Goodwill has put up for sale one of the rarest games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), The Military Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator (MACS). Back in the early 90’s light gun technology had already been well established and was commonplace in many American households thanks to popular games like Duck Hunt on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The potential was not lost on the U.S. Army which spawned one of the strangest collaborations in Nintendo’s history. MACS used a custom made light gun modeled after the Jäger AP 74. Both the light gun and MACS cartridge are required to play the simulator but both are extremely rare in their own right. For a cool $7,000 you can now make this piece of video game history yours.
Goodwill posted the following product discerption:
Description: Super Nintendo SNES MACS Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator Version 1.1e Game Cartridge.
MACS Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator Version 1.1e
Game is Tested
Cartridge only, no original boxes or manuals included
Functionality and reliability during prolonged use can not be verified.
Condition: Good with light to moderate use wear.
MACS Auction Images
MACS Light Gun
Although not included in the auction, the light gun was an interesting development in its own right. It had an attached light sensor at the top of the Jäger AP 74 style light gun.
For a close look at how the MACS worked, check out this video by YouTube channel Pricecharts.
MACS Real World Usage
According to multiple sources that had real world experience with the MACS while it was still in service by the Army, these simulators made their rounds. It was employed as a resource for Soldiers in basic training from at least 1996 to 2001. One individual recalled that “every night in basic training there was to be two people awake to provide ‘fire guard’ this was the only thing we were authorized to do to help keep us awake. It was okay for working on grouping, but for everything else it was really boring”.
It also made appearances in one Gaurdsman’s National Guard armory and was used as a recruiting tool, including at high schools, to draw in young gamers and encourage enlistment. It even found a second life In at least one JROTC program at the University of Cincinnati as recently as 2007 where it was used in a marksmanship class.
Note: Originally posted on Retro Informer