Guide And FAQ - Guide for Gauntlet
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(c) 2001, 2002, by Falkentyne Dragon (Antos). This FAQ may not be edited, changed, nerfed or mutiliated, without my permission. contact info: [email protected] and [email protected] Big thanks to Eric Crabill for his insight into how the machine works, and his FAQ's. Big thanks to Neill Corlett for helping make Gauntlet emulation a reality Revision history: 1.0: inital release 1.1: Added some more strategies Added basic game description (forgot all the people who might be introduced to the game via the emulators) Added more character information Added more game bugs 1.2: Fixed a few typos, tried to clean up the plain text format a bit. There have been some other play FAQ's on the net, but a few are either impossible to find now, and one of the best ones, that deal with the 'scoring / food bug doesn't seem to be available, so I hope this FAQ will suffice. I've learned much from other FAQ's, and from emails and beta testing, from people such as Eric Crabill, who helped make Gauntlet emlation a reality, with his roms and slapstic hack, as well as Neill Corlett. Eric also had a nice FAQ available for the game. So...without further ado.... * * Game Description * * A dungeon fantasy based coin munching shooter :) Some people have said this was the spiritual father of the computer RPG-action game "Diablo". It involves around 100 different mazes, on levels that continue on and on, while you have to fight monsters, ghosts, dragons, and avoid hazards, while grabbing food to boost your health. The goal is simply to stay alive as long as possible, and get as far as possible. Gauntlet was really innovative for its time; It did many things that no previous game had done back during its release. Sure, nowadays other games have improved on its concept, but you have to remember that this was 1985-86, folks :) Gauntlet was one of the first games with full, decent quality speech. Other games had it, but the quality wasn't that great. (Dragon's lair doesn't count..that was a laser disc game). I remember speech being added to some golden oldies (Sinistar, Wizard of Wor, Berzerk), but it wasn't much to speak of, although at the time it was quite new. By 1985, many games had speech chips, but they werent as memorable as Gauntlet :) It was the first game, AFAIK, that allowed up to 4 people to play cooperatively to clear the levels. Coop play has long been a mainstay of arcade games, especially side scrollers/shooters, but 4 people had never been done before. It was also one of the later games to keep the famous tradition of not having an ending. There were many classic games, where people could play for many hours on a single credit, when they became good enough....games such as Defender (and the sequel, Stargate...one of the hardest games known to man), Pacman series, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Centipede.....and many many others. If you became good enough (and this was no tall order), you could play until your endurance gave out :) And play forever many people did. In fact, on the original (Proto, intermediate release 1 and 2) ....if there was a gameroom that was open 24 hours, you could literally build your health up high enough, to leave when most people went to sleep, leave a note on the game so hopefully no one would play while you were gone, then come back in the morning :) Heh..... Final Revision of Gauntlet, and Gauntlet 2, fixed this, so that even the best players would die after awhile (usually after about an hour).....which affected 99% of the players. There were a FEW....a very VERY few, who even knew a way around this, as Atari did something pretty stupid, using score checking (16,384 points per...) to keep track of how much food a player should be given....if the score (divided by # of coins, divided by # of players) went higher, less food would appear on a level. But, we all know that computers have a limit to what they can keep track of......more on that later. It was actually possible for any skilled experienced player to find out the point at which the score gets so high that the game suddenly loses 'track' and resets the food counter, but doing this with just one credit was almost impossible....in fact, it was completely impossible to live long enough to do this solo. The way this was discovered (just a guess, mind you), was probably, one person played and built his health up as high as possible, then others joined in later. If Atari had used # of levels played (divided by #of coins and divided by # of players) to keep track of food.....then what is mentioned later would never work....this will be discussed in detail later. Gauntlet and gauntlet 2 were definitely among the best games ever made. Gauntlet 2 was more fun than Gauntlet, as the levels werent static (they would invert and change orientation, even become flipped--only 180 degrees though), and there were more hazards, more variations on what the monsters could do, a few new baddies, monsters that moved 'differently', and new items. ===================================================================================== ** Character stats ** Thor, the Warrior: supposedly a great fighter of legend, even rumored to be a minor diety, who was cast down to Earth and stripped of most of his godlike powers to be taught humility. He excels in hand to hand damage ability, and his powerful weapon. dShot power: Excellent: (Battle Axe) Shot speed: slow Speed: slow Armor: very good: toughened skin eliminates 20% of damage. Fight power: Excellent: 2-3 times normal power; hand to hand: Battle Axe: can kill monster generators Magic power : poor: can kill some monsters, and no monster generators. Thyra: the Valkyrie: A female warrior who supposedly followed Thor to either watch his progress, or out of rumored love. She carries