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This article is about the Transformers faction. For the Robots in Disguise episode, see The Decepticons.
Symbol decept reg

The Decepticon insignia

Decepticon (di-sep-ti-con ) A member of a subversive sect or society. From the noun — 'decepticon'; one who deceives.
- from the New Cybertronic Dictograph[1]

The Decepticons are one of the primary factions in the Transformers mythos. They are typically concerned with such things as galactic conquest, rebuilding Cybertron under their rule, defeating the Autobots, amassing infinite quantities of energon, developing powerful weaponry, and beating people up, not to mention dominating the universe. Not necessarily in that order.

Unlike the Autobots, whose leader is a Prime bearing a Matrix, the Decepticons are led by the most powerful of their ranks. This tends to cause some conflict, given how everyone thinks that they're the most powerful. Also, the Decepticons are not exactly the most compassionate beings in the universe, but not all fight for greed. More than a few have a sense of honor, while others believe that Cybertron would be better protected by aggressive expansion. Ultimately, the Decepticons desire to protect their homeworld, even if it is at the expense of others. Usually.


The Decepticons are a malevolent race of robot warriors, brutal and merciless. The Decepticons are led by a single undeviating goal; total domination of the universe.

—Narrator in the Secret Files of Teletraan II


Japanese name: Destron (デストロン, de-su-to-ro-n)
Cantonese name: Kwong Pāi (狂派, "Con Faction", literally "Mad Faction" or "Crazy Clan")
Chinese name (China): BaTian Hu (霸天虎, "The tigers that dominate the Heaven")
French name (France, G1 cartoon): Decepticans
Hebrew Name: Shakranikim (שקרניקים, roughly translated as "LyingBots")
Hungarian name (Marvel comic): Álcák ("Disguises")
Hungarian name (toy commercial): Decepticonok
Hungarian name (Energon/Cybertron): Robotikák
Hungarian name (Movie, first dub): Varangyok ("Toads")
Hungarian name (Movie, second dub): Decepticonok
Italian name: Distructors
Polish name: Deceptikony
Polish name (Movie, first dub): Decepcjokony (Deceptiocons? What the?)
Portuguese name (Portugal comic): Decépticos
Portuguese name (Brazil comic): Decepticons
Russian name:' Deseptikoni (Десептиконы)
Serbian name: Deseptikoni
Swedish name (Marvel comic): Bedragarna

Generation One

Junkion jimmy

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Marvel Comics

Introdump decepticons marvelus01

All right. We all know our names, abilities, and attitudes, so we're good to go.

The Decepticons emerged from the gladiatorial State Games, which caused Megatron's rise to public prominence - in the aftermath of the destructive Vos-Tarn War, Megatron was able to use his fame and charisma to unite both the survivors and the planet's malcontents into a new army. His plan was to turn Cybertron into a mobile cosmic dreadnought and conquer the galaxy. The Decepticons developed new technology to allow them to transform into attack vehicles and weaponry, launching a devastating attack that killed billions and shook the planet from its orbit before Optimus Prime turned the tide.

Megatron, Shockwave and others were lost on Earth for four million years; as was Optimus Prime, the Autobots swiftly lost ground to Decepticon leaders Trannis and Straxus. Cybertron was devastated and conquered, causing the best of the Decepticons to leave the burnt-out planet to form a Cybertronian Empire out in the stars, while Straxus threw all those he considered weak into the Smelting pool. The Empire would go on to slaughter and Cyberform planet after planet, their actions unknown on Cybertron.

Eventually the Earth-bound Decepticons would awaken in 1984, sparking off a new front in the war. After the presumed suicide of Megatron, an escalation in fighting would see Decepticon leadership fragment and change hands rapidly, with frequent clashes, plots and counter-plots between the primary leadership, namely Starscream, Shockwave, Ratbat, and Scorponok, until most of them were killed in the Underbase conflict, leaving Scorponok the only surviving commander. A brief truce with the Autobots was held when Unicron attacked in 1991, but Scorponok was killed in the following conflict. Immediately after this, Bludgeon came to power. Charismatic and driven, Bludgeon turned the beaten Decepticons into a new army; after a defeat on Klo, they regrouped and reorganized. (In one reality, they were immediately massacred afterward.)

