Since the last time we previewed Gauntlet, the game has really been fleshed out. As we said before, the gameplay is pretty much the same as the original games. You are one of four characters in a top-down perspective world, killing hordes of goblins; ghosts and ghouls. Several Legends features are taken from the previous games: four-player play; Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard character classes (the Elf is gone); items and enemies such as food, chests, traps, monster generators, magic, teleports, gold, Death, "It," and transporters (the Thief and Sorcerer are no more); Magic and Fight buttons; and tons of returning power-ups: Invisibility, Invulnerability, Reflective Shots, Super Shots (gone: Repulsiveness and Transportability).
Gauntlet Legends is almost an entirely different game however, when you add all the new innovations including a fully 3D playfield with stairs, moving elevators, surrounding ledges, intricate hidden areas, secret rooms and multiple levels of play. There are four full worlds of play, with a fifth secret "Boss" world at the end.
To defeat the Boss at the end of the fourth world and then gain entrance into the fifth world, you must have collected all 13 runestones from throughout the game.
There is a new Archer class. This female character replaces the original "male" elf. Another new addition to the game is character depth. You are able to save your game via name and password. Throughout time, your character will gain levels of experience, and this will raise ratings for strength, armor, magic and speed. Each character class has four distinct color-coded versions--one for each kingdom. In addition, after reaching a certain experience level, you will be given the opportunity to transform your character into a creature such as a minotaur or a female tiger. You will have the same abilities but have new animations and a new look. Each character also has at least three classes of specials that inflict heavier damage. The specials are activated with the Fight and Turbo buttons.
The new Turbo button is for use in melee fighting (special moves) and magic. Magic will be used for far more than clearing the screen of enemies or killing Death. Magic can be used as an area effect (as before), but can also be used with Turbo button to become a "shaped" Magic with a smaller radius but longer duration, so characters can walk with it like a shield.
Of course, there are tougher monsters in this new world. Each kingdom has been overrun by a host of unique minions--13 in all for each kingdom. This includes grunts, tougher characters, ground-dwelling meanies and assorted other unique denizens.
Some monsters take one hit to kill, others take many. One new enemy is the "Suicide Bomber,''-crazed underlings who have kegs of dynamite strapped to their backs. When you see the other enemies running from this guy, you should too!
One big change from previous games is that you can't hit monster generators from off the screen. That's OK though, because you have at least 16 new power-ups to kill the many hordes of creatures. Among the new powers are 3-Way Shots, 5-Way Shots, Time-Stop, X-Ray Vision, Halo (anti-Death aura), Levitation, four color-coded elemental amulets (Fire, Ice, Poison Gas and Light), Enhanced (gold) Invulnerability, Enemy Shrinking, Player Growth and weapons (fire, ice and gas), Rapid shots, The Phoenix and The Hammer of Thor. Some of these you might be able to buy in the shop.
Gold in the original games were only for score. Now, Atari has also taken Gauntlet to the next level with the shop. Between levels, players can use their accumulated gold to buy health or increase their character's attributes.
One of the more obvious differences between previous Gauntlet games and Legends is the addition of Bosses. There is one main Boss in Gauntlet, the Demon, who seeks to spoil the land for his own foul means. He has under him four regional overlords, each a master of a kingdom. This includes the Dragon, boss of the Mountain Kingdom; the Chimera (pronounced Ki-mer-a), boss of the Castle; the Genie, Boss of the Desert Kingdom; and the Spider Queen, overlord of the Forest Kingdom. Each of them is an extremely difficult opponent to destroy. Only by destroying all four will the player gain access to the keys needed to unlock the citadel of the Demon to face the ultimate Boss.
The graphics for Gauntlet are handled by (of course) a 3D chipset named "Vegas" (no, not the cheesy '70s show with Robert Urich). The game looks incredible, and there is a ton of action happening at once on the screen. Legends also utilizes a hard drive like so many other games today. There is no slowdown, and the textures all look spectacular. This game will have a hard time selling to the mind-numbed fighting game robots who make up most of today's arcade audience, but it is one of the most innovative arcade games to date. It reminds this old writer of games like the original Gauntlet, Cadash and Magician Lord--excellent games whose type we may see more of since SF clones are slowly, slowly on their way out. All praise Atari!
MANUFACTURER - Atari
THEME - ACTION
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
Download Gauntlet Legends
PC compatible, P-200
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode Multiplayer (Hotseat)