5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with motorbike and shotgun

The T-800 Terminator


Context

This is the killer T-800-series androids played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first two Terminator films, in 1984 and 1991. Both movies — particularly the second — are widely considered landmark classic in science fiction/action movies of this era.

In both movies, these specific T-800s seemed more proficient than the ones infesting the Earth of the future. Here, we’ll focus on *the* T-800 Terminator (played by Schwarzenegger in the second movie) from generic T-800 Terminators, who do not seem quite as narratively formidable. The T-800 in the first movie would lie halfway between the two.


Background

  • Real Name: Presumably had a serial number
  • Other Aliases: “Uncle Bob”, Cyberdyne Systems Model 101
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 275 lbs
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

The T-800 is a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 combat machine. As such it is a most advanced combat android composed of an interior titanium steel casing and an organic exterior. This construction makes it both extremely physically strong and hard enough to take attacks from heavy firearms with no significant damage. They are extremely hard to destroy or even stop.

It resembles a human being enough to pass by without greater inspection. It has internal batteries enabling it to function for up to 120 years.

The “brain” is composed an ultra advanced new processor with an built-in learning processor and appears to have a very large memory capacity. The learning processor enables it to gather new skills through experience (including human interaction). The processor is able to sort and process information at superhuman speeds and it is unable to calculate wrong.

T-800 Terminator with a large pistol and laser sight

The programming of the android is very extensive in making it lethal (the programmer has been a real genius). It has full programs for handling visual data and audial information including image enhancing and digital recording (anything seen or heard can be replayed perfectly at any time). It also has complete programs for recognizing weapons and immediately using them to the degree of a master (having tracking/locking systems integrated) and it has expertise in handling any type of vehicle.

Other assets

Additionally, the T-800 is highly skilled in certain military skills such as demolition, hand-to-hand combat, etc.. To be more effective in killing humans it has detailed maps over the human anatomy and its’ own anatomy for making improvements and repairs.

The T-800 that served as John Connor protector has apparently had some of its’ programs enhanced in efficiency. He was also given additional skills that the standard T-800 lacks (such as first aid skills).

John’s T-800 had also been extensively programmed with various information that could be of use for protecting John (T-800 says “I have detailed files” whenever it uses its’ Omni-Scholar Advantage 🙂 ).

All terminators also have an built-in radio receiver and transmitter enabling them to communicate over long distances with each other or their home base.


Video

A 1080p official trailer for T2.


History

For a more detailed history of the T-800, see the Sarah Connor write-up.

John Connor, son of Sarah Connor, is destined to become a great future military leader and rebel. This will occur when the self-aware computer called Skynet nearly destroys humankind.

After the war, Skynet attempted to kill John by sending back an advanced combat android named the T-1000 back in time. The mission was to kill the 10 years old John. But the future John managed to program and send back a T-800 to protect his past self.

T-800 Terminator firing his Winchester while riding a motorbike

The protecting T-800 and the T-1000 almost immediately clashed, and the T-1000 proved physically superior to the T-800. After a long hunt, many fights, etc the T-800, nearly destroyed, managed to destroy the shape-changing T-1000 by pushing it into a bath of molten metal.

The T-800 itself committed suicide to stop its’ technology from being used to create the future dystopia. Sarah and John Connor would survive the hope that Judgement Day would not come to pass.


Description

The T-800 looks like a truly huge man with dark hair and enormous, swelling muscles (well, he is Arnold Schwarzenegger after all !). It moves mechanically and a bit stiffly, but the difference against a human motion pattern is mostly too minor to enable detection.

T-800 Terminator aiming a pistol with a huge laser sight

It carries clothing as long as the organic exterior is undamaged, but while being a walking metal skeleton they carry no clothes at all. John’s T-800 wore black biker’s leather and a pair of black sunglasses along with a pair of black boots. Of course, it also carried around multiple heavy firearms to function as a Terminator properly.


Personality

The T-800 had very little personality when it first arrived in our time. It had no understanding of human emotions at all. But it later understood, by John’s help and its’ learning processor, the meaning of some human emotions.

