The Decepticons have created a crevasse, and see a lot of glowing crystals inside it. Megatron says these are the source of the rare energy detected by their Earth scanners. Starscream wants to drink its power dry, but Megatron stops him -he gives the orders here, and he thinks the energy could be dangerously unstable.

He has Soundwave send an Autoscout to investigate. The Autoscout is dispatched and heads down, and Megatron says it's programmed to analyze and report. Soundwave reports that the crystals are quartz-like, and packed with layers of multi-colored rods. Megatron says they are korlonium crystals, the rare and dangerous form of raw energy in this solar system. He tells Soundwave not to let the Autoscout pick a crystal up, but this comes too late, as the Autoscout grabs one and then explodes.

Starscream says he's never heard of korlonium crystals. Megatron tells him it's that kind of ignorance which will forever relegate him to the ranks of underlings. He tells them to stay back, as the crystals can destroy circuitry on the slightest contact. Starscream says they should trick Optimus Prime into leading the Autobots into the crevasse, but Megatron says Prime would never do anything so foolish... at least not the real Optimus Prime. Starscream asks what he means by the real one, and Megatron tells him he will see. The Autobots will soon detect the crystal energy, and comes to investigate. And he'll be waiting for them in his temporary base of operations: a large rocket.

The rocket has been camouflaged to look like a very steep mountain, and the Decepticons head inside it. Not long later, Optimus Prime leads a group of Autobots towards the crevasse. They transform and are quite impressed with how bright the crystals shine.

Cliffjumper is about to go in but is stopped by Prime, who says to take some readings first -the source of those lights could be dangerous. Starscream then calls out to them, saying all the danger they can handle is already here. The Autobots realize this is a trap, and the Decepticons open fire on them.

Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp all charge towards Prime, but he takes them out with ease. He tells them he's sorry there are only three of them - clobbering less than four Decepticons at a time is boring. Megatron is watching and says Prime won't be bored for long. He tells Soundwave to send out Laserbeak, and target Optimus Prime.

Prime sees Laserbeak, but gets hit by a few laser blasts and falls down into a ravine. Laserbeak goes in for the kill, but Megatron tells him to stop. He wants holographic views of Prime from every angle. The Autobots themselves will punish him for them, when the time is right.

Laserbeak takes the holographic views and transmits them to Megatron. Megatron inputs the data on a machine, and says he'll begin the cloning process. A few seconds later, Soundwave is surprised to see Optimus Prime is in the room! Megatron tells him this is a clone of their enemy, a perfect replica down to the last transistor. But there's one important difference: he controls this Optimus Prime.

Megatron places a helmet on his head, which gives him full control over his clone. He can move Prime however he wants, and get him to say anything he wants -and he's going to lead the Autobots to their doom. He sends the clone Prime out, who meets with Jazz and Trailbreaker. They ask if he's ok, and he says he is -and explains he jolted his equilibrium chips in the fall. But they'll stabilize, so now they can finish the Decepticons.

The Autobots resume firing, but the Decepticons suddenly retreat. Prime tells everyone to transform and return to HQ.

Meanwhile, the real Optimus Prime climbs back out of the ravine and wonders where everyone went. Back at the Autobot HQ, Prime asks Bumblebee to help him with Teletraan I. Ironhide asks if he's speaking to him, and he says he is, prompting Ironhide to say that he's not Bumblebee, he's Ironhide! Prime says he meant that, naturally, then asks when Teletraan I was checked out, as it's not working properly.

Jazz comes up and says Prime did it himself this morning! Spike and Windcharger think something is very wrong with Optimus Prime. Windcharger asks Prime what's wrong -he's acting like he doesn't know any of them, and doesn't know his way around. Prime tells him it was the fall -it rattled his circuitry. Suddenly an alarm for the outer perimeter goes off, and everyone is surprised to see why: another Optimus Prime is heading towards them! The Prime in the base already says it's amazing, he looks exactly like himself.

