Author Topic: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC  (Read 37303 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)

Running original Lemmings from 1991 on a modern PC isn't as simple as grabbing a copy of the game and double-clicking the EXE file. It was for DOS and Amiga, but modern Windows has no support for these. 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 for Windows, but runs well in Wine on Linux, too.

To play Lemmings 1 and ONML in NeoLemmix:
Physics are different from DOS Lemmings 1. Many glitches are fixed. Some non-glitch physics are changed: Builders cancel when their bellies hit terrain, steel stays intact even when ground removers move halfway inside, ground removers have different cancelling conditions, etc.

NeoLemmix offers excellent quality-of-life features: Rewinding to fix mistakes, replays, savestates, directional select, assign during pause, ... They're all optional. You can play without them.



DOS Emulation

For the most authentic Lemmings experience, DOSBox is your best option. DOSBox is a free and open-source DOS emulator for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and several other platforms.
  • Download DOSBox from its website.
  • You need an actual copy of DOS Lemmings 1.
  • ... see one of Simon's posts below, or search the forums, search the net ... (to edit here)
  • For Lemmings 1, set DOSBox CPU cycles to 7,000 or fewer (Ctrl+F11 or sometimes Ctrl+Shift+F11?), otherwise music will not load.
  • Run Lemmings 1 within DOSBox.
  • 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.

Downsides: You'll have no player-assist features, and you need passwords.

For more recent development, try Dosbox-Staging and see its wiki entry about Lemmings 1.



Lemmix

Lemmix is a fan-made clone originally developed by EricLang, with later improvements by ccexplore and myself. There is a "Lemmix player" for each official game based on the original mechanics, as well as one containing extra official levels from various sources. This means Lemmix is an option 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 which share the same or very similar mechanics (and even some that don't, such as Sega Master System).
Lemmix emulates the original games' mechanics perfectly. For convenience, it offers savestates, fast-forward, forward framestepping, and saving solution replays -- although with unremappable, obscure hotkeys that you must locate by experiment.



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. It runs on practically any operating system that Java supports.

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

You'll get high-resolution graphics and high-resolution gameplay. Physics details will be different from DOS Lemmings.

There are basic player-assist features: 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.



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!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 11:17:20 AM by Simon »
My Lemmings 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)

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 Lemmings 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)

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 !

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2022, 04:47:54 AM »
Thanks! This weekend, I'll edit the first post, and it's a good idea to mention SNES emulators with SNES Lemmings 1. I'll then also link to your mouse support, it sounds like excellent quality-of-life for SNES emulation.

-- Simon

Offline CrystalCore

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2023, 09:41:05 PM »
See also:
How to play and create custom levels
List of Lemmings engines (2013)

Running original Lemmings from 1991 on a modern PC isn't as simple as grabbing a copy of the game and double-clicking the EXE file. It was for DOS and Amiga, but modern Windows has no support for these. Even Lemmings for Windows 95 won't run without problems....

If you're looking for another way to play it via DOS:

https://dosbox-staging.github.io/

https://github.com/dosbox-staging/dosbox-staging/wiki/Game-issues#lemmings-1991

https://discord.gg/WwAg3Xf is Dosbox-Staging's Discord chat channel.

Offline Simon

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2023, 10:16:52 PM »
Thanks! I didn't know about Dosbox Staging. You have extensive documentation; I haven't tried any of it but it looks excellent already. I'll add your links to OP these days.

-- Simon

Offline jkapp76

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2023, 11:29:23 PM »
I agree with Crystal Core. DosBox Staging is miles ahead of the standard DOSBox. It has a documents folder inside with all the instructions.
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline CrystalCore

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Re: How to play Lemmings (1991) on a modern PC
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2023, 12:13:00 AM »
Thanks! I didn't know about Dosbox Staging. You have extensive documentation; I haven't tried any of it but it looks excellent already. I'll add your links to OP these days.

-- Simon

No problem. If you or anyone else on the Lemmings Forums wants to contribute to Dosbox-Staging, don't hesitate to do so within reason:

https://github.com/dosbox-staging/dosbox-staging

The Dosbox-Staging devs also hang out on that Discord link I provided, so if you need live help in the future, go there as well.

The rest of the wiki is at https://github.com/dosbox-staging/dosbox-staging/wiki/