Revisiting BEAST WARS

"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"
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Mako Crab
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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

Double Dinobot
written by Rowby Goren

on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv0XPgKt1P4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K59VjYyc ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF18lcuS ... re=related

Ah, yes, the standard evil-clone episode. Seems to be a hallmark of sci-fi shows, but what the heck. It's a good episode anyway. We're in Predacon territory and it's a dark and stormy night! Claps of thunder and lightning flash across the sky. Inside the base Megatron and Scorponok are playing Dr. Frankenstein and Igor as they bring to life a perfect clone of Dinobot; a scene that will be repeated again in Feral Scream part 1 with Waspinator playing Igor. Waspy makes a better Igor than Scorponok any day, but what we have here is fine. Megatron's master plan for today is to send the clone over to the Axalon and have him cripple the base from within. Easy enough. First order of business is to get rid of the real Dinobot.

Cut to a sunny day over in Maximal territory. We find the real Dinobot wandering about on patrol and bored out of his mind. Aww, he's so cute when he yawns! He's ambushed by Terrorsaur and sent flying head-first into a rock by explosions. His reaction?

Dinobot: "At last! An end to the boredom!"

Terrorsaur deftly dogdges several blasts from Dinobot and glides for the safety of a nearby cave. Dinobot pursues and once he's deep inside, Terrorsaur reveals himself and causes a cave-in that buries Dinobot in rock. Now I must say I do love this cave. It's not really dark (while still being dark enough) and has these willowy lights kind of breezing around. I should know what those are called but I'm at a loss. Just a cool little locale and it's the only time we'll ever see it.

Terrorsaur escapes through a vent in the ceiling of the cave and reports back to base. Phase one complete! Megatron sends in the clone... And at the Axalon the fake Dinobot hobbles into the command center with a story that he seems to have whipped up on the spot about how the Predacons are preparing to mount a full-scale attack. They need to send everyone that they can to stop them!
Primal doesn't seem too concerned though. There's no sign of Predacons on the ship's scanners, and he's convinced that Sentinel and some auto-guns can handle the Preds. He orders Dinobot to take Rattrap out to confirm the location of the Preds, but you can tell that Primal is already growing suspicious by Dinobot's strange behavior.

Dinobot and Rattrap make it to sector Omega, where Dinobot claimed the Preds were. There... appears to be a whole lot of nothing. Oh, I see- they're just over the next ridge. Okay, well that makes sense. Rattrap transforms to robot mode. Time to shred some Preds. Oh? What's this? Dinobot still in beast mode?

Rattrap: "What are you waiting for? Settle into the metal."

Hehe, I always liked that line. But alas! Being just a clone, the fake Dinobot cannot transform! With a little quick thinking, he reminds Rattrap that they're only supposed to confirm the Predacon's position, not start a fight. They can do that better in beast mode. Rattrap is understandably shocked by the caution and lack of battle-lust shown by the raptor but shrugs and reverst to stinky rat mode. They come to a narrow chasm with a river of lava flowing below. Rattrap finds a fallen log across the chasm that he starts climbing, when Dinobot gives it a good kick.

Rattrap: "What are you doing!"
Dinobot: "I should think it would be obvious even to a vermin like you!"

*kick kick kick!*

Finally the log gives way (he really had to work on that thing) and goes careening into the chasm. The log is burned to ashes and Rattrap quickly finds himself surfing a large, jagged rock that's floating in the lava. Lava rapids! Deadly rocks! Lava waterfall! Rattrap transforms to robot mode at the last second before going over the lava-falls. Just like any good video-game, he leaps from rock to falling rock and makes his way back up the lava-fall until he finds solid ground. I'm having flashbacks to Super Mario 2 on the NES here (my least favorite of all the NES Mario games). He's still halfway down the chasm but spots a loose boulder nearby. Tossing a couple of his portable bombs underneath it, he blasts the boulder sky-high and rides it all the way up to the top of the chasm.

Back in the cave... Dinobot has dug himself out from under the mound of rocks! And that, my friends, is the last we'll see of the cave. I miss you, cave. I miss you bad. :(

The raptor clone hobbles back into the Axalon once more with news of disaster. Rattrap was taken hostage by the Predacons! Except that Rhinox is in that area now and sees no sign of Predacons or Rattrap. But still! Something must be up. Primal takes Cheetor along with him to find out what's going on. And now the whole base is in the hands of the clone. Oh, just one problem. He can't turn the Axalon over to Megatron just yet, because Optimus activated Sentinel and the base shields before he left. Hope you know the deactivation code. No? Well, how hard could it be. Dinobot types a few keys.

Dinobot: "There. *THAT* should do it."
ELECTROCUTION THROUGH HIS FINGER!!! BZAAAAAA!

He tries again. ELECTROCUTION TO THE SNOUT!!! BZAAAAAA! Oh my gawd, the pain! *L*

Meanwhile, Cheetor and Optimus arrive at the lava chasm and hear the explosion from Rattrap's bombs. They rush over and find him safe and sound. Oh, and he's got a great story to tell them about Dinobot. They call Rhinox back from the field and everyone rushes back for the Axalon.

The real Dinobot arrives home and commands Sentinel to stand down. Inside, the Dinobot clone is still trying to figure out the deactivation code from the safety of the floor, when Sentinel deactivates. That's a stroke of luck. Hehe, he doesn't even know.

Dinobot: "Clone 1 to Megatron..."

