Rob's Pile of Transformers: Season 1 Music

This list, and its companions, are an attempt to list all the different themes used as background music in the shows. I doubt anyone can figure out which piece is which just from descriptions of the music, but hopefully you'll recognize one of the examples and will be able to match it up with the descriptions. Each entry gives a name for the piece (the names are my own creation, and they're based as much on what the piece sounds like as on the actual scenes the piece is played over), a rough description of the piece, and several scenes from different episodes where the piece can be heard.

Thanks to Rikard Bakke, I've now linked many entries to short .wav files recorded from the show. His original sound clips page is found here, and all the links on this page are to the sound files on it. These are his work, not mine, and are used with his gracious permission.

Some disclaimers: I don't really know much at all about musical terminology, or the sound of individual instruments, so there's much guesswork involved here. Hopefully I've accumulated enough examples from episodes that people can ID them that way, then look back at the description of the piece and say "yeah, it does do that."

Quick notes:
FFoD = Five Faces of Darkness
KtVS = Key to Vector Sigma
UD = Ultimate Doom
DitD = Dweller in the Depths
ETNB = Enter the Nightbird
UW = Ultimate Weapon
MTMTE = More Than Meets the Eye
FiaLTC = Forever is a Long Time Coming.



The Space Theme: only a few seconds long as far as I can tell. Just a few,slow, whistful swells of high strings. Most often used for stock shots ofCybertron, as in the first shot of the planet in Roll For it. Also, inUltimate Doom 3, when Wheeljack is radioing in to Prime on Earth ("We had a run-in with Shockwave, Prime, and couldn't rescue Sparkplug."). A neat-o variation plays in UD 2, when the 'bots are in Skyfire riding to Cybertron,when Trailbreaker asks to see the trajectory map -- it's flutes instead ofstrings. Time: :15

The Mystery Theme: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2. Used for stock shots of Cybertron, Autobot or Decepticon Headquarters, Earth, or space. Starts with some piano, then a mild hornsection. Builds to a climax at end, with horns and a synthesizer. Heard in thevery first scene of MTMTE; Transport to Oblivion, first shot of Decepticon HQ(and Cybertron); Traitor, when Mirage is planting the stolen energon cubes,and the Insecticons show up; Ultimate Doom 3, after the second commercial break, when Starscream makes his escape from Megatron; Fire in the Sky, whenthe 'cons begin reviving Skyfire; last scene of Starscream's Ghost, when thebattered Galvatron shows up and blasts Cyclonus. Time: :45 +.

Transformers Theme: the familiar title song from the show's beginning. There are at least four versions with lyrics: the very first version played when the first season aired, sung by bass or baritone males; the original second season version (which starts off with some cool trumpets as the Autobot and Decepticon symbols fly past; IMO it's the best one), sung by tenor males; the movie version, sung by cheesey rock stars; and the third season version, which is heard on all the cartoons that are aired today (this version has the repeating "oom-BAH" throughout it; time: :33). There might be more than one version of this, as well; I'd have to compare second verses third season beginnings. In addition, there are several instrumental variants...

Tragic TF Theme: sad; done with high strings. Heard in Ultimate Doom 2 just before the volcano erupts, as Spike wonders why humans are working for Megatron; Fire in the Sky as the Autobots look at where Skyfire has crashed; FFoD 2, for Rodimus's "death" scene; near the end of Autobot Spike, when Spike asks for Sparkplug's forgiveness. Time: :50, in FFoD 2.

Slow TF Theme: done with a single obo or some other wind instrument. The scene in Deseration of the Dinobots where Perceptor announces he's figured out what is wrong with all the TFs; Dark Awakening, after the 'cons have been driven off and the Autobots are wondering where Prime came from; FFoD 2 after Rodimus's psuedo-death, when Grimlock insists Rod is still alive; beginning of Madman's Paradise, when Danny leaves the conference thing; The Rebirth 1, right before the Autobots are captured by the Nebulan rebels. Time: 0:40 in FFoD 2.

Resolution TF Theme: medium-pace, short. Similar to the Outro Theme (see below) Heard in the very last scene of Countdown to Extinction, as the Autobots are wondering about Starscream's fate at the hands of Megatron; at end of War of the Dinobots, as the other Autobots arrive after the 'cons are gone; end of Plague of Insecticons, after all the 'cons fly away. Time: 0:20 in CtE.

