Robot Mode

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by weeklyhero, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    I know most Transformers have a robot mode and an alt mode, but what about those that have a less conventional transformation. such as animal-based transformers? Does the term "robot mode" refer specifically to their humanoid mode and the animal is the "alt mode" (I'm not talking Beast Wars where everyone had those two modes). What about those without a humanoid mode, like Lazerbeak or Skylynx? Does the animal count as the "robot mode" while the shuttle or cassette is the "alt mode"? In the case that the animal is called the "robot mode" would that mean Transformers with an animal "alt mode" would technically have two "robot modes"? I'm only asking this because I've made up a series of Transformers that have vehicle modes and transform into animals; what would their respective modes be called?
     
  2. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    Have a better question, with the Mutants, both modes were Beasts. Which one would you call Alt Mode?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  3. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I believe the "beast mode" precedent was already established with Beast Wars--it was a collective term, since there were some who transformed into stuff besides animals like fish, insects, mammals, and fantasy creatures like dragons.
     
  4. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    With the Mutants, I think they're technically both alt modes - the backstory as I recall said how they used to have robot modes but had lost them somehow (the toys still had their robot heads, but they couldn't actually transform into full robot mode).

    Otherwise, basically the 'robot' mode is pretty much whichever is the character's 'natural' state, and not the disguise. In the cases of Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage et al, yeah, the animal modes are the robot forms, the cassettes are their alts.

    Raindance and Grandslam have vehicle modes as their robot modes (they convert from vehicles into cassettes).

    Sky Lynx' robot mode, I think, is considered to be the combined form of his dinobird and lynx components.

    For characters that have a humanoid and bestial form, usually the humanoid one is considered the robot mode (although I did once write a bio for Ravage where he'd been upgraded to have a humanoid mode and he considered that his alt, as he still preferred his cat mode most of the time..!).

    You could probably also even consider Counterpunch an alt mode; although it's still a robot form, it's not Punch's natural robot form.
     
  5. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Nowadays we just call them Beast modes.

    EDIT- Ramrider beat me to it.
     
  6. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    I think that's the best answer I could have expected, thanks for the clarification. But what about the Dinobots or Predacons when even their alt modes couldn't be considered a disguise? Would they be considered having a robot and a beast mode, but not technically having an alt mode, especially since they stay in the beast mode more than robot?
     
  7. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    You do realise that "alt" is simply an abbreviation of "alternate"? So a beast mode is still an alt mode as it is the alternative mode to the robot or primary mode.
     
  8. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    We know that, what we're discussing is what would be considered the alternate form from the primary form.
     
  9. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    Exactly.

    Another big question is when you have a specific group of Transformers - say the Dinobots, or even the Protectobots - where their beast or vehicle mode defines them more than the robot mode, would the robot mode actually be considered their alternate mode? You've got Grimlock, whose dinosaur mode is the more defining of his two modes, so would the humanoid mode by an alt mode?
     
  10. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    While the dino modes may be considered more iconic, they're still not their natural forms. Grimlock, for instance, may or may not spend more time in his dino mode, but his humanoid form is still his natural state - in fact in most versions of the fiction, he's had a humanoid robot mode a lot longer than he's had a dinosaur mode.
     
  11. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    I've never seen the term applied to anything other than a character's non-robot mode, so I can't really see where to go with the question. It doesn't matter if Grimlock spends more time in his T-rex mode (damn you to HELL, Season 3), that is still the alternative to his robot mode.
     
  12. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    That works for me, thanks for the clarification, fellas.
     
  13. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ditto, good explanations all. :D 
     
  14. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    By the way, in relation to the actual point of this thread - the fanfic characters - I'd assume that the beast form would be the robot mode and the vehicle form would be considered the alternate mode. But that's pretty much assuming the beast forms are the natural state of the characters.
     
  15. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

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    why complicate this anymore than you need to?
    Laserbeak has a robot mode- the bird. his alt mode-cassette. i guess i see the variety of bots we have in development and it simplifies things for me. We have snake or centipede like bots, dog bots, and humanoid ones like Asimo. so, i see the mode that laserbeak uses outside of Soundwave's chest and where he has the most freedom, as being his bot mode. or you could say the form that is least used as a disguise is the bot mode.
    honestly, laserbeak looks nothing like a real bird that we know of, so it is the least effective disguise, so it is the bot mode.

    just a theory.
     
  16. Geminii

    Geminii Toyetic multiformophile

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    I've often considered the 'robot mode' to be a character's primary social mode - the one which allows the most comprehensive interaction with other Transformers and their equipment. Thus, robotic humanoid modes tend to top the list, followed by whatever has the most articulation/expressiveness. Altmodes tend to be for function - higher levels of attack, defense, concealment, speed, or additional capability of whatever form.

    Thus, Raindance and Grandslam's most mobile modes, their vehicle forms, are their 'robot mode', and their cassette mode gives them extra concealment, a smaller cross-section, and better data-recording/processing functions.

    Alternatively, Transformers without a humanoid mode could just be considered to have two altmodes and no robot mode. It may depend on context.
     

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