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Three hundred years into the future, and Cybertron's Great War is over. The Autobots and Decepticons have created the Maximals and Predacons to fight on in their stead. Confined to Cybertron, a whole new generation of Transformers fight and die for their creators' amusement. But some of their creations start to wonder why they have to do this, and so begins an all-new Cybertronian war.

A Bad Future interpretation of Beast Wars, this storyline was first established in a bio of Blackarachina, during Transformers: Timelines visit to the Transtech universe. It was some years later before any readers got a good look at this universe, which was also the subject of a five-issue storyline, and assorted prose stories showing, among other things, the start of the war.

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The series consists of several text stories published on the fan club's website, along with a storyline in the fan-comic.

Stories from this series include:

  • Alone, Together, a club-exclusive comic featuring Trans-Mutate and Protoform X, dealing with the mysterious Destructons.
  • Broken Windshields: Lio Convoy, agent of the Builders, is inspired to revolution after a meeting with a Maximal called Blackarachnia.
  • Head Games: Hapless Predacon Buzzclaw starts going up in the world when the Resistance recruits him for an important mission. But there's this nagging voice in Buzzclaw's head...
  • Broken Bridges: Burnt-out MCSF officer Stilleto has to deal with her own twisted memories, at the same time she holds off a Resistance attack.
  • Micro-Aggressions: Former Autobot troublemaker Grimlock's back, and has a plan to get at the Builders, involving the horrific G-Virus.
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  • Intersectionality: Out on the fringe of Cybertronian space, the good ship Dinosaur runs into several problems, including someone murdering the crew.
  • Trigger Warnings': Jaded cop Wolfang has to deal with a murder, a mysterious dame, his bosses and his own conflicting loyalty, as he stumbles on a terrible secret.
  • Identity Politics: Long before the Uprising, an ambitious Predacon named Gnashteeth, and his underling Scorponok decide to go into business for themselves, yeeeess...
  • Not All Megatrons: Megatron decides it's time for the Uprising to get beastly.
  • Cultural Appropriation: A rag-tag bunch of misfits (and one immortal psychopath) team up to stop a group of mighty robots making trouble for everyone, mankind included.
  • Safe Spaces: Cheetor and Preditron fight for their lives in the arena. But attempted murder is about to be the least of their problems.
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  • Derailment: The big finale, as it's Resistance versus Builders versus everybody, as Galva Convoy's weapon is unleash.
  • The Inexorable March: A coda to the finale.

Tropes

  • Abusive Precursors: The Builders of Cybertron are utter dicks, having created the Maximals and Predacons solely to fight in their stead when they couldn't, and then after that putting them in rigged arena combat just so they can bet on it. They're also not above murdering people who've won previous games to "liven things up".
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Scorponok is renamed Zarak, and Zarak is renamed Fausto Borx. Their combined form is renamed Megazarak, a la the Headmasters anime.
    • Beast Wars Inferno is renamed Formikon (his name from the Italian dub).
    • Vector Prime is renamed Vector Convoy.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Scylla goes from a ditzy, bad-tempered and easily distracted sort to a full-on badass sea pirate (complete with an Eyepatch of Power).
    • Claw Jaw, normally just background filler if he appears, appears briefly in Derailment portrayed as some kind of unstoppable leviathan in his beast mode.
    • Queen Rage, previously a cutesy Moe one-off character from the Beast Wars Neo manga, is reimagined as a take-no-prisoners warrior-queen who manages to carve out a fortified kingdom as civilization collapses.
    • The Vehicons go from mindless drones that pretty much exploded if so much as sneezed on to an unstoppable juggernaut that manage to take out a significant chunk of Cybertron's population. It helps that they can convert by touch.
    • Rampage, who wasn't exactly a slouch in Beast Wars, gets a boost in sheer toughness, becoming a Point One Percenter, able to regenerate from atoms.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Rampage is not as much of a demented murder-monster as his Beast Wars counterpart. He still likes threatening people with colourful death, but hardly ever follows through on them.
    • Megatron is legitimately trying to help his people cast off the yoke of oppression and be independent with their new beast modes. Contrast that to the time travelling, Spark absorbing conqueror. Mind you, he still has a lot of wealth and political power to gain from all this but he's not risking the entire space/time continuum to satisfy his ego and god complex.
    • The Commandoes are Maximals, rather than brainwashed-into-evil Decepticons, as they were in Robots in Disguise. Though "heroism" is pushing it, given the whole "suicide bomb" thing...
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Beast Machines-era Snarl, normally portrayed as a pretty good guy, is a Builder thug.
    • Bighorn, normally a Gentle Giant, is a Jerkass
    • Lio Convoy, the typical squeaky-clean Big Good, is willing to rig fights for his Builder masters, and on occasion murder survivors of previous Games on their orders. And then when he starts the revolution, he's still willing to do unethical things in the name of victory.
    • A great many Autobots are willing to enforce the system that makes the Maximals fight and die in pointless, rigged games.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In Transformers Cybertron, Vector Prime was the guardian of space/time being capable of freezing time and accessing a pocket dimension. Here he's just a regular Cybertronian.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The series goes out of its way to focus on obscure and underused characters from across the Transformers mythos, giving leading roles to C-list characters like Wolfang, Buzzclaw, Eject, Synapse, or Twirl.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: By the 24th century, Cybertron is still picking up ancient Earth transmissions, and the Games were inspired by old broadcasts of The Hunger Games.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Duran Duran apparently got some questioning looks when "Union of the Snake" came out, and had to assure people it had nothing to do with Cobra.
  • All There in the Manual: The first mention of the Uprising universe came in a profile of Blackarachnia in the Transformers Fan Club magazine, which is also the only place that explains what became of Optimus Primal, Rhinox and Silverbolt - they died, which prompted Blackarachnia, Cheetor and Nightscream to go rogue. Depth Charge's absence from the stories was explained with his Fan Club exclusive toy, since he went after Blackarachnia and Nightscream when they fled the universe.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe, and invoked, in The Inexorable March, which has hidden cybertronix detailing a 'bot called Hatchet writing a paper about how Lio Convoy was a ruthless terrorist responsible for dozens of bad things, helped by ten thousand years of misinformation and hearsay.
