The Lost Vikings

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The Lost Vikings
The Lost Vikings
Packaging for the Super NES version.
Developer(s) Silicon & Synapse
Publisher(s) Interplay Entertainment (1993), Blizzard Entertainment (2003)
Designer(s) Ron Millar
Composer(s) Allister Brimble (Amiga and Amiga CD32 conversion)
Charles Deenen (original SNES music)
Matt Furniss (Genesis music)
Glenn Stafford (DOS conversion)
Platform(s) Amiga, Amiga CD32, Game Boy Advance, MS-DOS, Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES, PlayStation
Release date(s) 1993, 2003
Genre(s) Puzzle, platformer
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative

The Lost Vikings is a puzzle-platform video game developed by Silicon & Synapse (now Blizzard Entertainment) and published by Interplay. It was originally released for the Super NES in 1993, then subsequently released for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, and Mega Drive/Genesis systems the next year; the Mega Drive/Genesis version contains five stages not present in any other version of the game.[1] Blizzard re-released the game for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2014 the game was added to Battle.net as a free download emulated through DOSBox.[2]

In The Lost Vikings, the player controls three separate Vikings with different abilities. The three Vikings must work together to finish each level and find their way back home. A sequel, The Lost Vikings 2, was released in 1997.

Plot[edit]

An in-game screenshot. In the main play area are the three playable characters (l-r): Olaf the Stout, Baleog the Fierce, and Erik the Swift.

Three Vikings — Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout — get kidnapped by Tomator, emperor of the alien Croutonian empire, for an inter-galactic zoo. They are able to escape the ship, but get lost in various periods of time. They must traverse various bizarre locations, and eventually confront and defeat Tomator, to find their way home.

Gameplay[edit]

The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling platform adventure in which the player alternates control of the three Viking characters, guiding each of them one at a time (though control may be swapped from character to character at any point) from a designated start point in each level to the exit (The game offers a two-player cooperative mode in which each player simultaneously controls one Viking and is allowed to change control to the third, unused Viking at any point). Every level is designed such that each Viking must contribute his unique skills to help the other two through to the end. Similarly, to finish the level, all three characters must reach the exit point. The Vikings each have three health points which they can lose by getting hurt by enemies or by falling from great heights. Should any Viking run out of health points, he dies; gameplay will then continue with any remaining Vikings, but the level becomes unwinnable, and the player will eventually have to restart the level and try again (the game offers unlimited continues).

Each Viking has the ability to carry and use items — such as keys, bombs, and food (which restore health points) — as well as a unique set of skills:

  • Erik can run faster than the other two, can jump, and can bash through some walls (and enemies) with his helmet.
  • Baleog can kill enemies with his sword, or from a distance with his bow (and a "life-time supply of arrows"). The bow can also be used to hit switches from a distance.
  • Olaf can block enemies and their projectiles with his shield and use his shield as a hang glider. Olaf's shield can also be used as a platform to for Baleog to walk over and to allow Erik to reach higher areas.

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World in 1993 called The Lost Vikings "a clever blend of comedy and role playing". The magazine concluded that "the game is a unique puzzle solving adventure, great for people who enjoy using their cerebral cortex along with their eye to hand coordination".[3] Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1994 gave the Genesis version a 6.8 out of 10, remarking that "The music doesn't have the kick of the [Super NES] version (or the truly colorful graphics)", but that it is generally a well done conversion of "a really good puzzle game".[4] Mega placed the game at #22 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20010215105033/http://www.blizzard.com/blizz-anniversary/timeline.shtml
  2. ^ Wawro, Alex (May 2, 2014). "Rock n' Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings now free on Battle.net". Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ Wilson, David (December 1993). "Vikings Just Wanna Have Fun". Computer Gaming World. p. 222. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Review Crew: The Lost Vikings". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (54): 46. January 1994. 
  5. ^ Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994