Deep in the heart of the Transformers’ homeworld,
Cybertron, is an object of great power: the mother computer that maintains the functions
of the planet itself. More than just a machine, this spherical supercomputer
is a source of vast, ancient knowledge, and serves as a conduit for the power and
the will of the Transformers’ god Primus, through which it can grant new Transformers life. These are The Basics on… Vector Sigma! Vector Sigma first appeared in the original
“Transformers” animated series in the 1980s, in the two-part episode “The Key to Vector Sigma.” This story established that the computer
predated Cybertron, and had been used to program the Transformers,
Autobots and Decepticons alike, with the “cybernetic personalities” that
made them sentient, living beings. VECTOR SIGMA:
“I am Vector Sigma! Before Cybertron was, I was!” Having lain dormant within Cybertron
for millions of years, its chamber protected by a legion of
Centurion Droids, Vector Sigma was brought back online by Megatron after he stole the computer’s activation
key from its guardian, the Autobot sage Alpha Trion, in order to have Vector Sigma give his new
creations, the Stunticons, life. To counter these new Decepticons,
the Autobots built the Aerialbots, but with the key still in Megatron’s possession,
Alpha Trion had to give up his life by merging his consciousness with Vector Sigma
in order to reactivate it once more so it could bring the Aerialbots to life. Back on Earth, Megatron discovered that the
key to Vector Sigma’s possessed another power: it could convert organic matter into metal. Megatron set about using the key
to transform Earth, but the Aerialbots succeeded in stopping him
and destroying the key. Vector Sigma would be seen again
in the series finale, which was the first story to indicate that
the computer had a will of its own, secretly independently working towards the
betterment of Cybertron’s future. ALPHA TRION:
“Do not question Vector Sigma’s motives!” ALPHA TRION:
“The parameters of its thought matrix
are greater than you can imagine!” Temporarily merging with Vector Sigma to speak
with Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime discovered that the computer
had influenced those around it to set in motion a chain of events that led
to the series concluding with the coming of a Second Golden Age to
Cybertron. Vector Sigma also appeared in the Japanese-exclusive
sequel series, “The Headmasters,” which introduced the idea that the computer
was key to the functioning of Cybertron itself. After Optimus Prime released the energy of
the Matrix of the Leadership, without its stabilizing influence, Vector Sigma
began to destabilize, putting Cybertron at risk. To prevent the Decepticons from gaining control
of the computer and through it, the planet, Optimus Prime – like Alpha Trion before
him – sacrificed himself to merge with the computer and bring it under control. It would be over a decade before Vector Sigma returned to American TV screens in 1999’s “Beast Machines.” By the time of this series, set centuries
in the future, Vector Sigma had evolved, transcending physical form to become the Oracle,
a huge, immaterial sphere of light. “Beast Machines” revealed that the computer’s
ability to grant life was due to the fact it was connected to the mystical extradimensional “afterlife”
realm from which all Transformer lifeforces came. Still working to shape the future of Cybertron,
in service of the will of this mystic realm, the Oracle reformatted Maximal leader Optimus
Primal and his crew into techno-organic forms, flesh and metal fused at the cellular level, and charged them with reintroducing organic matter to Cybertron. To combat the Maximals’ efforts, Vehicon
general Tankor recreated the Key to Vector Sigma and used its power to transmute organics into
metal against them, but Optimus managed to defeat him, after which
the Oracle transferred itself into the Maximal leader, enabling him to use its reformatting ability
at Cybertron’s core, transforming the planet
into a techno-organic paradise. The same year, Vector Sigma was also featured
in the Japanese series, “Beast Wars Neo.” Set tens of thousands of years
after “Beast Machines,” this series depicted Vector Sigma as having
ascended to become the ruler of Cybertron, considered by the planet’s populace to be
their god, who handed down orders via the Convoy Council
that ruled under it. Throughout the series, Vector Sigma would occasionally “possess” Maximal commander Big Convoy through his Energon Matrix to share words
