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Legend of Mata Nui Story Booklet

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The title is a little misleading - this isn't a booklet made for The Legend of Mata Nui, the cancelled 01 game. It's a part of the contents of the theme decks for the old Quest for the Masks trading card game. It just happens to have the same name!

 

Nevertheless, it's still pretty interesting! It contains a lot of what appears to be very early material written for the Bionicle line. It is of such a style and organization that I suspect it is excerpted more or less directly from one of the first editions of the story bible. 

 

I wanted to make some nice scans, but unfortunately it isn't possible right now, so I went ahead and took photos instead. Here's the album!

 

It's got bios for the Toa and Turaga, plus the masks and the Wahi. The Toa bios were also printed on the collectible pens' packaging, but everything else is unique to the booklet. There's a ton of stuff of note, but here're a couple of things I find the most interesting:

 

- This was written before the Toa were switched from god-type characters to be more down-to-earth and relatable. Storms are clashes between Gali and Lewa, Onua brings the earthquakes, etc. Gali is also apparently the most worshiped of all the Toa, across all the villages!

- There's a passing mention of 'totems' the Toa put there masks on. Whenever this section was written, they hadn't yet conceived of the Suva.

- Nuju and Nokama hang out on lake Naho... when it's frozen in the winter! Seasons, on Mata Nui? also, adorable

- Weird subplot about one of Gali's masks being missing from the village, and Tohunga going out to find it. 

 

The credits give the effort of compiling the booklet to someone at Upper Deck, but not writing it, which seems to confirm it is from an external (i.e. from Lego) source. I can't imagine what that would be other than the story bible.

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Interesting how it refers to the word "Bionicle" existing in-universe. While Vakama said it in the movies too, I believe it doesn't canonically exist in the lore, so to say. Also, "Tohunar worship and fear the Toa"? That's.... different. 

 

"Tahu is the oldest of the Toa, having been created when the planet was forming..."

 

Yeah, this is pretty odd and interesting stuff for sure. It's nice to see different iterations of the story. 

 

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Ah, it's this thing!  I found this a few years back and mentioned it on my blog, but I lost it when I moved recently.  Glad to see it again!

 

The mask point was definitely one of the most interesting parts. (I may have written an epic about it) I also really liked the statement about Le-Matoran showing affection by imitation, that sounds adorable.

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You know, I wonder how Bionicle might change if the Toa were more like gods than average heroes. Not talking about whether they had impossible, godlike personalities; I'm talking about their place in the world and its lore.


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Nice find. I have most of the cards, bought secondhand, but I've never seen this. Really was a different time for BIONICLE.

 

"Tahu is the oldest of the Toa, having been created when the planet was forming..."

 

:kakama:

Technically true; built by the Great Beings/Artakha at roughly the same time the Shattering happened.

 

You know, I wonder how Bionicle might change if the Toa were more like gods than average heroes. Not talking about whether they had impossible, godlike personalities; I'm talking about their place in the world and its lore.

My headcanon on this booklet is that it represents what the Matoran thought the Toa would be like. I imagine them realizing that many of their myths about the Toa were not literally true when they arrived. It's a fun way to retain those old ideas like Onua as the oldest and Lewa the youngest, by thinking of them as apocryphal legends of the Toa that the Matoran believed for the 1,000 years before they actually met them.

Edited by Master Inika
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"[Matau] can also fly, preferring to weave swiftly through the underbrush, just feet above the jungle floor."

 

I don't remember this at all. When was this ever used?

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Interesting how it refers to the word "Bionicle" existing in-universe. While Vakama said it in the movies too, I believe it doesn't canonically exist in the lore, so to say.

I thought so too, until I looked on the archived "Lexicon" page of the 2003 BIONICLE.com. 

 

Here is what it says:

 

BIONICLE

The legend of Mata Nui and the quest of the Toa.

 

Here's a link to that page:  https://web.archive.org/web/20031002022539/http://www.lego.com:80/eng/bionicle/lexicon.asp

 

EDIT:

I find it odd how the Toa are portrayed as god-like beings.  Also, the tohunga are the "followers of their Toa."

 

The whole thing about the missing mask in Ga-Koro is interesting.  I wonder where that would've lead.

Edited by Daler99

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You know, I wonder how Bionicle might change if the Toa were more like gods than average heroes. Not talking about whether they had impossible, godlike personalities; I'm talking about their place in the world and its lore.

