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Organic Protodermis and Toa of the Green

Theory Lore The Green Organic Protodermis

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#1 Offline Roki

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Posted Jun 12 2014 - 10:23 PM

Hello again.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been active around S&T or posted a decent theory, though after posting this on my blog the other day, I’ve decided to post it here and get some feedback, criticism and hopefully some discussion from you all.


PART ONE - INITIAL THEORY POST

 

The following theory is somewhat of a further development of my theory outlined in my previous blog post about the functions of different types of Matoran in the Matoran Universe, in which I outlined what I believed to be the function of the Bo-Matoran as a method of maintenance of the various flora made from organic Protodermis throughout the Mata-Nui robot.
The primary point of this theory is a look into the question: Why only flora?
We've been told by Greg and several references in the universe that the entirety of the matoran universe is comprised of various forms of Protodermis.


"Protodermis is the material which makes up the Matoran Universe and all living things and objects inside it." [BS01]
 

Now Matoran, like all other sapient species in the matoran universe are made up of a combination of mechanical and organic components. The mechanical components are comprised of pure solid protodermis whilst the organic components are comprised of what is reffered to as organic protodermis.
 

"Organic Protodermis is a type of Protodermis that makes up all the organic tissue in the Matoran Universe." [BS01]

 

Organic tissue is not only found in the sapient species, but also is what makes up all of the Flora in the Matoran Universe.
 

"The plants of the Matoran universe are made entirely of Protodermis, distinguishing themselves from plants of other worlds." [BS01]

 

Toa of the Green are able to manipulate this Flora, tapping into the Protodermis which comprises the plant-life, manipulating and also creating it. Some of the Flora in the MU (such as Karzahni and Morbuzakh) even had varying degree's of sentience, making the only real difference between flora and fauna the presence of solid protodermis and shape of being. This creates an interesting question, if a plant entirely made up of organic protodermis can be sentient, then that form of organic protodermis must be capable of forming at least some variety of brain equivalent capable of higher thought and function, similar at least in composition to the organic parts of the brain that lies within a Toa.

With the above knowledge I see it as a reasonable thought process that if the Toa of the Green are able to control the organic protodermis that comprises the various forms of flora throughout the matoran universe including those that are sentient; they should be also control and manipulate the organic protodermis that lies within matoran or any of the other humanoid inhabitants of the MU.

As far as I know I don't believe we've had direct confirmation from Greg that a Toa of the Green can't do this. I believe that there are a few reasons which could plausibly explain why we have not seen such usage of the Green in the story-line thus-far whilst allowing for it's inclusion.

  • Unethical behavior / Breaking the Toa Code. Toa are upright paragons of right and justice, manipulation someone's internal organs can quite easily be seen a fighting dirty or as unethical. This is the same reason why there were no elemental Toa of Acid, despite there being Bohrok of this element. Despite this being seen as unethical to use on enemies, I still believe this can work as a part of the range of powers that the Toa could utilize.
  • No significant Toa of Green in the Lore. In the entirety of the BIONICLE storyline, we only ever encountered one Toa of the Green: A Toa from Lhikan's past team who died to an attack by the Frostelus. Also due to the Frostelus nature of being sentient Rahi, point 1 would aid in why we never saw him use this power.
  • Experience required / Hard to control Power. The internal organics of a living humanoid integrated with machinery and programming would be incredibly complicated, it would take a lot of practice and finesse to do so and it may be something everyday Toa of the Green may not be able to accomplish.
  • Too complicated to explain to children. This is fairly self-explanatory, in the same way that psionics did not have large story presence, the green is easier to explain as being simply plant life to children, they can easily understand a plant Toa, but explaining that the plant guy can also manipulated organic components of the Matoran? Not so much. Luckily the ending of the official story line removes this restriction.
  • Possibly confusion with Life Powers. Toa of the Green were introduced during the 2006-2008 story line surrounding the Mask of Life, while the Mask of life doesn't explicitly manipulate organics in any way. It's manipulation of the "Life force" inside every living thing in the Matoran Universe could potentially cause some confusion with an element which could manipulated Flora and to a limited extent Fauna. However, Life is a very different "element" In that all of it's powers are in relation to "Life-Force" while the organic protodermis is simply another form of protodermis. A Toa of Iron, Psionics and the Green could create a being with organic, biomechanical and programmed components but the being would not have the "Life-Force" component analogous to a soul if you will. It would simply be a robot or a golem-like creation.

With these five reasons in mind, I don't believe that they necessarily mean that non-flora organic manipulation is off the table for Toa of the Green, I've got a few reasons why I believe this would be rather a neat addition to the canon.

  • Interesting and more in depth power usage. Self explanatory really, it could have a lot of interesting applications and could be used both in and out of combat and give Teams a reason for taking a Toa of the Green to environments which do not have plants.
  • Introducing a 'Healer' element. Aside from Gali Nuva in the 2003 Mask of Light movie, we have never really had the healer trope in a group of Toa, with the ability to create and manipulate the organic protodermis inside their allies. Toa of the Green could become healers for the group, repairing their damaged organics in the same way a Toa of Iron would mend armor. Gali's healing scene can be explained that the exposure to water was helping the organics that had been damaged in Tahu heal slowly with exposure to water. A Toa of the Green would have been able to heal him at a much greater rate. The Toa of Green's knowledge of poisons and toxins from various plants could aid in this role greatly.
  • Making the most of an ambiguous name. Has Greg decided to name the element "Plant-life" or "Jungle" we wouldn't have this opportunity. The fact that's it's called "the Green" allows us to associate it not with just plants but all organic protodermis. This can easily be explained by having the raw form of organic protodermis take on a green color when channeled for creation of plants or healing.
  • Possible explanation for lack of Toa of Green. The Makuta actively wiped out Toa of the most powerful elements that they saw as a threat to themselves. Magnetism, Iron, and Plasma were all hunted down. If the Makuta wished to hide their new lack of organic components from Toa in their continued masquerade, Toa of the Green would pose a problem.
  • Completion of a Self-Maintaining MU. It's been stated before that the Matoran working is what keeps the Matoran universe working. In my previous blog post from 2010, I outlined the various matoran and the purposes that they fulfill in the robot. However there was one missing maintenance job as there was nothing responsible for organic protodermis in sapient beings.
    If the Toa of the Green gain the ability to manipulate and repair the organics within humanoid lifeforms in the Matoran Universe, all aspects of lifeforms inside the MU are now self-relying and maintaining.
    Toa of Iron can maintain and repair armor and solid protodermis in the mechanical components of beings.
    Toa of Psionics can maintain and fix mental errors and programming malfunctions in the minds of beings.
    Toa of The Green can maintain, and heal injuries and organic protodermis in the bodies of beings.

I've gathered a few further thoughts and references on why the organic components of Matoran and Toa would need some form of maintenance.

We were told in 2001 that the original Toa Mata had all of their organic components decayed due to their prolonged inactivity, hibernation and possibly the environmental factors associated with being floating in a tube for 1000 years. The Toa also lost their memories as an effect of this, leading me to conclude that the majority of their memories must have been stored in their organic protodermis components or the majority of their 'brain'.

The mechanical components, made of solid protodermis must have included at least some form of rudimentary secondary brain for survival reactions such as putting themselves back together and basic motion. This would be a core part of Matoran/Toa base programming installed into their machinery.

I'd imagine this would be in a similar capacity to how the human body can react to pain before passing on a pain signal to the brain itself, allowing the body to operate on its own in a limited capacity. Similarly the matoran/Toa can operate on it's own until the organics are repaired as seen by the Toa Mata and Metru-Matoran hibernating in the spheres. I'd imagine that the Matoran in Karzahni in disrepair were also in a similar state; but kept this way as it was stated that Karzahni "stripped them of their identities". This would have been achieved by removing the organics and thus memories perhaps followed a little bit of reprogramming.

The Toa Mata not only lost all of their memories but also their training and skills, this shows that the organic components are vital for continuing functionality of Toa. The organic components healed on their own slowly, but it was years before any of them regained their memories.

The Metru-nui refugee's also lost their memories and required the pure Toa energy of six Toa simply to awaken them. Potentially, we could still have six Toa Metru running around if there had been a Toa of the Green amongst them.

 

PART TWO - BLOG FEEDBACK AND DISCUSSION

 

For the sake of deepening discussion, I’m going to post below the comments I received on the blog and my responses as I believe they add to the theory somewhat.
 

This was an interesting read, though I can't say I agree with it. There is a difference between animal and plant organic matter. Going back to biology, plant cells have a sort of wall for their outermost layer, which is fairly different than animal cells. You could argue that isn't valid because that's just how our world works, but because plants and animals also appear to be in separate categories (the Morbuzahk is not considered an animal despite its intelligence and ability to move), I think we can assume plants and animals have different structures within the Bionicle universe.


Lin, I can definitely see where you’re coming from here. Plant an animal cells in our world are drastically different from each other on a cellular level. But as you stated, this is the world of BIONICLE, where ‘cold energy’ exists as a concept and an entire robot is made up of varying forms of the same compound: Protodermis. This is why I try not to base any parts of my theories upon the limitations imposed by the way the real world works, instead extrapolating ideas from existing physics and chemistry of the BIONICLE universe. By thinking this way, I believe that it can help make ideas and theories that ‘fit’ more into the chaotic mess that is the Science of the BIONICLE universe.

I can agree that Plants and animals may have some form of different structure in terms of classification. I believe that structure must be at least somewhat identifiable on a non-cellular level and that is what allows the matoran to classify what is a plant, rahi, robot or a sapient species. The classifications must be fairly obvious otherwise we’d have matoran calling Morbuzahk a Rahi.
I proposed in the theory above that the primary difference between the Flora of the universe and the Fauna (including Sapient Species) was the presence of solid Protodermis in the bodies of Fauna. A difference which is easily identifiable by Matoran.

 

This does make a difference, unfortunately, because Greg's explaination system is wonky. Gali cannot control ice even though it is a form of water because of the composition of its particles. Onua cannot control boulders like Pohatu because he's a vampIre of "particle size." If plant and animal structure are fundamentally different, there is a golden chance that The Green cannot manipulate animal organic tissue which is what I assume to be in Toa and Matoran and Rahi amongst other species.


I do believe that Greg’s system may have initially been wonky, but has come together to be somewhat cohesive due to the various developments and evolution of the story over the 10 years and being bombarded by those of us who are varying levels of scientists. There are many different forms of the same compound throughout the universe (Protodermis), in the Matoran universe. It can come in the different states of matter and in a number of forms of each. Frozen, solid Protodermis aka Ice is as similar to liquid Protodermis as Pure Solid Protodermis aka Metal, as both can be created from it, albeit Pure Solid is a slightly longer process. As far as Stone and Earth, they may both be forms of Raw Solid Protodermis that are slightly different in terms of the particle size of the Protodermis, which just gives us one more form of Solid Protodermis, Fine Solid Protodermis.


