|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
Bionicle Chronicles is the first book series set in the Lego Bionicle universe. Although it was published in 2003, it summarizes events that occurred in the first story arc that began in 2001. When the second story arc began in 2004, the Chronicles series was replaced with the Bionicle Adventures series. However, as Adventures is almost exclusively told in flashbacks; the events following those in Chronicles are told in the third book series, Bionicle Legends.
It tells of the adventures of the Toa Mata (who later become the Toa Nuva) on the island of Mata Nui. Their mission is to awaken the universe's sleeping guardian, the Great Spirit Mata Nui, but first they must free the island from the grip of the evil Makuta.
The main events of the Chronicles story arc are told in:
- The four Bionicle Chronicles books (Tale of the Toa, Beware the Bohrok, Makuta's Revenge, and Tales of the Masks).
- Issues 1 to 15 of the Bionicle comic book, which was distributed to Lego Club members and later published online at Bionicle.com. However, they are no longer available at the official site.
- A direct-to-video movie and its novelization: Bionicle: The Mask of Light
- The Mata Nui Online Game, available for download from Bionicle.com. While the major events are considered canonical, a number of the details are not.
- The video game Lego Bionicle, also known as "Tales of the Tohunga" or "Quest for the Toa". (There were other games released that take place during the Chronicles storyline, but they have several continuity mistakes and are not considered canonical.)
The following sources provide background information and tell side stories taking place during Bionicle Chronicles:
- Bionicle: The Official Guide
- A series of online animations, published at Bionicle.com. However, they are no longer available on the official site.
- The Mata Nui Online Game 2, playable at Bionicle.com. While the major events are considered canonical, a number of the details are not.
- "The Legend Continues" interactive story at MaskofLight.com
- Source: "Tales of the Tohunga" video game
For as long as any of the Matoran could remember, the Master of Shadows, Makuta, had made the island of Mata Nui a place of darkness, enslaving the Rahi wildlife and sending them to attack the villages. The wise Turaga had told tales of mighty heroes called the Toa, who would come and free the island from Makuta's grip, and the Matoran were waiting for that day...
Eventually, the Makuta carried out his boldest attack yet and had the Rahi kidnap the Turaga. When a wandering Matoran, Takua, learned of the kidnappings, he took it upon himself to rescue the elders. In the process, he also recovered the six Toa Stones that were scattered about the island. When Takua was instructed by the rescued Turaga to place the Toa Stones on the Kini-Nui Temple's Suva shrine, the stones shot a beam of light that launched him to the edge of the island, and when he came to, he saw a strange canister on the shore and a set of footprints in the sand leading away from it...
Tale of the Toa
- Sources: Bionicle Chronicles #1, Bionicle comic #1-3, Mata Nui Online Game
Six great heroes were summoned to the island of Mata Nui to awaken the Great Spirit, Mata Nui, who had been put to sleep by his evil brother Makuta. This would free its inhabitants, the Matoran and Rahi (wild beasts), from the Makuta's dark influence. These Toa did not remember or know anything about their quest, except for vague memories and their own names. Therefore, they had to be taught the legends by the Matoran and their wise leaders, the Turaga. The Toa's first task was to collect the Kanohi Masks of Power to gain new powers with which to defeat Makuta. The quest was not easy--the Kanohi were hidden in places that were all but impossible to reach, and/or guarded by Rahi that Makuta had infected and enslaved to serve his evil will. After many perils, the Toa managed to successfully collect the Kanohi, and then combine them into even more powerful golden masks, before descending into Makuta's underground lair, the Mangaia. There they met new dangers--first the powerful Manas crabs and then the Shadow Toa--before confronting Makuta himself. He appeared to them as a small Matoran, although rusty and pitted, and claimed that he was one of those the Toa had sworn to protect. Once the Toa decided to fight him anyway, he fused with the swirling mass of parts that were floating above them and took on a vortex form. After a long battle, the Toa emerged, victorious. Makuta was gone--or so the Toa thought...
