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The Speed of the Kanohi Kakama


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Because I had nothing better do to, I decided to see if I could work out how fast someone wearing a Kanohi Kakama could run at, just out of pure curiosity.

So, according to Tale of the Toa, Pohatu uses his mask of speed to travel from Po-Koro in Po-Wahi to Mount Ihu in Ko-Wahi in under a minute. This is the only time in canon that I can think of that gives us both a distance travelled and a timeframe for that travel when the Kanohi Kakama is used, so I wanted to see if I could use that to figure out what speed a Kakama user is capable of moving at.

The official labelled map of the Island of Mata Nui puts the island’s length at approximately 357 Kio. A Kio is equal to 1.37km, so that means that the Island of Mata-Nui is approximately 489.09km long. I was able to then use this to count how many pixels that length represents in the official map of the island, which worked out at being 1480 pixels long. This meant that overall, this map is at a resolution of 330m per pixel (489.09km / 1480 pixels = 0.33 km or 330 meters). All I needed to do then was figure out the distance between Po-Koro and Mount Ihu, both of which are labelled on the map.

Unfortunately, at this map’s scale it is impossible to tell the exact route that Pohatu would have taken and therefore it is not possible to take into account any twists and turns he may have taken along the way or take into account the change in elevation as he went up and down the mountains of Ko-Wahi on his way to Mount Ihu. I therefore simply took the straight-line distance for this calculation, as this would be the absolute minimum distance he would have had to travel. I also decided to put the time value at a full minute, as the book and BS01 do not give specifics, only that the journey took “under a minute” – so let’s just estimate it at exactly one minute for ease of use. By taking these numbers I won’t be able to get the actual speed Pohatu was going on this journey, but I will be able to calculate the bare minimum speed he would’ve needed to be travelling at, as any shortening of the timeframe or any additional distance that the actual journey would have taken would only increase the final speed measured.

By drawing a line on the map from Po-Koro to Mount Ihu and then counting the pixels, I found that the straight-line distance between these two points was 386 pixels long, which works out at being 127,380 meters. The equation for speed is speed = distance / time, so all I needed to do was plug in the numbers:

 

Speed = distance / time

Speed = 127,380m / 60 seconds

Speed = 2,123 meters per second

 

That is an absolutely insane speed. That is over 6 times the speed of sound. And remember, this is the absolute bare minimum speed Pohatu could have been travelling at, meaning the actual speed of the Kakama is even faster than this, probably by a significant margin.

I wanted to know how fast the Kakama was.

Turns out it is fast.

Speed Calculation.png

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I'll be honest. I read the title and thought 'oh, here we go again; another Bionicle fan overanalysing their favourite franchise'.

I wasn't expecting a post with actual effort put into the calculations and a really funny conclusion. Nice work!

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Greg always said that it's about the same level as The Flash's typical speed, obviously besides the utterly insane stuff that happens in those comics.

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The little lore booklet that came with the Quest for the Masks trading card game says the Kanohi Kakama "triples the speed of its wearer". So whatever speed Pohatu is on foot multiplied by 3 is his speed with the Kakama. Granted, what is and isn't canon in Bionicle isn't always clear, especially if it's from a game. 

This might sound weird, but I think Pohatu is the slowest Toa. Watch footage of him walking in the 2001 QuickTime animation, MNOG, or Legend of Mata Nui PC game. He's slow and very heavy (the earth shakes with every step) until he uses his Kakama. If his Kakama speed is his normal speed tripled, he would still be very fast, but perhaps not as fast as the other Toa also using their Kakama powers. 

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That's fair. There's one scene in Tales of the Masks, too, where Pohatu and Kopaka are talking and, just as Kopaka's about to tell him that the entrance to the cave they're looking for is blocked by rocks, Pohatu vanishes and reappears instantly, having Kakama-speed-ed to the cave entrance and back before Kopaka can even finish the word he's currently speaking. Again, no distance is given - though it's suggested to take them a while to make the journey without using the mask power - but your result sounds like it would make that an absolutely possible thing to do.

In the same book, Gali is travelling fast enough by Kakama Nuva to vibrate through solid rock, which is implied to be an ability of the Nuva mask that the standard Kakama didn't possess. I don't know how fast you have to be going for that to be possible, but if it's even faster than the classic Kakama allows, that can only be an extraordinarily ridiculous speed!

Great work on this, by the way! It's fascinating to see things like mask powers defined in real-world terms :D

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi

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  • 1 month later...

Is Pohatu the slowest toa? I don't quite think he is as the kakama is mentioned to triple the wearer's speed and if he can go that fast I'd like to think he's really fast, especially in his nuva state. Then again I'm biased since he is my favorite toa.

Bazinga! I've been a Bionicle Fan since early 2015 and have been aware of it since 2008. Was a bit late to the party due to my age, but that doesn't matter now. Looking for krana and sealed G1 sets at below market value if possible, (otherwise it'll be a few years before I care to collect sets I don't care as much about) Bohrok Kal and Krana Kal Mask Pack sets are ones I am particularly looking for atm.

I go by Nektann or Marcato usually online.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/13/2021 at 6:55 PM, Nektann said:

Is Pohatu the slowest toa? I don't quite think he is as the kakama is mentioned to triple the wearer's speed and if he can go that fast I'd like to think he's really fast, especially in his nuva state. Then again I'm biased since he is my favorite toa.

Without his mask power, he's indeed the slowest, but not by that much. All of the Toa are pretty comparable in their basic physical attributes, with only small edges over each other. Pohatu's the strongest, Lewa's the fastest, and Gali is the most nimble. Tahu, Onua, and Kopaka don't really have anything that stands out about them. 

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