We Need Another “The Lost Vikings” Game


We Need Another The Lost Vikings Game

The Lost Vikings is a 1992 Super Nintendo game by Blizzard. Yes, that Blizzard. It is an action/puzzle game where you control three Norsemen through caves and spaceships. The challenge comes from applying each of the three Vikings’ unique abilities to the situation you find yourself in. The Lost Vikings and its sequel have a strong challenge level that rewards creative thinking. This combined with a unique sense of humor found within the dialogue sets the stage for an excellent pair of games that Blizzard ought to revisit.

The plot: a spaceship abducts three Vikings in the Dark Ages; hilarity ensues. If you give more than cursory attention to this game’s storyline, you’re doing it wrong. What makes it enjoyable is the tight level design that demands ingenuity from the player and the tools the three Vikings possess. Erik the Swift can run, jump, and bash things with his helmeted head; Baelog the Fierce can kill stuff close and far as well as use his arrows to strike switches that the others can’t reach; Olaf the Stout can block enemy movements and attacks and can somehow glide using his shield. (It’s a testament to this game’s greatness that I can remember their names and abilities despite not having played the game in years.)

So when you play a level, you can position the_lost_vikings_gameplayOlaf in front of a monster horde to keep them at bay while Baelog attacks them with his bow and Erik runs the other direction in search of a switch to open the path. You the player are pressing the SNES’s L and R buttons (who am I kidding, you’re playing this on an emulator if anything) to promptly switch between the three, using their skills at the right times and places, and with proper timing. Despite the cramped corridors and poky movement speeds of two of your characters, The Lost Vikings is quite a fast-paced and tense experience.

Mercifully, you get infinite continues and access to a password system, and the jokes the Vikings make after a few of your screwups keeps the mood light, like The Adventures of Lolo. This is a challenging game but not a repressively brutal one; it’s the bear porridge that’s just right.

The Lost Vikings’ final level poses a fascinating solution: [blackout]not through fighting the alien overlord Tomator, but by sharing. Not in some dumb cutscene, but through the game mechanics. It’s cooler than it sounds.[/blackout] This is emblematic of everything I love about the game. When you hear “puzzle game” you typically think of Tetris and Bejeweled clones, but The Lost Vikings presents honestly puzzling puzzles whose solutions aren’t immediately apparent.

There was a 1997 sequel that added two more characters as well as enhancements to the existing Vikings. It too is worth your time, and a fine example of what a sequel should be. Some people didn’t like Baelog the Fierce’s new Bionic Commando arm, but it just increased the number of options available and the potential complexity of the puzzles.

LostVikings-World4-Area3(BTRY)Trine, MDK, and any other game that has you switch between characters to solve problems all owe a lot to The Lost Vikings and how it set the standard for action/puzzle games that require the player to invest a lot of thought. I’d love to see more stuff like it, but Blizzard isn’t game. I don’t blame them for wanting to do anything but focus on their established money-makers, but I can still hold irrational childish resentment towards them. And I’m totally going to.

A dream sequel could have either the same Vikings in new situations (basically an add-on level pack) or it could introduce all sorts of new characters, items, and other fun stuff. I’m not picky in that regard. I’m surprised that there aren’t ROM hacks of new The Lost Vikings levels around the internet already; it could be a lot more fun than the quadrillionth fan remake of Super Mario World or a wacky meme-filled interpretation of Final Fantasy.

So will Blizzard make a sequel themselves? World of Warcraft is years past its prime yet Blizzard is still making Brobdingnagian piles of cash off of it, not to mention the financial success and critical acclaim of Diablo III and Starcraft II. But am I wrong in assuming they could probably take $300,000 from their money tree and assign a few employees to make a sequel? It’s not a dichotomy; they can work on their big-name flagship titles as well as the small ones where the secret ingredient is love.

No, it doesn’t have the name-brand recognition of their other series, but another The Lost Vikings game could be truly great. Get on it, Blizzard; restore my faith in you. Start making good games again, even if they’re just a little sideshow to throw a bone to those who remember your previous greatness.

About Lee

Lee Laughead writes stuff about video games. Read his Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mesarphelous even though Twitter sucks.
This entry was posted in Dream Games, Puzzle, Video Gaming. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to We Need Another “The Lost Vikings” Game

  1. Biggest Fan says:

    I would love a new lost vikings game and a port of LV 1 & 2 to handhelds , consoles.
    I wrote to blizzard , I was told that there is no game in development but it might happen in the future. The person who responded ,said that will speak with the original developers and tell them that there are fans out there who want a new game to be made.
    Lost vikings is a great puzzle game , it is just mind blowing how interesting it is , you won’t get bored playing it .

  2. Strider says:

    I haven’t played them myself, but- for what it’s worth- I’ve heard that the Trine games share a lot in common with The Lost Vikings. They may be worth keeping an eye out for; they do end up in bundles fairly often…

    – HC

    • Lee says:

      Got em both on previous Steam sales, I just haven’t played them yet.

      • Fan says:

        I just lost hope :p

        Lee, have you tried cotacting blizzard about lost vikings 3 ?

        Just nothing seems to really happen

        • Lee says:

          You seem to have mistaken me for someone with money or clout. Maybe a small indie game company would listen to its fans, but Blizzard is like the Wal-Mart of gaming: Too big to fail, too big to care about the peasants. Plus I’ve mocked them a lot so they’d be less inclined to listen, and there’s the fact that a Lost Vikings 3 just wouldn’t make a fiftieth as much money as another Diablo/___craft game.

          Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. You are a treasure.

  3. fan says:

    Every fan should mock them , only then Blizzard will realize that there are many fans who want a new game

    • Lee says:

      It wouldn’t work. They have half the internet making fun of them already, but most of them are still buying Blizzard games. I’m saving my hatred for companies that are outright antagonistic towards their customers, like EA or Microsoft.

  4. Lost Hope says:

    I am just tired of WOW ,Diablo and Starcraft
    They should definitely make a new lost vikings
    It was their first game ” won the best puzzle game of the year award ”
    Last year Lost Vikings turned 20 years , I was expecting Blizzard to release a port of the original 1 & 2 to handhelds , consoles , mobiles.

    Probably it will never happen

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