The Battle of Autobot City refers to the protracted battle between Autobot and Decepticon at Autobot City, the base of the Earth Autobots, taking place in 2005 in one reality. By the battle's end, the leaders of both the Autobot and Decepticon forces were dying, numerous combatants on both sides had been killed, scattered or only just heavily injured, and multiple events had been set in motion that would lead to Megatron's reincarnation into Galvatron and, ultimately, the passing of the Matrix of Leadership.
|“||Let the slaughter begin!||”|
The Decepticon forces had succeeded at driving the Autobot army off of Cybertron. However, the Autobots retained staging grounds on Cyberton's two moons (these were Moonbases #1 and #2) and were also in the final phase of preparations for an assault on Cybertron itself. All that remained was the transport of a final shipment of Energon cubes from Autobot City's production facilities. Optimus Prime dispatched a shuttle to Earth for this purpose, which was interestingly crewed by most of his command staff.
Unfortunately for the Autobot Moonbases, the Decepticon spy Laserbeak -who had been sent to spy Moonbase #1- discovered the Autobots' intention of attacking Cybertron, and quickly warned Megatron. In an operation reminiscent of the Decepticons' boarding of the Ark, Megatron then led a sizable contingent against the small crew of Autobots on the shuttle Prime had just dispatched. Taken by surprise, heavily outnumbered and outmatched, the Autobots aboard were quickly overwhelmed and taken out of action with ease. Ratchet, Ironhide, Prowl and Brawn all perished (or were at least deactivated) in the attack spearheaded by Megatron, wielded by Starscream. No prisoners were taken, and all Autobot forces on board were destroyed.
Having successfully taken control of the shuttle, Megatron explained that he had a brilliant strategy to all of his accompanying Decepticons: the captured Autobot shuttle was to be used as a "Trojan Horse", allowing its Decepticon occupants to breach the Autobot Early Warning Systems (that would alert Autobots to any obvious Decepticon presence, but would not do so if the Decepticon attackers were concealed in verified Autobot transportation craft) thus giving the Decepticon forces the ability to launch a preemptive surprise attack on Autobot City itself, before its formidable defense system could be activated, which Megatron seemed to think would vanquish the Autobot army at long last. (...which is what he thought about practically all of his schemes.)
- (Note: There is a logical reason behind Megatron's thinking — Autobot City is, in fact, a massive energy-gathering facility, so if the Decepticon forces managed to destroy the City, then all Autobots fighting in the forces will be without a large supply of vital energy, consequently crippling the Autobot army's ability to sustain themselves, let alone wage a war.)
Megatron had correctly predicted that the Autobot shuttle would not set off Autobot City's automated defenses even if it was carrying a Decepticon crew. It was merely sheer chance that a small human child observed that there was a hole in the shuttle. He alerted the young Autobot Hot Rod, who quickly realized the severity of the situation. Hot Rod opened fire on the shuttle, damaging it to the point that it began to explode. His actions also alerted other nearby Autobots, including Kup. They too realized that something was wrong.
With the shuttle's destruction now imminent and the Decepticons' cover blown, Megatron ordered his troops to debark and begin their attack immediately. A number of Decepticons transformed to alternate mode and attempted to pick off those Autobots caught outside.
The Autobots in the City, although caught entirely off guard and outnumbered, quickly rallied to the defense. Ultra Magnus, commanding the City, ordered Perceptor to have Blaster contact Optimus Prime on the first Moonbase to obtain reinforcements. Springer and Arcee moved to transform Autobot City into its battle mode, and Blurr assisted in alerting other Autobots about the attack (if they weren't already clued in by the wave of Decepticons flying low, firing weapons at them.)
Springer and Arcee delayed transforming the city for as long as possible in an attempt to allow Hot Rod and Kup to reach the safety of Autobot City. Eventually, running out of time, they began the transformation. As the City transformed, massive artillery pieces and automated turrets were uncovered and readied, in an attempt to even the odds. In any case, the automated defenses of Autobot City gave the Autobots a much more sizable defense against the large Decepticon force. In the process of Autobot City's transformation, Starscream, who was attempting to strafe Springer and Arcee as they ran for shelter, became caught in the transforming sections of Autobot city, and was forced to shoot his right foot to free himself from a transforming floor. This action saved him from simply being crushed by another much larger transforming section of the city.
