Gauntlet (c) 12/1985 Atari Games.
Game ID : 136037

In this exploration / shooting game with RPG elements, one to four players choose a character and explore the depths of a multi-level dungeon; destroy monsters by shooting, fighting or using magic potions; and collect power-ups to last longer. Controlled with an 8-way joystick and two buttons.


When Gauntlet was introduced, it was a major technological achievement in arcade game design (So much so, that this game has been on at least two nation-wide museum tours). In the mid-1980's, the popularity of pen-and-paper role-playing games such as 'Dungeons & Dragons' was at its height. Still hot from the success of "Marble Madness" and "Paperboy", Atari Games created a game to capitalize on the current craze. In fact, what they DID create was a game that had an ambience that extended much further than the confines of the cabinet, and made them a LOT of money.

Gauntlet was based on a computer game called 'Dandy' for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Jack Palevich, the author of Dandy, planned to sue Atari for plagiarizing their design, but he got a 'free' Gauntlet machine from Atari Coin-op. In return, he signed papers saying that he wouldn't try to sue them (He took the Gauntlet machine into work....).

One of the most acclaimed features of Gauntlet was the extensive speech used throughout the game. The speech was not only used for effect ('Elf has been eating all the food lately'), but also for instruction in the early levels ('Save potions for later use'). At the time, games with that level of synthesized speech were unheard of. The sheer amount of enemies (and in some cases, the monster generators made that amount seem endless) was another lauded feature. Last, but certainly not the least, was the fun factor of the game. Four people trying to coordinate their movements is anything but un-entertaining, even today!

Approximately 8,000 units were produced.

Note : There were 20 officially released versions (see Updates section for detailed info), including six 2-players versions and various Spanish, German and Japanese versions. Counting 4-players English variants alone, there were seven releases with various bug fixes.

Note 2 : The game contains exactly 212 sounds! (including digitized voices, effects and music).

The default high score screen of "Cyberball 2072" features names of many Atari arcade games, including GAUNTLET.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (That's Atari Music Vol.II : G.S.M. Atari Games 2 - PCCB-00070) on 21/09/1991.


* If you remain motionless (or basically aimless) and stall off about 30 health, all of the doors
will open. Everybody knows this, and the game even tells you about it. The game doesn't tell you that if you stall off about 200 health, all the walls will turn into exits! (work on Revision 6 and +) The game designers had to include this because there are some levels which require you to pick up a key before you exit. If you are already filled up with keys, and the doors are all gone, then it would be IMPOSSIBLE for you to exit, and you would starve to death. What they didn't anticipate, is that certain levels of the game which are really difficult, which would require you to take massive health losses to finish, become very simple if all the walls are exits. Or they can be effectively skipped altogether. Because the game has Monty-Hall levels with lots of food on them, you can use this cheat to only play levels which are a wash or increase your health dramatically, and cut your losses to 200
on all the really hard levels.

* The best character to play, in the LONG run, is the elf. His magic is just as good as the wizard's and his fight ability as good as Thor's. His ability to shoot through cracks in addition to all this (when he has the power potions) makes him the best. The Valkyrie is the worst, although some people regard this as a challenge...

* To manipulate the point value of Death, shoot him. Death's point value takes the following
progression : 1000-2000-1000-4000-1000-6000-1000-8000, and then back to start. His value keeps from the previous game.

* You can kill Death painlessly by teleporting on top of him.

* Level 8 is the level that the previous game ended on. If you got a really good sequence of boards in a game and you want to repeat them, turn the machine off and on again after you've entered your high score.


Designer / Programmer : Ed Logg (ED )
Game programmer : Bob Flanagan (BF )
Video graphics : Sam Comstock (SWC), Susan G. McBride (SGM), Alan Murphey, Will Noble, Dave Pettigrew
(D F)
Engineer : Pat McCarthy (PMC)
Technician : Sae Oh (SMO), Cris Drobny (CAD)
Sound designers : Hal Canon (HAL), Earl Vickers (EAR)
Cabinet designer : Ken Hata (KEN)


* Consoles :
Atari Lynx (1990)
Sega Master System (1990)
Sony PlayStation (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 2")
Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Nintendo Gamecube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Sega Mega Drive

* Computers :
Amstrad CPC (1985)
Atari ST (1985)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)
PC [CD-Rom] (1999, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 2")
Commodore C64
Apple II

* Others :
LCD handheld game (1988) released by Tiger Electronics : Contains 9 stages in your quest to find the
long-lost Sacred Orb. There are 5 different worlds for your search through and battle evil demons :
The Castle, The Dark Forest, The Lost Caverns, The Unseen, and Volcana.

Source M.A.M.E