As far as Organic tissue goes, we are only aware of one form of Organic Protodermis. My theory hinges on the fact that both flora and fauna have the same form of Organic Protodermis inside of them. If a Toa of the Green cannot manipulate the Organic Protodermis inside Flora and Sapient beings, then this organic Protodermis must be a different form. I.e. Floral Organic Protodermis and Faunal Organic Protodermis become two new different forms. Potentially even another separate form for humanoid sapients.

This reminds me of the debate surrounding what makes Keetongu and Krahka a Rahi and not grouped with the rest of the races? This could be easily resolved if they resumed using rahi as the matoran word for “Not-us” as opposed to being synonymous with animal and have Makuta, Skakdi, Vortixx etc all be classified as Rahi. As it has essentially became the equivalent of the Roman word Barbarian which also used to mean “Not Roman” but is now associated with a certain kind of individual. Anyway, getting side-tracked here.

florafaunatable1.png

I quickly just whipped up the above table to clearly lay out what I believe is the difference between the different forms of life in the matoran universe. I left out Sapience as a column as there are examples of sapient flora, rahi and robots. But are the majority of each of these categories aren't sapient.

 

However, I propose a slight compromise which I thought of while reading this which to me sounds super cool.
What if Toa and Matoran of the Green were created from organic matter classified as plant? We have seen that plant matter in the MU has potential to be sentient and intelligent, so why not? Also, it fits with their name because "of the green" could easily imply that their cellular structure is that of plants. They would be literally "of the green"
Now that means that these powers of controlling organic tissue would be limited to only their element, but I still think that would be awesome.


Not 100% sure I’m on board with this idea. I prefer the idea of a unified matoran race in terms of origin. Perhaps this could be a result of side effect of Toa of the Green healing their matoran over the years, slowly changing out the organic composition of their internals? Leaving this difference being more of an adapted change rather than a created change.
 

I think Tek's point about the possible difference between flora organics and fauna organics is important here. Also important is the knowledge that this one power is known by a few different names among us, and by two canonically: Jungle on SM, the Green in the MU, and it is very commonly called Plantlife.
Tekulo: if they were made of plant matter they would be plants, not Matoran =P Also, none of the other varieties of Matoran are made up of their Element. I think it would be neat if they were, but unfortunately...


Part of my point is that Jungle doesn’t have to be all the green is. Fire existed on Spherus Magna, but didn’t have heat control? Sand existed on Spherus Magna but didn’t end up being associated with an element in the MU. The great beings admitted they changed things in creating the giant robot, with the decision to remove jungle as a primary element being one we have as canonized. The fact it’s called the Green and not Jungle lends to the fact that something significant was changed; as did the fact they didn’t call it Plant-life. Especially when we have an example of a power called exactly “Plant Control” which is that of the Makuta and Rahkshi.
The Green isn't Jungle or Plant Control. It’s the Green. They’re has got to be some reason behind it (other than the truth of Greg’s random decision) that we can explain and create.

 

PART THREE - ADDITIONAL THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

 

After discussing my theory with the commenters in my blog, I continued to think about the question I posed to the responders. If The Toa of the Green can’t control organic protodermis in humanoids and Rahi, this poses some more questions.

  1. Additional Forms of Organic Protodermis. How many specific forms of Organic Protodermis are there?
    Is it just limited to Botanic Organic, Sapient Organic and Rahi Organic? 
    Or can it be manipulated in the same way solid Protodermis can, resulting in Frozen Organic, Pure Organic with the original being Raw Organic?
    Are there forms of Gaseous and Liquid Organic Protodermis?
    Is the original solid Antidermis, which was used as the internal organs of the Makuta race; organic in nature?
     
  2. The Green Etymology.
    Can we create an actual lore-based reason for the choice of the Great beings change the name from Jungle to the Green?
    My organic theory is one possibility but there can easily be others, for example:

    All acid we have encountered in the storyline thus-far has been green or greenish-yellow in color, with one major source being botanically produced (The grass on the mountain produced an acidic substance.) Another major occurrence of Acid was the Lehvak. Instead of making Acid a basic sub-power, could Liquid Organic Protodermis be acidic in nature and the substance that Lehvak and potentially Toa of the Green can control thus fitting in with the sub-power scheme of Vaccum/Air?

    This would fit with the timeline as the original Bohrok must have been created around the same time as the Av-Matoran who were made, which was when the great beings were still considering the green as a primary element. By the time the Bohrok-Kal had been created, it was decided that Air would be instead, thus Vaccum(Sub-power of air) to counter Air and Acid(Sub-power of The Green?) to counter The Green.

    I’m aware that this had no chance of being canon as Greg did not want a Toa wielding Acid, even if it’s only to nullify acid. But a guy can theorize, right?

These questions aren't so much related to my original theory; rather just a few more things to consider when thinking about the Green and Organic Protodermis as a whole.

 

This theory is very much still a work in progress and as I said at the start, I'd really appreciate any feedback and criticism that you may have to offer.

Thanks for reading.

- Roki


Edited by Roki, Jun 12 2014 - 10:23 PM.

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#2 Offline Akavakaku

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Posted Jun 13 2014 - 01:43 AM

I think if the Great Beings wanted to, they WOULD have just made an element of Biology or whatever that could affect any organic tissue. But instead, they made an equivalent to Jungle that only affected plants. There are a lot of arbitrary distinctions in the elements, like Earth vs. Stone, Water vs. Ice, Fire vs. Plasma vs. Lightning vs. Magnetism, etc.


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#3 Online bonesiii

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Posted Jun 13 2014 - 02:12 AM

similar at least in composition to the organic parts of the brain that lies within a Toa.

Just for the record, we don't know that Toa brains are organic. It's thought to be the best theory, since Krana are brains and they're organic, but unconfirmed (last I heard :P).
 

With the above knowledge I see it as a reasonable thought process that if the Toa of the Green are able to control the organic protodermis that comprises the various forms of flora throughout the matoran universe including those that are sentient; they should be also control and manipulate the organic protodermis that lies within matoran or any of the other humanoid inhabitants of the MU.

As far as I know I don't believe we've had direct confirmation from Greg that a Toa of the Green can't do this.


That shouldn't be necessary; they're not classed as plants, so can't be controlled by that element. The underlying physics mechanism is definitely capable of that, but there are boundaries between what one power can control versus another that are rooted in the programming for that power. For example, Earth and Stone, and Ice and Water, are generally controlling the exact same substance, but the way the power is programmed, a Toa of Earth still can't control particles the size of sand or larger. To do that, they'd have to basically hack their own programming, and the vast, vast majority of Toa have no such ability (although if they had a Mask of Conjuring and had a well defined power definition that wouldn't cause mental damage, they might be able to, but it would be from a mask power, not their normal elemental power).
 

I believe that there are a few reasons which could plausibly explain why we have not seen such usage of the Green in the story-line thus-far whilst allowing for it's inclusion.

    Unethical behavior / Breaking the Toa Code. Toa are upright paragons of right and justice, manipulation someone's internal organs can quite easily be seen a fighting dirty or as unethical. This is the same reason why there were no elemental Toa of Acid, despite there being Bohrok of this element. Despite this being seen as unethical to use on enemies, I still believe this can work as a part of the range of powers that the Toa could utilize.
    No significant Toa of Green in the Lore. In the entirety of the BIONICLE storyline, we only ever encountered one Toa of the Green: A Toa from Lhikan's past team who died to an attack by the Frostelus. Also due to the Frostelus nature of being sentient Rahi, point 1 would aid in why we never saw him use this power.
    Experience required / Hard to control Power. The internal organics of a living humanoid integrated with machinery and programming would be incredibly complicated, it would take a lot of practice and finesse to do so and it may be something everyday Toa of the Green may not be able to accomplish.
    Too complicated to explain to children. This is fairly self-explanatory, in the same way that psionics did not have large story presence, the green is easier to explain as being simply plant life to children, they can easily understand a plant Toa, but explaining that the plant guy can also manipulated organic components of the Matoran? Not so much. Luckily the ending of the official story line removes this restriction.
    Possibly confusion with Life Powers. Toa of the Green were introduced during the 2006-2008 story line surrounding the Mask of Life, while the Mask of life doesn't explicitly manipulate organics in any way. It's manipulation of the "Life force" inside every living thing in the Matoran Universe could potentially cause some confusion with an element which could manipulated Flora and to a limited extent Fauna. However, Life is a very different "element" In that all of it's powers are in relation to "Life-Force" while the organic protodermis is simply another form of protodermis. A Toa of Iron, Psionics and the Green could create a being with organic, biomechanical and programmed components but the being would not have the "Life-Force" component analogous to a soul if you will. It would simply be a robot or a golem-like creation.


Some of these might be part of this, but a much simpler reason is that the Great Beings simply didn't want one element to be overpowered, so they included a limit on it so they literally can only control the types of organic protodermis that imitate plants (much like the EL of Plants could only control plants before this). Of course, it's worth noting that some indirect methods of limited control via toxins produced by plants may be possible. But even as it is, the Plants element is already arguably very OP -- I don't see why LEGO would want to allow them to also control non-plants organics.
 

With these five reasons in mind, I don't believe that they necessarily mean that non-flora organic manipulation is off the table for Toa of the Green, I've got a few reasons why I believe this would be rather a neat addition to the canon.

    Interesting and more in depth power usage. Self explanatory really, it could have a lot of interesting applications and could be used both in and out of combat and give Teams a reason for taking a Toa of the Green to environments which do not have plants.


There's already a VAST array of options for story potential unused so far in the literal plants element. And these things can be done already by the Ignika.
 

Introducing a 'Healer' element. Aside from Gali Nuva in the 2003 Mask of Light movie, we have never really had the healer trope in a group of Toa, with the ability to create and manipulate the organic protodermis inside their allies. Toa of the Green could become healers for the group, repairing their damaged organics in the same way a Toa of Iron would mend armor. Gali's healing scene can be explained that the exposure to water was helping the organics that had been damaged in Tahu heal slowly with exposure to water. A Toa of the Green would have been able to heal him at a much greater rate. The Toa of Green's knowledge of poisons and toxins from various plants could aid in this role greatly.


That could be done with the Mask of Healing, without resorting to what you're suggesting. It's an interesting idea, and I think it has fanfic potential (a universe where the elemental limitations glitch, for example), but I think what the canon needs to be doing with Plants (if anything) is finding ways to ADD limits, not remove them...
 

