Explain protoforms to me

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Nightrain, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    Do people walk around Cybertron as protoforms until they decide to take on a pre-existing form? If not, how do they take on forms that aren't pre-existing?

    Do they ever shed their current form and take on another, or shed it completely? How does that work?

    Isn't it a cop out, going all the way back to More Than Meets The Eye, to simply have some kind of energy morph someone into a new form?

    Are the characters first appearing in Beast Wars and Armada considered protoforms? If not, does that mean all protoforms are gray and skeletal?
     
  2. kllrwlf

    kllrwlf Well-Known Member

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    I don't know... to me, it sounds like the Beast Wars thing where they are in a stasis pod for the travel, shoots down to earth, scans whatever is around, takes one of the forms, and that's it.

    But it doesn't make sense because in Beast Wars, their minds were completely formatted (it seems) and a new program was installed after the scan was complete.
     
  3. dkrolickm

    dkrolickm Beast Wars Predacon

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    They stay in stasis pods until "birth" the pods scan for objects to become their forms and they become that is their form they are born with.
    Just some BW american logic for ya :) 
     
  4. DecepticusPrime

    DecepticusPrime End of Days

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    Which to mean, kinda makes it pointless for the pre-BW vehicle based charecters like Airrazor to be made, and ditto with Tigatron's. With ALOT of these names, its clear that many chose the name after acquiring the beast mode(after all, why would rhinox choose that name if he was a construction vehicle...and waspinator, rattrap, tarantulus, the list goes on..)
    Does the point I'm getting at make sense or did i ramble too much?
     
  5. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Not really. The point was to keep most of the crew in suspended animation, and leave a skeleton crew on the Axalon to pilot it. The protoforms were the easiest, safest way to do this.
    That does make sense, but then think how many characters in other TF lines (especially G1) have names based on Earth concepts; Hound, Bumblebee, Ratbat, Apeface, Snapdragon, Bonecrusher; these things didn't exist on Cybertron either.
     
  6. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    Let's see if I have this right.

    A protoform is created. It scans an object. It morphs the protoform based on said object. It chooses an appropriate code name based on the object's qualities. Everyone walking around Cybertron had already scanned objects, yes?

    When a being decides to change it's form, it scans an object, and if deemed appropriate, changes the name.
     
  7. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Protoforms are pretty much just the most basic form of a Cybertronian. They're lifeless although they do posess a spark. But are just waiting to scan a form.

    They differ from Cybertronians like Primal and his crew because they had their bodies designed for 'em. And sparks will put into that body.

    Protoforms are just what's used for exploratory purposes because in their blank state they're perfect for unchatered planets. Although like Nightscream stated in BM all Cybertronians have built in scanners

    At least that's always been my take
     
  8. Bendimus Prime

    Bendimus Prime Rolls for initiative TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think any bots that are "born" on Cybertron are constructed, probably by Vector Sigma, and then just have a spark put into them.

    But, as seen in the BotCon comic, an existing spark can be placed in a protoform if their body is beyond repair. This process will save the spark, but it will be reformatted when the protoform takes a shape. This is why Tigatron and Airrazor don't remember who they were before Beast Wars started.

    In the new movie however, it seems that a protoform is the state that a Transformer must regress to so they can take a new form, but it also gives them the ability of interstellar travel.
     
  9. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Airrazor and Tigatron are explained by the Botcon comic. Their original bodies were destroyed so they were downloaded into Protoforms, but incompletely so they had some memory loss.

    However, what about Blackarachnia? Doesn't The Agenda Part 3 show her on Cybertron watching the Ark launch, or was that just clever camera work? At any rate, she definately existed prior to her awakening in the series - how else could she know so much about Cybertronian lore, especially all that classified stuff about Starscream? If she were a newly awakened Protoform, she'd have to have got this all from someone's database, which would have meant the others would have also known. Granted, Tarantulas could have given her the knowledge, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy to do that. He wanted minions, not Predacons on his level.

    So what Protoforms seem to be are temporary bodies that are highly adaptable to whatever environment they are placed in, intended to allow the Transformer to assume an appropriate form for their environment. I'd imagine the process most exploration crews undergo would be to assume Protoform bodies prior to changing their alternate modes. The name sort of implies that. "Prototype Formatting".

    Although not shown in G1, it seems when assuming Earth modes, there was a bit more than just the energy beam involved. The Teletran repairs could possibly have involved some sort of reconfiguration as well. By Beast Wars, technology would have improved to the point where nanotechnology would replace manual reconfiguration, and things like Sky Spy and Teletran are condensed and internalised.
     
  10. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    It was clever camera work when Blackarachnia watched the Ark launch. Her existence depended on OP surviving cause if the Autobots never won, Maximals wouldn't have come along and developed stasis pods. Also with the information that she had about Cybertronian history, it could have been her datatracks. Though many protoforms could not recover their datatracks, it never said that Blackarachnia's was unrecoverable although her allegiance programming was altered. I think the only pod to land successfully was Inferno's but even then his datatracks messed up.

