Original Bionicle Ideas, Revised and Expanded Edition

Early & Unused Story Concepts in Bionicle, v. 2

by The Shadow Emperor, aka Maku

Foreword

The Bionicle story underwent many shifts in direction over its ten year run. Character traits, plot details, worldbuilding, names and more were changed, removed outright or quietly retconned as the theme progressed. While we did receive the answers to many longrunning mysteries as the story unfolded, chiefly the existence of and purpose of the “Big Secret” (aka the Great Spirit Robot), it has become increasingly apparent over time that many of those answers had changed from how they were initially envisioned by the creators.

In the interest of documentation for myself and other Bionicle enthusiasts, I have decided to catalog as much information as I can about story concepts from 2001–2003 that disappeared in later years as the story evolved from the original premise. Most of the info is public knowledge, but some of it is sourced directly from conversations I’ve had with Bionicle co-creator and novelist Alastair Swinnerton, to whom I owe huge thanks for the existence of this document. In all cases I directly quote and/or link to my sources wherever possible, although I cannot provide quotations from private correspondence with Alastair. For an idea of his role in the creation of Bionicle, I suggest reading his blog post on the topic or watching his interview on the Eljay Johnsen show.

Huge thanks as well to my friends Peri and Mister N, who both kindly reviewed and proofread this document and whose findings, insights, counsel and theories were invaluable in its creation and updates. Their contributions are credited throughout. I would also like to give a shout-out to Mesonak of TTV who covered my work in a Top 10 video on the channel.

If you have questions, compliments, complaints, feedback or suggestions for material I should cover in this document, feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter, the TTV boards or Discord @ The Shadow Emperor#7638.

Note: I will not be making any further revisions to the original version of this document. It will remain viewable for archival purposes, but all future updates and additions will be made on this second iteration.

Concept of Bionicle

The backstory of the Mata Nui robot was detailed by Alastair Swinnerton in the first iterations of the Bionicle story bible. It bears some similarities to the Shattering backstory we got in 2009, but a number of elements were removed or retrofitted amidst the many story changes that took place after Alastair’s departure from the theme—including Makuta’s very different original backstory, which will be detailed in a later section.

The original concept for the Bionicle universe began with the destruction of a planet. The Great Beings set in motion a plan to colonize a new world, and to this end they created a large, biomechanical evacuation ship called Mata Nui to transport their civilization, which was held in stasis, to a safe haven elsewhere in the universe. Throughout the journey the ship was crewed by the Tohunga, who worked with Rahi to maintain the ship and its systems*. The Toa served as security officers to watch over the ship’s systems and cargo. Another component of Mata Nui’s systems was the Bohrok, whose job was to clean the debris from the robot’s exterior once it arrived**. Upon reaching the destination world, Mata Nui, the guiding soul and consciousness of the ship, was meant to lay down the infrastructure for the civilization to thrive once again.

However, something went wrong during the voyage. An entity known as the Makuta sabotaged the mission, infecting the ship with a virus which caused Mata Nui to crash land on the planet with only its head, knees and feet emerging from the ocean. The crew—sans the Toa who were trapped in their canisters—disembarked onto the island paradise of Mata Nui, their memories scrambled. Claiming the island as his own, Makuta was free to spread his dark infection from the robot’s interior onto the land, weakening the islanders’ abilities and enslaving the Rahi beasts that now roamed wild.

As a result of the crash, Mata Nui, Makuta, and everyone else on the island had forgotten their true purpose and the Tohunga lived on in the belief that they were always meant to be brought to the island home they called paradise. Deep inside the robot, the beings the crew was tasked with saving remained in stasis, forgotten by all.

* This has not been explicitly confirmed, but a 2001 poster states that the villagers and Rahi once worked together in harmony. More on that in the Rahi section.

** This information was confirmed by Christian Faber in a blog post.

A few more things of note: the Red Star was present in the story bible, functioning as some kind of orbiting mothership (per Gordon Klimes of Templar Games); a post from Greg Farshtey claims the Red Star’s function in aiding Mata Nui’s takeoff was also planned. One line from an early story bible described the Bionicle planet as “a place that might be earth” (Greg), although Alastair has since clarified to me that the Bionicle universe was never intended to feature humans and the race of the ship’s cargo was not specified.

It is also unclear how the six environments of Mata Nui were formed in this version. Some possible clues we have are that Makuta is seen manipulating the island in the 2001 comics, and according to the Mask of Light director’s commentary the island was intentionally designed to look alien and synthetic, as seen in the film (thanks to Mister N for the screenshots), but we really can’t say for sure.

Toa

A story booklet included with the Quests for the Masks card game sheds some light on the earliest incarnations of the Toa and the world they inhabit. My friend Peri, who first uploaded the booklet, had a hunch that the contents were taken from one of the earliest story bibles. I showed these scans to Alastair who confirmed that it was at the very least closely based on the material he wrote—if not lifted wholesale. There is a possibility that it is sourced from the very first development bible commissioned by Lego in early 2000. Why that version was used for the game instead of an updated one is unknown.

The most noteworthy detail from the booklet is how the Toa are viewed in a strongly religious light. The six regions of the island are identified with the Toa, with each individual Koro being dedicated to and named after one of the six heroes and their corresponding element that make up the island. (Also referenced in the Quest for the Masks card game; this is in contrast to later story which suggested the Toa Mata were named after their elements rather than the other way around.) Each Toa has a shrine and a temple, and as such were both worshiped for the protection they provided against Makuta and feared for the devastation they would inflict upon the island if left unappeased.

Tahu and Gali are rivals, with the former directing lava toward the sea much to her displeasure; Kopaka meanwhile provides protection from Tahu’s heat. (Tahu’s hatred for Gali’s domain is explicitly referenced in this comic.) Gali and Lewa are said to create storms when they do battle against one another (these legends are mentioned in this comic—which also includes a hint that the Toa once knew each other at one point). Gali is also the most widely-worshiped for the life-bringing power of her oceanic domain. Pohatu is believed to be the most dependable and watchful of the Toa, but he along with Onua create rockslides and earthquakes respectively if the islanders fail to properly care for their domains. These godlike qualities extended to the Toa’s characterization as well. Toa of Mirrors on BZPower recalls a statement from Greg Farshtey on the matter in the now-deleted “planned vs not planned” thread:

“The Toa were originally supposed to be more solemn and stoic and serious, like Gods, but the story team decided to make them more humanized, talkative, and more down-to-earth with individual personalities.”

After this document was originally published, he clarified some details on the TTV message boards about how the story team decided how to portray the Toa:

The one major time I was able to influence something was at the very beginning, because the original notion was that all the Toa would essentially talk like Thor and be very godlike. And I suggested it should be more like the JLA or the FF, where everyone had distinct personalities and they didn't always get along. And I did win that one.”

