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Submitted on
September 26, 2008
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The Decepticon Hierarchy by Trecathlus The Decepticon Hierarchy by Trecathlus
Revised July 18, 2010

Here is the rather obvious companion to THE AUTOBOT HIERARCHY. Not as much smaller in dimension as I first thought it would be, but the smaller roster of characters does mean there is less data in the image, making it a bit more download-friendly.

Again, a pretty straightforward chart. Even with their advantage of not caring about Earth's population and the state of their surroundings, it seems kind of odd that the Autobots, with their far greater force, could not have defeated them more readily. But then, the TV series would have been pretty short, would it not?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the set.


Further to various comments I have received with regard to THE AUTOBOT HIERARCHY, 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.


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.


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.


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 SOUNDWAVE'S Autoscout cassette -- hardly even a character, but certainly a one-off -- once possessed a personality like its self-motivating brethren, but had it stripped away, I would find it somewhat intriguing, but I would in no way think of it as intrinsically G1-canonical because A PRIME PROBLEM never confirmed it as fact.

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.

Thank you.
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Trecathlus 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much, Hellbat. That's appreciated. :-)
Backfire37 Dec 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Trecathlus Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
(Pretenders**). Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the Transformers from 1988 also considered G1? I would like to think so because they had a lot of signature G1 model style toys.


I would love to see them incorporated as well in the future if the time permitted for you. In 1989 is where they ended up with the cheezy Pretenders and the Transformers we all grew to love as per toy line ended.
Targetmasters* (the ones that came with the 2 guns that folded over).
You did AWESOME work!!! You saved me countless hours I was just about to sacrifice! I was going to go through all the Tech Specs and record all the Bots/Cons "Functions". I spent about 4 hours googling "Transformers Rank list" and found NOTHING! Luckily at the bottom it had Hierarchy listed and I clicked it. Kuddos! Now I haven't read all the threading but we're you thinking of adding some more of the G1's, Not the stupid Pretendors or the other blasphemies that robbed the Trans of their innocents but for example the "Seacons?!" I think you know where I am going with this, the Triggermasters, Powermasters, etc.
Bittythings Sep 17, 2012   General Artist
'Cannon Fodder'

Oh Sweeps. Poor Sweeps.
Trecathlus Sep 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm surprised at how many people react to that particular designation. I guess it's a little bit tongue-in-cheek. But even the show itself referred to "the other Decepticons" as "gun fodder" -- a rather elitist utterance from CYCLONUS. ;-)
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