I'm just quoting that, because it's the closest thing we have to an actual name for the guy. I like to call him D.D. myself (for Dinobot Doppelganger or Double Dinobot) or DeeDee, hehehe. Clone 1 works too, I guess, but it's so dry. Anyway! He informs Megatron that the base is devoid of Maximals and completely unguarded; free for the taking. And, and... what's Dinobot doing with his tongue? Okay then... uh, yeah. Megatron acknowledges and proceeds towards the ship.

There's a reckoning to be had inside the Axalon when the clone meets the original. That clone is a good trash-talker until the real Dinobot transforms to robot mode and whips out the spinning blade of death. The clone shrinks back in terror. Upon discovering that his replacement is unable to transform, the real Dinobot reverts to beast mode to make it a fair fight. Hehe, no sooner is he in beast mode and the clone smacks him upside the face with his tail! The two of them thrash each other and tear apart the bridge, wrestling and throwing chairs at each other. Finally one of the Dinobots goes down but which one??

Dinobot (??): "Megatron will reward me for this."

Not good! Dinobot goes to meet Megatron outside the base. The raptor lays on the flattery pretty thick. Thick enough that Megatron considers having all his troops cloned. But first it's down to business. Megs heads for the Axalon as a sly looking Dinobot watches... and reactiavtes Sentinel! Megatron is blasted by all the autoguns clear across the ground!

Megatron: "So, you're just as treacherous as the original Dinobot!"
Dinobot: "Correction. I *AM* the original Dinobot."

He transforms revealing that it is indeed the real one and they have a little showdown. It's the classic battle of power levels as lasers try to overpower lasers. Megatron digs his T-rex tail into the ground for added leverage, which just looks cool. Just then the rest of the Maximals return from the wild goose chase and end the struggle with a couple well-placed missles. A full barrage of firepower from the other 4 convinces Megatron that he should call it a day and go home. Really, he doesn't seem too bummed about having lost until everyone starts shooting at him.

The Maximals survey all the damage done inside the Axalon by the battling raptors. Rattrap is still a little suspicious that there ever was a clone. I mean, where's the evidence? Where is this guy? Dinobot remarks that his clone was quite handsome... and tasty as he flicks what's left of the clone out from between his teeth.

Optimus: "Dinobot... you're disgusting."

*grin*
There's not really much else to say, I guess, although I did like seeing Terrorsaur being a badass for once and not getting shot down or anything. Scorponok has one of his better scenes at the beginning (after he's done paying homage to Igor). I like how they've portrayed Scorpy during the last few episodes. Sometimes it seems they have a hard time deciding if he's an inventor, a complete dolt, or the bruiser of the group. But yeah, the Scorpy of the last couple eps is my kind of Scorpy. What else, what else.... D.D. is awesome. I always laugh when he gets shocked by the computer! I even feel a little bad for him, but it's hilarious during his final try when he's hiding beneath the computer console.
I've watched the big battle between the two Dinobots over and over, and I swear that the clone actually won. If you pay close attention to who's where during the whole match, I'm pretty sure it' the clone that won. And then his one line after the fight makes it seem all the more like it's the clone. So who knows. Maybe it was the clone that won and at the last second (off-screen) the real Dinobot revived and ate him. Or... I don't know, maybe quipping, "Megatron will reward me," was some clever joke that only the real Dinobot got (assuming it was the real Dinobot in that scene). Oh well.

Next up: The Spark


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Mako Crab
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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

We don't know much about how Cybertronian tech works--perhaps even with the engine busted, it puts out signals. Or perhaps they could try to trace where the signal was last coming from.
I recall that when the transwarp wavefront reached the Predacon outpost in "The Agenda part 1" they mentioned something about how the signature matched that of Megatron's stolen ship. I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something like that.

Also, wasn't Depth Charge able to trace the residual energy signature of the Axalon and Pred-ship engines to the point where he got sucked into the trans-warp conduit?

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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Onslaught Six »

Mako Crab wrote:
We don't know much about how Cybertronian tech works--perhaps even with the engine busted, it puts out signals. Or perhaps they could try to trace where the signal was last coming from.
I recall that when the transwarp wavefront reached the Predacon outpost in "The Agenda part 1" they mentioned something about how the signature matched that of Megatron's stolen ship. I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something like that.

Also, wasn't Depth Charge able to trace the residual energy signature of the Axalon and Pred-ship engines to the point where he got sucked into the trans-warp conduit?
Who cares.

No, really, I mean, I literally just don't even care about tiny stuff like this anymore. They're little devices writers use to move the plot along. We need to introduce Depth Charge. How did he find them? He picked up on the signal from the ships. How's that work? I dunno, it just does, these are hyperintelligent robots after all.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Sparky Prime »

Mako Crab wrote:Also, wasn't Depth Charge able to trace the residual energy signature of the Axalon and Pred-ship engines to the point where he got sucked into the trans-warp conduit?
No, he was scanning for the energy signature of Protoform X.

At any rate, I always just assumed all of the Axalon's transwarp cells were damaged in the crash (given the only spare Transwarp cells we see in the show come from the Predacon ship) which must be somewhat of a rare occurrence given that's the energy signature the Maximal probes were looking for.

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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by BWprowl »

On your "Dark Designs" musings, I was under the impression that while Evil Rhinox was the result of a reprogramming or shell program or somesuch, Tankorr was referred to as being the result of "Spark Corruption" or something like that. So while it's okay to change programming (especially since the initial reprogramming had been done against his will anyway), I can see where Primal wouldn't want to go in and mess with Rhinox/Tankorr's spark, especially since it'd already been messed with.

