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Mata Nui Online Game

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Title Screen

Mata Nui Online Game

Developer: Templar Studios
Publisher: LEGO
Platform: Adobe Flash
Released internationally: January 2001

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MovieIcon.png This game has unused cinematics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Mata Nui Online Game, originally known simply as Mata Nui, later as the Mata Nui Adventure Game, and re-released in 2006 under the title Mata Nui: The Online Game, was an online point-and-click adventure developed by Templar Studios to promote the line of BIONICLE toys from the LEGO Group.

Unused Rooms

The following rooms were all tested by changing the exitmap parameter of a conversation file, and as such, the actual room size is unknown for most of these. The naming of the rooms follow a system: the area group (listed as a roman numeral), the room-pair number, then the cardinal direction. A letter after the direction indicates a "conversation" or special cutscene/puzzle room, with different conversations with the same person/puzzles/cutscenes marked with the next letter.

Note: speculation on the purpose of these rooms is based on Templar's released development notes, as well as on experience playing the game.

Room Name Thumbnail Description
III.2-S MNOG III2S.png A concept sketch of an exit for the Charred Forest. Clicking the exit leads to the Ta-Koro/Charred Forest fork in Ta-Wahi, facing the beach.
IV.1-S.2 Mnolgiv.1-s.2.png A nearly completed version of IV.1-S, with the cliffs in the background shifted slightly in position and a thin grey border surrounding a portion of the area.
IV.3A MNOG IV3A.png A used room, but with unused text. "Bridge Rises TK" shows when you visit the map without having been sent from one of the two bridge apparatuses.
v.4-na Mnolgv.4-na.png Presumably an incomplete version of V.4-N, although there are no discernible differences between the two.
vii.10-n_gakoro MNOG vii10n gakoro.png Incorrectly labeled, this is just outside the Po-Koro gate, facing the village. Plays an ominous sound effect similar to when nearing the quarry for the first time. Linked to other rooms the same way as the used version of the map.
viii.4-s_gakoro2 MNOG viii4s gakoro2.png Also incorrectly labeled, this is a near-complete copy of the room at the Koli field, facing away. The fan only talks about everyone being home sick.
IX.6-S MNOG IX6S.png A non-detailed version of the Nui-Jaga's nest, facing towards the exit. Attempting to leave the nest or turn around leads to the expected rooms. This room was left incomplete and substituted with IX.7-S when the sweatshop that the latter room belonged to was scrapped.
IX.7 MNOG IX7.png A copy of Onewa's conversation room, but with "Pohatu" above his head. Note that, while there is a conversation file for 7A that recycles a bunch of other Po-Koro text, this room lacks a letter and thus no conversation starts when you enter this room. Was never finished, as the Koli ball sweatshop area it would have taken place in was scrapped.
IX.7-N MNOG IX7N.png A Ga-Koronan works away at a Koli ball. This is from a scrapped branch of the story where a seventh "shadow" village is working to infect the other villages for Makuta, starting here with the Koli balls.
XI.3-N MNOG XI3 Door.png This room does appear in the game, but If the lava puzzle hasn't been completed yet, it has a working door below the frame under the dark door in the center of the frame, leading to XI.4-W (Biodermis Smith hut).
XI.4-W MNOG XI4W.png The interior of an Onu-Koro hut, with two "Biodermis Smith"s and a handful of animals. Biodermis was LEGO's WIP name for Protodermis, and this is one of the only places it can be found (un)used. Leaving the hut brings you to XI.3-N, which means that this hut is the closed-off one with lights in the windows. Clicking on the left Smith tries to load XI.4B (which doesn't exist). Clicking on the right-most Smith brings you to...
XI.4A MNOG XI4A.png A conversation room with one of the Biodermis Smiths. Unfortunately, there is no text file for this room. Of note is the presence of an Ussal reference image, using the same colors and pieces as the Bionicle Master Builder set, which didn't ship until roughly a year after this portion of the game was published. The row of sky-blue pixels at the top and bottom are from a screen-size helper dummy object used during development.
