Ten years after the defeat of Unicron, a new threat arises...
- Japanese title: 浮上! オーシャンシティ (Fujō! Ōshan Shiti, "Surface! Ocean City")
Deep within the shattered remains of the giant Transformer Unicron, Alpha Q—one of Unicron's many victims—is resurrected, to gather energon to revive Unicron. Alpha Q releases a horde of energon-eating Terrorcons, which will scavenge Earth's abundant supplies of the power source.
As a huge city and bridge rise and unfold from one of Earth's oceans, Demolishor narrates: it has been ten years since Megatron and Unicron disappeared in the depths of space. He and the other surviving Decepticons have had to suffer through working with the Autobots and humans in search of energon, and he's not happy about it.
The city has surfaced so that the human known as Kicker can go out on his motorbike and get some fresh air, much to Demolishor's consternation. Hot Shot shows up too, and berates Demolishor for neglecting his work before running off in pursuit of the wayward Kicker. Kicker's tired of being cooped up in the submerged city and taking orders from 'bots. Suddenly, his hair flashes golden.
Below the waves, the Omnicons are hard at work mining; they suddenly hit a golden glowing seam.
On Cybertron, Rad pays a visit to Earth's Extraterrestrial Research and Development Center, where he communicates briefly with Sally. Rad tells Kicker's father, Dr. Jones, that the Omnicons have hit a big vein of energon right where Dr. Jones predicted. Energon is a clean energy source, needed to get Earth through an energy crisis, as well as the Transformers' requirements for the repair of Cybertron.
On an asteroid colony, two 'bots give the stoic Tidal Wave a hard time about his terminal silence. Suddenly, a barrage of lights from the depths of space pound the colony, as the Terrorcon drones attack.
In a training arena, Ironhide spars with Optimus Prime, and is ready to go again despite getting put down. Optimus comments that the young 'bot reminds him a lot of Hot Shot, which Ironhide regards as about the best compliment ever.
Rad and Dr. Jones report the attack to Optimus, telling him that their Mars depot is under attack, as reported by Carlos. Prime speaks with a great glowing light about the strange development. Prime rounds up Jetfire and Inferno to check out the situation, and Ironhide insists on coming too. Rad activates a space bridge gate, and the four Autobots roll out.
Arriving on Mars, the four find the smoking ruins of the planet's Cybertron city. The team detects no life, even though there were many Transformers working there. They quickly head to Earth.
At Ocean City, Sally and her mom observe the Omnicons' energon research, and squabble with Kicker. Kicker recalls arriving on planet Cybertron as a very young boy with his father, and meeting the gargantuan and rather terrifying Autobots. Present-day Kicker grumbles that he doesn't need any Transformers to protect him.
Carlos reports that the Mars base was destroyed by asteroids. Kicker urgently tells Hot Shot that they're under attack, and he must submerge the city. He and Hot Shot race outside.
- Optimus Prime searches for young Kicker, who, driven by his robot hatred, has run away and hidden in a restricted zone. Falling into a void, Kicker is snared by a glowing light. The voice of Primus speaks, wondering what energy source powers humans.
And thus began Kicker's strange powers.
Hot Shot and Kicker observe as a huge swarm of Terrorcons appear in the sky, opening fire. Hot Shot returns fire. Demolishor soon finds himself against a pile of the creatures. The timely arrival of Optimus's crew saves Kicker from another group. Prime unleashes his "Prime Force" drones, then gives Hot Shot a "spark of combination", allowing him to merge with Inferno. Prime merges with his drones, and blows away ton of the drones.
Kicker leaps aboard Ironhide and makes good use of his cannon, but ultimately has to be saved by Prime, who grants him a suit from his father to protect him. Kicker is furious—this is his planet and nobody can tell him what to do!
Alpha Q observes that the first attack was a failure, but there are many hands yet to be played.
Original airdate: January 9, 2004 (Japan); January 31, 2004 (North America)
Written by: ???
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"You're not the boss of me, Hot Shot!"
- —Demolishor apparently liked taking orders from his last boss more.
"She said our Earth station has detected molecular activity at the precise coordinates where you suspected energon to be."
- —Rad begins the grand Energon tradition of things making no sense at all.
"Is that energon?"
"Yes. It's the energy source that all life forms need to survive, Sally."
"I'm not sure I get it, Mom."
- —Sally and Mrs. Jones, who doesn't know much about biology
"Kicker! Don't be an idiot!"
- —Hot Shot is a real optimist
"They're after our energon! Come on, we gotta go reach the city!"
- -Kicker, before riding in the opposite direction.
Lost in Translation
- There are two distinct English-language dubs of this episode—a version broadcast on television, which is a straight dub of the Japanese edition of the episode, and the substantially-altered version released on DVD. In addition to a heavily re-written script, the DVD version re-orders several scenes, chief among them the opening sequence with Alpha Q and Kicker's flashbacks, and inserts a new opening monologue from Optimus Prime, along with clips from Armada.
- The prolonged sequence of Ocean City rising up from beneath the waves differs across the various editions of this episode. The original Japanese version features only music and sound effects. The English TV-broadcast version features a monologue from Demolishor touching upon the events of the last ten years, to cement the series as a continuation of Armada. The English DVD version replaces this monologue with an argument between Kicker and Misha about raising the city. Misha does not actually appear in the episode, though, and shouldn't actually be in Ocean City anyway.
- In the opening sequence of this episode, Alpha Q states that Unicron has brought him back on-line, in order to stop Unicron from going offline—a claim that is totally at odds with what we will learn of the character and his history as the series progresses. As an error, it's entirely confined to the English dub, but unlike the multitude of errors that would come to populate the dub, this one was not a product of stupidity, but instead, a very deliberately inserted line. This "minion of Unicron" role was Hasbro's intention for the character, and it's how he is portrayed in the Dreamwave comic, but the Japanese production staff wound up creating an entirely different story for the character that contradicted it. To get things back in order, the line was deleted from the DVD release of the dubbed episode.
- Curiously, the DVD version of this episode removed the cameos of young Alexis, Carlos and Rad departing the Autobot starship Axalon from Kicker's flashback sequence, instead jumping straight to Dr. Jones and Kicker leaving the vessel.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- In the version broadcast on television, there is an audio synch mistake when Rad and Dr. Jones watch Prime's Autobots depart for Mars; their dialogue begins too soon, cringingly causing their lip movements to lag behind it. Surprisingly, this was fixed for the DVD release.
- During the attack on Ocean City, Sally wonders where her brother is, and her mother adds "Where's Kicker?" in Sally's voice. Oops. This was not fixed for the DVD release.
- Optimus Prime is somehow able to identify the Terrorcons by name, before he has any way to know what they are. Again, this line was not in the original Japanese version, and was removed for the DVD release of the show.
- The corpse of Galvatron is briefly seen in the opening scene, when the camera is moving through Unicron's body.
- Compared to later episodes, this one is astonishingly well-animated and acted.
- Kicker is seriously annoying.
- Primus sounds creepily like the late Megatron.
- In the begining of the episode Optimus Prime states that it has been twenty years since the Mini-Con wars. It actually has been ten years since the Mini-Con wars.