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Headscratchers: Beast Wars

  • How did the term "Transmetal" catch on? Rattrap sort of made up the name when trying to explain what they'd become "We're like these... trans...metals." and suddenly everyone, on both sides, is calling it that. Mid-battle was Rattrap like "Hey Megatron, by the way, these new forms? We're going to be calling them Transmetal. So, y'know, pass it on." Also, Rampage. His name was originally Protoform X and that's how all the Maximals originally referred to him. Then Megatron decides to rename him Rampage for some reason, and the Maximals, who missed the random renaming and already have a name they associate with him, start referring to him by that name too? Why?
    • The concept of name changes in the Transformers franchise is a whole can of worms in and of itself, and mostly occurs for the sole purpose of selling toys. Beast Wars, for all the effort that went into downplaying the series' toy-oriented aspects (and, in this troper's opinion, succeeding), still falls victim to this. In the pilot, everyone who arrives on Earth, bar Optimus and Megatron, rename themselves based on their chosen beast forms, with wonderfully corny dialogue like "Hey, I'm a cheetah! No, wait... I'm CHEETOR!" They changed their names simply because "Cheetor", "Rattrap", "Rhinox" and so forth were the toys names. Likewise the term "Transmetals" "caught on" because said sub-line of figures were on the shelves. Same for Rampage - though at least in his case, when he and Depth Charge meet again in "Deep Metal" the latter refers to him as X (and does so throughout the third season), with "X" replying:
    "I'm called Rampage now; a bit obvious, but to the point, don't you think?"
  • Why couldn't Megatron come back to the valley to finish what he started after the disk was destroyed? He'd found the place already, and I don't recall the Maximals setting up any security measures.
    • It is discussed in "The Agenda: Part 1" between Megatron and Inferno. Megatron's attack forced the protohumans to leave the valley and spread out, meaning he was unable to exterminate them anymore, which is arguably what leads him to go for broke and try to destroy the Autobots. Furthermore, with the destruction of the golden disk, Megatron could never again check if the future had changed to his intended specifications; thus, he would never know if he'd killed enough humans, even if he did get back to hunting them.
  • Did they ever extract the original Megatron's Spark from Dragon Megatron? Just imagine how different History might have turned out if G1's megatron had no spark in need of protecting, meaning until he was blown up, he could have fought indefinately. Wouldn't such a small shift cause another minor time storm? Would the Maximals have taken the time to extract the double spark from Beast Wars Megatron?
    • They did, in a deleted scene that would've fit towards the end of the final episode of Beast Wars, almost immediately before they took off from Earth. Here it is.
  • Why is the Great War and the crash of the Ark and Nemesis treated as a sort of (somewhat-inaccurate) Arthurian lore by time of the Beast Wars? It's been established that there's still Autobots and Decepticons still around, some (like Ravage) old enough to have been in those events. Surely any one of them could've set the record straight, right?
    • It's pretty explicit that transwarp drive = now we have time travel. Given how important Earth was, if the exact details were too well known, it would have been pitifully easy to go back in time and screw things up if one felt so inclined. Thus, the people who know try not to spread it around.
    • Maybe the Great Upgrade included memory modification to make Transformers forget important details.
    • Well, let me elaborate: we know that the Maximal Elders kept any and all information regarding Earth and the events that transpired therein under wraps (for some stupid reason)...yet the Predacons aren't keeping to this practice, and again, the aforementioned survivors from before the Transformers even came to Earth would have a better account of what happened; Ravage's comment to Megatron upon his capture ("I served under the original Megatron; you may have his name, but not his army") seems to indicate that his memories weren't tampered with during his upgrade. Also, both Blackarachnia and Dinobot were shown to be avid scholars when it came to their peoples' pasts, enough to recognize Starscream for what he really was (and that he was killed by Galvatron instead of protecting him from Unicron as he said he was) when he returned, so obviously there's still "The Truth" out there that needs to be discovered, and no shortage of 'bots and 'cons looking to uncover it.
      • Blackarachnia was a Maximal protoform that was "born" on Earth—she would only have access to the records that the Predacon ship happened to have in its computer. Megatron being that type of person, he probably had as much information on hand about his predecessor as was available, but not a lot about the war in general. Anyway, it's safe to assume that Transformer memories work more like human memories than computers, which is to say, they fog and change with time. Things would stand out for Ravage: Megatron, certain battles, the basic gist of what happened, but Ravage has fought a lot of battles over the years—why would that information stand out? The Maximal leadership wouldn't have to edit the records relating to the war all at once. They could go slowly, leave in the parts that everyone remembered as having happened, but fog up the rest.