a shield, which gives her excellent Armor, and her sword can deal out some decent hand to hand damage too. Shot power: poor: normal power (sword) shot speed: moderate Speed: moderate Armor: Excellent: Shield eliminates 30% of damage Fight power: good: hand to hand: Sword does 2 times normal damage, and can kill generators Magic power: moderate: can kill most monsters, and damage some monster generators. Merlin the Wizard: A wizard apparently of no ill repute, although it is not known how or why he is meddling in the Gauntlet. The affairs of Wizards are not meant to be known by mortal men.... Shot power: moderate. Magic Missile: 1 to 2 times normal power shot speed: fast (moderate in Gauntlet 2) speed: slow Armor: none Fight power: very poor, bare hands: normal power; hand to hand cannot kill monster generators. Magic power: excellent: can kill all monsters and all monster generators. Questor the Elf: Elves are a mythical race from a distant land. No one knows where he came from or how he became trapped here. Elves are fleet of foot, skilled with magic, and can shoot arrows quickly and accurately.... Shot power: poor: arrows: normal power Shot speed: fast Speed: fast Armor: moderate: leather armor eliminates 10% of damage Fight power: poor: dagger does 1 to 2 times normal damage, and can not kill monster generators Magic power: very good: can kill all monsters, and damage all monster generators. ===================================================================================== Monsters: *=Gauntlet 2 Most monsters come in 3 levels of power. The higher level monsters do more damage. Ghosts: must be shot...they will consume part of a player's life force upon immediate contact, making hand to hand fighting impossible. Damage done to players: 10, 20, 30 points when shot 10 per level using magic: 10 ghosts cannot be fought with hand to hand. Grunts: barbarian warriors who attack with clubs. damage done to players: 5, 7, 10 points: 5 per level hand to hand points: 25 per hit using magic: 10 Sorcerers: wizards who attack with fists, powerfully augmented by magic, and who also blink in and out. They can not be shot when invisible damage: 5, 7, 10 points: 5 hand to hand points: 25 per hit using magic: 10 Demons: supernatural creatures that can breathe miniature fireballs at players. At close range, they will attack with their gaping maws. hand to hand: 5, 7, 10 being shot: 10 points: 5 hand to hand points: 25 per hit using magic: 10 Death: Only magic hurts death death dies after taking up to 200 health. Damage: 4 health per instant of touch. points: 1 points from using magic: 1000-8000 * Super Sorcerers: Sorcerers who not only can turn invisible at will, but have teleportation magic, and can shoot magic missles at players. being shot: 15 Valkyrie with extra armor takes less than half damage (7) Super sorcerers cannot be killed with hand to hand. Magic stuns super sorcerers. Super sorcerers die if you use magic while they are stunned. * Acid puddles: animated pools of acid, that athough do not have intelligence, inflict grevious harm on anyone unfortunate enough to come in contact with one. Their attack is so powerful that they stun players temporarily while they inflict their damage.... Damage: 60 cannot be shot. Magic stuns acid puddles. Using a 2nd potion when an acid puddle is stunned, will destroy it. * Dragon: Ancient beasts that shoot fireballs from a distance, and can attack with an extremely powerful breath weapon from up close that can incinerate even the greatest warrior in seconds. fireball damage: 10 flame breath damage: lots Magic: stun only Thief: Denizens of the mazes, these rogues have boots of speed, allowing them to move even faster than Elf, and will attempt to steal any bonus powers the richest player has. On Gauntlet, he takes extra speed, then extra armor and shot power. In Gauntlet 2, shot power is his favorite, followed by extra speed. If a player has no bonus powers, he will take score, keys, or even your bonus multiplier. damage: 10 Magic does not affect Thief * Mugger: steals food. Can be useful for stopping Thief from appearing damage: 10 ================================================================================== ** Gameplay ** Gameplay revolves around trying to find the exit to the next level, while grabbing food and goodies, and trying to take as little damage as possible. Part of the fun factor is trying to complete levels, either gaining or breaking even in health. Sure, if you just pumped quarters into the game, to play all day, it gets boring VERY fast, (and you get poorer for your efforts), as you are missing much of the challenge. Gauntlet is easiest with one player.....as with more people, there usually isn't enough food to go around...even though Final Revision (and G2) gives extra food for 3 or 4 people. Two people on the intermediate releases is possible (without dying), although it usually takes one person to play for awhile first, grab health and powerups, then when he has sufficient potions and health, have the 2nd person join. Gauntlet 2 has some extras, such as secret walls (which yield VERY nice things when shot, when 3 or 4 people are present), treasure chests (the chances of receiving food/potions increase with more people), and other temporary power medallions. The permanent powerups are: Shot Power: Increases shot power by 1 level (intermediate release 1 and 2), or from level 1 to level 2, but if your power is already higher than level 1, only increases it 1/2 level--Final revision, and Gauntlet 2). Fight power: Increases fighting ability by 1 level. Shot speed: increase shot speed by one level. (warrior's shot speed becomes as fast as Valkyrie's, Valk's becomes as fast as Elf's, Elf and Wizard's become very fast). Note: Gauntlet 2 has wizard with slower shot speed. Magic Power: Increases magic power by one level. Gives Warrior