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-Takua-

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About -Takua-

Year 17
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    http://www.MeNOL.org

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  1. It can be tough to track down stuff in old members' signatures (especially if they haven't posted since the big forum migration). However, I noticed that sometimes people posted their disk collections in their blogs, so I'd recommend doing a search in blogs for "menol", which was a component of the URL for those signatures. Here's one! http://www.bzpower.com/board/blog/322/entry-49646-can-i-have-disks/ Here's another! http://www.bzpower.com/board/blog/142/entry-49663-figure-i-might-as-well/ Hope that helps.
  2. Yeah, that's a good point. I suppose I was thinking that the spacing between the two vertical lines is a little less than the spacing between the symbols themselves, but it's hard to tell.
  3. Hi all, In the new G2 we've been seeing a lot of the blocky symbols that look like the Nuva symbols, first on the mask of creation, and then in other images (box art, pedestal, etc.). I noticed specsowl trying to read the symbols off the mask of creation here. Now that we've seen several clips from the Comic-Con presentation that have long strings of symbols on them, I thought it might be a good idea to try to see if these symbols actually stood for something, like the old Matoran language! While that would have been a great throwback, it doesn't look like the symbols have meaning, at least for now. Here's what I used for reference: You can probably recognize most of those screengrabs from the Comic-Con presentation and other promo materials. I went through and outlined each symbol in a blocky way because I was too lazy to make them nice and neat in honor of the new Bionicle's art style, and color coded them: I made them rainbow for a reason, as it highlights the pattern that you can see most clearly in the two long excerpts at the top. Either that sequence of symbols is just really important, or, what I think is more likely, it's just a string of filler symbols! Especially given that in the top, you can see that the pattern repeats multiple times, but rotated 180 each time. The mask of creation at left doesn't have exactly the same sequence, but it's pretty similar. There are modified symbols in a few cases (look to the right of the screengrab in the lower right), but to me it looks like most of those the changes were made for aesthetic reasons, blending two symbols together in a way that's not repeated elsewhere. I've made a completely non-authoritative image with the symbols as vectors: ...and if you want to play with an Illustrator file, it's available for download here. The story isn't over, though! I noticed that it seems like the symbols on the mask pedestals are different, though I couldn't get a clear screengrab of them. Maybe the story team plans to use these symbols and define them in a more canonical way later. Though there aren't enough of them to fully create a fanon "language" if we wanted to, it's a stylistic start! So what do you all think? Is a Matoran-style language on our new island something you'd like to see? Do you disagree with any of my symbol interpretations (I did them pretty quickly!)? Have you seen some other symbols elsewhere that might add to the list? I know for me, the Matoran symbols added a cool level of immersion in the first generation, as well as a few Easter eggs for people to find in the online content that I'd miss in the new generation.
  4. Oh, yes, that ladder animation is top-notch. : )
  5. I played through to the end (though I got stuck in conversations a few times — for anyone who got stuck, if you save and resume the conversation resets) and the whole thing was well done! I hope I'm not out of line in offering suggestions; just a few thoughts I had while playing. The original MNOG was released geographic section by geographic section, which was great, because you could get to know an area before a new one was introduced. The first (well, second, I suppose) quest of this game was to go everywhere on Mata Nui, including a few new places, so having not played MNOG for years I was a little overwhelmed (and my memory kept getting tripped up at the places you did change). I think the open world is fine, if you provide a new player with a little more directional guidance (a map, maybe? Having Jala-in-a-box tell you which way to go? I don't know). You could also restrict access to areas that aren't necessary to visit at the beginning of the game (I don't think I went much into the Charred Forest, though I kept thinking I'd have to go back there soon). As other people mentioned, some of the new screens that you added don't line up quite right — I found myself turning around twice and ending up in a different place than I'd started (in the starting area in particular). I think the geography of those new rooms/hallways are a little unnecessarily complicated, especially because there's nothing in them yet. The twitch-based minigame got a little monotonous. I'd recommend making a little shorter or adding some variety at the end. The player sees all of the threats within the first 15 seconds, and after that the difficulty doesn't even seem to ramp up. Though to be fair, that is in the spirit of MNOG (the rama fight...). The cutscenes were adorable, despite the typos. Definitely my favorite part. It's great how much expression you could squeeze out of immobile plastic parts. I'm looking forward to how you integrate the original Templar animations.
