Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Gauntlet

Retro Game of the Day! Gauntlet

Gauntlet by Atari Games. You know you loved this game. Everyone loved this game. It came out in 1985 to the arcades and was the height of videogame coolness. Suddenly D&D got respectable inthe arcades, courtesty of Mr. Ed Logg...

The shots you see are (mostly) of the 1987 NES conversion, which looks rather putrid when compared to the stunningly-rendered arcade original - but who cared? You could play Gauntlet, at home! It was still a blast..

To the uninitiated, the game pitted five warriors - barbarian, sorcerer, archer, valkyrie (amazonian goddess!), each with their own (simple) offensive and defensive strengths and weaknesses, against a neverending onslaught of foes through an seemingly endless series of dungeon mazes. Gauntlet, to be sure! Rendered in a top-down perspective, the player always had a fairly clear picture of where to go and what to do (as the design allowed) - though at times it could become very frustrating, if you (or your partners) didn't know what they were doing!

The game is famous for it's "creature generators," little devices which would pump out ghosts.goblins/ogres, etc to swarm at you. Destroy the generator and then no more monsters, but you could be sure there were armies of enemies around the next corner waiting to get a crack at you anyway. Also wel-known is Death, who is invincible (you don't wanna get near that guy!) The game is well-known for many things - everyone has a dorky fried who likes to imitate the arcade's digitized voice "Elf needs food badly!" But of all of these, the game's standout feaure would be it's 4-player simultaneous capability, at least in the arcade - you could battle alongside 3 other buddies, or take potshots at them and compete for treasures and food. The game was a total blast when you went at it with your friends.

Oh, Atari - how far you have fallen. People nowadays look at the brand mockingly, but there was once a time when anything they put out on the marketplace was not only a sign of great quality, but remarkable and game-changing innovation. Gauntlet is merely one testament to their legacy.

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1 comment:

  1. Gauntlet for NES is fun, but it always pisses me off how my health goes down over time. Gauntlet Dark Legacy for Gamecube, though, is one of my favorite games on that system. I know it was for PS2 and Xbox also, but the Gamecube port is just the best.