Transformer demons – storytelling potential

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by QLRformer, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

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    I find it strange that some fans refuse to accept robot gods but can acknowledge the existence of robot demons. Then again, a few fans would avoid deities altogether.

    Anyway, because a lot of stories make use of demons, and I think maybe TF can draw from these stories to make its own

    - Hellboy – an infant demon is adopted and raised to be a hero struggling with his demonic heritage and potential to damn the world, no matter how hard he tries to save it.
    [​IMG]

    - Devilman – a hero gains a demon’s skull and uses it to become a super anti-hero
    [​IMG]

    - DC’s Capt Marvel faced off with the Seven Deadly Sins (demonic avatars of pride, wrath, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth and lust)
    [​IMG]

    - Kimetsu no Yaiba - a young boy joins a league of demon hunters to save his sister, who was attacked by demons and is gradually turning into one.
    [​IMG]

    - Seven Deadly Sins - a demon and angel fall in love, and are punished to be separate from each other.



    It’s worth noting though that Japanese culture portrays demons as anti-heroic characters who generally only follow their nature.


    So in a story that can allows the existence of demons, there is some great storytelling potential. It's bound to be degrees of scary and horror-themed, but the older fans may be able to endure and appreciate it. The idea of a Transformers version of Hellboy is particularly appealing IMO.
     
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  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Demons_senior.png
     
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  3. SpiraPhantom

    SpiraPhantom Decepticon Propagandist

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    Well, nobody objected to our local robot zombies (brought to you by the Power of Dark Energon!). I think robot demons are a matter of time. Not-Galvatron from Prime may be about the closest to an actual robot demon that we currently have.
     
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  4. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar Combatrona a'den mhi, Vode An!

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    My Primordials aren't demons, they're robot dwarves with horns.
     
  5. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    Ideally there would be no gods or demons in Transformers. It's unnecessary.
     
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  6. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    What? I didn't even know there were robot demons... Who are these robot demons?

    Yup, Primus and Unicron are just really big transformers, just robots not gods. I'm not sure what to make of these "robot demons" you mentioned because I literally didn't even know there were any and you never reference them again so I still have no clue who you're talking about.

    Just because a lot of stories make use of demons doesn't mean Transformers can. All you do is list a bunch of examples of demons in other stories which is kind of worth. You started a thread about demon Transformers but don't explain what it is you're suggesting. Do Transformers even have a concept of Hell? All Transformers are said to return to the AllSpark when they did... unless you're Starscream... there's no mention of a good AllSpark and a bad AllSpark, they just have ONE after life so how would demons exist? Where would they come from? What are they? Are they just Herolds of Unicron who is about the closest thing we have to a Transformers Satan. It's really hard to have a discussion on a topic if you don't explain what it is that we're actually discussing. Listing off a bunch of demons from other fiction doesn't tell me anything. What does any of this have to do with Transformers?

    I mean that kind of happens in American culture too. Hellboy, the first character you mentioned isn't from Japan. He's an American creation. And why is that even worth noting? I still don't know what we're talking about. Is this an idea for a Transformers Anime?

    But why though? What even is a demon in relation to Transformers? Hellboy is a demon baby found and raised by a human to be good... How could that work in a transformers story? Decepticon protoform found and raised by an Autobot to be good? I mean that would be interesting but where does the demon aspect come into play? What does that even mean in terms of Transformers mythology. What makes a Transformer a demon?

    Demons in human culture are mythical creatures from some sort of after life... Most today would call it Hell but the concept of such an after life has existed long before Christianity and Hell... Hades was lord of the underworld in Greek mythology and that's basically the same thing. This is the part that really confuses me with mixing in Transformers because although Unicron is a sort of Satan/Hades/Pluto like analog in Transformers Mythology there's nothing that I'm aware of that could really be an analog for Hell... and the closest things to Demons I can think of if we're going to call Unicron Satan, is the Herolds like Galvatron, Scourge, and Cyclonus... So is that what we're talking about?

