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Proto:Lemmings (Amiga)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Lemmings (Amiga).

There were two pre-release demos of Lemmings on the Amiga with subtle changes and unused content compared to the final game.

Magazine Cover Disk Demo

LemmingsAmigaDemo-Title.png

This was the first demo of the game that was released on Amiga Format magazine cover disk 18 and CU Amiga cover disk 8 in January 1991. This demo has animations missing that are in the other demo and the final game. The filestamp for the executable dates it to October 1990. This version does not start with the Psygnosis logo and the "rock" Lemmings logo as in the later demo, it starts directly on the menu screen. This demo has only three single player levels, unlike the later demo's five.

Animation Differences

  • In this version builders do not pause and perform their shoulder shrugging animation when they run out of bricks, they simply immediately start walking again, making the game harder.
  • When Lemmings explode, either with the exploder job or via nuking, their final shaking animation once their counter reaches zero is not present; instead they stand still and a question mark appears over their head before they explode.
LemmingsAFDemo-explode.png


(Source: Lemmings Forums posts ])

Sound Differences

  • The "explosion" sound used for exploders and nuking lemmings is the same as the release rate change sound effect at this point.
  • Toggling through the abilities using the keyboard doesn't make the selection sound, only clicking the icons does.

Level Differences

Watch out, there's traps about
Missing the final bear trap near the exit. This is, however, already present in the same level in the later demo.

Demo Final
LemmingsAmigaDemo-WOTTA.png LemmingsAmiga-WOTTA.png

This should be a doddle!
Uses a subtly different early rock graphic compared to the final. The left edge is completely straight and the bottom right extreme also angles upwards rather than downwards as in the final graphic.

Demo Final
LemmingsAmigaDemo-TSBAD.png LemmingsAmiga-TSBAD.png

Unused Map

This version has a unique map that is not in any other version of Lemmings, called "One way to Freedom", not to be confused with "One Way Digging to Freedom" as found in the previous demo and the final game. It has a similar concept to that map, overcoming a one way wall from the wrong side, but has a very different design. Presumably an early version or precursor to the final map.

LemmingsAFDemo-onewaytofreedom.png


(Source: Lemmings Level Database ])

Psygnosis Demo

This was released as a standalone demo disk by Psygnosis themselves, and apparently was sold for 50p at computer shows and also by mail, with the possibility of sending the disk in to get the money back if the full game was purchased[1]. It's commonly found on the internet as a cracked released by Skid Row. Unfortunately, there are no timestamps on the files to ascertain when exactly it was created. The near-final demo of the Amiga Lemmings has some small changes compared to the final game. Being a demo, it has no difficulty selection, instead presenting five preselected levels. Also, for whatever reason, the menu control for turning music and/or sound on and off does not work.

The menu also does not list Tim Wright as a musician because none of the songs he composed are included.

Title Screen

Oh so close, yet so far...

This version includes a title screen not seen in the final game. It was apparently kept for the game's still unreleased level editor[2].

Level Differences

This should be a doddle
You need to save a much higher percentage of lemmings (87% in the prototype, 50% in the final), and the stage has a slightly higher release rate (60 in the prototype, 50 in the final).

One way digging to Freedom
Missing the flamethrower object to the left hand side of the final level and requires a slightly higher number of lemmings to be saved (100 in the prototype, 80 in the final).

Demo Final
LemmingsAmigaDemo-OWDTF1.png LemmingsAmiga-OWDTF1.png

Watch out, there's traps about
This is somewhat harder than the final version, since you have 120 lemmings (enough to cause the game to lag) rather than 80. On top of that, a slightly higher percentage need to be saved (88% in the prototype, 80% in the final).

Bomboozal
No changes.

If at first, you don't succeed...
As with "One way digging to Freedom", the only difference is that you have 100 lemmings instead of 80.

(Source: Lemmings wiki])

Difficulty/Grading System

The demo uses a numerical system to grade level difficulties, whereas the final game assigns levels four named difficulties; Fun, Tricky, Taxing and Mayhem. This can be seen when using the password screen to start a level. The level below (One Way Digging to Freedom) is said to be "grade 5", whereas the final game gives it the Tricky rating.

Demo Final
LemmingsAmigaDemo-CodesScreen.png LemmingsAmiga-CodesScreen.png

Unused Text

There are what are clearly debug strings in the demo executable:

Frames:0...Cursor X:0000...Cursor Y:0000.*.Map X:0000.6.Keycode :0000.E.Key : ...Lemming :0000...No. Active :0000.!.Collision :0000.3.Serial :0000.B.0000...WALKER        OUT 000  IN 00%  TIME 1-30..WALKER            000     00%       1-30..WALKER   00 OUT 00    WALKER   00 OUT 00..WALKER   00     00    WALKER   00

It's not clear if a full debug mode could be enabled.

Unused Music

Included in the demo files are several covers of songs by Brian Johnston, none of which play in any of the demo's levels. All of these are covers of copyrighted songs; DMA Design apparently explicitly wanted covers of TV theme songs players would be familiar with for the game[3]. However, once publisher Psygnosis heard them they panicked at the obvious illegality of this and hired previous Psygnosis collaborator Tim Wright to compose several original songs to replace them[4]. Only Johnston's covers of public domain songs (e.g. The Can-Can) survive in the final release alongside Wright's new compositions.

Filename Source Song
addamsfamily The Addams Family Theme
ateam The A-Team Theme
batman The 60s Batman Theme
birdie The Chicken Dance
daysnight A Hard Day's Night
entertainer The Entertainer
hogan The Hogan's Heroes Theme
matchespana A mix of the Match of the Day Theme and Eviva España
missionimpos The Mission Impossible Theme
oblasuper A mix of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
panther The A Shot in the Dark Theme
petergunn The Peter Gunn Theme
raindrops Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
richman If I Were A Rich Man
scoobydoo The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Theme
twist Let's Twist Again

Fixed End Screen Typo

Both demos show the same final message if all the single player levels are completed. The later Psygnosis demo fixes a typo on the screen, however.

Magazine Demo Psygnosis Demo
LemmingsAmigaDemo-End1.png LemmingsAmigaDemo-End2.png


References

  1. Lemmings: Can You Dig It? Ian Hetherington - Youtube, Exient Publishing, 2022
  2. The Complete History of Lemmings By Mike Dailly (Part 4) - The Complete History of DMA Design, 2006
  3. Lemmings: Can You Dig It? Russell Kay - Youtube, Exient Publishing, 2022
  4. Lemmings: Can You Dig It? Tim Wright - Youtube, Exient Publishing, 2022