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Duck Hunt

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For fighter info, see Duck Hunt (SSB4) and Duck Hunt (SSBU).
For the stage, see Duck Hunt (stage).
For other meanings of "Duck Hunt", see Duck Hunt (disambiguation).
Duck Hunt
SSBU spirit Duck Hunt.png

Official artwork of the dog and a couple of ducks, as they appear in the Japanese and European cover of Duck Hunt.

Universe Duck Hunt
Debut Duck Hunt (1984)
Smash Bros. appearances Melee (Duck only)
Brawl (Duck only)
Most recent non-Smash appearance WarioWare Gold (2018, cameo)
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
Species Dog
Gender Male (Dog)[1]
Varies (Duck)[2]
Place of origin Earth
Designed by Hiroji Kiyotake[3]
Article on Wikipedia Dog (Duck Hunt)

Duck Hunt (ダックハント, Duckhunt), known in PAL regions as Duck Hunt Duo, is the name of a playable tag team composed of the player's hunting dog and a duck from the NES light gun game, Duck Hunt. After ducks made cameos as a trophy (with a passing reference to the hunting dog) in Super Smash Bros. Melee and a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, both the hunting dog and a duck transitioned into playable characters as of Super Smash Bros. 4.


In-game sprite of the dog holding a duck in Duck Hunt

Throughout Duck Hunt, the goal is to shoot all of the ducks with a limited amount of bullets and time. By plugging a controller into the player 2 slot in the NES, a duck can be controlled to a limited extent by another player.

The hunter is the playable character in all versions of Duck Hunt and is supposed to represent the player. Accompanying the player is a non-playable scent hound, who flushes out the ducks for the hunter to shoot and picks up any ducks that are shot down by the player. If the player fails to shoot down any ducks, the dog infamously laughs at the player's misfortune before slinking back down into the grass.

Although the home console version of Duck Hunt does not allow players to shoot the dog, the arcade version, Vs. Duck Hunt, actually allows players to do so in the bonus rounds. However, successfully shooting the dog immediately ends the bonus round and yields no points.[4]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee marks the debut of the Duck Hunt universe within the Super Smash Bros. series. The universe is represented by a collectible trophy that consists of two ducks, and its description references both the hunting dog and the player as the hunter.

A concept similar to Assist Trophies was considered for Melee, with one example being the ducks from Duck Hunt flying around the stage and interfering with characters. Due to developmental circumstances, however, the idea was scrapped.[5]


The Ducks trophy in Melee.

These friendly fowl are the targets in the game Duck Hunt, which utilizes the Nintendo Zapper Light Gun. They appear and randomly fly about trying to escape after your faithful (if slightly clamorous) hunting dog flushes them out. Once you drop the ducks, your dog dutifully fetches them by the napes of their necks and grins at you.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl marks the second appearance of the Duck Hunt universe. Instead of a trophy, the universe is represented with a sticker of a duck. Fittingly, the sticker can only be applied to the Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch, Pit and R.O.B., all of whom debuted in the 1980s like the hunting dog and ducks.


Name Game Effect Characters
Duck Duck Hunt SpecialLaunchResistance+020StickerIconLaunchResistance.png +20 Ice Climbers Mr. Game & Watch Pit R.O.B.IceClimbersHeadSSBB.pngMrGame&WatchHeadSSBB.pngPitHeadSSBB.pngROBHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Duck (Duck Hunt).png
(Duck Hunt)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Main article: Duck Hunt (SSB4)
Duck Hunt, as they appear in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Super Smash Bros. 4 marks both the third appearance of the Duck Hunt universe, and the debut of unlockable characters for said universe. Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai stated that their playable inclusion was influenced by that respective game's worldwide sales numbers, and his feeling that the Duck Hunt universe had not been viable for such representation until SSB4.[6] Although the hunting dog and a duck fight together as a team,[7] they do not truly fall under the tag team archetype like the Ice Climbers, Olimar, and Rosalina & Luma. Duck Hunt were the final newcomers to be officially revealed for the base version of SSB4.

Three of Duck Hunt's special moves also reference other "Light Gun Series" games contemporary to their home game. Neutral special involves a tin can from the "Trick Shot" game mode in Hogan's Alley. Down special involves the gunmen from the NES game Wild Gunman. Lastly, their Final Smash collectively involves a flock of ducks from Duck Hunt, the cardboard cutouts from the Hogan's Alley, and the gunmen from Wild Gunman. Outside of these moves, their smash attacks also make use of the NES Zapper.

Duck Hunt's projectiles make them capable at stage control and zoning, with Trick Shot being the most useful because of its remote controllable property. They also have a good air game: sweetspotted neutral aerial, up aerial and sweetspotted back aerial are capable KOing options, while forward aerial is useful for edge-guarding and spacing. However, their KO potential is very inconsistent because of their very small number of KOing options; this is further compounded by their smash attacks' very awkward hitbox placements making them liable to fail at landing all of their hits.

Although Duck Jump is a maneuverable recovery move that grants a decent amount of vertical and horizontal distance, it is slow and unprotected; this leaves Duck Hunt wide open to edge-guarding, and forces them to use the dog's wall jump more often than not. Their reliance on projectiles is also highly ineffective against characters who can counteract them, such as those with reflectors and especially against Rosalina & Luma, who can completely nullify their projectiles with Gravitational Pull.

Despite having a small playerbase, Duck Hunt have nevertheless managed to achieve decent results at regional and national tournaments, thanks to Raito, Brood, You3, ImHip and Dandy Penguin. To reflect this, Duck Hunt are currently ranked 30th out of 55 on the tier list; in addition to placing them at the top of the D tier, this renders them as the highest ranking mid-tier characters.


