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The Gambler

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The Gambler title shot

"On a warm summer's eve, on a train bound for nowhere..."

On the return journey from Aron's world, the Autobots are captured by a gambling-addicted alien and traded away, leaving Smokescreen and the Autobot bounty hunter Devcon to rescue them.

  • Japanese title: "Monacus, the Planet of Gambling "

Detailed synopsisEdit

Note: This episode follows the events of "Child's Play".

Every gambler knows that the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.

The Autobots are returning to earth after their adventure on Aron's planet, when their "toy rocket" space ship suddenly comes to a halt. They are captured by an alien captain named Bosch. Bosch deactivates them and intends to sell the Autobots as slaves in exchange for energon. However, Smokescreen's tube malfunctions and he remains functional, though temporarily immobilized.

Smokescreen learns that Bosch is a gambler. After demonstrating his ability to manipulate a slot machine, he takes Bosch's proposition to go to Monacus, a gambling asteroid, and win enough energon to repower Bosch's ship in exchange for the freedom of the rest of the Autobots.

Bosch and Smokescreen end up at the "Pit of Destruction" arena of Lord Gyconi, a local swindler, where they use the Autobots as collateral for a very high-interest loan of energon chips. At a casino, Smokescreen builds up quite a stack of winnings and lets it all ride on one last bet. But one of the casino workers breaks his link with a slot machine and he loses everything. Unable to buy back his friends, Smokescreen vows that Gyconi hasn't seen the last of him.


You never count your money when you're sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting when the dealin's done.

Meanwhile, Dirge and Ramjet arrive on the planet in Astrotrain and head towards the city. They are followed by a mysterious blue Autobot.

In a local tavern, Smokescreen meets the mysterious Autobot, who introduces himself as Devcon; he's a bounty hunter searching for Decepticons.


For a taste of your whiskey, I'll give you some advice.

In Gyconi's lair, Ramjet and Dirge shake down the big green frogman for a share of his profits. He invites the two Decepticon planes to stay and watch the upcoming battle in his arena: the Autobots versus the Animalians. Before the show, Gyconi fixes the fight by giving the Autobots unstable energon which will wear off and make them defenseless.

The fight begins as Optimus Prime, under Gyconi's control, takes on an ugly red lizard animalian. At first the Autobot leader holds his own, prompting a lot of patrons to bet on him, but then his power runs out and he's overcome. Inferno is forced into the arena for the next match, but before it starts, Smokescreen fills the place with smoke and forces everyone out. Ramjet and Dirge chase him down, but he's saved by Devcon.


The best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

Gyconi and the Decepticons load up Astrotrain with energon cubes in order to make a getaway, but Smokescreen, Devcon and Bosch confront them. During a fierce firefight, Smokescreen uses his smoke again to confuse the Decepticons. They take off aboard Astrotrain and Devcon chases after them.

The Autobots are returned to normal and Bosch offers to take them back to earth, but only after a quick stop at casino row.


Original airdate: November 11, 1985

Production number: 700-46

Written by: Michael Charles Hill

Junkion jimmy

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Featured charactersEdit

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others

Notable quotesEdit

"Arrrgh! I can't even beat my own machine anymore, and I had it fixed so I could cheat!"

Bosch has a stroke of bad luck.

"The name is Smokescreen, and I never walk when I can drive."


"Ladies and gentlemen! Tonight for the first time anywhere in the galaxies, you will witness the pugilistic spectacle of the millennium!"

Lord Gyconi talks up his gladiator show.

"Now, prepare to meet my friend, Mr. Ionic Displacer."





Animation and/or technical glitchesEdit

  • When Slizardo and Bosch approach Astrotrain, Slizardo's animation cell does not change, resulting in him appearing much smaller than Bosch.
  • When Smokescreen goes back to Gyroni after losing the chips, he is coloured all blue.

Continuity errorsEdit

  • In terms of airdates, this episode is DEFINITELY played out of order, as we've seen several of the characters that are still trying to escape from Aron's planet in "Child's Play" on Earth prior to this one.

Transformers referencesEdit

Real-world referencesEdit

  • Sheol, the name of Lord Gyconi's part of town, is a Hebrew word that means "the grave", and is sometime used as a synonym or euphemism for Hell.

Miscellaneous triviaEdit

  • This is one of the two pre-Movie episodes in which Megatron does not appear, the other being "The God Gambit". Both have Astrotrain and two Seekers in them.


  • It is uncertain how long and what distance the Autobots had travelled since they acquired the toy rocket in "Child's Play", but taking the theoretical time and distance for them to reach Earth and the fact that the Decepticons were already transported there with the knowledge that the Autobots were left behind and unable to use the same transport method twice, it would have been easy for Megatron and rest of the Decepticons to attack (and overrun) the Autobot base when Autobots were still confused.
  • At the end of the episode, Prime and the Autbots decide to hit up the planets casino before returning to Earth. However, Ironhide and the others who saw Prime, Smokescreen, Perceptor, Inferno, Bumblebee and Prime vanish during the events of "Child's Play", still have no idea where they went. It's hard to tell how much time passed, but it's likely enough that many of them thought they may need a new leader. Would have been nice for Prime to try to make contact some how.


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