Kup and Hot Rod, speeding toward the city, saw that the two Insecticons Shrapnel and Kickback had been called upon to eat away the Autobot's defenses when Megatron's fusion cannon failed to penetrate an armored door. They were eating through one such armored blast door. In the process of doing so, Kickback was separated from Shrapnel when the bridge he was standing on retracted. Using the Insecticon as a springboard, Hot Rod and Kup were able to clear the gap created by the retracting bridge, and entered the city (crushing Kickback's head and ramming Shrapnel out of the way in the process) moments before a second pair of armored doors closed.
Meanwhile, Blaster did manage to make brief contact with the Autobots stationed at moonbases 1 and 2, but the signal was abruptly cut off by Soundwave and the four henchmen he had with him: Rumble, Ravage, Frenzy and Ratbat. A fight ensued, and Perceptor had a difficult time subduing all of Soundwave's partners. However, Blaster eventually evened the odds by putting his own quartet of counterparts into the fight: Ramhorn, Steeljaw, Rewind, and Eject.
Unable to penetrate Autobot City's formidable array of defenses by utilizing conventional Decepticon military tactics, Megatron ordered the Constructicons to merge into the gestalt Devastator. The giant robot quickly made his presence felt, crushing huge autoturrets with his bare hands, and quickly penetrating the first formation of defenses by literally tearing them apart. From the cover of a large armored bunker, Springer, Kup, Hot Rod and Arcee attempted to put him out of action with a large auto-retracting Ballista that fired rocket- assisted projectiles, but only after they recovered the bodies of Windcharger and Wheeljack. The weapon scattered any Decepticons present to watch the gestalt's de-construction of the city and scored a direct hit on Devastator, breaking his concentration... but only for an instant. Devastator tore a massive slab of armor from the very skin of Autobot City, and threw it into the bunker, forcing the Autobots inside to flee, and destroying the ballista. Despite the massive amount of damage wrought by the Decepticon presence very early in the battle, the majority of Autobot City's defense mechanisms remained online. In fact, the two sides were so evenly matched that the battle continued through the remainder of that day and throughout the night.
|“||One shall stand, one shall fall.||”|
—Optimus Prime on seeing Megatron, TFTM
However, despite it's formidable array of weaponry, the City could not hold out forever; by the next morning, the Autobot defenses had been broken by relentless and unending Decepticon assaults. The once proud Autobot City was reduced to a mostly destroyed, burnt out warzone. Autobots that had not been deactivated were either attempting to hold off advancing Decepticons in vain, or hiding in the vast ruins of Autobot City. The likelihood of a mass retreat, routing, or even a wholesale slaughter at Decepticon hands were high. It was at this crucial point that Autobot reinforcements commanded by Optimus Prime finally arrived. The Dinobots were sent to attack Devastator, with some success, but even they could not halt the Decepticons' final advance into the depths of what remained of Autobot City.
Now, only Optimus Prime himself could prevent the Decepticon forces from completely annihilating what was left of the brave Autobots who signed their wills to fight the Decepticon invasion. To achieve victory and save his comrades, he would have to make a ruthless counterassault against the massed firepower of the most elite members of the Decepticon forces and win, which neither the Autobot forces, the Dinobots, or even the massive defensive weapon emplacements of Autobot City could do, and he would need to do it all by himself.
And he did it.
In vehicle mode, he rapidly mowed down Thrust and Shrapnel, and in robot mode, he used his laser rifle to put Soundwave, Ramjet, Thundercracker, Dirge, and Kickback all out of action. In doing this, Optimus Prime singlehandedly defeated the final Decepticon attack, achieving in mere seconds what the rest of the Autobot and Dinobot forces and automated defenses could not in the course of an entire battle. He then prepared to fight Megatron in -what he assured the Decepticon leader would be- their very last battle.
