The Toa Inika are Jaller, Hahli, Kongu, Hewkii, Nuparu, and formerly Matoro; a team of Toa heroes from the Legends story arc of the BIONICLE storyline. Unlike most Toa, they have special lightning powers and living Kanohi Masks. Jaller named the team "Inika" (which means "energy from a star" in the Matoran language) as a reference to how they became Toa.
At the current point in the storyline, the team has been transformed into aquatic, water-breathing forms known as Toa Mahri. This name is based on the undersea city of Mahri Nui, and was in fact given to the Toa by the inhabitants to honour their willingness to defend the city. They have since returned to being air-breathers and Metru Nui relaxing after their journey.
Leaving Metru Nui
Shortly after the Matoran return to Metru Nui, Jaller becomes upset that the Turaga are once again keeping secrets from the Matoran. Turaga Nokama comes to him in secret and explains that Mata Nui is in danger of dying; this was kept from the Matoran to keep them from worrying about something they could do little about. Refusing to wait helplessly while the Toa Nuva go after the Ignika Mask of Life that could save the Great Spirit, Jaller decides to gather a group of strong Matoran with Toa Takanuva and travel to Voya Nui to aid the Toa Nuva.
On the way, the group travels through a dark tunnel, and Matoro helps what he assumes to be one of his friends, only to be disturbed that not only was the person not part of his group, but it seemed there was nobody there at all. Unfortunately, Takanuva is soon forced to turn back when the group encounters a gateway that no light (or Toa of Light) is allowed through. The rest soon find themselves in the realm ruled by Karzahni, which legends stated was a land of the dead - and while the Matoran living there aren't dead, they are so physically and spiritually broken they might as well be. Karzahni tries to make Jaller's group abandon their old identities, just as he had with the other Matoran in his realm, by taking their masks and making those who rebel see horrific alternate futures. While Hahli, as a Chronicler, tells Karzahni of the world outside his kingdom, the other five search for an escape route. What they find is the realm's true purpose; it wasn't to be a place of punishment for Matoran who worked poorly, but a place of repair. The group encounter a Matoran who built the Toa Canisters and convince him to let them use the canisters. When Karzahni tries to stop their escape, Matoro challenges him to show them the worst future they could think of, and therefore all witness the death of the universe that would occur at Mata Nui's passing. While Karzahni recovers from the shock of what he saw, the Matoran enter the set of Toa canisters and took off.
When the canisters arrive on Voya Nui, they are struck by lightning from the mysterious Red Star, turning them into strange Toa. They soon meet a band of Matoran - Balta, Dalu, Piruk, Velika, Garan, and Kazi - and learn of the situation: six beings calling themselves Piraka have invaded and enslaved most of the Matoran in their quest to claim the Mask of Life for themselves. The Piraka also have an ally, a giant named Brutaka, that has beaten the Toa Nuva and taken them captive. While Jaller, Hahli, Dalu, and Piruk went to free some of the slaves with Zamor Launchers provided by Velika; Balta and Kazi brought Hewkii and Matoro to another giant being named Axonn, only to find him badly beaten; Axonn tells them to stop Brutaka before it is too late. Meanwhile, Kongu, Nuparu, Velika, and Garan raid the Piraka's stronghold looking for the Toa Nuva, but are unable to find them before they are caught. The other Toa Inika arrive just in time to help them fight, but while the Matoran continued to search for the Toa Nuva, two of the Piraka (Hakann and Thok) are able to steal Brutaka's power and they soundly defeat everyone else.
In order to stop them, the Toa form an uneasy alliance with the remaining Piraka to try and return Brutaka's power to him. The Piraka are able to form a zamor sphere to reverse the effects. Axonn also appears and gives Jaller a Zamor Sphere, stating that the Mask of Life needs protection; but he elects to stay behind and watch over the near-unconscious Brutaka. Meanwhile, Hakann and Thok have started fighting each other, and a massive explosion makes the two easy to find. In the ensuing fight, the Inika and Piraka have the upper hand when Hakann and Thok finally agree to work together, but even as they attack, Hewkii uses a specially-prepared Zamor Sphere to take their power and return it to Brutaka. In the end, Zaktan is the only one still standing; Hakann and Thok fainting from the power loss and the rest having been knocked out by their attack.
