Protagonist/Antagonist Balance

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Single Elegant Machine, Jun 1, 2010.

?

What do you like to see in Transformers?

  1. Heroes > Villains

    10.3%
  2. Villains > Heroes

    62.1%
  3. Neither, I want there to be a balance.

    27.6%
  1. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    As you are all aware, the Transformers mythos has pervaded a plethora of disparate continuities and plotlines, each with their own unique interpretation of the classic Manichean dichotomy between good and evil. With the upcoming release of Transformers: Prime--and as a result of discussion pertinent to said topic--I find it prudent to inquire as to what your opinions are concerning the "balance of power" between factions and/or characters.

    Quite simply: Do you enjoy your heroes consistently overpowering your villains? Or conversely, perhaps you enjoy your villains consistently overpowering your heroes. Or maybe you prefer a perfect equilibrium.

    The two extremes (as far as I'm aware) would be represented by G1 and Beast Machines respectively. Prime almost always had the upper hand on Megatron in G1, while Megatron beat Primal to a pulp with ease and the Maximals lost a good majority of the time in BM.
     
  2. Mykamusprime

    Mykamusprime Well-Known Member

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    I personally, prefer it when the antagonist has the upper hand and the protagonist still manages to come out victorious at the end of the conflict. Example: All of the Rocky movies. :) 
     
  3. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    Have you seen the Rocky movies? He lost in Rocky and Rocky Balboa.

    Anywho, I'd love a series to end with a Decepticon victory, it would just be really interesting to see. While I harbor no delusions about actually seeing that, I do enjoy series where the balance of power changes.

    Take a scenario not too far removed from Animated or Superlink, with the scattered 'cons are practically ghost stories at the start of the series, but as it progresses, eventually the Autobots are forced off of Cybertron and forced to go to other worlds to base their attempts to retake the planet. Something like that. I'll admit, I do so love the "Evil Rising" motiff.
     
  4. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

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    Conflict for drama. If the good guys keep winning, I'd rather the odds be stacked against them.

    I don't feel empowered by faultless protagonists, just sympathetic to their opponents.
     
  5. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I agree (except for the Rocky example usage :)  )

    It's interesting to examine the various types of 'balance of power', especially in light of the general concept that in kids' cartoons, "good guys always win" (well, almost always).

    In the G1 cartoon it was almost a given that, in a 'fair fight', the good guys were expected to win, so most of the plots are about the Decepticons trying to get an advantage with some kind of cheat/trap/super-weapon/ally/energy source.

    In series like Beast Machines or Energon, the baddies had overwhelming numbers on their side, usually drones of some type. This often translated into drones being destroyed by the thousands by a small group of good guys, even if said good guys actually ended up losing the battle.

    I like the approach Animated took, where even a single Decepticon easily overpowered the average Autobot, so teamwork and/or unusual cunning was required (along with the general idea that the good guys got better at fighting as the series progressed).

    One thing that annoys me in some TF shows (anime-based ones mostly, though I noticed it in some comics as well) is the concept that "the only one capable of defeating Megatron is Optimus Prime (and vice-versa)". In those the leader seems some supernatural who can beat the entire opposing army in his sleep (usually commenting such as well) until the enemy leader shows up to make it a real fight. Such things strained credibility for me. In the G1 show the leaders are very powerful, but Megatron isn't expected to single-handedly beat ten 'grunt' Autobots at once, or Omega Supreme, or Superion, but in other shows (Cybertron especially) he's pretty much unstoppable to anyone not named "Optimus".
     
  6. rainningstorm

    rainningstorm cheapskate@Cantonment

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    Stronger antagonist, more drama, more epic fights. =)
     
  7. Evil Dead

    Evil Dead Well-Known Member

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    Mmm. This is a bit tricky, but I do think Transformers is the only series where I root for the good guys and the good guys only. And that's not to say I don't appreciate the Decepticons and all their sneaky, underhanded, treaturous ways--because I most certainly do. It's just that sometimes it's nice to see the right side win, for all the right kinds of reasons. (And of course terms like "good guys" and "right side" and all are quite subjective, as it depends on what side of the fence you're looking from.)

