Makuta Teridax, most commonly known to others as Makuta, the Makuta, or the Makuta of Metru Nui, and also known by epithets such as "Master of Shadows" and "Spirit of Destruction," was an extremely powerful, ambitious functionary within the Matoran universe who successfully led a conspiracy to seize control of that world from its rightful ruler, Mata Nui. Teridax was a member of the Brotherhood of Makuta, an organization of beings initially tasked with creating the wildlife needed to keep the Matoran universe functioning properly. Like all members of the Makuta species, Teridax possessed a multitude of powerful special abilities, including the elemental power of shadow and the power of shapeshifting. Since the Makuta's role originally aligned with the will of Mata Nui, Teridax was often described as Mata Nui's "brother" in Matoran legend.
After faithfully fulfilling their appointed duty for thousands of years, many Makuta, particularly Teridax, grew resentful of the Matoran's reverence for Mata Nui but disregard for the Brotherhood's services. When the Brotherhood was called upon to quell a rebellion against Mata Nui by the League of Six Kingdoms, Teridax became secretly convinced that he could succeed in overthrowing Mata Nui where the League had failed. Teridax soon distinguished himself by putting an end to the Matoran Civil War in Metru Nui in particularly brutal fashion. To head off future threats to peace, each Makuta was assigned oversight of a region within the Matoran universe, with the prize of Metru Nui going to Teridax. Shortly afterward, Teridax usurped leadership of the Brotherhood of Makuta from Makuta Miserix and hijacked the organization to serve his nefarious Plan to overthrow Mata Nui. Over many thousands of years, Teridax made preparations for an eventual takeover of the Matoran universe, all the while maintaining the Brotherhood's facade of a peace-keeping organization. In some parts of the world, Teridax began enslaving Matoran, while amassing an army of Visorak and other forces.
Teridax commenced his attack by infecting Mata Nui with a powerful virus that would eventually cause him to succumb to endless sleep. Teridax's forces then began a sweep of conquest throughout the Matoran universe, which lasted for hundreds of years and went completely unnoticed in Teridax's own region of Metru Nui. Later, Teridax impersonated the Turaga of Metru Nui in a bid to gain control of the city's Matoran population, which was instrumental to his plans. Teridax successfully tricked Metru Nui's Matoran into entering stasis pods and ensured Mata Nui's lapse into unconsciousness, thereby causing a Great Cataclysm that shook the entire Matoran universe. However, Teridax was temporarily defeated by a team of novice Toa and imprisoned in protodermis with a Toa seal. The arrival of Teridax's Visorak hordes in Metru Nui allowed him to escape, but not before the Toa retrieved the Matoran and escaped with them to a previously undiscovered land outside of the Matoran universe. Since the Matoran's absence from Metru Nui suited Teridax's plans, he allowed them to inhabit their new island refuge, called Mata Nui, for a thousand years, continually harassing them with attacks from Rahi beasts under his control to ensure they could not return.
During this time, Teridax's plans evolved from mere conquest of the Matoran universe to replacing Mata Nui as the Great Spirit, which would give Teridax virtually limitless power. These plans began to come to a head when the Toa Mata, six warriors destined to awaken Mata Nui, arrived on the island of Mata Nui. As Teridax's Plan ultimately required that the Toa Mata succeed in awakening Mata Nui, Teridax, despite putting up a convincing show of resistance, allowed the Toa to confront him in his underground lair and believe that they had defeated him. In order to buy more time, Teridax prematurely activated the Bohrok swarms, which promptly began demolishing the surface of the island of Mata Nui and occupied the Toa's full attention for a significant length of time. After the Toa deactivated the swarms, Teridax was forced to take more decisive action when a Matoran discovered the Mask of Light, which signaled the imminent appearance of a powerful Toa of Light who could oppose the Makuta. Despite Teridax's sending powerful Rahkshi to kill the Matoran with the mask, the mask transformed that same Matoran into Toa Takanuva. Takanuva challenged Teridax in his lair and unexpectedly defeated him, resulting in Teridax's being crushed under a massive gate and the Matoran's rediscovery of Metru Nui. Although the Toa believed Teridax to have been killed, in reality his spirit survived in a free-floating gaseous form.
Not at all dissuaded from his plans, Teridax's next goal was to ensure that the Toa retrieved the Mask of Life, a powerful item required to revive Mata Nui, at the exact moment required by his Plan. Through a variety of machinations, Teridax delayed a new team of Toa from using the Mask to save Mata Nui's life until just after Mata Nui had died, which forced Mata Nui's spirit to leave his body momentarily. Then, Teridax sent his fellow Makuta to Karda Nui to resist the Toa Nuva (formerly the Toa Mata) as they attempted to fulfill their destiny and bring Mata Nui back to waking consciousness. Before the Toa Nuva succeeded, Teridax slipped his spirit into Mata Nui's body in place of Mata Nui's own, granting Teridax full control of Mata Nui's robotic body when it was reawakened. At the same time, Teridax betrayed his fellow Makuta by allowing them to perish in the resulting energy storm in Karda Nui. Teridax imprisoned Mata Nui's spirit within the Mask of Life and ejected it into outer space, thinking he had at last rid himself of the former ruler.
