Author Topic: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC  (Read 40638 times)

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Offline namida

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How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« on: January 04, 2015, 11:11:34 AM »
See also:
How to play and create custom levels
List of Lemmings engines (2013)

The original Lemmings 1 from 1991 was for DOS and Amiga, but modern Windows cannot run that natively. Even Lemmings for Windows 95 won't run without problems.

Common ways to play on a modern system:



NeoLemmix

As of 2022, NeoLemmix is the most popular engine. It's a Windows program. It runs well on Linux in Wine, too.

To play Lemmings 1 or ONML in NeoLemmix:
Physics: Many glitches from DOS Lemmings 1 are fixed, e.g., no direct drop (= in NeoLemmix, if you splat in front of an exit, you die and don't exit). Steel remains intact even when ground removers work nearby. Bombers are untimed. Some non-glitch physics are changed: Builders cancel when their bellies hit terrain, ground removers have different cancelling conditions, ...

Convenience: Allows rewinding to fix mistakes, offers replays, savestates, directional select, assign during pause, ... Look at hotkey configuration dialog in NeoLemmix. You'll have to remember these hotkeys during play.



SuperLemmix

A fork of NeoLemmix tailored towards those who prefer a more traditional gameplay style. It's a Windows program. It runs well on Linux in Wine, too.

SuperLemmix aims to offer a one-stop package for everything you need to enjoy both classic and modern Lemmings gameplay on the same system, with a rich feature set and clean, accessible UI.
  • Download SuperLemmix and extract it.
  • Run SuperLemmix.
  • Select the Lemmings 1 levels from the level selection.
    (SuperLemmix already ships with the full set of classic DMA levels, unedited and presented in the original Amiga colour scheme.)
Physics: It's a mix of NeoLemmix physics with Amiga physics. E.g., SuperLemmix reintroduces direct drop (= if you splat in front of an exit, you exit).

Convenience: The NeoLemmix convenience features are still there. For a retro Lemmings experience, press "Classic Mode" in the main menu to disable most convenience features.

Visit the SuperLemmix board for fanmade level packs, discussion and suggestions for development, records tables and more to come. In 2024, SuperLemmix is more up to date than many of the other options, the engine is currently maintained and open for suggestions and bug reports, and will be for the forseeable future.



Golems

Golems is a clone of DOS Lemmings. It's the easiest way to play DOS Lemmings 1 in an almost-authentic way:
Physics: Practically bug-compatible with the DOS Lemmings 1 engine.

Convenience: You get fast-forward/fast-backward/framestepping for reduced tedium/frustration in executing solutions. During play, you can look at the help dialog for the hotkeys.

In addition to browser-based Golems, the Golems game engine is available as a Windows application.



Lemmix

Lemmix is a Windows program originally developed by EricLang, with later improvements by ccexplore and namida. There is a "Lemmix player" for Original Lemmings, Oh No! More Lemmings, Xmas Lemmings 91/92, Holiday Lemmings 94 (this includes 93), Covox Lemmings Demo, Prima Publishing Lemmings Demo, as well as virtually every official level from other (non-DOS) platform versions of these.
Physics: Practically bug-compatible with DOS Lemmings 1. (= Lemmix aims at perfect emulation the original games' mechanics.)

Convenience: After you've discovered the unremappable, obscure hotkeys, you get savestates, fast-forward, forward framestepping, and saving/loading solution replays. You cannot rewind. When you make a mistake, restart the level, let it replay your correct actions, then interrupt the replay before your mistakes.



SuperLemminiToo

A series of Lemmings engines developed in Java. The Lemmini series marries Amiga gameplay physics with the lush graphics included in Windows 95 Lemmings, complete with an upgraded UI.

Our SuperLemmini board offers for fanmade level packs, level editors, discussion, records tables and more.

Physics: Mostly inspired by Amiga Lemmings. Both graphics and physics are in high-resolution. Details will be different from DOS Lemmings.

Convenience: Fast forward, replays, direction select, forward frame-stepping. None of the Lemmini games support rewinding. When you make a mistake, restart the level, let it replay your correct actions, then interrupt the replay before your mistakes.



DOS Emulation

For the most authentic Lemmings experience, play Lemmings 1 in DOSBox or one of its forks. DOSbox is a free and open-source DOS emulator for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and others.
  • Choose and install release of DOSBox:
  • You need an actual copy of DOS Lemmings 1.
  • Find the music bugfixes and put them into your copy of Lemmings 1.
  • In Dosbox, mount the copy of Lemmings 1. (See one of Simon's posts below, or search the forums, search the net ...)
  • In Dosbox, before you run Lemmings 1, lower DOSBox CPU cycles to 7,000 or fewer (Ctrl+F11 or sometimes Ctrl+Shift+F11?), otherwise music will not load. If you can't lower the cycles, look into Dosbox's configuration.
  • In Dosbox, run Lemmings 1.
  • When you're in Lemmings 1's main menu, you can increase CPU cycles to around 10,000 or 20,000. L2, L3, or 3D Lemmings behave best at higher cycle counts, experiment with 20,000 to 40,000 or max speed in the config.
See our threads in the Help section on how to run Lemmings 2 or Lemmings 3 in DOSBox.

