[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gauntlet_by_joe_chiodo.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: ''Arcade needs quarters badly!'']]

''Blue {{wizard needs food badly}}!''

Introduced in 1985, Creator/{{Atari}}'s ''Gauntlet'' was based on the earlier ''Dandy,'' written for the UsefulNotes/Atari8BitComputers. Up to four heroes -- a warrior, a valkyrie, a wizard, and an elf -- went DungeonCrawling, viewed from above in a scrolling window, collecting treasure and defeating monsters. Each player had a joystick and two buttons, labeled "Fire" and "Magic;" the latter button activated a potion which [[SmartBomb weakened or destroyed all enemies on the screen]]. Each hero had a specialty: Thor the Warrior [[MightyGlacier excels in melee combat]], Thyra the Valkyrie had [[StoneWall the best armor]], Merlin the Wizard [[SquishyWizard can destroy all hostile targets with magic]], and Questor the Elf [[FragileSpeedster trumped everyone in agility]].

To [[CrackIsCheaper keep you feeding coins]], Atari invented the "WizardNeedsFoodBadly" trope: While [[HyperactiveMetabolism food provides healing]], your character loses one HitPoint every second under any and all circumstances, basically guaranteeing a GameOver at some point. (For obvious reasons, this tends to be averted for the console releases.) {{Mook Maker}}s are another signature trope of the series; they need to be destroyed if you don't want to be swamped. InterchangeableAntimatterKeys need to be collected to get where you're going. You can shoot food and magic potion pickups, which is rarely as beneficial as picking them up, so it pays to be careful with your attacks. Finally, it was one of the first games to support four players at once, and this emphasis on social multiplayer was probably the biggest part of its success.
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There have been several more entries in the franchise over the years:

* '''Gauntlet II:''' (1986) - Essentially a MissionPackSequel to the original ''Gauntlet'', it was available as a conversion kit for the original ''Gauntlet'' arcade machine in addition to having its dedicated cabinet. This sequel added more monsters and hazards to the game and also allowed multiple players to play as the same classes.
* '''Gauntlet: The Third Encounter''' (1990) - Developed by Epyx for the UsefulNotes/AtariLynx, it was originally intended to be a new IP titled ''Time Quests and Treasure Chests'', but was [[DolledUpInstallment repurposed]] as a ''Gauntlet'' sequel by Atari due to its similarities with the original arcade game. The objective is to retrieve the extraterrestrial Star Gem from an ancient castle guarded by monsters powered by the jewel. The game consists of 40 levels and features eight classes to play as, with the Valkyrie and the Wizard being the only characters from the original ''Gauntlet'' to return (the rest of the roster being unusual archetypes such as an android, a punk rocker and a gunfighter).
* '''Gauntlet III: The Final Quest''' (1991) -Developed by Software Creations and published by U.S. Gold for various home computer platforms at the time in Europe (UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum, Useful/AmstradCPC, UsefulNotes/Commodore64, [[UsefulNotes/CommodoreAmiga Amiga]] and UsefulNotes/AtariST), it ditched the overhead perspective of the original arcade game in favor of an isometric perspective and featured some semblance of a plot. It consists of eight worlds and features eight playable characters, with the original ''Gauntlet'' quartet joined by four friendly spirits.
* '''Gauntlet IV''' (1993) - A somewhat misleadingly-titled UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis port of the original arcade game, it was the first game developed by Japanese company [=M2=], best known nowadays for their modern ports of classic game such as the various Sega [=Ages=] releases. It features not only a faithful reproduction of the arcade version, but also an RPG-like quest mode with all new stages and a proper final boss.
* '''Gauntlet Legends''' (1998) - The first arcade installment since ''Gauntlet II'', it ran on Midway's Vodoo Banshee-based Vegas board. It has an air of the {{reboot}} about it; the HackAndSlash nature was left unchanged, and there were still four players, but the levels were quite different, and the controls of Weak, Strong, and Turbo attacks, the latter being a LimitBreak that charged every time you used one of the other two attacks. It also added persistent characters: When you started (or joined) a game, you could enter your initials, and it would then load up the characters that that particular machine had stored for those initials. Therefore, you could play for a while, have your character level up a bit, but if you had to leave, you could then come back later and have your character the same level as it was before. The console versions (released for the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}}, UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation}} and UsefulNotes/{{Dreamcast}}) just used memory card saves.
