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Quest for the Trivia: a Lego BIONICLE (GBA) Blog

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Hey y'all! I recently realized that I've poked and prodded at Lego BIONICLE (GBA) (aka Quest for the Toa, aka Tales of the Tohunga) a lot, and as such I probably know a thing or two about it that most Bionicle fans don't. Nothing earth-shaking or with deep canonical implications, but things I find interesting nonetheless. Many of these "minor discoveries" don't really merit their own forum thread, so I've created a blog where I'll start posting about them. I hope that it'll be interesting whether you've played the game or not, in the same way Supper Mario Broth is interesting.

Give it a look and let me know what you think!

Post 0: Introduction and FAQ

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Edited by balljoint dog
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8 hours ago, Jaekoff said:

Can you rip the sprites from the game? I've always wanted to make a Bionicle fan game but all my projects die on the vine because I have no art assets. I've been thinking of just using stop motion at this point.

Ripping the sprites from this game is a tedious process, and I'm not planning on ripping anything I don't find interesting or notable, I'm sorry to say. If you want background assets, you could probably cobble something together from the Quest for the Toa maps on BS01. As far as sprites go, you could try Chimoru R or Rayg or something? You'd have to do some custom spriting if you didn't want to make a sidescroller, but it would give you a base to work from, at least.

Anyway, speaking of interesting and notable sprites: here's the Brakas!

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excited about this! its very nice to have a full spritesheet for the brakas like this... and the toa stone inventory sprites are quite neat too. looking forward to whatever's next!

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As someone who just played through this game for the first time last night, this is a really cool blog.  I can’t wait to see what else you’ve discovered!

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~Daler

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18 hours ago, Peri said:

excited about this! its very nice to have a full spritesheet for the brakas like this... and the toa stone inventory sprites are quite neat too. looking forward to whatever's next!

1 hour ago, Daler99 said:

As someone who just played through this game for the first time last night, this is a really cool blog.  I can’t wait to see what else you’ve discovered!

I'm glad you're liking it so far!

10 hours ago, Jaekoff said:

[snipped]

These gifs own, thanks for sharing them!

This time, we're taking a closer look at the Toa Stones!

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9 hours ago, Jaekoff said:

Is there really no pattern to the sprite data? I can't imagine having to manually stitch sprites together from that... 

I mean, each sprite's pieces are grouped together, it's just that, a lot of the time, those pieces aren't in any sort of order. It's more like 100 tiny jigsaws one after the other than it's like 100 tiny jigsaws whose pieces are all mixed into one large pile, if that makes sense.

Two updates this time! The first one has more unused sprites, and the second one is setup for things to come...

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it kinda looks like the bird's got a diving animation going on in those unused sprites... makes sense for its mode of attack, but i could definitely see it being hard to get the sense of depth to read right for an animation like that in-game, given the perspective everything is at.

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Neat! I was actually thinking about Mata Toa Stones the other day and what they would look like since I had only ever seen this image

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Got any ultra rare Kanohi misprints or prototypes for sale? PM me and we can talk business. Looking for rare Yellow Ruru and White Huna to complete my 2001 mask collection.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, chuckschwa said:

Neat! I was actually thinking about Mata Toa Stones the other day and what they would look like since I had only ever seen this image

Glad to hear it! I think Litestone (the team that's rebuilding The Legend of Mata Nui) has plans to remodel the Toa stones, so keep an eye out!

15 hours ago, Peri said:

it kinda looks like the bird's got a diving animation going on in those unused sprites... makes sense for its mode of attack, but i could definitely see it being hard to get the sense of depth to read right for an animation like that in-game, given the perspective everything is at.

Yeah, I think you're right. Also, the bird's hard enough to hit in-game as it is, and I have to imagine the dive attack would only make that worse.

This time, we're taking a look at the demo footage from the Power Pack, in which Takua dabs and is killed by a bird:

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Edited by balljoint dog
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interesting stuff! good job, mate! :) 

also, i need to finish the game at some point in the future! ha ha! :P 

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On 3/22/2020 at 12:35 PM, TheZOMBIEJ said:

interesting stuff! good job, mate! :) 

also, i need to finish the game at some point in the future! ha ha! :P 

Eh, it's fun but repetitive. If you quit because you weren't feeling it, there's not much point in picking it up again, imo. Thanks for the feedback, anyway!

This time: more Brakas, and the first ROM hack for Lego BIONICLE (GBA) (2001)!

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55 minutes ago, balljoint dog said:

Eh, it's fun but repetitive. If you quit because you weren't feeling it, there's not much point in picking it up again, imo. Thanks for the feedback, anyway!

