Gauntlet II

For: Amiga, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
3rd-Person , Top-Down
Setting:
Fantasy
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)

Overview

IBM MCGA/VGA version of Gauntlet II
IBM MCGA/VGA version of Gauntlet II
Gauntlet II is an action/hack and slash dungeon crawl game originally released in arcades in 1986 and later ported to numerous home computers and game consoles. It was developed by Atari Games and is the direct sequel to Gauntlet. The gameplay in Gauntlet II remains mostly the same as the original with some minor changes and enchancements added. Up to four players can play at once with the goal of locating the exit in increasingly complex dungeons; numerous enemies and monsters are located throughout the dungeons and need to be attacked or avoided. The monsters and potions found in the original game return, along with some new monsters, potions, and abilities. While in the original game each player needed to select a different character, in Gauntlet II each player is represented with a different color allowing more than one player to choose the same character.

Gameplay

Gauntlet II features a top-down view of the maze-like dungeon. The goal of the game is to find one of the exits from each dungeon to continue on to the next, more difficult dungeon. Each player in the game begins with a limited amount of health and the character dies when the health counter reaches zero. The health counter reduces slowly over time essentially providing a time limit to the game; in addition, contact with enemies (or anything they fire) and other dangers will reduce health further. To avoid running out of health, players can collect food located throughout the dungeon which restores health slightly.

Each dungeon has a different layout and a maze-like route to get through it; additionally, unlike in the original Gauntlet, the dungeon orientation may change each time the game is played making the dungeon appear to be different. Throughout each dungeon are locked doors; to get through them, players will need to collect keys which are located throughout the dungeon. Some doors are necessary to open in order to reach the next level while others are optional; optional locked doors could lead to a shortcut, a bonus room, a trap, dead ends, or more. If players find themselves in a situation where they don't have enough keys to open all of the doors to reach an exit, it may still be possible to continue as walls in the maze will eventually turn to exits if the player waits long enough (however this takes a very long time, and players may not have enough health to last that long). Dungeons in Gauntlet II have a few new challenges as well; some walls may be invisible, walls can be magic and turn into monsters or bonuses when shot, the floor can contains stun tiles which prevent players from moving temporarily when stepped on, exits may temporarily be non-functional, some walls crubmle when shot, and more.

There are also numerous bonuses located throughout the dungeons: Treasure chests are scattered around each dungeon and provide bonus points, several different types of amulets provide players with temporary abilities such as invulnerability or increased firepower for a short period of time, and potions which can be used to destroy multiple monsters at once.

Characters

Each player in the game can choose a different character. In the original arcade game up to four players could play at once; Most home versions of the game also support this feature, however due to system limitations a few are limited to only two players at once (such as the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum versions). Players can attack enemies in hand-to-hand combat, with a long range attack, or with magic (Using magic first requires finding a magic potion bottle in the dungeon). While in the original Gauntlet each player had to choose a different character, Gauntlet II instead assigns each player a different color (Red, Blue, Green, or Yellow) which allows more than one player to choose the same character at the same time.