* '''Gauntlet: Dark Legacy''' (2000) - Essentially an expansion of ''Gauntlet Legends'', it added more classes and feature twice as many levels, as well as adding a world and an additional final boss. Produced during a transition in hardware generations, the console ports this time were released for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, UsefulNotes/GameCube and Usefulnotes/{{Xbox}}. A portable version was also released for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance, featuring an isometric perspective similar to ''Gauntlet III''.
* '''Gauntlet: The Seven Sorrows''' (2005) - Sequel to ''Gauntlet: Dark Legacy'' released directly to [=PS2=] and Xbox. Despite adding online support for CoOpMultiplayer, it was not well received due to its obvious ExcusePlot and shallow gameplay (which is saying something in a HackAndSlash title) and has become the series' FranchiseKiller.
* '''Gauntlet''' (2014) - A RecycledTitle reboot of the franchise produced by Creator/WarnerBros. Released for PC via Steam on September 23rd 2014, it was developed Arrowhead, developers of ''VideoGame/{{Magicka}}''. A UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 port was released on August 8th, 2015 under the title '''Gauntlet: Slayer Edition'''
* In addition, Gauntlet is one of the many games represented in the "Midway Arcade" dimension of ''VideoGame/LegoDimensions''. Full ports of the original game and its first sequel are also accessible by purchasing the Midway Arcade Level Pack.

As to re-releases, ''Gauntlet I'' has appeared on several different ''Midway Arcade Classics'' compilations, and the UsefulNotes/{{N|intendoEntertainmentSystem}}ES version is possibly the [[AdaptationDisplacement best known of the bunch]]. There are also rumors of a UsefulNotes/NintendoDS ''Gauntlet I'' port stuck in DevelopmentHell somewhere. Its engine was repurposed for the DS [[TheProblemwithLicensedGames tie-in game]] for ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra,'' a game that got poor reviews, which probably didn't help the DS port's fate. After not being heard about and assumed cancelled for a few years, a mostly completed ROM was uploaded on the internet. It's generally assumed it could've saved the franchise, or at least helped it get back on its feet.

The quote at the top of the page (or appropriate variants) has become something of an Internet meme, and several characters in fantasy oriented webcomics have uttered it as a ShoutOut.
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!! This series provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Thyra the Valkyrie.
* AnnouncerChatter: "Red Warrior needs food badly!"
* AnAxeToGrind: The Warrior's weapon.
* BalancePowerSkillGimmick: The Valkyries tended to be balanced, Warriors emphasized heavy damage, Elves / Archers emphasized speed, and Wizards were the gimmick, emphasizing magic.
* BarbarianHero: The Warrior practically ''is'' this trope.
* {{BFG}}: In ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy,'' the Archer's fully charged Turbo Attack is actually ''called'' "BFG."
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: The latter is the boss of the Ice Domain.
* BossOnlyLevel: Exaggerated in ''Dark Legacy;'' every boss has its own level.
* ButtonMashing: The point of the game. On the [=GC=] and [=PS2=] ports, you can switch it to ''VideoGame/{{Robotron 2084}}'' style strafing controls in addition to just holding the button to fire. Both of which really help your thumbs.
* CainAndAbel: The benevolent mage Sumner and his evil younger brother Garm.
* CaptainObvious: Pick up food in the later games in the series and listen to what the characters say. The Wizard's is best: "Food is good!" Honorable Mentions go to the Knight: "Sweet nutrients!" and the Jester: "Down the hatch!"
* ClassAndLevelSystem: ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy.''
* ClownCarGrave: Any generator can be considered this if left intact. A bone pile, a small hut, coffin, or vase can spawn multitudes of ghosts or monsters within moments.
* ColorCodedElements: As far as the colors of said potions / power-ups, ''Red'' was Fire, ''Blue'' was Lightning, ''Yellow'' was Light, and ''Green'' was acid. Knowing which element your shot power was could tell if it boosted attack power or didn't against a boss.
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: From left to right, player colors were red, blue, yellow, and green. This is very handy if the players chose the same class in ''Gauntlet II'' and later games.
%%* CompetitiveBalance: In ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy.''
** In the newest game, players can't choose the same class, so the colors now correspond to the class / character. Red is Warrior / Thor, Blue is Valkyrie / Thyra, Yellow is Wizard / Merlin, and Green is Elf / Questor. DLC now adds Purple for Lilith / Necromancer.
