Spark was a Starfleet officer serving as an instructor at Starfleet Academy in 2286. Holding the rank of lieutenant commander, Spark gave lectures on Federation law, specifically on topics dealing with planetary sovereignty, extradition, and political asylum, a topic of particular interest at the time in the aftermath of the Genesis Affair. (FASA RPG: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update.)
Legion of Super-Heroes member
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Sells faction rewards for Order of Flame
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Spark is the name of the summon spell used to call Ramuh into battle.
Mega Spark is used by Tri-Point as a counter-attack to any attack that does not hit one of its elemental weaknesses.
Aerospark is used by Ixion when fought as a boss, and is its special attack when summoned by the player. It does non-elemental damage and dispels positive status ailments on the target. Ultra Spark is an attack exclusive to Nemesis, and does high non-elemental damage and inflicts status ailments to a single target.
Ixion again uses Aerospark when fought as an enemy.
Spark is an attack used by Ramih. It does minor lightning-elemental damage.
Dark Spark, here called Dark Shock, in Final Fantasy V
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|343 Guilty Spark|
Late 2552 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Floating, round-edged cube, with one "Eye" making the Marathon sign that is blue by default.
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|Political information and functions|
343 Guilty Spark is an Artificial Intelligence construct of Forerunner origin. He was the AI, (Artificial Intelligence) Monitor, caretaker, and historian left to keep watch over Installation 04 and its contents when the Forerunners departed. He acts as the main antagonist later on in Halo: Combat Evolved. He is voiced by actor Tim Dadabo.
As with UNSC and Covenant artificial intelligences, Guilty Spark's programming prohibits certain actions outside of his function. He cannot, for example, retrieve the Index from the Library or unify it with the Core, instead needing a Reclaimer to carry out this task.
343 Guilty Spark is quirky and very well humored, although at the same time detached and analytical. Tens of thousands of years of waiting for a Reclaimer have left the Monitor highly unstable. For 343 Guilty Spark, protocol dictates all; the slight emotion shown for the death of an ally is truly grief only for the inconvenience of finding another to assist him. "Having had considerable time" to check and re-check the systems of Installation 04 in his masters' absence, it is possible that isolation has given Spark more than a slight chance for rampancy to occur.
Built by the Forerunners, 343 Guilty Spark had been present on Installation 04 for some 101,217 "local years" and participated in plenty of test firings and in one actual firing of the installation prior to the Battle of Installation 04. Little else is known about his history. Presumably he had been the Installation's first and only Monitor, attending to all of the duties pertinent to that station, such as aiding in maintaining the structure, combating any Flood outbreaks, etc. However, he became rampant at the attempts of the Master Chief to destroy the Ark, killing Sergeant Avery Johnson, which subsequently forced John-117 to destroy him.
The arrival of the Covenant on the ring instigated Installation 04's genocide, and the final Flood outbreak. Immediately putting long dormant contingency measures into action, Guilty Spark began to search for a Reclaimer and discovered UNSC Staff Sergeant Marvin Mobuto. Using Halo's teleportation system, Guilty Spark brought Mobuto to the Library in an effort to retrieve the Index. Ultimately, the ill-equipped Marine failed and was killed, forcing the Monitor to seek out another Reclaimer. The Master Chief discovered the body of Mobuto (which was mangled beyond usage by the Flood) during his own journey through the Library, though it can't be seen in-game, and marveled at the Staff Sergeant's ability to get as far as he had.
343 Guilty Spark and a few Sentinels moved to the Flood Containment Facility to aid the Marines and the Master Chief, who were battling the Flood. Here the Monitor recruited the Master Chief as the next Reclaimer, who he quickly teleported to the Library and began guiding to the Index. With superior equipment and training, and despite overwhelming odds, the Master Chief succeeded in retrieving the Index.
Taking the Index for safe keeping, Guilty Spark teleported himself and the Master Chief back to the Control Room. Here, safe from the Flood, the Index was returned to the Master Chief. The Monitor explained that he was not permitted (by his programming) to reunite the Index with the Core, thus activating the Installation. Only a Reclaimer could do so.
However, Cortana, still in the Core, took the Index before it could merge with the Core and explained to an ignorant Master Chief about Halo's purpose. 343 Guilty Spark confirmed this information, claiming that he had believed the Master Chief to have been aware of 'his' role and responsibility. With the Index in the possession of a hostile AI and protected by the now uncooperative Reclaimer, the Monitor turned the Sentinels against the Master Chief to attempt to retrieve the Index. This attempt failed and Guilty Spark was forced to seek an alternate way to activate the ring and destroy all sentient life.
