From 1d4chan
Jump to: navigation, search
Big Gay Purple d4.png This article is a skub. You can help 1d4chan by expanding it
And these are just your characters from G1!

Transformers is a series of Robot Toys created by Hasbro and Takara Tomy that typically turn into cars and other vehicles. Robots are cool, cars are cool and so they became popular. In 1984 they made some comics and a cartoon show. The comics show created a lot of toy sales and the toys kept the shows and comics popular, which in turn generated more interest in the toys and comics. Over the years they changed things up to sell more toys and new series were made, some worked quite well (Beast Wars, Prime) others did not (Armada, Energon, Cybertron). Transformers is also the Warhammer 40000 of /toy/ in terms of board culture.

Transformers is /tg/ related via several different board games as well as Heroclix (because what doesn't have those fucking things, they're our Funko). Why does this have no serious tabletop or role playing game? Only comics, cartoons, anime, and finally video games. So much potential. Seriously, it's a setting about sentient, shapeshifting robots fighting a war that spans motivations from political to racial to theological. Hasbro owns Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons via Wizards of the Coast, so it's not like they've never done tabletop stuff before. How the fuck has nobody at Hasbro realized the money-making potential there? Of course when your talking about a a franchise owned by a company who has just as many fuck up as Games Workshop. This shouldn't be surprising.

For those who want a video series explaining the various things like continuity, how Transformer maek babby, why the Primes are kings but also knights but also angels except when they're gods, or why the fuck literally every version of Sideways has absolutely nothing to do with any other version, watch this excellent set of Youtube videos explaining it all with more detail and less vulgar jokes than we can.

Real World History[edit]

The way that Transformers came to be. Click "Expand" to the right to view.


Transformers partially has its origin in three separate toylines, which came together to make one of the ultimate fucking wins of modern pop culture. The rest was Reaganomics, since Ronald Reagan's crusade against government regulation of the private market included axing the laws that children's entertainment needs to have educational value and not directly promote merchandise, creating the perfect environment for an unsuspecting and unjaded public to get a robot addiction.

  • Takara produced a popular line of toys called Microman about cyborgs beginning in 1974. In 1981 they made the "New Microman" series, which had a subline in 1983 called Microchange. In 1984 Hasbro obtained the rights to Microman, but were only interested in the Microchange toys.
  • Takara also produced a spinoff toy series from Microman, called Diaclone. Diaclone was about robots called Inch-men who piloted giant robots and various vehicles which they used to help Microman in his war against evil. In 1984 Hasbro also licensed Diaclone. Transformers killed Diaclone unfortunately...
  • GI Joe, a toy that first launched in 1963 and essentially made Hasbro one of the biggest names in toys, had failed due to cultural shifts and was discontinued in 1976 to the great disappointment of Hasbro co-founder Henry Hassenfeld. Under his son Merrill Hassenfeld GI Joe was resurrected in 1983 using ideas stolen (no quotations or joke here, they admit it) from Microman as well as their then-rival Kenner's approach to Star Wars toys (Hasbro also scooped up Star Wars not long after, and eventually Kenner itself; is it still really stealing if you end up buying everything you ripped off?). Taking cues from how He-Man was marketed (so also ripping off Mattel), GI Joe was given an actual enemy organization to fight and characters were given names and bio cards as well as a cartoon and comics.

Hasbro's team, looking at Diaclone and Microchange, immediately set out to work creating a "good guy" team, a "bad guy" team, and created an extremely complex storyline for them...most of which was just hinted at in short bios on the toys as well as a rudimentary commercial. They decided that most of the cars (so Diaclone) would be the good guys, called Autobots who defend freedom as well as humans, while the more military-based Diaclones, most of the flying vehicles, and the various Microchange toys would be the bad guys called Decepticons who were vaguely German and wanted to steal energy (which the Autobots need as well, but never seem to steal). Oil crisis era, everybody!

Transformers Franchise[edit]

The Marvel comics came out first and actually crossed-over with the various Marvel properties (that's right, Optimus hung out with Spider-man and white Nick Fury shot Starscream). The cartoon came out later, ignoring many of the things created by the comics while heavily using others. This created the first schism of butthurt within the Transformers fanbase, albeit among children on the schoolyard rather than adult 20-40 year-olds playing with toys when not bitching on the internet, about the "true" interpretations and lore. This sets a precedent for basically the rest of Transformers continuity; few series are direct continuations, a marked difference between Transformers and how most franchises deal with lore and ongoing stories, with each generation reinterpreting some things, adding to what was namedropped or mentioned in others, and as time goes on the different continuities build towards the newest work (yes, even the Bay films borrowed a few smart things and actually provided some positive additions...even if not much of either). Furthermore, just how in Marvel the character Shockwave was a chronic backstabber looking to usurp control of the Decepticons and in the original cartoon he is a loyal soldier while Starscream became the backstabber, continuities have reinterpreted various characters and even assigned a name to entirely different ones. Sometimes this is to simply keep the rights to a character by reusing their name in a random new product, sometimes its to try to provide a new take on a character that will either become the definitive version to fans or just be forgotten, sometimes it will be just a randomly assigned name to boost sales because some collector obsessed with Grimlock will buy anything with his name on it even if instead of a T-rex robot it is a fucking random human skin with a tiny robot inside like the tiniest Terminator (yes, that happened by the way).

G1 was the first cartoon, followed by the <bold>AMAZING</bold> 1987 movie which was mostly designed to kill off old characters who's toys weren't being made any more, followed by the second half of the series. The original series ended up with dropping interest mainly due to the loss of beloved cast members in the movie although at the end the series was given a conclusion complete with the resurrection of Transformers main character (because who the fuck else?) Optimus Prime. Japan however was not happy, as Transformers was still at peak popularity there, so Japan's continuity split and they produced several more series including one where Transformer heads have personalities separate from the bodies, Transformers who transform into humans, and so on.

Meanwhile, in the US (actually Canada, AKA America's hat) a cartoon called Reboot, the first entirely CG animated show which was about programs running around in a computer world like Tron (dealing with their asshole owner always playing games while they fight to keep his virus-riddled toaster from crashing and killing the entire internet), was hugely popular. Unfortunately Reboot was FAR more expensive to make than it was worth, so it was shitcanned. The studio was shortly after hired by Hasbro to make a new Transformers cartoon, which would be cheaper than Reboot because unlike Reboot which constantly needed new assets and had few toys to sell, their cartoon would be a giant toy advertisement already which could use mostly the same assets as much as needed. This cartoon was designed to sell a new toy line, based on some of the things Japan had done with Transformers, called Beast Wars. Beast Wars was a complete continuation of the Transformers G1 storyline (ignoring most of what Japan did barring the usual Transformers cherry-picking of what worked). After 3 seasons, Beast Wars was transformed into Beast Machines which did not do anywhere near as well, largely because the new designs where highly unattractive and because Beast Machines had started to delve into esoteric religious themes as well as questions of one's self and if evil really exists (so the new toys were ugly, and the plot went from "Saturday morning cartoon" to "mom and dad's boring scifi movie"). While nowadays Beast Machines has been looked on fondly for contributing some of the most important concepts for what came after and essentially evolving the lore as well as bringing character arcs to satisfying conclusions, its also still really fucking ugly and easy to see why the sudden shift in tone between the two cartoons was jarring for kids at the time. MEANWHILE, IN JAPAN they also continued Beast Wars into two spinoff series that the west also didn't get.

In the 2000's Transformers suddenly exploded back into the spotlight, although the September 11th attacks in 2001 somewhat put a hamper on the series since suddenly planes attacking fire trucks and police cars in smoking human cities was a bit unsettling for America and the sympathetic allies. Transformers has struggled to get another ongoing cartoon off the ground, and the Michael Bay movie series has plugged away with massive box office profit (despite generally being considered more and more trash by the movie-going public outside of China with each new entry). Among the problems are constantly going back to doing Unicron in every cartoon as well as the Bay movies basically doing the exact same plot in each sequel, not to mention the strangeness of Transformers: Animated and Transformers: Kiss Players (the latter of which almost everyone outside of Japan pretends never happened, suffice it to say it was just Transformers: Magical Girl Franchise). The biggest success of recent years has been short movies based on the comics. Said comics have been doing ridiculously well, starting with Dreamwave Comics, then a long crossover with GI Joe with Devil's Due Publishing and Dreamwave collaborating, and finally IDW Comics making an ongoing series which draws from all preceding continuities and progresses the story in new directions (the war ends and Cybertronians are stuck with Starscream as God Emperor Of Botkind while a separate group goes "fuck this, we Star Trek nao" to find their gods out in space). IDW has earned some ire in the community for putting biological females into G1 (although even in the G1 cartoon the pre-Prime Optimus had a girlfriend who was seemingly the only female on Cybertron at the time because...reasons), experimenting with concepts such as gender politics (because of an old joke about how Hasbro releasing the same toy in a new color and calling it a new character being explained as creating artificial soldiers by sticking a soul into a constructed body being taken to the idea of "what if some of those souls were girls and now that the war is over they want to be pretty clones of Starscream instead of just forgettable clones of Starscream"), and constantly keeping GI Joe as part of the same universe instead of just a limited crossover, the IDW take has been generally considered amazing and introduced many new fans into a comprehensive modern continuity and pushing into an expansion of lore not seen since Beast Machines. Chances are good that anything made outside Japan, including the aforementioned animated movies currently being produced and released, will be at least partly inspired by IDW Transformers. Plus, if nothing else, it gives us something to fight over. TILL ALL ARE WHINE!


Important Concepts[edit]

The Transformers setting is strange, built upon by three decades and two different types of continuities (Japan and the west), and full of handwaves that had later explanations. Certain concepts are best explained now, and will make any continuity make more or less sense later. Click "Expand" to the right to view.

  • Cybertron: Its their home planet. It has a bunch of moons, nobody seems to keep track of how many because even within the same continuity the number changes, and whether they are lifeless natural or mechanical bases or living vehicles in orbit just kind of randomly shifts based on the plot. Cybertron's moons are always called Luna "(number)". Also, Cybertron is usually either a dead/hibernating giant god Transformer, a factory where the Transformers were built by an alien race, some combination of the two, or a formerly organic planet that was somehow changed into a technoorganic one.
  • Energon: A substance that Cybertronians need, in every single continuity they're running out of it which echoed the gas crisis concerns at the time of the creation of the series and ever since has just been a fantastic excuse for whatever plot. Its their fuel source, and in their bodies functions like blood. Its usually pink, sometimes blue in newer continuities, green for super special characters. Yes, Transformers have pink blood (which allowed them to get away with things that censors would otherwise not have allowed on television, and in comics would have gotten them burned on a pile by concerned parents). There are synthetic forms in some continuities, but its not able to keep a Cybertronian's body working at full capacity and while on it for a prolonged period of time it results a very weakened state. Sometimes its in cubes and can be transported easily because it kind of floats, sometimes its a liquid that can be drunk and causes inebriation can be or turned into an alcohol proper called Engex in newer continuities, sometimes it comes in the form of crystals that are so full of energy its harmful to Cybertronians to even be on the same planet as it. It can be mined from any planet touched by (whatever divine being) or somehow converted from other power sources (like that time Decepticons attacked a hydroelectric dam to somehow get Energon from it, then for some reason never attacked again and never tried to just build their own damn dam), and for some reason is also found abundantly on Earth (probably because its Atlas, explained later on this page) but humans never seemed to notice it until Megatron shows up and starts shooting people while Starscream loads it onto a ship. Energon is basically whatever the writers want it to be, the only thing that is certain is that its running out and any Cybertronian who gets to gorge themselves on it feels good.
  • Mass Displacement: You cannot apply too much logic into Transformers for this primary reason. While thanks to the rapid pace that the cartoon was created as well as disconnect between comic/cartoon/advertising art teams the series is notorious for scale issues and continuity errors, the real problem is that the law of conservation of mass functions in their universe as much as ours, yet an approximately 15-30 foot fall giant robot can turn into a 6 inch long gun that humans can pick up and fire as well as a 15 foot long cannon that can attach to a jet all in an instant. Of course the meta reason is because the Transformers were adopted from toys that were meant to exist on a wide scale yet in the Transformers title are all giant robots with the smallest just being the size of humans. None of the original material ever dealt with how the hell any of it works in-universe, and only a few continuities had taken a stab at explaining it albeit with a fair amount of handwaving. Fans and writers have yet to come up with a decent explanation other than either any Cybertronian who turns small is actually highly dense on a molecular level but using magnetism or levitation or some shit to seemingly remain the same weight, is made up of tinfoil-tier light metal that folds and unfolds to make a smaller or larger size respectively, or the mass just goes to some pocket dimension of some kind. Michael Bay refused to use any size changing things, so his (also fairly constant) size changes are 100% continuity errors rather than just something to be handwaved with spacey-wacey stuff.
  • Transformation: Transformers transform, that should be obvious. The reason they transform is wholly dependent on the continuity, and is tied into their origins whether it be because of something like a godlike being gave them all transforming powers like himself or because a race of galactic douchebags created them as private armies and they've since rebelled and decided Cybertronian Live Matter. Despite the "ROBOTS IN DISGUISE" tagline, very rarely do they ever actually disguise. Mainly the Pretenders (explained below), but even they didn't give much of a fuck most of the time. Only in Beast Wars has use of alt modes for stealth purposes been regularly used, by those who can actually take advantage of it (not so much on the 10 foot tall spider and rat, but the life-sized gorilla and cheetah could). Michael Bay's continuity is primarily defined compared to other continuities by all Transformers being made out of crumpled up tinfoil by the Cybertronians actually trying to hide on Earth, aided by the fact that the governments of the world cover up just about anything that happens no matter how many people see it...somehow, because...reasons.
  • Spark: Its a soul. There was an evolution in the storyline early on by how Cybertronian souls, the afterlife, and reproduction worked, detailed here.
    • They're robots from space, they just build more of each other or something, just buy the toys for your kid.
    • When Marvel Comics writer Bob Budiansky was put on the comics and told to expand the story, he asked about how the fuck they reproduce and Hasbro replied "No girls allowed". So Bob created the "Creation Matrix", a MacGuffin that Optimus owned which basically created a personality to go into the brain of constructed new Cybertronian bodies. These were later called "Life Sparks". They weren't very mystical given that by making a copy of a Life Spark on something like a floppy disk (which have become memes in Transformers continuity as little MacGuffins created by mankind given they did some pretty ridiculously amazing shit in the 80's on them) you could "resurrect" a dead Cybertronian or create new ones by plugging in a copied personality to a body.
    • The G1 cartoon had robots just kind of built like the original idea, but any Cybertronian built in this way was flawed. This is why the Dinobots are basically cavemanchildren, they were sort of just built by the Autobots just because it would be cool to have some dinosaurs running around. Later on the cartoon came up with the idea of a giant supercomputer deep within Cybertron called Vector Sigma which was used to create a personality for an otherwise lifeless Cybertronian constructed body. Its debatable whether Vector Sigma is creating a "soul" or if it simply creates a fully-developed mind which allows a Cybertronian to skip a childhood equivalent. This was ported back to the Marvel comic series, and in it Vector Sigma was revealed to really be Primus AKA Cybertron's soul and basically Transformer God.
    • The original movie went through several drafts where concepts were tossed around as the writers tried to find a way to fulfill Hasbro's demand to kill off all the characters who's toys weren't in production any more, and they decided to give the deaths meaning as well as give weight to the passing of leadership. The Matrix from the Marvel comic was designed as a kind of heart/necklace called the Matrix Of Leadership, which somehow contains an afterlife for Optimus to pass to and be the ghost Obi-wan Kenobi to Rodimus's clueless Luke Skywalker. The Matrix no longer brought Cybertronians to life.
    • Some kind of afterlife existed in the second half of G1, because Starscream was brought back into the universe after his death as a literal ghost by the severed undead head of Unicron. G1 implied that a "Decepticon Matrix Of Leadership" exists, but after the promise of its return used to make Galvatron work alongside the ancient enemies of his people, the Quintessons, for one episode it was never brought up again. Its since been a hard rule that no such thing exists, and is only a rumor Decepticons tell themselves.
    • In the Marvel comics that were released alongside the second half of G1 Cybertronians had the ability to reproduce by budding, basically causing a newborn Cybertronian to split off from their own body and become another Cybertronian being. This was their method of reproduction in ancient times, until Primus put a stop to it because each generation becomes more unstable. It can still be done, but its not good to do and will produce a sociopathic hivemind Cybertronian generation eventually if it goes on. This budding is the handwaved explanation for why some Cybertronians have father/son relationships, they're literally descended from each other and share an emotional psychic bond up and down their family tree.
    • In Beast Wars the Allspark was identified as basically a separate dimension, the Transformer afterlife. Sparks are glowing orbs that exist within a Transformer's body, which return to the Allspark when they die. The Allspark is also where they come from, how isn't really gone into although its hinted to be Vector Sigma. The Matrix Of Leadership is also a gateway between the Allspark and the mortal world.
    • Michael Bay was originally going to use the Matrix Of Leadership as his first movie MacGuffin, but later decided that he would make the Allspark into a cube that basically creates Cybertronian life but always in a savage prehistoric-style way (how you eventually get intelligent person Transformers out of it is anyone's guess). The Allspark Cube has since become a thing that exists in other continuities, separate from the Allspark afterlife usually but also powered by it or otherwise connected to it. Despite being destroyed and fragmented, the Allspark (cube) is connected to the Allspark (afterlife).
    • IDW Comics introduced two methods of Cybertronian reproduction in their attempts to resolve many unresolvable plot issues with Transformers. This shit is a bit complicated, so try to keep up. Natural births are called Forged births, and occur when a Spark rises from the world the Transformer lives in which happens when Vector Sigma sends out an electronic pulse across the universe. These Sparks are harvested and cared for by Cybertronians, floated in pools of living metal that has been harvested which the Spark then uses to form a body which comes with an alt mode already useable (Cybertronians can change their alt mode, but basically anyone born as a car will probably want to still be some kind of fast ground vehicle, anyone born as a jet will probably want to be a Starscream clone be a fast air vehicle, and so on). Some Sparks struggle to form a body and require aid. As time has gone on, the energy pulses sent by Vector Sigma slowed and stopped, and in a panic one of the past Primes (the line of warriors, not the godlike beings) pioneered a way to force new Sparks out of the Matrix Of Leadership. He stored these Sparks in "photonic crystals" which must be "thawed" inside of an artificially constructed adult body, with these births being called Cold Construction. Eventually the real Matrix Of Leadership was stolen and no more Sparks were extracted, and meanwhile the ruling Prime government had been lying to the people and created a myth of "splitting Sparks" in an asexual reproduction method in order to prevent race wars between Forged and Cold Constructed Cybertronians. All Cold Construction bodies are redecoed existing toys sold under new names almost identical to others in their line, and were designed specifically for excellence in a particular job of society which gave rise to the Functionist society which was part dictatorship, part caste system which was highly oppressive and not only directly resulted in the massive Autobot (loyalist to the Primes, who accidently created the Functionist society even if they later helped bring it down) and Decepticons (essentially those who had "seen through the deception" of Functionism, and was both created and lead by miner turned poet turned revolutionary turned dictator Megatron). Once the Functionists had been overthrown and the Autobot/Decepticon war had arisen in the power vacuum it left, all the existing Sparks intended for Cold Construction were given quick forced education via VR headset and basically sent straight from birth into battle where they died immediately as cannon fodder or lived long enough to become batshit fucking insane murder-obsessed super soldiers. Three million years later, the war finally ended and contact was reestablished with ancient colonies that were lost before Cold Construction was a thing, and suddenly Cybertronian society had to figure out what to do with itself now that most of the population were either highly traumatized child soldier clones wearing the symbol of their affiliations still proudly on their chests and arms, naturally born and fucking ancient highly traumatized military officers still wearing the symbols of the armies they once lead, or naturally born religious bumpkins who didn't understand or care about the whole "three million years of war thing" and really want to tell you about the lord and savior Primus and his children the Primes. Now the Cold Constructed Cybertronians are having to deal with the fact that their Sparks aren't the genders their bodies are sometimes, and their alt modes are motorcycles when their soul belongs inside a tank. Needless to say, IDW canon is really fucking complicated...
    • Of note is that actual male/female sex has been mentioned in various ways in various continuities, sometimes because of an author mistake, sometimes for the sake of humor, and sometimes its actually a bit out of nowhere and can be considered somewhat canon. Whether jokes about aunts/uncles and teasing romantically involved Cybertronians in Beast Wars to the Marvel comic series mentioning parents and siblings in the backstories of some characters, to some references to Cybertronians in love somehow using both of their Sparks to give life to a new body. Michael Bay's movies, through various lines, surprisingly seem to imply that Bayformers do sexually reproduce as well. In the IDW continuity the only difference between males and females is their Spark, which forms either a male or female body naturally and females exist solely because the Prime named Solus Prime had the body of a female (why isn't clear, and probably will never be revealed because everything related to the Primes is presented as legends that nobody knows the truth to and even less about what came before them). The only continuity where sexual reproduction 100% does not exist is Transformers: Animated where Optimus Prime is visibly confused and uncomfortable after being told where human babby comes from. Later on upon finding out that the human who told him about it is actually a Pretender (explained below), he's even more confused.

