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Toa (Generation 1)

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"'To be a Toa is to defeat all those who oppose you? Is this what you believe a Toa to be? A mighty arm to strike down your enemies? Your power is nothing. A Toa's true strength lies here,' Whenua said, pointing to his head. Then he placed a hand over his heartlight, saying, 'And here. Your Toa Power can move the dirt ... Your mind and heart can move mountains.'"
— Narrator, Tales of the Masks

Toa
ToaMatacover.png
Sapient Species
Powers Elemental Powers
Use of Kanohi
Toa Power
Status Active
Locations Matoran Universe (formerly)
Spherus Magna
Pronunciation TOE-ah


Toa are a race of heroes who served the Matoran Universe. The powerful beings each wield an Elemental Power and can harness Great Kanohi. In addition to wearing Masks of Power, Toa typically carry Toa Tools, which help channel their Elemental Powers. Although some individuals begin their lives as Toa, others start as destined Matoran and are transformed into Toa by external means, such as Toa Stones. Once Toa fulfill their destiny, they may choose to relinquish their power for the greater good and become Turaga.[BEU, p. 141]

Toa generally protect the Matoran, value Mata Nui and his Three Virtues, and uphold the principles of the Toa Code.[BEU, p. 141] However, Toa are not infallible, and individuals have been known to murder innocents or serve criminal organizations.[TMDoTT][BoaDH]

History

The Toa Mata in stasis inside their canisters

The Great Beings designed the Toa to defend the Matoran Universe's primary residents, the Matoran. They based the Toa's general design on the warrior species of Spherus Magna[citation needed] and their powers on the Element Lords.[OGDi: May 1 2009, 11:56 AM]

The Great Beings created Helryx, the first Toa,[BL10, p. 76] who helped the Matoran construct Metru Nui.[OGD][BW, p. 11] Helryx was also a member of the Hand of Artakha, which defended the universe from early threats.[citation needed] The Great Beings also created Orde, a male Toa of Psionics. However, because Orde was aggressive and failed to calm the Zyglak, they made all subsequent Matoran of Psionics female.[TYQ, Ch. 2] Certain Matoran were also imbued with a special energy at their creation. Triggering this energy would transform the Matoran into Toa. More and more Toa came into being, eventually replacing the Hand as the main protectors of the universe.[BEU, p. 43] Helryx later founded the Order of Mata Nui and prohibited other Toa from joining.[citation needed]

Cautious of the great power they had given the Toa--and not recognizing their creations as independent beings--the Great Beings created Marendar as a failsafe. The being would destroy the Toa if they did not shut down as planned once the Great Spirit Robot fulfilled its task. Marendar was sealed in a Protodermis vault to wait until the Toa appeared on Spherus Magna.[TYQ, Ch. 1]

A group of eight Toa, consisting of Lesovikk, Nikila, and six others, banded together and became the first known Toa Team. All but Lesovikk were killed by Zyglak.[DroD, Ch. 5][DroD, Ch. 8]

Artakha created six Toa, the Toa Mata, at the Great Beings' behest. The Toa were tasked with awakening the Great Spirit Mata Nui if he were incapacitated. The Order of Mata Nui trained the Toa Mata, and later the Toa entered the Codrex to wait in stasis until they were needed.[BL10]

Two of Teridax's Toa Hagah, Norik and Iruini

The Brotherhood of Makuta, an organization originally tasked with creating Rahi, helped the Toa defeat common enemies such as the rebellious League of Six Kingdoms.[BL6] The Toa also earned the enmity of the Dark Hunters, a group of renegades who seek profit. The Dark Hunters killed various Toa over the years, and some Toa joined the mercenaries.[DH]

A group of Toa began to grow suspicious of the Brotherhood, believing they would take on the same goal as the League: to overthrow the Great Spirit. The Toa gathered useful information about the Brotherhood, such as member names and fortress locations, on the Makoki Stone. However, the Toa's base was situated next to a Frostelus encampment, and the Rahi eventually attacked. A rookie Toa, Lhikan, was ordered to take the stone and run. However, when he went to retrieve the stone, he found it had been stolen.[BL4]

