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Cybertronix

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Cybertronix is a language from the Beast Era portion of the Generation One continuity family.
Other voices text

Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, it's the most remarkable word I've ever seen.

Cybertronix is the modern written language of the Transformers during the Beast Era. Whether this is the same language spoken on Cybertron during the Great War is unknown, though displays on the Ark and exterior markings on the Nemesis use it.

Fiction

Fun Publications Beast Wars continuity

The computers on the Chromia 10 label displayed planets in Cybertronix. The Razor's Edge

Beast Wars cartoon

First Cybertronix

The first example of Maximal and Predacon text in Beast Wars, both from within the first four minutes of the show.

BWNemesisPt1 Nemesisname

R.M.S Titanic (Cue "My Heart Will go On").

Cybertronix text featured in nearly every episode of Beast Wars, beginning with the series premiere and continuing through the series finale. The most common usage was to show up on a computer screen. Typically, large quantities of text scrolling by would be gibberish, often the alphabet in sequence. Small amounts of text usually could be translated to a word or phrase appropriate to the scene. For example, in the very first instance of Cybertronix in the series, as the shields of the Axalon fail the text reads 'major fade'. Sometimes the text could be translated to humorous effect. The text on the Nemesis, to the right, reads 'Red Dwarf', the name of a popular British science fiction comedy.


Cybertronix Various Examples

One of these things doesn't belong.

In addition to featuring prominently on computer screens, the text also showed up in a variety of other situations. Equal Measures features multiple interesting examples: upper left, a keyboard; upper right, a poster; lower left, a POV shot; lower right, a trash bin.


Beast Machines cartoon

Megatron's screen in Fires of the Past (backwards)

If you can read this seek help. No, seriously, that's what this says.

Cybertronix text continued to be used in Beast Machines, though not as frequently as in Beast Wars. POV shots sometimes featured Maximals text for Maximals or Predacon script for Vehicons. Occasionally computer screens would feature Cybertronix. One particularly good example of this is Fires of the Past, featuring several screens with much legible text. Despite being operated by Megatron, both Maximal and Predacon characters were present.

Megatron hack's Black Arachnia

"We are one."

When Blackarachnia and Rattrap discover their missing shuttle, she attempts to download its memory banks in a VR experience surrounded by Maximal letters and numbers. Unfortunately, Megatron uses this opportunity to hack her memory banks. Fires of the Past

Megatron floating head avatar

Mr. Anderson, welcome back. We've missed you.

While in the big floating head, Megatron took to addressing people as a hologram composed of distorted Predacon symbols. The symbols took the form of a big floating head. Real original there, Megs.

Primal oracle access sparkwar 2

So that's what's wrong with the Bat Signal.

When Megatron tricks Optimus Primal into granting him full access to the Oracle, Primal appears in a virtual band containing Maximal characters. Sparkwar Pt. II: The Search


Character keys

Letters

The character sets used to represent Cybertronix in the Beast Era cartoons are simple English language character substitutions, cracked by Jim Sorenson in the late 90s. The Maximal and Predacon alphabets are significantly different from one another. Maximal characters are a fairly regular collection of straight lines, circles and semi-circles and dots. Predacon characters are jagged, curved, irregular and often feature serifs. Fonts are available containing the translation key[1], and many scenes of both Beast Wars and Beast Machines contain humorous (and occasionally filthy) messages for the dedicated fan.


Maximal Language

Maximal Characters

Predacon Language

Predacon Characters


Numbers

Maximals and Predacons each have distinct numbering systems. Both seem to be inspired by a modified version of the Roman system. Rather than use their letter 'I' or vertical marks, both systems use 1, 2 and 3 vertically stacked horizontal bars to represent the numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Predacon 49

Translation: Boring.

From here, Predacon is a straight port of the Roman system, with a horizontal bar before the Predacon character for V or X to represent 4 or 9. Thus, 49, XLIX in Roman, would be represented as follows to the left.

Maximal 196

"It indicates that we are here, and the pharaoh is near a bunch of... tents."

The Maximal system is more abstracted, tending to be more vertical than the Roman (or Predacon) system. The number 5 is represented by a semicircle. Rather than place a horizontal bar to the left of this to represent the number 4, left-justified dot is placed below the character. 6 though 8 are placed by adding 1 to 3 horizontal bars below the semicircle. 10 is represented by a circle, with 9 represented by a left-justified dot below the circle. The numbers 11 through 18 are even more interesting. They are represented by combining the character 10 with squashed versions of characters 1 through 8. This results in some overlap. Only when we hit 19 does the system move to a horizontal orientation, with 20 represented by two horizontally consecutive circles, and 19 represented by a left dot below the character for 20. 21 through 30 are created by adding a circle to the right of the numbers for 11 - 20. At this point the system reverts to a more traditional port of the Roman system, with the characters L, C, D and M representing 50, 100, 500 and 1000, and lower denominations placed to the left (as opposed to below) to indicate lower numbers. Thus, 196 (CXCVI) would be written as seen to the right.

Notes

  • Although the name was never given canonically until "The Razor's Edge", Cybertronix was the name Larry DiTillio and/or Bob Forward gave to the language used by their characters in Beast Wars, as first stated in a post to alt.toys.transformers on January 1, 1997 [2]. This post indicates that Cybertronix is the name of the spoken language as well as the written, and that both the Maximals and Predacons speak it. As it is specifically referred to as the "modern written language," it seems likely that there were other Cybertronian languages, with other names, at some point in the past.

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