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Prototypes in Battle for Mata Nui?


balljoint dog
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Battle for Mata Nui was a Macromedia Shockwave game released during 2002. In this real-time isometric strategy game, you control the Matoran, Toa, and Turaga of Le-, Ta-, and Ga-Koro as they try to fend off the Bohrok swarms.

As a kid, the sprites in BfMN looked odd to me, but the only thing I noticed was that Tahu has Vakama's firestaff instead of his normal fire sword. However, when I ripped the assets from the game recently, I gave the sprites a closer look, and noticed all sorts of interesting things:

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(special thanks to r543 for noticing the slizer-like torsos.)

From the number of Slizer elements, especially considering that the Boneheads of Voodoo Island used Slizer heads as feet, I think these sprites are based off of undocumented prototype 3D models. How those pre-2001 models ended up being used as reference for a 2002 game is a mystery, though. My best guess is that when Lego commissioned this game, they sent the game devs a bunch of miscellaneous assets without vetting them too carefully. This would also explain why some elements are reused from the 2001 Bionicle GBA game.

Once I finish ripping the Bohrok sprites and the background tiles, I plan on submitting all the assets to Spriters' Resource. Until then, here's what I have done: https://imgur.com/a/fJIwXuq

EDIT 4/28/20: I finally ripped all the sprites, and with more accurate colors, too! Check it out, y'all.

Edited by balljoint dog
For posterity
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Read my blog, you cowards

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Very interesting. I've never played the game before, but I find this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that affects the finished product so fascinating.

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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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Click here to visit my library!

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6 hours ago, Mister N said:

It seems to me that this torso looks like a Slizer only because of its unusual angle.
It looks like this is actually the same torso that we saw on other Toa prototypes. In this video you can see especially how deep this hole is.

Man...watching that was like having some sort of terrifying fever dream about Tahu recolors doing...I actually don't want to know what those noises were. I really, really do not need to know in what circumstances the Toa would make those noises.

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Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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1 hour ago, Sir Keksalot said:

Man...watching that was like having some sort of terrifying fever dream about Tahu recolors doing...I actually don't want to know what those noises were. I really, really do not need to know in what circumstances the Toa would make those noises.

Well I want to know what the answer to the word scramble game is at the end of the video. :D

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Po-Wahi visions in my head
(Temple Mountain San Rafael Swell, Utah) 

 

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1 hour ago, Xboxtravis said:

Well I want to know what the answer to the word scramble game is at the end of the video. :D

It's in Russian, so you'd need someone who actually knows the tongue to solve it, since it doesn't translate to a real word. Russians of BZP, heed my call and translate this thing!

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Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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43 minutes ago, Sir Keksalot said:

It's in Russian, so you'd need someone who actually knows the tongue to solve it, since it doesn't translate to a real word. Russians of BZP, heed my call and translate this thing!

There are subtitles on the video! provided by Mister-N, in fact.

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believe victims. its actually not that hard, and youd look kind of bad if you were to, say, side with an abuser because theyre your friend

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2 hours ago, Sir Keksalot said:

It's in Russian, so you'd need someone who actually knows the tongue to solve it, since it doesn't translate to a real word. Russians of BZP, heed my call and translate this thing!

This mysterious word is "ВОЗДУХА" ("AIR"). 

And as Peri said there are subs in English ;)

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12 hours ago, Mister N said:

It seems to me that this torso looks like a Slizer only because of its unusual angle.
It looks like this is actually the same torso that we saw on other Toa prototypes. In this video you can see especially how deep this hole is.

Thanks for sharing this! I don't think I've seen these prototypes before. It's true that the torso in this video looks a lot like the sprites, but the sprites don't seem to have the same narrow waist or the hole in the pelvis. Of course, they're so small that there's a lot of guesswork involved.

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It's also interesting to me that the builds in the video look more like the final sets than these sprites do... except for Gali, where the opposite is true. :wacko:

Read my blog, you cowards

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10 hours ago, balljoint dog said:

Thanks for sharing this! I don't think I've seen these prototypes before. It's true that the torso in this video looks a lot like the sprites, but the sprites don't seem to have the same narrow waist or the hole in the pelvis. Of course, they're so small that there's a lot of guesswork involved.

It's also interesting to me that the builds in the video look more like the final sets than these sprites do... except for Gali, where the opposite is true. :wacko:

Oh, I see. these bodies really look very strange
However, your find is in any case very curious, because we have never seen the Slizer heads on the Toa feet before

8 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

Does anybody know why Makuta is shown with a Vahi? Was it meant to be his in an early version of the story?

I think it was just an 'evil-looking' placeholder until they came up with Infected Hau logo. As you can see all Toa have only Hau. It seems that designs of other masks were unfinnished yet.

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14 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

Does anybody know why Makuta is shown with a Vahi? Was it meant to be his in an early version of the story?

And if this video was meant to announce Bionicle, why did it use what I guess were prototypes of the Toa?

To add to Mister N's post above; the Vahi was the first mask to be created by Lego and was used as a placeholder in other media, including this early test video posted by Advance:

 

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Well, I tried to build this weird prototype.
To be honest, I don’t understand how they could fit gears there, because there is less space inside than the original Toa have, and sprites show that the prototype body is narrow. I suppose that they glued some parts, and then gears can be placed instead of beams.

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/20/2020 at 11:22 AM, Mister N said:

Well, I tried to build this weird prototype.
To be honest, I don’t understand how they could fit gears there, because there is less space inside than the original Toa have, and sprites show that the prototype body is narrow. I suppose that they glued some parts, and then gears can be placed instead of beams.

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Is that torso made out of parts from Slizers?  This is a really cool look at the iteration process for the sets we all know and love.

~Daler

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