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Gauntlet: Dark Legacy Online Strategy Guide

First things first -- item and monster placement in this game is randomized. Bet that got your attention. Although quest items (stuff to finish the game) do not change location, other items and monsters like Death, locked doors, moving walls, secret walls, and even switches occasionally get swapped in and out when more and more players join the Gauntlet. Keep this in mind before you e-mail death threats because you cannot find something I said was there. For the FAQ, I need to be thorough and therefore went through the Gauntlet by myself in my Unagamer-style-detached-two-floor-house-with-attached-double-car-hold-and-three-housekeepers. So if you don't like how things are, take a hike.

Gauntlet plays like a free roaming shoot 'em up like Sinistar, but without a hyper-fast, indestructible alien space station chasing after your puny pinprick of a ship. This means moving your game character away from enemies and shooting them from afar. Anyone who wants to do hand-to-hand combat had better damn well know what they're doing and have their Speed, Attack, and Armor values rank above 800. If you don't do that, you'll just wind up paying another $5 to Blockbuster as your character is reduced to a blood spot on the cold, cold ground.

Your goal in each stage is to make it to the purple portal properly labeled, "Exit". If you don't, you languish in the stage wondering, "Is this it? Is this the whole damn GAME!?!" The exit is always clearly labeled and ALWAYS accessible by throwing a switch or by finding secret walls that lead to it or by a locked door, gate or some other reasonable facsimile. For the record, exiting a stage is the easiest thing you'll be doing. The reason why this is so easy? Two words: Turbo Attack. Your other goals include getting items (see GOODIES), getting experience, getting extra goodies, and staying alive to enjoy them.


You have several ways of dispatching monsters:

Quick Shot - This is the old "chup, chup, chup" shot of Gauntlet fame. Firing the quick shot will cause your character to stand in place unless you are engaging strafe or using the double joystick control scheme.

Strong Shot - The strong shot is the old level one turbo attack from Gauntlet Legends. It is basically a stronger version of the quick shot delivered at a reduced firing rate, although the shot travel speed is the same. Using the Default controls, the Strong shot is the only attack (other than the Turbo shield) that allows your character to move. While strafing or using double joystick controls, your character will fire quick shots but will revert to strong shots when you stop moving.

Turbo Attack - A Turbo attack is a "special" move that is dependent on the Turbo meter on the character heads up display (H.U.D.; not to be mistaken for Housing and Urban Development). When the Turbo meter is red (no matter how slight) you may execute the lesser Turbo attack. The lesser Turbo attack drains the Turbo meter by a small amount. When the meter is full, you may execute the greater Turbo attack. The greater Turbo attack drains the entire Turbo meter. For nitpickers, you may execute two lesser Turbo attacks in succession if the Turbo meter is nearly filled to maximum, but NOT YET AT MAXIMUM -- otherwise you will trigger the greater Turbo attack and drain the meter completely. Turbo regenerates slowly if you do not use it, making sniping and camping the tactics of the day.

Two player Turbo Attack - Requires at least another player. The Turbo attack can be executed when the Turbo meter is half-way red. The trigger for this attack is on a separate button. To use it, the initiating player must face another player (any one will do). The Turbo attack depends on the character initiating the Turbo attack. That character also has their Turbo meter drained by the appropriate amount.

Magic Potion - Magic is vital in Gauntlet. It acts as a smart bomb, damaging every enemy on the screen. It is also the only weapon that is capable of driving off Death. Magic can be used in three different ways: Numero-Uno is the old fashioned mega smart bomb blast. This will kill/hurt every monster in range. Numero-Two-O is to throw the potion forward. May help in some areas where a gap separates you and the monsters. Numero-Three-O is to use the potion as a moving shield. The prime advantage of this maneuver is to move the potion's damaging effects where you need it the most. Lastly, potions can be shot by quick or strong shots, or by a Turbo attack. By accident or by purpose, shot potions have half the effective range of a properly used potion. But sometimes, even the best pitchers need to fire their guns. It'd make baseball a lot more interestin'.

Quick shot, ten damage.

Strong shot, twenty damage.

Knowing what attack to use and where, priceless.

For everything else, there's the instruction booklet.

