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[[Template loop detected: Template:Utility/tvseries recurs|Template loop detected: Template:Utility/tvseries recurs]] ep 1

A rose by any other name... er, still gets crushed by a tank.
"The Reformatting"
Production company Mainframe Entertainment
Airdate September 18, 1999
Written by Marty Isenberg
Bob Skir
Animation studio Mainframe Entertainment
Continuity Beast Wars continuity

Escaping from strange new foes and unable to transform, the four surviving Maximals encounter a mysterious supercomputer which remakes them into a new kind of Transformer.



Not so tough withought your trukk and munky and plane form, huh?

On the metal-and-steel planet of Cybertron, a single flower bizarrely grows out of a tear in the street. Suddenly, a munky races past, pursued by a horde of Tank Drones. In an even stranger vein, Primal has lost his Transmetal properties and is now in his original furry body. After a couple minutes of cat-and-mouse, Optimus decides to face them down and prepares to Maximize. But his beast-mode parts refuse to move and he screams in pain as he is tortured by electrical shocks.

Suddenly, his eyes glow and he receives a strange signal from an alien source. He sees a monorail vehicle nearby and swings away from the drones, and finds another one of his missing comrades — Rattrap. Rattrap explains that he has had a lot of trouble transforming as well and has no memory of returning to Cybertron after the end of the Beast Wars and the capture of Megatron. They escape from the transport after the drones blow it to pieces and Rattrap tries to use his command code repeatedly, resulting in nothing but shocks and pain.

Fortunately, Cheetor leaps out of nowhere, covering the eyes of one of the drones. Its head spins wildly, and it takes pot shots, destroying one of its counterparts. Cheetor is hoping to find a CR chamber and use it to eliminate the transformation lock virus that plagues them all. Rattrap points out that Cybertron seems to have changed a lot in their absence. But there is no time to discuss matters, as new tank drones are readying a renewed assault. Plunging (more like falling) into a hole, the Maximals bounce on a web. It is Blackarachnia, the Maximal-turned-Predacon, unable to convert and stuck in her organic body.

Nor-mal view! Nor-mal view! Nor-mal view! NOR-MAL VIIIIIEEEEEEWWWW!!!

Primal decides that the best course of action is to head deeper underground, where the Vehicon drones have failed to look. Using the webs of Blackarachnia, they head deeper into the bowels of Cybertron, passing layers and layers of cities as they descend. Brushed metal and steel give way to rusting iron, which gives way to stone. Eventually, too weak to climb, they fall, plunging into complete darkness. Determined not to die, Primal throws a piece of scrap metal, shattering some kind of covering and awakening the supercomputer called the Oracle. A wall of flames springs up. Undaunted by the seeming threat, Optimus walks straight through them, revealing the hologram. The Oracle speaks to Primal, taking him into the bowels of the Matrix.

Granted visions that he could not yet understand, he sees images of an Earth-like planet transformed into a purely mechanical world. Concluding with the mysterious statement that "the seeds of the future lie buried in the past", the Oracle declares that it is time for him to begin his "reformatting", tapping the power of the Matrix and converting his purely organic gorilla body into a perfect blend of organic tissue and mechanical parts. Stepping back into real-space in a wash of light, the other three Maximals admire his new body. Primal says that they must be "reformatted" as well, and one by one, Cheetor, Rattrap and Blackarachnia exit the Oracle, in new, technorganic bodies.

A long tradition of Running Away begins here.

Suddenly, the Oracle winks out of existence, and a hum fills the cave. This is another squadron of Vehicons, but instead of tanks, they are motorcycles. Lining up, Primal orders the Maximals to Maximize. Although no pain ensues, nothing happens. Optimus realizes they must learn how to transform as it has somehow become a lost art after the first Transformers "came" to Cybertron. Realizing this, the Maximals resign to combat in their strange new beast modes. Rattrap attacks a Cycle Drone's wheel with his teeth, Cheetor pounces on a motorcycle, and Blackarachnia uses her webs to snare another. Primal is shot, and plunges into a pit. Panicking, a voice from the Oracle reminds him that "he must tame the beast without to release the warrior within".

Finding his inner balance, he manages to transform. A blue light spreads throughout his body, converting it to robot mode through a liquid-morph style transformation. Activating his jets, he flies out from certain doom. Grabbing the nearest Drone, he demands answers, but gets none as they escape. His anger has made him lose his center, and he converts back to beast mode. Awed, Cheetor expresses his interest in this new transformation style. Optimus declares that they must re-learn the art of transformation and their new style of combat.

Meanwhile, a mysterious figure watches the battle in the citadel and vows to destroy the "impure" organic Maximals. It's Megatron, now the supreme ruler of Cybertron!

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Maximals Vehicons Others


"What makes you think it's gonna be any better down THERE?"
tower/container/thing creaks and starts falling
"I withdraw the question."

-Rattrap saying the worst words possible before imminent doom.

"The seeds of the future lie buried in the past, Optimus Primal."

The Oracle, being all mystical.

"Rattrap Maximize! Rattrap Maximize! Rattrap pretty please Maximize!"

- Rattrap being Rattrap.


  • A special advance screening of this episode was held at BotCon 1999, where it received an overwhelmingly positive reaction.
  • This is the episode in which the characters act most like they did in the Beast Wars. It goes downhill from this point on.
  • As Cheetor, Rattrap, and Optimus fall down the pipe in the first act, the scream of Transmutate can subtley be heard.

Technical/Animation Glitches

Continuity errors

  • Although the Maximals' original beast modes from Beast Wars are shown in this episode, there are some rather strange inconsistencies here. Optimus' fur is brown instead of grey, Rattrap's feet are dark orange instead of pink, Blackarachnia's skin is a lighter shade of blue and smoother, and Cheetor has black eyes with two black streaks running down his face. It would seem that the actual texture mapping isn't as complex as that of the mapping of Beast Wars.
  • While an easy mistake, Optimus cannot have regressed to his organic (non-transmetal) beast mode. Optimus' organic body was destroyed during the Planet Buster crisis and with it the DNA sequence of the gorilla he scanned in the first episode of Beast Wars. So technically Optimus should have returned to his Transmetal body. Anyone who additionally attempts to factor in the effects of Optimus Prime's spark and its similarity or dissimilarity to a normal transmetal upgrade or what permanent effects it would logically have had's head might explode.
  • The Oracle, which for all intents and purposes is Vector Sigma, has a female persona whereas in the original cartoon Vector Sigma had a male persona.

Transformers references

  • It was from this episode that the term "reformatting" passed into general use amongst Transformerdom.

Real-world references

  • Rattrap says, "Ground Control to Major Optimus," which is a reference to the 1969 David Bowie song "Space Oddity."
  • Optimus Primal's reformatting is very remeniscent of the final scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthermore, a group of black monoliths are briefly seen.

External Links

  • Link

This article uses material from the "The Reformatting" article on the Transformers wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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