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How do you feel about gauntlets?

How do you feel about gauntlets in games?

Sections where enemies or even bosses come at you in waves one after the other and you have to see it through to the end or die trying... But when you die you have to start again.

Do you find these sections to feel like cheap spikes of artificial difficulty or do you find them to be fun and engaging?

Do you hate having to start from the very beginning of a long and difficult section of something when you die?

Would you rather one solid enemy such as a boss rather than something like a gauntlet that is specifically designed to wear you do and challenge your patience?
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Azure Sage

March onward forever...
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
I am really not a fan of gauntlets. Expecting me to get through multiple fights back to back without dying is seriously overestimating my abilities. I don't dare attempt Hollow Knight's gauntlets, I can barely fight anything in that game without getting hit constantly or falling off things. Boss rushes are always rough for me. I am very clumsy.

el :BeoWolf:

When all else fails use fire
Feb 5, 2016
I only like gauntlets as a side challange after the main game if I'm needing a new challange, otherwise no I don't usually care for them if they're in the main story.

Eli Ayase

Bass singer extraordinaire.
Mar 25, 2020
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
At first I thought this topic was about the items found in games, so I deleted it. Back on topic.

I like gauntlets in games, gives you a good challenge. It doesn't matter what game it is. Gauntlets are always fun.


Mr. SidleInYourDMs
ZD Champion
May 5, 2012
American Wasteland
not really a fan, it's pretty much an endurance run and that just gets tiresome for me pretty quickly, it's even worse if you have to fight a gauntlet of enemies as part of the main game
Depends on its setup I guess. I refused to touch the boss rush in Skyward Sword but I hated most of the bosses in that game, so...

I don't play many games where I have dealt with proper gauntlets, I don't think. It's not something I'm used to experiencing outside of a select couple games. I Am Setsuna had one in the form of the final boss, and I was reluctant to do it because it looked intimidating but I got it first try by just not rushing the offensive too much. But it took me probably 40 minutes to slodge through all five "bosses". Speaking of end-bosses as gauntlets, I didn't mind the boss gauntlet in Smash Ultimate, but I wish there was a designated mode for it instead of locking it behind World of Light. Brawl had more fun bosses imo and it's boss battles mode was probably more enjoyable--not to mention more accessible.

As far as Hollow Knight's most intensive gauntlets go, as Az mentioned... the Trial of the Fool is harder than the unbound Pantheon of Hallownest. There, I said it. Though I guess they both have a difficulty spike where they remove the floor for awhile. In the trial, you fight aspids and petras and winged fools while being forced to have no place to land and have to base all your attacks while on the walls. Absolutely no healing allowed until the floor comes back. And goddamn floorless Markoth in the pantheon (which is leagues harder than the endboss). But you can still heal for him if you land (there's still five small platforms strewn about in an "X" formation). Both of these floorless sections occur like ~90% through these gauntlets respectively--so if you die, you have a lot of ground to make back up when you try again. But the pantheon allows you to heal between each boss (and Watcher Knights generously have a longer healing period after the fight ends, it's almost as if Team Cherry knew they're a butt of a bossfight to give you extra time to recover for Uumuu who comes next), and you get checkpoints where you can fully refill your health and soul while the trial lacks this. You get more focus being one on one with a boss in the pantheon while you're being constantly assaulted with a barrage on enemies in the trial.

The thing is with gauntlets is that they don't always seem to test skill so much as they test your endurance. Or patience, depending on what exactly is happening. With the example of Hollow Knight, the trial definitely tests skill more aggressively than the Pantheon of Hallownest does, at least a more practical skill of managing multiple enemies at once, which I am not good at. If gauntlets make it into the base game and are required to progress to the end, I'd rather them be more simple in format with very few waves. But if they're like optional for a good upgrade or just a side challenge, then I don't mind them being a bit more extravagant so you can feel like you overcame it and the prize being that much more rewarding. I'm not good at games, so dying doesn't really phase me apart from just like being a grim reminder™ that I suck. Makes me driven to work that much harder to git gud if I like the game enough, though.

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
I don't mind guantlets as long as they aren't too long. The longer they are, the least likely I'm going to stick with it to completion. I only did the Savage Labyrinth and Cave of Ordeals once on the Gamecube versions of The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. For the HD remakes, the former I did only up to getting the Triforce Shard, and for the latter I didn't even do it again, or the Cave of Shadows. If I can avoid them I will. For the longest time with WW on Gamecube I avoided completing the Savage Labyrinth because by time I got to the 31th floor, I was just done with it.


The Artist Formally Known as Deku Shroom™
Jan 21, 2011
Fun Guy
In a game like Mega Man or X, I don’t mind because you’re given the boss’s weakness by this point, so it’s sort of like, go wild with what you’ve learned and let’s see how strong you’ve gotten.

Otherwise, it’s sort of hit and miss. I tend to not prefer it as a forced thing within the plot to advance, but if it’s on the side as extra content, that’s not as bad to me.

Mellow Ezlo

Spoony Bard
Dec 2, 2012
I don't mind gauntlets usually, especially if they're optional. Smash Bros. Boss Battle and All-Star modes are quite fun, as are most boss rushes that some games include. I just don't want them to be required for basic completion of games, I feel like in a lot of instances that would turn people off from the game.

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