My headcanon on this booklet is that it represents what the Matoran thought the Toa would be like. I imagine them realizing that many of their myths about the Toa were not literally true when they arrived. It's a fun way to retain those old ideas like Onua as the oldest and Lewa the youngest, by thinking of them as apocryphal legends of the Toa that the Matoran believed for the 1,000 years before they actually met them.

 

I'm actually fairly certain that this was the approach they were going for. I've recently re-read the original Chronicle books by Cathy Hapka, and if you pay close attention to the Tohunga's (or Matoran's) interaction with the Toa, they go from practical worship and reverence to gradual acceptance that they are basically like them in nature (faults and shortcomings included). Jala even tells off Tahu Nuva during the Kal era when he was recklessly (and practically fatally) fighting the Pahrak-Kal which could end up with him losing his life which wouldn't help the villages in the long run. It's a great view of the progression of how the Tohunga's perception of the Toa played out.


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Ah, this is great. I really love the Toa-as-demigods approach they had early on, and the way that there was something a little frightening about them even though they were heroes. That vaguely spooky vibe came across in the CD-ROMs, which were really what drew me in at first. 

 

Also

 

Matau can fly??

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oh, i had the Tahu/Kopaka set back when, this must be where i remember some of this stuff from, like some toa being older or younger, or lewa being monkeylike.


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Hey! This is a lot of very, VERY early stuff here. Thanks Pereki! :D

 

 

"[Matau] can also fly, preferring to weave swiftly through the underbrush, just feet above the jungle floor."

 

I don't remember this at all. When was this ever used?

 

It never got used! This was basically the preliminary version of the finalized lore and concept they had in mind, before they decided to scrap some of it at the very last stages. That's why there's stuff like Lewa being referred as a younger Toa, while when BIONICLE launched it was practically never used and they were all the same age. Same goes for the approach to the Toa as gods both revered and feared by the villagers, while there was certainly a very faint leftover of this in the final stuff (MNOG, for instance).

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My headcanon was that a Turaga of Air would have enough control over Air to levitate himself a bit, or at least soften a fall.

 

Cool artwork for the Wahi pages, reminds me of Tales of the Tohunga/Quest for the Toa.

 

I was always creeped out by the original concept of fearing the Toa. Thankfully they got rid of that.

 

 

Hey, this is awesome! Thanks Pereki!

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It's interesting how the Toa are somewhat rivals, and how the Tohunga fear them. It also says, for example, that Onua causes earthquakes and that Kopaka protects the Tohunga from Tahu's fire. Each Toa reflects his element, which can be useful or cause trouble. They're unpredictable, and cannot be 100% trusted.

I kinda like this version of the story, it would make an interesting alternate universe.

 

Thank you Pereki!


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My headcanon on this booklet is that it represents what the Matoran thought the Toa would be like. I imagine them realizing that many of their myths about the Toa were not literally true when they arrived. It's a fun way to retain those old ideas like Onua as the oldest and Lewa the youngest, by thinking of them as apocryphal legends of the Toa that the Matoran believed for the 1,000 years before they actually met them.

I like this. It adds world building, and I like when legends in fictional worlds aren't actually literal.

 

Hey! This is a lot of very, VERY early stuff here. Thanks Pereki! :D

 

 

"[Matau] can also fly, preferring to weave swiftly through the underbrush, just feet above the jungle floor."

 

I don't remember this at all. When was this ever used?

 

It never got used! This was basically the preliminary version of the finalized lore and concept they had in mind, before they decided to scrap some of it at the very last stages. That's why there's stuff like Lewa being referred as a younger Toa, while when BIONICLE launched it was practically never used and they were all the same age. Same goes for the approach to the Toa as gods both revered and feared by the villagers, while there was certainly a very faint leftover of this in the final stuff (MNOG, for instance).

I'm not gonna lie, I completely forgot that I discovered this. Maybe I misunderstood the point of the thread when I initially came across this.

 

I do wonder overall what direction Bionicle would've gone in had the Toa been gods/godlike figures, and most if not all of this stuff still existed.

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Huh, I'm surprised more people didn't already know about this. Are you guys aware that a different booklet like this one was made for the Bohrok decks as well? It's really interesting because although the Bohrok decks never included story cards like the QftM wave, all the artwork and story blurbs were apparently completed for them, because the booklet contains original artwork and snippets of text in the same style. They don't appear anywhere else. I don't think even BS01 or BMP have any scans of that artwork.

