Mitotic sparks and death.

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Coeloptera, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    So, I was explaining the concept of mitotic sparks to someone in an email and here's what I sent so far:

    "Everything you ever wanted to know about mitotic sparks but were afraid to ask.

    Mitotic spark - Transformers Wiki

    Duocon - Transformers Wiki
    Each Duocon is composed of 2 distinct vehicles which combine into a single robot mode. They were a step on the way to the coveted triple-changer process. 2 bodies, 3 modes: 2 vehicles or 1 robot.

    There’s also potentially “Commander Modesty” Sky Lynx (G1) - Transformers Wiki
    He is unique and will tell you about it at length. Sky Lynx has 2 bodies and 4 total modes: A “dinobird” and a lynx, which can operate independently or combine into a space shuttle with crawler or a dragon-thingy.

    Here is the ne plus ultra, from a few thousand years down the line: Magmatron - Transformers Wiki
    Magmatron not only has 3 bodies, but all three combine into one robot mode and can also combine in an entirely different configuration into a chimerical monster, giving him a grand total of 3 bodies with 5 distinct modes between all of them. So he can operate as a robot, a big monster, or as 3 dinosaurs. Only a few of the most advanced Pretenders share that level of complexity as a single being.

    Pretender - Transformers Wiki
    Regular Pretenders have a transforming inner robot and a non-transforming outer shell they can control. The robot can ride inside the shell or move about independently of it. So there are 2 bodies with 3 total modes available: robot/vehicle and shell.

    Mega Pretender - Transformers Wiki
    The Mega Pretenders have 2 bodies, an inner robot and an outer shell, both of which can transform into vehicles and which can then combine when transformed into a larger, more powerful vehicle. So we have maximum of 2 active bodies at any time with 5 distinct modes: robot/vehicle, shell/vehicle, and combined vehicle.

    Ultra Pretender - Transformers Wiki
    The Ultra Pretenders have 3 bodies: an outer, non-transforming vehicle, a shell that can be contained in the vehicle and that can transform, and an inner robot that can also transform and “man” either of the other two vehicle modes. So 5 modes as well with as many as 3 active bodies at once: outer vehicle, shell/vehicle, robot/vehicle.

    It is important to note that Pretenders do not have mitotic sparks. The shells are linked to the robot but are not “alive” in their own right. The robot is the only “living” component and controls the shell(s). In some continuities, the process is extremely “unnatural” and dangerous. Pain is shared, and damaging a shell severely enough could potentially cause the robot to shut down sympathetically from the feedback.

    To date: no one with a mitotic spark has had only a single component completely destroyed in fiction. Pain seems to be perceived by the entire being, but “localized” to the damaged component. So, for example, if you tore a wing off of Sky Lynx’s “dinobird” form, his lynx component would feel it and be aware of it, but wouldn’t be crippled. The “dinobird” might very well be, though. In some fictions, a Duocon has been killed while in combined mode and stayed dead. It is completely unknown what might happen if only a component were utterly destroyed.

    The RotF “Arcee” issue is sort of a problem, considering Bay cared so little that it’s actually never been conclusively established whether it was three individuals (Arcee, Chromia, and Moonracer) that combined (either through the gestalt process or a variant of what’s called “powerlinx”), or one individual with a mitotic spark and three bodies. Further complicating matters is the fact that not only has the third, purple bike not even been released yet, but none of the two existing toy’s instructions even hint at the ability to combine, even though the toys themselves very obviously have artifacts of the process and have, to date, been combined insofar as it’s able to be done with just the two.

    There’s even an unused design for the combined mode."


    So, that done, I realized...I really don't have any idea what might happen if a single body of a being like Sky Lynx or Battletrap were to be utterly destroyed.

    Theories?

    - Coeloptera
     
  2. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    I remember having discussions on this galore back when everyone thought that the Arcee bikes would combine in the movie.
     
  3. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    A summation or a link would be greatly appreciated.

    - Coeloptera
     
  4. bny888

    bny888 バグバイト

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    cool info! :) 
     
  5. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think survival would depend on the Transformer. Both halves of Sky Lynx transform so they could most likely survive independently. However, something like a Duocon woudn't make it by half. Pretenders have already shown they can survive if the Shell is destroyed, however the Shell could not survive or funtion on it's own.
     
  6. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    They all basically amounted to pages and pages of "WTF!?!?! THIS MAKES NO SENSE! YOU ARE A F***ING MORON BAY! WHAT IF ONE OF THE BIKES GETS DESTROYED? YOU WILL HAVE RENDERED ARCEE USELESS!!! DIE BAY DIE" against a few posts of "well, it's better than her being one bike and being completely destroyed rather than partially".
     