Convenience: You can choose a Dosbox fork with savestates. Other than that, you get no player-assist features. When you make a mistake, start over from the beginning of the level. You need passwords to select levels.

See Dosbox-Staging's wiki entry about Lemmings 1.

You can also play Lemmings on the Internet Archive via DOSBox in your browser.



SNES Emulation

You can even get mouse support, unlike on a real SNES:
  • Get gocha's snes9x-rr or maybe another SNES emulator with Lua support.
  • Load a Lemmings or Lemmings 2 ROM in snes9x-rr.
  • Download the appropriate script: Lua script for Lemmings, or Lua script for Lemmings 2.
  • Load the script in snes9x-rr.
  • Hide the script window. You can move it to the edge, or move it to a second monitor.
  • Enter fullscreen.
Keys:
  • Right mouse button = Start/Pause.
  • Left mouse button = main button.
  • Tab = Fast forward.
Info comes from crazygerry's post below. Thanks!



Amiga Emulation

There are several options for the Amiga route, but these are not usually free. The Kickstart ROMs are still under licence, and at the time of writing this are only legally available from Cloanto. You can get them as part of the Amiga Forever pack, or with a bit of effort you can get hold of the Amiga Forever Essentials for Android set (for less than the price of a cup of coffee!) and copy them to your PC using this method.

The 3 main options for Amiga emulation are:

:lemming: FS-UAE - free (but you'll need to get kickstart ROMs) - very user-friendly and attractive interface, perfect for those that want a quick plug-and-play experience. It's not as powerful as some of the other Amiga emulation options, but it's more than enough to play all Lemmings games.

:lemming: Amiga Forever - not free (value edition is €20 at the time of writing) - more than enough to run Lemmings on an emulated system you can customise and build yourself. It's essentially WinUAE packaged in a more user-friendly interface, whilst also providing support from the friendly devs at Cloanto.

:lemming: WinUAE - free (you'll still need to get those ROMs, though!) - if you just want to play Lemmings, this might not be your best options because it takes some effort to get everything set up and configured properly, but it's an excellent choice for Amiga fans that want a more finely-tailored emulation experience.

There is also RetroArch, which is a free and open source frontend for emulation of many retro consoles including Amiga. Get the Kickstart ROMs and a copy of the Lemmings ADFs and you're good to go; setup is fairly straightforward, and RetroArch offers many customisation options.

All of these options offer save states, current support, and other mod cons.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2024, 10:15:46 PM by Simon »
My projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)
Non-Lemmings: Commander Keen: Galaxy Reimagined (a Commander Keen fangame)

Offline Simon

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Re: For new users: How to play Lemmings on a modern PC.
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 12:40:46 PM »
I estimate that some people want to stay close to DOS physics. In case DOS physics is what we want, and ease-of-use is less important, this is the ranking:

1. Dosbox + Lemmings: Has DOS physics by definition.

2. Lemmix: Physics are identical to DOS L1 in newer Lemmix versions: Some abstruse glitches are fixed Any differences to DOS L1 are considered bugs, even if the behavior in DOS L1 is strange in many places. Offers many hotkeys (documented where? Because invisible inside the game) to easen play, like savestates, framestepping, and replays. Does not offer extra functionality that could generate input impossible in DOS L1, thus no directional select.

3. Neolemmix: Forked off Lemmix, has the various hotkeys (but this time visible: buttons on screen and config menu), but has different physics. Steel behaves cleaner than in DOS L1. Builder stops on hitting terrain inside belly, ground removers have different ending conditions, etc. Has directional select, because it doesn't try to replicate DOS physics anymore.

4. Lix, or Superlemmini. Engines not based on anything DOS related. Don't have the DOS physics glitches. Vanilla Lemmini comes with its own physics glitches instead.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 04:32:30 AM by Simon »

Offline namida

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Re: For new users: How to play Lemmings on a modern PC.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 04:22:05 PM »
Quote
Some abstruse glitches are fixed (percent saved affected by nuke, pause for time before hatch opens).

