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The Golden Disk is a fictional artifact from the Transformers series.
The Golden Disk is a relic from the Beast Wars Transformers timeline, and a key plot device for the events of the show. Considered a revered artifact, it is actually the Voyager Golden Record, which includes information on Earth and humanity, and is presumably the only source of coordinates for Earth and, thus, a plentiful source of Energon for the Transformers. Unbeknownst to most Cybertronians, though, the disk also included a message from the original Generation One Megatron as a safeguard. In the event he was defeated, Megatron left instructions for any Decepticons or their descendants still loyal to his cause to use then-in development transwarp technology to go back in time and alter the past by destroying Optimus Prime, ensuring Decepticon victory in the Great War. He also gave the access codes to the Ark itself. The Voyager space probes were launched in the late 1970s. Since the Decepticons and Autobots were not reactivated until 1984 it is unclear as to how Megatron managed to encode a message on the Voyager record.
Following the end of the war and the planet-wide reformatting that saw the Autobots and Decepticons upgraded into Maximals and Predacons, the Predacons were firmly established as second-class citizens on Cybertron, leading one Predacon criminal, who also took the name Megatron, to search for a new source of energy that might revitalise the Predacon war machine and allow them to conquer the planet. Knowing of the tale that claimed the Golden Disk contained the location of a major Energon deposit, Megatron stole the disk, and uncovered the original Megatron's encoded message. Keeping this particular piece of information to himself, Megatron assembled a small crew of like-minded Predacons and stole a craft, escaping into transwarp space with the Maximals in hot pursuit. When the two ships crashed on prehistoric Earth, only Megatron truly knew where in space and time they were. Locating the Ark, Megatron found himself unwilling to carry out his namesake's extreme plan and re-sealed the tunnel he had dug, opting instead to amass power via the vast amounts of Raw Energon seeded on the planet.
In time, a second Golden Disk was found, this one a creation of the mysterious race of aliens using prehistoric Earth for various experiments. A solid, thick disk, rather than the gold-plated record of the Voyager disk, the alien disk was marked with several symbols which shifted and flowed across its surface which identified the locations of, and allowed the user to control, the various alien devices scattered around the planet. This offered Megatron an alternative opportunity for conquest, as he now sought to control alien technology to wipe out the Maximals. Megatron's former comrade, Dinobot, later stole both disks from Predacon control, but hid the alien disk, returning the Earth disk to Megatron in a show of renewed loyalty once it became clear that they were on Earth. Megatron subsequently stole the alien disk from the Maximals, and put it to use controlling an alien "Metalhunter" base. When the Maximals destroyed the base in a transwarp explosion, the alien disk was also destroyed
No longer able to exploit alien devices, and with his plans to gather Energon faltering, Megatron still remained unwilling to go to the extremes laid out by his predecessor, and opted instead to attempt to alter history through a different means, using the information on the disk to locate and assault the cradle of human civilization, a move that forced Dinobot to go on a suicide mission to stop him, eventually using the last of his strength to shatter the disk with a laser-eye blast. This was, however, not the last use of the Golden Disk; after he was captured by Ravage (who was dispatched by order of the Tripredacus Council to find and eliminate all involved in the Beast Wars), Megatron used a fragment of the Earth disk to play back a piece of the original Megatron's message, thus convincing Ravage to release him and join in his schemes. At this point, Megatron is willing to execute his predecessor’s plans to infiltrate the Ark and destroy Optimus Prime. Knowing that Blackarachnia has downloaded the access codes to the Ark, he forces her to grant him access where he discovers the body of Optimus Prime, as well as the other Autobots and Decepticons, in stasis lock. Though Megatron attempts to destroy Optimus Prime, he fails.
The Golden Disk would also make several appearances in Dreamwave's Transformers fiction, including the tale of its original theft in the More Than Meets the Eye series, where it was shown to contain personality profiles for most of the G1 Transformers (in actuality the contents of the series). Here, it was mistakenly drawn as the Alien Disc.
It also appeared as a major plot point in the Transformers: Micromasters miniseries. Here it was discovered by the Autobot Micromaster Countdown, who believed that it showed that the Transformers had been created by a race of smaller beings. The Decepticon Micromaster Skystalker also wanted its contents enough to start a war between the two Micromaster factions. However, due to Dreamwave's closure its importance was never revealed.
The Golden Disk shown in the Transformers: Micromasters miniseries (specifically in issue #3) is a different Golden Disk to that of the Beast Wars era. This Golden Disk is more likely the same, or possibly a parallel of, the one thrown away by Optimus Prime at the end of the first volume of The War Within.
Fun Publication's, Inc., the company that owns the convention rights to Transformers and has also issued many fan oriented comics and story lines, commissioned S. Trent Troop to create a visual telling of Megatron stealing the Golden Disk. The production, called "Theft of the Golden Disk," tells the story of how Megatron's mentor, Cryotek, conceived the plan to steal the Golden Disk to find a location of a large energon deposit. Cryotek tells Megatron that he needs to break into a Maximal archive and steal information on the location of the Disk. Megatron must then give the data to Cryotek to decode and interpret so they can discover the actual location of the Golden Disk. However, Megatron betrays Cryotek and transmits the data to one of Megatron's agents, the agent who would become Tarantulas, to decode and interpret it himself, cutting out his mentor. Cryotek receives the data along with a tracer that would lead the Maximals back to Cryotek as the perpetrator of the crime. Cryotek is infuriated that his pupil did this (despite the fact the Cryotek knew Megatron would betray him, and that Cryotek betrayed Megatron first by alerting the Maximals to the break in) and cries out his name in anger as Cryotek is arrested and Megatron enters the location where the Golden Disk is located, stealing the disk.
The 2006 Iacon One convention held in Fort Wayne, Indiana included as souvenir gifts for registered attendees a set of replica Golden Disks.
- Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc.. p. 81. ISBN 1-4053-0461-8.