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Activation codes or access codes are the phrases or digital mechanisms Transformers use to transform or combine.


Beast Wars[]

As part of the Great Upgrade, the Autobots and Decepticons became Maximals and Predacons, installing new equipment such as onboard computers into their bodies. They could handle a variety of functions, including transformation. Each faction used their own code to transform to robot mode. Maximals used "Maximize!" while Predacons used "Terrorize!" (Obviously, they put a great deal of thought into these words.) Beast Wars (Part 1)

However, none of these phrases were used universally, and the "Maximize"/"Terrorize" code was used on rare occasions for transformation from robot mode, so exactly how strictly necessary they are is unclear. On at least one occasion, Tigatron specified a 'stealth mode' transformation where he transformed into robot mode as normal while making significantly less noise than usual, allowing him to transform without being spotted by the nearby Waspinator, Terrorsaur and Blackarachnia, but this was never shown again. A Better Mousetrap

Changing an activation code from "Maximize" to "Terrorize" and back again was relatively easy and could even be done to one Transformer by another under the right circumstances; this was only possible when the Transformer whose code was being changed had their security programs inactive. Beast Wars (Part 2) Maximal, No More Coming of the Fuzors (Part 1)

There is also one instance where Megatron had captured Rhinox and used the Transmuter to change him from Maximal to Predacon against his will, thus changing his personality. This also switched his activation code by default. Dark Designs

After they were converted into Transmetals by the Quantum Surge, Transmetallized Maximals and Predacons could also issue commands to turn into their new semi-vehicle forms, ranging from "Flight Mode" to "Knievel Mode" and "Jets On", although these were also optional and could occasionally be triggered silently.

Beast Machines[]

After the Oracle reformatted Optimus Primal's team into technorganic bodies, their old activation codes stopped working. The Maximals now had to find an "emotional still point" to switch to robot mode. To help them focus, they used the phrase "I Am Transformed" to represent them reaching their emotional focus, but this was not strictly an activation code. The Reformatting The "I Am Transformed" phrase was used for the first season of Beast Machines, but was dropped for the second season as the Maximals were now able to transform without a vocal trigger.

The Vehicons did not have activation codes. The initial Vehicon generals each had a unique code:

These codes were often used to transform to vehicle mode or robot mode, and sometimes (particularly for Tankor) as verbal tics.

The later Vehicon generals Obsidian and Strika used "obliterate" and "terminate" as the entirety of their vocabulary when they were initially pretending to be 7 bits short of a byte, but did not particularly use those words during transformation and essentially dropped them when the ruse was over.

Japanese activation codes[]

  • Most of the Japanese Transformer franchises have had characters shouting "Transform!" (starting from the Japanese Beast Wars dub with "Henshin" or "Transform!" There are also special phrases such as "Pretender!" for the Pretenders to attain their true forms and "Suit On!" for them to transform from their disguises, "Head On!" for the Headmasters, "Masterforce!" by Godmaster Warriors and Headmaster Juniors, "God On!" for Godmaster Warriors, and "Brain Set!" for Brainmasters. Autobot Headmasters would call "Transform Dash!" to transform from robot mode. Headmasters could also announce "Cross Head On!" to exchange Transtectors with each other.
  • Hydra & Buster would announce "Wing Cross!" to transform into Darkwings.
  • Ginrai once announced "Henshin!" in an attempt to attain his Masterforce armor, but this did not work as Ginrai needed the phrase "Masterforce!" to assume the armor.
    • Ginrai could announce "Double On!" to transform into Super Ginrai.
    • From there, he could announce "Chojin Gattai!" to combine with Godbomber and transform into God Ginrai.
  • Sixshot and Sixknight had specific phrases to assume a specific form they wished to attain
    • Sixshot would use "Final Transform!" for his Winged Wolf mode. Ultra Magnus Dies!!
    • Sixknight used a set of specific phrases:
      • "Shot 1!": Fighter jet
      • "Shot 2!": Drill tank
      • "Shot 3!": Aquatic vehicle
      • "Shot 4!": Weapon
      • "Shot 5!": Wildcat
      • "Shot 6!"/"Transform!": Robot
  • In the Japanese Beast Wars fiction, as well as Car Robots, Transformers have different activation codes depending on whether they turn into vehicles or animals. Those that transform into animals shout "Henshin!" (Japanese for "transform") while those who turn into vehicles scream "Transform!" in English.
  • Although he regularly declared "Optimus Prime, Super Mode!" before the appropriate transformation, it may or may not have been a necessary activation code. Optimus Prime once said that it was merely a way to get psyched up.
  • For Transformers who used Powerlinxing, the first character announces their name, while the second follows suit, during both of which they would transform into their respective role of the combination. And then, when linking up, they would announce "Powerlink!" in chorus. On one occasion, by error of the English dub, Ironhide and Jetfire announced "Superlink!", the Japanese equivalent term to Powerlinx.
  • In the case of the combiners for Energon, they would announce "Transform!" to begin combination straight from vehicle mode, and "Powerlink!" to link up, before announcing "Maximus!" Distribution


Cybertron Intelligence agent Arcee was entrusted with the codes for Project Omega that would allow the Autobots to activate Omega Supreme, first of the Omega Sentinels. When the codes were thought lost during an encounter with Lockdown which saw Arcee's memory core wiped clean by Ratchet's stolen electromagnetic pulse generator, Ratchet performed open-processor surgery to try and recover them, only to receive them himself through a failsafe.

When Megatron sought to control a few clones of Omega Supreme, he had Shockwave extract them from her processor where they ended up being transferred into Lugnut, who used them to bring the new Lugnut Supremes online. Unfortunately, the codes had been missing a crucial security upgrade data patch, requiring Lugnut to be wired into Omega Supreme to control the clones. A restored Arcee later used the codes to reboot Omega entirely.

On one occasion, Soundwave announced "Soundwave, transform!" to change into his new vehicle mode.

On another occasion, the Jettwins had a phrase that was used to combine into Safeguard:

—Jetstorm: "It's time to..."
—Jetstorm/Jetfire: "Double up!"

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