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5725 << 5731 >> 5761 284px-LEGO logo.svg.png
LEGO Island
LEGOISLAND.jpg
Item №:

5731

LEGO Theme:

Video Games

Developer(s):

Mindscape

Publisher(s):

Mindscape

Date Released:

1997

Platforms:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP

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5731 LEGO Island is a 1997 Windows PC game developed and published by Mindscape. It was one of the first LEGO video games ever created. It was re-released in 2002 and 2007.

Synopsis

A map of LEGO Island.


The Pizzeria

When first starting a player will find himself in the Information Center which acts as a main menu/hub for the game, however the player can choose to start elsewhere on the island, by dragging the character's icon onto an icon on the map of the island, which indicates a location on the island. When on the island the player is free to wonder the entire island and interact with other minifigures. Also, Bill Ding can assist the player in building a helicopter, race car, jet ski, and a dune buggy (see below). You can drive the aforementioned vehicles, along with Pepper's skateboard, a bicycle and a police motorbike. The race car can only be driven in the racing minigame, the jet ski can only be used to surf in the surrounding waters of the Island and the helicopter can hover through the sky but can only land at the jail, however.

The Police Station

The jail, with the Brickster escaping in the helicopter

In the Information center you can view a demo of each of the characters that you can play as. You can select from the characters, which each have different abilities which are as follows.

  • Pepper: Changes hair/hats of the minifigs and types of vegetation.
  • Mama: Changes the voice/sound that minifigs do when the player clicks on them, and the sound of the elements of vegetation.
  • Papa: Changes the animation that minifigs do when the player clicks on them, and the animation of the elements of vegetation.
  • Laura: Changes the way of walking of the minifigs.
  • Nick: Changes the colours of the different articles of clothing and the colours of the elements of vegetation.

The start line of the Race Track

The Hospital

Each character also has its own pizza delivery to deliver to a specific destination on the island, this comes about once the player walks to the pizzeria and clicks on it. There will be several obstacles that will form between the pizzeria and the destination of delivery, some to block off roads such as a parrot with roadblock trees or a cleaner clearing a road-grown palm's leaves. As Pepper Roni, the destination is to the jail. But while all of the other pizza deliveries lead to nothing more, this delivery to the jail is the beginning of a mission for Pepper to save LEGO Island and re-capture the Brickster after he escapes from the jail and begins to terrorise the island. This can only be done if the police helicopter is built. Prior to that, if Pepper completes his pizza delivery to the Brickster, it will be registered as a successful run even though the Brickster discards the pizza. He then hints to Pepper to create the helicopter and re-deliver another pizza to him, leading to the aforementioned mission (see The Brickster's Story below).

The Octan garage

The Post Office

Other mini-missions within the game for all of the playable characters to participate in the same way, including a formula one race at the Race track, a Jet Ski course at the Lifeguard's Post (These two using vehicles you built), taking the hospital ambulance to minifigures in need (with the assistance of Enter and Return), and assisting Nubby Stevens (the head of the Gas Station) by taking the tow truck to the Race track in assisting a car breakdown.

One of the houses in the residential area

The Lifeguard's post

The Brickster's Story

For all of the characters, there is the opportunity to deliver a pizza to a specific destination, such as the Police Station for Mama, the race track for Papa, the Hospital for Laura and the Octan Garage for Nick. All of these missions merely consist of delivering the pizza, save for one.

When playing as Pepper and with the police helicopter built, choosing to do a pizza delivery will have him told to deliver a pizza to the jail, as Papa receives a telephone call from the jail (him assuming the caller is Nick Brick). After traveling to the jail the Brickster takes the pizza from Pepper's hand, and holds it up against the jail lock which melts the lock and gives the Brickster the chance to escape.

One of the houses in the residential area

One of the houses in the residential area

As the Brickster gets out, he runs for the police helicopter, gets in, fires it up, and flies away. He flies up to the top of the Information Centre, stealing the power brick from the top, before flying all the way over to the other side of the island to his hideout in the cave. Meanwhile, Laura and Nick, followed by the Infomaniac, Mama and Papa come to the jail to find out what is going on. The six of them try to think up a plan of action, resulting in Pepper having to go over to the other side of the island to track down the Brickster. As he travels across the island, Pepper encounters several citizens of the island, all of them in a panic. Pepper finally reaches the other end of the island, followed by Nick and Laura on their police motorbikes, only to encounter the Brickster, driving away in the ambulance. (Which he also stole from the hospital)

The Brickster drives off, using the power of the power brick to suck the bricks away from the buildings in the residential area. As he does, he leaves behind pieces of the police helicopter. Pepper chases the Brickster, collecting the helicopter parts as they fall. The Brickster leaves the residential area, taking the bricks away from the Race Track Start Line, and then the hospital, before then returning back to the residential area. The Brickster then retreats into the cave, unable to be tracked down. Pepper is then assigned with the task of obtaining the remaining pieces of the helicopter that had been scattered around the island. After this, Pepper's then given the task of rebuilding the helicopter, with the help of Bill Ding, before using the helicopter against the Brickster.

