Toa Hagah Canon Contest Survey and Final Q&A

There arent many gunmetal masks but painting would work.

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Soooooo still no word on when the contest will start?

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Yeah but I like the mask

This should pretty much answer this question

Except when Meso forgets for a month or two :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Would it be possible for us to use custom pieces from other designers apart from the ones that have already allowed the usage of their pieces for the contest?
Some designers may not have been aware of the time limit that was established last year at the beginning of the Helryx contest or may have recently designed their custom pieces for the upcoming contests. Since many of the contests have not even started yet, it would be a good opportunity to add more pieces to the pool and get a better variety of weapons and masks.

Regarding the Hagah, there aren’t many options for the spears that keep consistency with the size already shown by Norik and Iruini while not looking too repetitive because of being used by many sets before like the mahri blades or being the characteristic weapons of certain characters like the rahkshi staffs. Adding new pieces, would increase the number of options for this and make each Hagah look more unique while keeping a similar appearance to the previous Hagah spears. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use the old weapons, just that it would be a lost opportunity not to add new ones and make our entries more original.

Hello everybody! It’s been a while! I sincerely apologize for the massive delay in between updates for this contest’s development; we were on a pretty good trajectory of constant updates and development of rules, and then things stalled. In this post, I’m going to explain why, give all the updates I can, clarify some things, give our final decision on the poll from this topic, and then close out the development stage so we can get these contests on a roll.

Why the delay?

Great question! We had received several highly requested questions and clarifications that people wished to be relayed to Greg Farshtey, so rather than have an endless circular debate in the topic of people trying to misinterpret or second-guess his past quotes, we elected to just ask him these questions and see what he had to say. In the interest of full transparency and so you guys know how things went down, we first emailed Greg back on March 25th with these questions; after a few prompting reminder emails, we heard back from him on April 8th, in which Greg essentially said that we were asking about stuff from 12 years ago which wasn’t exactly in the front of his mind. Stating that he’d need time to review it, we thanked him for replying, and let him be. We’d already sent more than enough reminders, and we’re not really too interested in incessantly pestering him about minute nitpicky questions. Now that it’s been over a month… we feel like it’s time to update you guys and move forward.

The first question we asked him was in reference to this topic by TTV Message Boards user “Gonel”, in which the nature of the Hagah masks was called into question, specifically the varying appearances of their masks (Pouk’s Mask of Emulation, etc.) You guys can read the topic for full context; we paraphrased the question and then sent Greg the full topic for proper context, as it included screenshots of the initial questions way back when as well as an explanation for why some people have contested the answer.

The second question we asked was in relation to the Inika masks and their potential usage on Hagah MoCs; specifically, whether the versions released in the Toa Inika sets would be allowed to be used, on account of their organic designs possibly being specific to the Toa Inika. Although there was already a clear, defined precedent for Greg’s answer on this one, we felt like it merited consideration, so we sent him the question, an explanation of why it’s significant, and several images illustrating the issue. Specifically using the Suletu as a reference point, we presented three potential options: would an inorganic Suletu worn by a Hagah look like Figure A (the asymmetrical mask featured in Toa Kongu), Figure B (a symmetrical Suletu that retains the “scales”), or Figure C (a fully smooth, symmetrical Suletu).

Suletu1 Suletu2 Suletu3

The third and final question was in reference to the Mahri masks, and the often-discussed debacle of their breathing tubes. Although there was precedent for this as well, we felt it only fair to relay the question and the controversy to Greg in order to get his take on the matter. Sharing the following pictures of the Volitak and using it as an example, we asked whether a Volitak worn by a Hagah would look like Figure A (the version worn by Nuparu, with tube and visor), Figure B (the version worn by Mazeka, no visor and no tube) or Figure C (an edited variant that removed the breathing tube on the chin). Again, there already existed a pretty clear precedent for this in our mind, but we asked him anyway out of respect for the debate on the issue and to hopefully get an ironclad answer.