Now in control of the Matoran universe, Teridax fully understood for the first time that Mata Nui had been a colossus whose body contained the Matoran universe within it. Armed with unsurpassable power, Teridax revealed himself to the Matoran universe's inhabitants and began imposing his harsh rule while learning to control his new form. After several months of quashing rebellions from within, Teridax detected that Mata Nui had landed on a nearby planet and was still alive. There, Teridax confronted Mata Nui, who had acquired a new colossal robot body, intending to launch a campaign of conquest throughout outer space after defeating him. However, despite advantages in size and power, Teridax was killed during a monumental fight on the surface of the planet. During the course of the battle, the fragments of that broken planet, Spherus Magna, were inadvertently reunited, fulfilling Mata Nui and Teridax's destiny of restoring Spherus Magna together.
When the Toa arrived on Mata Nui, Makuta controlled the land, sea, and sky of Mata Nui. He also commanded a host of terrible creatures known as Rahi, as well as the Manas, fierce predators with power that no single Toa could withstand.1
When the Toa arrived on Mata Nui, Makuta held land, sea, and sky in his grasp.2
For many, many generations, the evil Makuta ruled the island of Mata Nui. He was the subject of more myths and legends than any other being on the island. However, little was truly known about him. He dwelled far below the surface in a shadowy lair that no Matoran had ever entered. No one had ever seen Makuta and returned to tell of it; even the Toa saw only one small part of his true form. It was Makuta's will that Mata Nui remain asleep forever. To accomplish this, he would reduce the island to rubble, send countless menaces against the Matoran villages, and challenge the Toa Nuva to try to stop him. He would try to tempt Toa Nuva and Matoran into betraying their friends. He wore the Kanohi Kraahkan, the Mask of Shadows, which could be used to turn friends against each other or fill the heart of the bravest hero with fear.3
Makuta was the darkness, the essence of chaos and emptiness and fear, and the spirit of destruction. It was said that only the Toa had the power to stand against him.4
Makuta spoke with a deep, ominous voice and had glowing red eyes set in a huge face. From his dark cavern deep beneath the surface of Mata Nui, he was able to see through the earth and rock to the sunlit surface above.5
Makuta dwelled in darkness, far beneath the surface of Mata Nui. He was the lord of shadows and most powerful enemy of the Toa. Using the power of the Kanohi Kraahkan and the Kolhii Staff of Darkness, he planned to defeat the Toa of Light and cast his shadow over Mata Nui for all time.6
Makuta was said to be the master of lies.7
In the Place of Shadow, Makuta caused black storm clouds to appear overhead in mere moments. Lightning from these clouds struck the mountain peaks and sent rocks tumbling toward the Toa Nuva below.8
Makuta was capable of creating illusions, such as walls of fire, that could have physical effects on others as long as they believed that they existed and did not accept that they were not real. As soon as the Toa Nuva stopped believing in the flames, they vanished. The Toa Nuva believed Makuta was also responsible for creating a very similar illusion of an unbreakable stone wall in the Bohrok tunnels.8
When the Toa Nuva and Turaga Vakama faced the Rahi Nui in a dark, underground chamber, Makuta appeared to them as a pair of massive, glowing red eyes in the darkness. When he appeared, the chamber suddenly grew darker and colder. He spoke with a harsh, grating voice.8
With his pet the winged Nivawk, Dume [Makuta in disguise] kept watch from his chamber atop the Coliseum.9
Ages before story year 2004, Makuta had mastered Nivawk's language of screeches and squawks. Makuta was an entity of darkness and destruction.10
Makuta's voice was described as follows: "It was a dark sound that sent chills through the Toa. It was the sound of shadow and fear, decay and rot, a corruption beyond anything the Toa could imagine. It was the growls of wild Rahi in the night, the hiss of angry Rahkshi, and the thunder that shook the ground, all entwined together in one terrible noise.10
Makuta's face was all too well-known to the Toa Metru and Lhikan when he revealed himself in the Coliseum. He had once been a being trusted and respected by all. At that moment, however, he was a stranger from the shadows. Lhikan said he was sworn to protect the Matoran. Makuta had blazing red eyes when he took off Dume's mask.10
While absorbing power from the Coliseum's energy pylons, Makuta took the form of a swirling vortex of shadowy energy. He extended dark tendrils from the vortex to grab Nivawk, Nidhiki, and Krekka and draw them into the vortex.10
When he faced the Toa Metru at the Great Barrier, Makuta appeared as they had never known him. He was a colossus in dark, infected armor, with the mighty wings of Nivawk, radiating the power of shadow. The tools of Nidhiki and Krekka were part of his new form as well. With a wave of his arm, Makuta was able to cause huge pillars of crystalline protodermis to erupt from the sea.10