With Nick and Laura on the ground, on their motorbikes, and Pepper in the air, with the police helicopter now equipped with a turbo donut and pizza chucker, the island finally looks fit to be saved. The Brickster, also on the ground, is now on another motorbike, but still using the power brick to suck the bricks from the rest of the buildings on the island. Pizzas thrown onto the roads by the pizza chucker can draw the Brickster in one way, donuts thrown onto the roads by the donut chucker can draw both police officers in one way. The game is won when one of either Nick or Laura runs into the Brickster's motorbike. As this happens, the Brickster is nabbed by both of them, and dragged back to the jail. Meanwhile, the power brick returns to the top of the Information Center, and the rest of the citizens of LEGO Island chant Pepper's name.

Alternative Ending

There is an alternate ending to this story too. If the Brickster manages to reach the Pizzeria, and suck the bricks out of it, the island is deemed lost. A cutscene shows a bleak sky, the island's buildings and vehicles in ruins, Pepper desperately speeding away on his skateboard and the sound of people in sorrow. The screen then points towards an array of wreckage revolving around the Brickster, with him then cheering, "It's mine, all mine!" However, time will reset and everything returns to normal afterwards, with the Infomaniac saying "At least it's not bad as it looks!"

Characters

See Main Article: List of LEGO Island Characters

LEGO Island is made up over 35 unique characters, including five characters you can play as.

Development

Early Development

The development of LEGO Island goes back to before February 1995, when Mindscape management started to take interest in making a game focused around LEGO. Wes Jenkins, who would go on to become the game's Creative Director, and Paul Melmed, who would become the game's Educational Director, then began work on a pitch for the game.[1]

LEGO Virtual Explorer Product Concept Presentation

A pitch to the LEGO Group then followed at Toy Fair New York in 1995, followed by meetings in Connecticut, England, and finally Denmark.[2] The meeting in England occurred on August 23rd of that year at Monkey Island in Bray where a "LEGO Virtual Explorer" presentation is shown describing the game's concept to folks from the LEGO Group.

A meeting a Wes Jenkins' apartment also occurred sometime in 1995,[3] where developers made a simple LEGO Island layout using several sets from the time, along with at least one unreleased one.[4] This design would later be expanded upon in art, with Wes Jenkins painting both a recreation of it and a proper design[5] that would evolve into the layout seen in the final game.

1996 & Forward

Wes Jenkins working on the physical LEGO Island model.

In January 1996[6] Wes Jenkins began working on a physical model of LEGO Island for reference in developing the game with his wife, Kyle.[7][8] The terrain was made on two ping pong tables out of sytrofoam, modeling clay, and paint[9] with locations such as the Police Station, Racetrack, Bank,[10] Pizzeria, and Superstore being spun out of elements of existing sets.

Also sometime in 1996 many different composers were interested in working on the game, including Mark Mothersbaugh, The BOBS, Ray Manzerack, and Duane Eddy.[11] Budget issues and concerns Mindscape management would lead to these composers not working on the game.[12] Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Elliot Gould, Mickey Rooney, and Levar Burton, among others, were also interested in contributing to the voice acting for the game at this point.

Cut and Changed Content

Throughout the development of the game there were several features, characters and locations cut from the game due to time and other various reasons.

Early art of LEGO Island

Locations

During the early development of the game buildings centered around the Coast Guard and a Cafe were scrapped from the game for unknown reasons, along with outdoors locations focused around a construction site and lake[13]. The Information Center also started out as a hotel,[14] before evolving into the location seen in the final game.

Multiple buildings including the Post Office, Superstore, Bank, and at least one of the residential houses were intended to have interiors during the development of the game,[15] however they were scrapped due to time.[2] Both the Superstore and Bank had art made for their interiors,[16] however it is uncertain if the rest did.

An early route for the underground racetrack's layout

The underground portion of the racetrack initially had a different design on paper with an emphasis on mini golf course style obstacles.[17] Additionally, the in-game version also had a completely different design to start out,[18] with a curved loop ramp where the player could drive upside down and a more heavily focus on racing in tunnels.

The script to the game

Characters

Several characters cut from the game include named characters such as Edie Mail,[19] Edith Mail,[19] and Sargeant Lockitt. Roles for characters without names tied to the included artists, a game show host,[20] and 2-3 families worth of characters to live in the Residential District. Also, the ambulance mission was supposed to have several characters in barrels, including Shorty Tails, Luke Tepid, and Brian Shrimp.[21] Brian Shrimp would later appear in Island Xtreme Stunts (Game) after the developers at Silicon Dreams Studio found voice files for him with a Scottish accent in the source code from the first game.[22]

Development imagery for the TurboChucker.

