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opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

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opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby primarch1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:30 pm

this question has provoked some interesting discussion when I posted it on my tf group on facebook I thought i'd post it here.

imagine you are a bot that has the ability to combine, like a constructicon or combaticon. you combine into devastator or bruticus.

what do you feel or see? are you still aware of your body?, do you retain your individual mind? or do you blank out completly and "wake up" when your gestalt seperates? and if asked later, what would you remember?

I've always imagined it like, if you asked a combiner what they rememeber they would all have exactly the same memory like they "were" bruticus etc. or do you think they would blank out all together?

cybertronians have a consciousness like all living beings organic or otherwise, and that conciousness can't cease to exist when combined, as a combiner is still comprised of 5 or 6 living sparks, so what does the individual spark experience?

there's no right answer to this of course, I just want your opinions. put yourself in that position. what would you see?

and also, while we're at it, we know a gestalt's personality is a fusion of the bots that comprise him, so say one of the parts was seperated or put into stasis lock? does that affect the combiners personality? would devastator become less aggressive if bonecrusher was cut from him because bonecrusher is so full of rage, just for example?

as I say, this question has generated some interesting discussion, so what do you think? opinions please!!

till all are one!
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:32 am

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
Going by some descriptions of gestalts, mainly from the Marvel Comics, the effect on the minds of the individual bots is different with each combiner, thus contributing positively or negatively to the consciousness of the combined form. For example, Menasor is a total nutjob due to the conflicting 5 Stunticon personalities always struggling when in combined form, as well as the 4 Stunticons' despising of Motormaster. In the case of the Technobots, they're all very smart and like to think things through, but in combined mode, this leads Computron to be extremely slow in making decisions. Superion, on the other hand, doesn't have this problem, as Silverbolt takes complete control of the melded minds, and controls the combined form. I can't recall the others off hand, but they all have different traits that lead to the combined forms' likenesses, for better or for worse.
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Dagon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Motto: "Ain't nobody got time fo dat....."
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This is a fantastic question.

For starters, I think without all the components, combination is impossible or, in the case of as you said, Bonecrusher being removed, combination is impossible to maintain.

since, as Rodimus said, a combined form merges the consciousness' (what?!?!?) of multiple robots, I think each individual would still be conscious of itself but unable to function on it's own. In the Dreamwave MTMTE books, for the Technobots I remember most clearly, that each of the five serves a separate 'cognitive' function as individual robots, and then that part of the shared mind forms that same purpose for the unified mind. So, and these are not exact here, Afterburner would be the team stratagist and thus the strategic element of Computron's mind; Nosecone would be the group member who deals with something like battlefield analytics, and thus the part of Computron's mind that deals with threat assessment and response; Strafe is listed as the 'gunner' and thus is mentally responsible for Computron's targeting and firing process.

So each individual does something for the team, and becomes that part of the wholes' shared mind.
Without each of these pieces, the whole is unable to form itself, so if one member is hurt or missing, combination becomes impossible. AND, purposely excluding Scramble City, this would also be why members of other teams can't join other teams' combined forms. You couldn't have Brawl and Breakdown as limbs of the same combiner because Brawl and Breakdown both serve the same purpose for their respective teams (just an example, not necessarily true).

The more successful of the combined teams are more successful because even though the individuals serve individual roles within the team, their overall mentalities are aligned enough that they would merge into a composite mind more smoothly and seemlessly, so Predaking works better than Menasor because the Predacons don't have the same level of internal team strife that the Stunticons have. In the instance of Devastator, while each of the Constructicons are intelligent engineers, they each (again, Dreamwave MTMTE here) have strong sadistic or masochistic (Scavenger) streaks as individuals, but they all serve essentially the same function within the group. So, Devastators' mind is not encumbered by things like tactics and trajectories, because all the Constructicons basically are 'warriors,' allowing for the sadistic or repressed rage of each to be their dominant mental characteristic as a single unit.

I'd imagine the individuals would 'see' whatever the combined mind sees; all the individuals would experience what the combined form experiences simultaneously. I seem to remember G1 episodes where Superion (or whoever) would get shot in the chest and separate, to have all five Arealbots holding their heads and appearing injured, not just Silverbolt, who would have been the physical chest that was shot. So, each member would have the experience of being shot,even if maybe the arm/leg dudes didn't have physical damage indicating they were shot, they'd feel the pain and its after effects.

I guess by that rationale, the individuals would remember being Bruticus, not just like Swindle and Brawl would remember walking since they are the legs, and Blast Off would only remember punching something or pulling a trigger. Each one would remember being Bruticus, which really makes me feel better for poor Long Haul, who would only have memories of being Devastators' crotch.


Man, that was fun. I'm so glad I stumbled across this thread. Sorry if anything isn't clear, and hopefully if this thread continues I could get a chance to clarify. I got so excited that there was a thread that wasn't movie-based whining, my fingers just went wild.

