Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Sideswipe80, Mar 9, 2010.
Don't they have free will to choose sides?
As far as I can gather from the show, it basically means they give off a Pred signature and are compatible with pred systems or whatever. Seems more of a technicality than defining trait.
From what I know the shell program is only used on Protoforms to turn them evil. Not something found in all preds. Then again, since we only saw two examples of Maximal protoforms going bad, both due to their beast modes interfering, it's hard to say. (I guess you could say the same for BA, but she had her prossesor fully intact and undamaged)
"See, that's your problem right here. Somebody set this thing to EVIL!"
I imagine it was some matter of programming that would function like brainwashing. We saw that predacons were able to shake this brainwashing, though with considerable trouble.
I assumed it meant that all Predacons had a shell program. After the great war, when the Autobots won, a few Decepticons (1 was Ravage) were granted amnesty and allowed to down size into smaller bodies (I think he was considered a predacon) along with the remaining Autobots. I don't know what happened to the rest of the Deceps?
The shell program was exactly that, A shell around their original programming. It was also programmed to kill the predacon if anyone tampered with it (tried to remove it). It was never stated who created the program or how/why it was created.
Inferno was a Pred (from the programming) but his beast mode (Ant) was overriding his normal functions. Silverbolt and Quickstrike had their command codes changed (by Megs) to trick them into thinking they were preds (they had memory loss from the Energon) but only Quickstrike remained with them even though he didn't have a Shell program?
Dinobot was a Pred (one would assume he had a shell program) but changed sides 3 times (to Max, to Pred and back to maximal). He was supposed to kill Quickstrike to prove he was truly a Pred but talked his way out of that.
Predacons would do things (bad) that a Maximal wouldn't (kill, steal, etc.) so I would think the "Shell program" allowed them to ignore their maximal programming.
From the way it's been presented, the shell program seems to act like a buffer/filter affecting the personailty (or maybe completely rewriting it in Beast Machines examples). A possible analogy might be to anti-depressants or other mind-altering medications, in that some impulses or personality aspects are suppressed (like compassion) while others are amped up (for Preds it seems to be self-interest and power-grabbing most of the time )
Seems to work better on some than others, and totally unnecessary sometimes ( "Hey Quickstrike, wanna go break stuff?" )
This may be useful.
Rampage was a Maximal, you know, and apparently totally sociopathic from the get-go. I don't think he ever got a shell program.
I believe that the shell program alters your basic instincts and makes one more inclined to the Predacon side of things. Obviously it can be fought against, and individuals still maintain a free will of sorts, but it makes you predisposed to the Predacons. My interpretation, anyway.
Obviously, Since Blackaracknia ended up changing sides.
But the shell program changes the nature of the TF to more violent tendencies
This thread gets me thinking - Do all Predacons have shell programs, or is it only something used to turn a Maximal (protoform or otherwise) bad? For that matter, do Maximals have shell programs or some equivalent? Perhaps the shell program is part of the "standard software package" of any Maximal or Predacon (like the programming designed to keep beast mode instincts from dominating) and all the Predacons are really doing is swapping one program out for another.
You know how I keep pointing out that almost every major action taken by the Maximal Council seems less than noble and benevolent when you really start to examine them?
Yeah...it seems fitting that they'd potentially institute a set of programs in the "Great Upgrade" to keep the population docile and less likely to rebel or act against the society as a whole.
Always a possibility. Corruption and/or near-amoral pragmatism seem to be recurring themes in many TF stories where the 'good guys' are the establishment, as opposed to the underdogs.
It's not really established either way if there's a Maximal "be a nice guy" program similar to the Predacon "Evil is cool!" shell program. If such a thing actually does exist, it's apparent it doesn't work any better than the Pred equivalent, since there are Maximal characters that are not very nice people, or more Predacon-like without needing to be converted.
All BW-era transformers have an apparent internal computer/operating system, that does several things for them, such as status information and possible automation of transforming between modes. Who's to say what exactly is included in the whole package?