XI.5A MNOG XI5A.png An unused conversation room for Kapura for the start of the Company gathering portion of the game. The conversation is the same as the other Kapura locations, the difference here is the Onu-Koro background (and the fact that XI.5N lacks the code to spawn him in).
XII.2A MNOG XII2A.png A primitive conversation room with a "COMMANDER" (note: name is mirrored) and "SOLDIER2" in the background. A dialogue at the bottom prompts to "join search party for Onua", which was intended to lead to a mini-game and be required to complete the Onu-Koro section, but was scrapped due to time constraints. While the map is unused, XII.2-E, XII.3-E, and XII.3-W all still have a bright glow referencing the cut map.
XII.2A (again) MNOG XII2A(2).png If you enter the room with the unused flag regarding the Onu-Koro Rats set to 1 instead of the default 0, the room is empty of Matoran and functions normally, linking with the other maps as the names would suggest. A big hole remains where the search party minigame would begin/end.
XII.7B MNOG XII7B.png A much less detailed version of the elevator (7A), functions exactly the same.
XV.5-N MnolgXV.5-N.png An unfinished north view of the Cavern of Light and its exit.
XVI MNOG XVI4N.png XVI is a group of rooms makng up an unused shaft. While most of these rooms are as plain as most of the tunnel maps, XVI.4-N is the end of the shaft, with an "ENGINEER" and a cart filled with rock. Unknown what this area's purpose was, although it seems possible this would have been the shaft that you travel down during the search for Onua mini-game - completion of the mini-game would have left you in XVI.4, and then you would have had to walk back out through the rest of the rooms before arriving back at XII.2. This would explain the large rock at the back of XVI.4 - it is the boulder Onua uses to block the fire scorpions in the planned cutscene finale to the mini-game.
XVIII.4A MNOG XVIII4A.png This is the testing version of the flute. You can't play individual notes, and clicking Play Flute triggers the Le-Koro/Nui-Rama invasion cutscene.
XVIII.5B MNOG XVIII5B.png Even though Tamaru is afraid of heights, it seems he was once supposed to aid with the strike against the Nui-Rama hive. Buttons are in place to make Tamaru go through various animations, and a big "GOODBYE" button leaves the room and brings you to the airfield map.
XVIII.6-E MNOG XVIII6E.png A copy of Nokama's hut. Leaving the level brings you to the Le-Koro central plaza, while clicking on Nokama lets you speak to...
XVIII.6A MNOG XVIII6A.png "Matau"! Matau was originally supposed to occupy his hut (the leftmost in the plaza) after the great rescue, but was later changed so he's celebrating with the Matoran in the plaza itself. Seems that Ga-Koro files were used pretty often as placeholders... There is also no conversation file for this room.
XX.5A MNOG XX5A.png A map for speaking to Matoro without Nuju. The Matoran script behind Matoro is just jibberish. Selecting "Goodbye" puts you in the Sanctuary, facing Nuju/Matoro & Nuju. Matoro's mask in this room is different from the one used in all the other rooms.
XX.5-S MNOG XX5S.png An unused sanctuary map, facing away from Nuju. Moving from this map works as expected, and clicking on the rightmost Matoran triggers a conversation with him like when you're facing the opposite direction.
XXII.10-N MNOG XXII10N.png An unused in-progress version of XXII.9-N. Pressing the button triggers the Hafu & Taipu cutscene ("Another Hafu original!"), and turning around sends you to...
XXII.10-S MNOG XXII10S.png An in-progress version of XXII.9-S. Leads you to XXII.8-S.
testing N/A A test room, used to develop the conversation programming. This room has the conversation file stored internally, as well, and for one reason or another won't run in MNOG's engine. You can see it here.

"(original)" Files

Every file with (original) in the name goes unused. All appear to be copies of the non-original files, but it is currently unknown if any of them have differences of a functional kind.

Unused Progress Flags

The save file includes a progress flag that get stored to a variable named "OnukoroRats" (Onu_R in the save file), added for the originally planned tasks for Onu-Koro, before they were cut.

Unused Cutscenes

Cutscene Name Final Version Differences
episode_3-3b_water.swf episode_3-3.swf This is just a loop of the splashing as Gali and the Tarakava fight underwater.
episode_4-2a.swf episode_4-2.swf Text runs without halting and continue button is not present.

No sound.

Uses system default font for text.

episode_4-3e.swf episode_4-3.swf Sounds of the nest collapsing are different and continue until the cutscene ends.

