Mach and Tackle is the thirteenth episode of Transformers Victory. It first aired in Japan on July 18, 1989 on Nippon TV.
Investigating a mysterious land subsidence in Canada, Mach and Tackle uncover the Breastforce's latest plot.
Somewhere in southern Canada, in the middle of a massive cornfield, a farmer named Old Tom is about to take some extreme measures to get rid of a prairie dog that's been digging up his land. Beefore he can push the plunger that will detonate the dynamite he's laid in the field, however, the ground beneath his feet quakes, and he runs for his life as the field collapses into a massive crater.
News of the subsidence prompts Star Saber to send Machtackle to investigate, and the Multiforce warrior soon tracks down Old Tom telling patrons of a nearby bar about the event (exaggerating his own athletic abilities in the process). Always out for a quick buck, Tom offers to show anyone who wants to see, at which point Machtackle knocks on the window to avail of the offer. Tom takes the presence of a giant robot in stride and leads him up to the fields, where Machtackle divides into Mach and Tackle to investigate thoroughly. The pair deduce that an underground river had been flowing beneath the field, but that its flow suddenly stopped, causing the land to collapse. Suspecting Decepticon involvement, they alert Star Saber, who refuses Wingwaver's request to go to the aid of his teammate.
As night begins to settle in, Mach and Tackle head west, following the run off of the Rocky Mountains in hopes of locating the cause of the land collapse. They come upon what appears to be a human factory, but while Mach is taken in by the façade, Tackle realizes that there is no guard, and no road leading to the gate. The factory is, in fact, a cover for a subterranean hydroelectric power plant assembled by the Breastforce, which is responsible for draining the river and causing the land collapse. As Mach radios the other Autobots to inform them of their discovery, Drillhorn picks up his broadcast, and Leozack orders the other Breastforcers to spring into action, even as Star Saber and the Multiforce race to Mach and Tackle's aid. While Mach manages to lure Hellbat into the nearby forest and entangle him in a cluster of trees, Tackle camouflages himself with dirt and grass as he prepares for Jarugar. Mach nearly gives him away when he radios to let him know that he has dispatched Hellbat, but Tackle is able to pull off his plan and bring Jarugar down. A brief argument between the two Multiforcers ensues, but when they hear Killbison approaching, they decide to adopt a new tactic, and recombine in a new configuration as Tacklemach! The dim Killbison doesn't even realize who Tacklemach is at first, but realization soon dawns, and Tacklemach finds himself being chased through the forest by the Decepticons' Breast Animal. Just as the creature is closing, Star Saber drops out of the sky and seizes it, hurling it into Killbison and taking both of them out of the picture.
Back at the Decepticons' power plant, the other Multiforcers are battling with automated weapon defense systems. Leozack instructs Drillhorn to seal the entrance shaft, but Drillhorn refuses, because the other Breastforcers haven't returned. Star Saber, Mach and Wing approach the factory from above and are able to enter through the open shaft, getting the drop on the two Decepticons. Mach and Wing seize Drillhorn and slam him into the factory's control console, accidentally triggering the self-destruct system and forcing the two Decepticons to flee. The three Autobots manage to fly out of the base just before it goes up in flames.
Back in Old Tom's field, the money-hungry farmer is showing a group of people the crater, when suddenly a huge geyser of water bursts out of it and sprays high into the sky. The destruction of the Decepticons' base has returned the underground river to its natural flow, and consequently, the crater becomes a huge lake as the river fills it. Tom is dismayed at the end of his tourist business, but as the Autobots make plans to fill the land in for him, he suggests that they hold off, so that he can try his hand at fish farming instead.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Real world references
- This episode features quite a few unusual Japanese cultural references and hand motions that are likely to puzzle (and in some cases, leave slack-jawed) Western viewers.
- When Mach radios Star Saber, the communication ends with Old Tom popping up onscreen and… giving Star Saber the finger. The old coot doesn't mean anything bad by it, however—in Japan, the gesture lacks the offensive connotation it has in the west, and is often used as a silly, random thing in manga and anime. Killbison also does it later in the episode.
- When Killbison attacks Tacklemach, he emits one of those Japanese nonsense-words that is said for emphasis of action (if you're ever watched a fansub, you probably know "sorya" as one). Bizarrely, he transitions from screaming this into screaming "Sōran! Sōran-to!", which are (equally nonsensical) lyrics from a Japanese folk song, "Sōran Bushi." As a final bit of punctuation, he screams one final lyric from the song—"A SEAGULL ON THE OPEN SEA!" That Killbison, he so crazy.
- The final shot of the episode is Old Tom making a hand gesture in which he touches the tips of his thumb and index finger in a circle. In the west, of course, we know this as the symbol for "okay", but in Japanese culture, it means "money", referring to the scheme Tom's just cooked up.
- There was a two-week break between the airing of this episode and the previous one.
- This is the only time in the entire Victory series that any of the Multiforce change their combination pattern. Way to promote the gimmicks of your toys, there!