Whether you're a longtime enthusiast or a new fan, this succinct history of the robots in disguise will get you up to speed.

Any Transformers fan will tell you that keeping track of the storyline and history of the characters is nearly impossible. That's because the Transformers fiction is a tangle of competing continuities. What's the origin of Optimus Prime? It depends on which cartoon, comic, novel, movie, or toy storyline you're following.

In the last couple of years, Hasbro has been making a significant effort to clarify and codify these many disparate fictions into a meaningful new timeline. These days, the novels, cartoons, and games share a history that is generally consistent with itself, and one might even reference events in another.

In the interest of offering an official history, we asked High Moon Studios, in cooperation with Hasbro, to prepare a timeline that explains the emerging fiction. If you've been paying attention to the Transformers for many years, you'll notice elements of the story drawn from the original generation of stories, not the least of which is the tracing of a history that takes the Transformers from Cybertron to Earth. Careful readers will also notice some new hints about the direction of the Fall of Cybertron storyline.

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For more on Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, make sure and explore our growing game hub, including extensive articles on the game and interviews with the team at High Moon Studios. To reach the hub, click on the banner below.