Author Topic: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems  (Read 2638 times)

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Offline chris

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Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« on: October 11, 2018, 08:44:30 pm »
Hello Everyone,

Having recently found this, I thought I'd ask you experts about some longstanding problems I've had with The Tribes.

Playing the floppy disk version on a 386, the levels don't advance. I complete a level, and it doesn't let me move to the next one. This seems like a bug. It is the same set of disks that worked years ago, on nearly the same type of computer. Any ideas please? Fixes? Possibly just different memory settings or something, although I'd have hoped the game would warn me. I can't play the game properly any more.

The other problem I was never sure about years ago... The cannons sometimes through the firing animation but the lemming stayed inside. When another lemming came along they were both fired at once. Is that supposed to happen? It gave me great trouble on one of the Highland levels where there were cannons and trampolines, because the trampoline would only catch one lemming at a time and the other would splat.

(Apologies if they've already been covered elsewhere! I did try searching but didn't find anything relevant.)

Chris

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 09:04:30 pm »
Hi and welcome to the forums. :)

The other problem I was never sure about years ago... The cannons sometimes through the firing animation but the lemming stayed inside. When another lemming came along they were both fired at once. Is that supposed to happen? It gave me great trouble on one of the Highland levels where there were cannons and trampolines, because the trampoline would only catch one lemming at a time and the other would splat.

This is a glitch that happens sometimes with the cannons (double load). I can't tell though if there are version in which this is more prominent.

Quote
Playing the floppy disk version on a 386, the levels don't advance. I complete a level, and it doesn't let me move to the next one. This seems like a bug. It is the same set of disks that worked years ago, on nearly the same type of computer. Any ideas please? Fixes? Possibly just different memory settings or something, although I'd have hoped the game would warn me. I can't play the game properly any more.

I would recommend using a DOSBOX version. DOSBOX is a DOS emulator for old DOS games and I had no problems playing through Lemmings 2 with this. (dosbox.com)

If the games runs a bit slow there is a hotkey in DOSBOX to increase the cycles, which should fix the issue.

I still have the L2 game files here (with my save file included :P): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffakcyijnkjcpf8/Lemm2%20Icho.zip?dl=1

Run "L2-FIX.com" with the DOSBOX emulator and it all should work out (I think dragging "L2-FIX.com" onto the DOSBOX executable should work out, so no need for extra DOS commands). The fix is there to make savegames work again, which were bugged.

I have a full gold medal playthrough through the L2 DOS version uploaded on my Youtube channel as well ;): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBUTSHlISmM&list=PLKR1N9oJTTlIgaYxWoepL79bdwartclzY&index=2&t=0s

I hope this was helpful. :)

Offline Simon

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 10:01:31 pm »
Icho's advice is good: Use L2-FIX.EXE instead of the regular L2.EXE.

Before running L2-FIX.EXE, the L2-FIX.EXE must be put into the Lemmings 2 installation directory.

Reason: The effect of dragging executables onto the Dosbox icon is: Dosbox mounts the directory in which the executable sits, and runs the executable.

-- Simon

Offline chris

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 09:18:33 pm »
Hi and welcome to the forums. :)

The other problem I was never sure about years ago... The cannons sometimes through the firing animation but the lemming stayed inside. When another lemming came along they were both fired at once. Is that supposed to happen? It gave me great trouble on one of the Highland levels where there were cannons and trampolines, because the trampoline would only catch one lemming at a time and the other would splat.

This is a glitch that happens sometimes with the cannons (double load). I can't tell though if there are version in which this is more prominent.

Thanks for the confirmation. I'd long suspected it was a glitch rather than something intentional. At least I know it wasn't just me.

Quote
Playing the floppy disk version on a 386, the levels don't advance. I complete a level, and it doesn't let me move to the next one. This seems like a bug. It is the same set of disks that worked years ago, on nearly the same type of computer. Any ideas please? Fixes? Possibly just different memory settings or something, although I'd have hoped the game would warn me. I can't play the game properly any more.

I would recommend using a DOSBOX version. DOSBOX is a DOS emulator for old DOS games and I had no problems playing through Lemmings 2 with this. (dosbox.com)

If the games runs a bit slow there is a hotkey in DOSBOX to increase the cycles, which should fix the issue.

I still have the L2 game files here (with my save file included :P): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffakcyijnkjcpf8/Lemm2%20Icho.zip?dl=1

Run "L2-FIX.com" with the DOSBOX emulator and it all should work out (I think dragging "L2-FIX.com" onto the DOSBOX executable should work out, so no need for extra DOS commands). The fix is there to make savegames work again, which were bugged.

Actually, I think the first thing to try is using that fix on its own - I won't bother with DOSBox to start with. (Just downloading now - presumably that download includes the fix.)

Straying into the technicalities, does anyone here happen to know what goes wrong and how it's fixed? Newer version of MS-DOS causing problems, that sort of thing? I mentioned use of a computer from the era to help with diagnostics in case it was something like that. It struck me especially because I hadn't had anything like that problem when I'd originally played the game. Surprising that such a serious bug managed to slip past the authors. Should be headline news in articles on Lemmings 2. Well done whoever wrote the patch!

