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Video Game / Lemmings

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So many lemmings, so little time...

"WARNING: We are not responsible for:
Loss of sanity
Loss of hair
Loss of sleep
box cover

What long-time gamers will ultimately remember about the Lemmings games is their ingenuity. How many different ways are there to endanger the lives of a band of green-haired rodents willing to tromp blindly along whatever paths you lay for them? Thousands. In game after game, the developers, DMA Design (you probably know them better by their later name, Rockstar North... yes, that Rockstar North), proved they could come up with hundreds of variations on this simple theme.

It works like this. Each stage of the game is either a labyrinth or a Death Trap (and frequently both). A gate opens somewhere on the level and begins to release lemmings into the stage one by one, who mindlessly walk forward into whatever awaits them, whether it means falling down a Bottomless Pit, into water, fire or lava, or any number of actual traps. Enter you, the player, armed with a cursor and a set of very limited tools for altering the lemmings' behavior. Your task is to make the critters traverse each screen towards a specific exit without letting too many of them get splatted, drowned, scorched, sliced, beheaded, or otherwise killed in the process. The solution to a level could be devilishly hard to find, and until you did, you had to put up with the sight of your adorable little lemmings meeting their maker by the dozen. The bizarre combination of cutesy graphics, mind-bending puzzles, and grisly, relentless death of the pixelated creatures no doubt left many a seventh-grader scarred for life. It's basically a game all about Suicidal Lemmings.


For the first game, at least, there were eight tools available for the purposes of getting the hapless lemmings to the exit:

  • Climber — Lemmings with the climber skill will climb up any vertical wall in their path, rather than turning around. One of the two persistent skills that lasts the entire level.
  • Floater — These lemmings possess an umbrella which allows them to fall any distance without splatting. One of the two persistent skills that lasts the entire level.
    • Applying both of the above would lead to the character being called Athlete.
  • Bomber — After a five-second countdown, the bomber explodes, taking out nearby walls and obstacles. Naturally, the lemming doesn't survive the process. Called the Exploder in some ports and in Lemmings 2: The Tribes (where Bomber is a different skill entirely).
  • Blocker — The blocker stands in place, preventing other lemmings from passing by. However, once set, the blocker cannot be removed except by blowing him up or digging the floor out from under him.
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  • Builder — The builder constructs a short diagonal stairway out of bricks, allowing him to cross gaps and get other lemmings to elevated positions.
  • Basher — The basher punches through walls, creating a horizontal tunnel through an obstacle until it hits air or a steel wall (or it's told to do something else).
  • Miner — Armed with a miner's pick, the miner digs a hole diagonally downward through solid dirt.
  • Digger — Similar to the above two, only the digger employs its claws to dig straight down.

Sure, the puzzles are simple — at first. In one stage, you might have to turn your lemmings into "Diggers" and burrow through the soft soil to the exit. In another, you might have to use the "Blocker" skill to keep the lemmings from walking off cliffs, or the "Builder" skill to allow them to climb one. But by the time you get to around level 20 or so, you'll be staring at the screen and saying "Now, wait a second. There's just no way to solve this one. They must have made a mistake!"

They didn't. Like few others, these games reward cleverness, persistence, and non-linear thinking and keep you coming back for more.

Originally developed for the Commodore Amiga, Lemmings is one of those games that has, like Tetris, been ported to virtually every console and platform in existence. New games were inevitable, and include:

