The NES version varied greatly from the others as well as the game show itself in that the events were morphed into side-scrolling and overhead mini-levels that only partially resembled the real-life events.
Each joust event involved four different gladiator battles atop platforms, with a series of joust platforms to be jumped across in between battles.
Human Cannonball also required four gladiators to be beaten with perfectly timed leaps off the rope while the gladiator’s platform elevated up and down, making the task that much more difficult. In this event and the Joust, gladiators screamed gratuitously (and often humorously) as they were knocked off the platforms.
The Wall featured numerous screens full of handholds and footholds with various obstacles, walls, floors and occasional treacherous stretches featuring empty spaces with very few handholds to navigate in order to advance. The gladiators were plentiful and attacked at different points in the wall level. They also moved twice as fast as the character. The wall was a particularly tough event due to its difficult controls that involved repeated rhythmic tapping of the A and B buttons with the directional pad to simulate the movement of the left and right hands to different handholds.
Assault featured a battle with a gladiator in a moving target at the top of the screen (unlike the stationary gladiator in the television series) which took between three and six successful hits to subdue, while the player’s character could absorb three before being defeated.
The most accurate representation of any event in the game was Powerball, an event in which players could not lose a ‘life’ as they could in any other event, but only gain a 1UP if players evaded the three gladiators and scored a ball in each of the five baskets. (Players could also earn two more extra lives if they could accomplish the task again in the same time limit, which decreased between levels.)