Lemmings early screens (C64)

Flicking through the last issue of Zzap!64 back in late 1992, I rediscovered an early screenshot and the first to be shown of the Commodore 64 version of Lemmings. It would be a year until the final game saw release.

Scan courtesy of Stephen (Mort) Stuttard (Click for full size)

Looking at the constructed screenshot, it seems this was a test level, as I think there are more lemmings on the screen than the C64 version eventually allowed, plus usually you only get the floater icon on this level. Also at this stage the shading is quite simple, and the graphics may have been quickly wired at this stage from the Amiga. Or is it even just a quick mock up?

Well, the magazine had promised or hoped for a preview to go on their launch issue of Commodore Force. It was a great coup, with the game making the front cover as well.

As the final game would take a year to appear, there are a number of minor changes to spot:

First the logo:

Preview logo
Final logo – spruced up

Then the second level in the preview compared to the final:

Preview – Shading already improved compared to Zzap preview shot
Minor differences in final game, improved panel icons, slightly different font and minor differences in the graphics.

Then finally the last part of level 2

Mostly the same in the preview
… though the exit is different.

At the time of the preview, the graphics were being done by Nikaj Eijk, but there was a falling out as Nikaj got involved with a Troddlers conversion with another group. He was replaced later by Leon van Rooy.

Also, the preview contains no sound effects or samples at this stage, and just music by Martijn Schutten, who was later replaced by Jeroen Tel for the final version, who did 1 (or is it 2?) channel music, and the other channel/s being left for SFX. Originally it had been suggested that samples were being used.

Then finally, later in 1993 – Commodore Format had their own special preview of the game, which demonstrated Level 22 – “A Beast II of a level”, based on Psygnosis’ other game Shadow Of The Beast 2. At this stage, the game had undergone a lot of changes graphically since the Commodore Force preview.

However, there are still noticeable differences to the final version released just months later:

Firstly we have the start of the level and how it looked in the preview.
For the final release – colorized up and polished.

How about the level and game itself?

Start of the level in the preview.
Followed by how it looked in the final game. Note the change of colour scheme and some pixel touch ups in places, but also the differences in the icon interface. A better highlight to show selection – but also removal of the embossed effect on the pause and nuke buttons. Also – a timer has now been added.

Then further on in the level with the iconic tree:

First here it is from the preview.
Then in the final game – colour scheme changes and pixel tidy ups.

Finally, the completion screen.

Monochrome once more and different colours.
As well as the obvious added shading, there is a full stop on the top and the options at the bottom are swapped.

Thanks to Marcin ‘Tenchi’ Świętoniewski for the replacement and cleaned downloads.


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