    I mean I guess I could imagine Sideways being reimagined as a "Hellboy" type character. Instead of being a spy and swapping sides that way maybe the Autobots find this protoform with a Decepticon insignia on it. It's abandoned but there's still a protoform inside waiting to be activated. They know they shouldn't because it's a Decepticon but they activate him anyway and teach him as an Autobot. Of course... since Hellboy's whole thing was that he was meant to act as a key to open a gate that would bring Hell to Earth... what exactly would be the equivalent for a Transformers version? What would be Sideways true purpose cause Unicron is just floating around in space some where devouering planets, there's no Hell... so what? Is he a tracking beacon? Does Unicron send out Protoforms waiting for them to be activated to tell him which planets have sentient life on them so he can come eat them? Is Unicron stuck in planet mode and Sideways the key to unlocking his robot mode? You really need to elaborate more cause just saying "Demons" is way too vague a concept on it's own to really mean anything.
     
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  7. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    As long as there's the concept of The Allspark and sparks as a whole, then it's reasonable to believe Transformers would develop folklore revolving around:

    1. "Ghosts" - essentially sparks without a body, which can be further broken down...
    A. "Lost Souls" - wandering sparks that never made it back to the Allspark
    B. "Boogeymen" - sparks that escaped the Allspark to wreak havoc on the world
    C. "Banshees" - sparks that refuse to leave after a great disaster and chose to remain in place, wailing at their misfortune
    2. "Grim Reapers" - beings that usher or guide sparks to the Allspark

    Not sure how I'd work in demons except that they might be anti-Grim Reapers, beings that actively try to prevent sparks from rejoining the Allspark.

    All that said, this all goes with the current idea of "sparks". Dump that and go with lasercores. Transformers simply deactivate when they die, no mumbo jumbo included.
     
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  8. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    Folklore is great, I just don't want it to actually be real, or if it is real it shouldn't have effect on the story.
     
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  9. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Profane and divine are unnecessary to this setting.

    If anything I was delighted for the first time to see characters openly calling ridiculous nonsense any notion of divine/religious stuff in their world (the new netflix series).
     
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  10. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Droppin' Space Colonies

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    The problem with your case for demons is that the examples you cite don't line up with what you're actually trying to suggest.

    1. Hellboy isn't just any demon, IIRC, he is literally the son of Satan.
    2. I don't know what the example involving Cap. Marvel has to do with anything, since the seven deadly sins in reality are attributed to being the seven levels of hell - as described in Dante's Inferno.
    3. Every other example is anime and if there is one thing I've learned about narrative culture between Japan and western concepts, its that they have completely different ways of looking at things. And Transformers, despite the Japanese origins of the designs and toyline, is distinctly a western product.

    And with particular attention to point three, demons in western culture typically are treated as nothing more than generic hellspawn at the very least whose purpose is simply to get destroyed by the good guys, given things like Doom, Warhammer Fantasy/40K, and a myriad of other franchise properties.

    In Japan, demons are treated with more honor, with concepts like the Oni.

    Ultimately, I feel like trying to rationalize demons kind of just goes down the same route of failure that happened with the bay films - in other words, this is a franchise about transforming space robots, why are you trying to introduce stuff that conceptually has nothing to do with transforming space robots?
     
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  11. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Gotta say that I agree, but in 40k daemonic possession and corruption of warmachines worked wonders. BUT this is a setting where chaos is the primary source of almost everything and its integral part of the universe with years upon years of background to explain these things.

    It worked kinda as an offshoot in transformers with the Cthulhu crossover (yeah I know it wasnt Cthulhu......:p ) for a couple issues and it might work for a small crossover as well. But nothing more than that.
     
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  12. DracoPrimal

    DracoPrimal Maxicon

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    No, demons are not sci-fi, but neither are science-less elements like:
    >Possession/Souls/Afterlife/Reincarnation
    >zombies/frankenstein-types/Vampires
    >Wizards/Magic/Mystic Objects/Curses
    >Characters having source-inexplicable, simply nacent "super powers" like teleportation, super-speed, and force-fields the rest of their species lacks
    ... it's great that TF has gone its entire sci-fi only franchise thus far with absolutely none of that happening, right?
     
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  13. Rewind Eject

    Rewind Eject Headmaster Compatible

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    The real difference between Transformers and all the examples you gave above? In each of those franchises, the existence of demons is the primary conceit to reality that the series revolve entirely around (save for maybe Seven Deadly Sins as I haven't seen it). Unless the entire series is Autobots vs the Forces of Hell, it will just be a watered down gimmick that we can do without.
     
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  14. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    Well technically non of those things have been present in Transformers... At least not really because they're all explainable by advanced technology.

    While Sparks have been compared to human souls there's no conformation that human souls have ever actually existed in the Transformers universe. Though I think the human soul can be explained by the electro chemical reactions of the human brain... Energy can't be destroyed only converted or contained so that energy our brains generate in life has to go some were after we die. I just don't believe that somewhere is a magical place that has never been proven to exist.

    The Well of the AllSpark where sparks come from and also return to when they die exists but no other afterlife has ever been confirmed to exist in Transformers. The AllSpark is just technology not a mystical place.

    Robots can be rebuilt, humans can't. So reincarnation actually makes sense for Transformers. What doesn't make sense is why some characters stay permanently dead despite being comparatively less damaged. You'd think just like machines in real life they could always been rebuilt unless the damage is so extensive that you're better off replacing it than repairing it.

    All of the "monsters" you mentioned are also explainable by they're ROBOTS... And Transformers even shows us that the human equivalents for those things don't actually exist. Frankenstein is a movie that exists within the Transformers fiction but there has never actually been a real Frankenstein... just Autobot Spike who is about as close to it as they could realistically get. Zombies could just be robots with damaged hardware and corrupted software. There has never been any blood sucking vampires, though we know they exist in fiction because Bumblebee wore a Vampire costume in Animated. But Transformers vampires are ENERGON sucking vampires.

    Magic has never been shown to exist. In fact I think the Last Knight clearly established that Merlin wasn't even a real wizard, just a normal human using Cybertronian technology to fool people into thinking he was doing Magic. Remember any sufficiently advanced technology is virtually indistinguishable from magic to those who don't understand it. Even the technology we have right now was literally called magic back in the 90's. Like I had ideas for wireless technology which is common place today but without the knowledge of how to implement such things back then anyone I tried to explain it to thought I was talking about magic. Even though some wireless technology already existed like TV remotes but some how people could not understand how to make that work for a wireless video game controller or a wireless mouse which both started becoming actual things just a few years later. I also had a conversation with someone about touch screen technology back in the 90's. We kind of had this already to a limited extent at the time but it was like some sort of adaptor thing that you added on to the existing screen. I don't really exactly how it worked but I believe it was pressure sensitive as it was essentially a mesh screen that you'd press on and the corresponding selection under that pressure point would be selected... though it didn't always work and most people thought they could never improve on it and just using a mouse was easier. I was already imagining where such screens would be built in and replace buttons all together... the fact that Star Trek was also doing this at the time kind of helped but I know several people that were like... That's magic... that could never actually work. How would the screen know what you wanted to do if there's no buttons? That seems silly now when this stuff is so common today but back then it wasn't.

    And the "super powers" are again... just technology... Maybe not common technology when it's restricted to just a few characters but still technology none the less. Though except for Marvel Crossovers and Animated where super powers are a real thing that exist for humans too I don't think it's really a thing in most Transformers fiction.

    Basically all of these things are just vague concepts that could be interpreted as technology or magic. I'm kind of against any fiction outright stating that anything in Transformers is actually magical because I prefer my giant alien robots to be technologically advanced. There's no point in them even being robots if you're just going to throw magic in there for no reason. If you want to interpret it as magic that's really on you but no one has ever claimed magic exists in the Transformers fiction. Can't complain about it till they actually show something that can't explained by technology or when they stop being vague and literally call it magic... like when Primus and Unicron are literal gods in the Transformers fiction which is my LEAST favorite origin. I prefer the Quintessons built them.
     
  15. DracoPrimal

    DracoPrimal Maxicon

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    I understand you're explaining your perceptions and preferences, not establishing facts, so within your personal view of "no magic" I would ask you: Is it really as simple as taking issue with the word? As in, would the list I made before be more acceptable if every term in it had prefixes like "cyber-," "mechano-," and "techno-,"?

    Because if you accept that "magic = technology that is not understood" then ALL Transformers being technology that is not understood (not even by they themselves) meets this qualifier and you get "Transformers are magic."

    You're saying:
    And in response to everything worded as a fact, I would be curious about your full essay on how you individually dismiss all facets brought up here.

    The whole point was that there are at minimum demonstrable analogues (if not outright establishment) in TF media of magic, the supernatural, etc.

