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Who is your favorite Toa?


 December 20, 2003

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Purple_Dave: The image above is an unadorned graphic of METRU NUI Island. When comparing it to the original MATA NUI Island graphic, a few interesting similarites can be found, as well as some changes. The shape of the island is very close to that of MATA NUI Island, but not quite the same. The peninsular tails at the north and south tips aren't quite the same shapes or lengths, the smallest of the cluster of broken islands in the northwest are gone, and the central hub of METRU NUI is centered around the southern slope of the mighty MANGAI VOLCANO, rather than the peak. Furthermore, the various METRU occupy considerably different areas than the six WAHI. TA-METRU is much larger than TA-WAHI, covering the area from NAHO BAY in GA-WAHI to KANAE BAY in LE-WAHI. The remainder of LE-WAHI has been split pretty evenly between LE-METRU at the southern tip and ONU-METRU to the northwest. KO-METRU pretty closely matches the same footprint as KO-WAHI on the coastline, but roughly half of the interior space has been lost to the two northern METRU. The space once occupied by the tiny ONU-WAHI and the sprawling PO-WAHI has been split pretty evenly between PO-METRU and GA-METRU. The geographic juggle has resulted in the the METRU of Stone, Water, and Fire in the northeast being somewhat larger than the METRU of Ice, Earth, and Air in the southwest, but it's still a much more even distribution of land resources than MATA NUI Island, where LE-WAHI occupied fully a third of the island and PO-WAHI filled in about a third of what was left, while ONU-WAHI and GA-WAHI were almost nonexistent. The one other really significant difference is that all six METRU extend in far enough to connect with the central hub, where KINI-NUI was basically stuffed between KO-WAHI, LE-WAHI, and the MANGAI VOLCANO, almost as if it was an afterthought.

TOA of Fire and guardian of TA-METRU. TOA VAKAMA was once one of the top mask-makers in the foundries of TA-METRU, and now he protects the MATORAN who labor there. He is a natural leader, wise beyond his years, and believes he knows what it takes to be a hero. TOA VAKAMA has strange visions of the future, something he tries to hide from his friends. It is only later that he will discover that those visions are key to his fulfilling his duty to the city and its people. His tool is a great disk launcher.

The symbol on the left is roughly the same as the one on TOA VAKAMA'S KANOKA, with the minor exception that the KANOKA has his name written in the BIONICLE font, and the symbol graphic has it written with the Roman alphabet. Logically, the remaining five TOA METRU symbols should appear in similar style on some of the KANOKA from the upcoming KANOKA pack. The image on the right is the key graphic from TOA VAKAMA'S can. As VAKAMA is the only TOA METRU who uses a KANOKA launcher, I feel a bit disappointed that a great opportunity for another flame-based sword was passed up, but when it's installed on his back, it almost looks like (dare I say it?) some sort of jetpack! That kinda makes up for a weapon that's clearly not meant to be smashed down upon the heads of his foes. A few hints have shown up that suggest the TOA METRU weapons will have alternate transport modes as well, and it's really the only thing I can think of for this weapon.

TOA of Earth and guardian of ONU-METRU. TOA WHENUA has a love for the history of METRU NUI and wishes to learn all he can about it. He is not as bold or confident as the other TOA, but his caution often saves others from harm. He is known for his fairness and good judgement, but is not comfortable with TOA NUJU or TOA VAKAMA because of their desire to look into the future.

Wielding weapons that appear to be a mix between hammers and shovels, WHENUA is no longer the shortest of the group. He's still not the tallest, but he's certainly not the shortest (I think that distinction might fall to VAKAMA this time).

TOA of Stone and guardian of PO-METRU. TOA ONEWA is firm and strong willed, and he has little time for worries about the past or predictions of the future. His experience at scaling the buildings of PO-METRU makes him one of the most agile TOA. Like TOA MATAU, TOA ONEWA tends to act first and question later, but the two are not close friends (mainly because TOA ONEWA has little sense of humor). TOA ONEWA'S strongest trait is his absolute refusal to consider the possibility of defeat -- he will always find a way to win.

Once again going for the rock-climbing theme, ONEWA'S weapons are shown being used somewhat like grappling hooks, which is the same mode of transportation offered by POHATU NUVA'S KODAN Claws. I'm a bit suspicious of how well those thin linkages will hold up to rough play, but until I can get my hands on some, all I can do is speculate.

TOA of Water and guardian of GA-METRU. TOA NOKAMA is respected by all for her ability to use logic and resolve disputes. She could be a strong leader herself, but prefers to support TOA VAKAMA, for she believes in his courage and the power of his visions. TOA NOKAMA can often be found in the sea of PROTODERMIS, using her twin tools to swim through it at amazing speed.

Like ONEWA, NOKAMA has weapons with long, thin sections connecting the hilt to the rest of the weapon. Her axes can be attached to the soles of her feet, though I have no idea if that's the intended purpose of the pin holes on either side of the blades base.

TOA of Air and guardian of LE-METRU. TOA MATAU has a "highflying" attitude toward life. He is full of fun, impulsive, headstrong, and believes that he is as smart as TOA VAKAMA and should be leader of the TOA. His sense of humor keeps the TOA smiling even in the face of danger, but his recklessness often leads to trouble. Still, his instincts are second to none, and even those who don't get along with him admit that his hunches are often good. He will risk anything to protect the MATORAN of LE-METRU.

MATAU is clearly an evolution of the LEWA NUVA design, and I'm happier to see the sword/wings being attached to the back instead of clumsily spread between hand and hip. This is one of the points that really suggest the possibility of dual-mode weapons.

TOA of Ice and guardian of KO-METRU. To others, TOA NUJU might seem aloof and unfriendly -- his task of guarding the knowledge and memory crystals of METRU NUI is a lonely one and he has never been skilled at showing his feelings. But TOA NUJU believes strongly that success comes from working together and he is willing to respect TOA VAKAMA'S leadership. TOA NUJU is a seer with great experience at interpreting omens of the future -- and he has little patience with people like TOA MATAU, who only want to think about today.

NUJU gets to speak! With real words! No more clicks and whistles! Hey, he was still learing the ropes, after all, so none of that guff about being so enlightened that he needs a translater to ask for ketchup on his fries. Oh yeah, and he's been shown wearing those wicked looking pickaxes as ice-cleats. Did I mention something about the possibility of dual-purpose weapons?

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