Volitak1 Volitak2 Volitak3

And the results…

Well, he didn’t reply. So…. what do we do? Well, here’s the thing; I know some people will be unhappy with this prospect, but there does already exist a precedent for a lot of these questions in the public compendium of Greg’s Q&A. While I understand the common opinion that Greg “doesn’t understand toys” or “doesn’t understand certain things” or “may have changed his mind” or “may have gotten tricked by a leading question”… this situation ultimately represents the downfall of trying to ask Greg every minute detail of every minute question of every single hotly contested community point. This is old news. We’re talking, specifically for the Hagah, anywhere from 14-16 years old in terms of the man’s headspace when answering these questions. The database of his answers might not account for every potential scenario or loophole that the community has brainstormed over BIONICLE’s life, but it does account for a large majority of them, and more importantly, the answers given were from Greg’s FRESH, ACTIVE headspace. At this point… if he elects to not answer or doesn’t feel like he CAN adequately give an informed clarification on this decade old stuff… we should take his already existing words at face value, as they’re on the record. An answer was given, even if the answers don’t please everyone.

Example: So, for the first question, regarding the Toa Hagah masks and whether their appearances must match their powers or not… an answer was given. The explanation for why the option COULD exist for more Iruini-style situations does make logical sense, and PERSONALLY I would like for Greg to approve that possibility, as it just makes more sense that Iruini probably wouldn’t be the only one with that particular situation. However, because of the wording of his answer, all we can do is interpret his words to mean that they all follow Norik’s example.

For the Inika question, there really isn’t a lot of grey area on the matter. While there are some really cool inorganic designs out there, and something like those would make a lot more sense to me in certain cases (COUGH Suletu COUGH), ultimately Greg’s answer here pretty much says everything there is to say. QUOTE:

“An inorganic Sanok would look like an organic Sanok, simply made out of metal rather than an organic substance.”

In Greg’s mind, there isn’t a meaningful difference in appearance between Inika masks; they were not “mutated” in design to look different, only the material the masks were made out of changed. As such, we feel it’s completely fine to allow for the Inika masks to be included as it’s completely possible that any Hagah could wear such a mask. Unfortunately, by this same logic, any fan-made “inorganic” Inika masks or custom altered Mahri masks (which we’re about to get to) created by the 3D modeling community would NOT be up for canonization, as these masks don’t fit Greg’s prior specification of what the masks would look like when worn by other Toa. It’s the pieces released in the sets or bust I’m afraid.

Finally, in reference to the Mahri masks and the “breathing tube” discussion, our official stance on the issue (based off Greg’s wording in numerous answer) is that there is no design difference in the masks worn by the Toa Mahri and the “normal” versions of the masks,with the exception of breathing tubes and visors. The following quotes serve as our evidence for this, and although plenty of people have presented possible alternate ways to interpret Greg’s words, we feel that when taken in aggregate, these quotes paint a fairly clear vision of the intent of his words:

Quote 1

Quote 2

Quote 3

Quote 4

We need to face the facts regarding Greg’s current involvement in the BIONICLE community and give the man some respect. It’s been many years since he was actively involved, and the fanbase has asked him so many things… if he had the energy, the investment, the perfect recollection, and the patience, he would likely still be here answering questions, but he hasn’t been active in three months, and before that, March 2020. Most questions that he CAN answer he HAS answered, and the few that he hasn’t, he either doesn’t feel like he can anymore due to the massive time gap between his familiarity with the material (perfectly understandable) or his inability to answer (such as “What do you think about BIONICLE G2?” or “What was your plan for Marendar?”). I don’t know this for absolute certain, but I would be willing to hazard a guess that’s why the prospect of the canon contests appealed to him; they serve as a way for him to be involved tangentially, actively participating in the community’s creation of “new content” in a way that didn’t involve people attempting to mine his brain for every new facet of knowledge that could potentially be drummed up. I think that’s totally within his rights, and out of respect for him, I have no interest in pestering him constantly about things past a certain point where he’s given a respectful indication that they’re not fresh in his mind anymore. We’ll, of course, attempt to reach out and ask him clarifying questions should they present themselves in the future, but in this case… we’re going to just take his words at face value on things and move forward.