The Toa Inika wake up to find the six Piraka already gone, and a long underground staircase exposed from the earlier explosion. Figuring that the stairs lead to the Mask of Life and that the Piraka have gone ahead of them, they decide to follow after them immediately, preparing to fight the guardians of the Mask of Life.
To their surprise, inside the tunnel they meet the long-dead legendary hero Toa Lhikan, who warns them to turn back before disappearing. They then encounter a number of enemies they had fought in their lives as Matoran, including a Bohrok, a Bohrok-Kal, a Rahkshi Turahk, and even Makuta. In trying to subdue these enemies, the Toa's powers spiral out of control and accidentally kill them. Adding to their guilt, the dead bodies turn into those of their friends, the Toa Nuva. Despite their fears of losing control again, they press on, though they soon realize that the enemies they fought were merely illusions.
For their next trial, a mysterious voice tells the Toa that they had entered the Chamber of Death, and to proceed to the Chamber of Life they must sacrifice one of their own. The Toa realize they have no other options, and Jaller is about to volunteer himself when he remembered how he had died once before at the hands of a Turahk. The memory causes him to hesitate just long enough for Matoro to volunteer himself; reasoning that he is only a translator, not a warrior or athlete or anything as suited to a Toa as the others are. The voice accepts Matoro's sacrifice and his body dissolves - only to re-form seconds later, as the voice says that the death itself was not important, only the willingness to do so for the greater cause.
The Toa next encounter a group of creatures that Kongu identifies as giant protodites (called protodax), but the creatures are wiped out by a guardian named Umbra, who wanted to slay the Inika himself. Though Umbra's amazing speed poses a challenge, Matoro uses it against him by covering the cave with ice, causing him to slip and crash. Unfortunately, Umbra then changes into an even faster laser-like beam of light; but Matoro creates more mirror-like ice and Nuparu lures Umbra into running into it, causing him to reflect wildly until he reverts to his normal form, stunned.
Emerging into a large cavern, the Toa Inika find the Piraka setting an ambush on a bridge over the lava flow. The Inika confront them and gain the upper hand, but Kongu's and Nuparu's use of their powers cause the bridge to collapse on top of them, allowing the Piraka to reach the Chamber of Life first.
By the time the Inika arrive in the Chamber of Life, the Piraka have been beaten by the mask's guardians, Vezon and Fenrakk. Unfortunately, their ability to absorb kinetic energy was almost too much to handle; even when the Inika learned to weaken the two without using physical attacks, Fenrakk just pounded his leg to regain his full strength. Even so, Jaller was able to drive Vezon and Fenrakk towards the lava; and surprisingly Vezon urged Fenrakk to dive in!
Just as Jaller was about to follow them to get the Ignika (which was fused to Vezon's head), they reemerged, with Fenrakk evolved into a new dragonlike form that Vezon called Kardas. Kardas quickly started overpowering the Toa, but Jaller asked Kongu to use his mask's telepathy in a new way - read the mind of the Mask of Life itself. Surprisingly, it worked; Kongu found that the Ignika hated Vezon, and wanted to leave him in favor of Matoro, who had proven himself a compassionate, self-sacrificing person - the being that Matoro had helped on the way to Karzahni was none other than a manifestation of the Mask of Life itself.
Learning of the Ignika's opinion of him, Vezon became furious, and Jaller took the opportunity to fire Axonn's Zamor Sphere at him. The sphere froze Vezon and Kardas in space and time and allowing Matoro to remove the mask safely. Unfortunately, the Piraka were lying in wait for them wishing to take the mask, but Kardas got one last shot in; causing Matoro to lose his grip on the Ignika. It began to fly away, seeming to lead the Inika somewhere. The Toa followed it back to the surface and saw it dive into the bay; Hahli tried to swim after it but the water pressure soon became too much for her. As she was about to drown, a Matoran swam up from below and returned her to the others, begging for help for an underwater city before he died.
Reuniting with the Toa Nuva, the Inika were worried that they would be sent home while the Nuva continued the mission. But the Nuva recognized destiny's hand in what had happened and acknowledged that before they can complete their mission and awaken Mata Nui from his endless sleep, it is the Inika's job to save his life. Axonn then opens a secret passage that leads under the sea so that the Toa Inika could continue their journey.