Movement - Movement is handled by the control pad or control stick. You have your choice of flavor so pick one. Full analog control is supported so your character can walk around traps, etc. when the situation requires. As a note, there are no bottomless pits in this game (unlike Maxxximo - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH . . .) so you should feel comfortable enough to run up to the precipice in order to escape monsters or to come to a better spot to do "artillery work".

Sprinting - As opposed to just plain running with the joystick, characters may perform a sprinting maneuver by expending some of their Turbo meter. This will allow players to cross fast-setting traps, or as a way of using a small amount of Turbo to do two lesser Turbo attacks in quick succession.

Guarding - Something seldom used unless players are encountering a Boss, a Warlord (General), or a Dragon (Gargoyle). Guarding will stop the character from moving or shooting so long it is held, but prevents characters from knockdowns and reduces damage taken. Naturally useless against most monsters, including Death. Guarding becomes important during boss fights however. Why? In addition to reducing damage, the very act of preventing knockdown is important since being knocked-down allows the Boss to fire on the player as he or she is getting back up. The time to get back up is longer than dropping one's guard. From here on out, you do the math.


Options. Now we're gonna customize your game, then mebbe your car. Listen up, fatso -- before you run the Gauntlet, you'll need to adjust the options to dictate how you play the game. You can hit Pause any time you are in the Tower to access the options screen, as well as the Shop, Character Management, and Saving and Loading.

Controls - Depending on your platform, you'll have a variety of control schema to choose from. Most people say, "Pick what's best for you". Those are the sensible people who don't know shin from shinola. Luckily for you, I'm insensible to your feelings and I'm ordering you to pick the control scheme that allows you to move and fire. This is the double joystick scheme. It will allow you to move and fire like a pro and yet, still allow you the option of having the "default" controls available when you need them. If you do not have that option, don't worry. I beat this game the first time with the DEFAULT controls. Just load up on patience as you Turbo attack everything to death.

Difficulty - Normal suits me fine. What are you a glutton for punishment?

Multiplayer - Default choice has player shots have no affect on other players. You may change this option to hinder or hurt, depending on the type of S&M you're into.

Compass - On or off, up to you. When I refer to NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, it'll mostly be screen up, screen down, screen right, screen left, since I am a visual person.

Auto Aim - Keep on. Auto aim not only aims left and right, but UP AND DOWN. Bet they didn't tell you this in Instruction Book School did they?

Auto Fight - Keep on. You can not only fight automatically by pressing the joystick towards a monster, but you can also use your manual Attack Combos anytime you want. Who doesn't want more options?

That covers the options I need to cover. Next, the characters. Although eventually all characters can attain 999 in ALL stats (making them all alike), players need to be aware of the class' deficiencies in the beginning. Not doing so will make you the laughing stock of the Gauntlet World Community, of which I am member #00000000001. Characters noted with the * can only be played when the appropriate secret maze has been successfully navigated with all the resident 25 coins collected. More on that in SECRETS.

The fighter-class includes the Warrior, Dwarf, Minotaur, and Ogre.

 

  Warrior Dwarf Minotaur* Ogre*
Strength 600 600 650 650
Speed 350 300 400 350
Armor 300 350 350 400
Magic 100 100 150 150

 

The knight-class includes the Valkerie, Knight, Falconess, and Unicorn.

 

  Valkerie Knight Falconess* Unicorn*
Strength 300 350 350 400
Speed 300 300 350 350
Armor 450 450 500 500
Magic 300 250 350 300

 

The Archer-class includes the Archer (Elf), Jester, Tigress, and Hyena.

 

  Archer (Elf) Jester Tigress* Hyena*
Strength 250 200 300 250
Speed 600 600 650 650
Armor 200 200 250 250
Magic 300 350 350 400

 

The magician-class includes the Wizard, Sorceress, Jackal, and Medusa.

 

  Wizard Sorceress Jackal* Medusa*
Strength 250 200 300 250
Speed 350 400 400 450
Armor 150 150 200 200
Magic 600 600 650 650

Newbies should pick either the Warrior or the Dwarf since they will make going through enemies the easiest. Magic use with the fighter-class is limited to driving off Death and very little else.

