Since LEGO’s famous little bricks first hit the market in 1932, humankind has yearned to build bigger, better and weirder things with them. There’s just something incredibly satisfying (not to mention relaxing) about turning a mere idea into a miniature-scale masterpiece using the tiniest of blocks.
It’s just as well, then, that LEGO likely offers a set for whatever build you might dream of, whether that’s a pretty bouquet of flowers or a miniature supercar. You can even build miniature copies of the world’s most famous buildings and landmarks, among them the Statue of Liberty and the Taj Mahal.
Speaking of buildings, gamers will know that video games can be a treasure trove of beautiful architecture just begging to be explored. This got the team here at Guide Strats thinking: what might some of the most awe-inspiring buildings in video games look like if they were LEGO sets?
We didn’t think about it too long before we excitedly set about imagining them, using BrickLink Studio 2.0 to digitally render builds and their boxes and — for added realism — calculate how many blocks each build will need. Scroll on to see what we made…
Academy of Raya Lucaria (Elden Ring)
Fans of Elden Ring will know that one of the most special things about the game is the opportunity for adventure, with a sprawling open-world map some 79 square kilometers in size (that’s bigger than Grand Theft Auto V). At some point on their mystical journey, players will find themselves at the Academy of Raya Lucaria, which we’ve imagined as a LEGO build that includes 5,363 bricks.
“Elden Ring’s Hogwarts” is one of six main Legacy Dungeons in the game, fortresses that hide a treasure trove of loot and where powerful bosses await to be challenged. In Raya Lucaria, that boss comes in the form of Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, who whisks players away to a moonlit and seriously gorgeous arena for the second phase of their intense battle.
Using mostly grey and pale yellow pieces, our set replicates everything from the Academy’s rocky foundations to its intricate windows and turrets. But LEGO isn’t the only block-based medium you can use to recreate this towering fortress: Reddit user Krylord built a version of Raya Lucaria in Minecraft, complete with candle-lit chandeliers and shelves upon shelves of books.
Altissia Palace (Final Fantasy XV)
Our next build is Altissia Palace, an opulent palace found in its Venice-like namesake city in Final Fantasy XV. This set comes with a staggering 10,580 pieces — more than any other build in our research and over 500 more than the LEGO Eiffel Tower set, the tallest LEGO structure you can build (at 58.5 inches) and the second-largest of any set.
Our set recreates the palace’s grand gold domes, elegant spires and luxurious pools, a sight gamers just can’t get enough of. “Altissia is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in a video game,” writes one Redditor. “Blew my mind exploring it. So much detail and the architecture among the waterways is amazing.” Another user fawns: “Agreed 100%, I was literally walking around with open mouth staring at everything … Altissia is a true piece of art, many thanks [to] whoever worked on it!”
Kaer Morhen (The Witcher III)
Not quite as opulent is Kaer Morhen, a run-down fortress from The Witcher III, which we reimagined as a LEGO set that comes with 2,385 pieces. Situated among the Blue Mountains of Hertch, it’s here that witchers belonging to the School of the Wolf (among them the series’ protagonist, Geralt of Rivia) took up their training.
This set has no need for the brightly colored blocks that LEGO is known for; instead, we’ve gone heavy on naturalistic, earth-colored bricks, with grey rocky outcrops, dark green shrubbery and brown wood-like detailing. According to The Witcher Enhanced Edition Artbook, inspiration for the design of this gloomy fortress came from Orava Castle in Slovakia, a building similarly perched on a high rock and surrounded by forest.
For Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher, a rocky landscape found on the Isle of Skye in Scotland was used for the gloomy exterior shots of Kaer Morhen. The close-up shots are a lot less magical; they were filmed in studios just outside of London.
Citadel (Half-Life 2)
If you’re in the middle slice of the Venn diagram that unites Half-Life 2 fans and LEGO aficionados, hold onto your hats: we’ve visualized a LEGO build for the iconic (and terrifying) Citadel building, a structure so massive that even the box can’t show it all. This build would need 3,029 pieces, a number some 35 times more than the average person’s collection of LEGO bricks.
In response to a fan’s question back in 2009, Half-Life 2 writer Marc Laidlaw — with the help of a designer — judged the mammoth building to be at least a mile high, an estimation later adjusted to 8,430 feet. Not content with that calculation, Redditor Rscreamroad later revised the numbers and ended up with 27,580 feet, a height just 1,450 feet shy of Mount Everest.
The Citadel looms large over City 17, a metropolitan area — Eastern European in appearance — filled with packed tenement buildings, underground tunnels, plazas and canal systems for players to explore. Jaw-dropping height aside, it’s no wonder the metallic, angular Citadel looks so out of place on Earth — it was built by the Combine (the series’ interdimensional antagonists) after a brief war with humanity.
If you’re one of the 60+ million people who have a copy of Skyrim — the critically acclaimed fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series — you’ll definitely recognize our next LEGO set: Dragonsreach, a castle we’ve envisioned would take 2,325 pieces to put together.
Composed of muddy-colored bricks and wood beams, our LEGO imagining of Dragonsreach sees mostly brown blocks stacked into patterns reminiscent of Gothic architecture, complete with its own balcony. Lore has it that King Olaf built Dragonsreach to house the captured dragon Numinex, whose head still sits above the throne within… (head sold separately).
Other typically castle-y things you’ll find inside Dragonsreach include a roaring firepit, elaborate wooden engravings, swinging chandeliers and long tables fit for a feast. Gamers will be gamers, though, and where there’s a will, there’s a mod; after the infamous Starbucks gaffe in one Game of Thrones episode, one player created a mod that places Starbucks cups throughout the castle.
Temple of Time (The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom)
Since 1986, the Legend of Zelda video game series has sold more than 150.3 million copies of various titles across various platforms, placing it among the best-selling video game franchises of all time.
It was in 2023’s Tears of the Kingdom game, however, that the Temple of Time first introduced itself to players — a mystical building we’ve reimagined as a LEGO set buildable with 1,845 pieces.
Our build uses grey blocks to emulate the Temple’s ancient look, and yellow flower pieces decorate the exterior. But perhaps the most show-stopping aspect of the Temple of Time is that it floats in mid-air; LEGO has yet to create levitating pieces (one day…), so we’ve eluded to this building’s gravity-defying ability by placing it atop transparent tube pieces, scattering clouds at the base.
But spoilers ahead: in Tears of the Kingdom, the Temple of Time plays a pivotal role in the story. After restoring three Shrines to power, it’s at the Temple that the protagonist, Link, receives a time-rewinding ability from a ghostly vision of Princess Zelda.
How We Created These Fictional LEGO Architecture Sets
We began by collecting in-game stills and videos of buildings in video games to use as a reference. We then used BrickLink Studio 2.0 to render LEGO builds and their boxes and calculate how many LEGO bricks would be needed for each build.
This is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by The Lego Group.