Rob's Pile of Transformers: Season 3 Music

The third season music has a flavor all its own. Most of it has a 80s techno or glam rock feel to it, rather than the symphonic or mixed rock/orchestra feel of the first two seasons. Keyboard / synthesizers and electric guitars dominate throughout. A couple of the pieces sound like modified themes from Transformers: The Movie. I've only seen the Movie a few times, though, so I don't know the music at all. Some day I'll get hold of a copy and find out for sure.

Future Space Theme: Mellow, traveling piece. Starts off with a synthesizer (think: de-do-de-doo 3x) and drums; then a subdued electric guitar comes in. Heard in Webworld's beginning, when the 'cons are flying through space, again when they arrive on Torculon, and again when they leave at the end; Dweller in the Depths, first scene of the Autobots walking through the tunnels (right before they reach the 'cons), and again when the Quints are puzzled that they're still getting energy readings from Cybertron; Big Broadcast of 2006 when the Junkions are watching ballet dancing, and again when Cyclonus and the Sweeps run into Galvatron on his way to Junkion; Quintesson Journal when Predaking disassembles to "make more speed".

Subdued Moment: Basically a slow version of the Future Space Theme, with lots of hissing percussion or synth. Heard in Nightmare Planet after Springer and Razorclaw escape, when the Quints move the power to its highest setting; Webworld, when Cyclonus is validating all the forms, and again when the head therapist is explaining what the allia are; CiCM, when the Transformers are climbing out of the crater after crashing on the planet, and again when Alegra heals Zeepbop after Soundwave falls on him; TRoOP 2, after the infected 'cons have been driven off, and Galvatron and the 'bots enter the caves; again when Optimus is being coated with the metal.

Healing: this slow, soft synthesizer piece is not the Transformers theme, but the first few notes sound a lot like it. It's heard in Burden Hardest to Bear, when Hot Rod wakes up in the med center; TRoOP 1, during the hospital scene (maybe right before it, too, when Gregory proposes using the spores... I'm not sure *what* that piece is), again when Rodimus brings Optimus's body in to Wreck-Gar, and again when Optimus is being repaired by the Quint; beginning of TRoOP 2, during the part which repeats the end of TRoOP 1.

The Battle Joined: Very tense piece, heard during almost every battle. One of those pieces that got rewound and played again in long scenes. Opens with a swelling keyboard note, then the tune is carried by an electric guitar. The guitar tune is lifted from the first part of TFTM's "Autobot-Decepticon Battle." A great bridge in the middle; there's a cool, steady percussion through the whole second part. Heard in Dweller in the Depths when Arcee blasts the creature with Galvatron's cannon; Call of the Primitives during the fight on the moon. The full beginning is heard at the start of Nightmare Planet, and again when they fight off the worst of the nightmares near the end; start of Money is Everything; Ultimate Weapon when Swindle steals the cog; Quint Journal, when the journal first crashes and Predaking goes in to investigate.

The Quintesson Theme: commonly heard during Quintesson explication scenes. A weird-sounding synthesizer piece, a bit like the outro to Dr. Who. Quintesson Journal, when the journal is played back at the piece conference; Ultimate Weapon when Swindle tries to negotiate with Galvatron for the cog; Money is Everything, when Manis has brought the Technobots to the Quint base; Call of the Primitives, when Primacron can't get Tornadron to respond to his commands; Face of the Nijika, numerous points; TRoOP 2, when that wierd grid-face-thing is explaining about the plague.

Fight for Survival: intense, guitar-driven piece. Starts off with some random playing of a bass guitar which sounds like the synth in the old mid-80s pop song Naughty Naughty. Maybe the best one from the third season. Heard in its entirety in Big Broadcast, during the fight when Ultra Magnus is repairing Omega Supreme; Web World when Galvatron destroys the planet's memory core; DitD when Wreck-Gar gets drained by the energy leech, Nightmare Planet when Razorclaw finally decides to help Springer fight the dragon; Call of the Primitives, when Tornadron drains Cybertron; TRoOP, when Rodimus makes his escape from the lab with Optimus.

Covert Action: frantic, funky 80s-esque synthesizer intro that tells you something's about to happen, then guitar and keyboards carry the melody; has a nice keyboard pause in the middle. The second half of the movie piece "Autobot-Decepticon Battle" has the same run of a single guitar chord that is heard near the beginning of this one. Heard in The Ultimate Weapon when the one-armed Defensor saves a train from Trypticon, and again when Metroplex gets fixed and tosses Trypticon into the muck; Webworld when the creatures are preparing to enter Galvatron's mind; when Springer gets zapped in DitD, and again when Kup saves Arcee and gets caught by the vampires (the pause happens right when Galvatron blasts the Autobots from behind and says, "Leaving so soon?"); Nightmare Planet, when Springer first fights the dragon; very beginning of Quint Journal; Big Broadcast, during the RBFATE on Junkion; Quint Journal when the Predacons are almost to the signal/journal; Call of the Primitives when the Terrorcons launch their ambush.

Falling Back: starts with cheezey but tense 80s synthesizer that tells you things aren't going too well, then the guitar comes in. Finally gets going when more syth comes in. Heard when Tryticon finally attacks Metroplex in The Ultimate Weapon; in Dweller in the Depths, when the 'cons are getting creamed by the Transorganics; during the Quintessons' narrative trailer; DitD, when the power core is jettisoned; Nightmare Planet, when they get free from the snake monster with the biplane's help, and again when the giant Rodimus and Galvatron fight; Quint Journal during the battle on uncharted planet (when the bots attack while the 'cons are watching the journal play); Big Broadcast, when Superion kicks the Quint ship's butt; Webworld, during the fight with the Autobots at the beginning, and again when the planet goes nuts from Galvatron's madness; Call of the Primitives, when the Dinobots ambush Tornadron; TRoOP 1, when the first Autobots are contaminated with the plague.

Warrior's Work: a medium-pace battle theme, similar to Covert Action but calmer. Starts depressed, ends upbeat. Ultimate Weapon when Magnus and Rodimus blast Vortex; DitD, when they restore the zombie guys to normal; first part of the City Transformers narrative trailer; TRoOP 2, when Goldbug is rescued first from the spider, and then from falling (I just LOVE the way Galvatron says "Don't be absurd!" to Jessica.)

Revival: quiet, steady, somewhat whistful synth piece, with a four-note bass line (Duh-nuh NUH nuh, really fast). Ultimate Weapon, when First Aid fixes all the refrigerators, and again at the end when the 'bots are patting themselves on the back; Quint Journal, when everyone leaves the peace conference and contacts the Quints about ultimate weapon; heard again at the end (which is a good undisturbed copy of the end); used wonderfully for the mob scene in Face of the Nijika, and also during the fight at the beginning (the Quints are wonderful villians in this episode! Definately my favorite Quint episode); Call of the Primitives, when they're riding in Trypticon and Headstrong starts a fight; beginning is heard well in TRoOP 1, when Magnus and Jessica are telling Rodimus about Optimus, and again when Skylynx rescues the Quintesson; TRoOP 2, when the damaged Autobots are revived.

Respite: weird, mellow synthesizer piece, with piano-like keyboard bits. Ultimate Weapon, when the wounded Trypticon retreats, and Hotspot asks to try to get First Aid back. Heard all through Money is Everything, particularly the last scene, and any time the Technobots are standing around recovering from a fight; Big Broadcast, when the Junkions are first shown cleaning up the planet, and again after Omega Supreme drives off the Decepticons on the asteroid; Face of the Nijika, when the Quints pull Cyclonus and the Autobots through the quadrant lock, and again during the flashback to the almost-rocket launch; TRoOP 2, when Optimus speaks with Alpha Trion within the Matrix.

No Rest: a fast version of Respite. QJ when Sky Lynx drops Blaster and co off onto the planet where the journal landed; Big Broadcast, when the Sharkticons are rooting around for the journal on Junkion; Call of the Primitives, when Tornadron zaps the Autobots on the moon and the 'cons in space; TRoOP 1, when Magnus infects Wreck-Gar and Rodimus; TRoOP 2, when Optimus and Skylynx fly off to find Rodimus, and again when the infected TFs arrive at Metroplex.

Surprises: Another mellow, laid-back piece like Respite, but not as slow. Same feel as Revival, but the bass is more varied: Dunt-duhhh nuhhh-nunt. Guitar replaces the synth as the lead instrument. Has a very techno-sounding synth bridge. Steady, progressive througout. Heard in Money is Everything, starting when Manis re-forms the Technobots; Ultimate Weapon when Swindle knocks out First Aid, again First Aid leaves the Autobots, and yet again when he returns; Quintesson Journal, when they get out of the cell (don't you feel sorry for that poor Sharkticon that Blaster shot?); Big Broadcast, when the Junkions start sharing the signal with the galaxy; BHtB, when Marissa goes out searching for Rodimus; TRoOP 2, when Skylynx lists the 'bots that aren't contaminated, and again when Jessica proposes using the metal alloy to protect Optimus.

Still Going: A really great one -- upbeat, calm, progressive synth and guitar piece. I picture this playing after Magnus and Hot Rod's shuttles have escaped from Earth in TFTM, but I could be wrong. Heard in CiCM when the 'bots try to divert the comet, and again when Basso Profundo uses the harmonic amplifier; Call of the Primitives, when Grimlock blasts his way out from under Trypticon.

Still Going Dance Mix: a faster, more percussionistic version of the above piece. Strange percussion or synth in it. Nightmare Planet when Roddy tosses water on the witch; again when Magus sprays the plants with glue and Rod concludes that someone is helping them; FotN, when Rodimus is rolling down the hill, and him and Magnus drive off the Samojan warriors; BHtB, when Marissa gets her car out of the puddle and finds Rodimus; Money is Everything, when Hun-grr, Scattershot, and Strafe have all crashed on Earth, and Lightspeed and the others arrive; CiCM, when the 'bots first fly into the city.

Hopeless Odds: despairing guitar action piece. Call of the Primitives, when Sky Lynx gets zapped and the others split up; FotN, when Katsudan trashes the two Sharkticons; BHtB, when Scourge attacks Galvatron and Cyclonus; The Rebirth 1, when Prime orders the clones to find the key, and Punch to find Hot Rod and co.

Bad News: medium pace, mellow, somewhat progressive. Starts with lots of guitar. Money is Everything, after the fight with the Sharkticons, when they're walking to the Quint base, and Dirk gets Marissa's gun; QJ, beginning of the peace conference, right after the explication at the start of the episode; CotP, when Grimlock bursts into Primacron's lab; Face of the Nijika, when the Autobots spot Galvatron meddling with the quadrant lock; maybe same as TRoOP 1, when Rodimus begins shutting Metroplex down, and again during the news report about the plague.

Last Chance: high-pitched synth piece; starts tense and upbeat; has a mellow part in the middle, and ends with a sort of winding-up bit. The only time the middle portion is heard clearly is in Quint Journal, when the 'cons show up right after the 'bots have escaped from the Quints. Other parts are heard near the end of Money is Everything, when Computron blasts Abominus and the Terrorcons retreat; Call of the Primitives, when Sky Lynx and Trypticon arrive at the battle at the beginning; Quint Journal, when the Quint with the annoying laser pistol captures the 'bots; during Scourge's transformation to SuperScourge in Burden HtB. The end is excerpted several times: in TRoOP 2, right before Optimus wakes up and opens the matrix; end of The Rebirth 2, when Scorponok appears on the scene; TRoOP 1, when the 'cons show up at the lab and get infected just as Rodimus is making his getaway.

Call to Duty: another all-synth piece, tense and upbeat. Heard in Call of the Primitives, when the alien is explaining Tornadron to the Transformers; during the Decepticon part of the Cassette Transformers narrative trailer; TRoOP 1, when the humans rescue Optimus's body from the ship.

Wounded: a quiet, slightly dark all-synth piece. FotN, when the Autobots are recovering from their fall, and again when Rod and Magnus have to leave Blurr; Quintesson Journal, when Rod, Mag, and Spike break up fighting at the conference (when Magnus says "Don't you know any gentler games?")

Threatened: mellow, cheezey guitar which sort of plays the TF theme, along with some synth. Ultimate Weapon, when Trypticon is about to stomp the orange grove; FotN, when Rod asks Magnus, "How 'bout we blow this popcicle stand?" after they've driven off the natives.

Futuristic Technology: really cool industrial sounding keyboard piece. When Spike and Daniel steal Trypticon's cog in Ultimate Weapon; QJ when Perceptor calls Sky Lynx; beginning of Big Broadcast, and again near the end when the Junkions are watching the battling armies over Junkion; the end is excerpted for DitD's very end, when Perceptor is restoring power; Nightmare Planet, after the tidal wave disapears, and Danny 'wakes up'; Call of the Primitives, starting when Soundwave ejects all his tapes; TRoOP 2, when the leech things fall on the bots, and they finally get to the metal.

Easy Listenin' - Dave Edwards (Zobovor) thinks this one was borrowed from "Jem". Me, I never watched Jem, so I dunno. It's sort of a soft-rock techno synthesizer piece. Money is Everything when Marissa dances with Dirk Manis; Blaster plays it to break the subliminals spell in Big Broadcast ("don't ever play that easy listenin' stuff again!") (maybe Blaster has ALL the cartoon themes on tape?! I should go talk to him :].

End of the Story: a melodic, mysterious, quiet synthesizer piece. Excerpted in Nightmare Planet, when the Quints bump up the power and Danny cries out for his dad; again after the dragon blows up and they follow the yellow brick road; yet again at the very end, when Danny wakes up for real; QJ, when Outback and co. land on the first planet and start walking; heard well in Webworld, when Motormaster and Swindle confront Cyclonus about Galvatron, and again when Galvatron is being repaired a moment later -- this second time is a good copy of the beginning; CiCM, on the planet after the comet is destroyed; FotN, when Nijika/Perceptor is brought before the mob and warns them about the Quints; TRoOP 2, after the spider incident, when Galvatron interrogates Prime about the metal; The Rebirth 1, after the Autobot's ship has blown up on Nebulon.

????????? - Grimlock's New Brain, when Grimster breaks the compass thing.

ONE-TIMERS (Heard in only one episode AFAIK)

Last Hope: simple, quiet piece with keyboard notes echoing over low bass horns. Atlantis, Arise! when Wheeljack radios the Dinobots for help.

Disaster - Submitted by Zobovor. Heard in Transport to Oblivion when Megatron is about to trap the Autobots in the cave. Starscream says, "The Autobots will learn the location of our space bridge!" and Megatron replies, "No Autobot will leave the cave alive." I have no idea what this piece is; for some reason I barely remember TtO (maybe 'cause I haven't seen it in about 6 or 7 years). My imagination says it's the finale of the Infiltration Theme.

Ooomph: strange piece with muted trumpets and synthesizer. At end of the test fight with the two new Dinobots in War of the Dinobots

Reunion: Soft, romantic piano and strings piece. FFoD 4 before and after Springer is rebuilt (BTW that bit when he is spit out of the machine is the finale of Eminent Danger from the first season.)

Repentance: a soft keyboard piece, which sounds a hell of a lot like the 1983 pop song "Never Gonna Let You Go" by Sergio Mendez. Heard at the end of Return of Optimus Prime 2, when Dr. Swafford apologizes to the Autobots.

Dark Deeds: SOS Dinobots as Soundwave and Reflector return to base.

Incan Legend: strings; mysterious sounding. First shot of Peru in Fire on the Mountain. I'd really like to think this one appears somewhere else as well, but it's not on any of the other eps I have on tape.

India: sound clip. Oriental/Far Eastern flutes, and some sort of Indian-sounding thing that I can't put a name to -- an electronic harp, maybe. Beginning of Ultimate Doom 1, when we see the majarajah's palace.

Sea of Japan: a few seconds of this piece are heard in the beginning of Burden Hardest to Bear. It's a soft, tranquil piece, with a clarinet or obo over a few mid-range string swells.

Korea: sound clip. In keeping with the two above pieces. Heard in Quest for Survival's opening scene.

Busted: FFoD 5, as the humans are looking at the frozen Transformers.

Vines: mellow, tuneless synth bit heard in "Quintesson Journal" during the useless scene where Blaster and company get attacked by some vines.

The Touch: the Stan Bush song from TFTM. Heard in TRoOP 2 when Op unleashes the Matrix energy, and again as the 'bots roll out. (BTW, where are they going?? I thought they were already IN Autobot City!) No, no sound clip for this one. Get your own damn sound clip.

Well, that's it. Congrats to anyone who actually read the whole thing. So, now, who wants to catalogue all the cartoon's sound effects? ;)

On to the sketchy beginnings of the Beast Wars themes

Back to Rob's Pile of Tranformers