“Metroplex heeds the call of the last Prime. Also: Nachos.”
A lot of Transformers fans have things they’re looking forward to in the sequel of Transformers: War for Cybertron, titled Fall of Cybertron. Some are looking forward to learning more about the story which precedes the current television series, Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Rescue Bots, in the new “Aligned” continuity family. Others are eager to take control of the mighty Dinobot leader Grimlock or the Decepticons’ Combaticon combiner, Bruticus, and lay waste to their enemies through sheer force on the battlefield.
Me? I’m looking forward to all of those things, too. But since Game Informer first pulled back the curtain on the game, there is one element I’ve been dying to see. And at E3, it finally happened.
If there is one thing I’ve always loved in Transformers, it is the type of robot often classified as a city-bot. There’s just something cool to me about the idea of a giant transforming robot on that scale, a robot you could essentially live in. Of course, there are also the two full-sized “planet-bots” (sorry, no wiki page that I could find), Primus and Unicron, but perhaps they’re something else entirely.
Then again, despite having Transformers who can turn into entire planets, they are positively dwarfed– in toy form, anyway– by the mighty Fortress Maximus, a two-foot tall titan (toy scale, mind) who, as Matt of X-Entertainment once put it, “an Autobot who can literally end a battle by stepping on it.”
“This toy wasn’t one you picked out because he had a great catch phrase or because he kicked Decepticon ass on the show. You wanted him because he was big enough to kick your ass.” Who wouldn’t want that kind of power at their beck and call?
Of course, like many Transformers fans of the day, Fortress Maximus was out of my reach (note: he is among my personal “holy grails” of collecting). I only had one city-bot growing up, and that was Metroplex.
Incidentally, there is the matter of scale. Scale is something we try to avoid talking about, because to do so is to chase madness, as no one gets it right. Ever. This is why so many Transformers appear at inconceivable sizes next to one-another, and the city-bots are no different. With guys like Metroplex and Trypticon appearing at gargantuan, mountain-like sizes in one scene, and in others like a really big building, it’s tough to keep track of just how big some of them are really supposed to be.
And then there are the toys, where a motorcycle can be larger than a tractor-trailer. It’s for reasons such as this that discussions have existed in which the participants have tried to figure out whether Fortress Maximus and his two foot tall toy are actually (read: in fiction) bigger than “Autobot City” Metroplex, and his 10-12 inch plastic form. Speaking in terms of toy sizes, I figure the reason Ultra Magnus is Autobot City Commander is because he’s big enough to look the city in the eye and tell it what to do.
In more frequently-seen portrayals, such as the image above for the Japanese Headmasters cartoon, Metroplex, despite being called a city, is really just like a rather large command center. But on occasion, some creators of the fiction really try to do right by him; one is the IDW comics, and the other is Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
The set-up here is like a dream come true: using one of my favorites, Optimus Prime (of course), you have the opportunity to awaken Metroplex from his slumber. Jazz gets a grappling hook, Cliffjumper can use stealth technology, and Optimus? His special ability is to command a city. Check it out:
Head to about 4:19 for my favorite part.
As Blaster once said, “Metroplex is my kind of town!”
And okay, maybe he does still seem like a really big building or compound. But it’s still an impressive sight, and they seem to be getting ever-closer. Maybe someday we’ll see a Transformer who really is the size of a city. In the meantime, I’m eagerly looking forward to this game’s release, when I can finally take command (through Optimus Prime) of Metroplex, though one thing concerns me…
It’s been established that Fall of Cybertron involves the Autobots abandoning Cybertron aboard the Ark. But what happens to Metroplex? There’s no way he could fit on that ship.