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Lemmings was developed by DMA who are now known as Rockstar North of Grand Theft Auto fame. Who’d a thought such innocent beginnings would lead to such depraved offspring? DMA Design Lemmings Multiformat title: to begin with only multiplayer on the Amiga Originally released on the Commodore Amiga, Lemmings was one of the most …

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Joke

AI in game is terrible

The AI of units in this game is terrible,they just walk right off cliffs and other environmental hazards like they don't even see them.

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Anonymous Coward

AI...

They're Lemmings, who are prone to do such things!

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Headmaster

Unless Disney employees are herding them off cliffs, lemmings aren't particularly prone to suicidal behaviour.

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Joke

@Thomas 18

Don't even get me started on the pathing issues.

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Anonymous Coward

If you've played resi5.

Then you could argue that things haven't improved much over the years.

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DHTML Lemmings

No need for an Amiga ... www.elizium.nu/scripts/lemmings/

I'm sure most people here know that already though...

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My company hates you now. Personally, I love you.

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Joke

all follow the link

well, like lemmings

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Not authentic

Sorry but that game is to easy to cheat on. All you have to do is hold down on the scroll bar and they all stop, shame.

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Anonymous Coward

I think I played it too much

Right now I'm on a half-done Gentoo system that doesn't have sound working yet, and I can still hear it in my head.

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Boffin

@Ragarath

Or, if you want to be really retro and unoriginal, the pause button....?

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Ok so how many people dug a pit to trap them all before suiciding them ? ;)

Awesome game but did get hard towards the end.

Plus this was back in the day when few people had the internet so no falling back to google and youtube for guides... if you were lucky there was a mag guide or your mates knew what to do.

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Devil

RE: TakeTheSkyRoad

I always thought they could have had a really successful sequel if they'd called it "Anti-Lemmings", with the object of the game being to stop any lemmings escaping by using their "skills" to guide them to their doom in the quickest time possible! After wasting many an hour trying to save the ungrateful and unco-operative little b*ggers, I would quite happilly have spent a few deliberately leading them to their death.

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Thanks for the memory

i loved this game, reading your review was a real blast from the past... thankyou.

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The SNES version is incredibly underrated.

The SNES version featured a split-screen multiplayer mode, featuring two teams of Lemmings (a blue team and a green team IIRC) each with their own exit. The twist was that you could use your own Lemmings to guide your buddy's Lemmings into your own exit, and they count towards your own tally.

It's also immensely satisfying to detonate a bomber over one of your friend's bridges without them realising, their first indication being the sound of their little critters squishing off-screen...

Immensely addicting, and up there with my favourite multiplayer experiences of all-time (on a par with Goldeneye 64).

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"Clones" has multiplayer

If you liked Lemmings, then you'll definitely like Clones. Clones is an indie game made by a couple of guys and the game was released last year. It features internet multiplayer (which is fantastically fun) and ton of singleplayer levels. One awesome feature that this game has that Lemmings never had is saving checkpoints (so you don't have to play the level from the beginning each time you fail). Clones is like lemmings on steroids!

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Anonymous Coward

Oh yes. An all time classic, even when it moved on to the playstation so you could play against your uni mates in halls....

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Pint

Two player lemmings

"But only the Amiga had two player lemmings – seriously, not to be missed"

Actually the Megadrive port also had two player lemmings. But yes, it wasn't to be missed.

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Anonymous Coward

You missed Nintendo DS from the platforms

(Anonymous for legal reasons!)

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FAIL

This is a Classic Games article. Lemmings was not released for the Nintendo DS in the early 90s, for the rather good reason that the DS wasn't invented for another 15 years, and so it was excluded from the list of platforms.

On the other foot, I think the Amstrad CPC should have been included. It got its port about the same time as the Spectrum did, and it was the best 8-bit port - colourful, still capable of throwing 60 lemmings about if memory serves, and losing only a little in the switch from mouse to joystick control.

