dennis;;callmebackdraft;;big red timemachine;;dma;;lemmings;;1991;;pc;;puzzle platform Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers

LEMMINGS

By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on October 21, 2016

We meet again, guys and girls, for another trip to the good old days! Since the last meeting with the overlord of this office, I must say that things seem quite lovely here. I do wonder how long it takes for him to lose his temper agai...

Sadhonker?! Why are you pointing a shotgun at my face... again? I was under the impression that you promised not to use it on me ever again, as long is I didn't tinker on the Timemachine without permission. Now, calm down one second; what are you looking for? A He-man figurine? Why in the hell would I need a He-man figurine? Holy crap man, get yourself together; I have no use for such a thing! And for heaven's sake, just get rid of the shotgun already! It is useless, anyway. I know not to trust you, so I wasn't really confident in you not using it whenever you got angry about something... so I removed the firing pin.


Now are you calm and collected again? No? Just collected then ? For the last time, I don't know where the figurine is. However, I do remember you saying something about meeting yourself again when you got into the office the other day. Apparently, your other self was rummaging through your stuff and now you lost something. Quite the coincidence, don't you think? I am quite sure you have stolen your He-man figurine yourself. Or, at least, some version of you... Right! Now that we got that out of the way, I am going to take our friends on a blast to the past, so... bye!

Alright dudes and dudettes, sorry about that. It seems like things are back to normal once again, which means one thing and one thing only: let's get back to business and go to 1991, the year in which developer DMA Design (now known as Rockstar North) and publisher Psygnosis released a game called Lemmings. The game on which I spent a whole lot of time in back in the day.

Lemmings had a real original take on the puzzle platforming genre, by simply taking direct control over the characters away from the players. The goal of the game was pretty simple, get the lovely, though somewhat dim-witted characters from the drop point to the end point safely. However simple it seemed though, it could get quite complicated pretty quick. This is because the lemmings aren't the smartest pickles in the jar, and they didn't understand the concept of danger at all. When they start moving in one direction they are adamant on continuing that way until they bump their pixelated little faces into a wall. Only then, they would realize they couldn't continue any further and start moving in the opposite direction. Other than that, however, they wouldn't even flinch before running into crushers, shredders, lava or acid and, of course, bottomless pits.


A lot of obstacles would stand between the Lemmings and their ultimate goal, and you had to help them reach it. This, which was no mean feat, was done by giving the little fellas jobs to complete, which could range anywhere from blocking other lemmings to making stairs or from digging holes to making them explode to clear a path! Most importantly, while doing so, you always had to keep the limitations of their little bodies in mind! So you had to make sure you didn't drop the from too big of a height let them get stuck in the craters left by the explosions for instance. Also, you had to keep in mind the minimum number of Lemmings that needed to reach the exit in order to complete a level successfully.

All of this made for a challenge that really made you think of what to do, while keeping in mind not to get stuck on whatever obstacle would be next. Especially since, in every level, the type and number of jobs you could hand out were limited. This combination of factors made for a game that was both challenging and fun, even if only for that moment in which you knew you had absolutely no chance to finish a level. Because this, boys and girls, meant you got to click the "nuke" button twice to start a self detonation timer on all of the remaining lemmings. Then you would just sit back and watch them explode into a bagillion pieces of Lemming-confetti. Oh No!


With the destruction of my remaining Lemmings, another one of our travels to way-back-when has come to an end. But don't cry for us, Argentina, because there is good new! Our adventure will continue the next time we take control of the only machine in existence that defies the laws of space and time. I am still worried, though. The Master of Disaster back home has not been himself lately. It seems like his memory is lapsing; to the point that he even forgets a visit from a former "him", just a couple of days before his He-Man rant. I wonder if the many travels he has been on with the Timemachine have somehow damaged his synapses... Or maybe, just maybe, the Sadhonker we have running around the office now isn't the Sadhonker that should be in this day and age... hmm, better keep my head on a swivel when I'm around the office...


LEMMINGS
DMA Design & Psygnosis
1991