Victor Caroli TF Theme: the snippet used as the commercial intro/outro ("The Transformers will return after these messages.")

Mellow TF Theme: funky 80s style guitar. Ultimate Doom 1, when the 'bots dive into the ocean to rescue Sparkplug; Starscream's Ghost, when Sandstorm and Octane are racing; Key to Vector Sigma 1, when the bots finally reach Vector Sigma; War of the Dinobots, when the meteorite lands; Thief in the Night, when Trypticon tries to steal the Kremlin. Time: 0:35 +.

Super-Cheesey TF Theme: mellow piece with lots of flutes, horns, and xylaphone-type percussion. MTMTE 1, when Rumble wrecks the power plant; Hoist Goes Hollywood, when Hoist arrives on the set; Fire in the Sky, when the 'cons imprison Spike and Sparkplug, and again when Megatron orders Skyfire to "crush him and ALL the Autobots, once and for all!"; end of Fire on the Mountain, when they're driving back to town; Thief in the Night, when Metroplex arrives in Moscow and saves the Kremlin from Trypticon; UD 1, during the 'con attack at Autobot Headquarters; DotD 1, when Megs tries to shoot Prime and can't (the ascending horns at the start of this one aren't heard in the other examples.)

Outro TF Theme: instrumental played over end credits. Generally the same as the corresponding title version, but without vocals. At least two versions exist, one for the first and second seasons, and one for the third season. Time: 0:40.

Rolling Out: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2. An energetic piece which starts with a couple of drums ("da da da DUM") and a horn fanfare version of the TF theme (think: The transformers, [up one note or so] the transformers...) then is largely driven by stucato horns and flutes. That cheesey eighties guitar also comes in near the end. Ends on a note of climactic finish. Heard in MTMTE 3 when Megs reveals his rocket base deception; in Heavy Metal War when the Autobots arrive at the dam and transform; Ultimate Doom 3, when Prime and co. are first seen surfing; the end is heard again when the Autobots plow into Megatron's sea funnel (after the commercial); Heavy Metal War, when the 'bots are testing out the new Dinobots; Nightmare Planet, when Mag, Rod, and Springer are first shown driving and get attacked by the Predacons. Time: 1:30, NP.

The Science Theme: Starts off with rapid, decending bass strings and a few notes from what sounds like a bass guitar, followed by some flutes. There's some weird synthesizer stuff in the middle, as heard in MTMTE 2 when Ratchet is repairing Huffer's arm, then some very high horns followed by a trilling flute. Then takes a sharp turn and becomes serious as deep brass comes in; resolves in more horns as the TF theme is vaguely heards. Plague of Insecticons when the Insecticons arrive at the oil refinery (right after the second commercial break); when Skywarp takes off from Decepticon HQ in Ultimate Doom part 2, and during the Autobots' debate about "battling the elements"; when Ironhide is frozen in The Immobilizer; as the 'cons leave DC in Atlantis, Arise!; Chaos, during Kup's second flashback, when we first see the monster. Time: 1:30

Lair of the Decepticons: dark, menacing, brooding piece with low synth and bass strings; this is the coolest, darkest, menacingest, broodingest of all the many cool, dark, menacing, brooding pieces. Ultimate Doom 2, when Dr. Archeville is reminding Megatron that "the Earth is to be mine when you are through with it!"; War of the Dinobots when the Dinos are listening to Megs' initial proposition; Fire in the Sky before the Autobots' "execution"; Killing Jar when the prisoners are first introduced to one another; Dweller in the Depths when Galvatron is on Charr ranting at the Sweeps for being losers; FFoD 2 when the Quints interrogate Kup; FFoD 3 when the cons are chowing down on the Quints energon; FFoD 5, when Quints disembark on Cybertron amid the frozen Transformers; Madman's Paradise, when the Red Wizard frees Grimlock from the tree warriors. Time: 1:25 in FFoD 2.

Whistful Reflection: generally slow piece, though there are some funky bass horns which play the Decepticon Theme (see below) at the start. Beginning of Ultimate Doom 2 ("I never thought I'd be sad to see Cybertron..."); UD 3, when the 'bots are hiding in the jungle on the island, preparing to attack Megatron; Countdown to Extinction, when Starscream is wondering "why has there been no explosion?!"; SOS Dinobots, when the 'cons are in their HQ preparing to attack the falls. Time: 0:35.

