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Playing it Cool: Man sets new world record on classic 'Gauntlet' arcade game

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An iconic Atari arcade classic has a new champion warrior.

39-year-old gamer Russ Cool set a new world record on 1985's Gauntlet on December 7 while playing at the Timeline Arcade in Hanover, Pennsylvania. His score of 5,127,073 points, accomplished on a single coin, took the veteran more than 18 hours to achieve. The new score topples the previous world record by several hundred thousand points.

"I was 11 or 12 when I first saw Gauntlet at the local mall arcade," Cool recalled. "I think what drew me to the machine was how the machine kind of talked back to you. If I ever saw a Gauntlet to play I would jump on and start playing."

Cool's record setting run came after a discussion between him and Timeline Arcade operator Brandon Spencer back in the August. Once the discussion turned toward the timeless Atari coin-op, Cool took some time to show the arcade owner what he could do.

"He wanted to see how far I could go," the new champion stated. "We had looked it up and saw that I was short about 800,000 points from the record. That made up my mind about really taking a shot at the score."

Unlike many other arcade classics, Gauntlet does not allow players to build up extra lives which allow them to take needed breaks during marathon playing sessions. Cool says this made him concerned about staying awake long enough to break the existing world record score. Now, after showing himself that he can go the distance, Cool says he plans to push the numbers higher.

"I think 5 million points is pretty low," he added. "Deep down inside I think I can really push the score. I won't be happy until I double it. That is my goal for the next year."

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This interview was conducted by the author. All quotes and information obtained first appeared here. Please provide proper attribution to the author if using this material within any other source.

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