Mata Nui Online Game
"There is no single, clear goal for you to accomplish -- finding your true purpose is up to you, and it may or may not be possible to 'win the game.'"
|Mata Nui Online Game|
The Mata Nui Online Game, originally known as the Mata Nui Adventure Game or Mata Nui: The Online Game and often informally referred to as the MNOLG or the MNOG, is the first BIONICLE online game. Developed by Templar Studios and released on BIONICLE.com in January 2001, the game played a pivotal role in the BIONICLE line's success. It was updated approximately every month throughout 2001 until it received its last update in December. In 2002 it received a small update allowing players to reset their game, and in 2003 a sequel, Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle, was launched. The game remained online until early 2004, when it was taken down to make way for new content. However, due to popular demand, it was re-released on BIONICLE.com as an exclusive download in March 2006. It was again removed in February 2009 to make way for new content. It was later re-released by Templar Studios in 2013, only to be removed again in 2019.
- Mouse - Navigate through the world and menus.
- To access different scenes, the player should move the pointer all the way to the left or right until it turns into a stone circle with a red swirling arrow on it and then click.
- To use an object or to present it to another character, the player should click on the backpack icon in the upper-right corner then click and drag the object out of the backpack and toward an object or character to use it.
The game unfolded in "episodes" that were revealed over the course of the following year at semi-regular intervals. This was accomplished by placing obstacles in-game that kept the player from reaching locked areas: having lava too hot to cross, closing the marina, a snow-storm in Ko-Koro, etc. The Great Telescope foreshadowed when new content would become available. The date shown at the bottom of specific panels at the base of the device were to be read and compared with a date on the telescope itself. When the two dates matched, the stars seen through the telescope would resemble those on the matching panel.
Players can only explore the beach outside of Ta-Koro. Tahu's Toa Canister lies on the beach, and a large stone totem can also be found here. On top of a cliff is a rock formation; there the player can view the legend of Mata Nui or watch the Wall of Stars through a telescope. The path to Ta-Koro is blocked by a lava river. A short cutscene of Tahu looking back at the player is shown.
The lava river clears, and players can cross over to Ta-Koro. Here they can explore the Charred Forest, where they can meet Kapura; visit the gatehouse, where they can meet Jala; and explore the village itself, where they can meet with Vakama. There is also a cablecar leading to Ko-Wahi, but the Ta-Matoran guard will not let the player use the car without a guard insignia.
Maku appears on the beach. The player can use her boat to visit Ga-Koro, which is strangely deserted. However, by diving underwater, collecting a gear, and then placing it into a pump, the player can raise a sunken hut from the water. Inside are the Ga-Matoran and Nokama. Gali fights the Tarakava that trapped the villagers and then leaves. In Ga-Koro, the player can talk to Nokama, Maku, and Nixie.
The player can now travel to Po-Wahi. Here, an epidemic has spread via infected Kolhii Balls. A bit of scouting around reveals that the seller of the balls got them from a quarry. Traveling to the quarry initiates a fight between Pohatu and a Nui-Jaga. Upon winning the fight, Pohatu and the player flee from the quarry, and Pohatu resolves to help the Po-Matoran throw the Kolhii Balls into the sea. After the infected Kolhii Balls are disposed of, the Kolhii Ball trader seems to have disappeared.
The player can now travel to Onu-Koro. Here, a mining accident has caused a Lightstone shortage. Traveling to the main Lightstone mine reveals that a huge lava flow has flowed over the path to the mine's entrance, stopping miners from entering or leaving. The player can solve this by using a Lava Board and then by solving a small puzzle. The players also find out that there is an unbreakable rock layer at the bottom of Mine Shaft B. There, a disk lies planted into the ground. The player can travel to Ga-Koro to retrieve from Nixie a gnomon; the gnomon fits into the disk, revealing it to be a sundial. When light is shined on the sundial, it opens to reveal a small staircase that leads to a room containing a Golden Mask. However, there is nothing to do there.
Taipu and the other Onu-Koro diggers finish the tunnel to Le-Wahi. The player can now travel to Le-Koro but learns that Turaga Matau and many other Le-Matoran were kidnapped from the village and brought to a Nui-Rama hive. The player joins Kongu and helps rescue the Matoran.
