Gauntlet Legends1

Genre: Hack and Slash, Dungeon Crawler
Year: 1998
Developed by: Midway Games, Atari Games
Published by: Midway Games, Atari Games
Platforms: Arcade, N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation
Feeling Like: I need food…badly!

Some of you will remember how pivotal the arcade was to introducing new games you never even knew existed. It was like a library, only louder, brighter, more expensive and less educational.

I’d wander the seldom vacuumed floor, hunting for anything that stood out. Where were my friends? Around. I’d find them later. Did I have any money on me? No, but that never stopped me before. Doesn’t stop me today. Window shopping is a cheap exercise.


Sorry, did I wander into a monster truck rally? What was that overly bombastic, totally unnecessary comment?


Holy crap, somebody’s about to die. And the game told me so! I better run over to the cabinet surrounded by people to see what all the commotion is.

You know where this is going. Gauntlet Legends is an archaic whack-a-mole without the moles. It’s an arcade dungeon crawler and complimenting it any further would be embarrassing and inaccurate. But it had its moments.

The most playtime I’ve enjoyed on Gauntlet Legends was in the Arcade on the British Columbia Ferries. THE go to spot when sailing from the Schwartz Bay Terminal to Tsawassen. It’s a pilgrimage every Vancouver Islander must endure about 200 times in their life. What struck me as wholly unfair, other than the tsunami of mindless goblins and skeletons, was that your health consistently decreased in the Arcade version with each passing second. Whether you took any damage was irrelevant. It was the most blatant attempt at a cash grab I’d ever seen as a young gamer. It struck a nerve. Remember, I didn’t have any money.

New BC Ferry, same old arcade!

Later on, when the port hit the N64, we decided that we were having way too much fun playing Goldeneye 007 and Super Smash Bros, so we rented Gauntlet Legends. The monotony soon set in, as there were only so many ways to make your murky, blocky character skewer the baddies. Even with three other friends, it just made us wish we were playing something else. We got about as far as having little birdy/dragon companions before moving on.

The audio is hilarious, and worth mentioning. The usual “RED WARRIOR NEEDS FOOD” was there, but there was an inane mini-game. You’ve played it as a child. It was likely way more fun then, but just as loud. Tag. You’re it.

Only in the world of Gauntlet Legends, you get the announcer telling you very specifically who is it. “GREEN WIZARD…IS NOW IT.” Before you can comprehend what’s occuring, the announcer has helpfully informed us that the Blue Valkyrie touched the Green Wizard, and it is now her turn to be it.


I remember thinking at the time that this “tag” level was really annoying. Little did I know this feature permeated the game.

Kasim, myself and others would not run the gauntlet here. A fine distraction, an attempt at coooperation and a quick willingness to go back to the Facility, License to Kill, Pistols.


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