Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap
|"Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap"|
|Airdate||September 27, 1985|
|Story by||Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Peter Anderegg|
|Teleplay by||Peter Anderegg|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
A spy in the Guardians' midst leads them to fall into a Renegade trap in a distant star system.
At a desert airbase, Leader-1 and Matt Hunter compete against Nick Burns and the newest addition to the Guardian ranks, Snoop, in an aerial race. Leader-1 just manages to emerge victorious, but Snoop is a bit of a sore loser, boasting that her advanced systems would have guaranteed her the win if she hadn't been burdened with an inexperienced pilot like Nick. Presently, Small Foot arrives with a summons from General Newcastle for everyone to return to UNECOM headquarters. There, the general informs them that UNECOM has detected a possible Renegade base on a planet in the Vega star system, a region of space the villains have stayed out of until now. Nick urges Snoop to accompany Leader-1's team in investigating the planet so he can clock some more flight time with her; she initially tries to refuse, but everyone else insists she come along.
Meanwhile, Cy-Kill arrives to survey operations at the Vega system base, manned by Scorp and Screw Head, who oversee the mining and processing of varium ore into hyperspace fuel for Roguestar. When they receive a message from a fellow Renegade on Earth informing them of the Guardians' mission to Vega, Cy-Kill quickly formulates a plan. Scorp broadcasts a phony SOS to the Guardians' approaching Command Center, claiming to be a mining ship from Rigel caught in an asteroid field close to the planet. When the Command Center follows the signal to offer help, Cy-Kill and Scorp ambush it in Thruster and shoot it down. Unfortunately for Cy-Kill, a message is soon broadcast over the Renegade's "ultra-secret frequency" that reveals the Guardians have survived the crash landing!
Down on the planet's surface, Leader-1 assigns Scooter and Nick to begin repairs on the damaged Command Center, and Turbo and A.J. to stand guard. He, Matt, Small Foot, and Snoop are about to split up to search the area when he realizes that Snoop is nowhere to be seen. She is, in fact, still inside the Command Center, where she is found by Scooter... just as she finishes sending her message to Cy-Kill! Revealed as a Renegade spy, Snoop quickly blasts Scooter to maintain her cover, then rushes outside to join the others before they get suspicious. The group proceeds to split up as planned, but Snoop diverts to the Renegades' base. Using the information she supplies, the Renegades quickly deploy and round up the dividing Guardians: Leader-1 and Matt are shot down by Zods, Small Foot is caught unawares by a subterranean attack from the tunneling Screw Head, and Cy-Kill and Scorp take out Turbo, Nick, and A.J.
The humans are tossed into the Renegades' varium mines while the Guardians are put in cells. Unaware of Scooter's fate, Small Foot tries radioing the Command Center; thankfully, Snoop's blast was not fatal, and Scooter awakens just as Small Foot's message, containing the coordinates of the Renegade base, comes through. Using his hologram powers, Scooter disguises himself as a Zod and rolls right into the mines, arriving just as A.J. faints from the heat and labor. Another miner, one of the many aliens the Renegades have enslaved, tries to help her, but Nick mistakes his intent and tries to scare him off. The alien does indeed run, but it's at the sight of "Zod," rather than the not-so-fearsome Nick. When Scooter reveals himself and A.J. recovers, she apologizes to the alien for the misunderstanding and makes friends with him.
Scooter and the humans quickly organize the alien miners in a revolt, collapsing part of a mining machine on top of Scorp when he is making his rounds. An alarm alerts Cy-Kill and Screw Head, but when they come to investigate, the rebelling miners crush Screw Head under a boulder, while Scooter bowls Cy-Kill over with a mine car. Nick, A.J., and the aliens free the Guardians, but the group's exit is blocked by Snoop. Turbo tricks her into blasting a hole in the wall, and while everyone else is escaping through it, Leader-1 challenges Snoop to a rematch. As the pair take to the skies for a dogfight, Scooter comes zooming out of the mine, still pushing the mine car, full of miners he is taking to safety. Unfortunately, the little Guardian doesn't spot the giant rock crusher at the end of the mine track, and he and the miners almost fall into it, saved only from a nasty end by Scooter's flight capabilities. Unfortunately, Scooter finds that with the added weight of the miners holding onto him, he doesn't have enough thrust to fly away from the crusher, and is stuck hovering in place over it. Leader-1 comes to the rescue when he lures the brash Snoop into a power dive, pulling up at the last second and leaving the panicked Renegade to attempt the same, only to wind up skidding out of control and crashing into the rock crusher. The machine blows up, and Scooter and the miners are buried in the wreckage, but the others soon dig them out and they are no worse for wear. As the fire from the explosion spreads through the complex, the Guardians snatch up a few of the finished hyperspace fuel cells to refuel the Command Center, and beat a hasty retreat, taking the miners with them as they blast off. From space, they watch as the remaining fuel cells ignite, and first the whole base, and then the entire planet is consumed in a colossal celestial explosion. All that's left is cosmic debris, and the Guardians can only hope it means they've seen the last of Cy-Kill and the Renegades... unaware that their enemies have already escaped aboard Thruster, swearing to strike again soon.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"We did it! We won!"
