Various citizens of the Republic of Cilwelli
|Associated Force powers|
|Chronological and political information|
Gladiatorial combat was a popular sport in the Republic of Cilwelli. The participants were professional fighters who fought against each other, wild animals, and condemned criminals, sometimes to the death, for the entertainment of spectators. These fights took place in arenas in many cities throughout the Republic. Normally the combatants would wield melee weapons such as lightsabers or vibroswords. Organizers would often pit warriors with different weapons against one another in order to intensify the game.
The fights were very popular in the Cilwellian Republic, largely because they reflected the Cilwelli lifestyle. The Cilwelli believed that suffering was the only way to enter the afterlife. Therefore, the idea of a blood sport was generally praised. However, some Cilwellians, particularly upper class females, viewed the games as inhumane and tried to outlaw them. Despite their attempts, the gladiatorial games would remain a part of Cilwelli culture until the planet's destruction during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Typically, most gladiators were not natives to the Cilwellian Republic. If the warriors were Cilwellian they were usually criminals condemned to death. Most gladiators were slaves, captured by game organizers. Humans, Urgals and Hutts were popular, due to the Cilwelli's hatred for these species. Wookiees were also popular, due to their incredible physical abilities. Sometimes, battle droids were used as gladiators.
Many people outside of the Cilwellian Republic thought the games to be barbaric. The New Republic tried to convince the ROC to outlaw the fights. Even some members of the Cilwellian Republic were against the gladiatorial games. Despite opposition, the games would only grow in popularity as the days of the New Republic progressed.
The games were carefully and precisely planned by an organizer. These organizers were called editors. The combinations of animal and gladiator types were meticulously planned, in the hopes that the show would be appealing to the audience. After the planning stage was over, editors would first offer seats to government officials or people of importance. After all the special boxes were filled, tickets would be sold. Tickets would sold for up to five hundred nova crystals.
The games would usually begin early in the morning and end late at night. Meals were often provided. The day began with a religious ceremony. A Vranga would sacrifice a choice slave to the god Graef. The sacrifice was followed by live executions. Condemned criminals were sometimes required to fight in paired gladiatorial combats against each. The winner then fought a new opponent and so on until only one was left alive. Usually this "winner" was then himself put to death, but he could be spared if he showed sufficient bravery. In the later days of the New Republic, it became the practice to perform plays adapted from myths in which people died and assigning the role of a character who would die to a condemned man. The audience would then watch the play and the actual killing of the condemned man in the same manner as the fictional character.
Before the afternoon fights began, a procession was led into the arena. Dancers would perform and the organizers would give speeches. During the fights musicians played accompaniments altering their tempo to match that of the combat. Typical instruments were a long straight trumpet, a large curved instrument or a water-organ. These musicians were often dressed as animals with names such as "flute playing bear" and "horn-blowing chicken", names sometimes found displayed on contemporary mosaics.
During gladiatorial combat, it was preferable for gladiators not to kill each other. Gladiators often had to go through years of intensive training and therefore were quite valuable. Gladiators were instructed to inflict non-lethal wounds upon each other, and often lived long, rather successful lives able to purchase their freedom after three years. However, accidents did happen at times resulting in death and gladiators who failed to display bravery in combat could be executed by order of the Aulsur. After fights, the bodies of the gladiators were buried in a manner depending on the status of the fighter.
Spectators liked to support “sides”, which they called the “great shields” and the “little shields”. The “great shields” were lightly armored defensive fighter types. Whereas the “little shields” were the more aggressive, heavily armored fighter types. Fighting without a shield would have been classed as a “great shield” due to fighting style. “Little shields” always had an advantage early in a match but the longer the match lasted the greater the advantage for the “great shield” as his opponent tired much quicker due to heavier armor and also as they usually had helmets with more restricted vision. Spectators also had local rivalries. One such rivalry was between fighters from Hustia and fighters from Ecka. Customarily, game organizers would provide spectators with food and beverages.
