ST SOFTWARE REVIEW: OH NO! MORE LEMMINGS BY PSYGNOSIS
by Richard Karsmakers
I am afraid you may find some bits here that you have read
before, as I took some stuff from the "Lemmings" review I did
earlier. I did this because the same stuff applies to it, really,
but with the exception that the sequel is even BETTER...
Oh No! More Lemmings
They have done it again - and quickly at that. Just before
Christmas Psygnosis launched the sequel to their all-time
greatest game, "Lemmings". Thank God it wasn't simply called
"Lemmings II" or something. No. It's called "Oh No! More
Never saw such an apt description.
I had no time to do a background novel or so. I had thought
about doing one that was similar to the "Lemmings" one with
another Norwegian being the protagonist (i.e. Kai Holst), but I
decided against it.
Lucky you. Sorry, Kai.
The principle of "Lemmings" (and, therefore, the "Oh No!"
sequel) is actually very simple, but just difficult enough to
make sure it's almost impossible to explain to someone who hasn't
seen it yet.
The game consists of 5 clusters of 20 levels in one player mode
(as opposed to the 4 clusters of 30 levels with the original),
plus an additional 10 levels for two-player mode (the original
had 20 two-player mode levels). Every level is a contraption of
variedly shaped platforms that vary from very easy at the
beginning to positively intricate in the later ones. Every level
can be five to six screens in width!
Somewhere on each level is a hatch from which you will find
little creatures dropping, one by one. The speed with which they
fall can vary between a set minimum speed and a maximum speed of
100 of these creatures per time unit. These creatures are the
infamous lemmings around which the entire game is built up.
Just like real lemmings (little creatures that look a bit like
hamsters and that are commonly thought to be suicidal), their
computerised counterparts are as daft as a brush. They will all
just walk in the same direction until they bump into something,
which will cause them to turn around until they hit something
On the other side of a level is, usually, a gate. This is the
exit, and the target of the game is to get the lemmings through
that exit. At the beginning, only a minor percentage of all the
creatures have to be saved, but on higher levels you will find
that it often occurs that 100% has to be saved, i.e. none are
allowed to perish. On many other levels only a couple are allowed
to die - so should they have to die they'd better die for a good
To assist the lemmings in getting safely to the exit, it is
possible to give a certain number of lemmings certain
instructions. This can be done by selecting from several icons in
a panel at the bottom of the screen with the mouse cursor, and
then clicking on the lemming you would like to perform that
particular action. Most instructions can only be selected a
certain number of times, and some not at all - this depends on
each level, where these parameters are individually determined.
In the beginning, only one type of action can be selected, which
serves to teach you exactly what you can do. In the last levels,
you will have only a precise amount of certain actions at your
disposal - so there can be no wasting there!
Once given this instruction, a lemming can climb objects that
would normally cause it to bump and turn around.
Lemmings are allowed to fall quite a distance, but once this
gets too big they drop dead. By giving them an umbrella icon,
they can drop endless. If you give them an umbrella as well as
the climb icon, the lemming becomes an athlete.
The lemming that is given this instruction will immediately
stand still and stop all its buddies (who will bump into it and
turn around). This is the way to prevent them all from falling
into a chasm, for example. The disadvantage of a stop instruction
is that the lemming will have to be exploded to get rid of it
(which causes it to die, of course).
The blowing up is done with this. Apart from getting rid of
stoppers, you can also use it to have lemmings explode themselves
through things like floors or walls, which is needed on the
higher levels where you might have no diggers as your disposal.
As lemmings will die when dropping into water, lava or boiling
acid, they have to build stairs to bridge gaps. Deep chasms can
also be conquered this way. When given this option, the lemming
will start building diagonal stairs. After a while it will stop
(when it runs out of bricks, builds into a wall or bumps its
head) and shrug. You can then quickly let him continue to build
by giving him the same instruction again. A nice use for building
stairs: When you want a lemming to stop digging before it has
reached clear air, you can have it build stairs - it will
promptly hit something, causing it to stop building. And by then
it has already stopped digging!
