Gauntlet 3

US Gold

Status: Full Game, Findability: 4/5

Updates made

29/12/16 – Scan added thanks to Ross Sillifant

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

The final part in the Gauntlet trilogy was to be a 3D affair, the perspective owing more to Pacmania and 3D Ant Attack then the previous overhead offerings.

The game features some awesome graphics by Martin Holland and Hadyn Dalton, including some incredible character selection screens. The scrolling is smooth, and the game is quite awesome and faithful to the original classic.

The music is also awesomely created by Tim and Geoff Follin, in the same league as the awesome Ghouls and Ghosts tunes.

The game was due for release in the Summer of 1991 after some well recieved reviews. The game suffered massive delays when the programmer fell ill and US Gold couldn’t get the game off the development system and onto the tape. Something which only the programmer could really do. All attempts failed.

Due to the delays, Gauntlet 3 was to be eventually released onto the Kixx label, but unfornately this never happened either, as they could just not get the game onto tape. It all worked fine on disk though.

Martin Howarth contacted GTW briefly a few years ago, and mentioned that he did not suffer a breakdown of any sort. Again, Martin got in touch with GTW recently and confirmed that what really happened was that he was made redundant by Software Creations, and after that, Software Creations had problems trying to master the game onto tape.

Martin didn’t move onto any other platforms after this, and sadly got left behind. However, after a break from programming, Martin got back into it, and now works at BarCrest. And very soon Martin will be talking a bit more about work on Gauntlet 3 to share with you. So watch this space!

There is also however a remarkable story that Gauntlet 3 did sneak out in very little form… very likely in an evaluation form for people who were part of their software club at US Gold. However, the game was only on disk, and no-one has claimed to have a tape.  A few of us luckily have a copy, including Mat Allen and myself (though i’m missing disk 2).  A copy is in the procession of someone which is still sealed!

So you can all still play it, though its not friendly with all emulators, so be warned. Tried and fully working in the latest version of Vice. And now thanks to Jazzcat we have added the original disk images (uncracked).

Additionally if you want to see the game ending, then check it out at C64 endings.

A great finale, sadly never fully sold in a nice glossy box…

Contributions: Martin Holland, Martin Howarth, Ian Osbourne, Mat Allen, Quapil, Jazzcat, Andrew Fisher, Ross Sillifant

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  • Martin Howarth speaks about work on Gauntlet 3…

    “My son was looking on your web site early and commented on your reply, about me becoming ill this being the reason Gauntlet was never finished.

    The truth being I was made redundant from Software Creations around about 94, Never moved over to the other platforms so got left behind. They then found problems Transferring the game to tape.

    With regards to your questions, It was always fun working on any of my games. also spent a lot of time messing. Ask Haydyn what he did to my arm, if he can remember I still have the scar. It was always fun back then but we got the work done.

    Its good to look back, I contacted Martin Holland through Friends Reunited, and was very surprised to here he’d pass away, to be honest I read your site twice. Its good to see people respected his work so much, I worked with him for about 3-4 years and found him to be a very pleasant person to work with.
    What Martin could do with the C64 was amazing”

    14 Responses to Gauntlet 3

    1. Patrick Furlong says:

      Might be intresting to note that while reading Commodore Format issues 24, I saw a type-in cheat for Gauntlet 3..

      • Mayhem says:

        Yes, done against the exact original that I know own! Andy Roberts lent the game to Waz Pilkington, and later sold it to me.

    2. Darren says:

      I had a copy of this on disk that I sold on Ebay for over £900 4 years ago. Picked it up for 50p from a clearance sale at BCA where I worked (which was the umbrella company for The Home Computer Club) – it was obviously an evaluation copy.

      • fgasking says:

        Hi Darren, thanks for sharing! And well done on the £899.50 profit! 😉

        It’s good to confirm more about where the game ended up exactly. Shame they didn’t have a similar deal for Murder! 🙂

    3. Magisthan says:

      Does anyone knows how the discs look´s like? I cannot find a picture yet.

      • fgasking says:

        My copy is packed away somewhere, so not sure if anyone else is able to help? Otherwise i’ll try and take a picture soon. I’ve only got the first disk, the second disk was missing unfortunately. It’s basically black with no label, and the words/company are printed onto the disk with silver/white lettering from what I recall.

    4. smf says:

      I saw a stand full of Gauntlet 3 for the c64 at a computer show in London in the early 90’s. I didn’t pay enough attention whether they were tape or disk. They weren’t many people buying though.

    5. Robin Gravel says:

      Why the publishers cannot release games on one format only? Why do they always need to release games on tapes and disks?

      • fgasking says:

        Back then, although disks were faster (well, with a Fastload on the C64) – the drives were very expensive to purchase (almost as much, if not more than a C64 itself). Tapes were a cheap option to use, and took off in a big way in the UK and certain countries as a result. Only those with a bit of money had disk drives – but enough to warrant releasing on both formats. Additionally – some games do just not work on tape, hence having disk only releases for titles like Project Firestart.

        • hank says:

          The key thing here is distribution costs. I don’t know what ratio of games on disks sold compared to games on tape but I would imagine it was probably something broadly like 90-10 or perhaps even 95-5 – if you’re only sending out 5% of games on disk then you’ve got an awful lot of empty space to load something else into – if you’re not putting out the tapes as well it was probably economically unviable to sell the game.

          Of course, they could’ve sold a limited edition solely on disc direct from their own distributor but that’s another matter entirely…!

          • Martin Smith says:

            I wonder how the profit margins compared for tape versus disc? Disc games cost a bit more, but sometimes was multiple discs versus one tape. And I guess the bigger boxes of disc games cost slightly more to distribute and produce? The US market was pretty much disc-only from very early on I believe. Is it simply that UK gamers were poorer or stingier than their American cousins at the time?

            Still, I suspect that in 1988 this issue would have just meant a disc-only release, perhaps with an extra animation or editor cobbled together as justification, but by 1991 US Gold were looking eslewhere and didn’t deem it worth the effort.

            • hank says:

              I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how much a floppy would’ve been to produce over a tape, but you’re absolutely right, multiple diskettes and bigger packaging would’ve pushed that cost up across the board.

              The profit margain probably would’ve been very similar I would suggest, or perhaps even slimmer – single or double disk games were only ever £5 more, weren’t they? The more expansive games were £20 or so at which point you were getting more value from the Amiga versions!

              I think if you owned a disc drive in the UK in the C64 era you were interested in RPGs and sprawling adventures. As such I would struggle to imagine that a disc only Gauntlet 3 would’ve been a worthwhile release – it probably wouldn’t have sold to that market, nor was it ever going to be a big enough game to sell 1541s on its own merits.

              Just another question for someone to answer in a book or documentary 🙂

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