1. Robots In Disguise Cartoon Overview

September 15, 2011  by Tony_Bacala  •  Cartoon

MEGATRON and his evil DECEPTICONS arrive on Earth with one goal: Destruction! This causes a secret force of goodness to emerge: The heroic AUTOBOTS, led by OPTIMUS PRIME. They have hidden their existence by taking the forms of vehicles, but now they reveal their true nature to fight MEGATRON and protect Earth. They are… TRANSFORMERS — Robots In Disguise!

Transformers Robots In Disguise takes place on Earth in the near future. Optimus Prime and the Autobots are already on Earth and in hiding, blending into to normal society using their alternate vehicle forms. Here we see the Autobot Leader, Optimus Prime, 3 of his troops, the Autobot brothers Sideburn, X-Brawn, and Prowl. They are there to protect Earth and all it’s secrets from any threat that may arise. That threat does arise, in the form of Megatron and his Predacons. Megatron and Predacons Gas-Skunk, Slapper and Dark Scream are evil Transformers from the planet Cybertron, all of which use “Beast-Modes” as their alternate transformation, a fusion of robotic interiors and organic exteriors. Their sole purpose is to conquer Earth and reap its resources to further Megatron’s evil ambition. Once Megatron makes himself known, the Autobots do as well, and the battle is on – but not before Megatron escapes with the worlds leading scientist, Doctor Onishi. The Autobots befriend the Doctor’s young son Koji, and vow to rescue him no matter the cost.

The Autobots and Predacons battle on, introducing new characters on each side. Autobot troops are shown blending into every day Earth activities which their alternate modes allow for. Towline is a tow-truck and actually tows parking voiolators. Skid-Z is a race car with an addiction to human car races. Team Bullet Train, consisting of Midnight Express, Rail Spike, and Rapid Run transport humans on the city’s rail system. Even the Spychangers take on hidden Earth modes, blending in as ordinary cars and vehicles, although a bit smaller in size. All the Autobots are able to travel to almost any place on the Earth instantly using a system of secret tunnels that burrow deep beneath the surface. This combined with warping technology within the tunnels forms what is known as Global Space Bridge. These tunnels are constantly being expanded by the Autobot Construction Team.

The Autobots are called into battle when needed, being summoned by TAI (Tactical Artificial Intelligence) using the universal “Battle Protocol” command. TAI is a computer program at the Autobot’s secret base on Earth, but manifests itself as a hologram of a female Earth child. She is said to be the “daughter” program of the legendary Teletran-3 computer system used by ancient Autobots. TAI has the ability to locate and communicate with all the hidden Autobots all over Earth, and calls them into battle from wherever they are during emergencies.

During the initial appearance of Megatron, and capture of Doctor Onishi, the Doctor was hurt and put into a coma. Megatron probes his mind looking for information at the Predacon base, a base that is able to move anywhere, even underwater. Megatron believes that the Doctor has discovered a long lost Earth secret, one that possesses great power.

In the mean time, due to the lackluster performance of his forces, now including Predacon sub-commander Sky-Byte, he decides it is time to recruit new warriors. This would normally be impossible on Earth, but Megatron has discovered something that will allow him to do this, and counteract the advantage Autobots have over his Predacons. That being stasis pods found within a long lost Autobot ship, which crashed on Earth 60 years ago. The Autobots also become aware of this, due to decoding a signal from an object found in a previous battle.

Note: Stasis pods contain “blank” Transformers. These are usually liquid metal bipeds in a pod containing no traits, with a Spark, or life-essence, that has no personality, memories, or “soul” at the time. Upon activation, these protoforms absorb the traits of the beings it scans around it, or the direct programming of the person activating the pod.

Megatron breaks into the ship and steals these stasis pods, then travels to a near-by Earth military base. He activates the stasis pods, and infuses them with the pure evil from within his own spark at the same time. They scan local combat vehicles to acquire their physical forms and alternate modes. The Autobots arrive too late, and cannot stop Megatron. As the last stasis pod is scanning the area for it’s new form, it finds a tanker truck carrying fuel. The driver is startled and makes a sudden turn, which begins to flip the truck. Optimus Prime rushes to save the driver, and winds up being scanned by the stasis pod along with the truck itself. This results in the creation of Scourge. Scourge takes on the tanker truck’s look and feel in vehicle mode, but has physical qualities similar to Optimus Prime in robot mode, including Optimus’ trademark “Samurai” style faceplate and helmet. He however is not the heroic natured bot that Optimus Prime is, but rather one of pure evil.

In the end, Megatron succeeds and gets his new warriors, which marks the birth of the very first Decepticons in Cybertronian history. They consist of the Combaticons – 5 combat vehicles led by Mega-Octane that combine to form one giant robot named Ruination. This sub-group is led by Scourge, who answers directly to Megatron. The Decepticons are war-minded and aggressive right from the start.

