Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

"What? Transformers made from animals instead of vehicles and stuff? Doesn't sound so great, throw it to Kenner division, maybe they can make a quick buck or something."
Beast Wars, Machine Wars, Beast Machines... seeing a pattern? Coming soon: "Wars Wars"

Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby BWprowl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:07 am

Sparky Prime wrote:Seriously, all they'd need to do is actually explain why Rattrap has no where else to turn but Megatron. We already know time is of the essence before Megatron recovers so say like... maybe by the time Rattrap goes to see Megatron he says he'd already checked a weapons storage only to find it cleaned out (save for maybe the one bomb he throws at Tankorr a few episodes later), and the drones weapons are booby trapped so that no one could try and steal those. *gasp* Suddenly if Rattrap wants a weapon Megatron is the only guy he can turn to, solved in a matter of one or two lines and takes care of a little plot hole in another episode.

That’s…a pretty good point, actually. I’d never really considered it myself because, like Six, this point has never really bothered me about the episode, but in terms of writing to keep things consistent (not to mention keep a few more people happy down the line) a few extra lines like that might’ve gone a long way. So you’re right on that, I gotta give that one to you (plus I kinda feel bad because I feel like I’ve been more of a dickface to you than usual in this thread. Sorry about that. I’m gonna recommence arguing here though: )

All that said, I would like to point out that it seems like the writers were less interested in showing that Rattrap was out of options than they were in illustrating that he had fallen so low, confidence-wise, that he was willing to go to Megatron to return to what he used to be.

The other Maximals were constantly getting on his case in Beast Wars too but there he seemed to enjoy the banter and would often push back, particularly with Optimus and Dinobot. And when the chips were down he still took responsibility for himself. It's not that Rattrap is insecure or scared, he just doesn't want to get hurt/killed. No body does. The difference with him is that he vocalizes it. A lot. As I've been saying, he still shows confidence when he confronts Megatron. He tries to blackmail him for the weapons for crying out loud. That doesn't suggest a character who has reached his breaking point, and confidence isn't what he is after there. He just wants the weapons from Megatron because that's how he is used to fighting. The thing is, Rattrap is a survivor, a scavenger and a thief. And the whole planet is shut down for the pickings. It would be so much easier for him to find another option that actually suits his personality than it would be to go deal with Megatron.

There’s a difference between the way the Maximals treat him in BW and BM, as well as the contexts of each. In BW, especially towards the beginning, these are just his shipmates, and they’re just getting on his case for whining all the time, but they don’t actually demean him or tell him he’s useless. Hell, in ‘Coming of the Fuzors’ Rattrap’s the first guy Dinobot tosses a shiny new gun to and asks him to come support him in a battle against all odds. Rattrap may be a whiner, and he knows he’s a whiner, but he’s also a seasoned veteran who will support his teammates, and knows they count on him for it. Flash forward to BM, and now his so-called friends are berating him for his lack of combat ability, telling him he’s worthless, that he can’t help them at all, and that they’re considering *cutting him loose from the team*. That’s insane, there are just five of them fighting against Megatron who’s got control of the whole planet, you’d think they’d take all the help they can get, and he’s the guy they want to *drop* from the team, they just consider him that useless. There’s a world of difference between you and your co-workers giving each other shit in between scouting missions, and your friends telling you that you’re useless to them and they don’t want anything to do with you anymore.

Rattrap may have been attempting to acquire weapons, yes, but the core issue was that that lack of weapons and the way he was treated because of it had shattered his confidence. What he puts up when he talks to Megatron is clearly a bluff, made evident by his hesitance and inability to kill Megatron once Megs calls him out on his lack of assuredness in himself, as well as him leaving the weapons behind at the end. If the episode was really about him trying to get weapons, wouldn’t he take them with him at the end? No, because thanks to Primal, he got what he was really after: his faith in himself.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Sparky Prime » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:48 am

BWprowl wrote:That’s…a pretty good point, actually.

