The Piraka are the main villains in the first third of the Legends arc of the fictional LEGO BIONICLE storyline. Piraka means "thief" in Matoran language and is often more than enough to start a centuries long violent war if someone were to be called one. The Piraka want nothing more than to claim the Ignika Mask of Life and use it for their own gain, as they know they can use it to blackmail and buy influence from several powerful organizations. In their efforts to do so, they enslaved most of the Matoran on the island of Voya Nui (where the mask is hidden), and each wants to eliminate the others and claim the mask for themselves.All six Piraka are members of the Skakdi race; cruel, sadistic beings from the island of Zakaz. They take their group name from the Matoran language, where it is an obscene term that roughly means "thieves and murderers", though even thieves and murderers would consider someone called a "Piraka" as the lowest of low. As Vezok put it: "A common thief might sneak into a village to steal something of value - a Piraka would set the whole village ablaze to cover up his theft. A robber would normally make an effort to slip in and out unnoticed - a Piraka would destroy whatever or whoever was in sight, purely out of spite." They originally took the name from the Dark Hunter "Ancient", who referred to them in that fashion.
Shortly after Makuta was defeated by Toa Takanuva, rumors began to circulate about his death. Six Skakdi Dark Hunters - Hakann, Vezok, Zaktan, Avak, Reidak, and Thok - decided to run off and investigate on their own, abandoning the Dark Hunters and instead calling themselves "The Piraka". In Makuta's lair, they discovered both his crushed, uninhabited armor and a strange weapon called the Spear of Fusion. Hakann accidentally fired this weapon at Vezok when it was in reverse, splitting him into two beings; one still considered Vezok while the other took the name "Vezon", the Matoran word meaning "Double". Just afterward, all seven mysteriously gained knowledge of the powerful Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life, hidden somewhere on the island of Voya Nui. All became dead set on finding the mask and claiming it, and the original group of six agreed to work together - though each planned to betray the others and claim the mask for himself. Vezon, on the other hand, abandoned the team and disappeared in the rush to get to the island, taking the Spear of Fusion with him.
Upon arrival on Voya Nui, the Piraka pretended to be Toa to gain the help of the native Matoran, Hakann and Avak even going so far as "fighting off" a lava-stone monster that they themselves created and secretly controlled. Having gained the trust of the Matoran - except for six who had their doubts - the Piraka put them to work building their stronghold and draining the volcano, Mount Valmai, where the mask was supposed to be hidden. In the meantime, Zaktan used the knowledge he gained near Makuta's armor to build a device that collected a kind of virus known as antidermis. The Piraka then used Zamor Spheres filled with this virus to fully enslave the Matoran; however, the six suspicious ones managed to escape and began to work against the Piraka.
When the Toa Nuva showed up on Voya Nui, the two groups immediately got in a fight. Though it was a fierce battle, the Piraka ended up the victors and Zaktan ordered the Toa's masks and tools taken and the Toa themselves thrown into the volcano. But when the volcano erupted, the Piraka didn't want to risk their lives and instead left the Toa in the lava's path; the Toa were able to awake in time to escape with their lives (and their tools).
Relations between the Piraka - which were turbulent at the best of times - rapidly began to deteriorate. Hakann caught Zaktan secretly making deals with a giant stranger, Brutaka, who wanted the virus; Hakann then decided to take the Zamor Spheres so he could gain the giant's help for himself. Thok and Avak began to suspect that the Mask of Life was actually in the island's "green belt" that strangely thrived in the island's harsh terrain, and they turned on Zaktan. Eventually, it became an all-out brawl between the Piraka (minus Vezok); which only looked worse when the Toa Nuva and rebel Matoran invaded their stronghold, reclaimed their masks, and, as Toa Kopaka put it, "We heard you were trying to kill each other. We are here to offer our help in that long overdue endeavor." Zaktan then offered all of the Zamor Spheres to Brutaka in exchange for stopping the Toa Nuva, which he accepted. While the Toa Nuva were taken captive by Brutaka, the Piraka began to interrogate the Matoran.
