The Norse culture has always been a great mystery to me. There are elements of their lives that I find bizarre, to say the least. I do speak from experience as well. I have a mate who is half Norwegian and he's an odd kettle of fish. Always running around half naked shouting "elske!" and "toske!"
I mean, let's examine the facts. Vikings were allegedly this bunch of ale swilling, debaucherous roughneck, sex maniac marauders. OK. We'll take it that that bit's true. Why the hell did they have to sail around the known world to carry out their bawdy hell-
What I'm getting at is, why bother sailing to monasteries to interfere with the monks' tranquility when they could just as well stay at home with their own womenfolk? Everybody the world over knows the reputation that the nubile Nordic naughties have for beauty.
I guess that this will remain one of the universe's unanswered questions until time immemorial, so with a Kenneth Williams-type "Ooohhh! No matron!", I shall return to the plot.
The Lost Vikings has its origins set in the lands of the midnight sun. Its stars are three Viking brothers, who interestingly enough, are not away raping and pillaging.
Instead, they are home for the much celebrated Autumn festival - which is a bit like Glastonbury with no police, and subsequently much better.
Anyway, the highlight of this Pgan pastime is the hunt. Here, our three heroes have the chance to excel of their particular skills - which is a good enough reason for the loading screen and also shows Joe Public what our little Scandi-
However, we're not the only ones privy to the Vikings' acts of physical dexterity. For, high above the fjords, intergalactic zoo-keeper Johnny Morris lookalike Tomator lurks.
Being the villain of the piece, Tomator is on the look out for fresh specimens. Seeing the prowess of our boys, he decides they'd go down a treat in his alien menagerie.
So being a thoroughly nasty piece of work, Tomator proceeds to kidnap the Trondheim trio. Gasp! That's not the plot is it?
Why, yes. Steeped in Norse mythology that one, eh? Well so it's yet another cheesy, silly plot. But before I pass judgement too hastily, let's meet the hurdy-
The first thing I should say about the chaps is that they're brothers. The fact that they appear to bear no resemblance to one another, apart from full beards and spiky helmets, is beyond me.
The oldest of the trio is Baleog the Fierce. He's 25, fierce and according to the manual has an underwear fetish. Perhaps he should consider changing his name to Baleog the Frilly.
No, seriously. His particular skills lie in the swordman
Next from the halls of Valhalla comes Olaf the Stout. Guess what? Olaf's the fatty of the three. He's jovial, fat, steadfast, tubby, and a stalwart in battle with an appetite for adventure almost as large as for a Danish - beer or pastries?
Olaf's talents lie in the defence department. He does a sterling job of blocking the enemies and their shots.
Last but by no means least is the youngest of the lads, Erik. Erik or Erik the Swift as I should call him, is the nippy one of the bunch. He is the self-
So, you're probably sitting there thinking to yourself: "This is all very nice, but what's this character profile bit got to do with anything?" Well, bear with me and all will be revealed.
Having been kidnapped and zipped into a time vortex, your task is to control Sweden's answer to Aha on a bid to destroy Tomator and return home.
Now the game is definitely platform-
Your three Norsemen must be controlled simultaneously to work your way around the traps, puzzles and nasties which occupy the levels. For example, Olaf - being the shield-
Meanwhile Baleog can utilise his trusty bow and reign arrows down on the foe, while still safe from harm.
Eric on the other hand comes into his own when performing jumps over obejcts. He is also adept at reaching artifacts otherwise out of reach, and his noggin comes in extremely handy for smashing walls apart.
Control of your three heroes sounds as though it should be tough, but it's far from it. The joystick controls their particular skills and toggling between characters is but a touch of the keyboard away - as is using items and operating levers and switches.
There's a fair amount of humour involved in Vikings. The boys take every opportunity to bicker with each other, in a very brotherly way. They also like to chew the fat with some of the more happy-go-
Another nice little humorous touch is that after eating an item the boys let out a nice sampled belch - shot lads!
There are tons of levels divided into six worlds varying from the hi-tech spacecraft through to primeval dinosaur-
Your ultimate aim of course is to kill Tomator. This is easier said than done as he's one well 'ard sucker!
The level graphics are pretty enough, although the backdrops on some levels seem to be non-
However, animation of the Norse nut-jobs is really nicely done. All three characters have definite personalities which come across to the player really effectively. They all perform idiosyncratic acts, particular to themselves while they are not in use.
On the whole they come across as a half decent bunch and probably worth swigging a couple of pints of grog with.
On the macabre side, there are some pretty cool animations when your characters meet with an untimely demise. Whether it's impaled on a stalagmite or frazzled in a force
The problem with this is that having lost one of the brothers it's impossible to complete the level. Fortunately on completion of a level you get an access code so it's not all doom and gloom.
Overall, Lost Vikings is a very playable platform puzzler. It has fairly unique qualities, and it makes a pleasant change to have to protect and nurture three characters.
Instead of your bog standard multi-
I've never been a great fan of arcade adventures, but in this case I have to say in my best Jimmy Swaggart voice "Lord! I've seen the light!"
I have to say I'm pretty addicted to this particular merging of puzzles and arcade frolics. So, as Norway's (well Iceland's close enough for my bad joke) greatest troll, Magnus Magnusson would say, "I've started so I'll Finnish..."