Thanks to my friend Ben, he alerted me to this rare piece of retro gaming collecting. My friend collects rare video game items and in the world of Super Nintendo (SNES) the Multi-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator (M.A.C.S) is one of the top 5.
Back in the 90’s when the SNES was new and hip, the Army realized the potential for an inexpensive training system. They reached out to Sculptured Software; one of the top software developers during that time to make the Multi-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator.
M.A.C.S The Video Game
The M.A.C.S program is a digital version of the basic riflemanship program. The Army actually had three variant programs.
- MACS Multipurpose Arcade Simulator version 1.1e
- MACS Moving Target Simulator
- MACS Basic Rifle Marksmanship Program Version 1994.
The program was very basic.
Here is a video about the game and gun.
Light Gun To Rule All Light Guns
If you recall, Nintendo started out with the NES and had a pistol that interacted with a CRT TV for games like Duck Hunt. Well the M.A.C.S game works on the same technology. Except instead of a handgun, you get an M16 replica.
According to SNEScentral.com the light gun is a Jäger AP 74 that has been modified to work for the M.A.C.S and SNES.
Here are some close up shots from SNESCENTRAL.com
Why So Rare?
The hypothesis is that since the M.A.C.S system was a US Army project and this Government property, many were most likely destroyed once they were deemed useless. Only a few managed to be saved and given its rarity the demand sets the price. According to my friend Ben, the cartridge fetched about $1200USD on its own. But you can’t play the game without the M16 light gun. The M16 light gun goes for about $2000usd. So over $3000 for a military training program that is powered by an off the shelf Super Nintendo.