On a lighter note, I found it cool when I went back and watched this episode that Evil Rhinox pretty much sounds like Tankorr.
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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

I was going for 5 reviews in 5 days, but the Superbowl festivities pretty well screwed that up. Instead, I spent yesterday morning taking pictures from The Trigger parts 1 and 2, so it wasn't a complete loss. On with the review!


The Spark
written by Larry DiTillo

on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gt2Z_EuANo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzcA-E23 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX6phjct ... re=related

This is the very first episode of Beast Wars that I ever saw and a big part of the reason that Blackarchnia is my favorite character. It's also the episode that introduced the idea of sparks to the overall Transformers mythos; something that has made its way into every TF show since. Sparks have even been retroactively applied to the lasercores of G1. That's an impressive cultural impact by any measure. But enough about all that, we have a stais pod screaming towards the planet's surface!

The Predacons are the first to detect the pod. Tarantulus seems very interested in it (just a hint of his future plans, I'm sure). The trajectory of the falling pod puts it in Predacon territory. Tarantulus really wants to get to that pod first and haggles with Megatron, but Megs can be a stubborn guy. He sends Scorponok and Blackarachnia instead since they're closest.

Megatron: "Blackarachnia will do just fine."

Ah? Ah!? What was I saying about Megatron taking her under his wing? This is the last we'll see of both Megatron and Tarantulus this episode. Kind of frees up some space for Blackarachnia to be a badass all on her own.

Over in Maximal territory Rhinox also spots the falling stasis pod. He tries to call in to the Axalon, but there's too much interference. He sets out alone. Anyone else might be in trouble, but this is Rhinox here. He just took out all the Preds on his own a couple episodes ago. I'm sure he'll be okay. Luckily for him, Cheetor is lounging in a tree somewhere and spots the falling stasis pod too. He's able to contact Tigatron and they're both off, completely unaware that Rhinox is already on his way.

Tigatron: "Watch your back, little cat."
Cheetor: "Always do, big cat."

Aww! That's cute. They need more of that (for Tigatron's sake). A little comraderie building goes a long way. Meanwhile, Rhinox has already reached the crashed pod. It's severely damaged, but being the smart guy that he is, he cracks open the pod and gets to work right away on it. The pod is damaged to the point that it can't sustain the life of the protoform inside much longer. He needs to get the DNA scanners online and scan something, anything for the protoform to use as a protective covering. Cool bit here; the protoform appears to either be made of or coated with a goo of liquid... metal? Liquid something. Energon radiation levels are so high in this area that Rhinox feels the effects almost the moment he transforms to robot mode. He diverts all his weapons power to amplify his energon dampeners. And here this little protoform is just hanging out without any kind of shielding. That thing is so screwed.

Elsewhere, Blackarachnia and Scorponok are en route to the target, and they get into a little dispute.

Scorponok: "Blah, blah, blah, Just as Megatron said."
Blackarachnia: "Just as Megatron said. Just as Megatron said! Don't you ever get tired of grovelling to that saurian?"

And thus we see that whatever kindness or confidence Megatron had been showing to Blackarachnia is completely unreciprocated. Or... you know, this idea just occured to me. Literally just this moment. Maybe when Megatron and Blackarachnia are the only ones in the command center, they're making fun of Scorponok for his unwavering blind loyalty. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Megatron thinks of Scorpy as an idiot for his infallible devotion. That could be. Or maybe Blackarachnia just can't stand suck-ups and is getting fed up with Megatron too. At any rate, she bails on Scorpy.

He goes looking for her but runs into Tigatron instead. It's probably the shortest battle in Beast Wars history. Tigatron freezes Scorponok solid before he can even transform. The missing Blackarachnia drops down behind Tigatron from a tree. He shoots her and she dodges. I repeat- she DODGES the shot from a few feet away! Crazy fast. Tigatron gets a dose of her cyber-venom and that's it for the big cat. I wonder... oh, I wonder if there's anyone fast enough to take her on.... oh, hum hum.... hehehe

Cheetor arrives at the stasis pod to find Rhinox already hard at work. The big rhino is hard at work, and I love that he's got a whole tool-belt's worth of items in his leg pockets. Unfortunately, he's hit a wall. He simply doesn't have the parts necessary to complete the repairs needed to get the pod operational again. Cheetor volunteers to help out and gives us a line that I've always thought summed up his character perfectly.

Cheetor: "Let's get in gear! What do we do?"

He's in such a hurry to help and has no idea what to do. That's Cheetor! :P Cheetor voluneteers any of his parts to help save the protoform. He shuts down into sleep mode while Rhinox performs the brief surgery. Enter the dream state! Cheetor is in an empty void and everything is being projected with a fish-eye view. Fish-eye? Wall-eye? Wall-E? Whatever. Hey, Rhinox is here too! And he's all fish-eyed looking too. He explains to Cheetor (and us) what a spark is.

Cheetor: "A spark!"
Rhinox: "Yup. Every Maximal, Predacon and Cybertron has one, and each is different. When a spark comes online there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps."

Cheetor wakes up again and remarks at the weird dream he just had.

Rhinox: "Tell me later."

But Rhinox! You were in it! And it was a premonition, I tells ya'! A premonition of things to come! No, really. Cheetor's good about that. Rhinox uses the chip that he took from Cheetor and inserts it into the pod. The liquid gooey protoform is stabilized into something more recognizable as a robot, but he still needs to get the DNA scanner working if they want to have any hope of saving it. Cheetor reverts to beast mode and takes off to keep watch for Predacons.

