Author Topic: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records  (Read 21714 times)

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Offline Proxima

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2014, 06:31:38 pm »
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Call me a stick-in-the-mud or whatever, but I wouldn't count anything that required a glitch to solve, unless that "glitch" was absolutely necessary to merely pass the level.  (I imagine that discounts a number of solutions, but I'm fine with that, unless someone can explain why I shouldn't be.  I'm open to suggestions.)

I have sympathy with that viewpoint, but this and the other challenge topics are records of what is possible to achieve, regardless of the developers' intentions, and it's just a brute fact that DOS Lemmings and various other versions have glitches that make certain records achievable (just as it's a fact that on that one Holiday level, all the steel doesn't work and you can just bash through it). In some of the challenge topics, we've kept separate lists of the best glitch-free records or at least noted which solutions depend on a glitch. That hasn't been done for this topic, though I have no objection to adding the information if anyone has time to go over the levels and confirm all the solutions  :P

One thing I have done, in a separate topic, is listed the maximum saved records for the original levels when played in Lix, the closest thing we have to a glitch-free environment. However, due to other gameplay differences, the maximum saved in Lix is not always the same as the maximum glitch-free in DOS Lemmings.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2014, 08:11:10 pm »
There are a few challenge threads (mostly the ones started by namida) where we try to report no-glitch results alongside glitch results.

For maximum % saved though, you may be surprised at how few solutions require glitches (actually shouldn't really be that much of a surprise, given that in many ways this has always been one of the easier challenges IMO), especially with the original Lemmings levels.  Cascade 100% is glitch free.  Mary Poppins' Land 100% is glitch free.  The lose-1 solution for Tricky 23 ("From the Boundary Line") is nearly glitch-free, minus one move [edit: actually I'd argue even that move might not count as a glitch, but regardless...] which even when discarded, still leaves you at lose 2.  100% solution for ONML Wicked 9 ("How on Earth?") is glitch-free.  And so forth.

Here are a number of things to consider:
- In general, if you look across all different video games for challenge-style plays (eg. speedruns), you will find that most of them do accept use of glitches.  At the very least, there will typically exist a variant where glitches are allowed.
- Glitch solutions can often be more spectacular, especially if the use of no-glitch leaves you with a more conventional solution that doesn't really do much better than the normal ways the level gets solved.  This feeds into previous point as well--glitch solutions can be more interesting to watch so it's hard to discount them.
- Using a glitch doesn't mean an automatic easy shortcut, if anything, solutions using glitches are often harder to execute partly because glitches can be difficult to set up and exploit effectively.  This goes in general for video games as well, and also adds to the "it can be spectacular to watch" point above as well.
- It can be harder than you think to decide on what is or isn't a glitch.  In some cases it is pretty clear cut, but in other cases it is a lot more subtle.  If you read through some of the glitch threads in the forum you will see what I mean.  And oftentimes it is enough to merely employ behaviors or combination of normal behaviors in unusual ways, rather than outright glitch behaviors.
- As Proxima pointed out when he talked about playing the levels in Lix, oftentimes a solution will hinge on things that have nothing to do with glitches anyway.  This is especially true with challenge solutions which often depends on timing or precision down to the frame/pixel level.

Anyway, I guess when time permits I can at least list out which levels' max-% solutions in DOS Lemmings and ONML requires glitches and what the no-glitch results would be.

Offline namida

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2015, 12:31:26 pm »
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The Official Lemmings Companion
(100% unless noted)

Fun 2: 79/80
Tricky 2: 73/80
Taxing 4: 79/80
Mayhem 3: 77/80

Here's a replay for 78/80 on Mayhem 3. :)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 12:44:18 pm by namida »

Offline LemSteven

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #78 on: April 18, 2016, 05:10:35 pm »
Just when you thought this thread was dead, I just achieved a new record in Lemmings 2:

Polar 8: 60/60 -- Be warned that this one requires glitches, and in terms of difficulty, it is one of the toughest 100% solutions in the game.

Hints (click to show/hide)

Solution (click to show/hide)

This leaves Classic 5 as the only non-100%-able level in Lemmings 2.

Offline LemSteven

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2016, 03:49:19 am »
This leaves Classic 5 as the only non-100%-able level in Lemmings 2.

