Gauntlet, Atari ST

This 16-bit conversion of the classic arcade game Gauntlet was developed by Atari Games and was first published in October 1987 by Mindscape.

While, graphically, it’s not quite as lush as the original arcade game, it is very close to it and Atari obviously took care with how it looked and played when they translated it to the ST.

One thing this version doesn’t have, which is quite surprising, are the inter-level screens that indicate what level you’re about to enter. These also tell you if there’s anything special about the level (like a hidden potion to find, or whether it’s a treasure room). Instead the levels are indicated on the side panel.

Something else I discovered when playing this in an emulator (in Steem, specifically) is that the game was obviously designed to run on a standard 8MHz ST. If you try to play it on a faster machine then you might find that the game runs too quickly – at least when there aren’t many things on-screen at the same time. Playing Gauntlet on a standard ST, however, does result in some slowdown when there are lots of things on-screen at the same, but it thankfully never becomes crippling. It’s weird, though, that the game sometimes struggles to find the middle ground when it comes to execution speed…

Final note: Amiga owners wanting to find and play Gauntlet on their machine shouldn’t waste their time searching for it, because Gauntlet was never released on the Amiga. Honestly – don’t fall for anyone saying that it was. It simply wasn’t, and any Amiga version of Gauntlet you might find online will be nothing more than mis-titled Gauntlet II, which was released on the Amiga. The original Gauntlet – I say again – was never released on the Amiga! Considering that this was one of Atari‘s flagship arcade games it’s not difficult to understand why they didn’t want to release it on the Amiga (because they needed good, exclusive titles on the ST, which was the main rival to the Amiga at the time).

More: Gauntlet on Wikipedia

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