Earthforce

In the side-continuity of Earthforce, while Unicron continued on to Cybertron, Megatron and Shockwave continued a Decepticon civil war on Earth with a small handful of troops - wasting most of their time trying to take each other out. Eventually Soundwave and Starscream overthrew them, uniting both factions into a stronger Decepticon force. The two former leaders attempted to regain their position but never appeared to succeed.

Generation 2

Bludgeon invaded Earth with the intention of capturing the Matrix and making a new generation of Decepticons, but Megatron returned, killed Bludgeon in one-on-one combat, and stole this plan. However, the threat of the Cybertronian Empire forced an alliance between the Autobots and Decepticons again.

Classics

Cartoon

Season 1 & 2

In the various continuities descending from Generation One, the Decepticons and the Autobots are the two great powers in the Transformer population. The factions, however, are not a complete set—there are Transformers who are unaffiliated / neutral, or even members of smaller or splinter factions.

Many G1 timelines actually credit Megatron as the founder of the Decepticons, not merely its most recent leader. In contrast, Optimus Prime is almost always depicted as only the latest in a long line of Primes or Matrix Bearers.

Eventually, in the year 2005, the Decepticons managed to take control of all of Cybertron, forcing the Autobots to operate on Cybertron's two moons, but Autobot City on Earth was viewed as the greater threat. The Decepticons overtook a supply shuttle and launched an attack, with disastrous consequences for the Autobots. The battle saw one of the Decepticons' long held dreams achieved in the death of Optimus Prime, but Megatron was damaged, along with Skywarp, Thundercracker and the Insecticons, and left to rot in deep space. Unicron reformatted them into Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps and Galvatron attempted to enslave Unicron with the Matrix of Leadership. When Unicron attacked Cybertron, most of the Decepticon forces on the planet were wiped out, allowing the Autobots to retake control of the planet.

Season 3 & 4

Once the Decepticons held the quadrant through terror, now we scrap like Slaargs over a few Energon cubes.

Cyclonus, Five Faces of Darkness, Part 1

Times would turn harsh for the Decepticons who were forced to abandon their homeworld of Cybertron and get exiled to the burnt out planet of Charr. There they would face constant energy shortages and engage in constant inter-fighting as well as suffer from a lack of leadership. From this chaos came Cyclonus and the Sweeps, who hatched a plan of finding Galvatron who would lead the Decepticons once more.

Eventually, the Autobots, led by a resurrected Optimus Prime, managed to finally defeat the Decepticons.

Dreamwave

The Decepticons arose out of the underground fights that Megatron once partook in. After discovering certain secrets about Cybertron's origin, including massive planetary engines, Megatron began using the games to recruit combatants. For nearly half a million years, they grew in numbers and trained, until they rebelled against the Council of Ancients and took Kaon by force. While the war raged on, the Constructicons repaired the engines and introduced a mecha-forming process, but what they really needed was a power source. Megatron became convinced that he could find one powerful enough within the Matrix, which was in the possession of Sentinel Prime. However, when Megatron finally killed the Prime, he discovered that it was not within him. Soon after, Optronix became Optimus Prime, and Megatron initiated a plan: an assassination team under Communications Officer Soundwave would elimate the Prime and claim the Matrix, while Military Operations Commander Shockwave would lay siege to Iacon, preventing the Autobots from coming to Prime's rescue. However, Megatron made two mistakes: he informed Air Commander Starscream of his intentions, and he underestimated Optimus Prime. The Prime managed to erase some of Megatron's memories of what he discovered, while Starscream activated the mechaforming process using energy from the planetary engines. The engines were destroyed before the process was complete, ruinning both. The War Within

After Megatron disappeared with Optimus Prime in a space bridge test, Shockwave became Decepticon leader, though Starscream and High Auditor Ratbat broke off with their own splinter factions shortly afterwards. The Decepticons allied with Prowl's Autobots and Grimlock's Lightning Strike Coalition (an Autobot splinter group), to stop the machinations of the Fallen. The War Within: The Dark Ages Several thousand years later, Shockwave was prepared to sign a peace treaty with Ultra Magnus, who had become Autobot leader, the LSC, and Ratbat's Ultracons. However, Megatron returned with the Aerospace Extermination Squadron, an army of Quintesson created seeker drones, whose abilities allowed the Decepticons to fully conquer Cybertron and enslave the Autobots. The Decepticons' control over Cybertron was ended when Optimus Prime returned to Cybertron and the Air Warriors were defeated. The War Within: The Age of Wrath

