Long ago, on the mystical island of Okoto. . .
Kulta, the Skull Grinder, stalked the forgotten City of the Mask Makers in search for the Mask of Creation. Though when he spotted Ekimu’s tomb, he paused.
“My brother is to remain undisturbed. Find the mask,” his master whispered to him.
“But why not? He rests as though dead, I should raise him as one.” Kulta asked, but only found his head searing in pain.
“Only find the mask,” came in harsh reply.
“Yes, yes! I’ll find it!” Kulta pleaded and he went in search for a mask when the pain left him.
Pilfering the Golden Skull Spider from its lord, Kulta returned to Ekimu and placed the mask upon him. The Mask Maker’s body squirmed and writhed, changing, growing, until a new evil arose and crumpled Kulta’s form. Now it was time for the Skull Maker and Okoto would be his.
If you haven’t guessed by now, this was one of my other leftover ideas from the What If contest. What if Ekimu got taken over by a Skull Spider before the Toa reached him?
It’s not like his tomb was hidden and Skull Slicer shows that they raided graves for bodies. Why didn’t Kulta or any of the undead do anything about the resting Ekimu? He was the primary threat, easy to find, easy to end if needed, and could be forced to make them find the other masks. You know, ignoring that no one has freewill in G2.
But that wasn’t the only G2 related What If idea I had. What if the skeletons were all past heroes of Okoto? Maybe they could be Gen 1 references to past Toa sets, that would be neat. Or if undead creatures continued the be the main threat rather than beasts, etc. So between those, and other leftover ideas I had during G2’s run but never got around to building, decided to try and speed run as many MOCs around this concept that I could.
He never says a word - doesn’t need to. The glowing eyes and hammer are enough conversation.
Between the powers of a golden Skull Spider and Kulta’s necromancy, Ekimu’s slumbering body has been transformed into a horrific monster. Though he lacks voice, the mask allows him to command the army of spiders and undead with each new skull he forges. Ekimu’s spirit can only watch and hope that his guiding voice can lead the Toa to restoring him. Something the Skull Maker knows and seeks to stop. Defiling the graves of past champions to end the Toa and Makuta.
Designer’s Notes: You can see why I dropped this idea in favor of the 2007 fish. It’s small, simple, colorless, nothing spectacular since I wanted to go with a more accurate depiction. But I did try to, roughly, match the colors we see Ekimu having when initially found by the Toa.
So why is he taller/bigger then? Well, we never got an answer as to what the Skull Army is. There are the Skull Raiders, but aside from Skull Basher, that’s a separate thing from the undead in the Mask Maker city. Skull Scorpios are clearly just undead versions of native creatures, but what of Skull Warrior and Slicer? What are they, where did they come from? They clearly aren’t islanders and, if they used to be native to Okoto, what happened to that race?
To eliminate most of these problems, I decided that the solution was the process of necromancy. Perhaps it contorts and reshapes the body, much in the same way masks of power can, like the Mask of Control did to Umarak or the Mask of Ultimate Power to Makuta. Or just getting a power boost like Ekimu did to have “Toa” status for a bit. So perhaps Kulta’s necromancy causes the bones to stretch out, residual elemental power to form extra bones, their armor melting or bursting open to form the add-on pieces; fun stuff like that.
Skull Slammer was a master in his day, famous for inventing waves of battle machines. Be it vehicle pilots or Scorpios, he fought and bested many in the arena with his glorious contraptions. But that was very long ago and now finds himself revived from the dead, twisted and merged with his machines. All who stand in the Skull Maker’s way will find axes slammed through their bodies.
Designer’s Notes: For this fellow, I decided to base him on Technic’s Competition line, or CyberSlam if you’re cool. They are the direct predecessors, set wise, for what we would later in in 2001 with the Rahi. So while I was primarily pulling from Cyber Strikers, there’s a bit of Tarakava in him. And Pewku, since I used a modified version of that set’s crawling mechanism. But figured if I was referencing old characters are past champions, there are few Technic lines that were as directly in an arena than CyberSlam.
Once a racing champion, the Skull Rider has been revived and merged with his vehicle. Now he will just be a blur across the island, chopping those who stand in their way.
Designer’s Notes: Obviously, this is the Roborider rep, taking the strongest hints from Lava, but I did try to add in other Technic and Constraction motorcycle designs into the mix. This one ended up being a lot simpler than I originally intended. I wanted it so that when the back wheels moved, they would turn a crank, which in turn would move the gears in the gearbox and swing the weapons. But it seems that relying on the wheels directly for the turning force required just isn’t feasible. Or if it is, I wasn’t able to figure it out in my allotted timeslot. Something to experiment further in future.
“Row gently, don’t want to disturb the fish now. Sssshhhhh.”
Spinning the crank, a barrage of shots fired from the fishing rod’s wheel into the islanders.