Beware the Bohrok
- Sources: Bionicle Chronicles #2, Bionicle comic #4-9, online animations
The Toa had barely reached the surface of the island of Mata Nui, where the Matoran villagers were preparing a victory party to celebrate the Toa's (ostensible) defeat of Makuta, when they were thrust into a new adventure. One of the villagers from Tahu's village of Ta-Koro breathlessly ran up to them, then collapsed, muttering only one unknown word over and over: "Bohrok". Swarms of mechanical beings, the Bohrok tore through Mata Nui in their quest to destroy everything on the island--trees, ice, lava, even mountains. The swarms did not hesitate to defend themselves against those who would deter them from their strange mission, even if it were the Toa. The Toa, with help from the Turaga, slowly pieced together the mystery of the Bohrok: the connection with the repulsive creatures known as Krana, the fact that the Bohrok were mechanical and not really alive, and the way to stop the swarms. Now the Toa were in a race against time: to stop the Bohrok, the Toa had to collect the eight types of Krana in each color. This would unlock the entrance to the lair of the mysterious Bahrag, the queens of the swarms. The Bahrag would have to be defeated in order to stop the mad advance of the Bohrok. This the Toa did; along the way, they discovered the Exo-Toa, six powerful suits of armor that had been hidden underground for Mata Nui knows how long. After being forced to shed the suits, the Toa managed to defeat the Bahrag by combining their powers and forming a cage of solid protodermis around the twins, entrapping them and cutting off their connection to the Krana, which they controlled telepathically. But as they were trapped, one of the Bahrag uttered a warning:
"You cannot imagine what you have unleashed..."
After defeating the Bahrag, the Toa were submerged into a mysterious substance known as energized protodermis. They evolved into newer, more powerful Toa with increased elemental powers, more powerful Kanohi masks, and stronger armor. Tahu decided to rename the team as the Toa Nuva.
- Sources: Bionicle Chronicles #3, Bionicle comic #10-12, online animations
But the new heroes were angered that the Turaga, who obviously knew of the legends of the Bohrok invasion, did not tell them anything about the legends beforehand. This caused them to wonder if the Turaga knew more than they were letting on. Whether or not this was true would remain to be seen...
Also, the Toa Nuva were still as fiercely independent as ever. This caused them to split up, although Gali Nuva had a premonition that something bad would happen if they did...
Not very surprisingly, Gali Nuva was proved right. A squad of six new, elite Bohrok, known as Bohrok-Kal, soon emerged with a bang. Their first task, accomplished quite easily, was to steal the Toa Nuva's Nuva Symbols. They were necessary for the freeing of the Bohrok queens, the Bahrag--and also had the side effect of making the Toa Nuva's elemental powers (along with their natural resistance to their elements) vanish. Now forced to depend on each other more than ever, as well as collect the more powerful Kanohi Nuva, the Toa Nuva tried to match the Bohrok-Kal's strength with their own, failing miserably every time. Eventually, the Toa Nuva pieced together the Bohrok-Kal's goal as well: release the Bahrag twins, which would cause the Bohrok (which were now doing repair duty in the villages) to resume their task of destruction. The Toa Nuva followed the Bohrok-Kal back into the nests, where they witnessed the Exo-Toa's demise at the magnetic shields of Gahlok-Kal. Just as the Bohrok-Kal were about to fit the Nuva Symbols into the Nuva Cube, Tahu Nuva summond the Kanohi Vahi, the Mask of Time, and used it power to freeze the Bohrok-Kal in time. However, as Tahu did so the Krana-Kal turned silver and began projecting a force-field that shielded the Kal from any further harm. Finally, acting on a desperate plan devised by Gali Nuva, the Toa Nuva mentally reached out to their own symbols. The Nuva Symbols activated and began feeding raw energy into the Bohrok-Kal, to the point where each of the Kals' powers overloaded and destroyed them. With their recovered Nuva Symbols, their regained elemental powers, and their Kanohi Nuva, the Toa Nuva headed for the surface once again.