And now, Classic 5 can be crossed off the list.  This one is basically the regular solution, but without the blocker/bomber for crowd control.  The trick is getting the lemmings as bunched up as possible, so that as few lemmings as possible are in the final digger's hole when he breaks through and all of them end up walking right towards the exit.  This just barely works -- the last lemming from the crowd steps out of the digger's hole just before it gets too deep, and the crowd returned to the digger just as he was finishing.

I can't really elaborate on the solution without going into several paragraphs of intrinsic detail, but I will say that it took several hours of trial and error to figure out how to optimally bunch up the crowd.  I did end up with one straggler that paced back and forth several times in the digger's hole, but fortunately I was able to get him facing right when the digger finished.

Anyway, this now means that it is possible to save all 60 lemmings in all 12 tribes in Lemmings 2. 8-)

Offline namida

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2016, 03:55:43 am »
So, L2 then is the first full-sized Lemmings game (at least as far as official ones go) where it's possible to save every lemming in the game...

Offline Leo

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2016, 04:44:32 am »
@LemSteven And that's it? You are just declared 100% solution on the level without recorded video, no pictures to show us what to do (and where, and when to do). And you even don't want to bother us with the detailed explanation? Hey man, that's not enough! I want as much details as possible. If you can't record all this on video, I expect some very detailed explanation and schematic pictures.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2016, 06:08:38 am »
To be quite fair, if you spend hours restarting the level over and over tweaking over little things here and there, you're likely too tired by the time you actually reach success to want to spend more time creating evidence to share.

I think LemSteven plays the game in an actual DOS computer rather than something like DOSBox, so even getting a screenshot would not really be possible (unless maybe you snap a photo w/ your phone).  It is precisely one of the reason why I worked with Eric to get Lemmix to emulate DOS Lemmings as closely as possible, so full replays can be easily captured for doing challenges.  Unfortunately Lemmings 2 is just a lot more complex to disassemble and re-implement for something like Lemmix.  In the past I would use DOSBox's screen capture and video capture features to provide some evidence, but even doing so often require replaying the level over a few times, which is not something you want to do after spending already enough time and effort to find and execute the solution successfully the first time around.

Describing verbally is almost never effective except for the broad general outline, which LemSteven did provide.  Maybe if I ever have free time I could try to go from those descriptions to a working attempt in DOSBox that can be screen- or video-captured.  Or you know, you can try the same yourself. :P

For levels like Classic 5 where the key is to tweak the timing of some of the lemmings "in the crowd" so they don't end up going the wrong way, one approach that works in Lemmix is to find out from the text version of replay exactly which lemmings went the wrong way, then restart again but make those lemmings do other stuff beforehand to delay them so their timing works out instead.  You can't quite as easily do that (figuring out from a replay which lemming did what) in the actual game, but some variation of that approach would hopefully let you trial-and-error your way to eventually get a working solution.

Offline Leo

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2016, 07:15:40 am »
I know I can try myself. I did, I failed. I don't see how to follow this explanation: "trick is getting the lemmings as bunched up as possible"? How to bunch them? How to "tweak the timing of some of the lemmings"? There is nothing left except the 3 floaters. That's not enough to tweak the bunch of 59 lemmings. And I didn't ask for the proof, I didn't say I doubt him. I just want some detailed explanation and schematics.
And one thing not related to this, why DOS Lemmings should be considered 'the original one'? I always thought the Amiga version is ' the real one'.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2016, 11:34:50 am »
Fair enough about wanting more details.  If LemSteven doesn't respond, I could take a look again at the level myself and see if I can provide a better answer.

And one thing not related to this, why DOS Lemmings should be considered 'the original one'? I always thought the Amiga version is ' the real one'.

Since when did anyone here say anything about DOS Lemmings being the "original one"? ??? For me, I usually take the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS versions of Lemmings to all be "original" as they were co-developed in parallel at the same time by DMA.  Basically when I do use the term "original" (which seems rare actually), I mean they are not done as ports of an earlier version. It is true that I think the Amiga version had the earliest release date, as well as having the most features (eg. opening sequence movie, 2-player mode, two things not available in DOS version for example).  Those are quite reasonable criteria for considering the Amiga version as "original".  I can't speak to how other people may be using the term "original".

I'm less familiar with the development details for other games in the series, but I'm reasonably sure at no point did we have a situation where DMA actually completed the Amiga version and only then ported it over to DOS; the developments were done in parallel with relatively close release dates.  But feel free to correct me on those since as I said, less familiar with the details past Lemmings 1 (not that I'm all that familiar with the details on Lemmings 1 in the first place!).

