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Thoughts on the Vahi...

vahi

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#41 Offline Katuko

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Posted Jan 10 2013 - 02:10 PM

Vakama didn't make his own mask to have power, though. Remember that Matoran masks are Matoran masks precisely because all their powers have leaked out during the molding process. Melting down the Kanoka disks leak about 6 levels worth of power, so any disk with a level of 6 or below would result in a powerless mask. Matoran masks were marked with silver on Metru Nui to show that fact. Even though the masks were shown to be fully colored in the movies, Vakama's Huna would have been such a powerless mask. When he transformed, he got the shape of a Great Huna, but he could not have been certain that it was a Huna. With no experience in triggering powers and with doubts as to what power he could expect, Vakama could not trigger his power.While I disagree with the notion that the Mask of Time have any form of life or sentience, it might be so that the extreme power "flows" into the user more easily and so they "feel" the power. Then again, I am not certain of how a Toa would use an unknown mask, so it might very well be that the power of the mask has nothing to say and that only the correct mental state is required to activate it. The "rush" of battle made Vakama trigger the Vahi, and then a bit later the calm realization of what he had to do made him concentrate enough to find his own Kanohi power. Without trying a Huna on, I can't say for certain. :)
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#42 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 10 2013 - 03:38 PM

That debate over why Vakama didn't know the mask power has been made many times on here and settled that basically what Katuko is saying is the case -- it was not his job to know every mask power (keep in mind there may be hundreds to thousands of them, really), and he had no way of knowing that his own Matoran Mask would get that power. Also, that having an idea of what the power is, and understanding how to control it as a Toa are two very different things.

 

You're saying that as a fan of Bionicle as you know it, being a human who likes to think about hero stories, if you could be put into the biomechanical body of a Matoran who might possibly be destined to be a Toa, you would make sure you knew these things. But if you were created for the first time as a brand new Matoran with no knowledge at all from a previous human life, that would likely not be the case. Some might have the personality to do that, but most would likely be more concerned about things relevant to their daily Matoran lives. :)


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#43 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Jan 11 2013 - 05:51 PM

I assumed that Vakama could use the Vahi so quickly because, once a Toa masters his or her own mask, they can access any Great Mask with ease (like the Toa Mata could when they were collecting the Kanohi on Mata Nui). On an unrelated note, it's interesting that the Toa Mata's ability to use Great Masks was retained through their thousands of years of sleep.

 

I also thought it strange that, as a mask maker, Vakama couldn't figure out what his mask did by its shape. Even though Matoran masks lose all their power in the process of being created, they still retain their power if the Matoran wearer is transformed into a Toa. Vakama should know that, so the only answer I can think of is that there are so many different masks (millions or billions) that no one could memorize all of them offhand. This is especially plausible knowing that some Kanohi powers overlap (like the Kadin and Miru).


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#44 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 11 2013 - 07:38 PM

I assumed that Vakama could use the Vahi so quickly because, once a Toa masters his or her own mask, they can access any Great Mask with ease (like the Toa Mata could when they were collecting the Kanohi on Mata Nui).

That makes sense, but just for the record, Greg told us that all the Toa Mata had trained in the use of masks, presumably including the ones their teammates wore, prior to entering the canisters, and that kind of memory (battle skills, power usage skills, language, etc.) was retained. So they were already skilled at using all those particular powers. It's not just that their ability to use masks in general was retained.

 

 

I also thought it strange that, as a mask maker, Vakama couldn't figure out what his mask did by its shape.

That's not strange at all. His mask was created (as far as we know that as far as he knew :P) for the express purpose of being a Matoran mask, and those are made in whatever shapes they please, with no consideration for mixing the power, since the power just drains away anyways. The shapes are just labels, and they are not usually used for Matoran masks (as that wastes Kanoka; to mix a power you have to make at least two Kanoka and fuse them, but to make a Matoran mask from one of the eight basic powers only takes one Kanoka). So he would have had no reason to assume that the power would be anything other than one of the standard eight powers.

