Rare Footage From Nintendo’s 1976 16mm Film Arcade Game ‘Sky Hawk’ Emerges
Nintendo’s fascinating history continues to be unearthed by fans across the world. Just last year, 16mm film from Nintendo’s Wild Gunman — originally a 1974 arcade cabinet before jumping onto the NES in the ’80s — was discovered. 16mm film games use film reels and projectors to project photos and footage onto the screen. Now, footage from another 16mm game has been uncovered.
The game in question this time is Sky Hawk, a 1976 arcade game. This time, the 16mm film footage is of remote-controlled fighter planes, which you must shoot down. One game lasts 60 seconds, and if you shoot down eight or more planes, you get give a free game. Many haven’t seen footage of this game at all, but YouTube channel Critical Ephemera has uploaded some never-before-seen gameplay of the long-forgotten shooter.
One user on Reddit — WentMadSendHelp — reveals that the footage this time is run through the projectors sideways, facing a mirror, and the mirror rotates during the game to hide part of the screen:
For the time, it’s incredibly realistic! The image quality, landscapes, and audio all look and sound incredible for the time. The game itself is approaching 50 years old, and this was around before the time that Nintendo of America even existed. So that tells you just how primitive and experimental this kind of technology was for the time.
You can see for yourself what a game of Sky Hawk looks like, and indulge in another slice of hugely interesting Nintendo history that was, for a while, lost to time.
Let us know your thoughts on this piece of ‘ancient’ Nintendo video game tech in the comments!