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Gauntlet IV

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Title Screen

Gauntlet IV

Also known as: Gauntlet (JP)
Developer: M2
Publisher: Tengen
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: September 17, 1993
Released in US: September 16, 1993
Released in EU: November 1993
Released in AU: 1993

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

A Genesis entry in the Gauntlet series that includes a new Quest Mode which adds RPG elements to the basic gameplay, while also including a full port of the original arcade game. It was the first game developed by the group that would become M2, started as a fan port of the original for the Sharp X68000, before Tengen picked it up and made it a sequel.

Debug Mode

To do:
Describe the debug mode options

Kabeuchi! Gesundheit.

In Arcade Mode, Battle Mode or Record Mode, while paused, the game jumps to a subroutine at $018C72 (AUG 1993 version) or $018C50 (SEP 1993 version), which is simply an RTS command. This command is probably how the debug menu, which begins at $018C74/$018C52, was disabled in the final version.

To access the menu, enter one of the following codes and pause the game.

AUG 1993 Version SEP 1993 Version
Action Replay 018C72:4E71 018C50:4E71

The change to MAP NO takes effect after using an Exit tile.

(Source: JLukas, Denis)

Regional Differences

The Japanese version of the game is called simply Gauntlet. It includes both Japanese and English language modes, set by the console region. The international versions also include a Japanese mode, but are region locked to prevent them running on Japanese consoles, short of Game Genie codes (AX7A-CA7C for AUG 1993, AX6A-CA88 for SEP 1993). With these codes enabled, the games will boot up in Japanese and display "Gauntlet" in the main menu. However, the title screen continues to read "Gauntlet 4".

(Codes: TonyTheTiger)


Startup Warning

To do:
Any way to properly re-enable this in the US/Europe version?
Japanese English
GauntletMD-JapaneseWarning.png Well, English-ish.

The Japanese version features a warning about making any changes to the configuration of the Sega Tap (Team Player, outside Japan) before the system has been powered on. When set to a region other than Japan, this even shows up in what approaches English. This warning is entirely absent in the western versions, although the manual does similarly instruct that the Team Player or 4-Way Play (the game supports either) should be set up before powering on the console.

Gauntlet4 Unused Warning.png

Despite being unused, the warning text is still present in the international version's ROM; an attempt at an improved translation was apparently made before they decided to cut it. The above image is probably how it might have looked in-game.

Title Screen

Japan US/Europe
GauntletMD-JapaneseTitle.png Gauntlet IV-title.png

The game's logo was altered to add a "4" to the international versions. Former Tengen employee Chris Tang recounts:

I wrote a proposal to give it a full-fledged action/RPG mode similar to Dungeon Explorer for the TurboGrafx/PC Engine by doing things like turning score into experience points with upgradable stats, adding shops for equipment and items, and giving the game a storyline with elemental worlds, bosses, and multiple endings. I believed that these were the features that were needed for the game to best fit the expectations of the time.

[...] what was done was such a monumental and significant achievement that we re-branded the game into Gauntlet IV with the "Episode IV: The Castle of Succession" Quest Mode as its standout feature – and it exists as one of Tengen’s very best, critically-acclaimed releases.

(Source: Sega-16)

Arcade Mode

Japan US/Europe US/Europe (Japan mode)
Gauntlet4 Arcade Title JP.png Gauntlet4 Arcade Title US.png Gauntlet4 Arcade Title JP Alt.png

Each region displays different copyright information on the title splash and a registered trademark was added to the international version's logo. Oddly, if the region locking is bypassed and the international version is played on a Japanese system, it displays a different set of legal text.

Additionally, the international versions increase the right margin of the HUD player text by eight pixels across all game modes.


Japan US/Europe
Gauntlet4 Arcade Credits JP.png Gauntlet4 Arcade Credits US.png

Chris Tang was added to the Special Thanks section.

Quest Mode

English Translation Differences

For whatever reason, every instance of "riddle"/"riddles" in the Japanese version's introduction and endings was replaced with "mystery"/"mysteries". No other text was changed.

Japan US/Europe
There are many riddles and legends   
in this world.
When a riddle is solved, it becomes a legend which will be told over and over again by many people.
There are many mysteries and legends 
in this world.
When a mystery is solved, it becomes a legend which will be told over and over again by many people.


Japan US/Europe
Gauntlet4 Quest Credits JP.png Gauntlet4 Quest Credits US.png

Chris Tang was again added to the Special Thanks section.