“It was when the first comic script went out for review. I had written it in my style and Bob came back and told me how he thought the Toa should sound. To his credit, he was willing to listen to my reasoning and agreed to give it a try.”

Elements of the old characterization are still present in the Mata Nui Online Game (referred to henceforth as MNOG) and The Legend of Mata Nui PC game (LoMN); the former depicts the Toa as mysterious, stoic warriors from the islanders’ perspective—especially in the early chapters, where the Toa are largely silent save for the jovial Pohatu—while the latter gives the Toa an otherworldly elemental undertone beneath their robotic voices.

During our talks Alastair suggested that Lego was uneasy about religious elements in Bionicle, hence its disappearance from the line in later years. Greg also once mentioned that Lego received negative feedback from parents for perceived religious messages in Bionicle, which seems likely to have played a role in the decision to cull it from the franchise.

One oft-overlooked retcon from Bionicle’s early years is the original purpose of the Toa Stones. The Quest for the Toa GBA game establishes that the stones were used to tell the Legend of Mata Nui, and that they were stolen from the villages rather than being hidden long ago by the Toa Metru. The LoMN glossary confirms that the stones were used to tell the legend at Kini-Nui specifically, and the game’s ending cutscene shows Takua restoring them to their rightful places around the Kini-Nui ajama circle. This dovetails nicely with the start of The Legend of Mata Nui PC game, which is named as such because the legend is now coming to pass.

“Makuta has also stolen the sacred Toa Stones that used to tell the legends! […] If the Toa Stones are not recovered, the Legend of Mata Nui cannot be told.” — Whenua, upon his rescue in Quest for the Toa

There was a similar retcon concerning how the Toa Canisters arrived on Mata Nui. The Legend of Mata Nui (the legend itself, not the game; see the video link in the paragraph above) states that the Toa will fall from the skies to defeat Makuta and his beasts. While it’s suggested in the Legend that the Toa fall from the sky and immediately go on to confront Makuta, this was revealed not to be the case in the later stories told by Greg Farshtey. Instead, the Great Cataclysm caused the canisters to be launched from Mata Nui’s chest into the ocean, where they would remain for 1,000 years until being summoned by Takua. The 2006 novel Island of Doom even features a scene where Turaga Dume explains to the Toa that, technically, they did in fact “fall from the heavens” but only after being launched from the surface.

But was that always the intention? We’ve already been over how the Legend appears to contradict the official 2006 account, but there is actually more solid evidence to support that the Toa canisters did indeed fall from the heavens when Takua summoned them, not a millennium prior. Take this 2001 comic (which also makes reference to a detail from the booklet about Lewa is clumsy on solid ground), or this conversation with Kapura in MNOG:

“Vakama has told us to wait for more creatures to fall from the sky, who will save us. I think one of them landed near the beach. I saw it fall, when I was practicing before.”

Additionally, the Quest for the Toa ending cutscene shows the amaja beacon shooting straight up to the heavens, where the Toa Canisters must be to receive the signal. But I’ve saved the best evidence for last: LoMN’s opening cutscene. Here we see the canisters falling from the sky—and they’re engulfed in flames from atmospheric reentry.

I believe there are two possibilities for what is happening here. The Toa Canisters clearly were meant to originate from space, but were they orbiting the planet on their own? It is possible they were ejected prior to the crash, maybe by Makuta in order to prevent them from interfering with his plans. Another possibility is that they were launched from the Red Star mothership. Regardless, something clearly went wrong before or during their trip, given they’re all in literal pieces and have amnesia when they emerge onto the island.

Another discarded concept, also present on the earliest bios on Bionicle.com (thanks to Peri for the 2001 website reconstruction), was the idea of the Toa having different ages. Based again on the story booklet, Tahu was intended to be the oldest member while Lewa was the youngest. This idea was never referenced in any official story, but Lewa certainly remained the youngest of the team in spirit. I should note that there is a fandom misconception that Onua was the oldest; as best I can tell this is from an old Q&A with Greg, but he is unsure in the answer and could very well be misremembering.

Along with the booklet claiming Tahu was created when the planet was forming, an early bio for Onua on Bionicle.com stated:

“Onua is an Earth Spirit, and was created by the Great Beings when the continents of the planet were forming from the fiery molten lava.”

With Gali also referenced as a younger Toa in the booklet, Peri shared with me a theory that the Matoran had an untold origin story about how the Toa, and by extension their regions on the island, were created in a certain order. Tahu, the oldest, was created first from the fires of the planet, then Onua/Pohatu as the land formed, Kopaka/Gali as the oceans formed and water froze on the island’s peaks, and finally Lewa once plantlife began growing. The order between Onua/Pohatu and Kopaka/Gali is left ambiguous here… oddly fitting, given how Pohatu and Kopaka’s elements were made variations on earth and water after Alastair was told Lego had six product lines! It stands to reason that the original order would have been a simple fire-earth-water-air.

Assuming it did indeed exist, why we never got to hear this legend in full is anyone’s guess, but it could be due to the fact that the Great Beings had a major role in the story (the controversy over them is detailed in their section below), as well as the decision to have all the Toa be the same age. Perhaps these story decisions were linked? It is also difficult to reconcile the backstory of the Toa being security officers with the mythological one where they were different ages because they were created with the island. If the Matoran’s beliefs about the ages were incorrect then it would likely confuse the audience. Regardless of the reasoning, all references to Toa ages and any mention of them being created by the Great Beings had been removed from the Bionicle.com bios by 2002, although in 2003 the Extras gallery in Bionicle: The Game would still mention that the Toa were created by the Great Beings.

According to Greg, one early story bible established that the Toa were meant to perform a ritual dance upon discovering a mask. He opted not to include it in the 2001 comics as he didn’t feel it made sense and would have looked silly. These dances were also left out of the LoMN game in favor of a more traditional “Item Get!” animation.

The LoMN glossary has more interesting tidbits. The Kini-Nui entry reads:

“The Great Temple, where Toa learn to be Toa Kaita and the Turaga learn to be Turaga Nui.”

In a cutscene from the game we see the Toa unlock special transformation chambers with the two halves of the Makoki Stone in order to become Kaita, something which wouldn’t be mentioned again or featured until the Tale of the Toa novel. It may have once been the intention that the Toa could only form Kaita in special chambers like these in the Mata Nui robot, or at least needed to do so before they could do it by themselves later on.