  6. The metal bars are called "proto bricks" and you can create them using scrap metal and a hammer and the anvil in the Ta-Metru forges, on the left side. You can also buy them at the forges for 15 widgets. There's still a walkthrough on the old forums here, if you still need help at any point and no one is around to give it.
  7. Member name: -Takua- Entry name and link: A matter of time... And the entry's still on time, too!
  8. A matter of time... Tock... tock... tock... tock...The strokes of the timekeeping pendulum echoed in the cave. Ruihi studied the mechanical arm, carefully counting the ticks and dutifully marking each swing on the marker cylinder. The process was eventually going to be automated, he had been assured, but for now, Ruihi had no choice but to mark time by hand.Then there was a rush of displaced water and the Matoran looked out over the underground lake. The inflated red bubble breached the surface of the water, hissing air like a whale. Ruihi pushed the stop plunger on his timer and grabbed the retrieval pole.The floaters were designed to measure the depth of the underground lakes. They went in deflated, with a small amount of some sort of powder and a blasting cap on the bottom. Then, when they sunk to the bottom of the lake, the cap was activated and some sort of reaction took place (Ruihi had no idea what really happened), and the now-inflated balloon rose to the surface. Just measure how long it takes, Nuparu’s minions had promised, and you’ll know how deep the water is.Ruihi grumbled to himself as he hoisted the balloon, now pathetically half-inflated, back onto shore. It was all well and good, but did they really have to be so heavy?The floaters were supposed to be faster and more reliable than just using a measuring cable, but Ruihi didn’t think much of it. Gone were the days when mining relied on determination and willpower. These days, now that Nuparu’s shop had driven ore prices down and volume up, things just weren’t the same.After haphazardly folding the balloon, stabilization ribbons trailing behind like tentacles on a jellyfish, at the edge of the lake, Ruihi went back to the record cylinder and carefully transferred the readings onto paper. As much as he disliked the new process, the initial reconnaissance of a lake was critical so as to not make any mistakes later. Ruihi whistled as he reread the numbers. This lake was deep.“Third SHIFT, reporting IN!”Ruihi’s head snapped up. The bellicose call came from the passageway back to the Great Mine. Ruihi turned to look. Another Tohunga was approaching; Ari was his name.“Arayy! My friend!” Ruihi called. The silhouette slumped out of attention and into a more natural posture. “How does the stone fall, my brother?”“As the Earth wills it!” Ari replied, skipping into the light of the cavern. “I didn’t know you were on this shift!”“Just reassigned, friend,” Ruihi said. “Just taking some baseline measurements, here at the lake. Using these floaters.”The sympathetic pair shared a few words on how dreadful this new technology was and how it was all the more inconvenient to use than than good old cables and elbow grease.“So the whole system’s going down to the realm of ’zahni, am I right?” Ruihi said. “Anyway, listen, brother, you don’t need to take the shift tonight. I’ve got it.”“You mean it?”“I know you’ve got family at home. I was just getting into it. Besides, I like doing recon. Nothing like exploring new territory.”“Yeah, man, I know what you mean. But really,” Ari stood, “I owe you one.”“I’ll see you around, brother. Go well!”“Go well!” Ari hurried off back into the tunnel. Ruihi sighed. Yes, he was perfectly willing to do it. But it would be a long night.He waddled back over to the machines. After the initial depth measurement, he had to measure the width. Then, with the help of an air bladder, he could start a grid-cell survey of the entire area of the shaft. He would probably only get part of the way through, though. He double checked the depth measurement. This lake was deep.The Tohunga pulled out his measuring string and air bladder, hooking them to his belt. He activated the timer again, this time attaching it to a loaded weight that would last until he walked all the way around, again to measure the distance using his walking speed. Tock, tock, tock. The pendulum echoed loudly in the cavern. He stepped over to the edge of the lake, over the pile of deflated floater.And then he slipped on the wet rocks. He grunted in pain as his head slammed against the rock behind him.As he scrambled to right himself, he grabbed onto the streaming