If the player goes back to Ta-Koro, Jala tells them that Ta-Matoran guards have gone missing in Ko-Wahi and asks the player to join the guard to investigate their disappearance. If the player agrees, they gain access the Ta-Wahi-Ko-Wahi cablecar, which they can use to travel to Ko-Wahi. There the player meets and saves Kopeke, who informs them of the fate of Jala's guards, then travels to Ko-Koro. Entering the Sanctum, the player can see Turaga Nuju, but cannot talk to him without his interpreter, Matoro, to translate his bird Rahi dialect. The player can climb Mount Ihu to find Matoro and in so doing meet Kopaka. Back in the Sanctum, Nuju then asks the player to deliver a message to all the Turaga.
The Turaga gather volunteers to aid the Toa to Kini-Nui. The player then travels around the island gathering the volunteers and ultimately reaches the waterfall at Ga-Wahi. Then, the Matoran volunteers use their skills to get to Kini-Nui, where the player meets the Toa and agrees to defend Kini-Nui while the Toa venture underground to defeat Makuta.
The Matoran are saved by the arrival of aid from the villages. During the commotion Takua—the player—sneaks into the Mangaia and witnesses the battle between the Toa Kaita and the Manas. After defeating the Manas, the Kaita are suddenly separated back into their component Toa. Takua watches as the six Toa encounter and defeat Teridax using their Elemental Powers. The Toa eventually return to the surface. Takua is left behind in the chamber, and Teridax sends a signal to awake the Bohrok. Takua escapes back to Ta-Wahi and finds Turaga Vakama, who leads the brave adventurer again to Ta-Koro.
There are several smaller activities scattered throughout the main game. Completing these is necessary to advance the game.
On Ta-Wahi Beach, the player encounters a frantic Maku who claims that her village has been attacked by Rahi. The player agrees to help and is granted the use of the Ga-Matoran's boat. The player uses the craft to sail to the shores of Naho Bay near Ga-Koro. The player approaches the village's entrance but discovers a portcullis barring his entry.
The gate employs a weight-based mechanism to seal off entry to the village. On the left side of the mechanism hangs a large Mata Nui stone, and on the right hangs a shell that acts as a basket. Above the sealed archway is a circular stone bordered by a ring; both of these have a small, blue marker embedded in them. While the ring is static, the disk inside rotates based on the balance between the Mata Nui stone and the basket. Stones scattered on the ground around the gate are to be placed into the shell, thus raising the left side of the mechanism, lowering the right, and rotating the middle stone. When the weights on each sides of the mechanism are equal and the two blue markers align, the gate opens.
With the gate raised, the player can enter the floating village only to discover that it is in ruins.
Upon discovering that Ahkmou is selling infected Comet balls on behalf of Makuta, the player alerts Turaga Onewa, who sends for Toa Mata Pohatu. Pohatu and the player travel to the Po-Wahi Quarry where they discover a Nui Jaga nest filled with infected Kolhii balls. The resident Nui-Jaga blinds the Toa who turns to the player for guidance.
Pressing and holding the mouse button charges Pohatu's kick, and releasing it propels a Kolhii Ball forward. Should Kolhii balls destroy all of the nest's back pillars, the cave will collapse. The purple Nui-Jaga inhabiting the nest will try to block Pohatu's shots.
With Makuta's plan foiled, the Nui-Jaga retreats further into the collapsing nest. The player and Pohatu both escape, the latter using his Kanohi Kakama.
After using a Lava Board to cross a lava-covered tunnel, the player is presented with a control system for the lava pump. It consists of nine buttons that need to be pressed at the same time.
Pressing a button reverses the state of that button and all of the buttons adjacent but not diagonal to it. For example, pressing a corner button reverses that button and the two buttons to its sides.
After the player completes the puzzle, the pipes leaking lava are closed, and the corridor becomes navigable by foot again.
Having entered the seemingly abandoned Le-Koro, the player find a Flute fitted with a Flutesong.
Clicking the cyan tab on the flute causes a sequence of green keys to light up. Following the pattern plays a song.
After the song is successfully played, the Le-Matoran hiding throughout Le-Koro come out of hiding and greet the player.