My personal concept of the shell program was that it acted to modify all of the outgoing and ingoing data to a Transformers personality. When freed from it they reverted back to their original personalities but while it was active, they could be made to act like however someone wanted, to a degree. To put it more simply a Maximal with one on would have their "good" impulses changed into something violent or destructive. It doesn't make them more competent or anything and doesn't change their core programming, it's more like brainwashing (which was what was illustrated). So while you could make Waspintor behave chivalrously he'd still be bumbling and incompetent.
In some more detail, I sometimes entertained the thought it modified a Transformer's perception of the world by also altering their sensory input. It might make them perceive Megatron and the Predacon's actions in a positive light and the Maximal's actions negatively. It could possibly even change hard sensory perceptions like a psychotropic agent. These are more ideas I've toyed with than what I actually thought happened however.
From a simplistic view, it's probable that it would be much easier to modify existing programming superfluously than to try to add in new data or to rewrite anything. It is a shell program after all, which implies it runs over the core processes.
As a note of curiosity, where does the elaborations on the Maximal council come from? I've read the IDW Beast Wars comics but didn't get that kind of a vibe. Was it from novels, the Dreamwave comics or some other source? I'd like to find out and if I can, have a look so I can comment on that aspect of this.
I think it was more of a plot device, like that weird alien gizmo Megatron acquired to make Trans Metal II's. They needed a reason or explanation for Blackarachnia to become a TMII.
In past episodes there is never a mention of a shell program. Robots can change thier activation codes at will. Like in the ep where Dinobot changed his activation code because he believed the Preds would be victorious and had to fight Quickstrike. Before the change he had the male Maximal computer voice, after the change he had the female Predacon computer voice. And you can make Rhinox a Predacon by shooting him with lightning, apparently... Never a mention of a shell program. I would tend to guess that it was maybe something Tarantulas did JUST to BA to make sure she would stay a Predacon? Then why didn't he do it to Inferno as well, or Quickstrike, or how about Silverbolt? He was a Predacon for a hot minute, then just decided he wasn't... No mention of a shell program...
Also in the third season premiere when the time storm was ripping everything up and BA made a big deal because she was a Maximal protoform... Weren't Inferno and QS Maximal protoforms too? I'm guessing even if they were arware of what Megatron was doing, Inferon is too loyal and QS too ignorant to care or do anything about it...
I'm not dissing the series or the writing. I loved BW. Just making an observation.
shell programmming makes me want to cry.
There was no real definition of "Sparks" until fifteen episodes into the BW series. That doesn't necessarily mean they never existed before then (or in previous series, for that matter). Shell programs are convenient and reasonably consistent explanation for Predacon-making in the series, especially considering Preds have to work on/reprogram a protoform before it wakes up to turn it into one of them, otherwise it becomes a Maximal (technically at least) if allowed to activate with no outside interference. Then again, maybe the shell program is just one of Tarantulas' inventions - he likes making nasty stuff like that.
On the other examples you cite, an activation-code change is not the same thing as actually becoming a Predacon/Maximal. Silverbolt and Quickstrike were never actually Predacons (in their debut episide anyway), they were just told they were. And I don't think anyone really considered Dinobot a genuine Maximal, least of all Dinobot himself. Can't really say for Rhinox. Maybe the lightning machine is just a fancy shell-program installer (or maybe more is needed to install a shell program on an active Maximal as opposed to a protoform - getting past security barriers and all that)
Probably correct. I'd imagine Tarantulas and Blackarachnia were the only Preds with even half an idea what Megatron's true plans were.
hell, all he ever needed was a never ending supply of missles...
another thing about the maximal council...if they were noble and honorable...why would they classify all the information they could get their hands on about the autobots and decepticons....it almost seems like a mini version of pol-pot at work...deny the outside world exists and try to create your own version of a Eutopian society....
They probably did so 'cause with transwarp drives effectively making time travel possible, they might have been concerned some rogue Predacon might get info about Earth and try to travel to the past and start messin' things up, like tryin' to blow up Optimus Prime's head or swipe Megaton's spark or something - maybe even come back to completely take over Cybertron and seperate everyone's sparks from their bodies.
But none of that happened, so the council is just a bunch of paranoid jerks.
Separate names with a comma.