DIG HORIZONTALLY (BASHER)
When a wall blocks your way (one that is not made of steel
through which you cannot dig!) you can have a lemming dig its way
through this using the 'dig horizontally' command. There are also
walls that you can only dig through in one direction (which is
usually not the one that you're heading for...).
DIG DIAGONALLY DOWN
The lemming will start digging a way diagonally down using a
pickaxe - until it runs into clear air.
DIG STRAIGHT DOWN
The lemming will start digging straight down until it runs into
clear air. Watch out: It may not dig too deep, as other lemmings
falling in it will then fall to death!
On one of the earlier levels there is a horizontal wall on which
the lemmings fall at the left side. The exit is on the right side
and all lemmings start walking towards it.
Unfortunately there's a hole in the middle, over which stairs
have to be built to avoid them from falling through.
You will notice, when one lemming starts building stairs, that
the others will continue walking. They will also walk over the
stairs even when they're not yet finished, causing them to drop
down and die. This can be solved by letting the first lemming
after the stairs-builder become a stopper. The rest will bump
into that one and turn around.
There is nothing on the left side of the horizontal wall against
which they can bump and turn around, which means they will drop
down there and die anyway! So another stopper has to be activated
at that spot (any spot left of the entrance hatch and to the
right of the edge).
The lemmings will now peacefully stroll to and fro between both
stoppers until the stairs have been finished.
You now have to blow up the right stopper so that they will all
walk over the stairs, safely towards the exit gate. When no
lemmings are walking to the left anymore, you can blow up the
That's all folx.
The above was only a simple example. The final levels are far
more complicated, where you'll have to build and dig with
specific lemmings simultaneously, and keep an eye that they do it
properly. The time limits also have a tendency of getting very
For the purpose of getting rid of situations out of which you'll
never get with the proper amount of lemmings saved, Psygnosis
have included another icon in the instruction panel.
It contains the picture of a small nuclear explosion.
Double-clicking on this will cause every single lemming on the
screen to get an explosion countdown, which causes them to
explode quite spectacularly as if in a huge chain reaction,
blowing up their surroundings and everything. Nice to see.
Connected with this game came what could have been the first and
most crushing disaster of my University carreer: It was
delivered to me home in the middle of me having to do some
serious studying for my pre-Christmas tests. As a matter of fact
it appeared before the day on which I had to do tests on General
Literature Science and Grammar.
It was extremely hard to keep my fingers off the game and
continue studying that day...
Once I could start to play it struck savagely. All I could do
was play it. I saw little green'n'blue creatures walking on the
insides of my eyelids when I was asleep. I woke up in the middle
of night, seeing hundreds of 'em crash down ravines and the like.
As a matter of fact, I barely had time to write the other
reviews that had to be done, or even to celebrate Christmas and
New Year like I should.
Thanks, Psygnosis (really, though)!
In spite of the system with passwords (by the way, you also have
to type in the xth number on page y of the manual to be able to
play), that makes sure that you're not going to play finished
levels again and that makes sure you'll never play the game again
once you've completed it, the game doesn't lose any long-term
interest. The higher levels take very long to complete, even
though the hours spent puzzling fly by as if they merely were
Technically the game is also OK. The sound has improved a lot
since the original; they use a better sound play routine and the
game sound are also more clearly distinguishable. The intro has
been completely skipped.
Even when about 100 lemmings are strolling leisurely across the
screen, many of them doing particular jobs, the game doesn't slow
down too much. DMA design has done an OK job here. The actual
design is OK as well, with minimum loading times.
Two player mode
As briefly mentioned before, "Lemmings" also contains a two-
player mode. We're talking split-screen simultaneous two-player
mode here, so no dumb stuff with two people that are supposed to
play after each other.
Both players play in the same level, and the target is to get as
much lemmings as possible through your own exit gate (each player
has his own exit gate). Of course, you should try to get more
than half of those that actually exit, so you can beat your
Unfortunately, the ST does not support two mice and that is the
only drawback of the ST version as opposed to the Amiga one:
Player number two has to play the game with the joystick,
which needs quite a lot of getting used to. This takes quite some
getting used to, and succeeds in decreasing the two-player mode's
appeal quite a bit.
