BIONICLE Chronicles 1: Tale of the Toa

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This article is about the 2003 book. You may be looking for the promotional comic.
BIONICLE Chronicles 1: Tale of the Toa is semi-canon.
The subject of this article has aspects that are not part of the canon BIONICLE storyline. As such some, but not all, information on this page is non-canon. Non-canon information is presented for completeness and should not be removed.
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"Clearly, Makuta knows we're here. There is no time to lose. We need to find those masks — now."
Toa Mata Tahu

Tale of the Toa
Series BIONICLE Chronicles
Author Cathy Hapka
Publisher Scholastic, Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN 0-439-50116-4

Tale of the Toa was the first BIONICLE book released in 2003, and began the BIONICLE Chronicles series. Written by Cathy Hapka, this introduced the Toa of Mata Nui and how they met, expanding the first issues of the BIONICLE comics and weaving in the Toa's quest for the Kanohi.


The UK cover

The six canisters arrive at Mata Nui's beach, and the Toa emerge (Tahu, Gali, Onua, Kopaka, Pohatu and Lewa). The book starts out from Tahu's perspective; he finds the fragmented pieces of his sword, but is unable to use it properly until he finds and puts on his mask. He then finds his power of Fire. Gali is then roughly introduced to the fact that the Makuta has control of the Rahi. The other Toa each meet their Turaga, and learn that they must each collect six Kanohi masks. Four of the Toa hold a council. Kopaka finds his first Kanohi after meeting Pohatu, whom he reluctantly allows to tag along. Kopaka notices the other Toa in the distance while using his Akaku. Kopaka and Pohatu defeat a Kane-Ra together on their way to the other Toa.

The Toa begin their search for the Kanohi masks. Tahu discovers Infected Kanohi on a Kofo-Jaga while searching for a mask in Onu-Wahi, though he does not understand then what it means. Kopaka finds his Mask of Strength at an island in the Lava Lagoon, and receives a vision, although he does not know its significance at the time and passes it off as a trick of Teridax. After being saved by Lewa in the Lagoon, Kopaka learns that Onua has called a meeting. The rendezvous ends with the Toa deciding that they should work together after all. The Toa realize that the Rahi can be freed from Teridax's control by removing the infected Kanohi after Onua removes a Kanohi from a Tarakava. The Toa each collect all six masks, with each other's help. The Toa receive their Golden Kanohi at Kini-Nui, and the path to Teridax's lair, Mangaia, is revealed. The Toa encounter a pair of Manas, and fight the Rahi without much success. Gali and Kopaka agree based on their visions that they must combine to form the Toa Kaita, and they do this. Then the Manas are trapped by lava, and frozen solid, and their infected Kanohi are removed. The Toa Kaita separate into the Toa again. The Toa face the Shadow Toa, and eventually defeat them by each facing the counterpart for a Toa other than themselves.



  • The book provides another explanation of how the Toa Mata received their Golden Kanohi: they place all of their Kanohi on statues at the Kini-Nui, and their Golden Masks then appear on the statues. In both the Mata Nui Online Game and the BIONICLE: Quest for the Masks Trading Card Game, the Toa collected their Golden Masks from their Suva after placing all their Kanohi on them. As the book was approved by the story team but neither the online game nor the trading card game were, the book's explanation is seen as more canon.
  • This was the first publication to show the Toa's battle with the Shadow Toa. This battle was originally going to be shown in the canceled PC game, BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui. In the original 2001 Story Bible, the Toa won the battle by absorbing the Shadow Toa upon acknowledging that darkness was a part of them. Cathy Hapka, however, decided to have the Toa work together to defeat the Shadow Toa with their Elemental Powers. The original concept is canon.
  • In this book, the Toa Kaita defeat just two Manas. However, in the Mata Nui Online Game, the Toa Kaita defeat a horde of Manas by smashing control towers. In actuality aspects of both are canon. The Kaita did face only a pair of Manas as confirmed in BIONICLE Legends 2: Dark Destiny, but the fusions defeated the Rahi by destroying control towers as confirmed in BIONICLE: Encyclopedia.
  • Tale of the Toa was included in the BIONICLE Annual.
  • The book's Hungarian edition contains 176 pages as opposed to the English version's 124. It describes events in greater detail, dedicates extra paragraphs to fleshing out characters and environments, and has dialogue that is missing from the English release. Certain details also differ between scenes shared by both releases. It is likely the book got revised and shortened for its release in the English market, correcting mistakes like continuity errors, and the translation was based on the original text. The most noteworthy differences are:
    • The Toa are often incorrectly described wielding their Nuva tools. Tahu's Magma Swords, Gali's Aqua Axes, Pohatu's Climbing Claws and Lewa's Air Katana are referred to at several points. Strangely, the Air Katana are said to be green rather than silver.
    • Inactive Kanohi already have the colors of their corresponding Toa. In the revised English text, they are said to be gray instead.
    • The Toa gain knowledge of the Golden Kanohi and the Manas from their dreams. These were later attributed to the Turaga.
    • The Toa frequently celebrate by bumping fists.
    • Tahu sees a vision on the beach, foreshadowing the fight against Makuta and the Bohrok. When he fights against Kofo-Jaga, another vision foreshadows the Manas, the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal, the Rahkshi and Takanuva.
    • Lewa's chapter includes a short scene of him meeting a Le-Matoran.
    • Onua discovering Onu-Koro is detailed more extensively.
    • Gali's chapter goes on for much longer, including a lengthy scene where she meets Lewa.
    • During their first meeting, Onua describes each of the Toa's Kanohi powers. Tahu seems to have been unfamiliar with his own mask before this.
    • Before retrieving the mask from the Lava Lake, Kopaka flashes back to a scuffle with a Nui-Jaga.
    • There's a recap of the story before the Toa confront the Shadow Toa.
    • The Toa's fight with their duplicates goes on for longer.
    • After their defeat, each of the Shadow Toa's elemental remains are described receding back into six tunnels. Tahu's duplicate turns into smoke, Gali's into water droplets, Onua's into sand, Lewa's into a wisp of air, Kopaka's into steam and Pohatu's into lava bubbles.

See also

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