Several Makuta hired elite teams of Toa for protection. These teams were known as Toa Hagah. The Toa Hagah defended the Makuta for many years, though they also eventually began to mistrust the Brotherhood. Makuta Teridax's team, led by Toa Norik, discovered proof of the Makuta's treachery, and they led a rebellion.[BA9, p. 134][C25] The Brotherhood killed or corrupted all the other teams of Toa Hagah following this event.[citation needed]

The Toa Metru

When the Dark Hunters declared war on Metru Nui, hundreds of Toa from beyond the city rallied under Lhikan's command to defend it. The war ended when one of the Toa Mangai, Nidhiki, tried to gain rule of the city by betraying his brothers and sisters to the Hunters. However, Lhikan learned of the betrayal, and he agreed to let Hunters leave in exchange for the Makoki Stone. The Toa then ambushed the Dark Hunters, forcing them to leave and to take Nidhiki with them.[BoaDH]

Several thousand years later, the Toa Mangai began mysteriously disappearing on missions. Lhikan grew suspicious of the island's Turaga, Dume, who was actually Makuta Teridax in disguise. To ensure that new Toa would arise to stop Dume, Lhikan gave Toa Stones to six Matoran prophesied in the stars.[BA10] Together, these new Toa Metru sealed Teridax in a cage of Protodermis[BA4] and brought the Matoran to the island of Mata Nui for safety. They then became Turaga.[BA9]

After the Great Cataclysm, Toa everywhere became aware of the Brotherhood's treachery.[citation needed] Six Toa Canisters carrying the Toa Mata launched from the Codrex bound for the island of Mata Nui so the Toa could reawaken the Great Spirit.

The Toa Mata

A thousand years later, the Matoran Takua gathered up six Toa Stones that the Toa Metru had hidden on the island. Using the stones, Takua summoned the Toa Mata's Toa Canisters, which had malfunctioned and floated in the ocean of Aqua Magna ever since the Great Cataclysm.[QftT] The Toa arrived on the island and began to combat Teridax and his minions. In time the Toa Mata became the Toa Nuva, and Takua became Takanuva, a Toa of Light. Together, the seven Toa temporarily defeated Makuta Teridax, allowing the Matoran to return to Metru Nui.[BE]

Shortly after, the Toa Nuva journeyed to Voya Nui to collect the Kanohi Ignika and save Mata Nui's life. Fearing for the Toa, six Matoran left Metru Nui to seek their heroes out. When these Matoran arrived on Voya Nui, energy from the Red Star transformed them into the Toa Inika. The Toa Inika found the Toa Nuva, transformed into the Toa Mahri, recovered the Ignika, and saved Mata Nui. Then the Toa Nuva embarked on a quest to prepare the universe for Mata Nui's reawakening.[BEU] They succeeded and were sent to the universe's core, Karda Nui. Equipped with new armor and weapons from Artakha, the Toa Nuva launched a final confrontation against the Brotherhood of Makuta. They succeeded in waking Mata Nui and returned to Metru Nui. There, they learned that Teridax had taken over Mata Nui's body and thus the entire Matoran Universe.[BL11] The Toa rallied against Teridax's oppressive regime.[RoS]

The Toa Mahri

After Teridax landed on Bara Magna, Takanuva and Tahu escaped the Great Spirit Robot and fought Teridax's forces on the planet's surface. When Teridax sent out a tractor beam and accidentally pulled Bara Magna's two moons toward the planet, a piece of one smashed into his head and killed him. After Teridax's body crashed onto the ground, the rest of the Toa in the Matoran Universe escaped onto Bara Magna, which soon became part of the re-unified Spherus Magna.[JE] Unfortunately, the sudden presence of Toa on the newly reformed planet activated Marendar, which escaped onto Spherus Magna.[TYQ, Ch. 1]

