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AllSpark Wars

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This article is about the online campaign of the Nintendo DS game. For the Activision online game, see Battle for the Allspark.
Spark wars site

AllSpark Wars[1] (also Battle for the Allspark, also Spark Wars also Transformers DS Community) is an online campaign associated with the 2007 Transformers Autobots/Transformers Decepticons game(s) for the Nintendo DS. Players who had either the Transformers: Autobots or Transformers: Decepticons game could set up an account and become part of a worldwide campaign.

Campaigns consisted of special "challenge missions", where players had to amass points within a predesignated time window, usually destroying objects in order to determine the possession one of the 7 "AllSpark fragments". At the end of the week, all 7 fragments were "claimed" by one side or another, and victory could be determined. Players could join clans and compete with one another, as groups, or as factions for prizes and glory. A wide variety of group and individual statistics were tracked and ranked to encourage competition and different modes of play. The Spark Wars site also features a community forum where users could communicate with one another and network clans, and a "Mini-ARG" notable as the only such promotion to take place after the movie's launch.

Allspark wars cubesections

AllSpark Wars was managed by Agora Games, a company specializing in building online communities to tie in with games. Community spirit and identity were strong, bound together by clan competition, the forum ARG, and an Agora-published online zine[2] called "Transformed", dedicated to community events, which released 5 issues over a 6-month period.

Mini-ARG

Format

The "mini-ARG" (Alternate Reality Game) storyline played out on the Allspark Wars forums between July 11 - November 18, 2007. The events of the user campaign both drove and were driven by the developing storyline, as players vied for supremacy or to achieve a necessary margin of victory to progress the story, and the events of the story could result in players or entire factions being awarded bonus points in the DS game.

Puzzles and riddle-solving—including puns, wordplay, anagrams, symbolic messages, mathematical puzzles, trivia, and directional and locational clues—led players on a scavenger hunt through the game's forums, tracking down the next clues inserted into previously existing messages in order to advance the storyline or achieve point/token rewards. Notably, simply possessing problem-solving skills was not always enough to solve these riddles, because they would sometime reference events, people, arguments or "in-jokes" relating to the community or game. The context necessary for understanding some clues depended on players being able to remember other players' names, locations or (in once instance) a trip they mentioned taking during a discussion about holiday parties.

Setting/Premise

The ARG's storyline takes place after the events of the 2007 Movie (more or less). The five Autobots (including Jazz!) have been placed into stasis on 5 continents [3] as guardians. Meanwhile, both Autobots and Decepticons (apparently answering Optimus Prime's call at the end of the movie[4]) have reached Earth and found none of the participants in the "First Battle for Earth," much to their surprise.[5]

A Decepticon named Agoraptor arrives on Earth, pursuing a myth or prophecy that reawakening all the participants of the First Battle for Earth will bring about Decepticon domination. He is pursued by an Autobot named Agoracer, intending to stop him.

Both agents guide their respective factions as they battle over possession of AllSpark fragments needed to reawaken their warriors (in the game) and solve riddles with locations for meeting places or battle bonuses.

Timeline

Notes

  • One of the last acts by administrators of AllSpark Wars' "cousin-game", Battle for the Allspark, was a survey asking users what features they'd like to see added to that game. None of these were implemented, and the community was (essentially) abandoned to its own devices. Yet almost every one of the requested features was eventually integrated into the AllSpark Wars community. Both games were developed by Activision.
  • The AllSpark Wars Mini-ARG was notable as being the only non-predetermined online event for the 2007 movie that the Autobots won. Decepticon players ruled in every single other instance.
  • Two of the challenges revolved around translating Cybertronian writing into the Roman characters that are used in the English language. The translation key is available on this wiki on the Cybertronian languages page, and the fonts are available for download here as "Ancient Autobot" and "Decepticon Regular".

Footnotes

  1. The actual name used fluctuates wildly. The website most often refers to itself as "Battle for the Allspark," but the DS game itself calls it "AllSpark Wars", which is used here to minimize confusion with the other online game that goes by that name.
  2. In desperate need of a copy-editor.
  3. Counting North and South America as one and excluding Antarctica.
  4. This is not stated in the game, but seems consistent with most versions of events after the movie.
  5. Both sides have the events of the Mission City battle explained to them because they were not present.

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