I wonder if anyone has ever gotten a crack on their mask, then grabbed a Regeneration disk off a shelf and smashed it into their face?
I LOLed out loud.
The first number, 1 in Vakama's case, could be a sort of signature to show which district the maker hails from... *shrug*
Right -- that's sort of what I meant, except only indirectly; the Ta-Matoran happen to come from Ta-Metru just because that's the place designed for them. A Ta-Matoran could live anywhere else and presumably the disk would still get the Ta flight power. And a Ta-Matoran living for example on the Southern Continent who makes a Kanoka would also impart the Ta flight power.
Wonder what they do for disks made by Matoran of other elements? (Of course, we don't know a thing about how that works... Maybe there are only six total flight powers possible.)
In fact, if it weren't for the disks themselves being described as containing the Metru-specific power, I'd have thought it would be the launchers that were constructed with such flight pattern modifiers. The disks look exactly the same and are mixed based on protodermic powers, so whatever the disk-forgers do to make the Kanoka follow these flight patterns it must be added independently of the base Kanoka power. Like, Ta- and Le-Metru disks should be straightforward. More weight in the disk or more power in the launcher to make the disk capable of knocking others out of its way or flying further. Po-Metru disks could probably be made magnetic in some way to home in on other disks. The rest are much harder to explain.
It appears that it only looks hard to you because you're thinking they're not actually powers, but canonically it seems clear to me that they are. The disks looking the same (other than the number) is irrelevant -- a disk of Freezing main power and a Disk of Regeneration main power also look identical other than the number. The power is in the protodermis molecules. In fact this is the first I've heard anyone suggest they might not be actual flight "powers" but some simpler technological addition.
Why there's a secondary power involved and how the Matoran discover it, I've got theories in my retelling that I guess I'll save for readers.
As to how each works, I think like with most powers it all boils down to different, very specific uses of telekinesis of either objects or energy. Note the Ga one for example:
Could change direction in mid-air according to the user's thoughts.
That's clearly telekinesis. So if that's used for one, logically it's easily possible for the others. So they're actually powers, not just like magnetizing them or making one have more mass or the like. In that case, it really is irrelevant whether the power is in the disk or the launcher. (My retelling comments on why it would be in the disk too, though -- it does make sense.)
As for all these questions and ideas of whether the mental-control ones give it to the firer or target, I just seem to recall Greg saying that mental control by the firer was possible. I forget if he gave any specific examples, but I think the Disk of Fire would be one. So, add that in the mix to make things even more confusing.
If that is more common than target-based control, then for example, throwing an Illusion Disk could still let the one holding the launcher control what illusion appears, and the impact would merely be the trigger. Seems awkward for a disk, but then remember this is just a protodermic power, originally intended for masks more than disks. (Disks were not invented until very recently.) Another thing is to look at whether the mask power version operates on self or target.
The Huna for example is strictly on the self. That one could get confusing -- you fire it across a vast field and hit another Matoran, yet you turn invisible? I doubt it... but I wouldn't be sure that's not what happens, because if you fire any disk that Greg would say does give the user the control, the distance and point of impact shouldn't matter too much. But the disk version of the Garai seems straightforward by contrast -- the target is the thing affected, while the firer controls what happens to the target.
Maybe the Huna would make the impact target turn invisible but the user decides when to switch it off, unless a time limit runs out? I dunno. It's a tricky issue. Probably part of why the canon avoided it for the most part.
It may also just be that there's no guarantee that the disk versions work logically at all, since the powers were made for masks. A Calix Disk might just do nothing at all. In that case that might actually help explain why that one was apparently not common on Metru Nui -- Matoran couldn't test the disk to discover what power it had; you'd need a Toa to test it, and who would risk testing an unidentified power? What if it randomly reconstitutes the user permanently for example? And Toa weren't common in Metru Nui.
Thoughts for food.