1985 was the beginning of World War III.
- To punish Starscream for his refusal to join the Autobots, Emperor Prime makes Starscream watch as he destroys Crystal City. After rescuing the Constructions from Prime's Robo-Smasher, Starscream helps Megatron rebuild them into the first gestalt.
- The United States invaded an ally of the Soviet Union, resulting in an escalation that was eventually referred to as the Third World War. The Soviet Union and the United States both used weapons of mass destruction, shifting the world balance of power.
- To combat rampant Autobot aggression, the Decepticons attempt to engineer a new squadron of aerial fighters. Jetfire was the prototype, built by Shockwave to be a protective air guardian. Within a few months of being brought online, Jetfire learned enough about the Autobots to know that's where his true allegiance belonged. Jetfire turned against Shockwave and defected to the Autobots a mere five months after creation.
- The Old One, deciding the Autobots need more air power as well, sacrifice five Autobot "volunteers" and use their bodies and reformatted cores to create the Aerialbots, using technology brought to the Autobots by Jetfire.