Head On!! Fortress Maximus is the thirteenth episode of Transformers: The Headmasters. It first aired in Japan on October 02, 1987 on Nippon TV.
Fortress must reveal his ultimate transformation when the Decepticons attack San Francisco with a carnivorous plant.
The lack of recent Decepticon activity has Chromedome and the Headmasters restless and eager to hunt the villains down. Fortress warns them to cool off, pointing out that there's no reason to go looking for trouble during such a rare moment of peace.
Such peace, of course, does not last long, as, down on Earth, an office building in San Francisco is suddenly and violently overwhelmed by a rapidly-growing alien plant that bursts through the ground beneath it. Local authorities open fire on the plant as it attempts to devour the citizenry, and Ultra Magnus scrambles the Aerialbots, Technobots and Trainbots to help. An Autobot response has been anticipated by the authors of the event, however - Bruticus and Menasor lie in wait and spring an attack on the teams as they arrive on the scene. As Ultra Magnus calls upon the Headmasters for aid, Soundblaster reports to Scorponok on Chaar that another of his plans to divert Autobot attention to Earth has succeeded. With Fortress having identified the plant as a species from the planet Darhos, the Headmasters enter the fray on Earth. As they wrestle with the plant, and clash with the Decepticon Headmasters, the vicious vegetable uproots itself, becoming mobile!
Meanwhile, on Athenia, Daniel is in the botanical gardens, tending to the seeds of a plant he brought from Earth, which have not yet sprouted. He soon discovers, however, that the Decepticons have replaced his seeds with those of the carnivorous plant, as it blooms with terrifying speed and attacks him and Wheelie. Daniel calls upon his father for help, and when Spike sees the monstrous plant, he has Arcee help him identify it via the base computers. Spike realises that the Decepticons have used Daniel to bring the plant to Athenia, just as it uproots itself and attacks the base.
As the situation worsens back on Earth, Fortress receives the report from Athenia just as Battleship Maximus becomes entwined in the still-growing plant's tendrils. As Scorponok celebrates the success of his plan for vengeance over Fortress, Fortress realises that he has no options left - he must unleash the power of the Master Sword. Reaching beneath his control console, he seizes the hilt of the weapon, only to find that it will not unsheathe, until the cries of the helpless Headmasters below ring out and he successfully draws the blade. Its energies course through Battleship Maximus, blasting the plant free, but this is only a fraction of the sword's power - to the shock of all onlookers, even Scorponok, Battleship Maximus ascends into space, and reveals itself to be a colossal Transtector by transforming into robot mode. Assuming head mode, Fortress connects to Battleship Maximus, forming the colossal Fortress Maximus! With a huge version of the Master Sword forming in his hand, Fortress Maximus makes salad out of the alien plant in seconds, causing a chain reaction that destroys the plant menacing Athenia. As the Headmasters marvel at their commander's surprising new transformation, Scorponok prepares to destroy him with his own secret weapon, and the Headmasters head back to Athenia.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The Autobot insignia on Fortress Maximus's chest is missing its "jaw" during his transformation sequence. As this becomes stock footage for future transformations, the error repeats throughout the series.
- The human helicopters which attack the plant are of a rather futuristic design, one of the few times that any of the Japanese Transformers carry on the futuristic theme seen in season 3 of the original series.
- The homeworld of the carnivorous plant, planet Darhos, will go on to be visited by the Transformers in "Find MegaZarak's Weak Spot!!"
- Fortress's "head mode" was previously seen in "Rebellion on Planet Beest" and "The Shadow Emperor, Scorponok". Its true purpose is revealed in this episode.
- Why Fortress is unable to draw the Master Sword at first is not explained in this episode. The situation repeats itself in the next episode, where the answer is given - to use the sword's power, his physical and mental energies must be in complete harmony. In the next episode, a cry for help from Chromedome is what galvanizes Fortress, synchronizing his energies - presumably, then, it is the calls for help from the Headmasters in this episode that allow him to draw the sword after his first failure.
- If the Decpticons somehow sold Daniel the seeds, it must heve been Swindle that conned Daniel into buying them.