Do not let these bright colors and our heroes' wacky hijinks fool you! For a show created for a younger audience, there's a huge amount of nightmarish imagery and concepts that makes Transformers: Prime look light-hearted and fun.
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- Windblade enters Bumblebee's mind for the first time. Unfortunately, her connection is broken by a looming memory of Megatron, resulting in her screaming in pain and releasing a pulse of energy.
Episode 6 - Megatron Is My Hero
- Megatron ripping out Bumblebee's voice box without a shred of remorse is one of the most twisted moments in the series. While we thankfully don't get to see it, hearing the sound of static gargling as Bee is screaming in pain is monstrously dark and disturbing for an all-ages show. It's this section's page image for a reason, folks.
- The Plague of Rust. It is a re-imagining of the traditional Transformer ailment of cosmic rust. First established in Transformers: The Covenant of Primus as an apocalyptic plague responsible for cutting Cybertron's many colonies off from their ancestral homeworld and in the Cyberverse continuity, we get to see it in all of its horrific glory in this episode. We even get to see it disintegrate Blurr in mere seconds. Blurr was lucky to get such a short death. It's shown that most victims of the rust suffer a slow demise and are eventually turned into shambling zombies.
- The unnerving sound of the crashing repair drones.
- An infected bot says "Red rust! Red rust!" similar to The Shining's Danny Redrum's mantra "Redrum".
Episode 10 - Maccadam's
- While we never get a clear view, whatever Maccadam transforms into appears to be some kind of Mechanical Abomination covered in guns, and it even gets Megatron of all bots to back down.
Episode 11 - Sabotage
- Shockwave enters Bumblebee's mind and disrupts Windblade's presence, then disguising as her to convince Bee that he's a Decepticon in order to manipulate him to pull a Face–Heel Turn.
- Bumblebee being forced to experience a modified memory of him being a Decepticon spy:
- After Wheeljack discovers that Bee is a traitor, he is ejected out of the Ark, in space.
- Optimus Prime, after discovering that Bumblebee is a spy, chases him, corners Bee and seems ready to kill him... but he breaks Bee's stasis cuffs. He then agrees with Bee that everyone in the ship knows the truth and decides to kill everyone to maintain their cover.
- As a result, this memory leaves Bee traumatized and deduces that "Windblade" is not real.
Episode 14 - Siloed
- The Seekers decide to perform a mind rip on Windblade. This process is potentially dangerous and may result in frying the brain of the subject. Thankfully, Windblade doesn't lose her memories.
- After Starscream betrays him and left him for dead, Megatron decides to give his former second in command the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that he deserves. Compared to Screamer's punishments or deaths in The Transformers: The Movie, Transformers: Animated and Transformers: Prime, each one horrific in their own right, this one tops all of them. To wit, in less than a second, Megatron was mercilessly punching and kicking Starscream all across the Nemesis. The injuries Starscream took were severe with cracks and crushed body parts. He doesn't even speak a word until he's certain the deed is done, merely letting out grunts and snarls of exertion. All Starscream can do as Megatron strangles him is say that he has suffered enough. But Megatron won't let him and decides to finally kill him in cold blood. The background music to the sequence itself sounds like something out of a Slasher Movie with a dull droning synth that quickens as Starscream gets closer and closer to death. It really serves to highlight that Megatron isn't messing around this time. And when he sees that Starscream is dead he tosses the body out of the Nemesis as it's taking off, leaving it on the moon, before turning to the Decepticons who watched:
Episode 24 - Dark Birth
- Starscream reveals his plan: to unite everyone's spark with the Allspark for eternity, bringing his own twisted vision for peace. Basically, he wants to exterminate every single Autobot and Decepticon standing on his way.
Episode 26 - Starscream's Children
- The episode itself gives off vibes of a horror film. As Megatron sends a distress signal to Autobots, they come to investigate the Nemesis, where they find all Decepticons frozen in place, all their energon drained, but their sparks still intact. Eventually, they discover the scraplets - insectoid creatures that drain energon from their victims. When they overwhelm them with sheer numbers, Hot Rod and Bumblebee ended up being drained, the latter begging for Cheetor to come and help Optimus. Later, Windblade tries to attack Starscream, but she too was drained by Scraplets.
