Fortress Maximus is a colossal Autobot guardian hidden on Earth to protect the planet from evil. Immense in strength, unmatchable in firepower and impregnable in durability, Fortress Maximus' only weakness is his compassion for children.
Fortress Maximus does not appear to be sentient in and of himself, but rather, is controlled by Cerebros. Even Cerebros himself does make his own decisions, instead operating on a tri-lateral recognition program that defines the actions he will take. Cerebros on his own will only respond to an Autobot energy signature, and when combined with Fortress Maximus, will react only to the bio-energy of human beings. To prevent his power being used for evil, his recognition program operates on "harmonic resonance," which allows him to sense the intentions of those that would command him. He will not follow commands of an evil or self-serving nature; consequently, due to their worldly innocence, human children are particularly adept at controlling him.
- Japanese Name: Brave Maximus
Robots in Disguise
- Voice actor: Steve Blum (US), Masayuki Kiyama (Japan)
- (Note: Most websites list Steve Kramer as Fortress Maximus due to the fact that he provided the voice of Cerebros, but from the small number of lines he actually speaks, it does not appear to be Kramer behind the microphone.
Fortress Maximus was hidden on Earth eons ago in order to protect the planet, slumbering in stasis beneath the surface of the planet, where Metro City would come to be built. The various keys that would enable his reactivation were scattered across the globe - the O-Parts, the Orb of Sigma and his Headmaster component, Cerebros - and sealed within ancient structures, suggesting that ancient human civilizations had some hand in the process. Although his existence went on to slip into the realm of legend amongst most of the populous on Cybertron, certain high-ranking Autobots and Predacons were well aware of the truth behind the story, and, in the mid-20th century, a team of six Autobots were sent to Earth to reactivate Maximus, only for their ship to crash into the mountain that would come to be known as Castle Peak, trapping them all in stasis.
Around the beginning of the 21st century, the Predacon leader Megatron was dispatched to Earth by the Predacon Council to acquire Fortress Maximus. Attacking the National Scientific Symposium, he captured archaeologist Doctor Onishi, whose research had led him to discover the trail the led to Fortress Maximus. The Predacons battles with their Autobot enemies steadily led to the discovery of several O-Parts, which fell into Autobot hands; the Autobot craft in Castle Peak, however, was uncovered by Megatron and the Autobots within co-opted into Decepticons, led by Scourge
While tunnelling beneath Metro City, the Build Team found themselves affects by a strange energy field that caused them to hallucinate and fight amongst each other, eventually forcing them to withdraw. Investigating, the Autobots discovered that the cavern beneath the city containing Fortress Maximus, and that the energy field was a defense mechanism designed to keep away any intruders. Exposure to Maximus's energies reawakened Scourge's memories of his original mission to reawaken the fortress, but his Decepticon programming twisted the mission, and he now sought to acquire Maximus's power for himself. As Optimus Prime held him off, the Build Team relocate Maximus - in his city mode - to a concealed structure in the middle of Metro City, hiding him from the Decepticons.
During this battle, Doctor Onishi was freed from the Predacons, and equipped the Autobots with tracking devices that allowed them to quickly and easily track down all the remaining O-Parts. Koji called out for him to stop, and he obeyed. Transforming back to city mode, Maximus vanished beneath the Earth, and the villains absconded with Cerebros once more.United, the O-Parts led to the Orb of Sigma, resulting in a battle that ended with Megatron's disapearance. The Orb in turn led to Cerebros, who the Decepticons and Predacons - now led by Scourge - were able to capture. Having discovering the hiding place of Fortress Maximus, Scourge utilised the Autobot portion of his energy-signature to activate Cerebros, who then brought Fortress Maximus online. Maximus, however, then proceeded to run wild, stomping his way through Metro City unheeding of Scourge's commands, until the Autobots' human ally
Realising that Koji had been able to control Fortress Maximus because he was human, Scourge amplified the portion of his bio-signature that was human (derived from Kelly) to seize control of Maximus once more when the city reappeared in the Sahara Desert, only for the Autobots to gather a mass of human children together to override his command. Deciding that he required a human of his own to control Maximus for him, a case of mistaken identity led Scourge to kidnap Koji's friend Carl; nevertheless, Maximus was successfully activated and piloted by Carl when he resurfaced in a jungle. By this point, Megatron had returned - having been upgraded to Galvatron by the power of the Orb of Sigma's pyramid - and Scourge chose this moment to reveal his treachery, ordering Fortress Maximus to crush his former leader. However, Carl's selfish desire to defeat the villains himself and show up Koji caused Maximus to power down, and the Autobots arrived in time to save him and finally take possession of Cerebros, as Maximus vanished once more.