Making the most of an ambiguous name. Has Greg decided to name the element "Plant-life" or "Jungle" we wouldn't have this opportunity. The fact that's it's called "the Green" allows


But it canonically IS the element of Plants control. Both "the Green" and "Jungle" are poetic terms. Just like the poetic name of the Iron element doesn't mean it literally only controls iron and proto-iron, but controls metals. Also, not really sure how the name would help the argument. I mean, would it only control organics that happen to be colored green lol? It's clearly associated with plants since green is -- due to photosynthesis.

However, I do think there's a molecular case to be made for your idea here along those lines. Since protodermis is called "a molecule", not a class of molecules, I think its potential for photosynthesis actually has to be present in all protodermis molecules, and simply dormant in the raw material types of elements and the non-plant organics (just like the organic potential itself is dormant in the non-organic protodermis). But this really would only work if there was a glitch in the limitation programming IMO; the dormant plant-systems parts of the molecule would still be defined as "non-plant" in the element's power usage. And that would actually be the case for all elements under some theories of how protodermis works.
 

Possible explanation for lack of Toa of Green. The Makuta actively wiped out Toa of the most powerful elements that they saw as a threat to themselves. Magnetism, Iron, and Plasma were all hunted down. If the Makuta wished to hide their new lack of organic components from Toa in their continued masquerade, Toa of the Green would pose a problem.


This could already work because of their OP nature. Plants element can probably make more ways to kill people... although I doubt they could do much against Makuta specifically. But I don't know that there IS any lack of Toa of Plants. We didn't happen to see them a lot in the story (if ever??), but that's because all the elements other than the main six are rare.
 

Completion of a Self-Maintaining MU. It's been stated before that the Matoran working is what keeps the Matoran universe working. In my previous blog post from 2010, I outlined the various matoran and the purposes that they fulfill in the robot. However there was one missing maintenance job as there was nothing responsible for organic protodermis in sapient beings.


Given their vast lifespans, it seems implied their organics basically have sufficient self-healing ability (based presumably on a similar trait in Agori), or healed perhaps by some non-organic component or something, that this wasn't needed. And it would also possibly be too risky to have Toa or the like devoted to control what the other workers are made of; if one glitched.... (as the GBs thought of it), that would be pretty bad. Bionicle instead made it a Legendary Power and confined it primarily to the Ignika. Combine these two facts, and basically the answer is, the need for special organic healing was very rare, and if it ever came up, the Ignika could possibly be sought out (but there are serious downsides to that, obviously).
 

The Toa also lost their memories as an effect of this, leading me to conclude that the majority of their memories must have been stored in their organic protodermis components or the majority of their 'brain'.


Good deduction! I'd say that's the first major additional evidence for the organic brain theory I've seen in a long time. Although there are other options if the brains aren't organic; "freezer burn" (as an analogy) sorts of decay could apply to multiple systems, and more so the tinier the working parts, so anything sufficiently advanced as to do what organic brains do should be vulnerable to some of the same decay (unlike "simple" metal armor and structural metal... presuming it's non-corrosive, etc.).



Lin's mention of the cell walls of real-world plants is interesting. It would matter to that question if the organics of the Matoran Universe build actual cells with multiple protodermis molecules as their building blocks, or if each protodermis molecule involved behaves as a single cell itself (keeping in mind that these have to be HUGE and extremely complex molecules that already approach the complexity of cells in the confirmed details, though we can't know all the specifics). I lean toward the latter, but perhaps it's both -- plants may use larger multi-molecule cells with a tougher type forming a wall, while non-plants may use individual molecules. And it could vary depending on the need in either, actually.

But anywho, in general, I would tend to suspect the tough cell wall of plants probably isn't the main factor here; I'd think photosynthesis is. However, the large-scale material behavior of things like wood (where in real life the tough outer cell wall is most obviously relevant) still has to imitate this somehow or another. All kinds of options for how, really.
 

As far as Organic tissue goes, we are only aware of one form of Organic Protodermis.


I... don't see how you figure? Depends on what you mean by 'form', I guess, but we are talking about two different forms -- plant and non-plant. And there is also muscle versus brain (the latter confirmed at least in the case of Krana). I'm sure we could think of many more if we went through everything.

It's all the same molecule, but the "programming" is different in different types (see my upcoming protodermis theory for one way that's possible, or there's my old "cyberclay" idea, and a number of others people have suggested). Different elements are limited to just one type based on those differences even though it's really the same molecule, so I don't see why that would stop applying in the case of organic.
 

This reminds me of the debate surrounding what makes Keetongu and Krahka a Rahi and not grouped with the rest of the races? This could be easily resolved if they resumed using rahi as the matoran word for “Not-us” as opposed to being synonymous with animal and have Makuta, Skakdi, Vortixx etc all be classified as Rahi.


That's not what 'not us' means; they think of those as "people" and "not Rahi." The canon answer is already simple -- different characters in the story use the word in slightly different ways. Keetongu IS a Rahi by the definition of "a being made by Makuta" (in essence), but not by the definition of "nonsapient but also having a mind". (And 'not us' may be ambiguous; his personality seems somewhat animalistic, so they may consider him in a gray area.) It's realistic to have a word be used with multiple subtly different definitions in a fictional society (or integration of, and in some cases just collection of, multiple societies), since that happens all the time in real life.



Your chart has an error in it -- Plants definitely DO have solid protodermis. They're not puddles or clouds. :P (But they also have liquid proto, presumably, in parts of the inner workings, although that's not really confirmed.) Especially the wood...

Also, the "no" given both for Plants and Rahi (fauna) is wonky. For Rahi, at least that vast majority, that should be yes, and as you mentioned earlier, the Morbuzakh was a plant but also had a mind, so it really should read something like "rare" or "a little" as you used in another part of the chart. That also carries over to moral light -- or at least it probably does -- you'd think the mind of the Morby probably uses that system too. (And do we know that all robots don't have it? Even the Bohrok which used to be Matoran? I dunno.)


Re: Lin's suggestion:

However, I propose a slight compromise which I thought of while reading this which to me sounds super cool.
What if Toa and Matoran of the Green were created from organic matter classified as plant?


It's been made clear for a long time -- Toa aren't made of their element, they just control it and have sub-powers that make them "one with it" (which are present in slight amounts even in Matoran. This is a big difference between them and "elementals" and the Element Lords (though the ELs were transformed into their element rather than made out of it from the start). Nothing wrong with it for fanfic potential, but it definitely doesn't fit the canon.
 

Fire existed on Spherus Magna, but didn’t have heat control?


Do you have a quote for that? I've never heard that, but then Greg's said a lot and I still hear new things even from his old quotes occasionally... But I would presume it probably did have it -- isn't it a part of the definition of fire? There would be indirect ways to get fire, but would those count as elemental control over fire?
 

The fact it’s called the Green and not Jungle lends to the fact that something significant was changed


No it doesn't at all -- it's a synonym, a stylistic change. If people used to talk about driving these newfangled "automobiles" but eventually opt for "cars" as the more popular term, that doesn't mean the fundamental definition of the one doesn't apply to the other. And there are even better analogies; old English would use different words for the exact same things that around today (not even more advanced versions like with cars -- things like the sun or trees). In this case, the different terms help the reader more quickly understand at a glance when SM story is being talked about versus MU when a typical list of common elements is mentioned (although there are some that are the same like Fire, a typical list will have Sand, Rock, and Jungle on it probably).

It could be evidence to support a theory, albeit very loosely, but it doesn't lead to a fact...
 

as did the fact they didn’t call it Plant-life.


That's... pretty sure, anyways, that that's not a fact. The Green is just a nickname; its real name is "Plants" or "Plant Life." They're commonly called Toa of Plants. Anyways, this is a semantics argument and I'm not sure how it even works -- "the Green" was chosen (by Greg in reality, and in-story almost certainly by the GBs*) precisely because it is another word for plants. It doesn't refer to animal tissue!

*Not sure if we know if the GBs themselves chose it. All I know for sure offhand is that for some weird reason Greg liked it. It could be a late Matoran slang.
 

How many specific forms of Organic Protodermis are there?

I think questions like that are basically unanswerable -- the story team and/or Greg wouldn't likely want to paint themselves into a corner by saying "XYZ type" (of both organic and non-organic) isn't there, but later want to have a story with it involved (if the story were to continue). How many different types of Rock could there be of protodermis, for example? Are they likely to say "quartz isn't there"? I highly doubt it.

In other words, probably "however many there need to be". And they probably wouldn't define it anyways, so the question really becomes about how many there would be in specific fanmade theories and headcanons. They can't really get too detailed on these fictional substances, because inevitably you run into what we could call the "wall of fictionality", if you will, where you would have to actually be able to make the stuff to define it. Nobody knows how protodermis could actually work; while we may be able to understand some parts, and I think a lot more than people usually think (see my upcoming theory on it, parts already featured in my retelling so far), there's always going to be some parts that we have to see as "somehow", because it's fictional, and actually intended to do things "not possible" in real life.
 

Can we create an actual lore-based reason for the choice of the Great beings change the name from Jungle to the Green?


A worthy cause, but I don't see how it works for your non-plant organics control idea. My first thought is -- they wanted the MU to be orderly, and "jungle" stylistically implies disorder (awesome disorder but disorder nonetheless). They probably just thought Plants and/or the Green as more generic terms were less confusing in terms of programming instructions. And if "the Green" was indeed their choice (as "translated" -- hopefully it would sound less silly in Matoran), the reasoning could be they liked the more poetic nature of "Jungle" so didn't want to use the basic name (like with Iron versus Metal), and that may have been the other main choice. This works just fine with all three being synonyms, without any implication that a Matoran's organics, for example, could be within the defined limits.

 

All acid we have encountered in the storyline thus-far has been green or greenish-yellow in color, with one major source being botanically produced (The grass on the mountain produced an acidic substance.) Another major occurrence of Acid was the Lehvak. Instead of making Acid a basic sub-power, could Liquid Organic Protodermis be acidic in nature and the substance that Lehvak and potentially Toa of the Green can control thus fitting in with the sub-power scheme of Vaccum/Air?

This would fit with the timeline as the original Bohrok must have been created around the same time as the Av-Matoran who were made, which was when the great beings were still considering the green as a primary element.


Another reasonable theory (but it doesn't really support the main theory of the topic). Although I don't think the color is relevant; instead it would likely be that the main way to make acid was as a plant byproduct and that would have inspired the choice (rather than any relation to Air). Toa of Plants can make plant material in any color (a flower, for example, or brown wood), not just green (here again it's similar to Iron really meaning metal, so they don't have to make only iron).