After the encounter the Master Chief disabled the three Phase Pulse Generators, forcing their repair and delaying 343 Guilty Spark's plans. Disappointed by his lapse of judgment, the Monitor followed the Master Chief and Cortana to the Pillar of Autumn where he began to download the ship's data banks, being especially interested in the parts pertaining to Human history. He then disabled the vessel's automated self-destruct system to preserve the repository of knowledge he had discovered.
Although the warship's engineering room was protected by many Sentinels, the Master Chief was successful in destabilizing the power cores. Realizing the implications of the ship's destruction, the Monitor immediately made to flee the doomed ring. Moments before the ring was destroyed, the Monitor decided that he had done his utmost to fulfill his responsibilities. Later upon further reflection, when he was floating through space, Guilty Spark found himself happy as, ultimately, his purpose had been fulfilled: the Reclaimer had indeed succeeded in stopping the outbreak, even if it had been done “inelegantly.”
After Halo's destruction, Spark moved aimlessly through space (as seen in the after-game credits) thinking and re-thinking what had happened to him and how the Reclaimer had betrayed him and destroyed his Installation. He began to wonder how he made such a mistake in judging Master Chief's character. However, a short time later, Spark was saved by Sesa 'Refumee.
Within a few weeks of the ring's destruction, Guilty Spark was retrieved by a group of soldiers of the Covenant, to whom he was known as "the Oracle". Spark attempted to educate these soldiers about, amongst other things, the rings' true purpose. Exposed to the truth, one Sangheili in particular (Sesa 'Refumee) took a new, critical view on the Great Journey and, gathering other similarly minded Elites and Grunts, founded a new sect that denounced the Prophets and their Great Journey as false. These became the Heretics, who set up a base on a Forerunner gas mining facility in Threshold's atmosphere, where they continued to be "enlightened" by 343 Guilty Spark as to the true purpose of the Forerunner creations.
Such a state of affairs could not be tolerated for long by the Covenant and soon action was taken to eliminate the Heretics. This was accomplished quickly and quietly by the Arbiter and a team of special operations troops. In the aftermath, Guilty Spark was captured by Tartarus and given to the Prophets aboard High Charity.
Interrogated by the High Prophets, Guilty Spark revealed the nature of the rings and the means to employ them, which made the Prophets send the Arbiter to retrieve Installation 05's "Sacred Icon". After it had been obtained, Tartarus took Guilty Spark and the Index to Installation 05’s Control Room, using Miranda Keyes as the new Reclaimer. However, Tartarus grew tired of Guilty Spark's constant warnings. When the Arbiter and Avery Junior Johnson arrived to deactivate the ring, they first questioned Guilty Spark, so that he'd reveal Halo's true purpose. However, the Brutes were too loyal to the Prophets to accept this truth. 343 Guilty Spark escaped Tartarus' clutches and stood by and watched the ensuing struggle, reminded of the one he had witnessed on the Pillar of Autumn.
After Tartarus and his Brute Captains were killed, the control panel for the Installation began to show a holographic display. 343 Guilty Spark translated the display to Johnson, Miranda Keyes, and the Arbiter. The rings were now on standby, meaning they could be activated from the Ark. The Arbiter asked Spark where it was, and he directed them to a specific location, which turned out to be Earth, the Human homeworld.
Spark arrived on Earth with a Fleet of Covenant Separatists in order to help them search for a storage device. He found the object, along with Master Chief, and killed a Combat Form that was about to attack the Chief. After a tense exchange between the two, they put aside their past and proceeded to bring the device back to the ship. The device contained a transmission from Cortana that she was still on High Charity. She claimed she had a solution to stop the Flood without activating the other Halo rings. In order to discover the answer, the Chief, Johnson, Keyes and the Arbiter, along with Separatist forces traveled through the recently-opened Portal; Spark joined them.
The Fleet followed the Loyalist forces through the portal, and came across a large Forerunner Installation similar to the Halos but not in ring form. Upon touchdown, Spark sent orders to all Sentinels that the incoming UNSC and Separatist forces were friendlies, therefore reducing the likelihood of friendly fire incidents. Searching for Truth's location, the Separatist Sangheili located the construct's Cartographer. Spark followed the Chief and the Arbiter's platoons to penetrate the wall protecting the location, opening doors and providing Sentinels as backup for the assault. Once the Cartographer was found, Spark revealed they were beyond the rim of the Milky Way Galaxy and told the Chief the Installation they stood upon was the Ark. Using the map system, Spark found the Prophet of Truth's location several hundred kilometers away, but he was shielding his location utilizing a barrier installed by the Forerunners. At that moment, a Loyalist Phantom arrived, driving the trio back deeper into the hallways. Spark led them towards Johnson's location a few floors below. After the reunion, Johnson was nervous at the sudden appearance of hundreds of Sentinels, but Spark reassured him they meant no harm and were part of a primary task force, although, not being native to the Ark, he couldn't discern their goal.