of wisdom with Big Convoy’s young troops. In the series finale, Vector Sigma was possessed
by the spirit of the monster planet Unicron, who desired Cybertron as his new body, only
to be driven out by Big Convoy’s team. As the Transformers franchise has expanded
in the 21st century, Vector Sigma has become a major recurring
element of Transformers lore, appearing (or at least being name-dropped)
in virtually every major new iteration of the brand. Virtually unchanged from the original cartoon,
it almost always appears as a faceted sphere, and Alpha Trion is often depicted as is guardian. However, as the complex mythology of
the Transformers multiverse has grown, aspects of Vector Sigma have been reimagined
in order to incorporate the computer into today’s new, expanded lore. Outside of the original cartoon,
the Transformers’ god Primus has come to be depicted by most series as
the creator of all Transformer life; to reconcile this with the cartoon’s idea
of Vector Sigma as the source of life, various sources in the early-to-mid 2000s
revealed that the computer was actually a conduit for Primus’s life-giving power, built to serve as a link between the Transformers
and their god, maintaining the functions of Cybertron while
he slept within the planet, and acting out his will to shape its future, every incarnation of the computer in every
universe linked as part of a vast, multiversal network. Japanese media has even gone one step further, depicting Vector Sigma not simply as a tool
through which Primus acts, but as the transformed body of the sleeping
Primus himself, and the Key to Vector Sigma as the tool through
which Cybertron was created. Some of Vector Sigma’s many appearances
include: Dreamwave Productions’ comic books, which established the idea that the computer’s
connection, via the afterlife, to every Transformer that had ever lived,
granted it a vast databank of historical information, which Shockwave tried to pillage; IDW Publishing’s comic books, in which Galvatron
tried to taint the computer with the evil energy of the eldritch “Heart of Darkness”
in order to turn Cybertron into a portal that would unleash the otherdimensional horror,
the D-Void, on the cosmos; and even the mirror universe
of “Shattered Glass,” which featured Vector Sigma’s evil alternate-dimension
counterpart, the diamond-shaped “Omega Terminus.” Two official toys of the computer have been produced, one exclusive to official convention BotCon in 2007, and one that came with the Asian release of
the “Masterpiece” Optimus Prime figure in 2014, each with its own removable key, and a key accessory was also included with 2017’s “Masterpeice” Megatron. But, in the last decade or so, Vector Sigma’s
role as the source of life has largely been superseded in new media by the AllSpark, another life-giving
relic introduced in the live-action film series. In compensation for this, new stories have
instead placed increased emphasis on Dreamwave’s idea of the computer as a
database of knowledge. OPTIMUS PRIME:
“You have accessed the datatrax of Vector Sigma,
preserved by the great historian Alpha Trion.” It was in this capacity that Vector Sigma appeared in the “Transformers: Prime” animated series in 2012. In this series, Optimus Prime lost his memory
after releasing the energy of the Matrix and the wisdom it contained. Having earlier been entrusted by Prime with
the key to Vector Sigma, it fell to human ally Jack Darby to travel
to Cybertron and download that wisdom
from the computer’s database, which was then used to restore Optimus’s memories. Vector Sigma most recently appeared in the
“Transformers: Cyberverse” cartoon. This series reincorporated the computer into
the process of creating life, by depicting Vector Sigma as responsible for
programming the AllSpark with designs for new lifeforms. Seeking to reprogram the AllSpark to create
a new generation of Decepticons, Megatron seized control of Vector Sigma, but
Optimus Prime foiled his plans by casting the AllSpark out into the universe
through a space bridge. After the AllSpark was found on Earth, the treacherous Starscream used Vector Sigma
to temporarily place its power in his control. Ultimately, to prevent the Decepticons’
further misuse of the computer, the Autobots were forced to banish Vector
Sigma to the void between dimensions. Before Cybertron was, Vector Sigma was… and whatever form the
Transformers universe takes next, Vector Sigma will be there, shaping its future! And those are The Basics on Vector Sigma! If you’ve enjoyed this video, leave a comment
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