Hot Shot is the quintessential young hero. He's been around long enough to earn a name for himself and a place in Optimus Prime's entourage, but he's still too young to know when he's in over his head. In other words, he's blunt, overconfident, and naïve, yet brave, honorable, loyal to his friends, and willing to risk his life to stop the Decepticons and help the Autobots. With time and experience, Prime believes, he could make an excellent leader, and Prime has appointed him to his command structure accordingly. Hot Shot's got the goods, but he just needs to pay attention for more than five seconds. Until that day, Hot Shot's likely response to most anything is, "Yeah yeah, like, whatever."
- Japanese name (Micron Legend): Hot Rod
- Japanese name (Galaxy Force): Exillion (戦士エクシリオン Senshi ("Warrior") Ekushilion?), later upgraded to Exigeyser (武装戦士エクシゲイザー (Musou Senshi ("Armored Warrior") Ekushigeizaa)?)
- Hungarian name (Armada): Nagymenő ("Hot Shot")
- Hungarian name (Energon and Cybertron): Tűzgolyó ("Fireball") 
- Polish name (Armada): Piorunus ("Thunderboltus")
- Russain name (Energon, Cybertron): Leehach (Лихач, "Hothead")
- Ukrainian name: Zharo Streeliz (Жаро Стрілець)
Dreamwave comics continuity
One million years ago, Hot Shot was a member of the Autobots, the guardians of Cyber City. Soon news of a warlike faction called Decepticons, led by the power-hungry Megatron, reached Cyber City via a dying Mini-Con Hot Shot found. The Mini-Con handed him a video disc and with his dying breath, demanded Hot Shot take it to Optimus Prime. Optimus Prime played the disc, a distress signal from Leader-1, head of Mini-Con village D10, who begged the Autobots for help.
The Decepticons themselves soon arrived in Cyber City, armed with Mini-Cons they had captured and reconfigured to bestow incredible power when Powerlinxed. Outclassed and near total defeat, Optimus Prime called his troops into retreat, and after the majority of Mini-Cons escaped Cybertron to parts unknown, the Autobots lost much of the planet to the Mini-Con-powered Decepticons.
In the present day, both the Autobots and Decepticons received a signal of the Mini-Cons' activation on the planet Earth. Hot Shot and his colleagues Scavenger, Red Alert, and Smokescreen were led by Optimus Prime to the planet, where they met the Decepticons in battle. But this time, with the help of the estranged Mini-Cons, the Autobots regained the edge they lost against the Decepticons one million years prior. An uneasy alliance was formed, and Hot Shot was partnered with the Mini-Con Jolt.
After this initial battle on Earth, Megatron was quick to capture the Air Defense Mini-Con Team and forge them into the Star Saber sword. Optimus Prime led Hot Shot and Red Alert against the Decepticons again, despite being at a strategic disadvantage while the Mini-Cons were missing, a point Hot Shot belabored. Thankfully, the Autobot-allied Mini-Cons arrived just in time to Powerlinx with Hot Shot and the other Autobots, fend off Megatron, and rescue the Air Defense Mini-Cons from the Decepticon leader's clutches.
Soon, a Mini-Con beacon tower was erected in Tranquility, Kansas, drawing all Earth-bound Mini-Cons to it. Hot Shot and the rest of the Autobots again met the Decepticons in battle at the location when the tower's effect was discovered. However, they were too busy fighting to notice the beacon tower blasting off toward the Earth's moon. Hot Shot and Red Alert secreted Optimus Prime into the Decepticon base for the use of their space bridge, so that the Autobot leader could ask for reinforcements from Cybertron.
