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State Games

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The War begins...

Published in: Transformers Annual 1987

Writer: James Hill

Art: Uncredited, possibly John Stokes

  • Originally published: September 1986

Synopsis

State games 1

The golden age before the golden age.

Set before the war began, the State Games was an inter-city competition created by the Autobot Overlord to facilitate goodwill between the various city states such as Iacon, Tarn and Vos. Tensions had been rising on Cybertron as new Transformer life was created unabated putting increased pressure on the planet's resources.

Megatron, a citizen of Tarn, was a successful but particularly vicious athlete. Optimus Prime was very much his equal, and the two shared a somewhat acrimonious sporting rivalry.

The games in this story were being held in Tarn. The Vos athletic team broke into Tarn's power generator with the purpose of planting a bomb, destroying Tarn, while at the same time leaving evidence to suggest that it was Iacon who were responsible. The resulting war would decimate Tarn and Iacon, leaving Vos (ruled by a criminal syndicate headed by Starscream) the most powerful city on Cybertron. However the team were caught in the process. The bomb still went off, but not before Vos' guilt became known. Tarn was instantly nearly completely destroyed and the war between Vos and Tarn began.

State games 2

'Ey buddy, can you spare me a dime?

The commencement of hostilities trapped the athletes and the Autobot Overlord in what was now the frontline of a inter-city war. The Autobot Overlord was ancient and frail, and required frequent care. Megatron and Optimus Prime accompanied the Overlord's two bodyguards Ravage and Nightstalker in attempting to return the Overlord to Iacon through the battlefield. However the fighting became too intense, and Optimus Prime left the other three with the Overlord to go to Iacon alone to gather reinforcements. While Prime was away Nightstalker sacrificed himself in a suicide explosion leaving only Ravage and Megatron to stand guard. Megatron, seeing that Cybertron was about to go through a major political change, left the Overlord to die, with Ravage following suit.

When the war between Vos and Tarn had finished, Megatron convinced the survivors to unite as a new faction, Decepticons, against Iacon, who Megatron was convinced could have intervened to prevent the war.

Items of note

  • This issue is prefaced with the title "A Tale from Cybertron".
  • Optimus Prime is but a successful Iaconian athlete in this story. The Autobot Overlord seems to be the (possibly figurehead) leader of Cybertron. Emirate Xaaron and High Councilor Tomaandi appear to be Iacon politicians, with General Traachon being the leader of the Iacon military.
  • This story tells us how Megatron originally came across his fusion cannon. Notice that he's (intentionally) missing it in all the artwork of this story.
  • This story precedes "And There Shall Come...a Leader!" chronologically and retcons that story's stance that Megatron and Prime did not know each other before the war.
  • The concept of the Decepticons having their origins in gladiatorial games was visited again in both the Dreamwave and IDW continuities.
  • IDW's Megatron Origin is in many ways a retelling of "State Games", using combat games (albeit illegal), economic depression and anger towards the politics of Iacon as major plot points.


Note: Fan speculation back in the day had Overlord as Sentinel Prime. However, other stories set around this time cannot be reconciled with events in this story, as Prime is specifically referred to as "Prime". The use of the term "Prime" as leader of the Autobots was a constant introduced later in the G1 mythos.

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