Meanwhile, the Mask of Life had enlarged a venom eel to giant size in order to protect itself from undersea threats. The eel eventually got distracted by sounds of battle in the stone cord that connected Voya Nui to Mahri Nui, caused by the Toa Inika fighting a group of Zyglak, and began to attack the cord itself.
As the Inika entered the open ocean through a crack in the cord, they were hit with a bright light that painfully changed their bodies into new water-breathing forms. Waking up afterward, they recognized the light and the transformation as a call for help from the mask. After some exploration, they discovered an undersea city called Mahri Nui; but before the city's Matoran would trust them completely they would have to free the city's supply of air bubbles from attackers. While Matoro stayed at the city, the other five Toa soon found themselves at the mercy of the Barraki, warlords who were sieging the fields of air and who had claimed possession of the mask. But the Barraki assumed that the Toa were banished to the Pit for heinous crimes, as they were, and Hahli played along on behalf of the group to get in their good graces. Unfortunately, the Matoran noticed this and assumed the Toa really were as bad as the Barraki, forcing Matoro to flee.
However, Matoro was soon caught and jailed by a being called Hydraxon, who had assumed he had previously escaped prison. Hydraxon placed Matoro under the guard of a robot called Maxilos, but Maxilos was soon possessed by none other than Makuta, the evil being who had attacked Mata Nui in the first place and had been assumed dead for the last few months. Makuta freed Matoro and insisted that he help in the Toas' quest, but warned not to reveal "Maxilos'" true identity.
Meanwhile, the others escaped the Barraki's guard and made their way back to Mahri Nui, picking up some Cordak Blasters and a Hahnah crab tagalong along the way. The Matoran weren't happy to see them, but the Toa convinced them that "if [we] wanted you dead, you would be dead." The two groups agreed to work together to stop the Barraki, and soon afterward the Toa were reunited with Matoro and his new "ally" Maxilos. The Matoran, impressed by these strangers' willingness to help, honoured them with the title of "Toa Mahri".
On Maxilos' advice, the group splits up. Jaller and Kongu encounter two Barraki, Kalmah and Carapar, and offer to make a deal; but are told that they have to kill the Barraki leader, Pridak, before any deals could be made. Hahli, off on her own, runs into another Barraki, Mantax, and feeds his doubts about his allies. Matoro and Makuta get into a battle with Pridak and his army of sharks. Most of all, Hewkii and Nuparu provoke a war between Pridak's sharks and the eels of Barraki Ehlek, turning the entire ocean into a war zone.
The Toa Mahri regroup at Mahri Nui, but Hahli is missing. The Matoran are upset at all the fighting engulfing the ocean, and are even less happy to report that Hahli is now leading Mantax's army towards the city. As the Toa go out to look for her, Makuta reveals to Matoro that before all is said and done, the Toa Mahri must destroy the stone cord connecting Voya Nui and Mahri Nui. When Voya Nui is loosed from its anchor, it will go to his original location - killing everyone on Voya Nui and in Mahri Nui in the process.
During the search, Makuta brought Matoro to the depths of the Pit, where the remains of a Toa named Tuyet lied. He asked Matoro to use his mask and raise the corpse; after doing so, he revealed that it was part of a plot to recreate an artifact called the Nui Stone. As he tried to do so, Brutaka - banished and mutated - intervened and told Matoro to get back to the other Toa, which he did.
By the time the other Toa caught up to Hahli, she and Mantax had rescued the Mask of Life from Hydraxon's destructive intentions, only for Mantax to get away with it. Matoro was able to ditch "Maxilos" by having the robot trail Hydraxon, while the Toa decided that the Matoran had better evacuate before they launch an assault on the Barraki. As they led the Mahri Nui Matoran up the cord into Voya Nui's underground, however, they were ambushed by the Piraka, who had mutated into snakes since they last saw them. Thankfully, Axonn was leading the Voya Nui Matoran underground as well, and he rescued them. Axonn confirmed Makuta's information, though with the Matoran safe inside Voya Nui nobody would die; and he also led them to a Terrain Crawler that repaired their equipment and brought them back down the cord.
