|“||We are the Vok, the guardians of The One. We are of the Source, the Core, forever committed to safeguard the Plan. But it was not always so.||”|
—The Vok, Primeval Dawn, Part 3
The Vok were mysterious energy-based alien creatures who developed prehistoric Earth towards their own designs. The Vok were dedicated to "the Project", which consisted of enigmatic, sometimes contradictory plans for the planet. As a result of these experiments, there were a number of anomalies on the Earth, including Floating island, Standing Stones, and a Planet Buster.
Beast Wars cartoon continuity
Beast Wars cartoon
- Voice actor: Blu Mankuma and Richard Newman (English), Hidetoshi Nakamura (Japanese), Carlos Campanille (Portuguese)
Their experiments were irreparably wrecked as a result of the Beast Wars. The Vok decided to cut their losses by revealing the nature of the second moon: An immense cannon designed to destroy the planet! Optimus Primal sacrificed himself in order to destroy the Planet Buster.
As a result of the Planet Buster's explosion, a Quantum surge was released. The surge caused a mutation in several of the Transformers (notably, Megatron, Rattrap, Cheetor and Tarantulas) turning them into Transmetals. The destruction of the Planet Buster also released a Transwarp wave that traveled through space and time, eventually reaching Cybertron in the era from which the Axalon and Darksyde crews originated.
Later in the series, the Vok made several other attempts to wipe out the Transformers, notably a second weapon, the Metal Hunter, which appeared on the planet and the abduction of the Maximals Airazor and Tigatron.
Near the end of the Beast Wars, the Vok sent an emissary, Tigerhawk (a newly created fusion of Airazor and Tigatron), to Earth to deal with Megatron's disruption of the timestream. Tigerhawk was able to destroy the Predacon base, but was eventually subdued and captured by Tarantulas. Tarantulas was able to draw the Vok out of Tigerhawk's frame and into his own, but this led to his own destruction...
...and subsequent Vok-powered rebirth.
Now established as the enlightened descendants of Swarm, the Vok's goal in guiding Earth's development was to atone for their shameful and destructive past. Knowing that Tarantulas had stolen their own power for his evil plans, the Vok turned to the Ark, creating Primal Prime (from the Matrix, a Datasphere and Quickstrike's control harness) and restoring the sparks of Airazor and Tigatron to separate Transmetal bodies, hoping they could defeat Tarantulas. Later when they lost the Matrix to the zombified-arachnid, they merged themselves with Primal Prime in order to provide a temporary substitute to the Matrix. Primal Prime gained a snazzy new Vok-shaped breastplate out of the deal.
IDW Beast Wars comics
The Vok are the enlightened evolution of the Swarm, an combination of Cybertronian, human, and mysterious lizard species life. Their aim is to find the optimal path of development for the sources of its components, especially Cybertronians.
After Tigerhawk was destroyed, the Vok granted Airazor a Transmetal body using a blank protoform. Tigatron gained a new Transmetal body, as well, and his experience with the Vok expanded his awareness of nature to the entire Universe.
Antagony was "reconstructed" by the Vok to act as a provocateur in whatever realities they toss her into, to test the upper limits of Cybertronians. Antagony, however, believes that she is from a future ruled by Shokaract, and did work for him at one point.
After Rhinox's death as Tankor, the Vok took his spark from the Matrix, gave him a new body, and dropped him into different realities supposedly to combat Unicron's chaos, but really to manipulate Cybertronian history. Rhinox realizes this and does not trust the Vok, but, out of guilt for his actions as Tankor, still helps any Cybertronian he comes across.
Transformers Animated cartoon
In the course of writing the Beast Wars television show, the co-story editors had conflicting ideas on who the Vok were. Bob Forward liked to imagine the Vok as the evolutionary endpoint of all sentient life in the universe, shaping the development of other races in order to eventually guide them into becoming Vok themselves. Larry DiTillio wanted to link the Vok to The Swarm, who, in his version of the events of the Generation Two comic book, had completely wiped out humanity and wished to atone for their crimes. Neither origin made it into the television show before it completed.
Ultimately, the Vok origin was published as backstory for OTFCC's Primeval Dawn storyline and IDW's Beast Wars Sourcebook.
The Beast Wars Universe book says that the Vok's experiments on Earth were part of an attempt to further evolve Humanity, as the Vok had destroyed the human race while existing as the Swarm. It states that the energon crystals were seeded so that they would become energon cubes by the time Humanity came about. This would give them a reliable fuel source which wouldn't harm the environment, as energon actually provided nutrients to the soil of the planet and didn't harm its animals. The Vok also attempted to play the role of God for humans, intending to guide their development and reveal their true nature once the Vok felt the humans were ready. It also states that the Vok had been forced to destroy Earth several times before the events of Other Voices, Part 2, all the while subtly manipulating the timestream after they did. Only contact with Tigatron made them unsure if this was a good idea. The canonicity of these claims is currently being debated, but one thing is for sure: Old habits die hard.
The golden disk that the Vok left on prehistoric Earth displayed ten symbols at a time, five on each side. Symbols spontaneously changed from one to another; there were 15 unique symbols. The first four symbols on the upper left row each represented an alien artifact.
- The first symbol represented the Flying Island from The Trigger, Part 1 and Part 2. The triangle might represent the island while the eye indicates that it watches the island.
- The second symbol represented the Standing Stones from Chain of Command. the arches are the longer stone pieces. the middle piece with waves indicated a signal area where it can communicate with the vok.
- The third symbol represented the Planet Buster from Other Voices, Part 1 and Part 2.
- The fourth symbol represented the Metal Hunter from Other Visits (Part 1) and Part 2. the shape is most like the hull of the Metalhunter
- The fifth symbol on the top row was used to mark traps on the Flying Island. The meaning of the other ten symbols was not explained. The ones in the second row seem to imply human agriculture and civilization. Second from bottom left might be the Ark in side of Mt. St Hilary. Third from bottom left appears to be a Megatron's eye perspective of Unicron.
- Most of the Beast Wars episodes involving the Vok begin with the word "Other", followed by a word starting with the letter V. See: "Other Voices" Parts 1 and 2, "Other Visits" (Parts 1 and 2), and "Other Victories".
- Again according to Beast Wars Universe, Larry DiTillio's ideas were that the Vok had created protoforms and Sparks in order to force Transformers to evolve into Maximals and Predacons. Only high-ranking entities like the High Council were aware of this alien origin.