* CreepyCathedral: The aptly-named ''Desecrated Temple'', which is overflowing with monster generators and rockin' OminousLatinChanting.
* CriticalAnnoyance: Aside from announcements when your health reaches certain checkpoints, the arcade version produces a dull alert tone to advise that a player is running low on health.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Skorne seems significantly more powerful in the intro FMV of ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy,'' where he pounds down Garm with a few decisive blows. When fought in-game, he behaves much like any other boss, content to hurl ranged attacks at you while soaking your own. Granted, Skorne can still pound your character for horrific damage.
* DamageOverTime: In the original game, the players' HP decreased at a constant rate throughout the game. The only means to replenish HP? [[WizardNeedsFoodBadly Food items]] in various levels, or [[CrackIsCheaper putting more coins in the machine]].
* DamageSpongeBoss: The boss battles in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'' can last very long if you didn't prepare beforehand or get the corresponding Legend Weapon.
* DeadlyRotaryFan: The propeller blades in the docks of the Sky Domain. A Nightmare Realm level has several huge fans blocking your way. You can hit the "slow down" switch to make it past them.
* DeathSeeker: The last boss of ''Gauntlet 4.''
* DemonicPossession: The near-death Garm absorbs Skorne's essence after the latter's destruction in the Underworld, prompting Garm to take over as the TrueFinalBoss in ''Dark Legacy''.
* DemonLordsAndArchDevils: Skorne.
* DestroyableItems:
** It is possible to accidentally shoot your food. Blue potions can also be shot; in ''Gauntlet II,'' shooting poison caused monsters to slow down for a few seconds.
** ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'' had green posion gas releasing barrels (which turned food poisonous and green as well as hurt players), as well as red explosive barrels (which hurt players if they got detonated as well as turn every item around them into ash). Barrels can be broken open as well. Potions could be shot as well in which they had a lesser effect of elemental magic than if a character used one from inventory.
* DevelopersForesight: It's quite possible that players may find themselves in a maze full of locked doors with insufficient keys to unlock them all, or which is so complicated that they can't find the exit (or where the path to the exit is blocked by a key or potion which they can't pick up because their inventory is full, hence can't get past). Because of this, after a certain amount of health is lost all locked doors will spring open, and after still more health is lost, all walls turn to exits.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Did you just use magic to kill [[TheGrimReaper Death]]? Or, in later games, steal ''his'' life and experience? Or even turn him into a delicious apple by using a potion on him while [[SealedEvilInACan he was trapped in a chest]] (and somewhat turn you into a [[Literature/HarryPotter Death]] [[JustForPun Eater]])?
* DistaffCounterpart: For the most part, each character type (Strength, Armor, Speed, and Magic) in ''Dark Legacy'' has a character of each gender. The only man's club is the Strength type, with the male Warrior and Dwarf.
%%* DropInDropOutMultiplayer
* DrivenByEnvy: Garm summons out of jealously of his more famous brother Sumner.
* DoorToBefore: The quest mode from ''IV'' is all about these.
* DynamicDifficulty: As you gain points, monsters appear more quickly and less food becomes available. At 2.1 million points, you hit the first {{cap}} where you get maximum food, and at 4.2 million points, the difficulty resets to as if you just started the game.
* EarlyBirdCameo: The Dreamcast port of ''Legends'' included the new character classes from ''Dark Legacy'', as well as the Poison Field and Mausoleum levels.
* EndlessGame: The arcade game and most of the console ports simply produced new dungeons indefinitely until the player gave up, whereas the NES port had an ending. As did ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy,'' when Skorne and Garm were defeated -- though you could bring out other characters by starting over with them, especially the ones you unlocked.
* EldritchAbomination: The Shadow Wraith of the Dream World, and the demon Skorne.
* ElementalPowers: These applied to the potions and the shot power-ups as well. Some of the final bosses had elemental weaknesses, so going to the store and stocking up on the right element for your shot power before the boss fight could give you more damaging attacks against that particular boss until the power-ups ran out.
* EvilIsHammy: Skorne, who is heard taunting players in a hammy fashion if they don't find the Runestones or talking about how he will [[ToThePain gruesomely murder them]] after killing a boss.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Something Garm learns rather quickly in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy.''
* ExplodingBarrels: Red barrels were straight up explosives in ''Dark Legacy,'' while in the Jester's levels, boxes of fireworks were the same way.
