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Where are the Guns?

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22 replies to this topic

#1 Offline NuvaTube

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 05:30 PM

You may be grateful to know that I shall not (quite) be making as annoyingly a long post this time (relatively ;) ). And no controversy! :D It's still a decently long read so prepare your 'tl;dr's.

 

As per usual, I'll start with some context before eventually presenting the NuvaTube inquiry.

 

 

The Spherus Magnans have displayed some very, very advanced technology, much of which is beyond scientific understanding (and probably always will be). More specifically, the Great Beings displayed this incredible technology, principally via the Mata Nui Robot’s systems.

If you think about it, we’re talkin’ about teleportation, large energy/mass exchanges, atomic control, space-time manipulation, graviton generation, practically limitless energy, advanced genetic expertise, radical nanotechnology, dimensional engineering, interstellar travel and so on and so forth. We could go on for eons.

 

So, what kind of weapons do the macro-tech workers of this hyper advanced system use? Apparently, swords and spears. What...no...that can’t be right...right?

 

I shall remedy the irritated look on your face by acknowledging weapons like Zamor/Rhotuka/Impact Crystal/Kanoka Launchers, which display interesting, advanced destructive abilities. I particularly like the Zamor Launchers’ ability to get past cover and effect targets without worrying about physical armour. My point is; I know they have advanced weapons.

 

There is the argument that just because humans can use heat-seeking missiles, it doesn’t suddenly mean that a big stick isn’t an effective weapon. Maybe this principle still applies to the MU/Glatorian? If that were the case, and swords are effective against MU inhabitants, I would expect something like a conventional firearm to be common too, and that long ranged combat would be the norm. The biggest reason that close quarters combat left warfare in human history was that it was usually pointless to carry a bothersome melee weapon when your enemies can just take you out in a few hits or less with a single weapon, at close and long range.

 

If we look at Toa, for example, we see that they almost always carry a melee weapon. Sure, I get that it focuses their Elemental Power, which has lots of ranged potential, whilst doubling up as a good close quarters option. I’m just wondering why there aren’t more weapons like Cordak Blasters and Lightstone rifles around, it would seem to me that they should be the norm, and then the more famous weapons were the specialist armaments.

 

It’s just, why do all the baddies (like the Dark Hunters) bother with close quarters fighting (I’ll include throwing fireballs from relatively short distance as close quarters, since it’s all done within a comfortable visual range), when they could just pick up a Lightstone rifle and snipe a group of Toa almost as easily as a group of Matoran.

 

As I have previously done, I’ll acknowledge the real word reasons. Namely: “swords-fights-are-always-more-epic” and “Guns don’t look as good in Lego and don’t really work as toy functions which are good selling points for kids’ toys”. But this is about trying to find in-canon rational.

 

The only real counter-argument I could think of was that Bionicle armour is generally too tough for bullets, but that completely breaks down if swords are still effective, so that can't be it. Even if Toa are far stronger than we realise I’m sure they can come up with ballistics that work just as well, if not better, and that such weapons would be highly pervasive. Of course, there are much more exotic weapons, as I said, but the question stands:

 

Where are all the guns?


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#2 Offline Chuck the Toa of crazyness

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 05:44 PM

In bara-magna, metal is very precious, so they use organic thornax instead of ammo, which would be a waste of metal when they have explosive fruit all over. Plus, after the shattering, their technological level seemed to go down significantly, with almost a medieval level of society.

 

Also, many dark hunters and other being have plenty of ranged options, including energy bolts and rotuka launchers. Generally, other than kanoka, energy weapons are the norm, due to the ease of their use, and the convenience of not needing ammo.


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#3 Offline XONAR

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 06:09 PM

Lego kept them out of BIONICLE because of their non-violence policy. Otherwise the GB's would have created them long before the MU even. They aren't that complicated.


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#4 Offline Sheogorath

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 06:42 PM

Lego kept them out of BIONICLE because of their non-violence policy. Otherwise the GB's would have created them long before the MU even. They aren't that complicated.

I'm pretty sure firing explosive, spiky balls at each other for sport counts as violence :P


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#5 Offline tomdroidser

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 06:50 PM

I think the closest BIONICLE ever came to a gun was Kongu's Energy Crossbow and some of the Piraka weapons. On another note, why have guns when you have the forces of natural elements at your disposal?

 

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#6 Offline Baron Von Nebula

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 07:12 PM

As you said, Toa have elemental powers that work well at range.  Toa have been the focus of Bionicle's storyline, and as such few ranged weapons appear.  If the main characters were, say, Vortixx, then more gun-type weapons would have appeared in the story.  Finally, we did see a good number of ranged weapons besides Cordak launchers and Zamor Spheres like Kanoka disks and Rhotuka spinners.  The first few years were the only ones without projectiles, and they were set on a primitive island.