I really hope we get more participation in here!
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Va'al » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:05 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
I would also suggest looking at Barber's version of Gestalt technology in IDW's Robots in Disguise. From the Cosntructicons, to Prowl, to Megatron, via Superion and some glimpses even in the Dinobots, they've touched upon what their shared consciousness does, how shared it is, how much the various members know and who is actually in control!
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:49 am

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
Yeah, Dagon, this is a great topic to discuss. I'm sorry I couldn't contribute in more detail, I have forgotten quite a bit from the original Marvel Comics and the G1 cartoon, and I never read the iDW RiD series, so I don't know. But this is making me go back and read through the original TF Universe series (with all the descriptions of the bots' personalities, abilities and weaknesses, which I have in near mint condition, thanks to Seibertron) as well as the DW MTMTE series, which is a bit more elaborate. I am also going to read through the original Marvel Comics again to see what details I can pick up. This can be a great debate/info sharing exercise! :D
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Va'al » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:43 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
Ok, quick RID crash through. :P

(There are spoilers from the series, I'll tag them where appropriate.)

In the annual, Nova Prime's chief scientist Jhiaxus creates Monstructor in a misinterpretation (intentionally and malevolently, quite probably) of Omega Supreme's words of 'all shall be one'. Nova's words: 'Freedom from the tyranny of will! The chance to belong to something...' 'Bigger than oneself (Jhiaxus).

Omega is disappoint. Fight. 'They are not one'. So the first IDW gestalt is not one consciousness, but six conflicting ones in one body. End of annual.

Shockwave carries on the work of Jhiaxus, aids in the creation of Devastator, who appears to be a single individual [we're in All Hail Megatron the first time he shows up, and in the Costa ongoing when one member gets destroyed, removing the ability to combine] (all of this leads to the Dark Cybertron event).

Megatron returns to Cybertron in RID #12, after disappearing with the defeat of the D-Void in Chaos. Issue #14 does a recap of all the gestalt stuff: Monstructor was instable even if members lobotomised, Devastator has six like minds (unity of purpose), Aerialbots struggled against combination, egos too strong - went mad as Monstructor only to appear again at the endof the issue.

Bombshell's discovery, with Megatron and Shockwave's studies: individual will needs to be crushed for the combination to be successful. Prowl is mind controlled, mind is damaged, forced to combine with the five Constructicons. Issue #15 is all about Prowl's iner monologue as he searches for his identity while part of Devastator, revealing that his anger at Spike Witwicky for killing a Cybertronian (Scrapper) actually makes him like-minded with the Constructicons - and truly becomes Devastator as an individual. He is then reminded of who he is, Prowl takes over againand destroys the combiner - only for Megatron to re-initiate the process with himself as one of the members. It doesn't work.

Volume 5: Constructicons claim they know what was going on in Prowl's head from the combination. Ironhide claims that Superion was a spontaneous Gestalt, through will (the exact opposite of the Decepticon ones).

There is more in Dark Cybertron and the current issues, and it seems that willing the combination can result in success, but I think there's enough to pick apart for now!
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby chivesbot20 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:05 pm

Its for me a great question that might be left for us to think about. Its actually a deep scientific and science fiction question to think about. Thats the beauty of it.The question lies in the pit of unexplained myth and fandom that is left to us to think about. But it could be left be………… but that just makes it boring. I think all of their minds come together as one, not individual but not individual minds either.
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby primarch1 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:29 am

well, remember in the IDW comics, the constructicons could combine into devestator even when scrapper's spark was terminated and he was essentially a corpse. devestator still functioned and he could speak. even though he dragged his leg. so that makes me wonder, would his personality have been different? not that anyone could sit him down and have a long conversation with him or anything. he still seemed eager to destroy. it just makes one wonder.
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby RSDADDIMUS2 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:40 am

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I've always been under the impression that the bot or con that was the head component was in charge and the others were controlled by and become one mind under him.
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Va'al » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:27 pm

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
With the new SDCC announcement, I'm sure we'll find out even more about the IDW take on combiners! :D
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:20 pm

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
RSDADDIMUS2 wrote:I've always been under the impression that the bot or con that was the head component was in charge and the others were controlled by and become one mind under him.


I think this was the case with Superion and Defensor on the Autobot side, and Piranacon and Predaking on the Decepticon side, but the others on both sides had problems when combining when it came to conflicting minds. Once again, I'm going by the original source material in the Marvel Comics. Other continuities might be different.
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Re: opinions please! what happens to the conciousness of a bot when combining.

Postby RSDADDIMUS2 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:47 pm

Motto: ""Freedom is the right of all Nacho Cheese.""
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Rodimus Prime wrote:
RSDADDIMUS2 wrote:I've always been under the impression that the bot or con that was the head component was in charge and the others were controlled by and become one mind under him.


I think this was the case with Superion and Defensor on the Autobot side, and Piranacon and Predaking on the Decepticon side, but the others on both sides had problems when combining when it came to conflicting minds. Once again, I'm going by the original source material in the Marvel Comics. Other continuities might be different.



I should read those again. I remember now that there were conflicts in some combiners.Bruticus comes to mind. That might have been the show,though.
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