Beast Form as a Primary Alt Mode?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Wolfguard, May 23, 2012.

  1. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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    Spin off from the Fembot thread. :drunk 


    People question why there are Cybertronians with female traits, but what about the ones whose primary or interactive alt mode resembles that of a beast instead of a humanoid form?

    Changes from vehicle to beast...or object to beast.

    Examples:

    Ravage
    Buzzsaw
    Steeljaw
    Ramhorn
    Lazerbeak
    Trypticon
    Overkill
    Skylinx


    Why should any Cybertronians be like this in their primary alt mode when the vast majority are humanoid? Why are these types of bots given a pass, while the existence of robots with Female traits is constantly challenged?

    Discuss.
     
  2. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Well, the interesting thing about that is even though they have robot modes that resemble animals, they are still "people" like the other transformers, especially outside of the Sunbow cartoon. So, if "animal" TFs are not actually the TF version of animals in any meaningful way, how does this support "female" transformers being anything other than a human misinterpretation of physical traits?
     
  3. Karhukjnsi

    Karhukjnsi Universal Wrestler

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    I just interpreted that all the Beast Minicons (or other Beasts as their proto-forms) are Cybertronian fauna.
     
  4. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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    It's not about support. The question is why are there Cybertronians who have a beast form as a primary alt mode? The addendum to that is why does that aspect have broader acceptance in contrast to a Cybertronian having a female form?


    ------


    But they have a robot mode, thus are part of the general population. I mean pure beast forms as the primary alt mode. Skylynx is (IMO) the best example. He's highly intelligent....but he goes from a vehicle to a beast robot, as opposed to a humanoid robot.
     
  5. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    Not to derail this thread, but it's come to really annoy me in more recent years that characters like Buzzsaw and the others aren't considered their own bots and just Soundwaves pets in too many of the media representations.

    Back on topic, because they're not female. :lol  (Yes, I know there's Howlback.)

    This doesn't seem to be a case of form follows function, even with the myriad ways of creation that are out there, as in virtually all continuities, they were around before the war.

    Preference would be one possible explaination. Though interestingly, many of them are described as being ultra-sophisticated, perhaps once a perk of the upper class to be different then the plebeian masses?

    As to why there isn't the fan "outrage" that there is over femmes. Because they're cool. For some, there's also that there weren't any sacrifices made to them as Transformers in a design sense; they aren't animals with alt mode bits slapped on them but actual transformers whereas most femmebots are human female forms that have to be hidden by alt mode parts (Thunderblast for example).

    Another aspect is that none of them are defined first and foremost by their beast form. Ravage is a spy first and foremost. Sky Lynx is an egomaniac first and foremost. Arcee is a girl first and foremost.
     
  6. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Pretty much this.

    As far as purpose, it's not hard at all to think of situations where a quadruped form could be an advantage. Faster, more stable, better ability to leap, greater mobility on rough terrain, advantages crawling through tight tunnels, and so on. Conversely, I'm having a really tough time thinking of a good advantage provided by robot high heels and boobies.
     
  7. Driftx3

    Driftx3 lord of all things robot

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    Well if we assume that other humanoids exist in whatever respective continuity the feme is in, then the female humanoid resemblance would be of some slight advantage, at least when dealing with males.

    I always figured animal superforms (bot modes) mimicked Cybertronian fauna. It could just be that Vector Sigma gets bored cranking out humanoids.
     
  8. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    In other words, just sex appeal. I can see how that's something that would sell as a consumer product, but it doesn't seem compelling in any version where Cybertronians are supposed to be adapted to their own environment.
     
  9. Driftx3

    Driftx3 lord of all things robot

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    Agreed. Since sexual reproduction is nonexistent, the female or male forms are utterly redundant. Roboboobs make no sense.

    High heels, those might have some unexplainable purpose since so many "manbots" have them in various continuities.
     
  10. Aernaroth

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

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    I always figured the female physical characteristics were meant to serve SOME technical purpose, either aerodynamics or material economy or flexibility or something other than aesthetics. Or at least, that's what I hoped (in some continuities it's implied it IS mainly due to aesthetics). So for me, I figured the "beast-bots" would be the same: form that fits function. Remember that laserbeak's cybertronian mode in G1 is somewhat less "bird-like", and looks more like a modern UAV. Ravage is specialized for infiltration and sabotage, so a small, quadrapedal form may be better suited to slinking through ducts, staying in shadow, and keeping below the line of sight for other bots. These modes help them do their jobs, just as robot modes for larger bots help them do theirs.