UNSC and Separatist forces moved to disable the shield barrier protecting Truth. However, once the barrier was taken down, High Charity appeared from out of Slipspace, nearly destroying Rtas 'Vadum's ship, and spread debris and Flood everywhere on the Ark. Terrified of a complete takeover, Spark insisted that they focus their attention on the Flood. He was met with opposition from Keyes and the Separatist leaders, who made it clear that their first priority was to kill Truth before moving on to the parasite.
Once the Prophet of Truth was dead, the Flood began their infestation under the command of the Gravemind. Spark met up with the Arbiter and Master Chief after their initial escape, only to reveal that the Forerunner constructs began the construction of a new Halo ring, to replace Installation 04. When asked what he would do with the Halo system, Master Chief replied: "Light it". This cheered up Spark, who was thrilled the Flood would finally be dealt with for good. He went off to set up preparations for the firing sequence.
After rescuing Cortana from the Flood-infested High Charity, Master Chief, the Arbiter and Johnson landed on the newly constructed ring. Spark aided their progress through the Installation by providing Sentinels to combat the Flood. Once the initial wave of Combat and Pure forms were destroyed, Spark opened the main blast door to the Control Room.
Spark reunited with the Chief, along with Johnson and the Arbiter in the new Installation 04's control room, telling them the ring was almost completed. However, regardless of being informed that activation would destroy the ring, Johnson was adamant to fire anyway, determined to destroy Gravemind forever. Upon realizing this, an outraged Spark retorted violently and fired upon Johnson to delay activation of the ring, mortally wounding him. He made claims that the ring was his, perhaps driven rampant by guilt, having already lost a different ring. Seeing the Master Chief running towards his fallen comrade, the Monitor fired upon him and the Arbiter, knocking the Arbiter out of the room and sealed the entrance behind him. The Master Chief was left to face the Monitor alone. With the Chief on the floor with his shields down, Spark made it clear that he would stop at nothing to follow protocol and ensure the safety of the ring and the Ark. Although protocol stated that the structural integrity of Installation 04 (then 04.1) must be protected from damage, primary protocol overwrites this, which stated that an imminent Flood outbreak should be contained immediately. Thus, if immediate containment procedures would cause massive structural failure to Installation 04.1, and delayed action would negate containment procedures, the overwrite command should have been executed and allowed the self-destruction of the installation. It would then be fair to say that 343 Guilty Spark was defunct and ignored protocol for the sake of self-preservation.
The Chief engaged the Monitor in combat unsuccessfully and it looked like John was about to die when SgtMaj. Johnson used his Spartan Laser to blast Spark's protective casing, exposing him to fire. Johnson then gave his weapon to John, giving him the means to end Spark's rampage, and telling him to "kick his ass". Spark began to malfunction ever more erratically as John destroyed him with the Spartan Laser. After precisely 3 hits, he finally succumbed to the stress, and exploded.
Though, with his last sane words, calling John-117 "Forerunner", deepens the mystery, rather than solving it. This has led to much speculation, such as that of implying that John was a direct Forerunner descendant rather than just being influenced by them, though this may be a result of the Monitors' compartmentalization that limited his knowledge.
The personality of 343 Guilty Spark is somewhat egotistical and eccentric. The long period of isolation experienced by it may have contributed, or even been the cause, of much of this. 343 Guilty Spark is in a state of Rampancy; although he is still accepting of his role as Monitor, his pursuit of alien knowledge does seem to go beyond his purpose. Since it was his job to manage the Flood, he was also trained to learn. It was intended for him to learn so he could stand ready for any changes in the Flood. However this system is his greatest weakness and he applies it to everything. He loves to learn and to take records; even if he has to force it out. While egotistical much of the time, he seems to be aware of the limitations of his knowledge, such as when he perceived Installation 00 to be part of a Shield Installation, and not what it was all along.
343 Guilty Spark had quite an erratic and abnormal personality, and a disregard to Human and alien life alike. He seemed almost gleeful when, in Halo 2, he told Miranda Keyes there was no way for him to halt or cease the process, showing a great lack of respect and deference for Humanity and Covenant life. This may be due to certain programming parameters. He, like 2401 Penitent Tangent, seems quite eager to activate the Halo Array, perhaps hinting that there is a certain gratification they receive in helping their masters. His strange personality was shown in the way he would randomly and with no clear lucid pattern say things such as: 'Ah, I am a genius!'. In Halo: CE, when helping Master Chief, he was constantly humming and giggling.