abiltiy to damage all generators and kill all monsters. Gives Valkyrie the power to kill all ghosts, and damage monster generators by 2 levels, and ghost generators by one level, Elf can kill everything, and Wizard can shoot potions and kill everything (?). Note: on Intermediate Release 1, Wizard getting extra magic power gives him an extra bonus potion. Armor: increases damage reduction by 10%, based on sustaining 10 points of damage unarmored. So Wizard will gain 10% armor, Elf 20%, Warrior 30%, and Valkyrie 40%. but Armor doesn't always work in this manner....as some damage isn't based on '10'. Extra armor will ALWAYS reduce damage points by at LEAST 1, regardless of how much damage the monster does.....for example, Lobbers will only do 2 damage, even to Wizard with extra armor. An exception to this is Valkyrie fighting 'level 2' monsters...she loses 5 health, even with extra armor (warrior and elf both lose 6 health, and wizard loses 7). This seems to be a bug in the game, as level 2 monsters are supposed to do *8* damage, not 7. Speed: Increases all character movement to that of Elf. If Elf gets this potion, he moves so fast that the game scrolling can't even keep track of him. Thief still moves faster than him, though. Other notes: Thief's speed has been increased in Gauntlet 2, he can come out an unlimited amount of times on each level, unless you block the starting square with his treasure bag or another item (or get him stuck), and he can also dodge your shots (by moving along the same path that you traveled on, so he won't "sidestep" unless you've done a lot of zigzagging yourself. Ouch. To make thief easier to handle, if you hear him come out, move in a straight line so its easier to pick him off--remember, Thief follows your exact path. Gauntlet final revision, and Gauntlet 2, have different ways of allocating food. Final Revision is so difficult, its literally pointless to play. Unless the game difficulty is at 0 or 1, you will find that starting out, without dying, is next to impossible. This is because, if you are going solo, 1-2 food is taken out on the first 7 levels. Thereafter, level 8 has AT LEAST one food taken out. This is dependent on the game difficulty. And of course, as your score increases in 16,384 point chunks....... More food is given when more people are playing, and the "score check" is divided by # of people and # of coins (I believe the player's scores are averaged, then divided by # of coins inserted). 4 players playing on easy difficulty will give bonus food. At game difficulty 4, AT LEAST TWO Food are taken out on level 8+, and from two to *THREE* are taken out on the first 7 levels (this depends on the level). This leaves level 2 and 3 completely empty of food, and 1 food on level 4. Levels 5, 6 and 7 usually don't remove as much. On difficulty 7, three foods are taken out on the first 7 levels. As you can see, this makes playing Final revision virtually pointless, unless the difficulty is set very low.. And, if a 2nd player joins, only 1 bonus food is given which doesn't exactly help ;( So unless you're playing on difficulty 0 (the game DOES get MUCH harder, regardless of the difficulty setting in the dips), don't even bother. It is a good game on difficulty 0, though. There *IS* a way to make the first 7 levels MUCH easier. By using the intermediate release roms "10a" and "10b", and renaming them to match the corresponding final release roms (assuming you are using an emulator of course), you will be given an extra food on each of the first 7 levels (assuming difficulty is at easiest). I have not seen any ill effects of doing this on levels 8+, but even on difficulty 0, at least one food is always removed. I would assume you could also burn the eeproms this way using an arcade machine too :) It isn' the first 7 levels that are much of a concern anyway (as you can always simply go from 1 to 8, or even 1 to 4, to 8, if the difficulty level is set low), but the problem is, on the start of the non-fixed levels (8+) Gauntlet doesn't exactly have balanced level layouts. Many levels in Gauntlet are just chock full of level 3 ghosts and monsters, which makes things very hard if you don't have potions (or a character with good magic power). Some levels may have only 1 or 2 food on them also. On Intermediate Release (1 and 2), many of these levels were marginal...meaning you could break even if you had the right bonus potions, or magic, but final revision always removes AT LEAST one food, and that can make the difference between gaining health (or breaking even), or losing 100 health. It matters, except when the food that is removed is in an inaccessible place, or one where it would cost you too much life to get it. Put it this way: Playing Intermediate Release 2 on difficulty 7, is often easier than playing final release on "0", considering that all the food is always given on every level. As to playing intermediate release 2, the problem is, even though its fun, its just too easy. Even at difficulty 7, its still not as fun as final release is, once you've done the starvation workaround. If it had kept the increasing difficulty (faster monster generation) from Final revision, without removing food on the early levels, it would be MUCH better. The wizards at Atari saw this, and changed things around a bit for Gauntlet 2. Gauntlet 2 is not only MUCH easier going on the first few levels (no food is removed early on unless the difficulty is set to "5" or higher, or you're the wizard--and Valkyrie gets ALL the food, until her score increases), its also more fun to play :) A word about how the food tables were changed here. Valkyie, who starts off (magic wise and shot power wise) weaker than the other characters, is ALWAYS given all the food early on, even on difficulty level 7. Overall, she gets more food than the other characters. Elf gets a