  • Xmas Lemmings, a series of Christmas-themed Mission Pack Sequels. The first two installments were brief four-level demos, followed by a full game (and then a year later, an expanded version of that game).
  • Oh No! More Lemmings, another Mission-Pack Sequel, except this time, all difficulty modes besides the lowest were Nintendo Hard. Lampshaded in the level titled AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!. Some ports of the original Lemmings contain this game as a bonus, and the most recent PC release (Lemmings for Windows 95—yeah, it's been a while) bundles both together.
  • Lemmings 2: The Tribes is the biggest and most true-feeling sequel to the original game, adding more skills to the lemmings' arsenal, a wide range of gimmicky themed locations and changing the formula of the gameplay — rather than saving a set amount of lemmings in each level, the player has the exact same batch of lemmings for every level in each tribe, and has to let all (or all but one for a couple of tribes) of them survive for every single level.
  • The Lemmings Chronicles removed some skills and adjusted the engine, adding some Platform Game elements.
  • 3-D Lemmings moved the classic Lemmings gameplay into 3-D.
  • Lemmings Revolution returned to 2-D gameplay, but with 3-D graphics, as the levels were wrapped around a cylinder. Featured two groups of colour-coded Lemmings a time, each with different entry and exit points and able to pass over different obstacles.
  • Lemmings Paintball was an isometric action game in which lemmings play paintball. A bit like Cannon Fodder with puzzles.
  • The Adventures of Lomax, a pure Platform Game and Spiritual Successor to the non-Lemmings game The Misadventures of Flink.
  • Lemmings on PSP was a remake of the original, with a very nice graphical overhaul and added level editor. It was later ported to PS2 where it gained a number of Eyetoy levels where players use their body to form a path
  • Lemmings on the PS3 was a PSN download which returned to pure 2D. New mechanics included levels shrouded in darkness, so only the areas around torch-carrying Lemmings could be seen, bubbles that increased the number of tools you had, and clone vats that would copy the first lemming to walk by them, actually increasing the number of lemmings you have. And even more traps and ways to die.
  • Lemmings Touch on Playstation Vita, as the name implies, adds touch controls, as well as evil Lemmings who must be kept away from the exit.
  • A 2018 mobile game simply titled Lemmings. You must collect lemmings by saving them and using them to terraform various planets to inhabit, all while collecting goodies like various tribes. You aren't limited to a set amount of skills, rather to a pool of energy that lets you use any skill as long as you have energy.
  • And various spin-offs or rip-offs by other companies, that generally nobody's ever heard of, such as Critters or Flockers.