    Keep in mind, there were also cassette-bots who had VEHICLE robot modes, and cassette alt-modes, namely, Grand Slam and Raindance, who only had a robot mode when combined.
     
  11. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I think there's also less of an issue with beastformers because Hasbro never made such a damn big deal of it as they did with femmes.

    In the 80s, there was this strange idea that boys would never like or play with toys made in a feminine form, regardless of the character or the toyline they inhabited. Thus, Masters of the Universe got all of 2 female characters made at first, with the Sorceress, despite being pretty major, not coming for a good while after. That idea lingered very strangely for far too long, look how few female characters were released for the Last Airbender line, and that show was full of strong, central female characters!

    Look how long it took for Hasbro to give us a female character that wasn't just a redeco of someone else, or designed before the character was decided to be female. Transmetal Airazor was the first one, in 1998. Also, look how many femmes are still redecos and/or repaints of other femmes. How many damn motorcycles do we need?

    I think if Hasbro had just started throwing out Chromias, Elita-1s, and Arcees from the start, it might not be any big deal today.

    - Coeloptera
     
  12. LCDR Blindside

    LCDR Blindside Banned

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    Holy crap, what if. Arcee and Optimus are of the same gender, but we just don't see them as such.

    However, four-legged forms are more well-adapted for hunting the universe over. I think the Movie wildlife does a good job at making alien animals plausible.
     
  13. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    I think it has mainly to do with the fact many of the early Decepticon animal tapes weren't originally part of the Transformers brand, but were able to fit in as Soundwave's minions well enough in their various functions. On the Autobot side, I've always suspected Steeljaw and Ramhorn were animals mostly so that Blaster's own team of tape partners would better pair off with Soundwave's during the movie (granted, in this case Soundwave still has three animals to Blaster's two, but in terms of the cartoon Buzzsaw only showed up once simply because he already came with Soundwave's toy, so no need to advertise him on the show or the movie, thus only Laserbeak and Ravage really matter in this case)

    Trypticon was probably made to have a giant dino-like "robot" mode simply so he wouldn't look like anything close to Metroplex. This sort of carries the idea that went into the Bay movies in that the Decepticons should look less human-like to be evil and contrast from the more human like Autobots.

    Sky Lynx...well, he wasn't originally designed for Transformers initially, he was produced while HasTak had the rights to the mold from Tomy IIRC, which is why when Takara aquired Tomy some years ago, they finally were able to do an encore release of the bird/cat/shuttle thing (which ironically was the FIRST time the mold had been released as a Transformer in Japan).
     
  14. Karhukjnsi

    Karhukjnsi Universal Wrestler

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    Not sure our communication is lining up well, just so we're clear on what I mean(t), these terms came from Exodus, and I liked them so much, they became part of my Transformers vernacular:

    proto-form = "robot mode"
    alt-form = "vehicle/beast mode"

    I've just assumed any with a beast proto-form, be they like Soundwave's Minicons (Beastbox, Ravage, and the like), or others with Beasts as their proto-forms (Sky Lynx or Trypticon), are Cybertronian fauna, that have either been well-trained, or have gained sapience.
     
  15. Aernaroth

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

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    I don't think we see any difference in terms of species between bots like Trypticon and Sky-lynx and the other cybertronians, so there must be a reason for the differences in form (or for another comparison, the wide variety of cybertronian forms in the bay films) between these characters.

    From a meta-sense, it's most likely "they'll look cool" and "it'll sell toys", but in-universe, it would have to be something more rational.
     
  16. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

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    I personally believe Sky-Lynx thinks he looks beautiful in that form. in the same way some people become obsessed with certain creatures and find them to be beautiful (like people who love bugs, for example) but Sky-Lynx took that a step further than we can and made himself into what he thinks is a beautiful form. his could be a vanity thing.

    But the rest all make sense in terms of function. Trypticon is likely because he can do more damage in that mode, and people have already given good explanations for Ravage and whatnot. I would say this applies to the fembots as well, them being more flexible, as well as appearing less formidable-which is likely true, given how Bots dont fear Bumblebee but do quake at Magnus. This likely was what Jixahus (sp?) was thinking when he made Arcee. of course they call her "she" because of other Organics they've met and the resemblence, and so on.
     

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