Tales of the Masks
- Sources: Bionicle Chronicles #4
There are various short stories of the Toa Nuva's adventures during this time, including Tahu Nuva's swinging on vines, Turaga Nokama's betrayal of Gali Nuva, Onua Nuva's single-handed defeat of two Manas crabs, and the horrifying conflict with the frightful Rahi hybrid known as the Rahi Nui, which Turaga Vakama knew from the past.
Mask of Light
- Sources: Mask of Light movie and its novelization, Bionicle comic #13-15, Mata Nui Online Game 2, "The Legend Continues" interactive story
Shortly after the defeat of the Bohrok-Kal, the Turaga decided it was time that the Matoran learn the secret of how to rebuild their bodies into stronger forms. They also took advantage of the time of peace to declare an island-wide Kolhii tournament. Turaga Nokama made a surprising choice and selected Hahli to be part of the Ga-Koro team in the tournament. Hahli immediately began traveling to different villages for training.
Just before the championship match, the Turaga held a council about whether the Toa Nuva should be told about Metru Nui. They each told their own tale of the Toa's struggles to claim the Kanohi Nuva masks to support their points either for or against; but after Turaga Vakama tells of their fight against the Rahi Nui, which might have been easier if they had known about the beast beforehand, the Turaga agree that the Toa should be informed once the tournament ends.
Meanwhile, Takua entered a forbidden lava cave in order to investigate a strange stone totem. After he accidentally drops the totem into the lava, the stone melts away to reveal a golden Kanohi Mask inside. Toa Tahu, after seeing the mask, tells Takua to bring the mask to the Turaga - after the Kolhii match.
Takua and Jaller barely make it to the stadium in time for the championship game between the Kolhii teams of Ta-Koro, Po-Koro, and Ga-Koro. Despite the fact that Po-Matoran are known for their skill in the sport it's Hahli and Macku who win for Ga-Koro. But the kolhii match is quickly forgotten as Takua accidentally drops the glowing mask right in the center of the stadium!
Afterwards, Nokama translates the inscriptions on the inside of the mask and announces that it is the Avohkii Mask of Light, destined to be worn by a Toa of Light in a time of darkness. However, this Toa will not simply arrive like the Nuva did, it must be found by its Herald. Tahu suggests that Jaller is the Herald because the Avohkii's light shone on him. Jaller wants Takua to own up to being the Herald - as he was the one to find the mask - but Takua instead supports Tahu's suggestion and the Turaga mistakenly recognize Jaller as the Herald. Upset at Takua's dodging of responsibility, Jaller has the Turaga appoint Takua as his traveling companion.
The two set out from Ta-Koro the next day with Takua's pet Ussal crab Pewku, counting on the mask to shine most brightly in the direction they are supposed to go. However, Makuta fears the Toa of Light and sends out three of his Rahkshi to claim the mask. The Rahkshi arrive at Ta-Koro and decimate the village, with Lerahk poisoning Tahu in the process. The Ta-Matoran are able to escape with their lives, but Ta-Koro sinks into the lake of fire and is utterly destroyed.
The Rahkshi follow the trail of Jaller and Takua and catch up with them in the icy drifts of Ko-Wahi, where Toa Kopaka is able to freeze them solid in a lake. But Makuta would not stop so easily, and he releases three more Rahkshi; he also appears to Takua and warns that if the Mask of Light is not handed over, Jaller will die. Takua refuses, but is so shaken by the encounter that he chooses to abandon the search so that Jaller's life would be safe.
