Lemmings Wiki

Lemmings is the first game in the Lemmings series. Developed by DMA Design, and published by Psygnosis in 1991, the game has been featured on Amiga, PC systems, PlayStation 2 and many more consoles. Later in the same year, a level expansion pack known as Oh No! More Lemmings was released.


Lemmings introduced the eight skills used by most Lemmings games. These skills were the Climber, the Floater, the Bomber, the Blocker, the Builder, the Basher, the Miner, and the Digger.

The levels are grouped into four categories on most platforms:

On the Sega Genesis version there are two additional difficulties:

  • Present
  • SUNSOFT (also present in the Super Nintendo version, albeit with only five levels)

The two-player option was inspired by then-current games Populous and Stunt Car Racer. DMA Design initially wanted to use a null-modem connection between two machines to allow competitive play, but ended up using the ability of the Amiga to have two mouse pointer devices usable at the same time and thus created the split-screen mode.


Music was originally created by Brian Johnston (Scott's younger brother), who sampled bits of copyrighted music. This had been common practice, but at that point there was a growing awareness of music copyright. Psygnosis asked Tim Wright to replace the offending tracks, who often used arrangements and reworkings of classical and traditional music to avoid copyright problems.

There are 21 tracks in Lemmings, which are played in the following order (in the Amiga, SNES, CDTV, Mac, X68000, and CD-i versions):

  1. Can-Can: "Galop Infernal" from Orpheus in the Underworld (the music by Offenbach often used for the can-can).
  2. Lemming 1: an original track, often confused with Pachelbel's Canon by the fandom, but the chord progression is different.
  3. Tim 2: an original track, also known as Smile if you Love Lemmings.
  4. One Way or Another: an original track. Also known as Miners and Climbers.
  5. Dance of the Little Swans: "Dance of the Little Swans" from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
  6. Tim 3: an original track, also known as Lend a Helping Hand.
  7. Tim 5: an original track, also known as Mind the Step.
  8. How Much is that Doggie in the Window: based on the song (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window? written by Bob Merrill in 1952.
  9. Dance of the Reed Flutes: based on "Dance of the Reed Flutes" from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.
  10. Keep Your Hair on Mr Lemming: an original track. This is the least played of the 17 main tracks as it is replaced twice by one of the four special tracks.
  11. Rondo Alla Turca: based on "Rondo alla Turca" from Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11
  12. London Bridge is Falling Down: "London Bridge is Falling Down", the English folk tune.
  13. Tim 1: an original track. Also known as Rainbow Islands. This is the only track to play in the Spectrum version.
  14. Forest Green: based on "O Little Town of Bethlehem", also known as "Forest Green" (adapted into the hymn "All Beautiful the March of Days"), mixed with the melody from the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  15. Tim 4: an original track. Also known as Postcard from Lemmingland.
  16. Ten Lemmings: a mashup of traditional songs, including "Ten Green Bottles", Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 (the part used as funeral march) and Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (popularly known as "Here Comes the Bride").
  17. She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain: based on "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".

There are four more for special levels:

  • Shadow of the Beast: the first special track. Based on the game Shadow of the Beast.
  • Menace: the second special track. Based on the game Menace.
  • Awesome: the third special track: Based on the game Awesome.
  • Shadow of the Beast II: the fourth special track. Based on the game Shadow of the Beast II.

The Amiga, PC-98, CDTV, Super CDROM², X68000, FM Towns, NES, Sega Genesis, Atari Lynx, and C64 versions also had an additional theme song that played upon booting up the game, known as March of the Mods. In the Atari ST, MS-DOS, Super CDROM², FM Towns, Sega Genesis, Atari Lynx, and 3DO versions, as well as any version that doesn't include all 17 tracks, the order listed above is not followed.

The Acorn Archimedes version added a bonus track in the 13th spot, which is a remix of the theme from the 1990's game Mad Professor Mariarti.


The "droopy-nosed" design of the lemmings was inspired from UK children's books The Wombles, created by Elizabeth Beresford.

The Complete History of Lemmings is an article written by Mike Dailly, one of the developers.


