From BIONICLEsector01

Many of the sources on here simply say "main story." Thing is though, there wasn't really a "main" story. everything was told in comics, books, etc. So how do we know what media source these facts came from? Intelligence4 (talk) 20:35, 3 July 2015 (CEST)

I think a lot of the time "main story" means the same events happened in multiple sources. For example, a lot of events in 2005 took place in both the Web of Shadows movie and the novelization. Other times, the groundwork is laid out in published media but the details are expounded upon by Greg. For example, Lhikan's transformation into a Toa is listed as 2006 main story in Timeline/History of the Matoran Universe even though he only appeared as a novice Toa in Legacy of Evil--presumably Greg confirmed when Lhikan became a Toa so that got bunched in with the main story. Another similar case is how History of the Matoran Universe lists Takua's creation as 2008 main story, but if I'm not mistaken that was only touched on out-of-story. But you're right, other times the sources for the so-called "main story" are pretty unambiguous and they could be easily cited. I'd welcome a more thorough system if anyone has any ideas for one, but changing what we already have would be quite the undertaking, plus a lot of the old Greg quotes are gone. -- Morris the Mata Nui Cow (talk) 20:53, 3 July 2015 (CEST)
I've honestly never liked this system which is why I do my best to pretend it doesn't exist. Also I don't have any real ideas for alternatives. Plain citations? -- Dorek Talk External Image 20:56, 3 July 2015 (CEST)
it would indeed be a huge pain in the rear to change the system we have in place now, but i do think plain citations would be good... like the ref system we have with some of the more recent greg quotes from the LMBs. imho, it would be much better than the timeline's "main story" thing, or most facts on other articles just not being cited at all. Intelligence4 (talk) 09:17, 4 July 2015 (CEST)

I think this would be a subject well worth revisiting. The timeline can be exceptionally difficult to utilize sometimes--much less to edit. Without citations or notations, it can be impossible to know for certain what the original editor truly intended, and quite arduous to disprove. For the longest time, the History of the Matoran Universe timeline stated that the Dark Hunters were formed at least 80,000 years ago because (presumably) the original editor read a line describing their alliance with the League of Six Kingdoms. However, in the time since, no such alliance at 80,000 y.a. has been confirmed, and the only example of such an alliance occurs in the Destiny War.

Or, more recently, the 2005 timeline, which grew infamous among the fandom for its tangled gordian-knot manner of shifting between storylines in order for a semblance of chronology, even if it sacrificed the narrative. However, a more recent examination of the history seems to indicate that all of this would have been much easier to unravel if the original editor hadn't (presumably) confused and combined two different conversations between Kualus and Nuju from vastly different sections of the timeline.

I think two things are necessary: a strategy for naming the specific book/comic/animation/guide/game/etc where a certain event is first narrated or introduced; and a strategy for listing any additional citations (and ideally reasoning) that further pin down that event's placement in the timeline. For the first, I think the Refsquares should be revised not to just say "2004 Main Story" but specifically being able to state the place where the event takes place (maybe the title is entered manually while the color indicates the medium by which its originally presented, or that it's in several media). For the second, maybe a link to the footnotes where the evidence is outlined and cited.

Take, for example, the 2005 Timeline, which early references "Six canisters fall from the sky, landing in the sea around Mata Nui." Obviously, this action takes place at the very beginning of 2001, so "2001/Multiple Media" would fulfill the first question. However, it remains unclear why this event should go here in the timeline, as opposed to the actual 2001 timeline. This can be especially confusing when so many 2001 media and even the words of the Matoran themselves present the canisters falling from the sky as one of the inciting incidents of 2001.

Additionally, I think it would also be worth having headings whenever one medium or another has a dominant section within a particular timeline. In the 2005 timeline (it's at the front of my mind, as you can tell), then we could have headers for "Web of the Visorak" for its exclusive sections, then "Main Story" for when they are captured, mutated, and meet the Rahaga as it's presented in multiple media, then "2005 Web Comics" since that mode takes over, then "Challenge of the Hordika" as the timeline turns and exclusively focuses on it, then "2005 Comics" when the storyline becomes exclusively that, before finally changing to "Web of Shadows" and "Time Trap" to round out the story.

Hopefully this makes sense. No matter what, given that a common complaint is confusion or frustration arising due the BS01 timeline layout, I think it would be well worth taking a second look at how they are presented and how we can make them more accessible.