    I always thought of protoforms as a blob of nanites, the DNA scanner helps configure them.
     
  11. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    That's pretty much how I always saw it; nanotech that scans a form, reconfigures itself to mimic it (whilst keeping all the functionality of its primary intended form), and then shuts down when the process is complete, effectively "hardwiring" that new form. The personality and memory datatracks are then downloaded into the new body, and it is brought online.
    This process went a step further later, as seen in Beast machines (Nightscream's reference to internal reformatting technology being included in a recent planetary upgrade).
    As for Blackarachnia's apparently extensive knowledge of Cybertronian history, I personally suspect that she did a lot of digging in Megatron's datatracks. After all, Cybertronian history is what started the whole thing in the first place, so it seems logical to assume that he had a lot of information on the subject..
     
  12. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well she did upload the access code for the Ark into her interal data tracks. So maybe she took it upon herself to take an impromtu history lesson
     
  13. bobby_C

    bobby_C Well-Known Member

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    In the cybertron cartoon, or at least its japanese counterpart, Galaxy Force (haven't seen Cybertron), they did indeed have no alt mode until they scanned one (still had the kibble, amusingly enough). At some points they also were reformatted by the cyber keys. They do need reference to adopt the new form. as for forms that aren't pre-existing, Hearts of Steel does provide a possible explanation: in HoS the decepticons have no problem duplicating existing steam engines but they get an engineer to draw them viable blueprints when they decide to become flying machines, which didn't exist back then. In other words, they need reference, be it an actual machine or just plans. They can't reformat to an imaginary one.

    G1 either the cartoon or comics, I dunno, does mention transforming was an acquired technology, i.e. cybertronians originally couldn't do it.

    That one really depends on the story. Sometimes they need a special computer (G1, beast wars, possibly IDW's stuff) or a matrix or some other plot device, sometimes (like Hearts of Steel, Galaxy force or the upcoming movie) they just need the reference and can then reformat by themselves, having the necessary systems in their bodies.

    Yes and no. Explains the diversity. Just think of them as having, either in them or with them, all the necessary hardware for very efficient camouflage. Their key ability is to transform, and there's kinda two levels to that: the "quick'n'easy" one, just switch to your preprogrammed alt mode and back, and the deeper, harder one, the reformatting, physically reconfiguring all the bits and reprogramming your software to adopt a new altmode.

    Reformatting can be scientifically explained either with nanomachines or "simply" by heating the metal and deforming it with electromagnetic fields.

    Can't answer that one. Probably true for beast wars, but if you count the movie the one common characteristic of all protoforms is probably that they lack the identifiable bits of alt mode, i.e. no kibble.
     
  14. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Wow... the more I think about it, the more I come to the same conclusion.

    Protoforms are stupid and I hate them.

    :) 

    zmog
     
  15. JusticeSabre

    JusticeSabre FLUKE the SYSTEM.

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    ^^^ What they said...
     
  16. DecepticusPrime

    DecepticusPrime End of Days

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    I havent read the botcon comics since the days of the Wreckers, hence my lack of knowledge here...
     
  17. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    Well about changing forms and stuff. I think in BW Rattrap or Cheetor said that they could discharge the fur coats they had. Of course this leads to me thinking why couldn't Megatron have done that in BM. Then there's the spark ripping out and putting into a new body. That question leads me to the data they know, cause if datatracks are downloaded into a body, what does the spark retain? Because if the protoform is just a template for a body, what does the spark actually have? Cause in BM you see sparks leave their bodies go back to their bodies and still know everything they had before.

    Actually I thought Stasis Pods and protoforms were the coolest thing in BW. Its a pity they didn't introduce a few more characters.
     
  18. HyperGeek_1984

    HyperGeek_1984 Herr Doktor

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    I think Dreamwave offered one of the better explanations of what a protoform is. When a new Transformer is created, they start off as a skeletal framework of circuitry surrounded with "nourishing goo." A spark (either from the Matrix or created artificially) is introduced into the mix and causes the protoform to grow into a new transformer. The spark, being the basic essence of the new transformer's life, shapes every aspect of the bot, including personality, skills and alt mode(s).

    My own take on this say that later modifications to a Transformer's design (i.e. new alt mode(s)) can be made through scanning a suitable model and undergoing heavy modifications, either though nanotech or good ol' fashioned rebuilding.

    It looks like the new movie is taking the direction that when a transformer wants to change their alt mode significantly; they have to first revert into a protoform again, then scan the new alt-mode. Minor changes in alt mode (like going from a beat-up 1970's Camero to a shiny 2007 Camero) can be made using just the bot's own internal scanners and nanotech.
     
  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Y'know what I just looooove about "nanotech"?

    20-odd years ago, nobody knew it existed. :) 

    10 years from now, nanotech will be lame. It'll be all about the "luminal meta-forming" or somesuch.


    zmog
     
  20. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I don't think Protoforms are "stupid" so much as they weren't thoroughly thought out or well explained. In that much, welcome to the entire world of Transformers cartoons.
     

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