Cilwellians would often have funeral games in which competitors would fight to the death. Crex would often threw suspected criminals into pits of kull. If the suspects survived then they were deemed innocent. But there was no real gladitorial combat for most of Cilwelli's early exsistance. The games were popularized when the Hutts conquered the planet during the Hutt-Xim War. It was probably during this time that slave hunts were first introduced. The Hutts found such sports very amusing and promoted them. However, this sport was seen by the Cilwelli as a Hutt-only attraction. Some anti-Hutt groups even considered gladitorial combat to be evil. Slave hunting was usually done at private parties and not in front of the public.
Most gladiatorial fights at this time were between animals. Both Hutts and Cilwelli enjoyed watching beasts fight to the death. However, controversy arose when the Hutts began using the sacred kull as combat beasts. Some devote followers of the Cilwellian faith saw this as blasphemy. A group of Cilwellian fundamentalists attempted to "free" several kull that were being held for games. But when the rebels released the kull, the creatures devoured their saviors. Therefore, the Vranga ruled that the kull were content to take part in the combat games and that it was therefore not a sin to use them in combat.
The gladiatorial games were transformed during the Separatist Crisis. Cilwelli voiced its support of for the Confederacy. Because of the natural barriers that prevented enemy forces from conquering the planet, many Separatist species flocked to Cilwelli. After the Clone Wars began many Geonosians came to the planet to seek refuge. They brought with them elements of their culture including their love for gladiatorial combat.
The Geonosian-styled fights were quite different from those which took place in Cilwelli. They were very public and held in huge arenas as opposed the private Cilwellian battles which took place in Hutt palaces. The Cilwellians became quite found of these fights. Originally, only criminals were cast into the arenas. The games were more of stylized executions than anything else. Even if the gladiators survived, they were usually executed anyway.
It was probably Muggera that held the first so-called "modern" gladiatorial game. It was a fight between two slaves. The game was design to boost the Hutt's sagging popularity. Though the fight did not win Muggera many supporters, it did create a stir in Cilwellian culture. Soon other noblemen were holding their own games. Zargi, bored from the lack of combat, began volunteering to fight the games.
The fights became even more popular with the start of the Clone Wars. The games distracted the people of Cilwelli from the tragity that had engulf the Galaxy. However, the Clone Wars would also lead the game's temporary destruction. When the Galactic Republic finally captured Cilwelli they destroyed the planet's economy and killed their best warriors. Therefore the games died out.
The Cilwellians finally gained their independence from the Empire during the Galactic Civil War. A short time later, the Republic of Cilwelli was formed. As the Cilwellian Republic developed so did traditional elements of Cilwelli culture. However, due to economic restrictions, gladiatorial games remained rare at best.
The games would be revived as a way of displaying the Cilwellian Republic's sovereignty. During their fight for freedom, the Cilwellians had captured many Stormtroopers. The problem arose of what to do with the Imperial captives. In the end, they had the stormtroopers taken to the town square in Cilwelli City. There, Cilwellians armed with lightsabers and whips, would ceremonially kill the troopers. This was designed to show the ROC's supposed superiority to the Galactic Empire. The "stormtrooper slayings" became popular very quickly.
Soon local entertainers were reenacting the slayings. In a relitively short amountof time, the old sport of gladiatorial combat was reborn. Not only was a the sport given rebirth, but it was expanded. Soon the sport took on a new life. They became more extravagant. Both rich and poor people attended.
However, some members of Cilwellian society were displeased with the development of the games. The Republic of Cilwelli had become an independent and modern nation, and some felt that the brutality of the fights undermined that. Sincol himself secretly disliked the games, but justified it, saying that they were a part of Cilwelli culture. However, some Cilwellians still protested the games and everything associated with them. Racial minorities, like Urgals and Humans, said that the games were specieist because so many of their people were being killed in the games.