It is also interesting to note that he finds the religious rich conversation of the Covenant tiring. Terms such as "Oracle", the "Sacred Icon" and "Sacred Rings" frustrate him as the Covenant, with their limited knowledge about the Forerunners continue to use obscuring, meaningless titles for various objects.
Spark's eagerness to activate the rings at the slightest provocation seems unlike the wishes of previous Forerunners, who, by Spark's own admission, had used the Halo Array as a last resort. Spark's behavior indicates he sees the array as the only resort, as he wishes to use it before the Flood has even escaped the ring. At no point does he attempt more productive actions, such as disabling and destroying any possible escape ships for the Flood to use.
343 Guilty Spark has only three known weapons. The first, shown in Floodgate, is a red beam that is similar to, but more powerful than, Sentinel Beam -- the beam is powerful enough to mortally wound Sergeant Johnson and completely drain the Master Chief and The Arbiter's shields. The second weapon is a force field projector that repels objects; it was likely meant to be used when overwhelmed by Flood. The Monitor is also equipped with a blue laser that can unlock doors on The Ark and deliver a painful but non-fatal electrical shock or laser burn.
Most of the time, Spark is untroubled with what is going on around him. When Sesa 'Refumee and Tartarus were killed by the Arbiter, he appeared casual, although he was remorseful when his new ally was killed. However, if there is an issue concerning the Halo rings, he will do everything he can to protect them. For example, on the level The Library, if the Master Chief dies, he will say things like "Reclaimer, we must keep moving! ...Reclaimer?" or "Hmm, how unfortunate". Spark was unaware that the Prophets had distorted the truth about the purpose of the rings. Spark's protocol bound him only to contain a Flood outbreak from Installation 04, so when Installation 04 was terminated his programmed priority was nullified, because his prescribed means was now void. It may have been at the destruction of his Installation that Spark became truly Rampant, since he was obviously abnormally protective of it. When it was destroyed his functions were meaningless and he began to act on his own thoughts, one of the symptoms of rampancy. This means that he no longer had a protocol-based priority prescribing his actions concerning the Flood - he was free to make choices concerning the Flood, as he did on Installation 05 when he assisted in the deactivation of its firing sequence, risking the containment of a flood outbreak. Also, after he saved the Master Chief from a Combat Form, he said that with the destruction of Installation 04, he only had one purpose left: to help the Reclaimer (the Master Chief) which Spark admitted was something he should have done from the beginning instead of trying to hinder him. This caused the two to put aside their differences and Spark to join forces with the Chief again against the Flood and the Covenant. Due to his abilities in connection with the Halo Array, Spark proved to be a powerful ally and seemed to take commands from Commander Keyes, Sergeant Johnson and the Master Chief and follow them without hesitation as part of his new function in life. When he discovered Installation 04 II, his priority protocol reactivated, and he adopted the ring as his replacement. An error apparently occurred when his containment procedures were reactivated and his operation prioritization off-lined, so that when SgtMaj. Johnson declared the intent to fire Halo, which would destroy it, Spark unhesitatingly killed him, despite their cooperation on the Ark and even his agreement of the plan there. He didn't care, because these rings were his creators' life work before they disappeared. Of interesting note is the fact that the containment of the Flood by any means should have over written any 'sentimental' attachment he had to Installation 04, thus his actions may have been further proof of his rampancy. It may also be possible that he was more protective of The Ark, possibly a higher protocol than containment.
There have been many elaborate speculations and analysis have been made regarding the origin of 343 Guilty Spark's name, history, and motives. The most notable question: what exactly is he "guilty" of? There have been many suggestions towards genocide of some form (one of his primary functions is, after all, initiating the eradication of all sentient life in the galaxy) but an alternate meaning of "spark" is to set in motion/activate, suggesting he is guilty of prematurely activating Halo, which might explain the absence of the Forerunners. However, due to Halo 3's explanation involving Mendicant Bias it's clear that whatever 343 Guilty Spark may or may not have done, he wasn't responsible for the destruction of the Forerunners. An alternative theory, is that the name Guilty Spark was given to monitor 343 when it was commissioned, similar to the names of military operations like "Gothic Serpent" from Black Hawk Down - hence there could be no meaning to the name Guilty Spark.
