"I have slept for so long. My dreams have been dark ones. But now I am awakened. Now the scattered elements of my being are rejoined. Now I am whole. And the darkness cannot stand before me."
Special thanks to the BioMedia Project, which provided the PDF for the comic and the music files used for this project.
Last summer, an idea dawned upon me as I was listening to samples of the BIONICLE soundtrack. It was an idea that was simple in concept: using only the soundtrack composed for various BIONICLE media, create a soundtrack for the BIONICLE comics, beginning with the one that started it all: The Coming of the Toa. Retell the story that hooked and recapture the magic that intrigued. In the final days of September, I finally started working on this project... and after nearly six painstaking months, I have finished
While my original intentions were to create such a soundtrack for every BIONICLE comic, as I worked on this and poured more and more time and effort into it, I came to believe that this was no longer a realistic goal, considering how long it took to produce this one alone. In fact, at one point, I considered just doing the first page and nothing else, but I pushed myself to keep going. As such, if I were you, I would not expect Deep into Darkness or any other future installments in the foreseeable future. With this in mind, I decided to go "all out" for The Coming of the Toa and worked on it as though it would be the only comic I would do, making certain artistic choices along the way that I probably would have saved for a later comic had I stuck with my original idea.
Note that I was less concerned about creating an actual "soundtrack" for the comic and more concerned with capturing the atmosphere and telling the story, hence why the first page alone is nearly three minutes in length. Atmosphere especially was important to me, since the goal of this project was to recapture that magic of the mystery, wonder, and myths surrounding the island of Mata Nui which made it so appealing to us older fans back when we were wee young lads in 2001 and discovering this wondrous new world for the first time as we wondered not only why there was some weird DC comic packaged with our LEGO Mania magazine but also why I'm going on and on in a rambling run-on sentence that most of you probably have stopped reading by now because I'm a nostalgic old timer who's ranting about things back in my day like that one crazy old man who always lectures you about walking to school in the snow uphill both ways.
The music used here is largely derived from three sources: Mata Nui Online Game, BIONICLE: The Game, and the Miramax BIONICLE film trilogy. MNOLG especially was important to this mix; not only is the MNOLG soundtrack a key component of that early BIONICLE atmosphere, but thanks to the BioMedia Project, much of it is broken down into single parts or instruments that make it easier for mixing. And not only does this allow me to construct different mixes from various MNOLG instruments, but also allows the MNOLG soundtrack to "enhance" the soundtracks of the films and The Game in order to unify the overall mix, hence why you often hear the "Ko-Wahi Choir" underscoring the soundtrack. I tried to stick as much as possible to music only from the Mata Nui era of BIONICLE, but I did end up sampling a few songs from the Metru Nui films.
If you're familiar with the BIONICLE soundtrack, you'll recognize the significance of certain songs used in certain scenes. For example, when Toa Kopaka first meets Turaga Nuju, there is a sitar-like instrument accompanied by several drumbeats. In MNOLG, the sitar can be heard in the Ko-Koro Sanctum where Nuju is found, while the drumbeats are from the scene where Toa Tahu first meets Turaga Vakama. This is just one example; keep your ears to the ground and see what else you can find.
As a side note, I could not control the rate at which the comic scrolls across the screen. As such, for some pages, the music doesn't sync up particularly well, with 3 and 9 being the worst (for both those pages, the top half of the page gets a much higher percentage of the music than the lower half in the mix itself, but scrolls too quickly in the video). For the most part, though, it syncs well enough.
Since most songs used in this mix have no official names ("The BIONICLE Music" being the sole exception), I cannot provide a list of songs used. I will, however, cite the sources:
- BIONICLE Power Pack (unknown artist)
- Mata Nui Online Game (Justin Lutcher)
- Bohrok Swarms Promo CD (unknown artist)
- BIONICLE: Mask of Light (Nathan Furst)
- BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui (Nathan Furst)
- BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows (Nathan Furst)
I hope you enjoyed this journey back in time to the beginning of BIONICLE. Comments and constructive criticism are appreciated.