After the Mini-Cons were evacuated from the moon, five did not return home safely and sent a distress signal from northern Alaska. When the Adventure Mini-Con Team failed to retrieve them, Hot Shot and the other Autobots arrived in full force, though they were kept in check by Cyclonus, who was suffering from a Mini-Con overdose. Though they were successful, Optimus Prime disappeared before their eyes, and when Hot Shot returned to Autobase, he found an Optimus Prime, dying, sent from another timeline to warn of Unicron's coming. Learning of the "real" Optimus Prime's disappearance, Megatron and his Decepticons stormed Autobase, nearly killing Smokescreen and heavily injuring Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Scavenger.
Optimus Prime was returned to them and insisted on teaming up with the Decepticons to battle the arriving Unicron. Hot Shot excused himself from this alliance, as Smokescreen's critical condition due to the Decepticons' recent attack still weighed heavily in his mind. So when Megatron stole away during the battle with Unicron to strike a deal with the Dark God, Hot Shot, Scavenger, and Red Alert ambushed him, leaving him to die as Unicron was seemingly destroyed by the Mini-Con Matrix.
Ten years later, at the beginning of the Energon Era, Hot Shot accompanied Optimus Prime, who was skeptical and restless about the new peacetime, on his visit with the High Council in Cyber City. Prime's demands for vigilance were denied, so Hot Shot later followed him to a special uplink platform that Over-Run had directed them to. This trip was a first outing for the rookie Autobot Ironhide, who fawned over Hot Shot. Hot Shot met this with difficulty. Learning of the continued existence of Unicron, Prime once again returned to the High Council, again accompanied by Hot Shot. But this time, Cyber City was attacked by Cheetor, Rhinox, Airazor, and Terrorsaur, who were presumed dead during the Unicron Battles, but in fact were transformed into Unicron's Beasts of the Apocalypse. The Horsemen were deterred when Hot Shot and the other Autobots were granted the Spark of Combination.
Hot Shot followed Prime to Earth after a distress signal was received. Scorponok and his Terrorcons were after a young boy who could detect Energon named Kicker. The Terrorcons outclassed them, however, and left only when their Energon-mining gear was destroyed, but not without taking Kicker. After the Autobots reunited with Rad and Alexis, Hot Shot and the Omnicon Strongarm were able to pursue the Terrorcons and deliver a special suit to Kicker that his father, Dr. Jones, had made for him. With Kicker's help, the Terrorcons were defeated and returned to Unicron.
- Voice actor: Brent Miller (US), Kōsuke Okano (Japan), Alexandre Moreno (Brazil), Martin Halm (Germany)
An indeterminate number of years ago on Cybertron, Hot Shot and the Autobot Wheeljack were amidst a fiery battlefield blaze. Wheeljack was incapacitated, so Hot Shot left him, promising to get help. However, his commander would not let him return to help his friend. Instead, Wheeljack was rescued by Megatron and swore vengeance against Hot Shot and the Autobots.
When Optimus Prime received the Mini-Con distress signal, Hot Shot was one of two soldiers he brought with him to Earth to investigate. He soon scanned the form of an Earth sports car and partnered with the Mini-Con Jolt.
When all three Mini-Cons that combine to form the Star Saber sword were collected, Optimus assigned them to Hot Shot. The Autobot was young, inexperienced, and hotheaded, so the great advantage the Star Saber granted him went straight to his ego. With the sword, he was nearly unbeatable on the battlefield until a Decepticon named Scavenger taught him the hard way that power without skill was useless against an experienced opponent. Hot Shot's naïvete was his downfall. The double-agent Sideways tricked Hot Shot out of the sword, and Hot Shot was beaten nearly to death by his frustrated opponents.
Wheeljack returned to Hot Shot's life, seeking revenge. The new Autobot recruit Side Swipe was caught up in Wheeljack's vendetta, so Hot Shot protected Side Swipe as best he could, hoping not to repeat his past mistakes. Wheeljack was deterred, but promised he'd be around later to revisit his ill will.
When Optimus Prime sacrificed himself to save Earth, Hot Shot was put in command. Hot Shot declined to take the Matrix of Leadership, which marked the beginning of a very unassertive and indecisive administration. It was also short, as Optimus Prime returned to life after not too long. Not too sure how "Shotimus Prime" would've worked if he accepted leadership like Rodimus Prime...