As regards Thornax, it depends on whether you're looking at the movie or anything else.  While all other media showed Thornax launchers as devices for firing destructive fruit, The Legend Reborn showed them as handheld energy cannons.


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#7 Offline X-Ray

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 08:19 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]I believe the answer to your question boils down to two arguments; one a Doylist argument, the other a Watsonian one.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]The first, the Doylist, that is, is that LEGO didn't want guns to be associated with one of their top franchises, especially one which would require immensely bigger set pieces than their standard minifigure guns. [/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]There is then the Watsonion argument that conventional firearms are hardly necessary where there are literal firearms such as fire elemental powers, or even Hakkan's lava launcher, which is, itself a gun. Thok's weapon is even called an "Ice gun." There is also the presence of Rhotuka launchers, kanoka launchers, and Zammor launchers, among others, I'm sure, which fill the demand for ranged weapons. Guns may also not be available simply because bullets would be of little use against the other worldly metal that makes up the armor of the MU and Spherus Magna inhabitants (This argument is rendered quite ironic in light of the fact that modern firearms were what drove metal armor out of use in the real world).[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]Of course, you did raise the question that if this is the case, then why bother using swords and other melee weapons? Probably because such weapons are primarily used for channeling elemental powers and are themselves essentially ranged weapons anyway. Why not have both in the same package?[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]Personally, I hardly think that firearms would be necessary to the story of Bionicle when there are already all of these crazy ranged attacks, though it would be interesting to see if Pohatu Nuva's armor could take a blast from a shotgun. Nuparu is bound to come up with something similar eventually, I'm sure. It all depends on if the thing is practical.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]:akaku: X-Ray :akaku:[/color][/font]


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#8 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 02:35 AM

I think after 2006-2010 and their gun fanboyism, the better question is "Can we stop with the guns please?"


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 10 2013 - 02:58 AM.

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#9 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:24 AM

Honestly, in many years the question we heard so often was "why are there so many guns?" :P There are projectile weapons all over the place. And yes, Toa having ranged attacks does reduce the need for them to have them. Just one specific point to raise:

 

The only real counter-argument I could think of was that Bionicle armour is generally too tough for bullets, but that completely breaks down if swords are still effective, so that can't be it.

Not necessarily; swords have more mass than bullets.

 

If you mean to ask why they don't seem to have gunpowder and actual bullet guns, all I can say for sure is that this question did come up on the old forums at least once. What the answer was if any I don't recall for sure, but probably it was just that it didn't feel like Bionicle's style.


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#10 Offline Makuta_of_Oz

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 05:04 AM

tl;dr, the guns are in the Adults Only section.


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#11 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 09:40 AM

I think that in general, you DO see a lot of launchers in BIONICLE, which offer basically the same functional benefit as guns would. Plenty of Dark Hunters in the Dark Hunters guide have Rhotuka launchers or Kanoka launchers. Often those who do have melee weapons also have some way of firing energy beams, such as The Shadowed One's disintegrator eyebeams.Yes, the Matoran Universe has the level of technology they'd likely need for guns, but frankly with their various ways of firing long-range energy blasts or launching projectiles mechanically, it seems to me that guns would be largely unnecessary. It's the same as how they don't have wheels in most of the Matoran Universe: their societies have developed to use crawling legs in most instances instead, so wheels are not really necessary.It might also be worth thinking about one other factor in the history of real-world firearms: in their infancy, many firearms were painfully inaccurate, time-consuming to load, and in some cases, dangerous to the user. Many of the warrior races in the Matoran Universe are already gifted with natural energy attacks, and those that aren't have developed fairly reliable energy weapons or mechanical launchers. Why, then, would the further advancement of more "Earth-like" firearms technologies be seen as a worthwhile use of time and resources?
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#12 Offline Toa Talo

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 02:17 PM

You may be grateful to know that I shall not (quite) be making as annoyingly a long post this time (relatively ;) ). And no controversy! :D It's still a decently long read so prepare your 'tl;dr's.

 

As per usual, I'll start with some context before eventually presenting the NuvaTube inquiry.

 

 

The Spherus Magnans have displayed some very, very advanced technology, much of which is beyond scientific understanding (and probably always will be). More specifically, the Great Beings displayed this incredible technology, principally via the Mata Nui Robot’s systems.

If you think about it, we’re talkin’ about teleportation, large energy/mass exchanges, atomic control, space-time manipulation, graviton generation, practically limitless energy, advanced genetic expertise, radical nanotechnology, dimensional engineering, interstellar travel and so on and so forth. We could go on for eons.

 

So, what kind of weapons do the macro-tech workers of this hyper advanced system use? Apparently, swords and spears. What...no...that can’t be right...right?

