Robots in DISGUISE? (yeah right!)

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Goaliebot, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Goaliebot

    Goaliebot All Makes and Models

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    I'm not talking about the R.I.D series, but rather the entire concept across most of the lines/universes.

    Usual disclaimer: Yes, I know it's just a cartoon and just a kid's toyline, etc etc yadda yadda. And I know that the Ark "made a mistake" in taking vehicles for the dominant lifeform.
    Shaddap. :) 

    Most of the lines of Transformers are NOT, contrary to the tagline, in disguise at all. BeastWars were OK at it for their time, but would not be in today's world.

    Think about it - your requirements are to take on a disguise that:

    a) can conceal your mass (we are NOT talking mass shifting here, if they could do that then the whole thing is moot as they could just shrink into specks and zoom around like that - no one would see them at all).

    b) is commonly seen in modern society, and not normally attacked by human military.

    c) is freely mobile.

    Take item b - a tank can move, but it does not properly disguise the robot since any military would surely chase and attack an errant, wandering tank.

    Most of the Decepticons fail the disguise test. Apart from Megs, Soundwave, Shockwave etc with their mass-shifting issues, the seekers also have problems with disguise. Mysterious F-15 fighers are not generally accepted as free to roam the skies without challenge from the military - they'd show up on radar and attacks would be launched. The only way the seekers could move about in disguise would be if they are invisible to radar - in which case visibly appearing as a human-built jet is moot, since they'd be attacked on sight anyway.

    The Constructicons and other common vehicles stand the best chance, especially if they have tinted windows or fake driver decoys.

    The Predacons make no sense - either they are the size of a cow (and thus a robot of only about 12 feet tall), or they are giant animals. And any animal, giant or no, isn't generally allowed to wander freely in today's society. A grouping of a lion, panther, bull, rhino and hawk wouldn't exactly go unnoticed. And I'm not even mentioning the whole "mechanical and primarily red and orange in color" part.

    So for the Autobots; Prime and most of the cars are OK. Again, they'd need decoy drivers or tinting to maintain disguise. Ignore the mass-shifters like Blaster and Perceptor. The Arielbots and Jetfire would run into the same problems as the seekers - rogue airplanes are not accepted in today's skies.

    The dinobots would be MORE noticeable "in disguise" than in robot form, being giant silver mechanical extinct species.

    The Insecticons require mass-shifting, otherwise they are giant mechanical insects and as much in "disguise" as the dinobots.

    Astrotrain and Blitzwing get no disguise from any of thier 3 modes: tanks, jets, and shuttles are not generally allowed to roam freely. Neither are trains, let alone taking into account the limitations of tracks to run on ("Megatron! I can't join the battle, these tracks go to Boston! Byyyeeeeeee!").

    In 1986 the "disguises" became even more futile. Most of the TF's are no longer even trying, instead maintaining non-earth alt modes like space jets (Cyclonus, Scourge) and strange wheeled vehicles that never sold well to humans (flame-decaled camper vans from hell, spacecars, etc). A theory also arose among the 'bots that humans wouldn't notice entire cities appearing and disappearing all over the globe (Trypticon, Fort Max, Metroplex, Omega Supreme!). Humanity by this time was just glad to no longer be dodging giant mechanical insects and dinos, plus we had started drinking heavily.

    The Technobots aren't even trying. Skylinx makes no sense at all in alt mode, being some kind of base + shuttle/airliner.

    Yes, for super intelligent robots, they really aren't even as good at disguise as Dana Carvey.

    Fortunately, there are 2 things that make it all better:

    1) They make GREAT toys.

    2) The whole thing can be explained by giving each robot a simple "S.E.P." field generator. Brownie points to the first one to explain this. :) 




    2nd Disclaimer: This entire post is tongue-in-cheek and meant to spark a fun discussion. That is all. Please don't hurt me, I swear I'm not Michael Bay.
     
  2. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    The Ark didnt know that jets wouldnt make good disguises. it thought they were the dominant life form on earth.

    The original transformers never cared much for disguise anyways, which is why the dinobots exist. the autobots are the good guys, they dont have to hide. the nations of earth accept them. The decepticons didnt care much about hiding either.

    So basically, the Ark wasted it's time. It decided they'd need new alternate modes for disguise, not aware that they were going to go to war on earth, and since it assumed all life was mechanical, it couldnt realze how impractical the alt modes it chose for some transformers were. it also couldnt know that the transformers would never really bother with disguise anyways.

    Of course, this brings up a new problem: Why did newly-built transformers often have "disguise"-themed alt modes if neither faction even bothered with disguising themselves? it doesnt make sense at all. hooray.
     
  3. bobby_C

    bobby_C Well-Known Member

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    The mention of Bay is amusing, because his decepticons actually are using their military alternate modes as a way to approach military targets. They're not attacked because they're american vehicles with american immatriculations, and as we can see in the trailer by the time the military really notice the problem they've already landed in the middle of their targets :p 
    Overall the disguises seem to be working in Bay-verse and even scorponok doesn't get noticed until it's too late in the trailer.

