Cybertronians (also known as Transformers) are the main species of the Transformers franchise, a type of robotic alien with the ability to change shape from a humanoid mode to one or more "alternate" modes, usually a vehicle or animal.
The specific origin of Transformer life varies wildly from universe to universe, but the majority of universes contain some version of the following:
Transformers were created by Primus, god of order and life. They usually take to the stars and colonize other planets. However, the most recognizable point of Cybertronian lore is their civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The conflict is mostly defined by what each faction believes is the "destiny" of the Transformers: the Autobots believe in a peaceful society where Cybertron is a place of culture and justice, while the Decepticons believe in a "might makes right" philosophy where Cybertron would be the center of a mighty empire.
When not in a state of war, Cybertronian society generally mirrors human society: social hierarchies, a developed economy, education for newly-made Transformers, art and culture, and so on. However, Cybertronian culture also places a high degree of importance on one's alternate mode (also referred to as an alt-mode). Depending on what universe they belong to, one's alt-mode might decide their career path or social caste.
The vast majority of Transformers continuities have firmly established that Transformers reproduce asexually, though the individual mechanisms of just how a new Transformer comes to life can vary even within the same fictional universe. The creation of a new Transformer generally begins with the ignition of a "spark", although the origin of the spark may vary. The spark serves as a combined heart and soul for the Transformer; if the spark is extinguished, the Transformer dies. This spark is usually implanted within a suitable body. The body can be a specifically constructed "shell" awaiting a spark to be implanted, a "protoform" made of a living liquid metal that develops into a Transformer upon spark contact, or a human vehicle brought to life by the power of the spark.
Once brought online, the newly-created Transformer matures to near adulthood almost immediately. Although some retain adolescent personalities for some time, in general all Transformers can speak, reason, make decisions, and coordinate their body immediately after creation.
Unlike most other types of robots, Transformers are not immortal. Their lifespan varies wildly at whatever the author deems to be "a very long time," but it's usually measured in millions of years. However, given long enough, Transformers will eventually die of old age, usually related to cognitive or mobility issues. Upon death, a Transformer's spark is extinguished and returns to the Afterspark or Allspark, a multiversal realm where the spark spends eternity in communion with all other sparks of those who have died or have yet to live.
Transformers run on energon, a crystalline substance refined into a liquid for consumption. It serves as both fuel and blood, evidently catalyzed by the spark for energy. This energy is used in relation to a number of internal organs, many of which are analogous to similar structures found in humans. Fuel tanks take the place of stomachs, for example. However, Transformers also carry more specialized organs such as the transformation cog (for controlling transformation) or spark chamber (houses and protects the spark).
Although the average Transformer is humanoid, there is no limit to what shape a Transformer might take. Outside of the humanoid Transformers, other members usually have at least one set of arms and some form of locomotion. Likewise, Transformers gender is variable as well. Most Transformers use "he/him" pronouns by default, although many universes categorize the whole species as agender/genderless until the Transformer themself decides differently. Transformers have historically gone by he, she, it, and they pronouns.
The foundational aspect of Transformers is their ability to transform into various objects for purposes such as transportation or combat. A few types of Transformers are listed below.
- Transformer: The standard model. Your average Transformer has the ability to change shape into human-scale vehicle, such as a car, tank, or plane.
- Micromasters and Mini-cons: Transformers but smaller. They may turn into miniature versions of their larger counterparts (e.g. a car too small for a human to ride in) or have scale-appropriate smaller alt-modes such as motorized scooters or weapons for larger Transformers.
- Combiner: A combiner is a Transformer made of other Transformers. They generally do not have alt-modes, but can split apart into several individuals.
- Triple-changer: Some Transformers can have more than one alternate mode; the number can range from three modes (robot mode and two vehicles) to as many as six modes.
- Beastformer: These Transformers turn into animals rather than vehicles or machines. They are usually semi-organic.
- Baseformer: Some Transformers turn into buildings rather than machines. These buildings are usually only utilized by smaller Transformers such as Micromasters.
- Titan: A special class of Transformer, Titans are massive machines that can turn into large-crew, long-distance spaceships or entire cities.