 

I shall remedy the irritated look on your face by acknowledging weapons like Zamor/Rhotuka/Impact Crystal/Kanoka Launchers, which display interesting, advanced destructive abilities. I particularly like the Zamor Launchers’ ability to get past cover and effect targets without worrying about physical armour. My point is; I know they have advanced weapons.

 

There is the argument that just because humans can use heat-seeking missiles, it doesn’t suddenly mean that a big stick isn’t an effective weapon. Maybe this principle still applies to the MU/Glatorian? If that were the case, and swords are effective against MU inhabitants, I would expect something like a conventional firearm to be common too, and that long ranged combat would be the norm. The biggest reason that close quarters combat left warfare in human history was that it was usually pointless to carry a bothersome melee weapon when your enemies can just take you out in a few hits or less with a single weapon, at close and long range.

 

If we look at Toa, for example, we see that they almost always carry a melee weapon. Sure, I get that it focuses their Elemental Power, which has lots of ranged potential, whilst doubling up as a good close quarters option. I’m just wondering why there aren’t more weapons like Cordak Blasters and Lightstone rifles around, it would seem to me that they should be the norm, and then the more famous weapons were the specialist armaments.

 

It’s just, why do all the baddies (like the Dark Hunters) bother with close quarters fighting (I’ll include throwing fireballs from relatively short distance as close quarters, since it’s all done within a comfortable visual range), when they could just pick up a Lightstone rifle and snipe a group of Toa almost as easily as a group of Matoran.

 

As I have previously done, I’ll acknowledge the real word reasons. Namely: “swords-fights-are-always-more-epic” and “Guns don’t look as good in Lego and don’t really work as toy functions which are good selling points for kids’ toys”. But this is about trying to find in-canon rational.

 

The only real counter-argument I could think of was that Bionicle armour is generally too tough for bullets, but that completely breaks down if swords are still effective, so that can't be it. Even if Toa are far stronger than we realise I’m sure they can come up with ballistics that work just as well, if not better, and that such weapons would be highly pervasive. Of course, there are much more exotic weapons, as I said, but the question stands:

 

Where are all the guns?

Sniping toa with a lightstone rifle wouldn't do much anyways it is light based it would really hurt a makuta or someone else shadow aligned but not anyone else.


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#13 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 02:59 PM

Talo, the lightstones were charged with electricity to act as stunners for other types of beings. :)


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#14 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 03:15 PM

Doesn't the rifle fire the actual lightstone as well? Even if the energy burst from the light and electric charge didn't take effect, the impact would.
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#15 Offline Silverglass

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 03:44 PM

Let's not forget that worlds/universes that are not our own will not develop exactly as ours has/is. While somebody on Earth thought up the wheel centuries ago, somebody about the same time on SM thought up the crawling-legs method. Heck, for all we know, SM could have had a gunpowder-and-flintlock age that lasted about as long as ours did; but as others have pointed out, the existence/use of Elemental powers kind of outclasses that kind of weapon. Why use tiny pieces of metal when you've got the very Elements at your command? Especially since there are beings out there you probably couldn't use them on, anyway (lookin' at you, Ba-/Fe-/Fa-Toa).Putting the Glatorian/Agori aside for now, but what use could a bullet really have on an MU inhabitant, anyway? Sure, they're capable of feeling pain like us organics do, but you take a bullet to the leg and all you get is a tiny hole (that hurts like karz) that you can easily patch up. Shoot an organic in the leg and you know how that turns out. Elemental powers are far more effective against these people than your usual gun, imo. Now, if you're talkin' firearms in general, I thought there was a nice balance in-canon. I didn't find myself wanting for more firearms throughout the series, but then again, I'm old-fashioned and love reading about hand-to-hand combat.  :P Disregarding the fact that this makes me sound like a sadistic psychopath, but if you were a villain, what fun is there in destroying your opponents faster than you can blink? I have a Makuta character who rarely even uses guns because he much prefers to drive a stiletto through somebody's gut and watch the fire slowly leave their eyes; to feel their life-force ebb away. If you have enough villains of that mindset, you need to have the right weapons to combat them. Sure, there's nothing stopping somebody like a Toa from using a firearm on them, but if caught in close-quarters combat or a melee sneak-attack, you're going to wish you had that melee weapon. There's also the fact that Lego was aiming this at kids; and what do most kids want to see? Swashbuckling adventure stories about heroic protagonists and dastardly antagonists. (That isn't to say that some kids don't appreciate stories that mix things up a bit, but many kids I've spoken to in real-life prefer the former.) There's also something more heroic about the protagonist wielding a sword than a gun, imo, regardless of the fact that said weapon can be just as deadly, if not more cruel at times. It's the way the hero handles it that separates him from the villain. One thing that melee weapons -- swords in particular -- have over firearms is their defensive aspect, too. By this I mean that if you have a villain coming at you while you're down, you have two choices: try and run him through with your blade when he gets close enough before he does the same to you, or, use your blade to try and block the villain's blow. Which do you think a Toa would choose? If all you have is a gun, you either shoot the guy or say good night. (Plus, to a kid who can't yet fully appreciate a tense stand-off between two guys pointing a gun at each other, that long moment of silence or banter is going to be a bit boring.) I'm not against having firearms in any story -- heck, I have a Vortixx character who carries half-a-dozen pistols on his person at all times -- but it really depends on whether or not the story/world calls for it. And considering the fact that the world of Bionicle focuses on the Elements more-so than other types of weapon, it just seems like more guns would only become unnecessary clutter for this (kids') story. *shrug*Quite frankly, asking why Toa/Makuta don't use guns (often) is like asking why Jedi/Sith don't use blasters. 