When Megatron disappeared along with the Nemesis crew, Shockwave again emerged as Decepticon leader, this time as head of a triumvirate including Ratbat and Scorponok. With energon becoming scarce, Shockwave agreed to work with Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus in the creation of the Micromasters, Transformers who were downsized for better fuel efficiency. Shockwave suffered a rebellion when Skystalker overthrew him, using Shockwave's severed head as a tool. Micromasters However, all Transformers on Cybertron entered stasis lock when the Great Shutdown occurred. Around 1,000 B.C.E., Shockwave was reactivated by Scourge, and then defeated the Unicronian Transformer. Studying Scourge and discovering some of the secrets Megatron had learned, Shockwave made peace with the Autobots, installing himself as Head of State with an Autobot High Council as a legislature, while Ultra Magnus became his senior security officer. However, the High Councillors were unsuited for peace time government, and gradually gave Shockwave more and more power...which is exactly what he had planned.

On Earth, the Nemesis crew was reawakened in 1984. Cut off from Cybertron, the Decepticons concluded that they had no other choice but to conquer the planet. Megatron soon learned that others had come looking for them, including Jetfire and the Dynobots. The Decepticons captured Jetfire and the Dinobots except Grimlock, and used the hostage situation to force Grimlock to serve the Decepticons. Additionally, the Constructicons located Earth and served under Megatron. In 1998, the Autobots allied with humanity to defeat the Decepticons. They were to be returned to Cybertron in the Ark II, but Shockwave, through a human intermediary, sabotaged the Ark II, causing the ship to crash and send the Transformers aboard into stasis lock. Renegade members of the United States Military managed to capture the Decepticons and a number of Autobots, intending to use them as instruments of war, but Adam Rook later stole them and set himself up as an arms dealer. Unfortunately, Megatron overwhelmed the programming that kept him a prisoner, and freed the other Decepticons. Megatron then intended to unleash a technovirus on Earth, but the Autobots defeated him. Prime Directive

A year later, Shockwave arrived to tie up loose ends, quickly capturing Megatron and the Nemesis crew. Starscream ejected Megatron out of the ship carrying them to Cybertron, leaving him to die in space. The Nemesis crew were granted amnesty, but Starscream quickly recruited them into going back to Earth to conquer the planet, taking the Combaticons with them. Shockwave was finally overthrown when Optimus Prime united the Autobot resistance groups, but he escaped with a small number of troops. War and Peace

Meanwhile, Megatron was rescued by Wreck-Gar, who repaired his memory loss. Using some recovered Air Warriors, Megatron located the Predacons, who were used take control of Shockwave's small army. On Earth, Starscream's failures during Sunstorm's rampage were reason enough to convince the Nemesis crew to mutiny against Starscream in Megatron's favor. With two combiner teams, an army of seekers, Soundwave's cassettes, and knowledge of Earth's connection to Cybertron, Megatron prepared to lead the Decepticons on the conquests of Earth and Cybertron G1 ongoing...

Note: ...At which point Dreamwave went bankrupt. Damn.

IDW

The Decepticons appear to have been formed out of the uprising in Kaon that Megatron spearheaded in Megatron: Origin. They also may have completely abandoned Cybertron, and have bases set up on the worlds they've captured or space stations as seen in Spotlight: Sixshot.

Aftermath

Both sides signed the Pax Cybertronia, which eventually led to peace, but left the Decepticons in a second class position.

Beast Era

In Beast Wars continuity, the Predacons were the descendants of the Decepticons and fought with the same aggression and ideas of conquest. They faced the Maximals in the same way their ancestors had fought the Autobots.