Each of the characters in the game has a different set of strengths and weaknesses; the available characters are:
  • Thor the Warrior: The strongest in hand-to-hand combat, but is slow moving and has very limited magic abilities.
  • Merlin the Wizard: The most powerful using magic spells (often can clear the entire screen with a single potion). Moderate speed and attacks. Does not have a weapon so hand to hand combat is poor and cannot destroy monster generators.
  • Thyra the Valkyrie: Has the strongest armour for defense, but weaker on offense.
  • Questor the Elf: The quickest of the characters, but has moderate magic abilities and weak attacks.
Blocking progress through the dungeons are large quantities of monsters. Many monsters are roaming about initially and additional ones are spawned by generators located throughout the dungeon (If a generator is destroyed, no new monsters will appear at that location). Monsters can be fought in either hand-to-hand combat, with a weapon, or with magic. Each monster has slightly different characteristics making one particular type of attack more effective than others against them. The monsters that will be encountered include the following:
  • Ghosts: Ghosts are among the weaker of the enemies, however than can only be shot; hand-to-hand combat does not work on them. Once a ghosts comes in contact with a player it will dissappear so ghosts are unable to repeatedly attack a player. It can take one or multiple shots to destroy a ghost.
  • Grunts: Grunts carry clubs used to attack a player at close range; Unlike ghosts, grunts will continue to attack a player until they are destroyed. Compared to ghosts, grunts are more diffuclt to destroy and can do more damage to a player.
  • Demons: Demons shoot fireballs and can attack from afar.
  • Lobbers: Lobbers are the only enemies that are scared of players and run away when appraoched. However, they are able to throw objects over walls so they can attack players while safely hiding.
  • Sorcerers: Sorcerers can attack from afar by shooting magic. They also "blink", alternating between visible and invisible. While invisible sorcerers are invulnerable to attacks as well as impossible to see.
  • Death: Death is on of the most deadly monsters in the game. When a player comes into contact with death the players health will decrease extremely rapidly. Death is also very difficult to destroy with hand-to-hand combat and usually several attacks with magic to destroy.
  • Acid Puddles: Green pools of acid that chase the players; energy is drained if a player comes into contact with it.
  • "It": A glowing, spinning disk. If it touches a player, that player will then become "It" and all monsters will attack that player only. If the player who is "It" touches another player, that player will then become "It". The effects of a player being "It" will remain until the end of the dungeon.
  • Dragons: Fire breathing dragons occasionally guard the dungeon exit. They take numerous hits to destroy, but leave behind treasures when successfully vanquished.

Items in the Dungeons

Throughout each dungeon are various items that can be collected. The effect of each item varies, and sometimes collecting items is essential to completing a dungeon. Items that can be found are as follows:
  • Potion: Provide magic power to destroy or stun monsters and generators. The greater the magic abilities of a character, the greater the effect of a potion. Potions also provide some effect if shot, however work better when picked up. Some potions may be poisoned, in which case it behaves the same as poisoned food.
  • Special Potion: If shot, special potions act like normal ones. However, if a player picks one up one of the following special abilities is granted:
    • Extra Armor: Increases protection from monster attacks.
    • Extra Magic Power: Increases the effect of potions.
    • Extra Speed: Allows the player to run faster.
    • Extra Shot Power: Increases damage done with weapon attacks.
    • Extra Fight Power: Increases effectiveness of hand to hand combat.
    • Extra Pick-Up Power: Allows the player to carry unlimited items instead of the usual six.
  • Food: Increases a players health by 100 points.
  • Cider: Same as food; Increases a players health by 100 points.
  • Poisoned Cider: If shot, slows down monsters for a short period of time. If eatean, the player loses 50 health points.
  • Key: Allows a locked door to be opened.
  • Treasure: Earns 50 bonus points. Some treasures are locked and need a key to be opened. If a locked treasure is opened, it may reveal money, a potion, food, or death!
  • Amulet: Amulets are magical devices that provide additional abilities to a player for a short time. These include:
    • Invisibility: The player cannot be seen by monsters.
    • Invulnerability: Players cannot receive damage from monsters, however health drains at an increased rate.
    • Repulsiveness: Monsters run away from the player.
    • Transportability: Allows the player to transport to the other side of obstacles, including walls.
    • 10 Super Shots: Super shots keep travelling until they hit a wall and destroy all monsters in their path.
    • Reflective Shots: Allows the player's shots to bounce off of walls. Can be used to shoot around corners.
Gauntlet Characters

Credits

Platform: Amiga
Game Programmer: Richard Costello
Video Graphics: Kevin Bulmer
Special Thanks to: Bill Allen, Stomper & Mugsie
Platform: Arcade
Designer/Programmer: Ed Logg
Game Programmer: Bob Flanagan
Video Graphics: Sam Comstock, Susan G. McBride, Alan J. Murphy, Will Noble
Engineer: Pat McCarthy
Technician: Chris Drobny
Sound Design: Hal Canon, Brad Fuller, Earl Vickers
Cabinet Design: Ken Hata
Special Thanks to: Mike Albaugh, David Theurer, and Many Others
Platform: Atari ST
Game Programmer: Richard Costello
Video Graphics: Kevin Bulmer
Special Thanks to: Bill Allen, Stomper & Mugsie

Pictures

Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version - 4 Player Variation
Arcade Version - 2 Player Variation

Related Games

Documentation

Instruction Manual