Flatline (Transformers Generation 1)

Transformers Generation 1 Flatline

Decepticons faction symbol
Name: Flatline
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Surgeon
Timeline: Generation 1

I've saved your life. Don't waste it.


Transformers Universe Game Flatline robot mode
Flatline is one of the more unusual residents of post-war Iacon. Those unaware of his past know him as a surgeon and a skilled healer who, in spite of his cold and troubled exterior, is fully committed to saving lives. Flatline often works into the late hours trying to save a life when Cybertron's other celebrated healers might consider the patient beyond help. That is the reputation Flatline has established for himself: the 'bot you seek out when all other hope for finding a cure to your condition has failed. Flatline takes no joy in saving lives, though. "It is not my place," he sometimes growls. "One never takes joy in serving their penance." These occasional murmurings reveal a darker side to the troubled medic - and a past as one of the deadliest Decepticon doctors. In those dark times, Flatline was every bit the skilled surgeon that he is now. He was all too eager to go about his work, viewing every new procedure with a childlike curiosity and a disregard for the wellbeing of his patients. Flatline derived a huge amount of satisfaction from his many discoveries, creating a number of pioneering medical processes. His greatest discovery was a process to rapidly and cleanly extracting a Cybertronian life-spark and transplanting it into a new body, allowing Megatron to remove the sparks of prisoners-of-war and allowing many of the deadliest Decepticon warriors to upgrade themselves with significantly more powerful bodies. Flatline rarely speaks about what made him change his ways, only that he had an epiphany that made him realise the terrible things he had done, the lives he'd personally destroyed, and the many thousands more who'd suffered as a result of his discoveries. Since that day, Flatline strives to use his knowledge to save lives, refusing to give up on a single patient. He has no illusion that he'll ever fully atone for his sins; but maybe, just maybe, he might somehow redress the balance, and find forgiveness by the day he passes and joins the Allspark...

Flatbed truck mode:

Transformers Universe Game Flatline Flatbed truck mode

Author notes:

Flatline is a character who I had to give a bit of thought to writing. He's a non-toy character with three different incarnations - one in the Universe game, one in the IDW comics, and one in the Movieverse. I've mainly pulled in elements from the Movieverse and IDW for this profile, using the Movieverse as a basis for his "old" self and his atoner personality is inspired by his brief appearances in the IDW comics.

He ended up being a darker character than I'd perhaps envisaged initially, but that's because his evil self was almost comically evil - we're talking someone who'd loudly announce "for science!" before ripping a spark out. I haven't decided exactly what made him reform his ways, but it would have to be something pretty major, on the level of Paul on the road to Damascus. I'm not ruling out the possibility of an encounter with a higher-dimensional being - the Transformers universe equivalent of an angel - because that's what it'd take to open his eyes to his preious evil.

Fun fact is I was trying to give the evil Flatline a title equivalent to "the Devil's Doctor", which would have been something involving Unicron. Unfortunately alliteration meant my brain kept going to "Unicron's urologist", which sounded way too immature and silly. On reflection, I could have used "Mortillius' medic" which would have fit the IDW universe.

The main pictures in this article are taken from Jagex's Transformers Universe game, which is the most unique looking version of the three Flatlines. Images were taken from the Transformers Wiki page for Flatline.

Toys of Transformers Generation 1 Flatline

KFC Third Party Scalpel Robot mode KFC Third Party Scalpel Robot mode posed KFC Third Party Scalpel Robot mode alternate pose
KFC Third Party Scalpel Microscope mode KFC Third Party Scalpel Tank mode
Flatline is a non-toy character, consequently I don't have any toys to talk about here. Or do I? Actually, I do know of a couple of toys who I might repurpose as this guy. One is this third party G1 styled Scalpel by KFC. It's a pretty terrible toy - loose floppy joints and a bizarre face. I'm only 50/50 on using it for Flatline as I might want him for an actual G1-style Scalpel in my collection.

Transformers Go Hunter Ratchet Robot mode Transformers Go Hunter Ratchet Ambulance mode
My other toy pick is the Transformers Go Hunter Ratchet. This one is an unusual redeco of the Beast Hunters Ratchet, inspired by Movie Ratchet and marketed as a Decepticon. I also know this one has been repurposed by other writers as a new character who is a Decepticon medic, so he seems a logical fit for Flatline to me - if only I could track one down for a reasonable price!