Types Of Beings[edit]

Transformers come in many shapes and sizes, which are so varied that they may be the single most confusing thing about the franchise, and most important to know if one is looking to make a roleplaying game out of it. Other species exist as well, probably for some reason but who cares because they aren't (usually) Transformers. Click "Expand" to the right to view.


Not all Cybertronian life is the same. Most different types of Transformers are a toy gimmick that simply appeared with little to no explanation, and was given multiple origins over the years. The fanbase usually refers to these by their toy origin as a result, although it should be noted that not all of the following are mutually exclusive (such as Minicons who have beast alt modes and can form a combiner). Note: the term “alt mode” is what they transform into that isn’t a robot. Although called Cybertronians as a race distinction, they can come from other planets which means that you can have a Cybertronian Cybertronian. IDW is the only continuity where there's a large cultural difference between Cybertronian Transformers from planets other than Cybertron due to their race dividing between the different tribes after the time of the (god) Primes and the (king-like) Primes, using the Titans as ships to escape then as cities to colonize from.

  • Cybertronian Transformer: Your typical Transformer, who comes from Cybertron. They've been at war so long they're pretty fucked up as a group, and any Cybertronian who's younger than the start of the war has been a soldier their entire life since minutes after their birth, particularly in the IDW continuity where the aforementioned Cold Construction is how almost all Cybertronian Transformers are born, and with a very short education video they are literally dropped straight into combat giving them either a VERY short life span, or resulting in batshit insane child soldiers who know only war, backstabbing, survival at all costs, and whatever eccentricities they've picked up to deal with their situation. In the postwar peacetime situation its extremely difficult for most Cybertronian Transformers to find purpose outside of destroying an enemy or hoarding supplies.
  • Camien Transformer: Caminus is a planet very poor in resources, resulting in a race of Transformers who conserve energy in every way possible and live in almost medieval ways, preferring physical or at the most elaborate energy weapons to projectile energy weapons (swordz not gunz). Caminus has a large number of female Transformers, since they were largely the followers of Solus Prime. Camien Transformers are the most religious group, revering the Primes as true gods and the Primes who passed leadership from one to another through the Matrix Of Leadership as living gods as well; as a result even though Camiens detest both Autobots and Decepticons they default to Autobot in allegiance since they see Optimus as Transformer Jesus. They developed the Cityspeaker profession, allowing ordinary Cybertronians to communicate and even merge minds (temporarily) with Titans in a dormant city state.
  • Eukarian Transformer: Eukaris is the planet where most of the Transformers who's alt modes are animals fled to aboard the Titan named Chela. Largely an unchanged Earth-like planet with the primary settlement within jungle regions. Eukarians developed a special group within their society called the Fateweavers, prophets who's alt modes are spiders. Onyx Prime, quite insane, still wanders Eukaris hunting outsiders.
  • Velocitronian Transformer: Inhabitants of the Titan city Navitas on the planet of Velocitron. A planet of extremely hostile daylight that even Cybertronians can't survive, only in the frozen night or within Navitas can life exist. Their entire culture revolves around speed and racing. Their culture is ironically stagnant and breaking down, xenophobia and obsession with perfection resulting in an inefficient society that is essentially dying while Navitas himself fell into a state of dementia and physical degredation. With the help of Camien Cityspeakers they've managed to relieve Navitas's stressed and failing systems, restoring him to a functional state. In other continuities its a planet covered in highways, one giant uneneding Wacky Races episode.
  • Devisen Transformer: The unnamed Titan carrying these Transformers crashed into Devisiun, and the resulting Transformers are all Micromasters who are always born in pairs who cannot form an alt mode by themselves and must unite with their twin to transform. Their technology level is low but not primitive, about on par with Earth. They are fucking adorable.
  • (Unnamed planet, possibly Micro) Transformer: IDW continuity had the Titan named Prion who served Micronus take his colonists to a planet that has not been named yet for the audience. There the Minicons evolved, and possibly other Transformer groups, but an organic race sterilized the surface which destroyed all life save one surviving Minicon female.
  • (Unknown planet, possibly destroyed): The Titan named Tempo carried Transformers who were of a philosophical disposition. Its fate is unknown.
  • Carcer Transformer: The Titan named Vigilem served the Prime Liege Maximo, who was the Satan-like deceiver of the Primes who basically fucked everything up for everyone. Liege Maximo's tribe sided with the other Titans as they defeated the two beings, with Vigilem basically lobotomized and forced into permanent ship vehicle form containing a prison where Liege Maximo is the only prisoner, all maintained by his tribe. Renamed Carcer, its purpose is to incarcerate the traitors and ensure he never gets loose. They're very warlike, very aggressive, and very xenophobic. Windblade and Starscream later destroyed Vigilem's Spark, leaving his body as simply a corpse that was a functional giant spaceship, although Liege Maximo escaped leaving the Carcerians focused on recapturing him and preparing the rest of the universe for whatever hell he brings to it.
  • Zombie Transformer: There's various kinds of undeath in continuity, including influence from the undead Titan named Necrotitan, radioactive space rocks, disease, and even magic.
    • Mini: Not to be confused with Minicons, described below. Known by various names as the line expanded although all have mini in their name, originally just called "Autobot Minicars" and were supposed to be called "Drones" the same way that Starscream and his redecos are called "Seekers" although it didn't stick. They were cheap figures for poor children essentially, a throwaway gimmick that was written off. Hasbro had absolutely no idea that they'd become ridiculously popular, particularly Bumblebee and to a much lesser degree Windcharger (although Brawn and Beachcomber certainly have their fans too). Hasbro assumed this was because they were cheap, when in reality it was because they were star characters in the cartoon who hung out with the humans and were youthful in portrayal compared to the larger Transformers, allowing children watching the show to imagine themselves either as the humans hanging out with Bumblebee, or Bumblebee hanging out with Optimus. A projection character who hung out with projection characters if you will. It took until the sluggish start of the second half of G1 for IDW to realize that people loved them for their character and not just being a cheap toy. Nowadays they are basically called "Legends Class" AKA the discount size ($10 USD on average). As far as storyline goes, there's not much unique about Mini sized Cybertronians other than them generally being weaker than those who are bigger than themselves and are essentially the low level named redshirt troops. Of course that doesn't mean they can't become stronger, Optimus was Mini size back when he was a civilian named Orion Pax until he was shot by the young Megatron and rebuilt as swoll, and Hot Rod was a short useless fuck lackey until he got the Matrix Of Leadership and became a swoll useless fuck leader. Most were drawn smaller than the others, but when in their alt mode they were kept to scale via that good ol' Mass Displacement (Cosmos in particular, who becomes a giant UFO that can carry others). While the toys were too small to carry their weapons as part of the transformation, this never shown to be a problem in-universe (don't ask where their gun and/or sword is stored).
      • Mini-spies: Originally a non-Transformer toyline from Takara called Mecha Warriors, repurposed to be sold as even smaller companions with the Minis and sort of a precursor to Masters (described below). Mini-spies had no storyline when first introduced, merely a commercial advertising their gimmick, a sticker called a “rubsign” that would appear on many, MANY Transformers toys afterwards where heat from fingers revealed whether they were an Autobot or Decepticon due to the fact that in the early Marvel comics some characters were more treacherous than their show counterparts who all tend to stay on one side even if the Decepticons backstab each other constantly. All Mini-spies turned into cars. They finally received a storyline in the Dreamwave continuity, being Cybertronians who were too small to be useful as soldiers (presumably there’s a minimum size to guns capable of hurting a Cybertronian?) and as a result make up the entirety of the Cybertronian civilian population, with a small number functioning in the role of spies as their name suggests. “Mini-spy” is something of a derogatory term in Cybertronian culture as a result, implying weakness and uselessness in war. No other continuity has given any importance to Mini-spies or even mentioned them, their role basically made redundant by Minicons.
    • Triggercons/Triggerbots: Small Cybertronians who have huge weapons built into their bodies. Fairly unimportant in any fiction, just part of the G1 toyline to sell less expensive Transformer toys since Hasbro hadn't realized that kids only liked the Mini toys because they were big in the cartoon. Trigger___ were never really important in any continuity, just being more of the named redshirts like the Minis and none of them had any breakout popularity. For all intents and purposes, they're Minis with more dakka.
    • Clones: Clone Cybertronians are not actual clones, but refer to twins who as a result have the same robot mode as a toy gimmick and were sold in two-packs. Different experiences result in different alt modes however. Although this seems like the perfect way to keep two different popular interpretations of a character in the same continuity, its basically just an early toy gimmick and a way to handwave why the same figure gets rereleased over and over in different colors with different names.
    • Actionmasters: Transformers who can't transform, having replaced their alt mode parts with MORE DAKKA. Basically robot GI Joes. Received very badly on release, they're very unimportant in continuity and any Transformer who can't transform is basically just injured rather than something intentional with a specific name. The line received more interest as they got Pretender-like suits to wear as well as interesting vehicles to pilot, all similarly full of guns, and the later interest along with nostalgia means they do appear from time to time in toys.
    • Multi-changers: Same as any other standard Cybertronian, but have multiple alt modes at once.
      • Triple Changers: Three modes, one usually kinda sucks. Not much else to say.
      • Six Changers: There's a bunch of them, the first actually has seven modes. In the Hasbro canon they just are the result of advanced science techniques and are a bit insane, in Takara Japanese canon they're all part of the same ninja organization called the Six Clan which actually rules the universe via their manipulation of both sides. Vector Prime was one of them in Ask Vector Prime (he seems to be a reliable narrator), and as a time/space warrior in his youth he not only accidentally created the term "Autobot" since he used it as his nickname to hide his identity but also turns into a child's watch (seriously, he was a really cool toy). Although more Six Changers are Autobots than Decepticons, the only one who was really a major character was the Boba Fett-like character and aforementioned first released one with his seven modes named Six Shot, so they tend to be remembered more as evil.
    • Cyberdroid: A term used rarely, its a regular Cybertronian Transformer who is too young to transform yet. Basically a child.
      • Protoform: A type of Cyberdroid, used in most continuities after they were introduced in Beast Wars and generally the term used instead of Cyberdroid. A Protoform is a Transformer who's body is basically liquid metal in a bipedal form. They have little personality, and can be rewritten with programmed personalities if someone unscrupulous enough wants to do so. Protoforms are the childlike state of Transformers as their bodies mature and harden and become adults, depending on continuity this takes between seconds and months to happen. Transformers can also be put back into a Protoform state in order to safely undergo travel that is stressful for the body or takes a prolonged amount of time, similar to the idea of stasis sleep for humans prevalent in science fiction (to date no chestbursters have infected a Protoform that we know of). In Beast Wars II the Predacons used Sparkless Protoforms as robot slaves, while Sparkless Protoforms in the regular Beast Wars cartoon were functionally useless. When a Spark is preserved and placed into a Protoform, it morphs into a new body for the Spark basically allowing Transformers to resurrect themselves or gain new bodies. In the Michael Bay movies the "Protoform" is just a Transformer who doesn't have an alt mode yet or has shed theirs, but otherwise is an ordinary adult who can fight. In Transformers: Animated the Cybertronians simply build new Protoforms and wait for them to be given life by the various MacGuffin objects, while a special Protoform in the size and shape of a human fetus somehow traveled through time and assumed the form of a human to be the "human" companion to the cast in that series (a plot that was never resolved, leaving fans to conclude that's just how Pretenders (explained below) look as Protoforms).
      • Transmutate: A deformed Protoform walking around like its an ordinary Transformer from the Beast Wars continuity. Whether she is something that can happen to other Protoforms or not is unknown, but during transit her stasis pod was damaged and what emerged was a Transformer with immense power, a very VERY slow child's mind, and a badly deformed and hideous body (given that uncanny valley is a normal result of the early CG animation Beast Wars used, they had a massive success actively trying to use it). Transmutate blows up during the same episode she was introduced in, but in another continuity called Beast Wars: Uprising she emerged from the stasis pod relatively undamaged although having difficulty properly understanding the emotions of other beings and fascinated by the world around her (so slightly autistic).
    • Brainmasters: Basically when an ordinary Transformer becomes a Headmaster (see below). The Transformer's head, minus the back of the outer shell (the "helmet" or "hair") which contains all the personality disengages from the rest of the head and enters/exits the body through the chest, allowing the Transformer to run around as a human-sized robot version of themselves. While making short appearances in the various Japanese post-G1 cartoons, they were only important in the Victory series. Only five Brainmasters exist and each received a boost to some non-physical attribute (courage, strength, skill, and intelligence). The laboratory where they were created was destroyed so no Decepticon Brainmasters are known to exist, with the Autobot members as the elite special forces troops of the Transformers universe equivalent of the typical galactic government seen in science fiction, the Galactic Peace Alliance.
  • Titans: Also called City-formers or Battlestations. Gigantic Transformers, who are inhabited by ordinary Transformers and maintained by tiny human-sized Masters (see below). There is a group of Cybertronians in the IDW continuity from the planet Caminus who can talk to Titans. In that continuity they filled the role of colony ships who carried "Hot Spots" where Sparks emerged outside of Cybertron (they occur naturally throughout the universe very rarely, but the only thing that can seed a planet with Cybertronian life for real is a Titan) and have since become the capital cities (because Transformer) of every planet. In robot mode they serve as guardians of the Transformer race when universal-cataclysm threatens. Or at leas the kind that can be punched to death by a giant of a giant robot.
  • Minicons: Small Transformers, usually human-sized. While they transform on their own, their main gimmick is they are supposed to combine with a Cybertronian in some way to make them more powerful, and in this respect share many similarities with Masters (discussed below). In original post-movie G1 cartoon continuity Unicron wanted to feed on the death and misery of the Cybertronians by giving them more power, like a Warhammer Chaos God before eventually turning on the Transformers and killing them. However human children from the future somehow traveled back in time (in a story the series didn’t last long enough to tell) to visit the Minicons while they were being built. By touching them the humans granted Sparks to the Minicons somehow (“Just As Planned” -Atlas). In the Japanese Takara continuity they were among the Micromasters (discussed below) who gained the ability to transform via magical energy wave yadda yadda MacGuffin and use their power to help out in the Cybertronian Civil War. In basically every other continuity, they are cousins of Cybertronians, sometimes having come from the Luna (number) moons rather than Cybertron itself, who usually left before the war to colonize other planets and get drug into the fight. In IDW continuity Minicons were the Cybertronians lead by Micronus Prime aboard the Titan named Prion. They were later wiped out by an organic species of some kind called the Black Block Consortia, the last remaining Minicon being a female named Nickel. She joined the Decepticons as a medic, simply due to the pro-organic stance of the Autobots, and after the end of the war she continued service to the rogue and terrorist Decepticon Justice Division until they fell apart and she lead the survivors as a space pirate.
