|[List of appearances]|
The Barraki are the main villains of the 2007 Legends arc of the BIONICLE storyline. In the storyline, they were defeated and banished to the Pit about 80,000 years prior to the storyline's current events. 1000 years prior to the story's current events, their prison was flooded, and they escaped into the surrounding underwater area, mutating into beings with characteristics of ocean creatures in order to survive. The 2007 Legends arc has the Barraki pitted against the Toa Mahri in a battle for the Ignika. The term "Barraki" is the Matoran word for "warlord".
- From BIONICLE Legends #6: City of the Lost.
Over 80,000 years before the story's setting, most of the BIONICLE world was under control of six Barraki warlords, assigned by Mata Nui to bring order to the universe. Eventually, the leaders of the northwest and eastern empires, Pridak and Takadox, made an alliance with each other. The northeast empire of Kalmah was forced to join or be cut off from the rest of the world, and the other three Barraki - Ehlek, Carapar, and Mantax - soon joined as well. Together, this League of the Six Kingdoms dominated most of the known universe with armies composed of Matoran criminals and other outcasts; "thieves, murderers, traitors, and liars".
The League's ultimate goal was no less than the overthrow of the Great Spirit himself. However, on the eve of their major offensive 80,000 years ago, the Brotherhood of Makuta launched a preemptive strike, allied with Toa and spearheaded by the Makuta of Metru Nui. The League armies were quickly decimated and the Barraki were captured. Makuta was about to publicly execute them (despite the Toa’s objections) when a stranger named Botar intervened and made the Barraki vanish. Unknown to the world, the Barraki were banished to an isolated cavern called the Pit under the watch of Hydraxon, its jailer.
One thousand years ago, in the Great Cataclysm, the dome surrounding the Pit caved in, tearing down the barrier between the Pit and the waters of the outside ocean. While this occurred, Takadox found Hydraxon, injured in the Cataclysm, and killed him. While the Pit quickly flooded, a mutagenic agent in the water mutated the prisoners into freakish sea beasts and allowed them to survive. However, they became water-breathers, unable to survive outside the ocean. Since then, the Barraki claimed new undersea domains and formed armies of native sea life. Some time later, the floating island of Voya Nui entered the region, and a portion of land including a Matoran settlement (called "Mahri Nui") sank into the Pit, crushing a fortress Ehlek had built. The Barraki have since terrorized the Matoran, and none have gotten a clear look at their attackers and returned to tell the tale.
This hiding in the shadows ended when a squid noticed a Kanohi Mask of great power sinking down to Mahri Nui and reported it to its master, Kalmah. Word soon spread to the rest of the Barraki; Takadox had Carapar kidnap the Matoran who claimed the mask, Kyrehx, and hypnotized her into telling all she knew. From her account, he recognized the mask as the legendary Ignika Mask of Life. Meanwhile, Ehlek had used the mask as an excuse to launch an all-out assault on the Matoran. At the same time, Pridak captured a scouting patrol and demanded the mask from them; revealing to them whom the Barraki were and what they had attempted. Kalmah and Mantax started following the mask's current holder, Dekar. Unfortunately, they were too late to stop Dekar from trying to destroy the mask - and even worse - the mask itself took action to stop Dekar, enlarging a nearby Venom Eel to 300 feet in length.
The enlarged eel then began attacking everything in sight. As Pridak's captives took the opportunity to escape, Takadox attempted to hypnotize the beast into obeying. Ehlek and Carapar used the distraction to start snooping in Pridak's lair, finding a new arrival to the Pit: A being named Brutaka. Once he realized the Mask of Life was in the region, he demanded that the Barraki take him to it, though he warned that six Toa would be coming after it soon.
As Takadox failed to entrance the venom eel and was knocked away, the rest of the Barraki and Brutaka regrouped. The six confronted Dekar and Brutaka tried to get the mask from him by claiming he was part of the Order of Mata Nui. But Dekar refuted his claim and so did the Barraki, deciding to have him dragged off by a giant squid. After that was taken care of, Pridak walked in and claimed the mask, which began to glow so brightly that all of Mahri Nui was blinded.
- From BIONICLE Legends #7: Prisoners of the Pit.
When the glow subsided, Pridak was found cursed by the mask and more feral than usual, clinging to the mask and attacking anyone who dared get to close. After Takadox calmed him down with his hypnotism, the group went to greet the newest arrivals to the Pit, the Toa Mahri. The Barraki assumed the Toa were condemned to the Pit as they were, and Toa Hahli played along on behalf of the group, letting the Barraki think they were potential allies.