And right about that time Blackarachnia shows up. Cheetor actually surprises her. He's keeping watch up on a large rock and she never even knew until he opened his big mouh. Oh, silly cat. You're about to wish that you'd just started shooting, although that wouldn't be very heroic of our Maximal. Some great lines in here! Blackarachnia shoots a stasis web at Cheetor, which he easily dodges.

Cheetor: "You'll have to be faster than that."
Blackarachnia: "You don't know what fast is, furball!"
Cheetor: "I know what ugly is, and you're it."

Do you think she remembered that little insult when he started hitting on her in season 3? Hehehe. Back to the battle! She leaps up on the rock that he's perched on, but he jumps over her head and lands back on the ground. In robot mode now, he turns and fires, blowing up the rock and burying her under some rubble. Pfft! What's the big deal? Predacons aren't so bad. He puts away his gun and transforms to beast mode. Blackarachnia erupts from beneath the rocks! Oh, you made her mad now! She opens fire with her machine-gun legs and the nimble little cat scrambles for the safety of a nearby boulder.

Blackarachnia: "Come out, kitty cat. I won't hurt you... much."

Cheetor looks right at the screen as though some unseen director is telling him, "Yeah. Stick your head out," and like an idiot, he does. Blackarachnia opens fire again and he ducks back behind the boulder! LOL!! What was he thinking?? Okay, back to robot mode. He leaps out firing wildly but she's gone. Where'd she go? AGGGHHHHH! She's right next to you, idiot! She grabs him by the arm and for a second of unbridled terror, stares him down. His little-kid eyes can't handle the terror! She headbutts him! His gun falls to the ground. Backhand to the head! Jump kick to the head! Jumping roundhouse kick to the head! Front kick to the head! Double hammer strike to the shoulders! He's down on his knees! Knee to the face! My gawd, she's demolishing him! She moves in for the kill and shoots at point-blank-range with her crossbow. Cheetor *CATCHES* the bolt and flings it back into her face! Now that's fast, especially considering how many hits he just took to the head. Awesome fight, and the real match of this episode if you ask me. She's done.

Just a few yards away Rhinox is finally able to get the DNA scanner online. He had to short himself out to do it, practically crippling himself and to add insult to injury, the DNA scanner isn't detecting any compatible lifeforms.

Back to beast mode. Cheetor is about to regroup with Rhinox when Waspinator shows up. Okay, okay, no problem. He'll just- WHAT?! Terrorsaur too? He starts blasting into the air, trying to fend them both off, but they've got him pegged. They herd him all over the place, but a lucky blast from an energon geyser takes care of Waspinator. It's his own fault for flying so low. What's the point of flying if you're going to cruise at ground level? Silly bug. I have to mention that the camera makes me sick during this scene. It's sort of locked onto Waspy as he flies after Cheetor, but it makes it really disorienting because the bug is always shifting around and the camera jumps with him. Ick. No fun at all.

Cheetor celebrates his little victory over Waspy just in time to get blasted by Terrorsaur. It was a valiant effort, but this kitty cat is out of the fight. And one of my favorite shots of the whole episode- Terrorsaur comes in for a landing by the stasis pod as Rhinox looks on helplessly. Terrorsaur walks right up to the incapacitated rhino and prepares to blast him right in the head, when the DNA scanner picks up something. Ah, see? Priorities. Gotta' have your priorities straight. Terrorsaur freaks out, but it's too late. The protoform flies out of the pod in a blinding flash of white light and there's no chance that it can be turned into a Predacon now.

Rhinox: "Still feeling lucky, Terrorsaur? Well are ya'... punk."

A giant eagle dives out of the sky and yanks Terrorsaur right off the ground! Small children watching this show should be scared for their lives. This is what could happen to them! The eagle slams Terrorsaur face first into the side of a mountain. All that does is rile him up. He takes off after the bird and fires on it, blasting away tail feathers, which gives him a good chuckle. Wait? What? Where'd that bird go? It got around him somehow and comes flying at him with the sun behind it. Terrorsaur can't see it well enough to take a shot. The eagle transforms and it's got a female voice! It's... AirRazor! Airazor? Airrazor? I've never been clear on the spelling, but I prefer AirRazor.

Air battle! They grapple and fall towards the ground, breaking their grip at the last second so neither would crash. Terrorsaur shoots, she ducks and weaves (everyone is really good at dodging today), and blasts him repeatedly with some wrist rockets. Bits of Terrorsaur litter the ground below. Now, the first time I saw this I thought, "Oh hey, that's pretty cool." And then his head lands RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SCREEN!!!

Me: "AGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!

That was just so evil, I couldn't believe they got away with doing that in a cartoon, even if it is just robots. AirRazor lands near Rhinox and somehow knows his name already. How? I don't know, and they never explain. He did have himself hooked up to the stasis pod for a while, so that's probably it. But as we'll soon find out, there are a few metaphysical elements working their way into the show ever so slowly.

Everyone finally returns to the Axalon with AirRazor and all the introductions are handled. Hey, it's Primal and Rattrap and Dinobot! Just seems so weird that we've had a whole episode without them. Kind of a nice treat to see them at the end like this. :D Primal takes AirRazor on the grand tour of the base and as they leave Rhinox says:

Rhinox: "When a spark comes online, there is great joy."

