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I saw this the other day. Wild how many of the lore eggs went into the Legend of Mata Nui basket. Bionicle's success truly was a miracle.

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Jaller Inika looks like C-3PO and I hate it.

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As someone who played MNOG as a kid, this video was captivating. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

I've read Templar's blog entries on the development of MNOG, but this video does a great job of putting those behind-the-scenes tidbits into the wider context of BIONICLE's development and unlikely success. I have to agree with @Presto: the fact that the comics and MNOG were unexpectedly made the primary vehicles for the story months after they were started makes BIONICLE's success all the more incredible. When the Legend of Mata Nui game was cancelled, that should have spelled disaster for the franchise. Instead, Templar rose to the challenge and made a game that really carried the whole story on its shoulders (as did Greg Farshtey with the comics, which I also loved as a kid).

But the most impressive thing might be that the game still holds up nineteen years later. What other 20-year-old games do I play? Zelda? Mario? Halo? All tentpole IPs released by massive video game studios. It's truly remarkable that I can fire up a Flash game developed for a toy line in 2000 and still be completely sucked into its world.

Thanks for sharing this video!

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I needed this. Just when I think I understand MNOG on every level, I learn the makers brought toothpaste because they were sleeping overnight to finish it because of how depressed they were after 9/11. Seriously, between this and the modified scene in LoMN, that really did have an impact on BIONICLE.

I've always appreciated MNOG as the underdog that stepped up when the video game failed, but I never connected that to the Matoran eclipsing the Toa, or how that might have connected to the kids playing it. This is some 4-D chess.

Beautiful video. Thank you for sharing.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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This video is incredible!  I didn't know too much about the history of MNOG (partially because I became a fan in 2005), and this video is super interesting and informative.  Thanks for sharing it! ^_^


~Daler

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This is a wonderful video and I'm currently watching it a second time, but I kind of wish there was a bit more talk about the soundtrack outside of the beach chant.  It's just all so good.

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19 hours ago, Master Inika said:

Seriously, between this and the modified scene in LoMN,

Remind me, what was modified?


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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2 hours ago, Cheesy Mac n Cheese said:

Remind me, what was modified?

In the actual movie, when Vakama has the vision in the Great Temple, he just sees the Coliseum surrounded by purple fog. He says "I saw it, Metru Nui was destroyed!" which always struck me as an odd thing to say even as a kid. In the original visuals, the Coliseum actually explodes and collapses.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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39 minutes ago, Master Inika said:

In the actual movie, when Vakama has the vision in the Great Temple, he just sees the Coliseum surrounded by purple fog. He says "I saw it, Metru Nui was destroyed!" which always struck me as an odd thing to say even as a kid. In the original visuals, the Coliseum actually explodes and collapses.

Out of curiosity, where did you find the original visuals?


~Daler

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7 hours ago, The Shadow Imperator said:

Presumably, production on the movie didn’t start until the second half of 2003 (plus that footage is basically finished), long after the terrorist attacks. Were they really the cause for the change? This reminds me of the theory that the scene in the SpongeBob episode “Just One Bite” where Squidward gets drenched in gasoline and a lit match dropped on him (resulting in a fiery explosion) was cut due to the attacks, despite the fact that episode premiered nearly an entire month after the attacks, and continued to air uncut well into 2002.

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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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6 hours ago, Cheesy Mac n Cheese said:

Presumably, production on the movie didn’t start until the second half of 2003 (plus that footage is basically finished), long after the terrorist attacks. Were they really the cause for the change? This reminds me of the theory that the scene in the SpongeBob episode “Just One Bite” where Squidward gets drenched in gasoline and a lit match dropped on him (resulting in a fiery explosion) was cut due to the attacks, despite the fact that episode premiered nearly an entire month after the attacks, and continued to air uncut well into 2002.

Glad he could find the video. I did a quick search before but couldn't.

Now that you mention it, I'm not sure if that was explicitly the reason. Perhaps it was worked on up until that point and it occurred to someone higher up to change it?