The leader battle between Autobot and Decepticon was brief and intense. Hot Rod sought to help Prime, only for Kup to order him to stand down ("Stay away, lad! That's Prime's fight!"). Initially, Megatron tackled Optimus Prime to the ground, but Optimus quickly threw Megatron off, sending the disgruntled Decepticon flying backwards, and into a wall. Megatron then spied a sharp piece of debris from the battle lying next to him, and he hurled it at Optimus Prime. The debris flew through the air and became lodged in Prime's body. Optimus, however, quickly regained his composure and dodged an incoming blast from Megatron's fusion cannon. Optimus Prime then ran at Megatron and punched him to the ground with a fierce melee attack. Prime, having been separated from his laser rifle when Megatron tackled him at the beginning of the fight, ripped out the sword- like piece of debris that had been lodged in him, and used it as a weapon instead. Megatron drew an energy- based melee weapon, and the two then engaged in ferocious close quarters combat. Megatron gashed Optimus Prime with his energy sword in the area of Optimus' torso that had already been damaged. Megatron then leaped into the air to deliver a deadly final blow, but Optimus Prime counterattacked, and, with a swift punch, Megatron was once again knocked to the ground. After a few more intense blows, the two ended up in an arm-to-arm struggle, each trying to gain the upper hand. Megatron began to overpower Optimus Prime, and attempted to gouge out his optic circuits, but the Autobot leader then quickly broke Megatron's hold with the strength and hurled the Decepticon through the air. Megatron simply couldn't endure any more punishment. Separated from any weapons which could save him, Megatron lay sprawled out on the ground, nearly destroyed. It seemed as if the Autobot forces would finally see the end of the infamous Decepticon.
Kup, who had been watching the fight, encouraged Optimus Prime to kill Megatron now that they had the chance. At that moment, Megatron spotted a gun laying only a few yards in front of him, and it was obscured from Optimus Prime's view by a pile of rubble. (The gun was only exposed at the angle that Megatron happened to be facing.) Right before Optimus Prime pulled the trigger on his recovered laser rifle, Megatron feigned pleas for mercy in an attempt to stall Optimus Prime for as long as possible, as he slowly crawled his way towards the gun.
Optimus Prime, being the merciful Autobot he was, -and also completely unaware that Megatron was only a few meters away from recovering a weapon- heard Megatron's pleas and did not immediately shoot his downed foe (but whether or not he later intended to do so is subject to debate. After all, this was his mortal enemy, here.) Megatron stalled Optimus Prime with his false cries for mercy long enough for him to crawl within arm's length of the gun, but at the moment he grabbed it to fire on Optimus Prime, Hot Rod saw what Megatron was really up to, and attempted to save Optimus Prime by lunging at Megatron. However, Megatron -even in his heavily damaged state- easily overpowered the young and comparatively weak Autobot, and advantageously used him as a shield. Optimus Prime couldn't fire on Megatron as a result, lest he shoot Hot Rod instead. Megatron aimed at Optimus' most severe wounds -the ones on his torso- and fired four to five times. Optimus Prime, now severely damaged, fell to the ground.
Tossing aside Hot Rod, it was Megatron who now prepared to finish off Optimus Prime who, in his final fighting act, managed to gather up the last remants of his strength to deal a double-handed haymaker punch with such power and force that Megatron was knocked clean off of a tall ledge. Megatron then fell a few stories to the ground. This utterly destructive final blow was proven to be nearly fatal to the already severely damaged Decepticon, who now only barely clung to life.
The defeat of Megatron at the hands of Optimus Prime was to be the pivotal event of the battle. Seeing their leader so conclusively defeated in this way completely broke the Decepticons' morale. Starscream, taking interim command and showing no sympathy for Megatron, ordered Astrotrain to transform, and ferry the Decepticons away in a strategic withdrawal. Unsurprisingly, Starscream appeared ready to leave the barely functional Megatron to his imminent death should he be left to the Autobot forces, but Soundwave loyally carried him to Astrotrain, whilst Rumble followed with his fusion cannon. Gathering up the rest of their wounded, the Decepticons retreated from the ruined city, leaving the Autobot troops to similarly assess their own casualties.
Many Autobots and Decepticons had either been terminated or wounded as a result of the battle. Windcharger, Wheeljack, and (possibly) Huffer were among the casualties, and even the mighty Optimus Prime soon succumbed to his wounds and perished, but not before passing the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus as his successor; Prime was unaware that the Matrix had already chosen Hot Rod to become the new Autobot leader.
