Gauntlet Dark Legacy is a video game originally released to arcades in 1999. It is the sixth title in the Gauntlet series, and is an expansion of the previous title in the series, Gauntlet Legends. The expansion adds five new levels, and four new character classes: Dwarf, Knight, Jester, and Sorceress. It also adds a large number of secret characters, some of which can be unlocked in the game, while others are only accessible by entering specific cheat codes.
Elements from Dark Legacy were integrated into the Dreamcast port of Gauntlet Legends. A direct port to the PlayStation 2 was released in 2001, followed by versions for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, and Xbox released in 2002.
Gauntlet Dark Legacy, as an expansion to Gauntlet Legends, plays similarly, but with new levels, items, characters, and combat capabilities. The player has the option of performing a slow, strong attack, or a quick, weaker attack, as opposed to Legends, where there is only one type of attack. In Gauntlet Dark Legacy, the player can perform combos by using slow attacks and quick attacks in sequence while engaged in melee combat. Combos are much stronger than normal attacks, and are usually capable of taking out several enemies at once. As in Legends, each player has a turbo gauge that refills slowly and automatically. This turbo gauge allows the player to use turbo attacks, which do damage in a wide area or over a long distance, and can pierce through multiple enemies and walls. When the turbo gauge is empty, no turbo attacks can be used until it filled up again. Dark Legacy adds the ability for two players standing adjacent to each other to perform a combination turbo attack together, usually packing a lot of force (and draining half of the turbo gauge of the player that initiated the combination turbo).
The player can gather items from within levels or purchase them in the shop. Items are activated upon pickup, but can be disabled using the item menu. Items provide benefits and disappear within a set time or set number of uses. Dark Legacy has more items than the original, though are generally more expensive. This places more emphasis on the decision of which items to buy.
In Dark Legacy, the player has the added abilities of blocking, charging, and strafing. Strafing allows the player to constantly face one direction and fire medium-speed attacks. Blocking causes the player’s character to stand still in a defensive position for a second or two. Any attacks made against the player are negated or do significantly less damage. When charging, players run forward with their weapons functioning like a lance while simultaneously blocking. Players can kill the enemies ahead of them while blocking their attacks. However, charging does consume a bit of the turbo gauge each time it is used.
The gameplay has roots in the original Gauntlet games. Most levels involve simply running along a designated path, destroying enemies before they can kill the player. Like in Gauntlet and Gauntlet II, enemies spawn from generators. Only when the generator is destroyed will the enemies stop spawning. Some generators will take multiple hits to destroy; as the generator is weakened, it will spawn less powerful enemies, until it is destroyed completely. There are some levels that have a maze-like aspect and are harder to navigate. Generally, levels have the path to the end easily in sight, with separate side paths that are harder to access. These side paths usually lead to important items, such as treasure, legendary weapons (which are used to weaken bosses), or runestones (which are required to progress through the game). Some levels will have a short movie before the level loads, serving to introduce the player to new types of enemies, or alerting the player that a legendary weapon is hidden somewhere in the level. Runestones are not hinted at in movies, though if a level that has a runestone is exited without the runestone being found, an evil laugh sound is played. Food still recovers health in Dark Legacy as it did in Gauntlet II, with each type of food restoring a different amount of health. Treasure is a rarity in Dark Legacy, as it is used to purchase items in the shop. This is a difference from the earlier Gauntlet games, where treasure was plentiful, giving extra points, but not serving any other purpose.