It was developed for the Lion King franchise and follows a story and plot similar to the film. Due to this, it was one of the first games that featured a protagonist that gets older during the game's progress. The gameplay also changes from mainly platforming to a more action oriented approach.
Although intended for children, the game was often criticized for its difficulty even with easier settings. Despite the difficulty, it was rated positively by reviewers and gamers alike.
The second level in The Lion King is one of the hardest the game has to offer, specifically designed to appease management at Disney who wanted a longer game. This call came too late in development for the team to add new levels, so this stage saw its difficulty increase significantly, meaning it would take longer to complete.
The reasoning is thought to be behind Disney's approach to the rental market. Disney had set specific metrics regarding how far an average player should have progressed in a set period of time - if a game was too easy, the user would be less likely to buy the full retail product.
The Elephant Graveyard
The Game Gear and Master System versions present this stage from a side-on perspective.
Simba's return to the pridelands was cut from the final draft of the film, however as the game was made in conjunction with the script, these levels was produced before the decision was made. Reportedly Virgin Games had to fight to keep them in the final product, as Disney wanted the game to be as true to the film as possible.
Simba's Return/Hyena Lairs
(Return to) Pride Rock
The Master System and Game Gear versions scrap most of this stage, only including the end fight with Scar.
Quality Assurance: Kenneth Dunne, Michael Lightner, Jesse Clemit, Chris Rubyor, Brad Roberts, Troy Leonard, William Baca, John & Patrick Sweeney
Executive Producer: Brett W Sperry
Vice President Product Development: Christopher D Yates
Special Thanks To: Colin Gordon-VIE UK, Dave Chapman-VIE UK, Felix Kupis, Ted Morris, Lawrence Hiler-Chip Level Designs, David O'Riva-Bitmasters, Donna, Tony, Samantha & James Castle, Linda, Jennifer & Kimberly Green
Assistant Coordinators: David Fries, Jeff Buccellato
Design Support: David Bishop, Chris Baver, Jared Brinkley, Sarah Thompson-VIE UK, Julian Rignal
Q/A Manager: Dave Maxey
Q/A Group Head: Chris McFarland
Lead Analyst: Jon Williams
Analyst: Scott Manning, Chad Soares, Stacey Mendoza, Craig McCoy, Paul Shoener, Chris Rausch
Additional Testing: Paul Villaneuva III, Eric Reid, Josh Kales, Anthony Nicholas, Joshua Madson, Richard Chan, Jay Yi, Mark Holloway, Duane Peralta, Josh Coon, Colin Elliott, Mike Galindo, Candace Galindo