Uses system default font for text.

Episode_5-7.swf Episode_6-1.swf No sound, EXCEPT for the sound of a pick striking a rock when a miner strikes a rock with his pick,

something that doesn't happen in the final version.

KahuRide.swf KewaRide.swf Mockup animation from which nothing but functionality is borrowed by its successor.

In addition to the above, the game contains 18 ZIP files that each hold a copy of a cutscene in EXE format. Several of these are different from the final versions.

Cutscene Name Final Version Differences
MataNui-01.exe Episode_1-1.swf Loops upon completion, with overlapping sound.
Tahu-01.exe Episode_1-2.swf Ends on white screen.
Tahu-02.exe Episode_2-1.swf
Nokama-01.exe Episode_3-2.swf The Matoran thrown into the hut jerks up from the impact only once. In the final version the animation goes back and forth a bit to make the impact look rougher.
Gali-01.exe episode_3-3.swf Ends on white screen.
LeKoro-01.exe Episode_6-2.swf
LeKoro-02.exe Episode_6-3.swf
LeKoro-03.exe Episode_6-4.swf
LeKoro-04.exe Episode_6-5.swf
LeKoro-05.exe Episode_6-7.swf
Maku.exe Episode_8-1.swf Ends on white screen.
Tamaru.exe Episode_8-2.swf
Hafu-Taipu.exe Episode_8-3.swf The screen does not shake when Taipu's boulder hits the ground offscreen.

The sound effects for Hafu carving are slightly different.

Uses system default font for text.

Kopeke.exe Episode_8-4.swf
Kini-Nui.exe Episode_8-5.swf Uses system default font for text.
Toa-Kaita-01.exe Episode_8-6.swf Wairuha and Akamai's names are switched.

Wairuha's Kanohi Rua is gold instead of silver.

No sound.

Uses system default font for text.

Toa-Kaita-02.exe Episode_8-7.swf No sound.
Toa-Kaita-03.exe Episode_8-8.swf Non-silhouetted closeups depict Akamai instead of Wairuha.

Fade-out to black instead of the usual cut.

No sound.

It is apparent there was some confusion regarding the two Toa Kaita's identities - evidence in other Bionicle media points to the two characters having the details of their names, roles and mask colors switched up at the last minute for unknown reasons.

Unused Items

Backpack.swf has unused items in its coding that aren't saved or checked for in save files:

Variable Name Thumbnail In-Game Description Notes
Biodermis MNOG Item Biodermis.png "BIO-DERMIS" An item with quantity. The image is made from parts of the Maha (goat) object. Templar's comments on this portion of the game would indicate that this item represented the raw material that players would provide to the Biodermis Smith to construct Rahi.
pBook_Goat MNOG Item BuildingPlans.png "BUILDING PLAN BOOKLET" Instructions for building a goat. Presumably this had to be provided along with a specified quantity of Biodermis to the Biodermis Smith for him to construct a goat for the player's use. Theoretically, different building plan booklets would have unlocked different creatures when found.
Disks MNOG Item Discs.png "DISKS" Another item with quantity, its programming is less complete than the others, the check for quantity doesn't even save to the right variable. Would have tied into the search for Onua/rat defense, in either of which disks would have been needed to succeed.

Unused Music

Episode_9-2_v4_sounded.swf is identical to Episode_9-2.swf, until the end when a short musical track abruptly begins. A repaired version of the cutscene, with the music properly placed, can be viewed here. It is possible the music was removed because it clashes rather badly with the atmosphere of the scene.

Unused Text

Text Name Contents Description
Placeholder text file for a conversation with Pohatu in scene IX.7, the sweatshop in which the enslaved villagers are carving Comet balls.
In the original online version of the game, the marina guard prevented access to the boat in the marina until the Po-Koro chapter was added. Her original dialogue remains in the files.
For the Chief Prospector after unlocking the sundial. The machines he mentions aren't in the game either.
This specific part of the dialogue where you ask Tamaru to join your company does not trigger for whatever reason.

Revisional Changes


The game was released in semi-monthly "chapters" or "programs" throughout 2001.