Intermediate gamers may want to play the Valkerie or Knight. They are more balanced, with high initial armor to run past areas and survive. If you need to play the well-rounded characters that don't do anything, this couple's for you. Hell, they're so normal, they make Lucy and Desi look like a coupla crack smoking porn freaks.

Veteran gamers will want to play the Wizard or Sorceress. Besides the hubba-hubba factor, the elite abilities of this class will make the later portions of the game much easier, provided you survive.

Advanced Gauntlet runners will want to fool with the Archer babe or the freaky Jester. Besides "hearing her talk" - huhuhuhuhu - the speed allows this class of character to get the coins in the secret mazes with more ease (but not by much). There's no reason to pick the Archer (Elf) or the Jester unless you want a challenge.

It's very important to save your game after each stage, no matter how slight. 100% of the time, you will have gained experience sue to fighting monsters. Save, because the next stage may have a black Death that will drain your experience. Get the picture? Either be prepared with a potion, or be prepared to reeeeeeeee-load the game.

Character Management. This is a tricky option, mostly because of the convoluted data management system involved. If you have a character who is advanced in experience and you choose to fool around with a new character-class, you will start anew with a new Level 1 character while your old character is put in storage. When you opt to go back to the experienced character, you will continue where you left off -- at the last experience level you gained for the first character. Pretty nifty, until you have too many characters. Here's the situation: I have, no HAD, two Level 99 characters with 999 (or 9999) in all stats when I started to "POWER UP" a third character (I have an obvious God Complex). When I checked up on my other veterans, I saw that their stats had been reduced to the minimum allowed by their level which is still high, but quite low compared to that magic number 9-9-9. I am working my third character up to Level 99 and repeating what I'm doing to acquire scientific proof that there's something right/wrong about this system.


Experienced Abilities

At higher experience levels, Gauntlet heroes exhibit elite abilities just like the dweebs in Dungeons and Dragons except this time, those abilities immediately come into play and have the added bonus of doing something useful.

Level 25 - Special ability triggered, dependent on character class:
Fighter-class Ability #1 - Magic turns junk to silver.
Knight-class Ability #2 - Magic destroys visible traps.
Archer-class Ability #2 - Magic destroys secret walls.
Magician-class Ability #1 - Magic makes poisoned fruit edible.

Level 30 - Character gains a familiar (or fammillar, depending or not if you're Fdd-ish). The familiar fires when the character fires, effectively doubling your firepower.

Level 50 - Special ability triggered, dependent on character class:
Fighter-class Ability #2 - Magic turns junk to gold.
Knight-class Ability #1 - Magic stops visible traps temporarily.
Archer-class Ability #1 - Magic displays secret walls (they briefly flash white).
Magician-class Ability #2 - Magic makes poisoned meat edible.

Level 75 - Use of magic potion randomly restores 20 to 200 life to the player. To use this ability correctly, the potion must damage or destroy any monster (Bosses inclusive) or the healing will not take place. I don't care if you see the hearts or not -- did your health increase ya'moron? No? Then you didn't do as Simalcrum said

Level 80 - Character's familiar becomes Big.

Level 99 - Character becomes Big. Seriously. Great for checking out "details" on your characters. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhu.


Tactical Tenets

ALWAYS shoot monsters from a distance. From the biggest Dragon to the lowliest grunt. This not only reduces your chance of injury, you're actually killing something while you're avoiding being hit.

ALWAYS work your way to the monster generator. This is the sucker making new monsters every half-second. Not doing so will ensure you will be swamped by monsters.

ALWAYS Turbo attack first, ask questions later. Your Turbo meter is always building, but never goes beyond maximum. Not using Turbo is like asking the local government to use your tax money as kindling for the furnace after you paid it.

ALWAYS shoot the wall. You never know what you can find.

ALWAYS have up to four to six keys. Sometimes you just can't find enough after a chest opening spree.

ALWAYS have two potions. There is a usual minimum of one Death per stage. Sometimes more.

ALWAYS attempt to defend against a boss. Conversely, you can also trigger a Turbo attack to render your character invincible for a moment. Obviously, the best thing to do is a lesser Turbo attack. It not only drains less Turbo, but will allow you to pull off two successive Turbo attacks if the boss decides he likes you more than your cellmate -- I mean, adventuring buddy.