* {{Expy}}: The Necromancer in the most recent game can be seen as one for the Sorceress from ''Dark Legacy.'' In fact, the Sorceress' Level 90 rank title is Necromancer.
** Thor is essentially Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian with a battle axe.
** Thyra in the original games can be considered a blonde Comicbook/RedSonja with blue ChainmailBikini.
* FireAndBrimstoneHell: The Underworld where Skorne retreats to after being defeated in the Desecrated Temple.
* ForestRanger: The Elf Ranger.
* FriendlyFireproof: In ''Gauntlet,'' shooting other players initially carries no penalty, but after enough levels, they will start to stun or even damage other players. Woe unto you if your allies are griefers.
* GameBreakingBug:
** In the NES version of the original game, a password is required to enter the final level. Passwords are also used in lieu of save files, which was common on the NES. {{Speedrun}}ners know that the first letter of the save file password determines what the vault password is, and they even have tables for it. Woe to you if the first letter of your save file password should happen to be an A -- the password will be invalid and you could very well reach the vault, having legitimately uncovered all the clues, and not be able to finish the game because the 'A' password is rejected.
** Non speedrunners have a different bug to deal with. if you collect over 2000 treasures (not an uncommon event when trying over and over to beat World 5, since all world five passwords start you at the start instead of where they should) your password is now invalid. Better hope you have a backup.
* {{Golem}}: A notable enemy in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'', where each realm has its own golem motif. They are [[MightyGlacier heavy hitters and can soak up a lot of damage]], which means they are also a good source of experience.
** BearsAreBadNews: The Ice Domain in ''Dark Legacy'' is notable for having ''polar bears'' as the realm's golems. These bears' mouths have a more zombified look to it.
* GuestFighter: In ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'', Pojo the Chicken from ''VideoGame/MaceTheDarkAge'' is playable temporarily when using Pojo's Egg, and is a playable character when entering a code.
* HolyHandGrenade: The magic potions, often called "bomb potions". They affect the whole area of the screen, but their effect is based on:
** The magic ability of the player using them: the Warrior/Dwarf has the worst magic and the Wizard/Sorceress the best.
** Whether the potions are picked up, then used with the "magic" button or just simply shot. A picked-up-and-used potion is stronger than one simply shot at.
** Also, in both ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'' the potions can be thrown to blast a group of enemies either adjacent to the player, or below him/her if the player is on a ledge or area above them.
** In ''Gauntlet II'', some potions were ''poison'', and shooting them slows the enemies.
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Possibly one of the earliest versions of the trope, given the above iconic quote. It really was a way to keep players pumping quarters.
* InexplicablyPreservedDungeonMeat: A staple of the series. Apparently when [[MemeticMutation Red Warrior needs food badly]] it doesn't matter where it's been.
** In ''Dark Legacy'' there were green drumsticks with crossbones in them and a bite taken out of them. These were ''poisoned meat'' that could take away 100 Health, and unless you were a Wizard or a Sorceress of at least Level 50 you had to avoid them (if you were that Wizard / Sorceress of at least Level 50, though, you could use a potion to turn it into a healthy drumstick for 100 Health).
* InstantDeathRadius: Death in the 2014 remake and Slayer Edition has been changed into an invulnerable OneHitKill creature. Not even magic can banish it unlike previous games. Death only appears on certain stages of Campaign and every 6th floor of Endless, which pursues the players until it has made a kill (or after some time), and then comes back again later.
* InsurmountableWaistHighFence: The main weakness of golems in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy'' is to lure them against a wall or fence and hack them down from the opposite side without fear of retaliation.
* LadyOfWar: The Valkyrie.
* LargeHam: The narrator. Would it really be ''Gauntlet'' without him?
* LevitatingLotusPosition: The Wizard class has this as an IdleAnimation in ''Dark Legacy''.
* LifeDrain: Most incarnations of Death saps 100~200 Health, including ''Legends''. In ''Dark Legacy'', red-robed Death does the life-stealing. If you have the Anti-Death Halo, ''you steal Health from Death''.
** LevelDrain: Black-robed Death in ''Dark Legacy'' (arcade and consoles) steals '''{{Character Level}}s.''' If you're armed with the halo, the tide is reversed, which is actually one of the best ways to rack up easy level-ups.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: The reason why Thyra the Valkyrie takes the least damage in the original games. In the 2014 remake, holding up her shield can even rebound projectiles back to the caster!
