From BIONICLEsector01


According to Greg (here) the user of a Great Mahiki isn't actually shapeshifting, just changing the way they look. Cheesy Mac n Cheese (talk) 05:15, 18 May 2015 (CEST)

Optical Illusions?

It says in the trivia section that the Mahiki does not affect the target's mind. First of all, that would mean its powers are not psionic. Second, it begs two questions:

  1. Is it possible that the Mahiki actually has limited light powers, perhaps similar to those of an Av-Matoran?
  2. In that case, wouldn't the illusions still affect beings with mental shields?

-- Great Jala Cthulhu fhtagn 22:17, 3 March 2016 (CET)

Original description on

So I know i'm dredging up an old debate here on the shapeshifting vs. illusion thing, but I distinctly remember the original description on in 2004 saying that the mask allowed him to shapeshift, but then went on to specify that he couldn't take the powers of those whose shape he took - if they felt the need to specify that he can't copy someone 's powers with the mask, i took that to mean that he could truly shapeshift, instead of just casting an illusion that made him look like someone else.

1. does anyone know of a way to find that original description on the 2004 the wayback machine doesn't seem to be playing nice with me right now. 2. if we were to find the original description, i would think that would supersede Greg's more recent answer on the LMBs - given that established canon takes precedent over any new answers he gives (b/c forgetcons). right? 3. additionally, i remember in the book where the toa metru fought that mutated lohrok when they came back to metru nui that matau shifted to look like one, and then used his new wings to generate enough life to save himself and nuju - which he wouldn't have been able to do if the wings were simply an illusion, as opposed to an actual shapeshift. can anyone verify that scene happened? Intelligence4 (talk) 09:13, 3 February 2017 (CET)

I don't remember the website bio saying that, but if that scene happened in BA7, then that more or less clinches it. Strange though it may seem. --Angel Bob (talk) 22:51, 3 February 2017 (CET)
I don't have access to the book atm, but i remember it saying something about matau struggling to get lift when he caught a falling nuju, and one of the others pointedly said something to matau about the lohrok not having any friends - prompting him to use his mask, and then he wasn't struggling to keep nuju and himself in the air anymore. Intelligence4 (talk) 00:34, 4 February 2017 (CET)

So, I looked up the scene: it's in BA7 pages 74-75, and then he changes back on 79-80. Everything you describe did happen (nice memory!), but as it's written, there's nothing to indicate that turning into a Lohrak actually helped him carry Nuju. Furthermore, the narration very specifically describes it as the Mask of Illusion. There may still be a scene somewhere where Matau does something with the mask that can only be shapeshifting, but it isn't this scene. --Angel Bob (talk) 00:35, 24 February 2017 (CET)

dredging this up again: on page 30 of maze of shadows, matau is using his mask to shapeshift because he's bored (which, off topic, is such a great characterization of him haha). the book says, a couple times, that he's shapeshifting, and it's not in a character's words; the narrating voice outright says "shapeshifting". one of those was "while in the shape of a..." - not "while having the appearance of a..." or "looking like a..." or anything else - it pretty clearly states that he physically changed shape. Intelligence4 (talk) 23:22, 4 June 2017 (CET)
surel, i'm so glad you found that quote in the BEU haha. i knew i remembered that correctly! Intelligence4 (talk) 07:48, 16 September 2017 (CET)
Well, the Updated Encyclopedia says that the Mahiki, "actually allowed the user to shape-shift." So that settles this, doesn,t it?--Harsulin's Ghost (talk) 18:42, 17 September 2017 (CET)
yes, it certainly does haha. Intelligence4 (talk) 21:36, 17 September 2017 (CET)

