Lost Phoenix_gamebox

Indie Filmmaker Turns His First Feature, Lost Phoenix, Into a Gameboy Color Game

I don’t usually cover games on here, I’m a casual gamer at best and really don’t have time to keep up on the field. But Lost Phoenix was a cool film, so I thought I’d pass on this announcement that landed in my inbox.

The award-winning indie action movie, Lost Phoenix, is coming to the Gameboy Color.
First-time feature director and lifelong gamer, James Couche, resurrects a lost tradition by bringing his indie actioner to Nintendo’s retro handheld as a Castlevania-inspired action platformer.

Lost Phoenix Gameboy 1

Produced on a shoestring budget during the pandemic, Lost Phoenix is a 90s-inspired independent action movie set in the (then) modern day. The film was released on January 10, 2024 to positive reviews thanks to its fast-paced story, engaging characters and plentiful action scenes. These qualities also made it a perfect fit for a retro action game.

An avid gamer since the NES, James Couche fondly remembers the halcyon days of movie tie-in games and the intriguing ways they adapted cinematic material. Even before making Lost Phoenix, the aspiring action filmmaker dreamed of adapting one of his films into a video game. While Lost Phoenix was in production, Couche learned of a free software that could be used to make games that run on actual Gameboy (and Gameboy Color) hardware; it was called GB Studio. The timing couldn’t have been better and the connection couldn’t be more personal.

Lost Phoenix Gameboy 2

“I came of age at the turn of the millennium,” Couche says, “and the Gameboy Color played an outsized role in that part of my life. I received one as a birthday gift just a few months before I joined the Air Force, and it became my travel companion as I left home and journeyed into the great unknown.”

Teaming up with talented GB Studio developer Elvies and musician Mat Hein, Couche set out to make a fun action platformer within the strict limitations of the Gameboy Color (and GB Studio). “Half the fun was trying to approximate the events of the film to fit onto the GBC,” Couche says, “I think we really captured the spirit of the film and the actors have gotten a kick out of seeing their 8-bit selves doing battle.”

Lost Phoenix Gameboy 4

Movie-to-game adaptations have been all but abandoned by Hollywood, and James sees an opportunity for indie filmmakers to fill that gap. “I feel like this is a great opportunity for us as indie filmmakers to add value to our films. So many of us are gamers and have a deep love for video games, we could create adaptations with the kind of care they rarely received back in the day. To be honest, this was such a great experience that it makes me want to do this for all my films going forward.”

James Couche is an Air Force veteran who has been creating no-budget action films since 2005. In 2012, he was invited to be part of the popular web series Mario Warfare from director Micah Moore and indie studio Beat Down Boogie. He has been an avid game for most of his life.

Lost Phoenix Gameboy 3

Lost Phoenix (the film) was released on January 10, 2024 on Amazon Prime and GooglePlay before eventually being released onto Tubi. It is currently being rolled out in non-English speaking territories.

Lost Phoenix (the game) will be released on June 15, 2024 and is available at Itch.io. It can be played via browser and emulator, as well as on Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance.

For any further inquiries, please contact James Couche at james.couche@gmail.com

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