lot of food also, unless the difficulty is set to 5 or higher, in which he is usually penalized 1 food/level. Warrior is penalized more, and Wizard is heavily punished....there is 1 food gone/level even on difficulty 0, just like final revision of Gauntlet. Warrior gets less food than the other players, but more than wizard. He still gets all the food on difficulty 0. Wizard is nerfed. Enough said. ==================================================================================== ** FAQ: Q: How do I avoid taking so much damage and getting surrounded? A: Try to not rush through levels. You will need to learn the fine points of the levels you are playing, and learn how to pick off monster generators one by one. Also, be careful which door you open. Technique is a VERY big part of mastery. If you want to judge your level of technique, try playing Gauntlet revisions 1 and 2 ( NOT final revision, or Gauntlet II), to see if you can play continuously without dying or inserting more credits. It will take a lot of time, but the rewards will be worth it. If you want to try to pick off pesky generators, move until the generator is off screen, so you can kill any monsters that are around. Doing this, then quickly attacking the generator will minimize the # of monsters that are on the screen. Although, on some levels, you just have to sit there and shoot (or use magic). Q: Is there an easy way to pick off monster generators besides just sitting there shooting forever? (and probably getting hit?) A: Yes, but the way seems counter-intuitive. A VERY important way of killing monster generators (particularly when they generate FAST), is to chase your shot 'off' screen, so it hits the monster generator right when it appears. This is easily done by moving so you are lined up with the generator, but having it off screen, then shooting. Before your shot disappears (when the shot leaves the screen, its gone), chase your shot. If you time this correctly, the monster generator will get hit RIGHT when it appears on screen again. This is a VERY important advanced technique, that can make a huge difference in being able to gain health on levels, or losing health. With practice, you will see just how necessary doing this will be. This is a lifesaver if you do not have "Extra shot power" and are fighting level 3 ghosts. Its important to NOT keep the generator on the screen for any more than a split second, especially as the game gets more difficult, as monsters will pour out and your shot will hit them, instead of your target: the generator. Try this with diagonal shots. You might find that even when the monsters are generating non stop, you will have gaps to get the generators if you shoot it diagonally, as opposed to a primary direction. Q: I've done everything you say, and I haven't even gotten HIT in Gauntlet final revision, but I'm still almost dead by level 5 ! There's no food at all, why ? Losing 1 health each second doesn't help.... A: This was a huge design blunder by Atari. You see, there were three releases of Gauntlet before the 'final' revision. They were the "Prototype release", which I actally saw when I was a kid.....boy did that one have a LOT of food ! :) And there were Intermediate releases 1 and 2. Those 3 versions had ALL the 'set' food in a level, on all levels, regardless of score or difficulty. So, once you became good enough (and if you had a good series of levels starting with level "8"), you simply would not die. And playing solo forever did not help the game make money. So Atari changed the code for the food and monster generation for the Final release. However, they overdid it, BADLY. First, in order to be able to get any significant food on the first 7 levels in Final Release, the difficulty must be set on an easy level. Even on difficulty #0, there is always **ONE** food removed from every level from level 8+ when going solo, and more food removed from levels 1-7. This gets worse with scores increasing by 16,384 point blocks (see below), as more food is removed as the game gets more difficult. If the game was played on default (level 4) difficulty, there would simply NOT be enough food to survive, even on level 8+. And Gauntlet had some monty haul gain health levels, as well as some levels where you could lose 500 health if you didn't have potions or extra powers, BEFORE final revision..... None of this would be much of a problem if you didn't lose 1 health each second...but since you do..... Also, extra shot power levels were reduced 1/2 level increase for warrior and wizard, but the game always removed a set amount of food, regardless of who you were playing. Playing with 2 people gave most of the food back, and 3 or 4 people gave a lot more *bonus* food. It IS possible to play without extra credits, or dying on final release, but only on a low difficulty and if "level 8" has a good level sequence. The game still had the starvation routines that were in Gauntlet II: see below. Atari saw this mistake, and realized they made Gauntlet TOO hard (as a veteran player could die by level 6), so they changed a few things for Gauntlet II. First, the amount of food that was given in Gauntlet II, and whether you will get all the 'set' food in a level, depends on the character you are playing. Valkyrie was given the most food (most chances of all set food appearing, as well as more "random" food on levels 6+), Elf was in 2nd place. Warrior received less food, and the game discriminated very heavily against Wizard. In fact, Valkyrie was the only character who would usually get all set food, even on difficulty 7. but the food you receive is based on your score, in 16,384 increments (see below). However, doing some math, in binary, bit "7" is a value of "128" (the places for bits are 0-7), and 16,384x128=2.1 million. Something VERY interesting happens at 2.1 million (see below). Q: I used to be good at Gauntlet (older releases), but final release seems to starve me after awhile. Same goes for Gauntlet II: Why ? A: This was Atari's "answer" to solo players going at it forever. In Gauntlet Intermediate Release 1 and 2 (and the proto release), all the food was ALWAYS on every level. So iif you got a good run of levels starting with level 8, and the important power potions quickly, you were set for the rest of the game. Gauntlet Final Revision, and Gauntlet II changed this drastically. Basically, as your score increased, the food decreased. Gauntlet final revision and Gauntlet II had the same formula for this, with the exception that Gauntlet I ALWAYS removed at least ONE food on EVERY level, at difficulty 0, and even more on higher difficulties, whereas Gauntlet II removed 'extra' food, depending on which player you are playing---Valkyrie got the most food by far, followed by Elf. Anyway, it was determined by a few people, like Todd (he ran a Gauntlet hack page), and a few other expert players (i learned this (the sudden giving of all food at "about" 2 million points) from an older FAQ, but the 16,384 point ramp, from Todd), that the game difficulty increaese a 'notch', at every 16384 point increase. This usually means, Thief has a higher chance of appearing, monsters generate faster, and the biggie--food is removed. Its a somewhat 'random' variance in how much food is removed (doesn't vary that much though), but lets say, at higher than 32768 points, you might have one food removed per level (so levels that have one food, will suddenly have none), and levels that have tons of food will have one food less (still tons). And at higher than 65536, maybe another food is removed. This keeps going, until where enough food is removed, that you can't gain health anymore. Keep in mind that the SCORE the game uses, is the averaged SCORE OF THE ALL of the players, DIVIDED by the # of coins. So if you had 200,000 points (not a lot of food on a level if this is your effective score), and used 2 coins, your effective score is 100,000. Ok, so scoring health is bad, so that means that death will come, always, since you can't stop your score from increasing, right? Well, most people thought so, however there were some players who, apparently when they were very bored, wanted to find out what would happen if your score became VERY VERY high. They might have actually had other players join in, just to see if the game would always have no food. Whoever did this, is a genius. Anyway, at 16,384 * 128 (love that binary !), which is 2.1 million, apparently something really strange happens. It seems as if a comparison "overflows"...whatever is calculating how much food is removed, probably overflows at bit 7 *128* times your score, and resets here (Atari never figured someone would get this far on 1 credit !), and suddenly the games will give you the **MAXIMUM** possible food per level. The monsters STILL generate very very fast, though. And at 16,384 * 256 (4.2 million), as we all know, 255 is the highest value that can be expressed in 8 bits, so at 256, apparently the memory location resets to 0. What this means is, the ENTIRE GAME Difficulty just totally resets here....its as if you had just started over (meaning, monsters suddenly generate VERY VERY slowly, although thief still appears every level). But this means that you will be hit by starvation again as your score continues to increase, just like before. :) So once again, food is taken out heavily, by about 4.4 million points. Now, doing some simple logic tells you that you will ONCE AGAIN start receiving all the food at 4.2 million + 2.1 million, = 6.3 million. A cycle, right? Q: But how do I take advantage of this? A: Following is the big secret to playing forever in Gauntlet 1 (Final revision: IR 1 and 2 don't apply for this trick; it's not necessary) and Gauntlet 2. VERY FEW people know this. This is what you need to do: First, you need to be good enough, to build up your health as high as possible, with one credit. If this is Gauntlet, any character will do, as none are discriminated against. If this is Gauntlet II, use Valkyrie or Elf, depending on your style of play. If you can't seem to get a lot of health, even when your score is low, you need to improve your technique on the levels. The best way to maximize your health on the two games, is to do the following: 1) Keep the "Use magic on death" score at 1000. The value for Death changes each time you shoot it. I believe (i could be wrong) the cycle is 1000, 2000,1000, 4000, 2000, 6000, 2000, 8000, and then back to the beginning. This is the same for both Gauntlet games. Having death set to 8000 and using magic on them is the fastest way of being starved that I know :/ (you can literally be starved by level *10* if you have two levels with a lot of "Deaths" running around). 2) Only potion Death if its necessary. Sometimes its worth it to lose 200 health, instead of jacking up the score by 1000 or more by using a potion. 3) Avoid grabbing unnecessary treasure or keys, and if you open chests, don't grab treasure bags. If thief is coming out, try to get him with the trick mentioned below, so his treasure bag blocks the entrace. You get 500 points JUST for shooting thief. 4) If possible, shoot monsters instead of fighting them. In order to do the following trick, you really should have at least 6000 health, and a LOT Of time to spare (disabling speed throttling on emulators, if your CPU is fast, can decrease the time required by over 400%). Obviously, on the real arcade machine, you can't put the game into "turbo" mode. Anyway, this is what you need to do: (applies for both Gauntlet final, and Gauntlet II). 1) Build up your health as high as possible. the more the better. 2) keep playing until you can no longer gain health on levels, when a lot of starvation hits. This is usually around 200,000 points. Actually its 250,000 but you need a cushion for below..... 