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The Red Wizard Mara-Al-Utha, A Quintesson Criminal
Quintessons are fictional aliens from the Transformers universe. Within the TV series, they are the creators of the Transformers, although in most other fictional universes featuring the Transformers, they have no such status. Although they have several body types, the name Quintesson focused on the "judge" Quintessons who have five (quint-) faces with five unique personalities.

Generation 1

Animated Series

Twelve million years ago, the alien race known as the Quintessons used the planet of Cybertron as a factory to produce cybernetic lifeforms. Their early experiments in fusing organic and technological components into one being resulted in the creation of the "Trans-Organics," which proved too primitive and unstable, particularly a living energy siphon named "The Dweller", and they were all sealed away in the lowest levels of Cybertron.

Subsequently, the Quintessons turned to pure robotics for their creations, and produced lines of consumer goods and military hardware robots—which would eventually become the lineal ancestors of the Autobots and Decepticons, respectively. Forging their bodies in the Plasma Energy Chamber, the Quintessons programmed their robots with intelligence using Vector Sigma, to allow them to carry out their tasks on their own, thereby leaving the Quintessons to do nothing other than live in leisure. However, what they failed to realize was that their robots had developed true sentience and real feelings — after a million years of slavery, they could now feel and know the difference between it and freedom, and they struck back against their masters. The Quintessons fought back against the rebellion with their Dark Guardian robots, unconcerned and thinking themselves untouchable, but when the Coda-Remote, a device created by the rebel leader, A-3, was used to shut down the Guardians, the robots got the upper hand, eventually forcing the Quintessons to flee Cybertron. They scattered through the galaxy until they became largely forgotten by the Transformers.

The Quintessons took up residence on a world they named Quintessa, although it is not clear if the entire race relocated to the planet, or just one group. Here, they eked out a bitter, resentful existence, putting many unfortunate robots they captured to trial, subjecting them to a twisted form of justice as they sought retribution for the "theft" of Cybertron. Innocent or guilty, the sentence was always the same—death, in the jaws of their monstrous (new) servants, the Sharkticons.

At least one group of Quintessons also took up the role of weapons dealer to the galaxy. They would often supply arms for both sides of a war, such as the war between Xetaxxis and Lanarq. They would aid in escalating the war to line their pockets. They chronicled the sale of their arms transactions in a holographic tube which they called their Journal. They kept this Journal safely hidden away, until the destruction of Quintessa sent it hurling through space. Its existence was unknown to all races until the time of a peace conference (in 2006), when it was recovered by the Autobots and used to help bring peace to the embattled Xetaxxis and Lanarq.

The modern Transformers' first encounter with the Quintessons came in the Earth year 2005 (during the events of The Transformers: The Movie), when Hot Rod, Kup and the Dinobots were stranded on the planet and faced Quintesson justice, only able to escape when Grimlock intimidated the Sharkticons into revolting, and Wheelie led the marooned Autobots to a Quintesson ship to allow them to get off the planet. After the destruction of Unicron, the Quintessons launched an all-out assault on the Transformers, in an attempt to reclaim Cybertron. They first attacked the First Galactic Olympic ceremony on its opening day and kidnapped Autobots Kup and Ultra Magnus as well as human Spike Witwicky. The Autobots, commanded by Rodimus Prime rescued their companions. The Quintessons, believing that if they could destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership it would divide their enemies and eliminate half of their resistance, detonated their home planet of Quintessa. The Autobots managed to escape the destruction of the planet. Frustrated and outraged at their strategic failure, they realized the best hope was to forge an alliance with the Decepticons. They even promised Galvatron the non-existent Decepticon Matrix of Leadership. While the two sides battled each other, the Sharkticons were sent to activate a failsafe that will freeze all Autobots and Decepticons. However, their plan was foiled by Spike Witwicky.

The alliance between the Decepticons and the Quintessons proved to be unholy to say the least, with both sides betraying one another on numerous occasions. Separately from this sporadic arrangement, the Quintessons also seemed to utilize the Predacons as agents.