There is a considerable amount of evidence that the Toa Kaita names were originally swapped—credit to Peri for pointing this out to me. Perhaps most famously, the 2001 Power Pack includes a chrome silver Hau piece which was billed as the Kanohi Rua. In current canon, Akamai wears a gold Hau called the Aki and canon Wairuha wears a silver Miru called the Rua, so this “Rua” doesn’t really fit either of them. Taking a look at the original Bioniclemusic.com website suggests that rather than being a mistake, it was at one point the intention for the Tahu-Pohatu-Onua fusion to be named Wairuha and wear a silver Hau called the Rua. The Lewa-Gali-Kopaka fusion could likewise be expected to be called Akamai wearing a mask called the Aki, although it is unclear whether that Kaita would have had a gold or silver mask.

There’s more proof that the names were swapped, and it’s all in the names themselves. In the final version of the story, Akamai is the Spirit of Valor and Wairuha the Spirit of Wisdom. However, the meanings of the names are inverted; “Akamai” is Hawaiian for “wise/clever,” while “Wairuha” is derived from the Māori word “wairua” that can be roughly translated to mean a similar concept to the western soul. MNOG complicates things further but does support our hypothesis; in dialogue with Matoro who was translating on behalf of Nuju, it is stated:

“The Toa will unite and find more power in the joining. They shall merge their skills, their knowledge, their wills to become the Wisdom and the Spirit, named in prophecy Akamai and Wairuha. In these forms, they are the Toa Kaita.”

Assuming that they were listed respectively, Wisdom corresponded to Akamai (canon!Wairuha) and Spirit (likely the original name for Valor) corresponded to Wairuha (canon!Akamai). There is more evidence still; one early cutscene still present in the game’s files has the Kaita names swapped and both wearing golden masks (details here, courtesy of Peri and Mister N). An error with mask colors could be emblematic of the many changes the Kaita went through, especially now as we’ve established that canon!Akamai would have once worn a silver Hau. Perhaps canon!Wairuha would have had a gold mask in contrast to canon!Akamai’s silver? One last thing to point out: the script for the Kaita’s final cutscene appearance, in addition to having their names swapped as per the norm, refers to “Akamai” (canon!Wairuha—I know, it’s hard to keep up!) with a feminine pronoun. It is unknown whether this was intentional.

Also worth discussing here is the original nature of the Makoki Stone. In a post on Faber Files, Bionicle co-creator Christian Faber details an unused story direction about how the Toa were going to use the stone to reawaken Mata Nui—or at least attempt to, as discussed in the Bohrok section below. The description of the Makoki Stone is interesting:

"The keys is [sic] made out of a special material and once they are combined it could maybe work as a "living" chip. Maybe the core of the new consciousness that the Toas has [sic] to install in the robot under Mata Nui. It could contain all the knowledge that the 6 Toa have collected in their quests on Mata Nui.”

My friend Mister N has a blog (original Russian and WIP translated English) that discusses the early Bionicle story in great detail. One of the articles he’s written is about the Makoki Stone and how it may have been of much greater significance. As he discusses in the article, many early sources (including this one again) talked about how the Toa were accumulating wisdom and knowledge from the masks in addition to power. This wisdom would then be infused into the Makoki Stone, which acts as a sort of hard drive for the Toa. He goes on to suggest that the Toa might have had amnesia because they lost access to their masks and the stones—their connection to the Mata Nui robot—when they arrived on the island. By finding them again, they regain their understanding of what to do: enter the robot, combine their powers and purge the evil infecting their home. The rest of the article goes into how the Makoki Stone was used to form the Toa Kaita: three Toa combine their stones, and three consciousnesses are combined to create a Kaita. I highly recommend checking out the full article even if only through Google Translate; it ties everything together brilliantly. As for how the stone would have woken up the Bohrok, see the Bohrok section below.

Lastly, Greg is also well known for his dislike of the Treespeak dialect. Bob Thompson, the story team head from 1999–2005, was the one who mandated that Lewa use the language (Greg).

Turaga

Alastair had no involvement in the development of the Metru Nui backstory. As such, the plot point of the Turaga being former Toa themselves was, most likely, a later addition by Bob Thompson. As Peri notes, there were some early implications that the Toa Mata once worked alongside the islanders (another example is here)—which is consistent with the backstory of the Toa as security officers of the ship. Presumably the Turaga would have been the leaders of the Matoran while they crewed the evacuation robot, but this is unconfirmed.

Turaga Matau’s elemental powers were at one point going to include flight, according to the booklet. The relationships between the Turaga are also more fleshed out, with Vakama & Matau and Nokama & Nuju being close friends, while Onewa and Whenua are close trading partners. While Nokama and Nuju are both acknowledged as being very quiet, there is no mention that Nuju requires a translator to speak. Some 2001 media, including Quest for the Toa and Comic 1: The Coming of the Toa, do feature a more talkative Nuju. Vakama is also noticeably less hot-tempered in Mask of Light and other later media than his booklet description would appear to imply; notably, he is quite the grouch to Takua in Quest for the Toa and at the start of MNOG. Another minor detail is that Nokama’s mask is coated with an invisible layer of sea pearl wax which lets her move quickly underwater.

One aspect of the early Bionicle story that remains unclear is how the Turaga retained some knowledge of the Toa and Mata Nui’s past while everyone else in the villages remembered next to nothing. Alastair did not remember the reason for this, but the Mister N presented an intriguing theory that I thought was worth mentioning here. As he explains, the Kini entry in the LoMN glossary reads as follows:

“Great temples where the Turaga go to think the great thoughts. They are centers of wisdom and learning and usually have an Amaja.”

Furthermore, the Kini-Nui description (posted in the Toa section above) states the Turaga could learn how to form Turaga Nui at the temple. These details, as Mister N theorizes, may suggest that some or all of the Turaga’s knowledge of the past came from studying at these centers of knowledge.

My friend Peri has an additional theory relating to the Turaga Nui. In Advance-produced media the Turaga are often depicted standing on top of the Toa head statue at Kini-Nui. Also see this image and notice the hole near where the Turaga are standing. The same hole is featured on concept art by Christian Faber, and can be seen in the Bionicle Nestlé promotional CD. The opening animation shows it on top of the Kini-Nui head as the hole opens. Peri believes that this is where the Turaga can enter to become a Turaga Nui, as it seems unlikely that they would be able to make a Nui (six beings) with the same underground chambers that the Toa use to become Kaita (three beings).

Turaga were sometimes called or compared to priests in early media (example). They were never referred to as such after 2001, which is likely related to Lego’s decision to limit the religious elements of Bionicle, as detailed in the Toa section.

