Terror! The Decepticons' Manhunt is the second episode of Transformers: Super-God Masterforce. It first aired in Japan on April 19, 1988 on Nippon TV.
The Decepticons transform human corpses into undead "Destroids," and then attack the island nation of Karin, where the Autobots must team up with the island's prince, Cab, to save the day.
As thunder and lightning rip through the night sky, a medical university security guard discovers that the door to the morgue is ajar, and when he investigates, flees in terror at the sight of the monstrous Dauros and Gilmer stealing corpses. The bodies are brought back to the Decepticons' undersea headquarters, where Blood channels energy from a mysterious pulsating globe to reanimate the blue-tinged cadavers as a legion of the undead. The Decepticons waste no time in deploying these "Destroids" in an attack on New York, but Lander stands ready to fend the monsters off, and before long, the dead bodies prove unable to contain the energies they have been infused with, and they disintegrate in a flash of light.
At the Space Astronomy Research Center in Japan, Hawk receives a report from Lander on the situation, and he and Professor Gō further discuss the mystery of how the Decepticon Pretenders were freed from the prisons the Autobots sealed them in years ago. Hawk's research has revealed that a mysterious energy phenomenon occurred simultaneously at the prison locations in the pyramids of Egypt, the Nazca Lines of Peru and the ruin of Atlantis, which was surely responsible for liberating the villains. Fearful of the repercussions that the Decepticons' actions may cause, Professor Gō worries that the time may be coming to use them.
After the failure of the first Destroid attack, Blood decides to attempt the transformation of live human beings into the monsters, and dispatches Gilmer and Dauros to the remote Karin Islands to try and conduct their mission away from prying Autobot optics. As luck would have it, Diver happens to be on a ship in the area, and when the Decepticons arrive with Lobclaw Seacons, he alerts Hawk to the situation. Shūta requests that he be allowed to accompany him, and although Hawk refuses at first, his impassioned pleas convince the Autobot leader to permit the boy to go along. As they depart, however, Blood is watching from a hiding place outside the research center, and smiling.
On the Karin Islands, the young jungle-boy prince of the republic, Cab, tends to the wounds of an injured monkey in the jungle when his guardian, Donq, arrives to inform him that he has received a letter of acceptance from the International School of Japan. Cab is not enamoured with the idea of leaving the island, despite Donq's insistence, but the argument is tabled by the arrival of Dauros and the Lobclaws, who surround Cab. Metalhawk's sudden appearance in the skies above distracts the Decepticons long enough for Cab to escape, and the Autobot dispatches the Decepticons, destroying the Lobclaws and forcing Dauros to withdraw. Elsewhere on the island, however, Overbite Seacons gather up live human subjects, as Shūta and Hawk meet up with Diver on the shore. The trio heads to the palace, where Cab immediately recognises them, and runs away in anger when Donq dismisses his claims as an overactive imagination. Hawk instructs Shūta to explain the truth to Cab while he, Diver and Phoenix search for the Decepticons.
Shūta finds Cab on the beach, but he is immediately attacked by the boy, who thinks he is also a robot. Cab's pet armadillo rolls up into a ball and tries to roll into Shūta, but Shūta treats him like a soccer ball and plays keepie-uppie. Cab's complete ignorance of soccer reduces Shūta to fits of laughter, but Cab is soon able to display his own impressive talents, when he translates the cawing of a bird as a message that the Decepticons have been seen on the nearby Isle of the Gods. Despite Shūta's pleas, Cab races off to fight the villains himself, and Shūta informs Metalhawk and Phoenix of the situation.
En route to the Isle of the Gods, Cab is attacked by an Overbite, and although he is brave enough to stand up to it with nothing more than a spear, he is captured by the Seacon and joins the ranks of Dauros and Gilmer's captives. He manages to sneak away, but he is pursued by the Decepticons. He is pulled to safety by the Autobots, and a battle between the two sides ensues, ending with the defeat and retreat of the Decepticons. Having seen the true nature of the Autobots, Cab is supremely jealous that Shūta has them for friends, and decides to attend the International School after all, so that he can stay with Shūta and the Autobots. Just then, however, a distress call comes in from Lander - Blood has attacked Professor Gō's research center in Japan, and the building is ablaze! Lander battles Blood while the professor attempts to escape, but in the middle of the fight, Blood collapses a pillar on the professor, and then takes the distracted Lander out with a strike from behind. By the time that Shūta, Cab and the Autobots make it back, all that is left of the observatory is smoking rubble. Lander is pulled from the wreckage and tells them of Gō's fate, and the Autobots quickly dig out the badly-wounded professor. With his final breaths, the professor realizes that it is indeed time to use "them," and hands Shūta a key as he dies.
Relocating their operations to a new base hidden within a hill, the Autobots, now with Cab as an ally, prepare for the future.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Cab claims to have seen Hawk transform into Metalhawk and attack the Lobclaws, but Hawk was already in Transformer-mode when he arrived, and Cab ran away before he turned back into his human form.
- This episode offers us our first glimpse of the mysterious, pulsating orb of energy in the Decepticon base. Although clearly placed in a position of respectability on a raised platform, and bowed to by the Pretenders, the true nature of this shiny ball will remain a mystery for some time - but since we've had to list it in the character table above, we might as well tell you now that it's the Decepticon emperor, Devil Z. There is, of course, no reason that it was necessary for Blood to channel his power to reanimate the corpses, as he could have done it himself - it seems that this was just done by the writers to keep the character as an enigma.
- Following on from this, although it is never directly referred to again after this episode, when Devil Z's true nature becomes apparent in later episodes it is obvious in retrospect that he was responsible for freeing the Decepticon Pretenders.
- The Destroids (not referred to by name in this episode) derive their name from the Japanese name for the Decepticons, the Destrons. They represent the beginnings of the core plot of Super-God Masterforce - the infusion of human begins with the power of Transformers.
- The "them" that Professor Gō refers to in this episode are the Headmaster Junior Transtectors, as will be revealed in "Birth! Headmaster Jrs."
- It's not stated outright what the key that Professor Gō gives Shūta opens, but evidently, it's for the Autobots' new base. Much later in the series, the base will be explicitly said to have been the work of the professor.