*reaches end of post*

Phew, that was a long one. :P All in all, you get points for some original thinking but I don't think it works. Likeisay, we don't really need an already massively overpowered element to be getting even more abilities...

 

 

But it inspired you to come up with a number of subtheories, some of which I think do work very well, so there's that. =)


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#4 Offline Roki

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Posted Jun 13 2014 - 02:15 AM

I think if the Great Beings wanted to, they WOULD have just made an element of Biology or whatever that could affect any organic tissue. But instead, they made an equivalent to Jungle that only affected plants. There are a lot of arbitrary distinctions in the elements, like Earth vs. Stone, Water vs. Ice, Fire vs. Plasma vs. Lightning vs. Magnetism, etc.

That's an understandable viewpoint, I however prefer to find links and explanations for the arbitrary distinctions such as some of information outlined in my previous blog entries.
Part of the entire point of this theory is to speculate around the fact that the great beings may have just done exactly what you said hence the rename from jungle. 
We know the great beings gave Toa of the Green the ability manipulate plants composed of Organic Protodermis, but If the fans hadn't theorized and extrapolated in the past and just went on what was established we wouldn't have psionics as an element or a bunch of other nifty canonized things. :P

Though, each to their own I suppose. :)



Firstly, Thanks for taking the time to read my entire post and dissect it. I really appreciate it.
Though you’ve quite effectively conveyed your points and I do agree with many of them, I’ve got a few responses of which I shall post below.


 

EDIT: I had to edit out the quotes from my original post inside your quotes as I hit the quote limit. Sorry if that makes it a bit hard to follow my replies. :( 

 

 

Just for the record, we don't know that Toa brains are organic. It's thought to be the best theory, since Krana are brains and they're organic, but unconfirmed (last I heard :P).

 
I suppose this is true, It’s simply an assumption that I made based upon the conclusions I drew due to their hybrid bio-mechanical nature and the points relating to organic components decaying in the Toa-Mata later on in the post. Though I suppose the point could as effectively conveyed with Krana as you said.
 

That shouldn't be necessary; they're not classed as plants, so can't be controlled by that element. The underlying physics mechanism is definitely capable of that, but there are boundaries between what one power can control versus another that are rooted in the programming for that power. For example, Earth and Stone, and Ice and Water, are generally controlling the exact same substance, but the way the power is programmed, a Toa of Earth still can't control particles the size of sand or larger. To do that, they'd have to basically hack their own programming, and the vast, vast majority of Toa have no such ability (although if they had a Mask of Conjuring and had a well defined power definition that wouldn't cause mental damage, they might be able to, but it would be from a mask power, not their normal elemental power).

 
Has it been confirmed that it’s the mental programming of a Toa that restricts what exactly their elemental powers can manipulate? How do we know that it’s not the Protodermis form that the Protodermis itself which prevents the Toa from manipulating it?
I may have missed a Greg Quote which outlines this and I am aware that it is a very fine line that I am debating which may be hard to explain. So I’ll use a terrible analogy
Using the Toa of Earth / Stone example.
A Toa of Earth is can manipulate solid Protodermis particles smaller than sand. A Toa of Stone can manipulate particles larger than sand, for this analogy lets have large solid Protodermis be a Brown ball and small Protodermis particles be a Black ball. Each Toa has a bucket to hold the ball, this bucket represents what their Toa body is physically capable of doing. My understanding is that only the black bucket can pick up the black ball and only the blue bucket can pick up the blue ball.
Your saying that out current definition is that any bucket can pick up any ball but it’s the bucket holders mind/programming which prevents them from picking up balls of other colors?

I was under the impression that it was the physical state or ‘form’ that the Protodermis was in which restricted their manipulation of it. With each species of Toa and Matoran attuned to the manipulation of a specific form of protodermis barring elements such as Magnetism/Sonics who are attuned to forces. With the only other element they can potentially manipulate being shadows, access to which is barred via the moral light barrier.
In terms of Water and Ice, they are both made of Protodermis, yes. But they are both different forms of Protodermis, as is every single thing inside the matoran universe. Water inside the matoran universe is no similar to Ice than it is to steel as both can be created out of it. The application of real world physics and our knowledge about states of matter of compounds can’t realistically be applied to Protodermis as its properties can comprises literally every single form of matter we encounter in real life. With the energies that can change these forms no longer being limited to heat or lack-there-of.
That’s why I see the changes in form of protodermis as closer to varying isotopes of a singular element than changes in states of matter in a compound.
When solid protodermis is in a large solid rock type composition, the particles of protodermis change state/form/isotope and this is what I see that prevents a Toa of earth manipulating it.
Why not follow Gregs suit and invent a force such as “Cold energy” which causes this change in form and call it “Stone Energy”. Toa of Stone already manipulate ‘Stone energy’ to create stone out of the thin air, earth and sand (aka other forms of protodermis) in the storyline. Therefore isn’t the innate difference between the small particles of earth protodermis that Onua wields and the large grouped particles that Pohatu wields the presence of Stone Energy or Earth Energy? This is something that we can tangibly group them by and clearly answers why they can’t control each others element.

Given we know the first of the following two sentences is true and we have examples of the second sentence happening, doesn’t it make sense?

Frozen Protodermis is no longer liquid protodermis because it was frozen and its form was changed by a made up force named cold energy.
Stone solid protodermis is no longer loose and free particles because its form was changed by a made up force named ‘stone energy’.

Personally, I feel as though linking the mental programming of a Toa to what their abilities can and cannot manipulate lessens the feeling of epicness that a Toa embodies. It removes the uniqueness of each Toa. The difference between Tahu’s manipulation of Fire and flame and Lewa’s gusts of air and tornado’s reduced to a few lines of code a Toa of Psionics could switch around.
What’s to stop a Psionics Toa from removing these limitations on himself and giving him control over all the elements/forms of protodermis?
Although it may be wrong if there’s a Greg quote that I missed. But I prefer to have their powers linked to their bodies and sub-species of Toa as a whole rather than a few 1’s and 0’s.

 

Some of these might be part of this, but a much simpler reason is that the Great Beings simply didn't want one element to be overpowered, so they included a limit on it so they literally can only control the types of organic protodermis that imitate plants (much like the EL of Plants could only control plants before this). Of course, it's worth noting that some indirect methods of limited control via toxins produced by plants may be possible. But even as it is, the Plants element is already arguably very OP -- I don't see why LEGO would want to allow them to also control non-plants organics.

 
I’ve always thought that all of the non-standard six elements are innately overpowered. I do agree that my ideas about a Toa of the Green manipulating other organics is undoubtedly something that LEGO wouldn’t want. But as for the great beings, I disagree. The great beings created a self-sustaining robot with backup systems within backup systems.
 
The Toa code in itself would prevent any malevolent usage of this ‘Overpowered” power. I also fail to see how manipulating organics is any more dangerous than being able to create and manipulate plasma, which can easily destroy pretty much anything.
The Toa were programmed to be good and were the wielders of these elements upon the creation of the MU, they were given these elements in order to be powerful enough to defeat any threat that arose inside the robot and were the only wielders of elemental powers created aside from the robotic Bohrok.
 
Not to mention the number of fail-safes against Toa the great beings had implemented. The Toa Code, Pre-ordained destiny, Shadow Toa system( lack of moral light causes them to lose powers and gain shadow powers making them a target for other Toa) and finally if all else failed, Marendar.
I suppose you could use the fact that they had this many fail-safes as proof they were concerned about overpowered beings, but I don’t see how organic manipulation is any less overpowered than magnetism or gravity, both of which could easily be much more destructive.


 

There's already a VAST array of options for story potential unused so far in the literal plants element. And these things can be done already by the Ignika.

 
I do agree in that the green is underutilized in the story, but I don’t agree that this is a reason to discount further applications of the element.
The Ignika is one mask, of which the powers can only be used once by any Toa and doing so kills them. This prevents from any of its powers being used in a team in a day to day basis. Not to mention, the powers that I have outlined as belonging to this theory only have a small overlap with the Ignika.
The powers of the Ignika according to BS01 are as follows:

• Creating life energy
• Bringing inanimate objects to life
• Controlling life energy
• Absorbing life energy
• Altering/controlling life-forms
• Enlarging life-forms
• Changing one life-form into another
• Manipulating aging
• Evolving/Devolving beings
• Accelerating life functions (breathing, pulse, etc.)
• Shapeshifting
• Resurrecting a being by using part or all of a life force(s)
• Unleashing a Life Nova Blast ("Toa" Ignika-exclusive)


Organic Protodermis manipulation does not involve any of the above as life energy is not what they are manipulating. My theory proposes that they would manipulate internal organics in the same methodology as they would a plant. Physically creating more of it to heal a wound as a Fe-Toa would mend armor; manipulating existing organic protodermis inside a being to move them as a Toa of Iron would move someone via their metal components. There is a difference between healing a wound and manipulating someone’s life-force.

 

That could be done with the Mask of Healing, without resorting to what you're suggesting. It's an interesting idea, and I think it has fanfic potential (a universe where the elemental limitations glitch, for example), but I think what the canon needs to be doing with Plants (if anything) is finding ways to ADD limits, not remove them...

 
I do admit, I had forgotten about the mask of healing as it’s one of those that we got canonized and hasn’t seen use in the storyline yet outside of the EU.
Can Telekinesis and telepathy not be used by a Toa of Psionics? Can Gravity itself not be controlled with the mask of Gravity?


Mask powers are not and have not been mutually exclusive to elemental powers and sub-powers for quite a while and this would simply make the mask of healing a mask associated with a sub-power of The Green.

 

But it canonically IS the element of Plants control. Both "the Green" and "Jungle" are poetic terms. Just like the poetic name of the Iron element doesn't mean it literally only controls iron and proto-iron, but controls metals. Also, not really sure how the name would help the argument. I mean, would it only control organics that happen to be colored green lol? It's clearly associated with plants since green is -- due to photosynthesis.

However, I do think there's a molecular case to be made for your idea here along those lines. Since protodermis is called "a molecule", not a class of molecules, I think its potential for photosynthesis actually has to be present in all protodermis molecules, and simply dormant in the raw material types of elements and the non-plant organics (just like the organic potential itself is dormant in the non-organic protodermis). But this really would only work if there was a glitch in the limitation programming IMO; the dormant plant-systems parts of the molecule would still be defined as "non-plant" in the element's power usage. And that would actually be the case for all elements under some theories of how protodermis works.

