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Review: Mask Maker


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#1 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Dec 31 2016 - 07:42 PM

Main Topic

 

As 2016 comes to a close, I've found the necessary sliver of motivation to complete a piece of writing that has existed since mid-2013. It's a final take on the somewhat incomplete ending of Bionicle G1. There are ten chapters total, which I'll be posting over the next few days. I'll also be posting them on my tumblr blog if you'd rather read them there. Enjoy, and as always, any comments/feedback you may have is appreciated.

 

JRRT


Edited by Tolkien, Dec 31 2016 - 07:43 PM.

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#2 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted Jan 03 2017 - 11:30 PM

Creepy, but intriguing-things escalated quickly with Marendar. Cool work so far.
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#3 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Jan 04 2017 - 03:43 PM

Thanks for the reply--glad you like the story so far!

 

Here's Chapter 4.


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#4 Offline MaksDudekVA

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Posted Jan 05 2017 - 01:18 AM

I absolutely love this! A very intriguing beginning with Vakama, and I love the sense of finality this is giving me so far.
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Need a voice over done? PM me or reach me at mikolajdudek@gmail.com!

 

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#5 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Jan 07 2017 - 08:21 PM

Finality is what I was going for, so that's good to hear. =p 

 

Chapter 5


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#6 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted Jan 08 2017 - 12:00 AM

Intense-actually brings to mind a plot line of my own involving Vopprak and the Great Beings. I'm also intrigued by this apparent development of a force in opposition to Velika.

Edited by Wiriamu, Jan 08 2017 - 12:03 AM.

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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

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G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


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#7 Offline MaksDudekVA

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Posted Jan 08 2017 - 01:06 AM

Its so surreal that this is beginning to closely resemble my headcanon as to how G1 and G2 were connected :0 brilliant work!
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Need a voice over done? PM me or reach me at mikolajdudek@gmail.com!

 

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#8 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Jan 09 2017 - 04:59 PM

Intense-actually brings to mind a plot line of my own involving Vopprak and the Great Beings. I'm also intrigued by this apparent development of a force in opposition to Velika.

The role of Voporak in the MU has always intrigued me, since he simply seems to want to gain possession of the Vahi. 

 

Its so surreal that this is beginning to closely resemble my headcanon as to how G1 and G2 were connected :0 brilliant work!

Thank you! Very interesting...we'll see how close the resemblance remains now that Chapter 6 has been posted.


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#9 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted Jan 15 2017 - 07:52 PM

Alas, poor Voporak, and poorer Vakama. But what of this stranger who now seems poised to challenge Velika's claim to the Vahi.
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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge


#10 Offline Toa of Italy

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Posted Jan 16 2017 - 04:26 PM

I must say I'm liking this epic of yours.

 

The best parts so far are without a doubt Vakama's visions, which are described extremely well, confused, as a vision rightly should be, yet fascinating at the same time.

 

Velika is a good character as well. He is frightening, to say the least. Moreover, the way he treats Vakama and Voporak is an effective reminder of how the Great Beings originally saw their creations as mere robotic units to manage a more complex system. In a sense, the epic acknowledges this too: the underlying question seems to be how such a robot unit will react now that the system it was part of is gone, especially since that unit is actually a being capable of sentient thought?

 

The only part that may have been too abrupt is the destruction of New Atero and the confrontation between Gali and Marendar. Yet you've managed it well enough, with Gali's recollections telling us what happened and at the same time realistically portraying her state of mind following the catastrophe.

 

I'm not a very active users, but I'll do my best to follow this epic to the end.


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#11 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Mar 08 2017 - 07:00 PM

Well! After an unexpected hiatus, we are back on track with Chapter 8 of Mask Maker. It's probably the most action-packed chapter so far. There shouldn't be any more serious delays with the remaining few chapters. Enjoy!

 

JRRT


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#12 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted Mar 08 2017 - 10:38 PM

Fascinating...so Gali's final attack on Marendar was no mere attempt at destruction, it seems...


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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge


#13 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Mar 12 2017 - 01:38 PM

Fascinating...so Gali's final attack on Marendar was no mere attempt at destruction, it seems...

Hmm...well, it may have been, but the result was certainly unexpected. =)

 

Maybe Chapter 9 will shed some more light on the subject...?

 

JRRT


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#14 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted Mar 13 2017 - 02:06 PM

Mind...blown...

 

Seriously dude, as crazy awesome as this story has been so far, the latest chapter takes the cake. A convincing fight with Voporak, more Marendar awesomeness, a veritable Lovecraftian depiction of the Great Beings...so much goodness. Can't wait to see what you do next, and exactly what the nature is of the transformation that's come over Marendar.


