The theme centers around a team of secret agents known as the Alpha Team, and their efforts to stop the nefarious villain Ogel from taking over the world. It initially ran from 2001 to 2002, with those years being the most closely related to the original video game. After a one year hiatus in 2003, the theme was revived from 2004 to 2005 with an altered cast of characters, new logo, and focus on transforming vehicles.
Main article: LEGO Alpha TeamVisual effects company and then-consumer software developer Digital Domain pitched the concept for what would become LEGO Alpha Team to LEGO Media in 1998. The game was first imagined and remains as a puzzle game where the player builds LEGO contraptions and directs minifigures to solve puzzles.
For the first year and a half of development, the game had a surreal and imaginative theme, with a variety of different characters forming the "Trans-International LEGO Team" (or TILT) and worlds based on objects in a real house (for example, Aromazona, a world of giant flowers, which corresponded to a flower pot in the real world).
A year and a half into production (six months before release), LEGO Media told the developers to completely overhaul the game and give it a "spy" theming, thinking the original concept didn't fit in with how they marketed themes. The game was quickly revised, and Digital Domain designed entirely new characters, keeping only Tee Vee and Ogel from the earlier ideas.
Closer to release, the game was briefly named and advertised as "LEGO Action Team" before changing to its final name. These ads also showed box art with slightly earlier versions of the final cast of characters.
The final game puts the player in the role of the Alpha Team chief, in a space station orbiting Earth, commanding the Alpha Team members as they infiltrate Ogel's four bases (Ogel Island, the Goo Caverns, the Deep Sea Orb Factory, and the secret Arctic Command Base). The player is guided by Tee Vee, and commands rest of the Alpha Team:
- Dash, the motion expert
- Crunch, the explosives expert
- Radia, the lasers expert
- Charge, the electrical expert
- Cam, the motors expert
- Flex, the ropes expert
The game's plot revolves around Ogel making Evil Orbs that turn regular townspeople into mindless zombies, and rescuing captured Alpha Team members (all but Dash have been captured at the start of the game).
A Game Boy Color version of the game was also developed, which retained the same basic gameplay as the PC game.
The first release of Alpha Team sets featured a vehicle for every team member, and a small vehicle and base for Ogel, 6776 Ogel Control Center, which featured an evil orb-dropping rocket seemingly inspired by the Boggle Rocket in the video game (though the Ogel Control Center is inside of a volcano on an island according to the set description/set instruction comics, while the Boggle Rocket was in an arctic base in the video game).
The character designs were somewhat altered to work as real minifigures, such as using existing hair pieces. Ogel was given a slightly modified version of the Zotaxian armor piece, as the original version of the piece (which the video game design was based on) doesn't allow his helmet to fit properly. The zombies were renamed to skeleton drones and given a standard skeleton head instead of the custom print they had in the video game. While the video game had various types of zombies, there is only one type of skeleton drone in this first wave of sets, which is based on the Guard zombie type in the game. Evil orbs also have a different appearance due to the original design using a piece that didn't actually exist. Dash was referred to as the team leader in places like LEGO Mania Magazine and the Evil Music online game (see below), a role he kept for the rest of the theme as the chief in the video game (just the player) was never mentioned again.
Six small online games were released, each putting the player in control of an agent. These involved:
- Rescuing citizens near a volcano in Dash's helicopter,
- Shooting evil orbs falling on Alpha Team HQ as Crunch in a missle-firing truck,
- Shooting evil orbs with a laser in the Alpha Team power grid as Radia,
- Disarming a bomb left by Ogel on an airplane as Charge,
- Tweaking a motorcycle engine to escape evil orbs as Cam,
- And climbing a building to get to a fallen Alpha Team communications satellite as Flex before a drone reaches it.
Additionally, an online Comic Adventure called Evil Music was released, which follows Dash and Cam as they they try to stop Ogel from controlling the world's weather via a special pipe organ. The character designs in this Comic Adventure are based on those in the original video game rather than the minifigures in the sets.
The 2002 line of sets took the theme underwater with "Mission Deep Sea". The story involved Ogel modifying his evil orbs to mutate sea creatures, to control the world's oceans. The character designs were again modified, with new diving outfits for the Alpha Team, and an alternate body for Tee Vee that was an undersea rover. The skeleton drones had diving gear and a new face print, and Ogel gained a red hook where one of his hands used to be, for reasons unknown.
Another set of six small missions were released, as well as another Comic Adventure, Into The Deep. The new six training missions were:
- Putting Ogel's new undersea base out of commission as Dash,
- Destroying pipelines built by Ogel as Crunch, which are stealing the Earth's thermal energy and stopping geysers from working,
- Cutting through mutant weed with a laser cutter to free the Alpha Team research base (4794 Alpha Team Command Sub) as Radia,
- Investigating an ecologically sensitive area where illegal mining has been detected, and collecting Ethanium crystals (mentioned in Flex's mission to be a mineral Ogel is using to mutate sea creatures) and treasure as Charge,
- Remotely piloting Tee Vee through dark underwater caves as Cam to find a secret Ogel transmitter before it activates his drone army,
- Recovering Ethanium nodules and reversing the condition of mutant sea creatures with a sonic blast as Flex.