  • American Accents: From the sound of it, Wolffang speaks with a New York accent.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Trans-Mutate is essentially a Cybertronian autistic.
    • Break apparently is treated like he's got one, what with the speaking in hashtags, and even weirder, taking a penguin alt-mode.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Exactly who it was that became Triple-Threat Prime is unclear. It could be Optimus, given the partners he had are those who've usually been partnered with Optimus in other media, but no concrete details are given (especially since some of them are also those who could be partners of Ultra Magnus). And exactly what became of them is also unclear, though given the Triple Threat Master technology is stated to take years off a 'bot's life, the answer seems pretty clear. Derailment confirms that Triple-Threat was Optimus, but that he died sacrificing himself to take out The Swarm.
  • Anachronism Stew/The Theme Park Version: The Resistance arena in Protihex is deliberately designed to resemble ancient Earth... a Earth where the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower are all in driving distance of one another.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Synapse's right arm is vaporized by Meduson as he's trying to kill Dead-End.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Inexorable March ends with a group of Transformers crash-landing on an alien world and gearing up for another adventure as they try to get back home.
  • Anyone Can Die: In full effect by Derailment. Of the many, many P.O.V. characters, a lot of them die.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Thunderhoof and Terrorsaur mockingly call Gnashteeth "Megatron" when they beat him up. Later on, he decides to go with it.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Lord Imperious Delirious was a one-off villain in an old, very short-lived comic in the 90s. Alone Together makes him a major character, and he goes on to be a big problem in Intersectionality.
    • Maxima goes from a character who died after barely being on-screen in the "Combiner Wars" machima, to the very first Maximal.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Ikard is a weasel who forces captured soldiers to fight to the death, then tries to murder Preditron to make nice with the Tripredacus Alliance. He's one of the first to be infected by the Vehicons.
    • After their centuries of pettiness and spite, and just generally being jerkasses, the Builder Assembly, to a 'bot, get their sparks ganked out and turned into Vehicons by Galva Convoy.
  • Ax-Crazy: Befitting someone called Galvatron.
  • Back for the Finale: Just about every character shows up for "Derailment".
  • BFS: Lio Convoy's Solipsistic Staff gets reforged into a sword by "Derailment".
  • Blood Knight: Ser-Ket wants to be one, fighting actual wars on other worlds, rather than pointless games for someone else's amusement.
  • Body Horror:
    • Leatherhide is an Autobot who took on Maximal size, but has abandoned any kind of robot mode, only having two beast modes, with his robot mode head visible in his bat-form's mouth.
    • All of Megatron's failed upgrade attempts resulted in these.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Overshoot manages to take out three 'bots with these in quick succession.
  • Bread and Circuses: The Games, mostly for the Builders, but it also keeps the Maximals and Predacons from doing much themselves. Then, once the war's in full swing, the Resistance starts setting up their own version of the Games...
  • Brick Joke: In "Broken Bridges", Overshoot notes that the Overcharge drone's user manual is a garbled mess. The hidden text is a translation of that manual, and it is indeed a garbled mess. Figures, when you buy Quintesson.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Many, many, many Mini-Cons show up repurposed as Micromasters.
    • Ser-Ket, a character from one of IDW's "Fall of Cybertron" tie-ins, shows up in "Head Games".
    • In a slightly more literal fashion, a handful of Go-Bot Renegades who escaped the near-destruction of their universe have infiltrated the Predacons.
    • Twirl, of the "Linkage" mini-comic, is an important character of Trigger Warnings, as is Over-Run, Armada Optimus' other Mini-Con partner.
    • "Identity Politics" introduces Budora, of the "Go" Anime. He's later followed by Gaidora in "Safe Spaces".
    • Some of the Decepticons from RID 2015 (Thunderhoof, Bisk and Paralon) make a appearance with the former showing up running a gang in Iacon. Strongarm is wired into the Maximal Command Security Force building, while Springload, Quillfire and Steeljaw appear through Derailment.
    • The Builder held hostage by the Monster Renegades is Highline, a character from the first movie's toyline.
    • Tidal Wave appears as a battleship in "Derailment".
    • The conclusion of "The Inexorable March" has the good guy ship crewed by 'bots from the aborted Chinese version of Transformers: Online.
  • Category Traitor:
    • The rebels see any Maximal or Predacon who doesn't side with them as a traitor.
    • Humanity meanwhile, lists the Witwicky family as criminals (most likely on account of being friends with the robots).
  • Character Focus:
    • Buzzsaw is the main character of "Head Games".
    • Stiletto, a character from an old fan club text story, in "Burning Bridges".
    • Wolfang in "Trigger Warnings"
    • Bisk gets a whole section to his inner monologue during "Not All Megatrons".
    • Nucleon, who also got a section of that story to himself, gets a sub-story told from his point of view, "A Brush With Infamy".
  • C-List Fodder: One suspects part of the reason the story was able to go as grim as it did was this. The notoriously cruel Builder Assembly, for instance, have their most famous members being Ratbat, Crosscut, and a Canon Immigrant version of Knock Out. Who cares if Crosscut is evil?
  • Cloning Gambit: After Lio Convoy starts the revolution, Eject comes up with the idea of cloning him. Then they decide to include the G-Virus into the mix, resulting in Galva Convoy, who starts hearing whispers from someone, and decides to forge his own plan, starting with corrupting his version of the Matrix.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bisk thinks his life is one great big video game. But he manages to infiltrate the Builder's ultimate fortress and get out without ever being detected, and survives the Vehicon Apocalypse, so he's definitely doing something right.
