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Video Game / LEGO Adaptation Game

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So a Jedi, an archaeologist, a superhero, a rockstar, a wizard, and a pirate walk into a toy store...note 


"LEGO Adaptation Game" is a catch-all term for a loosely-connected series of Multi-Platform Video Games made by Traveller's Tales, based on combining the license for LEGO with that of another work, generally a film, as tie-ins to licensed toy lines based on the same films LEGO is producing and selling around the same time. With few exceptions, the games are action platforming games with the characters and stages all consisting of LEGO interpretations of the licensed work in question, with tongue-in-cheek, often parodical Cutscenes poking fun at both those works and the fact that they are made out of LEGO bricks. They generally follow the original work's story, but with a Denser and Wackier tone.

In these games, death is just the character falling apart and, if it's a Player Character, reforming with just the loss of a few small round LEGO bricks referred to as studs, which are the currency in these games.


The real meat of the games is the quest to 100% Completion; while simply completing the levels are typically a stroll in the park, many collectibles and rooms in every stage are initially inaccessible until the player acquires a character with a specific ability (like super strength or the ability to destroy metal objects). Replaying stages and exploring overworlds with these new characters reward players with more collectibles and playable characters (often numbering in the triple digits per game) until players hit the magical 100%.


Games in the series:

(In the order each subseries debuted)Related LEGO games include LEGO Rock Band, LEGO City Undercover, and LEGO Dimensions. Many of this series' crossovers have also made the jump to animation - LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Superheroes Unite is even a straight-up adaptation of the LEGO Batman 2 game.

The games are rife with numerous shout outs, much as you'd expect from a franchise affectionately parodying popular films.

The remaining LEGO Adaptation Games provide examples of the following tropes:

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  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Most characters that never fought in their source material become capable of kicking some major plastic butt.
    • A rather hilarious example is Batman in The LEGO Movie video game. Unlike the movie itself, this Batman is as capable in gameplay as his counterpart from the LEGO Batman games.
  • Adapted Out: Many of the games usually have some characters or scenes missing, despite being in the original source material.
    • The LEGO Movie completely omits several of the licensed characters that make appearances in the film itself, such as Milhouse, Michelangelo and Dumbledore. Furthermore, the cameo by Millennium Falcon and its crew is omitted despite its relevance to the plot, and one of the major plot points is completely glossed over - The Reveal that the entire story is really just a boy playing with his Lego is kept, but the subsequent reveal that Lord Business and his plot to freeze everything is based on his father's desire to stop his son from messing up his Lego kits is cut out of the story, removing all context for Lord Business' Heel–Face Turn.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Pretty much anything evil automatically becomes this, or at least Laughably Evil, when turned Lego.
  • Affectionate Parody: Any serious moments from the series they were taken from are changed to light-hearted comedy.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • There are many "characters" in the games that aren't really anything but alternate outfits for the characters. Some, however, do have slightly different properties. Later games, including Marvel Super Heroes and Jurassic World, give each distinct character only one slot in the selection grid, which rotates through the available outfits for that character, so that the overall size of the grid gives a more accurate idea of how many actual characters there are.
    • In all the levels of The LEGO Movie instead of Citizens in Peril or some other relevant item, you find... pants!
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you're in cursor mode, you don't have to worry about any enemies harming you due to being unable to take damage there, so you can continue your task unimpeded.
    • Starting in Jurassic World, the Free Play character select menu includes a list of what abilities each character has to make it easier to figure out who can solve what puzzles.
    • Starting in Avengers, going through free play now lists the individual segments of each level, as well as which collectibles still need to be found in each segment.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Averted for the most part. Most of the time AI partners can hold their own in a fight and if two levers need to be flipped or two buttons need to be stepped on, they'll automatically head to those levers or buttons.
  • Autosave: Every game does this.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In full effect - whilst characters are dismembered, the characters are still plastic Lego pieces.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Everyone that fights with a gun follows this, with the sole exception of non-default weapons in Indiana Jones.
  • Built with LEGO: You bet it is!
  • Butt-Monkey: Each series of games tends to have one, who will fall victim to most of the comic injuries and pratfalls.
  • The Cameo: Surprisingly, Doctor Who has been briefly represented in three of the games: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (The TARDIS), Lego Batman III: Beyond Gotham (Weeping Angels), and the series got a level pack in LEGO Dimensions, with occasional cameos in the main campaign. Also, Doctor List reused the Twelfth Doctor's hair and face in LEGO Marvel's Avengers, which was released two months after Lego Dimensions.
  • Character Customization: Beginning in LEGO Star Wars II, you can mix-and-match pieces from any unlocked character to make your own creation.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The games use visual shorthand so you know what you can do. Silver objects have to be blown up with explosives, red and black ones can only be manipulated by evil characters, and so on.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Half the fun is going around beating up NPCs and destroying random objects.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Being made of LEGO bricks is a sign that it can be destroyed or interacted with.
    • The LEGO Movie Video Game is an exception, since everything is made out of LEGO bricks. Most games have a bonus level of some sort that's built the same way. The patches are a bit less conspicuous in these instances.
  • Continuity Lockout: In the earlier games, the cutscenes are only occasional, usually pantomimed, and Played for Laughs. So good luck understanding what's going on without watching the movies first. Avoided in later games, which have intelligible dialogue.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: You just lose LEGO studs. These aren't meant to be Nintendo Hard games unless you're trying to get 100% Completion, which sometimes demands a No Death Run.
  • Developers' Foresight: When distance-tagging (the ability to tag to another character without standing next to them) was introduced, you may have thought about using this to tag yourself out of falling to your death. However, if the death has already been registered by the game, you'll lose your studs anyway and you will be left at 25% health (12.5% in LEGO Batman) as a punishment.
    • No matter who you select as your starting character for a Free Play stage, the game will make sure to hand you a character from every required unlocked ability you have for your stage roster. This way, you are always able to grab every collectible that you can in a stage playthrough, provided you have at least one unlocked character for a class.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Destroying all (and we mean all) the level furniture is not only possible and enjoyable and but also distinctly necessary, and generally one of the game series' trademarks.