Matoran

The number of villagers present in each Koro varied a lot during the early years. It was Bob Thompson’s intent for there to be 12 per village initially, but when Mask of Light showed hundreds of Matoran in the Kohlii stadium this was adjusted to 1000 in total (Greg).

Takua’s origin has always been a bit of a mystery—was he created by Templar, Saffire, the web team, or the story team? After I asked about it, Alastair confirmed that he created the character and the concept of the Seventh Toa concurrently, which makes sense as he was the story consultant for the Quest for the Toa GBA game. It is unknown when precisely the name “Takua” was created, as Templar internally referred to him as the “Visitor” or “George” early on, and a cheat present in Quest for the Toa also references the “George” name.

There is no information on Hahli and Nuparu prior to their appearance in 2002, which probably means they did not exist in story before that year. An early Mask of Light solicit mentions three islanders going on the quest for the mask, whereas in the final release we see just Jaller and Takua. Given her prominence in the movie and the fact that she appears to have been expressly created for it, Hahli may have once been intended to play an even larger role in 2003. (My personal theory for Hahli’s creation is that they wanted to avoid having major movie characters share a mask, as Kotu would have with Nokama. Macku, meanwhile, wouldn’t have made sense because they wanted to add romantic tension between Jaller and the female lead, and it simply wouldn’t do to have Macku dump Hewkii for someone else now would it?) As for Nuparu, my thinking is Lego created him as they lacked an engineer character to serve as the Boxor’s inventor, or they simply wanted a new face to be packaged with the set.

In 2001 Lego bandied about the idea of a seventh tribe on the island, which would have worshipped Makuta and worked to carry out his will on the island (Gordon Klimes). This idea apparently never went very far beyond the Koli ball trader (later named Ahkmou) in MNOG, and Alastair was unfamiliar with the concept. We do, however, have an image from the game showing an enslaved Ga-Matoran working in a Koli ball sweatshop.

Mister N wrote an in-depth article on the subject that I’d like to share here. He discusses how MNOG hints that a mysterious third party was behind the infection of the Koli balls in the game. He also mentions that the way Makuta infects masks in 2001 was never made clear, and it could have been the intent that this mysterious seventh tribe was responsible for spreading his dark will around the island. This is all highly speculative, but given Makuta’s lack of a physical form in 2001, it makes sense that he would have to act through agents on the surface in order to carry out his takeover—perhaps said agents had been present on the island since the very beginning, gradually spreading Makuta’s infection to the Rahi and their masks? Maybe they were also responsible for poisoning the Vuata Maca trees and stealing the Toa Stones—but that’s just further supposition on my part. Consider also the meaning of Makuta’s name: it comes from the Māori “makutu,” which roughly means “witchcraft.” While the Kraata introduced in 2003 explained the logistics behind how the infected masks propagated across the island, the mystery of this seventh tribe and how far their influence truly reached remains one of the most tantalizing unexplained Bionicle oddities.

Maku and Huki’s romantic relationship was not featured in any story bible (Greg, also confirmed in conversation with Alastair). The decision to include it was made by Templar and the web producer independent of the story team (Greg).

A direct quote from the 2001 story bible was included by Templar in a recent blog post:

“…it is Vakama’s secret wish that Kapura’s single minded nature will enable him to learn the secret art of covering large distances, quickly by walking slowly.  Kapura has a habit of coughing and farting flameballs which often tries Vakama’s patience and is a constant irritation to the studious Ahi.”

This confirms that Kapura’s power originates from the story bible and not Templar or Saffire. The other interesting thing to note here is the name “Ahi,” the Māori word for “fire,” which is most likely an early name for Jala (itself being Rotuman, meaning “to burn”). In an interview with Eljay Johnsen, Alastair mentioned that the dictionary he based Bionicle names off of was Māori, yet despite this it is known that numerous other Polynesian languages were drawn from for the theme including Hawaiian, Fijian, and Gamilaraay. Given the presence of this early Māori name in the story bible, it may be that the initial names Alastair used were all taken from Māori, before the choice was made to reference other Polynesian languages.

Mister N brought to my attention a Russian Bionicle magazine page which mentions that the Matoran celebrate when the Toa find masks. Translated to English, the relevant part of the passage says:

“[The Turaga] know that TOHUNGA will celebrate in honor of each new mask that the TOA will find.”

This is most likely a reference to the Great Takara dances that we see in LoMN (which were originally called Haka prior to the Māori controversy). Note that LoMN’s depiction of the dances is slightly inaccurate—the Turaga’s right- and left-hand Matoran are specifically meant to be by their sides during the dance.

I would be remiss if I failed to talk about the myth, the legend himself, Lhii the Surfer. A full dissection of the character and his role can be found in one of Mister N’s articles; I will cover the basics here. One of the scant few references to the character is by Jala in the German version of MNOG:

Deutsch: “Ich bin Jala, Kommandant der Wache und vom Stamm der Lhii Surfer.”

English: “I am Jala, Captain of the Guard and from the tribe of Lhii the Surfer.”

He was also given a brief mention in the Bionicle.com Lexicon and Jala’s 2002 biography (pictured in the above article), although little new information came of it. The concept of Matoran sub-tribes in the villages is an interesting one, although it saw no mention in any other sources. What Lhii looked like isn’t known, however the image of an all-yellow, Pakari-wearing surfer is now famous in the Bionicle fandom despite the fact no source for it has yet surfaced. Allegedly, he was pictured in a UK magazine or comic previewing the Quest for the Toa game, with a screenshot of the game’s character creator showing an all-yellow character which the caption described as resembling the legendary Lhii. Also, according to Greg, the reason Lhikan was given a different name in 2004 was due to legal issues.

Revisiting the story booklet, there are a few differences in the depiction of the Matoran that are worth mentioning. The Le-Koronans are said to constantly chatter which allows them to find things in the dense swamplands (echolocation?), and show affection by imitation—while Le-Koronans are definitely the most boisterous of the Matoran types, neither of these traits made it into any canon media. The Ko-Koronans, meanwhile, are said to keep Ga-Wahi’s waters pure and prevent the Ko-Wahi frost from damaging Le-Wahi’s wildlife; the latter was never touched upon in any media.

The last thing I will touch on is the change from Tohunga to Matoran. While the former word no longer exists in any form in official Bionicle canon, at one point there was a canon explanation on the Bionicle website:

“The villagers of Mata Nui have realized that they are, in fact, all one people – and so have taken the new name "Matoran." They are ready to stand together and defend their island from the Bohrok Swarm.”

The last mention of Tohunga in any Bionicle media was in the 2003 Lexicon, which also stated it was the former word for Matoran.