  • Pretenders: A Transformer who is more about the disguise than robot in “robots in disguise”. Pretenders usually have an alt mode of animals or humans, but as the toy line went on it included some strange redundancies like a robot riding a vehicle that was disguised as another vehicle for...reasons (that reason being reusing old Microman ideas). Some Pretenders had multiple transformations, could combine, and became like fucking Russian nesting dolls of disguises.
    • Hasbro Pretenders: Introduced in the Marvel comics after G1 ended, they were simply full-sized Transformers wearing armor and not particularly pretending to be anything. The armor is technoorganic, and both armor and Cybertronian are controlled by the same mind via mental link.
    • Godmaster Pretenders: The Takara Japanese version, from the Godmaster cartoon. Using the power of the Earth itself (AKA Atlas) the full sized Cybertronians shrink down to the size of what they are supposed to be and transform themselves. The Autobots pretend to be humans, and have helped shape our history for the better since the stone age. The Decepticons disguise themselves as monsters and demons, and have just been assholes scaring humanity and killing us for lulz since around the same time. Hasbro-style Pretenders with shells would appear later, but usually as something that didn’t change size.
    • Bayverse Pretenders: First seen in the second movie in the “Alice” character, used more in the supplementary materials, Michael Bay Pretenders were Cybertronians who were clever enough to scan animatronics and theme park robots for alt modes. They are identical to humans in alt mods.
    • IDW Pretenders: IDW Comics has the Hasbro style of Pretenders, technoorganic exo suits that protect Cybertronians from energy and environment hostile to their physiology. Twice the technology was experimented with by Decepticons leading to a bad end for them until Autobots perfected it.
    • Prime Pretenders: Primes (see “Prime Masters” below) wearing disguises identical to the original Pretender toys. Rather than pretending to be humans or monsters to hide from humans, they are hiding from other Cybertronians by pretending to be Cybertronians.
  • Beastformers: Introduced in Beast Wars, this is different from Pretenders in that rather than being disguised as a human or animal, the Transformers have actually become partly organic and have instincts from their alt modes, eat, breath, have sexual attraction, and sleep (normal Transformers only consume Energon and usually in liquid form, and only exhibit organic needs like sleep and breathing for comedy or when writers screw up). Having a more organic base grants immunity to types of energy that is harmful to Cybertronians, but results in highly mutagenic forms. In the Beast Wars continuity Pretender tech had become advanced enough that when crash-landed on a prehistoric Earth that was covered in Energon crystals that slowly killed them, the Transformers adopted biological alt modes which were so successful it altered their robotic modes to be more organic as well. In the IDW continuity, Beasts are disciples of Onyx Prime and live on the planet Eukaris where they are divided into tribes by alt mode; the Cloud Walkers, Scale Walkers, Fur Walkers, and Wave Walkers. The spider-based alt modes are their own separate group, the Fate Spinners, something of the priesthood and oracles of the Beastformers who revere Onyx Prime.
    • Technorganics: The "next stage" in beastformer evolution, beastformers whose organic shells and cybernetic interiors have fused into a more harmonious whole, rendering them as much living organism as they are cybernetic one. In a way, this porogresses beyond the Transmetal 2, and technorganic transformers are infamous for their weirdly fluid chassis, which other transformers think are kind of freaky. Originating during the Beast Machines war, these were "reformatted" beastformers who sought to fight against Megatron and his army of Vehicons; the transformation made them immune to Megatron 2's mode-lock virus.
    • Fuzors: Beastformers whose alternate modes are based on a "fusion" of two seperate animals into one chimera-like whole. This usually happens when the alt-form scanner on a beastformer's stasis pod is severely screwed up, being unable to decide between two choices.
      • Mutants: A toyline-exclusive addition to the Beast Machines saga, Mutants are Fuzors who were exposed to Megatron 2's modelock virus and... well, it did not react well with them. Instead of trapping them in beast form, it mutated them, rendering them into beastformers without a robot mode but able to switch between the two different beasts that had once made up their organic side. Hardliners of the Neo-Maximal philosophy, they do not mourn their robot modes, but pursue a true organic existence, which alienates them even from other beastformers.
    • Transmetals: A step back in history, whereas normal beastformers look like organic animals, transmetals revert to an older style and are clearly machines in animal shape (if still more animal-like than the blocky, clumsy beast-formed transformers of G1), although in robot mode they do tend to show some hidden "organic" components, such as Cheetor's fur-covered chest. They also possess a "vehicle mode", a tertiary form in which their animal form deploys mobility-augmenting vehicle features, such as VTOL propulsion units, tank-treads, wheels, jet thrusters etcetera. In the cartoon, this happened as a result of the "Quantum Surge", an energy wave created when the Maximals & Predacons blow up the Vok's moon-sized energy weapon, which mutates various participants. Ironically, many of the characters who became transmetals in the toyline, such as Waspinator, Inferno and Rhinox, did not become transmetals in the cartoon.
      • Transmetal 2s: A further mutation of the beastformer base-stock, Transmetal 2s lose the "vehicle mode" trait of the standard Transmetal and possess a more asymmetric, monstrous blend of organic & mechanical traits in both forms, but are generally stronger, tougher, and all around better than standard Transmetals.
  • Vehicon: Mindless, vehicle-based transformer-drones created by Megatron 2 during the Beast Machines war; built from the recycled corpses of Cyberton's population after Megatron 2 first paralyzed them all with his mode-lock virus and then harvested the entire race's sparks, vehicons lack all semblance of a personality, are relatively weak by transformer standards, and are notoriously dimwitted and lacking in initiative, as they possess only relatively crude programming and no spark to give them minds of their own. Their only advantages are that they are completely fearless, having no "self" and thus no need for self-preservation instincts, and their sheer numbers. When he realizes that their lack of brains is hindering his effort to fight the technorganic rebels, Megatron 2 creates Vehicon Commanders by implanting captured, brainwashed sparks into the bodies of unique, physically augmented vehicons; these self-aware vehicons can command their designated vehicons as extensions of their own will.
  • Combiner: Any Transformers who group together to form a larger robot.
    • Scramble City: Combiners who form from teams where each bot forms a limb. Named after the Japanese line that introduced them. Usually Scramble City Combiners are much larger than their individual bots proportionally should be (like how Megatron is larger than Starscream but becomes a handgun he can hold, but in reverse). Their personalities blend in the resulting bot, and have to be in harmony in order to function. Strong personalities clash, and even friends may find their combined self tearing off it’s arms and legs fighting for control. Successful Decepticon SC Combiners are usually able to find united goals in their thug-like personalities, resulting in impulsive violent idiots who only really only obey Megatron because they all fear him and usually shooting Starscream because they all hate him. Successful Autobot SC Combiners usually are bonded over their shared professions (such as scientists or medics), and as a result are extremely slow to act, obsessive, and emotionally stunted (so literally autistic), only jumping into action when Optimus orders them to out of absolute faith in him. Were they not so immensely powerful, SC Combiners would be entirely useless. The most stable Scramble City Combiners to date are ones with complete devotion to whoever forms the head as well as extremely similar personalities on top of close friendship. These are the Dinobots Combiner Volcanicus following head Grimlock’s commands, and Victorion who is made from Caminus warrior nuns devoted to their faith in the Primes that follow their (head)mistress Magna Pyra. Some Combiners have special names referring to their group, such as the Terrorcons being the Transformers who have mutated version of Earth animals for alt modes and turn into a Combiner named Abominus; despite the name implying it, the name of a group of Combiners doesn't make them a separate species of Cybertronian, its just a shorthand way to refer to the components of the Combiner.
    • Duocons: Two Transformers who merge together to form one robot. The original toys were two vehicles who could only become one robot with later ones being able to stick their alt modes together into a superior alt mode (such as two jets becoming a flying battleship-type thing), in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon however they can become robots of their own and are basically just a standard Combiner made up of only two components. They've rarely ever been focused on or important, since if you're going to go through the effort of designing some combining figures why not just make it a big five or six man Combiner that the kids drool over the idea of getting? In Ask Vector Prime he said they have Mitotic Sparks, basically meaning that the component bodies have a single soul between them and as long as at least one of the connected bodies exists they survive and can just get a replacement part to it (so like a better version of a Lich who's dumb enough to keep their phylactery around to provide more dakka). This doesn't seem to be the case in IDW, one member of a Duocon pair is killed and eaten by starving Decepticons after being accused of stealing more than his fair share of Energon while his twin fled the planet having actually stolen it in order to make his escape, although to be fair since neither are seen again he may have resurrected his twin offscreen.
  • Masters: Many kinds exist with vastly different origins, but all share the feature of being a small robot who becomes a pilot to the alt modes of larger Cybertronians. These are similar to the original Diaclone Inch-Men.
    • Headmasters: The first introduced Master toys. Takara and Hasbro gave the toys similar origins with different connotations, and the post-movie G1 cartoon presented a third version. Later Japan had the Godmasters cartoon which starred human Headmasters.
      • Hasbro Headmasters: Presented in the Marvel comics. After crash landing on a planet called Nebulon populated by what are basically humans, the Autobots tried to show their lack of hostility by tearing off their own heads (brilliant plan there, guys). Rather than reattaching the heads, the Nebulans destroyed the heads then contacted the Decepticons who promptly invaded. The people of Nebulon resurrected the dead Autobots by surgically turning some of their own race into Transformers that became heads for the Autobots, merging the personalities of both together into one being, controlling both the Headmaster and the body (usually in alt mode when not having a head) at the same time via mental link. The result was more powerful beings (somehow) so the Decepticons forced some Nebulans to do the same to them.
      • Post-movie G1 Headmasters: The main cast of the cartoon discover the planet Nebulon, which is in a civil war similar to their own. To help in the conflict, the Autobots figure out how to transform their own heads into mecha suits that Nebulons can pilot, as well as the Earth human Danial who pilots Arcee’s head. The Decepticons show up and copy the Autobots. Nebulonians are green-skinned in this version, and live in caves despite not being a primitive race.
      • Takara Headmasters: This was relayed in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon, a sequel series to G1. When the war between Autobot and Decepticon first broke out, young Cybertronians who were too young to Transform and opposed the war (read: hippies) fled Cybertron. They crashed on the planet Master, an inhospitable environment that claimed the lives of many of them. To survive, they learned to finally transform into a head the size of that of an adult Transformer, which they used to pilot similarly sized bodies called “Transtectors” that they built like a mech suit.
      • Godmaster Headmasters: The Takara Headmasters continuity later had the Headmasters invent “Master-Braces”, bracelets that allow humans (usually children, because children’s cartoon) to transform into Headmaster Transformers themselves. So a human...who transforms into a tiny Transformer...who transforms into a head that pilots a Transformer body.
      • IDW Comic Headmasters: A natural race of Cybertronians who were part of Nexus Prime’s tribe. They were wiped out after the Primes left Cybertron, and in the modern era an organization of humans allied with Decepticons were inspired by the old stories and used clones of the Autobot Sunstreaker’s body with brainwashed kidnapped humans transformed into cyborgs to control them. The organization was shut down, although the technology was used later allowing altered humans to become Headmsters to Transtector bodies like the Godmaster cartoon.
      • Unicron Trilogy/Robots In Disguise Headmasters: A handful of Cybertronians exist in these two animated series who have a natural head, but choose to have a Minicon turn into an alternative head which makes them stronger. There are no indications this is anything special about the individuals, and is something any pair can do.
      • Masterson’s Head: From Transformers: Animated, a mad scientist created a head vehicle which could behead Transformers their take control of their bodies.
      • Bayverse Headmasters: The Michael Bay Last Knight movie featured a robot butler intended to be a Headmaster and is described as such, but the scene where he does anything but be comic relief was cut.
    • Micromasters: Similar to Headmasters, Micromasters are when a Cybertronian separates their head from their body. Their personality remains in the head which now transforms into a small version of themselves. This now only results in less Energon consumption needed, but allows them to interact with humans on an equal level.
    • Titan Masters: Tiny Transformers artificially created to maintain the bodies of Titans. They function the same as Headmasters. In Titans Return they were like any other Cybertronian and allied with Autobots or Decepticons when the Titans returned (roll credits), making their partner more powerful and taking on the appearance and acting as a mere extension of their partner (because the toy doesn’t have two identical heads, and the Titan Master forms the robot mode head). In IDW Comics, only two Titan Masters have appeared. One was a genocidal maniac, the other turned into a human like a Pretender and keeps forgetting he isn’t one. IDW Titanmasters forcibly hijack the bodies of victims, and can even consume their spark/soul.
    • Powermasters: Basically Headmasters, except they are organic beings who serve as a power source for Cybertronians. When not serving as a fuel source and the Cybertronian has consumed Energon, the Powermaster can instead supercharge their partner to make them stronger. Over time their personalities blend into one being.
      • Marvel Powermasters: In Marvel comics, when the Cybertronians finally fucked off from Nebulon the Nebulans were glad to be rid of them, and promptly poisoned all the Energon on the planet so they’d stay the fuck away. Then some Decepticons showed up and drank the poison Energon, and evil Nebulans transformed themselves into living batteries to enslave the Cybertronians, followed by good Nebulonians doing the same so willing Autobot partners would kick the Decepticons out again.
      • Dreamwave Powermasters: An evil Decepticon warlord named Gigatron created a way to enslave organics to use as living batteries, with evil Nebulan undergoing the process to receive enhanced strength, intelligence, and dexterity to use to dominate their ordinary peers. Fucking horrifying.
    • Targetmasters: Nebulans or Minicons who turn into a weapon instead of a head. They are powerful, and can let their sparks/souls mingle with their partner to increase accuracy. Some Targetmasters are basically Combiners, becoming better weapons.
    • Prime Masters: Fragments of the sparks of the original Primes (godlike Primes, not Optimus type Primes) disguised as Headmasters and functionally the same, only instead of accuracy or power for sustenance they provide divine bullshit-tier power. Since disguising your fuckoffOP power boost as a Transformer who gives a small power boost isn’t too bright, they wear Pretender armor. So they are god souls that grant powers like stopping time or creating indestructible matter disguised as robots who provide small boosts to quality of life and combat performance, disguised as Cybertronians who perform spy and recon missions disguised as humans, animals, and monsters. Also, big Cybertronians can steal their weapons. Pretty fucking important little bastards running around the universe. So given that Megatron turns into a tiny pistol for other beings to use, you'd think that would make him a Targetmaster right? Nope, Megatron's robot mode is full-sized Cybertronian, so he's not a Targetmaster. Only Cybertronian manlets get to be Targetmasters.