In Halo 2, he is no longer an antagonist, but still plays an important role in the plot. In Halo 3, he isn't an antagonist for the majority of the game and assists the UNSC and Elite forces as they explore the Ark with the Sentinels, opening some passageways for them and guiding them. 343 Guilty Spark, is briefly mentioned in Halo 3's terminals as "04-343" (He was the Monitor of the 4th Installation, followed by his call sign, 343), and may have had a role in the previous Flood outbreak and Ring Activation. People are now claiming he "activated" the first Flood outbreak, which is what he is "guilty" of. He may have chosen Guilty Spark for himself, knowing this information. This is supported by his quote in Halo: Combat Evolved, "Last time, you asked me, if it were my choice, would I do it? Having had considerable time to ponder your query, my answer has not changed. There is no choice, we must activate the rings." Considering that until that point, no character in the game except Cortana knew Halo's true purpose; only a Forerunner could have asked Guilty Spark this question. Guilty Spark also had a conversation with Mendicant Bias through one of the terminals in and recognized an alias for the AI, although Guilty Spark claimed he had little or no knowledge of the working of the Ark (Installation 00) prior to and after this conversation. Other theories state that Guilty Spark had undergone a similar rampancy as Mendicant Bias had.
It is also possible that, despite all of his knowledge, that 343 Guilty Spark may be the Forerunner equivalent of a UNSC "Dumb" Artificial Intelligence, since he only has his powers on Installation 04, and the fact that he said to the Master Chief when he was trying to recover what he thought was Cortana at the time, but was really a message. When the Chief asked him and the first part of the response was done, he said "You DID destroy my Installation. Now I only have one function, to help you, Reclaimer." Since his primary function was destroyed, he could not branch out and learn about how to further his abilities, further increasing the chances that he is a "Dumb" AI, by Forerunner Standards. At the Cartographer, he said "My makers have wisely limited my knowledge of all other strategic facilities." So he may be a smart A.I, but not given the information.
History of character is unknown.
Real name was revealed in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Hardcover Vol. 8.
A yellow spark is shown on the monster/player that you've attacked when the armor absorbs the damage done from a hit. Hits that cause a spark do not count towards your shielding skill.
When a player uses a furniture kit outside of their house, it will also produce sparks. The sparks appear where the kit is, so when it's in a backpack, the sparks appear on the player's character as if it's being hit.
The spark is a physical entity which is safeguarded inside a Transformer body. If something harms the spark beyond repair, it is "extinguished" and returns to the Allspark (or sometimes the Well of All Sparks). The Transformer is then considered dead. A Transformer is able to survive an enormous amount of physical damage. As long as the spark is intact, it is possible to repair or rebuild the body and restore the spark to it.
|“||When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps.||”|
The concept of the spark as currently understood was introduced to the Transformers mythos in the Beast Wars episode "The Spark". In this episode, little is explained except that each spark is unique and that every "Cybertron" (here meaning, essentially, "Cybertronian") has one.
The later episode "Possession" dealt with the idea of sparks, but the spark in question—that of Starscream—is established as being aberrant, and thus the properties it displays are not necessarily characteristic of sparks in general. However, "Possession" was the first time it was claimed that characters from the Generation One series also had sparks, rather than sparks existing in Beast Wars only. Sparks remained prominent throughout Beast Wars, and events in seasons two and three further established the retcon that Generation One Transformers all possessed sparks.
In Beast Machines, sparks became central to the story, as Megatron had abducted the sparks from every Transformer on Cybertron. Megatron's own spark displayed unusual behaviors in this series, and again, it is probable these behaviors do not apply to all sparks. Still, Beast Machines contributed more information about sparks to the canon than any other series.
The The Transformers cartoon occasionally referenced a device called a laser core, which seemingly has a similar function to a spark. The tech spec bio for the Beast Rider Mechatron says that he is "outfitted with an upgraded spark-capture claw that can tear out the entire laser core of any Transformer defender." This implies, as some fans had speculated prior to Mechatron's release, that the laser core may be some sort of housing for the spark.
Since the introduction of the spark concept in Beast Wars, sparks have become an integral part of many Transformers fictions. They have been featured in new Generation One-based series and in later alternate-dimension tales such as the Unicron Trilogy's Armada and Energon.
Although the word "spark" does appear offhandedly in some Generation One comic stories (a "spark of life", a "life spark", and the phrase "For as long as a spark exists within a single Mechabot..."), these were clearly simply metaphorical statements. They may be retroactively seen as referring to the contemporary concept of a Transformer's spark, but did not establish anything of the sort on their own.
As seen in the image at the top of this article, sparks normally appear as semitransparent blue balls of energy with a pulsating center composed of smaller, blue spheres. The center spheres are engulfed in a reddish glow. An ever-changing pattern of "electricity"-like lines travels around the surface and through the interior. However, in Beast Machines, the sparks of the Maximal heroes who had been reformatted took on different colors (for example, Blackarachnia's was green). This was first visible in "Revelations Part I: Discovery". At the end of that series, after being infused with extra power from the Matrix (cf. Allspark), their sparks became visible, as if parts of their torsos were translucent.