The Decepticon Theme: Note this one well, because it is a very basic theme which pops up in a lot of the other first season pieces. It's a four-note snippet with a million versions, played any time the Decepticons first appear on screen. It's the same as the bass strings at the beginning of Whistful Reflection; the progression of notes is C - down to F - up B - down F#; or, C - F - A# -F#, but it can be moved up and down in pitch, too. Heard, for example, in the beginning of Fire on the Mountain when Starscream and Thundercracker blast open the door on the steel mill.

Devastation: Short, sad piece starting with high strings, followed by obos and finally a synthesizer; ending notes are a drawn-out Decepticon Theme. Ultimate Doom 3, when Dr. Archeville is clinging to some wreckage shouting for Megatron to come back; SOS Dinobots, when Wheeljack asks not to have to deactivate the Dinobots; Fire on the Mountain, when Megatron first gets hold of the crystal, again when the 'bots dig out Skyfire from the ice, and yet again when the Autobots cap the energy gusher; War of the Dinobots after the fragment explodes in Wheeljack's lab; beginning of The Rebirth 1, when Goldbug and the Technobots are hangin' out and chillin'. Has two different endings, one with a synth as heard in UD 3 when Starscream flies off with Dr. A, the other with horns heard in all the others. Time: 0:20.

Twist of Fate: an off-key-sounding little keyboard snippet, which is yet another version of the Decepticon Theme. Heard in Ultimate Doom 1 when Sparkplug's sabotage becomes evident; Enter the Nightbird when the 'cons show up to rescue Nightbird and blast Cliffjumper; at the beginning of Megatron's little speech about Soundwave and Reflector's data at the beginning of SOS Dinobots, during the stock shot of Decepticon HQ; Fire on the Mountain when the 'cons fly off to find better steel (when Megs says "Any who stand in our way, will be demolished!").

Trouble's Not Over Yet: starts off quiet, romantic, with strings; ends with fanfare-horns version of the the Decepticon Theme. Make Tracks, when Raul has just finished repairing Tracks and the two gangsters show up; FFoD 3 when Springer is destroyed by the garbage truck. Could be part of some other piece.

The Autobot Theme: As with the Decepticon Theme, there are so many versions of this simple, short burst of fanfarish horns that it's pointless to try and catalogue them (well, actually, this whole list is pointless, but I'm having fun doing it :). Very short -- only 6 notes long; basic progression is F -up to D# - down C# - down C - down A# - up C. Learn it, know it, love it - it's in tons of the first season themes. First scene of Autobot HQ in SOS Dinobots is one version; another as the Autobots are driving to the falls (right after Megatron's speech about them interfering); a third version when Bumblebee arrives and picks up Spike; another plays for the first shot of Autobot HQ in Fire on the Mountain; I'm sure there's other versions in the course of the first-season eps, but I'm not gonna list 'em.

Cheesey Cartoon: I debated on whether to call this one Autobots vs. Decepticons, but I think Cheesey Cartoon sounds funnier. Very short piece; starts with a couple of drum beats and blasting fanfare- like horns playing the Autobot Theme, then turns a bit downbeat for a second blast of horns which is... yet again... the Decepticon Theme. First shot of Autobot HQ in Heavy Metal War; Ultimate Doom 3, when the surfing bots have just survived a tidal wave, and Ironhide says "Just like him to run from a fight!"; very end of Enter the Nightbird, when NB is shown locked up; Transport to Oblivion, when Cliffjumper shoots the rock formation; SOS Dinobots, when the 'cons fly out of their headquarters, and again when the Dinos decide to do as Wheeljack says; War of the Dinobots, when Op and Trailbreaker first arrive in Wheeljack's lab; Insecticon Syndrome when Beachcomber and co. are looking at the trees. Time: 0:27.

Edifice: sound clip. Same tune as the Autobot Theme; plays any time there's an official building shown. Starts with a burst of horns alternating with flutes, then goes into some really wierd synth stuff. The museum scene in SOS Dinobots; War of the Dinobots after the jets carry off the meteorite, and again when Grimlock radios, "Battle over, Megatron..."; the synth part is heard just before Laserbeak spots the Sky Spy in Fire on the Mountain.

Problem Solved: starts off with high, tense swells of depressing strings, then resolves in low and then high horns which are yet another version of... you guessed it...the Autobot Theme. SOS Dinobots when the Autobots are watching Hound's dinosaur holograms, and again when the Autobots are chained up; Ultimate Doom 2, when the volcano erupts, and again when Ironhide shuts it off; end of Killing Jar, when Cybertron comes into view. Time: 0:35.