Important Non-Cybertronian Species[edit]

  • Humans: Fuck these guys, damn screen-hogging good-for-nothings and disgusting to boot. Kinda cute though, and don’t have to be fed Energon like Minicons do. In modern comics, GI Joe exists in the same continuity and they fight Decepticons, Autobots, or Transformers in general as the need arises.
  • Insecticons: Technically these guys are actually ordinary Cybertronians who took on the form of insects, but they don't consider themselves to be Cybertronians anymore and their biology is strange enough to make it believable. They are eternally hungry, backstab anyone not in their "swarm", and can consume literally anything and convert it to Energon inside their bodies...although thanks to that aforementioned eternal hunger they'd rather fight for real Energon and just consume anything they can in the meantime. In IDW continuity there is one named Bob who is..."special". He acts like a dog, and fights on behalf of his Autobot friend Sunstreaker and humans.
  • Quintessons: FUCK THESE GUYS. First appearing in the first movie, they are a race of complete bastard robots who come in various forms. They became regular villains against Autobots, Decepticons, and humanity in post-movie G1. In the G1 animation it was revealed they built the first Cybertronians as slaves with the Autobots being domestics and Decepticons as military robots, and Cybertron is just a giant factory. In the Aligned continuity it was the Primes who created them, a squid-like organic race who use power armor to survive outside their environment. In Transformers VS GI Joe the race from another dimension known as The Makers created the entire universe, eventually becoming the Quintessons. Their origins are not bound together, and they are just assholes everyone hates. Quintessons are backstabbing and cowardly to the last, using evil experiments to create weapons and technology to sell to participants in conflicts they cause using their scheming and intrigue. Quintessons love legal drama, and perform a trial on every being who intrudes in their territory although regardless of outcome the intruder is executed (many watching the original movie assumed them to be insane when the result of “innocent” earned the death penalty, but according to writers they simply already plan to kill all they capture and the trial is merely their idea of fun).
    • Judges: The most recognizable Quintesson, their leaders who are known as “Imperial Magistrates”. Appear as an egg kept aloft by some form of propulsion on the bottom with five faces on their top which rotate to indicate their current emotional state or part of their mock trials, as well as small tentacles to physically manipulate things. Notably their “death” face resembles the metal band Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie in his Egyptian costume on the cover of the album Powerslave.
    • Bailiffs: Stocky Quintessons with a normal bipedal body, armed with tridents and wearing breathing masks. Resemble Warhammer Space Marines, but never actually do anything notable except look tough.
    • Executioners: Long-armed biped Quintessons with vampire fangs. Can serve as military generals for Quintessons when not feeding intruders to Sharkticons.
    • Prosecutor: Also called Inquisitors, they command smaller armies and act as lawyers in the Quintesson Court, although they don’t defend the accused and instead simply allow them time to speak. They resemble Executioners, but with snouts ending in sharp teeth and a headpiece resembling either a robotic nautilus shell or a powdered wig. They have tentacle bundles for limbs.
    • Scientist: Visually like Prosecutors, but with a larger headpiece and a face resembling a bearded Cybertronian. They are subordinates to the higher ranks and sometimes punished for lack of respect. They casually dabble in advanced science such as creating the G1 continuity Cybertronians, accidentally creating Predestination Paradoxes, and literal magic.
    • Security Officer: Look like Scientist Quintessons with a wild mass of tentacles as arms and legs, with a built-in gun.
    • Head Quintessons: The original concept art for the movie had Quintessons as heads who attach to long-limbed bodies, switching them as damage was sustained. Five episodes of G1 depict this idea, but on Judge bodies.
    • Misc.: Other types of Quintessons exist from an egg with tentacles and three faces who is a scientist to varieties that just look like sea-themed Cybertronians. None have been elaborated on or are important.
  • Sharkticons: Transformers who are the animal-like minions of the Quintessons. Their alt mode is their favored form, basically Squigs as a robot amphibious piranha, and exist only to consume things. They have rarely used robot modes resembling small fat men with maces. Quintessons love throwing (live, screaming and pleading) things to them to eat. Note that they aren’t unable to be reasoned with as when given the order to “EXECUTE THEM” by both Quintessons and an angry Grimlock, they chose to obey the Dinobots instead. One exists who is “friendly” to Cybertronian, or at least Wheelie and his friends, named Gnaw in a manner similar to the Insecticon Bob.
  • Allicons: Alligator Sharkticons. More intelligent, but use of free will against their masters results in them shutting down. They can be bribed into complacency so long as a steady flow of Energon is provided. They serve as redshirt minions to Quintessons, but because Sharkticons were more iconic the Allicons are largely forgotten.
  • Trans-Organics: A Quintesson experiment before creating the Cybertronians in G1 continuity. Animal-hybrid robotic monsters, giant by Cybertronian standards and capable only of rage and destruction. Buried beneath Cybertron, unleashed when Galvatron digs too deep.
  • Nebulans: As discussed in the “Masters” section above.
  • Junkions: Transformers, but never indicated to be Cybertronian in origin and implied to be far too alien in biology to be. They are the inhabitants of the planet Junk, which is the dumping ground of the universe. They are almost indestructible, shrugging off any amount of damage done to their bodies as pieces constantly break off and their biology repairs itself, which can be sped up manually using scrap metal which obviously makes them all the more powerful on their home planet (or in a Transformer charnel pit, they are quite happy to cannibalize the dead). In the IDW comics their leader Wreck-Gar is even reduced to merely a single damaged severed head after being blasted to pieces by GI Joe, and he still continues to happily barter a deal for ore and a place to stay while they continue to blast his head full of holes before finally giving up trying to kill him and negotiate. Junkions are masters of scavenge and reconstruction, being able to literally resurrect some dead Cybertronians with manual repairs and find or convert valuable and rare parts or substances from discarded junk. They’re also notable for their verbal ticks, apparently having their youngest generation bombarded with Earth’s wireless broadcasts and they as a result repeat radio and television memes constantly. Regular conversation with them results in hearing a sales pitch for breakfast cereal applied as a metaphor for destroying a mutual foe, or game show catchphrase used as a battlecry (imagine what these fuckers would do with 4chan, Reddit, Youtube, and Tumblr being beamed into their brains for a decade of their thousand year life). While mistrusting to an extreme degree and quick to assume all other beings are foes, once befriended they are ludicrously loyal and generous, offering aid and to fight for people they’ve only just met. They first appeared in the movie and befriended Kup and Hot Rod, later showing up often in post-movie G1. In the IDW comics planet Junk was destroyed early on in the Cybertronian Civil War as Junkions refused to be enlisted by either Autobot or Decepticon and their home became a battlefield. Junkions had since become refugees, collecting scrap (read: corpses) left behind in the war and trading it for Energon to both sides. They eventually crashed on Earth in the modern day, and were repeatedly attacked by GI Joe while trying to negotiate with the humans and Autobots for a special Earth-exclusive ore they needed to build a new planet Junk. Left without a choice, they unleashed an army of trained Sharkticons which Decepticons who had become friendly to the Autobots convinced to turn on their masters. After their defeat, Optimus, Wreck-gar, and Wreck-gar’s wife Rum-maj negotiated a deal; Junkions will sell mankind technology and rare minerals as well as repair Cybertronians living on Earth, and in return will be sold the ore they need and in the meantime are allowed to create a colony on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The Price Is Right!
  • The Swarm: Giant black formless nothingness, the result of Transformer "budding" reproduction in early continuity and later is the result of some kind of merging of humans, Cybertronians, and various other alien races. Regardless of what they are, what they do in every continuity is consume the Sparks of Cybertronians in a desperate bid to feel "complete".
  • Vok: The Vok are an ancient alien race made of pure energy who's forms are incomprehensible even to Cybertronians, let alone us, although they like to take the form of giant electric skulls and Unicron's head. They helped shape ancient Earth as some kind of experiment where they left an artifact of a giant golden disk (presumably for mankind, possibly as a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey by the writers), and are NOT happy that the Beast Wars happened. Twice they tried to sterilize the planet, the first resulting in the Transmetal mutation as well as a giant space/time ripple that caused the Beast Wars Cybertronians to land on ancient Earth in the first place (HAHA! Predestination paradoxes). The second time they sent a plant which grew into a giant organic battleship. They then accidently lost control of a Datasphere that Megatron used to create the Transmetal 2 toyline mutation, and created Tigerhawk to fuck up Megatron's shit and fix all the damage he'd done to the timestream. They also appear in various other continuities doing random things. The problem with Vok is that the writers couldn't agree on what to do with them, such as having them be the source of Sparks as the will of the Allspark, having them be organic godlike beings similar to Primes who intended to turn all life small and organic, and so on. Eventually, in the most recent continuities (IDW as well as Ask Vector Prime) the Vok are what the Swarm eventually evolve into, which uses timey-wimey bullshit to fix the damage they did to the universe and were the reason that Energon can be found on Earth.
  • Stentarians: A race of non-Cybertronian robots from the IDW continuity. Functionally Minicons, although unlike Minicons they have their own civil war going on independent of Cybertron. They were probably created because Minicons are all but extinct in IDW canon, and its lampshaded by Cybertronians just calling them Minicons anyway.
  • Robots: When humans become advanced enough from Cybertronian influence, they begin building robots of their own. These robots can be reconstructed and programmed to become Transformers, basically making them the first non-Godmaster Earth Transformers even though they don't have Sparks (unless Atlas is a troll, discussed later in this article). Earthetronian Transformers? The first example is Nightbird, a (very) female purple and black robot ninja constructed for allegedly peaceful purposes by a clearly mad scientist named Doctor Fujiyama. She came armed with all the stereotypical ninja weapons and programmed for combat with ninja techniques in a body scaled up to Transformer size, and when asked point-blank by a reporter why he built such a thing he responded that she is an inspiring example of technology and won't ever harm humanity or be used for much as it sounds like he's some kind of lying villain, he really meant it and is just that fucking nuts. Megatron decided to let things reach their natural conclusion by kidnapping her and having Bombshell reprogram her to be evil, resulting in her stealing valuable intel on places to obtain Energon from the Autobot base then just generally run amok and troll them. This was further complicated by Fujiyama insisting she not be killed. Eventually she was trapped in a robot net, and Fujiyama locked her away in cold storage...while still entirely conscious (seriously, the guy is crazy). He later built a six robot trains that can become a Combiner which the Autobots programmed to be SUPER ROBOT TRAIN RAIDEN WHO'S HEART BURN FOR LOVE OF JAPAN AND JUSTICE! Finally, in Fujiyama's elderly years, he built a literal army of Nightbirds...because reasons...seriously, what the fuck. Fujiyama's insanity may make sense in other continuities, as in Dreamwave comics Nightbird apparently is an actress in Cybertronian kung fu movies. Shit gets even stranger too, Transformers: Legends is a silly webcomic series where the Beast Wars characters are employees at a company that makes Transformers G1 toys. Megatron, the one that turns into a Dinosaur, crossed dimensions in order to rescue the original Nightbird from cold stasis. She learned to be a real ninja, then became an office lady while the company sold clones of her designed to act like cute clumsy maids which sometimes try and destroy Tokyo.
  • Real Gear Robots: A toyline resulting from the first Michael Bay Transformers movie. The Allspark gives life to a shitload of electronic devices which are all feral and violent, it gets referenced in the second movie but never really becomes important beyond eating up a few minutes of screentime and selling some toys. Basically they are Earthitronian Transformers (we're making that term up officially) who look like things like video game controllers, MP3 players, and phones.
  • Beast Formers: Also known as Battle Beasts, despite the name they don't transform. Introduced in the Headmasters cartoon series, they're animal people. Just basically animal people, in a human-like world. Its "Transformers Meets Zootopia". Decepticons are trying to enslave them to build Transtectors for them, and in the Transformers VS GI Joe continuity Unicron apparently relocated them to inside his body to serve as an antibody-like defense system, after Unicron's death GI Joe rescued the furries. Their toys were mostly small, similar size to Minicons, anthropomorphic animals wearing scifi armor like Transformer cosplayers. They had a series of larger figures as well.
  • Black Block Consortia: An organic race we know little about from IDW continuity. They wiped out the Minicons, were at war with the Functionist Cybertronians, and are described as corrupt galactic cops.
  • GoBots: A ripoff of Transformers that tried to compete, created by Tonka. After Hasbro bought out Tonka they introduced the GoBots to Transformers canon here and there (“TILL ALL ARE ONE!”). But who fucking cares, GoBots suck. They were far cheaper and had simple transformation gimmicks like the Mini line. The original GoBot characters and toys belong to Bandai and thus aren’t part of the Transformers continuity, even if the IP is.
  • Kremzeek: Small creatures made of electricity, essentially the Gremlins of Transformers. Accidentally created by Megatron and unleashed to wreak havoc on Autobots and the human race, the Autobots attempted to destroy them but one survived. Although only actually existing in an important way in a single episode of the G1 cartoon, they've appeared in more Transformers universes than they haven't albeit usually as a cameo. As a nod to Bumblebee calling them "cute" in the G1 episode they usually appear on Cybertronian or human advertising or commercial products as mascots.

Primary Cast[edit]

As the series come and go, a certain bevvy of characters seem to be archetypal to the Transformers. Not helped by the fact that, ever since the flop of Beast Machines and the riotous financial successes of the Bay, Hasbro seems to only ever stick with recycling Generation One, with some other characters jumping continuities. These are the Transformers who appear in some form or another in every iteration of the setting. Click "Expand" to the right to view.

  • Optimus Prime: Leader of the Autobots, Lawful Good to the computer-core, the Big Red Hero-bot himself. There's always an Optimus leading the Autobots, and he usually turns into some kind of red truck or hauler and the biggest notable exceptions are his descendants (we don’t know how he managed to reproduce, but dammit he did) who turn into a gorilla and another who turns into a lion. His name is the Latin words for "best" and "first", and he really is both. In the original show (and in the Michael Bay movies -- one of the decent things about them -- and Transformers Prime and the Cybertron games), he was voiced by Peter Cullen, whose awesome deep voice you probably hear in your head whenever you read any of his dialogue. Check it out: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Also has the record of dying the most times out of anyone ever, making one wonder how the hell the GM lets him get away with it each time. Might be because he always goes out fighting, never like a punk. Originally he was Orion Pax, a dock worker or scientist depending on continuity, who was shot by Megatron and resurrected as his worst nightmare.
  • Megatron: If there's an Optimus Prime, there's always a Megatron, the Evil (of some flavor, depending on the series) to his Lawful Good. Megsy remains pretty consistent throughout his appearances, usually varying only in what level of honor he has (which usually depends on his backstory; sometimes he started as a charismatic gladiator turned freedom fighter against the corrupt Cybertronian government -- Angron, anyone? -- but sometimes he's just nuts) and/or how much of a cold-blooded psychopath he is. He used to turn into a gun (which could inexplicably shrink down to be small enough to be wielded by another Decepticon or even the occasional human), with the barrel scope giving him a wicked arm cannon in robot mode, but nowadays he usually turns into a tank or a jet. His “descendant” uses the same name, and turns into a T-Rex. He was first voiced by Frank Welker, whose versatile voice was also used for just about every other Decepticon except for Starscream (and probably at least one role in just about every cartoon ever made). David Kaye did a bang-up job voicing Predcacon Leader Megatron in Beast Wars, Yeeesss.
    • Galvatron:Whenever there is a Megatron there is a Galvatron. He's everything you love about the M taken up to eleven. This guy is seriously bad news, he's probably insane and violent enough to give Doombreed pause and he's probably the strongest non-God transformer there is; in G1 comics it takes a friggin' time vortex to finally put him down. After a dying Megatron found himself adrift in space, he had a lovely chat with the physical Cybertronian God Unicron, who reconstructed him into this identity. Didn't work for long though; Galvy kind of went off the reservation pretty quickly. He spent most of post-movie G1 being insane and teamkilling. In IDW he and Megatron are both separate beings and even fought each other, while Arcee was his twin brother (you read that right, Arcee got a sex change against his will by a mad scientist, which makes sense in context).
  • Bumblebee: The yellow kid-friendly one, he's usually the main one to interact with the resident token humans. Nobody on the team of creators expected him to be popular, but his cheap cost and constant companionship with the humans made him tremendously popular. He usually turns into a sports car. Can be surprisingly badass in some adaptations -- his Beast Wars counterpart, Cheetor, went on to basically take Optimus Primal's place as leader of the Maximals in Beast Machines. In the Michael Bay movies, he became a mute who talks only in radio quotes/beeps and boops like a 60s robot which just got ANNOYING. His Prime Counterpart retained the mute quirk, but his voicebox was eventually repaired by the time of the sequel series. Bumblebee was replaced/resurrected with Goldbug in post-movie G1, but Goldbug was far less popular.
  • Humans: Yeah, they're in almost every continuity. Yeah, we're going to continue pretending Kiss Players didn't happen, thank you very much. A rotating cast of humans are there in almost every continuity to add relatability and remind you that these are giant robots, something that can get forgotten when there's no humans around for scale. One of the biggest reasons that people hate the Michael Bay movies is because the humans are in WAY TOO FUCKING MUCH OF IT, and US soldiers for some reason are shown shooting Starscream in the face more than any Autobots. With a GI Joe crossover or a Marvel superhero crossover, it makes sense to have ample humans. But generally speaking the longer you have humans without a Transformer in the scene, the more complaints you get. Transformers: Animated tried to make the human sidekick more interesting by revealing she was really a new kind of Transformer (or at least some kind of Pretender) when she was injured and saw that instead of gore inside her there was glowing electronics, although the series wasn't given time to fully explore the idea. In Beast Wars there was primitive human ancestors roaming around, usually being hunted and tormented by the Predacons until the last episode when they rise up and kill the last ones on the planet (other than the long-suffering Waspinator, who they seemed to decide was either a king or just a friend and gave him a place of honor in their village). In the Pretenders Japanese cartoon series the protagonists were Autobots who hid on Earth in the disguise of humans and helped shape our history, while the villains were Decepticons who pretended to be gods and demons and were just kind of assholes to us throughout history. In most continuities Decepticons are uninterested in humans and hostile by virtue of not giving a fuck if they hurt us, or outright find us repulsive, while Autobots are friendly and treat humans like fragile Minicons. In a few cases throughout Transformers continuities there have been Transformer/human romances as well, strangely enough (in the Marvel comics continuity they had no gender or understanding of such things among their race, but for some reason there was still an Autobot/human marriage).
  • Arcee: The usual girl. Transformers G1 was that awkward era where nobody knew how to market anything but dolls for girls, and He-Man had killed itself by trying to suddenly market a doll on a sparkly unicorn with hair you can comb into a series about gross monsters fighting not-Conan and his pun-based gimmick'd allies. So the cartoon team went "fuck it" and added some girls while treating them the same as male characters, one being Optimus's old romantic interest who led a secret female commando squad. Arcee was another girl, this one joining the main cast and transforming into basically a pink and white Malibu Barbie car. Possibly the only reason she didn't end up She-ra-ing the entire Transformers continuity is Arcee is mostly important in the movie where she spends her time protecting the human cast like Bumblebee when not shooting Decepticons in the fucking face. This brought up the issue of why there are female Transformers and all the related questions that come with it, until IDW finally delved into the question (it took them two tries to get it right, the first being “all the girls went to space and became nuns then the men forgot they existed, also a mad scientist obsessed with restoring old Cybertron turned boy Arcee into a girl because he had a girl soul”, the second time being “all females were born in the image of the female Prime (god/king not knight/king) named Solus Prime, they all left to colonize the galaxy and no natural females have been born because Cybertronian souls were put into factory-built bodies to make more soldiers faster”), which divides fans to this day. Almost all continuities since either have a girl character (such as Blackarachnia in Beast Wars) or simply Arcee herself, who took even more levels in badass in the IDW Comics despite the whole “was forcibly made a girl” thing.
  • Rodimus Prime (Hot Rod): Hot Rod was a Gen 1 character who in the movie succeeds Optimus as Autobot leader and took on the name of Pope Primus The XXVI Rodimus Prime, fucking killing Unicron by playing awesome 80's music in one of the best moments in movie history simply opening the Matrix Of Leadership and accepting his divine promotion (who knew drawing Excalibur would also make Satan explode?). As awesome as this was however, fans just didn't find him as good as Optimus in the post-movie G1 and many attribute the failing ratings to the inspirational leadership and heroic speeches of Optimus being replaced by the unsure and learning Rodimus plots. While well donne, it just doesn't leave you as emotional or give you that same smile. Optimus was resurrected at the end of G1 as a result of this. Unlike other franchises where fans tend to debate who among multiple choices of characters is the best and which suck, few would argue Optimus as being inferior to Rodimus, but by the same token few would say that Rodimus isn't also a great character.
  • Windblade: A very new character, introduced in the IDW Comics and created via fan survey. Since then she's become one of the "main characters" of Transformers, obviously behind Optimus. Transforming into a hoverplane spaceship-type thing, Windblade is a female Transformer who looks like a Geisha and has a giant fucking sword. Windblade traveled from her home planet of Caminus to Cybertron when contact was reestablished alongside her batshit insane axe-wielding bodyguard Chromia. She's stuck being post-war Starscream's lackey via blackmail in the comics while trying to bring the other colonies onto the Council to achieve a unified Cybertron (plus Earth, because why the fuck not) and lead the way on maintaining all of the surviving Titans.
  • Grimlock: A fuckmothering robot Tyrannosaurus that usually breathes fire. He's the leader of a pack of other robot dinosaurs called the Dinobots. He's not exactly smart (well sometimes, he's either a stupid beast or a no nonsense leader with a speech problem), but who cares about that? HE'LL FUCKING EAT YOU. No seriously he once ripped Shockwave's arm off and ate it. Technically an Autobot along with the rest of the Dinobots, but they're impertinent and not too bright. Although the Dinobots were never really important, in many fan's minds Grimlock comes right behind Optimus and Rodimus in terms of who's leading the Autobots and vies with Bumblebee for most beloved of all time. In IDW he lead the Dinobots until they had a falling out and separated, he since got brain damage and has been recovering while being cared for by some sacanger Decepticons trying to make a living in the postwar universe.
  • Starscream: Megatron's loud-mouthed, whiny, scheming, sneaky, backstabbing second-in-command who always wants to lead the Decepticons. He is neither strong enough to bump Megsy off, smart enough to trick him to his death, or charismatic enough to persuade others he's a better boss. Sometimes Megatron himself wonders why he keeps Starscream around, but (when the writers remember) he is actually an extremely competent air commander who leads The Seekers, Decepticons who are typically recolors of him with the most prominent being Skywarp and Thundercracker. In Animated, the Seekers were replaced by actual clones all named after classic Seekers with the only one original to the series being Rule 63. Starscream usually turns into the latest and greatest fighter jet (unless he's turning into some Cybertronian future-jet) historically an F-15, F-16, or F-22. In the original cartoon, his catchphrase (delivered in the classic 80s-villain screech as his first voice actor also voiced the similarly screechy Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe) was probably "Decepticons, RETREEEAT!" Was also voiced by fucking Tom "Spongebob Squarepants" Kenny in Animated; man, is that a blow to your dignity. Nowadays, though, he's more consistently competent (and given a more menacing voice by Steve Blum in Transformers Prime). Is such a total backstabbing traitor that "The Starscream" has entered pop-culture as a term to describe someone who seems more dedicated to fucking his own team over in ostensible pursuit of power than to actually beating the guys he's supposed to fight. Its also worth noting that Starscream is fairly long-suffering, getting more abuse than anyone else in the cartoon, and its debatable between his backstabbing and the constant beatings by literally everyone including the fucking humans as to which is cause and which is effect. Thanks to the MASSIVE amount of palette swap releases of "jet airplane" Decepticons as the aforementioned Seekers, about half the bad guy cast can be summed up as "Starscream clones" (although in reality, Starscream himself is a clone of Thundercracker, who was an identical copy of the Diaclone F-15 toy). This has received jokes and explanations in various continuities, from Megatron seemingly being unable to remember the name of which jet he's talking to in the original cartoon to the IDW explanation that unnatural Transformer "births" occur when a soul is simply shoved into a mass-produced body instead of naturally forming its own body around it followed by a very speedy video education and being dropped straight into combat, resulting in absolutely batshit insane clone child soldiers.
  • Soundwave: A major character for the Decepticons as Megatron's legitimately loyal number two. Is also the biggest source of nostalgia because he turns into a fucking tapedeck. Even though he lacks a personality SOUNDWAVE SUPERIOR; PAGE WRITER INFERIOR, he manages to be awesome merely through dogged determination and because he's the one guy who'll never give anyone any bullshit. He has a number of minions who turn into cassettes (or goddamn guitars in Animated's case), but the main ones are Rumble (Whose arms turn into piledrivers so he can cause earthquakes), Frenzy (Who has a sonic scream), Ravage (A fucking robot jaguar who turns into a cassette), Laserbeak and Buzzsaw (robot birds), and Ratbat (a robot bat). The IDW comic gave him an origin about how he used to be homeless due to his mind reading powers until Laserbeak and Ravage found him and helped him control them. In the Marvel G1 comics he acted as toady to whichever Decepticon had usurped Megatron that month while steadily scheming to increase his own power, making him like Starscream but actually competent. He also spoke in complete sentences and had a functioning mouth. Soundwave is notable as THE SINGLE MOST POPULAR TRANSFORMER TOY, one of the original releases who was sold all the way until right before Beast Wars dropped, followed by a recolor release soon after! There has never not been a Soundwave available. He’s had far less reimaginings than most, but those two things combined should tell you something about him. Which is that you should buy one.
  • Shockwave: The real mad scientist of the Decepticons, whose arm is a gun and also turned into a gun in G1 (a giant flying gun). While he's also pretty loyal to Megatron, he's nowhere near Soundwave levels because his true loyalty is to pure logic. There are several times where he became an bigger threat than Megatron, requiring both Autobots and Decepticons to stop him. Most series have him involved with the Dinobots, either by creating them, or just they have major beef with him (he doesn't give a shit as he has better things to do). He's another guy who happened to be blessed by Steve Blum in the Cybertron series. The IDW comics gave him an origin about how he used to be an idealistic Noblebright senator (and Optimus' BFF) until he got unpersoned and mutilated by the corrupt Cybertronian government. Ouch. His Prime adaptation is fucking badass and intimidating, both in voice work and design, but unfortunately he suffers from Villain Incompetence Syndrome whenever the good guys show up, like so many other good bad guys.
  • Elita One: Spelled different ways over the years in regards to how the numerical interacts with "Elita" in her name, she was originally a Cybertronian named Ariel who was romantically involved with a Cybertronian named Orion Pax. After Megatron shot them both, because he's an asshole mostly, Orion was resurrected by an ancient and wise Cybertornian named Alpha Trion (who is actually a fucking original Prime, basically a god) as Optimus (who later became a Prime, the inherited title) while Ariel was rebuilt as Elita One. She reunited with Optimus during the early stages of the war, and they served as the supreme commanders of the Autobots until Elita One was seemingly killed and Optimus was lost in space for three million years. Both reunited in the present, Elita One waging a losing guerilla was alongside the remaining Autobot forces as well as her own squad of elite female commandos for control of Cybertron while Optimus spent most of the time sleeping then a few years playing with humans and bantering with Megatron while they took turns shooting Starscream. Elita One never reappeared in the G1 cartoon, despite the fact that most of it was spent on Cybertron and Optimus returned at the end. In the IDW continuity she had no background with Orion Pax, and instead is an ancient Cybertronian and head of a line of ancient leaders who have been ever-vigilant warriors as well as wardens for Liege Maximo, the Prime (original Prime, not the Optimus-style Primes) who serves as a Satan/Sauron analogue and uses his guile/dickishness to create conflict because he's an asshole and is basically a god version of Starscream who gets shot a lot less. She actually has a fairly strained relationship with almost all other Transformers due to her abrasive attitude and the hostile personalities of her people, including but not limited to being very disrespectful of Primes which angers the Caminusians (Caminians? Caminusish? Caminusia?) who worship the Primes as gods, their general refusal to join causes or lend aid angering Cybertonian Cybertronians who have had a "my side or their side" mentality for most of their history, and their general dislike of humans just getting on the nerves of any Transformer who is fond of organics (which actually even includes some Decepticons in IDW). Elita One isn't getting friendlier either, and in her time on the council ruling Cybertronian space suggested invading Earth for resources despite being an ally that trades with Cybertron, plotting to have all humans on Cybertron killed simply to be done with dealing with them, opposing the admission of Earth onto the council, and recently kicking out Starscream as leader of all Transformers and telling the entire race to spend their lives preparing to go to war with whatever Liege Maximo has up his sleeve when he eventually breaks out. Man, what happened to you Ariel, you used to be fun...


