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The first stasis pod of the series to contain a Protoform falls in the Northern Sector of the planet and it is now a Maximal-Predacon race against time to obtain and bring it to life.
- Japanese title: 孤独 な 戦士 タイガトロン (Kodoku na Senshi: Tigatron "The Solitary Warrior: Tigatron")
SummaryA field of debris circles the planet. Among the waste, a Stasis pod falls from orbit and enters the atmosphere. Both the Maximals and Predacons watch as it falls into the distant icy Northern Sector. Rather than immediately going for it themselves, Megatron decides to ambush the Maximals' only flier (Optimus Primal) as he goes for the pod.
At the Maximal base, Primal is anxious to retrieve the pod containing a fellow Maximal and falls for Waspinator and Terrorsaur's trap despite Dinobot's attempts to protect the Maximal leader. However, Dinobot is able to prevent the Predacons from taking Primal out of commission.
Back at the Predacon base, Megatron is disappointed to learn that Optimus Primal has survived, but realizes that the Maximals must now send a ground party to retrieve the stasis pod. This will leave the Maximal base undermanned and vulnerable to attack. Megatron dispatches his fliers (Waspinator and Terrorsaur) to race to the pod, while he, Tarantulas, and Scorponok go to attack the Maximal base with plans to either destroy or take it for themselves.
Meanwhile, Rattrap, Rhinox, and Cheetor run towards the pod. As they go, they remark that while leaving the base with the damaged Optimus Primal and Dinobot may not have been the best idea, it was their only option. Rhinox goes on to say that they need to hurry because, if the pod is damaged, the Protoform with-in is exposed to the planet's dangerous Energon fields - indeed, this seems to be the case when the stasis pod is shown opening, as the protoform's arm reaches from the pod and immediately begins to short out due to the high levels of energon present.
As they come to an ice bridge across a crevasse, the Maximals are met by Waspinator and Terrorsaur. After a fire fight, the Predacons knock out the bridge and the Maximals' best hope of getting to the pod quickly.Rattrap radios back to the base and informs Dinobot of this development. He accesses Optimus Primal's core consciousness in the CR chamber and informs him. Primal suggests that they send a laser transmission to the pod by bouncing the signal off of something.
Outside of the Maximal base, Megatron and the other Predacons observe Dinobot setting up a laser transmitter on top of the base. Megatron offers Dinobot a chance to return to the Predacons by handing over the base. Dinobot responds by shooting Megatron with his eye lasers and is then promptly subjected to that same fate by Tarantulas and Scorponok. Although damaged, Dinobot is able to activate the base's auto-weapons which quickly dispatch the Predacons. Megatron then calls off the assault to join the pursuit of the pod.
With the transmitter in place, Optimus is able to bounce a laser off of one of the planet's moons and to the stasis pod. Both the Maximals, the Predacon fliers, and a nearby tiger witness this development. The pod's DNA scanner is shown coming online and scanning its surroundings.
His regeneration now complete, Optimus Primal puts Dinobot in the CR chamber and begins his own flight towards the pod.Meanwhile, back in the Northern Sector, the Maximal group arrives at the pod to find Waspinator and Terrorsaur struggling to open it. The Maximals warn the Predacons to stop, but soon Megatron arrives and threatens to kill two white tigers if the Maximals do not surrender both themselves and the pod over to them. They accept, knowing that there is no other choice if they want to keep the white tigers safe, but when Megatron opens the pod to reprogram its Protoform, the pod is empty - it turns out that one of the white tigers is the new Maximal Tigatron! As he and Optimus join the fight the Predacons soon realize that they are out-gunned and quickly retreat.
Primal welcomes Tigatron to the team and thanks him for his help. Tigatron tells his fellow Maximals that his identity circuits were damaged in the pod's landing and that he was not sure who he was until he saw that the Maximals were willing to risk their lives to save the tigers. He goes on to decline Optimus Primal's invitation to go back to the base with them, stating that he needs to stay in the wild since he is still more tiger than Maximal. Still, he promises his loyalty to the Maximals as a scout.
The Maximals head back to their base and leave Tigatron with the second white tiger.
Dinobot: Fear not, Optimus. I shall ensure that your funeral is a glorius one, as befits a warrior who died in battle.
(Optimus regains consciusness)
Optimus: I'm afraid I have to miss it, Dinobot. I'm not scrap yet.
Dinobot: Hrmm, are you certain? It would be a triumphant passage.
- —Dinobot may already have planned Optimus' funeral, but is (again) disappointed.
"That... was some cold slag."
- —Rhinox upon witnessing the bridge's destruction.
Megatron: WHAT?!? It's empty... Where is the Maximal?!
Protoform: Right here...
(Megatron whirls around to the Protoform, which has just come online and is now in Beast Mode)
Protoform: Tigatron - MAXIMIZE!!
(Tigatron fires at Megatron)
- —Tigatron is born...
"Let the trails lead where they may - I will follow."
- —Tigatron's personal mantra.
Writers: Bob Forward
Original Air Date: September 30, 1996
- This episode introduces Tigatron.
- Originally, the character to be introduced in this episode was Wolfang, but Tigatron was chosen as his animation model was the same as Cheetor's and saved the studio time and money.
- After Optimus is shot down, his right shoulder pad is upside down.
- As Waspinator and Terrorsaur are about to destroy the bridge, Waspinator is missing the stripes on his abdomen.
- When Cheetor lowers his gun in surrender, it slides right through his leg.
- When Scorponok shoots Dinobot off of the Axalon roof, he like, he had his scorpion-legs for nipples - how do they even make that mistake?
- Megatron gets to the pod really quickly, despite the other Transformers taking nearly the entire episode to get there. Perhaps he should've just saved himself the trouble and just gone after the pod himself?
- In all other episodes Primal refers to his jets as "Prime Jets", though just before the Predacons' attack, he calls them "Primal Jets".