Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

It Came from Japan! Ganpuru: Gunman's Proof

2:00 PM on 11.17.2011 // Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

Give Link a gun, send him to the Wild West, sprinkle in Earthbound's wacky sensibilities, and you have Ganpuru: Gunman's Proof. What this shameless A Link to the Past carbon copy lacks in polish it makes up for in its unique world and characters.

Considering this is a game made by an obscure developer that previously worked on learning and fishing games, and the fact that this is one of the last games released for the Super Famicom, it's surprising it exists at all. It's a miracle it even came out in Japan. Though, that's not to say you shouldn't seek it out. In fact, you really should.

Ganpuru: Gunman's Proof (Super Famicom)
Developer: Lenar

Released: January 31, 1997
Current value: ? (Couldn't find any listings.)

Fan translation: Yes
For fans of: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, The Binding of Issac 

 In Ganpuru, you play a poor, useless farm boy who is a disappointment to his father and is unnoticed by his hometown crush, the sheriff's daughter. Ever since meteors crashed down on Strange Island (in the "American West") in 1880, strange creatures have occupied the island. The inhabitants of Broncp Village know nothing about these strange foes that they call "Demiseed." However, that soon changes when two alien UFOs crash near the village.

Zero, one of the aliens, requests to occupy the farm boy's body. You oblige and thus are really playing as Zero throughout the game, but the player is the only one aware of this. This makes for some awkward encounters with townsfolk, but they quickly stop minding your strange, forgetful ways once you start clearing the Demiseed's dungeons located throughout Strange Island.

With the help of a local gunsmith who is all too happy to arm an adolescent boy with guns that didn't exist in the 19th century (for example, an Uzi and a bazooka), plus a mysterious merchant who offers key quest items, by your side, Zero is armed and ready for any alien foes that come his way. Despite the boy's parents' being hesitant to allow their son to step outside the village since he is a total wuss, the boy (with Zero in charge) starts taking on bounties through the local sheriff's office. Soon enough, he is the town hero and the sheriff's daughter is all over him like a cheesy '80s adventure film.

The gameplay is best described as a combination of A Link to the Past and Zombies Ate My Neighbors. It falls short in its execution on both ends, but it's such a great pairing that you won't often mind. Like a traditional 2D Zelda, you clear out dungeons and gain items that will help you unlock the next location. However, there isn't much to do in the game's overworld. You can search for extra life points and bombs, but that's about it. No clever mini-games, no Easter eggs, and no hidden dungeons.


Ganpuru's greatest shortcoming is the dungeons. Zelda dungeons are a pleasure to explore due to the combination of atmosphere, clever puzzles, and the introduction of new enemy types. In contrast, Ganpuru lacks all these things. There aren't even puzzles, unless you count the confusing maze-like layout of some dungeons. Other dungeons give you a direct path to the boss, making it easy to ignore all the weapon upgrades, hearts, and bombs hidden in treasure boxes. You can also collect four hidden pieces of treasure in order to get a better score -- every dungeon ends by giving you a score card and letter grade.

The bosses in each dungeon are pretty elementary stuff. They don't even have weak points! You just shoot, throw bombs, and pray you survive. The hit box for Zero is too big for the bosses' bullet patterns, which makes for some frustrating encounters. This isn't Smash TV or even The Binding of Issac, for that matter. Instead, you'll need to explore the world and use bombs and extra lives to your advantage. If you have extra lives in your inventory, you'll come back to life with full health on the spot. If you acquire enough of them, you'll be able to make your way through the game without a problem. It also helps that the final boss has a safe zone you can shoot from without receiving damage.


Ganpuru may not hold up when compared side by side to A Link to the Past, but it still looks pretty great, as it should, considering it was released late into the SNES' life cycle. The game often borders on copyright infringement, as some assets and the world map look nearly identical to Link's SNES outing. The characters, however, have their own look, especially the main protagonist. His pointless inchworm crawl is hilarious, as are his other animations.

Despite having a map that suggests a similar scale to ALttP, Ganpuru's world is fairly small. Hop one screen over in the overworld, and you'll see your avatar move a great deal on the map. Making it from one side of the world to the other doesn't take much time at all, although you will have to acquire certain abilities and items you won't find until later in the game to do it. Ganpuru's overworld feels like window dressing, as the game could have worked just as well without it. However, it adds to the charm and creates the illusion of adventure even if it isn't a very grand one.

While the game imitates A Link to the Past to a great degree, it's the whimsy and charm of Earthbound that shines the brightest in this adventure. Ganpuru presents a weird world where kung fu monks, cowboys, and space aliens live in unison. Its shooting and other mechanics aren't particularly deep, but it's a very warm and inviting game that you'll enjoy spending time with if you are a fan of action-RPGs. The music, visuals, and story will keep you invested during this brief faux-Western, 16-bit adventure.


Now that you know that a Western-style Zelda-like exists, what other setting would you like to see an action-RPG explore?

What is your favorite Zelda-like game? (Why do I feel we have covered this before ...)

Since I'm too lazy to research, tell me what notable SNES games came out after this one (if any).


[Even knowing the futility of their plight, they still face the gate, ready to give their lives.]

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I see your "favorite Pokemon" and "favorite demon" and raise you a "favorite full party"!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Man they really blue balled me hard with that Ip Man vs Mike Tyson fight.
Parismio avatarParismio
Well, I did it. I pre-ordered Fire Emblem Fates. Guess who I'm siding with?:
LynxAmali avatarLynxAmali
First Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run, now GameTrailers. Some people just want to watch the world burn. If you excuse me, I'm going to go cry and weep in a corner.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
GameTrailers just announced on Facebook they're shutting down. It's a damn shame, since I rather liked them, despite not agreeing with a lot of what they've said. Best of luck to everyone who worked there.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
That's a really short campaign Destiny has isn't it? Wow lol
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Goddamn I'm excited for Street Fighter V. This is gonna be my first Street Fighter ever, and Ryu being in Smash is definitely helping me transition to more traditional fighting games. I'll probably end up playing Chun-Li anyway, though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm just now 2/3 of the way done with Tearaway Unfolded's campaign, 45% to 100%. This game is really long!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
You people love your Persona, having never played any of them would I appreciate 4? It should be known I found Valkyria Chronicles too anime-y to enjoy though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
One week to go. Oh ho ho ho.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What I've gathered from the quick posts the last two days is that demons from SMT look like genitals.
SayWord avatarSayWord
Took awhile but it is finally here, oh how I missed playing with you Nep Nep. Though I still cannot decide if I should put that PS4 skin on...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Rei is humbled by the fairly high number of faps you have given her Waifu Wars piece.
Parismio avatarParismio
The actual best SMT girl is here:
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
So 1-10 of Destiny isn't so bad. Been having a bit of fun with it, though people don't talk much on PSN. Good? Bad? I will never talk smack about Destiny only because it has this dance in it.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
If you agree to let Harley Quinn tattoo you with her brand new tattoo gun, you deserve to live with the consequences of that incredibly poor life choice.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
Not being from the US I have no horse in the US election race. But still I do like video games
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
OP and a playable character in Devil Survivor.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Nemissa is best SMT demon girl.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Made to mid-A rank! Pretty hyped about it. Got knocked out of A- twice without winning a single match, but tonight I climbed al the way through with no trouble! The N-Zap is so good for Splat Zones.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -