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The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1

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Megatron's latest addition of troops. He's really going to regret this.

After being beaten by the Autobots once again, Megatron hatches a plan to create a team of Decepticons that will give him supremacy over the roads.


KeyVectorSigma1 Rumble carjack

Rumble makes a good carjacker. Why are we not surprised?

The Autobots are escorting a convoy of tankers which carry a new superfuel which the government has given to the Autobots. Things have been quiet so far, but Optimus Prime is wary. Prowl thinks that the Decepticons are unaware of the superfuel, when they take that moment to attack. Megatron sends the Coneheads to attack, but they are unable to follow them into the tunnels and canyons on the road. Megatron himself decides to destroy the superfuel, but Smokescreen manages to distract him, while Optimus Prime and Prowl drive Megatron off.

Megatron is furious that the Autobots beat them, and decides to rectify the situation. Rumble is sent to steal cars of various models, which Megatron alters with Decepticon technology, such as anti-gravity boosters and automatic force fields. Using a remote control, Megatron tests the cars' abilities. Rumble is amazed with their stunt driving, and Megatron decides that it's a good name. Bringing them about, he has them transform into robot mode, and dubs them the Stunticons.

KeyVectorSigma1 Alpha wall

"I'm not quite dead."

Learning that the Decepticons are making new soldiers, Prime realizes they'll need Cybernetic personalities to truly live, and there is only one way to do that. Omega Supreme takes a group of Autobots to Cybertron, where Megatron is informed by Shockwave that he has located Vector Sigma, the megacomputer that gave the Transformers life. But they will require the circuit key to activate it. The Key is in the possession of Alpha Trion, and the Decepticons head for his lab. After a brief struggle, Soundwave locates the Key and gives it to Megatron.

Arriving on Cybertron, the Autobots hurry to Alpha Trion's lab, only to find a dying Alpha Trion. Ratchet and Hoist are able to save his life, and he explains to Optimus what Megatron intends to do. The Autobots head into the tunnels for Vector Sigma.


We came, we saw, we kicked some ass.

In the tunnels, the Decepticons encounter Centurion droids, which Megatron can control with the Key, and instructs them to attack the Autobots. The Autobots encounter the drones, but are able to lead them after maintenance drones. Heading to Vector Sigma, Megatron activates the super computer, which gives life to the Stunticons: Motormaster, Dead End, Breakdown, Drag Strip, and Wildrider. The Decepticons return to Earth, where Megatron lets them loose.

KeyVectorSigma1 Wildrider fly

This isn't gonna end good.

Meanwhile, the Autobots reach Vector Sigma, learning that it gave the Stunticons life. Optimus plans to use a series of ancient rockets and have them rebuilt as Earth style jets, planning to fight the Decepticons in the air. At a human base, the Stunticons arrive attempting to resteal the superfuel, and the soldiers believe they're being attacked by the Autobots.

To be continued...


Original airdate: November 25, 1985

Production number: 700-55

Written by: David Wise

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans Others


Notable quotes

Vector sigma

The early concept of the disco mirror ball, which the humans stole, millions of years later.

"So much for your security, Prowl."

Smokescreen, as the Decepticons attack

"No, Megatron, you'll have to blow us all up, and frankly, I don't think you have the guts."

Optimus Prime goads Megatron to shoot at the super fuel.

"I knew I'd never make it."

Dirge after crashing into the side of a mountain.

"Annnnd Mueller takes it! What in the world?"
"You mean Rumble takes it!"

Race track announcer and Rumble, who proceeds quite literally to take it

"Incredible! Not even the Autobots can do that kind of stunt driving."
"Stunt driving...yes! Behold—the Stunticons!"

Rumble gives Megatron an inspiration.

"This can't be the way those Deceptigoons came."
"On the contrary, it definitely is."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Because who else would have sent them to kill us?"

Ratchet and Alpha Trion as the Centurion droids approach

"I am Vector Sigma. Before Cybertron was, I was! Who reactivates me?"

Vector Sigma

Megatron: "I am Megatron, your leader. Declare yourselves to me."
Motormaster: "I am Motormaster. I swear loyalty to you!"
Dead End: "I am Dead End. I guess I'll have to do what you say."
Breakdown: "I'm... I'm Breakdown. I'll obey too."
Drag Strip: "I am Drag Strip. I live to obey!"
Wildrider: "I'm Wildrider! And I wanna bust sumpin' up!"

—The Stunticons speak their first words.

"Big and stupid."

Blaster on the Centurion droids who, in their zealousness, ran off a cliff to chase the maintenance robots.


Animation and/or technical glitches

  • In one shot of the Autobots walking through a corridor, Blaster's mouth is jumping up and down independently of his face.
  • In the scene with the coneheads, when Thrust transforms, it's actually Ramjet's animation model with Thrust's deco.
  • As Rumble drives away with what is to become Drag Strip, his visor blinks repeatedly between red and white.
  • When Rumble is stealing what is to become Dead End, the bank robbers get into a car with green helmets, but get thrown out with orange helmets.
  • When the Decepticons are chatting with Shockwave on Cybertron, Rumble's head disappears for a brief moment.
  • When the Stunticons show their insignia, the top middle part has three spikes, instead of the original two.
  • After flying away with smoke on his body, the next scene has Megatron's left arm being white instead of gray.

Continuity errors

  • The central premise of this episode -- that bringing new Transformers to life requires the supercomputer Vector Sigma -- has already been contradicted by the creation of the Dinobots, and possibly the Constructicons as well (though that's a whole can of worms in itself.) Later episodes would likewise contradict it, showing Trypticon and the Technobots being brought to life without Vector Sigma.
  • In earlier episodes, Rumble is about the size of a human. When Rumble steals the vehicles, it seems that he would be about the size of Prowl.

Transformers references

  • Soundwave actually uses that gun on his shoulder while fighting the Centurion drones.

Real-world references

  • References

Miscellaneous trivia

  • Rumble is shown capturing a Tyrrell P34 during a Formula 1 race, the year presumably being 1986. In actuality, the six-wheeler Tyrrell P34 was retired after the 1977 season, and did not appear again on any race circuit until 1999.
  • The tank vehicles seen at the army base are the M.O.B.A.T. and the Armadillo from the G.I. Joe animated series.
  • At the script stage, this episode had the uninspired sub-title "Creation of the Stunticons."
  • The shooting scripts for both installments of this two-parter contain several "deleted scenes" which expand greatly upon some of the more significant events in the story. In this episode:
    • "That blast" mentioned by Prime in the finished episode actually happens.
    • While the other Autobots are busy down in the tunnels, Omega Supreme battles Shockwave on the planet's surface throughout the second act of the episode. Shockwave refers to Omega as his "old enemy," and is on the losing end of the fight until he gets his hands on a "cyberbomb," which he uses to defeat Omega, leaving him very badly damaged. There is a vestigial reference to this battle in Part 2, and further scenes relating to its consequences are removed from that episode, altering the nature of its turning point quite a bit.

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