stabilizers of the floater. Bad idea. The deflated balloon, and its ballast, slipped into the water alongside him. Ruihi grabbed for the shore, but suddenly his arms were tangled in the ribbons and his legs were under the balloon and he was falling and sinking, sinking into the lake below.Sudden darkness. Water rushed by the floundering Tohunga as the floater dragged him down.After the cold shock, his Onu-Matoran survival instincts kicked in. He struggled to get his left arm free, but the streamers were somehow tied in knots too tight for him to slip out of. With his right hand, he wrestled his lightstone out of his belt and held it in his mouth. It only shined for a short distance in the murky cave water. The ballast on the floater kept pulling down.As spots started to form in front of his eyes, Ruihi grabbed the air bladder in his belt and took a breath. He would have enough air for two, maybe three breaths before it ran out. Better make it count.One breath. He pulled at the streamers, slowly loosening them. Another part of his mind was tracking his descent. He was sinking quickly and still nowhere near the bottom.Another breath. One knot came undone; Ruihi moved onto the second one. It was looser, so he made short work of it.And then the floater was free, and Ruihi twisted in the water to begin his ascent to the surface. He would have sworn at the situation if he had the breath. But he just had air left in the bladder for one more deep breath, which he took.The lightstone went back in his belt, and Ruihi started pulling himself out of the water, his lungs straining at the exertion. One stroke. Two strokes.And then Ruihi hit his head, for the second time in as many minutes. Surprised, he coughed out the air and choked in water. He thrashed, deep underwater, as he inhaled water. Pull up, pull up. Nothing else mattered now.And then he broke the surface of the water, spewing water. He grabbed forward, onto a rocky ledge, gasping and choking.It took him five full minutes to catch his breath and empty his lungs, and it was only then that he noticed two things: First, he was not at the surface of the water in the main cave. The cave above him was only a few bios high. Second, the room throbbed with a dull humming sound, a sound that Ruihi recognized only too well.He looked around for the source of the sound, and found it a few bios to his left: A cylindrical machine with a glowing heart-light, vibrating and coughing and spluttering into the water. A surface-air pump. Evidently this lake had already been discovered but forgotten before Ruihi was assigned to it. Careless record-keepers.Ruihi pulled himself out of the water and looked around. He was in a pocket, a small hole in the side of the limestone caves, that was being maintained by the surface pump in the corner. A few lightstones dotted the walls of the cave, evidently the reason why it had been cleared in the first place. As he breathed, his breath crystallized. It was cold, too.These chambers were kept vacated of water only by the grace of the surface pumps. If the power were to be shut off, the pump would stop and the water, eager to replace the void so deep underground, would slosh back into place instantly.Ruihi took a shaky breath. His options were limited. He was down very deep; unaided he could not swim back up. If he just had... The air bladder! He grabbed at his belt for the pouch, but there was nothing there. In the rush underwater, it must have fallen out of his mouth. He halfheartedly peered through the murky water, hoping desperately that it was down there somewhere where he could see it, but with no luck.Now Ruihi cursed, loudly, but the small cave muted his voice. He took another look around in the hopes of finding a passage to the surface, but there were none. This cave was just a preliminary, exploratory cavity. Save a few lightstones, the pump machine, and, of course, himself, there was nothing in here.The Matoran crawled the corner, his lightstone the only source of heat. He took a few more unsteady, deep breaths. The pump was going, but barely. Whatever power source it had been running on was now unduly stressed by the presence of a new pair of lungs. The machine’s heart-light was flickering. It obviously had not been stressed in years.Maybe it would last until the morning and the next shift would notice his absence. The system was supposed to protect against problems like this, and he had no doubt that if his disappearance was noted, the rescue team would shortly find him with their SCUBA gear. Or perhaps the pump would fail before that happened.It was just a matter of time. ********* Beep.