The Lost Vikings in Heroes of the Storm: A Tribute to a Challenging, Goofy Puzzle Game

 

Classics like the original Lost Vikings, developed by Silicon Synapse and published by Blizzard in the early 1990s, still hold a great affinity in many players' memories and collections. That's why they've been included in Heroes of the Storm. Not only are they much-loved characters in HotS, but also offer a challenge to most players regardless of whether they are chosen as heroes or opponents. Besides, it was the players’ requests that prompted Blizzard’s senior programmers to add the Lost Vikings as permanently playable characters instead of the initial fleeting tribute they would have been.

Influences from other classics

The original game from which Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce and Olaf the Stout come from was and still is an ingenious blend of platforming and puzzle elements, released in 1993 for a series of platforms including SNES, Amiga, Sega Mega Drive and eventually, Game Boy Advance. The title's difficulty was of particular note. Each sequential stage is ramped up by downright insanity and complexity. 

While Vikings are quite a popular theme in gaming of the 21st century, as well as pop culture, The Lost Vikings was one of the first truly popular titles to feature the legendary warriors. An indirect but equally interesting influence of Blizzard's Vikings in subculture comes from the slot game Rise of The Vikings by Leander games. Its immersive nature is why UK slot players choose Mr Smith Casino, which may be akin to people who enjoy Cryo Interactive's Saga: Rage of the Viking or Crazy Vikings studio's Völgarr the Viking.

In Heroes of the Storm, the Lost Vikings are specialist heroes without any initial abilities and their functionality is different compared to other options. In essence, they are three segments of a single unit - think peas in a pod. They can attack, move and be killed separately and each receives individual respawn timers when they are killed. In HotS, the Lost Vikings are leading a posse and not a singular protagonist, from beginning to end. Erik has a longer attack range and moves the fastest of the three. He is often recommended is the ideal close range attacker. Baleog deals splash damage to enemies, while the portly Olaf charges to slow enemies down and regenerates health faster when given a four-second rest.

The skins, which include Master Lost Vikings and Pajama Party Lost Vikings, are also another addition which makes these heroes fun while traversing through the Nexus. 

Team players and opponents

When you play with The Lost Vikings in Heroes of The Storm, you need to keep your group together and rotate lanes as often as possible. This will give your team the opportunity to use the advantage that the brothers bring to the game by allowing the Vikings to do the soaking, while your team can continue with whatever quest they are on. Playing against them though requires you never to push. Instead, harass them instead and remain aware of them using Spin to damage or kill you.

The Lost Vikings option in Heroes of the Storm is brilliant in how it subtly and slowly introduces players to gimmicks as the game progresses. The gameplay is punctuated by a quirky sense of humour. Three savagely portrayed heroes that continuously mock, jab, rib, burp, pick their noses and joke. Along with their boat song designed to awaken a jovial warrior spirit, the juxtaposition of goofy aesthetics and high difficulty of playing make it a successful combination.


 


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Last Updated: Jan 30, 2019

About The Author

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James, a lifelong gamer, is a freelance writer who occasionally contributes to Ten Ton Hammer.

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