Mental fortitude of various beings - analysis

Last month we looked at the brute physical strength some of the beings are capable of. This time we shall explore the mental prowess of the artifical nanotech inhabiting Matoran Universe.

As you know, individuals with some sort of psychic abilities are plenty in number, in fact it is so ubiquitous that the Order of Mata Nui requires mandatory training to counteract this. But have you ever wondered how much mental power some of the beings possess? If you have, today you will find out and the results are astounding!

Let’s start with a simple Toa. We know their minds are much more potent than any of the lesser beings of the universe such as Matoran. In the description of stage 5 Kraata of Confusion it states:

Aura is strong enough to leave an entire village helpless with confusion.

The inhabitants in this case being Matoran of course (because these descriptions were written in the context of 2003 story). Matoran here represent the average common people.
If stage 5 Kraata can do this much on such a large scale, what can a stage 6 do?

Extended proximity can reduce even a Toa Nuva to mindless babbling.

As is the case with most Kraata descriptions, it is only the final stage that can begin to affect Toa. This means that Toa’s mental defenses are more powerfull than all of Matoran in a single Koro put together. We don’t know exactly how many Matoran this is, the only number being the vague “thousands” in Metru Nui. This description noticably lacks any ceiling, but for the purposes of this analaysis let’s make a conservative underestimation and say that thousands means each village had one thousand villagers each.
A Toa psyche would then equal 1000 villagers, which is really impressive already.

Now let us realize one important thing - a Toa and other beings of similar tier or above are capable of using Great Kanohi masks and have the mental discipline necessary to control them. The same applies to Makuta. Additionally, the level of feats an individual is able to perform with a mask depends on their mental abilities and concentration they can muster.
With Toa serving as a Great Kanohi user baseline, how much mental fortitude does a Makuta have?

We are going to use Bitil as an example becasue his Mask of Time Duplication provides us with an ideal system to analyze his mental fortitude.

Q: How many more Bitils does Bitil regularly call? Three? Nineteen? A million?
A: In story, the max we ever see him summon is I think 50 or so (I may be wrong, been a while since I wrote Book 10). There is a limit to how many he can summon, for the same reason Tahu Nuva can’t use his Hau to shield everyone in the universe. At some point, you simply don’t have the willpower for that big an effect.

Q: Is there a limit to how many copies of himself Bitil can summon?
A: Doesn’t seem to be
Q: In this case, couldn’t Bitil just make billions of his past self (with shapeshifting and 40+ powers)?
A: Consider this, though – as with any mask , your willpower dictates its effect. Even a Makuta’s willpower would not be enough to summon a million or a billion of anything – his brain would fry. Plus when you deal with those kind of numbers, they will start getting in each others way. In story, he rarely summons more than 50 or so at a time, and as soon as his concentration gets broken, they all disappear.

Not only does this support what I said earlier, but it tells us the maximum number of summons Bitil is comfortable with under normal circumstances = 50. It also let’s us know that the mask itself does not have any known limit so any change in number of summons/mental requirements can be attributed to Bitil’s psyche only.
But how do we figure out how much concentration is needed to summon extra Bitils from the past? Obviously the more he summons, the more concentration is needed, but is this increase linear or exponential or something else? Luckily, we do have an answer:

Q: does the amount of concentration required to maintain the doubles increase exponentially as more doubles are called?
A: Yes

So it is an exponential increase :ok_hand:
Having this piece of information, we can easily estimate concentration equivalent required to summon 50 past selves using the exponential function:
mental fortitude1

That is more than one quadrillion times more than a baseline for Toa level psychic ability! But Wait! Remember that we established a Toa to be equal to at least 1000 Matoran. This means the actual number is:
mental fortitude2

Meaning a mental fortitude of a Makuta is equal to above one quintillion regular individuals. Absolutely insane amount way beyond human comprehension!

But this is not where it ends, oh no. There are few beings even more powerful in terms of psychic abilities than Makuta, a prime example being the one who stood at the beginnings of the domed universe - Tren Krom:

It was amazing… it was horrifying… it was a view into a mind as far beyond mine as mine is beyond a fireflyer’s…

This is Mutran (a Makuta) describing the mind of Tren Krom…

This is where the rigid quantification stops, but we can still get a feel of the implications. We know already how much of a difference is there between a Makuta and a Matoran (a quintillion) and there is bound to be a vast difference of its own between a fireflyer (Rahi) and Matoran. Most Rahi are described to have little in terms of mind and fireflyers seem to be at the lower end of the Rahi spectrum.
To very roughly estimate the fireflyer/Matoran difference I decided to look at the real world, substituting Matoran with humans and fireflyers with fruitflies (a very common insect model). Humans have about 100 trillion synaptic connections in the brain, while fruitflies have 548 000 connections. This makes a complexity difference by a factor of mental fortitude4, which we will consider to also be a difference between Matoran and fireflyers. If we combine this with the Matoran/Makuta difference we get a comparison between fireflyer and Makuta:

When we combine th differences between Makuta/Matoran and fireflyer/Makuta, we get the difference between Tren Krom and Matoran:

An obscene number.

And now for the final step… the Great Spirit himself. How much mental capacity does Mata Nui have??
He is supposed to be similar to, but still greater than Tren Krom:

Q: Is Tren Krom about Great Spirit level power-wise?
A: Not at Mata Nui’s level, no. To use a kind of crude analogy, Tren Krom is a PC circa 2000, and Mata Nui is one circa 2008 – able to handle more tasks and more complexity than Tren Krom has the power to do.

This is a really nice analogy by Greg F. and we can use it to estimate a difference between them. However I will not use the power of PC (personal computer) from the indicated years as that would become too complicated, but instead I’ll opt for the strongest computers from the time.

This would be 7.226 TFLOPs for 2000 and 1.105 PFLOPs for 2008. Calculating the increase:
mental fortitude7

So Mata Nui has approximatelly 153X stronger mind than Tren Krom.
Final calculation then brings us to:
mental fortitude8

Mata Nui has mental power equal to 354 tredecillion individuals!
No wonder he can control the Matoran Universe!

So there we have it. Admitedly, some of the comparisons are not ideal, but it should be enough for a rough estimation, and everything up to Makuta is pretty robust as a lower estimate.


That puts an interesting perspective on this line from Legends 8: Downfall:

That Toa had tried to be brave, but there was fear in his heart and he met his end with fear and regret. The Ignika sensed none of this in Matoro — only a will and determination that rivaled even that of Mata Nui himself.

While “willpower” and “mental power” are not necessarily synonymous, they’re certainly used as such a lot in the Bionicle story.

Another thing worth noting is the fact that Teridax was able to control the Matoran Universe himself, though it took him months to figure out how to make it do what he wanted and it is unknown whether or not he was ever able to utilize the true extent of all the intricacies of the robot.