Over time we see the new Decepticons battle against the Autobots in various situations. The Autobots call in further reinforcements by the way of the Autobot Construction Team, who combine to form the giant robot known as Landfill. In these battles, both before and after the birth of the Decepticons, the Autobots slowly put together the fact the Decepticons are targeting specific areas, all of which wind up containing strange microchip like pieces. These are dubbed O-Parts. These need further analysis to be deciphered, but the Predacons are definitely after them, and they do point to certain key spots around the Earth, one of them being the Autobot ship where the Stasis Pods were found. As Scourge and the Decepticons become Megatron’s go-to men for each mission, Sky-Byte and the Predacons become jealous and actually start sabotaging their plans. Sky-Byte does this in order to make Scourge look bad so he can regain the second in command spot from Megatron himself.

At this point we meet a new Autobot, one with big firepower and a bad attitude. His name is Ultra Magnus. Optimus Prime meets up with Ultra Magnus, happy to see a long lost comrade from Cybertron. To his dismay, Ultra Magnus is not here on Earth to help the Autobots battle Megatron and his forces, but rather to reclaim the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Ultra Magnus attacks Optimus Prime, but Optimus refuses to fight. Optimus takes a pounding and eventually escapes with the other Autobots so they can set up for repairs. Here is where we learn that Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime are actually brothers, created at the exact same moment on Cybertron by their creator, Alpha Trion. They battled together during the civil wars, becoming the most honored of Autobots. Optimus was eventually chosen to lead the Autobots as their supreme commander by Cybertron’s super computer Vector Sigma. He was given the Matrix of Leadership, a source of great wisdom and power. Optimus explains that this offended Ultra Magnus, who felt he should lead, and Magnus left Cybertron in a rage never to be seen again, until now.

The Predacons and Decepticons happen find the Autobots, and decide to take them out now while they are injured. As flames from the firepower of the Decepticons surround Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus again appears. He tells Optimus he wants to help, and shakes his hand before entering into the battle. Unknown to Optimus, Ultra Magnus was actually was attempting to force the Matrix of Leadership’s energy out of him. Ultra Magnus’ plan is surprisingly thwarted, because the attempt to access the Matrix of Leadership actually triggered a new transformation in both of them, one that allows them to combine together and form the ultimate Autobot warrior, Omega Prime. Omega Prime does have his own personality, a combination of both Prime and Magnus’ personalities, but neither can control or overpower the other while in this mode to the dismay of Ultra Magnus. Upon separation Ultra Magnus retreats into solitude to watch over the Autobots and wait for his next chance.

As time passes Ultra Magnus comes to realize he did succeed, although only partially, in obtaining the power of the Matrix. He is able to use it to “Power Up” the Autobot Brothers Sideburn, Prowl, and X-Brawn. When in this mode, they get fancy new color schemes and enhanced powers. He refuses to fully join the Autobot cause on Earth, but his inner Autobot programming cannot allow the Megatron and his forces to win, and repeatedly arrives on the scene of battles to help Optimus by combining with him into Omega Prime.

The O-Parts found in previous battles have been analyzed by T-AI over time, and the Autobots learn of a location deep beneath the surface of the Earth. The Construction Team mentioned they have run into this area before when digging the Space Bridge tunnels, and explain it is surrounded by a weird force field. On top of this, when close they experience premonitions and hallucinations with the goal of keeping them away. The Autobots immediately go to the site, fearing this is what Megatron has been after, and he may too discover the location. Megatron indeed does discover it as a result of the constant mind probing of Dr. Onishi, and sends his forces there as well. After breaking through the force field and battling with the Autobots, Scourge stumbles forward into the temple like area, surrounded by stone Prime styled heads, and triggers the awakening of the long lost Autobot legend, a city sized Transformer, Fortress Maximus. The Autobots eventually repel the Decepticons, and the Build Team move Fortress Maximus above ground under the guise of a construction site with large walls in order to hide it’s location from Megatron.

It is learned that in order to activate Fortress Maximus, his Headmaster counterpart Cerebros must be found. Cerebros is also a Transformer, one that turns from robot into just the head of Fortress Maximus’ robot mode. Both the Autobots and Decepticons go searching for Cerebros, and Sky-Byte decides to steal the unconscious Dr. Onishi in order to use the secrets within his mind to find Cerebros first, therefore getting back in the good graces of Megatron. During his fumbled attempt, Sky-Byte returns Dr. Onishi to Koji, who though only a human, he has taken a liking too. Koji’s father finally awakens and they are reunited. The Doctor now joins the Autobot cause and helps them locate the rest of the hidden O-Parts.

The rest of the O-Parts are found and they turn out to be a locator device used to find The Orb of Sigma. The Orb of Sigma is the key to finding Cerebros, and is in a hidden underground temple. Once there, the Autobots battle Megatron and the Predacons, eventually defeating them. Megatron is thought to be destroyed, and the Predacons are trapped inside. However, the orb causes the Predacons to re-power their leader with their own sparks, giving him even more power, new transformations, and a new color scheme. Megatron re-emerges from the rubble of the temple as the mighty Galvatron.