The lack of these has been fixed (or unfixed, depending on what angle you want to look at it from) in the more recent updates.
My projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)
Non-Lemmings: Commander Keen: Galaxy Reimagined (a Commander Keen fangame)

Offline ccexplore

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Re: For new users: How to play Lemmings on a modern PC.
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 01:30:55 AM »
It is probably obvious, but worth mentioning for the "console/handheld emulator" option, keep in mind that with the exception of basically Amiga, most other options under that category means you won't have the ability to play the game with a mouse.  It may not necessarily be a deal-breaker but it's certainly one more thing that will deviate your experience from the "real thing".

Also, I never had to set DOSBox CPU cycle for L1-based games.  It seems to work well for me even when left at the admittedly lower-than-reality default of 3500 or so.  In fact, bumping it up too high may cause you to lose sound (or perhaps they may have fixed that in later DOSBox versions, it's been a while since I touched DOSBox), though 7000 I think is still low enough to keep that from happening.

LemEdit is the one program that I distinctly remember having to bump up the CPU cycle a lot (like 20000+ IIRC) to be usable.

I want to say even for DOS L2 you could get away not bumping up the CPU cycle in DOSBox, although I think it may have been slightly better to use a higher one than default for that game.  L3 I think you really do have to.  Or maybe not, it's been a while since I last tried those too. :-\  Anyway, it doesn't hurt to try I guess, if the default settings aren't working out.

More important may be where you get those games from.  In some cases the original versions may actually not work properly on modern machines even with DOSBox.  They may not crash outright, but you may experience weird things like load/save not working on L2, or other weirdness when you get to certain parts of/places in the game.  abandonia.com can be your friend to find slightly cracked versions of the games that work much better in DOSBox.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 01:39:51 AM by ccexplore »

Offline lemfan101

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Re: New users: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 05:11:38 PM »
Which solution would you recommend to a noob who'd like to play all sorts of lemming games?

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 02:56:21 AM »
Hi lemfam101,

welcome to the forums!

If you're interested in DMA's old games: Get the Lemmix Players or NeoLemmix Players (links in first post here) to play the 1991 Lemmings and Oh no more Lemmings. Install DOSBox to play Lemmings 2, to play Lemmings 3 (a.k.a. All New World of Lemmings, a.k.a. Lemmings Chronicles), or to play 3D Lemmings. Read How to play Lemmings 2 in DOSBox.

If you're interested in custom levels: Read How to play and create custom levels.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 12:54:07 AM by Simon »

Offline Hypotenuse

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 08:08:30 AM »
My personal vote goes for Lemmini. In the days before I discovered this great community of Lemmings players, I used DOSBox with my old discs, and that was somethin fierce in terms of setup. Modern Windows operating systems sadly do not play well with these things.
I am the dude who pauses the level to hear the new level music. Also, backroutes are the best routes.

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 11:52:31 AM »
The OP is due for a rewrite anyway. Vanilla Lemmix is awkward and Dosbox offers even less convenience during play. We clearly don't answer the noob question in the OP: I'm new, what single one thing should I download first?

If DOS physics aren't important, then NL is probably best. Do the NL players offer level select nowadays?

The vanilla Lemmix players have this hackish level select by password 'cheatcodes' and then password '0123' to play rank 1 level 23. Very nasty undocumented hack and you have to know the exact position of a level. Vanilla Lemmix also has abysmal performance in framestepping because they don't cache physics -- but it has framestepping at least.

Lemmini and Superlemmini have no framestepping. But framestepping is the number-one convenience feature; this alone is enough to not suggest Lemmini to the newcomer. Also Lemmini doesn't offer all levels at the start, instead demand passwords or linear playthrough, and sometimes even eats datafiles and demands a re-extraction.

D Lix doesn't read Lemmings files anymore and shouldn't be listed at all in my reply #1.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 12:09:02 PM by Simon »

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 02:04:33 PM »
If DOS physics aren't important, then NL is probably best. Do the NL players offer level select nowadays?

The stable version has a pack for the original levels and they can be accessed in a selection list with F2, if browsing through ranks and levels with the preview screen is too slow.

The new formats version has an improved SuperLemmini like selection menu that also checks for progress and if resolving on updated levels is needed + the option with preview screen when a pack is selected is still there.

In all cases all levels are unlocked of course.

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 03:17:51 PM »
Okay, cool! I should rewrite the OP accordingly and link to NL, link to the pack with DMA's levels, and give a short explanation on how to install.

Vanilla Lemmix remains important to mention, but it shouldn't come first anymore.

-- Simon

Offline WillLem

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2020, 02:46:42 PM »
Here's a comparison topic of the main platforms, going into further detail about the pros and cons of each.

Offline WillLem

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2022, 06:09:52 AM »
SuperLemminiToo is now more than worthy of a mention in the Lemmini section of the OP. The main features it adds are an upgraded panel, optional timed bombers, various bugfixes and pre-extracted WinLemm resources.

