|“Prime Empire is a gaming experience like no other. Giving you eight whole bits of graphics! From the Temple of Madness, to the Forest of Discontent, to the futuristic Terra Technica. You'll never experience anything like Prime Empire. Coming to an arcade near you.”|
|— Commercial Narration, "Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look"|
The Prime Empire Original Shorts are shorts that take place shortly before and during the twelfth season. Jay is the focus ninja. Unagami serves as the main antagonist and the Red Visors serve as the villainous faction of these shorts.
In Prime Empire, all the players strive for the ultimate price – the coveted Key-tana. But what is Jay doing there? How did he get inside the game, and why? There is more to this game than just racing. Behind the scenes, evil is lurking. Before he knows it, Jay is on the run. Will he escape? Who can he trust? Only one way to find out – press play
Nya convinces Jay to do something together that she likes for a change, which ends up being taking dance classes in Vlad Tutu's Dance Class. Jay is shown to be a great dancer, and Nya finds out that he is that way because he plays so much of a dancing video game at Benny's Arcade Emporium. When they arrive at the arcade, Jay gets a message from Lloyd that the Mechanic is breaking into a bank vault. Jay replies that he send the coordinates and that he and Nya will be there as soon as they can. However, Nya stops Jay in his tracks, saying they have something important to do first. The short ends with them playing Dancy Pants and a group of players crowds around to cheer them on.
The Mechanic robs money from a bank with his newly upgraded noodle truck, but Lloyd, Kai, Cole, and Zane get in pursuit. He gets away though, which frustrates Lloyd. Jay and Nya arrive late, so Lloyd asks where they were. Nya lies that she and Jay had business to take care of (they were actually at Benny's Arcade Emporium), but Lloyd, Kai, Cole, and Zane look in disbelief.
The Mechanic arrives at his basement, telling voice on a computer that the noodle truck's upgrades worked and he finished the robbery. The voice tells him that the robbery was just "a test subject for a bigger plan." When the Mechanic asks who the voice is, the voice says that he will know soon enough.
After showing his henchmen his truck, the Mechanic gets frustrated that he cannot get his noodle machine to work. He goes back to the computer asking if the voice can do him a favor. The unknown voice prints blueprints for a new mechanical arm that could feel things, which pleases the Mechanic. The short ends with the voice revealing his name. Unagami.
Inside Prime Empire, an announcer says that the Speedway Five-Billion race will start in three days and is the most stimulating race in history. Every contestant wants to win the yellow Key-Tana, the prize of the race.
The announcer focuses his attention on the contestants. Hyper-Sonic introduces himself first, saying he is full of spirit and is very eager to win. Next is Ritchie, who says he serves Atta the Ratta and that he wants to win the Key-Tana to please his kind. Anthony Brutinelli talks about his name coming from his real name, not his car. Racer Seven mentions her always wanting to be a racer and proving that she is good enough. The racers fight for the camera's focus, each stating their individual desires of what to do if they win the Key-Tana.
While continuing Racer Seven's interview, the announcer notices Jay on the side and speculates if he is a racer that came late. The camera focuses on Jay and the announcer asks what his ambition is after winning the Key-Tana. Jay tells him that the race has to be stopped and it is not what everyone thinks it is. However, Red Visors start shooting at him, so he runs. The short ends with the announcer telling his viewers to stay tuned for the race.
Jay runs through crowds of people trying to avoid the Red Visors. In an alley, he notices the trunk of a car is open, so he hides and waits for the Red Visors to leave. Believing they are gone, he opens the trunk, but then he hears a call to put his hands up, so he raises them. However, he realizes the call was not for him and spies behind the truck. The call was actually for a hooded man, who tells the Red Visors that it was all a misunderstanding. The man hits them, then starts up his car. With their own cars, the Red Visors get in pursuit.
As the man drives, Jay complains to himself that he feels uncomfortable. Jay opens the trunk, but then a Red Visor notices him and opens a spike in front of his own car to try and hit the man's car. The Red Visor hits the man's car, so the man complains that his rear lights had just been repaired. As a result, Jay is thrown into the man's window, and the man asks who Jay is. After noticing Jay's reflexes, he suggests that Jay is a ninja. With his car, the man hits one of the Red Visors' cars away. With the other two in pursuit and reaching a dead-end, Jay uses his golden kusarigama to drift the man's car but loses his weapon as a result. The man thanks Jay for his help, but then they crash into a Red Visor and his car.
In an alley, the man asks if Jay is alright. Telling him Jay is new, he introduces himself as Scott. Jay exchanges his name as well. Scott says it was nice to meet him and that he was waiting for Jay for a long time.