Duck Hunt
North America You could call these two the stars of the NES 1985 launch title Duck Hunt. The goofy dog would chase down any ducks hit by the Zapper. In Smash Bros., these two work as a team to fight. When a can or a clay pigeon is in play, hit the button again to fire at it. Show your foes how the ducks felt!
Europe Back in 1987, when Duck Hunt came out, these two might not have had the best relationship. That all seems to have changed now, and this unlikely pair are here to fight together. After throwing a can or a clay pigeon, press the button again to have a little helper fire the NES Zapper for extra damage!
NES: Duck Hunt (10/1985)
Duck Hunt (Alt.)
North America Duck Jump, an up special, has the charming twosome float up in an adorable fashion. It also makes getting back to the stage much easier. Their side smash can hit up to three times at close range, depending on your shooting skills. By charging up the attack, you can increase the range even further!
Europe Duck Jump Duo, an up special, has the charming twosome float up in an adorable fashion. It also makes getting back to the stage much easier. Their side smash can hit up to three times at close range, depending on your shooting skills, and by charging up the attack, you can increase the range even further!
NES: Duck Hunt (10/1985)
In the NES game Duck Hunt, the dog is your trusty hunting partner. He scares the ducks and then picks up the ones you hit. If you don't hit any, though, he'll laugh at you. So much for man's best friend... In the Duck Hunt stage in this game, he'll occasionally pop up in his 8-bit glory and let you use him as a platform!
NES: Duck Hunt (10/1985)
In the classic NES game Duck Hunt, you hunt, er...ducks. The dog flushes them into the air, and then you aim and fire. Taking down ducks gets you points in the Duck Hunt stage in this game too. It has no effect on the battle, but the alternative Duck Hunt action might be a refreshing change from constantly punching your friends in the face.
NES: Duck Hunt (10/1985)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Main article: Duck Hunt (SSBU)
Duck Hunt, as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Duck Hunt return as unlockable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In the transition to Ultimate, Duck Hunt's once-infamously unreliable smash attacks connect much more reliably (though their final hits may still fail to connect in rare instances), thus significantly improving their once-notoriously inconsistent KO potential.

Each of Duck Hunt's special moves have also gained particular buffs. Trick Shot deals more damage and knockback, travels farther, has less ending lag, and can now be hit while it is in midair. Clay Shooting has improved combo potential, thanks to it keeping the opponent in place upon contact and having less ending lag. Duck Jump can now be canceled with an attack or air dodge after 50 frames, similarly to Winged Pikmin. Lastly, Wild Gunman deals more damage, fires faster, and has less ending lag.

Although Duck Hunt received some nerfs, most notably to their neutral infinite, clean neutral aerial, and down aerial, they have nevertheless managed to attain great results in competitive play in spite of their small playerbase: Wisdom and Ozone tied for 5th at Paradigm Shift 2019, while Raito and Vintendo placed 5th and 25th, respectively, at EVO 2019.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ダックハント, Duck Hunt
USA English (NTSC) Duck Hunt
UK English (PAL) Duck Hunt Duo
France French (PAL) Duo Duck Hunt
Quebec French (NTSC) Duck Hunt
Germany German Duck Hunt Duo
Spain Spanish (PAL) Dúo Duck Hunt
Mexico Spanish (NTSC) Duck Hunt
Italy Italian Duo Duck Hunt
China Chinese (Simplified) 打猎, Duck Hunt
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 打獵, Duck Hunt
South Korea Korean 덕 헌트, Duck Hunt
Netherlands Dutch Duck Hunt-duo
Russia Russian Дуэт Duck Hunt Duck Hunt Duo
Portugal Portuguese Duo Duck Hunt


  • Despite being a tag team,[7] Duck Hunt's reveal trailer showed an off-screen player using NES Zapper in order to perform Duck Hunt's smash attacks, Trick Shot, and Clay Shooting. This off-screen player makes Duck Hunt the second characters to have a direct connection to the real world, following R.O.B.
  • During Banjo & Kazooie's reveal trailer, Duck Hunt were used as a bait-and-switch to introduce them a la King Dedede during King K. Rool's reveal trailer. This was likely done because of Duck Hunt also being a tag team that consists of a bird perched on a mammal's back, as well as in reference to a running gag among the Super Smash Bros. community in which Duck Hunt were perceived by fans as substitutes for the long-requested Banjo & Kazooie. Duck Hunt also have an alternate costume that bears a passing resemblance to Banjo & Kazooie, which is referenced in the latter's Classic Mode route, where Duck Hunt (using this costume) appear as the first opponents.
  • Duck Hunt is the only character to have a name difference in English between the NTSC and PAL regions.


  1. ^ Various sources, such as the tip for Duck Jump in SSB4, refer to the dog as male: "The duck grabs the dog and carries him through the air. Once started, this move can't be stopped."
  2. ^ The duck has the appearance of a male mallard, but its actual gender is never specified.
  3. ^ Making of a Myth: The Grueling Development of the Original Kid Icarus
  4. ^ How To Shoot The Dog And Other Facts You Probably Don't Know About 'Duck Hunt'
  5. ^ The Definitive Unused Fighter List in Smash - Source Translations. Source Gaming (January 31, 2016). Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Sakurai Explains Duck Hunt's Inclusion in Smash
  7. ^ a b Super Smash Blog | 59: Duck Hunt