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Biomancer
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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:18 am

Yes, I have to agree with both statements. Its vehicle is puny, but it's cool. :P

And talk about ridiculous: Flex's hang-glider included in Ogel's Scorpion Orb Launcher (I think). :P



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:28 am

I liked the Drones.

:P

But that's just me, and I do enjoy those single-sets.



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:30 pm

I liked the drones too, but that doesn't mean that the vehicle I showed above isn't puny compared to the Blizzard Blaster. :P



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:21 pm

Some interesting factoids for any of you still listening:

The LEGO Alpha Team videogame was developed before the sets were designed. Originally, it was meant to be a multi-theme crossover, including the pink-and-purple-poodle-pampering sets aimed at girls. The premise was a group of minifigures, from pizza men to cowboys to mad scientists, each with special abilities, moving through Rube Goldberg style LEGO contraptions, in order to stop the evil Ogel.

LEGO's marketing division insisted that the crossover motif be replaced by something with more testosterone, so the secret agents were designed. Each of the original team members was based on the special abilities of the pre-agent motif characters - for example, "Dash" would run in a straight line until he passed over a plate with an arrow on it. The other characters could interact with motors (Cam), lasers (Radia), pulleys (Flex), electricity (Charge), and explosives (Crunch). Tee Vee was an inexplicable Southern-accented commentator who explained how things work. Interestingly, if you chose to skip his exposition, he’d give a refreshingly polite, “Oh, you know that already. Sorry,” By dragging pieces and characters around, you’d create complex Rube Goldberg devices which could free other agents or cease production of the Mind Control Orbs.

A surprising amount of background is also provided: the fact that Dash wasn’t Team Leader until the events of the first game surprised me; the first game was also the first appearance of the Mind Control Orbs which Ogel used to turn everyday minifigures into “zombies,” now better known as Skeleton Drones; however, Ogel had faced off against Alpha Team before he had invented the Mind Control Orb, but this was his largest-scale operation until then; and perhaps most interesting of all, it’s explicitly stated that Dash was the only team member not captured at the start of the game, which means that the members of Alpha Team were originally finitely Dash, Cam, Radia, Charge, Crunch, and Flex.

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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:44 am

I do think the agents-with-specialties arrangement was the right way to go, although I don't quite understand why Cam and Crunch disappeared from the picture and where the later agent Arrow came from.  It's too bad I never got to try the videogame, because it really does sound interesting.

Alpha Team definitely did have a lot of thought put into some aspects of it, and in a way I wish they'd continued with it.  None of its spiritual successors like Aqua Raiders, Agents, Atlantis, and so on had the same level of backstory and care behind them.



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:09 pm

Aqua Raiders and Atlantis - and even Mission Deep Sea, if you want to go there - have heavy shades of Aquazone. No surprise that I find Aquazone superior to Aqua Raiders and Atlantis, I suppose. :P

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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:39 am

Yeah, Aquazone was the more obvious influence on Aqua Raiders and Atlantis, of course.  I just think of them as more "post-Alpha-Team" because that was after Aquazone itself, though not so much in the same vein.  :P

I think LEGO is still searching for the right balance of story investment.  Obviously they had things like Mars Mission succeeding Life on Mars along with Aqua Raiders/Atlantis succeeding Aquazone and Agents (perhaps eventually Space Police III and Galaxy Squad) succeeding Alpha Team, and none of those ever seemed very well developed to me, without nearly as much careful backstory despite one or two attempts.  Now the LEGO Group is taking the opposite tack, throwing all their weight behind the multimedia-laden Ninjago and Legends of Chima fantasy settings.  TV shows are all well and good, but I can't or else won't watch them... Alpha Team remains my gold standard, from both standpoints of nostalgia and proper execution.

And then there's this "LEGO Movie" business but that's another subject.



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:15 pm

And of course, Alpha Team only had that much story in the first place because it was based on a videogame. :P

I think that LEGO Island had similar origins, too, as a videogame adapted to sets. Other story-driven themes like Knights "Heart of the Shield of Ages" Kingdom II, Oriental Expedition, and even later Alpha Team lines, meanwhile, got their story developed in comics.

Any thoughts on the functions built into the earlier sets? Or their disappearance in Mission Deep Sea, and their ultimate replacement with transforming vehicles in Deep Freeze?

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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:28 pm

And Galidor had so much story because it was based on a TV sho- oh wait.

Anyway, yes, though. Videogames became much more of an auxiliary medium later on for the LEGO Group, instead of a story driver. I admit I'm most familiar with the comics from Knights "Beats All" Kingdom II, but we're basically living with the legacy of all those story comics: Hero Factory and/or Legends of Chima still had them last I checked.

Back to Alpha Team, I only really got into the sets right before the Deep Freeze wave(s) came out, so I don't really know a lot about the earliest sets. Some friends of mine had one or two of the original wave of sets, and I don't remember any functions from those (6774 Alpha Team ATV and possibly 6773 Alpha Team Helicopter). I do remember wanting to get 6776 Ogel's Control Center, which I always thought looked great. :P

I thought the Deep Freeze transforming vehicles were a great idea, if not always well-executed. My favorite had to be the 4743 Ice Blade, presumably why I got it - both the long pointy blade sledcar and the helicopter it transformed into seemed well-thought-out. The Chill Speeder and Blizzard Blaster were okay, if awfully obvious (both went directly from two-legged mechs to two-pointed speeders), and the worst had to be the Tundra Tracker, which went from a four-wheeled vehicle with a drill underneath to a four-wheeled vehicle with a drill mostly not underneath.



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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:26 pm

And the mobile command center didn't really transform, did it? It just sort of opened...

Sadly, I never got the Ice Blade, but I did pick up the Tundra Tracker, Chill Speeder and the Blizzard Blaster. It was the orange cannons - y'know, the ones that used to be on all of the Star Wars Pod Racers - on the Blizzard Blaster that made me get it, and the little Skeleton Drone's vehicle. Trying to fit two opposing forces into every single set is often a bad idea, because we get things like Dash's hang glider, but that beetle or whatever is adorable.

I think it's odd that the Chill Speeder's transformation hinged (excuse the pun XD) on the same piece both of Ogel's early command centers used in their skull entry way. Since I got a few of the first wave and several Deep Sea sets, I was disappointed when Ogel's Deep Freeze lair didn't have the same skull door. I suppose turning the whole mountain into a skull is the same idea, but those doors were a bit iconic.

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PostSubject: Re: Official LEGO Alpha Team Topic   Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:02 pm

Yeah, well... the Mobile Command Center's "transformation" was so limp-wristed in execution that I don't even count it as a true vehicle transformation. :P

The Ice Blade remains the best vehicle set-wise but I wanted the Blizzard Blaster because of its great parts. :P I did like that ice-orb bug that came with it! The Chill Speeder was sort of cute for a sled-mech thing too.

Interesting that Ogel's earlier command centers had that kind of hinging gate, I didn't know (IF ONLY I HAD GOTTEN THE FIRST ONE). I liked the skull mountain but yes, a nice gate would've been... uh, nice.



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