Let's Go! The Lemmings franchise provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Lemmings 2: The Tribes featured 12 tribes trying to escape their doomed homeland and its sequel, Lemmings Chronicles, dealt with those same tribes colonizing a new island chain they discovered, with one island per tribe. Chronicles followed three of the tribes from Lemmings 2: the Classic, Shadow, and Egyptian tribes. The other nine were supposed to be handled in subsequent sequels, but Tribes arc was abandoned after Chronicles and subsequent games pretty much pretend it never happened.
  • Action Bomb: The Bomber skill.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Java-based clone Lemmini contains several, including a fast-forward button, the ability to assign tasks while the game is paused, a replay feature that repeats the previous performance and allows the player to take over right before the point where they messed up before, and arrow key shortcuts that highlight only walkers or Lemmings walking in a certain direction. Not only does it make some levels in the original games much easier by mitigating the Pixel Hunt aspect mentioned below, it also makes possible custom levels requiring a degree of precision that would have been downright unfair in older versions of the game.
    • The more recent clone NeoLemmix takes this even further, with the importation of the Highlight Lemming feature from Lemmings 3D (allowing the player to mark a single Lemming from a mob first and then directly assign skills to it by just clicking on the skill bar), overlays showing a Lemming's hypothetical precise path or Bomber area of effect when hovering over it with a skill selected and the ability to manually advance gameplay frame-by-frame, and even rewind gameplay to correct mistakes - and custom level creators have, accordingly, made levels that are completely impractical without such features.
  • The Ark: The Ark from Tribes and Chronicles.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Intentionally so.
  • Athletic Arena Level: The Sports levels from Lemmings 2. Most of the skills you get on those levels are athletics-based, such as the Pole Vaulter and javelin-throwing Spearer.
  • Bizarre Puzzle Game: One of the classically bizarre ones.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The five exclusive SUNSOFT levels in the SNES version. For those curious, these five "SUNSOFT Specials" reappear in the Genesis version as the following levels:
    • SUNSOFT 27, Two heads are better...
    • SUNSOFT 29, I am A.T.
    • Present 29, Private room available
    • Present 30, Final impediment
    • Mayhem 30, Lemmings' ark
  • The Coconut Effect: Obviously, the Lemmings' behaviour is closer to the public idea of lemmings than reality. Lemmings don't actually rush to death in mass suicide, but they do move in extremely large numbers when necessary. While doing so they may cross bodies of water and some of them will drown, resulting in the legend of mass suicide. Also, they don't have green hair and blue outfits, and it's very difficult to teach them to build bridges.
  • Continuity Nod: Lemmings 2: The Tribes's intro references having saved the lemmings to bring them to their present homeland with an elder talking to a child, ending with the two lemmings turning to face "the guide who saved us before" — you.
    • Just as the second Lemmings game was called "Oh No! More Lemmings," the second Egyptian-themed level in Lemmings 3D is called "Oh No! More Pyramids!"
  • Cool Airship: The Ark in Tribes and Chronicles.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Falling is like this for Lemmings. There are only two outcomes — walk away completely unharmed or spatter into a gory, pixellated mess. Lampshaded in the instruction manuals, which point out that the difference between the two is a single pixel.
    • Lemmings 3D attempted to address this by adding an additional level between these two: if it's a height big enough that they shouldn't walk out completely unscathed, but not big enough to kill them outright, the lemmings will fall down unconscious on impact and remain like this for a few seconds before getting up and continuing as normal.
  • Death as Game Mechanic: One of the actions you can perform is make one of your lemmings explode. It isn't just a simple Video Game Cruelty Potential, as the poor creature will open a path with the blast radius of its Suicide Bombing. Most of the levels are designed to include at least some explosions, some even requiring to explode every single lemming minus one to finish them.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Lemme Fatale in Chronicles uses her Compelling Voice to cause any Lemmings who come near her to fall madly in love, then kill themselves a few seconds later.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Multiple levels can be solved in a completely unintended way, e.g. by bashing inside the floor and under the whole level. (This is the mildest example; often, these backroutes require the use of Good Bad Bugs. Sometimes, they are also more difficult [or MUCH more difficult] than the regular solution, but allow you to save more lemmings.) There's also at least one completely intentional alternate solution: "Cascade" (see below).
  • Embedded Precursor: Lemmings Paintball came bundled with Windows-compatible versions of the original Lemmings and Oh No! More Lemmings. Arguably, more people bought the game for this bonus than for the featured game, especially since ONML had already fallen out of print at the time.
