Gauntlet (NES)

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Gauntlet - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1987
Developer: Atari, Tengen
Buy: Amazon
For other games in the series, see Gauntlet.

Gauntlet is a top-down hack and slash dungeon-crawler. You and a friend choose a hero (barbarian, valkyrie, wizard, or elf). Gauntlet was originally released in the arcade, and directly ported to several platforms. However, Tengen decided to redesign the game for the NES port by giving it all new maps, adding a story, a villain, and making the game winnable.

In the NES port, the adventurers are trying to recover the sacred orb that was stolen by Morak the Outsmarter in order to save the land of Rendar. To do this, you control your character through 100 maze-like stages full of ghosts, grunts, demons, sorcerers, and various other denizens. Your life is constantly ticking away and each time an enemy hits you it drains even more. Food can be collected to recover life and potions can be used to wipe out entire screens worth of monsters. As you the game progresses the enemies get harder and the mazes become more devious.

If you play the game enough you'll be able to figure out the secrets of making it to the final level. Of course, doing this is a serious chore. You need to memorize all the hidden exits to get to the secret rooms, and the secret rooms have hidden clues for the vault combination. If you missed any of the secret rooms or their clues on your voyage to stage 100 you may as well give up because you can't beat the game without all of them. If you've played long enough and memorized all the game's secrets then you just may make it into the vault where you will be faced with a terrible beast of a boss.

The NES port was also released on the PlayChoice-10, but since the game appears to be identical, the music is the same for both platforms.


Gauntlet - NES - Title.png

The title screen.

Gauntlet - NES - Players.png

Morak wants to know how many players.

Gauntlet - NES - Choose Players.png

Questor and Thyra set to begin.

Gauntlet - NES - Map.png

The map of the first world.

Gauntlet - NES - Game.png

At the start of the first level.

Gauntlet - NES - Taunt.png

Well that's not very nice!


Gauntlet's score was written by Hal Canon, who also wrote all the music for the arcade version. However, none of the music from the arcade version is present here and instead, new themes were written for the NES version. The Treasure Room music does appear from the arcade version, but it is heavily arranged. Unlike the arcade game, the NES version of Gauntlet gives the player a few stage themes to listen to, whereas the arcade version did not. The style of music by Canon was very well put together. His style is reminiscent of J.S. Bach organ music. The title screen music sounds very similar to Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. This title theme would also be used in the game's sequels, Gauntlet Legends, as well as Gauntlet: Dark Legacy.

Hal wrote the music in Music-V Language in RPM.


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Title Hal Canon 0:31
02 Stages 1 Hal Canon 2:17
03 Stages 2 Hal Canon 2:10
04 Stages 3 Hal Canon 1:22
05 Stages 4 Hal Canon 1:29
06 Treasure Room Hal Canon 1:27
07 Secret Stage Hal Canon 1:40
08 Ending Hal Canon 0:34
09 Game Over (mostly unused) Hal Canon 0:06



Game Rip






Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  USA.svg   USA
Gauntlet - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Gauntlet
Platform: NES
Released: 1987-01-03
Publisher: Tengen
  USA.svg   USA
Gauntlet (Licensed) - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Gauntlet (Licensed)
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-??-??
Publisher: Tengen
  USA.svg   USA
Title: Gauntlet
Platform: PlayChoice-10
Released: 198?-??-??
Publisher: Nintendo of America Inc.


Gauntlet Platform - ARC.png • Platform - A8.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - CPC.png • Platform - MSX.png • Platform - ZXS.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - A2.png • Platform - A2GS.png • Platform - DOS.png • Platform - GEN.png • Platform - MAC.png • Platform - SMS.png • Platform - J2ME.png • Platform - GBA.png
Gauntlet II Platform - ARC.png • Platform - CPC.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - ZXS.png • Platform - AMI.png • Platform - DOS.png • Platform - GB.png • Platform - NES.png
Gauntlet (NES) Platform - NES.png • Platform - PC10.png
Gauntlet: The Third Encounter Platform - LYNX.png
Gauntlet III: The Final Quest Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - CPC.png • Platform - ZXS.png
Gauntlet IV Platform - GEN.png
Gauntlet: Legends Platform - ARC.png • Platform - N64.png • Platform - DC.png • Platform - PS1.png
Gauntlet: Dark Legacy Platform - ARC.png • Platform - GC.png • Platform - XBOX.png • Platform - PS2.png • Platform - GBA.png
Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows Platform - PS2.png • Platform - XBOX.png • Platform - X360.png
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition Platform - W32.png • Platform - PS4.png
Notable Songs Gauntlet Theme • Treasure Room • Title
Notable Personnel Hal Canon • Ben Daglish
Notable Companies Atari • U.S. Gold • Gremlin Graphics Software • Mindscape • Tengen • Midway