Since it was just posted on youtube and I’m sure there’ll be some discussion among the community about the topics covered in the podcast, here’s a discussion topic for episode 227 of the TTV podcast.
I’ll start by just copy-pasting something I wrote as a patreon comment under the audio file released yesterday:
Just some thoughts from my end after the whole elements discussion, this is how I’d do the elements of Bionicle:
Fire: the power in general is to heat things up. In the presence of oxygen, that can cause them to ignite, hence producing the element’s most visible manifestation and its namesake. In reality, it’s more a the power to add or move heat.
Water: manipulates water and aqueous solutions, generally in liquid form. Can pull water vapor out of the air and work with frozen water (ice) to a limited degree.
Stone: manipulates minerals, typically in a crystalline form. This includes sand, larger boulders, all manner of crystals, so long as they’re (relatively) pure.
Ice: direct opposite of fire (heat): rather than adding energy and heating things up, a Toa of Ice can remove heat. When doing this to water, they produce Ice. Doing it to just about anything solid will make it very brittle.
Air: Stick with air as a concept, able to produce vacuums and move air about in general. Moving air can be used with a glider-like device to fly, but flying isn’t required. Also, since sound as we experience it is just vibrations in air, I’d roll Sonics into Air to give a little more variety to the element of Air.
Earth: the trickiest one, 'cause I read “earth” to mean “soil,” and soil is an aggregate of minerals, water, air, and organic material, which all have their own elements already. Then again, being able to move all those in combination is something those other elements couldn’t do, so maybe that’s something? I’d combine Earth with limited Gravity powers (keeping the purple theme that G2 in part used) since gravity and the ground naturally correlate.
Other Elements: Lightning is distinguishably its own thing, Iron and Magnetism are redundant against each other and would be combined into limited control of metal (metal doesn’t bend easily, so you can’t just tear things apart on a whim even with a Toa’s control). Plasma is just an extremely heated state and as such would be rolled into fire. Plantlife would be okay on its own, I think, and I really want to keep Psionics. Light and Shadow are equivalent to Fire and Ice but with photons (i.e. light) instead of heat. Final element list: Original six plus Light, Shadow, Lightning, Metal, Plantlife, Psionics. Makes for a nice round 12. I’d stay away from making any element or its representatives particularly “legendary,” as was done in particular with Light in the past, but the good/evil connotations of Light and Shadow could be there more as a cultural thing, i.e. people being afraid of the dark and all.
Also, since I have done quite some thinking on the personalities of the Toa Nuva in the past, though in a rather different scenario and for a story focusing more on their failures than anything else:
Tahu: Harsh temper, but he genuinely cares for his team and tries really hard to present himself as the great leader to others and prove his abilities to himself. In order to do that, though, he needs something to fight and people to protect. Getting over that need to prove himself would probably be the main development of his character, and probably make him more even-keeled in the process.
Gali: Stresses Unity as the virtue underpinning everything, and very quickly gets nervous when the others appear to stray from it. Often overstressed as trying to keep a team of Toa together is like herding cats… or Muaka, in Bionicle’s case. Has a tendency to blame herself for mistakes the other Toa make; accepting that lessons can be learned by the other toa from those mistakes might be a key point for her.
Onua: Embodiment of duty, will push himself to and beyond his limits to get the job done regardless of what he has to work with. Agrees with Gali’s point on Unity but has a far more relaxed attitude about it, believing that if there is a shortcoming on the part of the others, he can make up for it. This includes rescuing them whenever they fall. In the story I wrote, his flaw doesn’t really come to light until after G1’s storyline is over: Onua needs to feel valuable, to feel that he’s serving a purpose. He needs something to sink his teeth into, and needs to perform to what he feels is a standard worthy of a Toa while doing it, even if that standard becomes unattainable. Throughout G1, it never really became unattainable… but I imagine that afterwards, it did.
Pohatu: Most socially adjusted of the Toa; this guy can work with everyone because he’s willing to let others take the lead, and doesn’t need to be the main hero to others. Good humor helps too. I think that would get his ideas trampled on a lot by the more assertive Toa early on, though; I think Pohatu’s flaw early on would be that he’s not sure how to get his good ideas out there and doesn’t have the stomach to say “I told you so” after things go wrong to give his ideas more weight in the future. He’d learn that throughout the story.
Lewa: Relentlessly optimistic and often reckless in his approach. Revels in being a hero with necessarily being arrogant about it, but his faith in his and the other Toa’s ability to overcome anything and everything in their path is both their greatest morale booster and his greatest downfall. Gets into trouble with mind control several times, and sees some dark things through it that make him seriously question that belief. His greatest challenge would be to measure his enthusiasm and the pace at which he likes to run through things with doing some planning ahead of time to avoid the worst of the disasters he repeatedly ran into before.
Kopaka: Intensely proud, arrogant even. By far the most intelligent of the Toa, but sees himself or wants to see himself as superior because of it, wants to believe that he doesn’t need the others to fulfill his destiny. He even gets pretty ticked when help is offered, seeing it as a weakness on his part that he has to accept it to succeed. G1, I think, actually pulled that off alright; Kopaka eventually comes to accept help more easily (though he never learned to like asking for it), but that kind of superiority complex is always somewhere in the back of his mind…
Oh dear, I appear to have inadvertently written an essay again… Anyways, great podcast to close out an otherwise decidedly crappy year with. Looking forward to more in 2017!
Also: Yay! shoutout!
Anyways, discuss the latest episode!