In Defense of the Bohrok-Kal, Over 15 Years Later

Do you want to feel old? No? Well tough, here’s a fact for you: the original Toa are all 18 years old now. Meaning that they can legally drink, buy cigarettes, vote and consent to sex or marriage in a large number of countries on planet Earth. I don’t know what the age of consent is on the island of Mata Nui, Metru Nui or Spherus Magna in general though, so I’d ask before you offer Gali a drink.

For me, that’s not too bad, because I got into Bionicle in 2003, with the release of the Bohrok-Kal. That makes Tahnok-Kal and company only 16 years old. You can only legally sell them alcohol or cigarettes or allow the Bohrok-Kal to vote in SOME countries, and what with it only being April and the Rahkshi, which were released in late 2003, are not quite old enough yet.

Some Bohrok-Kal
Tahnok-Kal and Gahlok-Kal were my first two Bionicle sets. 16 years later, I managed to get a full set of Bohrok to go alongside my full set of Bohrok-Kal.

That being said, most of the Bohrok-Kal are dead. They were murdered. In cold blood. By the Toa Nuva.

I know what you’re all thinking. The Bohrok-Kal were bad guys. They stole the Toa Nuva’s powers, left them helpless and powerless and wanted to free the Bahrag Queens and awaken the swarms once more. With no powers and the Bohrok swarms rising once again, Mata Nui would have been overrun! So it’s a good thing that the Bohrok-Kal were killed!

Yeah, no. The Toa Nuva murdered them. Even though murder is against the Toa code. The Bohrok-Kal were just doing their jobs.

The Bohrok swarms always had one job: to cleanse the surface of the island of Mata Nui so that Mata Nui could wake up and complete his destiny of reuniting Spherus Magna. The small problem was that the Bohrok had been accidentally woken up early by the evil Makuta, while there were people still living on the island of Mata Nui. Luckily, the Toa managed to stop the Bohrok and their leaders, the Bahrag Queens, and put them all to sleep.

The Bohrok-Kal’s job was even simpler. They existed solely to wake the swarms should anything interrupt the swarms’ mission. They saw it as their destiny to save their Queens, the same way the Toa saw it as their destiny to protect Mata Nui.

The Bohrok-Kal, the Bahrag and the Bohrok in general though were all tricked by Makuta into waking up early.

Sure, the destruction of Mata Nui would be bad, except for the fact that the Turaga knew that there was a way off the island and back to Metru Nui. The Toa Nuva didn’t know that though.

On the flip side, the Bohrok-Kal genuinely didn’t want to kill the Toa. Once the Toa were de-powered, the Bohrok-Kal repeatedly told the Toa to move aside as they didn’t see the Toa as threats and saw no need to intentionally harm them. All the Kal cared about was fulfilling their destiny and freeing their imprisoned queens. But more than that, the Bohrok-Kal were sentient. They could think for themselves. It wasn’t the Bahrag telling the Kal to not harm the Toa, the Kal decided that for themselves. You could argue that the Bohrok-Kal were arrogant, but that proves my point further. The Bohrok-Kal were sentient! They may have been mechanical shells powered by organic brain thingies, but they were alive! They had emotions and thoughts and everything the Toa had.

Yet the Toa still killed them.

Okay, you might not think that the Bohrok-Kal were as innocent as I do. You probably see them as evil. After all, they did leave the Toa powerless and didn’t seem to care about the poor Matoran that could have been killed should the Bohrok swarms awaken once more. But let’s look at this another way. Every other threat the Toa had faced so far, they hadn’t really killed. The Bohrok swarms were put to sleep. The rampaging Rahi with infected masks were captured and cured from madness. The Rahkshi who came afterwards had their bodies destroyed but their intelligence and sapience were equivalent to the Rahi. Even Makuta himself was sealed away and not truly defeated. The Bohrok-Kal on the other hand were very obviously killed. The Toa killed the Bohrok-Kal by overpowering them, causing them to be destroyed by their own powers.

Let’s just pause for a moment and think about the powers the Bohrok-Kal had. Electricity, magnetism, vacuum, sonic, gravity and plasma.

Now let’s think about how death via those powers would be like.

Yes, Nuhvok-Kal was crushed to death by his own gravitational pull. So was Gahlok-Kal, by the remains of the Exo-Toa which were all magnetically attracted to him. Kohrak-Kal shattered himself into shards while Pahrak-Kal LITERALLY MELTED TO DEATH! Lehvak-Kal’s pain wasn’t too bad as he was sent flying up into orbit, but Tahnok-Kal found himself trapped inside a cage of his own electric power, his moving parts fused together by the heat generated by said electricity.

And you know what the Toa said after the Bohrok-Kal died?

“They didn’t really die, they weren’t alive as we understood it.”

No! That’s not how it works! Just because something is not as bio-mechanical or as flesh-and-bone as you are, doesn’t mean they aren’t alive! If a being is capable of forming emotions, forming opinions, looking to the future and able to think for itself, it’s ALIVE. And the Toa Nuva KILLED the Bohrok-Kal!

You know what makes me sadder though? That they’re all dead apart from Lehvak-Kal. Initially, Tahnok-Kal was considered alive but inactive and trapped, but according to the Bionicle Encyclopedia, Tahnok-Kal was destroyed alongside his siblings. Lehvak-Kal is the only one still technically alive, but he’ll eventually burn up in orbit unless someone (say, a budding fan fiction writer) saves him.

They were all killed just because they had their own destinies to fulfill.

Oh well. The Bohrok-Kal live on in my heart.

Bohrok built by Retvik
Bohrok built by Retvik

They also live on in my clan dojo.


Phovos writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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