The Lost Vikings (series)
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The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling puzzle/platform video game series which was developed by Silicon & Synapse (later Blizzard Entertainment). The first game, The Lost Vikings, was released in 1992 by publisher Interplay Entertainment for DOS, Amiga, Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System among others. The sequel, The Lost Vikings 2 (known in the United States as Norse By Norsewest: Return of the Lost Vikings and in Europe as Lost Vikings 2: Norse by Norsewest), was developed by Beam Software and released in 1997 by Interplay for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC. It featured a new super deformed style for the characters as well as voiced dialogue samples. A version for the Super NES, developed by Blizzard, was released later the same year.
The main characters in both games are three Vikings, Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout. The goal is to guide all Vikings safely through each level. A major gameplay feature is due to the fact that the player controls three different characters (although only one at any given time), and must make use of their individual abilities and work as a team to solve puzzles and progress through the game. This also means that the characters who are not controlled at the moment remain open to hazards and must either be protected or left in safety. Some levels require precise timing to control the characters simultaneously - in one early level, the player must jump down a shaft with Olaf, using his shield as a hang glider, and as Olaf slowly descends, must use another Viking to clear his path. Each Viking has a limited amount of health which decreases when attacked by enemies, and several environmental hazards (spikes, electricity, water) are able to kill the characters instantly. The player may continue the level after losing a Viking, but the level cannot be completed without all three Vikings kept alive. After losing a Viking and restarting the level, a small cutscene of a Norse funeral plays, with a lightning strike respawning the Viking to his remaining comrades.
In some versions, a second and a third player can join and control the other two characters.
The respective stories of the games unfold in dialogues as the Vikings encounter other characters, as well as humorous bicker between the Vikings themselves at the end of each level.
The Lost Vikings
The Lost Vikings was originally released for the Super NES, then subsequently released for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, and Mega Drive/Genesis systems the next year; the Genesis version contains five stages not present in any other version of the game. Blizzard re-released the game for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. The GBA port is identical to the Super NES version, but the password feature has been removed and replaced with three save slots, meaning the player cannot replay any level at any time.
The game features infinite opportunities of retries in case the player loses one of the Vikings. Art director Samwise Didier has stated that the character design for "Erik the Swift" was based on childhood friend Michael Cripps.
The Lost Vikings 2
The sequel takes place after the first game and features the original three characters plus two new playable characters, Fang the wolf and Scorch the dragon. However, to avoid becoming too complex, the game only lets the player control three of the five characters in each level. The gameplay remains largely the same, though the pre-existing characters all have new or modified abilities.
The Vikings have also shown up from time to time in other Blizzard games.
Both Olaf and Baleog make an appearance in the 1993 game Rock n' Roll Racing; Olaf can be unlocked as a hidden character, while Baleog appears on several billboards advertising "Viking Cola" on the planet Bogmire.
Erik and Baleog's faces appear as animated sculptures in the stage “Clay Keep” in Interplay's SNES title “ClayFighter 2: Judgment Clay”.
They have also appeared as NPCs in Blizzard's MMORPG World of Warcraft in the dungeon Uldaman. One of the quests in Uldaman also requires the player to collect the Shaft of Tsol and Amulet of Gni'Kiv, which spell out "Lost" and "Vik'ing" when read backwards. The shaft and amulet are combined to form the Staff of Prehistoria, which fits the theme of Uldaman and also is an area in The Lost Vikings. In the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion, they feature prominently in a quest line for the Alliance faction in the Badlands area of Eastern Kingdoms. In World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Olaf can appear as one of the random daily quest NPCs if you have the Frostwolf Tavern/Lunarfall Inn as a building in your Garrison.
In the Frozen Throne's "Monolith" scenario, the names for the Dark Troll Commando hero are the same as those for the Lost Vikings: Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce and Olaf the Stout.
The Lost Vikings II contains several references to Blizzard's other games. In the "Dark Ages" period of time, Erik the Swift accidentally gets teleported to the "Swamps of Sorrow", which is a prominent location in the game Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (this region was later seen as a ladder map in Warcraft III and as a zone in World of Warcraft). Also, one of Tomator's monitors shows Rock n' Roll Racing playing.
A unit in Blizzard's StarCraft II is called the Viking, and there is a picture of the unit on their website, subtitled The Lost Vikings. In addition to this, repeatedly selecting the Viking unit in StarCraft II makes the Viking pilot mention Erik, Baleog, and Olaf getting lost, as he tries to contact them. He also sets in co-ordinates for Norse by Norse-west. There is also an arcade console in the Cantina of Battleship Hyperion in StarCraft II called The Lost Viking, which is a playable mini-game.
Their most recent appearance is as playable heroes in Blizzard's crossover multiplayer online battle arena video game, Heroes of the Storm (2015). Unlike other heroes in the game, who are played as a single unit, selecting the Lost Vikings gives the player control over all three Vikings, allowing them to control them as individuals or to issue commands to all three at once. Erik is faster than most other heroes, and attacks from range with a slingshot. Baleog has the greatest attack power of the three, and throws swords from a medium range, dealing area damage to enemies near his target. Olaf has the highest health pool, and recovers quickly when out of combat.
- Gobliiins, an earlier puzzle-solving game dependent on three different characters
- Project Eden, described as a 3D cyberpunk version of The Lost Vikings
- Fish Fillets NG
- "The Lost Vikings GBA". Kidzworld. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Wawro, Alex (2 May 2014). "Rock n' Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings now free on Battle.net". Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "The Lost Vikings are back as playable hero in Heroes of the Storm". Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved 16 July 2018.