  • Combining Mecha: Not so common on post-war Cybertron, though the Renegades use their combined form, Monsterous, to breach the Forever Vault. Rodimus isn't happy to hear that one. "Cultural Appropriation" reveals that Devastator- albeit a Micromaster-scaled version of his old self- remains an option for the newest incarnation of the Constructicons. Derailment introduces Magnaboss and Tripredacus into the mix.
  • Commander Contrarian: Ram Horn of the Tripredacus Council, who counter-argues every choice his fellow councillors suggest. They're very much aware of this, and use it to manipulate him into going along with them.
  • Composite Character: Wolfang is Wolfang and Wolfang. That is, his true identity is the Predacon Wolfang Takara released during their Beast Wars Telemocha Series, but he can change the appearance of his robot mode to make him look like Beast Wars Wolfang so he can spy on the Maximal Command Security Force.
  • Conflict Ball: Deliberately invoked by the Builders when putting ship crews together. The Predacon workers have Maximal officers, which naturally prevents them working together effectively.
  • Continuity Snarl: The screen capture comic A Change to The Agenda presents the Uprising universe as the result of the Maximals failing to stop Megatron from killing Optimus Prime, leading Blackarachnia to kill the original G1 Megatron in retaliation. This doesn't fit with previously established facts from the preceding stories. In particular, if Megatron had died millions of years ago, then Galvatron—stated to be prominent figure in the last Great War—shouldn't exist at all. The comic was apparently made without the input of the writers of the series.
  • Corrupt Cop: An awful lot of the Maximal Security Forces, according to Overshoot. Probably because most of the recruits just signed up to avoid getting sent off to the Games (the MSF have an exclusion clause).
  • The Corrupter: Galva Convoy hopes to corrupt his version of the Energon Matrix and all the potential Sparks within into Anti-Sparks.
  • Crapsack World: Put succinctly, Cybertron is a pretty terrible place for anyone to live. Fuel is scarce, most of the cities nigh-abandoned or run down, the police ludicrously corrupt or evil (or both), and the Builders crap on everyone.
  • Crazy Memory: Galvatron's not remembering everything properly. It helps that he's not actually the original Galvatron, just a recreation.
  • Crossover: "Cultural Appropriation" sees a motley crew of Builders, Maximals, and Predacons go up against the Monster GoBots.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The end of Burning Bridges mentions a "Targetmaster Extirpation".
    • Trigger Warning gives more details on the Extirpation. The Targetmasters were smaller beings who could transform into guns for larger Transformers, some of them being native Cybertronians while others were humans or Nebulan allies. In the mainstream universes, the primary advantage of the Targetmasters is having a weapon that can aim itself, allowing the wielder to focus on other matters. In the Uprising universe, the Targetmasters are described as granting enough firepower to level siege-works (the mainstream universe Targetmasters are also mentioned as being more powerful than regular weapons, but not to this extent). When the Great War ended, the Targetmasters were deemed too powerful for either side to have and so were gathered in order to grant them exile to a safe world of their choice where they never needed to fear being used as weapons again. The assembled Targetmasters were then massacred by their former comrades, with both Autobot and Decepticon taking part in the slaughter.
  • Cybertronians Are Survivors: The Cybertronian race went through pretty much eleven million years of continuous warfare ending in the 24th century with their planet and race being sent to the brink but by the 25th century, they've got their house back in order.
  • Darker and Edgier: Probably one of, if not the darkest Transformers universes ever to see the light of day, depicting a war where most of the good ol' Autobots and Decepticons have aged into decrepit assholes, and their successors are perfectly willing to commit terrorism to achieve their ends.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Diver and Cohrada, in "Head Games".
    • Bighorn, in "Burning Bridges"
    • Mach Kick steps on a land-mine in "Micro-Aggressions"
    • Hydra and Killer Punch get murdered in "Intersectionality", and Hard Head gets his Spark carved out by Lord Imperious Delirious.
    • Max-B is one of Megatron's test subjects he had to put down in "Not All Megatrons". Paralon gets interrogated to death by Megatron later on.
    • Break sacrifices his life to help the Resistance in Derailment. Scylla is killed when Banzaitron rams her ship with Tidal Wave. Springload is killed by the Vehicons. Steel Jaw is felled by a stray shot to the back of the head.
    • According to Blackarachnia's Collector's Club bio, she and Nightscream killed Optimus Primal long before the start of the Uprising stories after he refused to turn on their Autobot masters.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • As with IDW, Bumblebee and Goldbug are separate characters (Bumblebee is mentioned as being long dead in "Head Games", while Goldbug is alive by "Derailment").
    • Know that in this universe, Razor-Claw has no relation to either Tigatron or Airazor, and exists entirely as a separate individual.
    • Override and Nitro Convoy. One's a Builder, the other a Commandron in the 34th century.
    • The Convoy Council also includes Armada Convoy and Galaxy Convoy, who going by the names are based on Armada and Cybertron Optimus Prime.
  • Demonic Possession: Anyone infected by the G-Virus becomes a new body for Galvatron, like Cop-Tur. Grimlock wanted to unleash it on a crowd of builders and render them completely impotent, not caring it'd infect a lot more able-bodied Maximals and Predacons.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Humanity's M.O. with Cybertronians. A Decepticon launches an attack on them that ultimately fails? Punish all Cybertronians by forcing them off their planets, regardless of alignment or involvement.
  • Distant Finale: The coda story, The Inexorable March, ends in the 34th century CE.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • At the end of the Great War, what was left of the Cybertronians were beaten up by the technologically more advanced mankind and penned in to a small area of space, which the humans call the "Allowed Zone", and regularly take more and more from them. Ahem.
    • A group of people told they were being Released to Elsewhere, only to be met with attempted genocide. Are we talking about the Jews in Nazi Germany, or the Targetmasters?
    • Preditron is considered the founder of the Predacons, but his writings are appropriated and "reinterpreted" by the Tripedacus Council for their own ends.
