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:  res06t6x@gte.net
and falkentyne@bigmailbox.net

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.


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