The Toa began to work with the Glatorian to help integrate the Agori and Matoran societies. Tahu worked with Ackar and Kiina, while others went to fulfill Mata Nui's last request: to find the Great Beings.[TYQ, Ch. 1] Toa of Water helped water breathers migrate from the Matoran Universe.[TPTB, Ch. 1]

Alternate Universes

The Melding Alternate Universe

Great Beings created Toa the size of prime universe Matoran in this reality. They had all the same powers as the prime Toa, and they helped prevent the Shattering.[BIA, Ch. 8]

Spherus Magna Alternate Universe

As the Makuta never rebelled in this universe, the Toa moved to Spherus Magna and began to interact with Glatorian and Agori a thousand years before they did in the prime universe.[RoS, Ch. 5]

The Kingdom Alternate Universe

In this splinter reality, Toa Mahri Matoro failed to resurrect Mata Nui. The surviving Toa helped stabilize the Great Spirit and blocked the Rahkshi and Makuta from reaching the island of Mata Nui.[TK]

Toa Empire Alternate Universe

In this alternate universe, Toa Tuyet killed Lhikan, usurped the rule of Metru Nui from Turaga Dume, and formed a Toa-controlled empire. Resistance forces led by Lesovikk and Pohatu and aided by the prime universe Takanuva stormed the Coliseum. During this rebellion, a portal sliced Tuyet in half and allowed Takanuva to escape the universe.[DM]

Gali and Lewa combining their elemental powers

Abilities and Traits

Toa wield a myriad of powers. Just like the Matoran, each Toa is affiliated with one of fifteen elements: Fire, Water, Air, Stone, Earth, Ice, Light, Sonics, Gravity, Plasma, Magnetism, the Green, Lightning, Iron, or Psionics. Toa of Shadow may also be created unnaturally.[OGD] Toa of a given element possess the same minute elemental trait that Matoran of that element have. For example, Toa of Ice and Ko-Matoran are both resistant to cold. Unlike Matoran, Toa also possess great control of their element. Proficiency with an element is a learned skill, and experienced Toa can manipulate their element in many ways. To use their elemental powers, Toa draw on a reserve of power that constantly recharges. Toa can release this stored energy all at once in a powerful Nova Blast. Toa rarely use this ability because it can cause tremendous destruction and death;[citation needed] a Nova Blast performed in Metru Nui would likely envelop and even extend beyond the city.[OGDi]

Vakama using his Kanohi Huna to become invisible

Toa wear and can harness the powers of Great and Noble Kanohi masks.[BEU, p. 52] When Toa do not wear masks, their powers are greatly weakened.[BL10] Usually a Toa cannot access a mask's power upon first donning it. Rather, a Toa learns to tap into their mask when they train with it or when they are forced into stressful situations.[BA4]

All Toa possess Toa Power.[citation needed] This power is dormant within all Matoran who are destined to become Toa; tapping it transforms them into Toa.[OGDi] Unlike elemental energy, Toa Power does not recharge, so it must be used cautiously.[citation needed] A Toa will turn into a Turaga if they have completed their destiny and they choose to sacrifice their Toa Power.[OGDi] If a Toa has expended all their Toa Power before they fulfill their destiny, then they will become a Turaga as soon as their destiny is fulfilled.[OGDi][OGDi]

Toa have other abilities as well, including the ability to merge into Toa Kaita. Toa can also forge mental links with Matoran. The Toa can project visions of what they see to the linked Matoran.[MNOG] Whether or not Toa can be mentally linked with multiple beings, or with beings besides Matoran, is unknown.

The organic protodermis and mechanical physiology of the Toa gives them much greater physical strength and endurance than their Glatorian counterparts, as well as superhuman durability.[1][2][3][4] They also heal faster than Glatorian and other organic beings due to the properties of organic protodermis.[5] The average Toa is strong enough to lift more than one ton.[CwGF] Despite having varying set sizes, most Toa are about the same height.

