The Use of Combiners in Fiction

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by ArmoredSwampert, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. ArmoredSwampert

    ArmoredSwampert Literal Pokéformer

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    So, I've been pretty disappointed with one aspect of Transformers: combiners. Sure, they look cool, and generally look great on the shelf, but they have one problem: no matter what continuity, they're always just big, strong guys with intelligence ranging from plain dumb to so smart its unhelpful. So in this thread I wanna have a discussion on how you think combiners should be used in Transformers.

    In my fervor, I came up with a sort of combiners timeline for my ideal gestalt-using continuity:

    1. Using ideas based off legends of Nexus Prime and the thoughts of his teacher Jhiaxus, Shockwave and a few other science-cons (that always bothered me how Shockwave was the only Decepticon who could handle science. I mean, I love Ol' Shocky, but he's just one guy.) create the first prototype combiner: Devastator.

    2. Devastator, comprised of six Constructicons, is huge, mean and devastates things right in the mouth, but is lacking the intelligence of his components. However, he takes the Autobot forces entirely by surprise in his first deployment, and Megatron commissions the creation of more combiners.

    3. In an attempt to make combiners cheaper to run (they take a lot of energon to keep moving), a template of one centre bot forming the torso with four team-mates forming the limbs is created, allowing for easy replacement of body parts if a component is killed. The first of these "Modular Gestalts" is Menasor, formed from five Stunticons. This is where problems settle in: the logical Shockwave did not account for the personalities of the rather diverse Stunticons: Motormaster's violence, Brakedown's nerves, Drag Strip's competitiveness, Wildrider's recklessness, and Dead end's nihilism, combined with the limb's hatred for their boss, leaves Menasor a raging mess, who can't handle attacks from multiple positions and is killed by bombardment from orbit.

    4. Salvaging tech from the corpse of Menasor, Autobot Science creates their own combiner: Superion. Formed from a highly-trained squadron of Aerialbots, the personality problem is rectified by blocking the component's personalities in combined mode, replacing it with a single drive to stop the Decepticons. However, this leads to the titanic warrior having an immense bloodlust, and has to be knocked unconscious at the end of every battle to prevent harm to those around him.

    5. Meanwhile, the Decepticons, having learned from their mistakes with Menasor, create Bruticus, formed from the tight-knit group of Combaticon commandos. The skills and general intelligence level of the group allows for Bruticus to carry out much more delicate tasks than any of the other combiners, while still being an extremely combatant. However, the flaws of his components (Onslaught's pride, Vortex's sadism, Blast Off's aloof insecurity, Swindle's greed, and Brawl's stupidity) means he has to be in radio contact with a handle at all times, who relays him exact orders. Nevertheless, Megatron considers him a success.

    6. The Autobots begin using combiner tech for more inventive purposes. Defensor is created with a similar design philosophy to Superion. However, instead of a drive to stop the Decepticons, he has a drive to defend Autobots instead. This is accomplished through the use of forcefield tech pioneered by Trailbreaker to both defend Autobots and crush Decepticon attackers.
    Meanwhile, Computron is designed not as a warrior, but as a massive supercomputer, crunching massive numbers to co-ordinate and even command armies. (Note: This idea comes from a comic written by a friend of a forumgoer here. Thanks to whoever wrote this, and I hope they post in here!)

    I couldn't think of a way to fit Predaking and Piranacon in here. Piranacon in particular hasn't had much in the way of appearances in fiction, and Predaking just seems to exist as the perfect big dumb guy I was talking about at the start.

    So, um, yeah. That's my thoughts.
     
  2. Asher Tye

    Asher Tye Cassetticon

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    Perhaps Predaking exists less as a combination of the Predacons' intellects and personalities and more as a combination of their instincts. It allows him to be a devastating guardian and hunter, without allowing him to realize he's actually got more power than most of the other Decepticons combined.
     
  3. ArmoredSwampert

    ArmoredSwampert Literal Pokéformer

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    Hmm, that does look like a good idea. I had an idea of having him as a sort of hunter, being sent off to kill whoever was giving the Cons trouble, but that just made him the big strong guy who followed you around until you're dead.
     
  4. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Has any one thaught of making there own gestalt and team?
     
  5. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Combiners are really overrated but the teams of the Stunticons and Combaticons are some of my favorite characters.
     
  6. SG Roadbuster

    SG Roadbuster SG Wrecker

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    I came up with one of my own.
    Team Name: The Rejects, a group of Cons and disgraced Autobot, thrown out of their respective teams. they have banded together into a new team, united in their hatred of their former comrades.