Beast Era Transformers seem to have permanent "spark chambers" within their chassis where the spark can be seen simply by opening the chamber. Older Transformers within the same G1/Beast continuity family, such as those who lived before the Great Upgrade, do not seem to have this feature in most continuities. The G1 More Than Meets The Eye guidebook from Dreamwave specifically states that a spark is normally "suffused" throughout a Transformer's body rather than residing in any particular place. It may be that this is also true after the Great Upgrade, and that the spark chamber is merely a protected location for the spark to coalesce when needed. Meanwhile, making things more confusing, the cutaway diagrams of G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron in Transformers: The Ultimate Guide include spark chambers.
In the Beast Wars cartoon, there were two cases of Beast-era Transformers temporarily housing the sparks of G1-era Transformers in their own bodies while still housing their own sparks. In both cases, this resulted in the Beastie undergoing a mutation of sorts into a more powerful body: Optimus Primal, upon taking the spark of Optimus Prime, grew into his Optimal Optimus body; and Megatron, upon taking the spark of the original Megatron obtained his dragon form. However, based on the information from the series, there is no basis for determining whether this phenomenon is a result of a single body housing two sparks, a Beast-era body housing a G1-era spark, a body being implanted with an especially "powerful" spark (like those of Optimus Prime and Megatron could conceivably be), or some combination of these. When the disembodied spark of Starscream had earlier possessed Waspinator, the only physical change was the body's allegiance emblems shifting from Predacon to Decepticon, and was noticeably faster. (The later Beast Wars comic miniseries The Gathering implies that G1 sparks may be intrinsically more powerful than Beast-era sparks.)
Although Transformer memories and personalities are generally treated as if they are stored within the Transformers' computer brains, repeated canonical instances have established that a spark will (or can) hold all of an individual's memories, along with their "essence" or personality. Further, there is some evidence that sparks may even retain records of the Transformer's previous bodies (such as when Optimal Optimus, whose body originated with a blank protoform, regressed into a copy of the gorilla body Primal wore at the beginning of the Beast Wars). A Transformer's behavior can be modified through programming of their mechanical body (referred to as a shell program), but this is always a struggle between the programming and the "true" nature of the spark within. It may be that over long periods of time, a spark may begin to internalize some aspects of a programmed personality.
Many Transformers, such as Sky Lynx, G1 Omega Supreme, and the Duocons, simultaneously inhabit multiple mechanical bodies or components. The character bio for Magmatron mentions this ability of his, and categorizes his spark as a "mitotic spark" which is able of splitting and sharing itself between his three beast modes. It is unknown whether other multiple-bodied Transformers also possess mitotic sparks or if they are examples of something more mundane such as simple remote control.
Some Transformers are able to sense and communicate with the sparks of other Transformers through a process that appears analogous to telepathy. According to dialog from "Revelations Part III: Apocalypse", this ability is related to the sparks' mutual connection to the Allspark. Disembodied sparks are sometimes able to communicate through this same method. (See below.)
The radiation emitted by energon crystals is harmful to sparks, even when protected within a Transformer's body. Certain body types are better able to shield the spark from energon radiation. For example, the flesh-like beast modes adopted by the crews of the Axalon and Darksyde provided essentially 100% protection, allowing activity in environments that were practically forests of energon crystal, so long as those involved remained in beast mode. Direct contact between crystalline energon and a spark is highly dangerous. This is supported by the fact that Depthcharge used a shard of a raw energon crystal to destroy Rampage and his supposed inextinguishable spark, this however, created a massive explosion that destroyed Depth Charge, whether this was the destruction of the unstable energon or, less likely, a reaction of Rampage's spark itself in unknown.
In the Beast Machines episode "Spark of Darkness", Rattrap describes Megatron's disembodied spark as a ball of electrons. He goes on to say that normal sparks contain a large number of positrons. Based on his dialogue, it is possible, but not certain, that sparks are composed entirely of positrons. Rattrap also indicates, in "Revelations Part I", that when a spark is extinguished, carbon scoring is typically left on or within the Transformer's chassis.
Regardless of their composition, sparks are not insubstantial energy, but have some sort of physical aspect. This is clearly demonstrated in, again, "Revelations Part III", when Nightscream is seen attempting to push Blackarachnia's spark back into her body. His hands press against some sort of surface (or perhaps merely a force field, in which case the spark could be entirely energy) which is above the visible surface of her spark. Later in the series, in "Spark of Darkness", Megatron's spark is also shown to have physicality. Further back, in Beast Wars, the spark of Rampage/Protoform X would respond to being "crushed" by Megatron by flattening slightly inside its energon-lined carrying case. And even the spark of G1 Megatron was "grabbed" physically by a tentacle-like appendage of BW Megatron's. While some of these examples may be special cases, as they deal with sparks that have unusual properties, those properties are unique to each spark. The weight of evidence, then, is in favor of sparks being at least partially substantial.
