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Gauntlet's concept is deceptively simple: progress through 100 floors, killing enemies and grabbing treasures as you go.

The levels contain a variety of tiles and items:

Exits[edit]

Gauntlet NES exit.png

These white squares usually read "EXIT". Sometimes the exits are hidden or require a key to access. Some exits are fake; nothing will happen if you step on them.

Walls[edit]

Some walls, such is crumbled wall sections, can be destroyed by shots. Some sturdy-looking walls can also be destroyed with one shot and may contain items or even enemies. Other walls can also disappear when you step on a flashing magic tile.

Doors and Keys[edit]

Gauntlet NES key.png

Doors can be any shape and size, and any door tiles touching will all unlock at once with a single key. You can only carry a maximum of 10 keys throughout the course of the game.

Potions[edit]

Gauntlet NES potion.png

Potions can be collected or shot. Shooting them is less effective as your character's skill bonus is not applied to their use. You can carry up to a maximum of 10 potions throughout the course of the game.

Treasure[edit]

Gauntlet NES treasure.png

Treasure increases your score by one point.

Bags of Jewels[edit]

Bags of Jewels increase your score by five points. In two-player mode, a Bag of Jewels is left behind when one partner dies. Collect this bag in two-player mode to collect all of your partner's goods.

Food[edit]

Gauntlet NES drink.png
Gauntlet NES food.png

Food always increases your health by 100 and can appear as either a jug or as a bowl of gruel. Take caution, as you can destroy jugs by inadvertently shooting at them. Gruel cannot be destroyed by regular shots.

Movable Walls[edit]

These walls can be pushed in any direction, including diagonally.

Stun Tiles[edit]

Gauntlet NES stun tile.png

These tiles blend in with the surroundings, and when stepped on paralyze you for a few seconds. Enemies instinctively know where these are and won't walk over them.

Magic Tiles[edit]

These pulse or flash, and when stepped on will open up some area of the level (often a place you can't see or haven't even reached yet). These are usually hidden under destructible blocks, so it's always good to destroy those to see if there are magic tiles underneath.

Upgrade Items[edit]

Destructible wall blocks sometimes contain potions that boost your abilities. The icon on the bottle shows what it will upgrade. On some home ports these upgrades are visible on the pause screen. Unlike other powerups these are permanent.

Name Description
Extra armor Represented by a shield. Reduces the damage you take by 1/5.
Extra magic Marked with a bottle. Increases damage your magic does by 1/5.
Extra shot power Marked with a cannonball. Increases the damage your shots do by 1/5.
Extra speed Marked with an arrow. Increases your speed by 1/5.
Extra fight power Marked with a knife or sword. Increases melee damage by 1/5.

Use-once items[edit]

Unlike the items above, these do not appear on the pause screen.

Limited Invisibility[edit]

Enemies cannot find you. This item is represented by a white box with three lines.

Temporary Repulsiveness[edit]

Enemies run away from you. It is represented by an orange box with three lines.

Reflective Shots[edit]

Gauntlet NES reflective shots.png

Your shots bounce off walls. If the shot does not hit anything it will disappear after a few bounces. Lasts for the duration of the level you are on.

Ten Super Shots[edit]

Your shots destroy everything, including doors. It is represented by an orange box with an arrow.

Temporary invulnerability[edit]

You have perfect armor for awhile, but your hp goes down twice as fast. It is represented by a black box.