But while the Barraki considered working with the Toa, they still kept them under the guard of their loyal sea Rahi. Meanwhile, Pridak informed the rest of the Barraki that the Ignika was slowly cracking and leaking power, and that when it shattered, they could bathe in its energies and return to their original forms. In the meantime, the Barraki decided that since they could not trust each other with the mask, they should give it to Ehlek's lieutenant Nocturn, who they knew wasn't smart enough to use it.
Unfortunately, Nocturn soon grew tired of the Ignika - that is, until he discovered he had been cursed and given the power to kill anything he touched. Nocturn took the mask and decided to find Pridak in order to "shake his hand". But instead of finding Pridak, he encountered Hydraxon, seemingly back from the dead and determined to recover all the escaped prisoners. After defeating Nocturn, Hydraxon took the Ignika but decided that the mask was too dangerous to exist, so he set to destroy it.
Meanwhile, the Toa had escaped and, seeing as Nocturn had disappeared, the Barraki figured they made off with the mask and split up to find them. Mantax encountered Toa Hahli, who fed his suspicion that another Barraki might be betraying him. Toa Jaller and Toa Kongu were willing to cut a deal, but Kalmah and Carapar gave the condition that they had to kill Pridak first. Most of all, Toa Hewkii provoked a fight between Ehlek's eels and Pridak's sharks, sparking a full-scale war between the two of them. And while the entire ocean became a battlefield for the Barraki armies, Mantax's rays began heading for Mahri Nui - with Hahli in the lead.
- From BIONICLE Legends #8: Downfall.
However, Hahli and Mantax didn't attack Mahri Nui; instead they went after Hydraxon and saved the mask from destruction. Mantax got away with it and called the other Barraki to meet him. Once there, he revealed that he had found evidence that one had betrayed them to the Brotherhood all that time ago, and demanded that that one confess. Unfortunately, a battle between Hydraxon and one of his robots, Maxilos, spilled over into the meeting place and Takadox - the traitor - caught Mantax off guard. The Toa Mahri also intervened and were able to claim the mask and escape. With them gone and Hydraxon down, the Barraki united to face Maxilos (even allowing Takadox to live until their enemies were dealt with). But Maxilos taunted them and revealed that he was really the Makuta that had defeated them so long ago. Unable to pass up the chance at revenge, they attacked, but were quickly beaten. Takadox tried to use his alliance with the Brotherhood to spare himself, but Makuta rejected it. The Barraki used this opportunity to regroup with their armies and launched an all-out assault on Makuta, giving him a humiliating defeat (or so they thought - Makuta was only stalling for time and allowed them to win).
After finishing with Makuta, the Barraki turned to hunt down the Toa Mahri, who had just freed Voya Nui from its stone-cord anchor and were following the island as it sank. As the Barraki bore down on the heroes, five of the Toa stopped to make a last stand and buy time for the sixth, Toa Matoro, to get away and use the Mask of Life. As the Toa fought a losing battle, Jaller began to trigger a Nova Blast that would kill everyone there - but the Toa suddenly disappeared, leaving the Barraki once again alone and forsaken.
Takadox and Carapar may have a chance to leave the Pit (and for Takadox, a death sentence) for good soon, as the Order of Mata Nui will recruit them for a special strike force along with 8734 Brutaka, Roodaka, Makuta Spiriah and Vezon.
Series writer Greg Farshtey has made some statements concerning the Barraki's general personalities and dispositions:
- “(The Barraki) don't see themselves as evil villains -- they see themselves as conquerors and rulers by right of strength and experience. They aren't trying for power from the outside like the Piraka ... they had it, in spades, and they want it back. They once lived a much better life than the one they have now, and that fuels a lot of their behavior.”
- ―BZPower forums 
- “One of the differences between the Barraki and the Piraka is that most of the Piraka commit violent acts because they can and they enjoy it. Barraki are not like that -- they commit violent acts when it's necessary to prove a point. In (the case of Kalmah's blinded eye), Kalmah got out of line, and Pridak made an example of him.”
- ―Website Unknown
- “Pridak understands that this is not a case where he is the boss and the others are the henchmen -- they are all powerful, all former rulers and conquerors, and if he wants to be in charge, he has to continually prove he is the strongest. He doesn't attack the other Barraki all the time or beat up on them or anything like that .. but on the rare occasions when it is necessary to impose discipline, he does what he has to. He knows full well that if positions were reversed, Kalmah would do the exact same thing.”