Traditionally, women were suppose to be the moral voice in Cilwelli. Therefore, many upper class females took the side of the protesters. Ironically, many of the anti-gladiator women were married to editors. So the money made from the games were also used to fight against them. With this new found finacal support, the anti-gaming movement began to gain power. The protests became violent. Rallies were staged right outside of arenas and protesters would often keep spectators from entering the arena. In certain occasions, the protesters would through rocks at members of the audience. Some organizers of the fights, feared the opposition could get in their way.
Editors began taking matters into their own hands. Bounty hunters were hired to assassinate members of the protest movement. By 5 ABY, nearly twenty people had been murdered as a result of their involvement in the anti-gladiatorial combat rallies. This spawned more violence from the protesters. The government decided to intervene. Editors suspected of assassinating opponents were arrested and tried. However, protesters were also punished. Rallies were no longer allowed to be held outside an arena. Likewise, those suspected of caused violence were also arrested.
As time went on, the protests slowly began to die out. Gladiatorial combat remained a major part of the Cilwellian lifestyle. However, the Slave War threatened to end the sport for good. Slaves began to rebel against their master, including the slaves forced to fight in the arenas. After the New Republic threatened to join the war on the side of the revolutionaries, the Cilwellian Republic began negotiating with the rebellious slaves. There was talk of complete independence for all slaves. Many people in the gladiatorial business were outraged and scarred. If all the slaves were freed they would run out of fighters They begged the government for help.
Because of the deep connection to politics and the arenas, editors had no trouble finding support in the Cilwellian senate. Therefore, when the Slave War ended both sides agreed to let gladiatorial combat continue unopposed. So gladiatorial combat was ushered into its golden age.
After all threats to the games had been eliminated, gladiatorial combat became easily the most popular sport in the Cilwellian Republic. Editors were constantly trying to find new ways to impress their fans. The games became largely stylized. Often they had predetermined outcomes with "pretty-faced gladiators" being the victors.
Many gladiatorial celebrities arose during this time. These men and women were among the greatest heroes to the Cilwelli, even greater than most politicians. This led to a growing number of volunteer gladiators. Rather than enslave fighters, editors began recruiting them.
During this time arena tickets could be sold for upwards of 500 nova crystals. Tickets soon became a big black market item. The Crex were ordered to crack down on the illegal sell of tickets. The punishment for selling arena tickets without the consent of the editors was raised to fifty lashes. However, for some the temptation was simply too great. With the illegal sell of tickets growing, gladiator organizers faced finical ruin. However, in 19 ABY, a senator and editor came up with an idea that would save the industry. He again changed the sentence. All people caught selling arena tickets on the black market would be forced to fight in the gladiatorial games. This turned a loss into a gain. Once again, gladiatorial combat flourished.
In an attempt to revive the now aging sport, organizers thought to use new types of gladiators. For the first time, women fought in the games. The old tradition of female morality had long been forgotten, allowing women to brake the old honor codes and fight in the games. Likewise, many women were eager to prove themselves in the fights. Women fighters became very popular.
Children also fought during this time. Many youth aspired to be gladiators and some got the chance to do so. Some were forced to fight by their tarboes. However, editors also organized the Youth Combat League. The League taught young Cilwelli the arts of gladiatorial combat. The children would then fight each other in mock combat. The contestants never died and the fights were largely for show. However, editors did hope that the "junior gladiators" would get hooked and became professional gladiators later on in life.
Despite many gladiators moving up to celebrity status, the games became more and more violent in an attempt to satisfy spectator’s bloodlust. Between 16 ABY and 22 ABY more gladiators were killed than in the last thirteen years combined. The onslaught was so great that many gladiators began deserting. However, it was not enough to slow the industry.