Thank you.

All that said, I would like to point out that it seems like the writers were less interested in showing that Rattrap was out of options than they were in illustrating that he had fallen so low, confidence-wise, that he was willing to go to Megatron to return to what he used to be.

But that's the problem so many fans have with it. Had the writers taken a little more interest in the characters, this wouldn't have been an issue at all.

There’s a difference between the way the Maximals treat him in BW and BM, as well as the contexts of each. In BW, especially towards the beginning, these are just his shipmates, and they’re just getting on his case for whining all the time, but they don’t actually demean him or tell him he’s useless. Hell, in ‘Coming of the Fuzors’ Rattrap’s the first guy Dinobot tosses a shiny new gun to and asks him to come support him in a battle against all odds. Rattrap may be a whiner, and he knows he’s a whiner, but he’s also a seasoned veteran who will support his teammates, and knows they count on him for it. Flash forward to BM, and now his so-called friends are berating him for his lack of combat ability, telling him he’s worthless, that he can’t help them at all, and that they’re considering *cutting him loose from the team*. That’s insane, there are just five of them fighting against Megatron who’s got control of the whole planet, you’d think they’d take all the help they can get, and he’s the guy they want to *drop* from the team, they just consider him that useless. There’s a world of difference between you and your co-workers giving each other shit in between scouting missions, and your friends telling you that you’re useless to them and they don’t want anything to do with you anymore.

Granted, they didn't have to protect Rattrap in Beast Wars but it's not just because he's a whiner they complain about him either, especially when it came to Dinobot. Look what Optimus and Dinobot say about him when they thought Sentinel killed him: Optimus: "He was a difficult Maximal to deal with. Sometimes impossible. But I'll remember him with honor." Dinobot: "I won't disgrace his memory with lies. He was a stinking, omnivorous pestilence. Still in some perverse way, I will miss him." They aren't talking about how much he whines, but that he was a pain in general. Even Rhinox says he smelled bad being a rat (but was still his best friend). And the Maximals don't talk about cutting him loose in Beast Machines at all. That was just something Nightscream said, and he says stupid things like that sometimes. Cheetor even immediately yells at him they don't abandon their friends. Yes, they call him worthless for not having weapons and his beast mode, but he had been helping them all that time never-the-less. To some degree they must realize this even though at that moment of the episode they couldn't see it.

Rattrap may have been attempting to acquire weapons, yes, but the core issue was that that lack of weapons and the way he was treated because of it had shattered his confidence. What he puts up when he talks to Megatron is clearly a bluff, made evident by his hesitance and inability to kill Megatron once Megs calls him out on his lack of assuredness in himself, as well as him leaving the weapons behind at the end. If the episode was really about him trying to get weapons, wouldn’t he take them with him at the end? No, because thanks to Primal, he got what he was really after: his faith in himself.

Megatron might see through Rattrap's bluff, but Megatron is a bit of a master gambler. I just don't see that Rattrap's confidence is so shattered as you keep saying it is. It would take confidence for him to even try to blackmail Megatron in the first place. If his confidence was so shattered, why not just turn his spark over? Because he does still have confidence in himself and is willing to put up a fight. He just wants the means (weapons) he's used to. Optimus instead convinces him to put his confidence in what he's got already.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Sparky Prime » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 pm

And moving on to season 2...

