Ask Vector Prime A Question Archives
  September 14th, 2007  

Vector Prime and Safeguard

Since this is issue #95, I thought I might announce my upcoming retirement so it doesn't take you by surprise at issue #100. Cybertron is long finished, the official Hasbro site stopped doing my answer column over a year ago, and I would like to put more time into my real job of trying to keep the timelines of the Transformers Mythos from getting too tangled. My final column will run on October 19th. In Space will continue to run Friday updates after that, just not this column.

Q: Oh Ancient Transformer wise guy:
1. Which would you rather permanently be rid of: The Daleks that have invaded the apartment or Armada Sideways?
2. Who's a bigger a-hole, The Fallen or Liege Maximo?
3. Have you ever thought about upgrading to a newer model spaceship for an alt mode?
4. This isn't a question, but don't be surprised if Nemi starts acting out of character-having an attention span much, much longer then a few seconds for example- and starts hunting the Mary Sue that arrived around the end of volume 3 of the Insecticomics. That's my fault.

A: 1) Sideways. He's quieter, but causes rather more trouble. Daleks, at least, can be pushed over.

2) The Fallen, easily.

3) Sometimes. But I'm fond of this one and newer-model bodies aren't built to contain the kind of power I wield.

4) This isn't an answer.

Q: Dear Sir,
I have some questions.
1) Why on earth are Daleks hanging around?
2) Have you ever met a guy who travels through time in a blue box?
3) Who is the oddest person in the apartment at this time?
4) This one is for Waspinator; Waspy, How is it that you were the only beast warrior left alive on earth at the end of the Beast Wars?
5) is the fallen a pyromaniac?
I think that's it. Thank you for your time.

A: 1) That would be because Wayward likes Daleks. No accounting for taste.

2) I'm going to have to add "Have you ever met Doctor Who?" to the FAQ at this rate ...

3) Knave. Strangely, Wayward's 'Why I Have The Best Husband Ever' list has nearly half its points in common with her 'Reasons Why I Don't Understand Knave At All' list.

4) Waspinator says: Other-bots forgot about Waspinator or thought Waspinator was dead like other Predacons. Was first bit of good luck for Waspinator in years.

5) No, his powers just manifest as fire.

Q: Dear Vector Prime,
Thank you for answering my questions a few weeks back. I have some more questions for you.
1. I see that you have been getting quite a few Rumble/Frenzy Blue/Red questions. My question is not about the colours of Rumble and Frenzy. My question is, if there was a third (purely for the purposes of confusing the fandom further, as they seem to be rather easily confused), what do you think his name might be? I think he would be green, but Giant Starscream thinks he would be purple. What colour do you think he would be?
2. I found Giant Starscream's cyber keys. Is there any way I can use them? I'm a Cybertron Starscream too, but as I mentioned before I am significantly smaller than Giant Starscream. They won't fit into my ports! What if I ate them? Would that accomplish anything?
3. Giant Starscream is hungry. He wants to know if he would get sick if he ate a Dalek. Not that we have Daleks here, thankfully. He just thinks they look like they would be fun to chew on.
4. This is probably the most sensible question I have for you this week. I found a toy that was probably a hand-me-down from my owner's cousins. I have taken pictures of him with the laptop's webcam (and me too! Mainly as a size comparison). I would like to know if you recognise him? Is he a Transformer? He transforms into a sea plane with little wheels, but I don't see any faction symbols on him. If he is a Transformer, do you know his name and faction? He had been nameless for an awfully long time. Otherwise, if he belonged to Wayward what would his name be?
Thanks a lot and send my regards to Safeguard,
Tiny Cybertron Starscream

A: 1) I picture him as purple and named 'Fumble'.

2) You could hit someone with it, I suppose. Barring that, if you lack a Cyber Key port, you can't utilise Cyber Keys.

3) Probably. Even if you could bite through the shell, the chewy interior can't be good for you.

4) I have no idea who that is. I will put out inquries and get back to you.

Q: Dear Vector Prime,
What would you do if the contents of David "ItsWalky" Willis's Hot Shot shrine were to suddenly appear in the apartment?

A: Mail it right back to him. We like Willis.