Shapeshifting power

So in a recent edit, we have put Shapeshifting as one of the Kanohi's power as that was referenced in BEU. However, that way it currently is contradicts the trivia section of both this page and that of Shapeshifting. Just wondering you guysc thoughts on this ~Mattym 08:41, 17 September 2017 (CET)

i think those trivia were added erroneously. they were probably derived from the false info we had on this page, so now that we have the correct information up, those trivia are evidently incorrect. Intelligence4 (talk) 21:36, 17 September 2017 (CET)
I wouldn't say that the info is erroneous per se, as it could be the case that Greg changed his mind about something and retconned it without obtaining the approval of the story team, hence causing discrepancies between two sources. Since neither would contradict other story details, it's hard to say which is "more correct". If we are all on board with the BEU taking precedence over OGD as an official source in this case, then we should update all relevant information to reflect that. I just wanted to make sure this is what we are opting for. ~Mattym 06:08, 18 September 2017 (CET)

Shapeshifting (for the last time hopefully)

With three (now four) topics on the subject over the past 5 years and there still being some disagreement in the community, I'll try to bring all the relevant sources so that this can hopefully be finally settled.

The BEU quote and its use of “actually” could be understood two ways. One is that the Mahiki allows true shapeshifting, not just the appearance of it. The other is that it simply emphasizes the difference between the Great and Noble versions, that being the Great can alter the shape of the user while the Noble can’t at all. The second interpretation can be supported by one of Greg's answers: “Matau's no longer just casts illusions, he can actually shapeshift.”1

My view is that the Mahiki’s shapeshifting ability isn’t real shapeshifting,2 only giving the appearance of shapeshifting through an enhanced illusion and is not considered a separate power from illusion.34 One difference among Mahiki users and actual shapeshifters is that the Mahiki cannot copy the original's physical abilities. For example, a Mahiki user cannot gain the ability to fly from shapeshifting to have wings,5 but the Makuta6 and Krahka7 can. The only reason Matau was able to fly as a Lohrak in BA7 is because, as a Toa of Air, he already could fly, shapeshifted or not. This would also explain why the Mahiki can both create illusions and "shapeshift" while they are two different Kraata powers and might explain why the Mahiki cannot do both at once.8

However, there are still some problems. When asked to clarify about this exact issue, Greg restated that it can "actually shapeshift" 9 and isn't just "projecting an illusion over yourself." 10 Also, while shapeshifted wings wouldn't be functional, a lengthened arm would be.11 Dag (talk) 23:40, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

I find this... unconclusive, if anything it clears that there are evidently two seperate interpretations, both presented by Greg himself, which naturally had caused the disagreement. The best solution would probably be to bring this up to Greg, but I don't know what the best way to do that is TBH. We don't want to flood him with information, but we also don't want to just ask the question without background as it's been more than a decade, I would highly suspect his answer would be along the lines of 'I don't remember' in that case. (And that is besides the matter of him not using the Boards atm.) ~ Wolk (talk) 23:55, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

I know asking Greg isn't really an option anymore, but we need to come to some sort of conclusion on this, especially since the page as it's currently written is somewhat contradictory. The infobox links to the Shapeshifting page, as if the Mahiki is true and actual shapeshifting, but also presents the quote that a Rode could see through a Mahiki user. If it's true shapeshifting, then where's the deception for the Rode to see through? I would like to again reevaluate everything. First, looking at published sources:

BEU - "The Great Mask version of this, worn by TOA MATAU, actually allows the user to shape-shift. The Noble Mask version, worn by Matau as a TURAGA, simply created illusions to confound enemies."
CoL - "Allows Matau to shapeshift and take on the appearance and voice of anyone he chooses."

These, I think, are inherently ambiguous. As already discussed, the BEU's use of actually could also be understood as simply emphasizing the difference between the Great and Noble.

In BA7 chapter 6:

"The Toa of Air put the delay to good use, using his Mask of Illusion to take on the appearance of the Lohrak. If Nokama was right, this thing had seen precious few others like it. The Lohrak paused in mid-flight. Above it was what looked like another of its kind, with a squirming Toa clutched in its claws. But something was not quite right… the scent, the way the wings moved, conveyed a sense of something 'other.'"

