Transtectors are a type of mecha featured in Transformers: The Headmasters, Transformers: Super-God Masterforce and Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Victory. They are non-sentient Transformer bodies that are controlled by beings smaller than themselves.
Technologies that use Transtectors
The Transtector transforms into a headless but humanoid configuration. A robot smaller than the Transtector or a human wearing an exo-suit, transforms into a head and combines with it. The resulting Transformer will have different attributes (speed, strength and intelligence) depending on who the head is.
A human in an exo-suit transforms into an engine. Combining with the Transtector (in vehicle mode) allows the resulting Transformer to transform out of vehicle mode.
During the wars on Cybertron millions of years ago, many Transformers evacuated the planet to escape the conflict. One ship's worth of refugees, diminutive robots led by Fortress, crash landed on the planet Master, where hazardous environmental conditions caused the deaths of the majority of the group over the years. The need for survival fostered several technological advances, not least of all the invention of larger, stronger bodies named Transtectors, that would allow them to better endure the hardships of Master. Select members of the group underwent rigorous training to advance their physical and mental condition and master the art of transformation, and then connected to these Transtectors as heads, becoming the Headmasters. Some of the Headmasters, led by Scorponok, later rebelled against Fortress's leadership and were exiled from Master, joining up with Galvatron's Decepticons. Scorponok later usurped Galvatron's leadership and arranged for the construction of a gigantic city-sized Transtector for himself, so to combat Fortress's own Battleship Maximus.
In connecting to the Transtectors—with a shout of "Head On!"—the smaller Cybertronians become fully linked to them, to the extent that they are extensions of their own body. They can, however, exchange Transtectors with their fellow Headmasters through a procedure called the "Cross Head On," which allows them to move from Transtector to Transtector for various purposes—be it to exploit the different ability levels of each Transtector for a given situation, to swap and/or combine their personal energy supplies to recharge or supercharge themselves, or, in one instance, for something so mundane as the relay of information across the battlefield. In transforming to vehicle mode, the Headmasters utilise a process known as the "Transform Dash," the precise powers of which are unclear.
The Masterforce System
After the Decepticons were repelled from Earth at the conclusion of Scorponok's campaign, the war continued to rage in space, where the advanced technology from Master formed the backbone of the conflict. Learning of the possibility of Decepticon activity brewing on Earth, but with limited means of getting there themselves, the Autobots yielded a new leap in technology, developing Master-Braces that would allowed human beings to combine with Transtectors. Dispatched to Earth aboard a transport ship, the shipment of Transtectors was intercepted by the Decepticon Pretenders, who stole three of the devices. The remaining Transtectors made it into Autobot hands and were used to create the Headmaster Juniors, while the Decepticons did the same for their side with their stolen ones.
A different, more mysterious breed of Transtector would later come to be involved in the Masterforce war. Constructed in a region of space known as G-Nebula 89, these eight Transtectors—one of which was intended for use by Optimus Prime—originated in the form of featureless black rocks, which gradually soaked up the TenChōkon of the nebula before being stolen by the alien entity Devil Z as part of his plan to create the ultimate super-robot lifeform. The Transtectors were scattered across the planet Earth, where they lay for years, absorbing the planet's ambient ChiChōkon. Devil Z's plan then came to fruition when he came into contact with a couple, Mega & Giga, who merged with the largest 2-piece Transtector, adding a human soul and the power of JinChōkon to it, creating Overlord, a lifeform known as a (Double) Godmaster. They were then charged with creating a "Masterforce," bonding other humans with the scattered Transtectors to create more GodMasters.
Some of the Transtectors retained their form as black rocks, while others took on vehicular forms through unexplained means. The Transtectors that bonded to Hydra and Buster had apparently already taken form as jets when they merged with them; likewise, the one which bonded to Ginrai was already in the form of a truck cab when he encountered it. Ginrai's trailer, however, remained a black rock until he uncovered it at a mountain construction site, as did the Transtectors belonging to Ranger and Lightfoot—while the latter's was actually mined as ore and used to build the car that became Lightfoot's Transtector, Ranger's spontaneously took vehicular form when he bonded with it, but the exact stories behind Road King's and Doubleclouder's are somewhat unknown.
Hydra & Buster were later permanently bonded to their Transtectors as true Transformers by Devil Z, while Wilder, Bullhorn, Clouder, Cancer, and Giga & Mega were all forcibly separated from theirs by the villain, who used his Devil Power to give the Transtectors actual life. The Autobot Transtectors, on the other hand, attained a state of true life through their combination with humanity, which was severed with the destruction of Devil Z, leaving the now-living Transtectors to leave Earth and join the larger war raging in space. A Godmaster's separation from humanity meant that the Transtector was unable to use JinChōkon anymore, and, because of this, was now weaker against more powerful threats, as evident with Ginrai's near-death at Deathsaurus' hands, Ginrai Dies!! while a Masterforce-powered Headmaster's, if they had only JinChōkon, left them with no Chōkon Power at all, and instead gave them rebirth as normal Headmasters.
The Brainmasters make use of technology similar to Transtectors, with characters linking to Transtectors (in this case, forming the face of the larger robot). These bodies are never referred to as Transtectors, however, and the pilots are never shown to operate independently, appearing only to assume their cranial positions during Transform cutscenes.
- Master-Brace - Worn by anyone, specifically humanity, or even by other alien lifeforms, a pair allows a wearer, regardless of who he/she is, to become a Transformer themselves