Wednesday, April 18, 2018

EPISODE 05: Gauntlet: The Third Encounter


#PA2024, Published by Atari Corp.
In this episode, I cover Gauntlet: The Third Encounter, which was released in 1990. Included in the episode is a complete rundown of the gameplay, music, and sound effects. I also highlight reviews of the game, and some of my loyal listeners have kindly provided their feedback on Gauntlet, so I share it as well. Plus, I also provide information about the prices that collectors can expect to pay for an Atari Lynx Gauntlet cartridge on eBay.
The carton cover art for the 1990 Atari Lynx game covered in this episode, Gauntlet: The Third Encounter (left), was re-used by Tengen (the home console software licensing arm of Atari) to serve as the carton cover art for the 1993 Sega Genesis game Gauntlet IV (right).
Release Date: By April of 1990
Initial retail price: $39.95
128kb stereo cartridge available in two styles (ridged and curved lip)

Genre: arcade castle maze crawl/shoot-em-up for one player on the console, or two-four players using the ComLynx cable
Working Title: Time Quests and Treasure Chests (while under development at Epyx, Inc.)

The portrait (vertical) orientation of the screen/playfield in Gauntlet: The Third Encounter for the Lynx was questioned by game players and critics, both at the time of release and in the time since thenShinto of The Atari Jaguar Game by Game Podcast came up with a mockup of what a normal landscape (horizontal) orientation would look like for the game, had it been designed that way instead. Both the Action window and the Statistics/Radar/Inventory window remain the same size regardless of the orientation, but each window is repositioned. Do you think it would have made a difference in gameplay, or in the ultimate success of the game?
Screen/playfield orientation: portrait (vertical)
Other ports: This game was never ported to any other systems
Inspired by: Various Gauntlet arcade games released between 1985 and 1988; even though this game is usually included in the Gauntlet franchise that appeared in game consoles and home computers of the day (1985-2005), its inclusion in the franchise was a marketing ploy to capitalize on the Gauntlet name, and as such it is not considered an essential part of the Gauntlet canon
Legacy: Gauntlet III: The Final Quest (pseudo-sequel), released in 1991 for the Atari ST, the Commodore 64, the ZX Spectrum, and the Amstrad CPC.
Carton:  standard-tab regular-size carton (5 3/8" by 4 3/8" by 7/8") in full color; cover art was used for 1993 game Gauntlet IV for the Sega Genesis
Manual: stapled 28-page regular-size booklet (4 7/8" by 3 3/4") in monochrome
Languages: English only

Epyx, Inc.

Writer: Jon Leupp
Artwork:  Paul Vernon
Sounds: Robert Vieira and LX (Alex) Rudis
Music: Robert Vieira and LX (Alex) Rudis
Majority of Levels: Chuck Sommerville and Charlie Kellner

How to Win a McWill-modded Lynx I Console:
Rules and details about how to enter the Retro Man Cave Giveaway Competition can be found here. First Prize is a working Lynx I console, recapped and upgraded with the McWill LCD screen!

New Homebrew Title for the Atari Lynx: Wyvern Tales

A developer in Amsterdam named Ninjabba on the Atari Age Lynx Forums is getting ready to release his new Atari Lynx JRPG title, Wyvern Tales. Those who responded to his announcement a year ago on Atari Age to reserve a copy (or who subscribed on his website) have already been notified by email that the first batch of games have already been manufactured and are in stock and ready for purchase (full disclosure: I was one of the subscribers). Ninjabba goes further in saying that as soon as the website for Wyvern Tales is updated to accept reservations/purchases, anyone who is interested can log on and do so, depending of course upon availability. The final Wyvern Tales package contains an original looking Lynx box, game manual, and a curved lip style game cartridge (see photo above), and retails for £45 (or US$56) shipped. The developer has been posting updates on the Atari Age Lynx Forums, so check there for the latest information.

Displaying My TI-99/4a Collection (and My Atari Lynx Collection) at Vintage Computer Festival 6.0 in Roswell, GA on April 21 and 22
In just a few days, I will be hosting a display booth at the Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast 6.0 at the new Computer Museum of America in Roswell, GA. Along with my large “Experience the TI-99/4a” display, I will also have “A Look at the Lynx,” a smaller display showcasing the Atari Lynx and its library of games. I’ll have two working Atari Lynx II consoles from 1991, one of which sporting the McWill LCD screen upgrade, and both consoles will be available for hands-on gaming. Additionally, I’ll have my collection of over 45 games, all with original manual booklets or posters and most in original cartons, along with various cases and other add-on accessories. Take-one handouts outlining the brief history of the Atari Lynx and its legacy are also available. So if you’re in the Atlanta area that weekend, be sure to stop by my booth and say “hi.” But bring lots of AA batteries if you want to play with the Lynx…just kidding; I will provide the power.