Robots in Disguise

Car Robots Combatron

Try turning your computer upside-down

In the Robots in Disguise cartoon, the Decepticons were a brand new faction that came into being during the events of the story. Because there were so few Decepticons (only six or seven), and because they were a subset of the Predacon antagonists, they can almost be viewed as a subgroup rather than a proper faction. The RiD Decepticons were created on Earth when Megatron's forces captured a set of stasis pods from an ancient Transformer spaceship that had been found on Earth, leading to the birth of the Commandos and Scourge. The toy version of Galvatron was also labeled as a Decepticon, although this "change" in the character's faction was only mentioned once in the cartoon series.

In the Japanese version of RiD, Car Robots, the Decepticons were known as Combatrons. This is the same name by which the G1 Combaticons were called in Japan.

For the Hasbro toy line, several other non-show Decepticons were added to the ranks to help fill out the line. It is unknown how most of these actually fit into the story, though one of them, Axer, is actually a dimension-hopper who arrived from the Generation One universe.

Unicron Trilogy

Cartoon continuity

Armada

The exact origins of the Decepticon faction are a bit muddled. It is widely assumed, though never directly confirmed, that the movement was founded by Megatron. Also, the enslavement of the power-enhancing Mini-Cons is considered to be the impetus to the Decepticons' rise to a massive multi-planet-spanning army, though at what point in the war this occurred is unclear; it's possible the Mini-Cons' arrival was what gave Megatron the opportunity to rise to power, or that they arrived after the war had already begun.

Either way, the Mini-Cons fueled the war machine for centuries, and the war with the Autobots soon spread from Cybertron to other worlds. The self-imposed exile of the Mini-Cons to an unknown destination was seen as a major setback for the Decepticons (and something of a pyrrhic victory for the Autobots), but despite this, the war continued, as both sides had amassed a large enough power base to continue on without the little buggers.

The Autobots and Decepticons seemed to fight to a stalemate, neither able to gain a distinct advantage over the other. When a signal reached Cybertron centuries later that the Mini-Cons had landed on Earth, it seems neither side was capable of sending a full force to retrieve them, despite the power they contained. Though the Decepticon force sent to Earth was small in numbers, it was far from insignificant; Megatron himself led the squad, backed by some of his most trusted warriors.

When Megatron returned to Cybertron, the overwhelming majority of the Mini-Cons were in the protective custody of the Autobots, but Megatron was unfazed; he had assembled the Mini-Cons required to make the three legendary weapons the Star Saber, Skyboom Shield and Requiem Blaster. Bolstered by this new power and the apparent death of Optimus Prime, Megatron attempted to take Cybertron once and for all.

But Megatron's return to Cybertron was the beginning of the end of the Decepticon army. When Unicron revealed himself as a threat to both armies, fueled by the negative psychic energies from centuries of death and destruction, the two sides eventually joined together to beat back the planet-eater. Despite the truce, Megatron and Prime engaged in a brutal duel on the surface of the weakened Unicron after the three legendary weapons had been removed from his core. Realizing their battle was keeping Unicron active, Megatron sacrificed himself, and both Unicron and Megatron disappeared into nothingness.

Energon

169942-150x500

Now available with added purple!

Megatron's final orders to his troops still stood: work with the Autobots. The Decepticons maintained a degree of autonomy, still wearing the faction sigil and often taking military/defensive positions in the growing number of energon-mining colonies, but they were ultimately answerable to Optimus Prime and the Autobots. There were, of course, dissenters, most of whom were captured and imprisoned. For a decade, Autobot and Decepticon worked side-by-side in a somewhat stable truce.

Both sides found themselves the target of attacks from Unicron again; hordes of Terrorcon drones, sent by Alpha Quintesson to steal energon ore with which to revive the now-shattered husk of Unicron. What the alien did not count on was that Megatron's spark had survived within the remains, and was siphoning energon from Unicron's body. Soon the Decepticon leader revived himself in a new form, drove off Alpha Quintesson, and along with an elite cadre of soldiers and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of mindless Terrorcon drones, began his new plans for conquest.

