Activation codes are the phrases Transformers say to transform from one form to another or combine.


Beast Wars

As part of the Great Upgrade, the Autobots and Decepticons became Maximals and Predacons and installed onboard computers into their bodies. These computers could handle a variety of functions, including transformation. Each faction used its own code to transform from beast mode to robot mode. Maximals used "{Name}: Maximize!" (e.g., "Cheetor: Maximize!"), while Predacons used "{Name}: Terrorize!" (e.g., "Waspinator: Terrorize!") (Obviously, they put a great deal of thought into these words.) Beast Wars (Part 1)

On occasion, when two characters of the same faction or groups were transforming all at once, the variations "Maximals: Maximize!" and "Predacons: Terrorize!" were used. For the transformation from robot to beast, Beast Era transformers sometimes used the phrase "Beast Mode!" 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 and therefore he was immune to detection, 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 (Although this was only possible when the Transformer whose code was being changed had their security programs inactive, such as when Silverbolt and Quickstrike's security systems were deactivated due to damage sustained to their stasis pods). 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 a reprogramming ray to change him from Maximal to Predacon against his own will, and thus also change his personality. This forced change also switched his activation code by default. Dark Designs

After they were converted into Transmetal form by the Quantum Surge, Transmetalised Maximals and Predacons could also issue commands to turn into their new 'vehicle' forms, ranging from 'Flight Mode' (Optimus Primal) to 'Kinevil Mode' (Rattrap) and 'Jets: Maximum- (Crashes his head on the ground)' (Cheetor), 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.

Vehicon drones did not have activation codes. The initial Vehicon Generals each had a unique code:

These codes were sometimes used to transform to vehicle mode, sometimes to transform to robot mode, and sometimes (particularly for Tankor) as just verbal tics, unaccompanied by transformation.

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 Generation One Transformer franchises have had Transformers shouting "{Robotname}: transform!" (starting from the Japanese Beast Wars dub with the word Henshin (Transform)) or just "Transform!" when they 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 civilian disguises, "Head On!" for the Headmasters, "Masterforce!", sharred by both Godmasters and Headmaster Jrs and "God On!" for the Godmasters, and "Brain Set!" for Brainmasters. Headmasters (the Autobot ones only) 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, on one occasion, announced "Henshin!" in an attempt to attain his Masterforce armor, but this did not work, as Ginrai needed the correct phrase, "Masterforce!" to assume the armor.
    • Ginrai could announce "Double On!" to transform into Super Ginrai.
    • From there, he could announce "Chojin Gattai!" (Super-God Combination) to transform into God Ginrai by combining with Godbomber.
  • Sixshot and Sixknight both had specific phrases to assume a specific form they wished to attain
    • Sixshot would use "Final Transform!" to transform into his "Wing Wolf" form. Ultra Magnus Dies!!
    • Sixknight used a set of specific phrases, as follows:
      • "Shot 1!": Cybertronian fighter jet
      • "Shot 2!": Drill tank
      • "Shot 3!": Submarine/speedboat
      • "Shot 4!": Weapon
      • "Shot 5!": Puma/panther
      • "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 use Powerlinx, 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 "{Robotname} Maximus!" Distribution
Movie Blackout Scorponok eject1

PRIMUS!! Oh wait, wrong continuity.

2007 Movie

  • There are a few instances where Megatron says his own name before and/or after transforming. Whether this is an activation code or not is unclear. But it seems very unlikely, given how the first time, he was simply announcing his name to the insects that kept him prisoner and the second time he appeared to be speaking in Cybertronian (and he was already fully transformed at both times).
  • Scorponok utters a primal scream (no, not that one) as he jumps out of Blackout in the beginning scene. This may or may not be a possible activation code, since it isn't actually a word, but... um...


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

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