Episode 30 - I Am the Allspark
- Starscream fuses with the Allspark, and then he thanks his Seekers for their usefulness by draining their sparks. Then, he decides to do the same to the main cast who came after him to take back the Allspark. Not to mention he plays with them for a bit like they were his puppets. Had Optimus Prime not used the Matrix of Leadership in time, Starscream would have succeeded in eradicating all Autobots and Decepticons.
Episode 36 - The Crossroads
- Unspace is played straight as an Eldritch Location. The crew comes upon an empty duplicate of the Ark that suddenly disintegrates. Later, after two more Arks enter and after a failed attempt to escape, we see one of the Wheeljacks go completely silent and then crumble away.
- The destruction of the Ark is rather disturbing on first viewing as Chromia can only watch helplessly while being held prisoner by Soundwave.
- While he does end up alright and is still a badass throughout the season, Perceptor getting his eyes burned out from using them to free Chromia counts as this.
- When the Scraplets appeared as a way to prevent Optimus from reaching the Well, he freezes a bit and gets flashbacks to what happened to him in "Starscream's Children." To see the powerful Prime reduced to a scared and traumatized bot is a brutal moment as well as Tearjerking.
- As much of a sudden twist Drift being evil all along was, his fight with Hot Rod is quite intense. It's made even worse with Hot Rod's little "Oh" after being stabbed. The fight then ends with him dragging Drift down in the toxic Energon pit so that Bumblebee and Cheetor can continue the mission. Don't worry, Hot Rod gets better.
- How does Megatron decide to make one more attempt at defeating the Autobots? By having Shockwave to extract his spark so that he can corrupt the Allspark. If it wasn't for Cheetor using his spark to save Cybertron, then all the pain and trouble that went into saving this planet was All for Nothing. Megatron, you son of a glitch...
- Megatron becoming Scraplet chow after Optimus threw him into the Threshold corridor.
Episode 41 - The Loop
- On paper, a virtual world creating a little parade to distract the characters from the Quintessons' invasion sounds like a silly idea. However, the crew of Cyberverse decided to make it one of the most terrifying scenarios in a Transformers show. Imagine being in this lovely parade. You have no idea that interdimensional creatures have invaded your planet and they have put you and your loved ones inside a never-ending cycle. You unknowingly watch this cycle over and over again, as you are feeling happy and relaxed now that the war is over. All while said creatures feed on your sparks and once they're done, you actually die inside this virtual world. What makes it even more bone-chilling is learning why the Quintessons are doing this to the Autobots and Decepticons later on in the arc.
- The designs of the Quintesson Prosecutors are quite creepy, especially since they're a Shout-Out to the Sentinels from The Matrix.
Episode 42 - The Dead End
- Dead End was freed from the loop thanks to Clobber's attempts, but he wakes up to a room filled with everyone having facehugger-esque tendrils on their face. When even Megatron is subjected to this...thing, that's when things are about to go down. Haven't we mentioned that this episode gives off vibes of a horror film just like "Starscream's Children"?
- After Hot Rod manages to escape the toxic energon pit, he find himself in a Cybertron surrounded by Quintessons and all his friends and foes are captured. Thank god Perceptor is not among those trapped in the Loop because imagine being in Hot Rod's pedes in that moment...
Episode 43 - The Sleeper
- It's quite unnerving to see Optimus throughout this episode, only saying "It is a perfect day for a parade" in a brainwashed state as Hot Rod desperately tried to free him from the loop.
Episode 44 - The Citizen
- Maccadam's backstory counts as this and Tearjerking.
- The terrors hidden inside Iaconus may also count on a first-time viewing.