While the player is in Le-Koro, Nui-Rama attack the village. As the other members of the Gukko Force prepare for aerial battle, Kongu asks the player to be his second. The player agrees and flies alongside Kongu to the Nui-Rama Hive.
During the journey, the player must throw disks at attacking Nui-Rama by clicking in the appropriate direction.
After the player successfully fends off the Rahi, Kongu's Kahu bird reaches the hive and flies inside.
While journeying to Ko-Koro, the player enters a room with a sealed door.
The blocks that are found in the chamber have depictions of the six Toa Mata's Great Kanohi as well as the Turaga's Noble Kanohi. These blocks must be properly arranged on the grid-like walls of the room. In the bottom row sit pre-set blocks bearing the symbols of each of the six Koro. The Great masks should be placed across the top row and the Noble masks should be placed across the middle row such that the masks occupy the same columns as their respective Koro.
After the player correctly arranges the blocks, the door opens, allowing passage to the village.
When the Chronicler's Company reaches the Kini-Nui, the Toa ask the group to defend the temple against Rahi. Battle with the Rahi begins shortly thereafter and occurs in regular bouts.
During combat, clicking on a Matoran and then clicking on a Rahi causes the Matoran to fire his or her disk at the Rahi, injuring it. Doing so repeatedly prompts the Rahi to retreat and to drop its mask. Meanwhile, the Rahi also attack the Matoran, who sometimes dodge the attacks and are sometimes struck. The Matoran are forced to retreat when they lose all their health. The player cannot control whether or not the Matoran successfully dodge the attacks.
Following each successful battle, Takua has a short vision of the Battle of Mangaia.
At the end of a few battles, a great number of Rahi besiege the temple and defeat seems imminent. At this point, Matoran from the different villages appear and rescue the Company.
|Kapura||Ta-Matoran||Fire||200 - 300||40||250|
|Maku||Ga-Matoran||Water||5 - 75||10||150|
|Tamaru||Le-Matoran||Air||25 - 100||15||200|
|Kopeke||Ko-Matoran||Ice||50 - 100||25||300|
|Hafu||Po-Matoran||Stone||50 - 100||20||250|
|Taipu||Onu-Matoran||Earth||75 - 250||35||400|
|Nui-Rama||Mosquito Rahi||Air||25 - 75||15||400|
|Nui-Kopen||Wasp Rahi||Air||25 - 75||15||500|
|Kahu||Hawk Rahi||Air||15 - 50||20||600|
|Kofo-Jaga||Fire Scorpion Rahi||Fire||100 - 300||25||400|
|Nui-Jaga||Giant Scorpion Rahi||Stone||100 - 300||30||550|
|Water Tarakava||Water Lizard Rahi||Water||125 - 325||25||500|
|Sand Tarakava||Sand Lizard Rahi||Stone||125 - 325||25||500|
|Tarakava Nui||King Lizard Rahi||Water||150 - 350||30||650|
|Muaka||Tiger Rahi||Ice||250 - 450||30||800|
|Kane-Ra||Bull Rahi||Stone||300 - 500||35||900|
|Kuma Nui||Rat Rahi||Earth||15 - 60||15||400|
Originally, LEGO intended to tell the 2001 BIONICLE story through BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui and a 3D-animated movie. Meanwhile, that year's comics and Templar's online game would flesh out the world. However, neither of the main projects came to fruition, leaving the Mata Nui Online Game--which, for the most part, presented the Toa's quest only as background information--as the primary story source for that year.
Even though it was not approved by the BIONICLE story team and Greg Farshtey stated that certain elements of the game are non-canon, the Mata Nui Online Game proved hugely influential to the BIONICLE storyline. Later media canonized many aspects of the BIONICLE world as presented in the Mata Nui Online Game.
- The method by which the Toa obtain their Golden Kanohi varied across the 2001 media. In the Mata Nui Online Game, Lewa places his six Kanohi on his Suva at Le-Koro, sinks into it, and rises back up with his Golden Kanohi. When all the Toa arrive at Kini-Nui later in the game, they are wearing their normal masks, which promptly shift to become the Golden Kanohi. Later media clarified the canon version of events: once the Toa found all their Kanohi, they placed them on life-size statues of themselves at Kini-Nui, and their Golden Kanohi appeared in the masks' place.[MGttU, p. 21]
- Matoro appears to use the power of his Kanohi Akaku, despite being a Matoran. Later stories clarified that Matoro's mask had a built-in "zoom" feature unrelated to the Akaku's power of X-ray vision.
