Thursday, November 27, 2008


I probably shouldn't use up my small stash of backlogged photos, but Thanksgiving is making me sleepy, so I better make better use of my time.

You remember Lakitu, don't you? He's known as Jyugemu in Japan. Perhaps you are more familiar with the spiked eggs that he throws down on you, as you attempt to avoid a bunch of other obstacles. They hatch instantly, and become Spinies, those little spiked turtles that for seem reason seem less intelligent that the other turtles in the game. Maybe because they don't have big eyes and necks. You better hope you have fireballs.

Oh, I was supposed to talk about colours awhile back, wasn't I? The tan that Lego uses doesn't quite translate so well to a generic skin colour, so I've had to pick and choose which characters work best with it. So far, generic Jumpman and Lakitu here pass the test, but when I made Luigi using the exact same colours, something just didn't look right. Sure, I'm tweaking the contrast a lot when I post these here, but maybe the tan wasn't swarthy enough for a green and white-clad plumber. Actually, for some reason, the game uses a real orange-y hue for Mario and Luigi. I have to go with what Lego gives me. I had the same problem with Link, which is why I haven't posted him yet. It's actually good that Lego doesn't give me a lot of colour choices, because then I'd probably go crazy buying them all up. I've already bought some questionable colours in the hopes that I'll have a need for them in the future. Maroon, orange-y brown, and forest green: I'm looking at you....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Did you know that Mario wasn't originally called Mario? He was Jumpman. I'm glad they didn't call him Hammerman. Or Generic Construction Worker. Whatever his name, he worked in the most dangerous environment ever. Even if the ape wasn't throwing barrels around, you could fall off a conveyor belt and die really quickly. They looked like pies would be coming towards you, but I think they were deadly dishes of concrete, or perhaps a very coarse sand. After watching King of Kong, I was determined to get to this level I've just described, because they inexplicably left it out of the documentary, even though it was totally another screen to delight and entertain the audience! The only problem was, that game is too damn hard. It took me weeks to just get to that level and watch conveyor belts destroy poor Jumpman, leaving his love for Pauline unrequited.

And don't even think about jumping very well. For a guy called Jumpman, he couldn't jump very far. Those Track and Field guys would waste him. They even had similar mustaches.

I really think i should start writing descriptions this way. Maybe I didn't think of this before because I didn't have good Dig Dug anecdotes. It's also scary if I actually do have real video game anecdotes....

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Funny, they didn't have green when I was a kid...

Lego Mosaic came to the rescue by providing me with nice little transparent bases to put my pixels on, as well as a bunch of 1x1 bricks in a variety of colours. The basic idea is that you have a picture that you place the clear base onto so you just stick the bricks over the grid one at a time. Kind of like the old Lite-Brite patterns, but re-usable. This is fine with the Lego-provided instructions, but for some reason they didn't give you a blank grid that was sized to the Lego studs. So, when you want to make your own pictures, you just have to improvise. Maybe I'll make and photocopy some blank grids someday.

Now here's the kicker: when I counted the number of dots on these bases, I found they were 16x16, which is exactly the same number as the patterns for the dot-s pegboards. So whenever I use those instructions, everything is translated nice and easy. Except for trying to match colours when they're not simple primary ones. But more on that next time....