Q: what episode did the cat first appear in?
A: That would be Space Explorers, back in Volume I.

Q: Vector prime:
1. you dodged answered this question from both Hot Shot and Red Alert so I hope you will answer it this time, Where was Jolt during Energon and why wasn't he Hot Shot's partner in Cybertron?
2. if Thundercracker became Scourge and Skywarp became "Cyclonus's Armada", why were they seen later during the attack on Unicron?
3. What Happened to Wheelja-I mean Blackout and Crumplezone after Armada? Longarm? Commetor? Swindle? Liftor? Leader-1? Sparkplug? Incinerator? Nightbeat?
4. did Sideswipe become Ironhide?
5. where did Barricade dissapear to?
6. Who's Bluestreak?
7. where did Starscream go? he was FROM Armada!
8. why is that wave crusher thing following Bumblebee?

A: 1) Why do you only care about Jolt and not Sparkplug, Longarm, and the others?

2) Is 'ANIMATION ERROR!' in the FAQ yet? I suppose animation error questions aren't asked frequently enough for it. Or they might have just been Generiseekers who happened to wear Skywarp and Thundercracker's colours.

3) Oh, now you care about the other Minicons. Most of them went off to find their own destiny as a species away from the Bulks.

4) No.

5) He went to buy stamps. Then he's going to the beach!

6) An Autobot from G1, known for his skill at being a gunner, post-traumatic stress disorder, but mostly for babbling.

7) What, Armada Starscream? He was killed by Unicron. It was a big deal. At least sixty percent of Armada fanfiction is about this occurance. He was later revived by Unicron's power in Energon.

8) It likes him.

Q: Dear Vector Prime,
It suddenly occurred to me that I never thanked you for answering my questions, and for giving the message to Safeguard a while back (the Minicons and Micromasters are getting along fine now, by the way). So thank you very much for all your time. You may be a curmudgeonly old man, but you kick ass in my book.
Now, on with the pestering-with-questions!
I just recently customized my Payload (you know, from the horrific TF movie game) figure and, as I was hacking off that silly grabber arm it suddenly occurred to me that given that the toys are really small living, mass-produced Transformers (as asserted in 'In Space...'), then, in essence, I, and anyone else who's ever customized a figures design has been chopping up living beings and rearranging their parts. Needless to say, this raises a few questions: 1: Do they feel pain? 2: Do they mind? 3: When someone makes a new character out of a different one (say, chopping up Payload to make that soda machine bot from the movie) does it still retain its original personality, or does it become this new character? What about custom repaints?
Thanks again for your tolerance of our inane questions!

A: The answer to all is this: it depends on the story. Generally they don't feel it, and, indeed, aren't even 'alive' until the customisation is complete and they wake up as whoever their creator claims them to be. Sometimes the story says they were torn apart and put back together, as Unicron does to create Heralds. Or they sought out an upgrade, either to merely a new form or a new personality as well.

Q: Hello, Mr. Prime,
I've been reading your column for a few weeks now, and I have to say I'm very impressed by your diligence. Sometimes, I don't even make it all the way through the questions you receive and just skip straight to the answers. I guess you must have learned patience over the course of your (long) life.
I only became interested in Transformers after watching the recent movie, although I vaguely remember watching some of Armada. Do you think it's possible to enjoy this fandom without having even the slightest interest in the toys? Because I really don't care about model, molds, repainting and such.
I am also somewhat confused about Transformer tastes. You seem to find both Arcee and Override attractive, though the two look nothing alike (to me). So do you prefer female Transfomers who look like metal bikini-clad women or those that are more... traditional?
Thank you for your time,
PS: I also second the notion voiced last week. Movie-Starscream seems to, at the very least, be one the most competent and useful in combat of all those bearing the name. Also, he was leader of the Decepticons the longest (all the time while Megatron was missing).

A: I should have thought of that long ago - come up with a list of answers and just hand them out at random. In many cases, it wouldn't have made any difference. It isn't as if some of these people actually listen, after all.