"Yeah, but I'm so tired... I can hardly keep my wings up."
- —Matt celebrates while Leader-1 foreshadows how his toy wears out.
"I'd have won flaps down with a more experienced pilot!"
"Hey! All I need is a little seasoning!"
"I don't need anything. I'm the latest model, equipped with all the latest accessories!"
- —Snoop promotes her toy to Nick
"You've gotta come too, so I can get some practise!"
"I'd... love to Nick, but I... um, have to take it easy, my hydraulic pressure is way too high!"
- —Nick forces Snoop to cook up a phony excuse
"No rock ever stopped me!"
- —Screw Head
- In broadcast order, Snoop previously appeared in "It's the Thought that Counts," openly serving as a Renegade and battling the Guardians. Consequently, this episode, in which the Guardians are unaware of her Renegade loyalties until her double-agent status is exposed, must take place before those events. As a knock-on effect, that means it also precedes the previous "first appearance" of Small Foot in "Trident's Triple Threat".
- At least four Zods (Turbo later says "hundreds," but, uh...) are shown guarding the Renegade base on the Vega system planet. The Renegades previously created duplicates of Zod in the pilot mini-series, and future episodes will show more copies of the monster in action.
- "Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap" features the broadcast debut of Monster GoBot Scorp. He and the other Monster GoBots will later receive an origin story in the "GoBotron Saga" mini-series, aired a few months after this episode, which logically means the events of the mini-series must precede this episode.
- Following a silent cameo in the pilot mini-series, this episode represents Screw Head's first speaking role, and the first time he is referred to by name on-screen. His character model has been completely redesigned from the pilot.
Animation and technical errors
- The far side of Snoop's canopy overlaps Nick's head as he climbs out of her cockpit.
- When Scorp broadcasts his fake SOS, his left eye is colored grey like the rest of his head.
- During the camera pan that follows the Command Center as it crashes, the animation cels of the center and the rubble it is kicking up are not quite aligned with the background painting of the planet's surface properly, making the Center at one point appear as if it's crashing into empty air.
- Snoop retracts her hand into her wrist to blast Scooter, which isn't standard GoBots protocol for hand-blasters.
- When the Zods roll away after downing Leader-1, a layering error causes one to pass through the foreground instead of the background, making it appear tiny.
- As Small Foot sends Scooter the co-ordinates to the Renegade base, her eyes are missing from her visor—the first instance of an exceptionally common error that will reoccur for the character over and over, implying there might have been an alternate or simplified model sheet for her that rendered her like this.
- Inconsistency in conversion is a rare thing in this show, so it's noticeable that Scooter's head spins 180° as he transforms to leave the Command Center (meaning his wheel pops out of where his face should be), rather than flip downward.
- When Scorp blasts himself out of the wreckage, it's easy to miss that he's in robot mode (since his vehicle/creature mode is basically him squatting with a different head). The animators did, as they colored his head in vehicle-mode colors. When he straightens up, his head is the correct grey, but only the pupils of his eyes are colored green, while the "irises" are the same color as the rest of his head.
- As Screw Head says "Let's feed 'em to the Zods!" his head design (but not his body!) is drawn to the specifications of his pilot character model, with a broader, more three-dimensional face, framed by a "visor," but with a better-defined nose and mouth than the previous use of the model featured.
- When Turbo says "Zods! Hundreds of 'em!", his mouth doesn't move with the words, instead hanging open in a gasp.
- "Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap" is one out of only three episodes in the entire series in which neither Crasher nor Cop-Tur appear. The others are "Lost on GoBotron" and "The GoBots That Time Forgot."
- Though she gets a big promotional push this episode, Snoop's toy (an import of the Machine Robo "Blackbird Robo" figure) was never actually released as part of Tonka's GoBots toyline. Packaged production samples and appearances in toy catalogs prove she was planned for release (as figure #43), but she was cancelled for unknown reasons. The toy did make it to Australia as part of the Machine Men line, and later renamed "Sky Spy" for Europe's Robo Machine series.
- Challenge of the GoBots is normally very faithful to the characters' toy designs, replicating their transformation schemes simply and accurately. The show made one notable concession for Scooter, placing his robot-mode face between the handlebars of his vehicle form. As this "breaks the rules" of his toy's transformation, the show is normally careful to angle and frame his conversion scenes so that his head is out of view, often by showing him from behind. When he pulls up to the Renegade base in this episode, however, the whole shebang is shown from the front, which results in a quick but funny-looking sequence (pictured at right) of his entire chest.. sort of collapsing into a pile of parts and reshaping, all so that his head can move from between his handlebars to between his shoulders on-screen.
- The rock crusher has a big ol' skull-face on it, and the crushy-bits are the teeth!
Home video releases
2015 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume One (Warner Archive Collection)