* MadLibsDialogue: "[color] [class] is now a level [X] [title]!" Which might also lead to a bit of DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment in the Warrior's case: "[color] Warrior is now a Level 10 Hero!" Which is strange, since [[ShapedLikeItself he's already a hero]]...
%%* MadeOfIron
* MagnusMeansMage: in ''Gauntlet III'', Magnus is the wizard who brought peace to the land of Capra, and whom the protagonists have to rescue.
* ManaMeter: The Turbo Meter in ''Dark Legacy.'' It gives you a close area attack good when surrounded by enemies when yellow, and a deadly forward wave / straight shot attack when red. Otherwise it merely powers up your regular attack (such as the Archer firing a stronger arrow, or the Jester dropping a crate of chickens).
* MeaningfulName: The wizard who summons the heroes in ''Legends'' / ''Dark Legacy'' is named Sumner.
* MetalSlime: The Thief.
* MissionPackSequel: Some home computer ports had ''Gauntlet: The Deeper Dungeons'', a pack of extra levels for the first game.
* MookDebutCutscene: Done in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewTjygaoCMc Legends.]]
* MookMaker: Quite likely the TropeCodifier, being one of the first, and certainly one of the most famous, among all of videogames.
* MsFanservice: All three heroines, especially in their Mountain/red and Forest/green costumes in ''Legends / Dark Legacy''.
** Thyra's chest-and-thigh-baring ChainmailBikini in the earlier games. The Valkyrie in ''Legends'' is also sunbathing in the ending postcard and even has an infamous nude code.
** The female Archer's very minimalist (esp the green's AbsoluteCleavage) outfits, and appears to be topless in both beach party postcards.
** The Sorceress exudes HotWitch by strutting like a supermodel and leans forward whenever she shoots magic bolts.
** The secret heroine Falconess (any color) walks around with her half-human female form wearing very meager pieces of clothing.
* MythologyGag: The BigBad who seeks the MacGuffin in the 2014 remake is named Morak, just like in the NES version.
* {{Novelization}}: ''Dark Legacy'' has one, ''Paths Of Evil.'' It ends on a SequelHook. And a sequel was written, ''Paths of Fear.'' Unfortunately, the publisher went bankrupt, and no one else has picked it up.
* ObviousBeta: ''Seven Sorrows.'' All the touted new features were left on the cutting room floor.
* OneWomanWail: The Underworld theme in ''Seven Sorrows.''
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: The NES version had a three-headed dragon as the final boss. In the arcade version of ''Gauntlet II'', the dragon is a rare enemy that guards various areas by shooting fire for a long distance (or rapidly cooking players that try getting too close).
** ''Dark Legacy'' had one as the boss of the Warrior's region.
** The story mode has five bosses that are increasingly powerful dragons. The last one is the cursed adventurer that beat all five before you. Literally.
* OurGeniesAreDifferent: The Desert Realm's Genie boss comes from an urn, and is armed with {{Sinister Scimitar}}s. He also has one red eye, which he uses to [[ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} shoot optic blasts or sweep half the arena]].
* PivotalBoss: Nine of the 11 bosses in ''Dark Legacy'' are like this.
* PointOfNoReturn: ''Dark Legacy'' has several levels that are effectively split into sublevels; miss something before you step onto the transporter/go through the gate and hopefully you didn't need it. The game will (usually) warn you first, though.
* PunBasedTitle: The game from which ''Gauntlet'' is derived, ''Dandy'' =[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]]. Also ''Gauntlet'' itself, which has at least two possible explanations:
** A '''gauntlet''' (from the French) is a long glove which covers the wrist as well as the hand, such as all well dressed fighters in the Middle Ages wore.
** '''"Running the gauntlet"''' (originally "running the gantlopp / gantlope," from the Swedish for "lane," and later "running the gantlet [[note]] The "gantlet" spelling still sometimes appears in American English, e.g. ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} II'' Level 3, but has disappeared from British English. [[/note]], before becoming its modern form) was a medieval military punishment wherein the offender was forced to run down a "lane" of his fellow soldiers, while they beat him with sticks. This meaning well suits running around in narrow-passaged mazes fighting off enemies.
* RainOfArrows: The Archer's ''Double Bow'' and ''BFG'' Turbo attacks, the latter ending with a huge energy bolt.
