- Cyber Planet Keys are cosmic technology found in the Cybertron portion of the Unicron Trilogy continuity family.
Eons ago, four Cyber Planet Keys were scattered across the universe on various planets. Each key is a portion of Primus' lifeforce, and if gathered together and plugged into the Omega Lock, they can be used to awaken and restore him.
- Japanese name: Planet Force (プラネットフォース?) / Force Chip (フォースチップ?)
- Polish name: Cyber klucz ("Cyber key")
- Russian name: Киберключ (Kiberkl'uch, "Cyber key")
Cybertron animated series
The four Cyber Planet Keys were gifts from Primus to his creations. Created during the age following the first defeat of Unicron, the goal of the keys was to spread Primus's essence to other fledgling planets and reformat them in a way that would create new Transformer life forms. The keys were loaded aboard four starships—the Atlantis, the Ogygia, the Hyperborea and the Lemuria—and transported across the galaxy to four worlds selected to become Transformer colonies: Earth, Velocitron, Jungle Planet and Gigantion, respectively. The intent was to connect the four colonized worlds via a gigantic, universe-spanning space bridge, but this prototype technology ultimately failed, leaving the four colonies stranded on their new worlds. As the eons rolled by, the colonies and their worlds evolved in different ways, with tales of their lost homeworld of Cybertron passing into legend.
In the year 2030, Primus' plan to contain the spark of Unicron with a sun was shattered when the star collapsed in upon itself, creating a massive black hole that threatened the entire universe. His powers so badly drained that he was rendered dormant, Primus now required the power of the Cyber Planet Keys to reactivate himself. Aware of this, the ancient Transformer Vector Prime traveled to Cybertron and charged Optimus Prime's Autobots with recovering the four lost artifacts. Unfortunately, Vector Prime's map to the location of the keys was stolen by Megatron, and a race began to locate them before the Decepticons did.
The Velocitron Key was the first to be discovered, hidden in the form of a trophy—the ultimate prize to be won in the race-obsessed culture of the planet. As Hot Shot gave his all to win the planet's greatest race and obtain the key, the second key was found on Jungle Planet, where Optimus Prime followed the world's "might makes right" credo and defeated planet leader Scourge to claim it. The keys' focusing device, the Omega Lock, was discovered on Earth aboard the starship Atlantis, revealing that Earth was one of the four colony worlds. Throwing Megatron off the scent, Starscream awakened the ancient Decepticons sealed away beneath the planet's surface and scoured the planet for its own Cyber Planet Key, eventually stealing it from Evac. Although Starscream proceeded to steal the Lock and other keys from the Autobots, the heroes were able to reclaim them and brought them to Cybertron, where they awakened Primus and transformed Cybertron itself into his body.
The fourth key was still required to reconnect Primus's spark to his body and was soon located on Gigantion. The Autobots, Megatron's Decepticons and Starscream all battled over it, but Landmine was ultimately able to claim it for the Autobots when he used its power to become a giant himself. Although Megatron—also transformed by the Gigantion Key's power, into Galvatron—stole the complete set of keys, he was confronted by the five planet leaders within the black hole and successfully defeated. His power then restored by the Cyber Planet Keys, Primus sealed the black hole and transformed back into Cybertron—but not Cybertron as it had been. Through the power of the keys, Cybertron was infused with aspects of all four colony worlds, becoming a true paradise for all Transformers.
The precise nature of interplay between the Cyber Planet Keys, the planets themselves, and the Transformers living on them is ill-defined at best. It is unclear if the keys themselves influenced or reshaped the planets or Transformer societies into the distinctly different forms they would take on, or if conversely, the keys came to embody the different evolutionary paths the planets and societies naturally took. The only definite similarity between all the keys is that tapping into their power can alter a Transformer's physical form. Overhaul used the power of the Jungle Planet Key to become Leobreaker, Starscream used the combined power of the Earth, Velocitron and Jungle Planet Keys to become a skyscraper-sized giant, and Megatron used the Gigantion Key to transform himself into Galvatron.
