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LTTP: Gauntlet Legends

stranno

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I have finished Gauntlet Legends recently on Nintendo 64, Playstation and Arcade (Dreamcast left) and it amazes me how different it is between versions and how much Nintendo 64 port crushed Playstation version.


Arcade: The game appeared first on Atari Vegas board along October 1998, a powerful system powered by 3DFX hardware. It was the fifth game in the series and the third game in arcades, albeit IDK if we should count Gauntlet II as a single game, since it was just an expansion kit for the original Atari Gauntlet Hardware board.


Nintendo 64: The first port of the game, developed by the same internal studio of Atari Games. It was a gigantic content expansion, boosting the game from a ~30 minutes gameplay to 8-10 hours in a first try. Graphics are smaller and simpler, but performance is great, there are tons of enemies on screen, controls are great, it supports three players out of the box and four players with the Expansion Pack (weird). It is the only version where you can sold weapons and the inventory system is pretty handy. I'd say it is the best version of the game overall, tho it lacks four levels from the Playstation version, music/sound is highly downgraded and it lacks CGI cinematics.

It should use one of those obscure proprietary micro-codes for the Nintendo 64 RSP, since it took like a decade to see it properly emulated.


Playstation: It came out half-year after Nintendo 64 port and featured four "Extra" levels, after the end of the game. It features CGI cinematics and much better sound. BUT, it has far worse graphics than Nintendo 64, fewer enemies on screen (bad idea for Gauntlet), only one stupidly easy difficulty, inventory is clumsy and, above all, it only features two players multiplayer (in a Gauntlet game! come on..)


Dreamcast: Final version of the original game. It features much better graphics than the other two versions, with higher zoom, slightly below the Atari Vegas graphics, but really close. It is a direct port of the arcade so, bad news, it has MUCH less content than the other two versions, no inventory and a crappy shop after levels. Performance is better than Playstation, but not as good as Nintendo 64, and I'd say physics are a bit broken. The biggest change, tho, is that it features some elements from the Dark Legacy remake, appeared one year later for the next generation.

Apparently, these two versions were developed by Midway, instead of Atari Games, but I'm not sure and it's probably wrong on Wikipedia/Gamefaqs. Some sources say that the Nintendo 64 version features the Extra hub, including the four new levels, but, as far as I seen, that's clearly wrong. It would make sense that Atari added those levels as a bonus for a delayed Playstation version.
 

DadEggs

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loved this game. my biggest gripe was that the secret characters were only "palate/costume" swaps.
 

ClanOfNone

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Dumped a ton of money into all the Gauntlets. Legends was mind-blowing back in the day, but it has aged pretty terribly, at least visually. It's a blocky hideous mess, the early polygon era was rough.
 
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stranno

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loved this game. my biggest gripe was that the secret characters were only "palate/costume" swaps.
I think you are talking about Dark Legacy. In the original Gauntlet Legends, alternate costumes had noticeable different clothes and models, on top of the different colors. And secret characters were vastly different from the main characters, they were monsters/animals instead of humans.

Secret levels, where you get the secret characters, are probably broken on Nintendo 64. For some reason you only have to collect 50 coins, which is stupidly easy, leaving the rest of the coins in the level, without any indication that you have unlocked a character. While on Playstation you have to collect every single coin in the level, which is quite tough without the speed power. I'm not sure what happened there :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

Naked Lunch

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The voices in this game are hilarious.
"I liiiiiiiike food!"
"Food is good!"

Ill have to revisit the N64 version - we never finished it back in the day.
 
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stranno

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The voices in this game are hilarious.
"I liiiiiiiike food!"
"Food is good!"

Ill have to revisit the N64 version - we never finished it back in the day.
Good lord the "i like food" sample, it drives me crazy.

Fortunately, there's barely any food on Nintendo 64 :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

DadEggs

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I think you are talking about Dark Legacy. In the original Gauntlet Legends, alternate costumes had noticeable different clothes and models, on top of the different colors. And secret characters were vastly different from the main characters, they were monsters/animals instead of humans.

Secret levels, where you get the secret characters, are probably broken on Nintendo 64. For some reason you only have to collect 50 coins, which is stupidly easy, leaving the rest of the coins in the level, without any indication that you have unlocked a character. While on Playstation you have to collect every single coin in the level, which is quite tough without the speed power. I'm not sure what happened there :messenger_tears_of_joy:
no im referring to legends on 64. thats what i said. the secret chracters were different costumes/characters, but that was it. it was just superficial. the characters should have had diff stats or specials etc.

nothing was unique about them other than their look.

either way i remember them being very easy to get like you said. loved the game.
 

SkylineRKR

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I was addicted to the coin op but could never really get into the console versions. The DC version is probably the closest.

I sometimes play it on MAME. Its a fun game and you can disable the health loss quarter munching bullshit.
 
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stranno

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no im referring to legends on 64. thats what i said. the secret chracters were different costumes/characters, but that was it. it was just superficial. the characters should have had diff stats or specials etc.
Ah, ok. Yeah, every character behaves more or less the same.

I was addicted to the coin op but could never really get into the console versions. The DC version is probably the closest.
Yes, it is the closest by far. But, in this case, not a great thing, unless you want a short game.

MAME has improved the 3DFX hardware in the latest versions, so it should run better than two or three versions ago.
 

TexMex

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Awesome game. Spent a ton of time in the arcade and DC versions.

You’re right they are wildly different. There’s a perfect game that’s a mix of all 3 in there somewhere.
 

SkylineRKR

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This game is so shallow, that I probably liked the arcade version most for that reason. Its like a shmup almost. Its best for short bursts and didn't need to be stretched into hours of gameplay imo.

Awesome game. Spent a ton of time in the arcade and DC versions.

You’re right they are wildly different. There’s a perfect game that’s a mix of all 3 in there somewhere.

Shouldn't that be Dark Legacy? It has Legends and all extra stuff. Never played it though.
 

TexMex

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Shouldn't that be Dark Legacy? It has Legends and all extra stuff. Never played it though.

Not sure but I don’t think so. The wiki is a little vague, and compares it most to the Dreamcast version. Seems like it’s missing elements of the N64/PS versions OP was referencing.
 

FeldMonster

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Loved the N64 version, playing co-op with my brothers against the bosses was fantastic. [Even more fun with GameShark]. Always loved the announcers voice. Anyone know the voice actor?

I never knew the various versions were very different. I hope to one day play through one of the versions (likely the DC version) with my kids.
 

stranno

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Loved the N64 version, playing co-op with my brothers against the bosses was fantastic. [Even more fun with GameShark]. Always loved the announcers voice. Anyone know the voice actor?

I never knew the various versions were very different. I hope to one day play through one of the versions (likely the DC version) with my kids.
This guy:



  • Doug Lawrence, the voice of Sumner, also did voice work for various Nickelodeon cartoons aside from Gauntlet. One of them was the voice of Plankton from the Spongebob television series.
  • Sumner is not only similar to Zordon, mentor of the Power Rangers(a.k.a. Super Sentai), but he also sounds a bit similar to him, despite them being voiced by different people. Both are powerful wizards who spend most of their time in the bases of operations, and summoned heroes to help fight their respective enemies.
 
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FeldMonster

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This guy:


Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to check this out later.