Fallout
*Optimus Primal death count: 2. The Oracle is surprisingly direct, telling Optimus his "unyielding fanaticism" destroyed Cybertron, and that he's responsible for his own action.
*So Rhinox realizes his misguided deeds now that he's dead (and totally free of any Vehicon programming). Seems a bit harsh the Oracle doesn't give him a second chance.
*Preview of characters to come as Optimus is restored in robot mode to save Cybertron by absorbing the plasma energy and Key energy that somehow even restores the other Maximals.
*Nightscream's magic tree has fully regrown as we see when Optimus fires all of the gathered energy into the Oracle. How does he know the Oracle will harmlessly absorb all that energy? Wouldn't it have made more sense to seal it back into the Plasma Energy Chamber?
*Optimus Primal death count: 3. Megatron has also apparently died as the Maximals find his body turns to dust. Why don't the Maximals try to get Cybertron back online here while they're in Megatron's throne room where he was controlling everything instead of some random terminal outside?
*"I thought you wanted Optimus out of the picture" - wow Nightscream, you say some really stupid things.
*Epic fighting poses instead of showing any action!
*"You don't want to be Silverbolt again, fine I wont force you. It's not worth fighting about." - She'll change her mind in a few episodes.
*"I can forgive you for your mistakes, but not for giving up." -Er, Cheetor, what exactly do you want Optimus to do? He's kinda dead and stuck in the Oracle. Not that death ever stopped him before, but...
*Uhg... We've been over this before Optimus. The Oracle didn't send you to the Beast Wars to bring back the organics in your body. Remember Nightscream? He stayed home and accomplished the same thing. Nice that you finally realize the Oracle wants Cybertron to become a balance of techno-organic rather than organic though.

Savage Noble
*Nightscream, wouldn't it have have sense to mention this waterfall you and your friends used to hang out at back when the Maximals needed water for the trees?
*Thrust hides behind Blackarachia when they see Savage. Seeing how he saved her a few times in season 1, the Vehicon might have some feelings for her. Or his inner Waspinator is showing through.
*Savage is smarter than he appears as a seemingly random fire bolt rains down debris on the Maximals.
*Team Vehicon is blasting off again....
*A Transformer that changes from beast to beast is fairly interesting concept. Too bad it didn't translate to the toy very well. It begs to question though, if his story is the same as Nightscream, how did he end up with two beast modes? What happened to his robot mode?

Prometheus Unbound
*Foreshadowing as Mega Head gets overlayed with Noble's face
*So it's been 5 days since the Maximals met Noble and... All they've done is corral him when he tries to break into the Citadel? Couldn't some of them have been working on something else in all that time?
*"Thataboy rat breath. Harsh on him right out of the gate the same way you did me" - Uh, Nightscream, Rattrap didn't harsh on you when you first met. In fact, it was you that harshed Rattrap for his inability to transform and then for his useless robot mode. Jerk.
*The Maximals are just now talking about getting back to the search for the Sparks and waking up the planet? Seriously, you guys didn't do anything else for 5 whole days?
*Optimus is concerned about surviving the Citadel's automated defenses? That didn't seem to be any trouble for the Maximals 2 episodes ago.
*Lighten up Nightscream, or do you want to get killed if Noble goes all dragon on you inside the Citadel? It's no reason to call the rest of your team losers for reasonably being cautious.
*Again, how did the Maximals ever get into the Citadel with no problems if its got these defenses they didn't know about and somehow never triggered when they were in there before?
*Oh, NOW Nightscream wants to be cautious that they're inside the Citadel with Noble trying not to transform.
*The Maximals stay in robot mode this time when they've been knocked unconscious. And those aren't very effective landmines. Not only do they not harm to target that triggered them but the Maximals aren't physically damaged.
*Earlier episodes shows the throne room to be straight through the hallway of the main gate. So why do the Maximals travel though several other halls to get there? And how does Nightscream and Optimus get there before the others when they're supposed to be looking elsewhere in the building for Savage? And clearly Noble has no problem transforming back and forth at will.
*"What is that thing?" "But how can he have a spark when he's completely organic?" Really? He told you the same story Nightscream gave you about getting a beast mode. You thought he was a Maximal. Why wouldn't he have a spark? And aren't you supposed to be able to sense spark's Optimus? And you couldn't detect that he had one?
*"Where's Noble? What have you done with his spark?" - Nightscream is slow to catch on having just witnessed the spark from Noble activate the Mega Head and is obviously Megatron.
*Are we to believe Megatron somehow separated organic parts of his Transmetal body while the key energy and plasma chamber energy were about to destroy the planet? How? He clearly wasn't set up for any such procedure at the time. And where did the wolf part come from? They never explain any of this.
*And we're back to status quo with the Maximals running with the army of drones after them.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Shockwave » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:18 pm