Rahi

A 2001 poster hints at the original role of Rahi in the Mata Nui robot:

“In the time before time, the island of Mata Nui was a paradise to behold. Many great beasts, known as Rahi, worked in harmony with the Tohunga villagers. Then the Makuta came and cast a dark shadow across the land. The Makuta brought a great hunger to the Rahi, a hunger for the sacred Kanohi masks. And the Tohunga made stone carvings to warn of these awesome beasts.

In these dark times Rahi challenge Toa without respect, and Rahi will challenge even their own kind. Such is their hunger.”

Since the original posting of this document, the text on this poster has emerged in other places, including a small booklet attached to a licensed Bionicle backpack and the Russian Lego Magazine. This lends credence to the idea that it comes from the story bible. Thanks to Mister N for both finds.

This description differs significantly from the Metru Nui storyline where the Rahi act much the same way they did on Mata Nui, being either indifferent or outright antagonistic to the Matoran. It also sheds a new light on the practice of Rahi taming, which is really about restoring Rahi to their natural, nonaggressive state. A Quest for the Masks story card supports this. Additionally the infected Rahi having a hunger for masks is also referenced in Quest for the Masks, but doesn’t appear anywhere else. It certainly gives a story justification for why the Rahi sets were advertised as fighting against one another during play—with the exception of the Manas, which were said to challenge each other in order to remain combat-ready in their bio in Comic 3: Triumph of the Toa.

The intent for Mata Nui’s wildlife varies over the course of the series. Initially they (and the flora) were to have a much more organic-looking biomechanical design, as can be seen here in these Christian Faber concepts and this LoMN trailer. A later revision of that cutscene appears in the beta build, showing a shift to purely robotic wildlife. Later in the Mask of Light commentary the creators (Dave Molina and Terry Shakespeare) state that the island’s fauna has become more biomechanical over time. Thanks to Peri for the transcription:

"Bob Thompson, the creative producer, was explaining to us the story of Mata Nui the island (and its inhabitants as far as like, wildlife), is it's going through a transition right now. From things that were natural are starting to turn into biomechanical [sic]. So we had to approach all the wildlife (the birds, the ash bear, and the fish and I believe also one of the Gukko birds) so you'd see them so they're almost half and half. Actually, really, in a way the ash bear was handled almost all the way mechanical, but the other characters are almost halfway transitions between natural and mechanical"

It is unclear what they were building toward with this, because as with some other Mask of Light concepts the idea of Rahi evolution rarely came up again in the series. (One possibility could be that the “natural” animals are native to the planet where Mata Nui crash landed, whatever it was meant to be at this point in development.) Since the interior of the Mata Nui robot was intended to have a greater focus on a biomechanical/organic theme, which is supported by Faber concept art and Mask of Light storyboards for Metru Nui, the island’s flora and fauna may have been meant to evoke that origin.

At one point in MNOG’s development the player was going to be able to build Rahi with the help of a Biodermis Smith (TCRF; also see this Gordon Klimes comment) which is an early word for Protodermis based on this preliminary dialogue for one of the Onu-Koronan guildmasters:

“They make goods and livestock from the protodermis. Without it they cannot trade for stone! We will lose that market.”

The bolded part was removed from the final game. The idea of villagers building and using Rahi to help them certainly supports the idea that they worked together aboard the evacuation ship. 

Why was the name Biodermis changed? We actually have an official answer on this. Greg stated in a Q&A thread that the name was legally rejected, and it takes only a Google search to reveal that “Biodermis” is the name of a scar treatment company which has been around for over 30 years.

Lastly, here are a few facts related to specific Rahi. A Quest for the Masks card states that the Mana Ko are the leaders of the Manas, which is the only time this idea was ever referenced. Likewise, the LoMN glossary states that the Kuma-Nui was a fusion between Muaka and Kane-Ra:

“When Kane-Ra and Muaka are combined they form this giant rat-like creature.”

No other piece of Bionicle media claims that these three Rahi are connected in any way, or indeed that natural Rahi fusions like this are possible. Although there is always the possibility that the bio is simply pointing out that the Kuma-Nui resembles those two other Rahi, not that it is necessarily some kind of unorthodox Kaita fusion.

One last oddity I’d like to bring up: in Quest for the Toa, Matau has been captured by a Kewa bird that is apparently acting as the mother to a nest of Taku (the two races are said to be related in the 2002 bios). Baby Taku would appear again in Tale of the Toa when Lewa accidentally knocks one out of its nest. Peri also has a theory that the electric bugs featured in the Le-Koro chapter of MNOG may have been intended as Nui-Rama larvae. Even if we discount that, the depiction of any creatures acting like parents and children in Bionicle is definitely worth a head scratch.

Kanohi

Despite its inclusion in LoMN, the Vahi was not mentioned anywhere in the story bibles (according to Greg). Its appearance in the Bohrok-Kal storyline was in response to fan interest in the mask on BZPower (Greg).

There is contradictory information on how the Toa were meant to acquire their Golden Kanohi (referred to exclusively by Quest for the Masks as the “Golden Master Masks of Power”). Nowhere is this better exemplified than in MNOG, where Lewa gets his golden mask from his Suva in the Le-Koro chapter. (This is also the method of acquisition seen in Quest for the Masks.) The Toa lack their golden masks when at Kini-Nui in MNOG, whereupon they suddenly gain them upon climbing the temple stairs. This sequence was adapted from LoMN. The PC game complicates things even further, with the Toa losing their golden masks after Makuta separates the Kaita—which also somehow leaves the Toa Kaita’s masks behind, seemingly suggesting a connection between them—and then inexplicably having them again in the final cutscene. The final explanation of the gold masks’ acquisition would eventually be relayed in Tale of the Toa, where the Toa place their collected masks on statues at Kini-Nui and receive the Golden Kanohi. One final piece of the puzzle? Mister N found by looking at PSD files for 2002 materials that the Toa originally did not have their golden masks in the renders, suggesting their rather haphazard inclusion was a late addition to the story.

One rather contentious topic in the fandom is whether the Toa utilized the Noble Masks during their quest in 2001. The removal of LoMN from canon left MNOG and the online animations as the only sources to show the Toa using them. Greg Farshtey’s current explanation is that the Toa opted not to use them as they were weaker than the Great Masks, but he offered a much longer rationale in 2003:

“All I can tell you is the story as I have always read and understood it. The Toa were told to go out and collect six Great Masks a piece. Once that was done, they would get their Gold Masks. That has been repeated multiple times in multiple places. Obviously, the folks doing the movies chose to interpret the story differently. I'm not saying they are wrong and you should ignore the movie, I am simply saying that is not how I understand the saga. I could certainly be wrong, and I know it has been established pre-gold mask that the Toa made use of Noble Mask powers. But here is what I wonder — there are six Noble Masks per koro, one of which is being worn by the Turaga. So if Tahu decides he needs to call on the Mask of Concealment, what happens? Vakama is wearing it. That is part of the reason I always tried to avoid the 'Toa using Noble Masks" issue in my stories. The other reason is that it would have made the initial story even more complicated if the emphasis was that the Toa had to collect 12 masks before they could progress — I did not have room in the comics to collect Great and Noble Masks.”