      • They're robots; they've been long established to hold a complete and pristine record of the events of their lives, unless some trauma or glitch futzes it up. Which leads to another goof: it's long been established that, had the plan to kill Optimus succeeded, all of Cybertron was slagged, due to the events of the movie (namely Unicron). This accounts for why BW Megs refused to go through with it until he had no choice...but why would Ravage agree to it? I'm sorry, but I simply cannot see his undying loyalty to G1 Megs blind him enough to go through with it when he was a first-hand eye witness to the destructive power of Unicron. In fact, his story in the "Binaltech" series has him purposely keeping Optimus alive to fight off Unicron, even using his knowledge of the Chaos God's onslaught to tempt the Autobots into helping him.
      • "Some stupid reason?" Transwarp technology allows for time travel. They wouldn't just have to deal with Megatron, every vainglorious Predacon with a brain would be trying to scrap Optimus Prime.
  • I don't understand Dinobot's death at all. I mean, Waspinator has taken ten times that amount of damage before, and Megatron got blasted to pieces. How did Dinobot die from that fight? Granted, it was just him against every single Predacon, but still, others have survived worse.
    • In regards to Waspinator...he's a special case. It's all part of his Chew Toy status, which is played for laughs throughout the entire series, surviving things that would most likely have killed other 'bots. One time, he was literally shredded into confetti! What made Dinobot's Heroic Sacrifice was that he overruled the stasis lock protocol. Stasis lock prevents the spark from dying disengaging from the body, even through massive bodily trauma. When Megatron gets blown to pieces in "Power Surge" and when Waspinator gets blown up practically every episode they immediately go into stasis lock. The writers/producers expect you to assume that so long as the spark chamber is undamaged, a transformer lives.
  • Why was Inferno so insane? His pod was the only one we saw touch down without problems (Tigatron and Airrazor both crashed with severe problems, dunno what happened with Black Arachnia, everyone else crashed and suffered severe Transmetal mutations).
    • Blackarachnia was turned into a Predacon by Tarantulas, which is what he was doing to Inferno before his activation. As for why Inferno acts how he does, it's mentioned that his beast mode has overridden most of his personality, leaving him with heavy ant-like tics (such as calling Megatron his "queen", and his insane loyalty to the "colony"); why that is is unknown, but as Tarantulas was trying to reprogram Inferno in the middle of his alt-mode scanning session (and didn't get time to finish before the session completed and Inferno was reformatted), it's possible that that caused some damage in Inferno's robot/beast personality block protocols that caused the ant mode to take over.
    • His beast mode was dominating his logic circuits. Whether it was a glitch, missing data, or the mentality of ants being powerful enough to override a robot's programming isn't mentioned. It might have been a combination. Remember that the protoforms were basically "baby" Transformers, the Axalon's mission was to go to a planet, wake them up and give them alternate modes, and explore and observe.
      • Another possibility: Inferno's circumstances have nothing to do with him being crazy. He was built that way, but since he wasn't up and walking around until the pod fell to earth, got fiddled with by Tarantulas, etcetera, nobody knew that he was defective.
    • It's very similar to Animorphs: when the Animorphs turn into animals, they still have their own minds, but acquire many personality traits of the animal they morph to. In BW, Cheetor gained a love of running, Rhinox gained the natural instinct to just ram things, etc. Hell, if I recall correctly, the ant morph gave the Animorphs issues as well in terms of going insane. So there's precedent for people going insane when turning into an ant.
    • My take would be the whole mid scan reformat issue. he took out the Maximal chip, The ant form got downloaded, and then he put in the Predacon one. Making assumptions about programming, the loyalty code was missing when it was supposed to be installed, and by the time the Predacon replacement was put in, it had given up and improvised something from the rather assertive ant hive mind. All that actually got in from Tarantulas's work was the idea of being a predacon and "Terrorize!" Megatron clearly fixed some of it later, but as we saw with Rhinox's brief flipside, this will have had some bad side effects of it's own...
    • Furthermore, why didn't Waspinator go insane? Wasps are just as hive-minded as ants are.
      • Many species of wasp are solitary.
  • I find it annoying that Silverbolt only tries to redeem Blackarachnia, using the claim she was built out of Maximal parts as one of the lines he tries to do so with. That's true, but so are Inferno, Quickstrike, and, God forbid, Rampage. Yet, he doesn't do anything to try and redeem any of them. Granted Rampage is borderline irredeemable, but I get the idea that Inferno is redeemable after a thorough defragging of his hard drive. Granted, those guys are too aggressive to even let him.
