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Explosion on Mars!! MegaZarak Appears is the fifteenth episode of Transformers: The Headmasters. It first aired in Japan on October 16, 1987 on Nippon TV.
With Fortress Maximus out of power and the destruction of Mars looming ever nearer, Scorponok reveals his true face at last.
As Arcee desperately tries to contact the Headmasters on Mars, Highbrow and Brainstorm undergo repairs for their injuries and the Decepticons continue with their plan to blow up the planet. Spike deduces that the energy used against Fortress that drained him of his power was plasma energy, released in the destruction of Cybertron, and realizes that the Decepticons' goal in destroying Mars must be to generate more. Alerted to this fact, the Autobot Headmasters redouble their efforts to locate the Decepticons' bombing co-ordinates, and are joined by the Trainbots in battling the Terrorcons and Decepticon Headmasters.
Meanwhile, Scorponok has been informed that the bombs have been planted in two of the three key sites on Mars, and relocates to planet Zarak, where work on his secret project there is in the final stages. He orders the Decepticon Headmasters to pull out of the conflict on Mars and join him on Zarak, prompting the Autobots to investigate. Fortress contacts Ultra Magnus on Earth, who dispatches Twincast to spy on the Decepticon base on Earth to learn what the villains are up to. Twincast watches as Soundblaster calls on Sixshot to join the Decepticons on Chaar, and follows the ninja through the space bridge to the Decepticons' base there so that he can observe the meeting that is being held. Weirdwolf, Mindwipe and Skullcruncher meet their leader on Zarak, as Scorponok steps out of the shadows at last - then, as assembled Decepticon forces watch through a viewscreen, the surface of Zarak cracks and the entire world is torn asunder. From the core of the planet emerges Scorponok's secret project, his own colossal Transtector! Transforming his new craft from city mode to the form of a gigantic robot scorpion, Scorponok sets course for Chaar to collect the Decepticons, just as Twincast is spotted by Soundblaster, and a brief battle between the communicators and their cassettes ensues before Twincast escapes.
Back on Mars a little while later, Fortress receives Twincast's report and readies for his impending battle wth Scorponok. He does not have long to wait, as Scorponok appears in the skies overhead while the Headmasters and Trainbots are battling the Terrorcons at the final bombing site. Battleship Maximus, however, is still drained of all energy and unable to transform, and after Scorponok smashes his way through the Headmasters and Trainbots, he transforms into his own massive robot mode and begins to pound on the helpless craft. Then, the report comes that all the bombs have been put in place, and Scorponok orders Soundblaster to detonate them. The key bomb clusters in the polar regions explode, and a chain reaction occurs, sending a string of explosions tearing through Mars. The Decepticons pull out as the planet erupts in flame all around them, but Fortress has one last ace up his sleeve - Battleship Maximus is able to absorb some of the energy released in the explosion, and, back to full power, Fortress Maximus emerges from the conflagration and cleaves Scorponok's shoulder with the Master Sword, forcing the villains to retreat. Although the Decepticons may have been forced back for now, Mars has been lost, and the Autobots' toughest battles are still ahead of them.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Animation and/or technical glitches
- As the Trainbots watch the monitor on Athenia at the beginning of the episode, Shōki's lower right leg is colored white, while the left is colored blue.
- When initially conferring with Spike, the back of Fortress' head is brown instead of gray. In the next shot, he is missing some of the chest detail surrounding his insignia.
- Thrust's wings appear to be attached to the underside of his forearms. A moment later, Dirge is colored like Thrust.
- As Sixshot arrives on Chaar, Blitzwing is present, and his head is purple. In the same shot, Soundblaster is missing the red stripe around each forearm.
- Just after Soundblaster punches up the Mars status on screen, there is a peculiar robot standing behind Sixshot's right. It looks like Slugslinger, but his colors are all wrong.
- When Soundblaster ejects cassettes to fight Twincast, one of them is the Rumble/Frenzy robot model, colored... yellow and black?
- Rippersnapper and Cutthroat are shown to be among the Decepticons watching from Chaar when Scorponok unveils his Transtector... while Raiden is fighting Abominus on Mars. Mmn.
- When Scorponok lands on Chaar, Tantrum is colored blue and grey. In the same shot, Soundblaster is colored in the traditional blue of Soundwave.
- In general, this episode's animation is lackluster. It resembles some of Toei's poorer efforts from season 3.
This episode represents the culmination of various plot threads that have been running throughout The Headmasters thus far.
- Having remained hidden in shadow since his debut in "The Four-Million-Year-Old Veil of Mystery", Scorponok finally steps in to the light in this episode.
- The construction of Scorponok's Transtector was foreshadowed back in "Rebellion on Planet Beest", and brought to the fore alongside the Decepticons' activities on planet Zarak in "The Shadow Emperor, Scorponok".
- The power of plasma energy was introduced in "The Dormant Volcano Mysteriously Erupts", its origin tied back to the events of the "Cybertron Is in Grave Danger" two-parter.
It's not unfair to say that with the wrapping-up of these story points, the series becomes largely directionless - with Galvatron's return in the next episode, it launches into a very random planet-hopping story arc that serves no real purpose but to vary the scenery, until Galvatron is removed from the series again, and focus shifts back to Scorponok and his plans.
- The "MegaZarak" spoken of in the title is, of course, the Japanese name for Scorponok's Transtector, the giant robot that we in the West also know as Scorponok.