The Super NES version has a Sunsoft rating with five Sunsoft Specials, and the Sega Genesis version has two ratings after Mayhem called Present and SUNSOFT, with 30 levels each. The PSP, PS2, and PSM versions have a Special rating with 36 levels.

The ZX Spectrum version has 60 levels (and by extension, so does the Amstrad CPC version), but contains none of the traps or hazards, other than water, from the other versions of the game. It also has a couple of unique levels. Due to the hardware limitations, each level is a single colour, including the Lemmings themselves, which can make it difficult to see what is going on. It also introduced a "Lock-On" feature, which allowed the player to lock the cursor onto a specific lemming, with the camera following it as the lemming walked about the level, and the player was able to assign skills to it at any time. By extension, the Amstrad CPC version includes this feature as well. It was brought back and refined in the J2ME version, and a weaker variation of this feature was included in the PSP and PS2 versions. The PSM version, being controlled via a touchscreen, uses lock-on as the primary control method.

The NES and Game Boy versions have 100 levels, and they both have tile-based mechanics rather than pixel-based mechanics. The C64 version has a different set of 100 levels, with mechanics much closer to the original Amiga version. The Windows, PS1, and GBC versions all have 114 levels; they lack the four special levels, in addition to We all fall down (Fun) and All the 6's. The J2ME version has just 28 levels, all from the original Fun rating; it lacks You Live and Lem and A Beast of a level.

The Atari Lynx version, due to the smaller screen size, has modified versions of all the levels with a reduced height. Its splat height is much lower for the same reason. It also has a maximum of 40 lemmings per level.

The DOS version had its maximum lemming count reduced to 80, and it lacks many of the decorative water objects found throughout the levels, likely to reduce slowdown on older machines. These changes were inherited by the PC-98, Toshiba J-3100, Mac, FM Towns, Windows, and PS1 versions.

The Spectrum, Amstrad, Master System, Game Gear, and J2ME versions all have a maximum lemming count of 20. The Super CDROM² version is capped at 64 lemmings (with the exception of All the 6's, which has 66), and the NES version is capped at 14 lemmings (with the exception of the NES version's equivalent of The Island of the Wicker people, which has 20 lemmings total, but only allows 14 lemmings to be spawned at a time; the other 6 spawn when other lemmings exit the level or die). The Game Boy version is also capped at 14 lemmings. The SAM Coupé version is capped at 50 lemmings, the C64 version is capped at 45 lemmings, and the GBC version is capped at just 10 lemmings.

The Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, PC-98, Toshiba J-3100, CDTV, Mac, Super CDROM², X68000, FM Towns, CD-i, and 3DO versions all use the same password scheme. Passwords for any one of these can be used for the same level in all. Similarly, the Acorn Archimedes and Atari Lynx versions also share a password system, consisting of hand-picked 10-character phrases rather than procedurally generated strings.

The Super CDROM² version backs up the player's progress in addition to having a password system. Similarly, the PS1 version allows the player to save their progress, and the Windows, GBC, J2ME, PSP, PS2, and PSM versions all save the player's progress automatically.

The PC-98, Mac, X68000, FM Towns, Lynx, 3DO, Windows, PS1, PSP, PS2, and PSM versions have a fast forward feature.

Only the Amiga, Atari ST, SNES, Super CDROM², X68000, Game Gear, Sega Genesis, and GBC versions have a two-player mode at all, and the Super CDROM², Game Gear, and GBC versions' two-player modes are all different from the original and from each other.


Unofficial Remakes and Ports[]

Since the original Lemmings game, many clones and unofficial clones have been made.

There's homebrew versions of the game for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, known as Lemmings DS.

By far the most widely used at the moment is NeoLemmix, a currently-maintained open source engine with ongoing support, an active community on the Lemmings Forums, and plenty of custom content made using its dedicated NeoLemmix Editor. It also features a plethora of player-assist tools which give the user full control over the game, allowing for more focus on the puzzle aspect of Lemmings.

A fork of NeoLemmix also exists, called SuperLemmix. This adds a number of extra skills, a "Classic Mode" which turns off the player-assists for a more old-school playing experience, and makes various enhancements to the UI. It also comes with a fully updated level Editor, based on the NeoLemmix version but with added support for the new features in SuperLemmix.

