Are Pretender Shells at all self-conscious?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Optimist_Prime, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Optimist_Prime

    Optimist_Prime The Original Optimist!

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    I was wondering if the Pretender Shells were self-conscious, or like thier namesake just shells? I would think they partially have consciousness because, Bludgeon for example, can use his inner robot as a weapon. Is he just the exception to the rule, or are they all just lifeless?
     
  2. iconscons

    iconscons Well-Known Member

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    They are just shells, but can be controlled by their user. They're basically a remote control ally. not conscious
     
  3. myhobby

    myhobby ArigatouArigatouArigatou-

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    actually the inner robot is the truly sentient part of the pretender
    the shell is just an extension of the inner robots mind
    like if your arm could come of and you could hit people with it
     
  4. Roanstalker

    Roanstalker Great Baan Gaan fan

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    I thought the shells can be controlled even when the owner is not inside?
     
  5. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    That is true, yes. Several times in the comics Pretender shells were controlled without the TF being inside them.
     
  6. iconscons

    iconscons Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they can.
     
  7. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    In UK/US Pretender shells were not self-aware, but I always had the feeling that the Pretenders in Masterforce may have had self-aware shells. The shells didn't split, they just seemed to merge with the inner, much larger, Transformer. As humans, the Masterforce Pretenders could eat, drink and (inferred) have sex as normal humans do. Masterforce shells must have some kind of awareness if not totally self-aware.
     
  8. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Masterforce's Pretenders transformed into humans, that's how I took their transformation sequences, kind of as a throwback to the 70's style Sentai / Ultraman transformations. The fact they were full functional humans is no different to how the Beast Wars TFs were full functional animals in beast mode. Especially since it was retconned that Pretenders are the baseline for the technology that eventually led to Beast Wars bioorganic tech and more recently, that Pretender Tech and bioforms are protection against Energon and other energy sources (subverted in that the bioforms were around before Pretenders).
     
  9. ninety

    ninety NERDS!!

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    Are Pretender Shells at all self-conscious?

    Yeah, they're forever doing their hair, and just try getting one to walk past a mirror.
     
  10. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    Masterforce Pretenders didn't WEAR shells - they actually transformed themselves into human beings. Sticking with the Japanese thing, though, the Dinoforce's shells seemed to have SOME degree of autonomy, as Goryu took his shell aside and gave it instructions on at least one occasion I can remember. And the shells could go off and perform one entirely separate mission somewhere else in space while the robots were doing something else, which I don't think was really something the American Pretenders were capable of. The catch is that I'm not sure if any literature actually refers to the Dinoforce *AS* Pretenders (yeah, they have shells an' all, but in Japan, you never know what constitutes what sometimes).
     
  11. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    First of all... Pretenders. Worst idea in the history of bad ideas in Transformers? Maybe yes. Even as a kid, my response to Pretenders was essentially "WTF is this BS?!?"

    In retrospect, the Masterforce concept of a TF somehow magically disguised in a human/organic form is somewhat more acceptable to me. That was actually what I had originally assumed Pretenders were about, until I saw their painfully literal Marvel debut, in which they copied the absurd mechanics of the toys directly.

    Does this sound to anyone else like it was ripped off from Terminator, and the whole time travel excuse for why they could only send cyborgs back in time... which they already completely forgot about by the second movie?

    zmog
     
  12. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    At least the Pretender Shells were about "Robots in Disguise", which is more than we can say for Action Masters.

    I think at best, a pretender shell would be capable of some measure of autonomy, but not to the point where it would be self aware or resist the commands of its inner master. So simple commands could be carried out without necessarily direct contact with the inner robot, but nothing that would require higher thinking or deviation from the command/programming. At least, I can't think of any evidence in any of the pretender appearances where this is the case. However, my knowledge when it comes to the various Japanese continuities gets a bit spotty.

    Also, the T-1000 was actually encased in "living" synthetic flesh when it was sent back in time, and then just ditched the meat suit to be more combat effective. That's why he has a "base" human form.
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Okay, I very grudgingly acknowledge Actionmasters as a pretty bad idea for Transformers too... though in that case, it's more like "Oh, they made basic non-transforming action figures out of Transformers. Kinda dumb." rather than "So the rudimentary transforming robot sits inside the big fat plastic shell that looks either like a human in battle armor or a wacky cheeseball alien wrestler? W...T...F...??"

    As for the T-1000, when is it ever mentioned or demonstrated in the movie that he arrives in a "meat suit"? That smells suspiciously like retcon concocted for the novelization or something.

    Which is not to say it's not a good idea; hell, he's liquid metal... they could have just injected him into a cow's stomach and sent him back. However, since no effort is made to show this in the movie, as far as I'm concerned it didn't happen. It's just a plot hole, plugged after the fact with double talk I think.

    zmog
     
  14. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    I believe Bumblebee used his shell without being in it.

    It got totalled. Then again it was Bumblebee.
     
  15. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Yeah... I didn't think the decepticons had particularly good pretender disguises, but if they had gone in the direction of "they look like historical and legendary monsters to terrify and manipulate human beings scooby-doo style" it likely would have been a much better idea. And yeah, the transformers themselves were not that great, though I have to admit I love the concept. I think the whole pretender line gets a bad rap though. I mean, its a great idea, albeit poorly executed.

    And I'm not certain and haven't been able to back up my sources about the T-1000 meatshell, but I think it was explained in the old valiant comic book Terminator series, which actually gave a lot more backstory to the T-1000, but as I said, I can't cite sources.
     
  16. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    I don't think they're self-conscious at all. They're basically remotely-controlled suits of armor.

    And I think Pretenders were a nice idea. Thunderwing and the Decepticon Pretender Monsters are among the favorites in my collection.
     
  17. Moroni Prime

    Moroni Prime #TFYLP Podcast

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    LOL!

    Read the title, and immediately I thought...

    "Hey Bombburst, does this shell make me look fat?"
     
  18. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    And the Destrons transformed themselves into monsters? Wow, that's got to be some of the most complex transformations of all time.
     
  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Although I totally get where you're coming from with that idea, it still makes me laugh to compare a Decepticon plot to an average episode of Scooby Doo! :lol 

    "And so the Phantom of Mount Saint Hilary is really.... Old Man Skullgrin??"

    "Graaah! And it would have worked too, if it weren't for that meddling kid and his yellow VW bug!!"


    Though how a mythological monster is scarier than a giant alien robot with a death ray is sort of beyond me. :D 

    Yeah... in the comics they were probably just taking the opportunity to clean up holes in the movie script.

    In my childhood, when I first encountered Pretenders, in the absence of an official explanation in the comics or cartoon my personal explanation was that they were disguises to allow certain TF's to move freely in certain settings.

    For the Autobots, they disguised themselves as a special unit of humans in power armour, formed to combat the "robot menace" (you can tell that I was reading Marvel at the time because in that continuity, the Autobots were not allied with the governments of Earth, and still tried to keep a low profile). It's also a bit similar to the concept for X-FACTOR in the early 80's. :) 

    For the Decepticons, the disguises allowed them access to certain alien worlds that are hostile to mechanical/cybertronian life forms... disguised as various alien bounty hunters, etc, they're able to plot and form alliances where Decepticons would not normally be able to go.

    Not sure how undead samurai warriors factor into that explanation though. :) 

    zmog
     
  20. Optimist_Prime

    Optimist_Prime The Original Optimist!

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    Yeah, I probably should have had the title say "Self-Aware". If a mod wanted to do that for me, that would be cool.

    I appreciate all this info. I'm going to write a bio for my Bludgeon custom when I submit his gallery. I have much better idea on where to go with it now.
     

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