( Cowboy Kid )
Game Cover
©1991 Visco
Release: 1991-09-13 (¥7800)
Cartridge VIS-5K
Action/Platform game

American Version
Released in America as
( NES-9C-USA )
Western Kids (aka Cowboy Kid in the west) is a side-scrolling action/adventure game published by Visco. The last vestige of respect for law and order in the Old West is about to face its worst hour. The evil Scorpion gang has been causing much mischief in town, and rumor has that they plot to attack the next incoming train. But the Sheriff is apparently not going to let that happen and he has decided to arrest the notorious outlaws... unfortunately, he has never been seen since. His young son Sam, the newly appointed sheriff, decides to look for him and, helped by his sidekick Popo (aka Little Chief), he goes on a perilous journey to stop the criminals once and for all. Western Kids is an unusual adventure/action game where the player explores parts of the large town (or its outskirts), collects gold from chests and crates scattered around, visits stores and other buildings (such as saloons, hotels or houses). All kind of foes wander also around the narrow streets or sceneries (from swordsmen, gunmen to farmers, army men and even dogs and pigs!), and they all of course inflict damage upon contact. This exploration phase is at the core of the gameplay and Sam usually has to purchase a map, find keys (to unlock certain buildings), talk to villagers, explore basements and caves, play mini-games, retrieve special items or trigger events that may open new passageways. Additionally, the player starts equipped with a knife, but a gun and a rifle can be collected later in the game (a boomerang and a tomahawk for Popo). The player also comes with a limited amount of life symbolized by little hearts, and more can be obtained by collecting Sheriff stars (five stars grant an extra heart, but collecting a skull instantly removes one!). Finally, countless items can be purchased inside stores, such as food (extra health), hat (extra life), meat (refills health upon death), ladder (used to escape underground places) or bullet proof vest (temporary invincibility). Once Sam completes a level (each stage has its own challenges and requirements), he can finally makes his way to the boss and face one member of the dreaded Scorpion gang. Western Kids consists of seven vast levels (the first six can be played in any order), as well as a two-player simultaneous mode.
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Teaser text copied from the American version:
Sheriff Sam and Little Chief are coming to town in thie delightful western adventure. COBOY KID is a two player simultaneous action adventure for the entire family. COWBOY KID has 4 MEGS of action packed into this NES cartridge. Players must learn to be appointed sheriff so they can rid the West of the scourge of evil. Can you bring these dudes to justice? Billy Morgan * The Mad Brothers Coyote Jim * The Scorpion Master Wild Wolf Chief * Slash Joe * Keith COBOY KID rounds up arcade and adventure action for the wildest showdown in the West. Beware rustlers, There's a new sheriff in town!

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :


T. Akiyama

K. Usami
Don Gabacho
Mr. Yagi

Game Designer
Yuji Masuda

Graphic Designer
Yuji Masuda
Kenichi Mori



Sound Effect

Special Thanks
Ume. W
Hos. Kuro
T. Mizutani

Presented by


Western Kids manual
Click on picture to enlarge

Game mini-guide:
Here are some tips to help you through the game. My advice would be to start by the second level, which will allow you to collect the gun (much better weapon than the knife). Once you collect a map, pause the game and press A to look at it - interestingly, this action will also reset everything on the screen, including chests and crates! Finally, several rooms in the game have a chest and several crates in them - use them to increase your stock of hearts and money (don't forget that the time freezes when you enter a room so you won't be penalized!).

Western Kids

Level 1 - Slash Joe
(Time limit 20:00)
Reach the sheriff's office, go down the stairs and collect the two keys. Exit and open the two doors somewhere in the level. When done, walk back to the train station to fight Slash Joe.

Level 2 - Mad Brothers
(Time limit 20:00)
The gun is hidden inside a cave. When you reach the Mad Brothers, they will ask you if you want to join them - make sure you answer いいえ (no).

Level 3 - Billy Mogun
(Time limit 20:00)
When you talk to the guard at the fort, he will ask you if you want to pay $1000 to enter. Answer はい (yes) to pay.

