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A virtual training match pits Autobot against Autobot, Decepticon against Autobot, old bodies against new bodies, and commercial bumpers against plot advancement with surprises galore along the way.

Summary

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Galvatron strongly suggests to his men that, before they watch this, they turn on the lights in this virtual arena.

Rodimus & Hotshot Vs. The Tidal Waves

As the virtual music was played, amid the cheers of thousands of virtual spectators and waves of faling virtual confetti, two virtual, robotic catgirls introduce to the spectators the night's first combatants: Rodimus & Hot Shot, vs. Mirage &... Tidal Wave! And so begin the virtual games! It only takes Rodimus and Hot Shot a brief (off-screen) second to defeat their first opponents.

Alpha Q observes—it's some kind of virtual training program, except that this program is a video game, run by the Autobots. At least one of his faces wants to change the channel, except that this video game is not a TV show.

Landmine & Cliffjumper Vs. Optimus Prime & Wing Saber

The matches continue. Wing Saber, not wanting to waste time, combines with Optimus, and he blasts his opponents mercilessly.

Ironhide is suitably confused when Alpha Q comes out alongside Scorponok.

Infernos Vs. Shockblasts

The Infernos (Inferno in both his forms simultaneously) vs. the Shockblast brothers: Shockblast, annoyed with how polite Six Shot is being, just blasts away.

Prowl & Downshift vs. Snow Cat & Demolisher

The Autobots squabble so much that the match is delayed, and the next one begins, and it's epic...

Superion Maximus Vs. Constructicon & Bruticus Maximus

...And "friends." As the match begins, it goes back to...

Scorponok Vs. Jetfire & Ironhide

The latter side wins the match. Back to...

Prowl & Downshift Vs. Snow Cat & Demolishor

The Autobot duo PowerLinx (Prowl taking the lead), but end up doing so top-to-top (Because Downshift had no idea Prowl decided to be on top first), leading the Decepticons to wonder if they could Powerlinx, and they try too, but end up with Snow Cat being lifted by Demolisher.

Next match: Rodimus & Hot Shot vs. Optimus & Wing Saber. However, yet another match begins...

Shockblasts Vs. Ironhide & Jetfire

The 'Bots PowerLinx and try to charge at the Shockblasts, but are stopped by Six Shot, and lose when they are blasted by him.

Snow Cat & Demolishor somehow (off-screen) win their match, and are led to their next one... Superion Maximus is still trying to fight Bruticus and Constructicon, but is quickly defeated. Hot Shot & Rodimus now have to take on Optimus & Wing Saber, and the latter powerlinx and end up winning by punching Optimus.

As Snowcat and Demolisher are being led to their next match, they're looking forward to it, wondering if there's prizes—maybe a power-up from Galvatron! Unfortunately, their next opponent is... Galvatron (with Starscream, who's just finished off their old-body selves)! Snowcat then says to himself that he wants to take out his frustration on Galvatron, who apparently hears.

The combiners finish off Superion Maximus, and take on Omega Prime. Galvatron easily takes down Snowcat & Demolisher, and is going to finish them. Bruticus & Constructicon are blasting Optimus Supreme, but their blasts aren't effecting him as he walks toward them. He then leaps epically into the air, grabs Bruticus by the throat, throws him at Constructicon, and takes them both down by flying into the air and slamming them into the arena.

Shockblasts Vs. Rodimus & Hotshot

Six Shot gets annoyed with Shockblast and zaps him out of the program. The same trick fails against the Autobots, who are real and can overcome the program.

Galvatron stomps off after beating Snowcat & Demolishor, refusing to play the games any further.

Final Match: Hotshot & Rodimus Vs. The Optimus Supreme Duo

Omega & Prime fly into the air, combine spectacularly and land... Outside the ring! The duo forfeit by stepping out of the ring. Sorry guys, but rules are rules! Optimus fumes that nobody told him about any rules.

The winners get trophies, and the chance to battle a special guest. The screen at the center of the ring opens, and down comes the guest… a rather tiny <spoiler>UNICRON</spoiler>! But tiny or not, he's still a force to be reckoned with. As they continue to battle, Alpha-Q notes that perhaps the Transformers enjoy fighting.

And back in the real world, Hot Shot enthuses: he and Rodimus have finally beaten the game! He falls back into his seat, exhausted with pleasure. Kicker observes that they're more alike than he realized.

Progress Table

Rodimus
+
Hot Shot (Special guest warrior battle with Unicron with Dead End)
Rodimus
+
Hotshot
Optimus Prime
+
Omega Supreme
Rodimus
+
Hotshot
Six Shot
+
Shockblast
Galvatron
+
Starscream
Optimus Prime
+
Omega Supreme
Rodimus
+
Hotshot
Optimus Prime
+
Wing Saber
Jetfire
+
Ironhide
Six Shot
+
Shockblast
Snowcat
+
Demolishor
Galvatron
+
Starscream
Bruticus Maximus
+
Constructicon Maximus
Optimus Prime
+
Omega Supreme
Rodimus
+
Hotshot
Mirage
+
Tidal Wave with Ramjet
Cliffjumper
+
Landmine
Optimus Prime
+
Wing Saber
Jetfire
+
Ironhide
Scorponok
+
Alpha Q
Inferno
+
Roadblock
Six Shot
+
Shockblast
Snowcat
+
Demolishor
Downshift
+
Prowl
Galvatron
+
Starscream
Cyclonus with Blackout
+
Demolishor with Crumplezone
Bruticus Maximus
+
Constructicon Maximus
Superion Maximus Optimus Prime
+
Omega Supreme

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans Others

Omega Supreme (34)

Quotes

Alpha-Q: (Anger) Well, why are wasting our time watching them?! (Sinister) Good question. (Hysterical) I do so like to watch! (Anger) I think this is all a bunch of frivolous flub! Change the channel! (Hysterical) NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

—Alpha-Q views the madness... and at least one of them likes what he sees.