    Back to the cartoon, I think from 86 on they're not trying anymore indeed, since they're allowed to build cities around, which probably explains stuff like the technobots. But it's not like they've ever really tried, since they introduced themselves to humans in the very first story and the humans seemed to take it pretty casually :D 

    SEP field generators are a nice idea but bots with small italian bistro altmodes aren't that common.
     
  4. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    Hehe, awesome post Goaliebot! It echoes what many people have probably realized but just never took the time to bring up or type out. I agree with almost everything you said, though I do think some of the early G1 alt modes still served a viable purpose regardless if they blended in with human society or not, whether it was for mere transportation, battle, temporary disguise from *each other*, etc.

    That said, in my own little updated make-believe world of the TF's, they all just kept their War Within designs while on Earth since A) they couldn't just change to an entirely new alt form & body shape with a simple scan, B) they realized that as long as they're huge robots fighting each other anyway, blending into our surroundings is irrelevant, and C) there's no longer an issue of mass shifting or skewed size scales since they don't have Earth modes to conform to (ie: why a Seeker jet ends up the same size in robot form as an Autobot car... or smaller than Megatron).

    That's why I love the War Within concept so much. In those forms, who's to say that Jetfire & Prime wouldn't stand shoulder to shoulder, or that someone like Prowl isn't also the same height? We have nothing to compare their alien alt modes to, so they very well all could be around the same height... with some expected size variation between the bots not unlike humans.

    To me, Transformers are about robots that *transform* for some purpose specific to their character - simple as that - not necessarily always being in some sort of releveant "disguise" dependent on what planet they happen to be on. They may update their designs once in a while (ie: like the differences between War Within to Stormbringer), but overall aren't trying to hide from anyone or anything since, once they transform even one time in front of anyone, their supposed disguise is blown anyway.

    So that big red & blue robot with the face plate just transformed into a red & blue semi - noted. Or that little yellow robot just transformed into a VW Beetle - got it. And hey, look at that, they all have clearly visible symbols on their chests, hoods, wings, etc. to let us know well in advance that they're good or bad transformable alien robots. And I could be wrong here, but aren't those giant grey mechanical dinosaurs the same ones that we saw turn into huge robots... or are they a different group of giant grey mechanical dinosaurs?

    :) 
     
  5. Alpha Prime

    Alpha Prime Ten Years Strong

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    Some good points. By RID, i think it can be interpruted the same as "More Than Meets the Eyes". In otherwords, you wouldn't expect a sports car to become a robot.
     
  6. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    ^ I agree.

    Some of the transformers are robots is disguise and some are more than meets the eye.

    I think that for some series (Generation 1 first season, RID and Cybertron) the element of disguise was very important, were as in the other series having two modes was a far greater advantage of being a transformer.
     
  7. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    The actual series RID seemed to play with the idea some, having the Autobots acting as sleeper cells on our world; they didn't reveal themselves until it became neccesary to defend us.
    Gen 1 Season 1, yea, the "disguises" were of help, because Jazz could blend in on the street and evade a team of Decepticons who might be too lazy to blast the whole lot. Couple of episodes it also allowed the bots to do some recon; while you might know there are transforming vehicles in the world, why would you expect that sweet ride across the street to be one of them? Just like there are undercover officers in our real world; crooks know they're out there, just don't always know who those folks are.
    Season Two and beyond, yea they abandoned the concept, which I can buy~ The Alt-modes serve their own purposes, and since the humans knew they were there it made it easier to keep the Cybertronian utility-type vehicles than some cheesey disguise.
     
  8. Emperor Prime

    Emperor Prime Banned

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    Keep in mind too that by 1986 it was the year 2005-6 for transformers and the alt modes were supposed to represent futuristic cars of the time. Hot Rod and Kup blended in fine with Marrisa Fairborns Road saucer she drove around.
     
  9. Autobot X

    Autobot X Too broke for 3P and MP.

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    Ooh, Ooh, Brownie Points to me! S.E.P. is "Somebody Else's Problem." From Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. The S.E.P. field causes everyone to assume that the strange space ship (or in this case, giant robot) they are seeing is simply somebody else's problem, and thus, fit to be ignored.

    Sweet. I'm a cool nerd.:dunce 
     
  10. The Constructicon

    The Constructicon Yeah, I turn into a leg.

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    Transformers: Robots that turn into stuff

    Is that better?
     
  11. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    I never really cared about the whole disguise thing. I just like that they transform into stuff.
     
  12. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    I agree with most of what you're saying, but I think you're exaggerating the point about jets. I wasn't aware that most civilized militaries carried a "shoot first and ask later" policy. Don't they usually signal the crafts to ask what they're doing? In that case, the Decepticons could easily just make up some kind of lie. They are, after all, disguised as American crafts over American soil, that's not as suspicious as other situations could be
     

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