Per the Quest for the Masks booklet, originally masks were stored on a totem as opposed to the Suvas. The booklet also mentions that a Kanohi is missing from Gali’s shrine at Ga-Koro, and Nokama sent out villagers to recover the mask. A similar scenario is present in LoMN, where a Ga-Koronan tells Gali that a Kanohi Rau was stolen from the village. However, the game only features a single Rau for Gali to collect, seemingly no different to any other mask the Toa need to complete their quest, so the significance of this particular mask being missing is unknown.

The Kanohi Avohkii was originally called Korusca (BZPower). The origin may be the Latin word “coruscus,” which means “shining” or “twinkling.” (Note also the inspiration could have also come from a number of modern Romance languages, which have a similar cognate.)

Lastly, a Quest for the Masks card also states that Makuta’s infection on masks is irreversible. And speak of the devil…

The Makuta

Makuta is one of the most interesting concepts in Bionicle. The conniving, backstabbing genius Teridax is only the latest incarnation of Bionicle’s main antagonist. In fact, there are at least three distinct versions of the character present in the franchise.

“I am the darkness in the heart of Mata Nui.” — The Makuta, Comic 3: Triumph of the Toa

The first iteration of Makuta closely resembles the Devil—and intentionally so, according to Alastair. The legends regard him as an omnipresent evil, a shapeshifting spirit of destruction who controls and manipulates the environment of Mata Nui, corrupts wildlife and has terrorized the population for eons. Whether he is a character at all or merely a force of nature is ambiguous. The villagers are ignorant of his true nature and his 2001 Bionicle.com bio is suitably enigmatic, repeatedly emphasizing that what we know of him, or it, is only a legend. This version of him appears in MNOG, which plays up a creation vs. destruction dichotomy between Mata Nui and Makuta, the latter of whom is referred to as “nothing” and “the void.”

“In creation, there is destruction. In destruction, there is rebirth. There is no such thing as void; all things are in flux.” — Nuju

According to Gordon Klimes of Templar Games, the dialogue and depiction of Makuta in MNOG was their doing, albeit based on the 2001 story bible. Their interpretation of the character is worth a read (first two quotes are from Mr. Klimes; see Templar’s blog entry for the full real-world context regarding the latter three quotes):

“'The void' above Makuta is indeed a swirling mass of lego pieces, though it's not supposed to be representative of his true form. Makuta is chaos and nihilism, Mata Nui is order and creativity.”

“For me Makuta represents the destructive aspect of playing with Lego. You would build something and then destroy it in order to build something new. Makuta is a maelstrom of swirling pieces, he represents the pile on the floor that all lego creations come from and will eventually return to.”

“Good and evil just wasn’t good enough any more. It didn’t make any sense any more. But this was okay, because from the beginning, that’s not what it was about. The Makuta wasn’t evil, and his brother, Mata Nui, wasn’t good.”

“We knew that while building was fun, it was just as much fun to destroy. They were two sides of the same coin, and neither were wrong: it was all part of the play, part of learning, part of having fun. Not good or evil: Creation and Destruction, equal powers in the universe, natural and necessary. Both good. Both bad. Both neither. It’s true, we’d painted Destruction a bit negatively – using words like “Infected” Mask, or “Monsters,” but we’d needed the conflict.”

“So the Makuta, for all its darkness and danger, was not evil after all, and he says as much at the end. The final act was the confrontation, not between Good and Evil, which was meaningless, but between Creation and Destruction, where everything comes from nothing, and goes back to it, eventually. This was the struggle between the Toa and the Rahi, and Mata Nui and Makuta, and a LEGO fan and her kid brother, building and smashing happily, in equal measure. Our world had gone a bit mad, but to us, this helped make some sense of it. We wanted to share what small comfort it brought.”

Makuta is represented by an infected Hau in the first year—Mata Nui’s own symbol, corrupted. This is because Alastair’s intention was for Makuta to be the inner darkness within Mata Nui, a part of the Great Spirit fallen from grace. This casts one of Makuta’s most iconic quotes in a new light:

"The people of the world are builders. But look into their hearts, and you will find they also have the power to destroy. I am that power. I am destruction. And I WILL destroy you."

Since Makuta takes the form of a villager in this scene, it may appear that he is referring to them alone (and this is certainly how I and many others interpreted it as a child). But he is actually describing Mata Nui and everyone else—including the Toa. Their own inner darkness manifests as the Shadow Toa, which is how Makuta was once going to appear in 2001 (this was, however, developed without Alastair’s involvement, as he has stated he had no intention for there to be a final confrontation with him and also told me he was not responsible for writing the 2001 website bio). Initially intended to appear in LoMN, it appears the Shadow Toa were originally Makuta shapeshifting into six beings at once, rather than being mere illusions created to test the Toa as they were in Tale of the Toa. Evidence for this can be found in the game data, where the final level dialogue reveals that Makuta appears to each of the six Toa individually and beckons them to complete a final challenge:

“You have come very far, bold Onua…
But your luck…and that of your fellow Toa…is about to run out!
I am but one form of Makuta…your friends face the others as we speak!
Defeat my challenge and you defeat me…

Fail in your effort, and Mata Nui falls with you!”

Bionicle fans would have to wait to get the Shadow Toa battle until in 2003’s Tale of the Toa, by which point Makuta’s nature had changed and he was now a physical character with a single form. Accordingly, they dissipate following the Toa’s battle. But this was not always the case: the extended Hungarian translation of the novel, which was evidently based on an earlier manuscript, mentions the Shadow Toa’s remains retreating into tunnels after their defeat. If you’ve read the English release and wondered why the Toa don’t go on to confront Makuta after the Shadow Toa, it’s because initially he was the Shadow Toa.

The most up-to-date recounting of the Shadow Toa battle, written by Greg, differs from Cathy Hapka’s version in that it depicts the Toa acknowledging the darkness within themselves and absorbing their dark counterparts into their bodies. Ironically, this later version actually fits better with the original intent for Makuta as Mata Nui’s dark side.

