The Lighthouse of Darkness – a LEGO Hidden Side Set Review

Introduction

Welcome to Grimsmouth Cove!

It is a place full of chilly, raw charm. Sharp, majestic cliffs that break into the sea favor reflection on the beauty of nature, while the lighthouse, rising proudly and high above the bay, allows you to admire this peaceful cove from above. On the other hand, looking from the top of the lighthouse at the distant horizon cut off by the surface of the sea is also conducive to reflection.

Staring at the distant horizon

The host of this place is the lighthouse keeper Claus Stormward, a man with a face carved by the sea and winds. Seemingly silent and inaccessible, he looks out from under furrowed eyebrows with eyes full of warmth. Claus never closes the door of his lighthouse to anyone who is interested in the history of this place, but he does not prefer crowds.

There’s one person whose constant presence is never a problem. It’s the diver, Jennie Napo, who likes to explore the surrounding waters and also helps Claus inspect and, if necessary, repair the underwater elements of the lighthouse bridge.

Friends, even if they’re not aware of that.

You will only see this idyllic picture during the day, in the light of the Sun. Local residents say that at night some strange sounds come from around Grimsmouth Cove and a weird green light flashes from behind the hills surrounding the creek. This light, witnesses insist, certainly does not come from a lighthouse lamp, because instead of pushing back the darkness the green light seems to unite with the darkness. Instead of being encouraging, this “light” creates unspeakable, primal horror.

Nobody knows the source of this terrible green light and these frightening sounds, because no one has the courage to visit the lighthouse at night.

These rumors reached the fearless ghost hunters: Parker L. Jackson and Jack Davids, who decided to see how much truth is in these weird spooky tales…

The Day Side

This time they come to the coast, to the lighthouse, which instead of dispelling the darkness only deepens it. LEGO 70431: The Lighthouse Of Darkness is a very neat and sensitively designed set. Both the silhouette of the lighthouse and its rocky ground instantly put the user in the right mood.

The cool colors of the elements reflect well the harsh landscape and conditions of the area (reminiscent of the harsh beauty of New England), especially when it comes to rock formation. In the version before entering the hidden side, the set exudes calm, but I have read too much of Lovecraft and the impressions from R. Eggers’ Lighthouse are still too vivid in me not to see the lurking fear seeping through the door of the building and peeking out from the cave under the lantern…

Raw, cold, majestic.

The set can be loosely divided into four segments. The first is a bridge and a fragment of the rocky coast, then the lighthouse itself, another is the fragment of the rock with the cave and the finally the “spiritual mill” set outside the body, which is used to play after augmented reality.

The lighthouse of darkness is full of nooks and hideouts that delight the eye and intensify the mood of the set. A lantern stands at the end of the bridge, and a crab lurks under the bridge. There’s a skeleton in the cave and unicorn’s horn or horn-shaped shell of some slug in a little hideout nearby. The skeleton holds an antique tube in his bony hand. Is this one of Claus’ predecessors? Why doesn’t he take eternal rest and what does he do in this cave?

The lighthouse has two levels. On the ground floor is a chess table for long, lonely nights on duty–but with whom is the lighthouse keeper playing chess if the nights are so lonely? On the first floor there’s a room with a radio for transmitting weather reports and communicating with ships.

At the top of the lighthouse shines the pride of Claus Stormward and the heart of the building: the lamp. The day side of the set is beautiful, harsh and majestic…

The lamp.

The Hidden Side

…but at night Grimsmouth Cove opens its grim mouth wide.

The grim mouth opens wide!

After entering the hidden side, the lighthouse changes beyond recognition! Supernatural activity distorts reality and releases fear, lurking at the treshold! Powerful and frightening claws sprout from the ground–out of nothing–on a rocky base! Everything shakes and thunders, and the water is covered with a stuffy, disturbing vapor. The lighthouse walls come alive and snap like huge jaws, revealing huge green teeth hidden on the walls every day.

Buuaaaarghh!

But the worst happens at the top of the lighthouse. The lamp–symbol of hope–turns into a monstrous, ominous eye! A huge, green, all-seeing eye! The eye sweeps the space, and its look brings nightmares.

The EYE!

A skeleton, animated by some devilish force, runs around the lighthouse, clicking with bones and howling into an old tube. Does this hideous transformation spare the inhabitants and the lighthouse goers? No! The evil spirit possesses Claus and Jennie, turning them into caricatures of humans.

Blueerghh! Buaaarghh! CLACK, CLACK, CLACK!

Claus, with a disheveled, shining beard, stuck somewhere between reality and the nightmare of hidden side, runs around the lighthouse, waving an old anchor, blasphemously stuck in the telescope, and sings the ancient incantations in a low voice. His eyes cast the same unhealthy glow as the huge eye at the top of the lighthouse. What are they looking for!? Possessed Jennie, entwined with seaweed, with her face contorted in a paroxysm of rage, emerges from the mist like a nightmare parody of a mermaid.

Bluuerghh!

Their hands reach for something that cannot be seen, as if they wanted to drag it to this dark side. And that something is Joe Ishmael himself! Joe was a former lighthouse keeper whose madness forced him to turn off the lamp of the lighthouse, bringing many ships straight to the cliffs. You can probably guess whose skeleton lies in the cave…

Say cheese!

Joe did not leave the lighthouse alone even after his death! Now he is haunting it as a huge ghost! More, he IS a lighthouse! Parker and Jack, using their phones and ghost-hunting jet ski, must face the lighthouse and its possessed servants.

LOOK! Look straight in the EYE!

Overall Impressions

You will enter the hidden side with the help of augmented reality in the LEGO Hidden Side app. As can be seen above, I was strongly inspired by the set and its storytelling potential and I tried to capture this unreality with the lens of the camera. The idea with an eye on the top of the lighthouse may seem obvious, but it perfectly suits both the whole set and the story. And it’s very photogenic.

The whole set gives a lot of possibilities when it comes to photography, although its vertical layout can be a challenge. It’s a pity that these “hidden side” elements are only in phosphorescent green and they don’t glow in the dark. But I repeat: The Lighthouse of Darkness is designed with a great sense of mood, and it gives a lot of fun while building and while shooting. And of course during the struggle with the ghosts on the other, hidden side! I didn’t include screenshots of the augmented reality screens because my goal with these hidden side photos was to create the atmosphere of the game experience in some more analogue way.

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10 Comments

    • Thank You so much Janan!
      The story began to spin right after I built this set. It’s one of the greatest Hidden Side sets and one of the best I had an opportunity to shoot.
      I’m glad the hidden side is creepy, my job is done! πŸ™‚

  1. Mark Lininger

    I have a few of the Hidden Side sets and I love them. I always seems to miss out on the spooky LEGO sets but not this time. After your review, I guess the lighthouse is next on my list.

    • Tomasz Lasek

      Oh my, Shelly! Thank You so much!
      I’m so happy it became alive through my pictures. I really tried to make them work well with story and action.

      Sorry for so late response though πŸ˜‰

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