Results of last poll

Moving on from the Greg related updates, we have some updates to share from the poll in this topic! On the matter of the first question, people seemed overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the ability to alter the mask in the final group-shot art contest up to the MoCist’s discretion, so we’ll be moving forward with that compromise. To reiterate, you will need to give consent one way or the other in your entry topic; if no consent is given and the subject isn’t discussed at all in your entry post, no consent will be automatically assumed, and the mask will be mandated to remain the same in the final group shot should the entry win. Your consent or lack-there-of will be displayed in the poll topic, corresponding with your entry picture, so voters have easy access to that information when making their decision. Overall, a pretty clear-cut win, and something that helps bridge the gap of artistic freedom and the integrity of the MoC design. :smiley:

On the other matter however… well, it’s substantially more complicated. Overall, the concept of staggering the polls seemed most unpopular; from the posts I’ve seen, a lot of people likely felt the proposed “lightning round” of voting would be too quick or the concept just generally didn’t appeal to them. Totally fair, I respect it. Eljay and I were never crazy about the idea THAT much, but we felt like presenting it nonetheless as an option.

48% of voters in the topic voted to keep things how we planned, and 27% voted to mandate each entrant create all four Toa Hagah as a “set” in order to be properly entered, thus achieving team cohesion by virtue of designing them as a full unit. This was my personal choice, as I felt like it achieved a successful compromise of bridging the gap between those who fear a mismatched or misaligned Hagah team and those who want to keep the contest structure the same. Personally, I feel like most people are going to enter all four ANYWAY, so mandating it likely wouldn’t upset too many people. However, completely independent of the poll results, I’d be a fool to ignore the chorus of people who expressed to me that doing that would be a bad idea, as it would place entry restrictions upon people late in the development stage of the contest, people who might not have the time, money, or resources to create an additional three MoCs to enter as a full set. The thought of being forced to enter potentially 4x more creations than they had planned on entering seems to be an unpopular one with people, and the fact that it lost by a substantial margin only serves to reinforce that belief (as mentioned before, the poll functions most accurately as a survey; its results were not binding, and the discussion created from the poll matters more than the poll itself).

As such, we’ll be making the decision to not alter the entry/voting process in a meaningful way. Although there are some very valid points that have been discussed and considered, most people (and ourselves) seem to be in favor of maintaining our system of procedure and coherence for how the contests will be handled, as our goal first and foremost is canon accuracy. Just as any Toa Team has variation in its members, there are no rules laid out by Greg as to the ratio of metallic armor, armor types, etc. I myself have an eye for the symmetrical and orderly, so I definitely relate to the struggle, but unless it contradicts canonicity, that’s ultimately something we feel like can be left in the hands of the voters.

That’s about all I got! Thank you guys for following along on this journey, and I appreciate all your feedback on the matter; even if the final set of rules won’t please anybody, we aim to make the best contest we can and get some incredible creations to come out of it. We’ll be posting up the rule topic soon, and we look forward to seeing all the epic Hagah you guys make!

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In regards to the Greg situation, I believe it’s the right decision to leave him be as much as possible when it comes to minutia like the Hagah masks, or other similar things. If for nothing else, both the story itself and his answers were written the way they were for a reason, and to try and worm out more than a few nonexistent loopholes or exceptions does a disservice to both the story as a whole and to Greg himself. If there were alternatives to anything presented within the story itself, Greg would have (and more than likely already has) addressed them at the time, when they were not only fresh on his mind, but there was a whole story team to bounce ideas off of. It is what it is.

