This is a 26-episode cartoon that aired in the US from 1999 to 2000, in support of the toyline of the same name. It is a direct follow-up to Beast Wars, set in the same G1 continuity and featuring many of the same characters. Like Beast Wars, its computer animation was created by Mainframe Entertainment.

The show follows the adventures of the core Beast Wars cast (including Silverbolt and Blackarachnia) upon their return home to Cybertron; there, Optimus Primal and his crew find that the whole planet is abandoned, and the streets are patrolled by mindless Vehicon drones serving Megatron, who somehow escaped his captivity.

Worse still, they learn that they are infected with a deadly virus that will kill them in a matter of hours. Salvation comes from the mysterious supercomputer known as the Oracle, who sees them fit to complete its mission of a planetwide "reformatting", and turns them into technorganic warriors, a perfect blend of organic and technological matter.


As the show progresses, Primal and his fellow Maximals learn to balance their technological side with their newly introduced organic aspects, mastery coming in slow stages. Unlike the previous conflict, where sides had been roughly equal, the four original Maximals were quite outnumbered by their Vehicon enemies, and the battles took on a "guerilla warfare" feel, with the Maximals using sewers and underground levels to their advantage and avoiding surface levels unless for combat purposes. As the show progresses, two brand-new Maximals and a returning face boost their numbers and together, the Maximals eventually turn Cybertron into an technorganic paradise, though at the cost of their leader's life.


Controversial even by the standards of other Transformers reinventions, Beast Machines is remembered by some as a series which tried to tackle heavy philosophical concepts with mixed results, discussing such issues like what it meant to live in an increasingly technological society and the dichotomy between the desires of the individual and the needs of society and the paradox of a living technological world. Story editor Bob Skir describes the series as a "religious epic novel for television." The series' detractors complained about the show's alleged "hippie" agenda, claiming it would ruin Transformers; a few went so far as to send Skir death threats, causing him to cancel a convention appearance in 2000. Even more sympathetic fans have commented that the show lacks the campy, lighthearted humor of Beast Wars'. The show also featured seemingly endless scenes of the good guys running away, and that the requirements of the overall plot structure leave it treading w

This is the previous series before Beast Machines

ater story-wise at times. Many characters had radically different personalities and goals than in Beast Wars (Rattrap's being the strongest example). The show was and remains the darkest and most thought-provoking Transformers animation to date, and the final animated entry into the Generation One story canon, bringing the events in that universe to a rather conclusive ending.

Despite all the criticisms, the show continued the high production values of Beast Wars, with solid scripting, excellent voice acting, and CGI that was a considerable step up in quality even from Beast Wars. Mainframe's animators showed their considerable talents in giving highly emotive expression to such alien characters as the Vehicon Generals and even the Diagnostic Drone, which didn't have a face at all. As with Beast Wars, Robert Buckley provided the series background music, this time creating a stylized electronic music in keeping with the mechanical environment of Cybertron.

With Beast Machines perhaps not quite living up to Hasbro's hopes, the followup line to Beast Machines was subsequently scrapped. Hasbro's next foray into animation would be to bring over a year-old Japanese show for consumption in the US, until a new story could be concocted. In light of the results, some fans have found themselves re-evaluating Beast Machines more favorably, though the newfound positive reception is still not universal by any means.

Main Characters:Edit

Optimus PrimalEdit

Though he does have a penchant for stuffy speeches, Optmus Prmal s much more down-to-cybertron than hs legendary namesake. He s committed to the Maxmal codes of honor and moral judgment, but he does vew them wth some rreverence, and s not above fndng loopholes or admnsterng unorthodox solutons f necessary. ("Sometmes, crazy works," he says.) He s eternally loyal to hs frends and respectful to hs enemes. He s brave and selfless n battle. However, he s so commtted to helpng others that he can wthdraw nto a deep depression when he feels he has let them down. Ths s the only tme he is self-absorbed.

