Fan Fic: Transformers Armada Revisited
Ask most fans of Transformers their opinion of Transformers Armada
, and you'll get a generally negative response. This series was meant as a response to that. An Alternate Universe
drawing primarily from the Unicron Trilogy (Armada and its sequels, Transformers Energon
and Transformers Cybertron
) but with a dash of influences from other corners of the TF universe, "Transformers: Armada (Revisited)" is meant to take those series, fix the various flaws
, and generally make them one cohesive whole.
Started back in 2003 and planned for fifty-two installments divided between four thirteen-part arcs, the series is still ongoing, mostly due to Real Life
demands on both the part of the author and his editor. As of right now, the first three arcs, consisting of thirty-nine parts total, have been posted, along with a special story focusing upon Drift. The entire series thus far, original versions as well as re-edits of earlier installments, are available for reading here.
As for that little thing called plot. Imagine if you will
a Transformers universe where things are a little different. Nine million years ago, the Quintessons created what would one day become the Autobots, Decepticons and Mini-Cons. They rebelled. Five million years after that, the Decepticons suffered a political split as a result of a power-hungry general named Megatron, and civil war erupted, with the end result being the Mini-Con exodus. In AD 2005, the Mini-Cons are found on Earth, and all three factions - the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime
; the rogue Decepticons, led by Megatron
; and the allied Decepticons, led by Straxus and later Starscream
- all try to retrieve them, eventually revealing themselves to humanity at large. Oh, and did I mention there's Time Travel
, more than one Alternate Universe
, and Unicron
is involved too?
This story contains examples of:
- Abusive Precursors: The Quintessons. After assorted Cybertronians were given life, they'd perform a number of invasive procedures to determine exactly how on whichever mechs they were able to capture. And that's ignoring what they did that led to the creation of the Tech-Orgs.
- Adaptation Distillation: This series draws from both the aired Unicron Trilogy and its comic counterparts, and adds in characters and concepts from all over the Transformers mythos.
- Alien Among Us: The Autobots and Mini-Cons especially spent a lot of time hiding among humanity early on.
- Alien Invasion: Quite a few individuals and groups suspect the Cybertronians are plotting an invasion, and act accordingly. Subverted, however, in that the Autobots have no real reason to invade and the Decepticons either aren't interested or would rather Kill All Humans. The Mini-Cons, however, generally lean towards the Autobots' viewpoint.
- Alternate History: One goal early on was to make the universe seem like a version of the real world as much as the Transformers universe, and aside from a few minor details, pre-2005 is pretty much the way it is in Real Life.
- Alternate Universe: These are explicitly stated to exist, and one is created due to Sentinel Maximus and Kicker's actions via Time Travel.
- Ancient Astronauts: Cybertronians have been on Earth for a very long time, as the Mini-Cons and the crew of the Acheron crashed on the planet millions of years ago. Subverted in that none of them influenced human development. Methius Prime, on the other hand...
- Ancient Keeper: Vector Prime, Mini-Cons Safeguard and Beta Maxx, and Omega Supreme all qualify as this, while Over-Run was on his way towards being one.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Mini-Cons, energon and Cyber Keys all count as this.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Again, a common Transformers trope.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Cyclonus enjoys this particular tactic. Megatron doesn't disapprove.
- Badass Grandpa / Never Mess with Granny: While they don't look it, Vector Prime and Accellas Prime are members of the First Thirteen, created long before recorded history to fight Unicron. They can hold their own quite nicely against younger Cybertronians as well as their traitorous sibling.
- Bad Future: Sentinel Maximus and the older Kicker come from one via Time Travel. How bad is it? Unicron ate Cybertron and Earth, and reality's collapsing.
- Benevolent Precursors: The survivors among the First Thirteen, as well as Primus himself. For example...
- Vector Prime remained behind on Cybertron, guarding over three of the seven Artifacts of Primus as well as the planet itself. He helped instill life into the first mechs to fight the Quintessons, and just as Unicron's return was becoming obvious, took an active role in the recovery of the remaining Artifacts.
- Methius Prime went to Earth, and though he eventually died, he entrusted his legacy and the Key of Wisdom to a trustworthy successor, Evac.
- Draco Prime, upon crossing paths with the Autobots seeking the Key of Power, tended to the wounded as best he could and provided whatever assistance he could.
- Accellas Prime, who provided direct help to those seeking her and the Key of Velocity, going so far as to risk her life against an avatar of Unicron.