  • Everybody Lives: Always an aim, but equally not always possible — making a lemming a bomber is a death sentence, and most blockers are just as doomed. An early level in 3D Lemmings called "Hole in Ten" requires you to save all (ten) of your lemmings. It also, however, requires a blocker. The solution? Cross back, liberate him from his platform, and guide him to the exit just like everybody else. Luckiest blocker in the game. Just this once, everybody lives!
    • Similarly, in Mayhem Level 20 of the original game, the only solution involves using a blocker and later rescuing him. For many players, this is where they first discovered that doing so is even possible.
    • Chronicles used this as a selling point — it was the first game in the series where it was always possible to save every lemming in the stage, if you were careful (and, occasionally, pick up a few more along the way).
    • And then in 2016, that is, 23 years after the game's release, a dedicated fan found a way to save everyone on two particular levels (Classic 5 and Polar 8) of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, meaning that finally, every lemming in the game could be saved.
  • Fake Difficulty: The randomness that arises from trying to assign a skill to a lemming out of a large group moving in opposite directions. Bashing through the wrong wall, for example, could easily send the entire group plummeting to their doom.
    • In 3D Lemmings, one tool allowed you to click on a specific lemming amidst a group to highlight it, and then assign a skill.
    • In Lemmings Revolution, you can pause the game and zoom in really close, making it a lot easier.
    • In the first game, there's a level with a hidden exit, which is easily memorized. (Fortunately, it is also easily found.) In "Oh No! More Lemmings", there is a level with TWO entrances and exits, but one of each are hidden from view and you have to find them. (Again, easily remedied, especially with the mini-map.)
    • Liquids (water, lava, acid) are only fatal on the (animated) surface; if the lemmings enter the liquid from below, they can walk through it unscathed. Some people have exploited this in combination with other glitches (such as the blow-through-steel glitch) to complete levels faster, more easily or with more lemmings saved. On the other hand, if the lemming is standing on solid ground and a liquid animation so much as brushes his foot, he will die.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Lemmings can die in rather graphic ways such as being crushed under building bricks, smashed into the ground by the Potato Beast with blood squirting from under his fist, and picked up by the Buzzard with the top hat that tears its head off and crushes it under its talons with blood spraying everywhere from the victim's headless body.
  • Feelies: Lemmings 2 (the Amiga version at least) included a prologue in the form of an honest-to-god, colour-illustrated children's book about the somewhat inept Jimmy B. McLemming's mission to warn the other tribes to bring their talismans. McLemming's exploits continued in the manual for the sequel, Lemmings Chronicles, before the entire storyline was dropped from the franchise.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: After their own homeland is destroyed in Lemmings 2, the Lemming tribes have to colonize an island chain in Lemmings Chronicles and free said islands from roaming monsters.
  • Genre-Busting: Games of this style are still relatively rare. (They're most commonly called "save-'em-ups.")
  • Gimmick Level: Oh No! More Lemmings has a couple of notable ones:
    • Wicked 2, Inroducing SUPERLEMMING [sic]. The lone lemming moves twice as fast — the last part of the level requires a lot of quick-fire skill setting as a result.
    • Havoc 10, Flow Control. Only one lemming is actually assigned a skill (a Builder), but to achieve the required percentage saved, you have to constantly turn the release rate up and down to control the flow of lemmings from the trapdoor.
    • In Genesis Lemmings, Present 16, A trap's a trap. Though there is a backroute that allows you save all but a handful of Bombers, the intended solution seems to be for you to bomb straight down the middle towards the exit (you don't have enough Bombers to break through the roof), and then use the level-ending nuke to destroy the rest of the terrain, allowing a few lemmings to reach the exit before they too blow up.
  • Hard Mode Filler: The first game was particularly bad about making you replay early levels, only with the challenge made more difficult in some way, usually by shortening the amount of time you have to complete the level or giving you a more limited set of skills to work with (or both). Sort of an inversion, in fact, as the hard versions were created first. However, the designers realized they needed a lot more easy levels than what they had, so they took a lot of the hard ones they had created and reduced the difficulty, then placed the easy levels first in the game.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Fun", "Tricky", "Taxing" and "Mayhem".
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each level designer had a different theme for the names they gave their levels. Mike Dailly's titles were hints to what the player needed to do, while Gary Timmons made titles based on pop culture references.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Mayhem Level 24, "All or Nothing", which is a one in eight chance of victory on certain platforms. In versions which allow you to assign skills to Lemmings walking in a specific direction, this level can be solved with no effort at all. There's also a trick to make the level easy on any version: Move the cursor to the side opposite of which you want to bash, and click as far to that side as possible.
  • Macro Zone: Many of the more thematic levels; it's not stated whether the levels are huge, or the Lemmings are small.
