Gauntlet Legends + House of the Dead II

Gauntlet Legends

Following on from the arcade machine classics Gauntlet (1985) and Gauntlet II (1986), Legends expanded on the mythos around the fantasy world. Interestingly, the arcade version of the game included save points in the forms of passwords which allowed players to come back and keep playing from their last game.

The mythos behind the game followed an evil demon named Skorne who imprisoned souls in the underworld after being summoned by Garm (a corrupt Mage). Knowing that special Runestones could kill him, the demon scattered them around 4 kingdoms so no-one could ever defeat him.

Tasked with collecting the Runestones and 4 keys (which would allow them access to a temple to go against Skorne), the player would have travelled through 4 kingdoms whilst levelling up their characters and abilities. Going head to head with 4 bosses to retrieve the keys, 3 stones had to be collected from each kingdom to defeat Skorne at the end of the game.

Characters included:

  • Wizard (strength/magic)
  • Minotaur (strength)
  • Jackal (magic)
  • Sumner (magic)
  • Archer (speed)
  • Tigress (speed)
  • Valkyrie (armour)
  • Falconess (armour)

Level-ups were included in the game, as the player could either level up their character or an attribute. The attributes were:

  • Strength (damage dealt with physical attack)
  • Speed (character movements and attack rate)
  • Armour (amount of damage character receives from attacks)
  • Magic (range and effectiveness of magic potion attacks)

The maximum level that the character could reach was level 99, with the attributes going up to 999.

Items were placed throughout the game to aid the player/s on their quest. These included:

  • Amulets: added power to standard attacks (for up to 90 secs). Came in fire, acid, electric and light.
  • Breathes: inflicted damage on all enemies in a semi-circle surrounding the character. Came in fire, acid and electric.
  • Shields: Left and indestructible wall in-front of a character. Could damage attacking enemies whilst keeping the player safe. Available in Fire and Electric.
  • Shot Multipliers: would come in 3 way or 5 way. Allowed player to shoot 3/5 shots at once.
  • Potions: could kill the character ‘Death’ early in levels. When used near a poisonous apple can make it healthy once more. Could use by throwing, dropping at enemies feet or as a momentary shield.
  • Keys: Opened various chests and doors needed to progress through levels.

House of the Dead II

House of the Dead II is a light gun rail-shooter game released in 1998. Following on from the first in the series (House of the Dead), the hit game is set 14 months after the events at Dr Curien’s house.

The player can take on the role of AMS agents James Taylor or Gary Stewart as they are sent to Venice (along with Amy Crystal and Harry Harris) to find their missing colleague G and wipe out the sudden zombie outbreak that has occurred.

Upon arrival in Venice, the player finds G alive though badly injured. This is when the team is attacked by a hoard of attacking zombies. Playing as James or Gary, the player must battle with bosses Zeal and Kuarl before teaming up again with Amy and Harry.

The next boss the team have to face is the Hierophant, an aquatic fish/humanoid. It is at this point when it is revealed that the zombies were created by Caleb Goldman who had funded Dr Curien (which led to the events in the 1st game). Goldman attempts to contact the AMS agents and offers to meet them at the Colosseum.

Thinking that the offer is a trap, the team move forward and split up to fight off the undead. Gary and James then have to face ‘The Tower’ (a team of zombie snakes). After defeating this, the duo receive a call from Amy so head towards the Colosseum.

Whilst Gary and James were fighting off the Tower, ‘Strength’ has injured Harry and continues to chase down the player and their partner. The team will kill the zombie before driving to Goldman’s tower where they face Judgement, Hierophant and the Tower yet again.

After defeating Judgement, Hierophant and the Tower for the second time, the player will then face ‘The Magician’. Whilst the Magician is holding off the AMS agents, Goldman creates the Emperor – the most powerful of the boss zombies whose goal is to destroy all of mankind.

However, the Emperor is not as powerful as first thought by Goldman – and is taken down by James and Gary. In order to resist arrest, Goldman is last seen jumping off the roof of his tower.

From this point, there are various endings available to the player – depending on their in game choices. Other factors that affect which ending a player will get are which character is played, if both players defeated the last boss, number of continues throughout the game and points earned.

If the players have performed poorly throughout the game, they will receive the bad ending. This is where James and Gary leave the tower to come face to face with a zombie Goldman. The game ends with a white screen and a gunshot heard.

The ‘normal’ ending sees Gary and James leave the building to see Amy, G, Harry and a group of people thanking them for stopping the outbreak.

Finally, the good ending sees James and Gary leave the tower and bump into Thomas Rogan (protagonist from the 1st game). He lets the characters know that their injured friends are okay and prepares them to take on the next mission.

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