 
Yes it is canonically the element of Plant Control, I’m not disputing that. All I’m proposing is that definition be widened slightly to encompass slightly more than Plant control, much in the same way that a Toa of Iron can manipulate protosteel in addition to pure solid protodermis. Or if you will, a Toa of Fire can manipulate heat as well as fire.

I acknowledge the fact that The Green is simply a poetic name. My point was that as it hasn’t been specified the reason why in canon it was called the green, it could be linked the color the energy a Toa of the Green channels when manipulating organics in both flora and fauna which would be green, as opposed to making the poetic name based around the frequency of plants being green in color.

Morbuzakh and Karzahni were two of the most prominent plants in the story inside the matoran universe. Primarily these were purple and red-black or green-black and brown depending on the depiction. We physically don’t see many other depictions of plants inside the matoran universe that are not exposed to the outside non-protodermic world. To my knowledge the majority of green plants in the story are from outside the matoran universe.

Do we have confirmation that photosynthesis exists in the matoran universe? Even if it does, It may not work in the same methodology due to the composition of plants being entirely protodermis. The green pigmentation that occurs due to photosynthesis in plants in our world is due to the chloroplasts that create the green chlorophyll pigment. As everything in the matoran universe is made of protodermis, these chloroplasts may not exist in the synthesized plant-life created by the great beings.


The sentient beings in the matoran universe don’t have the same composition as the beings from spherus magna or our world, nor do the animals. I don’t see why the plants would. Especially when the environment they were designed to live in doesn’t have any natural light source and instead is primarily lit by artificially created means

As you stated Protodermis is regarded as a molecule and it is true that the chlorophyll properties of protodermis may be in all forms of protodermis and just remain dormant, or perhaps they only exist in organic protodermis leading to all forms of organic proto being green?
Though on the other hand If none of the other many forms of protodermis show any signs of chlorophyll like properties, why would it exist in only one of them? We’ve seen plants in a variety of colors inside the MU. Unless Greg has stated otherwise, I don’t see why we would say Protodermis plants photosynthesize (at least with chlorophyll anyway).

 

This could already work because of their OP nature. Plants element can probably make more ways to kill people... although I doubt they could do much against Makuta specifically. But I don't know that there IS any lack of Toa of Plants. We didn't happen to see them a lot in the story (if ever??), but that's because all the elements other than the main six are rare.

 
Agreed, that’s why I had that point as only a ‘possible explanation’.
We did see a Toa of the Green once, that’s it. In Lhikan’s original team’s defence of the Makoki stone fortress.

Interesting side-fact: I once read a quote a long time ago in OGD which had Greg stating that Toa of the Green were to be female originally and Greg thought that they were female until the book was published and someone asked him about them. Their gender was declared by one pronoun of which Greg thought he had written she. But the book was published with ‘he’ instead of ‘she’ for whatever reason, so he went with it.


 

Given their vast lifespans, it seems implied their organics basically have sufficient self-healing ability (based presumably on a similar trait in Agori), or healed perhaps by some non-organic component or something, that this wasn't needed. And it would also possibly be too risky to have Toa or the like devoted to control what the other workers are made of; if one glitched.... (as the GBs thought of it), that would be pretty bad. Bionicle instead made it a Legendary Power and confined it primarily to the Ignika. Combine these two facts, and basically the answer is, the need for special organic healing was very rare, and if it ever came up, the Ignika could possibly be sought out (but there are serious downsides to that, obviously).

 
I think you may have misinterpreted what I was trying to say here. I wasn’t so much saying that there was a need for a Toa walking around healing people and controlling organic, but rather in reference to my blog post from 2010 linked at the start of the first post where I outlined a theory around which the purpose for the need of the matoran to keep working.

Each different race of matoran works as nanotech inside the giant robot with a different purpose, ie Ta-matoran working regulate heat flow through the body, Gravity Matoran working regulate inertial dampeners and internal gravity systems, Plasma Matoran working power the weapons and thrusters in the Robot etc. The inclusion of all organic protodermis under the association of the Green would allow the Bo-Matoran working to regulate internal plant-life and camouflage of the exterior but also internal organic components of the inhabitants and the robot.

As for the too risky and Ignika comments, I addressed them above.

 
 

Good deduction! I'd say that's the first major additional evidence for the organic brain theory I've seen in a long time. Although there are other options if the brains aren't organic; "freezer burn" (as an analogy) sorts of decay could apply to multiple systems, and more so the tinier the working parts, so anything sufficiently advanced as to do what organic brains do should be vulnerable to some of the same decay (unlike "simple" metal armor and structural metal... presuming it's non-corrosive, etc.).

 
Yay! I got something kinda right-ish! :P
I agree with you that it could still be mechanical, though I think prefer the idea of a hybrid, biomechanical brain, whereas the organic brain works in co-op with the mechanical programmed parts of the being. Allowing for basic function if organics decay as shown in the story and perhaps allowing for continued consciousness if the mechanical computer part of the brain is shut down somehow, protecting them from brain-death in an EMP attack.

 
 

Lin's mention of the cell walls of real-world plants is interesting. It would matter to that question if the organics of the Matoran Universe build actual cells with multiple protodermis molecules as their building blocks, or if each protodermis molecule involved behaves as a single cell itself (keeping in mind that these have to be HUGE and extremely complex molecules that already approach the complexity of cells in the confirmed details, though we can't know all the specifics). I lean toward the latter, but perhaps it's both -- plants may use larger multi-molecule cells with a tougher type forming a wall, while non-plants may use individual molecules. And it could vary depending on the need in either, actually.

But anywho, in general, I would tend to suspect the tough cell wall of plants probably isn't the main factor here; I'd think photosynthesis is. However, the large-scale material behavior of things like wood (where in real life the tough outer cell wall is most obviously relevant) still has to imitate this somehow or another. All kinds of options for how, really.

 
I do see where you’re coming from here. The fact we are limited to making everything out of one building block of protodermis means that it must be a heck of a versatile molecule.
 

I... don't see how you figure? Depends on what you mean by 'form', I guess, but we are talking about two different forms -- plant and non-plant. And there is also muscle versus brain (the latter confirmed at least in the case of Krana). I'm sure we could think of many more if we went through everything.

It's all the same molecule, but the "programming" is different in different types (see my upcoming protodermis theory for one way that's possible, or there's my old "cyberclay" idea, and a number of others people have suggested). Different elements are limited to just one type based on those differences even though it's really the same molecule, so I don't see why that would stop applying in the case of organic.

 
By form I refer to the forms that are named and canonized in the story.
We have Pure Solid Protodermis, Raw Solid Protodermis, Molten Liquid Protodermis, Pure Liquid Protodermis . But Organic Protodermis, in both plants and matoran is only ever referred to as organic protodermis. Sure it might be many molecules of organic protodermis creating the cell structure of muscle tissue, brain tissue or plant cells. It’s all the same form as far as we have been told so far.

I’m not sure if I read your old cyber-clay idea, but I’ll see if I can track it down. I also look forward to reading your upcoming theory. :)

 
 

That's not what 'not us' means; they think of those as "people" and "not Rahi." The canon answer is already simple -- different characters in the story use the word in slightly different ways. Keetongu IS a Rahi by the definition of "a being made by Makuta" (in essence), but not by the definition of "nonsapient but also having a mind". (And 'not us' may be ambiguous; his personality seems somewhat animalistic, so they may consider him in a gray area.) It's realistic to have a word be used with multiple subtly different definitions in a fictional society (or integration of, and in some cases just collection of, multiple societies), since that happens all the time in real life.

 
Definitely agree with you here, it does add realism.
I was unsure as to if all rahi were created by Makuta. If this is the case, it makes the definition between what is a rahi and what isn’t very definite.
Also, the Robot would have been very empty at the start. As Mata-Nui created the Makuta, Vortixx etc, which means no Rahi at launch. So it would have just been the Matoran, sleeping Bohrok, Zyglak and Artakha and Karzahni at the beginning?


 

Your chart has an error in it -- Plants definitely DO have solid protodermis. They're not puddles or clouds. :P (But they also have liquid proto, presumably, in parts of the inner workings, although that's not really confirmed.) Especially the wood...

 
I was referring to Solid as the solid robotic components of the biomechanical beings aka Solid Pure Protodermis as is defined on the BS01 Wiki.
Not the state of matter. My bad.
 

Also, the "no" given both for Plants and Rahi (fauna) is wonky. For Rahi, at least that vast majority, that should be yes, and as you mentioned earlier, the Morbuzakh was a plant but also had a mind, so it really should read something like "rare" or "a little" as you used in another part of the chart. That also carries over to moral light -- or at least it probably does -- you'd think the mind of the Morby probably uses that system too. (And do we know that all robots don't have it? Even the Bohrok which used to be Matoran? I dunno.)

 
I assume you’re talking about the mental programming row?
The table was created to illustrate the majority of plants/rahi not the one or two exceptions (All of which were results of Makuta. ) By mental programming, was referring to sapience and higher thought programmed into their mechanical components. I suppose Rahi may have some, but as they are representative of animals I put no. Plants I put no as the only two observable instances were due to, as I said before, Makuta’s tampering.

I added Robots as an afterthought to categorize things such as the Vahki and Bohrok shells which have no organic components and do have some form of mental programming, but aren’t alive as such.

 

Do you have a quote for that? I've never heard that, but then Greg's said a lot and I still hear new things even from his old quotes occasionally... But I would presume it probably did have it -- isn't it a part of the definition of fire? There would be indirect ways to get fire, but would those count as elemental control over fire?

 
 
I don’t have a quote for that no. But as far as I could find, there is no mention or display of The Elemental lord of fire using or manipulating heat at all.
 
 

No it doesn't at all -- it's a synonym, a stylistic change. If people used to talk about driving these newfangled "automobiles" but eventually opt for "cars" as the more popular term, that doesn't mean the fundamental definition of the one doesn't apply to the other. And there are even better analogies; old English would use different words for the exact same things that around today (not even more advanced versions like with cars -- things like the sun or trees). In this case, the different terms help the reader more quickly understand at a glance when SM story is being talked about versus MU when a typical list of common elements is mentioned (although there are some that are the same like Fire, a typical list will have Sand, Rock, and Jungle on it probably).

It could be evidence to support a theory, albeit very loosely, but it doesn't lead to a fact...

