Heaven help us, it's the DREAMCAST GAUNTLET LEGENDS "QUICK-CHEESE" HYPER LEVEL-UP GUIDE (PATENT PENDING) by John Harris (aka Milen) Initial version: 6/5/2001 Ahem. Welcome to the (deep breath) Dreamcast Gauntlet Legends "Quick-Cheese" Hyper Level-Up Guide! (gasp) I'm not going to post a review of the game, I'm not going to tell you how much it rocks, I'm not going to complain about anything or gush endlessly about the characters. I'm just going to tell you how to exploit a series of game quirks to enable you to reach those hideously time-consuming upper experience levels. But to explain why, okay, I will have to describe a *little*.... Much like in all the many ports of Rampart (another game that's close to my besotted heart) every edition of Gauntlet Legends has had its rules tweaked just enough to severely cramp the style of a player who was depending on the behavior of any other version, and so far there's been versions for arcade (both Legends and Dark Legacy), N64, Dreamcast and now PS2 (Dark Legacy only). None of these games is exactly like any of the others. The Dreamcast version, despite really slipshod audio - the sound in the game is amazingly buggy, Midway should be ashamed - and the absence of the timed health drain that is such a large part of the play and strategy of all arcade versions of Gauntlet, besides these things, is really very close to - surprise! - Gauntlet Dark Legacy! What we've been given is a stripped-down version of the *sequel* under the guise of a port of the *original*! This is good for many reasons: the DC version of Legends has the new characters from Dark Legacy and the new class-specific stat caps (which means the characters aren't as identical at high levels), and the new Death behavior (Death drains *experience levels*, not health!), in addition to somewhat remixed levels. Unfortunately, it also picked up one of the most frustrating aspect of the arcade sequel, the fact that it takes forever-and-five-minutes to gain new experience levels once you get to, say, level 70. In the arcade, it can take a small fortune in quarters to achieve level 99 and "Legend" status. At home it's not quite so expensive, but still time consuming. Well, now you can rest that pretty lil' head of yours! I'm here to reveal you what is likely the fastest possible way to reach Level 99. It doesn't change the game much, but let's face it, you need every little edge you can get in last level and the second Skorne boss fight, both of which are extremely unbalanced in the game's favor. ----- THE STRATEGY ----- If you've not gotten into the higher experience levels yet, it'll probably be more worthwhile, and less fatal, to earn experience by replaying the "standard" levels. At the very least, you must have opened up the Desecrated Temple level, and the first fight with Skorne, and it's best if you've built up a nice nest egg of gold, several thousand should be enough, and over 2000 health would be nice too. STEP ONE: Enter the Desecrated Temple level. It's best if you do this in One Player mode, as the game adds lots more monsters when you add even one additional player, and the bosses get a severe upgrade. STEP TWO: Halfway through the first chamber, you'll find a Stasis Death and an Anti-Death Power behind a shoot-away door. Don't touch either yet. Instead, go on and clean out the next passage, just in case the time spent killing the monsties causes your Anti-Death to run out. There is no timed health loss in the home versions, so take all the time you want. STEP THREE: Go back and grab the Anti-Death, then wake and drain the Death in that area. You've just gained one experience level. STEP FOUR: Run across the hallway you cleaned out in Step Two and drain the Stasis Death there as well. That makes two levels total, and is the primary objective of this strategy. STEP FIVE: Continue through the level, playing normally. Most players shouldn't have much trouble if they use their Level Three Turbo Attacks judiciously. Turbo should be used at the end of the first chamber to clean out two of the five generators in the next room, and again towards the end of the lava chamber. A well-placed blast INTO THE WALL ON EITHER SIDE of the wall at the end of the chamber should wipe out the two generators on that side before the wall comes down, even if you can't see them, even if they're far overhead, even if it doesn't look like the blast should touch them. As long as it passes directly underneath where the generators are positioned, they should get taken out, no trouble. Your objective in all of this is to save as much health as you can. Throughout the level, grab all the gold you can. In a one player game, there is 900 gold scattered throughout the second room of the level, outside of