I remember being blown away the first time I saw Atari’s Gauntlet arcade machine. What stood out immediately was that it had four joysticks instead of the usual one or two that most arcade cabinets had. The idea that four people could play at once was relatively new back in 1985, yet the fact that the game could be played by just a single player still made it a real winner.
The game was set with a classic fantasy setting of warriors and magicians. Each joystick was on a different coloured panel, which represented the colour of your on screen character. You could choose from four classes of character, each with differing abilities. These were Warrior, Wizard, Valkyrie and Elf.
Unsurprisingly the warrior was the strongest character, whilst the wizard was the best character for using the magic potions that could be picked up in the games levels. The Valkyrie had the best armour (ironic considering she was only wearing a chain mail bikini) and the Elf was the fastest character.
Apparently the characters all had names, but this was lost on me at the time. Their names were Thor (Warrior), Merlin (Wizard – unsurprisingly), Thyra (Valkyrie) and Questor (Elf).