The most heavily wounded Decepticons - including the Insecticons, Skywarp, Thundercracker, and Megatron- were all thrown out of Astrotrain to lighten the load, as they were not fit to remain within the Decepticon ranks (The honour removing Megatron would be Starscream's decision, who afterwards elected himself as the new Decepticon leader). Megatron and the others then aimlessly float around in space until they were discovered by the planet-eating Lord of Chaos, Unicron. He would re-engineer Megatron into the more powerful Galvatron (who would later return to reclaim the title of Decepticon Leader by literally vaporizing Starscream), and repeated this process with the others into Scourge, Cyclonus, and the Sweeps (and yes, there is some irony in that).
- The battle is "act 1" of The Transformers: The Movie.
- Optimus Prime's death in the film was unexpected, and his death scene was known to drive younger fans to tears. That, of course, was the first time he died.
- It is unclear how Megatron managed to beat the Autobot shuttle to Earth's Solar System.
- Maybe the same way they escaped: Astrotrain.
- Storyboards that have found their way to the public over the years show additional scenes that were scripted and planned, but (in all probability) never animated:
- At the beginning of the shuttle segment, the Autobot shuttle would have been shown dodging through an asteroid storm, thus explaining why the crew didn't at least detect the approaching Decepticon attack. Some of this concept made it into the Marvel Comics adaptation of the movie.
- Hot Rod's adventures outside the city would have been a bit longer and more dramatic. A short scene would also show him getting reprimanded by Ultra Magnus inside the city.
- During the battle, there are hidden things you have to be looking closely for to see. Reflector can be sighted during the battle as well as a transformer that looks like Ironhide. You can even see Shockwave for a brief second even though he's supposed to be on Cybertron.
- For the majority of the scripts production, it appears Wheeljack and Tracks were ment to survive the battle.
- It is unknown if Huffer or Bluestreak made it back to the City. One thing is for sure. Huffer dies sometime between The Movie and Dark Awakening.
- Mirage would have stealthily blasted Bombshell (answering the question of where the third Insecticon was wounded) before getting shot at by Megatron.
- Tracks, Sideswipe, Red Alert and Ultra Magnus would have finally brought down Devastator with a missile barrage. The Constructicons would subsequently kill Red Alert as the Autobots retreated.
- Another storyboard has Megatron firing at the retreating Autobots, killing Red Alert.
- Another distrubing storyboard shows Blaster, Windcharger, Mirage, and Gears battling Decepticons. Gears is blown to bits and parts of Windcharger literally rain down on Blaster. Blaster and Mirage manage to escape. This scene occurs when Galvatron goes to Autobot City to destroy Ultra Magnus and the Matrix of Leadership.
- In the oringal script, it was Smokescreen instead of Wheeljack laying dead next to Windcharger.
- Several Decepticons would have dogpiled Optimus Prime at the start of his confrontation with Megatron, only for him to trounce them all soundly.
- An alternate storyboard frame has Dirge attempt to jump Prime from behind, be thrashed for his efforts, leading to Optimus Prime returning to a standing position.
- Trailbreaker's lifeless body would have been seen as the Decepticons retreated.
- The events of "Five Faces of Darkness" imply that Metroplex was present at the battle, but was unable to transform to robot mode because his transformation cog was damaged. Some fiction suggests that Metroplex is part of (or the same thing as) Autobot City (All sorts of fanon ensues from placing these two facts in close proximity. Use caution).
- Interestingly enough, if it weren't for the Insections' gnawing at the first blast door, creating a hole large enough for the Kup and Hot Rod to fit into, the two Autobots would've been sealed outside, and at the mercy of the Decepticons. So really, the Insecticons could have very well saved Kup and Hot Rod from their imminent doom. By accident, obviously.
- The fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron was remade into the commercial, with a title "THEY WERE ALWAYS REAL TO ME", of 2008 Universe toyline, with CGI models based on their Masterpiece toys.
- Okay, we're going to be honest here. The whole point of this battle is to off your favorite characters in violent ways, then replace them with newbies who we've never seen before.
- Despite the fact that the Autobots had suffered a large amount of casualties during the battle, it appeared that there were almost no Deception casualties - until Optimus Prime showed up, and killed or wounded almost all of them. Way to go Optimus Prime. (Cue applause. Woo.)
- It would be fair to say that had Megatron not been revived and rebuilt by Unicron, or just left on Earth, he too — like Optimus Prime— would've truly died.