  7. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    My guess is that it would vary. A being like a Duocon would probably die, the other half of his spark extinguishing with the first (Recall that the death of Rampage had a profound effect on Dinobot II). Sky Lynx however could probably continue on as a diminished being.

    Don't forget that Optimus Prime is also a multi-unit being, with the robot, the trailer, and rollar. It's even stated in his tech spec that pain is shared between them.
     
  8. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Beat me to it!! :) 

    Optimus Prime is the first Mitotic Spark! It also says in his profile that while Prime could survive the destruction of his other 2 units, they could not continue functioning without him... so obviously there is a hierarchy.

    Metroplex and Omega Supreme would also qualify... Omega because he splits into multiple components, not unlike a Duocon, and Metroplex because Slammer, Six-Gun, and Scamper (I think) are all extant personalities derived from Metro's own consciousness.

    zmog
     
  9. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    I agree about Metroplex yet I disagree about OS. It just seems to me that as long as the "tank" section of OS is intact, he survives, everything else is superfluous in terms of spark/laser core survival. Don't forget in "The Key to Vector Sigma", his head is kept on life support while the rest of him is repaired, and given his partsforming nature in relation to the tank core, it would make sense if the rest, including the rocket were just armored add ons in a technical sense. Really it wouldn't be too different then Ultra Magnus surviving as a white Optimus style bot if his trailer were obliterated IMHO.
     
  10. Aernaroth

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

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    I think at the very least, the death of a part would be extremely traumatic to the other parts, to the point of killing them. Someone brought up an idea of hierarchy, and that's probably the best way to look at it. How dependent the other parts are on a single body, determines their likelihood of survival if that main body dies, and by association, how linked they are to eachother.

    For example, we've seen Transformers survive the loss of their pretender shells in the comics, and we know that roller can't survive without Optimus Prime. So in cases like Sky Lynx, his death would likely be the death of the lynx part, but he could likely survive its death, albeit likely with permanent injury and significant trouble. As for the duocons, since they're so dependent on eachother, the death of one would likely mean the death of the other, but its possible that link could also facilitate an unnatural level of durability if only one of the alt modes was damaged.
     
  11. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    That's one possible take, but I wouldn't go so far. First of all, in terms of the Cartoon, Omega Supreme was effectively a rocket. His tank component never really did much of anything on its own. In fact, the whole handling of OS was really awkward on the cartoon in general.

    As for keeping his head online... the jury is still out. Even Duocons have a basic degree of encephalization. Moreover, do we assume that Skylynx's lynx mode is just an armour upgrade, because his bird head does all the talking 99% of the time? And Ultra Magnus' trailer? When do we ever see the trailer act on it's own? Never, obviously, because the old cartoons didn't even address Magnus having a "core" robot... but still, UM's trailer is about as passive a unit as can be imagined. It's really just him hauling around his armour... which is quite different from Omega's "arms" (rocket).

    And then there's the issue of treating anything we see on the old cartoon as being meaningful or consistent. :) 

    Honestly? I would prefer to imagine the tank module as Omega's core consciousness. Omega was always a bit odd, and it makes things simpler... but as long as we're talking about Mitotic Sparks and TFs that split themselves across multiple modules, Omega is very much in their company.

    zmog
     
  12. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    You know, the sad part of that is the fact that as Optimus lay dying on the table in the '86 movie, somewhere Roller and Combat Deck were also turning grey and not moving.

    In the cases of Prime and Metroplex, is seems heavily implied, although not outright stated, that the "main spark" is in the big robot unit, with the others being extensions of it.

    Omega is iffier, I agree with Pravus Prime. It's just in most media, the other stuff comes with the rocket when it goes anywhere. It does function separately, but I always perceived it as more a remote control of his well...his arms, at range. In fact, I can't recall an instance in any media where the rocket goes somewhere and doesn't take the base with it...somehow.

    I could see Omega functioning more like the Pretender interface. The arms/rocket are absolutely a true part of him, but his spark resides in the tank/torso area. If the rocket is blown up, it's like he got his arms torn off, but he stays alive.

    Ultra Magnus just hauls extra armour and weapons behind him when he transforms. It's no different than Bug Byte's jetpack/jet ski thing, or TFA Prowl's armour/sidecar.

    So we're really back to the Duocons, I think. They're the only ones that inhabit a grey area with regards to only one component dying, since the media usually makes it clear that both vehicles are a single Transformer. Sky Lynx inhabits that grey area as well.