In 22 ABY, Cilwelli fell under attack from the Yuuzhan Vong. The ferocity of the attack caught the Cilwelli off guard. The Cilwellian Republic did not have the man power to counter the offensive. As their homeworld began to rapidly fall to enemy forces, the Cilwelli government made one last effort at driving the Vong out. They combined the army and gladiatorial leagues. Rather than fighting each other, gladiators were made to fight Yuuzhan Vong. The gladiators were not trained to fight professional soldiers and the strategy fell apart. By the end of the years, Cilwelli was destroyed and gladiatorial combat was lost forever.
There were many ways in which gladiators were "recruited." Most were slaves captured by Cilwellian slavers. Raiding parties would go out and pirate a world or ship. They would then take individuals which they deemed suitable for gladiatorial combat and ship them back to Cilwelli. Other slaves were taken from the Cilwellian Republic itself. The law limited the options avalable to slavers when it came the citizens of the ROC. Only members of the Low Clans could be kidnapped and forced to fight. Editors would often hire bounty hunters to capture people and force them to fight. "Gladiator selling" became a big business in some parts of Cilwelli.
Many editors were also active in politics. Therefore, they would use the judicial system to obtain more gladiators. Criminals would often be forced to fight in the arena. Sometimes they were publicly executed, but most the time they were trained to fight. This became a common punishment in Cilwelli. Sometimes convicts would be given a choice to fight or be executed. They figured that fighting would give them a better chance of survive than if they just let themselves be executed. Others hoped to make a statement by fighting to the death. If there was a civil dispute between two Cilwelli, judges would often have the two parties "settle" their dispute in the arena.
Lex Merri was known for forcing anyone he did not like to fight including spectators who annoyed him at the games. He always had a few thugs on hand. These hirelings would grab a person of Merri's choice and throw him or her into the arena. This practice was outlawed in 9 ABY, but only after it made its mark on the games. A tradition was started in which the audience could elect one of their own to fight in the arena. This person was called Merri's Favorite. Merri's Favorite rarely ever died as the custom was more of a joke than anything else.
Many gladiators volunteered. Some couldn't get a job anywhere else. But other sought after fame and fortune and hoped that being gladiator would give them what they desired. These gladiators were paid a set amount. Likewise they signed contracts which stated the number of hours they were to fight. These gladiators often lived in their own homes with their clan.
Editors often tried to recruit Force-sensitives. Recruiters would even go to Yavin IV and try to talk young Jedi into taking up the life of a gladiator. At the promise of fame and fortune, several Jedi padawans agreed to fight in the arenas. It got so bad that the New Jedi Order submitted a plea to the Senate. The New Republic passed a law stating that Cilwellians could not recruit Jedi.
After recruitment, the gladiators would begin training right away. There were more than 100 Gladiator schools throughout the Cilwellian Republic. The schools had barracks for the gladiators with small cells and a large training ground. The most impressive grounds had seating for spectators to watch the men train and some even had boxes for the Aulsur to watch the exercises.
Prospective gladiators, upon entering a gladiator school, swore an oath giving their lives to the gods of the underworld. Volunteers also signed a contract with a gladiator manager stating how often they were to perform, which weapons they would use and how much they would earn. Prospects also under went a physical examination by a doctor to determine if they were physically capable of the rigorous training and aesthetically pleasing. Gladiators were members of a sub-clan which overlapped the Zargi and Vextor clans. They also joined unions formed to ensure proper burials for fallen members and compensation for their families.
As a rule, gladiators had tattoos applied as an identifying mark on the face, legs and hands. This practice continued until Sincol banned them by decree, in 7 ABY.
Training was conducted under teachers called “Doctores” and involved the learning of a series of numbers, which were broken down into various phases much as a play is a series of acts broken down into scenes. Sometimes fans complained that a gladiator fought too “mechanically” when he followed the “numbers” too closely. Gladiators would even be taught how to die correctly. Each type of gladiator had its own teacher. Within a training-school there was a competitive hierarchy of grades through which individuals were promoted. They trained using two meter poles buried in the ground. The levels were named for the training pole and were primus palus, secundus palus and so on. It was also rare for a novices to train in more than one gladiatorial style. Once a gladiator had finished training but had not yet fought in an arena he was called a Hydoes.