In the Energon cartoon, sparks were shown to have the ability to be somehow augmented by Primus to become a Combination Spark. This allowed two Autobots to powerlinx together into a new form, allowing one Autobot to take command of the fused body while the "pants" remained dormant. Without the Combination Spark, a powerlinx between two normal Transformers could not be completed. It is not stated whether the combiner teams Constructicon Maximus and Bruticus Maximus also possessed Combination Sparks or if their ability to combine has some other origin.
Sparks are able to exist outside of a Transformer body, but the parameters of this phenomenon are largely unclear. In is unknown for how long a spark can survive under such conditions, although they are vulnerable to damage in this state. It is also unknown whether a disembodied spark is "conscious" and aware of its surroundings, or whether it is capable of moving under its own power. (There are unusual cases, as described under Aberrant sparks.)
It is hard to imagine how a spark could be aware of its surroundings when stripped of all sensory mechanisms. Indeed, in "Revelations Part III: Apocalypse", while Blackarachnia's spark was outside of her body, her consciousness did not remain in the "real world". Instead, she experienced a conversation with Optimus Primal—not a hallucination—which took place on an abstract "higher plane of existence," perhaps within the Allspark itself.
Most of the disembodied sparks in Beast Machines drift slowly and largely directionlessly. In many other cases, sparks seem to move with some sort of intent. However, aside from attempts of sparks to re-enter their "home" bodies, these are conceivably all "special cases" and may not be generalizable. In one example, the sparks of Tigatron and Airazor are seen following Tigerhawk to Earth in "Other Victories". While their sparks appear normal when this occurs, they later merge into a single white spark and then inhabit the (then-empty) Tigerhawk body. This is not normal spark behavior and may be related to the time they spent seemingly in stasis with the Vok. Also, in "Revalations Part III", when Blackarachnia becomes panicked during her telepathic conversation with Primal, her spark begins moving erratically and has to be chased down by Nightscream. However, it is unclear whether the spark was moving with intent—especially since Blackarachnia's consciousness was portrayed as still being on a higher plane—or simply zigzagging randomly. And, again, a reformatted spark may be different from a normal spark anyway.
Some sparks have exhibited properties or behaviors that do not seem to be generalizable to other sparks.
As established in the Beast Wars episodes "Possession" and "Bad Spark", Starscream possesses a "mutant" immortal spark. Even when his body is destroyed, his spark is not extinguished. This explanation retcons the appearance of Starscream's ghost in some season three episodes from the G1 cartoon; the "ghost" was in fact Starscream's disembodied spark.
Starscream's spark was able to move under its own power and seemingly travelled not just across space from Cybertron to Earth, but backwards through time from 2006 to human prehistory. It may be that the time travel was accomplished by "falling" through the transwarp hole left by the Axalon and Darksyde when they arrived on prehistoric Earth—Depth Charge's ship arrived there by that method later in the series—but this is uncertain.
Additionally, Starscream's spark was able to take possession of other Transformers simply by entering their bodies. While in another body, Starscream's will completely dominates that of his host. When Starscream possessed Waspinator, Waspinator's voice even changed to sound like Starscream's, and the Predacon insignias on his body changed to Decepticon insignias. Starscream either did not have, or did not seem to know that he had, this possession ability until he died during the events of The Transformers: The Movie.
The creation of Protoform X was an experiment conducted by the Maximal Elders to attempt to replicate Starscream's indestructible spark. Although they succeeded in creating such a spark, dubbed Protoform X (and later taking on the name Rampage), it was, unfortunately, psychotic.
Like Starscream's spark, Rampage's could not be extinguished through simple destruction of his body. In fact, Rampage's body—at least, the body he wore during the Beast Wars—had uncannily rapid self-repair functions. In one instance, Depth Charge pierced Rampage's body from front to back with a spear, and the damage disappeared in a matter of seconds once the spear was removed.
Megatron devised a way to split Rampage's spark by carving it with a blade of energon crystal. Amazingly, this did not destroy the spark, nor did it seem to weaken Rampage appreciably. Megatron kept part of the spark in a case lined with energon crystals. By squeezing the case, the crystals would pinch the spark fragment, and Megatron used this to torture Rampage into obedience.
Megatron later placed this piece of Rampage's spark inside his Transmetal II clone of Dinobot, who is usually referred to as Dinobot II. Dinobot II appeared to have a personality wholly independent of Rampage's, although he was similarly brutal. Dinobot II's personality, however, may have been imposed upon him through programming. Dinobot II could torture Rampage by compressing the spark fragment that he held, much as Megatron had previously done. This did not seem to affect Dinobot himself.