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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge


#15 Offline Onaku

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Posted Apr 07 2017 - 05:15 AM

I must say, this story so far has been amazing. I really truly cannot wait for the last chapter of the story. 


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#16 Offline Tolkien

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Posted May 05 2017 - 11:31 AM

Sorry for another long gap! Chapter 10 has now been posted. Only one chapter remains...

 

JRRT


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#17 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted May 05 2017 - 04:18 PM

Holy crud!

Seriously, you continue to astound me with this fic-it's nothing short of brilliant and I can't wait for the finale. Call me crazy, but I get the impression Vakama is on his way to a certain mythical island...

Edited by Wiriamu, May 05 2017 - 04:18 PM.

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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge


#18 Offline Tolkien

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Posted May 14 2017 - 08:16 PM

Chapter 11 of Mask Maker has been posted, and that's all folks! It's a pretty bittersweet ending...not just for the story, but also for myself, since this is actually the largest piece of Bionicle fanfiction I've completed, and it'll likely be the last (for a good long while at least).

In a sense, this story is an attempt at bringing closure to the somewhat open-ended state in which G1 has remained since 2010, as well as a way of transitioning from G1 into G2 and beyond. That's what it is for me, at least. Thanks to everyone who has read it, and thanks to those who took the time to respond. =)

 

JRRT


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#19 Offline Toa of Italy

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Posted May 15 2017 - 06:40 PM

Well, of all the attempts to link G1 to G2, yours is undoubtedly the most successful. The last significant piece of information we received about the G1 storyline was that Velika was actually a Great Being; you seized upon that, as well as upon the plot lines of Marendar and of Voporak and the Mask of Time, which had been left unresolved, to carry Vakama and with him the reader from the last embers of G1 to the new beginning of G2.

 

The transition is more conceptual than physical. The events actually narrated in the epic are almost a background: the locations and the number of characters are reduced to a minimum, in no small part thanks to the appearance of Marendar, which not only kills all G1 characters (other than Vakama, Velika and Voporak), thus bringing their stories, and therefore most of the G1 storyline, to a close, but also simplifies the plot considerably, allowing us to concentrate on the interactions between a limited number of characters. The action is also extremely limited: the battle between Velika and Marendar is not, in my opinion, an essential part of the plot.

The central element of the epic is the concept of destiny, which lay at the heart of the G1 universe from the very start. Vakama is, at the beginning, still bound to a destiny which has been chosen for him by the Great Beings and thus allows Velika to control him. During the course of the epic, Vakama goes beyond that destiny, realizing that it is no longer a valid notion. He thus defies Velika and the Great Beings and eventually leaves his universe behind altogether, giving to the Toa Nui the task of creating a new one. The reader can see this mainly by analyzing the conversations and the visions (the descriptions of the visions are written superbly), whereas the action, as I said, merely serves as a background.

 

The aspect which I don't think you focused on enough are the Great Beings themselves. It is implied that Voporak and the Vahi are the key to their return, Velika talks about a last experiment and about the anomalous nature of Spherus Magna; none of these hints, however, is truly resolved. Of course, as I've said before, this epic develops a concept rather than a story and thus not everything needs to be explained for it to work. Still, I found the shift between the scene of the Great Beings' return and the next one too abrupt, leaving me with questions about the Great Beings' plans that are never answered.

I also think that in the last chapter you could have found a more explicit way to make the reader understand that the new island is actually Okoto; I understood, of course, and probably everyone else will as well, but still, entrusting that function to a mere link to your blog is not, I think, very appropriate.

 

That said, this was an extremely deep and enjoyable epic. It undoubtedly has a sense of closure about it, which is certainly in line with the current spirit of BZP and the forums, where we can all see that BIONICLE's sun is finally setting.


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#20 Offline Tolkien

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Posted May 16 2017 - 11:18 AM

@Toa of Italy: I appreciate the commentary! You're right that the concept of the story really came before the actual events. An "end of G1" story could either have been an all-out character-fest, or a pared down single-character plotline, and I ended up opting for the latter. Glad you enjoyed it!

 

On the issue of the Great Beings: Earlier versions of the story actually expanded quite a bit on the motivations of the Great Beings and Velika. In a nutshell, the idea was to play once more on the concept of a "world within a world". Spherus Magna doesn't quite "fit" in the universe of the Great Beings in a variety of ways, and the fact that it happened to contain Energized Protodermis--pretty much a universe-breaking substance--seems highly coincidental. My intention was to imply that, just as the MU ended up being a "container" for EP, so was Spherus Magna, originally. The Great Beings came to this conclusion as well, and desired to break free of their "universe", an act which required them (for some reason or another) to have mastery of time, hence the ultimate purpose of the Vahi.

