Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Argh! Thar be Lego on the horizon

OK, so stricly speaking this is not an indea you can steal for a game, but I do feel that I should 'get it out there'. This thought came while playing Lego Indiana Jones on the DS with my youngest, it is (in case you haven't guessed) Lego Pirates the video game!

It's character building

So, most of the Lego games have been about using different characters to solve puzzles, well this is what I came up with:

Captain - has a parrot, or a monkey (like Marion in Indy)
Rower - needed to row a boat, rather than them moving themselves as in Indy
Bomber/Grenadier - can throw bombs, or set them
Rope monkey - can use a grappling hook
Digger - uses a spade
Musketeer - can fire a rifle
Local guide - can unlock 'secret pathways'
Vooduns - can levitate Lego objects, or use magic in some other way

So what about the bad guys and other characters?

These are the most obvious to me:
Naval officer - British/French/Spanish
Soldier/Marine - as above
Governor
Governor's daughter - definite love interest!
Native chief
Native savage
Skeletal/ghost captain
Skeletal/ghost pirate

Gunpowder, treason and plot

OK, so you've got characters, what about plot and locations? How about:

Marooned on an island - the character has to find enough items to start a fire
Rapids - has to row down rapids avoiding rocks and natives firing things from the sidelines
Governor's mansion - infiltrate the governor's mansion and rescue the pirate's sweetheart
Fort - breaking into, and or out of, a fort
Docks/port - chasing around a port trying to get to your ship or reach a contact
Boarding action - obligatory fights onboard ship, clashing with the authorities
Ghost ship - onboard a ghost or being attacked by one
Aztec ruins - perhaps looking through ruins with traps etc. to catch the unwary, maybe even Eldorado (definitely no giant gold eagle/plane though!)

Possible Plot

The character is marooned by his own navy for insubordination. He has to find his way off the island by raising the alarm, a big bonfire ought to do the trick, of course there are natives on the island...

Once onboard the ship engages in a ship to ship action against the French, the character meets the French Governor's daughter (he does not know who she is) and they fall in love. She is left on the French ship after another ship turns up and chases them away, the character moons for a while.

The pirates bury the treasure on an island, and are attacked by natives.

The pirates head into port and have a good time in port. Eventually they are captured by the local militia and taken to the fort.

They break free from their cell but have to get out of the fort, and then out of the fort's grounds and to the ship. (This section probably split in two)

Once onboard they set sail, and one night when the character is on watch they are attacked by a ghost ship. They fight an onboard action against the ghosts (on both ships, both above and under deck, and possibly in the rigging and top masts)

They attack a port and the character sees the governor's daughter from afar but cannot reach her.

Once onboard again the captain argues with the character and he becomes the new captain. The captain leaves with his treasure map and some of the crew, forcing the character to go to port and recruit some more men, while avoiding the local soldiers.

They sail to the treasure island and find the previous captain there, after a fight the character gets the treasure, now he just needs to get the girl.

They attack the governor's manion and have to get inside, once inside they must find the girl and escape.

I'm sure there's a million other things that could happen and there are some plot weaknesses (perhaps the ghost ship had a map, which led to the port, which leads to another map, which leads to a lost city, which the ghosts want back etc.), I haven't included a rapids scene for instance (this could come in the ingress to the lost city), and swashbuckling characters are often captured more than once(maybe once by a ghost pirate)!

Divvying the loot

Advantages
Well, there's no extra licence fee unlike Star Wars, Indy et al.
They have a great range of minifigs that it could all be modelled on, including Brickbeard
It could tap into some Pirates of the Caribbean vibe, with the fourth instalment on the way
It's pirates for God's sake!

Disadvantages
It may not have the same pull as the licensed properties (but make it good and they will come!)
A new play method - ship to ship combat would have to be developed

Personally I think it's a prospect with a lot of merit, OK it may be a little rough but with a tiny bit more work it could be developed into a workable swashbuckling/romantic/ghost pirate/lost city plot.

Until next time Steve

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