3) keep playing until you come to a level with a lot of WHITE (level 3) ghosts, and sufficient treasures. Then, have the other 3 players join in (yes, that's right). If you're using an emulator, you will need to define the keys for the other players). Then, have your character pick up 4 treasures so your bonus is 8x score (the bonus does NOT affect magic on death). Then find a safe place where you can shoot tons of 30 point ghosts safely behind walls (NOT doors !) and just sit there and shoot. (another advantage of emulators, you can disable the speed throttling to REALLY speed things up now). The walls will change to exits soon. When the other players are about to die down to about 50 health or so), have them all exit, but you remain on. Now, do whatever you need to be able to keep shooting, with your 8x bonus multiplier, until your score is 2.1 million. Place a weight on your joystick button, or a pin lead between the 'shoot' key on your keyboard, or whatever. If you have done this right, you should have 2.1 million, but it will cost you between 3000-5000 health. MAK SURE you have Extra Shot Power, as your score for shooting is DOUBLED..makes a BIG, BIG difference. Finding a suitable level is MUCH easier on Gauntlet 1....as G1 has tons of levels full of level 3 ghosts :) Once you've done this, exit the level and kill off the others. There will not be any food on the new level, since there were 4 people playing, but pass the new level, and you should get max food on the following levels (max food - 1, on Gauntlet final rev ). But you're not out of the woods yet. You STILL need to build up your health more, and you will see that the monsters generate VERY VERY Fast. Keep minimizing your score increase even now....and try to build up your health to at LEAST 35,000 by the time you reach 4.1 million (when the game difficulty totally resets). Again, the more health you have, the better. 40,000 is a good target, but if you only have 35,000, you may or may not survive the next starvation phase without using the "4 player trick" again. Your goal is to be able to survive by yourself. Once you are getting starved a 2nd time, at about 4.3-4.4 million, NOW its time to have fun. Set the Death (magic) value to 8,000 points, and grab as MANY treasures as you can. And potion death whereever possible. There wont be any food, so your ONLY GOAL now is to find the exit quickly, and potion Deaths (try to get several on one screen to conserve potions). You might not think that you can increase your score by ANOTHER 2.1 million (your goal is 4.2 million + 2.1 more = 6.3 million for the next all food period), but you will be surprised how fast your score increases now. Try to avoid taking too much damage, and be careful. You should be able to attain 6.3 million and still have 10,000-15,000 health. If you were really good before, you might even have 20,000. Once you reach this point, set the deaths BACK to 1,000, dont grab treasures, and repeat the cycle. You should be able to gain health out of each starvation/food phase, and come out on top if you play the cards right. Oh, and don't let Thief steal your potions, or it will be VERY hard to gain health when the game gets this difficult. Q: Is this the big play forever secret, then? A: Yep...just exploiting the "2.1 million point" bug (you are given all food again at 2.1 million, up to the difficulty reset at 4.2 mil), and remembering that the game difficulty resets totally every 16,384 * 256 points (4.2 million), and the cycle begins anew. (slow starvation, up to 6.3 million, where you get all the food again :) Q: Why does Gauntlet II seem easier for characters without the power potions, than Gauntlet 1 final revision? A: Gauntlet 1 had some VERY difficult and unbalanced levels past level 8....if you didn't have the right combination of special powers, and if you didn't have any potions (or a character with good magic power), you could lose massive health on some of the levels. Other levels were smorgeboard levels, where you could gain almost 1000 health. Unlike Gauntlet II, which was more balanced, the trick to doing well on Gauntlet (if you were not Elf or Wizard), is having a good sequence of levels starting with level 8. The "Default" level 8 (when the Eeprom is cleared (brand new), and the sequel levels are moderate, but not the easiest levels in the world, so usually its best to carry a player a few levels past, then die on purpose on a 'decent' level. Then, that level will become the new level "8". If you wait a few minutes after dying, and then power off the machine, you will also get a "hidden" potion on level 8, and the new level (the level you died on) will still be saved as the new level 8, (but if you power off too quickly after dying, the "old" level will still be in effect, so be careful). Same applies for "Level 6" on Gauntlet II. In the intermediate releases of Gauntlet 1, once you got the right potions and powers, many of the levels became rediculously easy, as long as you kept enough potions stored. Q: How do I control which transporter I land at, when several are equidistant from each other ? A: This depends on if the transporter is "glowing bright" or returning to a "dim" state. Its really hard to explain, but glowing bright will bring you to the transporter either to the RIGHT of you, or below you, and glowing dim will bring you to the above, or left transporter. I think it also mattered which rom revision was in place. Regardless, you are ALWAYS moved to the closest transporter otherwise. You can control which side you will land on, by the joystick. Q: How do I stop getting owned by the Thief ? I lose my extra shot power/speed, or whatever and then I start losing tons of health on the difficult levels A: The Gauntlet II Thief is