Oh, goodness, yes. Transformers is a toy line first, true, but not everyone in the fandom collects. There are still twenty years of cartoons, hundreds of comics, dozens of storybooks, a few novels, and the live action movie to enjoy. There are various video games, board games, and choose-your-own-adventure books. There are all sorts of bizarre products from bubble bath to underwear. There is more fanfiction than a mortal mind can comprehend. The frachise is wide enough to encompass pretty much anyone who enjoys transformable robots.

My basic taste in the ladies comes down to this: I like wheels. Ideally four, but a few more or less isn't a problem.

Q: I've got 3 questions for Vector Prime, Blinky and Fallen. Here goes:
1) Oh ancient watcher of time, I'm just wondering: how many female primes has there been since the creation of the transformers? It always seems to be the male variety from all ages that gets slapped onto comics as the good guy no.1, and that does seem a little, you know, biased.
2) Great one who pledged to himself to the chaos-bringer, what would your reaction be, should some crazy doomsday-worshipping cult manage to blow up an entire planet before your master has a chance to devour it, especially when you spent so much time to persuade the populace to embrace their doom? What, also, would be the reaction of your master when the satisfaction of eating a planet gets stripped away from him?
3) To Blinky: So how was your hugging session with the movicon Bonecrusher? Was it very squeeeeeee, or did the ever-hating brute try to hack you apart in an attempt to get away from the huggies and loveliness? Please let me know the feedback on your session soon!
Thanks alot!

A: 1) There has never been a female Prime in canon. If one sees 'Prime' as a sparkline and not just a job title, the possibility exists that Elita-1 could be one. Override and Energon Arcee were leaders of their people, and Override could be claimed as a 'Convoy', if one borrows from the Japanese.

2) Blinky says: Blinky is not the one who pledged himself to Unicron ... oh-h-h, Blinky sees. You changed the order between the list and the questions!

The Fallen says: Some people just don't know how to do things right. Why simply blow up your planet when you can be devoured by a god? These people fail at chaos-worship!

3) Blinky says: Bonecrusher was not very love.

Q: Mr. Vector Prime,
After reading the archives up to part 34, I noticed you mentioned Circuit Breaker in your list of people the Daleks would have to get in line behind. What did you do to her, to make her want to personally come after you?(Besides being a 'soulless robot' to her, that is)

A: For Miss Breaker, being a 'soulless robot' is enough.

Q: 1. what's the tank's real name?
2. what happened to wheelja-I mean Blurr, Sideswipe, and Overload after Armada? Hoist?
3. why weren't there any minicons in the movie?
4. why weren't you in the movie?
5. why aren't there bug minicons?
6. how soon is now?

A: 1) Jeff.

2) Yes. They were Hoist.

3) Frenzy wasn't Minicon-like enough for you? He was little, made funny noises, and spent time strapped inside a Bulk.

4) For the same reason that 99.9% of the mythos wasn't in the movie.

5) Because the only person who would buy them is Wayward. She'd buy a dozen packs of them, but that's not quite enough to justify it to Hasbro.

6) Later.

Q: Oh wise and brave Autobot,
I have a small cluster of closely related questions I fear to seek the answer to, for the journey will be strange and probably at least creepy if not traumatizing.
So I am asking you and hoping you either already know, have someone expendable to do it for you, or are just really bored and willing to help.
Are fangirls familiar with Lander of the Autobots from Transformers Super God-Masterforce? I ask because he is an Autobot Pretender of the kind that can apparently properly emulate a human physique and behave as humans, and he is known to be a wine collector and dates human women...
So if I were brave enough to look, would I be traumatized by fanfics about him? Or since he is an Autobot, would none of them care (they do seem to crush more on Decepticons)?
Thank you.

A: Fangirls being familiar with a Japanese series? Most barely seem to keep track of the American ones, which is why we end up with things like More Angsty Than Thou Jazz, Chicken With Its Head Cut Off Red Alert, and He's Really Just A Big Softie Megatron. Besides, they don't want someone who is already decent boyfriend material, they want to take a wildly inappropriate character and slap those traits onto him.

If there is fanfiction at all about him, though, my guess would be that it might actually be good. Obscure characters get less quantity but more quality, because while their fans may be few, they are dedicated.

The local fangirls seem more attracted to Decepticons, but that's becaues that's what most of the collection is. In the fandom at large, the numbers are more even.