- ―Website Unknown
- “I kind of like that about the Barraki. They are evil and dangerous, but there is almost a warped sense of honor to some of them. They aren't brutes and bullies, like the Piraka were -- in the case especially of Pridak, Takadox, and Kalmah (Mantax, too, really), there is a calculating intelligence behind whatever they do. They kind of have a little streak of some of the better comics villains in them ... beings who strive to conquer because they see themselves as having EARNED the right do so, not just to show how tough they are.”
- ―BZPower forums 
Unlike most groups in BIONICLE, the Barraki are not all the same race; but each one's aquatic adaptations is based on a different sea creature. These mutations have given them the status of "alpha males" among the native creatures, and as a result they now lead new armies of sea beasts. In addition to their personal powers and equipment, each one carries a launcher designed to shoot vampiric sea squids (see "Squids" below).
While the Barraki may be able to use Kanohi Masks, they look down on those who rely on them and weaken when their masks are removed. Despite their general disdain for relying on masks, they desperately want the power of the Mask of Life, which they hope will restore them to their original air-breathing forms. Those who touch the Mask of Life will become cursed, but as Pridak explained: "Look at me ... look at where I dwell ... look at my companions, once rulers, now monstrosities, and tell me - how much more cursed could we be?"
Kalmah originally ruled an empire in the northeast, and was forced into an alliance when Pridak and Takadox's agreement threatened to cut his realm off from the rest of the world. After his escape from the Pit, he soon discovered some organic
squids and began breeding them as weapons for the Barraki. He tried to use the squids to barter for more undersea territory, but in arguing over the size of his realm he got into a fight with Pridak that cost him his sight in his top eye.
Kalmah is based on a squid, and leads an army of giant squid. He has one main tentacle (that extends from both sides of his "hand") and five sensory tentacles on the back of his head. He can use his tentacle to mentally exchange information with others, or at least with other squid. He also has limited regeneration abilities, allowing him to re-grow certain parts of his body like a real squid (though apparently not his eye). Kalmah's name is possibly a play on "calamari", the word for squid in multiple languages as well as its culinary name.
Takadox ruled the eastern region, and tended to hypnotize lieutenants to carry out tasks (the lieutenants were so hated for doing these tasks that Takadox's subjects eventually killed them). He has claimed to be present at the original defeat of the
Kanohi Dragon. While he doubted that the League could overthrow Mata Nui, he went along with their plans so that he wouldn't be left out of any potential success (of course, he also covered his bases by betraying the League to the Brotherhood of Makuta). Once in the ocean, he became even more reclusive, rarely leaving his cave and hypnotizing Carapar into doing things for him.
Takadox is similar to a mantis - strangely, perhaps more of a praying mantis than an aquatic mantis shrimp; as such, he leads an army of underwater insects. Though he had his power of hypnosis before being banished, this power was greatly enhanced after being mutated. Besides hypnosis, Takadox has twin knives, and the ability to give off a greenish blue glow in low light areas.
Ehlek's original empire was in the west, and he mainly ruled from the seas surrounding Zakaz. Being the only native water-breather, he required a breathing apparatus to operate on land, and acted especially
harsh and brutal to cover this weakness. His original army also had noticeably more members of his own race than the other Barraki had of their respective races. When Mahri Nui sank into the Pit, it crushed a fortress that Ehlek had built, sparking a bitter hatred of its Matoran inhabitants. He also believed the League was betrayed to the Brotherhood of Makuta all those centuries ago, and Pridak was the prime suspect as a former Brotherhood lieutenant.
Ehlek's features are based on that of eels, and he commands an army of venom eels. One of the mutations he gained was electrified spines. In addition to this, Ehlek's weapons include tri-talons made of protosteel (the BIONICLE world's hardest known metal) which are strong enough to cut through Makuta armor.
Ehlek has a four-armed lieutenant named Nocturn, who was banished to the Pit for destroying his home island in a fit of rage and whose favorite food is Razor Whales. His species has the ability to
regenerate, and he has had to grow back an entire arm that Pridak once bit off (though the arm is still missing a tentacle). His species is also naturally amphibious, able to breathe both water and air; Nocturn therefore can leave the Pit, but he chooses not to as he is unwelcome in most places, and his life in the Pit is mostly peaceful. Nocturn is enormously strong and seems to get much stronger when in a fit of rage; this strength is greater than that of most known beings, even the mighty Makuta (though it is unclear whether this ranking concerns his normal strength or his enraged strength). He is also skilled at most forms of underwater combat, and, like Takadox, Nocturn gives off a greenish blue glow in in low light areas.
