Lost Vikings Loading Scene

Released in 1992 originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and then for DOS, Amiga, Sega Mega Drive and SNES, this classic puzzle/platform game is an experience of true team work driven by three funny characters – Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce and Olaf the Stout – The Lost Vikings.

As their names reveal, each character has a specific ability and the player’s challenge is to make use of those abilities in order to drive the three Vikings safely through the levels. While playing this game the most interesting was to feel that I was responsible to keep the three characters alive, and that they depend on each other to hit the targets. Differently from most platform games at the time, I was not just  inside the skin of one character, but of  three at the same time, with their own capabilities and personalities.

The player can just control one Viking at time, but he can switch the character everytime and he must assure that all three Vikings reach the exit alive, otherwise he won’t finish the level. I can remember the boat in flames that appears each time I finish the level after losing one of them.

Erik can run faster than Baleog and Olaf. The red beard Viking can also jump and destroy walls and beat enemies using his helmet.

Baleog is the weapons guy: with his sword, bow and arrows he is the most effective killing tough enemies. The arrows are very useful to press buttons at some distance too.

Olaf, the fat guy (his shirt can’t cover his belly), has a shield which he uses not only for protect him and his friends, but also as a hang glider or as a step to help Erik reaching high grounds.

Kidnapped by Tomator, emperor of the alien Croutonian empire, the Vikings just want to find their way home. They must beat strange creatures and find creative solutions to keep walking through the puzzles and finish the levels. At the beginning and end of each level they have some funny dialogues between them, usually about what they´re felling.

And now, a small quiz: Do you know who created this game?

That’s right, the game was developed at time by Silicon & Synapse, later called Blizzard Entertainment! That might say a lot about the quality of the game…

Did you know also that references of The Lost Vikings  can be found in other well known Blizzard’s games, such as World of Warcraft? Find out more in:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Vikings#Cameo_appearances

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre Europe is officially my favorite strategy game from the ZX Spectrum era. It also was a great source of inspiration for The Dumbest Game. The game goes back to the cold war and simulates a scenario where the forces of NATO and Warsaw Pact were fighting on Europe to take control over Berlin.

It was a turn based game, where all units were displayed on the map. When a unit was attacked, the user could enter in a mini-game to participate in the battle.

But it was a mere turn based game. The user could launch a powerful nuclear strike to knock out the other side. This action was very theatrical. The user had to call a special number to get the password to start the nuclear attack. I can still remember the password… “midnight sun”.

Unfortunately, when one of the sides launched the attack, the other side would always do the same. It was impossible to win the game without destroying the entire world with hundreds of missiles falling everywhere. No one would ever wine, that’s the bottom line. When the computer was losing… here we go…

The development team made a deep research on the military units available on each side. One curious fact is that they considerably reduced the Warsaw Pact’s units in the game, to make it balanced. Otherwise one of the sides would always win. It seems NATO forces were heavily outnumbered by then.

More about the game can be found here.