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This article is about the game. For the main and titular protagonist of the game, see Sheriff (character).

Sheriff is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1979. It was developed by Nintendo R&D1, and is noteworthy for being the first Nintendo game to have an actual protagonist, Sheriff, instead of just a vehicle like in some of the Color TV-Games.


A group of rogues has attacked, taking a woman captive as they left. The brave sheriff, wishing to save the beauty, runs for the rescue but soon ends up surrounded. Sixteen rogues circle him, forcing him to defeat them all to rescue the woman and win her love.


  • Sheriff: The hero. He sets out to save the captured beauty.
  • Beauty: The damsel in distress. She was taken captive by the rogues when they attacked. Falls in love with the sheriff when saved.
  • Rogues: The enemies. They attacked and took the beauty captive. Attacks in groups of sixteen.


Gameplay screenshot

The player controls a sheriff who is surrounded by sixteen rogues. These moves in a circle around him, protected by a barricade made up of single pixels, as well as a few larger blocks. The barricade will be destroyed when hit, but will thus also stop the bullets, while larger blocks will require several hits to disappear completely.

The rogues will shoot towards the sheriff, and the player will have to shoot all of them to move on to the next round. At some times, some of the rogues will enter the middle of the screen, and the player will not only have to avoid their bullets, but themselves as well. The player can also shoot condors that fly past the action for extra points.

The game supports alternative play for two players.


  • Shoot a rogue outside the barricade: 30 points
  • Shoot a rogue inside the barricade: 60 points
  • Shoot a condor: 100, 200 or 300 points, depending on time taken
  • Complete the third (first time only) or eighth round: Current score is doubled

Following the eighth round the game starts counting from one again. A single extra life can be earned by reaching 1500 points.


Sheriff was developed by Nintendo R&D1. Genyo Takeda is known to have worked on the game, and Shigeru Miyamoto did all the design work for the game, both the in-game sprites and artwork on the cabinet.

Nintendo wanted to make an arcade machine unlike any other, and they contacted a company that made the interior of airplanes. From them they bought stickers that imitated the look of real wood, giving the cabinet a saloon like look.[1]


Wario's Sheriff being selected in the main menu of WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

Sheriff was licensed to Exidy in 1980, and re-released as Bandido. The gameplay is identical, but it has "© Exidy" at the title screen.

Sheriff has been occasionally referenced in Nintendo games. In the Game Boy Camera's credits, the game's title appears. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, there is a trophy of Sheriff and a few rogues. In WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, Sheriff is one of the many microgames featured, but there is an unlockable full remake titled Wario's Sheriff, which puts Wario's face on Sheriff and speeds up the game a bit, but is otherwise the same as the original. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Sheriff is featured as one of the Assist Trophies.


Sheriff failed to gain any larger popularity, probably because of the difficulties in controlling the game. Despite this, the game was still distributed by various companies outside of Japan, including the Bandido version by Exidy.