Worried about Zaktan's powerful new ally; Hakann, Avak, Reidak, and Thok began scheming against him. Meanwhile, the Matoran escaped, and in searching for them Vezok encountered a second team of Toa that arrived, the Toa Inika. Later, two of these Toa sneaked into the stronghold but were caught by all six Piraka and Brutaka, only to have the rest of the team show up just as the fight started. While the Toa gained an advantage, Hakann used a special Zamor Sphere to try and steal Brutaka's power, cutting out his "allies" in the plan, but Thok intervened and got half the power for himself. The two used their enhanced powers to subdue the other Piraka and the Toa. After Hakann and Thok left, having forced Brutaka to reveal the location of the Mask of Life, the Piraka and Inika struck an uneasy alliance to de-power the two.
Meanwhile, Hakann and Thok have started fighting each other. Hakann created a blast with his heat vision which allowed the Toa and Piraka to track him. The other Piraka attacked Hakann, while the Inika engaged Thok. The Piraka were defeated, except for Zaktan, who shifted out of the way as Hewkii fired the Zamor at Hakann and Thok. The Toa collapsed as a result of the Piraka's blast, but the sphere did its job. When the Inika woke up, the Piraka had headed down the tunnel to the Mask of Life.
On the path to the Mask of Life, the Piraka were horrified to discover the monster of myth Irnakk (see below), who quickly stopped each Piraka with their worst fear brought to life - except for Zaktan, who was briefly absorbed into Irnakk's own mind. When Zaktan stood up to Irnakk, citing all the horrors he has had to endure from being a mass of protodites instead of a whole being, Irnakk was satisfied that he has conquered fear and uses it as a weapon, and allowed the Piraka to pass.
After making their way through a number of other traps and tests, they entered the Mask of Life chamber ahead of the Toa Inika. Inside, they were surprised to find Vezon, who had reached the mask but was then cursed to be its guardian. Avak easily imprisoned Vezon, only to find that the mask was imprisoned with him, fused to the back of Vezon's head. Vezon offered to negotiate on the condition that Vezok was killed - something the other Piraka were only too happy to do, but Vezok realized that Vezon couldn't give up the mask even if he wanted to. Vezon then used the Spear of Fusion to merge Vezok and Reidak into one being, commanding it to attack the others. By the time the Toa Inika arrived in the chamber, the merged being had soundly defeated the others, and when Vezon split it apart into Vezok and Reidak again, they passed out as well.
While the Toa Inika fought Vezon, the Piraka recovered but decided to stay out of the battle. Once the Toa won, the Piraka attempted to take the mask from them, but it flew away and quick action by the Toa allowed them to get a head start in following it. Racing back to the island's surface, the Piraka planned to ambush the Toa Inika, only to see them joined by both the freed Toa Nuva and their ally, Brutaka's ex-partner Axonn. Not wanting to pick a fight with twelve Toa and Brutaka's equal, they decided to lay low and wait for an opportune moment to strike.
While all this was happening, the leader of the Dark Hunters, the Shadowed One, was displeased with their betrayal, and thanks to Hakann (who betrayed the Piraka to him) he knew where they were. He had already sent Sentrakh to find and capture or kill the Piraka; and another team of Hunters, including Kraata-Kal, was assembled. The Shadowed One has also sent Amphibax to monitor events from the seas surrounding the island.
Unfortunately, the waters below Voya Nui were mutagenic, and the Piraka were unknowingly exposed to this mutagen during their journey through the tunnel. As the Toa Inika sought the mask down below, the Piraka's bodies mutated and body parts disappeared, until they were only heads and spines. Now in forms like sea snakes, the Piraka followed underwater and ambushed the Toa as they were escorting the Matoran of Mahri Nui into Voya Nui's underground. But Axonn was escorting Voya Nui's Matoran underground as well, rescuing the Toa and "taking care" of the Piraka. Though Axonn declined to elaborate, series writer Greg Farshtey explained that they were alive and someplace where they could be interrogated by Axonn's organization, the Order of Mata Nui.
Dark Hunter missions
When they were members of the Dark Hunters, these six went on several missions, but only a few are known:
7,000 Years Ago: Vezok and Hakann team up to steal a treasure from a besieged Toa fortress. Vezok has Hakann "distract" (that is, get beat up by) the guards while he goes after the treasure. He finds a tablet labeled "Makoki stone" and realizes it has hidden inscriptions detailing the operations of the Brotherhood of Makuta. After escaping the fortress, both are caught by the Dark Hunters (who also wanted the Makoki stone) and forcibly recruited, joining the other four Skakdi who were already members.