    • Gnashteeth doesn't like his given name, finding it ill-fitting and uncomfortable, and eventually decides to have it changed.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Betabear had a bad nucleon habit. Not a good thing when you're a bad-tempered riot control officer. His partner Stilleto had to put him down because it made him try and kill some sap who went near him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: This universe was first mentioned in Transtech Blackarachnia's bio, then Depth Charge's, some years before we really see it.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The resistance consists of Maximals and Predacons. They don't always get along too well.
    • Autobots and Decepticons came together to take down Thunderwing, which helped create the Builder Assembly.
    • Toward the end of Derailment, everyone left decides to work together against the Vehicons, and then Lord Imperious Delirious.
  • Eureka Moment: Megatron is sitting there, pondering the way the war's going, as he thinks back to the ant-droid farm he had when he was Gnashteeth. That's when the idea of the Beast Upgrade comes to him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Rampage is disgusted by the attitude of Chak, Una and humanity as a whole.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: When the Beast Upgrade starts hitting Cybertron, several characters take on Dinosaur-based altmodes, like Preditron's T-Rex form.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Builders treat Micromasters, Maximals and Predacons as second-class citizens out of jealousy for their mobility.
  • Evil Knockoff: To counter Lio Convoy, Eject plans to create an evil duplicate with an Energon Matrix of his own.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Scylla, to go with the improved piratical theme she's got going on.
  • Fantastic Caste System: There is mention of some very Functionist systems in place, if not functionism proper. Meanwhile, society is tiered with the Builders right on top, and the Maximals and Predacons at the bottom. Micromasters, Cyberdroids and anyone else lies inbetween.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Some Autobots and Decepticons downsized to Micromasters. The Builders don't treat them any better than they do the Maximals and Predacons. Up until slightly after Megatron's Start of Darkness, Micros weren't even allowed on the Builder council.
    • The Cyberdroids are second-class citizens, just barely above Maximals and Preds, looked down on for their alt-modes usually being either heads or engines.
    • As shown at several points in the story, the Builders don't trust the proto-races to guard them. Either they get Micromasters to do it, or failing that, utterly inefficient and completely bone-brained drones.
    • Meanwhile, post-Singularity humans treat regular old humans like second class citizens.
    • Lord Imperious Delirious is disgusted by Cybertronian mecha-biology. It spurs him to invent the Vehicons, to remove the spark from every living thing on the planet.
    • Neither humans nor Cybertronians like each other.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Cybertronian society is engineered in such a way that the Builders are in charge, and everyone else suffers because... because, and the Builders refuse to give up on old grudges. At one point, Scorponok comes up with a way to increase energon output by a good percentage, but Megatron points out that it'd get shot down just because a Predacon suggested it.
  • Fauxshadow: During his talk with the Oracle, Overshoot is told one day mankind and Cybertronians will work together to fight something "beyond good, beyond evil". Sadly, the stories never show this happening.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The caption comic A Change To The Agenda claims that the crapsack Uprising universe came about because this is an alternate universe where Beast Wars Megatron successfully killed Optimus Prime and in retaliation Blackarachnia poisoned G1 Megatron with her cybervenom. Without Optimus Prime leading the Autobots, the battles they had with the Decepticons were apparently much more destructive, to the point that the highly advanced humans of the Uprising Era sealed the Transformers into a small sector of space and then left them to rot.
    • The final story implies that another, pretty major divergence was the absence of the Matrix.
  • From a Single Cell: At the very end of Derailment, Rampage manages to recover from being atomized. And as a major Death Seeker, he's understandably pretty pissed.
  • Gender Flip: Lots of minor Transformers without much accompanying fiction, such as Oiler and Spaceshot, are re-interpreted as females. Other characters who never received any pronouns at all, like Buckethead, became female.
  • Genius Loci:
    • Fortress Maximus, who is far too big and energy intensive to move, so he's been repurposed as a prison for political prisoners.
    • Trypticon is repurposed as a spaceship.
  • Genre Shift: "Trigger Warnings" has the story briefly go from sci-fi to crime noir, Cybertron style.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • Back when the Autobots could have even been considered good, during the war on Nebulos, they apparently used Fausto Borx's daughter Llyra as a distraction when he was fighting Fortress Maximus in order to win ("Apparently", because the story that reveals this is told by Nucleon, who's biased on the subject of Autobots).
    • The Oracle is very much aware of the Builders, and the Uprising, and the horrible things it will produce, but feels it needs to happen, destruction to allow better things to follow.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Rampage takes advantage of his healing abilities to save others from situations that would kill them. Well, we say "takes advantage". It's not so much he's trying to save them as he's trying to die, to no luck. On more than one occasion it leads to situations where someone thinks he's taken the bullet, only for Rampage to spring back to life, just as grouchy as ever.
  • Got Volunteered: In the midst of the Vehicon Apocalypse, Leatherhide and Packrat devise a means to protect the Darksyders from the swarm. But they need a guinea-pig. Naturally, it's Wasp who gets chosen, thanks to Scorponok and Terrorsaur grabbing him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • The human race. They don't appear very often but they're why the Cybertronians are stuck in such a small part of space with few resources.
    • The original Galvatron. His actions caused the human race to enforce the above blockade on Cybertronians.
    • Unicron. He did a good chunk of the damage to Cybertron and the additional Point One Percenters (Rampage and Transmutate) were created due to many of the survivors of his attack being Point One Percenters.
    • The Megatron from Beast Wars. He succeeded in killing Optimus Prime which wiped out all the Maximals. Before she disappeared, Blackarchnia managed to infect the original Megatron with cyber-venom wiping the Predacons from the timeline and creating the "Uprising" universe.
  • Heroic Lineage: Magna Stampede makes mention of being a descendant of Pyra Magna.
  • History Repeats:
    • The Malignus of Rebirth sided with the Decepticons to throw off an oppressive, autocratic regime. The end result was they were forced off of their planet by humans, and wound up under the thumb of an oppressive, autocratic regime.
