Author Topic: Lemmings Speedrunning  (Read 20853 times)

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Lemmings Speedrunning
« on: January 17, 2018, 05:31:22 PM »
Hey y'all. I'm a transplant from the speedrunning world. A while back, I started working on speedrunning the original Lemmings. You can basically see what I've got up so far here:

So, because of how data is sort of cataloged on this site, I am running in to some difficulties in regarding how I need to split up the various platforms. Basically, because each port has a different number of levels, some levels switched out, or levels in different orders, setting up the full individual level leaderboards is proving to be a bit difficult at the moment. However, the 120 levels for Amiga/DOS/AtariST are up and should all be completely accurate as of now. It's unclear to me know because of the levels available on any given port as to whether I can get up all levels accurately for all ports on one page, or if I'll have to split the game page into more than one piece to properly account for all levels that can be run.

In any case, I'd like to invite y'all to submit times if you are interested. Gameplay must be recorded (ask, it's pretty easy to do). Additionally, games can be played via emulation for obscure platforms given that said emulations emulate the game accurately. And any feedback is appreciated.

I've already completed Fun and Tricky in terms of racing those 30 level packets. I haven't added my best individual times yet, but plan to do so soon.

Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 06:10:03 PM »
So the ZX Spectrum and Amstrand CPC appear to share the same 60 Levels as one another. About 36-46 of the levels are redundant (can hopefully suss through that tonight). Once I figure out which of those levels are missing, I should be able to add them, as well as Full-Game run for these platforms called "All 60 Levels (ZX/CPC)" and that should take care of those two ports and make them good to go. That's assuming they are actually different levels, and not duplicates with different names. Will look into more this evening.

SNES has 5 "Sunsoft Levels," which should be easy to add the additional 5 levels as their own thing. It also appears 2 player is on SNES/Genesis but I"m not sure if those are co-op levels, and thus have not integrated any sort of co-op runs into the boards yet.

Online Simon

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 09:35:28 PM »
Very interesting. Gronkling attempted a TAS of Genesis Lemmings, but after making it halfway through, he put it on hold indefinitely.

The DOS version should be most popular, it's most widespread and reasonably easy to run in DOSBox.

Instead of nuking at end of stage, you should hit ESC once enough lems are saved. This still counts as a won level and skips the nuke anim. Otherwise, you seem to have a detailed grasp of the mechanics, very nice.

You allow any number of DOSBox cycles. That's probably the wisest decision for cycles.

I speedrun Jazz Jackrabbit and the DOSBox timing across host platforms can differ substantially, even if one agrees on a fixed cycle count. Inside a level, there's no difference, but the maps load at different speed. Very strange, and I haven't completely investigated. Even the Dosbox config file can be identical and yet get different results on a Windows machine and a Linux machine.

I didn't know this in late 2016, I've measured old runs and we agreed that 40,000 cycles would come closest to existing runs from 2014. In hindsight, maybe it would have been smarter to allow arbitrary cycles. Secret Agent and Lemmings suggests max cycles. Keen 1, Keen 4 and some other DOS games don't mention anything at all.

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Offline Colorful Arty

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 09:38:43 PM »
The fastest platform would definitely be NeoLemmix, which is our own custom engine we play Lemmings packs on, but that would likely be cheating for speedrunning and would be quite boring.

I agree with Simon here, DOS Lemmings seems to be the most popular version of Lemmings. I would recommend using that version.
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Offline Forestidia86

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 09:44:40 PM »
Well, Lemmings for Win (1995) has a fast forward button, which seems to be blazingly fast on modern machines (seems only usable to finish level off if all necessary assignments have been made). It's missing some levels compared to the DOS version as well.

Edit: If you are dexterous enough with pause and fast forward, there seems to be the possibility and worthwhile to use fast forward even before the last assignment in some cases. Apart from that the interesting thing about a RTA run would be that you look to make the last necessary assignment as early as possible rather than what would be fastest with normal speed.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 12:00:51 AM by Forestidia86 »

Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 10:57:29 PM »
@Simon Lemmings seems like one of the more interesting TAS games because even the tools don't eliminate the sheer calculus. So itself seems like a competitive challenge even as a TAS (which I guess all TAS's are but). With TAS the optimal thing to do is always increase release rate by 99 and play in that manner (which would clearly be impossible for a human).