- Primus himself would upgrade Optimus Prime just in time to turn the tide against Iskaros Prime.
- BFG: After his most recent upgrade, Red Alert carries one that's effectively a small-scale Wave Motion Gun. Also the Requiem and Umbral Blasters.
- BFS: Rhisling the ChronoSaber, is an easy example, along with the Star Saber, Energon Saber, and Dirge Saber. Also, the Great Swords wielded by Cyber Ninjas.
- Big Bad: Megatron/Galvatron. While Unicron plays a role, he isn't the day-to-day threat.
- Big Damn Heroes: Due to Author Appeal, these show up semi-regularly, but especially with Chapters 26 and 39.
- Broad Strokes: Not to anything Transformers-related, but to G.I. Joe. Cobra sprang up in the late-seventies/early-eighties and was initially defeated by the middle of that decade, but sprang up again following First Contact with Cybertron. Aside from that, and some odd references to Cobra-La, nothing's been firmly established.
- Also to the Torchwood Institute. There was still an alien werewolf, but no Time Lord involvement.
- Canon Immigrant: Straxus, Sen. Josephine Beller, Minerva and Jhiaxus were all borrowed from other corners of the TF-verse.
- Car Fu: Averted thus far, but it's coming.
- Catch and Return: Grimlock pulls this off in Chapter 35 while homaging the first live-action movie.
- Chekhov's Gun: Sideways accessing the computers aboard the Ark was the origin for the computer virus discovered in Arc Three.
- Combining Mecha: Another Transformers hallmark, with plenty of examples.
- Mini-Con teams can sometimes combine, such as the Street Action Team into Perceptor or the various groups that make up the Core Weapons.
- Optimus initially combined with his trailer or Jetfire and Overload, as in Armada. Later upgrades allowed him to combine with a set of drones, Wing Saber, and Omega Supreme or an Omega Sentinel, as in Energon. His current form allows him to combine with his trailer (again), Wing Saber (again), and Leobreaker, as in Cybertron. Leo Prime and Wingblade are on their way to the party too.
- Megatron could initially combine with Tidal Wave, but this ended upon their upgrades to Galvatron and Mirage.
- As in Energon, Powerlinx-capable Autobots can combine with one another, but the only demonstration thus far was between Rodimus and Downshift in Chapter 24.
- Special mentions go to the Build Team, the Aerialbots, the Combaticons, and the Constructicons, as well as the group that forms Nexus Maximus.
- Power Core Combiners are also due to later appear.
- Composite Character: Many characters for this story (especially the ones who appear in more than one continuity) combine elements from various portrayals throughout the franchise's history. Special mention goes to this story's version of Drift, who is mostly derived from the version found in IDW's comics but with some elements of Prowl from Transformers Animated added in.
- Cool Aunt: Diana tries (and mostly succeeds) at being this for her nephew and niece, Kicker and Sally.
- Cool Car: Many Autobots and Decepticons transform into these, but special mentions go to Jazz (Pontiac Solstice), Roulette and Shadow Striker (Dodge Vipers), and Sunstreaker (Lamborghini Diablo).
- Cool Old Lady: Accellas Prime doesn't look like one, but she more than qualifies.
- Cosmic Keystone: Cybertron and Earth are both these. If Unicron destroys the former, he destroys the universe and moves on. If he destroys the latter, he'll have a lot more territory to cover.
- Creative Sterility: A direct nod to both many corners of the franchise proper and to J. R. R. Tolkien is that Unicron cannot create life, while Primus can. Aside from Iskaros Prime (aka The Fallen) and the Brainwashed and Crazy Scorponok, none of Unicron's heralds or minions possess sparks, with the closest one being Nemesis Prime due to his Dead Matrix containing untold numbers of sparks and souls. Cybertronians in general who possess sparks, meanwhile, don't have this problem.
- Crossover: Parallel versions of characters from Doctor Who and Stargate Atlantis have appeared thus far, while an entire story, "Valor and Venom", was built around characters from G.I. Joe.
- Cross Referenced Titles: Chapter 26, "Point of No Return", was followed by Chapter 27, "Return to Normalcy". Chapter 39, "Fallen Angel", is set to be followed by Chapter 40, "Phoenix Rising". Also, see Book Ends below.
- A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 30, "Fun and Games" is basically this for Wirejack, while the recent special "Adrift" is this for Drift.
- Death by Origin Story: With a few exceptions, most of the First Thirteen were dead long before the story takes place. Most of those who initially died have their deaths shown in Chapter 39, "Fallen Angel".