    • 11 million years ago, Cybertron was a technologically powerful society that became factionalized and fell into brutal civil wars. In the 24th century, humanity is technologically powerful and became factionalized. By the 34th century, humanity has fallen into civil wars.
    • Both in a meta sense and an in-universe one, the final story ends with two Cybertronian ships crash-landing on an unknown planet.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A double-version at that: the Builders of Cybertron who forced the Maximals and Predacons to fight for their amusement are sent to the Games to entertain the troops. Unfortunately for the Resistance, those Builder POWs were also infected with the Vehicon virus and quickly overrun the Resistance's capital after succumbing.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Humans, as part of their overall Star Trek homage, use "futuristic" versions of common sayings.
  • Hope Spot: According to Jim Sorenson, the rise of Rodimus Prime was one for the Autobots, which has something to do with his low status in the story's present.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Humanity as a whole. They treat Cybertronians appallingly, punishing all of them for the crimes of a few, but have no problem allowing the Quintessons free reign.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Sure, mankind may have become a technologically enlightened people, capable of reviving people who've been dead for thousands of years... but they're also arrogant snobs, who won't revive people they don't like, and have boxed the Cybertronians in, not to mention that if they do something they don't like, humanity's perfectly prepared to take what little else they have. Though they're alright if the Cybertronians do something positive.
    • One of the worlds they destroyed was the planet Master, which had been taken over by Galvatron and the Decepticons, forcing the inhabitants, regardless of alignment, to flee to Cybertron to live as second-class (at best) citizens.
  • Humans Are Special: It took a little less than forty years for humans to reverse-engineer and surpass the limits of Cybertronian technology. By the twenty-fourth century AC, they've actually overcome death. As the later stories show however, it didn't take long for Cybertronians to catch up and eventually overcome the humans.
  • Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: In the final days of the war, Galvatron became a mixture of Headmaster, Powermaster and Targetmaster - the Triple Threat Masters. It came at the cost of vastly reducing Galvatron's lifespan, but no-one involved cared so much.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Deluge argues as much about his efforts to create Point One Percenter Maximals and Predacons. Rampage disagrees.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!:
    • Lord Imperious Delirious uses Cybertronian tech to reformat himself into a dragon.
    • Megatron skips past a T-Rex mode and settles for a dragon as his beast mode.
  • Internal Reformist: Hot Rod's become one, trying to convince the Builders to downsize, and maybe knock it off with the jackassery. Grimlock thinks he's wasting his time.
  • Interspecies Romance: Heavily implied to have happened between Rapticon and N'ell.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ram Horn shoots Cicadacon after Tripredacus is forcibly separated, not because of any altruistic motive, but because he saw what Cicadacon and the deceased Sea Clamp thought of him. The guy still had it coming.
  • Kill ’Em All: According to Jim Sorenson, pretty much all the characters from 1984 are dead.
  • Know When To Fold Them: When the Resistance gets to the Builder Assembly, there's one last guard left. He decides fighting Lio Convoy isn't worth it, and stands down.
  • Large Ham: Know that Razor-Claw is a large ham, and that he will never stop talking about himself in the third person!
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The Builder Assembly spent four hundred years making everyone else's lives miserable out of petty jealousy, then ordered and condoned the creation of the Vehicons to put down the Uprising when the proto-races had enough of their crap. Then they're betrayed by Galva-Convoy and turned into Vehicons themselves.
    • After four centuries of hounding and oppressing Cybertronians due to the collateral damage of the Great War, humanity's technological empire collapses into brutal civil wars and a new dark age in the 25th century. By the 34th century, they're no longer a concern for Cybertron.
    • Gnashteeth's former underling Budora turns on his boss and suggests maybe it'd be best if he ducked out quietly. Later on, Gnashteeth decides to have a "talk" with Budora.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: By the time of the 124th century, information creep means that Optimus Prime is barely remembered by historians, who think Optimus Convoy probably didn't really exist.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Or the Cybertronian equivalent. Within a few cycles of being created, Galva Convoy has studied all of Cybertronian history, and comes to the conclusion that it'll all have to go - Maximal, Predacon, Autobot and Decepticon alike.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Stiletto. She's damn good with knives. Or anything sharp and pointy.
    • Overshoot snarks that the Overcharge drones are well-named, because the Builders paid too much for ludicrously inefficient clunkers.
    • The Maximals got their name from Maxima, who got her name from Fortress Maximus. Meanwhile, the Predacons got their name in part from Preditron.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Hello, mnemosurgery, for any 'bot who isn't diligent enough in their duties as a fascist thug. Just adding to the creepiness, it's state-sponsored, and no-one seems to have any problem with the idea of Predacons rummaging around in someone's head to remove unpleasant memories.
    • Megatron also has it done to Cryotek, to get control over his slice of the criminal underworld. Some characters do notice that Cryotek's started acting weird afterward, but don't make a big deal of it.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Pretty much how the plot kicks off. The Builders treated the Maximals and Predacons like crap for centuries, so naturally they turn on them.
  • The Mole:
    • A few Predacons are actually Go-Bots, having snuck in from another universe. During a raid on the Forever Vault, they spared Cop-Tur out of confusion as to whether he was their Cop-Tur, which he wasn't.
    • Wolfang the Maximal Security Officer is secretly Wolfang the Predacon Secret Police agent.
  • Mythology Gag: Many, especially since the text stories are written by Jim Sorenson, who loves mythology gags.
    • During "Broken Windshields", Autopedia, the Autobot database from Last Stand of the Wreckers, makes an appearance. On 24th century Cybertron, it's just used to track the many stupid laws the Builders write.
    • "Alone, Together" establishes Trans-Mutate and Rampage are Point-One Percenters.
    • "Burning Bridges" has Nuke as a popular stimulant.