Cheetor looks on but says nothing. That's right, baby! It's another premonition that came true! Cheetor's got the gift! Nice, touching end to a pretty cool episode. And a pretty cool episode to be introduced to Beast Wars with. This episode, combined with the next two episodes in which Blackarachnia is also a supreme badass and Megatron and Tarantulus are nowhere to be seen, cemented her place in my heart as "FAVORITE CHARACTER" in the whole show. Of course, I love pretty much all the characters, so after a while it became too hard to pick just one favorite. But she has the distinction of being the only one that I ever classified as my one single favorite.
I always hoped to see a strong friendship between Rhinox and AirRazor after this episode, but it never happened. They were friends, sure, but not really close the way Rhinox and Optimus are, or Rattrap and Rhinox or even Rattrap and Dinobot are. It's a shame, but it always seemed like she kind of got the shaft like Tigatron and got sent off to wander around, perpetually on patrol somewhere. We'll see if my memory holds up in future episodes, but it never seemed like they gave her much to do. Alright, enough rambling for now.

Next up: The Trigger part 1


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andersonh1
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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by andersonh1 »

This is another of my favorite episodes, largely because Rhinox is featured in such a positive light. He's one of my favorite BW characters, and is too often confined to base in a number of Beast Wars episodes, particularly later on, but here he's out on his own doing everything he can to save the life of the protoform. I doubt any of the other Maximals would have had the technical skill to do what Rhinox did, and it always impressed me that this protoform was a complete unknown. Rhinox was risking life and circuitry for a complete stranger, which again says a lot for his character.

The Cheetor/Blackarachnia fight is fun, and it's good to see Cheetor win despite his screw-ups in strategy, largely because it's so satisfying to see him give Blackarachnia her much-deserved comeuppance for her attitude.

Airrazor is an under-utilized character, much like Tigatron, but she does get a few key scenes in later episodes.

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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

Absolutely right. I feel like maybe I kind of jipped Rhinox with this review, since so much of it focused on Blackarachnia and Cheetor. He had so much great dialogue in this episode, but his actions were relegated to hovering around the stasis pod and tapping on a keyboard for most of the episode. It is cool that he's the one in Cheetor's dream that explains what sparks are. Tells you how much Cheetor looks to him as the wise one of the group.

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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

The Trigger
written by Bob Forward

on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=773cMJyOWEM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf98P6dQE7Q&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxNLFbP ... re=related

Ah, the frigid north: the brisk air, the stark snowfields. Beautiful. Guess who likes the cold and the snow? Snow tiger, Tigatron! Seems like it's been a while since we've seen him. Huh, I guess it was only last episode. Huh. A sudden tremor causes a minor avalanche that showers boulders on Tigatron's head. *L* A little comic relief, yes, I approve.

Tigatron: "Though I am close to these rugged lands, they still have their secrets."

Ugh, it's too early in the day to start with that. C'mon!

Tigatron: "And I have my duties. Time for my weekly report."

Ah, good save! I prefer duty-bound Tigatron to poetic Tigatron. Personal preference. He treks over to a large transmittor and calls up the Maximal base. Inside the Axalon we find Rhinox conducting an analysis of the two moons orbitting the planet. According to his math, one of the moons seems off as though it didn't have enough mass- like it were hollow. Rhinox is so cool. He could be talking about anything and it would sound interesting. He'd make such a cool professor of science or math or something. Soo... hollow moon? Sounds like foreshadowing to me.
Rattrap's lounging about the comm. system when Tigatron's call comes through. They have a pleasant exchange (more of this, please- for Tigatron's sake), when Tigatron's interrupted by a surprise attack from Waspy and Terrorsaur. The comm. line is still open and everyone at the Axalon can hear the whole thing as their arctic buddy has the transmittor dropped on him. Rhinox and Primal give each other a look.

Rhinox: "Go! I'll alert the others."

Awesome. Rhinox is so awesome. Back in the arctic! The transmittor fell right on top of Tigatron, but he hefts it aside. Now that's durable! The battle resumes, when one of Terrorsaur fires one of his custom-painted missles. Nice touch. Turns out it's a dud, but - OMG- Waspinator's going crazy with the rapid firing! When did he become cool?! His flurry of shots hits the dud missle and blows up the mountainside. Tigatron hangs onto the ledge for dear life... and hangs on... and hangs on.... he's losing his grip, unaware that a mysterious dark cloud is passing by just beneath him. He loses his grip and falls into the cloud below.

Above, Waspinator and Terrorsaur celebrate their victory. Like a smart guy, Terrorsaur thinks they should go collect some wreckage as proof of the snowcat's demise.

Waspy: "Waspinator wants his heaaad!"
Terrorsaur: "It's mine, bug-face!"

Whoa, that's kind of... sick. It's so weird hearing something that demented being said in Waspy's cute little voice. Okay then, so they cruise over the surface of the valley below but find nothing. Kind of odd. On some kind of hunch, they fly into the cloud that Tigatron fell into. Oh, there's something in there alright. We can only see the flash of weapons fire and the sounds of battle followed by a flash of light that fills the screen. *giddy giddy* Oh my gawd, it's something epic! You just know it!

The Maximals are all crowded around the comm. system, when Primal reports his findings. He's at the sight of the transmittor, which I notice he's set back into place, and reports signs of heavy battle. It was obviously an aerial assault.

Dinobot: "Waspinator and Terrorsaur."
Rattrap: "Ohh, uh, thanks for the insight there, Dino-brain. You want your expert consultant fee now?"
Dinobot: "No need. I can simply extract it from your hide."
Rhinox: "HEY! NOT NOW."

Awesome. Dinobot and Rattrap fall silent but continue to make faces and rude gestures at each other. Hehe. There's no sign of wreckage, so the Maxis are holding out hope that maybe Tigatron's been captured or escaped somewhere.

And over in the volcanic region, we have AirRazor keeping a sharp lookout on Predacon activity. She spots a ragged Terrorsaur and Waspinator limping their way back to base (or whatevever limping in mid-air would be called).

