Hi, Greg, hope you’ve been well over the past year.
One interesting byproduct of the TTV canon contests has been the unearthing of various quotes and ideas regarding the appearances of characters without sets. The Toa Hagah have been a source of much discussion, to say the least. I quite appreciate the insight you’ve given about their appearances, but there is one quote in particular that has caused some confusion.
Quick Recap on the Hagah Masks
I’m sure you may remember the details on the lore of the Toa Hagah, but here’s a quick recap. The Toa Hagah sets were designed and then eventually declared to be the original forms of the Rahaga Norik and Iruini. However, Norik didn’t have an original mask piece, using instead the one worn by Turaga Dume. Since it didn’t make sense for Norik to be equipped with a Noble Kanohi, it was said that his mask didn’t match the shape of his Kanohi. An interesting solution was set forward in the Appendix of BIONICLE Adventures 9 that the Hagah masks were “forged in the shapes worn by the great heroes of the past.”
As late as 2006, it was established that while Iruini’s Kualsi was shaped like a hero of yore, that hero had worn a Kualsi. Hence, unlike Norik, Iruini’s mask actually shaped correctly. This suggested that although Hagah masks could be shaped like different masks, they didn’t have to be, as suggested by Iruini.
The Question in Question
In 2009, four years after the Hagah storyline was originally produced, a fan approached you with a question to clarify on this subject, asking “Do the rest of the Hagah have a mask of a different shape, like Norik?” to which you said simply “Yes.” This is the only quote on this subject (aside from one that followed up to confirm that you meant “yes” as an affirmative to their scenario), and it is the source of the conflict. Many fans are interested in using the canonical shape of a Mask of Emulation on Pouks, but lore enthusiasts refer to this quote to insist that’s impossible. I sympathize with both sides, but there are a few issues with this question.
- This is a very leading question (unintentionally, I’m sure). The lore of the Hagah masks is all a rather complicated way to explain why Norik wears what otherwise would be a noble Kanohi. The person asking the question cited Norik and his mask powers not matching his Kanohi, but failed to raise the point about Iruini actually having the same mask powers he’d originally had.
- The question asks about “the rest of the Hagah.” This is immensely unclear as to what it’s referring to, whether the host of Toa the Brotherhood kept or just the rest of Norik’s team. Even if it’s the latter, though, that’s an issue because, again, Iruini clearly did not have a mask of a different shape. Even if the OP is just referencing the other four Toa, that doesn’t change the fact that the premise of the question is faulty.
- As mentioned earlier, this question was asked in 2009. Already in 2008 you had responded to a similar question (which asked if Norik’s mask was modeled off of Dume’s Kiril) saying that you “really don’t remember. The Hagah storyline was three years ago, and I am wrapped up in 2010 right now.” By the time 2009 rolled around, I’m guessing that you remembered the details of Norik’s mask when this question was asked, but you may not have remembered those about Iruini’s.
All that said, my question is this: Although many of the Hagah were likely to have masks that didn’t match the shapes of the powers (as per Norik and the 2009 quote), would you say it’s possible that some of their masks did (as per Iruini)? Or would you say that Iruini is the singular exception to the rule and that it’s altogether impossible that anyone else had masks in their standard forms?
In the end, when the Hagah contest rolls around, the question would be moot if a Pouks moc wearing something that clearly isn’t a Mask of Emulation were to win. As for Kualus, Gaaki, and Bomonga, even if they were to win with fan-made masks, there’s no point to say one way or the other if their masks were the actual shape or not given the canon ambiguity that Norik and Iruini set.
But this question is more just meant to clarify your original intention, as well as to settle the conflict as to whether Masks of Emulation could reasonably be allowed. In the end, this is a canon contest, and should abide by what canon has established. But there are nevertheless a large amount of people who are eager to submit mocs with Masks of Emulation, and others who say that it’s impossible given the lore, and I’m eager to settle these affairs one way or the other
EDIT: Added reference links