Y'know what? I'm gonna side with Sparky on this one. The story, by itself is good conceptually but it doesn't really work for the setting and characters. I can see why they chose the characters they did, but perhaps this story would have worked better elsewhere. See, the thing that bugs me about Rattrap in this episode is that regardless of how dire or desperate situations are, he always kept to his principal which were the opposite of what Megatron and the Predacons stood for. I do have a hard time believing that he would just side with Megs after a tif with his friends. And then there's Megs' characterization too. I have a hard time believing that he would agree to give Rattrap weapons for the express purpose of later using those same weapons against him. And, militarily speaking, that's just retarded. That would be like Winston Churchill going to Hitler and saying "We don't have enough tanks, give me a Panzer" Adolf: "Sure, here you go, just don't shoot us for 24 hours". Churchill (in said Panzer) "Zzzzzz..." Adolf (24hrs later): "Ok, you can now just leave peacefully with the Panzer and now try to kill me with it." Churchill: "Nah, screw it, I'm just gonna try to kill you with one of our own tanks. Bye!" Adolf: "Thank you, have a nice day!" When you're in a war, you just don't go to the enemy LEADER asking for weapons that they know damned well you're just gonna turn around and use to try to kill said leader! Like I said, I do like the story, and it doesn't ruin BM for me, but in the grander scheme of the series it really is "the Weak Component".

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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Sparky Prime » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:31 pm

^ Exactly.

In Darkest Night
*Blackarachnia startles Rattrap causing his to involuntarily transform to Beast Mode as he's working on a new gadget (combination of a spark extractor and DNA scanner). Nice to see they writers haven't forgotten that. Seems odd Blackarachnia used to be somewhat of an inventor in Beast Wars herself, but she never comes up with anything in Beast Machines. Instead she just steals what Rattrap makes.
*Rather than take out Nightscream while he's unconscious (and stays in robot mode I'd point out), the Vehicons wait for him to wake up?
*So much for not forcing Jetstorm to become Silverbolt again. Oh, and the magic plot solving organic goo can also make a bot techno-organic with out the Oracle or Optimus reformatting them for no reason at all.
*How can Noble survive on techno-organic apples being fully organic? And where does he even get them from? We never see the techno-organic trees with fruit.
*Last time Silverbolt was exposed to the organic goo, he didn't seem to remember being Jetstorm, but now he's moody because of his experiences as Jetstorm. As we later find out this is because he enjoyed being free from his code of honor inside Jetstorm. And he can transform despite no training like the other Maximals have had.

A Wolf in the Fold
*Nice to see Megatron had the forethought to implant his Generals with a virus in case the Maximals turned them back to their side. And it's a nice reference to G1 by making it a Hate Plague variant.
*I assume the reason the Maximals don't transform to beast mode despite the plague making them so angry has to do with practice maintaining their robot modes under pressure.
*Interesting that Megatron invites Optimus for philosophical debate on harmony. Of course in typical Megatron fashion, he stacks the deck in his favor due to the plague's effects.
*Ah, the power of team work and cooperation saves the day.
*Optimus considers whether Megatron might actually be right that one guiding mind would be more harmonious. Kind of a sour note to leave the episode on, and I think it sends the wrong message they were going for, seeing as the Maximals just overcame their differences to work together.