    That being said, at the same time I kind of like a balance--but perhaps with an ever-so-slight advantage for the 'Cons. Figure it'd get pretty boring pretty quick if the Autobots or Decepticons were so fantastically stronger than the other side, that there wouldn't be much of a fight. But if you have the Decepticons being just a bit stronger, it makes the fight of the Autobots all the more exciting, as several people have already mentioned. (That's also one of the reasons I like Animated so much. The last fight scene with Megatron and the other bots was a nail-biting kind of moment.)
     
  8. Shelfwarmercon

    Shelfwarmercon Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see more Transformer series that have the Decepticons winning their share of the battles. Admittedly that may not necessarily happen, since there's plenty of cartoons that have the good guys winning all the time, and they still do well with their target audience.
     
  9. AMG

    AMG Old School

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    I like balance, victories for both sides regularly makes it more interesting.
     
  10. Chopperface

    Chopperface Holtzmanned

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    In BW and Animated, the Maximals/Autobots and Predacons/Decepticons had a roughly equal victory rate. Some episodes good won, others evil lost. I like that format.
     
  11. Mykamusprime

    Mykamusprime Well-Known Member

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    Finally watched Rocky Balboa... I retract my Rocky reference :) 
    But everything else is right on... You need to sometimes doubt if the protagonist will win with the odds all stacked against him or her.
     
  12. prowl26

    prowl26 Well-Known Member

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    Animated did it nearly perfectly for me, the good guys almost always won but it was through tenacity not just butt-kicking. Although it was always nice to see Megatron afraid of Op's in the original cartoon.
     
  13. alex_kingdom

    alex_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    I much prefer it when the bad guys have the upperhand and the good guys are out gunned, out numbered and fighting for their lives. That's how it was in Beast Machines and it made for a very dark, adult and IMO exciting Transformers series.
     
  14. Ellamin

    Ellamin Moonbeam Dreamer

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    I want a Megatron that is fearsome while in the shadows and then when he gets involved personally he kills off the old leader, (optimus) allowing for a Femme to command the autobots remaining while a competent, deadly, clever Starscream "trains" a shy young autobot (not a "turbo revvin' punk"!) to kill Megatron, Starscream gets killed off for interfering with Megatron one final time, wounding Megatron in the process, but this scuffle allows Megatron to be killed by the trained Autobot before Starscream offlines.

    no cosmic maguffin, no "optimus = good leader" thinking, humans posing a problem to the cybertronians by being in the way, maybe a couple geeks helping the cybertronians adapt to terran weather, no gods, plenty of neutral bots (no more Autobot vs Decepticon only, no middle, only unicron/primus heralds to meddle in both" thinking!)

    We can dream.
     
  15. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    The Decepticons are war machines VS peaceful Autobots who became soldiers out of necessity in most continuities. With that in mind, the Decepticons ought to be more powerful. Not overpowering, but strong enough that the average Decepticon should be able to defeat the average Autobot without too much effort.

    The appeal in that then lies in seeing the Autobots use clever tricks and their wits to win fights against superior opponents. Special abilities as well, but the clever use of them is a big part of the appeal. Animated I feel did this extremely well. You never felt the Decepticons were completely over the top powerful, but at the same time, they gave the Autobots a lot of trouble individually, and when the fight involved more than one or two, it became a real test of brains over brawn.
     
  16. MaxLinden

    MaxLinden Auto-Con

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    If I remember correctly, Armada lets the Decepticons win sometimes!
     
  17. Mykamusprime

    Mykamusprime Well-Known Member

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    Sol Fury.... You're awesome!!!:thumbs2: 
     
  18. Takeout

    Takeout Mistress of the Night

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    Agree with this or die.
     
  19. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    I concur. I do so have a penchant for seeing the heroes fighting for their lives, not to mention losing.
     

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