When news of Megatron's return reached Cybertron, hundreds of Decepticons rose up and rebelled, eager to get back to conquering. But having been joined to Unicron for so long apparently had given Megatron a taste of godhood; he had no more interest in amassing a galaxy-spanning army of troops. Countless Decepticons died in the resulting battles, with Megatron more than willing to sacrifice them without a thought to attain ultimate power for himself. As the "Powerlinx Battles" -as they came to be called- came to their climax, Megatron found that his actions and thoughts were being influenced and controlled by the dark spark of Unicron. Unwilling to let Unicron stand in his way, Megatron ultimately sacrificed himself (again) and seemingly destroyed Unicron's spark by plunging himself into a newly-formed energon sun created by Primus.

Cybertron

What little remained of the once-mighty Decepticon army after Megatron's loss was at best a loose association of criminals, thugs, and lunatics, with no real political or military power to speak of. For a decade, Cybertron was once again at peace, with the population overwhelmingly Autobot or neutral. The Transformers had withdrawn from Earth and its other colonies to focus on revitalizing their homeworld after the devastation of the Powerlinx Battles. However, two great catastrophes shattered this peace; the energon sun collapsed in on itself, forming the powerful black hole known as the Unicron Singularity, which threatened to devour Cybertron and, if left unchecked, the entire universe... and the return yet once again of Megatron, who had absorbed much of what remained of Unicron's power.

Megatron's goal of attaining godhood was now at hand. By obtaining the legendary Omega Lock and the four Cyber Planet Keys, Megatron intended to accelerate the growth of the black hole, consuming the universe in a vast sea of nothingness that only he would survive, then use his powers to re-create the universe in his image.

To this end, he had no need of an army. He gathered a small group of allies and lackeys to seek the items he needed, but they were nothing more than pawns to him, to be used and discarded at a whim.

The Decepticons briefly regained their status as a mass army of individuals when Starscream, who had long suffered at Megatron's hands since the beginning of the Decepticons, made his own bid for ultimate power with the help of the Planet X agent Sideways. Having sealed Megatron and his troops in a trap, Starscream freed hundreds of criminal Transformers who had been locked up on Earth for millennia, and formed his own globe-spanning army. The Decepticon "Monsters" were tasked with finding the Omega Lock and Earth's Cyber Planet Key, which they eventually brought to their leader. However, numerous Decepticons were killed in the battles with the Autobots, and it soon became apparent that Starscream, like Megatron before him, didn't care. Most of these criminals soon abandoned Starscream and went into hiding.

As for Megatron, he too had deserters among his own considerably-small ranks. Most notably, the powerful Scourge, leader of the Jungle Planet and the colossal Menasor from Gigantion, both of whom eventually joined forces with their former enemies the Autobots.

This was not seen as a concern for Megatron, however, as by this time Starscream and his allies were seemingly destroyed on Gigantion, and Megatron (now calling himself "Galvatron" again) had the Omega Lock and all four Keys. What few Decepticons remained loyal to him were too stupid to see what Galvatron had planned, and made perfect distractions as he set his final plan in motion. If they weren't strong enough to survive the coming cataclysm, then so be it.

NewDecepticonArmy

The New Decepticon Army


Ultimately, Galvatron's plan failed, and the Unicron Singularity was sealed. His remaining Decepticons quickly left him, realizing what was likely to have happened to them, and eventually joined the Autobots. After Galvatron's seemingly-final defeat and death in a one-on-one duel with Optimus Prime on Cybertron's moon, the Decepticons, not knowing when to quit, rose again, albeit in a rather pathetic fashion. Having cobbled together a rather rickety rocket, Ransack, Crumplezone and Thunderblast shanghaied the reluctant Thundercracker, who was really keen on being on the winning side for once, and flew off to parts unknown as the New Decepticon "Army".

They made it to Mars before the rocket crash-landed.

Meanwhile, the Autobot Wing Saber reported form a deep-space recon mission that he thought he had picked up traces of Starscream, seemingly backed up by Sideways and Soundwave. Landmine and the former Decepticon Mudflap raced off to join Wing Saber and investigate...

Comics continuity

Armada

Founded by Megatron, the exact number of the original Decepticons is unknown. Using the Mini-Cons as weapons, they were able to conquer Cybertron and force the Autobots underground. Eventually they were beaten due to the arrival of Unicron: his heralds slaughtered the entire Decepticon base on Cybertron, and the Chaos-Bringer's arrival forced them to join forces with the Autobots. With Megatron shot dead during the Unicron battle, the peace held for a period of years.