And thank you for the help Icho.

Best regards,

Chris
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 09:30:14 pm by chris »

Offline chris

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 09:22:37 pm »
Icho's advice is good: Use L2-FIX.EXE instead of the regular L2.EXE.

Before running L2-FIX.EXE, the L2-FIX.EXE must be put into the Lemmings 2 installation directory.

Reason: The effect of dragging executables onto the Dosbox icon is: Dosbox mounts the directory in which the executable sits, and runs the executable.

-- Simon

Use instead of the normal L2.EXE, rather than something that patches the original executable, got it. Thanks for the useful detail.

And now I know what I'll be doing Saturday!

Chris

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 09:25:35 pm »
Quote
And now I know what I'll be doing Saturday!

Then I wish you lots of fun, trying to save the little buggers. ;)

Offline Simon

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 10:24:21 pm »
Outside of Dosbox, Lemmings 2 is notoriously hard to run with or without L2-FIX. I have loose memories of L2 wanting a FAT16 primary partition.

But give it a try on your MS-DOS machine with L2-FIX and let us know!

-- Simon

Offline chris

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 07:22:25 pm »
Outside of Dosbox, Lemmings 2 is notoriously hard to run with or without L2-FIX. I have loose memories of L2 wanting a FAT16 primary partition.

But give it a try on your MS-DOS machine with L2-FIX and let us know!

-- Simon

It works now! Yes, that L2-FIX did the trick.

Yes, this is on a FAT-16. I'm still wondering what the original problem was. I think I'd first tried to replay the game a few years after first getting it, on the same computer as it originally worked on, and had that problem. I don't think think there had been any serious changes, perhaps an upgrade from MS-DOS 5.0. The 386 I dug out is running 6.0 or 6.2, fairly similar hardware to the original.

What I did have in case anyone else has the same problem... the game didn't start properly when I was using DISPLAY.SYS. Whether I used L2-FIX or not, it got through the startup text then hung with a black screen where the main menu should have appeared. Removing the localisations from AUTOEXEC and CONFIG solved that. I don't think it was anything like lack of or badly configured memory - the game also worked with AUTOEXEC and CONFIG completely bypassed (and starting a mouse driver from the command line).

I still have the problem with cannons not firing properly, causing the occasional lemming to fall through a trampoline and die. That was one reason why I wanted to try the game again - see if I can get the "gold standard" end of game.

Chris

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2018, 08:52:51 pm »
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causing the occasional lemming to fall through a trampoline and die.

There is the rule that trampolines only can handle 1 lemming at a time (at least I think), like a fast trap that can only handle up to a certain density of lemmings before letting some past. That is also the reason why you can have problems on Sport 1 getting a gold standard.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 09:23:24 pm »
I still have the problem with cannons not firing properly, causing the occasional lemming to fall through a trampoline and die.

That is a bug in DOS Lemmings 2 (and maybe other ports too).  From what I can recall though (my memory might not be 100% accurate at this point :XD:), it only happens with the use of pausing.  Specifically, if you pause while a lemming is already starting to enter the cannon, the pausing fails to pause the "lemming enter cannon" animation from continuing, but it does prevent the lemming from being fired out of the cannon upon end of animation while game is still paused.  Then by the time you unpause, since the animation was already finished, there is no longer a trigger to eject the lemming out of the cannon, at least not until the next lemming enters and trigger the cannon to fire normally while not paused.

So you can minimize this problem by avoid using pause in cannon levels.  Granted, this may be easier said than done in some cases.

Offline chris

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 10:31:25 pm »
Quote
causing the occasional lemming to fall through a trampoline and die.

There is the rule that trampolines only can handle 1 lemming at a time (at least I think), like a fast trap that can only handle up to a certain density of lemmings before letting some past. That is also the reason why you can have problems on Sport 1 getting a gold standard.

Yes, that part made sense and seemed fair to the player.

Chris

Offline chris

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Re: Help wanted with Lemmings 2 technical problems
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 10:35:24 pm »
That is a bug in DOS Lemmings 2 (and maybe other ports too).  From what I can recall though (my memory might not be 100% accurate at this point :XD:), it only happens with the use of pausing.  Specifically, if you pause while a lemming is already starting to enter the cannon, the pausing fails to pause the "lemming enter cannon" animation from continuing, but it does prevent the lemming from being fired out of the cannon upon end of animation while game is still paused.  Then by the time you unpause, since the animation was already finished, there is no longer a trigger to eject the lemming out of the cannon, at least not until the next lemming enters and trigger the cannon to fire normally while not paused.

So you can minimize this problem by avoid using pause in cannon levels.  Granted, this may be easier said than done in some cases.

Thanks ccexplore, that's helpful. I'll give it a go.

I'd spent a while trying to pin down the cause, and seeing if I could avoid the problem. I was trying things like moving the cannon whilst a lemming loaded itself.

Chris