Author Topic: Glitches in Lemmings  (Read 21805 times)

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Offline LemSteven

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2011, 08:02:11 pm »
I'm not sure if this should be classified as a glitch, but the ceiling detection for builders only occurs at every other pixel.  The most obvious example of a level that this applies to that I can think of is Wild 12.  Once past the ice shooter, it only requires two builders and a basher to reach the exit, even though it looks like one of the builders will hit his head on an icicle.  Since the icicle is only one pixel wide, a properly-placed builder can keep going right past it.

Offline Clam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2011, 10:05:24 pm »
It's certainly not what you'd expect to happen, given that the lemming will stop and turn back if you assign the builder one frame earlier or later. I think we can file that in the same category as miners crossing one-pixel gaps, i.e. a glitch.

On a related note, does anyone have pictures of the animation frames for skills, with the terrain/steel detection pixels highlighted? (i.e. in which frames of the animation do they check for terrain/steel, and in what locations relative to the lemming?) I'm sure it would be most enlightening.

Offline Clam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 09:46:03 am »
This made me LOL. I just dug out my Windows Lemmings CD, and I had a look at the back cover:


(Mine actually has a different back cover, but the screenshots are the same.)

Check out the screenshot of Mayhem 1. That lemming is splatting after falling from the entrance - exactly what they don't do in this version because the splat distance is wrong! :D

But, this brings up a serious point: surely they must have had the splat distance right at some point during development. Otherwise, how did they get that screenshot? ???

Offline bombsite

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2011, 10:05:46 am »
But, this brings up a serious point: surely they must have had the splat distance right at some point during development. Otherwise, how did they get that screenshot? ???

Maybe they took the screenshots from a different version?  Or maybe they thought instant death on a level must be a bug and 'fixed' it?!  From looking at those screenshots I've just realised you can move the icons around on this version - I've had this game for ages and never realised!

Offline Clam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 09:05:54 am »
I just thought of a couple of things (in DOS Lemmings) that could be considered "glitches", even though we're fairly well used to them:

- inability to select skills or change release rate with the mouse when paused
- lemmings can survive a fall if they are assigned floaters just before they hit the ground

Bugs, or features?

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2011, 12:36:23 pm »
I just thought of a couple of things (in DOS Lemmings) that could be considered "glitches", even though we're fairly well used to them:

- inability to select skills or change release rate with the mouse when paused
- lemmings can survive a fall if they are assigned floaters just before they hit the ground

Bugs, or features?

There is really a difference between something being a "glitch" in the sense that it is logically inconsistent or is unintuitive, versus being a "bug" in the sense of simply not intended by the original game designers.  (There are even cases of glitches being unintended abuse of intended features, such as the "crawling glitch/trick" in Lemmings 2.)

I think we can all agree that it is logically inconsistent to be unable to select skills or change release rates with mouse, but yet able to do so with keyboard, when game is paused.  So in that sense it's a glitch.  But the larger question of whether skill selection (and separately, release rate changes) are intended to be allowed during pause is much more debatable.

As for the floater, it would arguably make more sense that the floater "shouldn't count" until the umbrella has full opened and the lemming's speed actually reduced.  However, the fact is, the falling and splatting of lemmings would violate real-life physics in the first place:  since they fall at a strictly constant speed, by real-life physics the impact force at landing would've been the same no matter what the distance of falling is.  So it's reasonable in this case to ignore real-life considerations and accept the floater behavior as just another one of many ways lemmings physics are different from real-life physics (amongst other obvious examples like the ability to walk through 1-pixel tall openings or fall through the thinnest gap of 1-pixel width).  Also in practice, it would not have make too much of a difference either way, and so it could well be that in addition to slightly simpler logic and implementation, the game designers like the forgiveness that come with the current behavior.

Offline EricLang

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2011, 05:57:45 pm »
Quote
However, the fact is, the falling and splatting of lemmings would violate real-life physics in the first place:  since they fall at a strictly constant speed, by real-life physics the impact force at landing would've been the same no matter what the distance of falling is.  So it's reasonable in this case to ignore real-life considerations and accept the floater behavior as just another one of many ways lemmings physics are different from real-life physics
Do you have a master degree in physics?  ;P
When the new lemmix engine is there you can make lemmings fall with the falling formula (I forgot it something like a = mv2).
It would be a nice idea to still let the lemming splat when his parachute did not yet fully open and his distance from the ground is to small.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2011, 09:00:01 pm »
When the new lemmix engine is there you can make lemmings fall with the falling formula (I forgot it something like a = mv2).

Of course, keep in mind that in real life, you also need a significant lead distance for effective parachute deployment, since earth's gravity typically imparts quite a bit of acceleration (unless it's an object like a feather that has significant air resistance and buoyancy to help counter the gravity, in which case you won't need a parachute in the first place).  In real life you can probably seriously hurt yourself jumping out of the 5th floor, and yet the fall happens so fast that a parachute probably won't help much unless you deploy it before you actually started falling.  That kind of behavior will probably make things unplayable in the game.