much smarter than he was in part 1. I part 1, he only comes out once a level, and he never tries to avoid your shots. Thief always follows the richest player's exact path. In Gauntlet II, when you shoot the Thief, he tries to retreat (along your path). Then he comes after you again :) The best way to deal with him, in a tight spot, is to find a "T" or "L" intersection, stay close, and just shoot so he runs into your shot. If he is appearing every level, there is a trick you can do: The thief never appears if something is "blocking" your starting square. And when the thief appears (in Gauntlet II only), he hesitates a moment before chasing you. So what you can do is, wait by the start, and when the thief appears, quickly shoot him BUT DON'T get the treasure he leaves. That will block thief from reappearing :) You can also push a moveable block onto the thief starting square, or push a block so it is 'covering' the path the thief will follow to you. Do NOT try waiting for the thief to appear, right next to the starting location in Gauntlet 1....the thief does not "wait" before chasing you here. Just turn around in your passage and shoot, since he does not dodge you. There is another bug you can do in Gauntlet II, involving causing "Mugger" to get stuck (losing his linked list ?), since only one mugger/thief can be on a level at one time. I'll get to that later. Q: Can I kill acid puddles? A: Yes. It takes 2 potions quickly. The first stuns them, the 2nd kills them. The same trick works on Super Sorcerers (IF they have already materialized) Q: Why were Warrior and Wizard nerfed so bad (extra shot power only increases 1/2 level) in Final Revision, whereas, in intermediate release 1/2/Proto release, it increases the shot power one full level, and penalized even more in Gauntlet II (food removal, stun tiles, repulsiveness time). A: I don't know: ask Atari. A bad decision....sort of like blizzard nerfing some spells in Diablo II, and OVERDOING it. But I have a ROM Editor, and was able to give Warrior and Wizard back most of their old abilities for Extra Shot Power :) Courtesy of the great Eric Crabill. Actually, the power change, as I said, was done for Gauntlet final revision, however with Gauntlet II's further nerfing (weakening) of warrior (he can't shoot through cracks, and the game is slightly more difficult), and wizard (game is a LOT more difficult, a LOT less food), its virtually pointless to play them, although Warrior has a better chance on the easier difficulty settings. Q: Are there any other bugs? A: In Gauntlet 1, in intermediate release 1, there were several transporter related bugs, mainly involving DYING right when hitting a transporter (with another player playing with you), or transporting on top of Thief. Doing one of these could cause unpredictable things to happen, even a game reset, loss of scrolling, or the "dead" player dying again when pushed. It was also possible to get stuck forever when multiple players were playing, in Intermediate release 1. This was fixed in IR2, where stalling for 400 health ticks causes all walls to change to exits. These transporter bugs were fixed in Intermediate release 2, however, with the thief and mugger "pausing" on entering a level on Gauntlet 2, they seem to reappear again. Here is what happens. If a mugger or thief appears, (Gauntlet II only) and you run up to him QUICKLY so you are touching him, and stand RIGHT NEXT to him right when he pops up (in the direction that you started moving when you joined that level), he will attack you, however, since there was NO path to follow to chase you (you were right next to him), his linked list seems to get lost, and after you avoid his attack, he will just walk right up to a wall and sit there (usually). If you go to the other side of the wall and shoot, something strange might happen: 1) maybe nothing. 2) mugger might teleport on top of you. 3) Thief might try to "dodge" the shot, then suddenly teleport on top of you. If they DO teleport on top of you, the game code was NOT created to handle such an occurance--it was only built to hande you telefragging them. Now the fun begins... 1) The game might make REALLY garbled sounds, and then freeze and reset, as the 68010 cpu crashes. 2) You will change color, and the monsters will still chase you, but will not "attack" you (you can still get damaged by ghosts by running into them, but they will stop at an "invisible" barrier right at your sprite on their own) 3) You might disappear :( 4) Even stranger things might happen. Sometimes, the mugger will teleport and turn into a pixeled mess, when you are right next to a wall, and you do the trick to get him stuck (standing RIGHT next to your starting point on that maze, when he appears, so his linked list gets lost..). Touching that pixelated mess will either crash the machine, or turn you into the "red" player, or, as above, cause the monsters to think you are one of "them", so they don't actually "hit" you unless you move into them. Being able to select your character, regardless of joystick, in Gauntlet 2, is a bit bugged. Only the GREEN player is given the extra 'half' bonus for fighting ability. in other words, playing Red, Blue, or Yellow warrior only gives you 2x normal fight power, the same as Valkyrie. Green warrior has the proper fight power. The same goes for Elf: Red, blue or green gives elf the same fight power as wizard. Likewise, playing both Valkyrie and Wizard on the green player gives them an extra half level, so Valkyrie's fight power becomes equal to Warrior, and Wizard's become equal to Elf's. If only that applied to shot power... :) Q: How do I kill the dragon? A: don't just stay there and shoot....you'll take a lot of damage, and dont stay too close unless you want massive flame damage :) When you fight the dragon, notice his head movements. Its a distinct