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Anonymous Coward

We've got the C64 version somewhere.

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Happy

Best 8-bit version?

SAM Coupé version FTW :)

...for the handful of us that owned one!

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Happy

Oh yes, Lemmings. Actually, the closest thing I ever saw (at the time) that got close to the Amiga's original version was the version that was released for the Acorn Archimedes. OK, no two player, but it managed everything else, sound and vision, something that the 8-bit versions weren't quite up to on all fronts and the PC version... well let's just say that the PC's graphics back then were a bit of a joke compared with something like the Amiga or even the Speccy!

I can actually remember teaching a person that was new to using a mouse based system how to use a mouse using an Acorn A3000 running Lemmings! Certainly the game was an original and provided something that so many forget about these days in their rush for graphic and sonic perfection - fun!

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Increasing difficulty

For me the defining aspect of this game as compared to something like Angry Birds was that the levels got harder and required more thinking as you progressed. Many hours spent playing this when i should have been studying.

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Go

I remember!

There was an excellent article in .EXE magazine (remember that people?) by your own delightful Verity Stob, about playing Lemmings and then breaking into the office to complete a level having dreamt of the solution? Any chance of a link? Can't find it on Google...

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It's in the <a href="http://www.apress.com/9781590594421">book</a> - page 50.

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Cheers! It was a good story but not so good I'd want to *pay* for it...

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Yag
Mushroom

Innocents?

Oh no!

*POP* *POP* *POP* *POP* *POP* *POP* *POP* *POP*

I still remember the 2 player games, ending most of the time with not a single furry creature saved...

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Happy

So many wasted hours...

I spent a hugely disproportionate amount of my time getting frustrated by Lemmings. Your review has me remembering all sorts of things.

- The level where you had to dig 50 lemmings though the very thin ground to bring to a non-suidical falling height. Painstaking precision required.

- The more creative sources of lemming death - squashers, fire, that chain thing that would lynch them.

- Frustration of building a crazy stairs maze when you just want your lemmings out. Clicking the right one of about 100 lemmings in a hole 20 pixels wide was sheer luck.

Fond memories. Thanks el Reg!

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Anonymous Coward

Truly a great game ...

But if I get the Amiga out of the loft/garage and get my children addicted to it then my wife will kill me.

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Anonymous Coward

Wife, kids and Amiga in the garage

Ignore her! Your kids deserve it (the game and some quality time with their father).

Of course... Ignoring someone who wants to kill you may become dangerous to your health

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Devil

Lemmings is sinfully good fun

I worked in the games industry at the beginning of the nineties, and one of the more amusing things stuck to our office's wall-of-fun was a copy of a letter that was doing the rounds of the games companies, passed on by various guys who know a guy at DMA Design.

The first three-quarters of the letter explained how the writer had bought Lemmings for their two sons, how much they loved it for its "educational possibilities" and how wonderful the whole game was...

...Then it got a bit excitable.

Apparently everything was fine until they got to the Hell-themed levels. Satanic content? Not actually the problem. The real problem was that you were saving the Lemmings from Hell, and only through the acceptance of Our Lord Jesus Christ can you be saved from eternal damnation and by rescuing the Lemmings from their presumably justified fate, DMA Design were assuming the powers of GOD HIMSELF and risking their very own immortal souls. But other than that, it was a splendid game and the writer hoped very much that there would be a sequel, with his comments taken on-board.

It should go without saying that the letter came from a location a wee bit to the west of the UK.

It should also go without saying that DMA Design paid great heed to the fellow's comments and none of their subsequent games have been anything but good old-fashioned uncontroversial family fun.

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Cracking stuff

I can't even begin to imagine what he made of Lemmings Paintball.

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Childcatcher

"two sons"

One can only hope they turned out ok in spite of all that

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Sir

I remember we started a 5 man paintball squad back in the 90's called the lemmings.

We would get everyone there to walk out to site in single file whistling the theme tune :D

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Happy

I hope

...that green wigs were mandatory. Or at the very least green mop-heads!

