Note: This pitch may have a few controversial ideas for the mask powers concept. I will try to explain my reasoning as best as I can, so be sure to read the full pitch to understand my thought process.
After hearing the long discussion about masks, there are many things I like. The vault of matoran masks and the matoran actually getting mask powers are my favorite aspects of the discussion. However, there is one aspect I still disagree with. The physical augmentation powers for the toa.
I understand not wanting to have power creep. This definitely became an issue as more mask powers were created in G1. However, I disagree that the only option is physical augmentation powers.
By the end of this pitch, I will have 12 physical augmentation powers for matoran, and variations on six of those powers that will be used by the toa (plus an extra power for Voriki). I will list them all right here for easy reference.
Matoran Mask Powers:
- Strength – used by miners, construction workers, etc.
- Speed – used by couriers, transporters, etc.
- Endurance – used by warriors or desert merchants (to survive the desert)
- Charisma – used by diplomats/politicians, merchants, athletes, etc.
- Accuracy – used by anyone except athletes (because it’s cheating)
- Stealth – used by spies, law enforcement (possibly), thieves, etc.
- X-Ray Vision – used by cartographers, miners, etc.
- Sonar – used by Naho inhabitants and possibly miners
- Translation – used by scholars, teachers, archivists, etc.
- Night Vision – used by some Tiro inhabitants, miners, etc.
- Rahi Control – used by herders, farmers, transporters, etc.
- Regeneration – used by anyone with breakable equipment (engineers, miners, athletes, etc.)
Toa Mask Powers:
- Tahu – Fate (toa-level of Endurance)
- Kopaka – Sensory Aptitude (toa-level of X-Ray Vision)
- Gali – Detection (toa-level of Sonar)
- Onua – Telepathy (toa-level of Translation)
- Lewa – Illusion (toa-level of Stealth)
- Pohatu – Truth (toa-level of Charisma)
- Voriki – Emulation
With the summary out of the way, let me clarify. My issue is only for the toa. Having the physical augmentation powers for the matoran is perfectly fine, and I wouldn’t expect them to have anything more. But a toa is supposed to be the hero. It just doesn’t seem right to limit them to a set of powers that the regular matoran will be able to use for themselves.
You could say that the matoran versions of the masks are just weaker. This works for mask powers like illusions, where the Noble version only makes optical illusions, but the Great version includes shapeshifting. However, in most cases, a weaker version usually just means it doesn’t last as long.
That being said, this pitch is not simply picking separate powers for the toa. Doing that would mean that they have six unique masks that are different from all the matoran masks. We know this is not the case. For example, Tahu and Jaller both share the same style of mask (the Hau). So Tahu’s mask must retain the same general features of the matoran version. So now we get into the part that will require some work to explain properly.
Everyone seems to be in agreement that Tahu would have the Mask of Endurance. Prior to the mask vault being opened, many warrior matoran would wear replicas of the Mask of Endurance. This would be because it’s their prominent trait. However, as a toa, all of Tahu’s abilities are enhanced compared his matoran form. This means his prominent trait of endurance will be even stronger as a toa. This would make a real Mask of Endurance pointless to him. To fix this, I propose the toa gain a different mask power, without it actually being a separate power. This may sound confusing, but bear with me.
Since everything else about Tahu is enhanced from his matoran form, why would his mask be any different? A Mask of Endurance allows the user to last longer in a fight and hold out more, without tiring. If you were to enhance the ability, they wouldn’t just be taking a beating and getting back up. Instead, they would still be in peak fighting form, even after enduring a lot. This new enhancement is essentially the Mask of Fate.
Important Distinction: This is not combining the two powers. I am saying that a toa-level power of endurance (a Great Hau compared to a Noble one) is better described as the power of fate. Since matoran can now use mask powers, having this enhancement helps to show that the toa masks are boosted, compared to matoran ones (without it just being a “lasts longer” description).
Using this structure, the same can be done for the other toa.
Unlike the other toa, Kopaka doesn’t really have a specific power that fits his lifestyle as a prince. But I can see him still having X-Ray Vision. This is mostly due to his wounded eye that’s covered. Telescopic vision could be another route to go, but I think they can both be combined under one mask, just like G1.
As a toa, having x-ray vision that just lasts longer or sees a bit farther doesn’t seem like enough to separate it from the matoran version. Since x-ray vision is just a powered up sense of sight, an enhanced version would be an increase to all of the senses. This new enhancement is essentially the Mask of Sensory Aptitude. I saw @Hazash had referred to this type of power as Perception. I agree with this name change.
I see Nahoans being able to breathe underwater naturally, to some extent, so water breathing is out.
An arbiter job doesn’t really require a specific trait like warriors with endurance. However, as an inhabitant of Naho, Gali could easily make use of the Mask of Sonar. This would be very useful in a water setting. Also, the searching aspect may actually have some application for the arbiter position.