* ReformulatedGame: The home ports of ''Legends'' are drastically different from the arcade, to the point that players are confused why certain levels are different. The console ''Legends'' adopted the arcade's Mountain and Castle with ''Dark Legacy's'' Province/Sky and Ice.
** The arcade versions have much simpler goals of collecting all 12 or 13 Rune Stones, but the consoles added even more monsters and quest items to unlock other realms like obelisks and crystals. Dark Legacy's Battlefield realm existed in the arcade and consoles, but not in the original Legends.
** In the arcades, by having a Level 10 hero, you may unlock his/her corresponding secret character. In the consoles, you have to collect ''all'' tokens from the secret character's specific Treasure Room: you are awarded nothing if you miss one token.
** Arcade version items run for a limited time once they are picked up. In consoles, items are stocked in an inventory and can be toggled on or off whenever you want.
** A portal brings you to specific stages in the console versions. In the arcade, each realm is an entire stage, so if you miss a certain stone or item from a sub-stage, you can't go back unless you restart the whole realm from the beginning.
* SarcasmMode:
** The narrator in the first game tends to do this. "That was a heroic effort."
** Killing Golems often require [[TacticalWithdrawal a lot of backing up and shooting]]. Upon victory, the narrator remarks "I have never seen such bravery".
** In ''Dark Legacy'' the Jester has goes: "I'm so happy for you" if in multiplayer you steal an item HE was trying to get. The other more straight forward voices go: "Thou art greedy" or "Pardon me, but that was Mine!"
%%* SchrodingersPlayerCharacter
* SealedEvilInACan: Death hiding in a barrel or chest; he usually didn't come out until the chest was unlocked or the barrel broken.
** Using a magic potion on Death while he was still in a chest turned him into an apple starting with ''Legends.'' If he was in a barrel, though, the barrel broke and he fled if you used the potion.
** One of the nasty surprises from the chest was what looked like a barrel head with yellow lensed glasses and a crown of TNT in ''Dark Legacy:'' If you opened a chest and HE came out, RUN! You only had a few seconds before he exploded and took out the area around him.
* SecretCharacter: Most especially in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy''.
** Every character in the N64 and the [=PS2=] games had unlockable forms that were humanoid mythological creatures. They were all pretty much the same character, but they got better bonuses to their preferred stat (Anubis / Medusa gets better magic, Minotaur gets even higher strength, etc.). Furthermore, Sumner could be unlocked and acted as a super powerful Wizard.
** For the ''Dark Legacy'' unlockables you had to get all the coins under a time limit in certain levels, and if you did the unlockable characters had at least 50 points more in their stats than their "normal versions."
** There are special codes you can put in as your name in the [=PS2=] and UsefulNotes/GameCube versions to play as alternate alternate characters. Among them were a waitress Sorceress (complete with throwing plates!), a football hurling quarterback Knight, and an alien Wizard. In the end you've got a total of 25 playable secret characters, outside of the normal secret characters.
* ShoutOut: The Lich in ''Dark Legacy'' is [[Franchise/MortalKombat an undead who taunts you "COME HERE!"]]. Creator/MidwayGames was involved with both franchises.
** The PC reboot of the game seems to have a few of these in it.
*** At one point while fighting a horde of monsters, the Wizard may exclaim "By the beard of [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Gygax]]!"
*** Another conversation between the Wizard and the Elf spawns this:
--->'''Merlin''': The first shard of Tyrfing. The other shards are almost within my grasp. Such power!
--->'''Questor''': [[Memes/OtherInternet Much]] [[Franchise/SpiderMan responsibility.]]
--->'''Merlin''': What's that?
--->'''Questor''': Oh nothing. It's just an elvish saying.
* SmashMook: Grunts. As the manual puts it: "Grunts will run up to you and hit you with their clubs over and over."
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Thyra the Valkyrie was the only woman in the original game and all sequels up until ''Legends,'' and it took the removal of the Elf to introduce a new female character in the form of the Archer (a female Elf). ''Dark Legacy'' added one more in the Sorceress. This, mind, is not counting the numerous secret characters in those latter games.
* SpiderPeople: The Spider Queen, the boss of the Forest Realm.
* SpiritualSuccessor: According to WordOfGod, ''Gauntlet'' was the spiritual successor to ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandy_(video_game) Dandy]]''.