- Death Is Cheap: Averted thus far in that the few characters who have died have pretty much stayed dead. Though one character is set to come Back from the Dead.
- Demoted to Extra: Billy and Fred.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Chapter 38, "Speed Demons". Accellas Prime all but vaporizes an avatar of Unicron.
- The Dragon: Starscream was initially this for Megatron. Of course, he was The Mole all along. The position was later passed to Thrust.
- Dumb Muscle: Sludge is a heroic example. Tidal Wave/Mirage started as this, but has since shown signs of growing out of it.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Several different flavors of this. Scorponok saw his crew killed and was infected with energies from Unicron and reduced to a mindless beast. He got better, mostly. The Speed Chaser and Aqua Raider Teams, meanwhile, got their sparks extracted and were turned into zombie slaves to Unicron. They haven't.
- Fun with Acronyms: Once the Autobots establish a permanent base on Earth, they create an artificial intelligence to help manage the base and interact with humanity; the Tactical Advanced Computerized Holographic Interface, alias TACHI.
- A God Am I: Primus and Unicron, though the former doesn't go out of his way to advertise. And while he never says these exact words and doesn't believe in gods, Megatron is well on his way towards this, particularly after he upgrades to Galvatron.
- Great Offscreen War: The First Cybertronian War saw the liberation of Cybertron from the Quintessons almost nine million years ago, while the second saw Megatron's rise to power. Between them was a series of conflicts generally known as the Outsider Wars. Many of the older Autobots and Decepticons were around for at least one of these conflicts.
- Hammerspace: Most Cybertronians have access to subspace pockets to store weapons or specialized equipment.
- Healing Factor: The Heralds of Unicron can all near-instantaneously heal themselves from all but the most grievous of injuries. Even if you destroy their bodies completely, they'll just regenerate again inside of Unicron proper. Megatron exhibits this temporarily following his transformation to Galvatron due to immersion in liquid energon, but it wears off.
- The Heartless: Scorponok and Talon/Darkwing were briefly one of these, while the Speed Chasers and Aqua Raiders effectively became this. Nemesis Prime and Dreadwing, meanwhile, tend to create them.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Terrorsaur, due to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. He started under Megatron, later joined with Predacon, and is currently back with Megatron. Wheeljack also, but he's stuck to the side of the angels for most of the series. Overbite and Blastcharge almost qualify for this, but they'd always been jerks.
- Heel-Face Turn: Many Decepticons who worked under Megatron eventually decided to join with Starscream, either due to moral issues (Demolishor and Mudflap) or because they really didn't want to go to jail again (Sharkticon). More may yet follow.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Bludgeon has a You Shall Not Pass moment against Galvatron, and dies. Draco Prime gives up some of his spark energy to save Overhaul and Repugnus. He's not dead yet.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Cybertronians have a number of Unusual Euphemisms that they use in place of English counterparts.
- Humongous Mecha: Most normal Cybertronians tend to tower over humans and Mini-Cons. They are, in turn, towered over by Omega Supreme and the Omega Sentinels. Primus and Unicron, meanwhile, dwarf everyone.
- Iconic Item: The Matrix of Leadership, as always, is strongly associated with Optimus. Played with in that the first time he does get seriously beat up, it was already out of his chest, due to some Time Travel fun and Genre Savvy.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Always purposeful. The three installments that revolve around Hot Shot and Wheeljack, Chapters 10-12, all have single-word titles ("Confrontations", "Interrogations", and "Revelations"). The two stories that introduced Nemesis Prime, Chapters 19 and 20, had three words ("Signs and Portents" and "Facing the Night") while the four that cover the quest for the Cyber Planet Keys, Chapters 36 to 39, all have two word titles ("Question Authority", "Dragon's Fire", "Speed Demons", "Fallen Angel"). Some are deliberate Shout-Out titles, however - Chapter 33, "Wreck and Rule", centered on the Wreckers, while Chapter 34, "Valor and Venom", featured G.I. Joe characters.
- Immortality Immorality: The Heralds, again, are nigh-immortal and decidedly unnatural. But there are ways around that...
- Immune to Bullets: Standard human small arms aren't going to do much against Cybertronians - specially-made rounds and larger munitions are another matter. As for the T Fs themselves, their weaker weapons aren't much good against the Heralds - you either need a really powerful gun or an Artifact to hurt them.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The former Trope Namer (The Bumblebee) himself appears, along with other examples from TF lore including Hot Shot, Ironhide, and Cheetor. Wheelie's even set to appear in the future. None of them, however, fit this trope properly save maybe Cheetor - Bumblebee's The Spymaster and a successor to Jazz, Hot Shot's starting out just barely emerging from a Heroic BSOD and grows into a Future Badass, and Ironhide's an architect more than a soldier. Still, they're all fun.