“Ah, I got my catch.”
The old Skull Angler navigates around the rivers of Okoto, spying on villagers and attacking those who spot him. Some believe he was once a legendary fisherman, but it is hard to tell.
Designer’s Notes: For old sports champions, I had considered doing a lot of different ones. Hockey, skiing, bird racing, lava surfing, boat racing, etc. And while most of them could be simple, I was running out of time for this project and quickly whipped up this guy. Not quite the boat racer I was hoping to make, I was thinking of something larger that could hold three Protector-size skelly friends, but he’s goofy fun.
“Why are we binding her?”
The father kept working on the ropes, tying her down securely. He didn’t like to think about it, but the kid had to know.
“Because she may get up and move.”
“Move? Like, alive?”
“No. Her spirit has joined the star, but sometimes the body doesn’t realize that. They get up and try to complete unfinished tasks or wander without direction. And sometimes they try to reach the stars to join again with their spirit.”
“She’s not moving, maybe she’s at peace?”
The father smiled. “Maybe. Maybe we’ll have the same peace when we join her in the star.”
An angel of the sea, champion of underwater combat, there were few who could best Skull Barbarian in the water. A perfect candidate to challenge Gali, so she has been resurrected. Though she would like to return to her rest.
Designer’s Notes: If it wasn’t obvious, this is Hahli Mahri. I ended up only doing one of the G1 Toa to bring back as the undead, since Hahli would be the most visually interesting. Not quite how a set version would be done, but is very simple. Maybe one day I’ll return to undead Toa Teams and make more complex versions.
Someone must be there to name a victor, to call foul, to ensure the competition runs smoothly. And this old judge ran the arena with an iron fist and a quick trigger figure. Now revived as the Skull Judge, will he declare the Toa as champions or disqualify them for the running? Most certainly the latter.
Designer’s Notes: And finally we have our Throwbots/Slizers rep, a version of Judge/Jet as a skelly man. Main goal was achieved, which was replicating his wing function from the original set - not that it was hard to do. Though I don’t demonstrate it best in the video, due to the lightbox, made the angle very awkward to work with and not fall onto the camera.
The arena was home to many a beasts, from Scorpios to tigers to raptors, there was no shortage of monstrous variety. And in his living days, the Bone Hunter was a tamer of such creatures, mastering each of them. Only for the Skull Maker to revive and fuse him with his old pets. Roaming the island on the hunt for his new prey, the Toa.
Designer’s Notes: Guess that Gla–It’s Fero and Skirmix! In earlier plans, I was going to do skeleton versions of Gresh, a Skrall or Tuma, maybe a few others, but only had enough time for a Fero and Skirmix rep. Well, that set plus the Kane-Ra and Muaka set. Originally, it was supposed to be more a tiger-raptor hybrid, where a tread unit would lower down from the torso and replace the back legs. So imagine Skirmix, if he could trade out his back legs for a single tread hindleg like the Muaka, kind of becoming a vehicle like the Skopio. Which is why the arms also have treads, so it could ride around. Only the primary treads ended up being too heavy, making the legs too big/stiff to keep itself up, so a normal undead dino-creature we go.
Bone Battler & the Skull Fliers:
The Skull Spiders have had enough of being shot down wave after wave of rotary cannon fire. It’s time they even the odds and fought back against those Protector jerks. Thankfully, Skull Slammer has shown them the wonders of engineering and raided the arena’s replicas of other battle machines. Now armed to the teeth, it’s time to show the Protectors a taste of their own hail fire!
Once just target practice dummies, the Skull Spiders have repurposed the arena’s drones for terror. They can fly, travel around the island much faster, and toss their transport unit as a makeshift bomb. Though they have been recycling their enemies’ skulls as the chassis due to how many they’ve crashed.
Mark I-S: One of the early repurposed drone designs, it features a single large propeller. In theory, it pushes the spider forward, but plenty have been known to fly backwards. Some have tried to keep the propeller above them, but with little success. Attempts at underwater traveled were made with mixed results.
Mark II-DB: With a better understanding of the drones, the spiders created a dual-rotor design. It flew well, was easier to control, but didn’t function underwater at all. Though cheaper to make, if there’s a kamikaze spider coming they’re probably using this model.
Mark III-YG: The last of the known flying contraptions so far, it is much easier to control and works wonderful underwater. They can now easily keep up with the Protector’s silly water turbines and hover in the air. However, it is slower in air travel than the other two and more complicated to create.
Designer’s Notes: I didn’t do this one for specific rep reasons, it just seemed like a really fun idea. Spiders driving mechs, what more could you want? Well, aside from said spiders flying around and tossing heads at people. A definite improvement. Also glad to see there were some Skull Spiders in the What If contest, so here’s more to add to that pile.
And that’s it for now. I really need to be focusing on my MOC League entry. A hunter will be coming in the future for you, stay tuned.