5,000 Years Ago: Zaktan leads the others (except for Avak) in an unsuccessful revolt against the Shadowed One. The Shadowed One tries to execute Zaktan by disintegration, but everyone is surprised to see Zaktan survive as a mass of protodites.
4,000 Years Ago: Vezok, Reidak, and Avak free the Kanohi Dragon from its prison in order to pressure Turaga Dume into allowing a Dark Hunter base in Metru Nui. At Dume's refusal, Vezok tries to kill him but Toa Lhikan, Toa Nidhiki, and nine other Toa intervene. With neither side willing to pick a fight at the moment, the Hunters leave and let the Toa deal with the dragon.
3,000 Years Ago: When Thok fails to kidnap Turaga Dume in the latest of a series of failures concerning Metru Nui, the Shadowed One loses patience and has the Dark Hunters invade the city. Though initially successful, hundreds of Toa rally to Metru Nui's defense. After months of fighting, Hakann watches Toa Nidhiki betray his brothers, and catches Toa Lhikan also watching. Hakann opts not to warn the other Hunters about Lhikan, as doing so would mean he would be caught and jailed, but instead offers Lhikan a deal: if Lhikan lets the Hunters leave Metru Nui freely after his trap is sprung, he can have the Makoki stone back. Lhikan remembers what other Toa sacrificed for the stone, he agrees; adding the condition that the Hunters must take Nidhiki with them.
250 Years Ago: In the war with the Brotherhood; Zaktan, Reidak, and Thok are a few of the Hunters dispatched to guard a base. Thok loots the base, and Zaktan explores it as well, but a tip-off from Roodaka that the base was once the Brotherhood's encourages Zaktan to take a closer look. What he finds is the Brotherhood's master plan: schemes, calculations, backup plans, prophesies... Stunned at first, Zaktan vows to use this knowledge to his advantage, and destroys the records before he leaves.
Hakann has elemental power over fire, which can be used with his lava launcher to launch burning missiles; the weapon has an energy shock claw on its other end. He can also withstand extreme heat, create devastating mental blasts, and he has heat vision which can increase the temperature or burn any substance within its range.
Vezok has the elemental power of water, and is equipped with a harpoon that can pull him through the tides; its other end is a buzzsaw that can hurl water daggers. He has impact vision that makes one feel like a jackhammer has hit them, is resistant to the corrosive effects of seawater (although prolonged exposure still affects him), and can temporarily copy any powers that he is hit with (although he can only use two copied powers at the same time).
Zaktan has elemental air power, and is equipped with a three-pronged blade with a pair of tongs at its other end. When the Shadowed One once attempted to blast him with eyebeams, Zaktan didn't disintegrate but rather shattered into microscopic protodites, each of which holds part of his consciousness (why this happened is unknown). As a result, he can change his shape, fly, and each of his parts can function on its own; this includes his triple blade but not his Zamor Launcher, as it is not made up of protodites. He also has laser vision, and is the only Piraka who can get close to the virus collection device without feeling sick.
Avak's elemental power is that of stone, and his weapon is a combination pickaxe and jackhammer, which can fire a destructive energy blast. He can create a prison cell out of thin air that's specifically designed to counter a foe's powers; this takes some concentration and the prisons will disappear should Avak be knocked unconscious. He also has X-ray and telescopic vision.
When fighting the Toa Nuva, Avak claimed his prison power was the result of enhancements from the Brotherhood of Makuta, gained after becoming a Dark Hunter; but the Shadowed One's records indicate that he had this power before being recruited to the Hunters. Greg Farshtey's explanation is: "The Shadowed One has no reason to lie in his own journal -- so why would Avak lie? Let's examine this -- the Shadowed One never says that Avak worked for the Brotherhood. He simply says he was a jailer. It is Avak who brings up the reference to the Brotherhood -- a group he knows to enemies of the Toa. So what you have here is Avak playing an angle ... if the Toa should defeat the Piraka, he has implied to them that he might have knowledge of the Brotherhood - making him a valuable prisoner."  It is currently unknown how he was given this prison-creating ability.