The Decepticons managed to take over Cybertron. Unicron, the Chaos Bringer, was looming over their planet, but Galvatron (previously Megatron) would not listen to Optimus Prime's pleas to unite their two factions against him. Hot Shot decided to take matters into his own hands and fought his way through the Decepticon base and countless Decepticon warriors to reach Galvatron and reason with him. If it were not for Wheeljack's intervention, he might not have survived. Under the Autobot/Decepticon alliance, Wheeljack's hatred of Hot Shot seemed to soften, and the two learned to trust each other again.
After the destruction of Unicron and the defeat of Galvatron, Optimus Prime felt he had failed as Autobot Leader, and with the end of the conflict between the two factions, he exiled himself to parts unknown. Hot Shot and Jetfire were left in charge of the Transformers.
- Voice Actor(s): Brent Miller (US), Kōsuke Toriumi (Japan)
10 years after the events of Armada, Hot Shot was stationed on Earth as the commander of Ocean City while Optimus Prime trained new soldiers on Cybertron. He faced administrative challenges such as surly former adversaries and teenaged angst. Hot Shot proved himself up to the task of being 'city commander,' handling the daily challenges thrown at him with a steady equilibrium that is the envy of lesser 'bots.
As commander of Ocean City, Hot Shot was the frequent butt of Kicker's practical jokes, and liked to advise him "Don't be an idiot!", but long experience had taught him to trust warnings from the human's uncanny precognition. When the Terrorcons attacked Earth, Optimus Prime gave him a Combination Spark and he combined with Inferno.
Later Hot Shot headed up a strikeforce to Desert City to fortify it against possible Terrorcon assault. While there he flirted with jailbait super-scientist Misha Miramond and filled her ear with what a dork her not-my-boyfriend (Kicker) was back at Ocean City. When Terrorcons invaded the city, Hot Shot and his troops performed a holding action at the entrance to the Energon Mine, but their position was overrun, and Hot Shot was the only survivor. Though battered, Hot Shot commended Ironhide's decision to leave him behind and rescue the humans, resulting in the other Autobot being awarded his own Combination Spark.
As part of Prime Squad, Hot Shot prepared to travel to Mars before the mission was canceled, and took part in the defense of Plains City, again tasked with securing the Energon supply. He was the first to feel the wrath of Scorponok's Megatron Sword, and later battled Cyclonus while attempting to shore up Demolishor's flagging confidence in the Autobot cause.
Hot Shot led a recon team searching for a Energon Point in the mountains, the future location of Blizzard City. He ordered Ironhide and Demolishor to team up for their mutual benefit. While trying to rescue Kicker, Hot Shot was buried in an avalanche by Cyclonus. He evacuated his team before they could be crushed by the emergency deployment of a new Cybertron City via space bridge.
Hot Shot and his crew were still at Plains City when the newly-resurrected Megatron attacked. He was defeated in battle by Megatron and 'dis-armed' as an object lesson to Optimus. Optimus retreated to Ocean City with the injured Hot Shot and left the Plains City Energon supply to the Decepticons. Hot Shot's injury awakened a protective streak in Optimus Prime, who briefly forbade Kicker from accompanying the Autobots on missions. At Ocean City Hot Shot underwent medical treatment, submerged in liquefied Energon while his damaged exostructure re-grew. When the base was breached, Hot Shot broke out of his medical unit to defend Inferno from Terrorcons and, armed with a clone of the Megatron Sword, he helped kick the visiting Decepticons back out.
Hot Shot organized a covert surveillance of Optimus Prime while he was targeted by a Mysterious Mercenary. Unfortunately, his large shoulder armor made it impossible to hide behind objects and Optimus discovered him. When Optimus fought Starscream on the moon, Hot Shot placed Inferno in temporary command of Ocean City so he could bring a supply of Energon Stars to Lunar City.