Action Theme: sound clip. Starts with quiet, jaunty flutes, then turns progressive with horns playing the TF theme (Transformes, more than meets the eye), then turns cheesey with a guitar doing the Autobot theme then the TF theme (the transformers, more than meets the eye); then there's a pause filled with some jaunty xylaphones or horns or something (which is what you hear in the sound clip); finally some dramatic horns do the TF theme (the trans - for - mers!), before some quiet horns and synth wind the piece down. MTMTE 1, during the Decepticon revival scene (including the famous "Explore! Explore! / Repair! Repair!" bit); War of the Dinobots when the Autobots roll out after the meteor has landed; the end of "Prime Target" when Chumley frees the Triple Changers ("See how YOU like being hunted!") up till the Autobots drive home; "Desertion of the Dinobots" Part 1 after the second commercial break, when the 'cons retreat and Ironhide asks "What's happenin' to us?"; "The Ultimate Doom" Part One when the Decepticons attack Autobot HQ.

The Events Theme: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2 || sound clip #3 || sound clip #4. A very energetic, upbeat piece. Starts off with some jaunty flutes running up and down, then stucato bass instruments come in, followed by fanfare-like horns playing the Autobot Theme, then brings in the synthesizer, then later a piano. Ends on a somewhat worried note. Heard in Megatron's Master Plan 2, when the 'bots are on their ship realizing that they're heading for the sun; Desertion of the Dinobots 2 when Shockwave is chasing Carly and Spike; Ultimate Doom 3 when Skyfire and company arrive on the island where Megatron is; Dark Awakening, second scene, aboard the Autobot escape pod, when they spot the tomb on their sensors; Dweller in the Depths, when Galvatron and co. first enter the tunnel and shoot at Ultra Magnus's group; the entire beginning is heard in FiaLTC when Pipes is repairing Perceptor, and the 'bots are debating what to do. Time: 1:20.

Battle Theme: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2 the 'serious' battle music. Starts off with a hard- hitting brass rift, with some bass drums in between. Contains a snippet of the Transformers theme in the middle (think: "Transformers, more than meets the eye", done in flutes, then "Autobots wage their --" done with horns.) Heard in MTMTE part 3 when the 'cons retreat into their ship; the big battle scene in Fire in the Sky; Ultimate Doom part 2 when the 'cons' base is hit by the tidal wave; in Ultimate Doom part 3 just before the 'bots destroy Megatron's ship; in Dinobot Island part 2 when Starscream shouts "Attack from the sky!"; FFoD 5, the big battle scene on Cybertron when Magnus punches Ramjet and Dirge, and faces Galvatron. Time: 1:40 +.

Climactic Event: Action piece which starts off with some flutes, then a high-pitched string-and-horn variant of the Transformers theme. Climaxes with resounding trumpets alternating with tense strings. Best copy of the beginning is in Autobot Spike, when the rockets launch and Bumblebee arrives to tell Prime about Spike; also heard when the Seeker jets strafe the Dinobots in The Meteorite Menace; after the 'bots destroy Megatron's ship in Ultimate Doom 3; when Cosmos is being chased by Astrotrain at the beginning of The God Gambit; Atlantis, Arise! when Spike and Wheeljack are chasing Nergual in Subatlantica's basement; Insecticon Syndrome when OP and Megs attack the Insecticons together (resolves when Shrapnel karate-kicks Wheeljack and Hound); beginning of Fire in the Sky, when the giant snowball hits all the Autobots.

Report Theme: Starts off with some slow, whistful-sounding strings with swelling horns underlain by piano, then builds to an action climax which leaves you hanging. Heard in Roll for It during the scene on Cybertron (the activation of the space bridge is the climax); UD 2 when Windcharger is searching for Bumblebee; Ultimate Doom 3's opening, in Decepticon HQ (Shockwave shows up as the climax), and again when Bumblebee fights Rumble and OP challenges Megs; in Heavy Metal War, when the Constructicons report to Megatron; in MTMTE 1 when Hound is being repaired, and Jazz gives his robot roll call; Countdown to Extinction, when the 'cons are repairing their base. Time: 0:55, in CtE.

