Anglofying & running Japanese Lemmings for Windows

On one of my later trips I picked up this fun title, Lemmings!

And looking at the back of the box, what fun it contains!

Support PC-98, Epsons, IBM’s, IBM PC/AT.. Probably FM Towns as well

One interesting thing about 1995, is that with the rise of Windows 95, this marked the end of the specialized PC market in Japan. Just as WING/Direct X basically killed off the DIY driver/extender environment on MS-DOS, by being able to abstract the hardware it removed any meaningful difference between an EPSON PC vs a PC-98, FM Towns, or even the lowly IBM AT/386.

This being a Win32 includes both WING & Win32s. A perfect snapshot of an early Win32 commercial game circa 1995, as you needed to cater to that massive Windows 3.1 install base, although so many were rushing to Windows 95. Naturally this also means that the setup program is a Win16 app, once more again to preserve that bridge of the Windows 3.1 & Windows 95 world.

Well the obvious thing to do is just install it on a legacy 32bit OS, and what better than Windows XP?

Lemmings happily running under Windows XP via VMWare.

Now to run it on something like Windows 10, it’s just a matter of copying the WINLEMM.INI into %sysroot%, along with placing a copy of WING32.DLL into the %sysroot%\SysWOW64 directory and you are good to go!

Japanese Lemmings on English Windows 10

Sadly the character encoding in Windows is still really lacking and doesn’t render all that great. However that had me thinking as almost a decade ago I did find a demo of Lemmings for Windows. Could it be possible to just overlay the executables & DLL’s to produce an English commercial version?

Surprisingly the answer is yes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s as simple as that!

The game is mostly playable, some parts are just coded to run as fast as possible, as no doubt nobody was imagining 1+ Ghz machines. So the intro, warp & suicide are almost instant.

It’s something to keep the kids entertained for a day in recent events. It’s been a LONG CNY.

7 thoughts on “Anglofying & running Japanese Lemmings for Windows

  1. Hey there, I dug out my European copy of this game and uploaded it to It’s the same version ( but in English and with PDF manuals.

    (I was never any good at Lemmings!)

    • Back when I found the shareware I was pretty surprised too. Although I’ve only seen this on the Amiga.

      I guess by the time I had a capable enough PC I wasn’t thinking of Lemmings. Time had marched on and I’d forgotten.

      It wasn’t until I found that retail box in Japan did I dive back in.

      I’m not sure about the viability of WinG wrappers, as at least on Windows 10 it still works fine.

      Up until Apple dumped 32bit support, I’ve lost all interest in OS X. Since many software like GCC 1.x would need significant uplifting to get it working reliably on 64bit, it’s just not worth the hassle for me, a fringe user.

  2. So I played around with this version for a while, playing levels spread throughout the game, and I found that, surprisingly, beyond just translating it to Japanese, Kiyotaka Kono actually bothered to improve the physics and animations slightly. Loads of the lemmings’ animations were off-center from the lemmings’ actual positions in the international version, which made the game feel less polished and could sometimes throw you off. Certain skills also had a lot of jank about them, specifically builders and bombers, which made “Oh-no! More Lemmings” in particular incredibly frustrating. All these issues seem to be fixed. Only thing is that, in fixing the janky builders, their animations are now off-center, but that’s a small price to pay for solid gameplay.

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