Hot Shot wandered over when he heard Ironhide telling Kicker to 'lose the attitude', but was unable to wholly endorse Ironhide's statement that Kicker should automatically look up to his father. Instead he gently suggested that Kicker might want to seek a different hero to look up to, and told Ironhide that he'd looked up to Rodimus since he was a young Autobot.
Hot Shot later supervised the project to construct the second Energon Tower at Jungle City. Ironhide was placed in co-command when the larger Autobot contingent arrived for the final stage, and when the city was attacked and put to siege they split duties, with Hot Shot taking Aerial defense. As the siege wore on, Hot Shot had to be the one to confront Optimus Prime and force him to admit that this battle was unwinnable. They destroyed Jungle City rather than letting it fall to the Decepticons.
Hot Shot accompanied the rescue mission to Lunar City. When Earth was threatened by artificial cometary impacts, he was part of the orbital team sent to intercept them as they approached Earth's atmosphere. Forced to wait as other teams tried to slow the comets, Hot Shot occupied himself by aggravating Jetfire, who eventually just told him to be quiet. He, Jetfire and Optimus Prime supercharged themselves with Energon to push against the comets, delaying their approach long enough for the Energon Grid to come online.
It wasn't until the arrival of Hot Shot's former commander and idol, Rodimus, that he would question his own allegiances. Not moved by Rodimus' plea to help him to resurrect Unicron, Hot Shot threatened to open fire, only to be struck down by Rodimus. After Rodimus saved Hot Shot's life, he regretted his quick judgment. The relationship between Hot Shot and Rodimus was eventually restored and they become Powerlink partners.
Hot Shot continued to serve under Optimus Prime, surviving many battles on Cybertron and other worlds. Along with several other Autobots, Hot Shot was injured when the reborn Unicron destroyed a fledgling planet in the reformed Q-system. Hot Shot was reformatted into a slick silver body along with his Autobot comrades. He eventually merged his spark with that of Optimus Supreme and his partners in the final battle with Galvatron.
- Voice Actor(s): Kirby Morrow (US), Daisuke Hirakawa (Japan)
- Special attacks and Cyber Key Powers (Ignition):
- Cybertron Form / Exilion: Accel Wing
- Cybertron Defense Form / Exigeyser: Double X Shot, Battle Dagger
When Unicron's destruction resulted in a black hole that threatened the Transformers' home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime ordered the planet to retreat into hiding on Earth. Hot Shot took the form of a blue Earth sports car, later gaining the powers of the Velocitron (Speedia) Cyber Key Power (Ignition) ability: Accel Wing while racing in the Speed Planet, granting Hot Shot a pair of speed-enhancing velocity wings that boosts up his acceleration capabilities in Vehicle Mode.
This form came in handy when Optimus reassigned Hot Shot and Red Alert to search for Velocitron's Cyber Planet Key. He quickly developed a competitive bond with Override, the leader of Velocitron, not before making friends with native Transformers Clocker and Brakedown in the process. Against Red Alert's warnings, Hot Shot joined the Great Race. Hot Shot pushed himself beyond his means, almost to the point of destruction, but no matter how he tried, he could never defeat Override. The constant racing took a noticeable toll on his body. Was he really doing this to win the Key or just to prove to himself he was still the fastest in the galaxy?
Hot Shot was in big trouble when Optimus arrived on Velocitron and found out what he was up to. But Optimus Prime changed his mind when he realized that winning the race (and beating the long-time winner Override) was the only possible way to obtain the Cyber Planet Key. With the Autobots' full support and Coby's help, Hot Shot won the Great Race and the Cyber Planet Key, also helping Override to understand and align with the Autobot way of helping comrades in need when he actually alerted her of Cheating Decepticons in the race despite being rivals as he believes in winning Speedia races fair and square.