 

As you can see, this stuff starts to get rather clunky, especially when it's inserted into a narrative which is already quite slow. For that reason, I ultimately decided not to include it and instead to focus primarily on Vakama's perspective of the GBs.

 

As for the ending...there are more hints to Okoto than you might think. That link was just an afterthought, really. =p Glad you enjoyed the story overall, and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

 

JRRT


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#21 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted May 17 2017 - 03:29 AM

Yeah, I'm the guy who opted for the all out character fest.

 

I thought the final chapter was fabulous, and the story in general was an amazing piece of work. While the whole thing with the Great Beings was rather abrupt, it's somewhat fitting: Vakama's decision regarding the Vahi halted whatever their plans might have been, so not knowing what they would have been isn't quite so bothersome. I can easily see Vakama playing a role in Okoto's development-teaching them the art of Mask Making and helping bring about the construction of the Temple of Time to contain the Vahi half he possesses. At some point I imagine he'll pass on, though I am curious what role-if any-he plays in the genesis of Ekimu and Makuta and how they differ from other Okotans.

 

I think you handled Okoto's introduction well, and personally loved the confrontation between Voporak and the Toa Nui; "their" method of countering Voporak's time powers was nothing short of brilliant. You seem to have set it up well for the Toa Nui's end to mark the rebirth of the Mata in their Elemental Master forms-a cool idea, though it does make it sad for the other fallen Toa. However, for a story that essentially kills off everyone from the original continuity except Vakama, with foreknowledge of the differences the reborn Toa will have, this was quite enjoyable.

 

Hm...it occurs to me that if you ever wanted to do more in this setup, the Great Beings could have a hand in things on Okoto as a further attempt to achieve their goals...whatever those may be. Of course I couldn't really take credit for the idea of Makuta being manipulated by a trapped evil-ShadowBionics beat me to it on that-but I could see the Great Beings taking a less direct hand in matters than his Terankos character.


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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge


#22 Offline Tolkien

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Posted May 21 2017 - 08:55 PM

@Wiriamu: Much appreciated! That was precisely the idea I had for Vakama's role in G2: very indirect, but as an explanation for why there are some similarities between G2 and G1. For example, I thought it was interesting that in G2 the Okotoans wear masks, but it doesn't seem to be a necessity for them, while it IS necessary for the Toa. If Vakama is the original teacher of mask-making, that would also explain why the G2 mask-shapes show some similarities to the originals. 

 

Glad you liked the Voporak/Toa Nui clash. It was really fun to develop that battle, since previously in G1 Voporak has been portrayed as a really unapproachable foe. The idea that the Toa Nui would have access to a Toa Seal-like power that could sort of counteract/resist his entropic abilities just seemed to fit into place. =)

 

And as for the ultimate fate of everyone in G1...I don't necessarily think that everyone was killed/absorbed. Spherus Magna still remains...who knows what might have transpired there afterward? In fact, my short story veteran might give a small hint at this... =p

 

JRRT


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#23 Offline Wiriamu

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Posted May 23 2017 - 03:35 PM

@Wiriamu: Much appreciated! That was precisely the idea I had for Vakama's role in G2: very indirect, but as an explanation for why there are some similarities between G2 and G1. For example, I thought it was interesting that in G2 the Okotoans wear masks, but it doesn't seem to be a necessity for them, while it IS necessary for the Toa. If Vakama is the original teacher of mask-making, that would also explain why the G2 mask-shapes show some similarities to the originals. 

 

Glad you liked the Voporak/Toa Nui clash. It was really fun to develop that battle, since previously in G1 Voporak has been portrayed as a really unapproachable foe. The idea that the Toa Nui would have access to a Toa Seal-like power that could sort of counteract/resist his entropic abilities just seemed to fit into place. =)

 

And as for the ultimate fate of everyone in G1...I don't necessarily think that everyone was killed/absorbed. Spherus Magna still remains...who knows what might have transpired there afterward? In fact, my short story veteran might give a small hint at this... =p

 

JRRT

Well, I certainly hope Varian the mind Vampire isn't the only Toa left on your Spherus Magna in that case...it'd be nice if there was someone to help her out.


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Voicing your opinions with tact is the best way to keep a discussion from becoming an argument.
So far as I'm aware, it's pronounced like this: We're ee ah moo.
 

Check out my Creations:

Epics

G1 Battle for Spherus Magna - G2 A Lingering Shadow


Short Stories

G1 Fallen Guardian - G2 Shadows of Past and Future (The Legend Continues Entry) Head of Stone, Heart of Jungle


MOCs

Mask Hoarder, Desert Scourge





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