Ah, the early eighties. They brought us such wonders as the raw,
simplistic action of the classic arcade game, Gauntlet. The good old days
of a digitized voice belting out such memorable phrases as "someone shot
the food," and "warrior needs food badly." How could anyone ruin such a
noteworthy game as this? Well, the author of this hack has found the way.
new streamlined title screen with an "M" instead of a "G," plus the words
"rom hack" inserted underneath Tengen just to clear things up so that no
one thinks that Tengen actually made a game called Mauntlet. The author
has also taken special precautions to remove the Nintendo copyright from
the bottom because frankly, if Nintendo knew about this abomination, they
would have sued the author all the way back to the eighties.
Here are our
intrepid heroes now. Instead of the original barbarian, Valkyrie, archer,
and wizard quartet, you have crudely drawn versions of Mario, Megaman,
Link, and Bart Simpson. Each one has their name written underneath them so
that you know for sure whom they are. For the most part, I could tell
without the benefit of names, except for the poor man's Megaman. He looks
like some sort of evil blue ant. Bart is the only one without a name
underneath his portrait, which is again the result of the author trying to
avoid being sued for his shameless revisionist Gauntlet. I know the
episodes of the Simpsons have really stunk lately, but putting one of the
characters in a hack this bad is overkill.
Already, you can see some evidence that the author has taken it upon
himself, like so many others before him, to try and ruin the original.
Plus, the characters will occasionally revert back to their pre-hack
appearances, before the Valkyrie was Megaman and such. I was especially
surprised, however, when I saw this:
and other textures, if you can call them that, have been completely redone
so as to make them even more base and uncomplicated than before. I
couldn't tell you why the author would want to do something like this. The
whole place looks less like a scary gauntlet, and more like a much scarier
Chuck E. Cheese's. Never has so much work been put into making something
look so crappy.
This is the
second occurrence of the author putting effort into making something look
worse than it really is. I still don't get it; he/she didn't even need to
make a new key or magic bottle, yet there they are, looking like so much
crap. The food power-ups have been changed from the typical bowl of rice
and jug of ale/moonshine/whatever to a star with a smiley face and a vase
with flowers in it. That star I know came from Mario Brothers, but what
about the flowers? At no point did Megaman or Link ever cram a fistful of
flowers into their mouths while fighting one of those late 80s, early 90s
power battles. Sure, they might have kept a few fairies in jars, or
cracked open a few cans of "E," but even they had their limits. As for
Bart, there are no flower-eating episodes of the Simpsons to date. I
suppose Mario did have those flowers that gave him the ability to shoot
fire from his fingertips, but he never clipped the flowers and threw them
in a vase before.
The author also uses a coin in lieu of the chests stuffed with riches.
Great tradeoff. Unfortunately, getting a hundred of these coins doesn't
give you a bonus life, like in the Mario Brothers games. It's probably
because the old coins would flash and spin and do all sorts of crazy stuff
to prove that they were authentic, whereas these ones just sit impotently
on the floor. For shame!
The rest of the Gauntlet power-ups remain the same, and at this point, I'm
glad for that much. I can't imagine what the author would have changed
about the box with an arrow on it, or the box with three lines on it.
Well, surely the author must have put a little more work into make the
enemies look like something, right?
folks, Goombas and Koopa troopers (Or troopas, I forget which name) have
also crossed over with Mario from the Mushroom Kingdom. That's it, though.
There aren't any monsters from the Megaman, Legend of Zelda, or even the
Simpsons series of games. The rest of the monsters have simply been held
over from Gauntlet. To break up the monotony, the author has brought new
icons for the monster lairs. The Goombas are spawned from what looks like
a pipe from the Mario Brothers series, but the rest of them come from a
hut with a skull on top, which then turns into a ladder, and finally, a
brown spot on the ground.
The only redeeming factor here is that the horrible landscaping dries up
after the first set of levels, just like in many of your favorite/most
despised rom hacks. Unfortunately, that's more than I can say for the
crossover enemies and their hole-in-the-ground dwellings. At least the
author chose to leave Death the same way as before.
away, Death. After playing this hack, I have lost my will to live yet
You too can play Mauntlet!
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE
MAUNTLET ROM FOR THE NES!]
[CLICK HERE TO
DOWNLOAD THE NES EMULATOR]
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