On 4/17/2020 at 3:51 PM, Bfahome said:

This is a wonderful video and I'm currently watching it a second time, but I kind of wish there was a bit more talk about the soundtrack outside of the beach chant.  It's just all so good.

There is just too much to mention, along with everything else. Honestly there could be a whole video on just the music. I am glad Beach Chant is the one that got mentioned, however. It's arguably the main theme of MNOG, and BIONICLE my extension. Though the techno Ride of the Valkyries would have been a good choice too.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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Now that you mention it, I'm not sure if that was explicitly the reason. Perhaps it was worked on up until that point and it occurred to someone higher up to change it?

Maybe for quite a lot of the making, the Coliseum would be destroyed during Makuta's rise, then it was decided that it wouldn't be and Vakama's vision had to be changed to reflect that?

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23 hours ago, The Shadow Imperator said:

This is fascinating.  That makes the scene MUCH darker than the final version.  I was always confused that the smoke signaled the destruction of Metru Nui.  This answers my questions.  Thanks for the link! :)

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8 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

 

 

Maybe for quite a lot of the making, the Coliseum would be destroyed during Makuta's rise, then it was decided that it wouldn't be and Vakama's vision had to be changed to reflect that?

They may have finished the animation for the entire Great Cataclysm scene, then looked back at the vision, realized it didn’t match, then chose to change the vision instead of the Great Cataclysm because it would be way easier and less time consuming (plus the Coliseum was needed in the 2005 storyline, which was probably already planned out). Last-minute changes made to avoid continuity errors happen all the time.

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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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(plus the Coliseum was needed in the 2005 storyline, which was probably already planned out)

It wasn't actually, a second Metru Nui year was only decided on some way into 2004, which is why the 2004 film doesn't lead into the 2005 story and simply ends with the Toa Metru becoming Turaga on Mata Nui instead.

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On 4/20/2020 at 4:50 PM, Sir Kohran said:

It wasn't actually, a second Metru Nui year was only decided on some way into 2004, which is why the 2004 film doesn't lead into the 2005 story and simply ends with the Toa Metru becoming Turaga on Mata Nui instead.

I doubt 2005 was planned that late, Lego always planned their story years well in advance. 2005 would've had to be planned in 2003 at the latest.

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On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 4:58 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

I doubt 2005 was planned that late, Lego always planned their story years well in advance. 2005 would've had to be planned in 2003 at the latest.

So why does the end of the 2004 film wrap up the Metru Nui story? Why doesn't it lead into the 2005 story in any way?

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1 hour ago, Sir Kohran said:

So why does the end of the 2004 film wrap up the Metru Nui story? Why doesn't it lead into the 2005 story in any way?

I think there was some contract agreement that was making it iffy if there was going to be a third film or not. So they chose to wrap up with the happy ending instead of a dark cliffhanger instead. 

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10 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

So why does the end of the 2004 film wrap up the Metru Nui story? Why doesn't it lead into the 2005 story in any way?

Because 2004 was planned even earlier, and changing the script of the movie wouldn't really be feasible when animators are already working on the basis of what the script says.

9 hours ago, Xboxtravis said:

I think there was some contract agreement that was making it iffy if there was going to be a third film or not. So they chose to wrap up with the happy ending instead of a dark cliffhanger instead. 

And this. This is the more important reason, actually.

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Okay, I actually remember Greg being asked about the film ending and him answering that the second Metru Nui year wasn't planned in advance, then by the time it was, the second film was too far into production to have the ending completely rewritten and reanimated. There was also a topic around 2010 where he made clear that most of Bionicle was 'planned from the beginning' but added that 2005 wasn't, "which is why it always felt a bit forced" or something like that.

I'm sorry I can't prove this with the old board long gone, but I'm pretty sure that's what was said.

