Mata Nui was first settled by the Matoran after the Great Cataclysm, which forced them to evacuate Metru Nui. The island was named by Turaga Vakama in reverence of the Great Spirit. The Matoran split up into six tribes, each one living in a Koro village led by one of the Turaga chieftains.
A year later, the Makuta followed the Matoran to Mata Nui. Using his Kraata to infect the Kanohi masks of the local Rahi wildlife, he relentlessly attacked the six Koro with his monstrous beasts for a whole millennia.
One day, Takua used the Toa Stones at Kini-Nui to summon the six Toa Mata, who were prophesied to vanquish the Makuta and awaken the Great Spirit. By collecting all the Kanohi masks and the pieces of the Makoki stone, the Toa were able to enter the Mangaia and battle Makuta.
They emerged victorious, but Makuta was still alive while the Great Spirit still slept. Makuta awoke the Bohrok swarms to destroy the island of Mata Nui. The Toa Mata collected the Bohrok's Krana and entered their nest, where they battled the Bahrag queens Cahdok and Gahdok. The Toa were able to imprison the twin queens, and they were transformed into the Toa Nuva. Shortly afterward, the Bohrok-Kal attempted to free the Bahrag and reawaken the Bohrok swarms, but the Toa Nuva thwarted their attempt.
After Naming Day, an island-wide Kohlii tournament was announced. After Ga-Koro's team won the final match, the Kanohi Avohkii was revealed, and Turaga Vakama sent his villagers Takua and Jaller on a quest to find the seventh Toa. Along the way, they were pursued by the Makuta's Rahkshi. Realizing his true identity, Takua donned the Kanohi Avohkii and was transformed into Takanuva, the Toa of Light. Takanuva returned to the Mangaia and defeated Makuta, opening the gateway to Metru Nui.
Since then, the Matoran have been building boats in preparation to return to Metru Nui.
When Mutant Dinos arrived at Mata Nui in 2010, the Matoran's journey to Metru Nui was postponed while they tried to deal with the powerful and ferocious mutants.
Zero was the first Dino Attack agent to travel to Mata Nui, which had only recently been discovered by minifigkind. On his first mission to Mata Nui, he collected samples of Rahi DNA for study, intending to compare it to Mutant Dino DNA in hopes of finding a link. He later returned to Mata Nui on a second mission, during which he discovered the Great Refuge, helped Toa Nuva Pohatu fight some Bohrok, and journeyed to Metru Nui below to collect the Great Kanoka disks.
Louis "Dryptosaurus" traveled to Mata Nui with his archaeologist friends in hopes of finding Metru Nui, only to end up stranded and alone. He sent out a distress signal, which was answered by a squad consisting of Databoard, Turahk-Kal, Voltage, Venom, Hyrode, Snake, Kai, Joey, and Cobra. During the rescue mission, the team battled Rahi, Rahkshi, and Rahkshi-Dino hybrids, before meeting Makuta himself. Narrowly escaping Makuta, the team proceeded onward to Metru Nui.
Mata Nui is divided into six Wahi regions, each one representative of the elements Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Ice, or Stone. Ta-Wahi is a volcanic region; Ga-Wahi is a coastal region; Le-Wahi is a thick jungle; Onu-Wahi is a mountain range with an extensive tunnel network below; Ko-Wahi is an arctic mountainous region, including the island's highest point Mount Ihu; and Po-Wahi is a vast desert.
Each Wahi is home to a respective Koro village, which is the home of each Matoran tribe. However, during the search for the seventh Toa, the Rahkshi destroyed Ta-Koro, Ko-Koro, and Onu-Koro. Since then, Turaga Vakama and the Ta-Matoran have built a new village called the Great Refuge, which no Mutant Dino can enter.
Kini-Nui is an important temple located near the center of Mata Nui island. It contains an entrance to the Mangaia, the lair of the Makuta located beneath the island. The Mangaia guards a gate to a hidden subterranean dome that houses Metru Nui, the island city where the Matoran originated.
- Mata Nui was submitted to the Dino Attack RPG major locations list by Ace Of Spades?.
- When Dino Attack RPG allowed players to travel to Mata Nui, it was not yet known that the island was located on the ocean moon Aqua Magna in official BIONICLE canon. Therefore, the RPG depicted Mata Nui as being located on LEGO Planet.