In honor of Epic’s Contest #6, I’ll do a story report on one of my favorite epics, Kulagi’s Kanoka.
Bio: Based in pre-Toa-Metru Metru Nui, the city of legends is controlled by Turaga Dume and his Vahki, and plagued by the villainous Gang Matoran. Kanoka discs are a necessity for any Matoran in this city, and Matoran known as Kanoka Makers create their trade off this demand. A famous Kanoka Maker named Kulagi suddenly finds himself amidst a Gang Matoran scandal, and he must resist the criminals and the Turaga’s Vahki while helping his friends out along the way. Flying on a Hover-Bike and armed with many Kanoka discs, Kulagi is ready for the challenge.Further reading will spoil the story.
Thoughts: When all is said an done, I think Kulagi’s Kanoka
is my bets epic. It may not be as popular as Time Disruption
, but it is (shorter) and better written, and uses my own characters (for the most part). This epic brings out the best of my writing, with fight scenes to chase scenes to the most romance I’ve ever put in an epic (and it wasn’t much, mind you). It’s a pretty action packed epic.
The highs and lows in this story consist of my character developments. The main character, Kulagi, became one of my best characters, and Makaru said, “Kulagi is now my favourite Matoran character over all the others you have created”. Kulagi had all the characteristics I would want myself; he was daring and reckless at times, but always plans ahead and tried to outthink his opponents. His a tad egotistic, but also incredibly loyal and helpful. He will not put the regular Matoran at risk (Gang Matoran are another matter). Through the epic, we get to see Kulagi’s character tested over and over again, until he learns something in the end. Like how not to underestimate others and to trust in Dume. (Yeah, trust in that guy. Fortunately, this is before he turned into Makuta).
The other minor characters also got some development. Huaju, the honest trader, turns out to be rather resourceful. (He got a very little part). Turaga Dume is mostly developed through his reputation and Vahki… but in the end he turns out to be like the Turaga Mata… wise and helpful. In the beginning, Kulagi somewhat exaggerates Dume’s personality to match that seen in 04, but the guys really not that bad. Since he has a whole city to run, he has to set up all the rules and such, which gets on Kulagi’s nerves (cause he breaks them). The main leader of the Gang Matoran, Gragu, gets all the major traits of a super villain; crafty, selfish, and a braggart. Oh, and evil. His character development is when he gets his just desserts.
Then there’s the happy-go-lucky Matoran Triki, who everybody likes. From his wild reverences to human foods and Rahi to his Masks of Power that Matoran can use, he’s the goofball of the epic and adds most of the comic relief. This was the epic where I first introduced Triki, and I liked him so much that I carried him over to another epic (which got posted before this one, though). His character development was when we learned that he was crazy, but a useful kind of crazy, and not a useless, lock ‘im up kind of crazy.
The two characters that I had trouble dealing with were Sufina, the girl, and Vakama (you know him, right?). I had trouble with Sufina because she had to suddenly plop into Kulagi’s life, and then form a relationship with him. She’s portrayed as strong and weak multiple times in the epic, although they are somewhat justifiable. I felt her bonding with Kulagi was rather weak, and their “kiss” in the end rather sudden. Plus, the whole “girl in the Lava River” thing felt weak too, and I reinforced it with a couple explanatory paragraphs in another chapter, just to try and strengthen it. Vakama also suffered from weak plot-lines. There was no reason for Vakama to go with Kulagi in the first place (I always thought Kulagi’s argument seemed a little lacking), but he did. He complained the whole time, but Vakama never actually did anything to go against Kulagi. It could be his “inner need of adventures” but I think it was a weak storyline. (I should know, I created it). His sudden switch in character works in chapter 8, but his involvements beforehand are not very great. It’s like “You want to leave, you stupid Ta-Matoran. Kulagi’s not gonna know if you take a wrong turn and go see Dume during the Vahki chase. If you were really an accomplice of Dume, you wouldn’t worry, because the Vahki would probably ignore you anyhow”. Whatever the reason, Vakama went with Kulagi. Their friendship gets built up, even though their “rivals”, but I probably could’ve done it better.
Now, there were some good things about this story. For one thing, it involves Kanoka. A lot. I always loved the neat ways the Kanohi powers were used in the MNOLG, and the Kanoka offered 8 great powers (although only half were really good for a fight). The comics showed a few uses of Kanoka, but I wanted to expand upon that. There are unlimited ways to use freezing, teleporting, and reconstruct at random Kanoka, and I tried to throw in as many as I could into this epic. I used so many unique methods of Kanoka attacks that I’m running out of good ideas for the sequel. After writing this epic, I must say that my favorite collectables in Bionicle are now the Kanoka. The Kanohi are fine, but the Kanoka rock!
The big thing that got reviewers excited were the chase scenes. Giving the main character a Hover-Bike just called for numerous chase scenes with Kanoka attacks. I had Kulagi fly from Nuurahk, Rorzakh, Vorzakh, Gang Matoran, and Gragu Nuva. Kulagi got to fly through the lava fields, the archives, and Le-Metru chutes. It tested my skills at writing, but the high action chases were the sweetest parts of this epic. And with all the chase scenes and fight scenes were a ton of villains. I use all of the different types of Vahki at one point or another (not always against Kulagi), and I put in the vicious Gang Matoran as the deadly third party that Kulagi should really worry about. The greatest character can always be judges by his enemies, and Kulagi had a ton of them.
And what do I like the most about this epic. Mostly, it involved Matoran. I always like seeing the Matoran as the main heroes, who can learn to take care of themselves without outside help. Bionicle may always focus on the Toa because the Matoran are cheaper sets, but I can always expand on the Matoran’s ability. And in this epic, there are only a few minor references to Toa, but no Toa at all. The Matoran get to use the unique powers of the Kanoka to make things explode or whatever, and the only Kanohi mask is the one Triki made (and used). I thought that was a great idea myself… since a Matoran cannot handle a mask made out of Kanoka with a power level of seven, how about a power level of six point five?
So, with some useful Kanoka and some Hover-Bikes, I was able to create a fast-paced action packed adventure epic without any elemental heroes. There is a Titan with odd powers resembling that of the Piraka (although I based Gragu Nuva off the Hordika, not Piraka) but who defeats him in the end? Kulagi.
So, this story doesn’t have Toa. It has minimal romance. It has some plot holes involving Vakama and Sufina. It has many spelling and grammar mistakes (I just did a quick check through the whole epic, but I’m sure I missed some stuff). And it doesn’t have any pie in it (although pie is referenced). Instead, it has high speed Hover-Bike chases, Kanoka duels, tons of character development, Triki (which is a reason in and of itself), tons of baddies, one rebellious but honorable protagonist. Plus, it takes a whole new look at life in Metru-Nui before the great disaster. I think it’s a good epic. Will the people judging for Epics Contest #6 think the same way? In my biased way, I hope so.
So, if you have read this whole, long review… you need more of a life. Now, reply, rest your eyes for a bit, and then go and enjoy the story, if you haven’t already. And anybody who reads it (including you judges) should also reply to it to say what you thought about it. I’m expecting it from you.
(although the judges can wait until after the contest to post… don’t want to give away their identities.)