There's nothing the YS lovebirds like more than cuddling together round a nice, warm Gauntlet machine. We asked Dauntless Rachael Smith and Gormless Gwyn Hughes whether they dig the dungeons, Spectrum-style.
Rachael: What better place to start than the start? After an initial adventure in the land of multi-load, of course.
Gwyn: The main program's on side one: the dungeons on side two. A second player can join a one person game at any stage.
Rachael: Though you don't get a choice of character that way.
Gwyn: If you want to change characters at all, you have to re-load the whole thing.
Rachael: The score's ticking away. Move!
Gwyn: Ghosts! Let me get them. I've got more powerful projectiles.
Rachael: Boasting again!
Gwyn: Look - there's a sorcerer coming.
Rachael: This calls for some hand to hand combat.
Gwyn: That should certainly do for him.
Rachael: There are loads of angry ghosts on the other side of that door.
Gwyn: That's because we've been hanging around. They carry on appearing until they fill the screen.
Rachael: And we've to fight our way through?
Gwyn: You forget my magic potion. Get close to them, so there are as many as possible on-screen, press the magic button and...
Rachael: Nice one, Merlin.
Gwyn: It kills every nasty on screen.
Rachael: Haven't you noticed that monsters outside the screen never enter it?
Gwyn: So you clear the screen you're in...
Rachael: ...then walk on a little to scroll it a bit further - but only so a few more masties appear.
Rachael: That wasn't bad for a first course. What's next?
Gwyn: Hang on. I'm just loading it.
Rachael: Help! it wasn't like this last time.
Gwyn: No. Though the maze remains the same. some of the elements shift about.
Rachael: Watch it, your health's pretty low, and I don't like the look of that crowd in there.
Gwyn: There's a lot of cider, to compensate.
Rachael: But will you reach it in time?
Gwyn: No good hanging around. Let's go in.
Rachael: It's no good. Your health indicator is flashing. You're done for.
Gwyn: Only one thing for it. Reincarnate. And in a single player game you could always use the ability to create a second character, before the first one dies.
Rachael: I'm a-maze-d you're not mapping this.
Gwyn: You think I've got time to get out the old graph paper? Anyhow - there are too many things that change during the game. Doors. Walls that disappear. Much better to get to know the sort of pitfalls that each level holds in store.
Rachael: Most exits seem to be on the edges of the screens
Gwyn: ... or in the centre.
Rachael: If you don't fight for some time, exits appear everywhere, anyhow.
Gwyn: I've never stood still long enough. Inactivity makes all the invisible walls melt, releasing whatever lies behind them.
Gwyn: Are you running away?
Rachael: No, just checking ahead.
Gwyn: You couldn't get far. The two characters have to be within the screen area.
Rachael: I know. The only opportunity I get for a moment's peace is when you've left a maze. Then I can run around, picking up any bits of treasure you missed.
Gwyn: Getting picked up by any wandering monsters we neglected to kill, more like. Co-operation's the name of the game now. So it's side by side and keep firing till we've cleared the generator.
WHAT'S YOUR POISON?
Rachael: Look - another potion.
Gwyn: Better let me have it. I can do more damage when I use it with the magic key.
Rachael: It could give me extra armour or fight power or shot speed ... I'm going to pick it up.
Gwyn: Not if I shoot it first!
Rachael: Hey! Not fair! I thought you said we were co-operating.
Gwyn: Yes, but I reckon it's of more use to us if I have it to clear a crowd of grunts, say.
Rachael: Then why didn't you say so. It'll be less powerful because you got it by shooting rather than picking it up.
Gwyn: We're both pretty low.
Rachael: Use magic then.
Gwyn: It won't clear enough of those demons to get us to safety.
Rachael: Not for both of us ...
Gwyn: What do you mean?
Rachael: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. As soon as you're dead I'm running for the exit. So long sucker...
Gwyn: I'm reincarnating if you make it ... and I might use you for a bit of target practise!
THYRA THE VALKYRIERachael This is me, Thyra - and no jokes about the thize of my thighs, right! Best protected warrior, with my shield, but I'm not that strong when it comes to throwing anything more then a tantrum. I can junk generators with my trusty sword and can even summon up a Iittle magic with the right potions.MERLIN THE WIZARDGwyn My Celtic roots made me a natural for Merlin. No good in a bout of arm wrestling, but goodness, gracious, great balls of fire shoot from my fingers with devastating results. Using potions is my main skill and I can clear a whole screen with magic - jus' like that.THOR THE WARRIORRachael He's mighty Thor - no thurprithe, ath hith thkin absorbs twenty percent of the damage. He's so butch that he's also a winner when it comes to ranged and close combat - and I wouldn't mind a bit of that with him, knoworrimean!!! But I'd have to love him for his body, because he's a total klutz when it comes to magic.QUESTOR THE ELFGwyn Good elf to you, because Questor sets out on the quest with leather armour. He's not got much when it comes to putting shot - or should that he shooting a put? His hand to hand's a bit dodgy too, but his magical ability will do for most monsters and generators.