Of course the Transformers have a religion, which has been slowly added to with every series making tweaks and expanding concepts while introducing new elements. Worship of the Cybertronian gods was given a name in the IDW continuity, the Way of the Flame with all devotees being called Torchbearers.

Light/Dark Gods[edit]

First brought up in the Marvel comics canon, Light Gods are lead by Primus AKA Cybertron and Dark Gods are lead by Unicron. There is an unknown number of them.

  • Unicron: Unicron was originally introduced as the big bad for the '86 movie, a planet-sized, planet-eating bringer of doom (basically, if Galactus was the Death Star), voiced by the Orson Welles in his last role. The third season episode "Call of the Primitives" revealed his original, long since abandoned, origin as a planet-destroying creation of an alien mad scientist. Later media, beginning with the Marvel comics, changed his origin to Transformers' Satan, a god-like destroyer tricked into trapping himself inside a planet, but learned how to possess the world and reshape it into his own image. That fucking anime trilogy not only pulled this interpretation back, but made it "official", saying there's only one Unicron in the entire multiverse - at least, they tried. The comics pay more attention to it, but the shows tend to avoid it; witness Prime, where Unicron is actually sleeping at the heart of Earth instead of running around eating planets. The most used version now is that Unicron is a sibling of Cybertron and Atlas, a giant Transformer race who’s alt modes are planets. In the Japanese continuity there is a type of evil energy from outer space called Machōkon, likely emanating from Unicron.
  • Primus: The Emprah to Unicron's Chaos God, except he's an actual god... who actually transformed into a planet and fell asleep for a fuckton of years. In this form, he became Cybertron and created the Cybertronian race. The Transformer afterlife is actually his soul called the Allspark, and all Transformer souls are actually just fragments of his soul that broke off and formed a body around them (or were created from a supercomputer in his "heart", depends on the continuity). Like his evil counterpart, Unicron, he hails from the 80's comics and didn't make an appearance on screen (other than references to a pseudo-Bible named the "Covenant of Primus" in Beast Wars) until the Energon Trilogy, which is where he's stayed.
  • Atlas: Technically sister to Primus and Unicron, she's actually Earth. She goes by different names in different continuities, and doesn't really do much when in the one continuity where she does appear (or at least awakens, if you consider her in every continuity). Only in the first GI Joe crossover does she actually transform, and she promptly knocks Primus the fuck out then goes back to sleep. Whether human souls are born from her or if our afterlife is her giant soul isn't really clear. Its also not clear how humanity survived when she used North America as her shield, slammed her Australia-fist into Primus's face, and used Japan as her pauldron for a few minutes. Things get more complicated in the Japanese continuity, where Earth is the origin of the “Chōkon Power”, three types of divine energy that only organics can naturally channel. They come in:
    • Chichōkon, the life of the Earth itself and basically represents nature.
    • Jinchōkon, human life and power (basically its Atlas’s Allspark).
    • Tenchōkon, cosmic power. Celestial stuff.
  • Devil Z: Japanese continuity exclusive villain, an evil orb of pure energy created by a Light God and once acted as their herald. He uses the Machōkon energy, and his only goal is to create an ultimate lifeform called the “Godmaster” that can channel all the divine energies for...reasons. He declared himself god of Decepticons, hiding Transtector bodies on Earth in its primeval state to soak up Atlas’s three types of energy. After Galvatron’s death he used to Transtectors to turn two humans into half-Cybertronian beings that can merge like a Duocon to form a servant he named Overlord. The remaining Transtectors were found by humans who joined the Autobots, and together with the train-based Combiner Ginrai they killed him by fulfilling his ambition: becoming Transformers who use all of Atlas’s energy types at technically Devil Z won!


  • The Guiding Hand: The gods that Primus created, who in turn created the Primes. Maybe. Mentioned heavily in more recent continuities, where religion as well as Unicron take center stage of plot importance, although only important in IDW. After Primus transformed into Cybertron for what is likely to be forever, his Spark emerged and formed a smaller body known as “Primus The First Light” which constructed the bodies of the Guiding Hand, then split his own Spark into their Sparks to give them life. They then created the Knights Of Cybertron, although they didn’t have to die to do so. As the Guiding Hand died they granted sentience and afterlives to the Knights If Cybertron and later the Cybertronians, implying that the Knights were originally just soulless robots. The details of the Guiding Hand differs, with some Cybertronian atheists existing and others offering different accounts or dismissing other versions of the Transformer Genesis. Even our Ask Vector Prime is shaky given he’s confused about the multiverse regarding the Hand.
    • Primus: After splitting his Spark into five beings, one of them became the first Minicon! basically himself but weaker. So Primus created Primus who created Primus who created the Primes and all other Cybertronians, some of whom are Primes. For the sake of clarity, we will hereafter refer to them as Primus I, Primus II, and Primus III, but canon does not distinguish the names making it unclear at times who is being referred to. After the conflict between the Hand Primus descended into Cybertron’s deepest reaches, becoming Vector Sigma and continuing his work giving life to Cybertronians although his strength fails more as time goes on and natural births become more rare. As discussed in the Reproduction section, Vector Sigma and how/why he does what he does differs in other continuities.
    • Mortilus: The Morgoth to Primus II’s Eru, who’s portfolio was Death to Primus III’s Life. After creating a Cybertrionian culture alongside his brothers he wanted to conquer the universe, but they had no interest in anything outside of Cybertron. He killed his other three siblings and turned them into tools he could use to improve the lesser Cybertronians until he and Primus III mortally wounded each other. With the death of Mortilus the Sparks of the Knights Of Cybertron and the later ordinary Cybertronians became immortal. Mortilus is referred to the same way humans refer to the Devil, such as the religious referring to things they don’t like as “Mortilus-spawned”.
    • Arrius/Solomus: God of Wisdom. He had a closer connection to Primus II, and when Mortilus killed him the corpse was somehow turned into the Matrix. This causes the connection between the Allspark, Vector Sigma, and all Sparks. Despite being the Matrix, bearers of it are instead thought to embody Primus III by modern religious Cybertronians (imagine if every Pope given a piece of the True Cross was considered a reincarnation of Moses because reasons). Megatronus conquered his followers and killed their Prime, then forced all beings to call him Solomus as his own people did (he didn’t end worship of him, just did as the Romans and gave him a new name). In Ask Vector Prime, Vector implied that Arrius/Solomus and Alpha Trion are the same being. Either way, Arrius’s “death” resulted in order existing for the Knights Of Cybertron and the regular Cybertronians.
    • Epistemus: God of Knowledge. Killed by Mortilus and turned into a Brain Module, which is exactly what it sounds like; the place where all non-Spark parts of who a Cybertronian is are located. His death granted intelligence to the Knights Of Cybertron and their own creations, the Titans and ordinary Cybertronians. Vector Prime is more confused about Epistemus than any other being, remembering many different versions of him across time/space but not which ones are which including one who chose to reside on Earth in the guise of a female human, inspiring the ancient Greeks to believe in Demeter.
    • Adaptus: God of Shape, who created the bodies of Cybertronians to house the Sparks that Primus II created. Mortilus killed him and turned his body into a “Transformation Cog”, the device which grants Cybertronians the ability to transform. Before his death he had already implanted the Knights Of Cybertron with Transformation Cogs as his last gift. What happened to the corpse Cog is unknown (possibly how Primus II became Vector Prime?). Heretics against the worship of Adaptus called the Militant Monoform Movement surgically remove their Transformation Cogs and manipulate the events of history via spies and assassinations like Transformers Illuminati, although why they exist is unknown. Vector Prime once clouded his memories to protect his fellow divines and Adaptus was one of the ones who restored his memories, although he is still confused as to some of the versions of Adaptus. Apparently an alternate universe version of Adaptus accidentally inspired the worship of Poseidon in the ancient Greeks (whether Adaptus created fish, horses, or deflowered humans is unknown).
  • The Knights Of Cybertron: Referenced in quite a few continuities, but none have yet actually explored them. The original Transformers, the creations of the Guiding Hand who created a utopia on Cybertron as well as establishing the purpose of the Titans and Titan Masters. They suddenly left for unknown reasons to an unknown place, leaving the Cybertronians to splinter into tribes and the bulk of the details that came before to slip into the realm of myth. The Primes succeeded them in leading the race. In the Bayverse they are the servants of Alpha Trion, merely uplifted Cybertronians who guard artifacts. A relic exists in IDW that is connected to them, and theorized to actually be one in-universe. It looks like a yellow metal ball with a lens, and functions like a talking magic 8 ball by answering questions about literally anything correctly (although it can choose not to answer).
  • The Primes: Originally Prime was just Optimus's last name, a cute reference to how Optimus was the first character Hasbro created. Then in the Marvel comics it was a line of warriors passing down the Matrix Of Leadership, which can be used to make Transformer souls and thus enables the race to "reproduce" and past Primes were detailed in a comic series. Then Primus was created in Marvel as the god of Transformers, the soul with Cybertron as his hibernating/dead body. Then the word Prime referred to Primus's first prototypes when creating life in a 1999 3H Productions story, called the Covenant who each corresponded to one of the twelve Zodiac signs. Then it was some kind of warriors of legend, which like Unicron there was only one of each of in the entire multiverse. That was retconned, and the IDW continuity fleshed out the Primes in more detail and stands as the current interpretation. Most represent Transformer archtypes in personality and/or gimmick. Its intentionally vague as to how important they are, every time the stories of them are told another character dismisses it as "a version" or outright states they didn't exist, were just ordinary ancient warlords, or some other muddling of whats true. There's thirteen Primes, although in the three continuties that used Primes some of their details and numbers change. All will be noted here.
    • Prima/Primon: The Optimus archtype of sword-using warrior of good and the leader character. In the continuity of the Covenant 3H Productions series, he was known as Primon who was Primus’s first creation and was the first bearer of the Matrix Of Leadership. Upon taking the Matrix Primon changed his name, as (knight/king) Primes often do, to Alpha Prime. In every other continuity he’s known as Prima. First introduced in Marvel, he was the first Prime and was given the Matrix by Primus himself. In the original G1 cartoon he was less glorious, simply being a labor robot that the Quintessons rebuilt as a gladiator for lulz, and when he tried to kill his masters they shot him. In IDW he was the demigod tribal ruler who lead the Thirteen, the Matrix residing in the hilt of a sword made for him by Solus Prime. After the war between the Primes ended, he left with the others and Nova Major was passed leadership of the Transformer race by Alpha Trion, the Matrix now being a symbol of office to supreme leader of Cybertron. Nova Prime was a poor successor, being a Cybertronian supremacist who saw a massive and costly expansion of their race across the stars as well as the beginnings of the Functionist caste-based dictatorship. Nominus Prime then Zeta Prime followed suit, although they possessed a fake Matrix rather than the real one. Orion Pax succeeded Zeta Prime as Optimus Prime and reclaimed the real Matrix, which was later stolen by Megatron then Starscream (the latter using it to declare himself a non-Prime leader as well as becoming a bit Gollum-like for awhile). Hot Rod came into possession of it later, becoming Rodimus after it healed his fatal wounds (he didn’t become Rodimus Prime though). It split in half later, revealing a star chart leading to the Knights Of Cybertron. Bumblebee and Rodimus bore the halves, until Rodimus’s half shattered into dust and Bumblebee died. Optimus reclaimed Bumblebee’s Matrix, and currently the Cybertronians of Caminus see it as proof that he is Primus reborn (as they do all of the knight/king Primes). Optimus calls bullshit, but plays along since the alternative is all the samurai fembots calling Starscream Transformer Jesus. Whether Optimus really is Primus reborn or not is unknown. In the Michael Bay continuity, Prima was the last Prime to die and sealed away The Fallen using his and his sibling’s power. Optimus is Bayverse Prime’s literal descendant.
    • Vector Prime: Time-traveler, guardian of time, and so on. Of note is that "Ask Vector Prime" was the method through which fans asked Vector Prime questions about continuity including plot holes and jokes. This was extremely helpful back when the Primes were the same beings across all dimensions and fans tried to understand the clusterfuck of which Primes went where and when and why, and Vector Prime when that idea was scrapped for being an unmanageable clusterfuck Vector himself revealed that it was no longer a thing and that's just something that happens sometimes, all the time, except when it isn't, because timey-wimey stuff. Vector was close to Megatronus and is the only one who still remembers the good times with him as a brother, although in the IDW continuity he was wary of Megatronus after finding out about the death of Septimus time and suspecting him as the killer.
    • Megatronus Prime: The more thuggish of the two (most) evil Primes, how and why he becomes evil differs by continuity and in some universes he inspires the existence of the bad guy Transformers in the first place. Back when all the Primes were multiversal singularities a large chunk of the dimension-hopping bullshit was because of Megatronus, and he was absolutely chock full of bullshit-tier magic powers and borderline Lovecraftian status. Half of Vector Prime's adventures (and resulting confusion) are following Megatronus's mischief. In the Dreamwave comic continuity he was the "Prime of Entropy" who turned against Primus and the other Primes to stand with Unicron. For his betrayal, his name was stricken from history and he would henceforth only be known as "the first Decepticon" or The Fallen. A certain Decepticon warlord would discover the Fallen's name and adapt it for his own use. In the Michael Bay movie continuity the Primes were going to harvest Sol, our star, for energy but upon discovering the primitive human race on Earth Prima ordered them to find a star in another galaxy, but The Fallen refused and slaughtered them all resulting in the last of their energy forming a prison around him; he was killed by Optimus. The Aligned continuity version of Megatronus is similar to the Dreamwave one, except he isn't even really a villain. He stood with his siblings to kill Unicron although afterwards each was tainted by his evil. Megatronus and Solus Prime became romantically involved, but Liege Maximo drove them into an argument in which Megatronus killed her in a fit of rage; he fled out of shame while Liege lead the other Primes to find him and kill him. After the lynch mob found him he revealed Liege's betrayal and tried to kill him, resulting in a giant free-for-all fight. Somehow Liege was killed, without any of them knowing who fired the shot. Megatronus donned Solus's armor in shame, and left Cybertron forever. In most of the recent cartoons (Prime, Robots In Disguise, Prime Wars) he's a fairly simple villain serving as Megatron #2. In the IDW continuity Megatronus was an expansionist tribal ruler who conquered the lands of Septimus Prime and allowed his gladiator slaves to kill him, then expanded into Liege Maximo's lands before facing Onyx Prime's army in battle. The two formed a truce after Titans appeared on the battlefield, joining the other six Primes in the alliance which would eventually swell to a full Thirteen. Megatronus and Liege Maximo were not content with their holdings however, and plotted against the other eleven before launching an attack; Liege was defeated by his own tribe and imprisoned inside his comatose Titan while Megatronus killed Solus Prime (intentionally this time). The war ended when Megatronus's servant Galvatron killed Nexus Prime, since until that point the Primes had thought they only Primes could kill other Primes (interestingly implying that either Galvatron and Arcee are something special since they killed Septimus and that only Megatronus was aware of what they had done). All of the Primes other than Alchemist Prime and The Arisen left the planet, and to this day Megatronus is ruling his own planet somewhere (Shockwave later discovered where, but to date Megatronus has not yet appeared).
    • Solus Prime: The Prime of Girls! Solus Prime is the female of the Primes, and the modern explanation for why robots who don't have sex and don't reproduce have a male/female difference; they are born in Solus's image, or at least would have been if they hadn't been Cold Constructed as male Starscream clones. As for Solus's power (other than being The Girl), she's the ultimate artificer among the Primes and forged all of the Artifacts of the Primes from Nexus's magic rock to Prima's magic sword. Hilariously that makes her basically the single most important Prime, since the gimmick that most of the rest of the pantheon are known for come from their favorite toy (Megatronus? Powerful and aggressive because he has the ultimate gun. Prima? Leader because she stuck the Matrix in his sword. Nexus? Literally the only reason he's important is he makes Combiners, using a toy she built and gave to him). Camiens, male and female, revere her above all other Primes as their patron. Unfortunately Solus dies in more continuities than not, killed by Megatronus. In Aligned it was an accident that he shot her during an argument, something he still regrets and its implied that he created the AI hologram personality that guards her tomb, with her corpse accidentally creating the source of the Sparks of all ordinary Cybertronians born later. In IDW he just wanted her land, and killed her to increase his own territory, although it has been hinted that she is still alive and that Shockwave knows where she currently lives. Solus is considered the most important Prime to the religious in IDW, and her actually being alive would be treated quite literally at the Second Coming. Her first special artifact is the Creation Lathe, a tool projects holographic blueprints for her to follow. Her second artifact is the Forge, which is actually just a giant hammer that is not only a weapon but when used in conjunction with the Creation Lathe allows her to basically ignore the laws of physics and make magic-tier bullshit artifacts that do whatever the writers want.
    • Liege Maximo: Transformer Satan, also somewhat the Starscream of the group. In the Generation 2 comics he claims to be Megatron's dad and claims to be the first Decepticon. Whether this is true or not depends on the continuity. In the Prime universe, if that remains true. Megatron desecrated his father's grave and stole his arm to wield the Forge of Solus Prime in order to create the Dark Star Saber.
    • Alchemist Prime: What it says on the tin, Alchemist is an alchemist. He’s not exactly important, being a Bacchus-like drunk in prehistory in every continuity. In most continuities he is the only Prime who stuck around on Cybertron and helped guide Cybertronians as well as he could in his guise as Maccadam, bartender and piano player of Maccadam’s Old Oil House, which itself is an odd time/space anomaly. Alpha Trion himself is unaware of who Maccadam really is, stating Alchemist Prime left Cybertron ages ago despite being a friend of Maccadam. In the IDW continuity he was particularly drunk and somewhat cowardly in the past, and in a drunken rant to Alpha Trion made a prophesy about a “Chosen One” that Starscream would later use to gain rulership of Cybertron (before actually fulfilling the prophesy in losing that crown and admitting his schemes).
    • Nexus Prime: Prime of Combiners, the Enigma of Combination is a holy relic of his which causes those exposed to it to become Combiners (holy warriors as far as Camiens are concerned).
    • Quintus Prime: A daydreaming mad scientist, obsessed with life and in particular is actually the only Prime who has anything to do with organic life since his artifact, the Emberstone, actually creates life in both Cybertronian and organic processes (think of the Allspark from the first Bayverse movie, but without everything it creates being an angry clump of razorblades). In the Aligned continuity he worked with the other Primes on any projects that caught his interest (read: creating life), working with Liege Maximo and Megatronus to create the Beastformers, and after the deaths of Solus and Liege he left Cybertron forever to create life on planets wherever he stopped, including the Quintessons! In the IDW continuity he was Nexus's brother, and left after his death like most of the rest of the pantheon. He's still alive according to Shockwave, although its unknown if he created any life since he's not yet been important in any way (Quintessons exist, so maybe he created them?).
    • Logos Prime:
    • Micronus Prime: Prime of the Minicons!
    • Onyx Prime: Prime Of Beastformers.
    • Alpha Trion:
    • Autonomous Maximus:
    • Amalgamous Prime:
    • Optimus Prime/"The Arisen": In the Aligned continuity Optimus was one of the Primes, basically just "Prime of Friendliness" given that he was the first being to greet others as friends, and whose sole power was simply be there to support everyone. He lost his memory after the defeat of Unicron, taking on the name of Orion Pax until he obtained the Matrix of Leadership and regained his memories to become Optimus again. In the IDW continuity, the 13th Prime's name wasn't recorded and his feats are similarly clouded by time, although he was considered a savior. The leader of Caminus, the Mistress of Flame, believes Optimus to be a reincarnation of The Arisen and although Optimus is an atheist (partially out of a very traumatized war-worn psyche making it hard to believe in any higher power, partially because he thinks the Primes other than himself were pricks (he isn't exactly wrong)) he still accepted the mantle if only to keep Caminus from worshiping Starscream as Alchemist Prime's Chosen One. That being said, Onyx Prime also believes Optimus is The Arisen and refers to Cybertron as his domain, although Optimus is mostly concerned with Earth and his small colony on it.
    • Epistemus: As previously mentioned, Vector Prime is a bit confused about Epistemus. Somehow VP is even aware of universes where Epistemus is a Prime, but Vector doesn't exist at all. As far as continuities we know, its the Fun Publications comics where Epi is a Prime.
    • Mortilus: According to Vector Prime, there's a universe where Mortilus is a Prime. Or Vector's senility is getting worse, hard to tell.
    • Adaptus: Same as Mortilus.
    • Solomus: Same as Adaptus. Although Vector Prime has implied that the Solomus who's a Prime may actually just be Alpha Trion.
    • Septimus Prime: A Roman Emperor-styled Prime from IDW, behaving not unlike the Quintessons in other continuities. His people worshiped Arrius as their patron god, and were very fond of gladiatorial games where slaves fought to the death. His war against Megatronus coincided with him forcing the twins Arcee and Glavatron to fight to the death; it resulted in his death instead. He is not worshiped as a god by Caminus, and remains largely only in Arcee’s memory.


