The Lion King is a platformer video game based on Disney’s animated film of the same name. The game was developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment for the Super NES and Genesis in 1994, and was also ported to MS-DOS, Amiga, Game Gear, Master System, and Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Amiga, Master System, and NES versions were only released in the PAL region, with the NES version in particular being the last game released for the platform in the region in addition to being the final licensed game for the platform worldwide. The game follows Simba’s journey from a young cub to the battle with his evil uncle Scar as an adult.
The sprites and backgrounds were drawn by Disney animators themselves at Walt Disney Feature Animation, and the music was adapted from songs and orchestrations in the soundtrack. In a “Devs Play” session with Double Fine, game designer Louis Castle revealed that two of the game’s levels, Hakuna Matata and Be Prepared, were adapted from scenes that were scrapped from the final movie.
An Amiga 1200 version of the game was developed with assembly language in two months by Dave Semmons, who was willing to take on the conversion if he received the Genesis source code.
He assumed the game to be programmed in 68000 assembly, since the Amiga and Genesis shared the same CPU family developed by Motorola, but turned out to be written in C, a language he was unfamiliar with.
Westwood Studios developed the game for SNES, Genesis and Amiga. The development of ports for the other platforms was outsourced to different studios.
East Point Software ported the game to MS-DOS, adding enhanced music and sound effects. The Sega Master System and Game Gear versions were developed by Syrox Developments, while the NES and Game Boy versions were developed by Dark Technologies.