The Cilwelli’s attitude towards the gladiators was ambiguous: on the one hand to be a gladiator was the ultimate social disgrace; but on the other hand, some successful gladiators rose to celebrity status and even those of High Clan families seemed to join up as gladiators. Being a gladiator was a very lucrative business, but it was also viewed as among the lowest professions on the social scale and well below prostitution, although paradoxically if the gladiator had other sources of income he carried no stigma at all. Likewise if the gladiator took no fee for fighting then the legal stigma did not apply and the gladiator legally lost no social status although still remaining publicly disgraced.
Some Cilwelli believed gladiator shows to be boring, but also saw the gladiators themselves as privileged athletes and so took extraordinary measures to prevent bloodshed and death. For example, the Senate decreed that swords have a blunt point and banned iron blades. Many people, particularly upper class women, wanted to outlaw the games entirely. This was largely because women were seen as the moral voice in Cilwellian society.
On the other hand, gladiators often developed large followings of certain women, who apparently saw them as sexual objects despite it being socially unacceptable for citizen women to have sexual contact with them. Despite or because of the prohibition many rich women sought intimate contact with gladiators and there are several instances of historians mentioning Senators wives running off to live with gladiators. The ancient celebrity and the festivity before the fights gave the women an opportunity to meet them.
Many fan clubs sprouted through the Cilwellian Republic. These clubs support certain gladiators or teams. The clubs would often meet in local cantinas, where they would hold rallies for their idol. These clubs would sometimes hire dancers and acrobats to perform in honor of the fan club's hero. These performers were known as Omeria. Omeria would perform routines during the games that were designed to bring good luck to a certain gladiator.
It is thought that only 10 percent of gladiators actually died in combat. Gladiators rarely lived past age 30 unless they were particularly outstanding and accomplished victors but at a time when around 60 percent of Cilwellian citizens died, from all causes, before age 40. This indicates that gladiators in fact tended to almost as long as the general populace, which is attributed to the extra care they received. Reasonable estimates show that they fought on average two to three times yearly, but there are some exceptions such as some men fighting all nine days during one of Feast of Honor shows.
In 14 ABY a political party arose which tried to outlaw gladiatorial combat. This party was made up primarily of upper class women. They believed that the games were uncivilized and inhumane. But the party gained little support in the Senate. Some resorted to drastic actions. They protested many of the games. Often these protests got violent. Others tried to rescue gladiators.
But not all members of the Anti-Violence Party were so friendly to the gladiators. Many considered them the root problem of the games, and the Republic in general. At least one gladiator was assassinated by a party member. One Senate member tried to pass a law that would have banished all gladiators into the Unknown Regions. Though the bill never became law, it caused a great uproar on Cilwelli.
In the New Republic, gladiators were seen as poor slaves and often pitied. But at the same time they were given a fair amount of respect by the Republic. During the Slave War, the gladiators were regarded as heroes.
Most gladiators were poor alien males between fifteen and thirty years of age. However, there were several exceptions. Sometimes women often fought as Venetores (wild animal hunting) but these were not considered true gladiators. Some editors liked to stage torch lit fights between children and women. It appears they fought bare-chested and rarely wore helmets no matter what type of gladiator they fought as.
Women apparently fought at night, and this being the time that the games main events were held indicates the possible importance or rarity of female gladiators. Female gladiators were considered a novelty. Most women, even slaves, considered themselves too good to partake in the games. In Cilwellian folklore, women were often depicted as provocative in combat.
It is known that some of the vile Aulsur would force the wives of some Cilwelli senators into amphitheatres, presumably to fight. At least one editor used the games as a way to eliminate his talkative mistresses. Male gladiators saw their female counterparts as weaklings. But some female warriors did manage to prosper in the arenas and became legendary.