While Jaller keeps looking for the Toa of Light, Takua eventually ends up in Onu-Koro - but when Makuta's new team of Rahkshi shows up there, he realizes that they aren't hunting the mask, they're hunting the real Herald - him. The Toa show up to fight the Rahkshi, but Kurahk uses his power (Described by the Makuta as anger amongst themselves) to turn Toa Tahu against Toa Gali. Kopaka is able to flash-freeze Tahu and Takua escapes the Rahkshi, but Onu-Koro is heavily damaged in a cave-in.
Regretting his decision to abandon Jaller, Takua tracks him down and finally admits that he should have accepted the title of Herald from the start. He rejoins the search and the two get going, but when night falls, the three frozen Rahkshi are able to free themselves.
By morning, Lewa Nuva, Kopaka Nuva, and Gali Nuva have assembled to cure Tahu Nuva of his poisonous affliction. The Toa Nuva summon all of their healing energies; and Tahu Nuva is relieved of his madness, if still weakened. Kopaka Nuva departs without a word.
It is evening again when Takua, Jaller, and Pewku arrive at the Kini-Nui. Takua is reluctant to believe that so obvious a site is the hiding place of the Seventh Toa, and has stronger second thoughts when all six Rahkshi appear to take the Mask of Light once and for all. Fortunately, three Toa Nuva arrive on the scene followed by Kopaka Nuva and the rest of the Toa Nuva to defend the Matoran from their demise. For the first time, the Toa Nuva stand united against the Rahkshi and are successful; but not before Jaller dies at the hands of Turahk while trying to protect Takua. Distraught over his friend's death, Takua turns new thoughts over in his head and discovers the Seventh Toa — in himself. Takua dons the Mask of Light and undergoes a dramatic transformation into Takanuva, Toa of Light. With that, he finishes off Turahk and joins the Toa Nuva on their way back to meet Turaga Vakama.
It is decided that Takanuva shall ride a Kraata-powered vehicle constructed from the parts of the defeated Rahkshi, the Ussanui, to Makuta's underground lair alone. Takanuva descends into the tunnels beneath the Kini-Nui and arrives at the door of Mangaia. Upon entering, Hahli the Chronicler, having stowed away on board the Ussanui, is ordered to summon all of the Matoran of Mata Nui underground to witness the final confrontation between Toa and the Master of Shadows. It is not long before Makuta comes forth from the shadows of his lair and challenges Takanuva to a kolhii match. In this more dangerous version of the game, the object was not to score a point, but to hit the other player. Takanuva successfully dodged every attack Makuta attempted. Meanwhile, Hahli convinced the Toa Nuva and the Turaga to go down to Makuta's lair and help Takanuva. When they arrived, Makuta destroyed the entrance, making it impossible to leave. This made Takanuva furious. As Makuta once again hurled the energy kolhii ball at Takanuva, Takanuva attempted his "new move", a special technique wherein he performed a somersault in mid-air while throwing the kolhii ball. This succeeded in slamming the Makuta into the wall.
Makuta, angered, rose from the floor, intending to kill Takanuva outright. As he issues his threats, he remarks that his duty is to the Mask of Shadows. Takanuva makes the utterly radical suggestion of seeing behind that mask. He pulls it off, revealing a light. They fall into a pool of protodermis, to later emerge as a single being, "Takutanuva". This entity, having Makuta's power, Takanuva's purpose, and a mask combined of theirs, opens the gate that leads tp Metru Nui and allows the Matoran & Turaga to pass beneath it. As Hahli, bearing Jaller's mask, passes him, the Takutanuva stops her and resurrects Jaller. Weakened, he permits the gate to shut, crushing him, and the Avohkii slides out from under the door.
The Matoran enter a chamber, in which is marked with the symbol of their three guiding virtues on the floor. Turaga Vakama, seeking to awaken Mata Nui, places Hahli on the Sign of Unity, Jaller on the Sign of Duty, and the Mask of Light on the Sign of Destiny. In a pillar of light, Takanuva was resurrected. The lost city of Metru Nui, along with the destiny of the Matoran, is then revealed.