Into The Deep game starred Dash, Cam, Radia, and Tee Vee as they discovered and thwarted Ogel's plan to control the oceans, saving a team of underwater scientists and the sea creatures and destroying Ogel's underwater base.
- 2004 - 2005
In 2004, Alpha Team was massively revised. The theme's logo was changed, many of the characters had different appearances than in previous years, and Cam and Crunch were omitted in lieu of agents Arrow and Diamond Tooth respectively. Other changes included Tee Vee becoming a humanoid robot, Ogel's hook colour changing from red to blue, and Ogel's minions getting new outfits (still similar to their Mission Deep Sea designs) and being referred to as Ice Drones. Alpha Team vehicles were given a new feature, known as Alpha Mode, which allowed them to be transformed into another vehicle without disassembling them.
This time, Ogel had a completely different plan, in which he was using his new Ice Orbs to freeze the world. Alpha Team tracked him to Antarctica, where he succeeded in freezing Alpha Team, the rest of the world, and even time itself. The Team were saved by Zed, an Alpha Team special agent, who was protected from the time freeze by his vehicle, which was equipped for such an event. He defrosted the Alpha Team agents, and then battled Ogel's Scorpion Orb Launcher. The LEGO Magazine invited members to send in submissions of what they thought would happen in the battle, although they were not published in the magazine, and members did not see the end of the battle. It is generally assumed that Zed defeated Ogel.
A large three-part web game was also released in 2004. The three missions were named The First Encounter, Drones' Menace, and Ogel's Fortress, respectively. This game mostly focused on top-down exploration and light combat in vehicles, although Agents could disembark at special pads to infiltrate Ogel's bases. From there, you could play as the agents themselves from a side perspective. Vehicles could also shift between their normal modes and Alpha Modes, which had different abilities. The game ends with a boss battle with all the Alpha Team vehicles vs Ogel, who are victorious, and the story concludes without involving Zed.
While this run of the theme had no official subtitle, fans took to calling it "Mission Deep Freeze" on forums online, which LEGO eventually officially adopted and used in later books that mentioned the theme.
- Dash Justice: Motion expert and leader, Dash is very brave, but quite cocky. He loves the seaside. His uniform color is black in the 2001 and 2002 missions, and blue in 2004. While his last name was not given in the original video game, it seems to have been added by LEGO sometime around 2001-2002.
- Crunch: Explosives expert; replaced by Diamond Tooth in 2004. His uniform color is green.
- Radia: Alpha Team's lasers expert, Radia is extremely beautiful. Her uniform color is purple. She has also appeared as a networker in My LEGO Network.
- Charge: Charge is the team's electrical expert. His gloves apparently allow him jet-assisted flight, as shown on the cover of the Alpha Team Video Game. His uniform color is blue in the 2001 and 2002 missions, and Red in 2004.
- Cam Attaway: Cam is the team's motors expert and mechanic. She was replaced by Arrow in 2004. Her uniform color is red in the 2001 and 2002 missions. Like Dash, while her last name was not given in the original video game, it seems to have been added by LEGO sometime around 2001-2002.
- Flex: Flex is the team's flamboyant ropes expert. His uniform color is orange. In the original video game, his helmet had a loop on the top of it through which he strung ropes to hang from, and in one teaser for the game it appears his helmet is forcefully clamped to his head from the sides.
- Tee Vee: Tee Vee is Alpha Team's communications robot. He has been seen in three different variations. In his first version, he was essentially a television set with legs. In 2002, he was upgraded to a miniature submarine, and in 2004 his appearance was revised once more, this time to that of a humanoid android.
- Arrow: Arrow is an agent in 2004. His uniform color is yellow.
- Diamond Tooth: Diamond Tooth is an agent in 2004. His uniform color is green. Also referred to simply as Diamond in the LEGO Shop@Home website description for 4744 Tundra Tracker.
- Gearbox: Only mentioned in catalog set descriptions for Tundra Tracker, in which it is said he built it.
- Zed: Alpha Team special agent, and the pilot of the Blizzard Blaster.
- Ogel: The villain of the series, constantly coming up with schemes to control the world.
- Skeleton Drone: Ogel's minions, who are people who have been affected by Mind Control Orbs. Their appearance changes numerous times during the series. Referred to as Zombies in the original video game and Ice Drones in 2004-05.
- Super Ice Drone: A Skeleton Drone with a black head that pilots the Scorpion Orb Launcher.
- Main article: List of Alpha Team sets
- The Ogel Command Striker is a small water craft piloted by Ogel.
- The Alpha Team Cruiser is a small watercraft piloted by Radia. In a LEGO Mania Magazine comic and another LEGO Adventures! Magazine comic, it was shown flying.
- The Alpha Team Helicopter is Dash's vehicle, and is equipped with a hook and various gadgets.
- 6774 Alpha Team ATV contains two vehicles, an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and a submarine towed behind. Flex mans the ATV while Cam pilots the sub.
