A long time ago, I bought this small, purple code book for the Super Nintendo because it was packed with Earthworm Jim codes. I found it to be of great help when playing Lemmings, because it meant I could skip to whatever level I wanted (minus five that, for whatever reason, the book was missing). The next page had a second Lemmings game, "Lemmings 2: The Tribes". I spend a long time looking at the screenshot trying to figure out which icon was the Basher, Climber, Digger, Miner, and so on. When I finally bought the game, I realized what was wrong with my reasoning. While the general idea of the games are the same, the original Lemmings and the Tribes are two different animals.

Lemmings had eight simple commands that stuck from stage to stage, although there were times where you didn't get any chances to use it, or very limited chances. Lemmings 2: The Tribes uses about thirty commands that change from stage to stage, ranging from commands that made the lemming move twice as fast, to making the lemming whip out a flamethrower and destroy all the ground within the flame's range in a single blast, to this worthless one where the lemming makes a weed grow out of the ground. Some are invaluable to the game's success, some are important but cumbersome, some aren't necessary but are fun and helpful, and some are just plain worthless. There's also this weird addition called the Fan. There's some commands that require you to whip out the fan and blow around the lemming. For example, blow a Surfer across water, or a Ballooner wherever you want. It's cute, but if the fan is just a pixel off you might end up blowing a Twister at a 45 degree angle instead of straight left or right.

There's an interesting amount of detail in the game, at least the Super Nintendo version. There's a simple parallax scrolling in the stages, the lemmings are much better animated. The Genesis version, on the other hand, has no backgrounds, except for the creepy blinking sun in the Beach stages (it was traumatizing enough when it wasn't animated. Did they HAVE to make it wiggle its eyelids?). The Genesis version also has some rather obnoxious sound. Now, I understand the Genesis' sound system is much weaker than the SNES's. But the Genesis version of the original Lemmings still managed to have music that I enjoy listening to while doing homework. The Genesis Tribes music is just obnoxious.

Truth is, the entire Genesis version is obnoxious. If you have a choice, get the SNES version. Not only because of the better sound and graphics, but also because it uses battery backed saves, wheras the Genesis version has you input 12 lines of 24 character long passwords (okay, I don't know for a fact that it's 24, but it's really insane). Some levels were also modified to become easier to complete. Whie normally that wouldn't be a good thing, in this case it is, because if the Genesis version is the perfect port of the computer version almost all of these modified levels were absolutely infuriating in the original ("Eat My Shrapnel", anyone?).

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