THE AUTOBOT HIERARCHY
Revised December 31, 2009
This is my vision of a relatively uncomplicated organizational Autobot chart. As it includes every single named Autobot, some of them could be considered difficult to place, but I did my best to find a suitable spot for everyone.
The chart is fairly large, but there simply was no way to make it smaller, what with the sheer number of Autobots available to depict. The Decepticon chart will take up considerably less space.
Further to various comments I have received with regard to this image, I feel it necessary to point out certain conditions applicable to my choice of arrangement and labeling. The primary condition: My work is based solely on the isolated U.S. G1 continuity as it originally appeared in cartoon form in the 1980s. I therefore consider any retroactive references added to later franchises, such as BEAST WARS, BEAST MACHINES, or ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, to be without relevance to my work.
In other words, if a BEAST MACHINES toy tech spec suggests that the function of an obscure one-off character was such and such, I do not care. If an episode of ROBOTS IN DISGUISE claims that DION was rebuilt into ULTRA MAGNUS (which is an admitted nod to a fan theory as part of a translation from a Japanese TV series, at that), I reserve the right to discount it.
I draw upon the following three sources:
VISUAL REPRESENTATION - THE U.S. G1 TV SERIES (and a little bit of the comic book)
The TV series represents roughly 95 % of visual references. In the relatively few cases where facial / cranial representation in the TV series is as scarce as to be unusable for reference, I have drawn upon their depictions in either THE TRANSFORMERS: UNIVERSE or some of their appearances in the original comic book. I would have preferred that all of my references be intrinsic to the TV series, but these alternate sources are acceptable as the finalized character models were used for all G1 permutations.
FUNCTIONS AND TITLES - THE TRANSFORMERS: UNIVERSE
The TRANSFORMERS: UNIVERSE forms the basis of both the original comic book and TV series characters and the latter medium, though it tends to be less concretely stated, follows the functions and titles in the former described. That is how I am able to determine, for example, that TAILGATE is a scout or that TANTRUM is a fueler.
FUNCTIONS AND TITLES - TOY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
In extremely few instances, official toys appeared as characters in the TV series and did not receive TRANSFORMERS: UNIVERSE profiles. For their functions, I had to consult their toy tech specs. That allowed me, for instance, to designate SWERVE as a metallurgist.
SINGULAR SERIES-ONLY CHARACTERS
So what of one-off characters that were neither made into toys nor featured in contemporaneous media?
All there is to base functions upon is the dialogue and action taking place in a character's episode appearance. In some cases, these obscure characters have been mentioned and even enlarged upon in official latter-day media, but given my isolated frame of reference, I ignore these retroactive depictions, which are often made simply to appeal to fans with whom they originate.
To reiterate my earlier point: If an IDW comic book were to claim that DEVCON used to be a Cybertronian mailman, it has absolutely no bearing on the way I choose to present the character -- because it never came up in THE GAMBLER.
I welcome anyone to disagree with my structuring and classification of the characters, but do me the gracious favour of not arguing with it or telling me I am wrong in any context outside of the original U.S. G1 universe.
That is all.