The Transistor is a powerful weapon wielded by Red in Transistor. It was used by The Camerata in an attempt to kill Red, but both she and it were transported across the city in the middle of the attack.
The Transistor resembles a large, broad sword. It is composed of a thin gold and silver hilt, a neon blue "blade" that somewhat resembles a microchip or circuit board, gold extensions on the far side of the blade, and a large red "eye" in the center of the blade.
Whenever the Transistor speaks to Red, the central neon blue design glows and fades.
The Transistor's main utility comes from multiple Functions, which themselves are derived from contact with people; most prominently by absorbing the 'soul' (known as a Trace) of the recently deceased individual in question. The most noteworthy of these Traces is the one that speaks to Red throughout the game (the soul voiced by Logan Cunningham). The only Function that is not explicitly stated to be derived from a Trace is Turn(), a Function that allows the Transistor to pause time and queue up movements and attacks, allowing Red to plan attacks against the Process.
List of FunctionsEdit
- Bounce() Niola Chein's Trace
- Breach() Blue/Red's lover/Unknown Subject/The Transistor's Trace
- Crash() Red's Trace
- Cull() Olmarq's Trace
- Flood() Royce Bracket's Trace
- Get() Bailey Gilande's Trace
- Help() Sybil Reisz's Trace
- Jaunt() Preston Moyle's Trace
- Load() Wave Tennegan's Trace
- Mask() Shomer Shasberg's Trace
- Ping() Henter Jallaford's Trace
- Purge() Maximilias Darzi's Trace
- Spark() Lillian Platt's Trace
- Switch() Farrah Yon-Dale's Trace
- Tap() Grant Kendrell's Trace
- Turn() No known trace
- Void() Asher Kendrell's Trace
- Royce Bracket is very protective over the Transistor. He has called it a star, and was upset at Red when he discovered she was dragging it on the ground like it's some useless object. It is unknown if Royce has a personal relation to the sword, or if he just wants it for its power.
- Throughout the story, the Transistor speaks in the voice of an unnamed man who was killed by the Camerata after taking the blow meant for Red. His dialog reveals that the two were close, and Red's demeanor toward the Transistor and its occupant's body, along with the domestic and romantic interludes in the pre-credits screens, indicate that they had been in a relationship before his death.
- The Transistor requires a User to maintain control of the Process. In the interval between Grant's loss of the Transistor and Red's inadvertent user sign-in near Goldwalk Bay, a location later marked "User sign-in site," the Process escaped control.
- While the main way for the Transistor to obtain more Functions is to integrate a person's Trace into itself, it is also known that it can derive a Function from it's current User without killing them (for instance, the Crash() Function was created from Red's Trace at the beginning of the game, and her character bio lists her Trace as 'Intact'). It is not known if mere physical contact is enough to obtain a new Function from that person.
- It may be hinted at that 'The Country' may be contained within the Transistor, or that the Transistor is a gateway to it, as shown in the end-game credits, where Red and the unnamed man are standing in a field of wheat. However, in one of the songs sung by Red (We All Become), she suggests moving out to the Country, and references to characters "retiring" to the Country indicates that the term may have other meanings in Cloudbank.
- The Transistor may have an obscure relationship to William Gibson's Neuromancer, with the transistor being an Aleph -- a hard drive a person's mind could be stored in it and be conceivably downloaded.
- Royce Bracket states that one may hear, if they listened closely, the voices of those contained within the Transistor if they knew them beforehand. Red very clearly and effortlessly hears the unknown man's voice from the Transistor, suggesting that the stronger the bond was-- or perhaps if the Transistor contains one's Trace -- the clearer the voices can be heard. While Unknown communicates with other people as their Traces are integrated into the Transistor, he subsequently does not see them there with him.
- Upon placing the Transistor into the Cradle, Red is transported to a location where multiple Transistors are seen to exist, ranging in size from her own Transistor to ones on the scale of buildings. Along with wheat fields, trees, clouds, and a distant farmhouse, Trace Banks are arrayed across her surroundings.
- When Red absorbs cells after defeating the Process, Unknown remarks that they've gone "back where they belong," suggesting that the "elsewhere" Royce claims they come from may be inside the Transistor. Likewise, when the first Limiter is activated, Unknown remarks, "Something's happened. In here." This suggests that rather than being simply a game mechanic, Limiters are a way for the Transistor to directly reconfigure the Process.
- An early version of the game suggests that the Transistor itself transported Red across town after Unknown's death. Red could also enter an area called a "Process Socket," comprised of a silhouetted side-scrolling platform with circuit lines in the foreground and background; this was described by Unknown as the "home" of the Process. It contained an edifice providing root access to the Transistor, which allowed Red to unlock new levels and upgrades.
- A real transistor is an electronic component that allows one weak electrical signal to either amplify or shut off another signal. Transistors can be combined together to make logic gates, which can then be further combined to make sophisticated digital circuits like those found in CPUs. The transistor is one of the most important inventions in computing history; it acts like a vacuum tube, but is many times smaller, more efficient, more reliable, and easier to manufacture in bulk. Without transistors, it would be impossible to make computers small and cheap enough for regular individuals to own.