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Video Game Memories: The Lost Vikings
Back in 1993, a fun little game was released for the Super NES and Sega Genesis called The Lost Vikings. I played that game quite a bit back in the day. Here are some of my memories of that game.
It was not unusual back then to have a choice of characters with different abilities to make it through a level, but this was unusual in that you always controlled three characters and had to get all three to the exit. If you lost one of them, you failed the level. Sometimes you would get stuck with no way to move, especially since two of the three characters could not jump. There was no way to kill the stuck character, but you could quit the level.
A lot of games went for humor, but The Lost Vikings was one of the few that did it successfully. One of the things I remember the most was breaking the fourth wall. The characters knew they were in a game and would talk about levels. That was highly unusual at the time, as games never recognized that they actually are games. If you failed a level repeatedly, the Norse god Odin would scold the characters for their failures. Sometimes it was fun to intentionally fail just to see how the characters would react. The banter between the characters at the start and end of a level was often more fun than the game itself.
The game was hard and sometimes frustrating but never so much so that it was not fun to play. I never did defeat the final boss, and I sold my Super NES about thirteen years ago so I probably never will. The sequel added two other characters, a werewolf and a dragon. (Olaf referred to the latter as Scorch the magic dragon, who lived by the sea.) After all these years, I am surprised that Blizzard never released another sequel. This is a game that would adapt well to smartphones, if a sequel was specifically made for them. Overall, it is one of the hidden gems of the 16 bit era.