Optmus Prmal is extraordinary for not only being able to dstngush hmself, despite lvng n the shadow of Optmus Prme, but he may even have surpassed the greatest of the Autobots, seeng as he saved the life of his namsake and ushered n a new technoorganic Cybertron. It s possble Optmus Prmal is the greatest Cybertronan


hero who has ever lived. Added by OptimasPrimal

The members of ths group are Cheetor, Ratrap, Slverbolt, Rhnox, Dnobot and eventually Black Arachna. He s trusted and s followed by all who are under hm. Dnobot still s qute combatve wth hm as he wants to battle. But earns the teams trust after some time. Primal fights for everything good and honorable. He also gans frends and alles along hs journey.


Cheetor is full of youthful overconfidence. He's also the fastest Maximal on four legs, so he gets into way too much trouble. Thankfully, Optimus Primal keeps a steady eye on him. In return, Cheetor has grown to idolize Primal, whom he calls "Big Bot." Optimus Primal knows the young and inexperienced Cheetor nee


&nbsp ds a good role model, so he doesn't mind too much. And, hey, he's a good kid. Just...keep him away from Dinobot, okay? Impressionable minds, and all.

Speaking of bad influences, Cheetor had a brief crush on the Predacon turncoat Blackarachnia, adding some real tension between him and Silverbolt. He seems over her now.

Black ArachniaEdit

A sultry femme fatale, Blackarachnia is smart, sexy, and dangerous. She's got eight legs, and she knows how to use them. Of the several rebellious Predacons under Megatron's command, she's one of the very
few who can, on occasion, outguile him. Always looking out for Number One, Blackarachnia values her independence and freedom above all else. She would rather be deactivated than be a slave.

Blackarachnia's greatest weakness, other than her overconfidence, is her feelings for the Maximal Silverbolt. Something about his heroic demeanor and the kindness he shows her makes her uneasy. She hasn't experienced unconditional love before, and it scares her, though she'll never admit it.


It's not so much that Rattrap is a coward... he just doesn't want to die. He's seen enough battles to know the score, so he's not afraid to tell his commanding officer to shove it if he's not fond of the odds. He prefers to sneak around unseen, in gutters or trenches or trash barges or what have you—whatever keeps him out of harm's way. He shouldn't be so worried. When he does encounter conflict, he deals with it masterfully with the arsenal of guns and bombs he keeps on himself at all times. He feels naked without them.

It's hard to like Rattrap, especially if you're his commanding officer. He's sarcastic, irreverent, and rude. Plus he smells (why he smells is a mystery). He's also not the most trusting or forgiving sort, so he's not the best choice to take on a diplomatic run. He'd sooner shoot a Predacon or Decepticon than talk to him. Rattrap would rather be exploring space than blasting Predacons.


Botanica captained the same sort of exploration mission that the Axalon originally undertook. Landing on a planet dominated by plant life, including the mobile variety, her crew adopted forms based upon them to blend in and study them.

[1]"Botanica, Triffid mode!"Added by DrSpenglerWhen they received Megatron's fake distress signal, Botanica left the world and her crew behind and returned to Cybertron, where she was shot down. When Optimus Primal and his Maximals investigated her ship, they found her in a feral state. In her mobile, possibly carnivorous plant mode, she attacked them and then fled underground, spreading seeds as she went. The seeds immediately sprouted into various plants, the most insidious being rapidly-growing vines. Primal worried that, left unchecked, the plants she was producing would "destroy" the planet. She was somehow drawn to the technorganic orchard (and, Cheetor noted, its pipeline to the planet's organic core). Catching up with her there, Primal noticed that she was sparking the way the Maximals had when they were infected with Megatron's virus. This gave him the idea to reformat her, which restored her sanity. She explained, "Megatron's attack shorted out my ship, along with my higher reasoning protocols." She had been acting out of pure self-preservation, but once she could think clearly, she became an instant ally. This was lucky for the Maximals, who were immediately set upon by Vehicons. Botanica converted to robot mode (notably without any training from Primal) and unleashed a chain-lightning attack that reduced a phalanx of Tank Drones to dust. Home Soil