A Mask of Sonar can find objects through echolocation. However, just saying the range is extended for the toa version is not enough. An updated version could find things that are better hidden, or things that echolocation alone could not identify. This natural progression of sonar would be a Mask of Detection. Of course this version of the mask wouldn’t have the Ignika sensing trait, since that is not a thing in G3.
Just to get it out of the way, I don’t like the idea of giving Onua a Mask of Strength. He is already a powerhouse, so strength loses its usefulness. However, unlike Tahu who had endurance as a key trait, Onua’s strength does not define his character. So having him use a replica strength mask as a matoran doesn’t fit either.
As a scholar, it is more fitting that Onua’s mask is modeled after a Mask of Translation. His need for knowledge would be aided by an understanding of other languages. Also, if he potentially knows a bit about various legends/prophesies, then understanding whatever language these were told in would make sense. I can’t really see these prophecies being written/spoken in the matoran language until some matoran actually decipher it.
The natural progression for a scholarly mask like this is one that some people may see as having power creep. However, I don’t think that is the case. A mask with a focus on understanding language would evolve to be able to speak and listen to a language directly in someone’s mind. This is the Mask of Telepathy. It lacks the mind control or telekinesis traits that are clearly OP. It is purely being able to hear other thoughts or speak to others. The wise Onua already acts as a conscience for the team. With this mask, he could take that role to a literal level. It could also have some use during the civil war, when the toa are separated.
Like Naho with water breathing, levitation (to some degree) should be a natural trait of Kanae matoran.
Most people seem to find a Mask of Stealth very fitting for Lewa. This is due to her “street rat” lifestyle as a child. Whether trying to steal food or keep away from any guards, stealth would be one of her top traits.
Originally, I saw the natural progression of stealth as the Mask of Spirit. This out-of-body power would be even harder to detect. However, I can easily see it falling into the power creep category. Another route to take the progression is a Mask of Illusions. With stealth, you manage to conceal some of your movement. With illusions, you could cover them up with something else entirely. Illusions are very fitting for Lewa’s personality as well, since she is so fun-loving and carefree.
Note: This version does not require the shapeshifting aspect from G1, if it could fall into power creep.
Like Onua, I don’t like the idea of giving Pohatu a Mask of Speed. You could say that he had a replica speed mask as an athlete and it changed as a toa, but this leads to an issue. If Hewkii is also an athlete with the same replica mask as Pohatu, he will no longer be able to keep that mask when the mask vault is opened. This is because a real Mask of Speed would be cheating for an athlete. This means that a Kakama styled mask cannot represent speed. Instead, it will represent charisma. Most people seem to already agree with a Mask of Charisma for Pohatu, so this works.
A Mask of Charisma allows the user to seem more charismatic. It is not a direct mind control, but an alteration of the target’s perception. This is very fitting for Pohatu’s friendly demeanor. Charisma can be seen as an opposite to deception, since it uses a more passive and friendly alternative to actual lying or mind control. Due to this, a natural progression of the ability would be a Mask of Truth. With this new power, the user can see through deception. This would also include illusions or mirages, if Panrahk ends up going that route.
There are a few possible ways to apply this secondary mask pitch to the story. Personally, I feel that once the toa unlock their mask powers, it just gets referred to as the new power. Narmoto wore a replica of the Mask of Endurance, but Tahu wears the Mask of Fate.
The toa masks are already different from the matoran versions due to the printing. This would just be another way to separate them. I understand that there could be confusion by adding a new name, but since the matoran versions can actually do something this time around, the extra separation would be more useful.
If that too much of a change, then retaining the original mask name could still work. A matoran Mask of Endurance would boost endurance. A toa Mask of Endurance would function as a Mask of Fate.
Of course, we can’t forget Voriki who will eventually show up.
Voriki is a matoran who was granted toa powers by Makuta. Lightning matoran could still use the same 12 matoran masks. However, Voriki’s toa mask wouldn’t be powered from the Elemental Gods, so there doesn’t have to be the same pattern for her mask. For Voriki, I will propose one of the three masks I proposed in a previous pitch. The Mask of Emulation. This mask allows the user to copy any ability that they can see and analyze. This mask may seem to fall into power creep, but hear me out.
Since Voriki will be fighting the toa at first (having an “Evil Green Ranger” role), she would be able to mimic their elemental attacks to fight back. For example, use water on Tahu or ice on Gali. Because she is only mimicking what she sees, her copied attacks are only as strong as her opponent’s attacks. Keep in mind, that this mask cannot keep a copied power forever. If Voriki copies Tahu’s fireball, she will lose the skill once she copies Kopaka’s icicle spikes.
This ability makes sense from a story viewpoint as well. Voriki is made into a toa to counter the existing toa. Since Voriki is basically a “synthetic toa”, it is fitting for her to be able to mimic a real toa as much as possible.