Not only women, but children were known to fight in gladiatorial events during the Republic’s Dark Age. The children were often sent to gladiator schools because their parents could not longer afford to keep them. Other times, ’’tarboes‘’ would send disobedient children to the arenas as a punishment. Most children were not killed.
If the gladiators of rare sects, such as females, upper class warriors, or left-handed fighters, they were generally honored above the rest. Often, they were given their own rooms and private trainers. Other gladiators were instructed not to kill the novelties, but only wound them.
Among even the common gladiators there were varying classes. The following is a list of gladiator types.
There were many types of gladiatorial games. The most common was the conventional fights in which both warriors were armed with melee weapons and sometimes fought to the death. This category could be specified into two basic groups. The most common of these was irect. These games were often glamorized. The moves used by the gladiators were done more for show than practicality. Often these fights had pre-determined outcomes. Usually no one was killed, as fighters were instructed to wound their opponents. Sometimes, losing gladiators would actually play dead, in order to create a more dramatic effect. Gladiators that fought in these irect games were usually Cilwellians, Wookiees and sometimes Force-sensitives.
The secound type of main combat was known as huze. These fights were customarily more violent than irect games. Often the gladiators that took part in these games were considered disgraced. Humans, Urgals and Hutts made up the majority of huze gladiators. Many fighters were actually criminals or slaves forced to fight in the arena. Unless he showed great bravery during the match, the winner was usual executed right after the match.
Another popular style was a fight between two beast, or a gladiator and a beast. Animals such as kull, rancors, nexu, akk dogs, and reeks were commonly made to fight. When two creatures fought each other, bets were usually taken prior to the match. The winner could receive a fair amount of money. It was not uncommon for gamblers to rig fights. Professional gladiators never fought against beasts. Only condemned criminals and slaves were forced to combat animals. They wore no armor, in fact, they often fought completely naked. The criminals would usually use long pikes. Most of the time, the fights ended with the beast being slaying.
However, other times the fighter would be made to fight the creatures without any weapons. Sometimes these "fighters" were even tied to pools. This style of gladiatorial combat probably originated in the form of slave hunting. In these games, a dozen slaves were released into a pit of dangerous creatures. Onlookers would cast bets on which slave they thought would last the longest. Sometimes, if a slave did exceptionally well, organizers would kill the beast and spare the victorious slave. Often times, these slaves were made official gladiators. Most slaves that participated in the events were either ill or disobedient, and therefore no longer any use to their masters. Slave owners were usually paid to donate slaves to the arenas.
‘’Tarboe’’ arenas were also quite popular. They were usually smaller games that were owned by cantinas or mainstream arenas. They were unique, because only children participated. Customarily they were children who had broken some local law or ordinance. Because the Cilwellian government forbid the courts to punish minors, the Crex would use the ‘’tarboe’’ arenas as loopholes to made sure children were sufficiently disciplined. Sometimes the youth were simply thrashed by their tarboe. Other times, they were made to fight one another. The youthful gladiators weren't to kill each other. Rater, they fought with neuronic whips and wore masks made of a plant called yussu. Yussu masks could not be removed unless they were wet. The idea was that the young fighters would whip each other until one began to cry. After enough tears were shed, the yussu mask would come off. The last one to be wearing a mask was the winner.
Another popular style was space combat. This style was very popular among wealthy Cilwellians. Gladiators would fight in various types of starfighters. Often these fighters were fast moving crafts without hyperspace capabilities. Sometimes the dogfights would take place above an arena. The arena would be enclosed with two energy fields. One field was between the gladiators and the grand stands, while the other kept the fighters from flying away. The energy field between the competitors and the audience was to make sure none of the fans were injured by falling debris.