With the Autobots having acquired a full understanding of Fortress Maximus's activation protocols thanks to Cerebros, their base was then attacked by the Predacons and Decepticons, the latter having been reprogrammed back to loyalty by Galvatron. In the midst of the battle, Wedge's determination to defeat Galvatron resonated with Cerebros, and he summoned and activated Fortress Maximus. Galvatron combined with his ship, the Megastar and battled with Maximus, but was defeated when Maximus unleashed his Maximum Firepower attack and blew the ship to smithereens.
Galvatron survived the barrage, however, and restored his strength by affixing himself to Maximus and draining the giant robot's energy, supercharging himself. Omega Prime proceeded to challenge Galvatron to a final battle at the Earth's core. Koji, meanwhile, contacted as many children as he could, instructing them to send their energy to Fortress Maximus to re-power him; Maximus absorbed and re-channeled the energy to Omega Prime in the form of the Matrix Blade, which Prime used to finally defeat Galvatron. With the Predacons and Decepticons at last beaten and captured, Fortress Maximus transformed to starship mode and transported the villains to the asteroid prison colony.
Fortress Maximus was used as a performance stage by the Kiss Players singing group following the war between the Autobots and the Predacons and the return of Transformers to Earth. When the Sparkbots suddenly appeared and demanded that the human group members kiss them, Fortress Maximus was whisked away from Scramble City in America on a whirlwind tour of time and space.
Maximus was used as a space-capable mobile base by the Kiss Players and Sparkbots as they visited various points in Transformer history, collecting fragments of the Allspark from famous Autobot and Maximal leaders at each stop. He did not demonstrate any signs of intelligence or independence during the journey.
Near the end of the adventure, while being piloted in pursuit of a mysterious golden hand that had taken several Allspark fragments, Maximus accidentally struck the "Wall of Time." With its passengers scattered across dimensions, the fortress was hurled back in time 4 million years to what appeared to be the planet Master (with the implication that he would ultimately become or inspire the OTHER Fortress Maximus).
(Yes, continuity headache ahoy.)
After briefly adventuring in the Unicron Trilogy universe, the Kiss Players returned to their home dimension and accompanied Primus back through time to prehistoric Earth. There, the Transformers' creator destroyed the resurrected Unicron and sealed his Angolmois energy deep within the planet. To prevent the energy from being collected and used by agents of evil, Primus created Fortress Maximus to serve as its eternal guardian.
(How's that head?)
- Brave Maximus (2000)
- Japanese ID number: C-027
- Brave Maximus is an extensive redeco of Generation 1 Fortress Maximus, essentially replacing much of Fortress's lighter colors with darker ones. Due to marketing campaign concerns, Brave Maximus was never released with all of Fortress Maximus' accessories, missing his two hand guns, Cog's components, and the two Master Swords. These parts were later offered as campaign and lucky draw prizes by Takara.
- Despite this, Brave Maximus retains all of Fortress' functionality, being able to transform from his 2 foot tall robot mode to battleship mode to city mode and back again. In city mode he features a rotating radar, a jail cell, a working elevator that leads to a button-activated car launcher, and two manual car launchers on his arm-ramps. The Spy Changers are the only figures from the toyline that interact with him particularly well, although his two arm-ramps can also launch the Autobot Brothers. In particular, the Spy Changer toy of Scourge fits in the robot's control room perfectly, allowing you to replicate the scenes from the cartoon, as well as actually providing an "evil" figure to lock in the jail cell. (Of course, Spychanger Scourge wasn't part of the Car Robots toyline, and Maximus wasn't part of RiD! Still, Japanese fans were eventually able buy chibi-Scourge like they buy many US-"exclusive" toys, as a "US Edition" in its American packaging.)
- The back of Maximus's instruction leaflet features a color play mat that the city connects to for use with other Car Robots/Robots in Disguise toys.
- According to the toy's profile card, Brave Maximus' robot mode is 350 meters tall (1,148 feet).
- In 2002, Hasbro began to solicit a domestic US release of Brave Maximus as Robots in Disguise Fortress Maximus. However, it was later canceled due to the toy's failure of standard industry drop tests.
- The figure was released in Korea in 2003, identical to the Takara version save for one detail - the Autobot symbol sticker on the city's central tower was upside-down.
- The Kiss Players merged-continuity also has the implication that Brave Max is the Cybertron Base from the Robot Masters conflict, which occurs between the events of the second season of the cartoon (aka "Super Robot Lifeform Transformers") and Car Robots. Ow.