- Legacy Character: The Dread Pirate Cannonball, in a direct nod to the former Trope Namer.
- Light Is Good/Dark Is Not Evil: The Autobots and Primus are all generally out to do good. The Decepticons, meanwhile, aren't all pure evil.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: Even accounting for the presence of Cybertronians, there are some minor changes from Real Life.
- Literary Allusion Title - Oh so many...
- Chapter 18, "Things Change", was named for the final episode of Teen Titans.
- Many installments, Chapters 12, 19, 26 and 28, take their titles from episodes of Babylon 5 - "Revelations", "Signs and Portents", "Point of No Return", and "Atonement". One more is set to follow - "Phoenix Rising".
- Chapter 21, "Recalled to Life", comes from A Tale of Two Cities.
- Chapter 27, "Return to Normalcy", was named after a phrase from numerous speeches following World War One.
- Chapter 32, "Love and Monsters", was named after an episode of Doctor Who.
- Chapter 36, "Question Authority", was named after an episode of Justice League Unlimited.
- Loads and Loads of Characters - As of the end of Arc Three, three hundred and sixty-nine characters had been introduced, with another five introduced through the re-edits. More are coming.
- MacGuffin - Played with. A fragment of the hull of Atlantis is found by Prof. Lucy Suzuki, and sets up the story for Chapter 23. The Mini-Cons and the Artifacts of Primus, however, while kicking off the plot, play a role throughout.
- Martyr Without a Cause - Optimus Prime, as always, is willing to sacrifice himself to save lives. He isn't in much of a rush to do it, however.
- Meaningful Name: Another given, as most of the names given to Cybertronians describe something about themselves or their abilities.
- The Medic: Red Alert, Ratchet and Minerva are all dedicated medics, with the Emergency Team and Longarm occasionally chipping in. More will join the party in Arc Four.
- Mid-Season Twist: Comes up in each of the three arcs thus far.
- Arc One: Chapter 7, "Changing Lanes"; The Autobots and Decepticons have a very public fight in Indianapolis, and Demolishor aligns himself with Starscream.
- Arc Two: Chapters 19 and 20, "Signs and Portents" and "Facing the Night"; the crash of the Mini-Con ship is revealed to be far less accidental than previously thought, and Optimus Prime faces off against Nemesis Prime for the first time.
- Arc Three: Chapter 32, "Love and Monsters"; Terrorsaur turns traitor, and Megatron learns of the hunt for the Artifacts of Primus.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: More often than mid-season, too.
- Hot Shot goes from his Armada body to his Energon one, while Smokescreen upgrades to Hoist, in Chapter 12, "Revelations".
- Megatron upgrades to Galvatron in Chapter 25, aptly titled "Galvanized".
- Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Starscream, Demolishor, Red Alert, Downshift, Smokescreen, Landmine, Skywarp, Thundercracker and the Street Action Team all upgrade to either Energon or Cybertron bodies in Chapter 26.
- Ultra Magnus upgraded from his initial body (borrowed from Transformers: Robots in Disguise) to his Classics body in Chapter 33. He'll be upgrading again, albeit through some armor rather than a new body.
- Repugnus goes from his Universe body to his Cybertron one in Chapter 37, while Overhaul upgrades to Leobreaker.
- Hot Shot, Blurr and Swerve all upgrade to their Cybertron bodies in Chapter 38.
- Optimus, Jetfire, Starscream, Hot Shot, Red Alert and Scattorshot upgrade again in Chapter 39. Hot Shot's upgrade is even lampshaded by Wheeljack.
- Galvatron's going to upgrade again before too long...
- More Dakka: Hot Shot, Red Alert and Scattorshot become living embodiments of this trope after their final upgrades.
- Mythology Gag: Quite a few.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Played with. Some Autobots, Decepticons and Mini-Cons with dangerous names you actually can trust.
- NameTron: Megatron/Galvatron, obviously.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The Heralds, again.
- Night of the Living Mooks: The Speed Chaser and Aqua Raider Teams, again.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: We've got the robots (duh), we've got the zombies, we've got the pirates (Cannonball and his crew)...but thus far, a disturbing lack of ninja.
- The "Adrift" special gives us ninja at last.
