The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling puzzle/platform video game series which was developed by Blizzard Entertainment (then known as "Silicon & Synapse"). The first game, The Lost Vikings, was released in 1992 by publisher Interplay Entertainment for MS-DOS, Amiga, Genesis and the SNES among others. The sequel, The Lost Vikings II, was developed by Blizzard and released in 1994 by Interplay for the SNES. A 32-bit enhanced version of The Lost Vikings II was developed for the Saturn, PlayStation and PC, known in the United States as Norse By Norsewest: Return of the Lost Vikings and in Europe as Lost Vikings 2: Norse by Norsewest. It was released by Interplay in 1996, featuring a new super-deformed style for the characters (the original version kept the same art style as the first game) as well as voiced dialogue samples. However, Blizzard was not involved in the creation of these 32-bit ports. Instead, they were handled by Beam Software.
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. The game's originality 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. In some versions, a second and a third player can join and control the other two characters.
The games' music was composed by Charles Deenen.
In 2014, Blizzard offered The Lost Vikings as a free download via Battle.net. This freeware release was targeted towards Microsoft Windows users, with the original MS-DOS game now being passed through DOSBox.
In the game, the three Vikings get kidnapped by Tomator, emperor of the alien Croutonian empire, for an inter-galactic zoo and become lost in various periods of time. The purpose of the game is to control the three characters (who all have separate abilities) in order to solve puzzles to escape and get back home.
The Lost Vikings
The Lost Vikings was originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, then subsequently released for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, and the Genesis systems the next year; the Mega Drive/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 SNES 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. Much of the game's appeal comes from the humorous inter-level dialogues of the characters. ("If I [head]bash one more wall right now, my head will explode!" "I got dibs on his helmet." "Okay, but I get his boots." "It's great to have such good friends.") Art Director Samwise Didier has stated that the character design for "Erik the Swift" was based on childhood friend Michael Cripps.
All three Vikings (Erik, Baleog and Olaf) have 3 health points which they can lose by getting hurt by enemies or by falling from great heights, and the ability to carry and use items, mainly keys, bombs, and food (which restore health points). Each of the Vikings has a unique set of abilities:
- Erik can run faster than the other two, can jump, and can bash through some walls (and enemies) with his helmet.
- Baleog can kill enemies with his sword, or from a distance with his bow (and a "life-time supply of arrows"). The bow can also be used to hit switches from a distance.
- Olaf can block enemies and their projectiles with his shield, use his shield as a hang glider, or as a stepping stone for Erik to enable him to reach high grounds which is not possible without the shield.
- Erik now has turbo boots which allow him to jump much higher than before and can smash certain overhead walls with his turbo jump. The helmet also allows him to swim (he is the only of the five characters with this ability).
- Baleog's bow and arrow has been replaced with a bionic arm which can smash enemies from distance. The range is somewhat limited compared to his arrows from the first game, but the bionic arm also allows Baleog to swing in the air using special hooks and to grab some items inaccessible to others.
- Olaf can release gas that propels him upward, giving him limited aerial range, as well as the power to destroy certain floors. In addition to his hang-gliding abilities, he can also shrink and squeeze through tiny gaps.
- Fang can jump, climb walls by clinging to them with his claws, and slash enemies with the claws from close range.
- Scorch has a fireball attack which damages enemies and can trigger certain switches. He can also fly until he gets exhausted, at which point he can glide softly down, like Olaf.
Graphics and Sound
The sequel was originally released for the SNES in 1994, shortly after the first game. The SNES version used technology very similar to the original installment, with the same cartoonish graphics and basic 16-bit sound and music. Later releases (PC, PlayStation, Saturn) featured significantly altered graphics, CD music and extensive voice acting provided by Rob Paulsen (Erik), Jeff Bennett (Baleog & Fang), Jim Cummings (Olaf, Tomator), and Frank Welker (Scorch).
The Vikings have also shown up from time to time in other Blizzard games.
- Both Olaf and Baelog make an appearance in the 1993 game Rock N' Roll Racing.
- Olaf can be unlocked as a hidden character.
- Baelog appears on the planet Bogmire, on several billboardposters, posing for "Viking Cola."
- In the 32X version of Blackthorne, all three Vikings appear in a secret area in the second snow level .
- They most recently appeared as mobs 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 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, Baelog 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 & 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 new unit in Blizzard's recently released 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, Baelog, 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 .
Download The Lost Vikings free from Blizzard Battle.net . The game is currently no longer available for download.
- The Lost Vikings at MobyGames
- Norse by Norsewest Win95 demo
- The Lost Vikings Flash Game