** Monolith Productions' ''VideoGame/GetMedieval.''
** Lilith the Necromancer is one for the Sorceress from ''Dark Legacy'', as both are black, female spellcasters with white hair, use wands as a weapon, and have abilities that summon or a connection to the undead (Lilith is a necromancer, while the Sorceress has a SuperMove that summons skeletons and is from from the zombie-infested Forsaken Province realm).
*** Both have abilities centered involving summoning skeletons.
* SquishyWizard: In the original game, the Wizard takes full damage. Other characters have a reduction up to 30%. The Sorceress from ''Dark Legacy'' also counts as this.
* {{Stripperiffic}}:
** Female characters in ''Legends'' and ''Dark Legacy,'' especially the [[spoiler: secret character Falconess]]. The outfits get less revealing as the character levels up, but not by much; the Sorceress gains [[FashionableAsymmetry a single pant leg]], for example.
** Inverted by the PC version, in which Thor seems to have little regard for clothes, and Thyra runs around in full plate armor.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: As Thyra the Valkyrie can attest. For Thor the Warrior, throwing his axe always works.
* ToThePain: Skorne makes various threats about this to the player when they defeat a boss.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: NES version, Room 94 (the room that's shaped like a woman's body). The lower left exit eventually leads to a room with no exit, making the game Unwinnable. The lower right leads to a room where the only exit sends you all the way back to Room 32. The correct exit is hidden in a block on the far left. If you take a wrong exit, you'll have to start over at Room 79 and work your way back. There is no indication of which exit goes where.
* TrueBlueFemininity: Thyra the Valkyrie. The blue Valkyrie from ''Legends'' / ''Dark Legacy'' also counts as this.
* TrueFinalBoss: Garm in ''Dark Legacy''. [[spoiler: The very same mage trounced by Skorne in the intro of Legends.]]
* {{Uberwald}}: The Forsaken Province and its hero, the Sorceress.
* WakeUpCallBoss: The Dragon in ''Legends.'' He's the first boss in the game and will beat down inexperienced players who easily blew through the first few levels.
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: {{Trope Namer|s}}, also overlaps with HyperactiveMetabolism. The announcer's line is even referenced into a song by the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp3PNeKx19w Duloks]] and Music/FiveIronFrenzy.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: ''Dark Legacy'' -- Skorne's done for, now we can re-- "Skorne is dead... Steal his power..." God''damn'' it, Garm!
* YourWorstNightmare: [[TitleDrop Title-dropped]] as one of the Jester's levels in ''Dark Legacy''. Given that it's in the mind (the Jester's realm), that is no surprise.
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!! The book PATHS OF EVIL uses these tropes:

* AerithAndBob: We have Layla, Kore and then... Morgan and Orlando. Most of the book's {{NonPlayerCharacter/NPC}}s also have very ordinary (or at least real-world) names like Sebastian and Celeste.
* CompositeCharacter: The Dark Lord Asrioth is a {{Lich}} (the Province boss) but has the appearance and attacks of the Shadow Wraith (the Dream boss) from the games.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The book's cover features the Wizard, Valkyrie, and Elf, along with Dark Legacy's Knight and Dwarf. The latter two do not exist in the novel.
* MythologyGag:
** Morgan notes that his food supply is running low. Orlando quips "Does this mean the {{wizard needs food badly}}?"
** Sumner provides each of the four heroes with signet rings. These rings transform them into their respective secret characters: Minotaur for Warrior, Falconess for Valkyrie, Jackal for Wizard and Tigress for Elf.
* NamedByTheAdaptation: Orlando the Warrior, Layla the Valkyrie, Kore the Elf Archer, and Morgan the Wizard. The setting is Viridus, while the game's individual realms are named like Buchanan Castle and Doomed Forest.
* {{Novelization}}: The book adapts Sumner's Tower, Forest Realm, Forsaken Province and Castle Stronghold from ''Dark Legacy''.
* OrphanedSeries: Due to the demise of the publisher.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The book mentioned four runestones exist (where the heroes find two); while the Province and Castle realms are merged together with an undead army.
* ShoutOut: Morgan the Wizard is an obvious reference to [[Myth/KingArthur Morgan Le Fay]].
* SequelHook: The Spider Queen and Lich are defeated, and the rest of the demon lords are winding up. Still no mention of Garm, Skorne, or the other four heroes.
* WritersCannotDoMath: While scouting the town infested with undead, Morgan counts 180 skeletons and 285 zombies. Orlando remarks "almost 400 enemies", which Morgan responds with "fighting 365 undead won't be easy".