The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling puzzle/platform video game series which was developed by Blizzard Entertainment (then known as "Silicon & Synapse"). The first game, The Lost Vikings, was released in 1992/93 by publisher Interplay Entertainment for DOS, Amiga, Sega Mega Drive and SNES among others. The sequel, The Lost Vikings II, was developed by Blizzard and released in 1994 by Interplay for the SNES. The games are considered as classics of puzzle/platform game genre and were critically acclaimed by press.
A 32-bit enhanced version of The Lost Vikings II was developed for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC, known in the United States as Norse By Norsewest: Return of the Lost Vikings and in Europe as Lost Vikings 2: Norse by Norsewest. It was released by Interplay in 1996, featuring a new super-deformed style for the characters (the original version kept the same art style as the first game) as well as voiced dialogue samples. However, Blizzard was not involved in the creation of these 32-bit ports. Instead, they were handled by Beam Software.
The games' music was composed by Glenn Stafford and Charles Deenen.
The main characters in both games are three Vikings, Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout. The goal is to guide all Vikings safely through each level. The game's originality is due to the fact that the player controls three different characters (although only one at any given time), and must make use of their individual abilities and work as a team to solve puzzles and progress. This also means that the characters who are not controlled at the moment remain open to hazards and must either be protected or left in safety. Some levels require precise timing to control the characters simulteanously - in one early level, the player must jump down a shaft with Olaf, using his shield as a hang glider, and as Olaf slowly descends, must use another viking to clear his path. Each viking has a limited amount of health which decreases when attacked by enemies, and several environmental hazards (spikes, electricity, water) are able to kill the characters instantly. The player may continue the level after losing a viking, but the level cannot be completed without all three vikings kept alive. After losing a viking and restarting the level, a small cutscene of a Norse funeral plays, with a lightning strike respawning viking to his remaining comrades.
In some versions, a second and a third player can join and control the other two characters.