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I also own this. It came with the board game. A nice little piece of lore.

 

I have the board game, too, and was going through it recently. The guidebook also repeats the Toa and Turaga bios seen in Quest for the Masks. I am also fairly certain the biographies for the Toa and Turaga were also posted on BIONICLE.com back in 2001. Since I didn't own the board game nor the card game back then, the website and the mini-CD-ROMs were my first exposure to the story, and I became engrossed by it mainly due to the "god-like" descriptions of the Toa and their temperaments.

 

Basically, out of all of this, the stuff about Turaga Matau was most intriguing. Of course, the ability to fly is the most "out-there", but I can't help but think there was also a little bit of (accidental?) foreshadowing by mentioning the close friendship between Vakama and Matau. I guess after one is brought back from the brink of Hordika-ness, you'd become very close with the one responsible for helping with that!

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Huh, I'm surprised more people didn't already know about this. Are you guys aware that a different booklet like this one was made for the Bohrok decks as well? It's really interesting because although the Bohrok decks never included story cards like the QftM wave, all the artwork and story blurbs were apparently completed for them, because the booklet contains original artwork and snippets of text in the same style. They don't appear anywhere else. I don't think even BS01 or BMP have any scans of that artwork.

Could you take pics of this other booklet and share them? I would LOVE to see that.

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Huh, I'm surprised more people didn't already know about this. Are you guys aware that a different booklet like this one was made for the Bohrok decks as well? It's really interesting because although the Bohrok decks never included story cards like the QftM wave, all the artwork and story blurbs were apparently completed for them, because the booklet contains original artwork and snippets of text in the same style. They don't appear anywhere else. I don't think even BS01 or BMP have any scans of that artwork.

Could you take pics of this other booklet and share them? I would LOVE to see that.

 

 

I would be happy to, but I don't have easy access to a scanner in my current situation.

 

But if you can't wait, it's actually not that difficult to find the theme decks for sale online for pretty cheap. And they come with two Toa Mata masks :) .

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Huh, I'm surprised more people didn't already know about this. Are you guys aware that a different booklet like this one was made for the Bohrok decks as well? It's really interesting because although the Bohrok decks never included story cards like the QftM wave, all the artwork and story blurbs were apparently completed for them, because the booklet contains original artwork and snippets of text in the same style. They don't appear anywhere else. I don't think even BS01 or BMP have any scans of that artwork.

 

Could you take pics of this other booklet and share them? I would LOVE to see that.

I would be happy to, but I don't have easy access to a scanner in my current situation.

 

But if you can't wait, it's actually not that difficult to find the theme decks for sale online for pretty cheap. And they come with two Toa Mata masks :) .

Would you believe my luck... I ordered one brand new off eBay, and it didn’t have a story booklet, just a rules one. It was cheap, but I wonder why. Just got here today.

 

Is the actual text similar to text that can be found elsewhere, and just the artwork that’s sort of exclusive?

 

[Edit] if anyone else has this and even just wanted to take pictures with a smartphone or something, I’d super appreciate it.

Edited by RWallace

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I also own this. It came with the board game. A nice little piece of lore.

 

I have the board game, too, and was going through it recently. The guidebook also repeats the Toa and Turaga bios seen in Quest for the Masks. I am also fairly certain the biographies for the Toa and Turaga were also posted on BIONICLE.com back in 2001. Since I didn't own the board game nor the card game back then, the website and the mini-CD-ROMs were my first exposure to the story, and I became engrossed by it mainly due to the "god-like" descriptions of the Toa and their temperaments.

 

Basically, out of all of this, the stuff about Turaga Matau was most intriguing. Of course, the ability to fly is the most "out-there", but I can't help but think there was also a little bit of (accidental?) foreshadowing by mentioning the close friendship between Vakama and Matau. I guess after one is brought back from the brink of Hordika-ness, you'd become very close with the one responsible for helping with that!

 

Nice sig, I like the reference to MNOG.


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Just ordered one of the original decks with the Legend of Mata Nui booklet, as well as one of the 2002 decks with the Bohrok story booklet. I'll scan everything once they arrive.

 

Ah, you're going to beat me to it. :) I've been meaning to do this for months, never had the time.

