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Gauntlet the Third Encounter: WTF?

OMG, Gauntlet the Third Encounter for Atari Lynx may be the best game ever! This game has something for everyone. First just take a look at the Character roster. There is Wizard, Android, PunkRocker, Pirate, Gunfighter, Valkyrie, Nerd, and Samuri. This is a much better line up than the arcade version of the game that featured the tres’ boring lineup of Thor the Warrior, Merlin the Wizard, Thyra the Valkyrie and, Questor the Elf. The line up is like the members some sort of Village People super group cover band. When playing the game I inevitably momentarily consider the Android. With a speed of 24, strength of 7 and missile of 9 he seemed like a pretty good choice. Then I snap to my senses. The Nerd takes effing androids apart in his sleep! Sure the Nerd may not be as fast as the mighty Valkyrie, whose blazing speed of 40 allows the Valkyrie to compete on an Olympic level in track and field. Nor does the Nerd have the massive firepower of the Gunslinger or the strength of the powerful Samurai. No, the Nerd has something that the game just doesn’t have stats for: smarts. This is unfortunate because obviously a lot of points would have been spent on his smarts to make up for his otherwise lousy stats.

A typical game goes something like this...

I, as Nerd, enter the field of battle gripping a red bound book that presumably is a manual for MS-DOS. This is 1990 folks, this is not some sissy 2000s Nerd but an honest to god wedgie hardened 1980s style Revenge of the Nerds Nerd. I think about nicknaming him Gilbert but then decide that Nerd is a better and more apt nickname. The game does not explain why Nerd has agreed to descend into the dungeon so I decide that he is going to rescue his hero Bill Gates so that they can bring the world Windows 3.0. Things are getting off to a good start. I look to the right and see an apple. Sweet, Nerds totally like to be the teacher’s pet. This will be perfect to bribe teacher! I move towards it and in a window at the bottom left hand corner of the screen the apple is totally in 3D! Holy crap the graphics are intense. As I approach the apple, it gets bigger! I am totally going to be teachers pet. I grab the apple, a spooky skeleton key, and a scroll of invisibility. Sweet, Nerd will have no problem reading this with his high intelligence. Now it’s time to kick some ass! I move thru a locked door and am off wandering around the level looking for some enemies to let loose on. Suddenly the lower left corner of the screen shows a scorpion! I hate scorpions! They are totally creepy. I tried to find an article about how creepy they are but Wikapedia just had a bunch of objective facts about them and not some good knee jerk scare tactics about how evil they are. Level one is coming along pretty well, scorpions are pretty scary enemies. I am hoping for Nazis on level two. After killing a bunch of scorpions I start looking for their little spawning hut but I can’t find it. What the hell why aren’t more scorpions appearing? Did I kill them all? I still have thousands of HP. I am disgruntled until I notice a PC in the middle of a room. I walk up to it and the box on the bottom screen shows a close-up of the computer with scrolling text “Welcome explorers you seek the star gem but death more likely waits you.” Star gem? No no, I am here to save Bill, I implore the computer. This is serious so I go find some more scorpions to stomp while I consider this new information.

The skeleton keys are very mysterious. I wonder if the Pirate was already here. Maybe the Pirate already took the star gem? Damn it, if I had started out as the Pirate I’d already have the star gem and be drinking mojitos with Bill by now.

The obvious choice is of course to continue downward toward this “star gem” so I take the exit and find myself on a level with ghosts. I am a bit disappointed that there are no Nazis, who are always the best enemies, but content myself with the fact that the Ghost is one of the Classic Gauntlet enemies. The classic enemies are Ghost, Grunt, Demon, Lobber, Sorcerer, thief, and my personal favorite enemy, Death, who you might remember from such movies as Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. This level is chock full of green pots full of gold.

Green pots of gold! This leads me to believe that the monster roster includes Leprechauns. I make a point to keep my eye out for them. I saw part of the Leprechaun movie so I know just how evil the little bastards can be. I wish I was armed with more than a MS-DOS manual and realize I have no idea what my missiles are made of. Book pages? Brain waves? Based upon my experiences at w
ork, I conjecture that it must be some Nerf-based weapon.

I get so excited about the gold that I accidentally use my Invisibility Scroll. For a Nerd I feel awfully effing stupid. Just as the stupidity is wearing off I realize that the pots of leprechaun gold I have been picking up are filling up my inventory and I cannot pick up any more Pirate keys. I immediately begin plotting some way to get out of the dungeon with all the gold. What the hell?!? Why does the game give me all this gold that I can’t carry? Fucking Leprechauns! Screw this level, I’m going to find the star gem.

Level 3! Whoot! Gauntlet the Third Encounter is totally mixing it up. The enemies here are Ghosts AND Scorpions. I am just getting comfortable with two enemies on a level when all the sudden a fireball bashes into me. It’s a Jawa. I am not even joking here. There is a Jawa that shoots fireballs in Gauntlet the Third Encounter. And suddenly I am dead… Where was the warning? Red Booked Nerd is about to die! Why didn’t you warn me Gauntlet?! For that matter, Gauntlet didn’t say jack to me the entire time I was playing. I hate this game!

The game zoomed in dramatically on my skeleton and displayed my score of 7480. Stupid Gauntlet.


  1. What does the PunkRocker do, sneer people to death?

    Love the blog, Seaner , keep it up!

  2. Intervals U. BriefJanuary 28, 2008 at 8:03 AM



    Monkey portraits.

    Chinese monkey portraits.

    Lots of Chinese monkey portraits.




  3. That's why I always liked the role-playing game Wraith:The Oblivion. You could fight Nazis and Spartans. The two best villains ever.