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Cult Video Game Essentials: Transformers (2003)

Transformers aka The Transformers: Call of the Future, is an action role-playing game released by Takara in October 2003 for PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan. It is based on the popular Transformers animated series.

The game allows players to select a side (either Autobot or Decepticon). The Autobot side stars Optimus Prime, Jazz and Wheeljack, who are later joined by Rodimus Prime, Arcee and Kup. The Decepticon faction begins with Megatron (referred to here by his Japanese title Emperor of Destruction), Starscream and Soundwave with Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge joining them later on. Other Transformers are unlocked as the game progresses and join their respective factions. These Transformers include such Generation 1 stalwarts as Ratchet, Bumblebee, Hound, Astrotrain, Blitzwing and Shockwave. Later additions from the Transformers movie, such as Springer and Ultra Magnus, also appear.

 

A number of characters from the Japanese exclusive series The Headmasters make appearances as well, notably the Trainbots and Sixshot (who is portrayed as a powerful ninja warrior as he was in the Headmasters anime), also included were Dark Hot Rod (Black Rodimus) and Optimus Clone (Black Convoy).

Of special note is the fact that the game’s dialogue is entirely in English, even though menus and subtitles can be switched to Japanese. This would seem to indicate that Takara planned either for an official state-side release, or expected a large amount of importing. However, the voice acting is criticized for being just as bad as the gameplay.

The first printing came with a special “Matrix Disc”, which featured vintage commercials, game trailers, and various episode clips

The plot of the game begins with Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, and Jazz arrive on the planet Zel, looking for a missing Autobot search team that disappeared on the planet while looking for a mysterious UFO. After being lured out of their ship by Soundwave, Megatron steals their ship’s supply of Energon.

The Autobots proceed to defend the planet from the Decepticons, who are raiding all of the planet’s energy resources. Soon, the Autobots are joined by Rodimus Prime, Kup, and Arcee. Rodimus explains that they came from the future, where Shockwave found a crystal called Zel Quartz, that gives a Transformer god-like power. Shockwave went insane with this power, and went on a killing rampage in the future.

 

Rodimus and a team of elite Autobots went back to the past to prevent the Zel Quartz from ever being discovered. Unfortunately, Galvatron and the future Decepticons followed Rodimus and the Autobots back through time.

Eventually, the Transformers find the Zel Quartz, but Galvatron and Megatron get to it first. The removal of the Quartz causes the Enormous Laser Transmission Array, or E.L.T.A to destabilize. Rodimus and Optimus stop E.L.T.A from exploding using the power of the Matrix that each has inside of himself. Megatron and Galvatron escape and swear revenge. Meanwhile, Starscream steals the Zel Quartz, flying into space to install the Quartz.

Prime and Wheeljack reveal, however, that the Quartz is useless when installed outside of the planet’s atmosphere. Starscream is stuck floating in space forever, due to a forcefield that drains Transformers of all power.

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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