Episode 45 - The Trial
- Never have the Quintesson Judge become even more unhinged and ruthless. Composed of five sentient beings from their respective universe, they pass judgment onto the universes they "visit." If they deem a universe guilty, they eradicate it from existence. Why? It's because there are too many universes to their liking. Also, it turns out that they're not the judge of this universe. The faces deserve a special mention for how eerily different they are from each other. While Judgement and Ego look normal, Death, Cruelty, and Chaos are just so... off. Death is the Cybertronian equivalent of a mummy, Cruelty is very pale and deathly looking, and Chaos has a very unnerving Cheshire Cat Grin and laughs like a maniac the entire time.
- Soundwave "thanking" Hot Rod inside of Maccadam's after the latter was saved by Whirl is a smaller but effective moment since this is Soundwave we're talking about.
- When Soundwave freezes up due to being improperly removed from the loop, his shoulders play the tune from the parade eerily. Only Cyberverse can make parade music that creepy.
- As mentioned by Hot Rod, what happens if someone is improperly removed from the loop? They die, as it was the fate of poor Hound. Soundwave got lucky, indeed...
- Soundwave's rather ruthless method of interrogating a Baliff is this. If it wasn't for Hot Rod getting fed up with his Jerkass behavior throughout the episode and punching him (with Character Development) at the end of their fight, Soundwave would've outright killed the Sharkticon.
- We see the Scientist quietly working on something in his laboratory at the end of the episode...
Episode 47 - The Scientist
- Several characters dropping dead is a nice reminder of time running out for our favorite band of misfits.
- The Quintesson Scientist may be one of the most intimidating villains in the Transformers franchise so far. An intelligent yet eccentric being responsible for the operations behind the Quintesson invasion, he is in charge of developing the new Judge of this universe. To accomplish this, he kidnaps multiple inhabitants against their will and experiments on them. He expresses no remorse over his actions and treats this endeavor as if it's a pleasant afternoon walk on Tuesday. Also, the loop is actually a way of feeding the Judge he's been working on. Combined with a creepy Slasher Smile and an eerily calm voice, Scientist is a heartless monster underneath that polite demeanor. What's the most horrific part about this guy? He captures and immobilizes multiple Soundwaves from the universes his kind destroyed, building up a huge collection of them within his lab. Upon seeing our main Soundwave, he declares that he hasn't had a blue one yet. Soundwave is appropriately horrified at the sight of his alternate selves being imprisoned as figurines for the tentacle bastard and realize that he will suffer the same fate as them.Soundwave: I will destroy you for this!
The Scientist: That's what they all said too.
Episode 48 - The Alliance
- Windblade was nearly killed in her attempt to revive Iaconus, though it did thankfully ward off the enemy side from attacking the Cybertronian resistance further more. After Maccadam rescues her before things turned deadly, he gave us this heartbreaking Wham Line:Maccadam: I've lost too many Cityspeakers this way.
Episode 49 - The Judge
- Megatron still remains the petty bastard he is and willingly leaves this universe to die (along with Dead End, who gave him this idea). To add further salt to the wound, the Judge crashes into the laboratory and seemingly killed Optimus, an injured Wheeljack, and Bumblebee in the process.
- We finally got to see the new Judge the Scientist was working on... who is revealed to be STARSCREAM of all people! When The Starscream ascended to be on the same level as THE QUINTESSONS, that's when things are seemingly bleak for the resistance.Starscream: I am the Judge of this universe, and IT IS GUILTY! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
Episode 50 - The End Of The Universe I
- Cyberverse Starscream is perhaps one of the evilest iterations of this character yet. Determined to get back at the people who mistreated him (especially Megatron), he willingly agrees to be the new Quintesson Judge of the main universe. By selling out his own race and threatening his homeworld out of pettiness and lust for more power, Disproportionate Retribution doesn't even begin to describe how much of a despicable piece of slag this Starscream really is. Also, he has the power to bring in fragments of UNSPACE once he reaches a verdict. To further show just how insane he has become, he demanded that both Megatron and Optimus be brought to him even as the Scientist pointed out they're behind on schedule. Once again...Disproportionate Retribution doesn't even begin to describe it.
- Upon seeing them work so well together, Starscream has the Scientist place the facehugger-esque tendrils over Soundwave's and Hot Rod's faces as punishment for their rebellion. Inside the simulation, they are made to buff out the RUST PLAGUE for as long as they could. Considering the horrifying destruction this plague caused back in "Terminal Velocity," Starscream!