While Makuta was established as a shapeshifter early on, we wouldn’t get him as a set until his 2003 Shadow Titan form. Makuta having no concrete form in 2001 was intentional, and indeed, Alastair was actually against Makuta having a set form at all. Of course this changed for 2003 and Mask of Light, where the Lord of Shadows appears as more of a character than a force of destruction. But elements of his original nature remain. Makuta is hinted at having deeper, perhaps altruistic motivations for his behavior, such as his reluctance to unleash the Rahkshi on the island, his genuine offer to spare Jaller’s life in exchange for the mask, and his own stated desire to protect Mata Nui by keeping him asleep. (Peri has a post about this that goes into greater detail on this topic; it’s well worth a read, especially in light of the Style Guide info about Makuta having “good reasons for his seemingly nasty behavior.”) Makuta is also regarded as a “troubled soul” in the director’s commentary.

Alastair was not able to elaborate on the meanings behind these lines because he did not write the final Mask of Light script. However, the ending to the film does appear to align somewhat with the original vision. Makuta and Takanuva fall into the protodermis and fuse into a new, benevolent being, whose Makuta components are no longer rusted and pitted. The original idea was that was Makuta is a part of Mata Nui. With light and darkness joined together again, Makuta is redeemed and the Great Spirit can awaken.

…Or can he? See the Island section below for further details.

On his blog, Christian Faber has another interpretation of Makuta’s role in Mask of Light, which references the original idea of Makuta being an infection:

“Takanuva had to merge with Makuta to defeat him. Light and darkness are connected and Makuta actually did god [sic] by securing that only the right heroes reentered the giant robot to restart it. Just like the body actually grows stronger and more immune after a virus.”

Additionally, Greg Farshtey mentioned in a 2003 Q&A that Makuta did not want worship from the Matoran, further distancing this version from the 2001 incarnation who at one point was planned to have a tribe devoted to him, as detailed in the Matoran section above.

Alastair says Makuta was not originally conceived as part of a species or Brotherhood, which was first referenced when Makuta beckoned Vakama to join him and his “brothers” in Legends of Metru Nui. That was probably a Bob Thompson addition as Greg recalls he was surprised to find out about it.

Strangely, some Mask of Light concept art for the Rahkshi labels their controllers as Krana rather than Kraata. It’s unknown if this was a mistake by the artist, a remnant of an earlier concept of the Rahkshi using mutated Krana, or perhaps just the artist using an older legally-approved name pending the creation of a new one. Mister N has a post on this that goes into greater detail on the subject (also see Greg’s answer regarding the Toa Nuva image discussed in the post).

Great Beings

Very little is known about the early characters Papu and Rangi, who were involved with the creation of Mata Nui. The two seem to be based on Ranginui and Papatūānuku, the sky father and earth mother respectively, of Polynesian mythology, hence their immediate removal after Lego was contacted by Māori representatives. Alastair could not comment on them, so barring the improbable event that an unrevised 2001 story bible is released, we will never know for sure what they were meant to be. I can say with near certainty that they are the original Great Beings, however the possibility remains that there could have been more than just the two of them.

The characters were briefly mentioned in MNOG and were promptly removed from the game’s data once the controversy hit in 2001—and apparently from the story bibles themselves, as Greg recalls there was nothing on them in the original story bibles. In MNOG, they are established as mythological godlike beings to the islanders, much like Mata Nui and the Toa. At one point in the game’s dialogue, Nokama tells the player character that the two have great plans for him, and a conversation with Jala which is only present in the German translation suggests they were involved in the creation of Ta-Koro—or at least the villagers believe as much:

Deutsch: "Ta-Koro ist die Stadt im gro?en Flammensee, die von Papu und Rangi als Ort des Feuers ausgew?hlt wurde."

English: “Ta-Koro is the city in the great fire sea, which was selected by Papu and Rangi as the place of fire.”

As the villagers believe the island was meant to be created for them, it’s no surprise that Papu and Rangi factored into the origin story they used to make sense of their new surroundings.

Two other things of note: at one point, Mata Nui and possibly Makuta fell under the moniker of Great Beings (Greg). Papu and Rangi may also have been conceived of as the creators of the Toa, which would make sense as they created the biomechanical evacuation ship and the Toa are one of its components. As mentioned and explained above in the Toa section, an early bio for Onua on Bionicle.com stated that Onua was created by the Great Beings when the continents were forming.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the info we were given in 2001 was filtered through the islanders’ perspective. The Great Beings choosing Ta-Koro’s location or creating Onua from magma was more than likely part of the Mata Nui creation story as they understood it, not ironclad fact. As Alastair noted during our conversation, Bionicle’s story was filled with red herrings and misdirection from the beginning in order to maintain the sense of mystery.

One last thing I would like to touch on is highly speculative but I do feel it is worth considering. We do not know for sure what the purpose of the Red Star was in the original story (and I asked; Alastair did not remember and didn’t write the material about the Red Star in the bible, though he did find the concept familiar). As I mentioned in the Concept of Bionicle section above, Greg says that the Red Star was always intended to aid Mata Nui’s takeoff. While this could be true, Templar’s description of it as an “orbiting mothership” leaves me to wonder if there was more to it originally. Peculiarly, the Red Star basically disappeared from the story after MNOG, outside of a brief appearance in a Templar-made recap video on the Wall of History (viewable here). Where was it in Mask of Light as it gave us clear views of the starry night sky and introduced us to other celestial bodies in the form of the Toa Stars? Were Toa Stars meant to be a replacement for the Red Star concept? Then it suddenly popped up again in 2006. Why the absence?

Peri believes, and I agree with her, that the Red Star could have been where the Great Beings were located. When the Māori controversy began, all references to Papu and Rangi were scrubbed from the story bible, which may have included the Red Star itself. After some time had passed and the controversy blew over, Bob Thompson, who may well have been the person who added the Red Star to the bible in the first place, felt it safe to reintroduce it as the mechanism for the Toa Inika’s creation and with no connection to the Great Beings. Take this theory with a grain of salt, however: there is no conclusive proof either way, and likely never will be.

Mister N also has his own article about Papu and Rangi that you can read if you’re interested, and I suppose I can leave you with one final crackpot theory. Peri and I have long believed the “Spirits of Valor and Wisdom” that Akamai and Wairuha speak of in MNOG may have been oblique references to Papu and Rangi. Take this one with an even bigger pinch of salt, though!

Bohrok

The Bohrok’s awakening has a few different variations. In the unused early direction from Faber Files, detailed in the Toa section above, the Toa continued their journey into Mangaia after defeating Makuta and attempted to reboot Mata Nui with a new consciousness using the Makoki Stone, but Makuta’s virus was strong enough to prevent the robot from rising. Only the robot’s left hand emerged from the ocean, creating the Three-Finger Island, but the process also released the Bohrok to begin the process of cleaning the debris from the robot’s exterior.