The Toa Mahri arrived in the middle of a battle royale, with a brawl between Hydraxon and "Maxilos" spilling over to include the Barraki and a giant Gadunka beast. In all the confusion, Matoro became fed up and tried to kill off Makuta, but was rattled when Makuta expressed pride in this act. The Toa eventually got away with the mask, and Matoro revealed to the others who Maxilos really was.
As they prepared to shatter the cord, however, Gadunka returned with the giant venom eel and another whale Rahi that Kongu had previously summoned. No sooner had they stopped the beasts than Hydraxon showed up, but they were able to convince him to leave the mask alone and go after other escaped prisoners. The Barraki and their armies bore down on them next, but the Toa quickly blasted the cord, and quickly swam after it as it began to sink and travel to its original location. As they went, however, the mask lost its glow, signaling that the Toa had failed and Mata Nui was dead.
They refused to give up, however, and five stopped to hold back the Barraki while Matoro went on after the island. Matoro kept going, beating the island and ending up underneath it as it arrived where it once was.
In this cavern of light, Matoro put on the mask, and his body began to be changed into pure life energy. As his body was slowly eaten away, he called on the mask's power to return his friends to Metru Nui (returning their ability to breathe air in the process). That done, Matoro fearlessly submitted to the mask, sacrificing himself to revive Mata Nui. Back home, Turaga Vakama informs the other Toa Mahri of Matoro's sacrifice, and the whole city begins to celebrate Mata Nui's salvation and grieve their fallen friend.
The Toa essentially have the normal range of Toa powers: control over an element, a Kanohi Mask giving an additional power, and a personal weapon. However, due to their strange transformations, some of the details of these powers are a little different:
- Their masks are organic instead of metallic; these living masks can move and tend to recoil when touched by anyone other than their owners. The masks activate their own powers when they sense the Toa want to use them; so the Toa Inika do not need the learning process that other Toa (like the Toa Metru) have had to go through (in fact, Kongu and Nuparu have had trouble turning their mask powers off).
- Their unmasked faces glow with energy; so brightly that their features cannot be seen.
- Their weapons are energized and the elemental attacks they create are charged with lightning (though if they manipulate already-existing elements, those will not have lightning involved).
- Due to the electricity coursing through their bodies, the Toa Inika are unaffected by the Piraka's antidermis virus
In addition to their personal weapons, each Toa Inika has a Zamor Launcher built by Velika; an improved model over the Piraka's launchers in that they can hold four rounds of Zamor Spheres instead of just one. Their Zamor Spheres hold energized protodermis, which is known to transform those who are destined for transformation and destroy all others. As the destiny of the Voya Nui Matoran is being blocked by the Piraka's antidermis virus, the energized protodermis cures the Matoran of this virus. The Toa will only use these spheres on infected Matoran, as no Toa would willingly use a deadly weapon against a living being.
When the Toa Inika became the Toa Mahri, their powers were, for the most part, returned to normal Toa levels. All electrical aspects of the Inika powers are now gone, including their glowing faces, energized weapons, and their electric powers. Their living masks have also been replaced with normal, inanimate ones. In fact, the only real variation from normal Toa abilities is that the Toa Mahri breathe water instead of air (what appear to be air hoses are actually gills), and even this exception was erased when the Mask of Life teleported them home.
The Toa Mahri have also replaced their Zamor Launchers with new sidearms, six-barreled cannons called Cordak Blasters. These cannons fire explosive rounds, and the Toa are following the same no-kill rule that they practiced with the Zamors.
The Toa Inika/Mahri
As a Matoran, Jaller was the courageous Captain of the Ta-Koro Guard; now he leads a team in saving not only a village, but the entire universe. Having seen and heard many examples of the recklessness of previous Toa of Fire, Jaller is determined not to make the same mistakes; he makes it a point to listen to his team's concerns and makes sure they're in agreement before committing to a task. He has also vowed that, once Mata Nui is saved, he will reclaim his old Matoran mask from Karzahni's realm, as it once belonged to Toa Lhikan. Hahli and he are close friends, but he is starting to be annoyed by Matoro, who seems to be usurping his position.