Installment Date Description
Chapter 1 January 1 Launch
Chapter 2 February 1 Tahu can be followed across the lava flow and Ta-Wahi can be explored.
Chapter 3 March 17 Maku appears on the beach with her boat, opening access to Ga-Koro.
Chapter 4 May 9 The marina boat can be sailed to Po-Wahi.
Chapter 5 July 11 Paths open in Ta-Koro and Po-Wahi leading to Onu-Wahi.
Chapter 6 August 18 Talking to Taipu triggers the completion of the tunnel to Le-Wahi.
Chapter 7 October 10 Talking to Jala unlocks access to the cablecar and Ko-Wahi.
Chapter 8 November 17 Kapura is added into a room in each Wahi (except Onu-Wahi). Talking to him

begins a quest that unlocks passage to the Kini-Nui.

Chapter 9 December 15 The Kini-Nui is saved and talking to Onepu allows you to return to Onu-Koro

and enter the Mangaia.

Text Changes

Papu and Rangi

The ongoing nature of the game also meant that smaller changes could easily be rolled out to existing areas.

Early on, some dialogue alluded to Papu and Rangi, two characters based heavily on the mythology of the Maori people of New Zealand. Jala says in Text_IV.2A_ dialogues that...


...While Nokama says...


Many Maori took offense to appropriations of their terminology and beliefs to the BIONICLE toyline, and Lego altered the story. As a result, the references to these characters in the game were made to be more oblique. For Jala, the text was updated to this by May:


This was later further adjusted to totally remove the statement:


Templar missed altering Text_IV.2A_2_Deu.txt, one of the German-language files, so it still refers to Papu and Rangi.

Nokama's dialogue was changed to:


However, Text_V.8A_5_eng.txt erroniously contains her original line, and Text_V.8A_6_eng.txt says


Lhii and the Great Takara

Other changes to the BIONICLE story resulted in additional adjustments to Jala's dialogue during this period. Initially he claims


It was decided that Matoran do not reproduce (rendering this relationship with Lhii impossible), and the Great Haka was renamed to the Great Takara (hakas are another Maori cultural item that was appropriated). In the May version of this dialogue we see:


And in the final edit:


While this particular reference to the Great Takara was totally removed, others remain in the game - but the subject is not mentioned in any chapters released after the Maori intervention.


Now sensitive to the consequences of cultural appropriation, it seems Lego noticed another point where problems may potentially arise - although in this case it was purely accidental. Matoran were frequently referred to by the Koro (village) they hailed from using the term 'Koran.' For example, a Matoran from Ta-Koro might be called a Ta-Koran. An example from Text_XI.3N_PoKoran_eng.txt:


Obviously there were problems with using a term that also happens to be the name of the Islamic holy book. So the term was updated to Koronan across many files - although not every instance was caught.

2002 Version

An offline version of the game was first developed shortly after the original, with an eye toward selling the game on CD-ROM in stores (although this never actually happened). This version cut saving in order to be able to run offline, instead having a level select upon startup. The cutscene in which Toa Tahu and the player meet at the beach's edge is removed from its place in-game (although it is still viewable in the Book of Chronicles). The player begins with their backpack and a lightstone, both of which originally needed to be retrieved in Ga-Koro.

In addition, this release also lacks several of the obstacles that impeded players' progress until new chapters were added in the game's initial run. There is no lava flow obstructing the path into Ta-Wahi. Maku is present on the shoreline from the beginning. There is no guard blocking use of the Ga-Koro marina. It is always possible to travel to Onu-Wahi, either via the tunnel in Ta-Koro or by way of the path through the desert, uninhibited by sandstorms.

This version of the game only became available as of April 2013, when Templar Studios uploaded it to their site (access it here).

2006 Re-Release

Massive fan demand for the return of the game after its retirement in 2004 led to Lego digging up the 2002 CD-ROM version, making a few changes, and tossing it up on the BIONICLE website as a downloadable ZIP.

All uses of the word "Tohunga" in dialogues and cutscenes are replaced with "Matoran" - done in further deference to the concerns of the Maori people. The "old" versions of the cutscenes, using the term Tohunga, are still present in the files. (Accidentally?) omitted are several text files that were used for members of the Chronicler's Company at different points on their journey to the Kini-Nui. In-game, this means that attempting to interact with the characters results in a blank text box in certain rooms.