In 2006, assorted groups of Quintessons would plot various schemes to destroy both the Autobots and Decepticons alike. Some of the most noteworthy schemes involved creating a "Time Window" to go back in time and kill Autobot A-3, reviving Autobot legend Optimus Prime as a zombie to kill his fellow Autobots, sending Galvatron to a planet that would kill him, and unleashing the Trans-Organics on Cybertron once again. As beings of logic and statistics, the Quintessons' primary weakness is non-linear thinking — the Quintessons blame Earth's humans and their unpredictability for the corruption of the Autobots that prevents them from accurately deducing their movements. Their initial scheme was, in fact, directly foiled by Spike Witwicky when the Quintessons failed to account for his presence. They later attempted to use this indefinable factor for themselves by harnessing the nightmares in the mind of Daniel Witwicky and turning them against the Autobots.

The Quintessons were known as the most untrustworthy creatures in the galaxy, until the Hate Plague. Quintessons were, at the time, hiding on a planet in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. One, who was fleeing infected Transformers, was rescued by Sky Lynx to restore Prime to working order and sanity and other Autobots who weren't infected.

It has been stated by Flint Dille that, if season four of the series had continued, the Quintessons would have been seen teaming up with the head of Unicron, combining their efforts against the Transformers.

Marvel Comics

The Quintessons did not appear in the Americanmarker comic book series, aside from in the comic adaptations of The Transformers: The Movie and the episode "The Big Broadcast of 2006". They did, however, feature in the Transformers Universe profile books, where they are implicated as being servants of Unicron. However, this was based on the original script of The Transformers: The Movie which was changed later but was too late to amend in the profiles, and certainly does not apply to the UKmarker comics, where the Quintessons were featured in the story Space Pirates (which stated Big Broadcast had been completely made up by Wreck-Gar). That story saw their homeworld threatened by a growing timestorm, and so, having been compiling a list of metallic planets intended for conquest & colonization, they targeted Cybertron for emergency colonization. In a two-pronged attack, they attacked Autobot City to draw out Rodimus Prime so that, via a trap involving Arcee, they could take the Matrix from him; they also contacted the Decepticons to tip them off about the Autobot City attack, causing the Decepticons to go out in force to Autobase on Cybertron and thus run right into a Quintesson ambush designed to massacre the Decepticon army. While on the verge of victory, they were undone by Hot Rod unleashing Metroplex, Soundwave unexpectedly calling the Autobots for assistance in defeating the Cybertron-based Quintessons, and by Wreck-Gar broadcasting their plans to every planet they'd intended to colonize. The Quintessons were seen vowing to attack Cybertron again but this never occurred (presumably they were left unable once their homeworld was destroyed). The Quintessons showed a sadistic side in this story, stringing up deactivated Autobots on the walls of Autobot City for no purpose other than to demoralize Rodimus & his team.

Dreamwave Productions

The Quintessons have also appeared in Dreamwave's comic book series, manipulating events behind the scenes, at one point providing Megatron with a massive army of Seeker clones to subjugate Cybertron, although Dreamwave's bankruptcy meant this story was never finished. They also appeared in Dreamwave's G1 ongoing series, where they were manipulating events behind the scenes, including engineering discord between Hot Rod and Arcee, as part of a scheme to seize the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. This story was also never completed.

3H Enterprises

The exclusive Wreckers comic book for the Official Transformers Collectors Convention accomplished an uneasy merging of cartoon and comic continuity by presenting the Quintessons as minions of Unicron, employed long ago to seek out Primus/Cybertron. Upon locating Cybertron, instead of informing their master, they took it over and enslaved the inhabitants. The Quintessons created a shell program for the super computer Vector Sigma called the Oracle, and through it attempted to influence the development of Cybertron. The series also had the Quintessons later colonize another planet, which they named New Quintessa.

In the "Botcon" comic line, the Quintessons formed an alliance with the Predacon scientist Cryotek, a former mentor of Megatron. They worked together in attempts to cement their rule over the galaxy, attempting to destroy the powerful Transformers dispatched by the Oracle. They succeeded in the case of the Mutants and the Dinobots, but proved unable to defeat the Wreckers before the comic’s cancellation.