With DOSBox, setting the cycles can be quite painful for games that don't have internal timing systems, whereas you can run the processor as a simulated dead stop, or as fast as your actual computer processor can allow it. However, games like Lemmings (and some other MS-DOS games I've run thus far) have an internal timer which limits the speed the game can operate, no matter how many cycles you give it. For gives like this, it becomes however many cycles you need to eliminate the lag (because it won't go faster).

Regarding hitting the ESC instead of nuking. THANKS! for that heads up. Now I'm actually sort of torn. I was going to use beginning of level until count hits 0 (and use the frame 0 appears as the end time). If you can, in effect, play the round, have 20 lemmings left, and then hit EXT, and the next screen just goes to the "Level Complete" page, then I'm going to have to make a decision; require Remaining counter to hit zero, or end time on another frame... presumable the first frame that the victory screen level appears. I'll play around with this later.

I guess I should probably ask if there has been or was any sort of Lemmings speedrunning up to this point... if there have been established rules on the matter in the past, I'd go with that. If not, I wouldn't mind some input from y'all regarding what you guys think is best.

@Colorful Arty I'm familiar with NeoLemmix a bit. Just by how is set up in general though, NeoLemmix runs couldn't make it onto the original game page. In essence, I'd have to create a new page for the NeoLemmix software (which I may be willing to do in the future, because I realize that could open up custom levels and the like to speedrunning). However, I still got 2 Xmas Lemmings, and Oh No More Lemmings to get through first.

@forestidia86 I haven't played the '95 Version yet. I would accept a run (of what I understand to be 116 levels for whatever reason), though it'd be a category of its own. I'd also have to spend sometime to make sure all the levels are the same or not, or which ones or the same or are new, and what order the levels are in. Will look into that some next.

In other news though:

I've completed the individual levels list so far... which includes the 120 originals, the 12 additional from ZX/CPC releases, 5 Sunsoft for SNES, 60 additional levels for Genesis (I also painstakingly went through all Genesis levels, and separated the exclusive levels from the copies). So those should be good to run, as of now, more or less. I haven't looked yet, but I'm assuming SMS/GameGear is the same original 120 levels as Amiga/DOS/ST, but not 100% sure on that yet, so will check that one next.

Offline mobius

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 11:08:26 PM »
Well, Lemmings for Win (1995) has a fast forward button, which seems to be blazingly fast on modern machines (seems only usable to finish level off if all necessary assignments have been made). It's missing some levels compared to the DOS version as well.

:laugh: :laugh: Yes  the fast forward on Winlems is hilarious. 10 minutes passes in probably about 5 seconds. If it were possible to set up a program to solve the levels for you, maybe it could be done that way; in which case would make it the most ridiculous speed run of all time.
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Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 11:29:15 PM »
Wow, that was some hard work :lem-shocked:

I have a few corrections, though...

For all four special graphics levels (A Beast of a Level, MENACING, What an awesome level, A BeastII of a Level), the Genesis versions are different enough to be considered separately.
010 Smile if you love lemmings is called "5 miles if you love lemmings" on Genesis (but is the same level).
026 Nightmare on Lem Street and 026a The Great Lemming Caper are the same level with different names.
Genesis 034 The ascending pillar scenario is the same level as DOS 037 Been there, seen it, done it.
076 Mary Poppins' Land and 076a Umbrella land are the same level.
102 The Far Side and 102a The Other Side are the same level.

The SNES Sunsoft levels are all the same as levels from the Genesis version. From memory, I think this is the right order:
Sunsoft 1 = 177 Two heads are better
Sunsoft 2 = 179 I am A.T.
Sunsoft 3 = 150 Final impediment
Sunsoft 4 = 149 Private room available
Sunsoft 5 = 120a Lemmings' Ark

* * *

Since you asked... the 2-player levels are competitive, not co-op. Each player has a colour-coded exit; you score for lemmings of either colour entering your own exit (so it's advantageous to steal enemy lemmings if possible), and the player who saves the most lemmings wins the round. I don't think it makes sense to include them.