- Non-Lethal Warfare: Mostly played straight, though when a character does die, they tend to be Killed Off for Real.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Optimus Prime and Starscream are both in the neighborhood of nine million years old. Megatron is notably younger.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Megatron doesn't shy away from rampant destruction, but he wants something left to rule over. Unicron, on the other hand...
- One Steve Limit/Name's the Same: Efforts have been made to stick to the former, but there are the odd characters who end up sharing the same name, sometimes in the same faction.
- Original Character: Aside from the author's own, Dr. Diana Masters, there's a few that were adopted from other writers - Autobots Talon / Darkwing, Headline, and Wirejack, and Decepticon Terrablast.
- Painting the Medium: Text meant to convey radio transmissions and the like, since editing started, is presented in italics with colons at the start and end of each sentence.
- Person of Mass Destruction: You've got the tyrannical Megatron whose usual strategy is "Shoot it with my big gun", you've got Unicron who ''eats planets''...and they're just the bigger names. And of course, Omega Supreme if sufficiently provoked, as Sideways learned the hard way.
- Physical God: Primus and Unicron, of course.
- Planet Eater: Unicron as always.
- Portal Network: Space bridge travel is portrayed as this. One space bridge terminus is linked to another, but only that one other. Cybertronians get around this by building space bridge hubs, with multiple physical gateways at one point each leading to a different location.
- Powered Armor: Overload units count as this for Mini-Cons, as do Optimus' drones and occasionally Wing Saber and Omega Supreme.
- Puny Earthlings: This is Megatron's general view of the human race. Others view them in a better light, however, while Starscream believes that Humans Are Special.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The First Thirteen were this to Primus once upon a time, while the few remaining troops he has generally fall into this category for Megatron after Arc Two.
- Really 700 Years Old: The First Thirteen are older than recorded history, but the surviving members still look pretty good after all this time. And many Cybertronians in the modern day are old enough to remember nine million years back.
- Re Write: The first twenty-nine installments, as well as the thirty-fourth, are in the process of being edited, both to improve on the story and give various characters more development and screen time.
- Robot Buddy: Both ways between humans and Cybertronians.
- Running Gag: The near-constant upgrades became this to a point, due to the author's admitted Merchandise-Driven mentality. A more purposeful one was Ultra Magnus' tendency to get beat up prior to his own upgrade.
- Schedule Slip: The author's difficulties with his senior year of college interfered in the completion of installment #35, "Combine and Conquer", while various other Real Life difficulties between him and the editor have delayed release of new installments (and edits of older ones). Unfortunately, the schedule has continued to slip from there.
- Shout-Out: The list is insanely long, and growing ever longer...
- Sociopathic Hero: Repugnus. He's all for the Autobot cause, but he's a lot more pragmatic than most other mechs.
- The Soulless: None of Unicron's heralds, save Iskaros Prime, have sparks. They aren't trying to take them from others, however, but they can if they so choose. The results aren't pretty.
- The Starscream: Despite the appearance of the Trope Namer, he doesn't fit this description. Tankor and Obsidian, however, might qualify.
- Super Mode: Optimus managed one for each body.
- Synchronous Episodes: "Dragon's Fire" and "Speed Demons" take place mostly simultaneously (and were even written simultaneously), following two different sets of characters from "Question Authority" and reuniting them at the start of "Fallen Angel".
- Tank Goodness: More than a few Cybertronians have tank-based alternate modes.
- Tempting Fate: Most are careful to avoid this, though the Wreckers skirt the line by their very existence.
- Time Dissonance: Many Cybertronians have established ages in the area of millions of years, while the First Thirteen are even older.
- Time Skip: A small six month skip exists between the end of Arc Two and the start of Arc Three. Another is planned late in Arc Four.
- Time Travel: Vector Prime can do it whenever he pleases, so long as he's careful. Kicker and Sentinel Maximus pulled it off once. More time-traveling is due in the near-future.
- Transforming Mecha: Duh.
- Truce Zone: Maccadam's Old Oil House is a safe meeting place for all Cybertronians. This Cybertron, however, is generally more peaceful than it is in other continuities, so this isn't that remarkable.
- Unusual Euphemism: In proud tradition from other Transformers stories, this one has its share.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Odd Cybertronians feel this way, but most are generally pleased with their state of semi-immortality.
- You Shall Not Pass: Shows up twice in "Point of No Return", between Bludgeon's Heroic Sacrifice and the siege of the Autobots' base by Megatron's forces.
This story will contain examples of: