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Messages - LemSteven

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^ It used everything except two blockers, saving 98/100.  If it can be confirmed on the actual console, it will break the existing max-saved record for that level on the SNES.  That would be easier said than done, though, considering the insane rapid-fire sequence of pixel-precise assignments at the very end.  And to make that sequence of assignments even possible, the release of the crowd needs to be timed perfectly such that they catch up to the leader at exactly the right moment.

I'd imagine this solution could be adapted for DOS with a few slight modifications, although it won't break the record there, since 78/80 has already been confirmed in DOS via another method.

Lemmings Main / Re: Which Lemmings was your first?
« on: July 31, 2023, 12:03:52 AM »
I started with the DOS version of Lemmings/ONML, around the 1994 time frame.  I was only about 8-9 years old at the time, so I initially wasn't very good at solving tough puzzles on my own, so my dad was the one who solved most of the levels at first.  After he solved them and gave me an idea of how to do them, I would then play them myself.  However, there were a few notable exceptions to this:

1: My dad struggled on Taxing 11 (The Ascending Pillar Scenario) for several days, unable to pull off the execution of the digger pit on such a small landing platform.  One day while he was at work, I managed to pull it off myself, saving him a TON of aggravation.  I then beat the next level on my own, as well.  My streak ended at two, though, because Upsidedown World was a stumper that I would have never solved on my own back in those days.

2: My dad got stumped on Mayhem 7 (Poles Apart), as he couldn't figure out how to clear 7 pillars with just 4 bashers, and there weren't enough builders to go over the top.  I tried it myself, and managed to save exactly one lemming.  My dad was shocked that I managed to even get one lemming home, until I mentioned that the one lemming I saved was the climber, and that's when the light bulb lit up in his head: Climber + Digger = Pole eliminated.

3: When we got to Mayhem 11 (We All Fall Down), my dad didn't even attempt it.  He said that one was mine -- I was always better at quick reflexes and pixel-precise execution than he was!

Lemmings Main / Re: How Does the Community Rate Lemmings 3?
« on: July 21, 2023, 05:04:54 AM »
I think Simon and kieranmiller nailed most of the flaws with Lemmings 3.  The buggy and often counterintuitive mechanics, poor level design, and ability to micromanage each lemming with unlimited blockers, walkers, and jumpers definitely drop the game below the quality of its predecessors.

Nevertheless, I really liked Lemmings 3, or at least I really liked what it tried to be.  The music and graphics were top-notch for the time, and the tool pickups were a novel idea that had a lot of potential.  Classic 26 is one level that did an excellent job of demonstrating some of that potential.  It required you to dig a hole to reach a bunch of bricks down below, then build out of the hole you just dug and build a splatform for the crowd, and finally dig back down through the bricks to reach the exit.  If you didn't manage the tools carefully, you could end up with all of the spades down at the bottom of the hole when you built back up, leaving no way to get back down the second time.  Unfortunately, good levels like Classic 26 were the exception rather than the rule.

One other flaw I should mention is the sheer amount of struggles I went through back in the day to get Lemmings 3 to run properly.  Today with DOSBox, it's trivial by comparison, but back then, it took a ton of troubleshooting to keep the game from freezing on my Windows 3.1 machine, and trying to get the game to run at all on a Windows 95 machine was a fool's errand.

Ultimately, despite the flaws, I consider the game to be a noble attempt at a novel idea.  I would have liked to see a spin-off title that takes the same idea and executes it flawlessly with improved mechanics and better puzzles, but as it stands, the flaws in Lemmings 3 drop it from what could have been a phenomenal game to merely a good game.

Lemmings Main / Re: Find the artist(s)!
« on: January 10, 2023, 03:07:31 AM »
I've still got the manuals for most of the Lemmings games.  The Lemmings and ONML manuals both say, "Paintings by Adrian Powell", and the L3 (Chronicles/ANWOL) manual clearly states, "Cover Illustration by Dave Pether."  Unfortunately, I don't see anything like that in the L2 manual (see attached image).  I also ran through the credits in the L2 endgame sequence, but again I didn't see anything like "Box Art" or "Cover Art" listed.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: December 15, 2022, 03:17:19 AM »
Agree; the hardest part of that level [my friend the end] is in the opening area, and secondary area directly to the east of that with the switch beneath the door which is not trivial to navigate either. The other part of the level is a switch guessing game, with an out of reach switch that only hinders you... And one switch that doesn't work; it doesn't even animate for some reason.

Wow, I completely forgot about the out of reach switch when I reviewed that level.  Since the solution doesn't use it and it's out of the way, I've always treated it as if it wasn't there.