ALWAYS trigger every switch you see, unless you were specifically warned NOT TO by a hint scroll and/or me.

ALWAYS use fences, walls, pits, or doors to separate you and the monsters. This barrier will allow you to pelt them to death while you remain relatively healthy.

Finally, ALWAYS grab/kill/smash everything to mark where you've been. If you cleared out an area, you can loiter there to recharge your Turbo meter without fear of attack. You may also gauge your progress and see where you've explored. Unexplored areas will be populated with monsters and items. Explored areas won't.

NEVER open every chest you see. Sometimes you just need keys to progress to the exit. The trapped chest and new junk rules make this rule even more important.

NEVER use magic potions on masses of enemies unless you got a helluva lot of 'em, like nine (the maximum) and you want to grab the potion you just found. Death is not funny once it starts draining your hard earned levels.

NEVER open every locked door you see until you've found a way around it. Sometimes those doors are just there to waste your keys.

NEVER charge in without "inspecting" the area with a greater Turbo attack. Unless you know what's up ahead, let a Turbo attack clear the new area of enemies before you go exploring. The destroyed monster generators you see will let you know what you would've been facing. The unusable junk shows what you destroyed. Next time, you'll know what NOT to do.

NEVER ignore the hint scrolls. Unlike the false hint scrolls from the Gauntlet of yore, all hint scrolls hold true clues. In fact, I'll be using hint scrolls as markers of where you are on a stage.

NEVER fight up close unless you think you can handle it. Gauntlet old school always had you losing life whenever you fight melee; it's no different in Gauntlet Dark Legacy UNLESS you are strong and fast (and beautiful like Juri from Galaxy Fight, but who am I kidding? I can never date a woman like her). If you have to fight up close, make sure you're Speed and Attack are over 500. And use combos:

Quick Shot - Strong Shot
Quick Shot - Quick Shot
Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Strong Shot
Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Quick Shot
Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Strong Shot
Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Quick Shot - Strong Shot - Strong Shot

Seem easy? Try it on a friend.


Switches

Switches are essential to the Gauntlet runner as much as food or keys. There are basically four types of switches and you will need to learn how they all behave if you want to live to see your children. Switches, specifically lever-type switches have an arrow that points towards the direction of the effect of its cause. Take a minute to gawk at the details, it's what separates the best Gauntlet runners from the rest.

Another thing to look for is the cut-scene. Once a switch is thrown, there is usually a cut-scene involved to show you where the switch's effects are. If there is no cutscene, just some squeaking sounds after a switch is hit, the switch's effects are localized in the area and the results usually can be seen on the screen. Remember that, and live.

Re-usable Red/Green switch - These switches are commonly used to operate lift platforms (or 'elevators' for big fat Americans). Whether they are floor switches or wall switches, they all share one thing in common: they can all be turned on (or off) when their opposite switch is thrown off (or on).

One-time Red/Green switch - Unlike the re-usable switch, these guys are not recycle-able. Once is all they're good for, just like what my cousin says about all her ex-boyfriends. These switches are often tied in with traps and nasty monsters that the programmers don't want you turning on or off after you activated them.

Bullseye switch - Can be a re-usable or a one time switch, but this switch is activated only if shot by a player. Usually, they are placed far to the edge of the game field so you won't see them if you casually stroll by. Only by actively searching for one will you find the Bullseye switch to activate it correctly. They are always placed on the wall, never the floor.

One-time floor switch - These are iridescent (rainbow-colored) crossed switches on the floor that are prevalent on the later stages. They are almost always one way (meaning not always, just usually) and ensure that players cannot back track once they realize that they are past key quest items or switches. Whenever you see a one-time iridescent crossed floor switch, you'd better stop, explore and be sure you are not missing anything in the area you are in or you'll be sorry.

Lastly, I should mention the invisible switches. Yeah, they're invisible. Just like I said. They're rare and always linked to puzzles. They are placed to insure that certain things occur without you noticing the very obvious switch on the floor. Players will not be actively searching for these switches, but be aware that they exist as a form of Gauntlet torment.

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