Hello again. Are we all sitting comfortably? Good. You might want to stand up again, because your chair has just burst into flames. Along with the floor. Grab your computer and run, because two of the most hotheaded combatants in the universe are duelling just across the street.
On one side is our masked, gloved and asbestos-clad Pyro. He/she is a very familiar being to us SPUFers. Specializing in ambush and close-range combat, the Pyro is a formidable beastie that skulks in the shadows. We don’t know very much about Pyro and probably never will. What we do know is that he/she should never be under-estimated.
Who is this terror having a heated argument with? It’s the noble Vakama, Toa of Fire and one of the most well-known characters from Bionicle. We’ve already had a couple of articles about Bionicle stuff on this blog, so I’ll just give you a link to one of those so you can check what it’s about.
In the traditional story, Vakama was a very cautious and often insecure Toa. He also wasn’t the first or last Toa of Fire around, but he was the first of his kind to use a projectile weapon. This makes him a worthy candidate to go up against Pyro and the Flare Gun. So the Vakama in this fight isn’t his normal self and he will use whatever powers he has access to.
Let’s compare their gear. What does Pyro have to work with?
Flamethrower with a compressed air canister attached, able to airblast victims into a corner then roast them alive. An exception is the Phlogistinator, which can’t airblast.
A selection of shotguns and Flare Guns to give him a fighting chance at mid-range.
Various melee weapons including an axe wrapped in barbed wire, an axe not wrapped in barbed wire, and a mailbox.
Familiar stuff, right? Here’s what tools Toa Vakama has to protect himself with:
Kanoka Disk launcher designed to fire high-power Kanoka which have nine possible effects on their target. These effects range from instantaneous freezing to teleportation.
Mask of Concealment which covers his face and allows him to become invisible at will. However he still casts a shadow, so it’s not as effective as Spy’s invisibling watches.
While useful, neither of those items actually uses fire. But he’s a Toa of Fire, right? Why is he a worthy match for Pyro? Here we consider the question of control over fire.
Pyro can perform certain taunts (Hadouken and Armageddon, for instance) which demonstrate his/her ability to conjure flames. They’re able to kill an unfortunately placed enemy instantly, but their range tends to be even more limited than that of the Flamethrower. Besides these ineffective instances, we don’t know what else Pyro can do with fire. Let’s assume he can spit flames from his hands at will. Of course, he’s also immune to afterburn, but that’s a property of his suit rather than natural pyrokinesis.
Here’s where Vakama shows us what he can really do. Being a Toa means he has full control over his element: he can create, manipulate and absorb almost infinite amounts of it. Fire is his element. This means he can become a living Flamthrower that never runs out of ammo, or suck whatever Pyro conjures into his body and release it in an intense blast.
He can also detect heat sources and could use this ability to track Pyro through dark back-alleys. Coupled with the Mask of Concealment, that makes him a better ambush hunter than the Pyro itself!
So in this battle of the firespitters, which one would come out on top? Since they both have adaptations for ambush strategy, I’d say it comes down to whomever sees the other first. If Vakama knows of the Pyro’s presence, he can turn invisible and hide around a corner, then unleash a massive burst of flame and shoot a couple of Disks.
However if Pyro sees the Toa first, it’d be over just as quickly. Toa of Fire may be able to absorb and re-emit flames, but their armour isn’t actually fire-proof. That means a Flare Gun would burn Vakama just as easily as a hapless Spy.
Or Vakama could call in some reinforcements. After all, Toa are much more dangerous in a team. As can Pyro! Perhaps we need an article comparing nine Mercenaries to nine Toa. That would really be hot.
The pictures of Vakama above are based on his 2004 design by The Lego Group, made by the author on Art of Illusion for Windows. Phlog Pyro was done using Source Filmmaker.