pattern, right? And its periodic. There are FIVE (or 6) differnt patterns for his head movement, however they ALL repeat (meaning the dragon's head position starts over) at the SAME intervals. What this means is this: You can time your shots periodcally (you will need to get a feel for how often to shoot, and then quickly dodge behind a corner...you will learn this on your own, but its ABOUT every 2 seconds),so you can hide behind a wall, then quickly aim a shot at the dragon, then run back again. If you do this properly, you should be able to kill **ALL** dragons, except one, without getting hit once, by just timing your shots. There is one dragon on a "spiral door" level, that you must stand up to and fight, as its in a very long passageway. Once you learn this, you can consider yourself a master. Q: I've entered a secret room, but after I left, I was full of keys.....TONS Of keys....maybe over 50 and I can't pick up treasures ! What do I do ? A: This is one of the most annoying bugs in the game. When the game difficulty is low (you have a low score), entering a secret room will usually overburden your inventory with potions. This is a good thing. But, when the game difficulty is high (a very high score), usually you are filled with keys. The game might give you anywhere between 40 to 100 keys, or even MORE. This hurts, because you can't pick up potions (but if you walk over new keys, they simply vanish, as otherwise you would be stuck). The only way to avoid this is to NOT do the secret trick to reach the secret room. Which trick? Well, each level has its own trick. Some levels require you to transport on top of acid puddles, some require you to go on a diet, or to shoot 2 foods or secret walls, etc. You will get a secret 'hint', if you shoot a secret wall or kill the Dragon. You can only know what 'trick' applies to each level, by experience. But, if you know a certain trick applies for a level, dont do it. If a level trick is to teleport on an acid puddle, kill the puddles with 2 potions instead. Occasionally its IMPOSSIBLE to avoid entering the secret room (example: DONT BE FOOLED and you find the "real" exit), or "GO ON A DIET", when you are in food starvation phase......but you can cut down on the occurances significatntly :) Not all levels have a secret trick tied to them, though. In fact, many do not. Here are some more hints to help you along: Lobbers will shoot you in the direction you are moving, so their balls "hit" you at the destination. Be careful, as you don't want them shooting your foods or potions. In Gauntlet II, you take less damage from demons when shot, rather than hit, especially as valkyrie. Try to not let demons shoot your food. Use transporters to teleport on Death, when you don't want to potion him. Don't use transportability unless you need it. If you are using it, remember that if you are next to the edge of the level, and there is a food or potion there, you can STILL pick it up by moving DIAGONALLY into it. Use super shots carefully. I don't know if super shots affect death point values though, but death dies to 9 super shots. Learn where to use potions, to maximize your health gain (or minimize your health loss). Try to get as many ghosts/generators as possible. Sometimes it pays to simply go rambo-style through a level, particularly one with a lot of food and potions. Super Sorcerers are annoying, and inflict a lot of damage....they usually will appear behind you, and they will ALWAYS appear immediately after you walk into a tile where they just disappeared. Good dodging and shooting techniques are necessary to kill them without getting hit. In Gauntlet 1, it doesn't matter who you play: They are all great. And Warrior's shots will hit something on the other side of a crack, but won't fit completely through In Gauntlet II, the best characters are Elf and Valkyrie. Warrior "apparently" cannot shoot ANYTHING on the other side of a crack now, as well as his extra shot power only being 2-3x normal (this makes it really unpredictable since you can't really "charge" shoot level 3 monsters anymore), and he has LARGE tile stun-times. As well as shorter repulsiveness times, to boot :( He CAN shoot the monsters and generators touching the other side of narrow cracks, but it's REALLY hard to do it now. You need both the pixel perfect angle, as well as a certain distance, which can get frustrating to find. But all 'crack' generators should be hittable with a lot of work. .Wizard gets even less food than Warrior does, and also have short repulsiveness and large stun times. And the monsters generate much faster when warrior and wizard are playing :( (Gauntlet II only). Elf, with all the special powers, is every bit as powerful magic wise, as the wizard with all the powers, but fights better, has better armor, and speed, so wizard is completely useless now :( If he still kept his 2-3x extra shot power, from Intermediate Releases 1 and 2, there might be SOME point to playing him, but without my hacked ROMS, its useless. Play Gauntlet Final Revision, only on difficulty 0, if you want to be able to survive to get enough health for the "food starvation bypass trick". But remember, unlike Gauntlet II, success in Gauntlet 1 relies HEAVILY on a good, easy sequence of levels starting with level 8, so you can get enough special power potions quickly. If you have a bad run of levels (levels with low food, or high damage) starting on level 8, forget trying to survive very long....you should find a 'good' level and die there, to make that the new level "8" :). If you're using an emulator, it may be necessary to wait 3 or 4 minutes before exiting the emu, to make sure the NVRAM for the new level 8 is written properly. It may also involve starting a few new suicide games, so you can run directly to 8, then die again, to make sure the change sticks. Enjoy. ******************