This time: more Brakas, and the first ROM hack for Lego BIONICLE (GBA) (2001)!

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i couldn't finish it because i couldn't defeat that darn scorpion to get the Toa stone! oh well! stuff happens! :D 

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Great post!  I love your build of the Brakas monkey - I was wondering what one would look like IRL. :)

For some reason, I have the memory that someone made actual models of all the Rahi in this game, but I can't find it.  If it didn't happen before, it'd be pretty cool to see at some point.

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~Daler

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14 minutes ago, Daler99 said:

Great post!  I love your build of the Brakas monkey - I was wondering what one would look like IRL. :)

For some reason, I have the memory that someone made actual models of all the Rahi in this game, but I can't find it.  If it didn't happen before, it'd be pretty cool to see at some point.

I'm sure many people have tried! The first that come to mind are @Peri's from, gosh, almost seven years ago now: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=533174

One that I'm pretty sure nobody has built is the spider, since it's a blurry block of liftarms that somehow tapers. That said, if anyone feels up to the challenge, I'd love to see your take on it!

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23 minutes ago, balljoint dog said:

I'm sure many people have tried! The first that come to mind are @Peri's from, gosh, almost seven years ago now: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=533174

One that I'm pretty sure nobody has built is the spider, since it's a blurry block of liftarms that somehow tapers. That said, if anyone feels up to the challenge, I'd love to see your take on it!

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Wow!  Thanks for finding me the link!  That was before I was a member here, but I was lurking, so this is probably what I remembered. :D

That spider does look tricky...  Next time I'm moccing, I'll see if I can figure something out. :P


~Daler

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oh im pretty sure i figured out the spider! we lucked out because the fikou nui is built very similarly:

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Here's my take on the brakas ive been working on based on your rips... im not totally satisfied with it, but its the closest ive been able to get to what the proportions seem to be. your take with the toa foot looks about right too.
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5 minutes ago, Peri said:

oh im pretty sure i figured out the spider! we lucked out because the fikou nui is built very similarly:

image.png.2abf56ae6e5b4b007af804db3ad06a17.png

Here's my take on the brakas ive been working on based on your rips... im not totally satisfied with it, but its the closest ive been able to get to what the proportions seem to be. your take with the toa foot looks about right too.
image.png.797eb889fc94a8458cf0f61c031778a3.png

Awesome models, Peri!  These look really great. :)

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1 hour ago, Peri said:

oh im pretty sure i figured out the spider! we lucked out because the fikou nui is built very similarly:

[snip]

Here's my take on the brakas ive been working on based on your rips... im not totally satisfied with it, but its the closest ive been able to get to what the proportions seem to be. your take with the toa foot looks about right too.

[snip]

Dang, that spider is dead on! Nice catch! Tbh, the Brakas torso may as well be a Rorschach test, but it looks like we have the same proportions, which is something.

2 hours ago, Daler99 said:

Wow!  Thanks for finding me the link!  That was before I was a member here, but I was lurking, so this is probably what I remembered. :D

Oh yeah, same. Sometimes I regret missing out on the golden age of BZP sprite comics... but frankly, it's probably for the best, lol.

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Posted (edited)

Another update, wrapping up the demo footage:

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And here's my take on the Brakas! (Don't worry, it's a bonus. This won't become Balljoint Dog's MOC Blog, I promise.)

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Edited by balljoint dog
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On 3/31/2020 at 8:49 PM, balljoint dog said:

I'm sure many people have tried! The first that come to mind are @Peri's from, gosh, almost seven years ago now: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=533174

One that I'm pretty sure nobody has built is the spider, since it's a blurry block of liftarms that somehow tapers. That said, if anyone feels up to the challenge, I'd love to see your take on it!

how.png.fb26357cbf0197c0649a9eaeb2e1cea0.png

I actually tried this once a really long time ago, but it didn't come out looking quite right. Come to think of it, it might actually still be intact in one of my big bins of dismembered Toa, Rahi and other miscellaneous MU inhabitants.

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My friend went to Po-Wahi and all I got was this lousy rock.

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Blue sea...a Ruki leaps...the sound of water

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On 4/2/2020 at 2:53 AM, Jaekoff said:

Nice stuff, I especially like seeing everyone's takes on the little Rahi. It's incredibly frustrating having tiny pixel art instead of proper instructions, though.

In a way, it adds to the fun – it's like how Lego sets used to have "inspiration models" where they just gave you a picture and you had to figure out how to build it. No two people will build the Brakas in the same way, and I think that's beautiful.

