Lemmings is a puzzle video game originally developed by DMA Design and first published by Psygnosis for the Amiga, Atari ST and PC in 1991. The game was programmed by Mike Dailly and David Jones, and was inspired by a simple animation that Dailly created while experimenting with Deluxe Paint.
The objective of the game is to guide a group of anthropomorphic creatures called Lemmings through a number of obstacles to a designated exit. To save the required number of lemmings to win, one must determine how to assign a limited number of eight different skills to specific Lemmings that allow the selected Lemming to alter the landscape, to affect the behaviour of other Lemmings, or to clear obstacles to create a safe passage for the rest of the Lemmings.
Lemmings was one of the best-received video games of the early 1990s. It was the second highest rated game in the history of Amstrad Action. Lemmings is also one of the most widely ported video games, and is estimated to have sold over 15 million copies between its various ports.
The PC Engine port has many differences from the original. Levels seem different: stretched a little on the x axis and a compressed on the y axis. Maximum amount of Lemmings is 64 instead of 100. There is no fast scrolling through levels, so you can either very slowly drag the camera with the cursor, or you can skip to a specific point on the minimap. Skipping stops the game and it makes the screen go black for a moment. Lemmings can jump up a higher ground than usual. Selecting Lemmings works differently. You cannot change tasks or change release rate and move the cursor at the same time. You cannot precisely select a Lemming that is a pixel away from the one already doing the same task, but at the same time the game automatically chooses nearest Lemming facing left when you have your cursor on a bunch of Lemmings. The game also prioritizes Diggers when assigning Build task to a bunch of Lemmings. Some features and traps are missing on some levels while some are added on other levels. Lemmings do not accept tasks if they already have two (e.g. an Athlete will not accept tasks while it is Climbing or Floating). Floating is less safe and needs to be assigned way before impact with the ground or else the Floater will die; Lemmings do not accept tasks after their Bomber timer starts, so you have to assign whatever you want them doing first before making them into Bombers; Bomber Climbers fall down when they start playing Bomber animation; Blockers allow Lemmings to go very close to them, which makes saving them with Diggers very easy, but at the same time it is almost impossible to save them with a Miner; they also allow a Lemming to pass through them if it gets close at the same moment you make Blocker into a Bomber; the closer distance also means it is impossible to make them into a one-way passage when you put them on a first pixel of a ladder; Building is very fast, so much that it makes multitasking harder, especially because the time a Lemming spends shrugging and walking off a ladder is now less than a second; Builders also have a higher “tolerance” towards how deeply their ladder goes into terrain, so it is harder to use Building to make a Lemming turn away; Bashing is slower, and Bashers ignore small gaps in terrain and hover over them; Mining is slower and is done at exactly the same angle as Building, so it is impossible to make a Lemming turn away by Building when it walks up a tunnel.
There is a 2 Player mode from the original Amiga version where two people play on the same field and each control their own Lemming tribe moving to their own goal. The players can compete with each other by foiling each other’s solutions and by redirecting their opponent’s Lemmings to walk into another goal to steal points.
I tried to save Lemmings whenever possible, but there probably are a few levels that could’ve been solved better. I don’t know which levels have better solutions or what these solutions are because I didn’t find any guides for this port, and differences in terrain and mechanics make original solutions unviable. You have to choose between music and sound, I choose music. After beating the game, I show sounds, death animations and different messages you get depending on how many Lemmings you saved.
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