There is also Lix, another actively-maintained open source clone which has a built-in editor and 2-Player support. The gameplay is more similar to that of Lemmings 2: The Tribes. The community on the Lemmings Forums also widely plays this version, particularly for its online multiplayer feature.

Older versions are Lemmix, (Super)Lemmini, and Tundra, and L++, and there are more listed on The Lemmings Archive, although some of these are no longer actively maintained.


  • In the cover art, the sign that the lemmings are carrying reads the game is not responsible for players' loss of sanity, hair nor sleep.
  • The actual level editor for the Amiga release of Lemmings that the original developers used is still around on a floppy disk owned by one of the developers, although for years they could not get their computer to read the disk. Eventually they found a way to read the disk and preserve its contents, but the dump cannot be released online without Sony's permission.
  • The message displayed by the banner headlines scrolling past on the title screen:
Lemmings By DMA Design
Programming by Dave Jones
Animation By Gary Timmons
Graphics By Scott Johnston
Music By Brian Johnston,Tim Wright
Copyright 1990 Psygnosis Ltd.
Welcome to Lemmings
120 One player levels
20 Two player levels
21 Pieces of toe tapping music
Can YOU become a master player?
You need building & digging skills
You need bashing & climbing skills
You need bombing & blocking skills
The needs of the many
outweigh the needs of the few.
We take no responsibility for
1. Loss of sleep
2. Loss of hair
3. Loss of sanity
4. The elevator music
Beware of Back seat players!
Beware of playing against
Violent bad losers!

External links[]

Difficulty Lemmings Levels
Fun Just dig! Only floaters can survive this Tailor-made for blockers Now use miners and climbers You need bashers this time A task for blockers and bombers Builders will help you here Not as complicated as it looks As long as you try your best Smile if you love Lemmings Keep your hair on Mr. Lemming Patience We all fall down Origins and Lemmings Don't let your eyes deceive you Don't do anything too hasty Easy when you know how Let's block and blow Take good care of my Lemmings We are now at LEMCON ONE You Live and Lem A Beast of a level I've lost that Lemming feeling Konbanwa Lemming San Lemmings Lemmings everywhere Nightmare on Lem Street Let's be careful out there If only they could fly worra lorra Lemmings Lock up your Lemmings
Tricky This should be a doddle! We all fall down A ladder would be handy Here's one I prepared earlier Careless clicking costs lives Lemmingology Been there, seen it, done it Lemming sanctuary in sight They just keep on coming There's a lot of them about Lemmings in the attic Bitter Lemming Lemming Drops MENACING !! Ozone friendly Lemmings Luvly Jubly Diet Lemmingaid It's Lemmingentry Watson Postcard from Lemmingland One-way digging to freedom All the 6's Turn around young lemmings! From The Boundary Line Tightrope City Cascade I have a cunning plan The Island of the Wicker people Lost something? Rainbow Island The Crankshaft
Taxing If at first you don't succeed.. Watch out, there's traps about Heaven can wait (we hope!!!!) Lend a helping hand.... The Prison! Compression Method 1 Every Lemming for himself!!! The Art Gallery Perseverance Izzie Wizzie lemmings get busy The ascending pillar scenario Livin' On The Edge Upsidedown World Hunt the Nessy.... What an AWESOME level Mary Poppins' land X marks the spot Tribute to M.C.Escher Bomboozal Walk the web rope Feel the heat! Come on over to my place King of the castle Take a running jump..... Follow the leader... Triple Trouble Call in the bomb squad POOR WEE CREATURES! How do I dig up the way? We all fall down
Mayhem Steel Works The Boiler Room It's hero time! The Crossroads Down, along, up. In that order One way or another Poles Apart Last one out is a rotten egg! Curse of the Pharaohs Pillars of Hercules We all fall down The Far Side The Great Lemming Caper Pea Soup The Fast Food Kitchen... Just a Minute... Stepping Stones And then there were four.... Time to get up! No added colours or Lemmings With a twist of lemming please A BeastII of a level Going up... All or Nothing Have a nice day! The Steel Mines of Kessel Just a Minute (Part Two) Mind the step..... Save Me Rendezvous at the Mountain