A highly addictive
game. It is difficult to find a category
it into- basically it's an action
, kind of, ish. It is, one-of-a-kind, unique, and the only other game in this universe with a kind of similarity to it is its sequel, The Lost Vikings 2
There's also Humans
, which is quite fun, and lemmings
but the Lost Vikings games are pretty much in a class all on their own. Designed by Ronald Miller
, developed by Silicon and Synapse
, published by Interplay
One night, after a successful hunt, three vikings- Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce and Olaf the Stout- are abducted by evil alien Tomator. (Because all evil aliens need innocent abductees). Aboard Tomator's ship is a timewarp, so, not only do the three find themselves lost in space, but their attempts to get back home by entering the first door into the unknown they see (it's always worked for me) also loses them in time. The point is simple, you basically have to guide the three around puzzles to the clearly marked Exits at the ends.
There are five different times, or worlds, the vikings visit- first is the spaceship they are initally sucked up into, unsuspecting; after this, they are transported to the Prehistoric world, after this to the deserts and pyramids of ancient Egypt, then to some factories in an indeterminate time (possibly in the future relative to us, as there are seemingly intelligent machines walking around these factories programmed to destroy the intruders), then to the scariest, creepiest, funkiest, freakiest place imaginable, Wacky World, and finally they are sent back to the ship they first found themselves on, Tomator's ship. Each world has a number of different zones within it. They all have their own 4-character long password to access them, each with it's own significance to the level.
Each Viking has his own merits. Apart from being hairier than the average bear, they all possess certain skills which mean either they rely on others or the others rely on them to pull them out of whatever pickles they find themselves in. This means you have to make the three work as a team, constantly switching between the different characters so they can do their job for the rest. Making the three work as a team is not as easy a task as it sounds, as they are constantly at each other's throats, And Erik seems to be the only Viking in the trio with a level head.
Erik is the only Viking who can jump in this game, though his jumping abilities are limited. The other two can't jump at all, and Erik is always required to propel the other two into the air using a conveniently-placed lever wherever they may find one. (Everything in this game is very conveniently placed, if you can appreciate the convenience of it all- but nobody else in video games wonders about this sort of stuff, Olaf). Erik can also rush at great speed into walls and knock them down with the awesome power of his speed combined with the hardness of his helmet. His dashing abilities allows him to run past, and also to damage enemies. Baleog has a saber and a bow with a lifetime's supply of arrows. He basically clobbers monsters. His saber is good for short-range attacks and his bow is good for long-range attacks. He cannot jump, or even step over obstructive bumps in the ground. His arrows have other uses, other than for killing- they can also hit switches too far away or obscurely-placed for anybody's hands to reach. In the Factory and Wacky World levels, he can use them cut off gas supplies and kill flames, allowing the Vikings to pass without becoming smoldered to ashes. There is also a special item he can pick up, around the Factory levels, which is a flame arrow. This annihilates enemies instantly. Olaf the Stout is a big tubby lump of lard, but is very sensitive about his weight. What he contributes to the group is the fact that he carries a shield around with him. This shield can be used to block enemy attacks, and flames and missiles coming out from the walls. When he holds it above him and drops, it acts as a parachute, and he falls as gracefully as anybody can fall. Falling from a great height will severely damage the other two, but it hurts Olaf none. His shield can also be used to stand upon, which is useful when Baleog needs to get up somewhere high-but-not-very-high, or there is somewhere Erik can't get to and needs a little height, or to break Erik or Baleog's fall.
The screen is split up into four parts- there is the main screen, where the level is set out, the puzzle you must solve through three hairy Norsemen. At the top of the screen are three boxes, and a little bit more (this little bit more is a trashcan into which you may dump your unwanted items to make room for more). On each one is the face of a Viking, and room for four items, no more. Below the space for items is a line of three red blobs. This is the Viking damage meter. If a Viking gets damaged, he loses a blob, and if he loses all three blobs, he becomes a pile of bones. Three strikes and you're out. The Vikings can get damaged by enemies attacking them or bumping into them. Items are usually food, to recover health, or keys, which are used for opening doors (gasp!), and bombs, which blow down walls Erik can't, but around the Universe are scattered some special items, such as Baleog's flame arrow. Other than this are things like, the multibomb, also known as the Omega, which basically destroys everything with evil in its heart that you can see. Items can be traded between Vikings.
Sadly, this game is no longer in print, and I'm told it is illegal to download roms, so, if you don't already own, or know somebody who owns a copy, you're fudged. You can play the demo online at www.blizzard.com/blizzclassic/vikingsdemo.shtml, however. I would look in second hand shops, but it's highly unlkely you will ever find what you want.