Later, Hot Shot, Red Alert and Scattorshot faced Megatron alone when the Decepticon leader returned to Earth thirsting for revenge against the treacherous Starscream. Humiliating the Decepticon in combat, they enraged Megatron, who used his new Omega Lock-powered Death Machine Gun on the three Autobots, crippling them beyond repair.
Fortunately, the thought and determination of not giving up in protecting his homeland and those that helped him throughout his journey, sparked off the powers of Primus through the Omega Lock, bathing the trio in the creator's holy light, repairing and reformatting the speedy young Autobot into the heavily-armored Cybertron Defense Hot Shot / 'Armored Warrior Exigeyser' (武装戦士エクシゲイザー?), becoming the Defense Team's leader. Taking the vehicle form of a 4WD Armored Military Vehicle in the Air Base, he main weapons are a pair of shoulder cannons that are usable in Robot Mode as well as his Vehicle Mode, and his left-arm Battle Dagger for close combat. His Cybertron Cyber Key Power (Ignition) Attack, Double X-Shot (ダブルエックスショット?), fires off 32 rounds of homing laser missiles from his shoulder cannon hatch, with the attack further enhanced in Vehicle Mode adding an additional 8 rounds (40 rounds total) from the Vehicle's front end missile hatch coupled with a pair of beam shots from those hatches. The reformatted Vehicle Mode loses quite a bit of racing speed, but more than makes up for it in excellent traction and velocity control under all kinds of terrain, allowing him to make tight turns on roads with excellent precision and with little loss of velocity in which even lightweight Velocitron Transformers like Override finds it tough to pull off.
Along with his newly reformatted friends, the Cybertron Defense Team arrived on the battlefield and easily defeated the Decepticons Scourge and Megatron.
As Optimus Prime and the other Autobots dealt with Starscream and Megatron's forces, the Cybertron Defense Team was sent on an advance mission to Planet Cybertron. Hot Shot and his fellow team members had to blast their way through a debris field littering the Space Bridge path to Cybertron, during the course of which Hot Shot's vision was obscured by a thick oily substance excreted out of an asteroid as it exploded, in which it was overcome with Coby's help in remotely driving Hot Shot from the Autobot Base on Earth (just like he did in Velocitron during the race for the Cyber Planet Key) until he can get that off his visor and head for Cybertron with his Defense Team.
When the unit finally arrived on Cybertron, they were shocked to discover the planet overrun with the Scrapmetal, and quickly had to fight their way through legions of the robotic pests.
After Override resigned from leadership of Velocitron in order to participate in the Space Bridge Project as Velocitron's Representative, Hot Shot convincingly won the race to determine who would be her successor, as he had completely adjusted to the new heavier body to his advantage in beating his competitors through excellent traction and racing stamina in the Speed Planet.
- According to the Armada PlayStation 2 game instruction booklet, Hot Shot's Armada body has the following statistics:
- Mass: 3,109 lbs
- Robot height: 16' 5"
- Robot top speed: 50 mph
- Vehicle height: 5' 11"
- Vehicle top speed: 186 mph
- Vehicle power: 400 hp @ 8000 rpm
- Armada Hot Shot's infamous "JaAm" grin was actually a misinterpretation of Aaron Archer's original concept art which depicted Hot Shot clenching his teeth together in an open-lipped, determined expression. The head of the original tooling had a maniacal, perhaps unhinged-looking smile in response to this concept art, so the grin was scaled back on the final toy. The grin was removed completely and replaced with a neutral, stern expression when the head was resculpted for Powerlinx Hot Shot.
- The Cybertron Defense version of Hot Shot actually has a hidden "Full Burst" Mode in which all the four missile hatches open (on his shoulders and legs) capable of firing off a massive 58-round missile barrage which was not featured in both versions.
- David Willis has a Hot Shot shrine and a picture of him in his wallet. Creepy, no?
References and footnotes
- On the Ultimate Battle DVD special he's called Nagyágyú which is the correct translation of Hot Shot, only it was the name originally given to Hot Rod.