--Gonel (talk) 17:21, 18 September 2020 (UTC)


So as it stands we use the so-called "present day" as the anchor point for telling time. Back in the day people tried to make "BGC" and "AGC" a thing, which I thought was blech (and still do!) but given that the story is no longer occurring, I'm open to revisiting the subject. Any thoughts? -- Dorek Talk External Image 02:46, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

I've considered this before, but while it may look nicer, Greg uses the present day as his anchor, so I think we should too. Dag (talk) 03:07, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
The problem with present day is that it changes depending on the source material and when Greg said it, so it is not a consistent measuring stick. It works okay for events far in the past, but it is confusing for events that happened within a year or so of the end of the story. —Planetperson 17:28, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
Stick to Present day, and Present day is anything before the Melding, and then anything after. This is the hill I am willing to die on. --External Image Owner (talk|contribs)

Planetperson's assessment is really the only reason I bring it up; when basically everything from 2001-2003, and then 2006-2010, take place in a single year, from a record keeping perspective THAT'S the outlier, even though that's still the bulk of our media.

Swert's otherwise unhelpful contribution, however, does illustrate the point that there are several potential markers we could decided on to use as the anchor point (which is why I was always AGAINST having one at all, since everybody's got their own idea).

Likewise, the discussion could be broadened out to stuff like the "location" and "status" sections in infoboxes; they were great ideas at the time, but since the story is more or less fossilized, I wonder how useful they really are.

I'm certainly not fussed about it, just wondering since we're attacking the timelines now anyway, if that's something we wanted to consider. -- Dorek Talk External Image 04:10, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

My personal thought would be to make the anchor point the general Tales of the Tohunga/summoning of the Toa Mata to Mata Nui. Not only is this the inciting incident for the narrative, but just about everything can be relatively rounded to about a year before or after that point. The Shattering happens 100,000 years before it, and the Great Cataclysm occurs 1,000 years before it. Moreover, the reawakening of the Great Spirit Robot happens a full year after they arrive on Mata Nui. It would provide the simplest standard of counting, whereas going with "Present Day" as an anchor means you have to say the Shattering happened 100,001 and a few months ago, the GC ~1,001 years ago, the Raid on Artakha ~2,501 years ago--as opposed to the clean numbers that taking out the extra year would give. Even if you don't mention the months, you have to go through all the measurements (most of which were stated in the narrative during the year between the arrival of the Mata and the awakening of the GSR) and correct them all to add an additional year that they were not originally including.
Regardless of this, though, the further away from the year this occurs--the year from the arrival of the Toa Mata to the awakening of the GSR--the fuzzier the timeline becomes. 2009 in general plays very fast and loose with its timeline (Nothing more definitive for 2009/10 is given than "weeks" between the Fall of Atero and the Raid on Vulcanus, or "months" between Makuta seizing the GSR and the Battle of Bara Magna). The only time definitive dating is given is for the arrival of the Skrall on Bara Magna, and here Greg ends up contradicting himself (less than a year vs a few years). In other words, barring some obscure reference or Greg quote that I still haven't been able to track down (and I've looked everywhere I can think to look), there's no way to no for certain what "Present Day" actually is relative to the awakening of the Toa Mata.
One more thing to note, is that there is (again, that I've been able to find) no source on the time Mata Nui spends in space, meaning that trying to anchor the 2009 timeline relative to anything that came before it is taking a shot in the dark. Here as well, Mata Nui spends an undefined amount of time in space, meaning that even if we could make educated guesses and draw a rough outline of 2009, we can't know for certain how much of it (if any) happened prior to the reawakening of the GSR.
Tl;dr Effectively all we have to go on to know what "present day" is are the vague "Months had passed" phrase that occurs twice in Journey's End chapter 4--and then adding however much time passed after that in the serials. Consequently, the position of the present day is too weak to be used as an effective anchor point, and a stronger point would be the summoning of the Toa Mata, from which most things can be charted. (I'd alternatively suggest the Shattering, but everyone's so used to counting backwards, both on BS01 and in the story that this would just be completely confusing).
Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong if there is more definitive information out there somewhere... --Gonel (talk) 05:26, 2 October 2020 (UTC)
In regards to the status/location infobox sections, I think at the very least status is still good to have. Location isn't necessairy but I also don't think it's worth effort to remove it either. Also, coming of the Toa is a good anchor point because - correct me if I'm wrong - that is the point which is supposedly 100 000 years exact from the Shattering, where as present day is like 100 001.5 or something. ~ Wolk (talk) 07:48, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Sure, if we had to pick an anchor point that would probably be my preference, but people have had stronger opinions in the past. Is there anything specific we would call it? "ATM - After Toa Mata", "AAT - After Arrival of the Toa" etc. -- Dorek Talk External Image 18:32, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

