Prismatis & Argentum
Main Article: LEGOformers
Prismatis: transforms from Game Boy Color, to robot, and back!
Argentum: transforms from Pokémon Silver cartridge, to robot, and back!
This is a project that I worked on mainly in February 2017, but didn’t release until June. Initially the bulk of the Game Boy Color functionality was designed in LEGO Digital Designer, and the game cartridge was created via trial and error. I halted on releasing this whole project in the spring since I was focused on numerous other projects, in addition I ran into some problems with my professional career which shifted attention away from LEGO building. I found a new freelance job in late April, and thus resumed production of this project.
By May, some of the major issues involved fitting the game cartridge into the Game Boy’s back, making articulated hands/fingers, refining the game cartridge’s size, and finally creating a removable battery case for the bottom. In between these engineering obstacles, I gradually worked on my Nickelodeon MOCs and some stop-motion animation tests. Another major issue was the lack of available pieces in lime green: this forced me to alter the ascetics to conform to the proper pieces I could use. For example, certain sizes of tiles in lime green were expensive and in limited quantities, whereas some small, rare pieces don’t exist in lime whatsoever. I was considering making the Game Boy yellow — since the Game Boy Color came in a variety of colors — but wanted to make it appear in a more iconic, jarring color as opposed to something basic. It’s for this same reason that I had trouble building my Game Boy Advance “Vantage” in rare purple pieces, as opposed to going through the cheap route of making it in a primary color.
I actually constructed two games to accompany this model: I did in fact build a yellow clone robot, but wasn’t able to find high-res photos of the Pokémon Yellow cartidge to make custom labels. Thus, I’ve omitted the yellow robot and only used the light grey one with a Pokémon Silver label. The label for Argentum was provided by one of my Instagram followers @gameboyswag: I adjusted it a bit in Photoshop, printed it on glossy photo paper, cut it up, and glued the print outs to the outer tiles of the cartridge.
I also spent a great deal of time coming up with a name for the Game Boy Color itself — in fact, I didn’t decide on a name until right before I exported the promotional video. I chose Prismatis since it’s a conjugation of the ancient Greek root word for prism. The working name for the robot was “Chroma” — and most of my photos and video footage for this project are still labeled with that name. Argentum is of course the Latin word for silver.
Prismatis and Argentum both don’t contain weapons, aside from the two battery rockets. Quite frankly I didn’t feel like designing new guns for the robots or anything, so just use your imagination and pretend they can store a variety of arsenal in their subspace storage pockets à la Transformers. To be fair, my mightiest LEGOformer Ultra Hexacon the N64 doesn’t contain any external weapons either, and relies on a shoulder-mounted cannon built into the console.
The promo video was animated over the course of a few days, based on a simple storyboard I’ve drawn up. The raw animation footage was shot in Dragonframe, then edited with the live action footage in Premiere. At the last minute I came up with the concept of using a chiptune version of “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach. I downloaded a free midi file of the musical arrangement, imported it into a program called GXSCC, then converted it into a retro video game-sounding chiptune song. I did a similar thing for the video’s end logo card with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.