I'm wondering if the designers meant to have that switch facing the other direction.  As an experiment, I had the trailblazer build up there and walk the length of the corridor back and forth, hitting the switch twice.  After doing that, there was just enough time left to complete the level normally.  It would certainly make the level a lot more challenging if the switch started out reversed, such that by walking back and forth in that corridor you would only hit the switch once, opening the path to the teleporter.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: December 13, 2022, 05:59:50 AM »
I am not aware of any way around the timing element on Turn on! Tune in! Switch on!  The key is to compress the crowd as much as possible behind a blocker.  Even then, the timing is annoyingly precise.  Fortunately, there is a good indicator of when to bomb the blocker holding the crowd: It's almost at the exact same moment that the scout hits the ceiling after getting flipped upside down by the anti-gravity pad.

Outside of that timing annoyance, I agree that it is one of the best puzzles in the game, which uses the anti-gravity pads to their full potential.

12-10: My friend the end.
Lemmings: 50
Save: 49
Release Rate: 1
Time: 3:30
Skills: 3 climbers, 10 floaters, 3 bombers, 2 blockers, 10 builders, 2 bashers, 1 miner, 2 diggers

Good: The first time I played through the game, this was the first level in the final column that I encountered, and it did not disappoint!  Right off the bat, the crowd starts in a perilous situation, with a splat fall from the entrance into a empty water tank that will be soon be filled by the singleton lemming.  It was a very intimidating introduction to the final column for me, and it requires quick action right at the beginning to get everyone to safety.

Bad: Once you've got the crowd safely in the holding area, the rest of the level becomes a simple trailblazer exercise.  The singleton lemming essentially has no purpose other than hitting switches.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: December 04, 2022, 08:18:57 PM »
12-5: No clues ... hee hee hee hee!
Lemmings: 50
Save: 40
Release Rate: 30
Time: 10 minutes
Skills: 2 climbers, 10 bombers, 10 blockers, 20 builders, 2 bashers, 10 miners, 10 diggers

Good: I love the trick to this level.  It seems impossible at first glance, as there is no way (without glitches) to get a lemming safely down to the laser gate that opens the path to the exit.  It turns out that those pesky weasels guarding the area before the exit are the key to completing the level.  Once you figure that out, creating a safe path for the weasels is far from trivial, especially if you're trying for 100%.

Bad: Creating the path for the weasels can easily become a builder-fest, reminiscent of some of the builder-heavy levels in the original Lemmings.  Also, it's possible to get a lemming down the laser gate by making a lemming a bomber so that he Oh-no's right before he splats, and then making him build before he explodes.  That defeats the concept of using the weasels, but one can argue that it's a flaw in the game mechanics rather than the level itself.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: November 13, 2022, 03:16:28 AM »
Regarding Two Laps Finale, I'm still not sure what the intended solution to that level is.  When I first solved the level, I built a splatform for the crowd, entered the teleporter, and built directly to the exit from the right side, avoiding the switch so that the retractable wall stays closed and turns the crowd to the left.  That seems like a backroute, since the little arrow at the top of the level suggests you should approach the exit from the left side, but all of my attempts to find a solution that actually uses the whole level end up running out of builders.

11-13: The Diving Board
Lemmings: 100 (50 regular lemmings and 50 water lemmings)
Save: 98
Release Rate: 99 (regular lemmings), 40 (water lemmings)
Time: 5 minutes
Skills: 1 climber, 1 bomber, 2 blockers, 4 builders, 1 basher

Good: The level lives up to its name, since the water lemmings have to drop off a long wooden plank into a water tank.  You can't let the regular lemmings just walk to the exit, since one of them has to build up to the switch to fill the water tank.  The level also makes good use of the cylindrical level format; both the water lemmings and the "hero" regular lemming end up making one complete revolution around the level.

Bad: It's way too easy for its position in the game.  It's also annoying that you have to block right next to a retractable wall, which ends up being closed later on.  That defeats the purpose of having the retractable wall there in the first place.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: November 07, 2022, 01:22:40 AM »
11-10: Lemming be thy name...
Lemmings: 60 (2 entrances)
Save: 51
Release Rate: 30/99
Time: 5:00
Skills: 2 climbers, 2 floaters, 9 bombers, 6 blockers, 1 builder, 2 miners

Good: The level looks daunting at first, with several obstacles to traverse and a limited skill supply.  It appears that blockers and/or bombers will be needed in several places, requiring careful management of the ten worker lemmings.

Bad: Once you realize that you only need to save one of the ten worker lemmings, the solution becomes almost trivial.  You can send two athletes to do all of the work without worrying about creating a suitable route for the others.