Home Soil
*It's the Autobot shuttle crashing on Cybertron all over again... This was meant to be a ship more like the Axalon.
*Despite not trusting Silverbolt yet, Nightscream sure has his teamwork with him well synchronized.
*Thrust gives Optimus the middle... claw.
*Silverbolt transforms to robot mode when he's startled by a vine that suddenly grows next to him.
*Optimus is concerned the creature will spread seeds that will destroy the planet. Cheetor asks aren't they trying to do something similar with their own orchard. Optimus says they're trying to make a balance. Hm...
*The creature starts exhibiting the symptoms of the transformation lock virus by sparking like the Maximals had in the first episode. After Optimus reformats her, she explains her high functioning protocols were damaged when her ship was attacked and caused her to act only on self preservation circuits. So why was she sparking like she'd been infected by the virus? She'd never even been exposed to it. And again, isn't Optimus supposed to be able to sense Sparks? Not to mention he isn't weakened in the slightest, unlike when he reformatted Nightscream.
*Botanica is yet another Maximal that figures out how to transform with her new techno-organic body despite having no training.
*Is is good to have it established Megatron sent out a distress call to lure more Transformers back to Cybertron, and that there are other crews on exploration missions like Primal's crew had been.
*The only time Mega Head transforms and it's just for a few seconds to destroy what's left of Botanica's ship.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Sparky Prime » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:11 pm

Sparkwar Pt. I: The Strike
*Thrust is essentially demoted to Waspinator in this episode, getting beat up by everybody on both sides.
*Thrust has a point about Megatron using Sparks from the Maximal's friends being a bad idea.
*Last episode Optimus said every battle they won was hollow until they could make the techno-organic trees trive. Now he says they've done nothing until they free the Sparks. Just no pleasing the boss monkey.
*Oh, NOW Optimus senses some Sparks.
*Silverbolt has no time for romance being at war... Despite that not stopping him in the last war he was in.
*Apparently the plot solving organic goo can give Botanica Oracle visions and tells her she needs to help the Maximals fight. Is there anything this stuff can't do?
*The Maximals can tell something isn't right about the new Vehicon generals, but they blindly fall into their trap anyway.
*Since when can Optimus make a shield?
*Obsidian and Strika claim they aren't reprogrammed, but that they serve Cybertron and view Megatron as Cybertron. They aren't very good generals if their allegiance changes with whoever in currently in command of Cybertron.
*How does Silverbolt know anything about Obsidian and Strika? His datatracks were lost with his stasis pod being damaged.

Sparkwar Pt. II: The Search
*"How long until they find our base?" Have the Maximal's forgotten the Vehicons have been to the Oracle chamber several times by this point in the series? They already know where it is.
*You'd think Optimus would be a bit more cautious with visions from the Oracle after the last one he randomly received nearly ended with the destruction of Cybertron.
*Nice bit of continuity to see Silverbolt still remembers Cheetor as a kid rather than someone to take orders from.
*So after being in the Citadel dozens of times, Rattrap and Botanica finally figure out Megatron had been keeping them there, only for it to be too late.
*Why would Optimus Prime's essence be stored in a hologram in Iacon? And wouldn't there be some record of that Optimus Primal would know being somewhat of a history buff? Pretty flimsy story on Megatron's part. And then Optimus reveals he let Megatron have the Oracle information so he could steal the location of the Sparks from Megatron.
*Megatron reveals it was his plan all along to merge all the Sparks with his own, but how did he plan on accomplishing this if he needed the information with the Oracle to do it and he didn't know actually it existed until Optimus and crew arrived on the planet?

Sparkwar Pt. III: The Siege
*It's never revealed if Rattrap's scramble generators actually worked in the last episode since they were lured into traps set by Megatron. Never-the-less, he's made them new and improved.
*Why are the Vehicon's just scanning cargo being loaded into Mega Head when they know they can't detect the Maximals in beast mode?
*Noble sacrifices himself to save Nightscream.
*All it takes is one sonic blast from Nightscream to disrupt Megatron's spark and spit out all the others he absorbed. What was he said about not allowing his spark to be vulnerable for even an instant in season 1?