(And on a personal note, I am very much in favor of the ruling in regards to the Inika and Mahri’s Kanohi. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m against 3D pieces for a host of reasons, but in this particular case, it makes sense to use the existing design for, say, the Volitak seeing as it, of course, already exists. The ruling prioritizes actual pieces, and there is nothing wrong with that.)

As for the decisions on the Hagah rules, I can’t weigh in too much since I was never heavily involved in those conversations (and it’s been well past a month anyways, so I can’t recall most of the talking points anywho). All I’ll say is that I’m glad the allow/disallow Kanohi-altering was approved, and while I’m disappointed the “enter all 4 at once” method lost out, I understand the reasons why it did. In either scenario, I look forward to the contests beginning soon!

Also, a question for the contests going forward: during and after Artakha’s contest there was the debacle about whether you the hosts were obligated to inform the contestants whether there was a problem with their entry. At the time two scenarios were presented: either more judges/hosts would be added on in order to make sure no entry got left behind, or simply that an entry that did not follow the rules would be disqualified, end of story. Seeing as how most recent discussions of the contests revolved around the Hagah and how to run their contest specifically, I don’t believe this topic ever came up on the forums. My question is, was this addressed at all behind the scenes, and if so, what, if any, decision was reached?

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Shame about the fan designs for masks, but I think it does make a modicum of sense for the contest’s sake, but it doesn’t make sense as a hard line within the universe with the continued existence of Krakua and the Power Pack Rua. Therefore, we must decanonize those immediately.

Our current perspective is that we are not obligated to inform entrants that their entries have issues that need correcting. Entrants are obligated to follow the rules of the contest. The reason we did that was as a courtesy.

My understanding is that we will have additional aid in vetting entries and informing people that things are not following the rules. Again, it’s a courtesy. We have to vet everything eventually, it’s just a matter of trying to get as many entries in as possible so everyone has a shot.

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The asymmetrical Suletu design could be rationalised as depicting literally a head with the outer layer peeled away, which seems pretty apt for a mask of telepathy. Works for me.

(That implies that the Great Beings had scaly-lizard-head creatures in mind…)

Glad to see movement, glad to see Greg’s time respected.

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The mask could be designed by a Matoran, though, in which case you have to wonder if they thought that Toa were secretly piloted by tiny geckos pulling levers in their heads.

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looks at my shapesways sanok

R.I.P.

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totally understand the inika/mahri mask rules, but that’s really gonna suck for varian.

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You still could made an inorganic Sanok that fit in a normal BIONICLE head

I’m confused as to why we can’t have alternative versions of existing Kanohi. I get that Greg’s word is that organic Calixes, Sanoks, etc. just look like the inorganic ones, but we know that there can be different regional/stylistic variants of the same Kanohi, i.e. Lhikan. For the Hagah, yeah, I suppose you run into some hoops to jump through if you want them to have regional/styled variant masks because their masks will be forged into someone else’s mask shapes, but what about Orde or Chiara? If they have a unique variant of a mask, it’s their own mask.

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If it isn’t too late to about-face, I’d really like to see that rule only retained for the Hagah. More masks are never bad, after all.

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I wasn’t planning to vote for hagah mocs with 3D printed inika masks but I’m not a fan of the precedent set for future characters. I get most of the other rules though.

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any fan-made “inorganic” Inika masks or custom altered Mahri masks (which we’re about to get to) created by the 3D modeling community would NOT be up for canonization

This is dumb and I urge you to reconsider.

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“Obligated” might’ve been poor wording on my part, but nonetheless I’m glad to have this established, and that you guys will hopefully have extra help in these contests. It’s a thankless job, so once again I’d like to say thank you for all the time and headache you put into theses contests. It’s truly appreciated, whether it feels like it or not.


Genuinely asking: why is that? What does a normal Calix do “wrong” that a 3D Calix “fixes?”

I mean, no? We already know 1 mask can take many different shapes. Lhikan, and Tahu stars both have haus that are different from the original mold but are both considered valid and canon. I don’t see why it would be any different for inika and mahri masks.

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