Tools

Toa carry myriad weapons through which they focus their elemental energies. Many of them have uses beyond combat; for example, Toa Metru Nuju's Crystal Spikes doubled as snowshoes. Toa have also been known to wield secondary weapons, such as projectile launchers, that they do not use to channel their elemental energies.

When a Matoran is transformed into a Toa by normal means, their new appearance is dictated by what the Matoran expects a Toa to look like.[citation needed] Nonetheless, all Toa who were once Matoran likely have identical body designs underneath their armor.[6]

Known Toa Teams

Social Structure and Interactions

The Toa typically organize themselves into a team structure. These teams typically consist of six members, though smaller or much larger groups are not unknown.[BEU, p. 141] Toa are also known to go solo, although this is rare. All Toa devote themselves to the cause of the Three Virtues and strive to see them defended. Matoran look up to and revere the Toa, and the Toa in turn befriend the Matoran, and attempt to protect them to the best of their ability. Toa are also known to show reverence towards Turaga, giving them much respect and listening to their wisdom.

Toa Code

The Toa Code is a series of guiding principles to which Toa hold themselves. It was developed over time once Toa realized that they needed Matoran's trust and respect rather than their fear.[OGDi] The code is unwritten[7] but is known by Toa across the universe. Toa who turn evil are stripped of the title of Toa.[8]

The code's strictest directive is that Toa cannot kill their enemies or purposefully let beings die if it can be prevented. Exceptions to this rule do exist. For example, Toa do not necessarily violate the Toa Code if they kill unintentionally.[OGDi] Likewise, Toa may be excused if they must kill to save themselves or innocents.[citation needed] Even then, Toa who kill are somewhat ostracized.[TYQ, Ch. 1][TPTB, Ch. 1] The rule against killing does not appear to extend to Rahi.[OGDi]

Another rule of the Code is that Toa cannot betray their team or the Matoran population.[citation needed] However, an act of redemption and repentance would allow them to earn the title and respect back.[BA9]

Other aspects of the Code are that Toa are to be honorable and keep their word. Stealing is also heavily frowned upon.[citation needed] In order to maintain the trust of the Matoran, Toa also tend to avoid sneaking around and fighting in secret, so that their good deeds can be seen by the public.[BL8] These aspects, however, are not universal; Nihdiki and other Toa from the Tren Krom Peninsula are known for striking from the shadows out of necessity.[BoaDH]

When Toa Helryx created the Order of Mata Nui, she banned all other Toa from joining, as there were some tasks that the Toa simply could not do, or even know about, and she did not want to put them in a position of compromising the code.[BW] Due to her nature as the founder of the Order, she exempted herself from the code, and eventually asked others to do the same for the war with the Brotherhood of Makuta.

Set Information

Toa were released as sets in every year of BIONICLE's run, with the exception of 2009. Their first appearance was in mid-2001 at BIONICLE's launch, with the release of six canister sets depicting the Toa Mata (then known simply as Toa). In mid-2002, six Toa Nuva canister sets were released, depicting the same characters having undergone transformation by Energized Protodermis. In late 2003 the set 8596 Takanuva was released, which was the first non-canister set to contain a Toa.

In early 2004 for United States buyers and mid-2004 for others, the six Toa Metru canister sets were released. These were the first Toa sets to deviate from the previously-established Toa body design. Lhikan appeared later that year in the special edition set 8811 Toa Lhikan & Kikanalo. Six Toa Hordika canister sets followed in 2005, with a release date that varied by country like that of the Toa Metru, depicting the same characters after they were mutated by Hordika Venom. In mid-2005, two special edition Toa Hagah canister sets appeared, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick.