Eminent Danger: starts with high, tense strings running up and down, then lower strings and horns come in and the piece develops into a battle theme, complete with the Transformers theme. Beginning is heard when Rumble is pounding on the ice in Fire in the Sky, and again when Skyfire and Starscream fight it out at the end; most of it is heard in Ultimate Doom 3 when the 'bots escape from 'con HQ for the first time, and again when Megatron says to Prime "Look above you!" as the jets attack; MTMTE 3, when Starscream challenges Megs, and Mirage disables the ship; FFoD 4 during the Matrix journey, when transforming is introduced; first scene with Omega Supreme in The God Gambit. End is sometimes excerpted for the end of an episode, as in Plague of Insecticons. Time: 1:00.

Pathos: sound clip. starts off with low horns or oboes or something, then becomes a jaunty little obo-and-flute-driven piece. Heard in FFoD 1 during Cyclonus's 'evangelist' bit ("Gi-i-i-ive, my fellow Decepticons. G-i-i-i-ive till it hurts!"); Fire in the Sky, right after Skyfire's been reawakened, when he asks Starscream if he prefers being a scientist, and again as Starscream walks away from the unconcious Skyfire and the 'Autobot parts'; Madman's Paradise, at the end of the Red Wizard's tale, when the servants remove the sleeping Daniel, and again when Danny first meets the Golden One's assistant in the prison. Time: 1:25, FFoD 1.

Events Without Dialogue: sound clip. Quiet piece, starts off with some obos or horns or clarinets or something (doot-doot, deet doot-doot do-doot :). Synthesizer and then horns come in later, but the piece remains quiet and without tension till the very end. MTMTE 2, when Soundwave and Ravage are in Autobot HQ; Fire in the Sky, when the Autobots prepare to head to the Arctic Circle, and again when they are about to enter the caves; Desertation of the Dinobots 2, first shot of the 'dead' Autobots at Autobot HQ; Dark Awakening when the 'cons "alter course to intercept" the Autobot tomb, and again when Optimus Prime is on Cybertron reporting the "deaths" of Rodimus and co.; FFoD 4, when Trypticon is under construction. Time: 1:05.

Last Gambit: Starts with neat strings, then some xylaphonic percussion, then bass strings; ends with a dark, sharp burst of horns and some bass strings which are the most often-heard part of the piece (which is too bad, since the first part is really good and the end is pretty lame.) SOS Dinobots when Wheeljack and co are about to reactivate the Dinobots; heard in its entirety in Dinobot Island 2, when the tar pit evaporates and frees the Dinobots; end of the Rebirth 1, right before the Autobots remove their heads. End is heard in Ultimate Doom 1, when Sparkplug tackles the model of Op Prime; SOS Dinobots, when Megs and Screamer are standing on the cliff looking down at the 'bots in the river.

Mother Earth (Hound's Theme): another calm, still one, with lots of flutes. Insecticon Syndrome, after the first commercial break, when the Autobots have 'fallen to their doom' courtesy of Hound's holograms, and the Insecticons are gloating; MTMTE 1, first shot of the reactivated Autobots, when Prime assigns Hound to find the 'cons; end of Autobot Spike, when Spike's mind is transfered back to his body; MTMTE 3, when Hound and Mirage are discussing the rocket base.

Events Take Shape: sound clip #1 (ignore the first few seconds) || sound clip #2 || sound clip #3. Starts off with fairy tale-like 'crib music' done with a high-pitched synth, then brings in a single burst of horns. A flute flourish followed by some bass piano gets the piece moving, and then horns come in. Ends in a series of horn bursts, underlain by bass strings. Heard in its entirety in Fire in the Sky, beginning when Starscream starts telling the story of him and Skyfire; Ultimate Doom 1, when the 'cons are preparing their space bridge, and the 'bots are at base recovering from the attack and Sparkplug's sabotage; beginning is heard well in FFoD 1 when Scourge spies the planet (Thrall), and again in FFoD 2 when they pull Galvatron out of the ooze; Dark Awakening when Rodimus gives Optimus the Matrix; Hoist Goes Hollywood when the cars explode and Hoist accepts the job offer; SOS Dinobots when the Dinobots are being built. Time: 1:30.

The Infiltration Theme: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2. Commonly heard when someone is someplace they don't belong. Starts off low, tense, quiet, with some funky piano, then an obo or something, then some really heavy horns, then a synthesizer, then a frantic climax of horns. Heard in MTMTE 3 when the Autobots transform and attack the 'cons at their starship base; Ultimate Doom both times when Spike is running around in Decepticon Headquarters; Countdown to Extinction when Megs and Op are searching for the timing mechanism in the lab; first scene of War of the Dinobots, when Chip is watching the meteorite (good copy of the beginning); Atlantis, Arise! when Washington D.C. is invaded; FFoD 1 when Springer and Arcee blast into the asteroid ship. Time: 1:37, CtE.

Slow Motion Disaster: Starts off in a progressive, somewhat worried, work-like feel with a guitar along with the orchestra. Then slows with some strings, then frantic horns indicate some sort of conflict. Then the guitar comes back, followed by some wind instruments. The strings are underlain by a frantic piano as the piece closes. Countdown to Extinction as Megs and Op struggle for control of the exponential generator; the fight between the Dinobots in War of the Dinobots; the end is excerpted in Ultimate Doom 3, when the Autobots are about to surf into Megs' wave machine (before the commercial) -- "The Autobots! They're ridin' the wave!"; FFoD 4 Matrix journey, when the TFs revolt and drive off the Quints; FFoD 5, when Metroplex and Trypticon slug it out. Time: 1:45.

Scene of the Action: piece starting slow with high-pitched synth, underlain by very bass horns. Then low oboes which are faster come in; piece builds pace as more instruments come in. Horns put it at full pace. Has a funky piano breakdown, then ends on a relieved note. Only Human, when Drath goes to visit Snake; beginning is heard well in Autobot Spike, when Spike is in the hospital, and continuing as the mind transfer occurs; Chaos, when Wreck-Gar first contacts the Autobots ("Four out of five doctors recommend investigation of scene of the crash. No deposit, no return!"); FFoD 5, starting when Blitzwing and Rodimus burst in on the Sharkticons, continuing until all the TFs freeze; Thief in the Night when Trypticon is first shown in Carbomia, shooting at the cruise ship. The end is heard in Heavy Metal War when Megatron arrives at Autobot HQ, though that's the only time I can remember it from the first season. (Before seeing the movie twice, I pictured the funky end bit of this playing as Starscream disintegrated, then cut to the finale of Decepticon Victory [see second season themes] as Galvatron steps on the crown.)

Theme of Despair: Commonly heard whenever Megs is explaining just how much he has the upper hand. Starts off with some low horns, then the strings join in and they all build to a climax (usually followed by a commercial.) Heard in Ultimate Doom part 1 as the first two energy pylons are activated; War of the Dinobots when Soundwave does his brain scan of the Dinobots, and again when Prime arrives at the meteorite site and is attacked by Slag; Ultimate Doom 3 in the scene ending with Megatron's "That's *mutiny*, Starscream! And the penalty for mutiny... is termination!"; SOS Dinobots when the Autobots enter the caves and examine the dinosaur bones (SOS Dinobots is one of the most poorly soundtracked episodes, IMO. Many scenes don't fit well with the music that plays over them -- the very end, for example.) Time: 0:46, UD 1.

Disaster Averted: Overblown dramatic horn snippet. Heard in Fire on the Mountain when the Autobots blast the avalanche; Plague of Insecticons when the Insecticon clones first attack, and again when the 'cons retreat from the grain field, to attack the oil refinery.

Discovery: sound clip #1 || sound clip #2. Starts with insistant horns playing a single note several times; goes through some jaunty strings before resolving into some quiet horns. Heard during Rodimus's first Matrix journey in FFoD 2; first scene with Bumblebee, Spike, and Chip in Roll for It; War of the Dinobots when Megatron is raging at Starscream and co. for getting clobbered by the Dinobots; Atlantis, Arise! when Spike and Bumblebee enter SubAtlantica to rescue Wheeljack; Fire in the Sky, when Skyfire is first seen in the ice, and again when Laserbeak is spying on the Autobots; FFoD 1 when Perceptor assigns the cog mission to Blurr and Wheelie; Dark Awakening, when Danny is looking at the tombs and bumps into Optimus; end is heard when Ironhide and co. are captured in Fire in the Sky. Time: 1:10.

The Scheme Succeeds: sound clip. Worried-sounding action piece. Horns alternate with a xylaphone or some such percussion instrument. When Cybertron is brought to Earth in Ultimate Doom 1; Killing Jar as Cyclonus fights the illusory Galvatron, and again as Magnus escapes the ship in SkyLynx; when Op blasts the Autobots on board the funeral barge in Dark Awakening; heard complete at the end of Insecticon Syndrome when Shrapnel shoots lightening and explodes; Desertion of the Dinobots 2, right after the history lesson, when Swoop is captured; "Prime Target" when Optimus smashes the rotating hallway near the end ("this will make a frightful ruin of your trophy, Lord Chumley!") Time: 0:55.

The Clumsy Theme: I associate this one with the Dinobots for some reason.Starts out with some xylaphones and then a burst of overdone horns, then has some strange sounding strings in the middle; a slow period at the end with a really strange synthesizer (if music were sucked into a vacuum cleaner, this is what it would sound like!), then (maybe) builds to a tense but subdued climax. The climax was often excerpted for outros to commercials, for example at the very end of Atlantis, Arise! However, I'm not sure whether the climax is part of this piece or part of the second-season piece Tension Builds. Listen for the Clumsy Theme in S.O.S.Dinobots when the Dinos first attack the 'cons; heard in its entirety (except the very beginning) in the beginning of Only Human, when the city is blowing up. Also near the beginning of The Killing Jar, when Cyclonus is chasing the practice drone. Desertion of the Dinobots 1, when the 'bots and 'cons are trying to fight but can't (right before the commercial break, when Megatron blasts the tower down on Optimus); FFoD 5, when Galvatron smacks Blitzwing and orders him to "Tell it to the Autobots! Mhuah ha ha ha haha!"; The Rebirth 1, when the 'cons attack Autobot City (that damn elusive finale plays a bit later, as the 'cons leave Earth, but I can't tell if it's the same piece or not.); Rebirth 3 when the plasma energy chamberopens. Time: 1:46, KJ.

Before the Battle: sound clip. Short piece, starts out depressing with quiet ascending flutes, then a burst of horns playing the Decepticon Theme. Enter the Nightbird as the 'bots are preparing to roll out of headquarters to pursue Nightbird; Fire on the Mountain when Megs and co attack the mining town; beginning of Plague of Insecticons; MTMTE 1, when the two humans at the ruined power plant encounter Ravage; UD 2, when Skyfire lands on Cybertron and transforms, throwing Brawn to the ground. Time, 0:25.

Dark Schemes: dark, brooding piece marked by short, soft bursts of bass strings with keyboards. Heard in Atlantis, Arise! when Megs offers an alliance with the Subatlanticans; in Insecticon Syndrome when Megatron proposes attacking the Nova Power Plant to the Insecticons; SOS Dinobots when the cons are making energon cubes and Megs and Starscream discuss their plans at the falls; Dweller in the Depths when the Quints are first shown plotting; heard well in FFoD 2 when the rockaroid ship arrives at Quintessa; FFoD 3 when Quints first arrive on Charr and give the 'cons energon; FFoD 5 when Blitzwing ends the battle. New Day's Dawn: quiet horn piece, with low oboes. FFoD 4, right before Trypticon is transformed (after the Constructicons have assembled him); MTMTE 1, when the 'cons fly out of the Ark, and again when Starscream and co. fly to the power plant to get "materials"; Madman's Paradise, when the guards leave Danny in the prison.

Floating Through Space: sound clip. a happy, quiet, jaunty, mostly-flutes piece; ends with a very VERY bass version of the Decepticon Theme, bass enough to fry your TV's speakers if you really turned it up loud. Countdown to Extinction, when Starscream first finds the exponential generator in Dr. A's lab; FFoD 3, when Magnus computes their trajectory; Megatron's MasterPlan 2, when the 'bots are first shown after the ship has exploded, and they're all inside Trailbreaker's force field. I KNOW it's somewhere in Day of the Machines when Hound and co. are poking around the oil platform,but I can't think where. Maybe one day I'll see the episode again and find out. time: 0:25.

Facing Disaster: Short, slow, almost depressing piece with a meloncholysolo horn the whole way through; begins with strange echoing or vibratingsynth or electric guitar. Ends with a strangely upbeat burst of strings and horns which sounds like it belongs to a different piece. Heard in Only Human, when Rodimus is eating breakfast; in Fire in the Sky as the Autobots watch Skyfire walk off with Spike and Sparkplug. Similar to (maybe part of) the second season piece Farewell.