Q: To The Old Cybertronian,
While it might not be your universe and all, and thus not your headache, if called upon, how would you go about fixing the rather illogical Time Loop from the first Final Fantasy game? After all, if Garland/Chaos was in a repeating cycle that kept increasing his powers, it doesn't work out very well that four warriors with absolutely no long-term time manipulation powers(Haste/Quick spells aside) would manage to shut the whole thing down by merely defeating him once.

A: I suppose saying something like 'shutting off the game' or 'ask Safeguard to hack the program and rewrite bits of the game', am I?

Q: Hey Vector Prime.
I was wondering, has the overly sweet energon treats that are the Robot Heroes come into the apartment yet? Have you had to endure a second perpetually grinning Shrapnel?

A: We have Shrapnel and Rodimus running around someplace. We haven't quite figured how they fit in yet.

Q: Dear Vector Prime,
1. The Fallen has shown up at my house. How the heck do I get him to leave? He found the Soap Opera channel on my satellite TV and won't leave no matter how much I blow up on him.
2. Movie Jazz also showed up and seems to love the music channels and also won't leave. Anything I should do?
3. Can you tell Safeguard I'm sorry about sending him all those pants. I honestly thought they were the crates of Energon he ordered.

A: 1) Repeated explosions won't do much to a fellow perpetually on fire. I hear that fire retardant foam, while unable to quench his flames, can cause him to become annoyed enough to leave.

2) Maybe you could charge him.

3) I was wondering why he was wearing those. He seems to like them.

Q: Wazzpinator hazz a few quezztionzz.
1.what happened to yellow car bot from ARMADA
2.Wazzpinator meant AVERAGE SIZED yellow car bot from Armada (not mini-bot partner of Truck Bot)
3. how Wazzpinator get to planet of huggy pillbugzz?
4. why Wazzpinator not get important job like all-knowing bot?
5. why movie-bot facezz look like Wazzpinator'z?
6. why yellow car bot'z zhoulderzz hurt?

A: 1-2) Hot Shot in Armada went on to become Hot Shot in Energon. Then he got a lobotomy and became Hot Shot in Cybertron.

3) I still don't want to believe that there's an entire planet of Blinkies. I imagine you'd get there by wishing really hard or riding a fluffy unicorn or something equally ridiculous.

4) Because you're not all-knowing.

5) Because the movie characters have such big optics ... hrm, no. Because the movie characters have antennae ... no. Because the movie characters are covered in pseudochitin ... mph. All I'm really seeing in common is mandibles, and even then, only the Decepticons had those. Better question: why fanboys get stuck on one catchphrase and rag on it long past its sell-by date?

6) Because he was badly drawn.

Q: DISC Q! SET ON! Initiating Question Sequence!
1. Have any of the fangirls been vaporized by the resident con's? We get our fair share here...I think the last one was on the aft end of missle barrage
2. And has Movie Frenzy caused any wonton mayhem on the autobots or the brigade minicons?

A: 1) No, though I think one was hit with a broom.

2) Oh, yes. Also eggroll mayhem.

Q: Did anyone write a fic where the Stunticons got to Velocitron? If so can I have a link? What did Safeguard mean when he said that Liege Maximo thought it was nice that you were starting a family or do I not want to know? Thanks for taking time to anwser my questions.
A: As far as I know, the Stunticons-on-Velocitron story hasn't been written. The Liege Maximo has a bit of a thing about families, having an enormous one of his own.

Q: Dear Vector Prime,
I wanted to write you to compliment you on the tasteful decoration of your lovely home (featured in Insecticomics #316). I like the light wood side table very much and you did a great job complimenting your own (and Safeguard's) color scheme with your paint, upholstery and accent pieces. Do you shop at IKEA and if so, how does their furniture stand up to the increased wear and tear imposed by Cybertronian anatomy? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Best wishes,

A: Humans seem to like my living room. Safeguard told me it looked like the ugly parts of the 1970's, but with better colour-coordination. The furniture isn't IKEA, but SCOC, which is the acronym of the building containing the woodshop Wayward uses. It seems to be holding up fine, though some people can't use it due to alt-mode bits getting in the way.


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