  • Malevolent Architecture: In Lemmings 2, the Space Tribe levels have airlock doors that are triggered merely by walking past them.
  • Magic Carpet: The Egyptian tribe uses these in Lemmings Chronicles to travel from the Ark down to their new island.
  • Mythology Gag: The 2018 mobile game has several references to Lemmings 2, such as having collectable tribes, and Jimmy Mc Lemming's name appearing as a selectable name to use in the tournaments.
    • Lomax is also referenced in said tournament.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: In the end credits of the SNES version of Lemmings 2, complete with Shout-Out to The Simpsons.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Classic Tribe in Lemmings 2, complete with skills, backgrounds and music from the original game. More subtly, they explode like the originals (they explode into shrapnel and don't affect nearby Lemmings) and don't have the period of being stunned when falling which was also a new addition for the sequel.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: If you can turn a lemming into a Floater before impact with the ground, you're golden. Doesn't matter how close it was.
    • Also, even without a Floater, it's possible for a Lemming to survive a fall with no injury provided the fall doesn't exceed a certain distance. (The manual for the original game even says that the difference between a Lemming going "Splat" and a Lemming walking away from a fall can be a single pixel.)
  • Number of the Beast: The infamous Tricky Level 21, "All the 6's......", removed or renamed in several versions. The level takes the shape of three giant 6's, the Lemmings have 66 of each skill, the release rate starts at 66, 66% of 66 Lemmings must be saved, and the player has, you guessed it, 6 minutes to save them. The title is a reference to Bingo.
  • Obviously Evil: The iconic spinning shredder traps that first appear on Fun 9 are very clearly something you should not walk near.
  • "OH NO!" followed by a "KABOOM!" as the lemming blows up.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Lemmings cannot survive anything. Except for walking. And some falls. And explosions caused by other lemmings.
  • One-Word Title
  • Overly Generous Time Limit: There's a time limit on every level, but in the "Fun" and "Tricky" ranks these are not meant to be a challenge, so every level gives far more time than you actually need. On some levels, such as "Only floaters can survive this", it's actually impossible to fail due to the time limit!
  • "Pachelbel's Canon" Progression: One of the songs from the PC version features a chord progression that's often mistaken for Pachelbel's Canon, but in fact is somewhat different.
  • Parasol Parachute: The Floater lemmings, who can survive long drops by using their umbrellas as parachutes.
  • Pause Scumming: In Revolution, when you blow up a lemming with the "bomber" command, just before exploding, the lemming in question crouches. If you pause while he's crouching, you can give him another command (like "build") and thus save him from exploding. Naturally, this helps a lot on levels that require every lemming to be saved, though in fact no level absolutely requires the trick.
  • Pixel Hunt: Two forms. One, one of the ways to avoid the problem mentioned in Luck-Based Mission was to find perfect placement for the crosshairs such that it would only let you select a lemming going the correct direction. Two, choosing where, exactly, to initiate a given job (most notably, builders and miners, although any other than climbers and floaters could run into this) could be the difference between success and failure in later levels, so finding the perfect pixel to use a job could be maddening on harder levels
  • Press X to Die: The Armageddon button in this game and its sequels changes all Lemmings to Bombers. This helps end the level quickly.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Each version has this.
    • Some examples from the first game: "The Cancan Song" (Offenbach), "Dance of the Little Swans" (Tchaikovsky), "Dance of the Reed Flutes" (Tchaikovsky), "Alla Turca" (Mozart), "London Bridge Is Falling Down" (traditional), and "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" (traditional). ("Dance of the Reed Flutes" (aka "Dance of the Toy Flutes", aka "Dance of the Mirlitons") is probably best known in Britain as "Everyone's a Fruit and Nut Case". That may be why DMA included it.) "Ten Green Bottles" appears, but is slightly remixed to include notable motifs from other public domain songs.
    • Lemmings 2: The Tribes used "Entry of the Gladiators" (Fucik), "Sobre las Olas" (Rosas), "Loch Lomond" (traditional), "English Country Garden" (traditional), and "Frosty the Snowman" (Rollins, Nelson).
  • Sandbox Mode: Lemmings 2 has Practice levels, which allow the player to choose any skills, and are large levels with a lot of room to play around. Their purpose is to allow the player to get used to what all the skills do, since the game has 51 skills, compared to the original's eight.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty:
    • For the Genesis version, the Present difficulty sits between Mayhem and SUNSOFT, and is much easier than either of them — more on par with Taxing.
    • In the vanilla version, this makes a slight appearance in that some of the later Tricky levels are harder than the early Taxing levels.
    • The Taxing level "Take a running jump..." is far easier than most Tricky levels if one knows how. The "official" solution (as featured in most walkthroughs) is to sacrifice the leading lemming to plug the tiny gap at the right, thereby preventing the rest from climbing onto a ledge and falling from there to their deaths; but it's much easier to build a landing ramp going under the ledge, which makes the drop non-fatal and incidentally makes it possible to save all lemmings, rather than all but one.