 
I said lends to, not leads to. I’m not saying that is has to mean something but rather as you said, it could be evidence to support a theory and that’s what I’m doing

I’m aware of the stylistic change and we all know why It was really done in non-lore reasoning, Jungle probably tested better with sample audiences. :P

 

That's... pretty sure, anyways, that that's not a fact. The Green is just a nickname; its real name is "Plants" or "Plant Life." They're commonly called Toa of Plants. Anyways, this is a semantics argument and I'm not sure how it even works -- "the Green" was chosen (by Greg in reality, and in-story almost certainly by the GBs*) precisely because it is another word for plants. It doesn't refer to animal tissue!
*Not sure if we know if the GBs themselves chose it. All I know for sure offhand is that for some weird reason Greg liked it. It could be a late Matoran slang.

 
In the one appearance of the Toa of the Green in the books, they are referred to as Toa of the Green, I haven’t seen any instance of them being referred to as “Toa of Plant Life” in canon sources. There’s nothing wrong with using semantics in a debate? The meaning and significance of words used in the storyline is important to the lore. Especially when we have so few new words of lore provided to us these days.

Greg chose it and was quoted in the past after it’s official reveal saying that it’s the official name of the element in universe.


 

I think questions like that are basically unanswerable -- the story team and/or Greg wouldn't likely want to paint themselves into a corner by saying "XYZ type" (of both organic and non-organic) isn't there, but later want to have a story with it involved (if the story were to continue). How many different types of Rock could there be of protodermis, for example? Are they likely to say "quartz isn't there"? I highly doubt it.
In other words, probably "however many there need to be". And they probably wouldn't define it anyways, so the question really becomes about how many there would be in specific fanmade theories and headcanons. They can't really get too detailed on these fictional substances, because inevitably you run into what we could call the "wall of fictionality", if you will, where you would have to actually be able to make the stuff to define it. Nobody knows how protodermis could actually work; while we may be able to understand some parts, and I think a lot more than people usually think (see my upcoming theory on it, parts already featured in my retelling so far), there's always going to be some parts that we have to see as "somehow", because it's fictional, and actually intended to do things "not possible" in real life.

 
Is this not the Storyline and theories forum? Home of fanmade theories and headcanons? :P
I agree that it’s impossible that we’d never be told how many there would be. But it’s plenty fun to speculate. I , myself have been working on a period-table-eqsue style format for the various forms of Protodermis we have encountered thus-far; Categorizing them on their properties and transitions between forms.

 

A worthy cause, but I don't see how it works for your non-plant organics control idea. My first thought is -- they wanted the MU to be orderly, and "jungle" stylistically implies disorder (awesome disorder but disorder nonetheless). They probably just thought Plants and/or the Green as more generic terms were less confusing in terms of programming instructions. And if "the Green" was indeed their choice (as "translated" -- hopefully it would sound less silly in Matoran), the reasoning could be they liked the more poetic nature of "Jungle" so didn't want to use the basic name (like with Iron versus Metal), and that may have been the other main choice. This works just fine with all three being synonyms, without any implication that a Matoran's organics, for example, could be within the defined limits.

 
I was searching for less of a lexiconically derived meaning and more of a physical difference or change derived meaning. But those theories are perfectly plausible also. :P
Alternately we can go with the lazy great beings theory.
“I can’t be bothered creating a jungle biome for this robot so let’s just change the name of that element.”

 

Another reasonable theory (but it doesn't really support the main theory of the topic). Although I don't think the color is relevant; instead it would likely be that the main way to make acid was as a plant byproduct and that would have inspired the choice (rather than any relation to Air). Toa of Plants can make plant material in any color (a flower, for example, or brown wood), not just green (here again it's similar to Iron really meaning metal, so they don't have to make only iron).

 
Yeah, as I said. I get carried away on mental tangents occasionally.
Yeah, color isn’t really relevant, as we have discussed.
But Acidic Liquid Protodermis could potentially be a liquid organic form of protodermis, which is something I haven’t considered as of yet in categorizing the existing forms of protodermis.


 

*reaches end of post*

Phew, that was a long one. :P All in all, you get points for some original thinking but I don't think it works. Likeisay, we don't really need an already massively overpowered element to be getting even more abilities...


But it inspired you to come up with a number of subtheories, some of which I think do work very well, so there's that. =)



Once again, thank you so much for reading through it all and responding!
I do agree that the theory has a bunch of flaws throughout of it, but as I said, it was a work in progress and the best I expecting was that a few people might find some of it plausible.
And I’m sorry about all those walls of text. Then again, judging by the word count on this reply, so I can’t be that sorry. :P


-Roki


Edited by Roki, Jun 16 2014 - 04:34 AM.

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Posted Jun 16 2014 - 04:02 PM

Due to the possibility of overuse of quotes and to save time for me typing this, I've switched to quote marks instead of tags, at least for this post.

"Has it been confirmed that its the mental programming of a Toa that restricts what exactly their elemental powers can manipulate? How do we know that its not the Protodermis form that the Protodermis itself which prevents the Toa from manipulating it?"

I think of it as programming inside the protodermis molecules, since mere objects can have protodermic powers, including elemental powers (Disk of Fire, Mask of Gravity, etc.). But this would presumably also affect the mental programming too.

"I may have missed a Greg Quote which outlines this and I am aware that it is a very fine line that I am debating which may be hard to explain. So Ill use a terrible analogy
Using the Toa of Earth / Stone example.
A Toa of Earth is can manipulate solid Protodermis particles smaller than sand. A Toa of Stone can manipulate particles larger than sand, for this analogy lets have large solid Protodermis be a Brown ball and small Protodermis particles be a Black ball. Each Toa has a bucket to hold the ball, this bucket represents what their Toa body is physically capable of doing. My understanding is that only the black bucket can pick up the black ball and only the blue bucket can pick up the blue ball.
Your saying that out current definition is that any bucket can pick up any ball but its the bucket holders mind/programming which prevents them from picking up balls of other colors?"

I guess. It's probably easier to understand without an analogy. If a Toa of Stone telekinetically lifts up a rock, and a Toa of Earth telekinetically lifts up a clump of dirt, they're both using telekinesis. And the power of telekinesis can exist outside those limitations (such as with the Matatu), though with limitations of its own (not as easy to control such a large thing as a huge rock that a Toa can do, since it's more generalized.

Likewise, if a Toa of Stone creates new stone from Stone Elemental Energy, the power of materialization is being used. A Toa of Earth making new dirt is using materialization too. This ability itself should be capable of making either, but the Toa can't, nor could a Mask of Stone or a Mask of Earth make the other's element. Ergo, the limitation must be in the programming instructions of the power.

"I was under the impression that it was the physical state or form that the Protodermis was in which restricted their manipulation of it."

If you have a power of telekinesis but something in the program restricts its use only to things which have the physical state that make it one thing instead of another thing (be that particle size or liquid state or gravity energy versus magnetism), then it's both. The programming restriction senses the physical state.

But it can't be JUST in the target material.

Think of it like this -- an electromagnet running over a conveyor belt of trash, picking up magnetic materials but leaving nonmagnetic materials alone. Something in the design of the electromagnet, namely the coil shape of wire with a current running through it, producing a magnetic field, enables it to react just with magnetic materials. But something in the materials themselves makes that work too; that they are magnetic.

I have described telekinesis as possible to conceptualize as a "pinpoint electromagnetic field" -- and probably this is what you would actually need to be able to use that power (our tech is currently unable to produce one in the way I'm talking about, as far as I know). This means that most of the field is of one polarity, but there are pinpoints (microscopic, though) scattered throughout it. This could work because every atom has an electric charge in its protons, and a negative charge in its electrons. Every atom is essentially a tiny magnet. Nonmagnetic materials really only lack a large-scale collective magnetic field, and that's because the pinpoint-fields' poles aren't aligned, or easily alignable. Magnetic materials have their poles aligned or they can swivel easily to align in response to a large-scale field from outside (like from an electromagnet). But a pinpoint field with the dots in exactly the right positions (or, probably, above an average in about the right positions) could move ANY object, whether large-scale magnetic or not, via magnetism. Once the dots align, moving the field should move the object (although if it hits a barrier and the field doesn't also pause, and maybe bounce back a little, it could fall out of it).

Now, here's the key to this discussion.

Different materials should have different patterns of dot arrangements.

So if you want to move a particular rock, you would have to detect the exact patterns, in something like a super-detailed 3D X-Ray scan, and reproduce it. The generic power of telekinesis could do this, but it could be more difficult to scan the patterns, also helping explain why telekinesis as a general power isn't necessarily OP; it could control less. But if you have pre-loaded scans of a wide range of arrangements that are classified as "in your element" (like many different possible types of stone), then you would only need to sense which types of stone are involved, and cast a generic "this type of stone" pattern throughout the area where that stone is. This could happen all without the Toa's conscious awareness, of course, in the programming of the power itself. The Toa would just sense an "in-tune-ness" with the materials that match the "search parameters" of the recorded, approved patterns.

Increasing the ability of control, then, in this elemental system, would require more software storage space for more patterns instructions.

The molecules of a Mask of Earth probably don't have space to store the patterns that count as Air. They actually MIGHT, though, be able to handle Stone, generally, since other limiting programs are probably at work -- defining particle size. In the case of Earth, Sand, and Stone/Rock, probably the reason for the limitations is simply that the Great Beings didn't want the "units" or individual people to be able to control too many things, in case one glitched and started becoming destructive, and only units of other elements were available to combat it. (What would really be thought of, when it was known they were fully sapient, as one person becoming evil and being too powerful to be stopped efficiently by good fellows.)

With Plants versus non-plant organics, the pattern of a neuron, or a muscle fiber, is different from the patterns of leaf material, etc. The pattern of the slight difference between a Harakeke and bamboo might matter too. Having one Toa control all of them might indeed take up too much space, but it seems more like the avoiding OP thing is the explanation (after all, the Ignika can control all of them).

"With each species of Toa and Matoran attuned to the manipulation of a specific form of protodermis barring elements such as Magnetism/Sonics who are attuned to forces."

Note that within the range of approved patterns were also non-protodermic equivalents. A Toa of Stone can control Spherus Magna normal matter stone, not just proto-stone.

"In terms of Water and Ice, they are both made of Protodermis, yes. But they are both different forms of Protodermis, as is every single thing inside the matoran universe."

Again, it depends on what you mean by "form" -- but they are the exact same type of matter; the ONLY difference is one is cold, so it's in the solid state, while one is liquid (and can also to some extent control vapor, apparently). They are not different forms in the sense that iron is a different substance from gold. All that is needed to turn one into the other naturally is a temperature change.

The differences between plant protodermis (at least photosynthesizing parts) and, for example, muscle tissue, are much more involved. You can't melt a muscle into a plant. :P Different instructions, different arrangements of something, have to be involved. Between a non-protodermic plant cell and a non-protodermic non-plant cell, the cellular structures that enable photosynthesis are present in one and not the other, and the cell walls are different too.