AirRazor: "Bok bok bok bkaw!"

Hm? Yeah, I know. That's not what she really said. But seriously, she shouldn't talk to herself. She makes some comment about how the grunge look must be coming back and it always struck me (as does a lot of her dialogue) as though she were trying to be cool. Trying to hard, maybe? She flies off to report back.

In the Pred base Megatron demands an explanation from the nearly-scrapped duo. Terrorsaur reveals the whole ordeal; they both flew into the dark cloud and found a flying island inside. Tigatron was there and still very much alive. They engaged in battle, when an obelisk at the center of the island fired a massive energy beam at them, nearly destroying them. Now honestly, who knew what an obelisk was before this episode? Learning new words here, kiddies. :D

Terrorsaur: "It was a monument!"
Waspinator: "Yeah, monument!"

Ah, Waspy's so cute! They both collapse. Megatron orders them to get themselves to the CR-tank, not bothering to notice that they can't move. Megatron is especially interested in the power that the obelisk represents and seeks to claim it for himself immediately. He orders Blackarachnia and Scorponok to infiltrate the island and secure it for the Preds. I like how Scorpy snaps to attention (before relaxing a little and scratching his butt) and Blackarachnia can't be bothered to move from her leaning position.

Blackarachnia: "You don't think it might be wise to first discover who created such an artifact, or why?"
Megatron: "Do not question my orders! Time enough for such inquiries when we control the island's power!"

Hm. I think this is the first time he's ever barked at her. Sounds like trouble. Makes me wonder if Scorponok told Megatron about all those nasty things she was saying in the last episode. She takes command right away and orders Scorpy to follow her out. She does? She's giving orders to Scorponok now? Scorponok, the 2nd in command? And he doesn't say a word. Maybe it's just understood that she holds higher rank than him now? They're about to head out the door, when Megatron calls Scorpy over for some last second secret orders. Blackarachnia can't help but notice the suspicious behavior. Just by looking at her face, you know she's already figured it out. Hm, you know, maybe Scorpy is still Megatron's favorite afterall.

AirRazor has returned to the Axalon now and reports her findings.

AirRazor: "It was Terrorsaur and Waspinator, and they were seriously slagged. Almost scrap."

I kind of like how she delievers this line. It sounds like there's a little bit of nervousness in her voice. You can hear a slight waver in her delivery the way someone giving a speech in front of a class might waver. I like it. Makes me think that despite her personal confidence, she's only been with the team a very short time and doesn't quite yet feel comfortable when reporting in to a superior officer. Plus she's not coming off like she's trying to be cool. This is more like the *real* AirRazor and I think I like her better. Yeah, all that from one tiny little waver in her voice. Kudos to Pauline Newstone, AirRazor's voice actress!

Cheetor bursts in, and as is usual for him, leaps right up on the table to report that Blackarachnia and Scorponok have left the Pred base. Well, big news indeed! Optimus orders AirRazor to follow them and she's off. Cheetor's all hopeful that maybe the Preds are moving out so fast because Tigatron is still alive. Maybe...

Oh hey, there's Tigatron! He's made his way onto the main body of the flying island paradise and... oh boy, here comes the poet.

Tigatron: "Truly this is a land of wonder."

Okay, it's not so bad. He's already moving on. It's all cool, but unbeknownst to him, he's just triggered a booby-trap. A pit opens up, but he jumps to safety. OMG, spring-loaded catapults with boulders! The smash the ground like hammers, Tigatron dodging each one, but there's so many! Everywhere he turns, more boulders slamming down on his face! As a last resort he busts out his gun and destroys the last of the boulders. Good idea. Hm? What's that sound? Like some kind of humming... seems to be coming from the obelisk. DEAR GAWD, AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! The obelisk fires on Tigatron and destroyes EVERYTHING in its path! The tiger jumps to safety and quickly realizes that the obelisk is programmed to fire on anyone using weapons.

Tigatron: "It would seem that energy weapons are not welcome in this peaceful land. So be it. Let me be a visitor, not an invader."

Alright, poet, keep it moving, keep it moving.

Another development; Blackarachnia and Scorponok have arrived near the cloud. The description matches, she says. Well yeah- it's a cloud. I guess it's best not to ask how they identified the right cloud, although the tremors might be a giveaway. Scorponok sends one of his cyber-bees into the cloud to investigate. Everything checks out- the island, the obelisk, oh and there's Tigatron pouncing on your bee! Scorponok gives a startled yelp (he was watching everything through a remote link with the cyber-bee's optics). Next order or business is to get on the island. No problem. Blackarachnia fires a grappling hook into the cloud and in no time, she's reeling them up. Hehe, Scorpy's hanging off of her. Cute.

AirRazor: "What's this? Blackarachnia tries to lasso a cloud? More surprisingly, she seems to have succeeded. Let's check this out."

Ugh, more of that talking to herself. Someone needs to stop her from doing that. Scorponok? You've got a couple spare missles, right?

Scorpy: "Yeah."

Well?

Scorpy: "Oh yeah, sure thing."

He fires his missles at AirRazor *just* as she spotted Tigatron! He sees her go down and rushes over to help her out. Oh yeah, and that obelisk? Turns out it hates missles just as much as energy weapons. It fires on Scorponok's position, nearly roasting both of the Predacons! They survive the blast and Blackarachnia quickly figures out that the obelisk only reacts to weapons-fire. Clever, clever.

