- "Awesomeness is its own reward."
Hardcore is kind of a jerk. He is cocky, arrogant to a fault, and has a knack for turning mundane conversations into discussions of how great he is. He swaggers, brags, and boats his way into and out of trouble everywhere he goes, generally getting by on quick wits, undeniable charisma, and a well-honed skill at seeming totally honest while actually lying through his teeth. That being said, he can be very charming when he sets his mind to it, and his forceful personality always seems to attract a crowd. He is surprisingly popular amongst the Autobot ranks, primarily because of his ability to find humor even in the most absurd and horrifying moments of war.
He is always ready with a joke (or an insult), and has a knack for reading people, even total strangers. He seems to know exactly what to say to start or stop a fight, as well as when and how to say it. This skill sometimes ends up being used to taunt his opponents into making critical mistakes, then capitalizing in their moment of weakness. If he hadn't been caught up in the Autobot-Decepticon conflict, he probably would have made a successful living as a comedian, a confidence artist, or a trial lawyer.
Hardcore was created at the same time as Recharge and Roadhead, although the three were sent to seperate units for training, and were unaware of each other's existence until some time later.
Hardcore's first recorded mission involved travelling to the destroyed city-state of Kalis and securing the remains of a lab operated by the rogue Autobot scientist Flame. Hardcore was part of a five man team alongside security expert Crackdown, intelligence agent Blowback, the Turbomaster Scorch, and field leader Blitz. Unbeknownst to the unit, their intrusion in the lab activated backup security protocols, trapping the team inside with the reanimated corpses of dozens of slain Autobots and Decepticons. Hardcore's role in the proceedings was limited, as he went into stasis lock following being overwhelmed by the unliving horde. He only survived due to the timely intervention of Scorch, something of an irony given the rudeness with which Hardcore treated him earlier in the mission.
Later, while part of a diplomatic envoy attempting to obtain the release of several Autobot captives on the cruel mining planet Abyss, Hardcore first encountered his long-lost sibling Recharge. The meeting was brief, however, as Hardcore instigated a liberation movement amongst the enslaved miner population, forcing the Autobot contingent to retreat as the planet spiralled into chaos and revolution. For his part in the rioting, Hardcore was punished with a full rank demotion and was stationed on the remote garrison world known only as 857-B Alpha. While active there, he observed an unusual blip on the frequency scanner. The blip (which was actually Unicron in planet mode) disappeared after Hardcore struck the scanner with his foot, and the incident was never reported.
Hardcore was eventually rotated to Earth, where he adopted a suitably brash Terran form, a 1970s muscle car. It was during his first tour of duty on Earth where he reconnected with Recharge, and the two quickly struck up a fast friendship, utterly unaware of their shared origin. The duo were rarely sent into the field together, but were virtually inseperable around Autobot headquarters. They quickly developed a reputation as a pair of foul-mouthed boozing brawlers who were almost as much of a liability as they were an advantage. During this time, Hardcore briefly served under the legendary warrior Grimlock. This was later regarded by all involved as a collossally terrible idea, as the famously grim Dinobot commander came within moments of beating Hardcore senseless on several occasions.
Reassigned together in a field ops team under the command of Prowl, Hardcore and Recharge proved themselves a fairly effecient pair in combat, sucessfully participating in several critical urban missions. Hardcore generally operated as a scout/interceptor or as spotter for Recharge's sniper missions. However, despite their effectiveness in the field, Prowl quickly grew tired of their incessant banter and off-duty debauchery, and shipped Hardcore off to yet another detatchment, on the planet Krylukk, where he worked as as an interpreter for the ancient Autobot warrior Blastimus Prime. While there, he was reunited with Roadhead, via their common friend, the gentle-hearted analyst Quill. The two existed uneasily at first, until a particularly brutal firefight in which the pair were pinned down for a week by a half-dozen Decepticons, before Blastatron himself showed up to retrieve the duo.
Later, Hardcore, Recharge, and Roadhead all were garrisoned on Earth together, a tour of duty that resulted in an unbelievable amount of hard energon consumed, several Decepticon kills, a record amount of property damage, and some hellacious war stories, the trio were essentially spun off in to their own unit, sent out to solve particularly sticky situations that require a total lack of finesse and a unique flair for the violently dramatic. The three flirted with calling their organization the Lightning Strike Coalition, but are currently between names. For now, they travel from planet to planet, righting wrongs and busting heads as only they know how.
His muscle car mode is fast and agile, but he prefers to travel at a more leisurely pace so everyone can appreciate its classic lines and lustrous finish. In robot mode, he carries a cut-down riot gun which fires a wide and powerful short-range blast, usually enough to incapacitate an enemy, or at least stun them long enough for him to clobber them with a chair. His conversational analysis systems are some of the most advanced of any Autobot, allowing him to pick up on minor shifts in tone, nuance, and body language that others might miss; these skills are at the heart of his ability to work with others, whether entertaining his squadmates with a war story or berating some poor sap until he breaks down sobbing.
Hardcore's tendency to antagonize his fellow Autobots has cost him promotions, business deals, and even friendships. Occasionally, his trash talk gets him into situations that he cannot defuse, forcing him to fight his way out. The more sober members of his faction do not appreciate his sense of humor,sometimes sticking him on particularly rough details to teach him some lesson or another. In fact, hating Hardcore is one of the few things Grimlock and Prowl definitely agree on.
- Despite having seen both Unicron and Primus with his own optics, Hardcore is an avowed atheist. Just because the entire planet is alive and capable of speech and transformation and combat doesn't necessarily mean it's a god or anything.
- Historical records indicate that there was an Autobot warrior named Hardcore active during the period following the departure and subsequent disappearance of The Ark. This individual served under Elita-1 for some time, starting as a foot soldier and working his way up to a non-commissioned officer position. He also served for a brief time as a commando and member of the elite Wreckers unit, before disappearing under mysterious circumstances, never to be seen again. What relation, if any, this previous Hardcore has to the current individual bearing that name is unknown.