- 6775 Alpha Team Bomb Squad several vehicles come in this set. Charge drives a 4x4, while Crunch mans a missile-firing truck. There is also a smaller remote controlled vehicle with a claw, which according to the set description can diffuse bombs.
- The Robot Diver is a small vehicle that features Charge, consisting of a mech suit with robot arms and a flamethrower.
- The Sub-Surface Scooter is a small and nimble craft piloted by Flex. His expertise in roping is evidenced by the spool of cable on the rear of the craft.
- The Navigator/ROV is a moderately-sized patrol craft with two robot arms. It is manned by Cam and Tee Vee in ROV form, and is similar in shape to the Command Patrol Sub.
- The Alpha Team Command Sub is Alpha Team's largest undersea vehicle. It can fire off two Robot Divers, similar to Charge's, if necessary. A unique feature of the vehicle is somewhat similar to the 2004 Alpha Mode, as the front and rear end of the Sub could split from the middle and combine to form a smaller sub.
- The Aquatic Mech is a large undersea robot operated by Dash and the Tee-Vee ROV.
- The Wing Diver is a small scout vehicle operated by Cam.
- The Jet Sub is a small sub piloted by Dash.
2004 - 2005
- The Mobile Command Center is the most heavily armed vehicle of the Alpha Team. The four Agents on board are Tee Vee, Charge, Arrow, and Radia. The Mobile Command Center contains two solar lasers, tools, and a missile launcher. When it is in "Alpha Mode", it turns into a heavily armed command center. Two Snow Scooters accompany the vehicle. This vehicle is used to locate Ogel's bases, spy and/or give information. It also has an Ice Orb Claw used to deactivate Ice Orbs.
- The Blizzard Blaster is equipped with twin solar lasers, dual energy lasers, an ice missile launcher, and a heat energy beam. Zed, a special agent of Alpha Team, uses the machine to battle Ogel's Scorpion Orb Launcher and the Super Ice Drone. The Blizzard Blaster transforms into the Ice Shark when in Alpha Mode.
- The Tundra Tracker contains twin solar lasers and a drill. It converts to the Magma Drill when in Alpha Mode. In a LEGO Magazine, it was said that an agent called Gearbox built and designed the vehicle. Agent Diamond Tooth pilots this vehicle.
- The Chill Speeder is a small, swift speeder. When Alpha Mode is activated the speeder transforms into a light all-terrain walker called the X-1 Snowbot Defender. It is equipped with twin solar lasers and is used by Flex.
- The Ice Blade is a swift snowmobile with tracks and skate. In Alpha Mode, it transforms into the stealthy IC-2 Helicopter. It is equipped with twin solar lasers and piloted by Charge.
- The Blue Eagle is a fast, highly maneuverable jet with dual wing tipped claws, and in Alpha Mode becomes the Ice Glider. It is piloted by Dash.
- The Solar Speeder Snow Mobile is a fast, wheeled vehicle, that is more or less used exclusively to infiltrate Ogel's Mountain Fortress. In Alpha Mode, it reveals a missile launcher. It is used by Dash.
- The Quad Cannon is a very large vehicle that must be piloted by at least two agents, sometimes three.
Ogel has had several bases in the series.
- Ogel Island: Ogel grows the plants used in the evil orbs here in his massive greenhouses and ships them to Goo Caverns on his Trouble Train.
- Goo Caverns: Ogel harvests the goo used in the evil orbs here which are put in barrels. Both plant shipping crates and barrels of goo are put in his Trouble Sub and shipped to the next base.
- Deep Sea Orb Factory: The plants and goo are unloaded from his Trouble Sub and turned into Evil Orbs at the D.O.O.M. (Device for Ominous Orb Manufacture) Machine.
- Arctic Command Base: Ogel loads the evil orbs from his undersea base onto the Boggle Rocket here. His plan was to launch them all over the world and turn everyone into his slaves.
Ogel has several bases in the form of LEGO sets.
- Ogel Control Center: Ogel and his drones load Evil Orbs into Ogel's rocket, allowing him to drop them on civilians and turn the world's population into his slaves.
- Ogel's Mission Deep Sea Base: This base allows Ogel to fire menacing Evil Orb Missiles at unsuspecting Alpha Team Agents.
- Ogel's Mountain Fortress: This is where ice orbs are created and where Ogel hatches the plan to freeze the world.
- In 2001 UK catalogs, Evil Orbs were referred to as "Thought-Control Orbs".
- Ogel is LEGO spelled backwards.
- Ogel is a direct descendant of Vladek.
- Ogel's face was never revealed in the original video game.
- Cam and Radia's names were often confused. This also applied to the 2004 minifigures, Arrow and Charge.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 LEGO Alpha Team Developer Interview
- ↑ LEGO Media International Goes to Hollywood: Inks Agreement With Digital Domain to Develop Children's Computer Software.
- ↑ Industry Veteran Joins Digital Domain Interactive as Executive Producer of Technology; Ronald Fortier to Launch Recently Announced Lego Media International Project.
- ↑ 2001 Large UK January - June catalog
- ↑ Ogel Speaks!