When not serving as Ehlek's lieutenant, Nocturn spends his time at the Razor Whale's Teeth, an underwater rock formation in the exact center of the Barraki's domain. He was one of the only prisoners of the Pit to not undergo some sort of mutation from the water. The Barraki have entrusted the Mask of Life to Nocturn until they figure out how to use it, as they don't trust one another with it and believe Nocturn's not smart enough to think of using it himself. As a result of its curse, Nocturn's touch can kill anything, which robs him of the satisfaction of feeling his prey struggle. Shortly afterwards, Nocturn left his dwelling in the Razor Whale's Teeth to ask Ehlek about the glow being produced by the Ignika. Along the way, he ran into Hydraxon, who defeated him in battle despite Nocturn's exploitation of his super sensitive hearing.
Carapar ruled the south, and while his army was the least disciplined it was definitely quite effective. Even while known for his brawn rather than his brains, Carapar could still be cunning. Undersea, he is often a victim of
Takadox's hypnosis, which has dulled his intellect a bit over the centuries. Though Carapar absolutely hates this habit, he tolerates it, because he knows that Takadox's cunning can help ensure survival if something bad should happen.
Carapar is very crab-like; and while his army features keras crabs he also commands Pit War Tortoises, the fiercest of which he uses as his personal steed. Carapar has thick armor and two large claws (he can detach a claw in order to use his squid launcher). Carapar's name may be a play on the word "carapace", another name for a shell.
Mantax ruled the central region of the world, and has always been a mysterious loner. Even when part of the League, he had made deals with Xia and Metru Nui without notifying the other Barraki. In the Pit, he spends half the time hunting alone, buried in the seafloor and waiting for prey, and the other half searching for something in their old prison (the evidence of another Barraki's betrayal). Mantax resents Pridak for leading him into disaster - first by being banished to the Pit and again when Mahri Nui crushed the Barraki fortress. However, he is wary of Carapar, as he has lost when the two have fought in the past.
As his name suggests, Mantax is like a manta ray, and he commands an army of fellow rays. Mantax's natural weapons include a pincer, head spikes with paralyzing venom, a tentacle on his back that conducts lightning (hence grounding him and protecting him from harm), and armored shoulder plates.
Pridak was king of the northwest part of the world, which includes the island of Xia. He once ruled a land on behalf of the Brotherhood of Makuta, before becoming part of the League. He is the leader of the six Barraki and willing to use violence to maintain his authority - both Kalmah and Nocturn carry scars from conflicts with him. He was also immensely proud of his original form, making his current mutation all the more horrific for him.
Pridak has a certain resemblance to a shark, and commands an army of Takea sharks. His weapons are his shark tooth blades, and his teeth can even tear open Makuta armor. Like real sharks, Pridak can detect electrical fields and has many other heightened senses (enhanced eyesight, keen sense of smell, acute hearing, etc.). he is white
It was originally unclear whether the red-colored patches on Pridak's mouth and weapons are natural markings or bloodstains from prey (Series writer Greg Farshtey had explained that bloodstains were indeed a viable possibility, even in BIONICLE's predominantly biomechanical universe). LEGO's official stance on the matter is that "it's only blood on the figure if you choose to imagine it is", though Greg has ultimately decided that in official storyline the red patches are natural markings.
Each Barraki carries a launcher built to fire a vampiric breed of squid, which have suckers that can drain the life force from targets in a leech-like fashion. The squids are completely organic (a rarity in the BIONICLE universe), and are officially classified as a type of Rahi.
The squids are specifically bred by Kalmah, who is also the one who built the Barraki's launchers to help the squids travel quickly to their target. He will not let anyone else into the breeding grounds ever since Mantax ate half the brood. While Kalmah keeps the others supplied with squids for their launchers, they are well aware that if the Barraki turned against each other the squids would be part of his army alone.
Collectibility: Each Barraki set includes two squids in shades of yellow and orange. Each "Squid Ammo" pack includes seven squids in shades of blue and green.
- BIONICLE Legends #6: City of the Lost p. 1
- "New Serials" at GregF's Blog
- The Barraki Revealed p. 4
- The Barraki Revealed p. 5
- Official Greg Discussion p. 217 post #6496
- Sea life counterparts given in Official Greg Discussion p. 224, post #6708
- Official Greg Discussion p. 218 post #6518
- BIONICLE Legends #7: Prisoners of the Pit, p. 35
- Official Greg Discussion p. 240 post #7189
- Official Greg Discussion p. 247 post #7398
- Official Greg Discussion p. 251 post #7506
- Pridak's Face at BZPower forums, post #1
- Official Greg Discussion p. 236 post #7058; p. 252 post #7552
- BIONICLE Legends #6: City of the Lost, p. 26