- For more details on character statistics, see the Statistics page.
Each character in Gauntlet has their own strengths and weaknesses. The characters are imbalanced, since high magic power is essential, but you will have little choice but to field them all in a 4 player game, since duplicate selections are not possible in this game.
This page represents the characters of the arcade version of Gauntlet I, Final Revision. Earlier arcade revisions and ports of the game may be different. This is a quick overview of each character's most meaningful traits.
Thor is the basic brute-force character. He is the only character to begin with a shot capable of delivering two points of damage 100% of the time, giving him the power to chew through level 2 and level 3 enemies with ease.
This power comes at a price. Thor has two permanent disadvantages: a lack of magic power, and a large sized shot that cannot fit through the corners of objects. Both of these drawbacks cause Thor to face many more enemies head-on that others can deal with safely.
Considering that he only gains a temporary advantage in exchange, albeit a powerful one, the Warrior is arguably the worst solo character choice. On a team, his early extra shot power is welcome, if eventually made obsolete. Given his low magic ability, Thor should pick up the keys, leaving potions for those adept at magic.
Thyra's focus is on her defense. The problem is that, while the resistance is pleasant, it is nowhere near high enough to justify her low magic level. Compared to Thor, her magic is only a bit better at damaging 'block' type generators and the monsters that come from them. Like Thor, Thyra will struggle to clear areas with magic, and will probably need to dump 2 or more potions to get the job done. If generators remain, in many situations the enemies will respawn with little to no progress made on your part.
The Valkyrie is likely a better choice than the Warrior, thanks to a thinner shot for firing through diagonally adjacent objects, but still not a top choice. Worse, the Valkyrie offers little to a team other than a fourth player. Like the Warrior, a team-playing Valkyrie should leave potions alone, and dedicate to key holding duty.
Merlin's magic will clear the entire screen, monster and generator alike. This reason alone is enough to place him in the top tier. While all of his other statistics are relatively worse than with other characters, nothing important is weakened. In fact, he only really loses out to Questor's superior speed and similar magic ability. One small saving grace is his shot power, which will randomly deal one or two points of damage, giving him a 75% chance to kill a level three enemy or generator in two shots. A nice, but temporary advantage.
A great solo character, if probably not the best, and a great team-player as well. When playing with others, Wizard should always avoid keys and have first priority for potions.
Questor's speed is his special trait. He can run circles around enemies, and escape damage others would certainly take. His ability to attack and retreat, something that you must do often in Gauntlet, is unparalleled. When he obtains an Extra Speed potion, he can sometimes run right through an enemy filled hall and take no damage.
This specialty would be enough of a reason for investigation on its own, but it happens to be paired with a magic level just a hair less powerful than that of the Wizard. The Elf cannot silence level 3 generators initially with a single potion, but this temporary drawback is more than made up for by his superior speed, which gets even better once upgraded.
The Elf is easily the best solo character. On a team, the Elf makes an excellent secondary spell caster if the Wizard is already full of potions, as well as bait to attract enemies while his teammates hail fire on them.