The history and future of Lemmings, and a proposal


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/19/the-history-and-future-of-lemm.html


#2

#Let’s go!

~ cue Paula optimized version of a beloved classic


#3

Lemmings could benefit from updated graphics, 3D landscape and maybe some fresh contemporary obstacles (aliens, Facebook identify theft, building a border wall to keep Smurfs out, ect…) but don’t alter the lemmings themselves by making them distinct. They’re lemmings.


#4

[quote=“beschizza, post:1, topic:85664”]After publisher Psygnosis was bought by Sony, though, the Lemmings soon vanished into the corporate archives.[/quote]“Lemmings Touch” just came out two years ago, and wasn’t just another appalling cash-in, or so I understand. But I would agree that the early games certainly deserve to make an appearance on GOG.com.

they never quite cracked the problem of turning the unilemming design into a group of personalities who might appeal to human beings on a level beyond abstraction

Lemmings 2: The Tribes (and its followup, All New World of Lemmings / Lemmings Chronicles) took a pretty good stab at it. And of course there’s The Adventures of Lomax, a 2D platformer which seems to have been largely forgotten and only suggests that experimenting with the property is hardly a guarantee of success.


#5

"Well, there are hard marketing problems when your entire premise is “100
literally identical characters, constantly and comically brutalized”. "

Are you kidding me?!!

That is the SELLING POINT of lemmings. That you can watch hundreds upon hundreds of them die in nasty ways with none of the PTSD.


#6

Yes! Agreed and liked.

But why stop there? How about full 3D graphics, in fact let’s make it a HD 60FPS first-person shooter. Online multiplayer only of course, I want to be racially abused by 12-year-olds while solving those brain-busting puzzles. Speaking of which, let’s scale them back and put in some more cutscenes! Heck, take the puzzles out altogether and sell them as DLC, along with the patches to fix the release-day bugs! Also, forget family-friendly, Lemmings Ultra should be full of R-rated language and -
hook emerges from wings, drags me mercifully off, still raving

(Kidding of course - just an impromptu polemic/state of the gaming address. Lemmings FTW. And General Chaos too, while I’m at it).


#7

I’m amazed the premise of Lemmings hasn’t been retooled for a game about Minions.


#8

But you see…it isn’t just ONE character. There is:

Lemming
Lemming with Parachute
Lemming with Stop Hand
Lemming with Shovel
Lemming with Jack Hammer (oooh BoingBoing Tie in?)


#9

Right, that’s my point. They tried to crack the obvious problem of why Lemmings can’t be franchised (they’re all the same), and the attempts failed for obvious reasons (them being all the same is what’s interesting about it in the first place), and now they’re wondering why Lemmings can’t be franchised.


#10

I think this is maybe close to the Solution, you know. The tool or ability each one has is the only distinguishing feature, visually. And the rest is done with personality (Starring Ricky Gervais as Stop Hand Lemming).

This could work!


#11

(not that I played much beyond the original game and Oh No! Lemmings 2 I dabbled in and that was about it)


#13

One of my earliest PS1 games was Lemmings 3D; It wasn’t crap, iirc.


#14

Aye, I got most of the way through Lemmings 3D; it was definitely a product of its time, though I do have a slight regret that I never finished it. I would say that I can’t see a rerelease as being likely, but then again its world isn’t really all that different from that of Minecraft.


#15

I had 3D Lemmings and remember it actually being a playable, enjoyable extension of the mechanics into a 3D space. I don’t know how much of that is a result of the low bar set by being a kid for whom any video was automatically worth my time by virtue of being a video game, though…


#16

I’m picturing the Lemmings negotiating a supernatural, war-torn world like Diablo III. They keep up their march of attrition despite being smited, frozen, immolated, and gored.

This would be a very good game.


#17

I’ve always viewed Angry birds and especially bad pigs is the spiritual descendant of lemmings. If you are interested in a gameplay descendant, consider pingus:

http://pingus.seul.org/videos.html

Pingus is a penguin-themed lemmings clone that appears to even be available on windows.


#18

But the characters themselves are what makes the game.
What a bullshit. The funny little walking animation gave some charm to the game, that’s true, but the mechanics were what made the game. Period.

Like for example pingus. Different characters, still fun.


#19

Because you’d get to blow Ricky Gervais up to complete the level?


#20

It’s right there in your head already. Stop Hand Gervais Lemming’s spends the entire scene smugly turning away other Lemmings, gigging at their misfortune, only to have to beg for his life from Uncle Bulgaria. Who explodes him.


#21

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