Transformers, Immortality, and Upgrading

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by WingedWeasel, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. WingedWeasel

    WingedWeasel Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    I did some searching, but may have missed an existing topic about this. If I did I apologize.

    My questions to everyone are as follows: To what extent can transformers modify their own bodies? Presumably within a species of creatures that "learned" to transform there is some degree of upgrading. In the IDW comic series (Kup spotlight)

    minor spoiler:

    Kup was known to often actively refuse upgrades that other transformers underwent.

    Beyond that one would think a technologically advanced species would over the course of millions of years discover ways to improve on their initial bodies. Similar to the Kup example Megatron during Megatron Origins is shown being given several upgrades. Through G1 many transformers are shown being repaired which would lead one to believe that individual parts could be to some extent interchangeable or replaceable. I can't speak about other series all that much as I don't recall them that well. Having just finished watching G1 over again, I am making my way toward Beast Wars, but it's slow (read: SLOW) because my wallets is pleading with me.

    Anyway.

    At what point can a transformer no longer upgrade? Can their spark/life force/whatever not be moved to another body without a huge risk? Presumably a transformer is immortal, in that they will live forever unless killed and upgrades/repairs would ensure that they are still functionally useful far into the future.

    As a semi-related point would something like this lead to a "rich get richer" type scenario in peaceful transformer society? For example, Transformer A does a certain job X. However, transformer B also performs the same job. For whatever reason B gets an advantage over A, buys new upgrades. Objectively A should never be able to compete with B. I guess the counter-proposal is that we are talking about robots that have emotions and can have highs and lows. So possibly the underdog is able to fight their way back.

    Then again they are fictional creatures that I pondering the plight of the working robot :crazy: 

    Are there examples of what the limitations are with these kinds of things? (Thunderwing in the IDW-verse for example) Anyone thought about any of this?
     
  2. GENOZAUR

    GENOZAUR Banned

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    when it comes to the whole idea of a spark transplant it involves the complete removal of a living transformers lasercore/sparkchamber and presumably the energon/oxygen pump as well so as to successfully stabilise the temporarily disimbodied spark

    in a certain manner of speaking picture a dying person having their soul forcibly removed form their body and then transferred into a living clone of their original body

    like what emporer palpatine did to defeat death whenever he came close to dying in the true eternal sense

    as transformers go though i would think that god jinrai's character from masterforce and victory could be seen as being a good example of the matter itself

    i dont know if i am completely remembering it right but when he died in victory his living mind was essentually copied and stored away temporarily in the bases computer system

    while his dying spark was presumably transfered from his dying body into victory leos body presumably with the dying spark itself being revitalised with an extreme dose of energon so as to stabilise it and keep it from self exstinguishing

    wether it was because of the trauma of the whole procedure the fact that his living mind was copied and preserved even as it was dying or the possiblity that the whole experience had been rather horribly painful when it comes to ginrai experiencing a rather terrible form of full body sensory shock to such a torturous degree one of those facts or perhaps all of them casued victory leo top be a rather differant character from god jinrai
    even though spiritually speaking they were essentually the same person in that regard

    one could see the whole matter as being the transformer equivalent to reincarnation
     
  3. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I guess it depends on the series.

    Beast Wars implied that removing a Spark was possible, but hugely dangerous. The only time it was done was with a nigh-indestructible spark.

    Beast Machines suggests you can be reformatted, but outright Spark Transfer is hard, even with Spark Extractors. Why else would Megatron have kept his organic body if he could just have moved to another form? He managed it, though, many times.

    Armada had a Spark transfer, too. Literally out of one shell and into another.

    Energon and Cybertron sort of implied it could be done - Cybertron least of all but that was complicated, but Energon had several cases of bots getting destroyed and rebuilt.

    Animated also suggests in the first series that a Spark can be transferred from one body to another, since it's what Megatron was planning to do with Soundwave.

    Generally, it seems as though a total body rebuild is possible, though I would prefer to think of it more like computer processors and motherboards. You can upgrade them beyond the out of the box specifications safely so far, then you can try overclocking to squeeze that last bit of power from it, but then you hit the limit and can't upgrade any more. At that point, you can try moving the hard drives - like a Transformer's memory and experience - to a new machine, but it isn't the same computer any more - while it has all the same data on its hard drives, it is a new entity separate from the original. Parts are completely new, like when you upgraded, but the operating system is new, a fresh install, unlike when you were simply upgrading. It's a new computer. Putting a Transformer in a new body would be similar - they could recreate a lot of the original features and carry over memory and experience, but it would never be exactly the same as what the original was.
    Think of the characters in the A-E-C shows who got destroyed and brought back with new names and altered / new bodies - they were similar to the originals and had their memories, but often the personalities changed. Armada Megatron to Energon Megatron, Cyclonus to Snow Cat, Demolishor from his tank body to his dump truck body, to name three examples. Maybe that is why a Transformer frequently changes his name when he gets an upgrade like that - perhaps he just doesn't feel like he is who he was any more.