 

It's quite likely that he was trying to figure out which of those eight it had, and never imagined until later that it might be a mix, and then he may have tried the one the label was supposed to be for just as somewhere to start. He was probably very surprised it was what it was labeled for.

 

The greater mystery is how their masks just happened to have or get the same powers as they had the shapes for. (Perhaps Order intervening to make sure the proper mixes were used? Or part of the Toa-izing "mental image" process? Not sure if this was ever answered canonically, off the top of my head.)


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#45 Offline The Iron Toa

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Posted Jan 11 2013 - 07:52 PM

 The shapes are just labels, and they are not usually used for Matoran masks (as that wastes Kanoka; to mix a power you have to make at least two Kanoka and fuse them, but to make a Matoran mask from one of the eight basic powers only takes one Kanoka).

The greater mystery is how their masks just happened to have or get the same powers as they had the shapes for.

 

I thought they stuck with the shape convention for mask powers in case the Matoran became a Toa. But that is a good point, why would they make mask types that take more than one disk? For the same reason, maybe, but you'd think they could just have new masks made for Toa.


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#46 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Jan 11 2013 - 11:09 PM

If that's the case, why didn't the Toa Metru have the basic mask powers? Is it just an amazing coincidence that their masks really had the power their shapes represented?

 

Also, Takanuva was able to easily use the Kanohi Suletu (without even really trying) in Dark Destiny. Doesn't that prove the ability to use a Great Mask applies to all once one is learned?


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#47 Offline Dual Cee

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 04:13 AM

And the Toa Nuva the nuva masks, Varian the mask of elemental power, Vezon the Olmak, ....I suppose ince you learned how to master one you can use them all, but that training Bonesii was talking about. Could just be the proper usage of the mask e.g: Don't crash into walls with the kakama, learning exactly how to float with the miru,...
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#48 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 12:34 PM

My guess is there's two learning curves -- first to learn how to activate any mask, which does require some idea of which power it is. Second, how to do a good job controlling each mask. Some might be easier to get the hang of than others, like reading someone's mind versus levitating at the right height. But probably the Toa Mata's practice wouldn't have been absolutely essential for every power but was just that little extra that was a good precaution.


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#49 Offline LockmanCapulet

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 01:09 PM

I assumed that Vakama could use the Vahi so quickly because, once a Toa masters his or her own mask, they can access any Great Mask with ease (like the Toa Mata could when they were collecting the Kanohi on Mata Nui).

That makes sense, but just for the record, Greg told us that all the Toa Mata had trained in the use of masks, presumably including the ones their teammates wore, prior to entering the canisters, and that kind of memory (battle skills, power usage skills, language, etc.) was retained. So they were already skilled at using all those particular powers. It's not just that their ability to use masks in general was retained.

 

 

I also thought it strange that, as a mask maker, Vakama couldn't figure out what his mask did by its shape.

That's not strange at all. His mask was created (as far as we know that as far as he knew :P) for the express purpose of being a Matoran mask, and those are made in whatever shapes they please, with no consideration for mixing the power, since the power just drains away anyways. The shapes are just labels, and they are not usually used for Matoran masks (as that wastes Kanoka; to mix a power you have to make at least two Kanoka and fuse them, but to make a Matoran mask from one of the eight basic powers only takes one Kanoka). So he would have had no reason to assume that the power would be anything other than one of the standard eight powers.

 

It's quite likely that he was trying to figure out which of those eight it had, and never imagined until later that it might be a mix, and then he may have tried the one the label was supposed to be for just as somewhere to start. He was probably very surprised it was what it was labeled for.

 

The greater mystery is how their masks just happened to have or get the same powers as they had the shapes for. (Perhaps Order intervening to make sure the proper mixes were used? Or part of the Toa-izing "mental image" process? Not sure if this was ever answered canonically, off the top of my head.)