    • Engex is a popular drink order at Cybertronian bars, along with a component of makeshift grenades.
    • Cyber Planet Keys are the reigning currency on Cybertron.
    • While on guard duty, Stiletto finds an old Noisemaze unit, and wonders if the building once held Guardminders as well.
    • On seeing one Builder in a crowd with a monocular head, Snapper reckons he's been subject to empurata.
    • One of the many things kept in the Forever Vault is some schematics for Madmachines, a evil device of the week from Transformers Headmasters.
    • The G-Virus is said by Hot Rod to be fuelled by Dark Energon.
    • Hidden text in Micro-Aggressions establishes the first human AI was build in 1985 (a reference to TORQ III, from the original cartoon).
    • During Trigger Warnings, Blackarachnia first goes under the alias of "Venus" (after her first VA, Venus Terzo), then Elita (after her Animated counterpart).
    • According to Jim Sorenson, during the war on Earth, San Francisco got destroyed. Again.
    • "A Brush With Infamy" is filled with references to various parts of Transformers media.
    • "Not All Megatrons" has Megatron committing mad science once again.
    • Also, during the same story, Packrat loots a Stasis Pod from the Alchemor.
    • One of the Micromaster squad in "Safe Spaces" is Crunch, who previously showed up as a hi-and-die in the Dreamwave Micromasters miniseries. His luck isn't any better here.
    • Early on in "Derailment", a character muses he'll end up like Trailbreaker "after the DJD were through with him", a nod to the poor guy's graphic fate in The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye.
    • Toward the climax of "Derailment", a character mutters disbelief at how the war's come to everyone fighting a giant, screaming head. The much-mocked Combiner Wars webseries had Starscream turn into a giant, screaming head that everyone had to fight. Another reference shows up earlier on, when Lio Convoy tries bashing his sword as a sign of authority, but the sound it makes is a less-than impressive "doink". Said sound effect was a brief meme after some lousy sound editing from aforementioned series made the Mistress of Flame bashing her staff against the ground more comical than intended.
    • Steeljaw shows up leading The Pack, much like how his cartoon counterpart led another Pack. As in RID, Steel-Jaw likes scratching everyone's faction insignia, though here it's to establish their membership, not to disable tracking devices.
    • Antagony and Cataclysm show up working for Shockaract at the end of "Derailment", just as they did in their first appearance. Here, Antagony comes out on top of her rival.
    • The Book of Logos mentions an unidentified villain, probably the Liege Maximo, waiting for "the alignment". Alignment being a convention story written by Simon Furman explaining just what was up with the Liege.
    • The hidden text in "The Inexorable March" has a moment where Headmasters (tiny robots who turn into a larger robot's head) are conflated with Titanmasters (the renamed version of the Headmasters from Titans Return). Also, Lio Convoy's supposed Titanmaster partner is apparently called "Moon Usagi", after Moon - one of the few Beast Wars II characters not to show up in the story.
    • The end of "The Inexorable March" is one great, big, glorious homage to the opening of Beast Wars (with some Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo thrown in).
  • Necessarily Evil:
    • Grimlock unsurprisingly believes in this, as he planned to release the G-Virus that would turn every Builder present into a raving maniac like G1 Galvatron. Since Builders are totally immobile, Grimlock reasoned that they would thus become harmless, as they wouldn't be able to give coherent commands or plan attacks on the rebels. This also means, however, that Grimlock was more than willing to infect every Maximal and Predacon who happened to be in the area as well.
    • Lio Convoy is willing to deceive and kill if it means overthrowing the Builders and giving the Maximals and Predacons the chance to create their own future.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the backstory, Thunderwing's rampage with the Underbase did a lot of damage to the Autobots and Decepticons, but it also restored Cybertron's bio-diversity.
  • Nice Guy: Gnashteeth is an affable, jovial sort, even willing to talk to Maximals. Then his mentor Double Punch screws him over in the name of politics...
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Thunderhoof unleashes one on Gnashteeth, bad enough to leave him in the CR Chamber for a deca-cycle, as a warning.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The fact that Overrun is called Overrun is made a plot point, when Wolfgang realises his name has nothing to do with his jet alt-mode. Because he's actually a Targetmaster.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The last she was seen, Blackarachnia was in the Shattered Glass universe, with Alpha Trion. Exactly how she wound up back home, without her stolen Transtech body, isn't clear.
    • Something called "The Scouring of Nebulos" was the final straw for mankind. It's revealed in "A Brush With Infamy" to have been the war reaching the planet, and the battle between Fortress Maximus and MegaZarak utterly devastating an already battered planet, so much so it couldn't support life.
    • An incident involving Thunderwing and the Grand Mal. He got his hands on the Underbase, absorbed its power, and his troops, killed the Wreckers and merged with the flying fortress.
    • Something called "The Rending".
    • The Grendel Gambit, Galvatron's last zany scheme to get at mankind. The exact specifics aren't clear, thanks to The Book of Logos being written in pseudo-Jacobian speech, but the general indication is he and the Decepticons tried disguising themselves to get past mankind, and it really didn't work.
    • According to "The Inexorable March", somewhere after the 24th century, Cybertronians had a run-in with the Ammonites. They got through it, but whatever happened made them decide not to go wandering out of their galaxy.
    • Rodimus' disastrous leadership of the Autobots.
  • Not So Different:
    • During "Cultural Appropriation", the Oracle says as much about mankind and Transformers, in its own way.
    CAN YOUR LEFT HAND BE THE ENEMY OF THE RIGHT?
    • In "Safe Spaces", the Resistance (or at least one part of it) is forcing Builder P.O.W.s to fight to the death, just as the Builders were back in "Micro-Aggressions".
  • Not So Stoic: Gran the Cyberdroid, after being removed from Fortress Maximus:
    -rts 1, 3 not found retrying socket error 114 ports 1, 3 not found retrying socket error 114 ports 1, 3 not found retrying socket error 114 ports 1, 3 not found
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: At the beginning of "Derailment", Tarantulas tries using the Robo-Smasher on Grimlock. It doesn't work.
