Gauntlet (c64) – with speech?

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Thanks to Obi-Wandi, we learn that there was potentially an earlier edition of Gauntlet on the C64, which featured “easily comprehensible speech synthesis”.

This was according to Happy Computer magazine and in their review of the Amstrad edition of the game.

Could any of those involved in the C64 conversion confirm this?  Sadly Bob Armour does not answer any retro related enquiries, so its unlikely we will find out (he’s also most likely sitting on a copy of Murder! too).  Would be interesting though to learn if the reviewers got things correct 🙂

Thanks to Ross Sillifant, it seems the best person to answer things will be a chap called Bill Allen.  Is there an earlier edition waiting to be found??

So far it seems Tony Porter from a Conversion Capers article in Retro Gamer Magazine issue 23 (Thanks Ross!) has confirmed that the speech sounded terrible and took up too much space, so it was dropped.   We can still check with Bill Allen if there is still a version somewhere with the speech included.

Here is a gallery of articles mentioning the speech, thanks to Ross for sourcing!

23 Responses to Gauntlet (c64) – with speech?

  1. Ross Sillifant says:

    Just forwarded over to Frank another (gasp :-0 ) 2 Page article on 8 Bit team behind Gauntlet.

    Details sound system etc used by Bill Allen (in charge of music and Sond FX on all 8 Bit versions), Bob Armour in charge of converting game to A8 and C64 and explains comprimises made to A8 version and what was choosen over what.

    More Gauntlet scans to follow if your lucky 🙂

    • fgasking says:

      I wonder what happened, as Ben Daglish ended up doing the music. Maybe Ben was given the task after they failed to get the Speech working nicely.

  2. Ross Sillifant says:

    Dear Obi-Wandi:You are far far too kind (i’m really not worthy, lol). Frank and many others i’m sure could tell you i do tend to be like a dog with a bone, when i get my teeth into looking into possible lost games.

    Has’nt always made me popular :-).News that Jaguar CD Tomb Raider screens were fakes and Edge knew it, or..that Jeff Minter had never started on any Lynx projects, let alone Ultra Star Raiders or the on-going saga with Jaguar CD Creature Shock (never got beyond test coding routines it seems) etc etc…you can be sure i’ll exhaust all avenues open to me, including contacting multiple sources, putting up old magazine scans etc.

    Anything and everything i find, is shared here/Unseen64/Classic Console Mag/Atari Age Forum/Grumpy Old Gamers/ST Gamer Magazine etc.

    Still a few barks left in this old dog yet 🙂

  3. Ross Sillifant says:

    @Grinder:I’ve tried contacting the very people who wrote magazine articles that ‘suggested’ games were either seen running at a trade show (Adam Caveman on Atari 400/800) or were headed to a platform (Claims Gremlin’s Technocop headed to Atari 7800)….and never heard a word back from either, but then given the amount of years passed…doubted they’d of been of much help, info.probably passed on from PR release or cough…’created’ to fill an article space.

  4. Grinder says:

    You could contact Heinrich Lenhardt and/or Boris Schneider-Johne as these two guys are the editors behind the review of the Amstrad-Version in the “Happy Computer”.

    Both are nice chaps and founded the the german “Spieleveteranen”-podcast. Boris ist inactive but Heinrich is still in charge.

    • fgasking says:

      I suspect though they’ve probably forgotten completely about details that specific unfortunately. You should see the bemused comments I get back from some of the writers from the likes of Zzap/Commodore Format when I asked them about the likes of review copies of Murder! or Daffy Duck 🙂

      • Grinder says:

        I unterstand. But especially Boris is well known for his very good memory and is open minded to the retro community.

  5. Ross Sillifant says:

    Behold the answers we seek:

    Tony Porter:

    ‘None of the Z80 or C64 versions retained speech.I’m afraid to say that while it was’nt beyond those machines in principal, in practice it sounded awful and took up a huge amount of room-it just was’nt practical.Latter the Master system and Atari ST versions were able to keep the sounds, but these were much more capable machines’

    SOURCE:Conversion Capers:Gauntlet/Retro Gamer Magazine issue 23.

    Case closed?.

    • fgasking says:

      Possibly! Though there could be still something to find maybe from Bill? Lets see anyway 🙂

    • Obi-Wandi says:

      Dear Ross, this gets more exciting with every post you make, truly excellent work and thank you for your kind words!

      It’s interesting how, as a RetroGamer subscriber of many years, I’ve forgotten about this key piece of evidence that Gremlin had indeed dabbled in the merits of speech synthesis. Great, circumspect research Ross, you clearly don’t leave a single pixel unturned; note how pre-release hype turned actually “awful” speech samples into “easily comprehensible” ones during the 1980ies.

      Now I agree with Frank that this should whet our appetites even more: what dungeon (or cardboard box languishing in an attic) harbours the (hopefully uncorruputed) disks with the “awful” sounding, speech-enabled ZX and C64 demos?

      To quote a famous wizard from a game involving a gauntlet: “Obi-Wandi needs speech…badly.”

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