Reidak's elemental power is earth, and his weapon has a buzzsaw on one end and a drill on the other; it can turn solid ground to quicksand. He can adapt after every defeat, so that the same trick will never work twice (however, this only works when he is defeated; he can't adapt to tactics that only trap him or slow him down). He also has thermal and infrared vision, allowing him to see invisible heat patterns, making him the perfect tracker/hunter.
Thok can use his elemental ice power to activate his weapon, a freezing ice gun with an ice peg on its other end; and he can withstand intense cold (though intense heat weakens him). He can animate lifeless objects in order to serve him, and also has spellbinder vision that disorients enemies.
When the Piraka were investigating Makuta's lair, Hakann found the Spear of Fusion and accidentally shot Vezok with it set in reverse. The result is that a second being was split off from Vezok; one that had Vezok's intellectual capabilities (though it seems Vezok kept everything else, including his sanity). Thok called the new being a "vezon" - a double - and the being felt the name was agreeable. Vezon took the Spear of Fusion for himself just before the Piraka gained the knowledge of the Mask of Life. As the group was attacked by a pair of Mana Ko shortly afterward, Vezon slipped away and headed directly for Voya Nui (using a Toa canister that once belonged to an Order of Mata Nui member).
Upon arriving on the island, the Mask of Life allowed Vezon to reach it. Once he did, he became cursed; his legs were fused to a Fenrakk spider and the mask was fused to his head; and he was forcibly made one of the Ignika's guardians. He became trapped in the Mask of Life chamber, waiting for others to prey on.
Eventually, the Piraka and the Toa Inika arrived, and Vezon faced them in battle. He defeated the Piraka by fusing Reidak and Vezok together and having the resulting creature attack the others, but the Inika proved more of a challenge. Vezon eventually urged Fenrakk into the chamber's lava, and they not only survived, but the Mask of Life evolved Fenrakk into a more powerful dragon that Vezon named Kardas. Upon learning that the Kanohi Ignika wished for Toa Matoro to replace him as its guardian, he became enraged, allowing the Inika to subdue him with a Zamor Sphere provided by Axonn that froze him in space and time. After the Ignika was removed, Reidak took the Spear of Fusion and broke it into pieces, despite Vezok's pleas to fuse himself and Vezon back into one being.
Wanting to take revenge on the Inika and to take back the mask that had rejected him, Vezon pursued them (alone; he and Kardas were no longer joined). Armed only with the repaired Spear of Fusion - losing the mask had robbed him of his other powers, except his ability to absorb kinetic energy - he followed them deep underneath Voya Nui. There are few details of what happened, but Toa Jaller burned the spear to ash and Vezon himself was taken captive by savage Zyglak.
Vezon will be rescued from the Zyglak by the Order of Mata Nui, and to repay the debt will be forced to serve on a strike team along with Brutaka, Roodaka, Makuta Spiriah, and Barraki Takadox and Carapar. Although powerless compared to the others, he is the only one who has never encountered their Brotherhood of Makuta enemies and therefore can act as the group's wild card.
Vezon has few powers of his own. The Mask of Life fused itself to the back of Vezon's head and he believed that he would die if it was removed. The mask did give him a vision power which allowed him to see the near future, though it was the mask that controlled this power and not Vezon; he could also project these visions so others could see them. The Ignika had also granted him the ability to absorb kinetic energy, and he shared this power with Fenrakk; allowing them to grow stronger with every strike made either by them or against them; they were also protected from other dangers such as lava. Vezon also carried the Spear of Fusion, which can merge or split beings; though it couldn't separate him from Fenrakk because the Ignika is much more powerful than the Spear of Fusion, and it was what fused Vezon to Fenrakk in the first place. In the event that Vezon is defeated, the Mask of Life evolves his steed into a more powerful creature. This occurred only once, when it turned Fenrakk into Kardas. Kardas does not share Fenrakk's ability to absorb kinetic energy, but it generates concussive force on its own that will cause it to explode if it is not released through blasts from its mouth.