  • Off with His Head!: Gnashteeth threatens to hang Thunderhoof's head from Iacon's spires. When he becomes Megatron, he follows through on this threat.
  • One Steve Limit: In this universe, names don't repeat: every Transformer is given a specific name that no other Cybertronian shares. Hence we have characters like Scavenger and Skavenger, Dead End and Dead-End, Skywarp and Sky Warp, etc. The only one who breaks this is Rampage, due to taking the name on spur of the moment when someone else mishears him.
  • Open Secret: Everyone knew about Betabear's nucleon habit. They just didn't see it as a problem until he tried to murder some schmuck and got a knife to the brains for it.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Renegades, thanks to their tech not only being alien from Cybertron, but the universe in general. Thanks to that, despite mankind being ahead of them, they could have incapacitated and killed the team sent to retrieve the Stone of Sky Warp.
  • Painting the Medium: During Derailment, during a section written from Twinstrike's POV, the text splits in two, to represent Twinstrike's two heads.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Lio Convoy was considered the Builders' single best agent. Once Blackarachnia reveals the Energon Matrix in his chest, however, he decides to lead a rebellion to overthrow the Builders.
  • The Paranoiac: Killer Punch. It's not enough to save him, but he does manage to reveal Synapse's murderous intent.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe. The second time the Resistance tried infiltrating Fort Max, the team had been informed about his abilities. Unfortunately, this meant they all turned on one another thanks to Cerebros messing with them.
  • Pet the Dog: Given their severe, often petty and irrational, attitudes towards Cybertronians, the fact that humanity let them keep the Energon Matrix is nothing short of astounding.
  • The Political Officer: They're Micromasters, there to keep an eye on the Maximals and Predacons. Synapse of "Intersectionality" is the Dinosaur's appointed officer, and he's a total skidplate. And that's before he starts murdering people.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • Rhinox, Silverbolt and even the Boss Bot himself, Optimus Primal, are all dead by the time the story begins. Rhinox and Silverbolt because of Predacons. Optimus, however, was killed by Blackarachnia, Nightscream and Cheetor.
    • Cerebros, the actual intelligence behind Fortress Maximus, is long dead. But his thoughts live on inside the cyberdroids that manage his bulk.
    • Eject laments the fact that all the truly great Cybertronians like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Shockwave, Soundwave, Bumblebee, Prowl and Starscream are long gone.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Preditron, the first Predacon. Much like Dinobot, he espouses a unique brand of honor and chivalry, which most modern Predacons don't.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • "A Brush With Infamy" explores exactly what would happen when you have robots the size of cities duking it out - massive environmental damage.
    • During "Derailment", Preditron fights Tripredacus. He gets beaten into the ground and dies. Valiant warrior-king or not, he's severely outclassed by the combiner.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Averted. Apparently here Lio Convoy and Lio Junior aren't related at all. Likewise, Galvatron from Beast Wars II and Megastorm have no relation. However, Beast Wars Galvatron is treated as a reincarnation of G1 Galvatron, as opposed to his anime version, who just took the name.
  • The Remnant: Cybertron itself, thanks to humanity, who eventually got fed up of their actions. Three hundred years ago the Autobots and Decepticons were given only four colonies. By the time the story starts, they'd been brought down to one, while the Autobots and Decepticons continue pointless fighting rather than trying to rebuild their society.
  • The Resenter: A lot of Builders, towards their smaller descendants. And the Micromasters, and anyone who can move.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Resistance has some pretty legitimate grievances against the Builders, but they're willing to do an awful lot of unsavoury actions to get their freedom.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: "Queen" Rage leads the fight against the Vehicons from the frontline and keenly feels the loss of every one of her soldiers.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In "Derailment", Hot Rod and his Micromaster underlings ignore Ratbat's orders to play meat-shield, and go rogue. It saves their lives.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: During "Cultural Appropriation", Skavenger of the Constructicons wants to skip transporting a prisoner and go into a nearby casino.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Blackarachnia, Nightscream and two Predacons tried fleeing Cybertron. They wound up in Axiom Nexus. Blackarachnia wasn't pleased when she wound up coming back.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Stiletto and Rampage tell the two humans who show up at the end of "Cultural Appropriation" how they feel about them. Stiletto calls them spoiled children who've never suffered real hardship, and Rampage calls them out on their habit of Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Shock and Awe: Rampage has a set of Galva-conductors (no relation to Galvatron) which let him zap people. He uses them to incapacitate Lord Imperious Delirious, followed by ripping his head off.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Plasma tends to talk in shout-outs, usually in poetry (though she also quotes The Beatles).
    • Dante the Cyberdroid wasn't even supposed to be here today! And like in the planned ending of Clerks, he ends up getting killed.
    • In the backstory, the EDC was formed from G.I. Joe's Star Brigade. Cobra gets a mention in the opening of Cultural Appropriation.
    • The humans maintain the Treaty of Prysmos, the name of the planet from short-lived Hasbro property Visionaries.
    • The Human Confederacy fleet look and act an awful lot like the Federation from Star Trek. Captain Blix even has a sash like Worf.
    • The Builders' last-ditch order to make sure the Vehicons don't come near them is General Order 66.
    • In the 124th century, Cybertronian historians believe that the Solstar Order represented humanity during the drafting of the Pax Cybertronia.
    • Megatron and Scorponok's story in Identity Politics, that of someone forced into crime, which he turns out to be really good at, and becomes more ruthless as he goes on, takes some cues from Breaking Bad.
    • Ikard orders a drink, hot, much like one Captain Picard likes his earl grey hot.
    • The Convoy Council of the 34th century are reluctant to go outside the Milky Way to avoid "lions, tigers and bears", as Megalo Convoy puts it.
  • Start of Darkness: "Identity Politics" is one for Scorponok and Megatron.