As far as challenges and records go, they need to be (and are in fact done so on this thread) tracked on a per-version basis, since especially when challenge solutions, even the tiniest difference in game mechanics can have an impact, to say nothing of actual changes to the levels themselves.

Offline LemSteven

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2016, 04:30:21 pm »
All right, I wasn't sure how much interest this would generate.  Since there seems to be some demand, I'll provide a more detailed solution.  Screenshots are attached.

Solution (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 05:51:18 pm by LemSteven »

Offline Leo

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2016, 04:27:44 am »
@LemSteven Thank you. It's very nice to see that explanation. But, I think it's too hard for me, so I won't dare to even try this solution. There is also one other (but only possible on the Mega drive) solution for that level:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rMxSC2nalc
Your solution is much 'cleaner', but looks like very hard to achieve.

@ccexplore I asked you because you said here "emulate DOS Lemmings as closely as possible". I holding back this question for a long time. Why DOS? Is it the first? Is it the best?
I can forgive a lot of things done (or not done in the DOS version). Very annoying is lack of water/lava on the some levels (e.g. Fun 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, etc).
But, number of max 80 lemmings per level in DOS, instead of the 100 in Atari/Amiga version is something that bothers me a lot.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2016, 09:09:46 am »
@ccexplore I asked you because you said here "emulate DOS Lemmings as closely as possible". I holding back this question for a long time. Why DOS? Is it the first? Is it the best?

None of the above really.  I'm much more familiar with the x86 instruction set than Amiga's Motorola 68000 CPU.  Moreover, at the time (something like 10-15 years ago) it was much easier to run DOS Lemmings on Windows PCs (Windows hasn't gotten to the point where you need to use DOSBox), and I have tools like debuggers for DOS that I can use to help with disassembling.  Also, efforts like Customized Lemmings document the file formats but for DOS Lemmings and not some other version's.

In contrast, I'm not sure at the time whether I would be able to even find a decent Amiga emulator had I wanted to.

So basically from a technical perspective, the DOS version was the most feasible for me to work out all the information necessary for near-100% emulation.  It also doesn't hurt that it was IBM-compatible PCs running DOS and later Windows that "took over the world" rather than Amiga, so the effort would clearly be applicable to a version that is at once "original" (in the "not a port" sense) and seems most accessible to most people.  It also wasn't lost on me that the few lists on the Internet at the time on "most saved" or similar (ie. lists well predating the existence of these forums for example) were all referring to the DOS version or at least have the best solution reported on that version.

In terms of playing the game, I absolutely find the Amiga version superior in many ways, starting with the MOD music that I tend to prefer over the Adlib version in DOS.  Some levels in Amiga also are more properly challenging and "in the spirit of the level", like "The Fast Food Kitchen" (DOS version gives you an extra minute and only requires 75%), and "Just a Minute" (DOS version's timer progresses slower making things easier).  I'm not so bothered by the number of lemmings (the fact is, in almost all levels, having 20 more lemmings just means you have to wait longer for them to all exit), but it was definitely eye-opening to see how much water and lava etc. they removed from the DOS version presumably for performance reasons.

The one thing I do like about the DOS version is the ability to change RR while paused.  It might perhaps not be something DMA intended, but it sure makes utilizing precise RR changes in challenge solutions a lot more versatile.

Offline Simon

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #88 on: May 02, 2016, 12:14:42 pm »
Lovely read. We did challenges on Dos L1 and L2 because of Lemmix & Dosbox familiarity.

The Lemmings devs had a half-baked networking mode for 2-player L1 on Amiga. The walker demo in 1989 was for Dos. They had a specialist for either system, and did the development largely in parallel.

I've written about the attitude of true. I find this extremely common. Even among newcomers, I deem the attitued more common than Proxima suggests.

-- Simon

Offline geoo

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Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« Reply #89 on: May 03, 2016, 05:54:14 am »
Wow. This is incredible. In particular after such a long time of no progress. I certainly didn't expect there to be any more progress on L2's saving records. And not just one level, but two! It's amazing to think L2 has been thought to be done with no more improvements possible quite a few times already, and then after a lull unlikely improvements like this happened.

But now it's really done. No more potential for improvements. Every single lemming has been saved. :D