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Tribal or Techno; Post or Pre-2004 Atmosphere?

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Which sort of "feel" or atmosphere do you prefer for Bionicle, pre or post-Metru Nui?

 

Storywise and set wise I preferred the Mata Nui "feel", but still liked a lot about the later years. I'd be interested in hearing people's opinions on this.

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I prefer the tribal feel. I didn't get any Bionicles until the Metru were first released so the earliest I had were the Rahkshi and the '03 "titans". I always kind of longed for the pre '03 sets because in my opinion they had a more mysterious atmosphere.

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I really didn't think Metru Nui itself was that bad or different, it was more of an urban jungle to me than techno anti-tribal. I really enjoyed both, but I think Bionicle's roots were always its best qualities and the tribal thing was pretty unique and enjoyable; after 2005 it started to feel very much like your standard generic fantasy atmosphere, but with superpowered robots.

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Was Metru Nui really that 'techno'? There are still statues carved by hand, astrologers, a large temple, and dangerous Rahi here and there. Plus most of the advanced technology was only seen in the background; only occasionally did it play a role in the actual story.

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Was Metru Nui really that 'techno'? There are still statues carved by hand, astrologers, a large temple, and dangerous Rahi here and there. Plus most of the advanced technology was only seen in the background; only occasionally did it play a role in the actual story.

It was most of the background.

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2001, 2002, & 2003: all very tribal

2004, & 2005: techno-heavy metropolitan, although the latter is overrun & broken

2006: grey & gritty; between '04 & '05 tech wise I think, but it was jarring because very dark (relatively)

2007, & 2008: are harder to pin down their exact feel for me, other than aquatic for '07 obviously;  I feel like '08 did a great job with swamp & the 'peaks' et cetera, but I don't really know how to explain it as far as techno or tribal... neither really seem ideal for '07, & whilst '08 feels more tribal, it seems more aware of tech-y stuff & has a more seemless blend than the first three years (that's not an insult).

2009, & 2010: desert 'yay', it didn't really have a nice desert, it just threw barren at you the same way '06 threw grim & grime at you. Tribal/Tech doesn't seem like a great measuring stick here to me.

 

Generally as far as atmosphere goes, '01 to '05 (inclusive) as well as 2008 were probably my favourite years, & I'm not really sure what I like most, there are three distinctly different settings which affects the atmosphere, with each setting getting less attention, but having previous years as backdrop; so I can't really work out what I liked the most as there is lots to sift through.

 

The other years all had great things in them & were playing around with different atmospheres, & the last 2 didn't get to explore the 'next years' which would have been intergral to how those years were looked at; because without them it's more the story died on an incomplete note, & things are rushed, where as with things after them they would have still felt too barren but the contrast may have been viewed as good enough to 'offset' it; because even as they aren't their atmosphere wasn't horrible, but they were rushed.

 

If we are going to see something reminiscent of 2006 again, I actually look forward to it, because I think they will do it differantly, I'm not sure how tehy would do a 2004 feel again, but as it is Okoto actually looks a bit more ...not urban or metropolitan, but the 'towns' look a lot larger or at least not as tribal... I'm sorry I don't know how to really word it; but the buildings are actually pretty reminiscent of buildings we saw in '04.

 

As to G1, I suspect I like 2008 the most in terms of atmosphere in the sense of tribal/tech :)

Although Mahri Nui was really cool!

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In a decade you might also conquer one million km2 of land,


& in over a thousand years you might have over a billion followers.


 


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2004 being the year that I became a fan, it has always been one of my very favorite years, and I would say Metru Nui was my favorite out of all of Bionicle's settings and I adored its atmosphere. I just wasn't around for Mata Nui, so I can't say I am particularly attached or fond of it, and any locations after that weren't nearly fleshed out enough, I'm afraid. (Though I did like Bara Magna a lot)

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Metru Nui is awesome IMO - between the forges, the chutes/airships/hi-speed vehicles, the super-cool sport of alkini, and the neat protodermis falls...sold. Destroying it and poking through the wreck seemed to make it better somehow - I have a sick fascination with destruction, how things get destroyed, and what happens afterwards - all that cause and effect. 

 

Mata Nui felt dull for some reason to me. I mean, I liked exploring it in the MNOG and watching it in MoL, but it just never felt right. I guess I was just used to Metru Nui's epic coolness. There was stuff I liked, like the telescope, waterfalls, lava-surfing, and the Le-Koro tree top village, but it never really felt so cool. 

 

Voya Nui annoyed me, because it was supposed to be a desert, but they didn't get the whole desert thing right at all. And with the ice ring, and sections that were jungle, it felt like they were trying not to make it a desert even through they said multiple times that it was a desert. And I know BioniPhysics applies, but a jungle does not grow next to a desert. 

 

I thought Mahri Nui was cool - it was kind of creepy cool, but cool nonetheless. And I liked Karda Nui - at least, the top half of it. The Mistika aesthetic just didn't appeal, and I'm not only talking about sets. It just looked ugly. 

 

I want to say I like the Bara Magna saga, but it really was just too much sand and sandstone. I do like my visualization of the reformed Spherus Magna after Mata Nui fixed it, however, but since that's my own imagination I don't think that counts.

 

So Metru Nui, Mata Nui, Mahri Nui, Karda Nui, Bara Magna, Voya Nui.  

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I like the techno feel the best, as it fit with the biomechanical nature of the characters. (I also like the darker pallet of 04).

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The tribal feel was okay, but I think post-2004, more specifically 2006 onwards, was when it started becoming really epic. I don't know. If they can find a way to make the story feel just as epic and dark as 2006-2008, I wouldn't mind the tribal feel. But I think that having that mystery of being isolated on this tiny island limits the story as for how deep they can build the world.