After Jay and Scott introduced themselves, Jay questions on why the Red Visors were chasing him, but only for Scott to say that he'll tell him everything once he finds Jay a way to escape. When Scott notices two of the Red Visors' helmets, he quickly tells Jay to put in on in order to disguise himself.
Later, after Jay and Scott walked passed by a crowd of people and two Red Visors, one of the Red Visors demands Jay and Scott identify themselves. Scott says that he's Red 27 while Jay says that he and Scott were going undercover. However, when the actual Red 27 appears, two Red Visors chases Jay and Scott into another crowd of people and four of them attack Jay and Scott.
When one of the Red Visors knocks off Jay's helmet, two of the citizens recognize Jay as one of the ninja. Moments later, Jay was able to defeat the Red Visors and he and Scott were able to escape.
After Jay and Scott were able to escape, both of them went to an invisible garage while the Red Visors decided to report to Unagami after their defeat.
Gayle Gossip stands outside of Benny's Arcade Emporium with Vinny, making a news report about the newly revealed video game, Prime Empire. She explains that although it has taken Ninjago by storm, its story is suspicious when looking deeper.
An old commercial for Prime Empire plays, stating that it is an all-new gaming experience. Eight whole bits of graphics, and locations such as the Temple of Madness and others.
Gossip says that the commercial had never before been aired to the public and that the reason Prime Empire was not on the market was not disclosed yet. She talks about Milton Dyer being a legend in his field and having produced a considerable selection of video games. She suggests that because something happened in his company, the game could never release. Also, she speculates that Dyer did not want to talk about the incident, so he avoided the public. She asks her viewers why Prime Empire had to be released now.
Next, Gossip interviews people in line at the Arcade about opinions on Prime Empire. She starts with Nelson, who says it is the best game in history and you cannot get off of it. Benny says that he had never seen any arcade like his since Prime Empire was released, emphasizing the long line outside his store. He tells the viewers that everyone come to his arcade and have fun. However, Zane interrupts, saying that Prime Empire is dangerous. Benny interrupts back and continues to tell Gossip that everyone should come down to his arcade. After suggesting there is a deeper truth, Gossip says that she went to the source—Prime Empire.
She enters the Arcade and talks about how everyone is having fun and if the game will reach its eventual end. Nelson is on the side playing Prime Empire. The short ends with Gossip ending her news report and Nelson disappearing into the video game.
- Announcer - Clay St. Thomas
- Anthony Brutinelli - Bill Newton
- Benny - Andrew Francis
- Commercial Narration - Clay St. Thomas
- Game Voice - Mark Hildreth
- Gayle Gossip - Kelly Sheridan
- Hyper-Sonic - Matt Hill
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Lloyd Garmadon - Sam Vincent
- Nelson - David Reynolds
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Onlooker One - Sam Vincent
- Onlooker Two - Michael Adamthwaite
- Racer Seven - Shannon Chan-Kent
- Red Visors - Sam Vincent
- Ritchie - Sam Vincent
- Scott - Adrian Petriw
- Security Guard One - Andrew Francis
- Security Guard Two - Paul Dobson
- The Mechanic - Michael Antonakos
- Unagami - Dean Redman
- Vlad Tutu - Michael Adamthwaite
- Zane - Brent Miller
|Season Ep #||Series Ep #||Image||Episode name||Airdate|
|1||Mini-Movie||"Let's Dance"||January 7, 2020|
|2||Mini-Movie||"Upgrade"||January 13, 2020|
|3||Mini-Movie||"The Meaning of Victory"||February 28, 2020|
|4||Mini-Movie||"The Stowaway"||March 2, 2020|
|5||Mini-Movie||"Manhunt"||March 3, 2020|
|6||Mini-Movie||"Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look"||April 21, 2020|
- It is the first time that the events of the shorts occur before and during a season.
- The ninja use their suits from the previous season as they did back in Season 2 before they got their Elemental Robes.
- The shorts were listed simply as Ninjago: Prime Empire Original on IMDB until sometime in March.
- An episode-like video, called Inside the Game, consisting of "The Meaning of Victory", "The Stowaway", and "Manhunt" was released on YouTube on March 6, also showing the new opening.
- The length of the video was exactly 11 minutes, had a 15 second intro, and 15 seconds credits. This is exactly the same as a real episode.
- Amount of times a different character read a title card:
- The Mechanic returns as a minor antagonist in these shorts.
- He is working with Unagami.
- When premiering in China, the shorts were released in a wrong order, with "Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look" being the first short, and "Let's Dance" being the last one.
- "Let's Dance" and "Upgrade" take place before Season 12.
- The Compilation: "Inside the Game" takes place between "Would You Like to Enter Prime Empire?" and "Superstar Rockin' Jay".
- It consists of three shorts: "The Meaning of Victory", "The Stowaway", and "Manhunt."
- "Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look" takes place between "Dyer Island."