  • Disability Superpower: In the game version of The LEGO Movie Vitruvius is blind (and seemingly unaffected by it gameplay-wise). Since he can't see how far down it is, he has no fear of heights and is the only one who can cross narrow beams. The other characters snark that he may be being sarcastic when he pretends to not know how high up he is.
  • Double Unlock: How you get virtually everything extra. You have to do something to make the character (or the Red Brick) available to you (in Lord of the Rings you unlock characters by completing levels; in Harry Potter you find characters scattered within levels and in Hogwarts) and then you have to use studs to buy them. You have to actually look for the character on the map in Lord of the Rings, as if to make up for the ease of the first unlock. Saruman nearly qualifies as That One Sidequest.
  • Downloadable Content: Starting with LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, the games have had extra characters available as DLC. New copies of the games sometimes include codes to download these characters for free.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Common gameplay feature.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In some levels of the comic games, using a flying character can get you to a puzzle near the end and bypassing a lot of gameplay.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first few entries in the series did not feature dialogue in the cutscenes (aside from the occasional simlish), and were pantomimed instead. This was dropped from LEGO Batman 2 onwards, and the games now use a mix of lines from the source material and original voice acting.
  • Everything Fades: Dismantled LEGO pieces and opponents eventually flash for a moment and disappear.
  • Fixed Camera: For the most part. Averted with open worlds starting with LEGO Batman 2.
  • Flanderization: Pretty much the point of the games. Many character traits are emphasized for comedy, the games don't take their worlds very seriously.
  • Flash of Pain: Being hit causes a character to flash red.
  • Follow the Money: In games with large hubs/world maps, the game gives you a trail of ghostly or holographic studs to guide you to your destination. Of course, since they're not real, they're not actually worth any money - unless you activate a cheat. The normal version with real studs is also used.
  • Funny Background Event: The games are chock full of these.
  • Global Currency: LEGO studs.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: A Running Gag in the earlier games; each game contained at least one disco gag in it. Unfortunately, this wore off over time (meaning LEGO Marvel 2 passed up its chance to use "Guardians Inferno").
  • Ground Pound:
    • Any character with a melee weapon can do this.
    • This is required by bigfigs or super-strong characters to break floor-mounted cracked walls.
  • Guide Dang It!: While the levels themselves are pretty easy to beat, finding all of the minikits and hidden bricks can get to this point.
  • Hammerspace: Characters have weapons that grow into its size when taken out and shrink when put away. When walking when either button is pressed, the weapon grows to size or shrinks away in the character's hand.
  • Hub Level: Each series has its own. In later games that expand to a Wide Open Sandbox, there's usually a section of the world that holds most of the Hub functions like shops and character customization.
  • Idle Animation: Everyone has them, and there's actually quite a bit of variation. Characters will scratch their head, point their weapon, or twirl around.
  • Indy Escape: At least once per game.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the actual movies.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: This being LEGO, every character falls to pieces upon defeat. Also, when a character or enemy is frozen into a block of ice (across several games), they can be killed in one hit when the ice is broken.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Actually one of the goals in the games is to get every character.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • Any of the PSP versions of the games can fall into this.
    • Oddly enough, the 3DS versions of the games fall into this as well. Considering that 3DS games are cartridge-based, unlike the Wii or PSP, the fact that these games have loading times nearly as long as those of LEGO Island 2 is rather perplexing, especially when compared to other games on the system such as Ocarina of Time 3D or Super Mario 3D Land, which have very short loading times. Worse, not only are these loading times long, but they are also very frequent.
    • In general, the open worlds in games such as The LEGO Ninjago Movie or LEGO The Incredibles suffer from incredibly long load times.
  • Mind Screw: Heck, look at any of the games with all the visual cheats turned on.
  • Mission Control: Introduced at the same time as the minifigs' ability to talk, from LEGO Batman 2 onward.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: One of the major complaints is the similarity of the games aside from the license. TT Games has tried to diversify, especially with abilitites and the addition of the Wide Open Sandbox hub worlds.
  • Money Multiplier: And can stack in some of the games.
  • Moveset Clone: Inevitably, considering the amount of characters within each game, there will be a lot of them that have familiar, identical, or otherwise the exact same attacks or body language.
  • Multi-Platform: The games have been released on several Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft consoles and some portables.
  • Mythology Gag: In LEGO Rock Band, the only characters with normal skin tones are those based on the pre-made characters from RB 2. The rest (the human ones, anyway) all are built with yellow skin, including your road crew.