  • Schmuck Bait: Any level that requires you to save 100% and still gives you the Bomber skill. Although you can save bombers in Revolutions, as mentioned under Pause Scumming.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Oh No! More Lemmings. The "Tame" difficulty would more aptly have been called "Lame", since those levels are just a simple stroll from start to exit and you can't kill any lemmings unless you go out of your way to do so, but the "Crazy" levels which follow are roughly equivalent to "Taxing" in the original.
  • Sequence Breaking: Some of the harder levels have quite intricate solutions that give you just enough tools to carry through, but fall victim to Good Bad Bugs (like being able to partially penetrate steel plates), plain ingenuity or a designer oversight that allows quicker completion with tools left over. Fan-made level designers coined the term 'backroute' for any solution to a level that they did not intend, the metaphor being that a house owner tries to make it as difficult as possible to get in through the front, but leaves a back door open. A nice showcase would be this playthrough of SUNSOFT 19 of the Genesis version.
  • Shout-Out: Throughout multiple games:
    • Four levels in the original Amiga release (and its various direct ports), one for each difficulty level, use graphics and music from and are named after other Psygnosis games of the time, namely Shadow of the Beast (Fun 22, "A Beast of a level"), Menace (Tricky 14, "MENACING!!"), Awesome (Taxing 15, "What an AWESOME level"), and Shadow of the Beast II (Mayhem 22, "A Beast II of a level"). In addition, many of the level names contain pop culture references, especially in ONML.
    • And the Sega Mega Drive version, developed by Sunsoft, includes an exclusive level based on Sunsoft's NES game Ufouria (SUNSOFT 18, "SUNSOFT Special").
    • Lemmings 2: The Tribes: In most versions of the game, the Space Tribe has a rendition of "Blue Danube" as its Background Music, in reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • A number of the level names are references to films, literature or common catchphrases (often replacing an object or creature with "Lemming"); examples include:
      • "We all fall down" — the last line of "Ring-a-ring-a-roses".
      • "Origins and lemmings" — a play on "oranges and lemons".
      • "Luvly Jubly" — the catchphrase of Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. This was changed in a few of the ports; the Super Nintendonote  and Genesis versions change it to "Lovely jubilee". The Game Boy Color port changed it once again, this time to "Lovely Lem".note 
      • "The Steel Mines of Kessel" — the planet Kessel, mentioned but not visited in Star Wars: A New Hope.
      • "Welcome to the party, pal" — a quote from Die Hard.
      • "Where Lemmings Dare" — Where Eagles Dare.
      • Nightmare on Lem StreetA Nightmare on Elm Street (appropriately featuring only two Lemmings trying to survive on their own).
      • "Careless Clicking Costs Lives" — Careless Talk Costs Lives.
      • "Just a Minute" — Just a Minute.
      • "The Great Lemming Caper" — The Great Muppet Caper.
      • "Here's One I Prepared Earlier" — Blue Peter
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
    • In 3D Lemmings.
    • Additionally, the Polar levels in Lemmings 2, which featured slippery ice that would cause the lemmings to fall without the Skater skill.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There are songs both light and intense in the soundtrack and they get reused all over the place, but there's a noticeable tendency for some of the more frustrating levels to have something warm and peppy playing in the background.
  • Species Title: Named for the creatures whose paths are controlled by the player to reach a goal.
  • Spikes of Doom: One of the traps impales any lemming that hits it dead center.
  • Story Branching: Two gamebooks, based on The Tribes, were published. Success revolved around choosing the right selection of abilities to bring into each area.
  • Suicidal Lemmings: Obviously the whole idea of the game. It involves guiding a group of lemmings, here depicted as vaguely-anthropomorphic, green-haired, blue-robed humanoids. Unless you instruct them otherwise, the lemmings will blindly march forward, turning around if the bump into a wall, and keep going until they reach the exit, fall off a too-tall cliff, drown in water, or blunder into a booby trap.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Sure, some of the water looks like it could be acid, lava, or a mass of writhing weeds, but there's plain and simple blue water as well. Lemmings 2 gives you the Swimmer ability.
  • Surprise Creepy: Those cute little fellas can bite it in some very nasty and/or bloody ways. There's also the stage "MENACING!!" in the original game, which stands out rather drastically in its aesthetics by featuring demonic-looking skeletons and skulls tangled up in ropy strands of gore (it's an homage to a previous Shoot 'em Up game called Menace, made by the same developers).
  • The Theme Park Version: It's a game about suicidal lemmings. That's all you need to know.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: Two examples in its history:
    • Lemmings 3D had vertical teleporters but they'd often take the lemmings to places where they'd have a steep drop and get stunned, requiring the floater skill.
    • Lemmings Revolution had horizontal teleporters with a swirl in, and to quote the game manual:
      Ohh!! Floaty light! Be careful with these teleporters, as you never know where they'll take you.