[2]We'll let you just go and win the war for us, then.Added by JackpotHowever, she seldom used her weaponry, arguing that the more the Maximals fought Megatron, the more they became like him. She instead spent all her time and energy tending to the orchard. Although Cheetor and Blackarachnia resented this, Primal accepted her reasons, and also reminded his team that they were more than enough to fight Megatron and Thrust. However, Botanica soon received a vision from the Matrix, which showed her how much pain Cybertron was in. Botanica abandoned her pacifism and joined in the fight, saving the Maximals from a trap Obsidian and Strika had formed. Sparkwar Pt. I: The Strike

[3]If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile...Added by RepowersWhen Megatron was presumed dead, Botanica returned her focus to the orchard, with the help of a reluctant Rattrap. They began arguing over the other's respective priorities, but eventually kissed. Despite pledging to delete it from memory, they showed obvious concern for each other. Spark of Darkness When the still alive Megatron launched an attack on the Maximal held Grand Mal, they were forced to raise the shields, which cut Botanica off from the organic core. Rattrap jettisoned her into an escape pod with a field projecting the same harmonics as the Grand Mal's shields, saving Botanica's life but also allowing Megatron to fire through the shields. Endgame Pt. I: The Downward Spiral

When Megatron was finally destroyed and Cybertron reformatted, Botanica eventually formed a romantic relationship with Rattrap. So she likes small rodents. Deal with it. Endgame Pt. III: Seeds of the Future


"Pure, strong, and fast," Silverbolt's sense of right and wrong is so overdeveloped his fellow Maximals wonder if his programming has a glitch. He speaks in lofty platitudes of chivalry, nobility, and idealized heroism, and has been known to give speeches make even Optimus Primal roll his optics. His conviction is both his strength and his weakness. He sees the world in black and white — and not just because his beast mode is partly canine.

The only gray area for Silverbolt is Blackarachnia. His fierce love for the "evil" Predacon causes him to question his preconceived notions of right and wrong. He was very proud of his ability to convert Blackarachnia to the Maximals, and, though most of the Maximals are skeptical of her loyalty to the cause and to him, he has nothing but faith in her.

Despite his usual naiveté, Silverbolt has apparently been able to "break the fourth wall" by describing himself as a "heroic character."


Though threatening your own comrade is no doubt business as usual in the Predacon guide to is simply unacceptable behavior in my book!

—Silverbolt, "Bad Spark"


When armies of Vehicons conquered Cybertron, young Nightscream survived alone in the darkness below the surface of the planet. This trauma influences much of his behavior. He's always on the defensive. Paranoid. Rude. Distrusting. Confrontational. But really, he's just a troubled kid, and he's been through a lot. Inside, he's got a good heart. He's just got to learn to stop fighting friends and enemies alike.


Regardless, he seems to have found a kindred spirit in the wild Savage/Noble creature.


Most Vehicons are sparkless drones with no innate sentience or spark. Each Vehicon drone is usually controlled either directly by Megatron, or by a single sentient Vehicon general of the same (or similar) design. After the loss of Tankor and Jetstorm, their respective drones are apparently controlled by other generals.

Vehicon drones are, in almost all cases, mindless cannon-fodder, blindly obedient, with no sense of self-preservation. However, on a few occasions Copter Drones and Motorcycle Drones have appeared to use emotive body language, shaking in apparent fear or pleading (wordlessly) not to be shot. These brief spurts of personality were probably just a stylistic choice by the director (to make the scene clearer), and not an indicator that the drones are more than drones. On one occasion a Tank Drone vocalizes with Tankor's voice, but this may have been an animation error The Weak Component. In the Beast Machines cartoon continuity, Megatron overthrows Cybertron by overrunning it with thousands of Vehicon drones built from the recycled bodies of fall

en, de-sparked Cybertron citizens. After the Maximals crash-landed on Cybertron, Megatron dispatched tank and cycle drones armed with gas canisters that temporarily weakened or incapacitated them. After their escape and their reformatting at the hands of the Oracle, Vehicons seem to run set patrol paths in a certain area.