    EDIT: Oooo, good call on God Ginrai / Victory Leo Genozaur. He's another grand example of the "upgrade" theory since he was so different from Ginrai even though he had the occasional flash of his former self.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  4. Johnator

    Johnator 'Til All Are Gone!

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    I would think the upgrade limitations would depend on the versatility of the individual and some (like Kup or Ironhide) are probably too comfortable with what they have to upgrade. I do like the rich get richer analogy with many competing to get the best weapons, armor, etc. It also makes each Transformer more unique depending on what they have. Interesting topic.
     
  5. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    It's hard to say, due to the somewhat convoluted mess of Transformer Physiology.

    On the one hand, we have chracters like God Ginrai and Powermaster Optimus Prime, both of whom were destroyed, but had backups of their memories and were restored to normal after that.

    We also had characters like Ultra Magnus in the movie and Windcharger in the G1 Marvel comics who were both destroyed, but then put back together with no harm, no foul practically.

    Then, we had characters like Soundwave and Blaster from Victory, who died, were blown to bits, but then reassembled and upgraded.

    We also have the whole Sparks/Lasercore thing, where BM Megatron was able to jump his spark body to body, and able to control them all the same. However, outside of labs and whatnot, it was clear in the Beastiverse, Spark Transfer was possible, but not easy or safe.

    Animated muddles the waters quite a bit. We see Animated Megatrons spark in his chest, yet his head seems to be his personality despite being seperated. However, this could be a situation of the Key's making, and not normal. However, this is nothing new to the Transformerverse, as Optimus Prime, Straxus, Shockwave, and others have all existed as just a head at one point. Perhaps there's an emergency spark transfer to the head upon beheading, or there's a clear cut difference between the memory core and the spark?

    As to upgrading and the "Working man" situation you mentioned, it seems that it's clear via Megatron Origin and Lockdown from Animated, that yes, to the victor goes the upgrades. However, as in Spotlight Kup, BW, and other series, I'd say certain upgrades were universally free (Probably in fuel conservation, ease of transformation, and operational nature of upgrades). It's also possible that the nature of the job my entitle you to free upgrades of a certain nature.

    It's strongly implied that Gigatron from Car Robots and Sixshot from Victory both were not multichangers at the start, but "learned" the added forms over time. Whether this was an evolution of sorts for them, or if it was after a series of upgrades, we don't know, however, when Gigatron became Devil Gigatron, he did immediately boast of new modes, so it would support the evolution idea.

    Speaking of evolution, in Micron Legend, the Minicons when powerlinked didn't allow access to a new power, but instead did a power evolution (Called either that or something very similar) in which the Transformer evolved that ability there the first time after the powerlink. Then each powerlink after that allowed access to the greater power of having the Minicon attached. Force Chips functioned in a similar way, but instead of evolving, it just unlocked a greater potential within the Transformer. So, the nature of the upgrade can be more then just parts added on as well.
     
  6. NGW

    NGW Rawr

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    As far as upgrades are concerned, take a look at both "Thrill of the Hunt" and "A Fistful of Energon", both episodes dealing with Lockdown. Lockdown's body has been heavily modified and upgraded, and he has..essentially an entire arsenal of various upgrade at his disposal. He even has entire limbs replaced (as seen in TotH).
     
  7. WingedWeasel

    WingedWeasel Well-Known Member

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    First off thanks for the replies. As I mentioned in the OP i am slowly trying to grow my collection and in the process I learn something new about our loved hobby with each addition.

    In the original G1 movie with Ultra Magnus I sort of always went along with the idea that just as with humans transformers had a time-frame in which they could be repaired before they were lost forever. While humans need to be resuscitated fairly quickly I guess there is "evidence" that the time frame for transformers is considerably larger. Similar to I guess waiting for a computer or other electronic device to complete discharge it's power after turning it off.

    The idea that just like a computer or other machine you can only upgrade it so much before it is essentially something else is a good one. It also has credibility given a lot of the examples everyone stated of 'formers coming back as someone new but with the memories of their previous selves. I guess this is an accepted fact of life for them? While the loss of your current personality etc. would initially seem disconcerting, I can only imagine that with the same memories the apple wouldn't fall far from the tree.

    One of the things that originally triggered this question was the idea of the entire war being a massive war of attrition. Given the ability to essentially recycle (literally and figuratively) troops it brings a whole new meaning to "leave no man behind"....since not only is it out of respect/honor/love/whatever for your fellow soldiers, recovering the bodies is practical in the grand scheme of things. Of course that led to the idea of whether there is a chance to recover a near-death soldier by transferring them into a new body, and down the line of the rest of the things I asked.

