Sheriff was an old arcade game released by Nintendo way back in 1980, (yes they did make games before Donkey Kong). Exidy licensed this title and released it as Bandido.

The story

You play a wild west sheriff in one of Nintendo's earliest games. It is one of five titles that Nintendo debuted in 1980 (which was their first year selling arcade games outside of the Japanese market). The other titles were Helifire, Radar Scope, Space Fever, and Space Firebird, notice how you haven't heard of any of them, that is because they pretty much halted production on everything but Donkey Kong in 1981 (and they still had trouble meeting the demand).

The game

You contol a sheriff who has been surrounded by bandits. You can move around in the middle of the screen, and pick off the bandits that have you circled in. The longer you play the quicker they move. Luckily you can move one direction, while firing another (ala Robotron 2084).

The Machine

Sheriff was one of the last games that was designed to look like a bowling alley (look at a picture of one, and you will see what I mean). It has light colored woodgrain sides that actually look like they were made from the same wood as a bowling lane. They have a "Sheriff" logo painted on the side in black, with a few graphics of Mexican bandits circling the machine near the bottom.

The front of the machine has a huge coin door, and a speaker grill offset to the left of it (both of these are black). The control panel is done in red and features game instructions, start buttons for each player, and the controls. The game is controlled with an 8-Way joystick (which controls movement), and an optical spinner that can pe pressed down to fire (this controls shooting). Good luck trying to find one of those spinners today, but it appears that a Discs of Tron spinner could be modified and used as a replacement (they could be both pressed down, and pulled up).

The monitor bezel goes all the way up to the top of the machine (no marquee on this title), and has a few more game instructions, some cowboy graphics, and a big "Sheriff" logo done up to look like an American Flag.

There were also two cocktail versions of this title made. The first was in a standard white topped first generation Nintendo cocktail (Donkey Kong used the same one with a different top). The second one was a god awful red and white contraption that looked like some sort of fantasy jukebox (this one used a smaller monitor and is fairly rare).

This game runs on an 8080 CPU, and used some strange color hardware, which required a unique monitor (although I am sure a monitor expert could adapt a different one).

Where to play

You can play this title using either the MAME or HiVE emulators, although neither one of them puts out correct color or sound, but the gameplay is fine. Well I should say the gameplay would be fine if you had a push down spinner attached to your computer, which you don't. Although a joystick and trackball works well (don't bother trying to use the mouse).

This is a good title to have in a large arcade game collection, but I wouldn't recommend it as your only game. Prices vary wildly on this one, so look for a good deal before you buy.

Sher"iff, n. [OE. shereve, AS. scir-gerfa; scir a shire + gerfa a reeve. See Shire, and Reeve, and cf. Shrievalty.]

The chief officer of a shire or county, to whom is intrusted the execution of the laws, the serving of judicial writs and processes, and the preservation of the peace.

⇒ In England, sheriffs are appointed by the king. In the United States, sheriffs are elected by the legislature or by the citizens, or appointed and commissioned by the executive of the State. The office of sheriff in England is judicial and ministerial. In the United States, it is mainly ministerial. The sheriff, by himself or his deputies, executes civil and criminal process throughout the county, has charge of the jail and prisoners, attends courts, and keeps the peace. His judicial authority is generally confined to ascertaining damages on writs of inquiry and the like. Sheriff, in Scotland, called sheriff depute, is properly a judge, having also certain ministerial powers. Sheriff clerk is the clerk of the Sheriff's Court in Scotland. Sheriff's Court in London is a tribunal having cognizance of certain personal actions in that city.

Wharton, Tomlins. Erskine.


© Webster 1913.

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