The Gauntlet is an interdimensional labyrinth that pulls together realms from across time and space to act as its challenges. With the wizard Morak acting as the current unwilling warden, the Gauntlet has drawn on 3 locations to guard the shards of the sword Tyrfing. In addition to the entrance to the Gauntlet proper, heroes will have to brave:
Each realm consists of 7 main story levels as well as 3 optional side levels. Upon entering The Gauntlet the player will immediately enter The Crypts, followed by The Caverns, and finally The Temple. Levels are unlocked sequentially, with the optional side levels branching off from the main story path. To progress through each realm you must complete 3 puzzle levels, 2 run levels, and an arena level, before facing a final guardian of the realm. Defeating the guardian will earn a fragment of Tyrfing and unlock the first level of the next realm to be visited. In short, a total of 18 levels and 3 boss battles must be overcome to beat the game, with 9 more optional side levels that can be unlocked as well.
Beating a main story level unlocks the next one down the tree. The main story is indicated by a gold trail between the levels, while the branching side paths have a silver trail between them. The boss levels are indicated by a demonic skull icon, the randomly generated run levels with a square, the arena levels with a sword and shield, and the puzzle levels with a circle. Each level's icon is encrusted with a gem which cracks when the level is beaten.