Game music of the day: Gauntlet

Game: Gauntlet

Song: Song A

Composer: Earl Vickers and Hal Canon

Above: Song A from Gauntlet

Ho, pasty-faced wanderers of the highways of information! On this eve we gather in celebration of Gauntlet, some form of clockwork trickery called videogames that doth offend my senses on some level, yet I find mine ears are drawn to its mechanical chirpings like a moth to a flame. Dare ye to enter and succumb to its siren song as well?

Christ it's hard towrite like that. But the pointis even a medieval dullard would find some pleasure in Gauntlet, be it on a violence-based, kill-waves-of-monsters level or, in this case, enjoying the simple beeps of the game's few tracks. This Song A begins simple enough, but halfway through ramps up into an 8-bit explosion of sound. Makes you wanna chop things up!

Above: Song A, as played by Mario Paint

Above: Song B, also from the NES version of Gauntlet, goes through a similar musical procession

Fun fact about Gauntlet: It gained popularity in arcades, but did eventually come home to the NES via Atari's side company,Tengen. While the first version of Gauntlet arrived on standard NES carts, the next wave were shipped in Tengen's proprietary carts that were not licensed by Nintendo for play on the NES. How Tengen/Atari did this is amazingly clever (it basically scammed one of Nintendo's lockout chips from the US government) and ultimately landed the company in court.

Above: The normal NES Gauntlet, and the Tengen version, which came later and would still play on an NES

It's not the last time Tengen and Nintendo would meet in front of a judge - Tengen's NES Tetris is a mini-legend and a valuable collector's item in its own right. For more on that tale, you should hit up Game Over or do somesimple googlingfor the whole story.

But yeah, Gauntlet's got some great music!

Port of Adia by Darren Mitchell

Rockin' ass guitar and strings by JDK Band

Daddy Mulk by Hisayoshi Ogura

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.