They certainly were damaging for the Lemmings, and also had Gravity Screw, taking the Lemmings upside-down in some cases. In any case, they acted as a quasi-Unrealistic Black Hole.
  • Timed Mission: All levels have a time limit. Most of the time it's long enough not to be an issue, although on some levels the difficulty derives from completing an otherwise-straightforward puzzle in a very short time.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Lemmings, all of them. The whole point of the game is to keep them alive despite this.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Death traps without any indication to their existence? How nice. Bonus points for putting it a few pixels before the exit.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: One of the levels in Lemmings Revolution is unwinnable; the platform the Lemmings start on is too high for them to survive the fall from, and you need to save all of them to complete the level. Do the math. It's fixable via a fanmade patch, although thankfully the nonlinear structure of the game means you never have to play the offending level in the first place.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: 3D Lemmings.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Saving 100% (or as much as possible) of the lemmings in each level, regardless of what is required for success. Just try going for the perfect solution in "Cascade" (otherwise an example of the following trope, as the obvious solution is to save 10 lemmings out of 80 and let the rest splat), or in "Upsidedown World" (at the start of which you have to turn the lemmings round on a very thin ledge — easy if you use a blocker, but then you lose one). To be specific, out of the 120 levels in the original game, 101 are possible to genuinely save every lemming on, and two more can be 100%ed via a glitch. Many of them, however, are very hard to do so.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • "Oh no!" pop pop pop pop pop! In theory, the Nuke button is there to quickly shortcut to the results screen if the final result is known (either a guaranteed success or failure). From almost the beginning, players have enjoyed instead using it because they enjoy watching every lemming pop in an explosion of confetti. The chorus of "Oh no!" heard when activating this is just the satisfying icing on the cake.
    • It's surprisingly fun to watch them get mangled in the various traps... or fall from a great height and go SPLAT. Or to time a bomber so that they explode while falling and produce a comet.
    • One level from Holiday Lemmings 94, Hail 6: "Surprise Package?", requires the nuke button in order to emulate the bombers, which are not provided on that level.
    • It's also worth noting that almost all later versions of the game after the original Amiga version include a shortcut to skip to the results (Escape on the PC, Start+A on the Genesis, Cmd-A on the Mac, etc), making the nuke button purely for unadulterated cruelty.
  • Walk Like an Egyptian: The Egyptian tribe from Lemmings 2 and Chronicles does this.

Superb! You read every trope on this page. Can you do it again....?