During the summer of 2006, the Toa Inika canister sets were released, followed in mid-2007 with the Toa Mahri canister sets. Mid-2007 also marked the release of a large boxed set, 8939 Lesovikk, available only at Wal*Mart. The Toa Nuva returned in 2008 as the final team to appear in sets. Their release was staggered, with Lewa, Pohatu, and Kopaka appearing in the early 2008 Phantoka line, and Tahu, Gali, and Onua appearing in the later Mistika series. The staggering allowed villains to appear in each series. 8699 Takanuva, released later in the year, depicted the enlarged form of Takanuva. New forms of Pohatu and Lewa also appeared as pilots in 8941 Rockoh T3 and 8943 Axalara T9, respectively.

Two Toa, 7116 Tahu and 7135 Takanuva, were released in 2010 as part of the BIONICLE Stars line.

Quotes

"No wonder we had to be chosen to be Toa. Nobody would ever volunteer for this job."
— Toa Metru Nuju, Mystery of Metru Nui

"You Toa are so trusting ... one day, it'll be the death of you."
— Krahka, The Darkness Below

"A Toa is not someone who has no fear — but someone who masters their fear."
— Vakama's thoughts, Legends of Metru Nui

"I am doing the same thing Toa do. I am saving one who cannot save himself."
Kualus, Challenge of the Hordika

"Toa aren't killers. If we were, we would have started with you."
Toa Metru Vakama to Makuta Teridax, Time Trap

"Matoran with the calling sometimes are a little... eccentric. Almost like their brain knows something it isn't telling them."
Jerbraz, Brothers In Arms

"Here I thought you Toa were so peace loving."
"Peace loving. Not weak.
"
Reidak and Toa Nuva Lewa, Dark Destiny

"You know, Jaller always used to say that Toa were invincible, because the things they stand for — unity, duty, and destiny — were invincible. Oh, we had seen them injured, even defeated temporarily, but somehow they — we — always stood to fight again. Even in the worst moments, I thought surely we would win out and return home again. That's what Toa do, isn't it?"
Toa Mahri Hahli to Kopeke, Downfall

"But being a Toa isn't about who's strongest or toughest or has the best mask power. It's about spirit. And by that measure, you are a great Toa."
— Toa Mahri Jaller to Matoro, Downfall

"A handful of Toa? A handful of Toa stole the Mask of Light from Destral itself. Another prevented the conquest of Metru Nui, kept the Mask of Time from us, and even dared to imprison a Makuta! Still another — this very group — defeated Rahi, Rahkshi, and Bohrok swarms, and invaded Makuta Teridax's very lair. One thing I've learned is that you underestimate Toa — any Toa — at your own peril."
— Makuta Antroz, Shadows in the Sky

"Do you know why we Makuta hate Toa so much? It's because you are what we could only pretend to be, once upon a time -- heroes who do good for no reward. And so we call you fools, and even slay you... because we could not be you."
Krika, Swamp of Shadows

"Haven't you figured it out yet? You have to be insane to be a Toa at all. It's the first requirement for the job."
— Toa Helryx to Takanuva, Swamp of Secrets

"But you wouldn't understand — you're a Toa. Every Toa is your brother or your sister. You all rush around thinking whatever you do must be right. Well, sometimes it's not."
Gavla to Toa Takanuva, The Final Battle

Trivia

  • The maximum number of Toa alive in the Matoran Universe at one time was 3000.[OGD] Now, little more than 40 Toa are alive in the prime universe.[OGQ] Currently, 26 of the remaining Toa are accounted for: five Toa Nuva, Toa Mata Tahu, the five remaining Toa Mahri, six Toa Hagah, Takanuva, Lesovikk, Krakua, Helryx, Tuyet, Orde, Chiara, Zaria, and Varian. Toa revived in the Red Star and various Shadow Takanuva do not contribute to this total.
  • The Kanohi Ignika and Mata Nui both labeled themselves Toa at times, but they were not truly Toa. Rather, both beings occupied bodies that the Mask of Life created.[BL9][TLR]
  • Artakha can create Toa, but only if the Great Beings provide him with the necessary materials, as was the case with the Toa Mata.[citation needed]

References

See also