“Doctor, I see a flicker!”Beep.“Administer the protodermis booster!”Beep.“Still unstable.”“Double the dose!”Beep. Beep.“We’re getting something here!”Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.“He’s stabilizing.”Ruihi took a sudden, sharp breath. The insides of his lungs felt like they were lined with needles. Where was he?“He’s opening his eyes!”Ruihi rolled onto his side. Blurry, white shapes slowly came into focus. Tohunga in clean blue linens.“Ruihi, I need you to focus on me,” a doctor said. A mask appeared in Ruihi’s field of vision. He coughed.“Respiration’s normal,” the doctor said to one of his assistants. “All systems are returning to normal.”Ruihi tried to lift himself up, but the doctor gently pushed him back onto the bed. “You should stay reclining,” he said. “But here, I can prop you up a little. You’re still in some shock.”The doctor propped up Ruihi and shined a focused lightstone into his eyes. “No sign of vision damage,” he said. “Now, can you tell me your name?”“Ruihi,” the Tohunga said weakly. The doctor nodded.“Good. Now, do you remember what happened?”For a moment, Ruihi couldn’t remember anything and started to panic. Then it all came back. “The lake...” he said. “And I was trapped in the pocket. But...” His memory was hazy after this. “The pump failed?”“Cognitive functions appear to be normal,” the doctor said. “He’s a bit hazy, but that’s to be expected. You’re done.” The assistant who had been standing behind him noted the record and handed it to the doctor before leaving the room. Then the doctor turned back to Ruihi.“You had a pretty bad accident,” he said. “We thought we almost lost you there. But it looks like everything is going to be OK. A rescue team found you floating in the lake you were assigned to. It was actually your clock that tipped us off. One of the miners noticed that it had been running for too long. I guess that loud ticking is useful for something, eh?”Ruihi smiled weakly. The doctor continued.“If we had gotten to you any later... well, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”The doctor cleared his throat. “It will be a day or two before you’ll be back on your feet. So rest up, and I’ll check up on you in a few hours.”In the bleary moments before Ruihi fell back into sleep, he puzzled that the technology that he so disliked ended up actually saving him in the end. Well, he owed Nuparu an apology.But that didn’t mean he had to start liking the blasted machines. Ruihi turned over and went to sleep.
  9. I don't think there's some evil conspiracy going on here; GregF described it like this: Let's say you've become a fantastically popular writer here on BZPower. You've made up some awesome characters and a great plot for a series of stories that everyone loves. However, when you were just starting out you promised that you would write a few stories that you described as "awezum!!1!" and they'd be about the characters that later went on to become popular. You still have these stories but they're really bad (you were just a beginner writer then and used leetspeak and no capitalization) but everyone wants to see them. Clearly you might say, "Well, of course I'd give them away!" but you can see how releasing those stories might actually do damage to the stories that you've already written, if, say, a character behaved completely differently than they did in your more recent stories. So in that sense, they do have something to lose. Of course, we might say, "But the game isn't as bad as you claim it is, and it's an important part of the canon!" Remember, though, as it was all Lego's idea, it's entirely their prerogative to decide just how bad the game is and how much it might damage what they've already got going. In the above example, you certainly wouldn't say that your fans have a "right" to see your old stories. Maybe, if you don't think they're too embarrassing, you would post them. But it's your decision to make, and Lego has made their decision.
  10. Someone did ask and they said no. IIRC it was a pretty boilerplate legal response. Maybe GregF asked for us? I don't remember what the scenario was exactly, but it was established pretty early on that Lego wasn't OK with the release of the game. If you want I can probably dig up a link.
  11. Fair enough. I think most of our desires to find this game are of the more compulsive, pack-rat variety, rather than to actually play a good game. I for one am actually assuming it's a pretty bad game! (After all, it was made 10 years ago by a company that later went out of business...)