    Team leader/Torso: Necksnapper, former Predacon, alt mode: Hyena, thrown out of her team due to her constant arguments and power struggles with Razorclaw

    Right arm: Dirt Boss, alt mode: Forklift, former Constructicon, former Foreman of the group, throw out when the Constructicons when the others Unionized.

    Left arm: Stickshift, alt mode: Chevy impala, former Stunticon, thrown off the team cuz Nascar is stupid.

    Right leg: Deepsix, alt mode: Submarine, former Combaticon, abandoned the team when Swindle tried selling him to the Soviet Union back in the 80s.

    Left Leg: Crackdown, alt mode: Paddy Wagon, former Protectobot, discharged from the team when he was caught taking bribes.
     
  7. SG Roadbuster

    SG Roadbuster SG Wrecker

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    My idea behind the combiners would tie into the idea of Colony worlds, taken from the Cybertron series. The Combiners are descendants from Nexus Prime, and when the Colonies were formed he traveled amoung them seeding the Populations with his gift. as such, each colony world bears at least one combiner team, and maybe something more.
    Stunticons/Menasor: natives of Velocitron
    Predacons/Predaking: natives to Animatron
    Combaticons/Bruticus: native to Combatron
    Constructicons/Devastator: native to Gigantion
    Seacons/Piranahcon: native to Quintessa (I can kinda see Quintessa as a mostly aquatic world, the Quints are mostly squidlike and the Sharkticons are aquatic after all)
    Terrorcons/Abominus: mysterious group of Unicron Worshippers, each one hails from a different colony world and bears traits unique to the denizens thereof

    Protectobots/Defensor: native to earth
    Technobots/Computron:same deal as the Terrocons, but with less Unicron worshipping
    Trainbots/Raiden: Cybertron natives
     
  8. PORTER

    PORTER energon is just mtn dew

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    i made up one of my own.
    enjoy fathoming this.

    all 9 planets in are solar system can transform and are linked to cybertron (like in tf prime's unicron) and they all combine into a combiner named omega galaxy. primus created him if all hope fails against defeating unicron. im sure he would make sure the lifeforms are safe. im just saying if they made that i would be impressed haha.

    but i agree with u on the official combiners.it seems they yet to perfect the design.
     
  9. gregles

    gregles quintesson

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    I have to agree with the sentiment of some of other board members that combiners can look cool and are great in idea but in fiction can be overrated and they tend to fall quicker than you can say "concentrate our fire on his weak point"

    Metroplex has similar problems in that giving a giant bot a credible, sympathetic personality can be extremely difficult, idw got around this by rather than try to force a personality into them they played on their unknowable quality and added a mysterious, spiritual side to them.

    Pacific rim had multiple pilots for a big bot and that really worked (for me) so combiners could work
     
  10. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Have to agree as much as i love them they tend to be as big a hinderence as they are a help.
     
  11. The F.N.G.

    The F.N.G. Well-Known Member

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    One thing I find interesting about combiners is that they're almost always depicted as multiple bots merging into one entity. I'd like to see it happen the other way around, with a single Transformer being broken into multiple pieces, with each component possessing part of the originals personality. Something like the Alpha AI in Red vs Blue.
     
  12. sfreeman6

    sfreeman6 Active Member

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    I would think a combiner team would be a good team used in a direct assault force (kind of how devastator was used in TFTM) I would have loved to seen TFTM with Bruticus and Devastator, talk about a surprise attack, with a larger force.
     
  13. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Like that ballbareing thing in ROTF?. or like the snake guy in Battle Beasts (anyone remember that?) who eas made of 5 snakes.
     
  14. Asher Tye

    Asher Tye Cassetticon

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    Didn't Magmatron in Beast Wars Neo have that as his gimmick? Where he split into a pteradon, a pleasiosaur, and a brontosaurus?

    Personally I'd like to see one where the resultant gestalt is also able to transform like his/her components into a vehicle as well.
     
  15. ArmoredSwampert

    ArmoredSwampert Literal Pokéformer

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    For one thing, its implied that Safeguard is the true form of the jet twins in Animated.
     
  16. Fretburn

    Fretburn We need Instrument TFs

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    Magmatron did exactly that. He had a combined alt mode.
     
  17. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    same as Skylynx and Ratletrap.
    come to think on it what about optimus with 1 mind and 3 bodys roller and the trailer?