rules!

2. I'm having a small issue (and it's probably my fault). The rom works great on my Everdrive N8, but it's not working on my Everdrive N8-Pro. Let me clarify: The rom loads on both fine, but the zapper doesn't work with the N8-Pro for some reason.

Like I said, it's probably something I'm doing wrong, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

I have an Everdrive N8 I use for testing, but I don't have an N8-Pro, so I'm not familiar with N8-Pro specific features. I don't suppose there are some settings in the N8-Pro that could be a factor. Would I be correct in presuming that your Zapper is plugged into controller slot 2?

Also, regarding the Zapper not working. Are you getting any response when you pull the trigger? If so, does it flicker the screen to black when their are targets on the screen (either in the 2-choice menus or when enemies are on screen)? 

Last aspect to check, what type of device are you playing the Everdrive on? Is it a stock NES or a third-party machine like a Retron? Is the device plugged in directly to a CRT TV or does it go through another device along the way?

Sorry for the volley of questions. These are just what came up as I started thinking about what might be going on.


Yes, zapper is in port 2.

Zero response at all from multiple zappers I tried.

Tried it on both an original NES and a top loader directly into my CRT. Both same results. 

I also tested out some other zapper games on the N8-Pro and they worked fine. Like I said, it works GREAT on the N8.

Just wanted to give you the heads up. 


Thank you!
I definitely appreciate the heads-up.

Hi Joe,

I just picked up an Everdrive N8-Pro and the Zapper seems to be working on mine. Do you know which version of the OS you're running? You can check it by hitting SELECT at the Everdrive menu and selecting Device Info.

hello! OS Version 2.14 is what i'm seeing. 

When I was testing, I was using OS Version 2.15. Could that be it?
Once I'm done with the convention this weekend, I'll try changing my OS version and see if that reproduces the bug.


I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, I don't have control over what payment methods this site offers...

Will this work by creating a custom NES cart - say with a proper donor cart?
Which mapper is suitable?


It uses NROM, i.e. mapper 0.

I will be doing an official physical release later (hopefully before the year is out), but let me know if you have any trouble getting it onto the donor cart.

Thanks for your reply!
Sure, I will let you know if everything went well