Spark of Darkness
*For the second time in the show, Megatron is seemingly dead.
*Rattrap and Botanica clearly don't like each other as we've seen over the last couple episodes, yet they end up kissing while arguing? This just comes out of no where. And after the kiss, they suddenly act totally different towards each other.
*Oh look, a zombie Transformer body with a gun. Pity Rattrap never checked these bodies for weapons last season (sorry, I couldn't resist)
*Rattrap grabs a cycle drone arm and prepares to use it against a possessed drone. Why couldn't he do that last season? (Ok, ok, moving on) Somehow the drone must be able to use the Force or something, because it causes the arm to fly out of Rattrap's hands and float in the air as it shoots at him.
*Thrust is the only loyal Vehicon, and raises a good point that if the other two are loyal to everybody they're not really loyal to anybody.
*Optimus doesn't think the thing possessing bodies is a spark because he doesn't sense anything. Hm. More often than not he hasn't sensed a spark in this show.
*Rattrap realizes it's a depolarized Spark and after he re-polarizes it it escapes for one of my favorite parts of Beast Machines, Megatron ends up stuck in the body of a Diagnostic Drone.
*As short lived as it was, the Vehicons switch sides again. And poor Thrust gets put down by Megatron... again.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST MACHINES

Postby Sparky Prime » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:55 pm

Endgame Pt. I: The Downward Spiral
*Optimus doesn't want to risk putting the Sparks back in bodies because he doesn't Megatron to recapture them. Wait, what? Wouldn't this give the Maximals the advantage to have a planet worth of troops? How could Megatron fight that even with his army of Vehicons?
*Why is it that Botanica's health is now tied to being 'in contact' the Organic Core of the planet? Magic plot solving organic goo strikes again!
*It never occurred to the Maximals to shut down the Vehicon manufacturing factory before now? Seemed pretty easy to destroy since all it took was one sonic blast from Nightscream and only had Megatron guarding it.
*Nice to see Megatron upgraded his Diagnostic Drone body to defend himself at least.
*Couldn't Botanica have taken the device that allowed her to pass through the shields with her? Or Rattrap change the frequency of the shield once she was through?

Endgame Pt. II: When Legends Fall
*Ironically, Thrust once again has the better suggestion of attacking with what they have but he's ignored as Obsidian orders all Drones repaired, which buys the Maximals time to find a new power source and make their own repairs.
*Optimus communion with the Oracle gives the Maximals a hole in their chests.
*The Maximals learned from the last episode to randomize the shield harmonics. Course they don't hold for long.
*Megatron seems unconcerned with allowing his Spark to be vulnerable to transfer to a new body this time. Although the Maximals do have their hands full at the moment.
*Now the Maximals have superpowers thanks to the hole's in their chests. Why did it wait so long to give them this power? They seem to suggest it's because they have possession of the Sparks now, but what's that got to do with it? And to bad Megatron can just disconnect them from the Oracle.
*If Mega Head is out of power, how does Cheetor bring the anti-grav generators online to send Obsidian and Strika to orbit?
*And so it all comes down to one final epic showdown between just Optimus and "Optimal" Megatron.

Endgame Pt. III: Seeds of the Future
*Gotta say, Megatron handles the Optimal body much better compared to when Optimus had it. I'd have to call this the best battle in Beast Machines. Kinda odd how Megatron's spark moves to the cockpit when he transforms to either of his vehicle modes though.
*"Say farewell to arms Megatron!" Oh Optimus, you do still have a sense of humor.
*If Megatron can't access the Key to Vector Sigma with out Optimus due to their shared Oracle connection, why was he (and Tankorr) able to access it before when Optimus had full control?
*Really anti-climatic the way Megatron just disconnects Optimus from the Oracle to give himself full access.
*And then the Oracle just reconnects itself with Optimus. >_>
*Megatron forgets he can fly.
*Deaths Optimus Primal: 4, Megatron: 1.
*Cybertron is reformatted at last and the birds are chirp... Wait, were did the birds come from? Anyway, the sparks return to their bodies and the Maximals enjoy the new view of Cybertron.
*Waspinator gets to be comedy relief one last time.
The End
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