Robots in Disguise cartoon
The O-Parts were sent to Earth at the same unidentified time as Fortress Maximus. While the dormant fortress was buried beneath the surface of the Earth, the keys to his reactivation were scattered all across the Earth. The seven O-Parts and the other items necessary for the process were sealed away – although it was never explained who did this, they would eventually be found within atypical ancient monuments such as statues and pyramids, suggesting that the ancient civilisations of Earth may have had a hand in hiding them.
In the course of his work, archaeologist Doctor Onishi happened upon the trail that led to Fortress Maximus, and mapped the locations of the O-Parts. When Predacon leader Megatron came to Earth seeking to acquire Fortress Maximus’s power for his own, he kidnapped Onishi, and used the psycho-probe to wrench from his mind the secrets of the O-Parts.
Information from Onishi’s mind led the Predacons to the Cave of the Dragon in China, where a movie was being filmed at the time. The special effects employed had convinced the Predacons that some form of super robot was active in the area – a belief that the Autobots used to send them into retreat by posing as that same robot. After the battle, as the Autobots surveyed the statues that lined the cave, a slight seismic disturbance jarred one of the figures loose, and the jewel imbedded in its forehead was dislodged. Picking up the "gem," Optimus Prime recognised it as one of the O-Parts.
Some time later, when Sky-Byte attempted to ransom a tower of human hostages to the Autobots in exchange for the O-Parts, Optimus Prime indicated that they had more than one in their possession. Although the Autobots were never shown acquiring this second O-Part, Prime had previously indicated that Montrose Island was somehow involved in the O-Parts mystery, perhaps suggesting that it had been found on the island after the Transformers’ recent battle there.
Later still, after the dormant form of Fortress Maximus was discovered beneath Metro City, Sky-Byte’s attempts to learn more caused Doctor Onishi to be set free. Reunited with his son, Koji, who had become an ally of the Autobots, Onishi was able to resolve the O-Parts situation very quickly, giving the Autobots scanners that would allow them to track down the remaining five. The Autobots made a game out of it, with the Autobot Brothers competing against the Build Team to see who could acquire the most, but the Predacons and Decepticons soon got involved as well, with Scourge using his special ability to personally detect the O-Parts, and Sky-Byte using dummy parts to fool everyone. Eventually, the Build Team came out on top, at which point Megatron himself attacked, only for Sky-Byte’s fake parts to become mixed up with the real ones, causing enough confusion that Omega Prime was able to see the villains off. At last, all seven O-Parts were in the Autobots’ possession.
When brought together, the O-Parts generated a holographic globe of Earth, with each of the continents represented by one of the parts. T-AI merged with the globe to scan its data, and discovered that it led the way to the Orb of Sigma, the next link in the chain to awaken Fortress Maximus. Unfortunately, T-AI became trapped within the globe, and the Autobots headed to the Sahara Desert and unearth the Orb of Sigma from the subterranean pyramid it lay within, in hopes that bringing the two spheres together would free T-AI. In fact, the O-Parts merged with the Orb of Sigma, putting T-AI’s continued existence in danger, particularly since the Predacons and Decepticons then arrived to steal the orb. Megatron almost got his hands on it before Side Burn snatched it away, leaving Megatron to be trapped in the collapsed remains of the pyramid. The orb was reconnected with the Autobot base computer, liberating T-AI, while the energies that had been released within the pyramid by its formation transformed Megatron into Galvatron.
The unified Orb of Sigma was itself another map, pinpointing the location of Cerebros, the Headmaster component of Fortress Maximus and the key to reawakening the sleeping giant. The Autobots freed Cerebros from his resting place within a statue inside some ancient ruins, and Fortress Maximus was reactivated. The O-Parts… uh, got tossed into a closet, or something, because they never appeared again.
- The O-Parts derive their name from the real-world archaeological term, OOPArt, an acronym for "Out Of Place Artifact," used to describe just that - archaeological artifacts found in unusual locations, which sums up RiD's O-Parts to a tee.
- The story of the O-Parts was thoroughly skewed by RiD's disrupted airing schedule in the US. Although the first O-Part appeared in The Ultimate Robot Warrior, they were not referred to again until their name was revealed and they played a key role in Sky-Byte Saves the Day... which was not shown in the US (due to post-9/11 sensitivity, what with the collapsing tower and all in the episode), leaving quite the hole. With the absence of this episode, US viewers were suddenly dropped into the O-Parts story with little build-up, and no real explanation. In what would appear to have been some attempt at explaining that the object from The Ultimate Robot Warrior was an O-Part, the scene from that episode featured in the clip show Hope for the Future (which was itself shown much later than it chronologically falls, airing right in the midst of the O-Parts story), was re-dubbed with completely different dialogue that had the object identified as an O-Part on the spot.