    So there's no reason to respond to
    with tangential support-building for not allowing the existence of demons in TF.

    It requires just as much denial as a Creationist acing a college course in Evolution.
     
  16. Magnum Dongus

    Magnum Dongus Stupid Idiot

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    I’ve always liked the trope of mixing science and magic/religion, as it is just really fun and it makes the Transformers seem like more than just plain old robots. With a spark, it makes them actually living things. Plus, I’ve always been annoyed by the idea that religion and science is NEVER ALLOWED TO MIX AND THEY’RE 100% INCOMPATIBLE, because that’s just not really true (but that’s all I have to say about that topic without breaking any site rules).
    Also, saying that Unicron is just nothing but a big robot is super lame IMO. And his creator is that ugly little monkey thing? That just isn’t cool to me. It makes it feel like you could just turn him off and be done with any threat he poses. I also find it really odd to try and say there’s nothing magical about even the cartoon version of Unicron. How does he just remotely morph people’s bodies into his heralds? He didn’t take them into some sort of repair bay— he just magically rebuilt them in outer space. How about when he just poofs the ghost of Starscream into a new body? Where did that come from? How about the matrix? Unicron fears it because its (totally secular and definitely not magical at all) light is the only thing that can destroy him. I guess you could argue it has some kind of computer virus that only affects Unicron’s systems, and the only way to activate it is to open its casing and let it come shining out of the (completely scientific) glowing crystal orb? The orb which can change the size and shape of anyone it deems worthy of being the new Autobot leader? Kind of reminds me of the Allspark cube, which gives any piece of technology it comes near the proper parts to transform, plus its own mind to become a new Transformer.
     
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  17. DeadLocke

    DeadLocke Well-Known Member

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    In regards to your question, there actually was potential for all of this stuff back before Beast Wars when Transformers still had 'laser cores' and not 'sparks.'

    Unicron could manipulate matter through telekinesis, he also had the ability to 'shape' a deceased being and give it a new sort of 'life.' He could create heralds and other beings that were (mostly) loyal only to him and needed a literal magical McGuffin to destroy him, and even that didn't work all of the way, as his head was left still intact.

    Then you had Starscream who became a ghost and could literally possess people, there was nothing to indicate or hint that he was 'special, ' he was simply a guy that had died violently and was unable or unwilling to accept he had died (which is also what you find in real life hauntings too.)

    In some indefinable way, Transformers could be alive the same way humans were, and it made them interesting.


    That is, until we got Beast Wars where metaphysical souls got explained away as physical energy 'sparks' that resided in 'spark chambers' and able to be destroyed entirely, the individual erased from existing. The 'afterlife' was now a physical supercomputer or stored in a cube, and Starscream was no longer a creepy vengeful spirit but a 'mutant spark.'

    Whatever cool stuff that does pop up often gets quickly explained away and rendered more secular, materialistic and 'robotic,' making it extremely difficult to have anything like demons, ghosts and things even to exist, not only because such a concept change leads people away from the notion, but because it is not allowed to exist because to some it detracts from the science fiction aspect.

    I don't like the idea of robot gods but even I would love to have something cool like demons and ghosts occasionally, especially if it can't be explained away as some kind of robot widget that malfunctioned as half the stuff seem to be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  18. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    I don't understand what you're asking here. The prefixes are really unnecessary as it doesn't change anything about what I said. I'm not just taking issue with the word. Not sure why you even thought that. I'm establishing that there is a difference between magic and technology.

    Magic can not be explained and often defies the laws of physics.

    Technology can be explained.

    Everything you mentioned before is explainable within the fiction as technology. None if it has been outright said to be magical, it's only interpreted that way by fans but the fiction never really called it that.

    That's not actually what I said. My claim was that any sufficiently advanced technology that is not understood is virtually indistinguishable from magic. You seem to have missed these three important key words. That doesn't mean "magic = technology that is not understood" as you put it, it means it can be difficult to tell the difference but they are NOT the same thing.

    Thor was written in the movies to be an alien rather than a God because they didn't want there to be magic in the MCU. And for the most part they did a pretty good job of using science and technology to make Norse mythology fit the narrative they wanted to tell. There is one mistake though... THORS HAMMER! There is no scientific basis for which "worthiness" can be measured, there for no way for the hammer to know who can wield it. That can only work by magic. And then Dr. Strange seems to have completely given up on the no magic rule and doesn't even try to explain what they doing with science and technology they just literally call it magic in that movie. Thor also at one point says that he comes from a place where Magic and Technology are the same thing. But that's not what I'm saying.