    • Well for one thing, Silverbolt does not have romantic intentions towards Inferno, Quickstrike or Rampage. Second, you've somewhat answered your own question with that last sentence - none of them have an interest in being redeemed. All three are insane, Inferno is clearly devoted to his "queen", Rampage has no choice but to serve Megatron anyway, and the fact that Quickstrike was willing to join the Predacons without the influence of a shell program suggests he is mean by inclination. Also, Silverbolt didn't try to make Blackarachnia change sides 'til he was convinced there was SOME goodness in her. You may have noticed, he does not interact with her between their first encounter in "Tangled Web" (where he simply states it isn't right to strike a female, Predacon or not) and their next in "Bad Spark" (where it all started). He knew she was a Predacon, if unreasonably hot, yet he saved her life in the latter episode, she rescued him, and that convinced him there was something worth saving.
  • In the final episode, the characters start quoting passages from the Transformers Bible, (the Code of Primus) realizing that everything they're doing corresponds to the passages. However, who is cataloging it?! The humans are currently in the "communicate with grunts" phase, so they couldn't have, and there aren't any other literate creatures around to write it down. perhaps it was the vok, they so crazy.
    • The Code of Primus was supposed to have predicted the beast wars, not catalog it, and was on the Ark and a copy on the Nemesis long before the beast wars take place. Clearly whoever wrote the code of primus just happened to write passages that vaguely fit the end of the beast wars.
    • Magmatron.
    • Waspinator?
    • Check the Wiki. The Code Of Primus is written by Primus, who transcends time and space. He's basically God to Unicron's Satan. Anyway, each part of the text is written in the language of the time, so while it all exists at any point in time, it's intelligible unless you can translate that language. That's why you can't predict too far into the future: the language it's written in doesn't exist yet.

  • The idea of the transwarp wave moving into the future as it spreads. Not only does it conveniently reach Predacon / Maximal Era Cybertron (or would have if the Tripredacus Council hadn't taken steps), but no explanation is given for why anyone picking it up wouldn't just travel back to immediately after the explosion, rather than weeks / months after it.
    • Maybe transwarp drive can only go X units of time per distance traveled? So the same trip made 1 month later would arrive 1 month after the first trip.
  • In Call of the Wild, the beast mode glitch is repeatedly referred to as an issue specifically pertaining to Maximal programming... so why is Dinobot affected?
    • Maybe Predacons have a similar glitch and Megatron's research was into whether or not the Maximal glitch was similar to theirs. Inferno believed he was an ant and Tarantulus seemed to enjoy his beast mode instincts a little too much, which supports this.
    • Dinobot reprogrammed his transformation code to be that of a Maximal, so that explains why his transformation was affected.
    • Really, it could just be that Megatron worded it poorly. There's no reason whatsoever to think it wasn't a glitch Maximals and Predacons shared. After all, Megatron never made any disparaging remarks about their glitchy programming, despite his ideas of Predacon superiority, so he probably just was referring to a glitch they all had, just using "Maximals" because they were the only ones affected in this situation.

  • Since you can just toss a damaged bot - no matter how damaged, just ask Waspy - into a CR chamber, that means a lot of knowledge of the future is on Earth circa G1 in the form of everyone who appeared to die during the series (except of course for Dinobot.) and even the existence of those whose data was lost and so have no memories should have been quite the clue that something was up. Then you have to consider the ships that weren't completely destroyed. Nothing seems to have been written about this, ever, in the decade-plus since BW.
    • Theoretically, there are traces of the Beast Wars still on earth. Unfortunately, these traces have been exposed to around two million years worth of environmental factors and are scattered around what could be generously described as "the middle of nowhere". Even if a human or cybertronian of the G1 era were to dig up, say, a chunk of the Axalon, they'd likely have no idea what the thing was and would certainly have no method of extracting any useful data from it (seeing as it's based on technology that doesn't exist yet).
    • If Rhinox, genius that he was, couldn't hook up relatively intact Maximal technology to Autobot tech to any useful effect, there's no way that G1 Wheeljack could tell what a chunk of two-million-year-weathered Maximal computer even is let alone pull any pardox-worthy information from it. It'd be like sending a laptop back to the Elizabethan era after hitting it with a sledgehammer and burying it in the mud.

  • Whose hand shoots up out of the ground at the very end of "Aftermath"? It shows Quickstrike and Silverbolt's stasis pods and the next episode starts at that same scene, but that hand is never seen again. I assumed it was Terrorsaur's and that that the lava he fell into was some kind of river that carried his damaged body downstream, but since they already had a death fake-out with Optimus it seemed clear that Terrorsaur wasn't coming back. So who was buried there?
    • It actually comes out of a crashed stasis pod. In the next episode, you can see various pieces of a Protoform lying around, so the hand either belonged to it, or that's how Silverbolt's or Quickstrike's hand looked like before they obtained their beast modes.
  • When Optimus was in the Vok pod, why did he choose Rattrap to lead, instead of Rhinox?