 

I would definitely like to see them expand beyond just Okoto.

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LOVE 2005, because it had a post-apocalyptic atmosphere combined with the techno theme. 

Tribal is alright, but only good in moderation. I feel that three years of it is pushing a little. 

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bZpOwEr

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i honestly love all of the environments the Bionicle story passed through; though 2001-06's are my favourites. after 2006 they did seem to get somewhat duller, but Mata Nui, Metru Nui, and Voya Nui all had great atmospheres and aesthetics.

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Honestly I would be happy with any environment as long as it is done well - even the deserts of Bara Magna could have been compelling if they had done a better job. It seems like they are starting out tribal with Okoto, similar to Mata Nui, and I'm glad. I do hope that they explore some new places in the future, however, to keep things fresh.

 

i honestly love all of the environments the Bionicle story passed through; though 2001-06's are my favourites. after 2006 they did seem to get somewhat duller, but Mata Nui, Metru Nui, and Voya Nui all had great atmospheres and aesthetics.

 

You thought 2007's underwater theme was dull? I felt that way about Voya Nui, but maybe I don't know enough about 2006 to have an accurate opinion.

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I want tribal. However as the story advanced, so did the technology but if you think about it they were still tribal somewhat until 2009

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i honestly love all of the environments the Bionicle story passed through; though 2001-06's are my favourites. after 2006 they did seem to get somewhat duller, but Mata Nui, Metru Nui, and Voya Nui all had great atmospheres and aesthetics.

 

You thought 2007's underwater theme was dull? I felt that way about Voya Nui, but maybe I don't know enough about 2006 to have an accurate opinion.

i didn't really keep up to date on the 2007 story, so i probably have a skewed perception of it. but yeah - just didn't seem as imaginative as previous locations.

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I don't necessarily prefer one or the other.

 

I probably enjoyed the island setting of Mata Nui more overall, but I think that's in part because having played both Mata Nui Online Games I was able to explore it firsthand and get an in-depth look at its landscapes and society. I never played a lot of the online games from 2004, and I imagine if I had, I might have gotten much more enjoyment out of Metru Nui as a setting. The books and comics were never very good at conveying a sense of what the BIONICLE universe's locations were like visually, and the movies only ever showed bits and pieces of their respective settings in great detail.

 

Also, I found Voya Nui rather boring as far as settings go, so that's part of why I think the pre-industrialized tribal society and tropical island setting were not really the crux of what made Mata Nui so enjoyable for me. Rather, it was getting to explore a setting in-depth and experience what life is actually like there that made that location so much more enjoyable for me than later settings.

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I agree with you OP - I really like the set aesthetic and colour design of pre-Metru Nui but I really dug the post-2004 vibe as well. They are both quite different - 2001-03 was really nice to grow up with but isn't quite as exciting to retread. But the Metru Nui Saga onwards has aged extremely well and are a blast to look back upon because there is so much content and lore to digest.

 

So yeah, I liked the story and setting direction but I preferred the overall set design pre-04.

 

-NotS

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The first two or three years had the best atmosphere, with this odd blend of mechanical and tribal/tropical.  That clash was what made it so unique, and you could even hear it in the music, mixing synthesizers and tribal drums.  As fun as Metru Nui was, it had a sort of "oh, they're biomechanical beings in a technological environment, that makes sense" thing going; even things like the carving seemed more like elemental hobbies and jobs than anything else.  On Mata Nui, we had no idea where everyone came from or why they were biomechanical.  Had we begun in a technologically advanced city, that sense of mystery would've been missing from the get-go, because biomechanicals in a technopolis is something that's usually just automatically accepted.

 

I honestly think '06 had the best atmosphere post-Mata Nui, because it got back to the "mysterious island" vibe, fused with even more technology and a dark sense that time was running out (something lacking from a lot of the '07 story, I think, but that's more because the story had to be stretched out to accommodate a whole year's worth of toys).  I know '06 takes a lot of heat sometimes for trying too hard to be "dark and gritty," but that's what fit the story--doesn't get much darker than Mata Nui dying.  It was as if the island of Mata Nui had fallen to the Makuta before the Toa ever got there, and so they find a Matoran resistance fighting against an occupying enemy.  More could've been done with that original motif, certainly, but I think the story folks felt they had to make it feel quick and suspenseful; that rush is probably what made '07 feel slower in comparison.  A longer prelude on Voya Nui to establish where we were would've gone a long way.  Even without that, if the sets had been better I think a lot of people would be much fonder of '06.

 

Bara Magna started off really well.  Remember that teaser poster with the giant ball joint rising out of the desert?  That was like The Phantom Menace's teaser poster: filled with mystery, and a sense that truths would finally be revealed.  Unfortunately, as with Menace and its fellow prequels, the execution was poorly done, and certain reveals seemed rather lame.  Granted, it's always hard for reveals to really be pulled off: that said, I think a tad more foreshadowing and a better reveal than "oh, here's a video--Mata Nui's a universe inside a robot" would've gone a long way.  Anyhow, I'd say Bara Magna was the biggest failure at following through on atmosphere.  It just felt generic, especially after that great original tease.

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           The Lady of Shalott."              


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Oh, ya know, when I first saw the poster I though "whoa! Matoros returning!"

 

Then I saw the sets and was like "these guys don't look like Toa!"

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I absolutely loved all of BIONICLE's main settings, every year. They all managed to be extremely satisfying. Of all of them, though, I think the best are Metru Nui and Mata Nui, simply because of the sheer in-depth exploration of both. The Metru Nui guidebook in particular made me fall in love with the complexity and genius of the design of the city. It might be my favorite fictional location ever.

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