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Sherman Dam is the largest dam in the Western hemisphere. Its hydroelectric power plant has a capacity of one million, seven hundred fifty thousand kilowatts. Mmmmm, power...
Said power plant has ceilings and platforms built perfectly for robots the size of cars. How convenient!
Generation One cartoon continuity
Shortly after the Decepticon arrival on Earth, Megatron led his troops to Sherman Dam in an attempt to gather energy. He easily captured the facility from its human operators and sent Rumble to create more energy for the dam's generators by using his pile drivers to make a tidal wave. The other Decepticons then made energon cubes from the energy before the waves began to tear the dam apart. As the water from the "tidal wave" overtopped the dam, the Autobots scrambled about evacuating townspeople downstream and creating diversionary channels to reduce the flooding. Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots attempted to stop the Decepticons from escaping with their energy haul, but were defeated. The Decepticons fled, though the weakened dam never burst.
Kiss Players Position manga
Marvel Comics continuity
(Events in italics occurred in UK-only stories.)
As they made their way to the Ark, Ratchet described the battle at "Boulder Dam" to the Dinobots as a way to illustrate the difficulties the Autobots had in relaying their peaceful intentions to the humans. In Ratchet's version of events, the humans whose houses had just been saved were still angry at the giant robots who'd caused all the trouble in the first place.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Seen again via flashforward.
Robots in Disguise cartoon
Sherman Dam was wired to blow with multiple pulsar bombs planted by Scourge and his Decepticons to scare the humans into surrendering. However, the plan failed because Sky-Byte attempted to gain credit by taking control of the bombs, only to be stopped at the last minute by Optimus Prime, who caused the detonator trigger to fall into the water. Megatron, angered about looking like an idiot to the humans, then ordered his soldiers to destroy the dam by any means. Mega-Octane blasted the main bomb, opening a hole in the dam and causing a power outage. The Decepticons were then driven off by the Autobots, the dam was repaired and the power was restored.
- The dam battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime is probably their second-most famous animated confrontation, aside from their final battle in the movie. Although not especially well animated or impressively choreographed in any way, the unusual location and unique weaponry (that was never used again) seems to have made the fight stand out in fans' minds. Notably, clips from the dam battle were included in the longer opening sequence used for the first two seasons of the cartoon when it aired in Japan. Perhaps it was this showcasing of the fight that contributed to its memorability and familiarity, at least in Japan—enough for Takara to render the axe and flail as toys for the first time in their PVC figure series and as new accessories for reissues of the original Prime and Megatron toys.
- "Boulder Dam", the alternate name for the Sherman Dam in the Marvel Comics continuity, is actually the pre-1947 name of the real-life Hoover Dam, which also appears in Transformers from time to time.
- A battle at Sherman Dam involving a fight between Megatron and Optimus Prime using their respective flail and axe weapons found some way to happen in three of the four major Generation One continuities, and even the movie got a flail, a blade and a dam, although not quite added together in the same way. In other words, IDW, we're waiting.
- There is a real life dam of the same name at Sherman Reservoir in Nebraska, which is used to store off-season water flows for release during the irrigation season. It's possible this is where the name came from.
- Yes. That is a lot of power.