Eh, who am I kidding? It's frustrating.

18 hours ago, Cheesy Mac n Cheese said:

I actually tried this once a really long time ago, but it didn't come out looking quite right. Come to think of it, it might actually still be intact in one of my big bins of dismembered Toa, Rahi and other miscellaneous MU inhabitants.

As Peri's post shows, it's kind of a tricky build. I didn't know the gray piece used for the abdomen even existed before now.

Got another post for you today! Short, marginally interesting, and with little-known trivia, it's probably the truest I've been to this blog's mission statement.

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Also, if you're into speedruns, Derek M.K. will be running this game at not one, but two marathons tomorrow! His first run starts at 11:30 AM EDT at https://www.twitch.tv/calithon. His second is at 10 PM EDT at https://www.twitch.tv/esamarathon. It's a fun run to watch and it showcases a bunch of interesting glitches. Check it out!

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18 minutes ago, balljoint dog said:

As Peri's post shows, it's kind of a tricky build. I didn't know the gray piece used for the abdomen even existed before now.

It looks a lot better than mine did. The leg ball joints on mine were inverted compared to his. Sockets were facing downward rather than upward, which gave it a weird, tall skinny look.

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My friend went to Po-Wahi and all I got was this lousy rock.

logowithbackgrounnd100.png

Blue sea...a Ruki leaps...the sound of water

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This is utterly fascinating. I always had a soft spot for this game. Managed to beat it twice on borrowed GBAs (never actually owned one). Really appreciate the deep look into its inner workings--will be reading through every one of these.

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Posted (edited)

Awesome new articles!  The history of this game is certainly confusing. :P

 

Have you ever seen the "speed runs" of this game?  I looked them up a few weeks ago, and I'm surprised by how many invisible platforms there are in almost all the villages.

Edited by Daler99
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On 4/13/2020 at 10:53 PM, Iruini Nuva said:

This is utterly fascinating. I always had a soft spot for this game. Managed to beat it twice on borrowed GBAs (never actually owned one). Really appreciate the deep look into its inner workings--will be reading through every one of these.

I'm glad to hear it! Tbh, I'm blown away by how many people are into this incredibly niche blog – thank you all.

3 hours ago, Daler99 said:

Awesome new articles!  The history of this game is certainly confusing. :P

 

Have you ever seen the "speed runs" of this game?  I looked them up a few weeks ago, and I'm surprised by how many invisible platforms there are in almost all the villages.

They weren't intended to be invisible platforms, the speedrunners are exploiting a glitch in how the game handles collision. Like most of the game's glitches, this was discovered by a runner named Memory, who (it's safe to say) knows more about this game's mechanics than anyone. If you want more details, I highly recommend her tool assisted speedruns of the game and their commentary (one, two).

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My next post goes deep into the connections between Lego BIONICLE (GBA) and everyone's favorite online game featuring Mata Nui. That's right: here's The Battle for Mata Nui!

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Wow, this is fascinating!  I’ve played Battle for Mata Nui only once and never noticed the similarities between the art/maps for this and the GBA game.  Now I want to take another look at Battle for Mata Nui.  Can’t wait for the next article! :D

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Posted (edited)

Back in the saddle again:

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I've also amended the "cheat codes" article to reflect a new discovery: the six codes used to unlock minigames are actually a combination of each Toa's mask and canister codes! For example, Lewa's mask code is 3-LT, and his can code is 154, so the cheat code that unlocks Kewa Bird Riding is 3LT154. This feature is mentioned offhand in early press releases, but not in the game manual or either walkthrough. Weird!

Edited by balljoint dog
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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, balljoint dog said:

the six codes used to unlock minigames are actually a combination of each Toa's mask and canister codes!

That's crazy no one noticed this earlier! Neat to find out those codes were good for more than just the promo cd and old website! 

EDIT: @balljoint dog any chance of us seeing some trivia from Bionicle the Game GBA?

Edited by chuckschwa
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Got any ultra rare Kanohi misprints or prototypes for sale? PM me and we can talk business. Looking for rare Yellow Ruru and White Huna to complete my 2001 mask collection.

 

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28 minutes ago, chuckschwa said:

That's crazy no one noticed this earlier! Neat to find out those codes were good for more than just the promo cd and old website! 

EDIT: @balljoint dog any chance of us seeing some trivia from Bionicle the Game GBA?

Oof. Of all the Bionicle GBA games, that's the one I know the least about! It's possible, I suppose, but I'd like to finish the 2001 game before moving on to another one.


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