Drone typesEdit


Thrust was one of the first of Megatron's Vehicon generals to be created, and was the last one to stand against the Maximals. Commander of the Motorcycle Drones, he is a dark, cold, brooding type, and is absolutely devoted to Megatron's goals, even though he knows what it means in the end for him. He is almost completely fearless, says exactly what is on his mind (he had the lugnuts to tell Megatron just how dumb his plan of using Maximal sparks to power the other two Vehicon Generals was), and takes a delight in tormenting his foes both physically and psychologically. Oddly, despite initial backstabbing, he grew to consider his fellow General Jetstorm a friend. This developed into a white-hot hatred when Jetstorm was reverted into the Maximal Silverbolt.

Thrust's personality and mind is in fact a shell program powered by the spark of the Predacon Waspinator. Despite this, Thrust has virtually no similarities to Waspinator, and the Predacon is very happy to be in the cool "biker-bot", even if only as a power source.

For Thrust's final fate, see the Waspinator article.


His Command Code is "overdrive," although in one anomalous instance, he used the phrase "accelerate."

Thrust can be distinguished from his drones by his size and yellow markings.


Arrogant and cocky with the skills to back up all his big talk, Jetstorm leads Megatron's aero-drones in his bid to remove the last vestiges of resistance on Cybertron. He is distinguished from the other drones as having a more purple colour scheme and yellow markings on his body. The only thing Jetstorm likes more than cracking wise is cracking heads. He takes great pleasure in tormenting the Maximals and lets them know at every opportunity how much better than them he is. He has a nasty temper that is barely hidden behind a thin veneer of cool indifference, and it really doesn't take much to set him off. Like that Blackarachnia chick, what's she staring at?

Despite his smarm, bravado and temper, Jetstorm knows when to cut his losses and run for it. He may have a whole load of personality flaws (and a load of aero-drones to back him up), but he's not stupid. Despite ear


ly rivalries, he has also developed a camaraderie with Thrust, even though the idea of being friends with anyone initially came as something of a shock.

Jetstorm is in actuality a programmed shell personality given life by the spark of the Maximal Silverbolt.

His Command Code is "afterburn."


Tankor SMAAAAAASHHH! Tankor PULLLVERIZZZZEEE! Tankor SLAG BEAST BOTS! Tankor is the brute force part of Megatron's first trio of Vehicon generals and commander of the powerful Tank Drones. He's slow, simple-minded and immensely powerful. Lovably dim, his limited intelligence can be a drawback; he can easily be confused, misled, or even turned against Megatron, though temporarily. However, this is balanced out by his natural state of blind frustration and destuctive rage, which makes getting him to listen to any cajoling a less than simple task.

Tankor is in actuality a programmed shell personality given life by the spark of the Maximal Rhinox.

His Command Code is "pulverize."

An alternate-universe incarnation of Tankor is also a Minion of Unicron in a vast, multiverse-spanning conflict. He may or may not be a mindwiped Maximal.


Obsidian and his consort Strika have fought for Cybertron in countless battles... and won them all. Though he is sophisticated and canny, able to concoct strategies with layers upon layers, his purpose is single-minded. He defends Cybertron.

There is some fine print. Whoever happens to be in charge, whether a benevolent or malevolent force, in his reasoning, is Cybertron. Once power changes hands, so does he. He is loyal only to the planet, and perhaps his consort Strika, not to any moral ideals. As his fellow Vehicon General Thrust has remarked, "If you're loyal to everybody, can you really be loyal to anybody?"... a question that has given Obsidian pause.

While he was pretending to be dumber-even-than-Tankor, his activation code (and, indeed, his entire vocabulary) was "obliterate". He dropped the word when the ruse was over.

In an alternate universe, Obsidian was a former Autobot who rose to overthrow Megatron and take over Cybertron, only to be abducted by Unicron to serve as his Minion.


Strika is one of the greatest generals in Cybertron's history, and the consort of Obsidian. She had her spark removed by Megatron, only to later have it replaced within a Vehicon body. She joined the ranks of the Vehicon generals, taking the place of Tankor as commander of heavy artillery.

While she was pretending to have all the brains of a calculator watch, her activation code (and, indeed, her entire vocabulary) was "terminate". She dropped the word when the ruse was over.

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