  12. Nah, no one is talking about decompiling the executable (or at least, not to my knowledge). You're right that we've assumed the bug lies in the data files, but I think that's an adequate assumption, given the nature of the bug: It only appears in one spot. There are a number of ways in which we could get around the bug, ranging from simply editing the save file to let you skip the room to more invasive things like adjusting the collision layer in the 3D files. That's another clear assumption, as you'd be right to point out, but one way or another, a hard-coded kill layer or something like that seems at least equally likely to a collision layer in the 3D file that was moved too high. I mean, we could argue about that all day, but we won't know until we try. When it comes down to it, though, .exe decompilation is illegal, and we're not proposing that. Please try not to sound pretentious; JMMB, myself and the rest have outside programming experience, too. I think our goals may be misrepresented by people who aren't as clear as to what will or won't be possible, but those of us who have mucked around in the data stuff that we've already seen largely share your point of view.
  13. I think the main objective at this point is to allow DB to move on to other levels, as no one has had a problem with the already-posted gameplay videos. We'll see what happens, but we're nowhere near actually getting the game playable by other people. Still, getting new gameplay videos is pretty exciting for some of us! I'd suggest that if we want to plan a new game (not a bad idea!) we should discuss it in the FGC forum, and keep this space for discussing details about the LOMN. EDIT: I see now that you already suggested making a new topic. Great minds think alike!
  14. Great summary, JMMB. Here's my work on the save file. The basic structure is that it contains independent pieces of information as you'd expect. So one sequence has the location, one sequence has your health, and one series of sequences indicates all of the UDD pieces you've picked up. The outline is below: start //Clusters of null bytes in between each section// Global information2 bytes: [##]4 bytes: [&&&&] //A 4-character code that represents your location12 bytes: [0rts0kolauno] //Same in all save files analyzed; represents, at least, the Toa you're playing as //Collected UDD symbols8 bytes: [##teAAAA] //Each A represents a character, repeated as many times as UDD pieces you've collected //Quests and waypoints8 bytes: [&&&&&&&&] //Repeated; a string or set of numbers that represents a quest (e.g., "csidevac")8 bytes: [AAAA###v1] //Repeated; each sequence represents a conversation that you've had (e.g., "gllv101v").2 bytes: [0#] //Possibly health?//Some number of null bytes, then,2 bytes: [##] //Represents the number of fruits that you've collected (FA, the max, in most save files)end Clever readers might already notice the trick: all string sequences are reversed. So at the top, the indicator that you're playing in Onua's level is the "auno", "onua" backwards. The example of a quest, "csidevac", is just "cavedisc" backwards, which starts making more sense. These clusters of strings are usually 4 or 8 bytes long, and I've found things like "cave" "disc" "atrm" "bbug" "l1a1" "pic1" "l1a1" "claw", all of which are sort of clear. Then, the best part, is the locations. Up at the top, the four character string for a location includes values like (reversed, of course): "bech" (beach), "cave", "atrm" (atrium), "pzzl", (puzzle), "clf1" (cliff 1), "shrn" (shrine), all representing different zones that the player is in, specifically different loaded level models. So the last location before the bug stops you is "hk01". I don't know what it stands for, but it seems at least plausible that "hk02" is a nearby room that has yet to be visited. Or, we could just change the "auno" to "ilag" and make the level something like "nrhs" ("shrine" backwards) that is likely to be in Gali's set of levels, and we can skip forward. So we're really at the point where we can start trying things out, as soon as, of course, we have a chance to.
  15. Yeah. I will write the full explanation soon, but it's been a while since I've looked at the files! But basically we've figured out the structure and which flags signify your location and stuff like that. There are only a few parts not understood, and we don't think those have anything to do with where you're located. We have to know a name of a new area to plug in, of course, but we have a few good guesses and it's possible that a look at the files could give us a hint about the other area names. A full explanation is certainly in order, though, now that the forums are back up! Hopefully I will have a chance soon to write it up.
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