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Trollface

Please, ask around..

We need to see a copy of this letter, suitably redacted if needs be.

Something this classic, if true, deserves to be preserved online somewhere.

someone must have kept a copy..

Then again, thinking about the sort of crap I used to get up to back then, trolling wasn't born with this face..

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Anonymous Coward

two players

The Atari ST also had the two player mode - brilliant for sibling warfare, blow up your brother's bridges and send his lemmings to their doom......

I have Lemmings 3D for PC, where the "game world" is a cylinder that rotates so you can only see one side at a time.........very very difficult indeed.

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Headmaster

titular option

Actually, that's Lemmings Revolution. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmings_Revolution for more info.

There is a fully 3D Lemmings game called unsurprisingly 3D Lemmings. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Lemmings for more info.

Personally I like all of the lemmings games. Nuke 'em all, I say :)

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Windows

About two years ago I was in a club in Edinburgh where this drunk old dude was cracking on to me by telling me he was responsible for creating Lemmings.

I thought he was full of shit and told him so, which made him quite angry. It is only now that I realise that he may have been telling the truth, the club in question was literally over the road from Rockstar North's office in Edinburgh at the time.

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Music!!!

One of the greatest things about lemmings was the music - as soon as I think about the game, I start humming along ;->.

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No! No! No!

Not the music!

Argh - humming now.

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I still can't hear Scotland the Brave or the can-can without imagining little falsetto voices saying "Oh no!" and "Yippee!"

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Music!!!

Ah yes, "The Good, The Bad and the Lemmings", "How Much is that Lemming in the Window" and, of course the classic "Oh Little Town of Bethle-lem"! :-)

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Happy

Music? You got it!

Do a search on YouTube for "Lemmings Music" - you'll find various people have uploaded all the tunes for your entertainment. I've even uploaded the complete set of Acorn tunes (same username as here) - although I'll need to re-record / re-upload some as I forgot to mute my microphone, therefore you can occasionally hear background sounds on some tracks... :)

Oh, I've also uploaded the complete set of tunes for the Acorn version of "Oh no!" - even more "elevator music" (as the main screen scroll text describes the tunes - which you'll be humming for the rest of the day...)

And just to annoy everyone:

They'll be coming round the mountain when they come...

Ten green lemmings...

London bridge is falling down...

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Over the edge

Man that bring back memories. What a brilliant concept it was at the time too! I played the DOS version on my beloved 386 box.

I recall spending hours making them dig across, dig up, dig down, stop other lemmings, build steps and my favourite, explode, in my never ending quest to steer these obedient and sacrificial little lemmings to their destination and often to their fate.

The backdrops were brilliant too, with hills and pillars waiting to be dug through or crossed.

This was the simple era of gaming when programmers could keep us entertained for hours on end with an encapsulating game that would run on the most meagre AT system and video cards.

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Archimedes

I was still in school back then and we used to play Lemmings on the Archimedes at lunch times. I remember it was a kind of race to see who could complete it first. After completing the 100th level the reward was a black and white scanned photo of the DMA team and sampled audio of them clapping and cheering. There must have only been five or six of them, so this sounded entirely sarcastic. It was awesome! :)

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Def
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The Archimedes version also managed to run at full speed with 100 lemmings on screen. All the other versions (that I've played) started dropping frames when the action became too frantic.

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An apocryphal story, maybe?

A story you sometimes here is that the development of Windows 3.1 was delayed when all the programmers became addicted to the Archimedes version of Lemmings on a machine they'd imported.

As I'm unable to find any sort of source for it beyond other people that think they've heard it too, It's probably not a true story.

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<sarcastic>Ah but you couldn't have played it on the Arc since it only came out on the Amiga, Atari ST, Sinclair Spectrum and PC.</sarcastic>

Seriously, I've never really worked out why the Archimedes versions of games were generally ignored by the media.

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