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The year is 2712, and four mercenaries have been sent to the planet Graveyard on a hostage rescue mission. Upon arriving, however, they discover that the call for help was just an excuse to lure them into proving grounds, where they will have to fight genetically engineered creatures.

Hired Guns is an action RPG using square-based movements, à la Dungeon Master, in which up to four players can take part and set in a futuristic setting. The screen is split into 4 parts (or 3 in case 3 players play together), each one representing the viewpoint of the characters, these being selected from a team of 12 available mercenaries.

If one player plays alone, he will control all 4 characters, using the mouse to navigate between each character viewpoints. A follow mode is available to avoid tedious numerous amounts of clicking when moving several characters. If two players play together, then each player will use a mouse to control two characters.

In three or four-player mode, players can freely choose to control their characters via either a joystick/joypad or some of the predefined keyboard layouts or a mouse. When 4 people play together, the screen will display 4 viewpoints, like in 1 and 2-player modes. In 3-player mode, the top of the screen displays two viewpoints for player 1 and 2, but the lower part of the screen displays a single viewpoint, centered, for player 3.

Three game modes are available.
The Training mode features 5 simple maps on which the player(s) can learn how to move, use inventory items etc...

The Full Campaign mode takes the player(s) to the far reaches of the Luyten planetary system, on the planet Graveyard. Battling through more than 20 theaters of engagement, your team of mercenaries test their limits of military prowess in order to wipe out all threats on the planet surface. To this end, they have to make their way through the different missions and gather 4 fusion power core rings, before entering the final mission in the Spaceport.

Finally, in Short Action game mode, the player(s) can choose between 17 maps. On those maps, the player(s) will have to fight some enemies to reach the exit within a specified time limit. Additionally, when more than one player takes part in the mission, players will compete with each other since only the first to reach the exit will win.


Hired Guns Amiga First enemy encounter, shouldn't be too hard
Hired Guns Amiga Water, robots can enter this safely while humans needs some equipment
Hired Guns DOS 3 is killed
Hired Guns DOS 1, shoot to skeleton

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "שכירי חרב" -- Hebrew spelling

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Gunning for a great game? It's right here. DOS Ummagumma (79)
The greatest game to have ever graced the humble Amiga Amiga chris nunn (6)

Critic Reviews

Amiga Force Amiga Oct, 1993 97 out of 100 97
Amiga Format Amiga Dec, 1993 95 out of 100 95
CU Amiga Amiga Oct, 1993 91 out of 100 91
Amiga Computing Amiga Nov, 1993 91 out of 100 91
Play Time Amiga Nov, 1993 81 out of 100 81
High Score DOS Nov, 1993 4 out of 5 80
PC Format (UK) DOS Dec, 1995 76 out of 100 76
Amiga Joker Amiga Nov, 1993 72 out of 100 72
Power Play Amiga Nov, 1993 56 out of 100 56
PC Player (Germany) DOS May, 1994 46 out of 100 46


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Cancelled successor

There was a newer PC version of Hired Guns that was going to be developed by Devil’s Thumb Entertainment, originally formed as a division of DMA Design, in Boulder, Colorado, and was built on top of the Unreal engine. Although the game was slated to be released in 2000, the game was cancelled because of Psygnosis leaving the American PC game market in 2000 for PlayStation games, and the VR1 acquisition of Devil's Thumb. However, except for Steve Hammond, who was produced the background materials of the game, nobody from original design team were involved in this remake. Prototypes of the game, however, has been leaked.

Copy protection

The Amiga version featured two-stage copy protection. Once the password protection had been removed, the game appeared to be cracked. However, the game would recognise that the copy was pirated, and refuse to save the player's progress.


The unmanned sentry guns that can be placed down are inspired by the similar ones in the Special Edition of the movie Aliens (1986) according to Scott Johnston, lead designer of Hired Guns.

Loading mechanism

Amiga version of "Hired Guns" as one of not many games (presumable the only one) contained a unique loading mechanism that was prompting the player which disk should be put next into the floppy drive. In particular it was useful for those who had two or more floppy drives and didn't want to waste time on disk swapping (they could organise the presence of the disks in drives) or stop listening to the excellent game's soundtrack (the appearance of "insert the other disk" screen disabled the music during loading time).

Level editor

A couple years after the premiere of the game Scott Johnston released a game editor. It gave the player the possibility to alter designs of the levels, enemies, textures and briefing texts. It was a nice addition to character's editor that was already delivered with the game. The character's editor gave the possibility to put your own photo as the face of selected character.


The game was first mentioned in magazines two years before its release, known as Hired Gun. At this stage it partially resembled the TV show The Crystal Maze, with the four-player and multiple-time-zone aspects emphasised.


The game contains reference to other DMA Design production - Lemmings. Lemmings' characters are not only an easter egg but they serve as regular enemies. However they are available only in single or two player missions and not in a campaign mode.

Information also contributed by ronalddvd and xxxxxxxxxxx

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Contributed to by EboMike (3120) and Corn Popper (68960)
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