"It almost looks like they're married!"

Snow Cat watches Prowl and Downshift squabble.


"Huh!? There is NO way I'm playing this childish little game! I'm going home!"

Galvatron is taking his playthings with him!


"I AM YOUR LEADER! I am Optimus Prime!"

—Learn the ropes, Constructicon & Bruticus!

Nekomimis: And the victory goes to Rodimus & Hotshot!
Optimus: WHAT!?!
Nekominis: (A) Omega & Optimus both forfeit because they both stepped out of the ring! (B) Sorry, guys, but rules are rules!
[Rodumis laughs]
Rodimus & Hotshot Vs. Optimus Prime & Omega Supreme: Forfeit!

Optimus Prime: (Fumes) Huh! Nobody told me about any ridiculous rules!

—You rules, you loose, Prime


"Gee, he sure is puny."

Hot Shot eats the words from Unicron.

Notes

Lost in translation

  • In the Super Link version, Cliffjumper spouts his characteristic Engrish line "Check it out, yo", which Landmine interprets as Japanese and, therefore, doesn't understand. The gag wouldn't have really worked for the dub.
  • Super Link includes Scorponok proclaiming that Galvatron is still his master.
  • The dub omits Six Shot marveling that the program manages to reproduce his brother's dim intellect; this is why Shockblast gestures angrily.
  • Prowl and Downshift's argument is supposed to be over who would look cooler on top; the dub changes this to a random argument over... uh... something. This makes it much more random when later, they combine, both in their "top" modes.
  • In Super Link, Jetfire tells his partner Ironhide to relax, as Alpha Q is part of the program. Jetfire then calmly tells him that "by the way, I'm part of the program too." The dub omits the gag.
  • Amazingly, all three of the combiner team leaders appear separated and in robot mode, and the groups finally get full animation of their combining sequences (previously hidden behind glowing balls of light). The dub gets confused by this, having the horrifying robotic catgirl announcer say "Constructicon and Bruticus brought along a few of their friends" in reference to the combiners' limb components.
  • The reason that Ironhide and Jetfire lose to the Shockblast brothers is that Six Shot tampered with the program. The dub makes it sound like Six Shot just fired some kind of weapon, in defiance of the animation.
  • A gag that has Bulkhead declaring that the stubborn old man won't be in this episode is replaced in the dub by a lame line about "I didn't see that coming".
  • Predictably, Hot Shot and Rodimus overcome Six Shot's virtual tampering through the power of BURNING HEART OF FLAMING JUSTICE or some such. The dub changes it to "the power of powerlinking".
  • In Super Link, Demolishor and Snowcat aren't afraid of the program Galvatron, and start insulting him, saying the original is much better. In the dub, they're afraid of him. The gag is further lost when it turns out that this is the real Galvatron.
  • The dub has Optimus Prime saying "I AM YOUR LEADER!"… to the Decepticon combiners.
  • The combiners' nature is briefly noted in Super Link when Prime tells the pair that "even ten isn't enough". The line doesn't appear in the dub.
  • The dub omits the horrifying robotic catgirl announcer commenting that, though Optimus and Omega lost, it sure did look cool.
  • The dub inserts a last line from Kicker that's supposed to be like, deep, or something. In Super Link, he's just a bit appalled that Hot Shot has made time for this ridiculous game.

Pain Count

  • Uh?: 2
  • Stock footage: 10, discounting the made-up ones for Demolishor and Snowcat.
  • Let's do This: 2
  • Gimme a Break: 1
  • Take it Easy: 1

Animation and/or technical glitches


Continuity errors


Real-world references

  • Alpha Q notes that the training program is a bit like pro wrestling—you can't tell what's real and what's fake.
  • After Demolishor and Snow Cat take a crack as powerlinking, the fake commercial bumper that follows their match depicts them doing the Fusion Dance from Dragonball Z.

Other Notes

  • In Japan, this episode was a special made to commemorate the 500th Transformers episode, which aired at a different time on a different day to the series norm, and did not feature an episode number in its title card. In America, it was just aired where it fell without fanfare, and hence came off as really, seriously, totally random.
  • Not helping the situation any are the inclusion of several jokes based around aspects of the series which were cut for the Energon dub.
    • For instance, the opening skit of the episode with Galvatron is a reference to the health-and-safety card that appears at the start of each Super Link episode, which features a still image of Optimus Prime and his voice telling the audience to sit back from the screen and watch in a well-lit room. In the Super Link version of this episode, Galvatron simply repeats Prime's standard dialogue word for word (with the gag being that he's in darkness, and the lights then ping on), while in Energon, it has to be changed to Galvatron telling his men to turn the lights on, because American audiences hadn't seen the scene they were playing off.
    • A large number of random fake Super Link commercial bumpers are included at the conclusion of most matches. Since the actual bumpers were not part of the Energon dub of the series, the "gag" of including them as part of the episode was essentially lost, since the audience had no idea what they were.
  • Despite the lack of plot, the untranslatable gags, and the horrifying robot cat girl announcers, there is a certain wit to the match-ups, such as having various present/past incarnations of the same guy fighting together, and Demolishor and Snowcat walking in to find their old selves already defeated.


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