This doesn't mean it's IMPOSSIBLE to have one being control all, just that 1) it may require a more sophisticated instructions storage system (like what is probably present in the Ignika), and 2) it's easy to see how an avoiding-overpowered-ness system can sense differences to impose limits beyond what they just didn't have space to allow.

"With the energies that can change these forms no longer being limited to heat or lack-there-of."

It's true that a "turn proto-ice into protosteel" form of "energy" should be possible in Bionicle, however this would be defined as a coded signal of instructions that would reprogram the molecules to alter themselves via their complex molecular machinery. That would actually change the type of matter, not the same as just changing the state of matter between the solid form and the liquid form of the same type. The advanced machinery of the molecule doesn't change between ice and water. It does between ice and steel. And no code is needed to change the ice and water -- just heat, or cold energy.

(Or, you could convert the substance into energy and use that raw energy to materialize a different substance. A Toa can actually do that with different materials all within their category; a Toa of "Iron" can absorb iron and use that energy to quickly make protosteel instead. But this isn't really relevant to the ice/water thing since ice doesn't turn into energy as it melts lol.)

"When solid protodermis is in a large solid rock type composition, the particles of protodermis change state/form/isotope and this is what I see that prevents a Toa of earth manipulating it."

No such change would actually prevent manipulation by a generic telekinesis power. The Toa still needs to have his power programmed in such a way that refuses to grasp the wrong types of matter with a telekinetic field, even though the "machinery" to do it is present (though the instructions needed to make the right pinpoint field pattern aren't necessarily there -- but could hypothetically be "hacked in").

"Therefore isnt the innate difference between the small particles of earth protodermis that Onua wields and the large grouped particles that Pohatu wields the presence of Stone Energy or Earth Energy?"

Something like this must be part of the difference, yes. But we don't know that EE of Stone is present in protostone. We do know it isn't present in non-protodermic stone (naturally). So it isn't necessary for something to be identified as stone. I proposed something like this in my old cyberclay theory, and I still think it's used when no matter is involved in a part of spacetime (as far as the use of element goes) -- that is, when a Toa shoots a beam of the energy to make an element, no matter (other than Air it's passing through) is present in that space. Ergo a coded energy form, distinct from other "energies" with different codes, is necessary. But when the stone is just sitting there on the ground, whether an active energy code is needed is debatable, and my upcoming protodermis theory posits one way it wouldn't be needed. (It WOULD be needed under my old cyberclay theory. But the problem with that old theory is, it was very hard to see how it was consistent with the definition of protodermis as a "molecule".)

Also, this overall "stone energy" versus "earth energy" doesn't actually include all varieties within it. Stone could control sandstone, for example, or sulfur, or limestone. And a Toa of Stone should be able to select which he makes.

Nor does it make clear differences of temperature or particle size, or behavior like photosynthesis. Earth energy and Stone energy control the exact same substance range, just different sizes of pieces. A stone's controlling telekinetic field has to move in different ways than a clump of earth's, at least if the shape of either is changed, etc.

"Frozen Protodermis is no longer liquid protodermis because it was frozen and its form was changed by a made up force named cold energy."

Its state of matter was changed, which can be called a form, but it's still the same substance in either case. The cold energy doesn't need to change it into a different type of substance, it only has to drain heat! Same for the non-protodermic things that a Toa of Ice could turn solid with the cold-control part of his element, if they were liquid previously.

"Stone solid protodermis is no longer loose and free particles because its form was changed by a made up force named stone energy."

Again, depending on how loosely you want to define "form", yes, but no change in type of energy should be needed for somebody to take a clump of proto-earth, non-protodermic wood that's lit on fire, and a metal container and heat the proto-earth just enough so the outer edges of each particle melt and get "welded" together into a solid by the time the container is lifted off the fire.

The exact same process should work, without the involvement of fictional energy, whether you do this with protodermic earth or normal earth. So, I think it's best not to say that the elemental energies ARE the defining features; rather they contain instructions that detect the defining features which can be physical (for the material elements) and enable telekinetic-style control over the material that has those features. :)

"Personally, I feel as though linking the mental programming of a Toa to what their abilities can and cannot manipulate lessens the feeling of epicness that a Toa embodies. It removes the uniqueness of each Toa."

Sigh. I don't see how it does any such thing (although I didn't say mental programming per se, but power programming), and if it does, why doesn't this apply equally to any other explanation? Quite frankly, I'm tired of such arguments and I find it disappointing when somebody resorts to it. The idea behind trying to come up with theories is not to reduce something, but indeed to increase it. :) Previously it's just a concept that is emotionally appealing but confusing how it could be plausible. Coming to understand more of how something could work logically should not lessen the emotional appeal and if it does IMO that is a mistake being made by the person who feels that lessening and shouldn't be blamed on the increased understanding itself. Instead it should only ADD to the appeal by adding the emotion of "hey, this is actually plausible!" :)

And I'm not sure why this is even being brought up here. Your idea is that Toa of Plants might be able to control other organic protodermis. What does this have to do with that?

"The difference between Tahus manipulation of Fire and flame and Lewas gusts of air and tornados reduced to a few lines of code a Toa of Psionics could switch around."

Let's call this philosophy "reductionism." The problem with reductionism is it implies that prior to understanding something ("shrinking it" :P), it was actually something larger. It wasn't. If indeed code always controled it, it was always "that size." And it's hard to see why smaller is automatically associated with explained rather than larger anyways, except that people have passed forward a tradition ("Are you a shrink?" :P) that emotionally teaches this illogical idea to people.

Anyways, all this says is you don't, apparently, have an emotional desire to understand how the power works; how does it help favor one idea of what the limits are over another? Couldn't I just say that your idea reduces things somehow? :P

BTW, I highly doubt a Toa of Psionics could hack protodermis's programming. You would presumably need a Great Being or somebody with a Great Being's level of power. [Or a Mask of Conjuring in some cases, or the Mask of Creation or Life in their respective categories, or maybe Mata Nui, etc. Of course, the normal purified proto mixture system does this indirectly but not through actually programming, but mixing and matching parts of the programming.]

"But I prefer to have their powers linked to their bodies and sub-species of Toa as a whole rather than a few 1s and 0s."

This is an illogical statement. It wouldn't be "a few"; it would be the entirety of the instructions, and the same principle should apply no matter how the specifics of the instructions work. And this really isn't relevant to whether Toa of Plants can control muscles. :P In order to have fictional energy do what elemental energies do, you still need to convey coded information in it. You might not be thinking about that fact, but that doesn't make that an inherent part of your theory over mine. If you prefer not to think about it for emotional reasons, then you can do the same thing with mine. You could just call it the "element essences" and not think about what MAKES one essence different from another. I could actually argue that that kind of description sounds even less "shrunk" than "energy". :P

In other words, do you realize that "their powers are linked to their bodies" is NOT the opposite of "their power is programmed, with some sort of fundamental unit like binary code"? The latter describes a part of the idea of HOW the power is linked to the bodies. It isn't a competing idea that if rejected makes "linked to the bodies" work instead, since that statement says nothing about how it works.

"Ive always thought that all of the non-standard six elements are innately overpowered. I do agree that my ideas about a Toa of the Green manipulating other organics is undoubtedly something that LEGO wouldnt want. But as for the great beings, I disagree. The great beings created a self-sustaining robot with backup systems within backup systems."

That does nothing to change that making some units overpowered is risky. Of course, they actually did this with the Makuta, but they were rare and the number of 100 made at the start wasn't allowed to get bigger. A large enough group of Toa could take them down, hypothetically, if they glitched (became evil). But if you make an entire element OP, you could have vast numbers of glitching (evil) Toa, and it could be very hard to stop them, especially if they literally control your organic brain!

"The Toa code in itself would prevent any malevolent usage of this Overpowered power."

No, we're talking about "glitching" or evil "units" or people who stop following the code. A molecular programming limitation that [essentially] nobody in the universe can hack is a much more effective limitation than a verbal command!

"I also fail to see how manipulating organics is any more dangerous than being able to create and manipulate plasma, which can easily destroy pretty much anything."

Simple -- gotta make the plasma. Only need to control the organics that are already there. Spends less EE, easier to do.

Just kill anybody who tries to come at you directly -- should be able to kill way more that way than with Plasma, due to the EE thing. And using Ice or Water against you won't do a thing against the energy you're sending out itself (Water probably wouldn't even stop you, while across enough distance it might stop Plasma).

And if controlling organic protodermis implies you could learn mind control... Or even puppeteering their bodies' muscles... :P

Heck, kill that brain, and instead grow the brain of a Nui-Rama or something. (Or maybe the brain of Hydraxon. :P) Vast possibilities, all cut off if instead all they can control is the already vast array of plants with huge amounts of possible toxins and shapes and effects.

And if you give one type of Toa control over BOTH, think of it -- they could place plants that act as passive guardians around all approached to where they live, PLUS make active animalian guardians (or maybe even worse if it would include mind control). Then if anybody actually reaches you, you can literally control them directly...

Now this is all possible... heck, one of my stories had Toa Ignika doing just that. :P But if you have a lot of people doing it, when Toa of other elements have much more severe limits... that just doesn't seem reasonable.

Why not instead of Toa of Plants handle just... plants? :P


"The Ignika is one mask, of which the powers can only be used once by any Toa and doing so kills them. This prevents from any of its powers being used in a team in a day to day basis."

Not so, because the Ignika itself can act if it deems it a worthy cause, as it did during 2008. :)


"Mask powers are not and have not been mutually exclusive to elemental powers and sub-powers for quite a while and this would simply make the mask of healing a mask associated with a sub-power of The Green."

What I'm saying is, you don't need to create the problem of one element becoming (more) massively overpowered in order to have a healing character. In fact, Plants should already be able to do this via knowledge of a wide array of plants with healing properties (and ability to make them on the spot if needed), which actually is a lot more interesting anyways than just "wave hand, you get healed".


"I acknowledge the fact that The Green is simply a poetic name. My point was that as it hasnt been specified the reason why in canon it was called the green, it could be linked the color the energy a Toa of the Green channels when manipulating organics in both flora and fauna which would be green"

I'm sorry to be the No Man here, Roki (as opposed to Yes Man :P), but no, it definitely doesn't mean that, anymore than "Water" means the Water EE may seem "liquid" (like any EE). It didn't NEED to be stated that "the green" is so named because most plants are green, because everybody knows that!