Level 4 - Clusher Kong
(Time limit 8:00)
This level is fairly straightforward. Ride your horse and avoid the barrels Clusher throws at you.

Level 5 - White Wolf Chief
(Time limit 20:00)
When the way is blocked by a boulder, walk against it and keep jumping to push it. The rifle is hidden after a long rope bridge. When you pass the two rivers with the floating logs, answer はい (yes) to anyone you meet there (there should be three of them total). Basically they ask you if you want to stop the water - this action will stop the two rivers, and most importantly the waterfall at the beginning of the stage, where the boss hides. If you have problems defeating him, just equip the rifle and stay in a corner of the room and keep firing up. If you have enough life, you should be able to easily kill him.

Level 6 - Hawk Master Keath
(Time limit 20:00)
Reach the entrance of the mine and talk to the man in the house - he will ask you in you want to ride the mine cart. Answer はい (yes). The track will end half way and you will fall down into a cave. Although you can see a key, it is tricky to collect, just make sure you don't fall! Once you've returned to the beginning of the level just walk back to the entrance of the mine. Right before it, open the locked door and a man will leave to fix the track. Go back to the mine and ride the cart again to reach the boss (before you reach him, you will have to cross a small forest, if you're stuck don't forget that you can jump between trees if there's enough space).

Western Kids Level 7 - Scorpion Murder
(Time limit 60:00)
This level only unlocks when you complete the first six stages. The only tricky part here is to do it in the right order. In the (huge) castle you will eventually fight a large scorpion that will drop a key. When you have that key, then you shouldn't carry on (if you do, you will reach the boss but a trap door will send you down to a dungeon, and you will have to fight the scorpion again to collect the same key). You have to go back and explore the other wing of the castle, and reach a jail. There, open the locked door, free the prisoners and enter a small room with a lever and a key. Push the lever to deactivate the boss's trap door, collect the key and then finally walk back to his lair and fight him.

Alter Ego
Western Kids is a hidden gem. Granted, it heavily borrows its gameplay from Konami's popular Goemon, but it still manages to bring its own ideas and charms to the table. Well, Western Kids doesn't look like much at first... you start armed with a simple knife, you aimlessly walk around town and the constantly respawning enemies quickly become a tedious chore... However, it is a game that really grows on you - as you reach the first boss and then complete another level, you realize that each area has been brilliantly thought out and has its own identity and themed appearance. That's it, the game regularly changes its pace and location to keep the player continually engaged, while one level gets you to fight on the roof of a train traveling at full speed, another demands you to ride a mine cart, a horse, or to investigate the town's creepy cemetery. My only complaint with Western Kids are the long boss battles - these guys take a gazillion hits before they go down, and some fights are not that hard and just become a test of patience rather than skills. Additionally, you will need a basic knowledge of Japanese to play the original version (in one rare instance, a single wrong answer leads to a Game Over!), and the American version is terribly expensive (so feel free to look at the short mini-guide I have added to this page). All in all, Western Kids is a fun ride from start to finish and I highly recommend it!

The American cover art for Western Kids is quite peculiar, for lack of a better word to describe it... Like if Romstar had recycled the abandoned art from an old and unreleased Village People game. I mean, who declared that every good cowboy should have a moustache, and that every good Native American should be topless? And come on! I think you will all agree that this cover art just screams these guys are more than "professional partners", right ? However, fans of the popular Village People disco group will likely be disappointed - there are no construction workers, no bikers and no police officers to be found in Western Kids. But there are cowboys and Native Americans. A lot of them. The bad news? You have to cut into their jugulars with a large kitchen knife. And that's not all, all kinds of nationalities and animals are well represented here as well, but you have to jugular them too. However, despite the questionable American cover art and the ongoing and undeniable carnage, it is unbelievable how much there is to see and do in this game. All in all, Western Kids is a charming and fun game that I urge you to play and discover.
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