The series has now had many different series for games to be set in. Click "Expand" to the right to view.

Generation One[edit]

The original, the alpha iteration, the place where it all to began. Sometimes mockingly called Geewun because of the nostalgia fags who hate on everything that come after it. No matter how good they are. At the time, it was just called "The Transformers", with a "four-issue limited series" from Marvel that ended up running for 80 issues, a cartoon by the same name for three seasons (and two more seasons in Japan) from 1984-87 and the animated film "The Transformers: The Movie" in 1986. The movie's soundtrack is awesomely 80's, and it features the amazing song "The Touch" when Optimus Prime fights Megatron. Quite literally, this movie shit all over Bay's multi-million crappers... and that's the problem; the movie was so good that it marked the peak for the young franchise and it began a downhill slide from there, with the show scrambling to cope with all the losses (yeah, lots of people died here, even Optimus), while the toys began getting gimmickier without getting better.

The "Generation One" title was applied retroactively after Hasbro released the "Generation 2" line in 1993. By the way, post-movie G1 was the reason Transformers was considered dead for most of the 90's. The comic was that cheap sort of "gritty for no real reason" the 90's was infamous for and the toys had pretty much burned themselves out and no gimmick could really help them on that. There was also a short-lived "Transformers G2" show, but it was just G1 with new CGI openings/endings and scene changes, so it only lasted a few episodes before flopping.

Of note is that if you want to experience G1 without having to dig up the eps from some torrent or Netflix, you can get Transformers Devastation, which is essentially a G1 ep in vidya form produced by Platinum Studios, the guys responsible for balls-to-the-walls hypefests like Metal Gear Rising, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101 (aka /m/ the game). Most of the actors are present, there's murderfests and speed, and big bosses. Also you get to run idiots over (but no pedestrians). Only letdown is the short length of the game and the lack of a Decepticon story and Abominus.

Marvel's The Transformers[edit]

What a lot of people who weren't kids in 1984 may not remember is that the first piece of long-form Transformers fiction ever was not the cartoon, but the Marvel comic book, produced in direct partnership with Hasbro as an expansion on the toy bios and character names that Marvel had already written to jam the random designs that had been licensed from Takara into a cohesive toyline. Most of the themes and tropes that people think of as "Transformers" were developed by Marvel, from the idea of living robots coming to Earth in search of energy to the most common origin for the planet-eating Unicron. Sometimes, Marvel published gripping stories exploring the dynamic of mechanical life forms adapting to an entirely alien environment and the humans caught in their crossfire. Sometimes they published stories about robot professional wrestling and evil car washes. Still, the stories had soul, and the comic ended up lasting a full year after the toyline it was made to promote ended in America. (As a sign of the times, one of the reasons the comic was canceled were its low sales of 70,000 copies an issue.)

British kids got an additional treat in the form of original stories from Marvel's UK division, printed in between serialized edits of the US issues in weekly installments. Most of these were done by the inimitable Simon Furman, who went on to write the US Transformers comic as well and has become the most prolific writer of Transformers fiction in the world.

Beast Wars[edit]

The first Western-released sequel to G1 (there were two Japanese-only continuations to G1 that never got released outside of Japan and the G2 comic mentioned above), a CGI show created by Mainframe (also responsible for ReBoot and War Planets). Set up as a "loose sequel" to G1, it involves new transformer races called "Maximals" (Autobots) and "Predacons" (Decepticons).

A Predacon terrorist leader styling himself after the original Megatron, including taking his name, hijacks an artifact with a mysterious connection to Megatron the first and goes on the run into deep space with a band of terrorists, planning on restarting the Great War and this time causing a Predacon victory. A Maximal deep-space exploration vessel commanded by Optimus Primal attempts to intercept, and both vessels end up stranded on a mysterious alien world, where an overabundance of raw energon forces them to adopt the forms of local fauna to preserve themselves. The two forces promptly start trying to wipe each other out and then escape the planet. There's also a sideplot involving an ancient alien civilization that ends itself just before the Season 3 finale.

They would eventually find out that this strange world was actually Earth, which was where Megatron II was trying to get all along, and they find the wreckage of the Ark of the original series, when new Megatron decides to headshot Prime in order to change the future for his benefit. It kinda flops when new Optimus takes part of old Optimus's soul, gets another upgrade, and becomes sorta-truck. It inspires Megatron II to try the same trick with his namesake, turning himself into a huge firebreathing dragon-bot.

Though Hasbro would mostly consign this story to oblivion after Beast Machines, the characters of Blackarachnia (sexy spider-bot who changes from evil to good thanks to love) and Waspinator (the walking punching bag who the heroes almost invariably blow up only to be fixed later), along with the concept of the Spark (essentially, Transformers' souls) would be re-used in later eras. More importantly, this show saved the franchise after Generation 2 almost killed it.

Beast Machines[edit]

Sequel series to Beast Wars. On returning to Cybertron, our heroes are attacked by armies of transforming cookie-cutter drones. It eventually turns out that Megatron broke free from the Maximals' prison and flew back to Cybertron before them; he infected the entire planet with a cyber-virus that put them all into comas, ripped out their hearts/souls and stashed them in some hidden bunker, and melted down their bodies to rebuild them into mindless robot slaves.

Awesomely grimdark concept, but hampered by two huge flaws. Firstly, a super-annoying green aesop, which was very clumsily handled because this is a planet of talking robots, not nature. More importantly, major character derailment - it was made by a different team to Beast Wars, and they weren't even allowed to watch the first series to familiarize themselves with how the Maximals were supposed to behave, so it'd be "more accessible".

Probably the reason why Hasbro only recycles G1 instead of trying to do its own thing with new shows, the way these two shows did. Even though it was their own damn fault, because they made this series into what it was. Time has been kinder to it, though, after the initial rage and denouncement.

Robots in Disguise (2001)/Car Robots[edit]

An obscure anime that came out roughly a few months before Armada. Best known for its gag dub and general comedic focus that makes it surprisingly laughable, and certainly more fun to watch than any of the Energon Trilogy. Usually forgotten about, except for the fact that Megatron here has six fucking modes of transformation (ten after upgrading to Galvatron). In this series Decepticons are instead Predacons like Beast Wars with actual Decepticons being created mid-series, starting with an evil clone of Optimus called "Scourge". General consensus is that is far from the best or worst series, it's just "meh."

Energon Trilogy[edit]

Comprised of the shows Armada, Energon, and Cybertron, which are also called the Unicron Trilogy due to the antagonist's return to the spotlight after being virtually nonexistent since The Movie. Anime reinterpretation of G1, decaying from "poor but watchable" to "completely unwatchable drek" for all the reasons people hate /a/: bad dubbing, overly lengthy scenes of nothing, a shift to crappy CGI, and a plot that is so terribly paced and search-questy that you'd be praying for your GM to be railroading this. On the plus-side: competent badass Starscream (who unfortunately inspired a whole generation of Linkin Park listening wannabes). On the downside: far too much focus on humans and not enough on giant robots trying to kill each other. Kicker, from the later series, is considered one of the worst human sidekicks the Transformers have ever had. It has been said that, for all the failings of Beast Machines, at least it's better than Armada and Energon.

Galaxy Force[edit]

Transformers Galaxy Force, The show that was butchered into Transformers Cybertron is more fondly remembered by fans. As it made of the strange choice of dubbing a male character into a woman. While butchering most of the series by making it a gag-dub by giving alien robots stupid accents. While putting dialouge over scenes that didn't require them. The kids are also less annoying while the dub shoehorned in older versions of the Armada and Energon brats at the last minute during the final episode. This is because Gonzo created it as independent entry until Hazblow retconned it into the Energon trilogy.

Michael Bay Films[edit]

The dark force known as Michael Bay brought Transformers back as a series of live-action + CGI movies. Considered the Matt Ward of the Transformers universe, Bay's movies are rage-inducing fails that have far too much focus on annoying human characters and on lowbrow humor. Seriously, in the first movie, we don't get to see an Autobot for, like, thirty minutes while dealing with very bland characters who get billed way too much, and we have to facepalm our way through an awful gag about Bumblebee basically pissing on a guy. The second one is no better with two black/redneck stereotypes as heroes, a gag about balls, and a two-for-one gag about farting/incontinence - from a Transformer, no less. Real classy, Bay.

About the only shallow redeeming qualities it has is that the CGI Transformers look amazing (even if some neckbeards have cracked up over how they're "not accurate" to the G1 character modes), the fight scenes are suitably glorious for giant alien death-machines ripping each other to pieces (when you can see it clearly), and most importantly is it has introduced Transformers to a whole new generation of fans, who can hopefully be shown the good stuff instead of thinking this garbage is the true representative of the setting.

