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Who is your favorite Toa?


Island Hopping
Posted by Purple_Dave on May 29, 2002 at 05:11 PM CST:
MATA NUI: This section allows you to fly all over the entire island. This is something that I'm really happy to see, since it gives us our first 3D view of the island. Previously, we didn't even have a topographical map, so it was really hard to tell how high each village is above sea level (well, except GA-KORO). Now we can see that KO-WAHI is indeed at a higher elevation than anything else on the island except MOUNT IHU, the large volcano in the center.

There's a rather interesting yet somber bit of background music playing through your entire visit. I like the sound of it, but it repeats itself about every 12 seconds. I would have been much happier if there had been different music playing for each of the villages.

TA-WAHI: Wow. TAHU may be my favorite TOA, but I certainly wouldn't want to live in his village. When this section finished loading I was staring at an ash-grey landscape spotted with large brown rocks. Then I realized that the rocks were actually the huts in the village. There's a lava-stream and some mountains...but not much else outside of the village.

GA-WAHI: This section drops you near the lilypad village of GA-KORO. Immediately in from the village, there is a partial ring of large rolling hills, which are then surrounded by vast plains of green. There are also a few trees near the village. Oddly, there is nothing under the water.

PO-WAHI: In the middle of a sea of sun-baked sand, there's a patch that looks even more sun-baked than the rest. This is PO-KORO. They've got a garden, though. I was a bit disappointed in the results of this section. When you first load this section, if you hold down the left movement button for ten seconds, you'll be staring at two skinny navy-blue triangles. They don't look like lakes or ponds, so I'm assuming they were supposed to be colored the same as the rest of the surrounding landscape. As the camera POV descends on the village, you can make out over half a dozen of these, and they just jump out of the sand-scape.

ONU-WAHI: This is easily the most interesting layout, even though it's yet another bleak and desolate landscape. (You kinda have to wonder how so many MATORANS can survive on an island where only 1/3 of the villages can raise any significant number of crops...) This one drops you at the entrance to a tunnel. Yes, a tunnel. You can travel down the tunnel and get to a large cavern, where you will find the village of ONU-KORO. This is what I would have liked to see beneath the waves in GA-WAHI. Of course, like PO-WAHI, there are some polygons that are visibly lacking a color pattern if you zoom out enough.

KO-WAHI: This section is a pain to navigate. Large snowflakes are falling from the sky and you can't make out anything farther away from you than about the width of the village. Everything else is concealed behind a snow-induced haze. I did find at least one frozen lake, though.

LE-WAHI: You'll find yourself staring down upon the Ewok, I mean LE-KORO, which is a bunch of huts on suspended platforms. Like KO-WAHI, this setting is largely concealed by haze, but since the ground and the haze are two distinctly different colors, it's a lot easier to see where you're going. Again there are polygons that have not been patterned, but this time they're really large ones. When you first arrive, one is forward and to the right and another is backward and to the right. Also, if you duck below the village platform and look up...the huts are all hanging in mid-air. Evidentally the platform is not designed to be seen from both sides. I've also been getting the idea that a lot of the landscape in these regions has been left intentionally bare, since there should be a lot more trees than the few that hold up the village.

KINI-NUI: Now this is more like it! Surrounding the large shrine are literally dozens of conifers, a number of large rocks, and some huge hills. Oddly, however, the KINI-NUI clearing rests on a large, highly textured platform...that floats above a vast, yet perfectly flat, landscape. And there's a large blue square immediately below this floating platform.

All in all, it provides a rather interesting look at the world that can't be found anywhere else, but the movement controls could benefit greatly from an auto-level button, a lot of the scenarios need a bit of patching-up done, and the terrain is largely devoid of anything interesting that's not contained within the villages themselves.

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