THE RACHAEL SMITH GUIDE TO DUNGEON DENIZENS
GHOSTSWho ya gonna call? Anybody with fire power, because they only hurt if they touch you. Ghosts tend to queue up to attack, so just blast away straight down the line.GRUNTSSo called because of their conversational power. These dummies go for brute force, so try and shoot them before they get close enough to join you to their club... a big one with a nail through itlDEMONSSneaky, they tend to lurk round corners and will spit fireballs at you. When you close in they prefer to bite, but this is less damaging than their incendiaries, So be offensive.LOBBERSLittle green men who toss rocks over walls. Best way to deal with the cowardly little tossers is with a well aimed missile, because they try to run away.SORCERERSThese strobe on and off worse than a disco light, and when you can't see them, you can't shoot them. Unless you're very lucky, missiles will be more miss than hit, so get a grip on these goons.DEATHThe big D is a big problem. Only a magical potion can do for him what he'd do for you. He'll drain 200 points before he's had enough. When cornered by him, activate a second character, who'll appear where Death was, destroying him!
GWYN'S GUIDE TO GAUNTLET GOODIES
PICK UP A POTIONAs well as giving you then chance to use magic, potions can have other useful side effects. Extra armour, magic power, shot speed or power, and fight and pick up power can all lurk in these bottles. But be careful not to blast them in your attempts to destroy any nearby nasties!AMULETSFound on the lower levels, wearing one of these charming charms gives you the Sorcerer invisibility effect, which means you can run around without the monsters realising you're there.TRANSPORTERSNo, not train spotters - though you might find one in the very last level! They can get you into sealed rooms. Of course, whether you want to go into sealed rooms is another matter, as they often contain some really nasty problems!
Rachael. Mummy, where do little ghosts come from? From piles of bones, of course. Shoot the generators as soon as possible to stop the endless flow of nasties. And if your partner gets it, destory his skeleton, or he'll become spiritual too!Rachael. Hey, Gwyn you big turkey! This adds a hundred to the score and gets you a hundred health points too. Bootiful! But be careful not to shoot it by mistake or bang goes your Sunday lunch.Gwyn. We could make for this exit, which leads to level four, but if we battle upwards we'll reach a highway to eight. And there's a door to the next dungeon, if you want to take the scenic route.Gwyn. That chest's almost as impressive as yours. Just pass over it to pick it up... and the hundred points in contains.
Rachael. I'm a zyder drinker. Would pecker? Perhaps, but cider can be poisoned, taking away special powers, potions or health points. Still, if you're thirsty, you'll take the risk.Rachael. If you watched the scenery scroll by, you'll have seen that the vertical passage, on the right, is a cul-de-sac. So whether you fight those ghosts depends on how hungry you are for extra points.Gwyn. my possessions indicator shows that I've picked up a potion that allows me to blast everything on the screen. But better save it for a really tight corner - like a room crammed with monsters!Gwyn. We might do better if we stuck together on this one. Immediately we take the chest and jug, we'll free the ghosts, which means we need to start firing. I'd better go for the ghost generator because my missiles are more powerful.
Rachael. What, no monsters? No, 'cos this is a treasure room, so we can run around collecting what we want. Rather like being let loose in Harrods sale before the crowds arrive.Rachael. A bit of maths is called for if you're to score here. The bonus is 100 times the number of chests that you pick up. Don't waste too much time weaving in an out of alcoves though.Gwyn. You only have a few seconds to reach the exit, and if you don't get out with the loot there's no bonus for you. A competitive pair could try to block each other's exit though. Nyah, nyah, nyah!Gwyn. No time for jokes. If we're to get it all we'll have to make sure we work in tandem. These random rooms appear so infrequently you don't want to lose the opportunity for your bonus.
WHAT'S YOUR POISON?
Gwyn. Well, if it isn't the dynamic demons. Halitosis fireballs make these little devils a danger from a distance, so get in close and dispense with the, hand to hand.Rachael. At last, a potion that did me some good. It increased my armour protection, so that I take less damage - rather like wearing two anoraks when you're trainspotting in the depths of winter.Rachael. Uh oh... he looks deathly pale. That's 'cos it's Death himself, or Mr Death as the instructions call him. And you can see why! Contact just saps your strength, and magic is the only way to dispose of him.Gwyn. Yes, Death's a real killer. But he's trapped behind a wall for the moment. Best course when you meet him is to out-run him, because though he'll try to follow, you can usually leave him behind.