The Lost Vikings is a puzzle-platform game developed by Silicon & Synapse (now Blizzard Entertainment) and published by Interplay. It was originally released for the Super NES in 1993, then subsequently released for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, and Mega Drive/Genesis systems; the Mega Drive/Genesis version contains five stages not present in any other version of the game, and can also be played by three players simultaneously. Blizzard re-released the game for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2014, the game was added to Battle.net as a free download emulated through DOSBox. In celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary, The Lost Vikings was re-released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the Blizzard Arcade Collection in February 2021.
In The Lost Vikings, the player controls three separate Vikings with different abilities. The three Vikings must work together to finish each level and find their way back home. A sequel, The Lost Vikings 2, was released in 1997.
Three Vikings—Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout—get kidnapped by Tomator, emperor of the alien Croutonian empire, for an inter-galactic zoo. They are able to escape the ship, but get lost in various periods of time. They must traverse various bizarre locations, and eventually confront and defeat Tomator, to find their way home.
An in-game screenshot. In the main play area are the three playable characters: Olaf the Stout, Baleog the Fierce, and Erik the Swift.
The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling platform adventure in which the player alternates control of the three Viking characters, guiding each of them one at a time (though control may be swapped from character to character at any point) from a designated start point in each level to the exit. The game offers a two-player cooperative mode in which each player simultaneously controls one Viking and is allowed to change control to the third, unused Viking at any point. Every level is designed such that each Viking must contribute his unique skills to help the other two through to the end. Similarly, to finish the level, all three characters must reach the exit point. The Vikings each have three health points which they can lose by getting hurt by enemies or by falling from great heights. Should any Viking run out of health points, he dies; gameplay will then continue with any remaining Vikings, but the level becomes unwinnable, and the player will eventually have to restart the level and try again. However, the game offers unlimited continues.
Each Viking has the ability to carry and use items—such as keys, bombs, and food (which restores health points)—as well as a unique set of skills:
Erik can run faster than the other two, can jump, and can bash through some walls (and enemies) with his helmet. Baleog can kill enemies with his sword, or from a distance with his bow (and a "life-time supply of arrows"). The bow can also be used to hit switches from a distance. Olaf can block enemies and their projectiles with his shield, and use his shield as a hang glider. Olaf's shield can also be used as a platform for Baleog to walk over and to allow Erik to reach higher areas.