Jaller is a Toa of Fire, giving him power over heat and flame; though he is having difficulty creating and sustaining fires underwater. He channels this power through his swords; an Energized Flame Sword as a Toa Inika and a Power Sword as a Toa Mahri. He originally wore a Calix Mask of Fate, allowing him to beat the odds and accomplish incredible leaps, dodges, etc; and his current mask is an Arthron Mask of Sonar, which allows him to detect objects in the water using sound waves. He has also had a Hahnah crab begin to follow him around, attracted to the heat and light of his flames; he has taken advantage of this and mounted his Cordak Blaster on the creature. However, when the Toa were teleported home, the Hahnah crab was left behind.
Hahli used to just be a humble worker, but while training for a kolhii tournament she earned the honoured position of Chronicler, where she recorded the tales of the Toa Metru. Now a Toa herself, Hahli had trouble adjusting to the harshness of her new life, and she worried about what would happen if she ever lost control of her new power. However, she seems to have adjusted well enough to begin putting on "Hahli the Barbarian" acts; bold displays of arrogance and intimidation. She and Jaller have been close friends since after the Bohrok war.
Hahli is a Toa of Water, allowing her to create and control water blasts, mists, and riptides. She originally wielded a Laser Harpoon; in her Mahri form she has a set of Protosteel Talons as well as wing-like fins. Her Inika mask was an Elda Mask of Detection, which let her see hidden things including Toa Matoro's spirit form; the mask also gave her headaches as she got closer to the Mask of Life. As a Toa Mahri, she wears a Faxon Mask of Kindred that lets her borrow powers of like animals; and her expansive knowledge of sea creatures allows her to use it to fullest effect and gain abilities such as electric bolts, heightened vision, and immunity to poisons. Returning home, her fins were unchanged and cannot act as actual wings.
Kongu was once in charge of his village's defenses as Captain of their Gukko Force. Life for him as a Toa hasn't been much fun so far; first because of his Mask of Telepathy that told him things he just didn't want to hear - and to add insult to injury, the cave-dweller got the Mask of Flight instead of him. Currently, it's the unpleasant experience being underwater, as well as having another mask beyond his control. Despite his complaining, Kongu has faced his situation with relatively good humor, knowing that joking around and keeping spirits up helps things from getting too tense.
Kongu is a Toa of Air, with the ability to create winds, raise or lower air pressure, and so on. As a Toa Inika, he used an Energy Crossbow; as a Toa Mahri he is missing a melee weapon and uses a second Cordak Blaster in its place. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to fully control either of his masks: first a Suletu Mask of Telepathy, which let him read thoughts, sense strong emotions, and project his own thoughts to others; then a Zatth Mask of Summoning, which allows him to call forth Rahi animals to his aid, though he has no choice which creature is called.
Hewkii was a star athlete in the sport of kolhii (with Macku being his best friend and biggest fan), and he now brings the same drive and focus to his new Toa mission. He basically just wants to get the job done and go home, and has little patience for lengthy planning sessions. He seemed to be a little annoyed at first when nobody noticed that the lightning had made his armor yellow and gray (instead of the expected brown), but apparently got over it quickly. Hewkii is also second in command of the Toa Inika/Mahri, having been chosen by Jaller to lead the team if something happened to him.
Hewkii is a Toa of Stone, able to launch projectiles and shape barriers of solid rock. He had a Laser Axe and a Climbing Chain as a Toa Inika; and he wore a Sanok Mask of Accuracy, granting him perfect aim. When he became a Mahri, his axe transformed into an Aqua Warblade with an electrified chain, and his mask became a Garai Mask of Gravity, which allows him to negate or increase gravity around a target.
Nuparu was originally a talented engineer, designing and building many machines like the Vahki robots and Boxor vehicle. Having lived underground most of his life, he found his new ability to fly as a Toa Inika extremely exhilarating, and Kongu has helped him learn to make the most of it. But he is still an engineer at heart and his greatest strength is still his mind; he can reason out some unorthodox yet effective attacks.
