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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: June 4, 1997
When we last left this trio, they had just finished dispatching of the evil Tomator. Now, those three goofball Vikings from The Lost Vikings are back again in Interplay’s Norse by NorseWest, The Return of The Lost Vikings. Olaf the Stout, Baleog the Fierce, and Eric the Swift have slipped through the fingers of the evil Tomator (again) but are now lost somewhere in time (thanks to Baleog’s bumbling). In this combination action/strategy/puzzle game, you must use the skills of each hero and the help of friends they meet along the way to get them back home. With skill, brains, a little luck, and a good sense of humor, you might just make it.
Each Viking has special skills that can used at various points to help the trio complete a level. Eric can swim underwater for any length of time, has great jumping ability, and can headbutt enemies and the occassional wall. Baleog can use his bionic arm to strike opponents, grab items, and swing across chasms. He also has an energy saber which can be used to dispatch nasty enemies. Olaf, in addition to being able to eat a lot (which isn’t very helpful), has a shield which deflects any attacks, allows him to float when dropped from ledges, and also allows his companions to stand on top of him. He can also shrink down to dwarf size to fit in small spaces and has the rather unique ability to destroy weak flooring by farting (like I said, he eats a lot).
Sometimes the appropriate moment for a skill is quite obvious, like when you need Baleog’s combat skills to defeat a skeleton or vampire, and sometimes it is not so obvious or requires you to use their skills in unison. Along the way, your trio of travelers will inevitably get separated. They will meet a couple of friends who will help them in their journey: Fang the Wolf and Scorch the Dragon. Fang has claws which can be used to attack the enemy or climb walls, and can also jump. Scorch has the ability to jump and fly, and can also breath fire at opponents. These two allies are intregal to successfully completing levels.
Each level will include only three of these five characters. You must get them all safely to the end in order to move on to the next phase. Lose one, and you will have to start all over. Each character can take three hits of damage before perishing, unless they do something stupid like drown or fall onto a spike from a high ledge, in which case death is instant. Along the way, you will find food items which can be consumed to restore a character’s health. Each character has a small inventory in which they can hold up to four items. These items might include keys, food, or special objects needed to complete the level.
Whether you play alone or with another player, all controls are managed with a few simple keystrokes. Special abilities, like using Olaf’s shield or Baleog’s arm are handled by using the assigned keys. There are 31 levels to complete in this game. Each level comes with a password and the game remembers where you were the last time you played, so you don’t need to remember the password to pick up where you left off. If one of your characters is killed during a level, you can retry the level as many times as it takes. Just beware that the boys are bound to give you grief if you consistently fail.
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