The Cyber Planet Keys imbue the inhabitants of their worlds with "Cyber Key Powers"—the ability to call on a small fragment of the power of Primus to unlock some new power or weapon. The Autobots were unaware of this ability until Vector Prime displayed his Cyber Key Power and awoke their own abilities by highlighting their Cyber Key Slots within their bodies. How the Decepticons acquired the ability, however, remains unknown. Conversely, the inhabitants of the colony worlds were aware of their Cyber Key Powers for as long as the Cybertronian Transformers knew them. The five Primus-recognized Leaders of these Planets, possesses and uses special Cyber Keys with the same Rim Colors as the Cyber Planet Keys themselves, belonging to Optimus Prime (Galaxy Convoy) for Cybertron, Overdrive (Nitro Convoy) for Velocitron/Speedia, Scourge (Flame Convoy) for Jungle Planet/Animatros, Evac (Life Convoy) for Earth, and Metroplex (Megalo Convoy) for Gigantion/Gigalonia. Again, the Japanese version has a clearer demarcation of their leaders having the term "Convoy" (コンボイ?) in their names as a distinct feature.
Most of the Autobots and Decepticons hailing from Cybertron call upon the power of Primus himself from their home planet, rather than from one of the four keys, but some of them come to be connected enough to the new worlds that they visit that, like the inhabitants of those worlds, they draw power from those planets' Cyber Planet Keys. Notably, a Transformer does not have to be on the planet in question to summon his or her Cyber Key Power.
The Japanese Animation, Galaxy Force, activates their Cyber Keys (Force Chips) with the call: Force Chip, Ignition! (フォースチップ、イグニッション！?) and the powers of the Cyber Keys are known there as the Ignition ability.
Types of Key
The Cyber Planet Key of the Speed Planet took the form of the Planet Cup, the ultimate trophy to be won in the planet's speed-obsessed and race-centered society, ownership of which denotes the world's leader. Red in color, it is decorated with the symbol of a speedometer needle, with the needle in the shape of a lightning bolt. In addition to the inhabitants of Velocitron, including Override, Brakedown, Clocker, and Dirt Boss, Hot Shot also derives his Cyber Key Power from this key. Many powers activated by Velocitron keys are related to enhancing the recipient's speed.
Jungle Planet's Cyber Planet Key is embodied in the Beast Totem, a small statue in the shape of a dragon that rests in the throne room of Scourge. This key is green, marked with a clawed paw print. Transformed into Leobreaker by this planet's key, Overhaul gained a new Cyber Key Power from it. Many powers activated by Jungle Planet keys are related to enhancing the recipients strength and attack power, in terms of claws and teeth.
Unlike the other keys, Earth's Cyber Planet Key did not become lost or adopt a form that concealed it. Guarded throughout the years by Evac, it is blue and bears the image of a sunrise. Several of the Autobots and Decepticons from Cybertron drew their Cyber Key Powers from the Earth's key, including Landmine, Red Alert, Scattorshot, Thundercracker and Mudflap, as did the ancient Autobots and Decepticons who came to the planet ages ago. Many powers activated by Earth keys are related to enhancing the recipient's firepower.
During Gigantion's war with Planet X, the planet's inhabitants called upon its power to super-size their world, gaining the power necessary to drive back the armies of Planet X. Following this, as the Transformers of the planet began their cycle of constantly building new cities and layers, the key remained in the starship Lemuria, resting comfortably on the lowest level of the planet. This key is purple, bearing a gear symbol. Many powers activated by Gigantion keys are related to increasing the recipient's weapons. For Gigantion natives, who are already huge, this can mean going from "work mode" to "battle mode," which stands taller.
Red Alert was the first to notice the different color-coding of the Cyber Keys and further speculated that the unique keys employed by Optimus Prime and Vector Prime were created due to a normal Cyber Key being affected by the objects of power the two wielded, namely Optimus Prime's Matrix of Leadership and Rhisling, Vector Prime's sword which are, as described by Red Alert, "nearly as old as the Cyber Planet Keys themselves". Although Red Alert did not comment on the unique key wielded by Megatron, presumably his is created through the power of the Armor of Unicron that he wears.
Finally, there are the keys employed by the inhabitants of Planet X. Orange in color and bearing a Decepticon symbol (despite the unaligned nature of these Transformers), these keys presumably derive from the power of Unicron, the secret benefactor of the Planet X survivors Sideways and Soundwave, given that the planet was not a colony world.
Just about every single toy came with at least one key, the only real exceptions being the Mini-Cons. In the US, the keys had codes printed on the back for an interactive feature on Hasbro’s Transformers toy website. Takara’s website did not incorporate this feature however, leaving the Japanese Galaxy Force keys (referred to in Galaxy Force as "Force Chips" along with the greater "Planet Force") without the code tampo. Later toys featured unique keys, particularly the BotCon exclusive Timelines promo toys, which came with Golden Disk Keys.
- Force Chip catalog (Japanese)