I said we should keep present day because Greg uses it, and while I still think that would be fine, I would also be fine with using the Toa Mata as our anchor. I would prefer BCT (Before the Coming of the Toa) and ACT (After the Coming of the Toa). Dag (talk) 19:01, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

I think present day gets confusing *because* Greg uses it. '2 000 years ago' in the Rahi Beasts book for example is 3 001 years ago or so in present day. Prsent day is a bad anchor even with the story frozen because when you read 'x time ago' almost anywhere in the text you may assume it means from the present, when really it means from the point in time the text is set in. ~ Wolk (talk) 02:16, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
Strongly agree with Wolk. As far as differentiation goes, I'm inclined toward BCT/ACT. --Gonel (talk) 22:39, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Coming of the Toa is a reasonable anchor point, but many of the most important dates are given relative to the 2006-2010 storylines, which are a year after 2001. Are you going to subtract a year from all of those dates? For example, will you say that Mata Nui woke up 99,999 years ago, or 100,000 years ago? —Planetperson 04:08, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

I wouldn't say so, and here's why: 2001 until the end of 2008 all occur over the course of a year (as per the last 2008 comic). Any dates given from 2001 until Mata Nui's rising use the same year as their "present year" reference point. (And since it has been our reference point, we can reasonably assume that all the dates are referenced according to it). There's no way to know if the Toa Mata were summoned 100,000 years ago to the day after the Shattering, but for the purposes of this timeline we can handwave it as such. As such, since Mata Nui's rising was (approximately) a year after the awakening of the Toa Mata, that is the timeframe where the Shattering would be said to have happened 100,001 years prior.
It's no exact science, unfortunately, but if anything, the fact the dates given from 2006-2010 align with those given prior only affirm that the Shattering happened close to 100,000 years prior to the summoning of the Toa Mata. The question should then be if there is any point at which we should say the Shattering happened 100,001 years ago at any point over the main story, which is why I strongly support the idea of an anchor point right before the main story begins. --Gonel (talk) 04:40, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't follow. 2006 starts a year after 2001 begins, so 2006-2010 takes place in 1 ACT. The 100,000 years ago number was given in 2006+, so if you are using BCT, it should be 99,999 years BCT.
For the record, I personally think it's silly to add/subtract single years to go from 1 significant digit to 5. I'm just playing devil's advocate. However, in this timeline Greg did make a distinction between 1,001 and 999 years ago with respect to 2007, so there is some precedent. —Planetperson 14:24, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
For the record, Greg - with Pohatu's thoughts - said in 2008 that the whole 2001-2003/2006-2008 story takes place within 1 single year.— SurelNuva (Talk) 14:57, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
I think the confusion here might come from 2006/7's "year" being rounded up rather than down, as the Ignition trilogy takes place over about the course of a week or so. Like, in December 2020, something that happened in January 2020 is "1 year ago." ~ Wolk (talk) 21:29, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Here's a draft of what the (BCT) timeline/s would look like trimmed down to the main details and on one page. If this idea gains enough support, I'll do the same for the events after Takua's adventure to summon the Toa, but just looking at it already, it will be a pretty hefty endeavor. Will likely move this to Articles for Creation when I get a chance. --Gonel (talk) 23:12, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Combining Pages