    I'm simply saying that the writing has never told us anything was actually magic. We're told they're advanced alien robots. We just interpret some things as magic... for some reason. With the exception of the rare times when they literally tell us something is magical I've never interpreted it that way. All the supposedly magical stuff could be explained away as advanced technology. There's no reason to believe it's magic unless you either can't understand it or we're literally told it's magic.

    Take the Matrix as an example. How does it turn Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime? We're never told explicitly how it works, that's just our own interpretation. Most people call it magic... I say the Matrix released nanobots that upgraded his body when he opened it. We didn't have nanobots in the 80's and the thought of tiny unseen robots that could do that would seem magical at the time but we're actually pretty close to making that a reality. So why is it magic? The movie never says it is, you just assume it is.

    I was never intending on doing a full essay on every single thing in the Transformers fiction. Just the specific things you mentioned in your post. You were very specific about such things existing as magic in the fiction but non of the examples you listed were actually magical.

    You're not entirely wrong. I even mentioned in my post that Primus and Unicron are some times depicted as literal gods but the specific examples you gave were never actually present in any Transformers fiction.

    I do prefer the canon from Prime and TLK where Dragons are actually Cybertronians though I am aware that actual literal magical Dragons did appear in G1. I hate that episode. As much as I dislike the movies I actually prefer their depiction of Merlin as there was nothing magical about him and the fact that the Dragon was Cybertronian not a real dragon. I like the idea that Cybertron influenced human mythology. I don't like the idea that mythology is actually a real thing that just exists.

    I even had an idea for a story... I never actually wrote it... but the idea was to leave it vague and open to interpretation if the Covenant of Primus was an actual historical text or pure mythology. I had plans for characters who would presents both sides of that coin with some characters believing in the story and others seeing it as fiction. But it would never be stated directly who was right.

    So? What does it have to do with demons?

    1. Even though the Cybertronian analogues exist doesn't mean they're magical.

    2. There has never been a Cybertronian analogue for demons specifically.

    I think we need to tackle one issue at a time... What exactly would these "demons" be? There's no sense is discussing if they're magical or not until we've first established what a Transformers demon even is.

    I didn't say they couldn't exist... I'm just confused on what that would actually entail if they did exist.
     
  19. KFGatri

    KFGatri Madman with a Blue Box

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    TFs has dealt with demonic entities or similar on a couple occasions. Mostly in Japanese media. Devil Z in Masterforce, and Violen Jiger/Violen Jyger/whatever in Zone. And the Matrix was pretty demonlike when corrupted in the Marvel Comics.
    [​IMG]
    But for the most part demons seem a bit outside the usual genres that Transformers covers. It might be nice to get an Ultimate EvilTM that isn't just another take on Unicron, though.
     
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  20. DracoPrimal

    DracoPrimal Maxicon

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    I understand. There's "I only believe what can be seen/proven" thinking, and then there's "I won't discount anything that's not been disproven."

    But yeah I'm with you that's probably the best starting point is "what defines a 'demon' to a Cybertronian"?

    So a "demon" to most specifically has a supernatural aspect to it. Tarantulas refers to Blackarachnia as a "demon" in a way that indicates his understanding of the term to at least share the connotation of a being who is inherently ill-intended and unnaturally adept at causing one strife. The concept is there, if not a tangible expression of it.

    But instead of euphamisms, the OP was giving examples seemingly involving demons in the sense of them being tangible monsters, that they have abilities due to "abnormal physiology" moreso than the supernatural element aspect by itself.

    Without having the writers specifically called them demons or make use of overtly expressed supernatural occurences, couldn't we simply recognize already-existing story characters as qualifying for the label, and say that's the starting point?

    Possible examples:
    G1 Starscream (toon, I don't know the comics)
    Beast Machines Megatron (after being "depolarized":rolleyes: )
    BW Rampage
    IDW Overlord
    DreamWave's The Fallen (most iterations of that one, really)

    Even assuming technological explanations for all the "weird stuff" they display, do you feel it would be incorrect to have stories about them be referred to as "Demons of Cybertron"?