    - Coeloptera
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Somewhere in a subspace closet, where Prime had them gathering dust you mean? :D 

    For sure... the little ones are dependents of a sort.. offshoots of a self-sufficient consciousness.

    Again, I'm not disagreeing with the basic premise, but I think that looking to the media in this instance is building on faulty ground. Omega was never really explained in any satisfactory or consistent way. He also seemed to get pretty badly hurt whenever his "arms" took damage in Rocket mode.

    Not sure... I still think of Omega being one of that weird breed of TFs that seems to be able to break their body up into semi-independent pieces... though I still agree that the core tank is probably the "essential" Omega. But would the rest be a "Pretender-esque" extension, or simply limbs that he can separate and control mentally?

    What's the difference? I guess I always look at the Pretender shells as an add-on, something grafted to an existing robot... where with Omega, I think his extensions are more like something that breaks off from the original core.

    I see... so your main point is, can the TF in question survive with less than all of it's components?

    Interestingly, although Combiners function differently, this question remains. Can Devastator exist without Scavenger? Or does he effectively "die" once this one key part of his psyche is lost?

    The Japanese version of Combiners, especially the Scramble City versions, don't seem to have this problem, since often the parts separate while the giant robot is formed, without issue or obvious psychological impact. Liokaiser also seems to have no problem when Deathcobra bites it, though how exactly that worked was obscure anyway.

    zmog
     
  14. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    This is how I perceive it based on a scene where Omega is running and launches his arms to quickly get the other Autobots off Cybertron. The rest of him did not transform at the same time.
     
  15. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    For my own fiction, and personal understanding of the multi-body characters, I worked through the logic to a fairly different conclusion.

    I've always viewed the 'Splitters' (Duocons, Reflector, Skylynx, Omega Supreme, etc.) as having a single core/spark/life-force, but simply being able to SHUNT that core-self into whichever component they chose when they split. They would then retain control over the other piece(s) as an independent agent through a link pretty much identical to what has entered fiction as the GT System

    I feel that this makes more sense (You don't have to puzzle through what it means for each component to carry "half a spark" or anything, and what happens if one-half dies is simply a matter of whether that half was carrying the spark or not), plus it would also carry a really significant evolutionary/survival/tactical advantage: If you're fighting a Ducocon, or a Skylynx, or whatever, you have no way of knowing which component to shoot at if you're trying to kill your enemy. It becomes like the ball-and-cup game with the spark, and we KNOW how easy it is to fool someone with that kind of set up.

    I know I'm not going to make any converts to my vision of things with this thumbnail sketch of a post, but I thought I'd share.

    D/L
    *Who rarely gets on-board with non-canon 'fan consensus'*
     
  16. Cast

    Cast Roll the dice

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    I believe it was in IDW's early run prime was basically killed by megatron pumped up on super energon only to "move" his spark to the battle deck while his body repaired itself, to me that suggest if you want to kill any of these guys you have to kill every part

    If you kill the dinobird and the lynx part of skylynx will live on and the dinobird could be rebuilt and return him to full fuction, the mental impact this would have would have to be massive though. Duocon would imagen as the same deal, oddly enough I've always seen omega as just the tank but he would probably fall into this catagory to.

    Pretenders I would say other wise, I don't think a shell can hold a spark but it would have to become usless after its inner robot was destoryed, this is only my reading of it but to me in stormbringer it seemed thunderwing was actually dead and it was a reanimated shell that went on the rampage but that was just my take on it.

    Now this is of course depending on the fiction you go by but what would you say happens to a headmaster after there "master" dies? Target masters would just have tp pick up another gun, powermasters... again depending on the fiction seems like something they would have to worrie about given TF can last well many times longer than humans or anything like them.
     
  17. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Pretenders and *Masters are among the MANY reasons I really prefer the Japanese take on late-era G1.

    No independent "Shells" of any kind to much around with, and the *Masters are all tiny sentient robots(or humans) controlling non sentient Transector vehicle/bodies. No fuss, no muss :) 
     
  18. blunghole

    blunghole The Tapeworm of Unicron!

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    That's what I always believed. If you want to kill a TF like Magmatron, the Duocons, or Omega Supreme you have to kill EVERY SINGLE PART like it's some sort of weird horror film starring Bruce Campbell. If you kill Flywheel's tank you still have to deal with the jet. Kill of Magmatron's Landsaur, you're going to get trouble from Seasaur and Skysaur.

    God, wouldn't it be horrible to have a tiny dead guy sitting in a seat located inside your brain. And the smell.....
     
  19. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    Can robots even smell?
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Word. US-style Headmasters are just a big headache. :( 

    zmog
     

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