- Gali's mental link with Takua is referenced in Takanuva's Blog, which is canon.[TB]
- Similarly, the canon serial Reign of Shadows references the Chronicler's Company, cementing the organization in canon.[RoS, Ch. 12]
- In both the 2001 comics and The Legend of Mata Nui, Nuju speaks normally. However, Nuju requires a translator in the Mata Nui Online Game. The latter interpretation endured in future media.
Under certain circumstances, Nokama and Jala will refer to "Papu and Rangi," and Jala mentions that those beings chose the location of Ta-Koro. Jala also refers to "the great Haka-Dance" if spoken to prior to saving Ga-Koro in the German translation. The names Papu, Rangi, and Haka are derived from the Māori language and were most likely excised from later canon due to the Māori lawsuits. While Papu and Rangi were never renamed and therefore remain non-canonical, the great Haka-Dance has been renamed the Great Takara. This is reflected in all other conversations in the game--including speaking to Jala after saving Ga-Koro in the German translation, a conversation which also sees Jala mention some details omitted in the English version, such as his supporting Vakama during the great Takara, along with a brief mention of Lhii the Surfer.
The floating gold Kanohi Hau beneath the Great Sundial was part of a BIONICLE contest run in 2001. The word shown above it is "RAHI." Contestants were to find words both online and in print that were written beneath gold masks in the Matoran script. By decoding these messages, writing them down on an official entry form, and mailing in the form, contestants entered into a sweepstakes to win a 14-karat solid gold Kanohi Hau.
The game was made available for download from BIONICLE.com in March 2006. The game then featured a more user-friendly interface; while the player could not save their game, they could choose to continue playing from one of nine "chapters" of the game. After these, there was a tenth button that allowed players to access the Book of Chronicles from the menu. Along the bottom of the game's screen were two more buttons: One for a small help window describing the game's most basic features, and the other for switching the game's language to German.
The game itself was mostly unchanged, though the word "Tohunga" was replaced with "Matoran" for continuity's sake (with the exception of the minigame for the Battle for Kini-Nui). However, characters like Jala and Maku were still referred to by their original names (Jala and Maku respectively), as Naming Day had yet to occur in-story. Also, instead of having to acquire a backpack and Lightstone, Takua automatically has them when the game begins. In addition, Tahu's first cutscene on the beach is no longer triggered in-game, though it can still be accessed via the Book of Chronicles.
Along with the re-release, the LEGO Group released a brand-new walkthrough that serves as a step-by-step guide through the game, written by Mark Durham. It is presented in the form of a story supposedly written by Takua himself. Unfortunately, the walkthrough makes some odd decisions as a result of the fact that it is based on the final version of the game - where almost every area is accessible very early on, most notably through the presence of Maku on the beach. While Templar's intent was always that Kapura be the first character the player spoke to, the walkthrough instead has the player travel straight to Ga-Koro and rescuing the villagers there before returning to Ta-Koro - only meeting Kapura after talking to both Jala and Vakama!
With the game originally being released over the course of a year, the story it tells is intended to take place across a similar timeframe - a matter of months, not hours. In his first conversation with the player, Vakama mentions their Lava Board - the Matoran who has it for safekeeping would not be added until after the Ga-Koro update wherein the player obtains the backpack. This leads to an awkward moment in the walkthrough where the player collects the Lava Board before speaking to Vakama, and in the ensuing conversation internally remarks that they already have it.
In the 2006 rerelease, several text files are missing for the journey of the Chronicler's Company to Kini-Nui. As a result, attempting to speak with certain party members at specific landmarks (e.g. speaking with Tamaru at the broken bridge) will result in a blank text box. This is reflected by Mark Durham's otherwise comprehensive walkthrough, which omits any missing dialogue during this chapter.