Ideally though, I'd like to hear from Charles and Tsyu about the future of the SuperLemmini(Too) project before deciding upon how best to present it on the Forums. My own thoughts are that a single version is better than multiple forks...




EDIT: As of 2023, I can no longer advise that people play (Super)Lemmini(Too); this series of clones was previously one of my favourite ways to play Lemmings, and they still have merit, but are not currently actively maintained and exist in various states of disarray as per their features, file systems and installation. I sincerely hope that something is done about this soon, because it's a great clone.

In the meantime, I'd prefer to point people towards my own clone, SuperLemmix (a fork of NeoLemmix which adds Timebombers, Projectile skills, a "Classic Mode" which deactivates the helper tools, and various UI tweaks and enhancements). The project is yet to gather any real momentum as an outright alternative to NeoLemmix, but you might find it suits you better if you prefer a more old-school playing experience, but still want the option to use the QOL features now and again.

« Last Edit: April 24, 2023, 10:43:17 PM by WillLem »

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2022, 07:50:23 PM »
It's been 4.5 years since the 2017 revision. We may well rewrite the entire thing. NL doesn't need the installer, SL clones' development goes in different directions, ...

WillLem: Please propose a readily-chiseled section for SL! The focus should be on:
1. What do we have to do until we can play (a conversion of) Lemmings 1.
2. Rudimentary overview of the main differences to playing L1 on a real DOS machine or on a real Amiga. E.g., Lemmini has different physics (inspired by Amiga?), hi-res graphics.

Meanwhile, I'll rewrite the Dosbox section; that is the easiest one to rewrite. It's mostly linking to other things, and telling people to find DOS Lemmings 1 that we don't want to link.

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2022, 08:19:43 PM »
DOSBox

You can run Lemmings 1 in DOSBox, a DOS emulator. This gives you 100 % Lemmings 1 physics including all of their bugs, and AdLib music. This is as close to the 1991 experience as you can get on a modern computer. But you get zero convenience features that the other engines offer.

To get running:
  • Install DOSBox. It's available for Windows, macOS, Linux, ...
  • Have a copy of DOS Lemmings 1.
  • Download the attached lem-fix.zip and extract it in your Lemmings 1 directory.
  • Run DOSBox, mount your directory of Lemmings 1, and cd into it. If you don't know how to do this, search the web, or ask here.
  • In DOSBox, set cycles to 6,000 or fewer before you run Lemmings 1. This enables music.
  • In DOSBox, run lem-fix3.exe to play.
  • If you want, raise cycles with Ctrl+F12 while Lemmings 1 is already running. Music will still play.
Downsides of Lemmings 1 in DOSBox:
  • Zero convenience features during play: No backwards framestepping to fix mistakes, no replay feature, no directional select.
  • Save requirement isn't displayed during play. You must remember the stats from the preview screen.
  • No handy level selection. You need passwords.
  • No progress tracking. Write down passwords as you play.
  • If you've never used DOSBox or DOS before, you'll search the web for many different things until you're up and running.
See also:
Add links to our topics for how to play L2/L3 in DOSBox.



This got long for a mere section in the overview of different methods to play Lemmings 1. And it still has omissions that may completely block the newbie (cycle setting, mounting, ...) Maybe make separate thread for (how to run Lemmings 1 in Dosbox), and link there from (overview of different methods).

-- Simon
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 08:50:04 PM by Simon »

Offline crazygerry

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SNES Lemmings with mouse / Maybe a new experience for someone ?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2022, 10:32:42 PM »
Hello together,

this forum is awesome and it showed me some ways to play Lemmings. Thank you all, to keep Lemmings alive !
My favorite is SuperLemminiToo, especially because of all the available levels and it's easy/fast way to get it running.
Nevertheless... I'm also used to use my favorite controlls and the look and feel (sound, animation sequences)
of emulated SNES Lemmings on a modern PC (it's not that special, but I really like it).
The only drawback of the original game was the missing mouse support, so I added mouse support.
I want to share this with you, maybe someone will give it a try.

You need gocha's snes9x https://github.com/gocha/snes9x-rr or maybe another emulator with lua support,
the Lemmings ROM and the according lua script
Lemmings https://github.com/agehring80/snes-mouse-lua/blob/master/lemmings.lua
Lemmings 2 https://github.com/agehring80/snes-mouse-lua/blob/master/lemmings2.lua

Right mouse button is the Start/Pause button,
Left mouse button is the main button.
Fast forward is the TAB key.

HowTo:
1. Run gocha snes9x and load the lemmings rom
2. Load the according lua script
3. hide the lua script window (move it to the edge, or to the second monitor)
4. goto fullscreen
5. have fun

It is very cool to click the right mouse button to have a thinking break.


Keep playing :lemming:, have fun !