  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Such a combination for a video game was so new that many thought it was a joke when first announced.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted; there are ample opportunities to play as evil characters in almost any of the games.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you attempt to use a code to unlock any characters or red bricks, the game will lock you out of saving until the next time you play. Averted with the cheats provided by the various Red Bricks.
  • 100% Completion: The main games are short, but getting this can take days. Unwinnable by Mistake in some of the DS versions because apparently, some minikits are missing.
  • Once an Episode: A disco that plays a dance remix of the theme song.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Bullets go slow enough to be visible and able to be dodged by player characters.
  • Party in My Pocket: In contrast to the consoles' and PSP versions, the DS ports only have two active player characters onscreen at any time. As a result, characters must tag in and out this way, similar to Free Play mode.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In several games, one of the random animations when using a wrench to fix something is hitting it with the wrench.
  • Person of Mass Construction: Every character, with the exception of Joke Characters, can rapidly create complex structures, assuming a pile of interactive LEGO Bricks are around. This especially goes for characters with Telekinesis (ex: the Jedi, Wizards, Green Lanterns), who can manipulate LEGO Bricks from a distance.
  • Playable Epilogue: In the games based on other franchises, this is key to 100% completion. Unless you search every shrub and every room like some sort of criminal investigator, you will miss 90% of the stuff you need to find.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: In order to achieve 100% Completion, you have to collect different types of characters and replay the 'Free Mode' to be able to access the areas that only certain characters with certain abilities can gain access to.
  • Power-Up Magnet: The "Stud Magnet" cheat.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Parts are sometimes changed from the original material to allow two players in what were originally one-man scenes.
  • Product Placement: All the games have been based on pre-existing building sets, naturally. More than that, most games are timed to tie in with a related movie release.
    • The Lego Movie came out about the same time its namesake movie did. Same with the game based on its sequel.
  • Puzzle Pan: Some games may point the camera toward required puzzle elements.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Red and black objects can't be manipulated by most characters and are reserved only for those with evil powers.
  • Respawning Enemies: A common mechanism in all of the games to pad things out a bit while the player is solving puzzles. Every fifteen seconds, like clockwork.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Smashing anything plastic-y and/or in LEGO form provides Lego studs to collect.
  • Rule of Funny: The cutscenes in general.
  • Running Gag:
    • In nearly every LEGO game, there's a room which has a disco, and the disco theme in question is a remix of a piece of the soundtrack.
    • In many of the games, there's at least one scene where a character is seen sleeping with a teddy bear, regardless of the setting.
  • Sequence Breaking: Generally in Free Play mode, where you can choose any character needed to traverse the level, which means you can skip a number of puzzles to proceed through the level. Sometimes you can this outside of Free Play mode as well.
  • Silliness Switch: The games are silly enough already, but some of the unlockable options deliberately take it farther.
  • Solve the Soup Cans:
    • The puzzles to find the hidden minikit canisters, Power Bricks, and various other collectibles. You won't know something in the area will make those items appear until you've already done it. Finding these items without a guide (or the Minikit/Power Brick detector cheat) can be difficult.
    • Several parts of levels are confusing since the typical Color-Coded for Your Convenience mechanics are difficult to identify due to lighting. Other puzzles are easily overlooked, since they involve repeating an action which granted you something important to the level and give you a minikit the next time, or recreating a condition of the level which goes against the player's instincts to move on (since the games are normally very linear).
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Downplayed. Some characters occasionally live longer than they did in canon in order to give player 2 someone to control during a boss fight (most notably Cedric Diggory and Darth Vader).
  • Stripperriffic: Averted, obviously. The designs of notably sexy outfits like Storm are considerably more modest, and the minifigure body certainly diminishes the effect as well.
  • Stock Footage: In the adaptation games with voice acting it is generally the stock voice clips from said movie.
  • Stylistic Suck: Everything is kept pretty simple and even sloppy as if to drive the point home that the game is a toy first and foremost and things aren't meant to be taken particularly seriously. Probably less "stylistic" at first as Traveller's Tales were a shovelware dev at first making licensed platformers and kart racers, then played straight from that point on due to the first LEGO Star Wars' success.
  • Suddenly Voiced: After eight years of muteness, characters finally speak in LEGO Batman 2.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Special powers such as magic and telekinesis glow purple when they're used. Some bricks are purple to begin with, meaning those powers are required to manipulate them.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: Two or more characters onscreen help pull levers or stand on buttons at the same time, for example.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Each playable character has their own gimmick, and in story mode, every character you are given will have their gimmicks be mandatory to use in order to progress. The only exceptions are times when a second character is included just for the sake of multiplayer mode.
  • Title: The Adaptation: The Lego Movie Videogame and The Lego Movie 2 Videogame.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: The rosters contain Loads and Loads of Characters, so this trope is inevitable. Some characters did eventually get physical figures, though it is usually sometime after the game, sometimes with major differences.
  • Trap Door: There is one in Rock Band, at the theater where auditions are being held. Your character uses it to dispose of a tuba player during the auditions for bassists.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Two levers are often next to each other and must be pulled at the same time by two characters. Similarly, multiple floor buttons in an area must be stood on by multiple characters.
  • The Unintelligible / Speaking Simlish: The earliest games used a small voice cast speaking Simlish in the cutscenes, and relied on the players to have seen the movies and know how the story goes already. Later games used dialogue samples from the movie being adapted, voice actors performing new dialogue, or a combination.


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