About the Great Archives
The Great Archives is a website dedicated to documenting the lore behind the LEGO Group's BIONICLE theme (specifically, the first generation of BIONICLE that lasted from 2001 to 2010). Currently still under construction, this site is ultimately meant to serve as a comprehensive guide to the BIONICLE mythos for old and new fans alike. It includes an expansive BIONICLE encyclopedia (currently under construction), a detailed timeline of events in the BIONICLE storyline (also under construction), and a large, searchable archive of online conversations between BIONICLE author Greg Farshtey and BIONICLE fans, which has become an important source of background lore for BIONICLE. Since so much of the BIONICLE storyline is scattered across various media and obscure forum posts, we put special emphasis on including links to source material in the encyclopedia and timeline and making it easy to link to specific quotes in the Greg Farshtey archive.
Who runs this website?
I go by the name Planetperson in the Bionicle community. My Twitter account is @doyouevenbonk.
We already have the BS01 wiki. Do we really need another BIONICLE reference site?
Nope, BS01 is great! The primary reason this site exists is because I enjoy making it, and you can read more about my motivations for creating the site in this blog post. That said, I think this project has some advantages:
- In recent years, the BS01 staff have done a remarkable job of adding citations to its articles. However, much of the content on BS01 was inherited from a time when editors could add unverified material without adding references. This issue is especially important now that tracking down source material is more difficult following the loss of the BZPower forums up to 2011. On the Great Archives, I have fastidiously added citations to source material on this site from the beginning.
- I have taken special care to remain as close to the source material as possible and to remain agnostic about what should and should not be considered canon. In fact, my general policy is that wherever two sources disagree, both of them are to be included on the site, rather than arbitrarily choosing one of them. This site is for everyone, and I do not want to dismiss a particular version of canon simply because it does not jibe with my head-canon.
- The timelines on BS01 are very brief, whereas the timelines on this site are far longer and more comprehensive.
- BS01's policies about images have always seemed a little odd to me. BS01 tends to use artwork from comics as the main images for articles, even when the quality of the artwork is not very good and there are much better images available. They also tend to crop images so that only a particular character in question is shown, down to the very pixel, which in my opinion is unsightly. When this site starts to incorporate images into the encyclopedia, I plan to use images of the LEGO sets as much as possible, but I also have plans to allow users to adjust their settings so that images from a particular medium are shown (sets, comics, movies, games, etc.). As far as I know, BS01's policies are not expected to change any time soon.
- I don't claim to be a particularly good writer, but I think in some places it is an improvement. I hope to make it more approachable to people who are new to the BIONICLE universe.
- This site includes up-to-date information from the "Ask Greg" section of the TTV forums.
To recap, this site is not meant to be a knock against BS01 or an attempt to replace it. It's just a fun side-project that I enjoy working on where I can experiment freely with my own ideas.
Some advantages of BS01 compared to this site are:
- This site is incomplete, whereas the information on BS01 is up-to-date. See the construction progress of the site here. Crucially, BS01 contains a lot of story material that was made known only through the BZPower forums and the LEGO Message Boards.
- BS01 also covers BIONICLE generation 2 (2015-2016), whereas this site is strictly G1. BS01's G2 reference is quite excellent and should be considered the definitive guide.
- BS01 is the best place to get information on out-of-universe BIONICLE material, such as BIONICLE sets, collectibles, books, comics, events, people, etc.
Where does the name of this website come from?
In the BIONICLE story, "the Great Archives" were a massive museum/storage area beneath the island city of Metru Nui whose purpose was to preserve a sample of every item, written record, and creature that had ever been encountered in the city. Since it was located in the back of the "brain" of the Matoran universe, it also served as a metaphor for the "memory" of the entire world.
Why is some information repeated?
Because the site is still under construction. This happens when different sources cover the same material, and it is easier to keep the duplicate texts separate for the sake of keeping the citations straight. For example, there is quite a bit of overlap between the BIONICLE Encyclopedia and the Rahi Beasts guide. Eventually the duplicates will get woven together.
Why is information about X missing? Why are there no images?
Because the site is still under construction. See the status page for progress.
When will the timelines and reference section be finished?
There is no target date, but you can can help by contributing to our wiki (see below)! I estimate that the site is currently roughly 40% complete.
What can I do to contribute to this project?
We now have a wonderful wiki that you can use to contribute to the site! The wiki is like a rough draft for everything that appears in the encyclopedia and timelines – it's periodically copied to the main site after being manually reviewed. If you're interested, create an account on the wiki, and be sure to read through the guidelines on the front page. There's a handy list of tasks to be done, such as uploading images, creating info boxes for characters, writing intro text, adding information from the Official Greg Discussion, and more.
In addition, feedback in general is most welcome. If you have comments or criticisms about the site, feel free to discuss it on our Discord server or reach out on Twitter via @GreatArchives. Of course, increasing the visibility of the site is helpful too, so feel free to share links to the Great Archives on Twitter, Discord, Reddit, and so on.
How can I contact you?
What are some other cool BIONICLE projects people are working on?
Even years after BIONICLE was discontinued, the community is alive and well. Here are some interesting projects, in alphabetical order:
- The Bionicle Archives
- A museum located in Herriman, Utah showcasing a complete collection of BIONICLE sets and merchandise, including the most valuable LEGO piece ever produced: a one-of-a-kind solid platinum Mask of Light.
- Biological Chronicle
- A comprehensive collection of BIONICLE novels, stories, and comics, woven into a single book that can be read and enjoyed from beginning to end. Perfect for new fans. By @TuragaNuva.
- The definitive archive of BIONICLE media, including long-lost games, comics, animations, and more. @BioMediaProject.
- BIONICLE: Quest for Mata Nui
- An in-development fan-made game by CrainyCreations based on the 2001 BIONICLE storyline. Fans and critics have responded positively to the game's visuals in trailers, which have caught a fair amount of attention from gaming press and the LEGO Group itself. @QuestForMataNui.
- BIONICLEsector01 (BS01)
- The premier BIONICLE wiki run by fans. Owned by Swert.
- BIONICLE: Legend of Mata Nui Rebuilt
- A project by Litestone Studios to make a long-lost, unfinished 2001 BIONICLE computer game fully playable. @LitestoneStudio.
- A very special website where you can read the best BIONICLE comic ever made.
- Drop a Brick
- A fascinating blog that delves into the original creative ideas and philosophies that shaped the very early years of BIONICLE. By Brick Brickolson, aka N or Mister N.
- A long-running BIONICLE fan community that started as a BIONICLE news and collectibles website all the way back in 2001. @MaskOfDestiny.
- Red Star Games
- A group of talented artists and writers who are expanding on the G1 BIONICLE lore through multimedia, including a tabletop RPG, 3D-printable Kanohi masks, artwork, music, and stories. @RedStarForge.
- Team Kanohi
- A non-profit team of developers working on a game based on the 2001 BIONICLE storyline called Bionicle: Masks of Power Rebuilt. The group has already released a playable demo called Trials of the Great Spirit. @BmopG.
- Wall of History
- A website that presents the BIONICLE novels, comics, stories, etc. in a linear, easy-to-read format. By @JSLBrowning.