I think the simpler idea of splatting until parachute fully opens best captures the salient expected behaviors from real-life physics, without being too realistic that the game becomes unplayable.  ;)

Offline finlay

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2011, 10:15:16 pm »
Interesting factoid: cats who fall out of high windows are most likely to die or be injured at around the 5th or 6th floor – high enough to hurt them on the fall and not high enough for them to spread their body area and deploy a sort of natural parachute. By around the 7th or 8th they don't get injured as much. I don't know if this generalises to extremely high floors, though. Also, I got it from QI, so it might be worth some more research. ;P

Offline Clam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2011, 11:13:42 pm »
Hey, lemmings jumping off cliffs didn't need any research, so why should cats? :P

There is really a difference between something being a "glitch" in the sense that it is logically inconsistent or is unintuitive, versus being a "bug" in the sense of simply not intended by the original game designers.

I'll admit that I don't know how you define a "glitch" versus a "bug". I guess part of the problem here is that the developers only show up once in a blue moon, so we don't get to know what was intended and what wasn't.

I think what we could do here is just include anything that might seem glitchy in the list, and let the readers decide for themselves whether something counts as a glitch or not (possibly with a tag like "YMMV" on the more debatable ones).

Also, I'd agree that letting lemmings survive even if their parachute doesn't open is the better way to go. It's a case of "Gameplay > Realism", which is true enough even for games based on real events (like Civilization), let alone games based on a completely bogus premise (refer to the top of this post) :D. The alternative can only cause more frustration and more restarts.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2011, 04:54:47 am »
I think what we could do here is just include anything that might seem glitchy in the list, and let the readers decide for themselves whether something counts as a glitch or not (possibly with a tag like "YMMV" on the more debatable ones).

Seems fair.  It's clear that there are different degrees of glitchiness.  I think the biggest utility of this thread is simply to describe some of the most bizarre, unexpected behaviors, for fun and profit ("profit" being an increase understanding of how some of the challenge solutions are possible, for example).

As for what are intended allowed actions during pause, my limited experience with a few different ports (and possibly bad memory) suggest that most support some way to select a different skill while paused (but not actually assigning them to support a lemming), whereas far fewer ports support changing the release rate while paused.  That doesn't necessarily reflect the original intentions of the game designers but it's somewhat suggestive I guess.

I do definitely feel confident to say that the game designers probably don't envision fancy manipulation of release rates as a major game element.  While a very few number of levels do involve controlling the release rate as a major component of the solution, in most cases the RR was more a poor-man's fast forward.  And even the few exceptions are easily handled without the need to change RR while paused.  Lemmings 2 further reflect this by getting rid of the ability to change RR altogether.

Offline Adam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2011, 06:57:53 pm »
Another Sega Master System glitch to add to the list - changing the release rate can sometimes do absolutely nothing at all - like in this video.

Offline Clam

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2011, 01:54:48 am »
Watching Lemmings videos on Youtube reminds me that there are some little graphical glitches in the DOS version that don't carry over to Lemmix. The one I saw just now is that, sometimes after a bomber explosion, the bottom row of removed pixels flickers for a moment before going away completely. The flashing pixels don't act as terrain, it's purely a graphical glitch.

I've seen this plenty of times before, but using Lemmix instead of DOS for so long made me forget all about it. :-\ I've caught some other such glitches already (eg. the glitched digger sprite), but it's very possible that there are more.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2011, 01:06:32 pm »
Finally downloaded and started playing SMS lemmings.  Here's a glitch (attached as zipped AVI file) I found that may be related to other glitches people know about, although I can't quite tell whether it's purely graphical or not (ie. is the lemming actually exploding at a location below ground level, or merely that it's rendered like so?).  I think I've also seen a case where I briefly see it started to splat but then transitioned to oh-no.

Also, not a glitch per se, but it seems to me like the max safe-fall distance can change from level to level? :o ??? Maybe my eyes are fooling me, but comparing Fun 1 after you dig through and the remaining lemmings fall from upper land to lower land directly without any intervening pit bottom, that perfectly safe fall seems longer than the fatal one in Fun 2?

Offline Pooty

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Re: Glitches in Lemmings
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2011, 02:11:17 pm »
The lemming is definitely exploding at a lower place than normal, triggered by letting a lemming fall a distance that would cause it to splat. The act of an exploding lemming overwrites a lot of actions. If a lemming begins to enter the home and during the animation the fuse time expires, the animation will reset because the exploding animation will kick in, then the game will detect that the lemming has reached the exit, so plays the animation again.

The variable lemming fall distance is a feature. On each map, you can set this maximum fall distance. The default value is 56 pixels. The sturdiest lemmings are the ones in "Just Dig", who can fall a distance of 72 pixels before splatting (in fact, this is the only level where the fall distance is above the default value). The most fragile lemmings, on the other hand, are in the following level "Only Floaters Can Survive This", where a fall of just 32 pixels will kill them.
SEGA Master System version
100% on 110/120 levels (92%). Other levels [Lemmings lost]:
Fun 03 [3], 06 [2], 18 [5]   
Taxing 19 [5], 27 [1], 28 [3]
Tricky 15 [5], 17 [2]
Mayhem 19 [7], 26 [10]