Devil's Due Publishing

Serpentor downloads a brief history of Cybertron and learns of the Quintessons from Soundwave's memory in Devil's Due comics.
The Quintessons made a cameo appearance in Devil's Due comics. In the third volume of the Devil's Due comics G.I Joe vs the Transformers comics, the android Serpentor downloaded information on the history of Cybertron from Soundwave. Mentioned among that information were the Quintessons, Alpha Trion, Megatron and Soundwave, the planet of Junk, a warrior named Optimus Primal and the Matrix of Leadership.


Although it was originally stated that the Quintessons were not present in the IDW Transformers universe, they have since been seen in an ominous mural in the Wheelie Spotlight.

Types of Quintessons

There are several different types of Quintesson, but the most commonly featured are the Judges — round, egg-shaped, tentacled beings, whose bodies are supported on beams of anti-gravity energy. Most distinctively, they each bear five faces, representing a different emotion. The original script to the movie identifies the faces as "smiling," "angry," "grimacing," "suspicious" and a "death's head," and the faces were designed to represent these emotions. Only the "death's head" was identified in the cartoon series, where it was named the "Face of Death," but an article in the Japanese magazine, Comic Bom Bom, later did the same for the other four, dubbing them the Faces of Laughter, Rage, Bitterness and Doubt. Transformers: The Ultimate Guide published by Dorling Kindersley created a new set of names for the faces other than Death — War, Wrath, Wisdom and Judgment — but the later IDW Publishing book, The Ark: A Complete Compendium of Transformers Animation Models, returned to using the original names.

In their courtroom proceedings, other types of Quintessons were employed, including snout-faced "bailiffs", an "executioner", who threw the switch to drop victims into the Sharkticon (see below) pit, and multi-tentacled "prosecutors" (known as the "Aliens Reject" to the fans ). To carry out their executions, the Quintessons used Sharkticons, unintelligent, rotund robots that could transform into amphibious, fanged monsters. Other transforming servants used by the Quintessons could assume alligator-like forms, though they were never given an official name besides "Quintesson guards". They have, in some fan circles, been unofficially named Alligaticons, Gatorcons, and, by Dreamwave Comics, Allicons. (The Alligaticon name is disputed by the fact that a construct built from Optimus Prime's body — minus his head and rifle-wielding right arm — by the Constructicons in the cartoon episode City of Steel was called an Alligaticon.)

Additional unique breeds of Quintesson include a single-faced scientist called Inquirata, who sought to prevent the rebellion in the past by altering history, and another scientist of the same body type who captured Ultra Magnus, Cyclonus, Wreck-Gar and Marissa Fairborne for study. A completely unique, multi-faced Quintesson scientist was also introduced as the creator of the Trans-Organics, the Quintessons' first attempt to create a subservient cybernetic life form. Also of note was the Quintesson criminal, Mara-Al-Utha, who was convicted of the crime of practicing sorcery, and banished to the mystical other-dimensional realm of Menonia.

Transformers: Energon

The 2004 animated series, Transformers: Energon, features a character named Alpha Q, short for "Alpha Quintesson". Similar in appearance to the G1 Quintessons in that he has tentacles and four faces (modeled in part on the faces of the G1 Quintessons), he is not a "true" Quintesson identical to those featured in the movie, but rather, a being from a planet consumed by Unicron who built a new body for himself while trapped within the planet-eater.

Transformers: Animated

The Quintessons were mentioned by Swindle in the episode Decepticon Air.


  1. The Original Transformers Season 3 part 1 boxed DVD set (Five Faces of Darkness Part 4)
  2. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 2 Season 4 boxed DVD set (The Rebirth Part 1)
  3. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 1 boxed DVD set (Forever Is a Long Time Coming)
  4. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 2 Season 4 boxed DVD set (The Quintesson Journal)
  5. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 1 boxed DVD set (Five Faces of Darkness)
  6. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 1 boxed DVD set (Dark Awakening)
  7. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 1 boxed DVD set (Webworld)
  8. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 2 Season 4 boxed DVD set (The Dweller In the Depths)
  9. The Original Transformers Season 3 Part 2 Season 4 boxed DVD set (Nightmare Planet)

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