- While it's a relief that Bee, Prime, and Wheeljack managed to survive the destruction to the lab, they ended up in a dimension where it shifts stairs every few seconds. The last shot of the episode? BUMBLEBEE FALLING DOWN TO HIS DOOM ONCE THE DIMENSION SHIFTS AGAIN.
Episode 51 - The End Of The Universe II
- If it wasn't for Iaconus' (AWESOME) entrance at the end of the episode, Starscream would've killed Arcee for distracting him from interrogating the others on Optimus' and Megatron's whereabouts.
Episode 52 - The End Of The Universe III
- In case the Quintessons haven't been needlessly cruel enough, they enslaved the mighty Croaton!
- Maccadams' death, which is also a tearjerker. It's made even worse by Iaconus' screams of anguish over his last citizen dying while Windblade is inside of his mind.
- Upon finding a subchamber during the fight with the Scientist, Wheeljack discovers that the latter is actually a freaky-looking spider thing the entire time. He then brutally crushes the little bastard with his BARE HAND. Don't fuck with our favorite heroic mad scientist, folks.
Episode 53 - The End Of The Universe IV
- Megatron having the Matrix of Leadership is this once we find out how he got it in later episodes.
- Starscream would've won at the end if it wasn't for Megatron's arrival, the power of both Matrixes, and Astrotrain closing the portal to Unspace.
Episode 54 - Enemy Line
- It's rather distressing to see Windblade in a comatose state after the battle with the Quintessons.
- Megatron nearly killing Bumblebee and Whirl with the Decepticons is parental worries for Optimus.
Episode 55 - Thunderhowl
- You thought the messed up imagery would stop after the Quintessons arc ended? THINK AGAIN. Bee and Chromia start their quest of collecting Windblade's mind fragments by going into a forest. Eventually, they found the legendary Crystal City. In other media, it's been described as the most beautiful city on Cybertron as well as being the home of many of the planet's great scientific minds. In Cyberverse? Crystal City is what happens if the show's crew decide to make their own version of the Overlook Hotel. Immediately from the get-go, there is an eery silence as our duo walks through the city without any inhabitants. Then, we find out why. Unbeknownst to them, the walls created mirrors of their reflections and they viciously attack them once they figure it out.
- We meet the antagonist of the episode, the Crystalline King. Since Windblade's fragment is inside of him, he then tries to stop the trio by creating an army of her.
Episode 56 - Wild Wild Wheel
- Wildwheel's backstory is this, considering how long he has been alone after being accidentally left behind.
Episode 57 - Alien Hunt! With Meteorfire And Cosmos
- While this episode has plenty of funny moments, it's also unnerving due to the abilities of the parasitic entity that kidnapped Meteorfire's partner Cosmos.
- Similar to Crystal City, Luna 3 is also an Eldritch Location that has been closed off from the outside world...for a good reason. After breaking into the moon, both Bee and Meteorfire stumble across an abandoned station. Inside, they see a rather disturbing recording about the fates of the previous inhabitants that looks like it came straight out of The Blair Witch Project. To make it even worse...
- What follows is a very effective Jumpscare of Shockwave's ghost popping out of the screen that will catch viewers off guard on first viewing.
- Meteorfire being briefly possessed by the entity and having his head turned backward also counts.
Episode 58 - Journey To The Valley Of Repugnus
- In spite of being a Breather Episode, it's also a cutting commentary on modern-day capitalism and the oppression of the poor by the upper class that hits close to home.
- The Energon Master Affluous is a fairly intimidating antagonist due to his disturbingly calm personality and how he is the mastermind behind the division between the Energon Masters and Repugnus' tribe.Affluous: She appears to have contracted the shocks. Terrible thing; it can happen to anyone.