chests, and using all your remaining keys can earn a nice bonus from the in-chest cash that's everywhere in this stage. STEP SIX: Before you leave the lava chamber area, make *sure* to grab the Soul Savior, hidden in a weak wall in the side-room to the left. STEP SEVEN: Finish the level. In the shop afterwards, buy one each: Three-Way Shot, Phoenix Familiar and Rapid Fire. After you leave the shop, you'll go straight into the first fight with Skorne. STEP EIGHT: Start pounding away with that fire button the second you appear on the screen! All the powerups you bought are timed, and the clock is ticking every moment you're on the screen. You can get a few very telling hits in before the Soul Savior kicks in. Once Skorne is completely onscreen and you regain control after the Savior's animation, move up to the area around the circle directly in front of Skorne and continue to blast away as fast as your finger can possibly pump. The Soul Savior floating overhead should protect you from most of his attacks, and enable you to use almost every moment of the powerup items' to maximum effect. If your Strength stat and experience levels are high enough, you should be able to defeat Skorne in this way before the Soul Savior expires. STEP NINE: Now, the important bit. When Skorne flees, he'll drop four items. Don't pick any up, yet. Sumner will appear and either tell you that you don't have all the runestones, bummer, or you have them all, well done. What you want to do is wait until he's almost done with his speech. The last word that should appear on screen, in the you've-got- them-all speech at least and maybe the other too, is "forever." When you see that, run and grab either item on the ends of the set on the screen, one of "Skorne's Gauntlets." Then, wait for the level to end. STEP TEN: You'll be back in the tower. Now, RUN, using the turbo button for extra speed as time is very limited, to either the Desert boss level (Genie) or the Forest boss (Spider Queen) and *slay them with Skorne's Gauntlet*! In the arcade you could never get to them before it expired, but it does an OBSCENE amount of damage to bosses! Furthermore, it causes them to recoil almost every time they're hit with it, so they won't be hitting back very often! In the time you have before the Gauntlet runs out you should just be able to kill each of these two bosses once, but if it runs out before the second boss kicks the bucket you should be able to finish it off with your normal shots without much trouble. Each boss has a Meat item in their lair which can be consumed during Sumner's speech after the fight to reclaim a bit of health, and you can pick up an Extra Speed and a Light Amulet in these lairs to boot. You'll also gain 1200-1300 gold as spoils after each fight. STEP ELEVEN: Once you've done all this, just repeat. You won't be able to do it indefinitely, as the monsters in the Temple and Skorne's attacks do take their toll, and the powerups you buy to dispatch Skorne cost a little more than the 3500 gold you collect in each cycle, but the net loss on each trip is sufficiently low that about 3000 starting health and gold should last long enough to get you at least ten experience levels. As an added bonus, you'll also be getting truckloads of experience for defeating three bosses on each time through, so it's not uncommon to gain one additional level "naturally" about once every two cycles. I did this using the Tigress character, but if you have a decent enough Magic stat you should be able to get it to work with most anyone. I make no claims about the Warrior or Dwarf, so give it a shot and let me know how it turns out, okay? This is known to work on, and has been tested with, the Dreamcast version of Gauntlet Legends, in one-player mode and set on "Very Hard" (which isn't). It should only work better on the easier difficulty levels. It won't work in the arcade (because you can't choose to play "just" a boss). It might work on the PS2 Gauntlet Dark Legacy, but no promises, as I've never played that game. AUTHOR: John William Harris, serial number #31920, rank Corporal E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org If you're in the area, you can always check out my webcomic, at: hiddenglade.tripod.com LEGAL: I don't care who the heck posts this thing. I mean, come on now. Really, Gamespot, BradyGAMES, whoever wants to use it, go ahead. I don't mind. I'm not going to invoke the GPL or anything weird to protect my one hour's work. If I didn't want this information to be rapidly spread by any means possible, I wouldn't be posting it to the Internet, you dummies. All I ask is that people don't change it to make it lie, and that I retain credit, and to be honest, I'm not going to beat anyone up to get even this.