The Four-Million-Year-Old Veil of Mystery is the seventh episode of Transformers: The Headmasters. It first aired in Japan on August 28, 1987 on Nippon TV.
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Scorponok lures the Autobot Headmasters into a trap on the planet Praum, where they must call upon all their training to survive.
The shadowy Scorponok arrives on Chaar to converse with an irate Galvatron, although the discussion goes little further than Galvatron screaming at him to do his job. Scorponok gathers the Decepticon Headmasters in preparation for his new plan.
On Athenia, the Autobots receive a report that their base on desert planet Praum is under attack, and the Autobot Headmasters head to the rescue because Rodimus Prime is on Earth to oversee a new energy discovery. However, upon arrival on Earth, Rodimus discovers that Ultra Magnus has no knowledge of this new discovery, and the duo investigate the installation from which the report came. All the Autobots there have been killed, and Rodimus discovers that the energy report was a fake created by the Decepticons, using Mindwipe's hypnotism to mesmerise an Autobot. Realising that the Autobot Headmasters are walking into a trap on Praum, Rodimus hastily departs aboard the Trainbots.
Arriving on Praum, the Headmasters discover the site of a massacre - every Autobot in the base has been slaughtered. After searching for any survivors and finding none, the Autobots are caught by surprise when every one of the base's exits are sealed, and the domed structure begins to spin, burying itself in the sand. As the cackling voice of Scorponok promises the Headmasters their doom, and sand begins rushing into the base, Fortress flashes back to the day that the Autobots crash-landed on planet Master, and were caught in a sandstorm. All five recall the training they had to undergo to survive the scorching heat, acid rain and deadly ice ages of Master, as well as the invention of Transtectors, and their becoming Headmasters. Remembering this, the team perform a "Cross-Head On," exchanging Transtectors to boost their powers, and escape the sand-trap. They clash with the Decepticon Headmasters waiting above, who perform a Cross-Head On of their own, at which point Galvatron and Rodimus arrive. The Headmasters step between the two leaders, requesting that they take the Decepticons on themselves, and manage to hurl the villains into the sand-trap themselves. Astrotrain plucks the Decepticons from the trap, and they retreat as the Autobots look on.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When arguing with Arcee (what else do they do in this series?) Kup and Blurr's Autobot insignias are rendered instead as little red squares. A few moments later, Kup's insignia disappears completely. Later in the episode, Kup & Blurr are sporting Decepticon insignias.
- Ultra Magnus' antennas change color multiple times throughout his appearances, from completely white, to their correct blue and white, to one side correct with the other all white.
- In the aerial shot of the Headmasters-to-be trekking through the desert on Master, Fortress is drawn as his Transtector, not his smallest robot form. This is rectified as the angle changes.
- During the flashback, as the sand gives way under Chromedome's feet, said feet are those of his Transtector, not his small robot mode.
- When Fortress tells the Headmasters to remember their training, Brainstorm is colored like Highbrow.
- As the Headmasters are sealed in the dome trap, Highbrow's rotors are violently ripped off. After switching heads with Braimstorm, however, they are suddenly back without explanation.
- For Galvatron's first few shots on Praum, he's missing his arm cannon. When it finally does show up, the barrel is initially purple.
- Referenced previously in "The Mystery of Planet Master" and "Operation Cassette", Decepticon Headmaster leader Scorponok makes his first proper appearance in this episode. He is, however, permanently shrouded in shadow, and will remain as such (even in fully lit rooms) until "Explosion on Mars!! MegaZarak Appears".
- When preparing to switch heads, Highbrow calls Chromedome "Chrome." This is the name of Chromedome's Headmaster robot form in the Japanese toyline, although at no other point in the animated series is it indicated that the small robots have different names when they are not connected to their Transtectors. In the same scene, Hardhead calls Brainstorm "Storm" - this is not the name of Brainstorm's Headmaster in the Japanese toyline, where it is called "Carna" (a squishing-up of Arcana). What this means is anyone's guess... perhaps Hardhead and Highbrow's heads are named "Hard" and "Brow"?
- The Autobots previously exchanged heads in "Rebellion on Planet Beest"; the Decepticons do it for the first time in this episode, and it is named for the first time as the "Cross-Head On." The process is supremely ill-defined - one would assume that it would simply allow the different robots to employ the different strengths and weaknesses of the individual Transtectors, but instead, it serves as a very generic save-the-day power-up that energizes them for no apparent reason.
- The character referred to as Scorponok is, of course, the small Headmaster figure that, in the West, represents Lord Zarak. However, while the larger robot that we recognize as Scorponok in the West (called "MegaZarak" in Japan) and Lord Zarak are separate characters in American fiction, thanks to the mechanics of Japanese Headmasters, here, they are the same guy; hence it's not particularly inappropriate to continue referring to him as Scorponok, even if you're trying to anglicize the names, as we do here on Teletraan I.
- The Headmasters took a two-week break between the airing of the previous episode and this one.