In 2002 the “If you wake one, you wake them all” tagline was implied to be the reason for the Bohrok invasion. According to Mr. Faber in the post linked above, the Toa were responsible for waking up a single Bohrok which started the chain reaction—I’d wager it is the same Bohrok shown waking up in LoMN in the entry chamber underneath Kini-Nui, which is also featured in the Project: B.U.G.S. development video. It would seem the idea of Makuta being the one to awaken the Bohrok was a retcon.

Speaking of Project Bugs, note that the Lehvak are described as the “Bug Clan of Air,” which obviously contrasts with their power of acid in the final version which was found to be better suited for their destructive purpose. This is also the only source to refer to Bohrok swarms as “clans,” which could possibly have included the Bohrok Va of each respective elemental affiliation. 

A Faber concept diagram shows the kinship between the Bohrok and the main characters, with Toa corresponding to Bohrok, Turaga corresponding to Bohrok Va, and a Bohrok equivalent of the Matoran that never showed up in the story. I asked Alastair if Bohrok were meant to have villagers like Matoran, but unfortunately he did not remember.

Lastly, one lone story source gives individual Bohrok the suffixes of their Krana to denote their role in the swarm. Examples include Tahnok Su, the swarm scout, and Kohrak Xa, the swarm leader.

Island

One idea for 2002 was the emergence of the Three-Finger Island from the seabed, which would have been a big spoilerific hint about the existence of the giant robot—hence why it wasn’t used. Further concept art from Faber shows a vortex between the islands above the robot’s arm where a hull breach was causing it to take in water, something that, like the Three-Fingers, was present as early as the Boneheads of Voodoo Island phase. This idea would later resurface in grand fashion with the reveal of the Karda Nui waterfall in 2008, although the original vortex idea appears to have had an influence on two story cards from Quest for the Masks where Gali has to seal a whirlpool that threatens Ga-Koro. Also as mentioned by Alastair, Mata Nui’s knees and feet were said to have been visible above the sea in the story bible, likely being islands unto themselves.

I once asked Alastair if Mata Nui was ever meant to rise at the end of the Mask of Light movie. The film’s dialogue suggests it repeatedly, as does the director’s commentary, and then there’s Makuta’s mention of the earth shuddering and the freak quake that Jaller experiences (although that one could feasibly just be an aftershock from Onu-Koro’s destruction). The shuddering earth is also mentioned by pre-release synopses. Alastair, however, gave a very clear and unambiguous “no.” Based on how far they planned these things in advance, Bob Thompson may well have been intending to tell the Mask of Life saga back then as the third of his “seven books of Bionicle (which as a side note was only known to the members of the story team (Greg) and was abandoned after Thompson’s departure (Greg)).

Mister N has an article about teleportation on Mata Nui that I highly recommend reading. As he explains, an island-wide teleportation network is mentioned in the Extras for Bionicle: The Game, and there’s some evidence in 2001 to suggest it was more than just a game mechanic. Nothing is conclusive, however.

The Suva at Kini-Nui is known as the Suva Kaita, so what are the Suva at the other Kini called? The Game Extras has the answer: they are called Suva Mina. The Suva in the villages themselves, meanwhile, are simply named in accordance with everything else in that Wahi, e.g. Onu-Suva for Onu-Koro (Quest for the Masks).

Originally, per the story booklet, the Po-Koro Koli fields were held outside the village, rather than inside as depicted in MNOG and LoMN. There were also statues of Pohatu rather than Matoran heads throughout Po-Wahi. Additionally Ta-Koro was originally located in the Mangai Volcano itself, and Le-Koro homes were disguised to look like hanging jungle weeds.

Corrections & Updates

Since its initial release I have periodically updated this document with new information, links, and minor edits for the sake of clarity. Below are the changes that were made since the most recent version of the original document; future updates will also be listed here.

January 1st, 2020 (Version 2 created, all sections updated, Island section added)

Concept of Bionicle update: Added clarification that the details of the mission were forgotten by everyone, Mata Nui and Makuta included, as well as a citation to my claim about the Bohrok’s purpose and clarification from Alastair about the idea of humans in Bionicle.

Toa update: Added more details from the story booklet and info about the origin of the Toa Canisters and how this differs from the later canon version, added theory about Toa ages, added info about Toa Kaita names and mask colors, and also moved info about the nature of the Makoki Stone from the Bohrok section to this one and greatly expanded said info.

Turaga update: Added further details from booklet and mention of earlier media referring to the Turaga as priests, and more information about how the Turaga could become Turaga Nui.

Matoran section: Added theory about Hahli’s inclusion in Mask of Light, elaboration on the seventh Makuta tribe and the possible significance of Jala’s original name Ahi, some more info and elaboration about village dances, further info about the villages from the story booklet, and info on Lhii and the in-universe explanation for the change from Tohunga to Matoran.

Rahi section: Added further info regarding the Rahi poster, info from Comic 3 about Manas combat, and details about Kuma-Nui and Taku.

Kanohi section: Added further details about golden Kanohi, mention and linguistic explanation of the Avohkii’s original name, and info about whether infected masks can be restored.

The Makuta section: Added more quotes about Templar’s interpretation, a note about Alastair’s involvement in the 2001 Makuta final battle, moved info about Mask of Light’s ending to the new Island section, added detail about 2003 Makuta not wanting to be worshiped, and added a note about Kraata.

Great Beings section: Added elaboration on Jala’s MNOG quote about Papu and Rangi and the quote from Onua’s early bio, as well as a theory about the Red Star and a possible reference to Papu and Rangi after their removal.

Bohrok section: Added more information about Lehvak element and Bohrok “clans” sourced from Project: B.U.G.S., as well as a detail about Bohrok suffixes.

Island section: Added info about other islands and the vortex, moved info about Mask of Light’s original ending here and added info about Kini teleportation, Suva names, and several details from story booklet about island locations.

Afterword

If you’ve made all the way through this now 20+ page document, thank you. I’m very grateful for all the responses the original version received and I hope these updates had something to surprise and delight you. I’ll continue to update this document as long as there are still things to find.

I’ll also leave you with a few recommended links. Peri has a channel dedicated to MNOG-styled animations, so if you’ve got a hankering for authentic original Bionicle content you should definitely check it out. She also has a main channel where she uploads Lego-related content and a channel for her independent animation projects. Mister N regularly updates his Russian Bionicle blog “Drop a Brick” here, and English translations of his articles are available here. Alastair released a book called The Multiverse of Max Tovey which I recommend giving a read, especially if you enjoyed the mythological parts of Bionicle as I did.

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