Like other T-800 its’ only concern is to fulfill its’ mission. It will immediately kill any hindering or threatening opponent, including another terminator. Since John told it not to kill anyone, it disables all opponents by shooting their kneecaps, uses non-lethal weapons to stun them with or destroys their weapons or equipment.

T-800 Terminator aiming his Winchester to protect John Connor

The T-800 was inclined to learn human emotions from John and could use cool sentences properly against opponents as taunts.

This T-800 was programmed to obey John Connor in everything and protect him against any danger. The only order it was unable to carry out was to destroy itself (self-preservation is one of a Terminator’s primary directives along with the assigned mission).

It would sometime object to an order, which could risk John’s safety, with “It’s not a mission priority”. But it would carry out the order anyway if given it again.

Other traits

Machines like the T-800 are incapable of feeling happiness (and certainly not fear). The only time the T-800 smiled was when it equipped itself with a minigun .

It had an understanding that being more like a human caused John happiness. Being programmed to please John caused it to try to learn more quickly about human affairs. In the end, it actually felt a bit sad for causing John the grief of losing it.

For a more detailed approach the following (seen in the Director’s Cut version) might be used : all Terminators actually have two modes for its’ processor (which have to be manually changed in the head part):

  • one mode that makes it completely like a machine where it follows programming perfectly (as such it cannot use Mystical Attributes in any way and cannot ever disobey orders)
  • another mode in which it can interact with humans, allowing it to learn etc. (as such it has Mystical Attributes, can be affected and can even override the CIA it has been given)

Quotes

John: “Jesus, you’re gonna kill that guy !”
T-800: “Of course, I’m a Terminator.”

“Hasta la vista… baby.”

’I’ll be back.‘


DC Universe History

If using the Hex idea for Sarah Connor, the T-800 could be a killer droid sent from the future, to protect Sarah, using the Borsten Platform.

T-800 Terminator with paired shotgun and assault rifle

The programmer could either be the future Sarah herself, Hex or a friendly scientist rebelling against Borsten. Having such a resemblance to Metallo, the T-800 technology could be based on old remains from Metallo himself and thus make the true creator of the future technology not Borsten himself, but Lex Luthor (giving the T-800 a nice connection to the DC Universe).


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The T-800

Dex: 04 Str: 07 Bod: 10 Motivation: Programmed Nihilist
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Protector
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 014 R# 0 HP: 025

Powers:
Invulnerability: 10, Flame Immunity: 03, Radio Communications: 15, Recall: 14, Self Link (Gadgetry) 14, Telescopic vision: 06, Ultra-vision: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Recall is also audial ; Radio Communications is scrambled

Skills:
Accuracy (Perception): 07, Artist (Actor): 07, Charisma (Interrogation, Intimidation): 07, Gadgetry: 08, Martial Arts: 06, Medicine (First Aid): 03, Military Science (Danger recognition, Demolition, Tracking): 08, Vehicles (Land): 08, Weaponry: 08

Advantages:
Hardened Defenses, Iron Nerves, No Vital Areas, Omni-Scholar, Scholar (Human and Terminator Physiology), Stability, Misc: The T-800’s excessive memory banks makes it possible to download new entire packages of information and immediately gain the benefits of new skills or mental advantages for the rest of the adventure (paying the Base Cost or Advantage Cost for doing so.

Connections:
John Connor (Low)

Drawbacks:
CIA (Protecting and Obeying John Connor)

Equipment:

  • Colt Commander .45 [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 07, R#02]
  • Grenade Launcher M79 [BODY 04, Range: 07, Ammo: 01, R#02] with a bandolier of eight grenades [BODY 02, EV 07 (Area of effect), Grenade drawback]
  • Minigun M203 5mm [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 08, Ammo: 10, Advantage : Autofire, Limitation: Requires a user STR of 06 unless mounted, R#2]
  • Re-chambered Winchester .44 carbine [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 08, R#2, Note: spinning it by the lever to chamber a round looks cool]

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel

Source of Character: Terminator 2 movie and Terminator comics

Helper(s): Jackson, Sébastien Andrivet, Roy Cowan

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.