|« Zone »|
When nine of the most powerful Decepticons are gathered together under the rule of Violen Jiger, Autobot Powered Master Dai Atlas must step forward to prevent them from acquiring the power of the mystical Zodiac.
Seeking to conquer the universe, the mysterious, demonic Violen Jiger gathers together the Decepticons Devastator, Menasor, Bruticus, Trypticon, Predaking, Abominus, King Poseidon, Overlord and BlackZarak as his Nine Great Demon Generals. To remove the threat the Autobots pose to his goal, he has the generals devastate the planet Feminia, drawing the attention of Autobot Supreme Commander Victory Saber and his troops, who arrive to save the planet's populace. Victory Saber saves the life of a young boy named Cain, but is unable to escape the planet's destruction himself and is left missing in action when Feminia explodes.
With the Autobots in disarray following the loss of Victory Saber, Violen Jiger charges his generals with obtaining the Autobots' new energy source Energon Z, and the Zodiac, the enigmatic energy force responsible for the creation of the universe, which he intends to fuse together to create the super-energy that will fuel his dreams of conquest.
Meanwhile, Cain and his pet Emusa are brought to Planet Zone, the fortified defence base of the Autobot Micromasters, where Moonradar and Rabbicrater give him the lowdown on its history. Zone was created by the Powered Masters, early Transformer pioneers of space, and the Zone Base is powered by Energon Z—which makes the planet the next target for the Demon Generals. Overlord, Menasor, Bruticus and Abominus attack the planet and steal the Energon Z, escaping into space as Moonradar leads the Super Car Patrol Team and the Battle Patrol Team in pursuit. Their way is barred by BlackZarak, who impedes their progress with an energy net. The Jet Patrol Team free their companions, and Sunrunner tracks the Generals with his radar, discovering that the capsule of Energon Z has been handed off to the other half of the group, who are on their way to Earth.
Back on Zone, as the Rescue Patrol Team cleans up, the Powered Masters Dai Atlas and Sonic Bomber return from their search for Victory Saber, bringing the wounded commander back safely. The two Powered Masters immediately set out for Earth, where Devastator, King Poseidon, Trypticon and Predaking are already wreaking havoc. The Micromasters, meanwhile, have already arrived on the planet, just in time to save a young boy named Akira, who... befriends... Cain as the Micromasters do the best they can to hold off the Generals. In the nick of time, Dai Atlas and Sonic Bomber arrive, and the battle goes underground as Devastator and Dai Atlas race to find the Zodiac, buried in a cavern beneath the Earth's surface. As Devastator is dispatched by a river of lava, King Poseidon attempts to escape with the Zodiac, but is stopped by Sonic Bomber, and tosses it to his fellow Generals. Dai Atlas is able to snatch it from their grasp, but the enraged Trypticon then unleashes a beam of Energon Z from the capsule directly at him. Sonic Bomber valiantly takes the hit for Dai Atlas and is nearly killed by the beam, but Trypticon simply fires off another shot. In desperation, Dai Atlas holds aloft the Zodiac and petitions it for help, and as the Energon Z washes over it, its power is unleashed. Dai Atlas and Sonic Bomber are transformed into "Zone Modes", heavily-armed base forms that dispense with King Poseidon and Trypticon. Attempting to flee, Predaking is cleaved in two by Dai Atlas's Zone Sword Cutter attack, and the Zodiac is retrieved.
Back on Zone, the injured Victory Saber appoints Dai Atlas as the new Supreme Commander of the Autobots, to serve while he is unable.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The Transformers previously visited Planet Feminia in issue 5 of the 1986 manga, The Transformers. Kup also mentioned it in "The Mystery of Planet Master".
- Planet Zone is an overhauled, upgraded version of Micro, seen previously in the Victory animated series.
- Core of the Zone Base, referred to as the "Rocket Base" in the toyline and TV Magazine spreads, is identical to the Shuttle Base from Victory. It's not clear if they're supposed to be the same structure.
- The Micromaster Bases belonging to Airwave, Greasepit, Hot House and Ironworks all appear as part of the Zone Base, but their Micromaster owners do not. In Japan, the bases are known simply as "Airport Base", "Gasoline Base", "Fire Base", and "Build Base", respectively.
- This is the only episode of Zone in existence. Although rumors have always circulated that as many as five could have been completed, only this first episode was released, and serves as the final animated installment of the Japanese The Transformers cartoon. The storyline of Zone would be continued through TV Magazine story pages; as the story progressed, the massive Decepticon Metrotitan attacked Earth, but he was defeated by the arrival of the third Powered Master, Road Fire. Subsequently, Violen Jiger took matters into his own hands and stole the Zodiac from the Autobots, who pursued him through space to the newly discovered tenth planet of Earth's Solar system. Here, Violen Jiger separated into three giant insects, but was beaten by the three Powered Masters, only to reveal his true form: a flaming mass of Decepticon spirits. Empowered by the Zodiac, the Powered Masters formed Big Powered and destroyed Violen Jiger. With his death, the tenth planet became a paradise where Autobots, Decepticons and humans could all live in peace.
- Four complete Micromaster teams appear in this episode: the Rescue Patrol Team, the Battle Patrol Team, the Jet Patrol Team and the Super Car Patrol Team. The latter two use the molds from the Air Strike Patrol and the Sports Car Patrol, who were Decepticons in the West.
- Only three members of the Race Car Patrol Team appear in this episode—in cameos from behind, nonetheless. The missing member is Wheel Run, who can briefly be spotted in the opening sequence.
- So...yeah. Cain and Akira are pretty gay. Aside from both being very effeminate in design, the two boys share scenes in which they fall over on top of each other and blush like crazy, and in which Akira presents Cain with flowers. Then, the whole closing sequence is about them running through a field of shōjo bubbles and watching the sunrise together. Quite why Takara caved in to such a ghastly anime cliché after having stayed away from anything even close to this in Transformers before, we may never know—but it could have something to do with Masumi Kaneda's desire to have Cain and Akira become something akin to miko at the story's conclusion.
Besides the Pioneer LDC release, Zone is also available in the UK as part of Metrodome's "Transformers Takara Complete Collection" (but not the individual releases of the three shows) and in Australia as a special feature on Madman's set of Victory.