Rampage's spark turned out to not be completely indestructible. Seemingly as an extension of Megatron's splitting of the spark with an energon blade, Depth Charge eventually destroyed Rampage by piercing his spark with "pure" crystalline energon. Normally sparks "extinguish" somewhat peacefully, but when Rampage's was pierced, a powerful explosion destroyed the bodies of both Rampage and Depth Charge. It may be that Starscream's spark would be similarly vulnerable to being cut/destroyed by energon, but this is mere extrapolation.
When Rampage's spark was destroyed, the fragment within Dinobot II did not explode. It may have simply disappeared, or it may have remained there. However, through a process which is not clearly established, Dinobot II at that instant "reverted" to the personality of the original Dinobot, and even had a vision of Dinobot's last moments. It may be that this reversion was related to events scripted for an episode which was never produced, titled "Dark Glass".
Rampage's spark never displayed the ability to move under its own power.
In season two of Beast Machines, Megatron's spark does a number of unusual things.
As part of the battle between him and Optimus Primal at the end of season one, during which the Key to Vector Sigma and the Plasma Energy Chamber were pitted against each other, Megatron somehow was able to "split" his Beast body into two separate bodies, one entirely robotic and the other entirely "biological". (Whether the Beast bodies of the Beast Wars characters had any true biological components or whether they were faux-flesh composed of nanites is not consistently established in either series.) Contrary to his intentions, Megatron's spark ended up trapped within the biological body, which came to be known as Noble/Savage.
It is unclear how a biological body was able to sustain a Transformers' spark. Indeed, even the Maximals were surprised when they realized what had happened. It could be argued, based on statements made by the Oracle in the first episode ("The Reformatting") that all lifeforms in the universe have sparks, not just Transformers. However, this is never alluded to by any other canonical source, so most fans have seemingly dismissed it.
As shown in "Prometheus Unbound", using the biological Noble/Savage body, Megatron was unable to exercise mental control over devices in his citadel or interface with his control harness. Upon using a spark extractor on himself, however, his spark was freed and immediately flew to the harness, which it activated before "flowing" up to the ceiling through the harness's cables. His spark then took over the Grand Mal, an enormous, floating replica of his own head, as its new body and stayed there for part of season two. The Noble/Savage body appeared to be dead, but recovered. After Megatron's spark had left it, it seemed to be a perfectly "normal" animal which had the ability to change between a wolf-like form and a dragon form, possessing little if any sentience.
As soon as his spark had been removed from Noble, it took on an unusual appearance, having turned entirely red or orange in color (perhaps a change similar to that of the reformatted Maximals). Megatron's disembodied spark also seemed to be able to speak even though it had no physical body. It may be that this speech was telepathic, but the spark itself pulsated in perfect rhythm with the words.
While inhabiting the Grand Mal, Megatron's spark was sometimes seen floating freely and under its own power through the construct's interior, particularly in a large space that appeared to serve as his control room. (It was here that he addressed his Vehicon generals, usually manifesting as a holographic projection of one kind or another.)
Eventually, in the three-part "Sparkwar" story, Megatron's spark began consuming/fusing with the captured sparks of Cybertron's inhabitants. He claimed to have learned how to accomplish this after communicating with the Oracle.
To consume other sparks, Megatron's spark extended tendrils which ensnared victim sparks. These tendrils also had the ability extract sparks from occupied shells, much like a spark extractor. As each spark was absorbed, Megatron's spark grew larger in size.
Megatron was temporarily beaten when Nightscream attacked him with a sonic scream. The scream, according to Primal, depolarized Megatron's spark. This caused him to lose control temporarily and allowed the Maximals to escape. In the following episode, "Spark of Darkness", Megatron's spark exhibited additional strange behaviors which may or may not have been dependent on its depolarized state:
Rattrap was able to capture Megatron using a hand-held spark extractor, and using a control panel on the extractor, repolarized and thus stabilized his spark. Afterwards, Megatron's spark remained red and just as fast and agile as before, but became detectable by his generals' scanners again and became "trapped" in the next body it inhabited (that of a Diagnostic Drone). Upon entering this body, Megatron declared, "I live!" This was the first time he had spoken since being hit by the sonic scream. This implies that something about his prior "destabilized" state may have prevented him from fully utilizing the bodies he had visited. The only other clue we have is that when Optimus tried to contact Megatron's spark inside the Grand Mal, he discovered that it "was not a sentient mind." Whether this is a result of trying to find a spark that was not in the expected location or because of its depolarized state is ambiguous.
One particular alternate universe seems to be much more of a departure from the "regular" realities in the multiverse. In it, the semi-mystical ball of energy that gives the resident Transformers their lifeforce is an electron-charged "Ember". Aside from the polarity, there's no other difference noted from the positron-charged Spark that Cliffjumper brings into that universe.