Tigatron has AirRazor and helps her recover. He informs her that he was able to reprogram one of Scorponok's cyber-bees and send it back to the Axalon with a Code 1 Emergency message. He brings them up to speed on everything happening with the island. He needs backup! If they can't stop the Predacons from securing the island, the Beast Wars are all but over!

And that's a "To Be Continued!" There's a short preview of the next episode, which- I have to say- completely spoils every major plot-twist and even shows the end. Way to go, guys. What were they thinking? Anyway, great episode. There's a lot of foreshadowing happening here with the hollow moon sub-plot, this new flying island. I mean, where'd that come from? Someone might have brushed it off as being like the floating mountain that Terrorsaur used to power himself up in "Power Surge", but there's no denying that the obelisk on the island is completely alien. We've definitely got something big brewing here.
Love to see Blackarachnia starting to branch out on her own a little more and questioning Megatron's orders. Good to see she's got a mind of her own. Surprisingly, I like Tigatron well enough in this episode even with all his poetic musings, but AirRazor- man, I just don't know about her. What are they doing to her poor character? Anyway, that's all for this one.

Next up: The Trigger part 2!

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Re: Revisiting BEAST WARS

Post by Mako Crab »

The Trigger part 2
written by Bob Forward

on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axg37XuSeg0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjIsmcoq ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2raFMSQ_ ... re=related

Okay, it's part 2 of this epic two-parter! Let's kick this sucker into high gear! We're back on the island with Tigatron and AirRazor and- ohhhh gawd. What is he doing? *smacks forehead*

Tigatron: "It is as though I have come home. Though my heart is a Maximal fluid pump, my soul is that of a tiger. And on this strange flying island, despite its weaponry, I at last feel myself at peace"

I'm about to shoot my hand here so I can't type anymore. Oh wait- there's Blackarachnia and Scorponok! They're well on their way to the obelisk, when Blackarachnia spots a strange alien symbol on a rock. It begins glowing red and a pit-trap opens beneath her. She stops her fall with a strand of cyber-web and pulls herself back up. Studying the symbol on the rock, she deduces its meaning. Hehe, oh and Scorponok is dumb as rocks, so he doesn't get it.

Tigatron and AirRazor again. She's still pretty screwed up from being blasted with missles and can't fly. Tigatron offers her a ride in the meantime. *cranks up the Dio*

"Ride the tiger! Sole survivor! Holy diver! Something, something."

Elsewhere, Primal and Rattrap have departed from the Axalon. Primal's flying with Rattrap on his back, being that the rat is the only one small and light enough for him to carry the whole way. And besides, he wants Rattrap along for his awesome saboteur skills (they've got an obelisk to blow up). Rhinox is working his technical magic inside the Axalon again, this time setting up a laser link with Primal, so they can stay in contact even inside the cloud. Cheetor comes running in again to report that Waspinator and Terrorsaur are back online and left the Pred base. I swear, that's all Cheetor does anymore. Wonder if he ever gets tired of running back and forth.

Cheetor's report couldn't have come at a less opportune time. Primal and Rattrap come under attack from the fliers the moment after Cheetor's done talking. The Preds actually stand a good chance of winning this one, since Primal can't maneuver so well with Rattrap on his back. The Maximals are hit and go spinning wildly out of control! Primal recovers in time to get nailed again by Waspinator this time. Man, bad day for the boss-monkey. They dog-fight a bit more, but Waspy goes down pretty quick.
Terrorsaur flies over to Rattrap to mock the falling rat at eye level. *flicks the rat's nose!* Oh, this is cute! You know what though? Just because Rattrap is free-falling, doesn't mean he can't still transform and blast Terrorsaur in the face! A stunned Terrorsaur reverts to beast mode and Rattrap wrangles him in mid-air. Heh, the rat found himself a ride.

Back on the island, oh what's happening. Blackarachnia spots another of the symbols that marks a booby-trap and yanks Scorponok's stupid butt away from it. He gets all indignant and she doesn't bother to explain herself.
AirRazor sees all of this from miles away (eagle eyes, you know) and notices that she and Tigatron are standing right next to one of those strange symbols too. Booby-trap! The narrow passage they're passing through begins to rumble and get even more narrow. The walls are closing in! I'm kind of impressed. The mountains are moving. With no choice, Tigatron transforms and blasts away a boulder blocking their exit. Great shot- the boulder explodes, revealing the obelisk off in the distance. The Maximals can see the monument charging up and run for their lives just as it fires a powerful beam of energy at their last location. Tigatron carries AirRazor like a football and dives for safety! Awesome. I love that thing.

Up above, Primal and Rattrap have passed through the cloud cover and can see the island hidden inside. Terrorsaur flies right at a tree branch and knocks Rattrap off. Ah, that's just funny. Good to see the Preds get a couple good hits in now and then. He flies off somewhere and all the Maximals regroup. Tigatron explains the situation to Primal and Rattrap: watch out for traps, still gotta' stop the Predacons, the usual.

