Very early in development the team knew killing lemmings was entertaining, with traps already including hands that squashed the unfortunate creatures together and fans that chopped them up. As work progressed, they implemented even more dastardly devices: mincers, flamethrowers, horrible nooses. ‘We liked to kill lemmings in funny ways, and this was the comedic nature of the game coming through,’ says Dailly. ‘Lemmings were expendable. [The traps] really were there to just help guide the player around, otherwise many levels would have been dreadfully dull.’
But it was never a game about killing lemmings. ‘You always had to save them,’ says Dailly, ‘And the nuke was always a way to abort the level. It’s one of the few original games I’ve worked on where the core idea never changed much.’
This is a short but fascinating look into how the amazing original Lemmings game was created, programmed mostly on the Amiga but released for DOS as well in 1991!