Reviews / Re: Level Review--Lemmings Revolution
« on: October 30, 2022, 04:14:18 AM »
^ I'm glad you mentioned the intended solution to "Don't Let Them Out!"  I love the overall idea, but the execution is absolutely insane.  I spent several hours getting it to work, and most of that time was spent optimizing the solution to get it within the time limit.  When a 5-minute time limit ends up coming down to the last few seconds, it's probably too tight.

11-8: Speedy Gonzalez
Lemmings: 53 (3 entrances)
Save: 52
Release Rate: 99/1/99
Time: 4:00
Skills: 1 floater, 1 bomber, 2 blockers, 3 builders, 1 miner

Good: You have to strategically place a blocker on the retractable floor so that he can be released and saved later.  I also like the way the splatform for the crowd doubles as a means to reach the critical switch to drain the water tank.

Bad: Although the theme has been used on prior levels, I think the level would be more interesting if "Speedy Gonzalez" had to race to catch the crowd before they fell.  Instead, you're given a blocker/bomber to delay the crowd as long as necessary.  I'll also mention that an unnecessary amount of precision is required for several skill assignments, most notably the final miner.

Challenges / Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« on: March 27, 2022, 03:08:56 AM »
Lemmings Revolution Level 9-2 (Can't Get There from Here) 100% is now confirmed (the previous record was 49/50).

Sadly, I can't take the credit for this one.  I found the solution on the Lemmings Fandom wiki.  It exploits a glitch that I was previously unaware of:

The Glitch (click to show/hide)

Lemmings Main / Re: Most annoying Lemmings level to you (any game)?
« on: November 28, 2021, 05:30:06 PM »
Interesting topic!  I can think of several different ways that a level can become annoying.  Examples include too much bomber timing ("Look Before You Leap"), tough execution ("Take up Archery" and "Save Me") and dull repetitiveness ("Hunt the Nessy" and L3D's "Snake").  It all depends on which of these annoyances you consider to be the worst.

For me, the #1 turn-off that makes me not want to play a level is the overuse of traps, especially hidden traps.  Nothing annoys me more than thinking I've got a working solution, only to have a hidden trap suddenly start squashing my Lemmings.  The worst offender I can think of is "Where Lemmings Dare", which is my most hated level from the original games.  Even though most of the traps there technically aren't hidden, several of them do blend in with the terrain, plus they're not easy to avoid.

A dishonorable mention goes to the hidden icicle trap in "Tubular Lemmings".  Fortunately, the presence of a "ceiling route" that circumvents the trap entirely brings that level down a notch in the annoyance category.

Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Moments in video games that scared you
« on: April 17, 2021, 02:08:00 AM »
Believe it or not, one of the games that spooked me early on was Lemmings!  It was smooth sailing until I hit Fun 17, and then those hidden crusher traps scared the living daylights out of me.  Maybe that's why to this day I abhor traps of any kind, especially hidden ones.

I'll also give an honorable mention to King's Quest: Mask of Eternity.  For anyone who's not familiar with the King's Quest saga, the final installment was a huge departure from the rest of the series.  The first seven games were your typical Sierra adventure games, with convoluted puzzles that took a ridiculous amount of trial and error to solve, with many (often humorous) deaths occurring in the process.

The final game of the series switched over to the RPG genre with a few adventure-style puzzles mixed in.  It also took on a much darker tone than the previous installments and added a combat element.  Basically the game starts with the titular Mask of Eternity being shattered by the game's primary antagonist.  This action unleashes a magical storm that turns everyone in the kingdom into stone, except for the player, who happens to catch a piece of the Mask as it falls from the sky, thus protecting him from the storm's effects.  The first part of the game has the player exploring the petrified town, gathering resources and seeking clues on how to break the magical curse, while fighting hideous undead creatures that seem to pop up out of nowhere.

Once the player completes the first stage of the game in town, the environments just get more inhospitable from there.  Many of the scenes in the game are very dimly lit, with background music that ranges from creepy to spine-tingling.

Many fans of the earlier games in the series were understandably upset at the darker atmosphere and combat-oriented gameplay of the final installment.  Personally, I don't think the game was horrible on its own (although it had its share of bugs), but it departed far enough from its roots that it never should have been given the "King's Quest" moniker.

Tricky 22 improved to 8 builders.

This is essentially a variation of the 10-skill solution that ccexplore posted here, with one of the build-delays replaced with a floater.

Solution (click to show/hide)

Challenges / Re: Fewest different skills levels can be beaten with
« on: January 18, 2021, 03:39:28 AM »
* Mayhem 22 (A BeastII of a Level): namida found a bombers+builders solution in NL, not confirmed in DOS yet.

I can confirm this is possible in DOS, although technically I haven't fully executed it myself because I used blockers in lieu of timing my bombers.  The blockers are clearly not necessary if you get the bomber timings right, but I don't have the patience for that kind of thing right now.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

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