Transformers (2007) movie

The Decepticons are the Transformers who sided with Lord High Protector Megatron and attempted to seize the All Spark. Their forces ranged from the treacherous, the fanatical, the violent, and the spastic, to the treacherously fanatically violent spazzes. The Decepticons overwhelmed the valiant yet peaceful Autobots, and Optimus Prime made the desperate decision to launch the All Spark into deep space. Megatron obsessively followed after it, and disappeared. Starscream took over leadership, and began a search for Megatron and the All Spark. After a while, Starscream began to focus more on the All Spark, hoping Megatron would remain lost, something the other Decepticons began to suspect.

It was later revealed that The Fallen manipulated Megatron into forming the Decepticons.

The Decepticons are, in general, less human in appearance than the Autobots in the movie, resembling carnivorous mammals, birds, turtles, insects, corkscrews, a cyclops or the Decepticon insignia itself. The comics show that the Decepticons are overstretched on Cybertron: they use drone units to bolster their forces and many of their outposts are mostly automated.

In a departure from previous Transformers incarnations, Japan used the name "Decepticons" for this franchise, rather than "Destrons".[2]

What is also most noticeable about the Decepticons in the movie franchise is that they've actually been designed to resemble the insignia of their faction, most notably The Fallen, Megatron, Blackout, Soundwave, and Barricade.

Transformers Animated

4 million stellar cycles ago, the Autobots and Decepticons battled each other in what is now known as The Great War. The Autobots pulled a victory after sending the AllSpark into deep space. Defeated, the Decepticons dispersed, and according to Ultra Magnus, the only sight of them would be an occasional scout ship. In fact, they had been missing for so long, Optimus Prime believed a Decepticon presence was a thing of the past. This was quickly reassessed upon encountering Megatron's crew.

The Decepticons in Transformers: Animated are planned to be fought by the Autobots a lot less at than in previous continuities during the first half of the series, instead staying mostly in the background, thus making it more momentous whenever they do appear. To go with this plan, the Decepticons are, for the most part, stronger (and bigger) than the Autobots in this series. One Decepticon is generally depicted as being stronger than a group of Autobots, with few exceptions. In fact, after the AllSpark was destroyed it's mentioned that the only advantage that Autobots had over the Decepticons were their exclusive access to space bridges (which, according to Megatron at least, is one of two things that led to Decepticons' defeat, the other being the AllSpark). Megatron, Lugnut, Blitzwing, Sunstorm, Ramjet and Shockwave were all defeated and brought back to Cybertron. Starscream died. Team Chaar, Laserbeak, and the rest of the Starscream clones are still at large. Swindle escaped somewhere into space.

Shattered Glass

Decepticon Shattered Glass

Decepticons wage their battles to destroy...

The Decepticons are a resistance group, intended to overthrow Autobot tyranny and their dastardly leader, Optimus Prime. Led by the heroic Megatron, the 'Cons want to liberate Cybertron and preserve freedom and life across the galaxy, no matter the cost.

Prime

The Decepticons in Transformers: Prime fought the Autobots on Cybertron until everyone died, or at least only the characters that were never mentioned or seen in the show. There are hardly any Autobots to be found against several Decepticons. Most Decepticons are Eradicons, which have the same design. Only a few different Decepticons are seen, which are Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Skyquake, Knockout, Breakdown, Airachnid, Makeshift, Laserbeak, and Dreadwing. The leader Megatron can be extremely strict, so is Starscream. Megatron will just beat up Starscream for failure and wasting opportunities for success by poor choices. Starscream, when he was a leader, scratched Knockout painfully with his claw as cosmetic punishment, and he enjoyed doing this. An Eradicon who was just talking when Starscream wanted everyone to shut up got slapped before. When Megatron got angry at Starscream for trying to leave him dead in space, Starscream got badly beaten up and needed to get medical treatment afterwards. Knockout is the medical officer. Sometimes they beat up themselves harder than the Autobots.

Notes

Vocabulary

References

  1. The letters page of Marvel UK#33
  2. Movie Decepticons toy listing on Takaratomy.com

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