 

 

That is a very good way of putting it. My only thought: Maybe Vakama had a mask that was made before the Kanoka process was invented/discovered. Then it wouldn't have been a "waste" of Kanoka when it was made. In any case, how would using two Kanoka for a Matoran mask be a waste? That's the way it's made. I would think that by using two disks instead of one, you would have some leftover material that could be recycled or even made into a second mask, not wasted. That's like saying Polycotton cloth is a waste of cotton when only Polyester could have been used. (Yes, I know, bad analogy. I couldn't think of a better one. :/ )


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#50 Offline Katuko

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 02:11 PM

When Vakama combines the Great Disks, the six Kanoka merge into one. Combining powered disks before forging them into a mask would likely use the same process, unless they were melted down. And if they were melted, then the power mix might or might not even take effect. It's not clear how it works, exactly, so I can only guess.There are a lot of things going on when a Matoran changes into Toa. Their internal storage of Toa energy gets unlocked, and their bodies are reconfigured to be bigger and able to use elemental powers. The element is based on the Matoran, but the mask power is up in the air. Apparently even powerless masks can gain a power through transformation.We can't even be certain of how a mask-maker works on powerless masks. Vakama was chosen by Dume/Makuta to make the Vahi because he was pretty skilled, so for all we know it's only the Great Kanohi which are hand-made to fit a shape. For powerless masks, maybe they just grab a random disk from the stack marked "low level" and then shape it as they wish. Perhaps when it's time to make 10 new Hau-shaped Matoran masks they just toss 10 Kanoka into a big vat and pour the molten Proto into Kanohi Hau molds.There's no point in taking the time to make every Teleport-disk look like a Kualsi if the mask will never have any power anyways. For a Toa, they'd just see the silver marking and pass it up, and a Matoran who is going to transform would likely not think of grabbing a specific mask anyways. They would trust the Great Spirit to give them the power they need. Unfortunately we can't know if the masks Karzahni handed to the Toa Inika were actually made from Proto with the properties their masks had, or if it was the transformation which gave them the powers. For the Metru, it might have been coincidence, or we might simply not know what other Great Huna look like. Lhikan's Hau looks different from Tahu's Hau, after all, and I'm having a hard time thinking of any Toa from different teams who wore the same mask type. Lesovikk had a Faxon like Hahli, but neither of those came from Metru Nui. Krakua has a Suletu like Kongu, but his is shaped like a Hau. Norik had a Great Pehkui, but it was shaped like Dume's Noble Kiril. We don't even know the normal shape of those two!Like bonesiii says, though, there is little sense in wasting two disks on one mask that will be powerless anyways. It's very hard to say without having seen a definite example in the story, but I do believe that the power a powerless Kanohi gets imbued with is not necessarily tied to the Kanoka originally used to make it. The power leaked out, after all. If Jaller had still been wearing Lhikan's Hau he would probably have a Great Hau now, though, simply because there was still power left in it as a Noble Kanohi.

Edited by Katuko, Jan 12 2013 - 02:18 PM.

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#51 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 07:15 PM

My only thought: Maybe Vakama had a mask that was made before the Kanoka process was invented/discovered.

Excellent point. That was apparently very recent (about 3000 BGC), so the chances of that -would- be likely and we have no idea if any type of mixing process was used for those. It seems likely to me that it wasn't.

 

In any case, how would using two Kanoka for a Matoran mask be a waste?

Because you're losing total mass in the universe. Do that often enough and it can actually be dangerous. Imagine that going on forever -- eventually the universe would waste away. So the more sparing you are in the destruction of mass (without some kind of replacement system and to be fair, we shouldn't assume there wasn't one), the better.

 

Also, though, just in terms of the amount of work involved. If you use a mixture of two, you have to work twice as hard in the Kanoka stage. If four, etc. Imagine the work involved just to wear a shape you like if the mixture involves fifty disks! All for the same result. It's just not economical. The process involves purifying that amount of mass from liquid proto, and using up fuel that must be produced to do the rapid heating and cooling thing. That's a lot of work just to make one Kanoka. And the more you do all that, of course the more wear and tear on the machinery that is involved so the more maintenance work needed, etc.