Game Mechanics

Various game mechanics were cut from the game during the development. Some of the earliest unused mechanics in 1995 include a decal editor, mission editor, and the ability to design custom layouts in the game.[23] Mechanics cut later in 1996 playing every as every character (but the Infomaniac and Brickster),[19] a game show,[20] and video phones.

The Pizza TurboChucker was initially apart of a much broader concept of general TurboChuckers[19] to be used throughout the game by the player by allowing them to fire bricks at various designated targets. Different names were also considered for it throughout the development of the game including Bricker, OGEL, and Bricky doo-hickey.[24] The Brickster's gun he used to dismantle buildings after he escapes, referenced in documentation as the Debricker,[25] is also connected to this concept,[26] with later LEGO Island 2 development materials referencing it by that name.[27]

The early advertisement mentioning the Macintosh supported version.

Platforms

An early advertisement for the game mentions mentioned a Macintosh supported version, with the requirements of a PowerPC with System 7.5.[28]

Late Development and Release

Additional titles, including LEGO Sea Challenge and LEGO Adventurers, were planned to be developed by Mindscape during the development of LEGO Island. They were canned however, when the LEGO Group and Mindscape got into distribution disagreements over the release of LEGO Island leading to the LEGO Group ending their partnership with Mindscape.[2]

The developers on the project at Mindscape were fired a day before release by management in order to avoid to giving them bonuses[2]. Some of the developers would later go on to work with Stormfront Studios on the LEGO My Style Preschool and LEGO My Style Kindergarten titles,[29][30] with Wes Jenkins also being hired to work at LEGO Media to work on additional projects such as LEGO Island 2.

Notes

  • Many of the characters' names are puns. For example, Captain D. Rom (the police chief) is a play on "C.D. ROM", Ed Mail could be abbreviated "E-Mail", Bill Ding sounds like "Building", and Pepper Roni is definitely a play on "Pepperoni".
  • The Race Track, Police Station, Jail, Beach, Helicopter, Buggy, Race Car, and Jet Ski were actual LEGO sets.
    • Furthermore, a modified version of the Ambulance can be driven in-game, while the Tractor Drawn Aerial and Shuttle component of the Launch Pad are seen during both the "Race Track racing game" and the "good" ending.
  • The first few copies of this game came with a free Infomaniac minifigure.
  • The intro of the game, in which you get to see most of the island, shows a different lay-out than is seen in the actual game.
  • The Pizzeria in this game resembles to the pizzeria in the 6500 Holiday Village.
  • It was incorrectly considered the first LEGO video game. The first one in general was the Japan-only 1995 Sega Pico game LEGO Fun to Build.

Gallery

See also

External Links

  1. https://www.lego.com/cdn/cs/set/assets/bltd399c039fb565168/bits_n_bricks_s01e04_lego_island_feature_and_transcript.pdf
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 https://le717.github.io/LEGO-Island-VGF/legoisland/interview.html
  3. https://archive.org/details/first-lego-island
  4. 6500 Holiday Village
  5. https://archive.org/details/island-overview
  6. https://archive.org/details/1597069-10152429266496329-3825456323385639220-o/10603878_10152537213021329_4365918144169474979_o.jpg
  7. https://le717.github.io/LEGO-Island-VGF/legoisland/interview.html
  8. https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/lego-island-2-the-bricksters-revenge/credits
  9. http://web.archive.org/web/20220430051945/https://rockraidersunited.com/topic/2126-life-sized-lego-island/?tab=comments
  10. https://media.brickinstructions.com/06000/6598/032.jpg
  11. https://archive.org/details/legomusicvoicetalent
  12. https://le717.github.io/LEGO-Island-VGF/legoisland/interview.html
  13. https://archive.org/details/lego-explorer-concept-presentation/page/n7/mode/2up
  14. https://archive.org/details/LEGOIslandNotebook
  15. https://archive.org/details/lego-island-abridged-gdd
  16. https://archive.org/details/racebuildscancrop
  17. https://archive.org/details/LIGameDesign/40a.png
  18. https://youtu.be/x_Y8ACj2rlo?t=44
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 https://archive.org/details/lego-island-bible-2_202202/page/n1/mode/2up
  20. 20.0 20.1 https://archive.org/details/LIGameDesign/Scan_79.png
  21. https://archive.org/details/LEGOIslandScript
  22. https://archive.org/details/character-bible-v-0-4/page/8/mode/2up
  23. https://archive.org/details/product-overview/page/n1/mode/2up
  24. https://archive.org/details/LIGameDesign/Scan_18.png
  25. https://archive.org/details/adventures-on-lego-island-treatment/page/n3/mode/2up
  26. https://archive.org/details/LIGameDesign/Scan_15.png
  27. https://archive.org/details/lego-island-2-design-v-1/page/n1/mode/2up?q=debrick
  28. https://archive.org/details/magazine-comes-to-life
  29. https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/lego-my-style-kindergarten/credits
  30. https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/lego-island/credits
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