The Builders' Theme: jaunty, stucatto bass piece, with some wierd synth stuff at the end, often heard as the soundtrack to Wheeljack's latest crazed invention. Best heard in Meteorite Menace when Swoop and Snarl are being built; Ultimate Doom 3, both of the scenes in Wheeljack's lab ("a conductor chip with hypnotic properties! Diabolical."); SOS Dinobots when Reflector and Soundwave are at the falls gathering data; Heavy Metal War when the Constructicons finish tunneling into Autobot HQ; Only Human, when Drath is setting up the Synthoids machine. Time: 0:40.

The Progress theme: Starts off with some bass strings, very much like the intro to the Indiana Jones theme, then upbeat horns. Ends with a wonderful, tense finale, resolved in a single burst of horns. Heard as Megs and Op battle at the end of Ultimate Doom 1; in Sandstorm and Octane's visit to the space restaurant in Starscream's Ghost; beginning of Dweller in the Depths as the power core is inserted; FFoD 3, when Galvatron and the Sweeps find Blitzwing alone on Charr; Killing Jar, when the Quint captures Ultra Magnus; The Rebirth 1, when Optimus is warning Kup about the 'cons emminent attack. (Again, before I saw the movie a second time, I always pictured the climax of this one playing as Megatron blasts Ironhide in the face. Try it! I think it fits much better than that silly heavy metalsong.) Time: 1:40.

Autobot Victory: sound clip. a very peppy, upbeat variant of the Transformers theme,starting off with horns and some flutes or xylaphones or something playing the "more than meets the eyes" part. Plague of Insecticons, when Ironhide stops the oil tanker from burning; in Dinobot Island 1, when me Grimlock transforms and ends chaos; also when the 'bots are fighting the newly made Dinobots inS.O.S. Dinobots (starts after the first commercial break, with Ratchet's "Poor Teletran 1!", and ends with Wheeljack blasting the Dinobots into submission.); in Ultimate Doom 3 when Sparkplug is freed from the hypno-chip's control; end is heard in Enter the Nightbird when Nightbird beats up Mirage in a corridor ofAutobot HQ. Time: 1:35, PoI.

We Did it: a relieving snippet, mostly horns, but ends with bass strings. After energy gusher is capped in Fire on the Mountain; when Grapple and Hoist are freed at the end of The Master Builders; the "interrogation" scene in Starscream's Ghost; Roll for it, when the battered Autobots are walking out of the scene of the antimatter explosion (and coughing! What's up with that? Since when do robots cough??). Time: 0:20.

Ultimate Doom Love Theme: quiet, almost romantic relief snippet with strings. Ultimate Doom 1 when the 'bots are planning to rescue Sparkplug;UD 2, when Bumblebee's tire blows out; UD 3 when they're flying home in Skyfire ("Mushy, but true!") Time: 0:24, UD 3.

Into the Sunset: sound clip #1||sound clip #2. Light-hearted piece, starts out with peppy mid- range oboes echoed by strings, then horns come along and play the Autobot Theme (it's amazing how many pieces they wrung out of those six notes!) Has a sort of sentimental string bridge in the middle, sort of like the less marital part of the Star Wars Throne Room music (heck, the whole piece is basically a rip-off of that music. But it's a GOOD rip-off.) The end is similar to the end of the Progress Theme. Beginning of Fire in the Sky,when the Autobots are having a snowball fight; third-season trailer whenthe narrator rambles on about the Autobots; the bridge part is heard during the "you get a kiss!" bits of Hoist Goes Hollywood; the end of Dinobot Island 2 as they fly away; end of Key to Vector Sigma 2, when theAerialbots fly off; maybe at end of Hoist Goes Hollywood; Golden Lagoon,when all the bots arrive at the electrum pool, and maybe again at the end; The Rebirth 1, right after Hot Rod and Blurr's race (Anyone else noticethat Rebirth uses a LOT of first-season themes? Particularly odd in lightof the episodes right before it [TRoOP, Burden, Call of the Primitives,Carnage] which used almost all third- season themes. Maybe a pathetic attempt to recreate the feel of the early episodes?) Time: 0:55 +.

Generic Rock Song #1: More properly know as Cold Slither, this one -- like several of the first-season themes -- orignated on GI Joe. Heard just about any time Jazz whips out his speakers, for example during the avalanche scene in Attack of the Autobots, or Enter the Nightbird when the Autobots are finding out that none of their weapons can stop the ninja. First heard in Transport to Oblivion, when Spike is riding in Jazz.

On to the second-season themes

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