The Decepticons get a hold of the Nightbird, a deadly ninja she-bot.
Japanese title: "The Shadow of the Nightbird"
The Autobots attend the unveiling of Nightbird, a human-built “female ninja robot,” by invitation from the robot’s creator, Dr. Fujiyama. Predictably, the Decepticons attack and immediately have the upper hand because the Autobots won’t fight in a hall crowded with humans. Starscream and the other Seekers steal the robot, and the other Decepticons take off.
Apologetic for their abject failure to protect the robot, Optimus promises to return it back to Dr. Fujiyama quickly and unharmed.
Meanwhile, inside his masterfully disguised fortress, Megatron has Bombshell reprogram Nightbird and triple her power. When activated, she immediately smacks Starscream. She might be quiet, but she’s perceptive. Megatron, joyous at the result of Bombshell’s tinkering, sends Nightbird on a mission to infiltrate Autobot headquarters and steal the World Energy Chip from Teletraan 1.
Using her ninja skills, Nightbird accomplishes the mission, but she is detected by the Autobots. She bashes Mirage and manages to escape the base. The Autobots pursue to capture Nightbird, but are hampered by the promise they made not to damage her. Prime tries to reason with her, but she drops him like a bad habit and keeps avoiding capture.
Megatron watches all of this remotely and says he’s considering her as Starscream’s replacement. Starscream doesn’t find it funny and attacks Megatron, but he is quickly caged. Megatron turns back to his spying and sees that Nightbird has finally been caught by the Autobots in an energy web.
Megatron orders everyone on a mission to rescue her and the World Energy Chip. They arrive just in time and lock themselves in battle. Meanwhile, Starscream escapes his cage, arrives on the scene and uses his null-ray to put Nightbird out of commision. angered by this , Megatron orders the Decepticons after Starscream and leaves the ninja robot and the chip in Prime’s hands.
The Autobots make good on their promise by returning Nightbird unharmed to Fujiyama, who decides to put her in storage. Despite being neutralized, Nightbird casts a final, angered glare out at the cold, cold, world...
Original airdate: September 30, 1985
Production number: 700-25
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Imagine, Autobots playing nursemaid to an earth robot. It's probably just a glorified wind-up toy."
- –Look who's talking, Wheeljack
Wheeljack: If it walks it probably needs a long extension cord.
Ratchet: Heh heh heh. I wonder if batteries are included. Heh, heh, heh.
Wheeljack: When they turn it on it'll probably blow the lights.
Optimus: We're here to guard the robot, not make jokes at its expense.
- —Wheeljack and Ratchet make (funny) jokes at the robot's expense until Optimus Prime politely tells them to shut up.
"Ah, why build a robot ninja, doctor? Isn't that rather dangerous?"
- —The guy with the white mustache asks what we're all thinking.
"I bring you greetings, Optimus Prime... Lethal greetings!"
- —Megatron. His writers don't get paid enough.
"I love warping minds for you, Megatron, (Cackles) love it."
- —Bombshell, the spokesman for Grand Theft Auto: Decepticon.
"She's not so hot!"
"She's hot enough to replace you whenever I choose!"
- —Starscream and Megatron utter the words that launch a thousand fanfics.
"Yes, you're definitely on my replacement list, Starscream... Hahaha, she's everything I've always wanted!"
"Replace Me? NEVER!"
"Skywarp! Thundercracker! Grab Him! Soundwave! Bombshell! Activate the Cage!"
- —Megatron. Aw, all he wanted was some love, even if it means writing Starscream out of service and putting Nightbird in his place.
Starscream: Looks like I'm just in time. Megatron's new assistant, huh? My Null-Ray will put her out of commission! (Emerges from his hiding spot and fires at Nightbird, immediately disabling her)
Starscream: Hey! Say 'goodnight' to your Nightbird, Megatron! (Laughs as he transforms and flies off)
Megatron: "Decepticons, after him! I want that traitor's steel hide!"
- —Starscream and Megatron, on the finer points of the former saving the day for himself and, unwittingly, the Autobots by giving Megatron's "new assistant" a long rest.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Rumble and Frenzy break into the showroom, Rumble's pile drivers are rectangular prisms instead of cylinders.
- When Nightbird's lightsaber is shot and deactivated, you can still hear the sound effects for about 2 more seconds before they stop.
- Optimus Prime gets shot in the back by Megatron, but his voice sounds like Mirage as he falls over.
- In one scene, Megatron's upper body is not painted.
- Wheeljack makes fun of humanity's attempt at robotics, when his security system being fitted at the beginning of the episode is just a "glorified" metal detector, that reacts to metal, the very thing that the Autobots and the base are made of. It even reacts to his hand, which means that the whole system is pointless.
- At the end of Act Two, Nightbird gets the drop on Prime and raises her sword as if to slice him in half. At the opening of Act Three, however, she's just standing there in front of him, idly spinning the sword around.
- In 3H's Universe comics, Nightbird returned as a savage horde, which forced Daniel Witwicky to kill himself and Wheelie to destroy them.
- The title could be a reference to the film Enter the Dragon. This would not be the last time the film is referenced in a Transformers series.
- When the Autobots are chasing Nightbird up a cliff, Cliffjumper can't jump the cliff. He might need a new name.
- Wheeljack and Ratchet are very mean this episode, considering Wheeljack's normal success rate. (Granted, there are exceptions, but those were collaborative efforts with Ratchet.) Oy vey.
- So the Decepticons go to all the trouble of hiding their base out in some barren rocks, even putting the entrance in behind a boulder so it can't be seen. And then they mark its location with a gigantic stone Decepticon insignia. Brilliant....
- When Nightbird steals Optimus Prime's rifle, Prime exclaims that "A ninja always takes a part of their enemy with them", yet when Dr. Fujiyama unveiled Nightbird he didn't even know what a ninja was let alone what their profession calls for.
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