Ah, the joys of that particular Birthday so many years past. I open up my last present and there in my shaking hands is Gauntlet for the NES. I love Gauntlet...heck I even tried to dress up as Questor one Halloween in my youth. It didn't quite work out like I had expected. I was asked if I was everything from Robin Hood to Peter Pan. Sigh.
Back to the point of the post, after about two days of playing the NES port of Gauntlet I found myself stuck. I was facing the Dragon at the end of the game and just could not slay the wretched beast. My Grandmother being a saint of video games suggested I call the Hotline phone number listed in our Nintendo Power magazines.
So I jumped up and using her phone dialed the number with bated breath to see if these gurus of gaming could perhaps give me the one vital piece of information that would help me topple my digital foe.
Unfortunately this was not to be.
It turned out that Tengen didn't exactly produce licensed versions of Gauntlet, Pac-Man, or RBI Baseball for the NES. It seems that the company found Nintendo's license too restrictive and as the Wiki states, Nintendo didn't want their licensees to have more than five game released in a year and those titles had to be console exclusive for two years.
When I asked the Hotline attendant to help me with my Dragon problems...he became quiet for a couple of seconds and then informed me he was not allowed to give any advice on Tengen titles. I was terribly confused, he had to repeat that about three times and this guy was really terrific because even at that young age I could tell he really wanted to help me.
In plain desperation I pleaded with him to help defeat the dragon. His reply though pained was brief, "Shoot the Dragon more." He then hung up the phone. I put the phone up and then went back to the game and as if he was in control of my NES unit I was able to defeat the Dragon...just because a Nintendo Hotline attendant told me to do what I was already doing.
Come to think of it I might have been talking to Dio.