At first, this might seem to suggest that Matau's shapeshifted wings of his Lohrak form actually allowed him to fly, meaning they were real and not just some illusion, but Matau already had the ability to fly as a Toa of Air and with his Aero Slicers. In fact, it's precisely for that reason that I think it's only an illusion. The book continues by saying "the scent, the way the wings moved, conveyed a sense of something 'other.'" If the wings were real and what Matau was using to fly, I see no reason why they would've been moving awkwardly. It's possible that maybe Matatu just wasn't used to using wings as a Lohrak to fly, but that leads to the second point. If it was true shapeshifting, then surely Matatu could've replicated the scent as well, but he did not. At most, this is evidence that it's only an illusion. At the very least, it's also ambiguous.

(EDIT: I just realized that the book says Matau used "his Mask of Illusion to take on the appearance of the Lohrak." Intelligence4 in one of the previous topics made it a point to say that books say several times "'while in the shape of a...' - not 'while having the appearance of a...,'" but here it says exactly that, only that Matau took on the appearance of the Lohrak. But, since CoL uses both these phrases in conjunction as if they're synonymous, I don't think this is as big of a point as Intelligence4 made it seem.)

In BA7 chapter 4, Matau shapeshifts into a Vahki and has a conversation with a group of them. Since Matau can replicate the voices of those he shapeshifts into, that's not the problem. The problem is that Matau can hear and understand what the Vahki are saying. They speak at ultrasonic frequencies, which means Matau's ears as a Vahki must have actually worked, suggesting it wasn't simply an illusion. This is the only evidence within published sources that support it being actual shapeshifting, and even then it's not explicit. There could be some explanation I'm not considering that would makes this not as strong as it seems. This is also assuming that the Vahki speak Matoran, just at too high of frequencies to hear (which is what the Vahki page says, but with no citations). I couldn't find any Greg quotes saying they speak Matoran, but there's this quote saying the Vahki don't speek any langauge the Matoran would understand, although that's pretty ambiguous. If it turns out to not actually be Matoran, then this is more problematic than simply the question of shapeshifting, since it would mean the Mahiki functionally doubles as a Rau (actually, even better than the Rau, since it wouldn't work on Vahki).

Either way, it looks like a conclusion can't be reached just from published sources. Looking at Greg quotes, one says it's actually shapeshifting [1], but that's also in comparison to the Noble version, just like the BEU. Several say it's merely an enhanced version of illusion and not actually shapeshifting [2][3][4][5]. However, Greg has also said it is true shapeshifting [6] and isn't simply projecting an illusion over yourself [7] (although, I find it interesting that Greg says the Noble can do that, but I don't think we've actually seen it used that way?). He's also said that the shapeshifted forms of the Mahiki are real and physical [8]. However, as already mentioned, a Rode could see through a Mahiki user [9], which shouldn't be possible if it is true shapeshifting. While the Greg quotes are pretty evenly split, I think more goes towards it being an illusion, though I would like to find confirmation about the Vahki language first. Dag (talk) 22:30, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

Regarding the Vahki in BA7, wasn't it a plot point that Vahki normally speak at ultrasonic frequencies but "scorched" Vahki had altered speech centers that made them able to be understood by the Toa Metru ([1])? If the Vahki that Matau was interacting with were the "scorched" kind, then there's no shapeshifting magic required here. Matau should be able to communicate with the Vahki with just a simple illusion. --PeabodySam (talk) 15:52, 2 June 2024 (UTC)
Turns out my intuition was absolutely correct lol. Since chapter 4 is inherently ambiguous, I'm even more convinced that it's only an illusion because of the implications of chapter 6. I also later realized that Matau was already hovering/flying before turning into a Lohrak, so he almost definitely wasn't using his Lohrak wings to fly. Dag (talk) 15:58, 2 June 2024 (UTC)