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.
The Lost Vikings is a side-scrollingplatform
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
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.