* * *

I agree that NeoLemmix should be treated as a separate game for archiving purposes, but I don't think it would be boring. The ability to make timeskips changes the gameplay drastically; you now have to plan a solution that makes the best use of this ability, and execute it well. Flopsy has had a go at running the entire game in NL, but his time (over 2 hours) could be improved substantially. I keep telling myself that one day I'll have a go at bettering it :P
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 11:50:51 PM by Proxima »

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 12:00:45 AM »
Here are the unique levels in SMS Lemmings:

020 SEGA One
022 Go for it!
026 SEGA Two
044 MENACING! (this is not the same level as DOS 044)
051 Sixes Not!
055 SEGA Three
075 What an AWESOME level (again, not the same as the DOS level)
081 SEGA Four
090 SEGA Five
099 SEGA One (this is a harder version of the earlier SEGA One, not the same level)
102 SEGA Two
103 SEGA Three
107 Stepping Stones (not the same as the DOS level)
108 SEGA Four
112 Nearly There...
119 SEGA Five

Also, SMS 111 With a twist of lemming please is the same level as DOS 081 Feel the heat. The rest of the levels are the same as DOS.

I don't know too much about Game Gear, but I believe it has overall the same levels as the NES version, not SMS.

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 12:05:30 AM »
Here is a post by Leo with a list to all Winlemm (1995) levels (original as well as ONML).

Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 12:08:19 AM »
@Proxima Oh my thanks! :thumbsup:

So the four special graphics I left as is (each level is split into subcategories for each platform, since they all essentially play slightly different). Since the numbers and names are the same, I'll leave them, since someone running the Genesis version of that level wouldn't be compared to someone running the same level on a different platform. I merged the other four together and try to make it straightforward, and merged the SNES sunloft levels. I haven't added SMS yet (do you know if SMS has the same 120 levels as the original outside the 666 level?) but will add it soon.

I saw over 2 hours at first thinking, how the hell did he do that?! Then I saw the NeoLemmix, and I was like... oh okay lol.

My estimation on the DOS version is that it probably couldn't be done in less than 5 hours.

I did Fun originally in 56:48, but while I was doing all this work today on the boards, I came across someone beating my record.

New WR posted 2 days ago:   42:45!!!!

So if perfect execution can drop Fun down 14 more minutes from me (RIP me), possible that the whole thing could be done relatively quickly.

But yeah, any other info about the other platforms and their differences in levels would be super helpful is anyone knows that stuff off hand! Thanks for those corrections for the levels.

Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 12:09:58 AM »
On another note, I think I can get all ports until 1997 on the same board for sure, and possibly also the GBC (haven't tested that one yet for levels and such). The PlayStation releases and other later releases I imagine will have be handled slightly different, but I'm sort of worrying about those last.

And I'm gonna work on them SMS levels, THANKS!

Offline namida

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 12:41:19 AM »
I don't know too much about Game Gear, but I believe it has overall the same levels as the NES version, not SMS.

Aside from a smaller segment of the level area being visible on-screen at a time, there is no obvious differences between the Master System and Game Gear versions. I don't know for sure that there are no very subtle differences though.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 12:45:59 AM »
Oops, I was mixing up the Game Boy and Game Gear :P

Re: Lemmings Speedrunning
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 12:47:05 AM »
SMS Levels Uploaded; except the two there were cases of Same name and Same # as original. I'm going to leave those be those be for now because they have separate leaderboards on the specific level's page (you can click each level).

At some point, I will finish figuring out what all possible categories might be for full-game stuff. That will allow me to actually assign the individual platforms involved to those specific categories (as well to each of one those specific levels.... yea.... :'()

So, on another note. I think I'm going to leave the ending rule as such, and that I mean, in level runs and full game runs, the player can't use Exit as a way to bypass the level quicker. I'm pliable in this matter but there are two reasons why I'm running with it for now:

1.) I'm not sure how relevant that is to all ports or releases, where the same function may work or different or something. So it would contribute to some consistency on an all platform basis. It's also a bit more risky to do since you can't just exit immediately once the necessary lemmings have exited the level; there's a balancing act using suicide between time and killing too many lemmings that make it fun.

2.) So, that other run that I referenced up there as the new WR. I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that guy may have seen my run and decided to try it out himself. Maybe not. In either case in his description he appears to follow this rule as well "Rules: ending level with ESC disallowed." So maybe I accidentally set bad precedent. Idk.

But like I'm said, I'm not ruling out feedback from others who are actually interested in submitting times and such.