    • Rattrap makes a good 'underground' leader. He's more into sabotage and demolition than head-on battles. He's not above using dirty tricks, and you need to know a few when fighting Predacons. He's not likely to drag the team into head-on battles for nothing more than glory, or force them to fight to the death just for honour. And while he has a tendency to refuse dangerous orders, he really doesn't like Predacons so he was unlikely to sell the team out to Megatron. A touch of cowardice can be a very good survival trait. In the circumstances that Optimus was leaving his team in, he wanted them to survive, even if they had to take the battle into an 'underground' phase. It's just tough to see Rattrap as a leader because he's so coarse and abrasive, and also the rat alt-mode and Brooklyn accent.
    • Aside from that, Rhinox, being the ship's science officer, needed to stay behind and figure out something that could analyze the pod (preferably recovering Optimus in the process). Besides, Rhinox made it clear that he doesn't really like leading or being in the spotlight, preferring to do the vital behind-the-scenes work instead.
  • Related to the above, who cast the second vote for Dinobot and why?
    • It was Cheetor. Assuming Rattrap and Dinobot voted for themselves, Rhinox counted off the third vote (in favor of Rattrap) without much reaction. Only when he realized that the final vote was in favor of Dinobot, Rhinox sighs in disappointment (suggesting Rhinox voted for Rattrap). The scene immediately cuts to Rattrap for his reaction, but Cheetor is seen deliberately turning his head and avoiding eye contact with Rattrap.
  • How did Rampage decimate Colony Omicron? He's powerful, but he was never shown to be that powerful. A Colony with presumably hundreds or thousands of Cybertronians should have been able to defend themselves against one crazy science project!
    • This is Rampage we're talking about. You saw how powerful he was before Megatron split his spark.
    • Speaking of Rampage, what episode did he quote Hannibal Lector in?
      • I'm not sure he did. I think they just did that on the Transformers Wiki.
    • Word of God is apparently that Omicron was a human colony. They just couldn't mention it, because of the censors.
  • In the pilot episode, how come the Maximals and Predacons seem to rename themselves once they arrive on Earth? Granted, it would be silly for someone to be called Rhinox when they transform into a bulldozer, but other incarnations of the Transformers don't have scene like this.
    • To be honest, previous incarnations of the franchise were much more transparent in being toy commercials, and a lot less effort and thought was put into them at times because of it. Witness things like when the Seekers in G1 were just flying pyramids (in the first episode)... and yet turned into robots with obvious pieces of Earth jets on them. Also the Transformer names in the first generation were much more general... names like "Rumble", "Blaster", "Soundwave", "Ironhide", and so on may imply a general function but not a specific form. The extended universe further tells us that names are very important to Transformers... one of the greatest things you can do to shame a Transformer is to take away their name and their right to claim a new one for themselves (see: The Fallen). The Maximals are essentially beginning a new stage of their life and get overcome with enthusiasm (which, appropriately, starts with the youngest member of the crew) and choose new names that fit their new forms more specifically to commemorate it. In many ways they're getting an early start on acknowledging the beginning of the Beast Wars, by taking more beast-themed names for themselves.
  • In the episode Master Blaster, other than to sell Megatron's newest toy, what reason did he have not to just kill off the Maximals when he had the chance? Does it relate to securing the Decepticons' sparks from another time storm or something?
    • My guess, ego. Megatron doesn't just want his enemies dead. He wants them to see his newfound power and know just how badly he's beaten them.
  • Maximals and Predacons; Why do they needed to new alt-forms when they are hinted to have animal alt-forms already?
    • When they crash-landed on Earth, they need to take organic-type forms to survive the high levels of Energon. The scanner detected the nearest compatible life and modified their forms to match. Their previous alt-forms were all-metal (as seen in the prequel comics, which incidentally show the Predacons having contruction-equipment alt-forms), since they hadn't needed to use organic-forms on Cybertron.
    • The prequel comics showed that they all had vehicle forms before. Weirdly tiny vehicles considering their relative size to their ancestors, but vehicles nonetheless.
  • In the last episode, we find out that the Nemesis have blueprints for the Ark and it's shuttle... Why? How?
    • When did this happen? Rhinox knew about this because he was in the Ark and so would have access to the blueprints. When did the Nemesis show its knowledge of the Ark?
    • Dinobot II sent to info from the Nemesis to the Ark while Megatron and Optimus were fighting.
      • My bad. new idea: The Nemesis a war ship that took scans of the enemy vessel while it was attacking. It detected it because the Ark wasn't trying to hide its existence, it's just an emergency shuttle whose existence was lost in the interim millions of years and was probably presumed destroyed or accidentally jettisoned when the Ark crashed.

Beast MachinesHeadscratchers/WESTERNANIMATIONTransformers Animated

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