The Vok, who are mysterious energy-based aliens, had developed prehistoric Earth towards their own designs. They were dedicated to "the Project", which consisted of enigmatic, sometimes contradictory plans for the planet. As a result of these experiments, there were a number of anomalies on Earth, including Floating island, Standing Stones, and a Planet Buster concealed within a "second moon".
Beast Wars cartoon continuity
- Voice actors: Blu Mankuma and Richard Newman (English), Hidetoshi Nakamura (Japanese), Carlos Campanille (Portuguese)
Their experiments were irreparably wrecked as a result of the Beast Wars. The Vok decided to cut their losses by revealing the nature of the second moon: an immense "Planet Buster" cannon designed to destroy the planet! Optimus Primal takes a modified Stasis Pod that could fly him as its pilot as far as he could get close to its firing port and then escape when the pod is about to enter this part of the cannon and accomplish its purpose as being the cannon's destroyer, but however, Megatron, aware of Primal's strategy, decides to use this opportunity to his advantage by having the Stasis Pod "stay locked" completely beyond any hope of opening at all via a special permanent locking mechanism he had secretly added to the mix before Primal's plan begins, thereby having his foe suffer the same fate as the pod and the Planet Buster - three destructions taking place all at once, leaving Megatron satisfied that although the Planet Buster, which he developed a fondness for because its schemes were along the lines of ruthlessness just like his own schemes, is gone, so is Optimus.
As a result of the Planet Buster's explosion that came as a result of its destruction, a Quantum surge is released - this surge causes a mutation of several Transformers (notably, Megatron, Rattrap, Cheetor and Tarantulas) present on Earth at the time Earth is subjected to the surge flowing through it, turning them into Transmetals; some pre-Tansmetals who were exposed to the surge flowing into them, like Tigatron and Airazor, were mysteriously unaffected - the exact reason why they are not mutated into Transmetals despite their exposure is unknown . The destruction of the Planet Buster also releases a Transwarp wave that travels through space and time, eventually reaching Cybertron in the era from which the Axalon and Darksyde crews originated.
Later in the series, the Vok makes several other attempts to wipe out the Transformers, notably a second weapon dubbed the "Metal Hunter", which appears on the planet, and the abduction of Airazor and Tigatron - they stay captured for the remainder of the series, never seen again until season 3's final episodes ("Other Victories" and parts 1 & 2 of "Nemesis") as their combined alias and the Vok's emissary, Tigerhawk.
Near the end of the Beast Wars, the Vok send their emissary to Earth to deal with Megatron's disruption of the time-stream. Tigerhawk is able to destroy the Predacon base, but soon eventually subdued and captured by Tarantulas, who is able to draw the Vok out of his captive's frame and into his own, but this leads to the sinister tarantula's own destruction...
...and then a subsequent Vok-powered rebirth.
Now established as the enlightened descendants of the Swarm, the Vok's goal in guiding Earth's development was to atone for their shameful and destructive past. Knowing that Tarantulas had stolen their own power for his evil plans, they turn to the Ark, creating Primal Prime (from the Matrix, a Datasphere and Quickstrike's control harness) and restoring the sparks of Airazor and Tigatron to separate Transmetal bodies, hoping they could defeat Tarantulas. Later when they lost the Matrix to the zombified arachnid, they merged themselves with Primal Prime in order to provide a temporary substitute to the Matrix. Primal Prime gained a snazzy new Vok-shaped breastplate out of the deal.
IDW Beast Wars comics
The Vok are the enlightened evolution of the Swarm, a combination of Cybertronian, human, and mysterious lizard species life. Their aim is to find the optimal path of development for the sources of its components, especially Cybertronians.
After Tigerhawk is destroyed, the Vok grant Airazor a Transmetal body using a blank protoform. Tigatron gains a Transmetal body as well, and his experience with the Vok expanded his awareness of nature to the entire Universe.
Antagony is "reconstructed" by the Vok to act as a provocateur in whatever realities they toss her into, to test the upper limits of Cybertronians. She, however, believes that she is from a future ruled by Shokaract, and does work for him at one point.
After Rhinox's death as his Vehicon general identity Tankor , the Vok take his spark from the Matrix, give him a new body, and drop him into different realities supposedly to combat Unicron's chaos, but really to manipulate Cybertronian history - Rhinox realizes this and does not trust them but, out of guilt for his actions as his corruption-born alias, still helps any Cybertronians he comes across.
In the course of writing the television Beast Wars, the co-story editors had conflicting ideas on who the Vok were:
- Bob Forward liked to imagine them as the evolutionary end-point of all sentient life in the universe, shaping the development of other races in order to eventually guide them into becoming Vok themselves.
- Larry DiTillio wanted to link them to The Swarm who, in his version of the events of the Generation 2 comic, had completely wiped out humanity and wished to atone for their crimes.
Neither origin are in the television show before it completed.
Ultimately, the Vok origin was published as backstory for OTFCC's Primeval Dawn storyline and IDW's Beast Wars Sourcebook.
The Beast Wars Universe book says that the Vok's experiments on Earth were part of an attempt to further evolve Humanity, as the Vok had destroyed the human race while existing as the Swarm. It states that the energon crystals were seeded so that they would become energon cubes by the time Humanity came about. This would give them a reliable fuel source which wouldn't harm the environment, as energon actually provided nutrients to the soil of the planet and didn't harm its animals. The Vok also attempted to play the role of God for humans, intending to guide their development and reveal their true nature once the Vok felt the humans were ready. It also states that the Vok had been forced to destroy Earth several times before the events of "Other Voices Part 2", all the while subtly manipulating the time-stream after they did. Only contact with Tigatron made them unsure if this was a good idea. The canonicity of these claims is currently being debated, but one thing is for sure: Old habits die hard.
The golden disk that the Vok left on prehistoric Earth displayed ten symbols at a time, five on each side. Symbols spontaneously changed from one to another; there were 15 unique symbols - the first four on the upper left row each represented an alien artifact:
- First symbol: the Flying Island from parts 1 and and 2 of "The Trigger". The triangle might represent the island while the eye indicates that it watches the island.
- Second symbol: the Standing Stones from "Chain of Command". The arches are the longer stone pieces. the middle piece with waves indicated a signal area where it can communicate with the Vok.
- Third symbol: the Planet Buster from the first season's two-part finale "Other Voices".
- Fourth symbol: the Metal Hunter from the television Beast Wars's season 2 two-parter "Other Visits". The shape is most like the hull of the Metal Hunter
- Fifth symbol on the top row: this is used to mark traps on the Flying Island.
The meaning of the other ten symbols was not explained. The ones in the second row seem to imply human agriculture and civilization. Second from bottom left might be the Ark in side of Mt. St Hilary. Third from bottom left appears to be a Megatron's eye perspective of Unicron.
- Most of the Beast Wars episodes involving the Vok begin with the word "Other", followed by a word starting with the letter V. See: "Other Voices" (season 1 two-part finale), "Other Visits" (season 2 two-parter), and "Other Victories".
- Again according to Beast Wars Universe, Larry DiTillio's ideas were that the Vok had created protoforms and Sparks in order to force Transformers to evolve into Maximals and Predacons - only high-ranking entities like the High Council were aware of this alien origin.