The Abundant Easter Eggs Of Transformers: Devastation
It came as something of a surprise when we learned earlier this year that Platinum’s next action opus would be a Transformers game. But when the game released, it turned out to be a strong, stylish action game filled with nostalgia for the original 1980s Transformers cartoon, and for the broader body of Transformers lore. We learned that one of the big reasons for that nostalgia is that many of the developers at Platinum are tremendous fans of the franchise.
Now that the game has been out for a few months, we asked Platinum and Activision to highlight some of the hidden secrets to be found in Transformers: Devastation. The developer surprised us with the number of inclusions, and we’ve included many of the best below, along with our descriptions of how everything fits into the Transformers canon. In the case where a character or weapon appeared in multiple Transformers story continuities, we’ve highlighted the best remembered appearance.
Players could find little Kremzeek as a collectible in Devastation, but the creature was a central plot component in one of the old ‘80s cartoon episodes. Megatron and Starscream created the tiny being, which hungered after energy. It was unleashed on the unsuspecting Autobots, before heading to Japan to feast. The Autobots eventually destroy it (mostly), but not before it transforms into a massive Kaiju-sized threat.
Forge of Solus Prime
In more recent years, the Aligned Transformers continuity more fully explored the ancient myths and legends of the Transformers, including the original Primes. One of those characters was a Transformer named Solus Prime, and she wielded a massive hammer with the power to craft nearly anything. The Forge (pictured up top) shows up in the Transformers: Prime cartoon, and makes another appearance now within Devastation.
The Star Saber and Dark Star Saber
These two opposing swords are significant artifacts when they appear in the Transformers: Prime cartoon. The Star Saber is originally wielded by the first Transformer, Prima, and becomes a mythic object in the millennia that follow. At the conclusion of Transformers: Prime, Optimus Prime and Megatron duel to determine the fate of Earth. The appearance of the weapons within the game should raise the eyebrows of any fan familiar with that fight.
One of the most iconic and memorable weapons in Transformers lore, Starscream’s weapon was exciting because of its unique function in the original 1980s cartoon. It could be fired to disable electrical devices – an early appearance of a sci-fi weapon that did more than simply blow up a bad guy (even though it could do that as well). Over various cartoon episodes, the null-ray was used to disable Bumblebee for reprogramming, and halting the power generators at an electric-generating water dam.
A careful look at potential inventory in Transformers: Devastation reveals a wealth of additional weapons, many of which were lesser known, but still firmly rooted in the traditions of the cartoons and toys. The GZS-3 and MA685 were both weapons that came with the Generation-2 version of the Sideswipe toy, while the the Galaxial Launcher was one of Grimlock’s weapons in the original 1985 toy.
Next Page: The many secrets hidden in the signs and stores of Transformers: Devastation
Signs for Maccadam’s Vintage Oils are peppered into Transformers: Devastation – presumably a brand of motor oil popular in that version of Earth. However, the name is actually a nod to a familiar mainstay of Transformers fiction that has shown up in both comics and cartoons. While the details vary depending on the continuity, Maccadam’s is generally a place where Transformers gather together to drink away their sorrows with some tasty oil. It’s generally considered to be a place of neutral ground in the war between the Autobots and Decepticons.
Search the city carefully, and you’ll find a jewelry store in Transformers: Devastation called Bahoudin’s. It’s an homage to the original cartoon, in which the Pearl of Bahoudin is an ancient spherical object covered in jewels, which secretly turns out to be a potent power core that crashed onto Earth many centuries ago. Unsurprisingly, the Decepticons want to use it for evil, and the Autobots (particularly Bumblebee) manage to stop them.
Few if any human characters are more associated with the Transformers than Spike Witwicky. In various incarnations of the story, Spike has been a major player, but especially in the original 1980s cartoon, where he was a boy who befriended Bumblebee and the Autobots. Spike and his dad were both mechanics, so it’s appropriate that in Transformers: Devastation, we see a billboard for S. Witwicky Auto Repairs. His dad’s nickname is Sparkplug, and that name is also included on the billboard.
Yet another store that can be found in the game, Lander’s Beverages is an acknowledgment of the somewhat lesser known Super-God Masterforce cartoon, which still had links to the original G1 cartoon. In that cartoon, viewers were introduced to a Transformer Pretender named Lander. Lander was one of several Autobot Pretenders who crash landed on Earth many centuries ago, and took on human form in order to battle the Decepticons, who in turn had taken on monstrous forms. By modern day times, Lander was a connoisseur of fine things, including great wine – thus the nod to beverages in the game.
Particularly observant players can note the appearance of Prim Cola signs when wandering through the streets of Transformers: Devastation. Prim Cola has no special significance, but it did appear as a soft drink in the original 1980s cartoon, where it was likely a play off of Optimus Prime’s name. Another obscure refence is to Becky’s Coffee – a nod to a frame from the old Marvel Transformers comics. You’ll also see signs for a Mega Burger Combo. Game players wouldn’t know this, but the original plan for the restaurant name was Burger House, which was a fast food place in the old Marvel comics. Platinum was forced to change the name due to legal reasons.
Next Page: The roots of the Transformers character stats, and how Platinum modeled the story for the game from old cartoons
If you ever collected the old toys, this one will come as no surprise. The major character stats that you upgrade in Transformers: Devastation are directly based on the stats that you could find on the original 1980s toy boxes. These scrambled images could be decoded by holding a red piece of plastic over the graph, which in turn revealed each character’s abilities, with a number between one and ten.
Platinum crafted Transformers: Devastation as a direct nod to the familiar flow of a single 1980s cartoon episode. Megatron has a plot that threatens the whole planet, Starscream defies Megatron and subsequently fails, and the Autobots swing in to the rescue at the final moment.
Teasing the Future
In a strange prophecy room in the game’s second stage, Platinum looked to the 1980s Transformers cartoon story to set up predictions about what was going to happen to each character. In particular, the deaths of Wheeljack and Optimus Prime are foreseen, which are meant to predict those deaths as they occurred in the 1986 animated movie, which is presumably set after Transformers: Devastation. Likewise, Optimus’ conclusive two-handed strike against Megatron at the end of Transformers: Devastation is destined to be repeated in their fateful battle during the 1986 movie, in which Megatron is so badly damaged that he loses command (only to reclaim it later after becoming Galvatron), and Optimus Prime is killed.
Did you notice any other cool Easter eggs in your playthrough of Transformers: Devastation? Share your discoveries in the comments below.