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Alright, the deck with the LomMN booklet got delayed, but here are the scans of the Bohrok one. I've actually only skimmed it so far, but it looks like the contents of this one aren't quite as interesting. Still some neat bits, though.

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The original artwork in the Bohrok book is pretty terrific. It's amazing it's never made it onto BS01 or BMP after all these years. Someone should add it!

 

I noticed a while back that there is actually one QftM story card that has never been scanned and uploaded anywhere -- I think it's the infected Muaka or Kane-Ra card. I legitimately think no one ever noticed.  Maybe I can scan that and post it.

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Thanks for the scans, TuragaNuva! Your contributions to the Bionicle community have been invaluable. Very interesting to look at. I’m still super perplexed as to why the brand new box I ordered didn’t come with this story booklet.

 

Also, I’ll go back over my files tonight to look for those two mentioned in particular, but I would love, love, LOVE to see any missing cards, PlanetPerson!

 

(EDIT) Is it card #255? That should be a Muaka story card and I don’t have a scan of it.

Edited by RWallace

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Wow, thanks for posting this! I wonder if there was prototype Gamecube box too...

 

Also I wonder if anybody has a copy of the PC box. I remember seeing an image of it on one of LEGO's advertisements for the 2001 BIONICLE wave.

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Wow, thanks for posting this! I wonder if there was prototype Gamecube box too...

 

Also I wonder if anybody has a copy of the PC box. I remember seeing an image of it on one of LEGO's advertisements for the 2001 BIONICLE wave.

Are you sure you're looking for the story booklet? Because this doesn't come in a PC box. This was for a packet of trading cards. And as far as I know, there was never a GameCube port, or a plan of one, for the Legend of Mata Nui.


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Wow, thanks for posting this! I wonder if there was prototype Gamecube box too...

 

Also I wonder if anybody has a copy of the PC box. I remember seeing an image of it on one of LEGO's advertisements for the 2001 BIONICLE wave.

Are you sure you're looking for the story booklet? Because this doesn't come in a PC box. This was for a packet of trading cards. And as far as I know, there was never a GameCube port, or a plan of one, for the Legend of Mata Nui.

Actually, I believe there were plans for a GameCube port, as well as either PS1 or PS2, but wrong topic.


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It never got used! This was basically the preliminary version of the finalized lore and concept they had in mind, before they decided to scrap some of it at the very last stages. That's why there's stuff like Lewa being referred as a younger Toa, while when BIONICLE launched it was practically never used and they were all the same age.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the Toa did have different ages in the earliest versions of their bios on the official site. It was changed fairly soon after though.

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I just wanted to follow up and ask if anyone might be willing to create a new set of clean scans for the Legend of Mata Nui booklet and/or create a scan of story card #255. No worries either way, but I wanted to throw that question out to the community. Thanks!

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Thanks for the scans, TuragaNuva! Your contributions to the Bionicle community have been invaluable. Very interesting to look at. I’m still super perplexed as to why the brand new box I ordered didn’t come with this story booklet.

 

Also, I’ll go back over my files tonight to look for those two mentioned in particular, but I would love, love, LOVE to see any missing cards, PlanetPerson!

 

(EDIT) Is it card #255? That should be a Muaka story card and I don’t have a scan of it.

 

 

I just wanted to follow up and ask if anyone might be willing to create a new set of clean scans for the Legend of Mata Nui booklet and/or create a scan of story card #255. No worries either way, but I wanted to throw that question out to the community. Thanks!

 

Are there any pictures of card #255? Or how do you know what it looks like?

 

I looked through this gallery and it looks like there may be a few other missing (not sure what's up with 285+): http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=168918


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I cross-referenced a list of cards I have in a google doc after I couldn’t find #255 in my files. Cannot remember where the list was originally sourced, because I compiled it into my giant “list of BIONICLE story content” document, so it’s *possible* the information could be inaccurate (I certainly apologize if that is the case), but if you look at the gallery you linked to, it makes sense that it would be a Muaka story card.

 

I wouldn’t know about any other cards, since I only kept the story cards portion of the list, but it looks like everything but 255 and 284 (I suppose that could be a story card too, but I don’t have it in my list) are available in that gallery until the scans get spotty starting with 285.

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What exactly did this booklet come with? The starter box? I bought a box of cards once at a garage sale, and now I’m wondering if it has anything.

Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese

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