I'm not trying to be mean here, I hope you understand. But really I think I'm being pretty gentle compared to how people would describe this if they found out it had been canonized. I don't even have anything against the concept itself per se, but it's clearly far afield from what was intended. And it's not a good idea to take things that weren't clarified because everybody already understood it without needing it spelled out for them as if that's license to do something completely foreign to it. By that logic you could theorize just about any wacky thing, like "Greg didn't say that Toa aren't really sentient pineapples, so I'm going to theorize that they are." :P The fact that he didn't say such things in this case is actually the opposite of allowance, it is even stronger disproof than had he needed to say it. And it's unfair to expect him to NEED to spell out everything and anything that people could possibly ever be confused about, as that would take up a LOT of time.

"as opposed to making the poetic name based around the frequency of plants being green in color."

But it wasn't MAKING this the meaning of the poetic term; this was already the meaning in English, which Greg used. If it was intended in the "actual Matoran" language to be NOT about "the green" as in the English saying which means plants (and not muscles...), then "the green" actually wouldn't be an appropriate "translation" since it would be too easily confused with that; in that case it should probably be called something more like "Green Energy", which would then have to be defined at the outset. Instead, it uses a figure of speech that everybody understands already means plants, and is explained as controlling plants -- where's the problem?

"Morbuzakh and Karzahni were two of the most prominent plants in the story inside the matoran universe. Primarily these were purple and red-black or green-black and brown depending on the depiction."

Again, Toa of Iron also control more than just Iron. These two things are meant to give "prominent examples within a category." "Greenery" is the most easily recognizeable example of plant material. It is not meant to imply that the color actually has to be present in plants that are controlled. [Pre-post draft edit: Okay, I see you acknowledged later that color of the plants is irrelevannt. Never mind.]

"We physically dont see many other depictions of plants inside the matoran universe that are not exposed to the outside non-protodermic world. To my knowledge the majority of green plants in the story are from outside the matoran universe."

I'm not sure how you mean this. Given that Bara Magna is a desert, and we didn't see Bota Magna much, MU or MU-related plants are the vast majority of what we saw in-story. I would have to agree with it once Spherus Magna was "brought to life" after the reforming -- that's way more plants than in the MU, but relevance? It's still true that most MU plants have green leaves.

"Do we have confirmation that photosynthesis exists in the matoran universe?"

You could ask Greg just to check, but I would say we have indirect "confirmation by silence." Since plants are depicted but not clarified NOT to photosynthesize, and are even made to look virtually identical to real-world plants, there is no reasonable evidence for an idea that they're really doing something else. We do also know that at least the Morbuzakh used heat in a photosynthesis-type manner; heat strengthened it rather than hurting it, which was why it preferred the Great Furnace.

"As everything in the matoran universe is made of protodermis, these chloroplasts may not exist in the synthesized plant-life created by the great beings."

With emphasis on "may", I can agree with that. But the same process should be done by the plant molecules, and not the non-plant. (Again, presumably the mechanism to do it IS present, though, in non-plant protodermis, so there's a slight grounds for your theory here. But it really wouldn't make it any more available since the power's programming is still limiting it so dormant photosynthesizing mechanisms are still off-limits in non-plant protodermis.)

"Unless Greg has stated otherwise, I dont see why we would say Protodermis plants photosynthesize (at least with chlorophyll anyway)."

We shouldn't worry about the specific method of photosynthesis. "With clorophyll" implies it's not a single molecule since cells aren't, but some single-molecule equivalent should be possible. I have a simple idea for how the basic idea would work, but yeah, might as well keep saving it for the coming theory. :P (Sorry lol.) Since we can't know how to actually do that (at least... I THINK we can't... lol), all we need to understand is that the TASK of photosynthesis is accomplished -- which should be defined simply as using light as fuel, without comment on specifically how, per se.

"I agree with you that it could still be mechanical, though I think prefer the idea of a hybrid, biomechanical brain, whereas the organic brain works in co-op with the mechanical programmed parts of the being. Allowing for basic function if organics decay as shown in the story and perhaps allowing for continued consciousness if the mechanical computer part of the brain is shut down somehow, protecting them from brain-death in an EMP attack."

Very possible, although small semantics thing -- "mechanical" probably isn't the clearest description for something that could suffer an EMP attack. :P (That implies electronic, while "mechanical" usually implies NOT electronic, gears and stuff.)

"By form I refer to the forms that are named and canonized in the story.
We have Pure Solid Protodermis, Raw Solid Protodermis, Molten Liquid Protodermis, Pure Liquid Protodermis . But Organic Protodermis, in both plants and matoran is only ever referred to as organic protodermis."

I'm not seeing the relevance.

"Sure it might be many molecules of organic protodermis creating the cell structure of muscle tissue, brain tissue or plant cells. Its all the same form as far as we have been told so far."

It seems like you're trying to say we haven't heard of Plants protodermis and Non-Plants Organic Protodermis, but we HAVE heard of them. The fact that you haven't seen the put in capititalized word form like that is irrelevant to the logic that the Plants element doesn't control non-plants organics. :P Organic protodermis is clearly a category, and it has two main sub-categories, one being plants, one being non-plants ("animal" tissue).

"I was unsure as to if all rahi were created by Makuta."

Not the "First Rahi" made by the GBs (Mavrah's ones).

"I assume youre talking about the mental programming row?"

(About the chart) -- right, I realized I'd forgotten a word in there, but when I tried to edit, my insane internet connection went off, then I ran out of time to get to it later. Sorry about that.

"By mental programming, was referring to sapience and higher thought programmed into their mechanical components. I suppose Rahi may have some"

?? My first reaction to this is that if you meant sapience, it would be best to say sapience; the term "mental" clearly means "having a mind" to just about anybody speaking English which obviously includes the vast majority of Rahi. But my surprise here is more at the "mechanical components." It's highly unlikely that even under a biomechanical brain idea that sapience would be soley in the mechanical side, no? But this may be more semantics if you didn't mean by that gears and stuff.

"Plants I put no as the only two observable instances were due to, as I said before, Makutas tampering."

It still might be best to put a "a little" or something in there instead of "no" because "no", on a chart where "a little" is on it, certainly seems to imply "absolutely none."

"But as far as I could find, there is no mention or display of The Elemental lord of fire using or manipulating heat at all."

Isn't this another thing that just goes without saying? Fire is hot... :P

"I agree that its impossible that wed never be told how many there would be. But its plenty fun to speculate. I , myself have been working on a period-table-eqsue style format for the various forms of Protodermis we have encountered thus-far; Categorizing them on their properties and transitions between forms."

Right -- I didn't mean to imply otherwise. :) BTW, this is apparently contradictory to your "reductionist" idea earlier, if you think about it. :P The reason we like to ask "how?" is that it's fun to think about, not to try to reduce anything. Just like I don't see that as shrinking anything, you don't see this as shrinking anything, because for you it's fun. :)

"I was searching for less of a lexiconically derived meaning and more of a physical difference or change derived meaning."

(About the change from Jungle to the Green / plants.) I know -- my point is that "a lexiconically derived meaning" is much more LIKELY than a physical or similar quality of difference. :)

Edited by bonesiii, Jun 16 2014 - 04:39 PM.

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#6 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 16 2014 - 10:43 PM

Since I've taken the time to read through this whole thing, I'd like to make a couple of points: 

 

1) Can a Toa of Plantlife grow plants or their parts on his body? For example, can he grow bark as armor?

 

 

1) I don't think we have ever shown a Toa doing something like that, so I would say no

 

4) Can a Toa of Plantlife make his own weapons? Can he make a wooden sword with his elemental power?

 

4) Yes  

 

 

I would take this to mean that, in the case of #1, that plant protodermis is incompatible with the protodermis of Toa. He also uses that answer to refute Toa of Iron "growing" their own armor as well. I have no doubt that the latter would be able to repair their armor, but it's probably a little more involved than just "growing" it back. I argue from this answer (although it may be a flimsy argument :shrugs:) that growing something back is a plant property, and Toa do not take on characteristics of their elements. Toa of Plants =/= plants, thereby Lin's theory is out.  

 

It also has been noted that no plants are biomechanical. Apparently the symbiotic nature between mechanics and organics is a ready distinction between that and the purely organic nature of plants. I would argue that would be a distinction far greater than the petty distinction between water and ice or earth and stone: organics that is dependent on mechanics, and is designed, by its very nature, to work with mechanics, is very different from an independent, completely organic lifeform. 

 

Lastly, no photosynthesis has been confirmed or denied for the Matoran Universe. The reason for that is the lack of confirmation for an oxygen-containing atmosphere, which is required for photosynthesis to occur. 


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#7 Online bonesiii

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Posted Jun 17 2014 - 03:22 AM

So, I was planning to go through fishers' files for some answers to see if, in fact, "the Green" is all we know in the canon. The quote fishers has above already pretty much rules out this theory, but I was curious if there was more. Here's three that I found, and I have to say yes, they do answer the question clearly. From the 2010+ file:

New question though, I recall that sometime ago, you said Toa of Green could indirectly control toxins via their plant control. I also remember that this is why people were starting to ask you about (acid/toxin - the general branch) whether acid could be a subelement of ToG because of the indirect control (I think they weren’t satisfied about having indirect control).
I remember that you said no to the direct control, but, just for verification, can Toa of Green control plants that have toxic/curative properties?
Sorry that I’m asking you an old question, but the old quote... I can’t find it anymore...

 
Toa of the Green control plants. They are not limited to just non-toxic plants.

 
Notice that "plants" very much IS in a canon source for this element -- it's not true that "the Green" is all that's stated about it canonically. And notice also (very relevant here) that even just a byproduct toxin of the plant cannot be controlled -- it can be produced, but the substance itself after produced by the plant, is not controlled. How much more, then, will a substance that isn't even related to plants (muscles, etc.) be off limits!

 

However, from the 2008+ file (starting at the end):

 

Can Toa of the Green control lumber (cut and already dead plant life)?
Yes

So, dead plant material CAN be controlled -- this rules out an interpretation of the above quote that would say the toxins are off-limits only because they're not alive while creatures' organics is alive. Even dead plant material can be controlled, but materials that are not part of "plants" cannot.

 

This would seem to virtually disprove your idea, Roki. Sorry. :P

 

Ah, this one's even clearer:
 

I’m a little cofused - what’s the difference between a Toa of Plantlife and a Toa of the Green? Or are they the same thing, just different titles from different sources?

3) Same thing. I refer to it as the Green. Other people on BZP call it Plant Life.

And there you go! Since "Plantlife" could not logically include "non-plantlife", and "the Green" is the same thing as this, we can definitely rule out that other organics are controlled too. (But again, indirect methods via the many properties of plant products they could make could still enable them to do a LOT, including probably a lot of healing.)


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