The Quintessons are one of the antagonists of The Transformers: The Movie and the third season of The Transformers. A cybernetic species whose origins are unknown and their history and crafty actions are bound up with the history of the Transformers, and connections with Primus and Unicron. They prefer subterfuge, scheming, and advanced technology over brute force, but if those don't work, they can fall back on the legion of deadly Sharkticons and Allicons at their command and a fleet of battle-ready spaceships as well. However, the Quintessons themselves have zero fighting abilities and are absolute cowards if they have nothing to hide behind. For example, they are seen to be powerless against a Sharkticon revolt.
Quintessons are also known by the adorable racial slur 'squids'.
- Portuguese name (subtitled): Quintessões
- Portuguese name (translation): Cinco Caras (Five Faces)
Types of Quintessons
The Quintessons appear to be mostly (if not entirely) mechanical beings. They come in several distinct forms, some of which are identified by their place in the Quintessons' bizarre court system.
- (Note: The names given are, when possible, taken directly from the character model sheets.)
The most prominent and famous type of Quintesson, as well as the apparent "leaders" of the race, are the Judges, also referred to as the Imperial Magistrates. Judges have inverted, egg-shaped bodies which float on a beam of energy and possess wiry tentacles for grappling and moving things, but their most distinctive physical characteristics are their five faces which rotate on an axis. Each face represents a different aspect of the Quintesson, though for four of the five faces, there are conflicting accounts as to what each represents.
- (Note: The first names given above for the latter four faces come from Japanese Comic Bom Bom supplements. They are derived from the descriptions given of the faces in the original script for the movie—an "angry face," a "smiling face," a "grimacing face" and a "suspicious face"—and the faces were specifically designed by Floro Dery to represent these emotions. All the same, this information remained very little-known for a long time, leading to the second set of names being created for use in the 2004 publication, Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. The original names were also used for The Ark, published by IDW in 2007.)
In the original animated series, the Judges were all of the same size and were rarely named. (Then again, it was rare for any Quintesson to get an individual name.) Conversely, in the Marvel Comics continuity, Judges vary in size, including the massive Lord Kledji and the smaller Sevax. It is worth noting that the order of the faces in the ring varies from Judge to Judge (if not from shot to shot, ahem).
Named Judges include:
These creatures have tooth-lined snout similar in appearance to a Terran lamprey. Bailiffs were seen serving as guards in the Quintessons' court.
Named executioners include:
This variety of Quintesson is the second-most common type, often seen in positions of authority. They have also been called "Inquisitors". In court, they are the ones who ask for the Judges' verdicts and occasionally let the defendants say something in their defense, for all it matters.
Named prosecutors include:
Scientists are somewhat similar to the Prosecutors in construction, though they feature more bulbous heads and bearded, somewhat-more-human faces.
Named scientists include:
The Judges are not the only Quintessons to have multiple faces, though the only known exception is the three-faced scientist who was the primary creator of the Trans-Organics. One of his faces was grievously damaged, a scar left by the Dweller, which he covered with a mask.
This scientist instigated a plan to get the Decepticons to unwittingly release the trans-organics from their prisons deep within Cybertron so they would wipe out all Transformer life. The plan ultimately backfired; the Dweller killed the other trans-organics, and was launched into space by the Autobots... where it smashed into the scientist's ship, which was en route to Cybertron. Presumably, the scientist finally met his end as the Dweller drained the energy from the ship and everyone within it.
Security officers appear to have been an ancient model of Quintesson, and possibly the only kind with built-in offensive capabilities, some having one set of arm-tentacles replaced with over-sized blasters. These blasters availed them naught, however, against the Trans-Organic beasts. It is unknown if any of this model of Quintesson exist in "modern" times.
Non-bailiff, non-executioner Humanoid Quintessons are exceedingly rare. One accompanied Inquirata on his mission to use a time window to change Cybertron's history, stopping the slave revolt that drove the Quintessons off-planet.
And then there's Mirdane. A rarity among Quintessons, in that he has a name, and that's it. He has only ever been mentioned by others, never seen, so what body type he has/had is unknown.
In ages long past, a cold and emotionless race of aliens called the Quintessons created two lines of sentient robots on a planet-sized factory known as Cybertron. One was a line of robots designed for domestic duties and labor (known as Autobots), and the other was a line designed for military use, (known as Decepticons). The Quintessons were exceptionally cruel to their creations, eventually leading to widespread rebellion, a rebellion started by the Autobot A3. Forced to flee the planet, the Quintessons eventually settled on the small, twisted planet of Quintessa, but fostered an undying hatred of all Transformers for millions of years.
In 2005, they were shown to capture prisoners for trial and feeding to their army of Sharkticons. The mock trials held by the Quintesson Court seemed to have no purpose at all (except maybe for the Quintessons' amusement), as defendants were still immediately fed to the ravenous Sharkticons even when the Judge determined them to be innocent. However, the Dinobots managed to rescue the pair of Autobots the Quintessons had captured. Worse, Grimlock inspired the Sharkticons to rebel...by stomping his foot on the ground and telling them to do so.
One year (or possibly five years, depending on whom you ask) after the defeat of Unicron, the Quintessons reappeared. They first sent a commando team of Sharkticons to abduct various Autobots (as well as Spike Witwicky, though that may have been unintentional). Upon capturing the 'bots, the Quintessons seemed more interested in interrogating their prisoners than feeding them to the Sharkticons. However, they eventually did find the captured Transformers to be guilty of the crime of... being Transformers. (Spike was guilty by association.)
After Rodimus and the Aerialbots mounted a rescue for their captive friends, the Quintessons attempted to kill the would-be rescuers by destroying the entire planet of Quintessa. After this plan failed, the surviving Quintessons made an alliance with the newly revived Galvatron to attack Cybertron (in return for the fictional Decepticon Matrix of Leadership, which they made up because they needed to give him a reason not to kill them).
The Quintessons betrayed Galvatron almost immediately after the battle had been won, toggling a switch which caused all Transformers the galaxy over literally to freeze where they stood. Luckily, Spike stopped the Quintessons before they had much of a chance to do anything. Despite their betrayal (and the fact that they almost killed him), Galvatron remained an ally (despite that he tried to kill them as well).
Later plots by the Quintessons were no less nefarious. A rogue Quintesson scientist abducted several Transformers and a human for behavioral study, a scheme that nearly killed the entire group after they drifted into a black hole. Later, the Quintessons revived the deceased Optimus Prime in an attempt to lure all the Autobots into a trap and destroy them with a supernova. However, the Quintessons did not count upon Hot Rod forcing Optimus Prime to overcome his programming, nor Optimus Prime's ability to sacrifice himself to save the Autobots. Later still, the Quintessons attempted to rewrite history by preventing their loss of Cybertron (which nearly resulted in the very fabric of Time being destroyed).
During the Hate Plague crisis, a single Quintesson was rescued from his infected Sharkticons by Sky Lynx, to restore life to the body of Optimus Prime. The Quintesson mentioned that his race had gone into hiding in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. The lone Quintesson's help in restoring Optimus Prime and several other Autobots was vital in curing the galaxy of the Hate Plague, but his race was never heard from again.
The Kiss Players Marissa Faireborn, Atari Hitotonari and Shaoshao Li, together with the Sparkbots Angela, Star Dust and Zangetsu, were traveling through time aboard Fortress Maximus when the space fortress suddenly went out of control.
The six found themselves on a strange, alien world in the year 2011. With their ship ensnared, they were herded by Sharkticons to the Space Tribunal, where the Quintessons put them on trial for time-traveling without their permission.
When Shaoshao asked if being cute was a crime, the Quintessons threatened to charge her with contempt of court. Atari suggested using their Kiss Play abilities to transform into cute costumes and ask the "octopusses" nicely to let them go. But turning into a swimsuit-clad elementary school girl and asking the judge's permission to go to the potty only resulted in Atari and her friends being found "not guilty" and dropped into the Sharkticon pit below.
Rescued by Optimus Prime and Goldbug, they fled back to Fortress Maximus and re-entered the time portal. Sucked into the maelstrom along with them, the Quintessons demanded that the process stop, saying that they were the last of their kind. But it was too late, and the aliens were trapped inside the hole in space-time.
Universe Featuring the Wreckers
The Quintessons conspired with Cryotek to retake the newly-reformatted Cybertron. He screwed them.
Dreamwave comics continuity
The Quintessons were an alien race which appeared to conquer Cybertron at some point, but were driven off. However, they continued to maintain watch over Cybertron, eventually coming to manipulate the Council of Ancients. Megatron claimed this was the reason that he started the Great War . This did not, however, stop him from making a deal with the Quintessons, who provided him with the Aerospace Extermination Squadron. Knowing both Megatron and the Quintessons, both were planning to betray each other when the time was right.
Later, they prepped the Female Autobots for invading Cybertron.
Notes & Trivia
- When asked about the Quintesson design in an interview, Floro Dery stated they were based on a cylindrical toy he designed at some point.
- "Squids" from Wreckers: Finale Part II, multiple instances.
- TransFormers Philippines: Interview With Floro Dery