  • Surfer Dude: For some reason, B'Boom talks like this.
  • Taking You with Me:
  • Talkative Loon: Fortress Maximus's components, on account of having more than one person's mind and history crammed inside their head. They don't even know who they are anymore.
  • Talks Like A Pirate: Scylla be talkin' all pirate-like, yar.
  • Tautological Templar: Fortress Maximus is partly responsible for Cybertron's current crappy state. He thinks it's still better than any possible alternative, regardless of the fact that Cybertronians are still being made to live in a police state where at any point they might be made to fight and die for no real reason.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Hot Rod really comes across as this in "Micro-Aggressions", since he believes Snapper will be treated fairly by the Builders after he's arrested. This is while they're at an arena where those same Builders had just been planning to make prisoners of war fight for their amusement.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Hot Rod and Full-Tilt are about the only Builders who thinks maybe treating the Predacons and Maximals like crap, and murdering them for utterly petty reasons isn't the best way to go. They're later joined by Buckethead and the Constructicons, who even agree to a cease-fire with the Resistance.
    • Una is about the only human who shows any sympathy toward Cybertronians. In the last story, she decides to ignore normal regulations and repay the favour when a bunch of them save her and her ship from an attack.
  • Uncertain Doom: After Scylla's killed in the Battle of Yuss, Cybershark is put in charge of the forces remaining there. Later on, the fleet falls to the Vehicons, and Cybershark goes missing, presumed dead or assimilated.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Optimus Prime sacrificed his second life, and the Matrix with it, to save humanity from the Swarm. Humanity responded by penning Cybertronians into a small area of space, and never once showing any gratitude.
  • Uniqueness Value: Trans-Mutate and Rampage are Maximal-born Point One Percenters, and apparently the only ones around. When the Builders learnt about them, they tried everything they could to figure out how that happened. The last story reveals they are the only Point One Percenters, and that they're the final result of years of nightmarish experiments.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The hidden story of "The Inexorable March" contains many references to the events after the main story. Problem is, the guy narrating it is shown to be very unreliable as a journalistic source, suffering a bad case of cognitive bias, so anything he mentions should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Bisk doesn't know or care what Megatron wants his services for, he's just in it for teh loot. Going by Megatron's inner monologue, Bisk's been used as a Darksyder patsy several times before.
  • Villainous Legacy: Ser-Ket claims to be descended from a warrior lineage that stretches all the way back to Liege Maximo.
  • The Virus: Starting with "Safe Spaces", an apparent "upgrade" the Builders installed starts turning Micromasters into hulking drones, which tear out the Sparks of anyone they catch, turning them into more drones.
  • Visionary Villain: Megatron becomes determined to spread the Beast Upgrade across Cybertron, and for once that's the entire plan. There's no hidden mechanism behind it, or ploy. He just wants the proto-races to fend for themselves. Although it does happen to make him astoundingly rich (and the experiments cause the deaths of a few 'bots).
  • We Used to Be Friends: On a species-wide scale. The hidden text of "Micro-Aggressions" says mankind and the Autobots did work together at first, but by the 2030s, the relationship was pretty much dead.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • "Alone, Together"'s prologue focuses on Rattrap and Botanica leading a group of 'bots to bust Dynobot out of prison. Apart from Botanica getting a mention at the end of "Derailment", they're never heard from again.
    • In "Intersectionality", Synapse is arrested by the Dinosaur's crew, and told he'll be sent back to Cybertron and put on trial when everything's over. He's never seen again. Trans-Mutate, meanwhile, is entirely absent from Derailment after apparently returning to Cybertron with everyone else. "The Inexorable March" suggests she was looking for answers about her and Rampage's creation.
    • At the climax of "Cultural Appropriation", Monsterous is defeated, and separates back into his component parts. What happened to them afterward is unknown.
    • At the climax of "Safe Spaces", Gaidora is last seen tackling Cheetor and Ser-Ket into the arena, just before the Vehicon Apocalypse breaks loose. Her fate isn't given, but... doesn't look too good for her.
    • In one of the most extreme examples of this trope, humanity as a whole. In the 25th century, the Human Confederacy fell into civil war. In the 124th century this is documented as "The Fall of Man" by Cybertronian historians but what's become of the human race by the 34th century is never revealed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ser-Ket to Lio Convoy, when she learns about the Resistance's plan for Fortress Maximus.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Yes, the Games do resemble The Hunger Games on purpose, both in and out of universe. Eject took the idea from an old broadcast he caught.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Circa 1984, Starscream led a raid on the British Museum and during the battle, Brawn threw some worthless stone that got lodged in Skywarp's cockpit. Upon the stone's removal, Skywarp found a use for it as a paper weight and the Maximals and Predacons eventually put it in a museum of Decepticon artifacts. The stone's human name? The Rosetta Stone. Its rightful owners eventually reclaim it but considering the fate of human society, it might have been kinder to leave it on Cybertron.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Star Dasher's profile mentions how the Star Seekers were brought in by a pair of Headmaster boun- freelance peace-keeping agents. The first is Devcon, but the second goes unidentified, other than their partner being called Spratt. Unsolvable mystery, right?
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Galvatron II recruits "his" old gang, whatever leftover partners of his, Scourge and Cyclonus' that he could find, but by the time of the Vehicon Apocalypse has gotten fed up of them. Afterward, he's got three Vehicon drones ready to go, and all they need is some Sparks...
  • Your Size May Vary: The art in "Head Games" doesn't quite jibe with the suggestion of the city-sized Fortress Maximus compared to the much smaller Maximals and Predacons.
  • Zerg Rush: The Pack versus Erector's forces. Steel Jaw and Ramulus acknowledge they could take the Builder forces this way, but they'll loose a lot of troops in the effort. The desperate situation of the Vehicon Apocalypse forces them to do it anyway.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Vehicon Apocalypse is basically the Cybertronian equivalent.

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