Makuta was master of shadows, spirit of destruction, leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta, and sworn enemy of the Toa.11
Information on Makuta's past was sketchy at best; much of it came from either legend or his own statements, the truth of which was debatable. According to Matoran lore, Makuta was Mata Nui's "brother." Since this could not have been a biological relationship, it was unclear exactly what their relationship might have been. It was known that at some point in the distant past, Makuta took an oath to protect the Matoran. He was so highly regarded that he had an elite team of Toa, the Toa Hagah, dedicated to serving and guarding him. He was an enormous threat to the entire universe.11
He was one of the most powerful entities in the Bionicle universe, wielding the energies of darkness. He was an incredibly skilled shape-shifter and mimic, had strong telepathic powers, could summon a mighty vortex, and possessed all of the powers of the various Rahkshi. He also had the ability to create Kraata from his own substance. In his large, armored forms, he had physical strength exceeding that of a Toa. When weakened, he tended to rely more on surrogates to fight his battles. His knowledge of the universe exceeded both that of the Toa and Turaga, allowing him to use things like the Bohrok against them. In the past, Makuta was seen to use his mental powers to create Shadow Toa from the darkness inside the Toa; trigger sandstorms, tidal waves, and volcanic eruptions; transform his body into a vortex; and appear as everything from a Matoran to an armored, winged giant. He was defeated at least three times, but never for long.11
Makuta was ruthless, deceitful, and capable of almost any act in the furtherance of his cause. At the same time, if asked, he would insist that everything he was doing was for the good of the Mata Nui and the Matoran. He saw Toa as annoyances who were committing a crime against the universe by defying his will. His strengths were his cunning, his imagination, his ability to rebound from defeat, his vast knowledge, and his sheer willpower. His weaknesses were overconfidence, pride, and a tendency to underestimate his opponents.11
Makuta wore the Kanohi Kraahkan, the Great Mask of Shadows, and carried the Staff of Darkness, which channeled his power.11
Like the Ko-Matoran scholars, Makuta Teridax studied the stars above Metru Nui to divine prophesies of the future and the will of the Great Spirit Mata Nui.12
When Makuta inhabited the Maxilos robot, he could use all 40-plus of his powers.13
When Makuta took over the mechanical body of Maxilos, in addition to the weapons of Maxilos, Makuta still had access to almost all of his original powers, although he could not shapeshift in this new body.14
His most powerful weapon was his mind, which, among other things, he could use to control Rahi.15
Teridax was once Miserix's most trusted lieutenant.16
Miserix originally assigned Teridax to watch over the prized region of Metru Nui.17
Brutaka claimed that Teridax had forgotten his original purpose, and that he was not meant to grab at power with his risky plan.18
While inhabiting the machinery that housed Mata Nui's mind, Teridax had access to enhanced powers. He was able to unleash a bolt of energy that shattered Brutaka's mask. He was somehow able to convert Makuta Miserix into a two-dimensional picture on a wall. Teridax also affected the Toa Hagah's minds so that they believed they had defeated him and that the world was at peace, oblivious to the reality around them. Teridax was not able to use the same trick so easily on Axonn, Brutaka, or Helryx because their minds were well-shielded, although he claimed he could break through in time. He was able to teleport Axonn, Brutaka, and Keetongu to the distant southern edge of the Matoran universe.18
Teridax held the Barraki in disdain, considering them to be bunglers who lacked finesse.19
Teridax insisted on having complete authority among his allies, making sure that his will was the only one that was followed.19
By the time Teridax achieved ultimate power, upon reflection he could not recall just when it was that he had grown dissatisfied with his existence. He knew that he had always found it troubling that the Matoran greatly honored Mata Nui yet ignored himself and his brothers. This struck him as ungrateful, since the Makuta had been responsible for creating the Rahi the Matoran used each day in their labors, and protected the Matoran from themselves. Meanwhile, Mata Nui was far removed from everyday life, keeping the stars in the sky, making the suns rise, all with no idea what his people were up to at any given time.20
Makuta was not revived on the red star because he no longer had a body.21
When Matoro sacrificed himself to bring Mata Nui back to life, Makuta saw Matoro as a useful pawn. Matoro did what he needed him to do, but Makuta would have seen self-sacrifice for others as the act of a fool.22