Other times, rich fans would pay to be taken aboard cruise liners, where they could watch gladiators fight in Outer Space. These fights were now for their suspenseful action. Unlike other fights, someone almost always died in cockpit duels. These fights were extremely popular between 7 ABY and 10 ABY, when the ROC's economy was at its best. However, as the wealthy began to lose money, no one could afford to attend these duels. Because so many ships were destroyed, editors had to constantly buy new starfighters. Likewise, because of the high causality rate, very gladiators volunteered. Therefore, editors had to spend additional credits buying or enslaving fighters. As a result, the sport slowly died off.
Because of the Cilwellian's fascination with the mysterious elements of the universe, fights between Force-sensitives became very popular. Editors would higher Jedi or other Force-sensitives to compete in the games. Dark side powers were generally considered more exiting and therefore encouraged to be used. This made many Jedi wary of the sport. Most Jedi who did participate were young padawans, told that the games would bring them fame and fortune. These promises were very rarely fulfilled. Most Force-sensitive gladiators were either hired before the Jedi could recruit them, or taken from other Force-sensitive organizations.
One of the less reputable aspects of Cybertron before the Great War was the fact that it had gladiatorial combat. Though many of these games were officially illegal, they often thrived, with Transformers battling each other to the death. Many government officials knew of this, but they often turned a blind eye to the bloodsport.
They should have paid better attention, for within these arenas, Megatron first arose... and found many similarly-minded individuals.
The Gladiatorial Games of Cybertron were ancient athletic contests meant to demonstrate the combatants' skill and ability. Gladiators usually wore battle masks, and fought with shields and hand-to-hand energon weapons.
During the reign of the final Overlord of Cybertron, the planet was experiencing much political strife. Overpopulation had led to a fuel shortage. The larger cities of Cybertron had become sovereign city-states, and the Overlords had become little more than figureheads. In an attempt to garner some good will between city-states, the last of the Overlords had revived the games, starting an inter-city competition. The attempt backfired and it seemed to excite rivalries, especially between Iacon and Tarn.
During the last games of this era, a Tarn gladiator named Megatron brutalized his Iacon opponent Sunstreaker, threatening to kill him. Optimus Prime entered the arena to put a stop to this. Despite an axe to the chest, Prime managed to get Megatron to stop with his photon pistol. This altercation caused the Overlord to postpone the awards ceremony for this games.
At the same time, saboteurs from Vos were using the games as cover for an operation to destroy Tarn's main power plant and frame Iacon for the deed. They were caught by a technician from Tarn who recognized them as members of the Vos gladiatorial team. The power plant was still destroyed, bringing Vos and Tarn to war.
The games did not surface for another 4 million years. The Decepticons revived the gladiatorial combat in an alliance with the alien known as Zabra.
Millions of years in the past, when Cybertron was still a Quintesson-ruled factory world, the planet's robot slaves were often forced to battle each other in gladiatorial combat for the amusement of their masters. Some of the robots forced to compete in these sadistic games grew tired of it, and attempted to fight back against their masters. Although this initial revolt failed, it would plant the seeds of rebellion that would eventually prove successful, and one of the participants would go on to hold the Matrix of Leadership.
There were several gladiatorial combats staged in city-states far from Iacon, such as in Kaon. For some, such as Grimlock, it was a good outlet for anger and aggression. Megatron was a participant of these games. As his victories mounted, he realized that they were a simple conspiracy by the Council of Ancients to keep the masses distracted. Megatron began using the matches to find similarly-minded Transformers. For over half a million years, Megatron used the games to recruit the Decepticon army, bribing Emirate Xeon to remain quiet. Finally, however, they struck.
After their mine riot and escape, Megatron, Rumble, and Frenzy escaped to Kaon, where they joined Clench's illegal gladiatorial circuit. Megatron's star began to rise, attracting the attention of Sentinel Prime and Senator Ratbat. In Megatron's first victory (against Cy-Kill), the crowd chanted "'Til all are one". They like saying that when people die. As Megatron's power grew, he used the games to recruit his army of Decepticons.