After the trilogy Bay made a fourth movie which actually manages to make some considerable improvements (not that it was that hard), like a lot more of focus on Optimus Prime, killing the scrappy comic relief during the first part of the movie and more consistent fighting scenes, plus DINOBOTS! charging the enemy. There is also more grimdark as Optimus finally decides enough is enough after having tried to protect mankind for more than five years while having his whole team slaughtered by those he sworn to protect, and pulls a gun against a human frakker who was teaming up with the mercenary Lockdown to kill Autobots and use their remains to make their own giant robots that turn into cars (except instead of literally creating Galvatron last time, this time it's like the T-1000 where they turn into nanobot swarms). On the downside, though, the humans are still pointless tagalongs (though this is a new set of humans, no Shia Lebouf to be found here), there are more pointless stereotypes (Like Weeaboo Samurai-bot Drift, Crosshairs who gets a fucking trenchcoat when he transforms, and Hound, who somehow has a cigar and a wire-beard), the Dinobots don't even show up until the last few minutes of the movie, and there's this ridiculous need to hammer in the "us vs. them" mentality between the humans making their own Transformers and Lockdown trying to kill Optimus because he's betrayed their makers by siding with the humans. Than everything goes to shit during "The Last Knight". While ripping off the "Earth is Unicron" thing from Transformers Prime.


G1 inspired series with notoriously unusual but smooth animation. This time, Optimus Prime and his crew are lowly space janitors who stumble across a superweapon from the Great War and have to defend it against Megatron (GIVING HIM A GODDAMN ENGLISH ACCENT FUCK YES), who seeks to use it to restart the war and this time ensure Decepticon victory. This version's Optimus is much younger and less experienced than usual; funnily enough, he was voiced by the actor who voiced Megatron in Beast Wars. Generally noted for having the best human sidekick (who turns out to really be part-transformer anyways). The other Autobots also tend to have some interesting characterizations from "Complete dumb muscle who surprisingly knows everything about building Space Bridges" Bulkhead to "Weeaboo Robo-Ninja" Prowl to "MY EGO IS AS BIG AS MY CHIN AND MY ASSHOLEITUDE IS EVEN BIGGER!" Sentinel Prime. The Decepticons sometimes do better vis ze German schizophrenic Blitzwing, the borderline-religiously loyal Lugnut, and badass robo-Clint Eastwood Lockdown.

The series was weird in that alongside the Decepticons were also some gimmicky human villains, from a Shakespearean Robin Hood knockoff, to a cute little girl who's a mad scientist, to another mad scientist who rips off Transformer heads to replicate an old G1 gimmick. These villains were a bit ridiculous, but it helped break up the monotony of the constant 'con fighting, especially when Megatron was reduced to a state worse than Abaddon as a head. The creators came up with the idea to emphasize just how dangerous the 'cons are, compared to their Autobot opponents; when one 'con shows up, it's an emergency that takes the whole team to try and pull out a win. Hell, Starscream could beat up the entire Autobot team in his first few appearances before they figured out how to handle him.

Cybertron Series[edit]

There were many, MANY, video games made for every part of the Transformers, but most of them ranged from forgettable to utter shit to memetically terrible. The closest we got to a good original game series (so no whining about the Movie-Games) were the games War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron, both made by High Moon Studios.

These games act as the Horus Heresy to G1's 40k by explaining how Optimus became a leader and how Megatron became a dictator while their war and its demand eventually destroyed their homeworld. (These games are also technically part of the backstory for Hasbro's "Aligned continuity" shared with Transformers Prime and a couple prose stories, but as usual there are enough discrepancies to throw a wrench in that quite nicely.) While the gameplay itself isn't much more than a basic third-person shooter, the vast amount of references to the rest of the series and the rather well-written story and characters make it stand out. Fall of Cybertron may be considered one of the most grimdark settings to see wide release, while not being as totally ham-handed with it as Beast Machines. It also helps that the second game gave some bonus variety in some segments by giving you a level as MOTHERFUCKING GRIMLOCK, and another where you get to play as a combiner (who has an awesome helicopter-arm, but is otherwise not very memorable besides being huge.) Overall great fights, no crappy human sidekicks, an awesome OST and all the grimdarkness needed to make any neckbeard enjoy it quite much, also ESCALATION mode will ensure you endless hours of good bloodless carnage.

There is a (sorta) third game called Rise of the Dark Spark, which decides to make the stupid decision of merging this series to the Bayformers continuity. It was released as tie in game with fourth movie and has less of budget, clearly shown with its number of glitches, lack of variety in levels (mostly just enemies till the game lets you move on) and downright ugly environments for the levels set on Earth. The only thing to remember is that the Cybertron segments are still awesome, while later parts will just shoehorn you with mutebee and Drift (who at least has an awesome special attack), with one level playing as Grimlock again and lacking any Decepticon plot post-Cybertron.


G1 inspired CGI series that somehow salvages the fairly decent elements of Michael Bay's crapfest movies (e.g. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprising their respective roles, artstyle, some character elements/background lore, Rip and Tear), takes place in the same universe as the Cybertron games and crafts an awesome show out of it. Animation is fucking amazing, with fight scenes that rival if not trump the Michael Bay films. Very dark and gritty as well, where one of the Autobots (voiced by the Rock himself, mind you), gets whacked in the first episode. The Autobots are not only outnumbered and outgunned by the Decepticons, but they also have to contend with MECH, a human terrorist organization that seeks to cannibalize Cybertronians for their advanced technology.

The biggest problem with this series is Miko, who competes with Kicker (from the abovementioned Energon Trilogy) for the title of worst human character in Transformers history. Obnoxiously gung-ho and always charging off into danger, even when told not to, invariably making things worse for the Autobots in the process. Still, this series easily has some of the best human characters otherwise, most notably Agent Fowler, who in the company of giant alien killing machines manages to be a badass in his own right.

Then there's Predacons Rising; the made-for-tv movie meant to serve as a series finale... it was questionable at best. Plot holes everywhere, very little focus on the actual Predacons in the title, and characters doing stupid and random things to simply fit the plot. It was basically a segue into the next series; Robots in Disguise.

Robots in Disguise[edit]

In this series Prime's relegated mentor-figure role, while Bumblebee (once again with a voice) has to take command of an ex-con, a stickler, and a slightly-smarter Grimlock in helping some kid and his dad's junkyard and detaining runaway Decepticon inmates, all of whom aren't related to the main bads, so this series was more original than most of the kiddie-aimed series. There was a 'con in it called Slapper. The show really doesn't become good until the Starscream miniseries after season three, and the Soundwave/Autobot Counsel arc of the fourth season. Which also introduces combiners into the Prime/Cybertron continuity.


Not much is known about. Since it features Bumblebee and Windblade from Geewun. We can assume it takes place inside the Prime Wars trilogy. Which is based on IDWs Combiner Wars and the arcs after it.


There have been a lot of Transformers series out there. Many of them are just spinoffs of G1 or silly throwaways like Transformers Mr. Potato Head, but some of them are good enough or just weird enough to be worth mentioning here. For full details, see TFWiki below.

Transformers Rescue Bots[edit]

The 30-minute toy commercial for the preschool-focused "Rescue Bots" toyline. In the same continuity as Transformers Prime above, which would lead to much lulz if the writers ever had the balls to let them cross over to any significant degree. Features four young Autobots who slept through the whole war in stasis and were recalled to Earth by Optimus Prime; being too inexperienced to handle the rigors of war with the Decepticons, they were assigned to the Eureka-esque island of Griffin Rock, where they perform rescue operations with their human partners. Instead of open combat, the 'bots and their human partners battle with out-of-control inventions and mundane disasters; the only true antagonist of the series is the steampunk gentleman-scientist Doctor Morocco, voiced by Slaanesh Tim Curry. Surprisingly watchable for a kids' show, Rescue Bots has the distinction of being the longest-running Transformers cartoon ever, with four full seasons and a sequel series on track to air in 2019.

Unit: E[edit]

In the third season of Transformers Prime, the writers started dropping references to other Hasbro properties like M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joe in connection with a government agency called "Unit E." This was intended to be a "backdoor launch" to a whole shared universe in the vein of the massively profitable Marvel Cinematic Universe, consisting of just about every brand Hasbro owns that has ever been remotely popular with any demographic, ever. These ranged from the sensible (M.A.S.K. was another transforming-toy brand from the 80s that Hasbro absorbed, and G.I. Joe has a long history of Transformers crossovers) to the oddball but justifiable (Jem and the Holograms was Hasbro's big new girl-toy push in the 80s and was occasionally used as a sight gag in the G1 cartoon) to blatant halo-effect attempts that made no sense at all (Dungeons & Dragons? Stretch Armstrong? Candy Land?!) The framing device for this insanity was the eponymous Unit: E, a group of explorers who scanned the multiverse for "the Eerie, the Else, the Eternities of Infinity" from an installation placed in the "slipstream" outside of reality. (Sounds kinda familiar, don't it?)

Perhaps fortunately for all involved, this product of Marketing's cocaine-fueled fever dreams did a faceplant into the sun and nothing came of it except for a one-shot comic book released at Comic-Con and the aforementioned namedrops in Prime. Hasbro never let go of the idea of seeing if their properties would blend, though, and in 2016 IDW was given the green light to weld their previously-separate licensed comics (including Transformers, Joe, Micronauts, Rom: Spaceknight, and yes, Jem) together through a Secret Wars-style crossover event called Revolution. From this point IDW's comics are set in the Hasbro Universe, with such fiction-bending events as the Decepticon Skywarp joining G.I. Joe and a multi-property superhero team called the Revolutionaries joining forces. Their next crossover, First Strike, is currently ongoing.

Transformers: Kiss Players[edit]

After the ignominious conclusion of the Energon Trilogy, Takara decided to make their next installment of the Transformers franchise smaller and more adult-focused. Welding the bits of their various G1-sequel lines (including the "collector's choice" Binaltech line and the grab-bag Robotmasters line) with the G1 cartoon and their own anime into a single (confusing as all hell) timeline, Transformers Kiss Players takes place immediately after the events of the 1986 movie. After Unicron exploded in 2005, the broken body of Galvatron was sent hurtling towards Earth where it (what else?) destroyed Tokyo. In response, the Earth Defense Command was formed to kick the Transformers off the goddamn planet before they blew up any other national capitals, which they did with a Transformer-hostile energy field and using the tech from Galvatron's corpse to make mass-produced Autorooper mecha. Unfortunately for them, Galvatron's reentry scattered fragments of his and Unicron's life-force into Earth's atmosphere, fragments that activated in 2006. The "Galvatron cells" fused with whatever they touched, turning them into biomechanical monsters called the Legion. Humans who came in contact with the Galvatron cells inexplicably did not turn into monsters, but instead could fuse with both Autoroopers and Transformers by kissing them.

You see, Kiss Players was written by longtime Transformers fan and freelance toy designer Yuki Ohshima, who took Takara's desire for an otaku-targeted series as an invitation to freak the fuck out of people and gave them a freaky-ass magical girl horror story in the vein of Narutaru and Madoka Magica that just happened to have Transformers in it. A bunch of suspiciously young-looking women got dropped into a psychosexual nightmare in the name of shock value, and the Western Transformers fanbase crapped their pants over "pedophilia" showing up next to "their" childhood toys, accusing Oshima of wanting to diddle the kiddle. The Japanese fans, for their part, were mostly apologetic towards the Western fanbase and confused as to why the hell Takara thought that Freudian horror and moe were at all compatible with giant robots whaling on each other. The second part of the line (Kiss Players Position) dumped the original fiction's baggage in favor of taking cute girls on a whirlwind tour of the Transformers universe, but by that point the Western fans had already made up their mind. To this day Kiss Players is still the go-to acceptable target for "at least it's not as bad as..." jokes on TFWiki. The toys themselves were decent at least, being retools of the well-received Binaltech/Alternators collectible toys with vinyl loli figures packaged in the box, so picking those up is perfectly fine if you're willing to deal with faggots calling you a weeb.

Official Tabletop Games[edit]

Big Gay Purple d4.png This article is a skub. You can help 1d4chan by expanding it

Despite not having a licensed RPG Transformers is no stranger to tabletop games. None have been particularly commercially successful, but some may have deserved to be.

  • (The usual pallet-swap games)

Monopoly, Risk, Chess, Stratego, Connect 4, Uno, memory cards, playing cards, you know the drill.

  • Heroclix

You fucking know what these are. Enjoy your game of Optimus Prime, Harley Quinn, Jean Grey, and Drizzt VS Master Splinter, Freddy Krueger, a Xenomorph, and Bilbo Baggins. Wait, that does sound cool actually...

  • Transformers Robot Warrior Game

Released in 1985, its redeco Snakes/Chutes & Ladders except you have two pieces to divide die rolls between, and an outer board to progress around as a vehicle before transforming to robot mode and making your way through as usual. Since all players control cars, its technically all Autobot players trying to reach their base during a battle with the Decepticons

  • The Transformers Game

Released in 1986. Despite impressive wargame-style box art, its a very simple game for small children. No real strategy, both players are trying to reach the end goal to destroy the enemy base and all movement is determined by dice rolls after the first move where you choose to go left or right (both ways are mirrored, offering only the illusion of a choice), and after that point you only decide whether to move forward or back. The board resembles outer space and the enemy base is on Earth, and all pieces are Seekers meaning both players are Decepticons interestingly enough. When a piece for both players land on the same space they draw cards from a deck which interestingly all depict Autobots, highest number wins and best of three wins the battle. Winner transforms to robot mode, loser goes back to start. Only robot modes can enter the enemy base. First player to have all three of their team in the enemy base wins.

  • Transformers Card Game
  • Transformers Adventure Game: Defeat the Decepticons
  • Transformers G1 Decoys Board Game
  • Transformers: Beast Wars

Released in 1999 in Japan, based on the entire Beast Wars line at the time (including the Japanese-only cartoon).

  • Transformers Armada: Battle For Cybertron

A redeco of Star Wars: Epic Duels, with some rules simplified and new modes. Generally considered a casual strategy game, with a lower learning curve. Instead of one hero and two minions, you only have one hero. Four characters per faction, each having their own combat deck and rules. They aren’t equal in strength, Megatron and Optimus predictably outclass everyone. There are four different maps to fight on with their own cover and terrain, and character start locations mitigate the strength difference in characters to a small degree. 2v2, faction mixing, and FFA game modes are available.

  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Robot Heroes Game
  • Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Missile Mania
  • Jogo Dos Transformers: Una Aventura Emocionante Com Os Robos-Herois Do Futuro

A licensed Brazilian Transformers game made by Estrela. Estrela made up its own Transformers continuity based entirely on Minis. The game is extremely rare, so good luck finding the rules, let alone a copy.

See Also[edit]

While no official roleplaying or tabletop games exist, the idea of "giant robots turning into vehicles" is so cool that lots of homebrew and independent mecha RPGs include mechas or characters that are totally NOT the Transformers, we swear! For example:

  • Giant Guardian Generation
  • Horizon - Mechamorphosis is literally "Transformers with the serial numbers filed off, done by way of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5".
  • Mechagenasis - Another "Transformers with the serial numbers filed off" game, this time done for True20.
  • Battlechangers - Blatantly Transformers-based RPG, in both an original version and a Pathfinder version (Battlechangers Ironworks).
  • Mekton - Extremely flexible with what it can do: the rules for transforming are simple (as far as Mekton goes anyway) and adapting to a Transformers setting is as easy as actually reading up on them, but the game's hilariously broken.
  • Rifts - Some homebrew stuff floating around on the net for playing Transformers exists. Pity it relies on the godawful RIFTS mechanics...
  • Codex: Transformers - A case of 1d4chan getting shit done, adapting Transformers into yet another Warhammer 40000 faction.
  • Setting:Transformers - A tie-in article to the above trying to develop the lore to explain why Codex: Transformers is a thing.

External Links[edit]