Nuparu is a Toa of Earth, with control over dirt, mud, and other forms of earth. His Inika tools were Great Claws and a Laser Drill, and his Zamor Launcher was shoulder-mounted instead of handheld. As a Toa Mahri, he uses a Razor-Edged Protosteel Shield that can block or slice through almost anything. His mask was a Kadin Mask of Flight while he was an Inika; but upon becoming a Toa Mahri he gained a Volitak Mask of Stealth, which makes him almost transparent and dampens any sounds he makes.
Matoro had served as Turaga Nuju's translator and trusted confidant. While an important job, Matoro feels that it has not prepared him for being a Toa nearly as much as the others, most of whom have backgrounds as athletes and warriors. Still, he is doing his best to fulfill his new duties. Since learning of his position as the chosen guardian of the Mask of Life, Matoro has grown more confident and determined to fulfill his duty - much to the annoyance of Jaller, who's beginning to find his leadership undermined. However, this is tempered by the darker aspects of his time as a Toa Mahri, not only his new morbid ability to raise an undead army but also the fact that he is at the mercy of Makuta.
Matoro is a Toa of Ice, able to freeze objects and create layers of ice. He used an Energized Ice Sword as a Toa Inika, which was replaced with a Twin Cutter as a Mahri. He originally had an Iden Mask of Spirit, which allowed his spirit to leave his body (see Astral Projection); this spirit form was invisible and could not interact with the physical world, excluding communicating with Hahli and Axonn, who had masks that can see him. He now wears a Tryna Mask of Reanimation, giving him the unsettling power to raise the dead as zombies under his command. Since the Mask of Life chose Matoro to be its guardian, he is not cursed by the mask when touching it. He finally sacrifices himself to save Mata Nui.
- When the fan community began learning of the 2006 storyline, one of the first pieces of info was the name of the setting: Voya Nui. Based on this and the precedent set by the Toa Metru, they referred to the inevitable new Toa as the "Toa Voya". The community later adopted the name "Toa Igniters" for this team, based on leaked promotional materials, before LEGO settled on the final name of "Inika". "Toa Voya" is now mainly used for a what-if scenario supposing that the Inika's Voya Nui allies became Toa.
- In summer 2006, LEGO promoted the Toa Inika and Piraka sets with an alternate reality game called "Free the Band", featuring the All-American Rejects (AAR). In it, the AAR were kidnapped by the Piraka and held on Voya Nui, and the Toa Inika were trying to rescue them. Besides the main Free the Band site; the game included Rock Yachts, the front company the Piraka used to kidnap the AAR; and Inika Unite!, a blog made by two kids following the rescue mission. Aside from the internet promotion, LEGO also used the All-American Rejects' song, "Move Along", in the Toa Inika television advertisements (viewable here).
- On the BIONICLE Quest Board Game it gives the Toa Inika nicknames to go with the Piraka's. These names are non-canon.
- Hahli - "The Catcher"
- Matoro - "The Keeper"
- Hewkii - "The Hitter"
- Nuparu - "The Stopper"
- Kongu - "The Tumbler"
- Jaller - "The Striker"
- By coincidence, the six Matoran chosen to be Toa Inika by the story team wore Kanohi Masks identically-shaped to those worn by the Toa Mata.
- Jaller - Hau Mask of Shielding (Tahu)
- Hahli - Kaukau Mask of Water Breathing (Gali)
- Kongu - Miru Mask of Levitation (Lewa)
- Hewkii - Kakama Mask of Speed (Pohatu)
- Nuparu - Pakari Mask of Strength (Onua)
- Matoro - Akaku Mask of X-Ray Vision (Kopaka)
- Note that, apart from Nuparu and Hahli, these were all also previously released as the "Tohunga" promotional items at McDonalds. Nuparu would be later released in the Boxor set with the same "Tohunga" build. Hahli would not be released (or conceived yet) until much later, making her the only member to have never been released in the "Tohunga" build.
- BIONICLE Legends #7: Prisoners of the Pit, p. 63
- Official Greg Discussion p. 192 at BZPower forums, post #5754
- Official Greg Discussion p. 278 post #8339
- It is commonly believed that Kongu abandoned whatever weapon he had in order to claim a second Cordak Blaster, but BIONICLE Legends #7: Prisoners of the Pit never mentions a weapon and seems to imply that Kongu didn't have one in the first place.