Operation: Destroy the Decepticons is the thirty-first episode of Transformers: The Headmasters. It first aired in Japan on March 11, 1988 on Nippon TV.
As Raiden and Defensor repair the damage to Battleship Maximus caused by Weirdwolf's bombs, Fortress and the Autobots discuss strategies while Daniel and Wheelie take out their frustrations on video games. Fortress fears that Scorponok is going to make a fresh attempt at blowing up the Earth for its plasma energy, and the Targetmasters advocate a divide and conquer tactic, separating the Decepticons and luring them into space to pick them off, thereby isolating Scorponok. Chromedome opposes the plan, fearing that the expanse of space is too vast a battleground, and the chance of the enemy escaping is too great. The Targetmasters dismiss his reservations and depart on a scouting mission; Chromedome is not best pleased about this, nor about the fact that Fortress also agrees with their plan because of the low risk to planet Master itself.
A short time later, Chromedome leads his fellow Headmasters on a winding path through a mountainous region - his three companions all agree that the Targetmasters shouldn't be allowed to boss them around, and Chromedome is leading them to the staging ground of a plan of his own. The team arrives at an abandoned mine, which, it is revealed, is being used as a staging base by a group of young warriors-in-training to organize a strike against the Decepticons. They are greeted by the leader, Kirk, and begin planning a strategy with him.
Meanwhile, Soundblaster, his cassettes and the Decepticon Targetmaster partners are patrolling the area around the Decepticons' new base of operations, hidden within a mountain. They spot the approaching Autobot Targetmasters and alert the base - Sixshot and the Decepticon Headmasters and Targetmasters attack the three Autobots en masse, and succeeding surrounding them.
Back at the mine, Chromedome presents his strategy to an uneasy Highbrow - to lure the Decepticons into the confines of a cloudy mountain range nearby, thereby trapping them and leaving them open to attack. Just then, Hardhead and Brainstorm enter with a report from an aerial scout craft, revealing the Autobot Targetmasters' predicament. The location of this conflict allows the Chromedome to deduce the location of the Decepticon base and put the final touches to his plan, although he is left to wonder where on the map the Decepticons will make their appearance when they exit their base. At the same moment, that same scout craft distracts the attention of the Decepticon Headmasters, giving the Targetmasters the opening they need to break through the enemy barrage and escape. Returning to Battleship Maximus, they come across a battery of guns manned by young Master warriors, and suspect Chromedome's hand in their mobilization.
Back at the Decepticon base, Soundblaster reports his discovery of the alliance of the Autobot Headmasters and the Master warriors, just Scorponok announces his plan to strike at the centre of the nearby city. Just as the Targetmasters report their discovery to Fortress, prompting him to telepathically contact Chromedome to determine the truth of the matter, the Decepticons make their move - Scorponok emerges from beneath the city itself, appearing in its very heart, throwing everything into chaos as the Autobots and Master warriors are caught off-guard by this unexpected tactic. As the Targetmasters gun down civilians, the two groups of Headmasters meet in battle, which tips in favor of the Autobots when Mindwipe accidentally afflicts Skullcruncher with his hypnosis. Just then, a fleet of ships piloted by the Master warriors appear in the sky and bombard Scorponok and the Decepticons with firepower - even the multiplying powers of Sixshot are no match for the combined might of the warriors and Headmasters, and Scorponok is unable to spare the energy to transform to robot mode.
Battleship Maximus, meanwhile, is approaching the city, and arrives just as the warriors manage to successfully force the Decepticons into the midst of the cloudy mountain peaks. However, Chromedome has failed to account for one major flaw in his plan, which the Decepticons immediately exploit - by using the clouds to conceal themselves! Striking from hidden positions beneath the clouds, the Decepticons down the vast majority of the ships, including Kirk's, and Fortress convinces Chromedome to call retreat. Scorponok orders the Decepticons to pull out and make for Earth, but Fortress has other plans - transforming to Fortress Maximus, he bars their way. But this is the chance Scorponok has been waiting for, as he too assumes his robot mode, and Master Sword meets Zarak Shield in a mighty clash... and the Zarak Shield emerges triumphant!
With Fortress Maximus downed and the Decepticons on their way to Earth, Chromedome moves to follow them, but Pointblank stops him and forces him to realize the damage and loss of life his strategy has caused. Kirk stumbles from the wreckage of his craft, and Chromedome apologises for putting his life in danger; Kirk says that he is equally to blame, as he was well aware of what he was getting himself into. The two friends shake hands, and soon after, Battleship Maximus heads back into space, hot on the trail of the Decepticons.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Throughout this episode, several robots appear based on the animation models of the Headmaster Warriors. The only referred to by name is Kirk, but his color scheme is nothing like his actual toy, leaving it unclear whether or not any of the generic, unnamed robots are intended to be the actual characters, afflicted with a similar case of color-blindness. See the characters' own articles for details.
- Battleship Maximus was damaged in the previous episode.
- Scorponok has been working on the Zarak Shield since "The Master Sword Is in Danger!!".
- Daniel is using his video game light gun (originally introduced in "Find MegaZarak's Weak Spot!!") again in this episode - it's back to just being a toy now, after being upgraded into a real pistol by Highbrow in "The Master Sword is in Danger!!"
- Skullcruncher has previously been accidentally hypnotised by Mindwipe in both "Four Warriors Come Out Of The Sky" and "Explosion on Mars!! Maximus Is in Danger."
- Arise! Headmaster of Anger plays once more as Fortress Maximus and Scorponok battle. This time, however, the Malaysian dub does not cut the song out.
- Fortress, in his giant head alt mode, is totally seen using a giant-sized version of Professor X's Cerebro to communicate with Chromedome telepathically.