Since the two-player mode is split-screen, each player has a
smaller screen area at his disposal, which often means that he
starts to scroll when coming too near to the edges when this is
not wanted. The fact that there is no possibility to speed up the
arrival of the lemmings is also somewhat tedious: When you have
finished making your path is can take a long time of waiting for
all your lemmings to finally arrive.
If you really compete in the two-player mode, the game is
downright frustrating. All you need to do is put a stopper on the
way of your opponent, or blow his stairs to bits. Really
aggravating, and you have to have a good bond of friendship with
the second player not to smack him in the face regularly.
To data disk or not to data disk
For people who already have "Lemmings", it is not needed to
shell out the £25.99 required to get the full version of the
sequel. If they are satisfied enough with the sound of the old
version (which I suppose will be the only difference then), they
can get a data disk at £19.99.
However, I would advise shelling out another fiver for the
better sound and generally for supporting the authors and
Psygnosis more so that they may be tempted to do more Great Games
like these in the future.
Please refer to the "Lemmings" review that appeared in ST NEWS
Volume 6 Issue 2. I still think very much the same. The levels
are new and more difficult (except for the first 20, of course)
and the intro has been skipped. Sound has improved. That's all
that's different so it seems. It is still a very good game around
a superb design. You should not beat around the bush and get it.
I refuse to pull open another drawer of beautiful adjectives.
It's a pity it didn't come out a bit later, i.e. in 1992. If
this would have been the case it would surely have been the best
game of 1992.
This game will also appeal a lot to people who played "Lemmings"
before. There are other surprises (i.e. Lemming Tomato Sauce
makers) and it's just better.
Title: Oh No! More Lemmings
Hookability: 10 (to the point of frustration!!)
Value for money: 10
Overall rating: 10
Hardware: Colour monitor, DS disk drive
Remark: Just downright great. But very
I'd like to extend the warmest greetings and thanks to Mr. Nik
Wild of Psygnosis. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hail thee!
Thank y...(cut! ED.)
Another bit about software ethics
Maybe you have read my article about "The ST's Death" in ST NEWS
Volume 6 Issue 1. Maybe you haven't. The article was about piracy
and its serious threat for software on the ST.
I would like to appeal to all you crackers out there not to
crack a game as good as "Lemmings" or it's sequel, "Oh No! More
Lemmings". The authors deserve their money for this one (as a
matter of fact they deserve to be flippin' raking in money by
now!), and I personally think you should be pinned to a wall
hanging by your gonads if you crack it anyway. You do not deserve
to breathe the same air as the people behind this game!
In case you are just someone who is spreading a cracked version
of the game, I would like to tell you that I think you deserve to
have your foreskin removed by an exceedingly blunt knife.
The password (well...at least some of 'em)
Lucky you. In case you already have the game (and there's no
rational reason why you shouldn't) you might have some benefit
from the fact that I have already played it for quite a while. I
am therefore in a position to supply you with some of the
passwords. Sorry I haven't got any more, but I just didn't get a
chance to play it any more before this ST NEWS issue had to be
I have reason to believe that it is possible that there are some
(or, indeed, MANY) different sets of passwords - just like with
"Gods" or the earlier "Lemmings". So don't start swearing when
these don't work. Try replacing specific characters with others.
It might help.
Note: Levels with an asterisk (*) behind them are particular
b*stards! Levels with a video hash (#) behind them are extremely
simple if you just use your eyes properly!
Second note: Tim (Manikin of TLB) initiated the 'wicked' levels.
Thanks for that. No thanks for beating my poor and awfully
faithful mouse mat senseless in the process! Oh yeah, Tim: Please
tell Dave to start growing up; he can shove his remarks up the
least appealing of his cavities (i.e. any of his cavities).
People who are eager to get their hands on the passwords to
"Lemmings" (i.e. the original game) should get ST NEWS Volume 6
Issue 2 that contains most of them. Refer to the "Colofon"
article for your nearest official ST NEWS foreign distributor.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.