When searching for the Mask of Life, the Piraka entered an area that brought worst fears to life. For them, this was Irnakk. Irnakk quickly hit most of the terrified Piraka with his Zamor Spheres, bringing their fears to life by turning their powers against them: Hakann lost control of his heat powers, burning him and melting his armor off; Avak was paralyzed and imprisoned within his own body; Thok's armor came to life and tried to strangle him; and Reidak and Vezok started fighting each other for eternity with neither able to win because of Reidak's ability to adapt and Vezok being able to copy that adaptation. Zaktan, instead of getting a Zamor Sphere, was turned into a thought by Irnakk's vision power and absorbed into the madness of his mind.
Thankfully, Irnakk brought Zaktan back to the real world before he thought of something else. Zaktan realized that if he stopped being afraid, Irnakk would disappear; and he threatened to kill himself and all the other Piraka in order to end their fear. Irnakk scoffed, knowing the Piraka fear death as much as they fear him; but Zaktan responded that every day was a nightmare to him: "Horror is looking into the eyes of the Shadowed One, knowing you are about to die ... and then being forced to live. Horror is waking each day to see every part of your body moving on its own, a shifting mass of protodites where once was solid metal and living tissue. Horror is what is in the eyes of your partners when they look at you ... and in the cries of your enemies when your swarm engulfs them. Don't talk to me about fear, creature - I am fear!" After Zaktan threatened to end his nightmare one way or another, Irnakk seemed impressed with his use of fear as a weapon, and admitted he had begun to fear death because of it. With the Piraka having passed their trial, Irnakk restored them to normal and disappeared.
Irnakk wields a Zamor Launcher decorated with skulls, and the spheres he creates have the power to bring worst fears to life. He also has a vision power; he can take what he looks at and turn it into a thought, absorbing it into his own mind. Even if one can cope with the insanity of Irnakk's mind, he will cease to exist if Irnakk stops thinking of him. Irnakk can also return absorbed thoughts to the physical world.
- When the six Piraka toy sets were released, each character was given a unique nickname for marketing purposes (Vezon was not given a nickname because his set was later released). These nicknames are not part of the official storyline.
- Hakann, "The Bully"
- Vezok, "The Beast"
- Zaktan, "The Snake"
- Avak, "The Trigger"
- Reidak, "The Tracer"
- Thok, "The Drifter"
- In summer 2006, the LEGO Company created an alternate reality game called "Free the Band", featuring the musical group the The All-American Rejects. The plot involved the kidnapping of the AAR by the Piraka, and the subsequent rescue attempts by the Toa Inika. Besides the main Free the Band site, the game also involved the sites Rock Yachts, a front company the Piraka used; and Inika Unite!, a blog made by two kids that followed the game's events. The game is not part of official storyline, for more than obvious reasons.
- All seven Piraka are featured as the main enemy bosses in the non-canon video game BIONICLE Heroes video game. Their portrayal in the game's many cutscenes featured them as being more moronic - often landing themselves in crude, humoristic situations - than that of the canon. Also, all six Piraka (along with all other characters except the Matoran in the initial cutscene) don't talk and instead growl, grunt and groan, sometimes even roaring, and none of them have their canon weapons. After each Piraka is defeated, they can be used in their own levels. Once Vezon is defeated, however, the other Piraka can no longer be used and are instead replaced by Vezon (without Fenrakk).
General information comes from the BIONICLE Legends book series; see List of BIONICLE media.
- ↑ BIONICLE Legends #4: Legacy of Evil, p. 20
- ↑ BIONICLE Legends #2: Dark Destiny, p. 103
- ↑ BIONICLE: Dark Hunters guidebook
- ↑ Official Greg Discussion p. 284 post #11346
- ↑ BIONICLE Legends #4: Legacy of Evil, p. 91-93
- ↑ Official Greg Discussion p. 182, 27th post down
- ↑ Official Greg Discussion p. 211, post #6327
- ↑ "Vezon" and "Spear of Fusion" entries, BIONICLE Encyclopedia Second Edition
- ↑ "New Serials" at GregF's Blog and Official Greg Discussion p. 280 post #11177 and 11184
- ↑ Official Greg Discussion p. 182, post #5451
- ↑ BIONICLE Legends #5: Inferno, p. 19
- ↑ Official Greg Discussion p. 209, post #6267