Season 3 Episodes
Forever is a Long Time Coming
"You wear the same brand we all do, the hated mark of our servitude to the Quints. For a million years, it has been our symbol of shame. A3 says we must make it a symbol of freedom."
It's too bad that Beta is so poorly designed, because as characters to go she's probably the most forthright and interesting of the Female Autobots. She's not a whiner, she's not weak, and she is not pink. She needs Alpha Trion, a male Autobot, but unlike Chromia or Elita One she doesn't need him to save her life; she needs him because he's the bookworm. Beta is without a doubt 100 percent kick-arse warrior.
But, like I said, she's also really poorly designed. In fact Beta may have the worst design of an Obscure Transformer ever. Even Alpha Trion, who has no alt mode features, benefits greatly from looking like Scourge, allowing one to envision his transformation. Beta doesn't look like Scourge, or even Blackarachnia. She looks like Robin Hood after a sex change and dressed up as a robot. I wish I was joking here, and to an extent I am, but it's still true. She really does look like one of the merry (wo)men in a robot costume.
No alt mode features, no sense of additional bulk, no interesting features at all that could be translated into a vehicle form. Beta isn't a Transformer, she's a female Manzinger robot.
Fortunately, she overcomes most of these down points by being the only worthwhile female Transformer in Generation 1-era ficton. Yes, I am including Minerva, the female Decepticons from Victory and all versions of Arcee in this assessment. Oh well, at least Beast Wars made up for it.
In the early days of Cybertron, 11 million years ago, the Quintessons ruled. One of the cities from which they ruled - built by their Autobot slaves (though they don't appear to have been called Autobots back then) - was called Hive City. It's not stated if Hive City was the capitol of Cybertron during this time, but it's certain that Hive City was a major city, and a target of no less a figure than A3, the future Alpha Trion.
And who was working with Alpha Trion, the real force behind the rebellion against the Quintessons? Beta.
Beta was clearly more of a military figure than Alpha Trion, leading the rabble who were to become the Autobot army against the Quintessons. Unfortunately, Hive City was not simply guarded by gun turrets or Sharkticons. Instead it was protected by the Dark Guardians, dark purple versions of the blue guys seen in War Dawn. The Dark Guardians were no pushovers; tough, with hefty firepower (though they seemed to shoot exclusively out of their mouths and foreheads), so the rebels needed an edge.
That edge was the Coda Remote, invented by A3 to deactivate the Dark Guardians. Only one problem. Just as they were getting ready for the uprising, A3 disappeared, leaving the Autobots without their source of hope.
Beta was searching for A3, attempting to bring him the hell back home so he could use his remote when she stumbled on five Autobots from the future. Poor guys appeared to be in trouble. One of the Dark Guardians had found the time-travelling Autobots and after shrugging off their firepower was about to step on them. A fat Omega Supreme he may have been, but the Guardian wasn't about to use his claws or cannon arm, only his mouth beams and feet... okay... okay, I'm getting off track.
So yeah, Guardian about to step on five Autobots, that is Blaster, Rewind, Blurr, Ramhorn and Wreck Gar. Then BOOM Beta interfered. Beta fired her rocket-crossbow, blowing up the Dark Guardian's foot so hard he appeared to fall down dead. This is one female Autobot who doesn't play around.
Beta led these new Autobots to the rebel camp. Unfortunately the rebels' only qualification for an uprising appeared to be that they looked like Robin Hood's merry men. (Lucky that Beta herself looks like Robin Hood, huh?) The rebels were, to put it lightly, wimps, and would spend the entire rebellion sitting in trenches, watching true warriors fight the Dark Guardians.
The future Autobots, clearly seeing they had some vested interests in the Autobots winning their rebellion, agreed to help Beta. For reasons as-yet unexplained the rebellion had to take place at dawn, or not at all. (Quote: Beta: "Time is running out. With or without A3, we have to attack at dawn. Will you help?")
So they attacked.
The attack was furious; the other Autobots did their best, but battle was where Beta really shined. This girl had some serious firepower. One shot from her rocket crossbow was all it took to kill a Guardian. In some cases her shots didn't just kill Guardians, they atomised them.
Unfortunately the Autobots were outnumbered and overwhelmed, the Guardians surrounding them for the kill.
Then A3 showed up, returning from a sojourn in the future. He used the Coda Remote to deactivate the Dark Guardians, then sent the future Autobots back home.
The fate of Beta after this point remains unknown. The Autobots won the uprising, forcing the Quintessons off Cybertron. It is certain that A3 survived the uprising, eventually being rebuilt as Alpha Trion. Beta on the other hand, was not prominent in Cybertron's history after this point.
Beta has never received a tech spec, but I would estimate that she would have the stats of a warrior and a leader. Beta's most obvious power was her missile-crossbow weapon. It kicked some serious butt, tearing apart Dark Guardians as casually as Megatron's fusion cannon might. Firepower? Ten!
Her other stats are harder to guess. Judging from the fact that she's a leader I'd say she's got a high endurance, strength, skill and intelligence. She's most definitely got a high courage. She's out there actually fighting while A3 hides behind his Coda Remote and her troops hide in trenches. Speed is impossible to gauge as her alt mode is unknown. Beta appears to be the military leader of the Autobots, while A3 is the overall commander, so her rank would hover somewhere around the 9 mark.
Now while Beta never had a tech spec of her own, she had such a powerful crossbow that it received a tech spec. I'm not kidding, in Beast Machines the toy Rav was revealed in his tech specs to have been Beta's crossbow (or at least something close to that).
Function: Aerial Recon
A crafty and agile winged warrior who usually keeps to himself. When in battle, the small airborne spy packs a big-time punch! He converts into an energon crossbow, whose power was give to him by an ancient female Autobot® resistance leader for courage in battle. Rav can "fry" the main circuitry of an enemy's data bank with a blast of arrows while in energon crossbow mode. When he's not scouring Cybertron for Vehicons, Rav enjoys "talking" with Nightscream via a complex series of musical tones.
Ahh, poor Beta. She was no Transformer. She was simply a generic female robot. As I toy I see no way you could have an accurate robot mode for Beta and still have an alt mode. A PVC would work well, as would an Action Master, but she is definitely no Transformer.
To be fair, according to Desertion of the Dinobots the transforming technology was developed during the Autobot/Decepticon war. This means that Beta shouldn't even be able to transform. In this case she works well as a female Autobot. Unfortunately, it also means she'd make a horrible Transformer toy.
As you've read above, her crossbow has some relationship to the Beast Machines Deployers toy known as Rav. Deployers were essentially Action Master partners without specified partners. They transformed from animal modes to weapon modes with spring-loaded transformations (apparently these transformations were not entirely stable because the spring mechanisms were too powerful). Rav was a raven who transformed into a double-barreled crossbow.
I don't like Beta's design, but she's still my favourite female Transformer. Even though she doesn't look like a Transformer, she has an in-continuity reason why. Sure, she resembles Robin Hood, but at least it's because she's a rebel.
All the female Autobots were shown to kick butt at some time during their appearances, but was never consistent. Moonracer went from being incompetent, to needing rescue, to being an ace sharpshooter to needing rescuing once more. Beta wasn't like this at all. She kicked butt in her first scene, kicked butt in her second scene and kicked butt in her last scene.
Sure, she had to be saved by A3 in the end, but so did Ramhorn, Blaster, Wreck Gar, Rewind and Blurr. In her one episode appearance Beta did more fighting, and killed more foes than, Alpha Trion did in his entire (quite considerable) career.
Forever is a Long Time Coming:
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