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5 minutes ago, Sir Kohran said:

Okay, I actually remember Greg being asked about the film ending and him answering that the second Metru Nui year wasn't planned in advance, then by the time it was, the second film was too far into production to have the ending completely rewritten and reanimated. There was also a topic around 2010 where he made clear that most of Bionicle was 'planned from the beginning' but added that 2005 wasn't, "which is why it always felt a bit forced" or something like that.

I'm sorry I can't prove this with the old board long gone, but I'm pretty sure that's what was said.

They couldn’t change the ending, but they could have changed Vakama’s vision. And like I mentioned before, the animation in the original sequence looks, for the most part, finished, which supports the idea that they did exactly that.


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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On 4/26/2020 at 7:34 PM, Sir Kohran said:

Okay, I actually remember Greg being asked about the film ending and him answering that the second Metru Nui year wasn't planned in advance, then by the time it was, the second film was too far into production to have the ending completely rewritten and reanimated. There was also a topic around 2010 where he made clear that most of Bionicle was 'planned from the beginning' but added that 2005 wasn't, "which is why it always felt a bit forced" or something like that.

I'm sorry I can't prove this with the old board long gone, but I'm pretty sure that's what was said.

What you said is true. 2005 wasn't originally planned. My point was that they would've started to work on 2005 content way before the end of 2004, since that's how they prepare all their releases. They couldn't have prepared an entire year's worth of sets, a movie and everything in a few months.

Bob Thompson planned the "7 books of Bionicle" around 2002, maybe late 2001, and the 2005 story wasn't in those plans. So if the 2005 story was thought of in 2003, as I presume, it still would've been a later addition compared to the rest of the story, and thus not originally planned. The sets and the movie script would then have been prepared during 2003-2004.

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My point was that they would've started to work on 2005 content way before the end of 2004, since that's how they prepare all their releases. They couldn't have prepared an entire year's worth of sets, a movie and everything in a few months.

Let's assume the LOMN script was written by December 2003, then the filmmaking finished by June 2004 for its late 2004 release. The decision to do another Metru Nui year was made around April 2004, giving them about eight months to prepare the stuff for it, but it was a little too late for the film to be majorly changed.

I don't know if that's exactly how it happened, but I think it was something like that.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

Let's assume the LOMN script was written by December 2003, then the filmmaking finished by June 2004 for its late 2004 release. The decision to do another Metru Nui year was made around April 2004, giving them about eight months to prepare the stuff for it, but it was a little too late for the film to be majorly changed.

I don't know if that's exactly how it happened, but I think it was something like that.

Us talking about the dates is just speculating, but Greg said that each story year was planned about 2 years in advance. For example, the decision to cancel Bionicle was made in November 2008, but we still got a whole year's worth of content, just because it had already been planned. Greg has also confirmed that at that point he was working on the screen treatment for the planned 2010 movie, meaning that the process had at least been started by then.

Therefore I'm quite convinced the LoMN script would need to have been finished by summer 2003 at the latest, to allow the animators time to actually work on the movie. By December 2003, I'd say most stuff for 2004 would have already been set in stone.

And following the same logic, the script for Web of Shadows would've been finished around summer 2004, with work for it having begun in late 2003. That leaves a relatively large timeframe for when the decision to add 2005 would've been made, since the original plans (which didn't include the Hordika story) were made in early 2002 (or late 2001, whatever the case may be).

Edited by Toatapio Nuva

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For what it’s worth, LoMN’s production apparently lasted about a year, start to finish. I don’t know if that includes the writing and finalization of the script (which is technically development, which is considered a different process from production) or post-production (which would presumably include the tweaks this debate is about), but then you have to add some more time after that for the finished movie to be approved, sent to the production facilities, have all those cassettes and discs manufactured, then send all those copies out to distributers, who will then deliver them to retailers.

The official release date (October 19, 2004) is merely the street date, the day normal consumers can get their hands on the movie. It’s not like the animation was finished and we could buy the movie the next day. (Though I just read recently that the visual effects for The Mummy Returns were only finished eight days before it hit theaters, and we’re talking about a time when theaters were still mostly using film projectors).


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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