Mister Farshtey has stated previously on these boards that real-world rules only apply in Bionicle when he wants them to- so did he want them to with “viruses”? The Makuta make rahi by exposing viruses to various processes (presumably to make the organic parts) and then add the mechanical parts later, or at least that’s the impression I always got. So, are their viruses actually like the not-quite living organisms in our world, or their own thing that just uses the word for a name?
Also, are “viruses” organic, or bio mechanical?
Neither. From BS01:
Viruses are energy-based substances
I think it also was mentioned somewhere that viruses are similar to Antidermis in their properties to some extend (they’re not the same, though).
I also think that viruses were compared to computer viruses somewhen somewhere. For example organic beings like Agori and Glatorian would be immune to viruses if I remember correctly.
So, they’re like antidermis that doesn’t turn back into gas/energy after a few thousand years.
As @Gilahu says, it’s a computer virus. All Bionicles are just machines to the Agori/Great Beings.
The virus used on the Voya Nui matoran bent them to the will of Teridax. The same virus also guided the actions of Brutaka and the Piraka in 2006 and shaped the rahi to the creative goals of the makuta forming them.
Edit: I remembered that incorectly. My bad.
The Piraka were influenced by Teridax telepathically. The Voya Nui Matoran weren’t infected by a virus, they were infected with Antidermis, the essence of Makuta, which is not a virus. The only way the Antidermis influenced Brutaka was that it made him stronger, essentially he was addicted to it. The Rahi were controlled through infected masks infected by the essence of Makuta using Shadow Kraata.
The viruses refer to, in canon, the substances used to create Rahi, aswell as what was used to modify the Skakdi and shut down the Great Spirit Robot. We’ve also seen weaponized viruses that consumes armor and flesh, such as the virus that killed Kojol and Tridax, and a virus that gave Takanuva the ability to fly in 2008.
Tl;dr: Antidermis is not the same thing as a virus far as we know.