The game was removed from BIONICLE.com once again in 2009, but the rereleased version was made available online in 2013 by its creators, Templar Studios. This version is slightly different from the 2006 version, as it retains use of the "Tohunga" term and still has the all the dialogue for the Chronicler's Company.
- Messages in Matoran script appear throughout the game.
- The tunnels connecting Ta-Koro, Onu-Koro and Le-Koro are called the "ONU-TA-LE-KORO SUBTRANSECT."
- A carved stone at the Po-Matoran trader's stall reads: "MY FRIEND WENT TO POWAHI AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY ROCK."
- Huki's box art appears on a leaf in Maku's house. It appears to be signed in Matoran script by Huki himself: "TO MAKU WITH LOTS OF LOVE HUKI."
- Onepu has a tin of "USSAL WAX."
- There is a rock in Le-Wahi, off to the right as one travels from Le-Koro to the tunnel entrance, with Matoran writing upon it that reads "WAKE ONE AND YOU WAKE THEM ALL."
- There is a rock carving in the Wastes inscribed with the text "BEWARE THE SWARM." The player must brush snow off the rock to read the message. The same message briefly appears as the player falls unconscious in the snowstorm, along with the symbol for the Bohrok.
- The walls of the Sanctum include packaging information from a LEGO set and a quote from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series: "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" The translation of the packaging information is "Made by Lego; Produced by CH 6340 Baar Switzerland; Distributed by the Lego Group; DY; 7190 Ailluni Denmark; (c)2001 Lego Group."
- The stand selling "COMETS" in Po-Koro has a sign which reads "MAKE ME AN OFFER." After the discovery that the Comet balls are infected, a hastily erected sign at the deserted stand reads "GONE FISHING."
- In the fight between Lewa and Onua, the Matoran numbers 0 and 1 rapidly flash behind the characters as Lewa uses his Kanohi Komau to control the mind of a Nui-Kopen.
- The entrance to the Cavern of Light has a sign above it reading "Cavern of Light." While all other entrance signs are written in Matoran, this one is written in English (or German, if the player is playing in that mode).
- Early in development, Templar referred to the player character as either "The Visitor" or "George". Saffire also used this name for Takua, as evidenced by the "EvilGeorge" cheat code in BIONICLE: Quest for the Toa and his cameo in the game LEGO Backlot.
- While the carvings at the base of the telescope mostly line up with events in the game, there are a couple of oddities: the carving for the Po-Wahi update has a picture of a bird, while that for Onu-Wahi depicts Onua standing next to a strange-looking figure with no legs.
- Aside from the Chronicler's company, only the Matoran released as part of the 2001 McDonalds Happy Meal promotion are named. All have their original pre-Naming Day names.
- Hafu and Taipu's Kanohi were swapped at some point in development, perhaps due to their identical coloration. This was corrected in Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle, which included the option to greet Taipu as Hafu as a nod to the error. If you do so, Taipu bemoans the fact that everyone seems to confuse him with Hafu. Taipu's appearance also differs from that of the Saffire games.
- Various prominent Matoran from the Mata Nui Online Game were named in The Final Chronicle, including Nixie the astrologer and Mamru the chief prospector. Many of the names introduced in The Final Chronicle were not cleared by LEGO's legal team, although they have entered fan parlance and the canon story Tentacles uses several.
- In his first conversation with the player, Vakama mentions that he is preparing for the arrival of "another." He is referring to the seventh Toa--not knowing that he is talking to the very Matoran of whom prophecy speaks.
- Maku's dialogue on the beach seems to imply that Gali has faced the Rahi before, as seen in Deep into Darkness. Maku's own departure from the village--though apparently a regular habit for her--could similarly be explained by her appearance in Challenge of the Rahi. The timescales here roughly make sense in terms of the game as originally released, but not in terms of the timeline presented by the later walkthrough.
- The unnamed fish in Ga-Koro is the same as that featured in the cancelled BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui.
- After the removal of the infected balls, the Kolhii fans outside the pitch in Po-Koro chant sporting phrases such as "Who ate all the pies?! Who ate all the pies?!"
- The Great Mine elevator's lever is occasionally in the wrong position.