Information about Gauntlet: The Third Encounter:
Atari Age title info/rarity guide for Gauntlet: The Third Encounter
Atari Gamer title info/rarity guide for Gauntlet: The Third Encounter
Wikipedia article about Gauntlet:The Third Encounter
Giant Bomb article about Gauntlet: The Third Encounter
Level 40 Cheat for Gauntlet: The Third Encounter in Tricks of the Trade column in Electronic Gaming Monthly #14 (August 1990)

Diary of an Atari Lynx Developer article about the similarities between the robot logo for Google's Android iOS and the Android character in Gauntlet: The Third Encounter (2010)

Reviews and ratings for Gauntlet: The Third Encounter:
Review by Kurt Olsen at
Review by Keita Iida at Atari HQ
Review by Ryan Genno on Down and Dirty Reviews
Review  in The Games Machine (UK; August 1990)
Review by Review Crew in Electronic Gaming Monthly #11 (May 1990)
Review by Robert A. Jung at IGN (1999)
Review by Matthias Jaap atThe Atari Times (2001)
Review by Dan Loosen at The Atari Times (2003)
Review by Patrick O'Connor at Defunct Games (2005)
Review  at The Video Game Critic (2005)
Review by Atari5200 at Atari Age (2008)
Review by Roger Barr at I-Mockery (2011)

YouTube videos about Gauntlet: The Third Encounter:
Playthrough (GamerBoyGU82)
Playthrough (Janatari73)
Final Boss Playthrough (Zonelynx Atari)
Playthrough and commentary (adwatts1966)
Playthrough and commentary (RndStranger)
Playthrough and commentary (Game Conclusion) (RndStranger)
Music/Soundtrack (Laird's Lair)
UK TV Advert featuring Gauntlet: The Third Encounter (ScottithGames)
Unboxing and Review (MALICEDOLL79)

Retailers Selling Gauntlet: The Third Encounter:
B & C ComputerVisions
(price list was last updated September 23, 2016; check website for availability): US$49.95

Best Electronics (last updated March 8, 2018; check website for availability): US$45.95
The Goat Store: US$12.99 (for loose curved lip cart) and US$32.94 (for used CIB)
Telegames (UK): £16.66 (US$23.63)
Video 61 & Atari Sales: US$49.95

Resources for Atari Lynx Console/Game-Related Collecting Materials/Tools:

Resource: Game Boy Color cases for Atari Lynx cartridges from Joom
2 1/2" coin storage sheets from Amazon
Atari Lynx game carton sleeves from RetroGameFreak
Building a custom Atari Lynx game carton shelving unit from AtariGamer

ResourceAtari Lynx II display stand from Etsy

Other Lynks: (Thanks to Igor for incorporating The HandyCast into your excellent website!)
Retro Video Gamer Forums (Thanks to TrekMD for helping to promote The HandyCast on your wonderful forums!)
Antic: The Atari 8-Bit Podcast (Thanks to Brad Arnold, Randy Kindig, and Kevin Zavitz for the shoutout about The HandyCast in Episode 50!)
The Atari 2600 Game By Game Podcast (Thanks to The Podfather himself, Ferg, for encouraging his listeners to check out The HandyCast in Episode 151!)
The Atari Jaguar Game By Game Podcast (Thanks to Shinto for encouraging his listeners to check out The HandyCast in Episode 22!)
Please Stand By (Thanks to Zerbe and Ferg for helping to promote The  HandyCast on several episodes of this fun-to-listen-to show, starting with Episode 60!)
The RCR Podcast (Thanks to the Retro Computing Roundtable: Paul Hagstrom, Quinn Dunki, Jack Nutting, and Carrington Vance, for highlighting The Atari Lynx HandyCast in Episode 167!)
Interview with LX (Alex) Rudis at The Atari Times (2002)

I would like to thank the Free Music Archive for the following musical artists and songs that were used in this episode under the Creative Commons License: "8-Bit Core" by Tagirijus (opening and closing theme music), "No Control" by Jahzzar, "Drifting" by Midival Punditz, "Gracias" by Hicham Chahidi, "E-Musik" by Phillip Gross, and "waiting for it to happen" by Simon Mathewson.

I would also like to thank Montague Habersham, or Monty as I know him. He is my podcasting assistant for The Handycast, and he also serves as King of the Under-Appreciated Artificial Podcasting Assistants Union, or the palindromically named  UAPAU. And he graciously agreed to appear with the old man from Scene 24 in the opening vignette of this episode. Thanks, Monty.

I would especially like to thank Shinto for submitting his memories of various Atari Lynx games he's owned in the past to The Atari Lynx HandyCast...they are greatly appreciated. And you should all check out Shinto's wonderful Atari Jaguar Game by Game Podcast; it's definitely worth listening to, even if you don't own or have never even seen a Jaguar console. You can find it here.

Many, many thanks also go to Zerbinator for his continued support. His encouragement and expertise are very much appreciated by me. You can find all of his fun-to-listen-to podcasts here, including my favorite, Please Stand By.

Finally, my thanks to Ferg of The Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast. His inspiration and dedication to covering every game cartridge ever made for the Atari 2600 (I think over 1000 of them!) is what gave me the courage to begin this podcast. Please, check out his don't-miss podcast, even if you're not an Atari 2600 collector; or at least visit his website here.

I hope you enjoy this episode of The Atari Lynx HandyCast.


Next Episode: "EPISODE 06: California Games"

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