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#16 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:35 PM

5) Does gunpowder exist in the Matoran Universe?

 

 

 

5) No

 

No gunpowder, no guns. 


Edited by fishers64, Aug 10 2013 - 10:30 PM.

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#17 Offline NuvaTube

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 05:12 PM

 

5) Does gunpowder exist in the Matoran Universe?

 

 

 

5) No

 

No gunpowder, no guns. I think we have a winner. 

 

 

I was referring to ballistics, or more specifically weapons that damage via kinetic force (like bullets), because swords do that too, in a way. And they sure have explosives, since Cordak Blasters are kinda like Grenade launchers (that are actually rockets that work well on land or sea so really a lot better and they also conduct Elemental Power so much much better) So im sure they could make guns. But they could go one step better and make something like a mini railgun. I'm not saying the epic weapons like rhotuka and zamors shouldnt be there, they really should, but i would think there would also be a lot of ballistic around too if the still have swords 's all (:


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#18 Offline Biff

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 05:20 PM

I thought there was a nice balance in-canon. I didn't find myself wanting for more firearms throughout the series, but then again, I'm old-fashioned and love reading about hand-to-hand combat.  :P

Amen, brother!

I love the melee weapons of Bionicle, and I wished they'd focused on them more in the books.  I was really annoyed in 2009 when they didn't give Gahli a primary weapon, and just went with the Ghost Blaster.  I was also annoyed with Onua's arm shield.  That's a pretty big downgrade from the pair of chainsaws he had.


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#19 Offline Toa Talo

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 04:09 PM

Talo, the lightstones were charged with electricity to act as stunners for other types of beings. :)

Oh sorry I think I miss read the page on BS01 as them only effecting makuta instead of just being very affective. 


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#20 Offline Silverglass

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 09:43 PM

... the pair of chainsaws he had.

 

That moment when you realize how violent Bionicle could have been.


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#21 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 10:23 PM

Doesn't the rifle fire the actual lightstone as well? Even if the energy burst from the light and electric charge didn't take effect, the impact would.

Yes. Of course, that also means it doesn't have much carrying capacity, compared to a bullet gun.

 

 

Talo, the lightstones were charged with electricity to act as stunners for other types of beings. :)

Oh sorry I think I miss read the page on BS01 as them only effecting makuta instead of just being very affective. 

 

Understood. :)

 

 

 

5) Does gunpowder exist in the Matoran Universe?

 

 

 

5) No

 

No gunpowder, no guns. I think we have a winner. 

 

 

I was referring to ballistics, or more specifically weapons that damage via kinetic force (like bullets), because swords do that too, in a way. And they sure have explosives, since Cordak Blasters are kinda like Grenade launchers (that are actually rockets that work well on land or sea so really a lot better and they also conduct Elemental Power so much much better) So im sure they could make guns. But they could go one step better and make something like a mini railgun. I'm not saying the epic weapons like rhotuka and zamors shouldnt be there, they really should, but i would think there would also be a lot of ballistic around too if the still have swords 's all (:

 

Also, the Lightstone Rifle's solution of using a bit of Kanoka material with the Speed material should surely work for bullets too. So if there's any reason why it isn't done, it can't be that it can't be done. But I really think it's more of a stylistic choice outside of story, even though there are some good practical points being raised here.


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#22 Online ~garnira returns~

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 11:02 PM

For one, they do have advanced long ranged weapons, just not guns like we have. I think of this as a cultural thing, just because humans thought that a stick with a handle and a hole down the middle looks like a firing weapon, who's to say the matoran (or great beings for that matter) would? Different cultures develop differently, and have different tools and and differently shaped tools for the same effect.


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#23 Offline Anti Nui

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Posted Aug 13 2013 - 12:23 AM

I remember reading something about the Iron Tribe having elemental weapons that fired "bolts of metal." That's pretty much like a gun isn't it? Or a harpoon.


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