GauntletGauntlet is a 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. Released during the height of popularity of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, this game caused a sensation and was constantly mobbed, being the first true dungeon crawl arcade game. Gauntlet could be played by 1-4 players simultaneously, unique for arcade games of its day. A player may control one of a muscular Warrior, adept Wizard, strong Valkyrie or the Elf archer (the character controlled is dictated by their position on the cabinet - there is only one of each character). Players must cooperate to traverse the perils of a dungeon via a top-down view.
The players traverse the dungeon levels controlling their assigned character, attacking persistent monsters and collecting gold. The players must cooperate by sharing food and luring monsters into places where they can be engaged and slaughtered more conveniently. The characters continuously lose health during gameplay, regardless of what they are doing--even just standing and not moving. Characters lose even more health when attacked by enemy dungeon denizens. Besides food found in the dungeon (which has to be shared amongst all players), players can add health by adding more credits. Hence, this game is a notorious credit-gobbler when it first appeared since players desperately shoved in handfuls of coins in order to not be ejected from the game and run the heartache of sometimes waiting hours in line in order to play again.
One of the game's features was the narrator's voice. It would frequently make statements reiterating the game's rules, including "Remember - don't shoot food!" and "Warrior now has reflecting shots." Occasionally, the narrator would encourage the players in the thick of battle by saying "I've not seen such bravery!" or "Let's see you get out of here!" A memorable statement of the game occurred when a player's "life force" points dwindled to the point where he or she was in jeapordy of dying permanently: "Your life force is running out." These catch phrases are still repeated today among many role-playing and computer fans, especially "Wizard needs food badly!"
Due to the fact that the game was designed for up to four players to play at once, the cabinet is wider than other standard uprights. After its release, other games started using this design, so it was a popular conversion target for newer games after it had its run. Each player had a joystick and two buttons, one for "Fire" (to attack) and one for "Magic".