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Gauntlet
Box artwork for Gauntlet.
Developer(s) Atari
Publisher(s) Atari, U.S. Gold
Distributor(s) Xbox Live Arcade
Designer(s) Ed Logg
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Apple IIGS, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, MS-DOS, Mobile, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, MSX, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360
Expansion pack(s) Gauntlet: The Deeper Dungeons
Followed by Gauntlet II
Series Gauntlet
Neoseeker Related Pages
This is the first game in the Gauntlet series. For other games in the series see the Gauntlet category.
For the NES and PlayChoice-10 version, see Gauntlet (NES).
Gauntlet marquee

Gauntlet is a 1985 arcade game by Atari. It brought the theme and dungeon-crawling action of pen and paper role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons to the arcade environment. A party of one to four players fight their way through endless dungeons, both cooperating to kill enemies and competing to collect gold and upgrades. The game also employed the voice of an unseen narrator who alternately helps the players by giving tips or mocks them when they destroy food, are nearing death, or begin a difficult level. The four-player action meant the cabinet was wider than standard uprights, giving it an imposing presence in the arcade. This addictive formula of simple gameplay and non-stop action made the game an instant hit.

Just like an RPG players can choose from among four characters (Thor the Warrior, Thyra the Valkyrie, Merlin the Wizard or Questor the Elf). Each has their own unique visual appearance and various strengths and weaknesses (for example, Merlin excels at magic but his hand-to-hand attacks are weak). The game was also one of the first to allow arcadegoers control over their progression through the levels (although progress is still inevitably linear; previous levels cannot be revisited).

The game's huge success in the arcades led to a large number of home ports, an expansion disk (Gauntlet: The Deeper Dungeons), as well as many sequels that continue to this day, bringing the series' classic elements to new generations of gamers. The Nintendo Entertainment System version later came full circle by appearing in arcades on the PlayChoice-10 hardware.

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