 

It is a good point though that they might consider the chance of a Matoran becoming a Toa worth the expense to "splurge" for every single Matoran mask; I hadn't thought of that. I'd have to see a quote to believe it, though. :P Under normal circumstances they could just hand a new Toa one that they'd already made and was stored in the Great Temple. Besides, any of the basic eight powers will make fine powers for a Toa anyways.

 

So it might come down to just how resolute they are that the label system must be preserved at any cost. Given that having a non-matched label is actually seen as honorable in the case of the Hagah, it seems unlikely they're that picky.

 

That actually opens up an intriguing possibility, though -- Greg said that Matoran choose their shapes to honor past heroes and elders. However, what if something that goes into their choice is the question of "which power would I want if I become Toa?" just in case they do?

 

That would make the invisibility thing harder to answer, but there are parts to the previous answer that still stand -- knowing the basic idea isn't the same as knowing how to activate it. And he may simply have drawn a mind blank due to all the stress, too.

 

 

All of this may be moot if the transformation itself uses the "mental image" thing to select the power, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did. :)

 

 

I would think that by using two disks instead of one, you would have some leftover material that could be recycled or even made into a second mask, not wasted.

No, that is clearly disproved by the scene in LoMN when the mass of two became the mass of one. It's commonly presumed that the extra mass is converted to energy that powers the transformation of the two old powers into the one new one according to the mix formula.

 

I hadn't thought of using half the mass of each in a melting mixture, but we have no canon evidence that's ever done. Greg has always described it as mixing Kanoka, so I would think that's not possible; the process seems to require that extra boost of energy from the remainder mass.


Edited by bonesiii, Jan 12 2013 - 07:18 PM.

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#52 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 10:52 PM

When Vakama combines the Great Disks, the six Kanoka merge into one. Combining powered disks before forging them into a mask would likely use the same process, unless they were melted down. And if they were melted, then the power mix might or might not even take effect. It's not clear how it works, exactly, so I can only guess.

It's probably a very different process, since Vakama looked so surprised when he learned the Great Disks could be merged.

 

I also assumed that mask makers designed Kanohi with inactive powers to fit their shapes on the (albeit very small) chance that the wearer would be destined to become a Toa. As a bit of a tribute to the Three Virtues.

 

But I hadn't factored in how relatively young the Kanoka process was. It's probable that only a minority of masks were once Kanoka.


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#53 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 11:41 PM

It's probably a very different process, since Vakama looked so surprised when he learned the Great Disks could be merged.

That is not believed to be the case -- the look on his face is probably surprise at how energetic the combination was, as I've always interpreted it. Again, Greg has confirmed repeatedly that combining disks is how it's done. Pretty sure he confirmed at one point that it's done how it's shown in the movie, but I don't have time at this moment to search for a quote.

 

It's very possible along those lines that maskmakers never mix disks; that diskmakers handle that and ship whatever disk is to be used off to the maskmaker. So he may know how it's done but never saw it personally done so he was surprised at what it looked like.

 

Notice nobody comments on it being odd or anything, either.


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#54 Offline Katuko

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Posted Jan 13 2013 - 07:04 AM

I chalked it up to surprise at seeing the Great Disks merge at all, since they were elemental disks and not your average Kanoka. Maybe combining elements usually can't be done when it comes to mask-making. I've put a question about the relation between Kanoka powers, powerless masks and a transformed Great Mask into the "Ask GregF" topic, so if we're lucky we'll get a definite answer.
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#55 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jan 13 2013 - 05:22 PM

I chalked it up to surprise at seeing the Great Disks merge at all, since they were elemental disks and not your average Kanoka.

 

Great Disks were not elemental. They had six of the eight basic powers. See here:

 

http://biosector01.c...odes_and_Powers

 

But they were higher level than any others.

 

 

Maybe combining elements usually can't be done when it comes to mask-making.

Although that question isn't connected to the Great Disks, it's a good question anyways. I wonder? 

I suppose it would probably work and create a combo element though.


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#56 Offline LockmanCapulet

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Posted Jan 13 2013 - 08:36 PM

I would think that maskmakers would see their trade as an art form and apply the shape/label to masks of the corresponding power. Out of desire for high-quality masks more than anything.


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