I think it would be best to combine the different timeline pages into one for ease, though we can probably still keep the subcategories (Great Rescue, Teridax's Reign, etc.). If this were done, the page would be massive, so some details would have to be left out, which I think should be done on the other timeline pages anyway. Dag (talk) 22:59, 8 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm quite in favor of this, myself (and had actually just had a similar thought day before yesterday). Would mean all my 2005 timeline revisions were for naught, but I just rediscovered the Great Rescue Saga Guide page anyway...
  1. I think a lot of the purpose of the Timelines as they stand overlap a lot with the Saga Guides, which are structured the exact same way. However, where the Saga Guides are more obviously the go-to place to learn information about story arcs, I think most people go to the timeline for brisk examinations of where particular adventures or important details happen relative to each other. Most of the timeline pages are bloated with needless information that is counterintuitive and bogs the reader down from this end.
  2. The Timeline/History of the Matoran Universe is already starting to overflow out of its bounds. Theoretically it's supposed to only cover information right up until the subsequent timeframe, the period up to and including the Great Cataclysm, but the History of the Matoran Universe page, in covering the broader history as it is want to do, details events up to 300 "years ago."
  3. At present, with the disconnected timelines, some overinflate events from small timeframes and others present scarce details from a long timeframe. This results in a very disjointed presentation.
The main challenge is that without any sort of understanding of how long Mata Nui is in space (or alternatively a more detailed Bara Magna timeline, one or the other--I discuss this a bit in the above topic), it's almost impossible to interlock the recent Bara Magna timeline definitively with any events involving the Matoran Universe (which is something I'd like to ask Greg about if he were still active).
However, perhaps reshuffling information like this could solve the above problem--we could have one page that details history in the Matoran Universe prior to the coming of the Toa (and dodge having to use abbreviations by just explaining that this page is counting backwards from that point) and another that covers history starting with Takua's quest that summons the Toa all the way up to the end of the story (from the Matoran Universe perspective). Additionally, we would make two more pages with the Bara Magna histories before and after our anchor point.
Of course, if Greg were to give us the length of time Mata Nui was in space, we could just have two pages (before and after the anchor point) or even just one if we don't mind using an acronym to differentiate dating before and after said anchor point. --Gonel (talk) 04:29, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
I disagree. The in-depth timelines are good to have for clarity on things like where X comic takes place etc. Additionally the jumping between locations would get put of hand with the addition of Spherus/Bara Magna. And if we keep those seperate, I don't see why we wouldn't maintain other pages seperate as well. ~ Wolk (talk) 09:09, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
I just think that you really don't need such depth. The timelines as we have them, not only describe where X comic takes place, but it lists out every single scene within X comic, as well as excruciating detail from books and animations. If someone just wanted to know where X comic takes place, they have to parse through all of comics W and Y before they can find X comic, when we could more easily summarize all these comics in a single summarizing logline. We don't need fourteen lines detailing the adventures of the Toa Metru hunting down the Makoki Stones and the Avohkii when we can just say "The Toa Metru seek out and obtain the Makoki Stones and the Avohkii." If we have to jut in a certain detail that happens interspersed with a certain comic or book, then we can break them up, but otherwise there's really no need to when that person can either check out the Saga Guide or even the page that actually talks about said comic or book. And once all that excess detail is cut, then there is no reason to keep the extra pages.
I know what you mean, I just think that role is already fulfilled in the Saga Guides, which operate within the exact same divisions of time as the timelines. I may make a Sandbox page just to see how things end up looking under this proposal. --Gonel (talk) 18:45, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Okay, that's fair. Where it can be shortened down while maintaining the same information, that works. ~ Wolk (talk) 21:26, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Here's a draft of what the (BCT) timeline/s would look like trimmed down to the main details and on one page. If this idea gains enough support, I'll do the same for the events after Takua's adventure to summon the Toa, but just looking at it already, it will be a pretty hefty endeavor. Will likely move this to Articles for Creation when I get a chance. --Gonel (talk) 23:12, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

This is exactly what I had in mind, and now that I'm seeing it, I'm even more for it. Dag (talk) 00:24, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
I find this draft very interesting. I'm still a bit unsure about mixing SM and MU history, though. They are almost entirely different timelines. But as far as mixing all MU timelines together, I'm all for it. --maxim21 06:20, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree--I'm neither here nor there on mixing the timelines, and in some respects it may be interesting to see them against each other, on a practical level it's almost impossible to properly align them given that we don't know where major recent events on Bara Magna happen relative to those in the Matoran Universe.
Also, in spite of myself, I've gone ahead and started seeing what the post-summoning timeline would look like trimmed, and with the original trilogy alone it is already the same amount of bytes as the pre-summoning timeline. If there was any doubt before, I can't imagine having pre-summoning and post-summoning on the same page would be especially desirable. Either way, I'll try to throw something up on Articles for Creation/Deletion later today. --Gonel (talk) 14:49, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
Seeing how everything looks on one single page, I think the byte problem was exactly the reason why it was made how it is now.— SurelNuva (Talk) 15:25, 10 October 2020 (UTC)