Cerebros is eventually found by the Autobots, who turns out to be a smaller, almost human sized Transformer. He is however stolen by Galvatron’s forces before they can react. Programmed only react to the Autobot Commander (Optimus Prime) they cannot activate him. Luckily for Galvatron, Scourge absorbed part of Optimus Prime’s programming when he was created. This allows Galvatron to use scourge and find Fortress Maximus’ location. Once there, Scourge commands Cerebros to activate, which triggers Fortress Maximus to start his transformation sequence. As he slowly turns from city to robot, Fort Max releases another robot, one without a head, Cerebros transforms then attaches to it becoming its head. This new regular sized Transformer then transforms himself right away, becoming the head of Fortress Maximus in robot mode.

Scourge soon realizes that he cannot control Fortress Maximus, who goes completely haywire. As he towers above the city, Fort Max unleashes firepower on any and everything, attacking everything in sight. Koji, watching the battle and mayhem from the sidelines, screams in sadness for Fort Max to stop, as he thought he was the guardian of good described by the Autobot legend. This show of emotion by Koji deactivates Fortress Maximus, who begins to retreat back to the underground cavern he was found in. Before he disappears completely, Galvatron recaptures Cerebros and escapes.

After this event, it is discovered that Fortress Maximus is not programmed to obey the Autobot commander, but rather the children of Earth. Since Scourge also scanned a human during his creation, the one driving the truck that became his alternate mode, this is why he was able to activate Cerebros the first time. They converge on Fortress Maximus’ new location, and Scourge enters Fortress Maximus. They use his power on the Autobots, but when a group of children are brought to the scene by other Autobots, all of which command Fort Max to stop, he listens and deactivates himself. Scourge, now feeling the power of Fortress Maximus and wanting it all to himself, decides to kidnap and control Koji, who seemingly has a direct connection with Fortress Maximus. He winds up kidnapping his friend by mistake, but is able to use him to regain control of Fort Max. He unleashes the power of Max on Galvatron and his other forces instead of the Autobots, but cannot control him yet again. Galvatron punishes Scourge and retreats to base where the Decepticons are reprogrammed into mindless drones for their disobedience. Cerebros finally rejoins the Autobots.

Galvatron decides it is time to take the fight to the Autobots and directly attack their base in the city. The Autobots split up after battling and meet elsewhere, trying to keep Cerebros hidden, but Galvatron finds them. This time, he brings his roving Predacon base with him, which turns out to have a minor transformation of it’s own. Galvatron transforms into Hand mode, one of his now 10 transformations, and attaches to it, using it to unleash firepower on all the Autobots. Cerebros sees the valiant effort of the Autobots, and activates Fortress Maximus to protect them. Galvatron, still attached as the hand to his base, goes one on one with Fortress Maximus. Fort Max unleashes his super cannon attack, destroying the base, and injuring Galvatron.

Now realizing that the ultimate power described in the legend which brought him to Earth in the first place is not in fact Fortress Maximus, but rather the energy contained within human children, Galvatron sends out countless Giga-Bats to seek out the children of Earth and drain the hidden energy within them. This gives Galvatron immeasurable power, which he uses to shock-paralyze all the Autobots. Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime are battered from fighting, and decide to put aside their differences and work together to defeat Galvatron once and for all. They combine to form Omega Prime, and confront Galvatron. They lure Galvatron into chasing them, and then enter the Global Space Bridge.

They take tunnels that lead directly to the center of the Earth. Omega Prime knows once he travels this route he cannot return; as they passage ways need to be sealed by T-AI behind him. Once at the Earth’s core, Omega Prime battles Galvatron one on one, hovering over lava and flames. Omega Prime is losing badly and Koji sees this back at Autobot base, where he is watching it unfold with T-AI on the monitors. He quickly jumps online and gets all the children of the world to send their energy to Fortress Maximus so he can help Omega Prime. Fortress Maximus, low on energy and badly damaged from his battle with Galvatron, receives the energy from the children, and creates the ultimate weapon, the Omega sword. He sends the sword and unlimited power to Omega Prime in the core. Omega Prime powers up, obtains the sword, and rushes Galvatron with a warrior’s swing of the blade so powerful it causes an explosion that shakes the Earth. When the white light from the explosion settles, Prime and Galvatron are no where to be found, and Koji cries out for Optimus.

We fast forward a bit and see Koji walking around the city. He goes to the old Autobot headquarters, now gone from sight and deserted. He sees things that remind him of his old Autobot friends, including a passing fire truck with sirens blazing. As soon as he accepts the fact they are gone and sits down to sulk, none other than Optimus Prime pulls up to reunite with his human friend. Optimus explains that all the Autobots are fine, and that they will be going back to Cybertron soon since the threat to Earth is over. Galvatron, the Decepticons, and the Predacons have been imprisoned and they are going to take them back to Cybertron to be judged. He let’s Koji know that so long as the children of Earth are around, their energy is enough to protect the planet. Galvatron is seen in a flat 2-dimensional prison square along with his forces, and vows that the war is not over, and he will be back. Noticeably missing is Sky-Byte however. We see Sky-Byte swim off into the sunset as he recites his now famous goofy poems.

The End…. Or is it?!?!