Do bots have a 'Core alt mode'?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by MechanovaKing, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. MechanovaKing

    MechanovaKing Well-Known Member

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    (Like most topics around here. This heavily leans on G1 and IDW, but I think this extends to all shows)

    Are the Transformers really what they turn into, or is that a shell built around and plugged into a 'core-alt-mode'
    And how far does that shell change and affect this core-alt-mode?

    Does OptimusPrime turn into a Freightliner FL86 truck, period. OR!
    Is he some sort of spinning engine rotor which is best used attaching wheels too. It's just the current design he sticks with; wheels and truck chassis.

    And I don't mean BumbleBee's core mode is a 'car' he wasn't a car on cybertron. I mean it's something more basic, like a simple rotational motor, or energy producer, or magnetic coil. Which are just most common used for cars, guns, and jet modes.

    The seekers are famous for turning into tetra jets, presumably something that doesn't need air dynamic to fly.
    On earth, they're jet shaped but are they jets? If you ripped their wings off would they still be able to fly (assuming what ever makes them fly isn't in their wings)
    Can the seekers take any shape any form but always have to fly?

    Megatron has been a gun and a tank and a jet in IDW. Is his core-alt-mode some sort of energy producer?
    As gun or tank, these forms just projects the energy outwards as a weapon. They just tacted on threads in tank mode.
    And as a jet he uses energy producer as thrust.

    In IDW when they were getting ride of the disposable classes. Why not force them to turn into something useful? Unless they had limits?

    Personally I like the idea of a core-alt-mode. Make Functionism in IDW work. Would explain why some characters alt modes act so differently between same alt modes. Why are some car-bots so much faster? How Megatron-tank and Warpath-tank seem to be on to very different firepower levels. Maybe because their using two different core alt mode to reach the same vehicle. Why all bot just don't pick a flying alt mode. And why poor Ratbat didn't pick some better forms.

    It's the one unchangeable aspect of a bot. Maybe directly affected to the spark.

    What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  2. Alph

    Alph Well-Known Member

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    I think it's pretty plausible that TFs are limited in the types of alt modes they can take. In fact it's basically confirmed by the fact that the Autobots had to build all new TFs when they wanted some jets on their team, or when they wanted some dinosaurs on their team. Why couldn't Prowl or whoever just become a jet or a dinosaur? It seems that it's easier to build a TF from scratch that can become a jet or a dinosaur than it would be to rebuild Prowl from the ground up so he can become a jet or a dinosaur.
     
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  3. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    I never really thought about this before, but I agree that individual Transformers are probably limited to a certain type of alt mode. The Autobot cars all seem to have turned into the Cybertronian equivalent of cars before landing on Earth. Optimus' alt mode on Cybertron looked like a truck. The Seekers turned into Cybertronian planes. This, plus what you mentioned, seems to suggest that you're stuck with a "type" of alternate mode.
     
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  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    I know some bots that would really like to pick a better alternate mode, but they're bowing to fan pressure.
     
  5. David Hingtgen

    David Hingtgen Chromaticon

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    Pretty much that. They can pick any "local form" for a disguise, within a certain range/type. Prowl can't be a jet, Grimlock can't be a boat. But they have a wide range of car and beast choices...
     
  6. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    The toys came first before the cartoon and comic, so the fiction had to make sense of whatever alternate mode the toys had even if it made sense in the story to do something else.
     
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  7. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much this.

    But for fiction's sake, it would be logical that any robot can only assume something that "fits" with their structure and size.

    Taking away the "mass shifting" thing would have been such a better thing for the first generation but Hasbro had to find any toy that would transform into anything, regardless if if made any sense or not.

    Toy wise, if they had tried to go with an approach of scaled alts, they could have easily stuck to military and non-military, of land-based against flying, but that would have limited the numbers by quite a bit until they managed to hire engineers to start producing new toys, and also, if the non-scale figures such as Megatron and Soundblaster would have been set aside, we would have missed of some quite decent looking figures and the character design they turned into with the generations that followed.

    Many might not like the Siege spaceship alt mode of Soundwave for example, but for me, I find it interesting to have a different turn to the alt mode.

    But to return to the fiction, I would absolutely look at it from the point that a robot needs to be engineered to become an alt that is within the parameters of the structure of the robot, according to size (colours being for recognisability's sake).

    I personally don't like the "scan and magically change into anything new instantly" that they went with from the movies onward. I much prefer a required physical rebuilding of the body/alt in a repair/remolding bay that would require at least of few hours and be "hard" on them and be a commitment, so that they don't/can't simply switch forms at a moment's whim, which technically is possibly with the instant scan and morph of the movies... (so why would they not change several times to stay "disguised")
     
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  8. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    Well if we are talking G1 toon, it’s not like Prowl could become a More appropriate police cruiser or a station wagon either

    On the norm, Reformatting seemed to be an impossibility after the ark did its work
     
  9. MechanovaKing

    MechanovaKing Well-Known Member

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    Maybe 'type' is the right word? I see it they are a relatively simple machine. A bot can turn into a rotor like motor, which allows him to be a very fast car or a slow helicopter (but not a jet). And he could be a tank, but just doesn't have the torque to carry armor, so the obvious choice is sports car.



    Soundwave?....

    Yeah but like....EVERYTHING in Transformers and EVERYTHING in media can be solved with the answer 'It's cause they wanted money and this was the cheapest way they think they could have sold it'

    But that's boring. And make poor conversations.

    i want to pointless jump into the fiction lore's.

    I like the personal head canon that color is like human hair to a cybertronian. Your can change it, but it will eventually change back via....spark...magic....cybertron....living metal.....yeah.

    I agree the 'scan and go' takes the magic out of things. The scan and then waiting for the form to hardness is actually an interesting idea. But for that to work in a story you'd need to focus on a a bot needing to switch modes often and the wait time is added pressure. And even then you can only milk that aspect of a story for so long. Maybe if we gave that to Quickswitch as a spy. That'd be fitting for his name.

    But like I said in reply to Longitudinalwave, i was thinking this was more of a base-core--scifi-machine that a bot has to build around. So Grapple has a tough rotor and a moveable servo. Could easily be a tank for for treads and a gun onto the servo. But he choose a crane thing which fits him better as a builder.
    And why Cosmos can't be anything other than a spaceship cause his core is some sort of movement device that allows him to move in any direction independently of anything else. Even taking the shape of a spaceshuttle would limit his movement. So they built a flying-saucer with space to transport stuff when making his alt mode.
     
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  10. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    I'd go further and just flat out state that the alt and robot modes being changed are more akin to plastic surgery, so whatever "special" ability or part they have, will not be impacted or changed because of this cosmetic change. If one is a car type, he can't simply be rebuilt to fly, he doesn't have the parts that makes it possible to fly. And that's why the whole nanotech that rebuilds them (the scan and go) is truly a terrible approach... and why I go with them needing the technology as a medical pod or such that actually is required and takes the time needed to make these changes, which can involve major "surgery" and relocation of some parts on the robot's body.

    And at some point, as they are robots, if they are seriously damaged (or just decide or need to do it), they can be modified greatly, new parts, new abilities, etc. but that's a whole different level that's much more involved than just a "mode/alt reformat" and would require a much larger amount of time and resources, 'cause at that point, they are making major changes to the "core" robot, usually a "power-up".. but also, should the robot be very damaged and in a non-functional state while low on resources, it could end up being reformatted into a "lesser-than" mode that could at least function. Think of it as if Prime is very broken, and they end up having to reduce his size and power using the parts left, and they end up having no choice other than turning him back into Orion Pax or such type shape and size/power.
     
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