Episode 60 - Dweller In The Depths
- The main antagonist of this episode is a Cthulu like Titan called the Dweller, who will do anything to get new citizens down to him in the depths of the Argon Sea. That includes brainwashing the protector Hammerbyte into kidnapping Windblade's body, using said protector to attack Bee and Chromia when they came to rescue her, and then also brainwash Bee so he can claim him as a new citizen. In order to carry out his plan, he uses hypnotic gasses from his tentacles that are both visually impressive and otherworldly in an eery way. One specific moment that stood out is when he confronted Chromia through Windblade's body, making her look like a possessed doll. It is creepy.
- The Dweller nearly catching our heroes as they manage to escape his grasp.
Episode 61 - Silent Strike
Episode 62 - The Other One
- Megatron X is a chilling reminder of what would happen if Megatron decided to kill Optimus and take the Matrix of Leadership for himself. Without any rational consciousness and morals, this Megatron wiped out all Autobots and Decepticons in his universe. He then used Vector Sigma and the Allspark to create the Perfect Decepticon army his main self always dreamed about. Also, he used the Quintessons' dimensional traveling technology for his own greedy needs after defeating them. After tracking down main Megatron for stealing his Matrix, he viciously kills the latter without any hesitation. Last-minute antagonist he may be, Megatron X is such an evil character that Megatron even has a Heel Realization after seeing the monstrosities his alternate self committed.
- Just before the peace treaty could be signed, an ominous beam came from the sky and starts to freeze everyone. Combined with a creepy theme, this scene sets up the tone for the episode.
- Soundblaster and his crew are quite the merciless gang of immoral criminals who find joy in blowing up multiple planets (thus presumably killing many people) for their employer Trypticon. Soundblaster's reasoning behind wanting to destroy Cybertron is disturbingly petty. In a nutshell, he was driven to a life of murder and crime simply because he lost a beatboxing match to Soundwave sometime before the war. Combined with cruelly separating Laserbeak from an awaken Soundwave and attempting to murder the latter with violent sound waves, Soundblaster is an intimidating threat for Grimlock and the Dinobots.
- Trypticon's claims that he is a firm yet fair employer is a lie. He was behind the Mercenaries' destructive raids on countless innocent planets, including the Dinobots' homeworld. After his employees fail, he drops his Faux Affably Evil façade and fires them. He then attempts to burn them along with Cybertron to the bitter ground and he nearly succeeded if Volcanicus didn't use the time blaster on him. Also, his fate as a frozen statue counts.
- Soundblaster losing his legs is hilariously disturbing.
The Perfect Decepticon
- Where do we even begin with Tarn? Originally another mindless Decepticon supersoldier, he developed a consciousness of his own and decides to finish what Megatron X started. By pretending to be an injured clone trying to free his brethren from their programming, he manages to trick Optimus Prime and the others into leading him to the Cortex Helm on the Isle of Onyx Prime. Once he gets what he wants, he reveals his true colors and used the device to summon his fellow supersoldiers into restraining our heroes. His takeover of Cybertron then commences as he orders his soldiers to hunt the Autobots down and force the Decepticons to follow him only. In fact, he was able to conquer the entire planet in just seconds and he would've won if the Autobots and Decepticons didn't still uphold the peace treaty and fight back against him. From a fanatic follower of Megatron in the IDW comics to the final antagonist of the series, Tarn makes a fantastically evil jump to television. A chilling aspect about Tarn is his Lack of Empathy even when Optimus called him out on it and his need for dominance over everything that stands in his way, which is conveyed in this brilliant subversion of an iconic Transformers quote.Tarn: Survival is the right of all sentient beings... if they're strong enough.
- Out of sadistic glee, he forces Prime to fight numerous supersoldiers for the right to challenge him. In a show meant for children, we're forced to see Optimus having to fight for his life against his will and was nearly beaten to a bloody pulp once the number of supersoldiers increased. He has visible bruises throughout his body and sparks coming out of his injuries, which is not a pleasant sight.
- In a similar vein, when Hot Rod tries to rip away the Cortex Helm from Tarn in the Cybertronians' Darkest Hour, the latter subjected poor Hot Rod to a surprisingly brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that gave him a black eye. Thank the Primes for Soundwave being there at the right time