    Again, thanks for the replies!
     
  8. Cinemastique

    Cinemastique Earth Culture Specialist

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    When we vaccinate, we are in fact "upgrading" our internal chemistry, metabolism, and immune system. Some people refuse to partake in those upgrades, too.

    As for more drastic upgrading, aside from cosmetic, we're not really there yet, at least legally. We will be, though. The whole "Spark Replacement" issue reminds me of the age old "Star Trek Transporter" debate, of whether or not you're being destroyed and reborn every time you use it.
     
  9. WingedWeasel

    WingedWeasel Well-Known Member

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    When I was trying to think of human parallels I had thought of organ transplants and possibly blood transfusions but I didn't think of vaccinations. that's a good call.

    Obviously the human "equivalent" isn't really equal. And I believe it was mentioned already, but the issue of hardware incompatibility. Comparatively it would be similar to a human body rejecting an organ transplant.
     
  10. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    The time frame must be quite big when you consider Optimus was brought back by the Quintessons in the cartoon after being dead for so long (dunno the exact timeframe). Maybe he was actually just in some kind deep stasis lock and Perceptor, not actually being a medic, just overlooked that fact. Later the Quintessons accidentally shook his spark loose from stasis when they fiddled with him for their plans. Maybe even the being holder of the Matrix had a part to play in keeping him from being actually dead, which could also explain how Magnus survived being blown up in the movie.
    And then you have Optimus Primal's spark being brought back after his death where he'd actually passed over.
    Looks like being dead isn't the end of it anymore. :) 
     
  11. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    Optimus Prime doesn't have a spark. :wink: 
     
  12. sunnyswipe

    sunnyswipe autobot

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    also interesting is how the swarm reduced prime to his component molecules and he still managed to be resurrected
     
  13. Op_Prime

    Op_Prime One With The Matrix TFW2005 Supporter

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    Animated seems to indicate that loss of spark causes a Transformer's body to turn gray, and if we retroactively apply spark theory back to previous continuities, including the G1 cartoon universe, I'd say that Prime's spark was extinguished in TFTM. I'm guessing that the Prime zombie in Dark Awakening , though devoid of a spark, still had some residual spark energy and hence he remembered a bit of who he was before he died. As for how the Quints were able to resurrect him, well the Quints played a big part in the Transformer's race creation, it is possible they have knowledge of how to bring a spark back online, similar to how Rhinox managed to go intot he Matrix to retrieve Primal's spark.

    As for how Ultra Magnus came back to life, I'd say his laser/Spark core was not sufficiently damaged so his spark had yet to leave the normal plane of existence, hence why the Junkions could rebuild him.
     
  14. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    No, seriously. G1 Prime doesn't have a spark.
     
  15. Op_Prime

    Op_Prime One With The Matrix TFW2005 Supporter

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    Laser core, whatever. Anyway, us fans enjoy retroactively revising continuity so that there is some semblance of common ground between the different continuities. In any case, we had Beast Wars showing that at least one incarnation of the original G1 Transformers had sparks.
     
  16. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    I just don't see that there's much need to worry about this. Perceptor wasn't a medic, so there was nothing he could do. The Quints designed and built the Transformers, so they were able to repair Prime.

    It's like if your truck breaks down, the guy from Ford who designed and built the original has a better chance of repairing it than someone down the road who tinkers with radio controlled cars.
     
  17. WingedWeasel

    WingedWeasel Well-Known Member

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    Running the risk of making too many fan-excuses:

    Organic creatures have several things that constrain the time you have to revive them (lack of oxygen causing brain damage, micro-organisms decomposing the body, etc.). One could hazard the guess that transformers being mechanical are similar to a machines we have, where as long as the circuitry/inner-workings of the machine is not damaged beyond repair they can always be revived? The floating cemetary that the autobots contructed may or may not have had anything that could rust the "corpses". Also as others mentioned the quintessons could possibly have have had a better understanding of transformer physiology. How much better than millions of years of...well BEING a transformer who knows.

    But true it does seem to be quite the extended time frame for transformers.
     
  18. Ceasar121

    Ceasar121 Wants a Toxitron repaint!

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    From what I've seen, as long as energy remains in a Transformers vital circuits, uninterupted, they live. Since G1, transformers have been able to live with their head detached. I believe, however, after a certain amount of time separated from their body, energy, or with massive system shock (as in war wounds) they go offline.

    Only one transformer may exist without a body (Starscream), all others can be rebuilt uprgraded, (and occasionally resurrected, though this is usually accomplished by a McGuffin) , although it appears to be dangerous and risky.

    That's my two cents. :D 
     
  19. Cinemastique

    Cinemastique Earth Culture Specialist

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    I suspect you mean "Deus Ex Machina," or "Convenient plot element,"
    Not "MacGuffin," or "Irrelevant artifact that compels the characters."
     

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