- As stated on their blog, Templar Studios originally envisioned Onu-Wahi's Rahi problem as being the result of "wolf rats," Rahi seen in BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui. At some point, the threat was changed to "fire scorpions" (Kofo-Jaga). An entire additional minigame was planned for the Onu-Wahi section of the game, in which the player would have fended off the Kofo-Jaga using throwing disks purchased from various merchants in Onu-Koro. The minigame would led into an animation wherein Onua fought off the Kofo-Jaga. This animation made it as far as the storyboard stage before being scrapped. The same blog post mentions "bad air" as being a problem the player would have to solve in the expanded version of Onu-Wahi.
- The impenetrable rock layer troubling the Onu-Matoran is the face of the Great Spirit Robot.
- The song played when the Le-Matoran prepare to attack the Nui-Rama Hive is "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner. Some other songs in the soundtrack are borrowed from stock music libraries, such as "Predators A" by Dick De Benedictis.
- On modern computers, the game is not frame-limited, causing certain animations to play very quickly. This is felt most notably in the battle against the Nui-Rama, where the enemies move extremely quickly and are almost impossible to hit. One "trick" to defeating the Rahi is noticing that the Nui-Rama that actually attack only do so along one particular flight path.
- When Matoro rescues the player in the snowstorm, he hands the player a Vuata Maca fruit. This fruit is a powerup in the Quest for the Toa and in The Legend of Mata Nui.
- When it was originally released, the battle at Kini-Nui continued with endless waves of Rahi. The game's next update brought an end to the fight. To keep players interested, Templar designed a complex system of type advantages--as reflected by the dialogue from the Chronicler's Company--but the vast majority of the Rahi were never implemented, with only Nui-Rama, Nui-Jaga, Tarakava and Muaka appearing in the final version of the game.
- Tamaru and Maku have no advantage against any of the Rahi which appear in the final version, while Kapura and Taipu are strong against all of them. Hafu is strong against the Nui-Rama, and Kopeke is strong against the Nui-Jaga and the Muaka.
- Even if the player does not talk to Onewa after defeating the Nui-Jaga (and thus does not receive the Po-Koro Chisel), Takua still uses it to escape the Bohrok at the end of the game.
- The animation style of the mini movies made for BIONICLE's 2015 reboot was inspired by that of the Mata Nui Online Game, though the former's art is more stylized whereas the latter's is authentic to the sets.
- "I think Papu and Rangi have plans for you that are greater than your stature would suggest. Perhaps you are to be a hero like the Toa. I do not know."
- "Ta-Koro ist die Stadt im großen Flammensee, die von Papu und Rangi als Ort des Feuers ausgewählt wurde. Von dieser Festung aus wird die Brücke dorthin bewacht. Viele Matoran leben dort. Sicher hast du schon davon gehört?"
- "Ich bin Jala, Kommandant der Wache und vom Stamm der Lhii Surfer. Beim großen Haka-Tanz stehe ich Vakama zur Seite. Meine Aufgabe ist es, die Stadt gegen die Rahi zu schützen. Ich merkte schon lange, dass sie immer stärker wurden, aber keiner in der Stadt schenkte mir Glauben - bis die Bestien die Kluft von Tren Krom stürmten."
- "Ich bin Jala, Kommandant der Wache und vom Stamm der Lhii Surfer. Beim großen Takara-Tanz stehe ich Vakama zur Seite. Meine Aufgabe ist es, die Stadt gegen die Rahi zu schützen. Ich merkte schon lange, dass sie immer stärker wurden, aber keiner in der Stadt schenkte mir Glauben - bis die Bestien die Kluft von Tren Krom stürmten."
- BIONICLE The Official Web Site, March 2006 (archive)
- Play the Mata Nui Online Game at Templar Studios' website
- Play the Mata Nui Online Game at the BioMedia Project
- Download the game from the BioMedia Project
- Templar Studios - Storyboards from MNOLG, 2001 (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Storyboards: Ta-Koro (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Storyboards: P3-5 (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Storyboards: The Fire Scorpions (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Program 6: Le-Koro (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Program 7: Ko-Koro (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Program 8: Flight to Kini-Nui (archive)
- Templar Studios - MNOLG Program 9: The Light of Victory, and its Shadow, Part 1 (archive)