AirRazor: "And don't use energy weapons. This place gets ticked if you do. Bum"

Bum? I'm listening to it over and over, but it still sounds like, "Bum." Ehh... okay, then. Rattrap hears all this and states matter-of-factly that this flying paradise is really a gigantic puzzle meant to test intelligent species. You know, like a lab-rat. And generally speaking, lab-rats don't have a long lifespan. Hehehe. Rattrap is so awesome. I love that he sees this paradise for what it is. Tigatron is still determined to protect it though. It's gonna' be hard though, since Blackarachnia and Scorponok have already arrived at the obelisk.
Minor problem- how do they blast a hole in the door without getting themselves blasted by the obelisk? Minor solution- trick Waspy and Terrorsaur into opening fire. The fliers realize their mistake a moment too late as the obelisk charges up and blasts the two of them out of the sky. Blackarachnia blasts the wall of the tower before its primary weapon has time to recharge. The inside of the obelisk is... a... giant engine? Wow, looks kinda' cheap. She's just so happy. So happy! She can't control her glee and openly states how she's going to use the power of the obelisk to destroy the Maximals and take over the Predacons.
Oh hey, guess who's still here? Yeah, Scorponok heard all of that. C'mon, Blackarachnia, you've gotta' be a little smarter than that. He targets her with his missles, but she states that at such a close range he'd be destroyed by the blast too.

Scorponok: "Heh, no problem. I'll just get a little distance."

He backs up, not noticing the booby-trap symbol on the wall behind him. It starts to glow red... PIT TRAP!!! He takes a fall, but manages to grab the ledge of the pit.

Blackarachnia: "Make that a lot of distance"

KICK! That pit goes all the way through the island. Scorpy will be falling for a long time. She heads up the stairs to the top of the tower and blasts her way into the main chamber. She cautiously steps into the center of the room and onto an alien symbol. She should know by now to watch out for that, but in this case it's a good thing. She's engulfed in light and infused with the power to control the obelisk with a thought. Oh hell yeah! She's also sporting a new silver paint job. Don't know what it is with making all the characters silver when they turn evil (Rhinox) or power up (Blackarachnia), but there you go. She takes the throne and - SCREEEEEE! Drags her claws on the arm-rests, causing sparks to fly! Oh now that's just cool. Gotta' love that.

Blackarachnia: "Let there be... light"

Ohhhhhh... yeah! The obelisk spreads a wide beam in all directions, which converge up into the sky and blow away the cloud cover! Ohhhhhh, man, that is so slaggin' awesome. The sunny paradise sky is obliterated, revealing the real sky, which happens to be a lovely navy blue night sky. Now that she can see where she's steering the island, she puts the obelisk on the "Crazy Insane" setting and has that tower firing shots in every direction at random and all over the place! AirRazor's wings are working again and she makes a daring move. She flies right up to the top of the obelisk and fires on the main weapon. Sounds like a good idea, but that thing is a little tougher than she thought and blasts her at point blank with that grunge-inducing laser.

The obelisk rises out of the ground and the island picks up some serious speed. Blackarachnia's not wasting any time, she's taking that thing for the Axalon right away! They're so close, that Primal can see the Axalon from the island! The epic music has kicked in! My gawd, it's epic! Primal calls up Rhinox and orders a complete evacuation. Klaxons and red lights are blaring everywhere inside the base as the remaining Maximals scramble to take what they can and get clear.

On the island! Crazy!! Tigatron and Rattrap are charging the tower, when an explosion rocks them off their feet and dumps a boulder on the rat's leg. He's pinned to the ground. He tells Tigatron to forget about him and just get inside the obelisk. Someone has to shut that thing down.

Tigatron: "But the defenses! .... and your leg..."

Hehe, I always got a laugh out of that. It always sounded like he was just looking for a good excuse to avoid running head-first into a laser storm, and who could blame him, really? He musters up the courage though and charges off, while Rattrap fires on the obelisk from his pinned position. The main laser of the tower fires up and blasts the boulder- and Rattrap- clear across the battlefield. Doesn't seem to bother Rattrap. He's just glad he's got his leg free.

Tigatron gets inside the obelisk pretty easily and with no one guarding the engine-room, he fires exactly 3 shots and destroys the entire thing. The Maximals all hastily abandon the island. The island overshoots the Axalon and tears itself to pieces as it careens through the rocky valley and skids to a halt. Crazy. The obelisk collapses to the ground, but just when you think they've won- the tower sends a signal to an identical looking obelisk on one of the moons. The moon-based obelisk sends a message into a portal in space. Wot?!?!

Ah, yes, and here comes the moral lesson of the day. Tigatron gets all preachy about how they were given a paradise, but they couldn't stop shooting at each other long enough to keep it. Yeah, we know. Rattrap pipes up and brushes the deeply philisophical moment aside to register his concerns about who got the message that was sent into space. Mmm, hehehe. I don't know, but I'll bet they'll be showing up at the end of the season. :D Oh hey, there's AirRazor and she looks fine. Didn't she take a direct hit at point blank range from the "eye" of the obelisk? I'm surprised she's not half dead from that. Oh well.

And that's it for this one! Love it! Love it! Great, epic feeling episode. And thanks to Wayward Martian over on the Padded Cell forums, I can't watch this episode without seeing the parallels to the Garden of Eden now. I don't know how I never saw it before, but there it is. Great. Uh... what else? You know, Tigatron really takes a back seat in this episode considering he was the star of part 1. And AirRazor, that poor bird, I think I see why she started to take a liking to Tigatron after he saved her again and again in this two-parter. I have to wonder how Blackarachnia could safely return to the Predacons after she admitted her whole plan to take over the Preds to Scorpy. I'm guessing there must be some kind of serious punishment waiting for her. All in all though, just a great episode.
I think the reason Beast Wars is so good at epics is because the rest of the time they make such a big deal about the small stuff, that when something actually big happens, it feels just that much more important. We have an entire episode about getting a stasis pod working again. We have an episode about installing the new security system in the Axalon. An episode about trying to contact a probe. One about Cheetor setting relay posts out in the field. And then we have this episode and it's just off the charts.

Next up: Spider's Game!

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Tigerhawk, is that you?!?

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