Are robots "built" as Autobots or Decepticons?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Blackarachnia Prime, May 24, 2020.

  1. Blackarachnia Prime

    Blackarachnia Prime Active Member

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    I don't know if there was ever a direct answer to this question in the entire franchise (although there's been so much media beyond the TV shows/movies, it's hard to know for sure), but is Autobot/Decepticon nature "hardwired" into robots? Are they built to be one thing, or the other? I know there are examples of one member of a faction voluntarily switching to the other - Dinobot to the Maximals in Beast Wars, Elita-1 to the Decepticons in Animated, etc. - but are the majority of robots such as Megatron and Optimus simply built to be evil or good?
     
  2. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    Some are, some aren't. It depends on the individual and the story in question.
     
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  3. shamanking282

    shamanking282 Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the continuity. In the G1 cartoon it is definitely a matter of being built, as I believe the Quintessons built two types of robots: manual laborers (Autobots) and war machines (Decepticons). Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here.

    In Beast Wars, a fresh protoform can be programmed as either a Maximal or Predacon, though there are instances where characters overcome that programming and switch sides.

    Otherwise, it is more often a choice and there's no biological difference between the factions.
     
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  4. KFGatri

    KFGatri Madman with a Blue Box

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    Marvel Jetfire was built as a Decepticon, but "creation matrixed" as an Autobot.
     
  5. Cyberbot8460

    Cyberbot8460 ACCESS FLASH

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    Only in the G1 Cartoon. In every other piece of fiction, they're more like political parties.
     
  6. Blackarachnia Prime

    Blackarachnia Prime Active Member

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    I just recalled one G1 episode, Attack of the Autobots, where most of the Autobots, aside from Jazz and Bumblebee, are forcibly reprogrammed with Decepticon ideals. None of them make any effort to fight their evil instincts, except for Optimus, and even then, it took Bumblebee's pleading to stir him into action.

    If you think about it too deeply, there's an awfully fatalistic message at work here, at least in the G1 universe, that implies we're all chained to our respective natures, whether we're robots or organics. Other shows in the franchise might take a different attitude, but I haven't seen enough episodes of them to judge.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  7. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    Classically, yes, they're "built" to be one of the two factions - since they're normally BUILT by the Autobots or the Decepticons, they're specifically built and programmed to BE Autobots or Decepticons. This is true of "Beast Wars" as well; protoforms are built as Maximal or Predacon on Cybertron, but all the protoforms featured in the series are Maximals, requiring the Predacons to repgrogram what few they can. Even in the Unicron Trilogy - specifically, in "Energon" - Transformers are shown to be able to be "reprogrammed" from "good" to "evil", but both there and in Beast Wars, this repgrogramming can be undone, and a robot returned to their true self. Comics by Simon Furman have at times put forth the idea there is some "genetic" difference between Autobots and Decepticons.

    More modern series, though - the Aligned continuity, the IDW comics - have established the idea that the "natural" way Transformers are born is out of the fabric of Cybertron itself, at the whim of the AllSpark/Vector Sigma, meaning they are born without faction, and make the choice which side to join (if any).
     
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  8. Cyberbot8460

    Cyberbot8460 ACCESS FLASH

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    In nearly every other show, Autobots and Decepticons are more along the lines of political ideologies, with both sides wanting social equality, just with different methods.
     
  9. ObakaChanTachi

    ObakaChanTachi Well-Known Member

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    The Quintessons didn't create them as Autobots or Decepticons, but the general trend was that their working class-type robots mostly became Bots while their construction and military robots became Cons.
     
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  10. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde シン・ブリュンヒルド

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    Basically this, Animated followed a similar trend in that the Autobots were often smaller and less heavily armed than the Decepticons had a tendency to be.
     
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  11. LockdownTF

    LockdownTF Well-Known Member

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    It's also worthy of note that in some continuities Megatron can corrupt transformers. Like 2001 RID Megatron was able to use his own spark to corrupt a group of autobot protoforms turning them into decepticons. Also energon Megatron had the ability to brand characters with the decepticon insignia. This would brainwash the victim into being totally loyal to Megatron and the decepticons and could also be used as a form of torture since it was quite an agonizing experience. In the case of Autobots like Inferno the brand seemed to work slower and would slowly corrupt the autobot into a decepticon over several days.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  12. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    To echo everyone else, it strongly depends on the continuity. However, in most cases freedom of choice or forceful reprogramming are still options. For example, in G1, the Autobots and Decepticons are descended from non-sentient consumer and military drones, respectively. The military programming that was passed on to the modern Decepticons is what drives their lust for conquest. However, we also see the Constructicons - who may have formerly been Autobots, since they were construction vehicles and were good friends with Omega Supreme - were forcibly reprogrammed to be loyal Decepticons through Megatron's "Robo-Smasher." We also see Skyfire manipulated by Starscream into joining the Decepticons, before he defects and becomes an Autobot. A similar story could be construed for Octane (and Blitzwing, had the original idea gone through).

    Meanwhile, in the IDW comics and elsewhere (such as Animated), "Autobot" and "Decepticon" are political ideologies, intended to be independent of body-type. However, with the case of Animated, we still see a distinct "military vs civilian" dichotomy between the two, as the Autobots needed to convert themselves for war, while the Decepticons were already constructed that way.
     
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  13. Scorponok

    Scorponok Kindness is no virtue and cruelty is no vice

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    In most universes, it seems to be a conscious choice. However, the G1 Stunticons were built specifically for a Decepticon mission and had no choice in the matter. If you think about it, it was a terrible situation because they were basically prisoners.
     
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  14. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    Or, alternatively, child soldiers. Megatron even instructs Vector Sigma to "fill them with hatred for the Autobots, and all that the Autobots stand for!" They were built to be weapons of mass destruction from the minute they came online! Whatever spin you put on it, their creation is pretty messed up. No wonder they've all got serious mental problems!

    The creation of the Dinobots and Aerialbots are also kind of messed up for similar reasons, but at least Optimus asked that the Aerialbots be given free will and be able to learn and grow and make their own choices.
     
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  15. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    2001 RID