He tells the Autobots to let him in, as this other Prime is obviously a Decepticon imposter -and as soon as he's in range, they'll shoot him down. However as the other Prime enters, Ironhide stops everyone from firing. He says no shooting until they're sure who's for real, and who isn't. Prime 2 explains that Laserbeak attacked him, and he fell into a ravine, but then he sees Prime 1 and asks what's going on.

Prime 1 says every Autobot knows he's the genuine Optimus Prime. Bumblebee decides to get Teletraan I to find out who is the real Prime, and the computer runs a scan on both of them. But the results are identical -therefore both are Optimus Prime!

Spike and the Autobots decide to run some tests to try and find out who the real Prime is. The first test is a laser rifle sharp shooting challenge. It's a complicated shot which involves rebounding a shot off onto a marker, and from that hitting another rock. Prime 1 is first up, and pulls it off without any issues.

However his shot causes several rocks to break away, and as Prime 2 heads up to shoot, a boulder lands on him. Prime 1 says it seems this contest is already over. But Prime 2 gets up and throws the boulder off of himself, saying they just don't make rocky overhangs like they used to.

Cliffjumper says they can settle this with a race, and the two Prime transform. He says that the first one to the flats and back is the winner. The two Primes race off, creating a lot of dust. So much so that as they head back, and pass the Autobots, dust is going everywhere and the Autobots can't tell who's winning.

By the time the dust has cleared, the two Primes have transformed back to robot mode, and ones asks the other what took him so long. This test has turned out just like the last one: useless! The Autobots head back to their HQ, but they have a new problem: Bumblebee has found out from Teletraan I that there is more activity at the energy crevasse, and the lights are glowing even more intensely. Ironhide says it's because they're reaching critical temperature -they need to stop that reaction before the whole area explodes.

However this is another Decepticon trick -Megatron has set energy amplifiers that have given Teletraan I fake readings. Back at the Autobot HQ, the Primes are about to order the Autobots to roll out until Ironhide stops them -until they get their identities unscrambled, he's going to be giving the orders. He orders the Autobots to transform and roll out for the energy crevasse.

They arrive, and Prime 2 tells everyone to be on guard -they could be heading into another Decepticon trap. But Prime 1 says they'll spring any traps that need to be sprung. The Autobots move in, but are almost immediately attacked by the Decepticons. At the Decepticon HQ, Starscream laughs and says the Autobots are gloriously confused, they'll crush them once and for all. Megatron says not yet -they must be willing to follow his Prime clone into that crevasse, and to do that he must win their complete trust. To do that, the clone must destroy a Decepticon.

Starscream agrees, so Megatron asks him if he knows which Decepticon will be brave enough to make that sacrifice. Starscream ponders about it and says it should be a trusted officer, to make it look really good. Megatron says precisely -which is why he's decided on Starscream! Starscream freaks out and gets out of the HQ as fast as he can.

Megatron has Soundwave eject Laserbeak, and tells him to bring Starscream back without delay. As Laserbeak leaves the HQ, Spike and Windcharger happen to see both Starscream and Laserbeak come out of the side of the mountain. They also see that it looks like Laserbeak is chasing Starscream.

Starscream lands and says they won't take him back, as he refuses to sacrifice himself. Laserbeak fires at him, hitting him and making him fall, but he catches him and then takes him back inside the HQ. Windcharger and Spike see where the two Decepticons entered, and are able to get inside the HQ before the door shuts.

Inside the HQ, Megatron berates Starscream for his cowardice, he didn't stay long enough to hear him out. He explains that he plans to have his Prime clone destroy a clone of Starscream. Once that happens, the Autobots will follow the false Prime into the energy crevasse, and certain doom. Megatron runs the cloning machine, taking holographic images of Starscream. As this is going on, Windcharger and Spike see and hear everything.

The cloning process is completed, and Starscream admires his double and says it's very handsome -will it be as brave as he is in battle? Megatron's not sure about brave, but will be as obedient, as the real Starscream will be controlling all of the clone's actions.

The Starscream clone is sent out, and Windcharger and Spike follow it , only for Laserbeak to capture Spike. The doors shut on Windcharger...

...causing him to fall straight into the below crystal crevasse! Spike is shoved in front of Megatron, who tells him he is more fortunate than his Autobot friend, who no longer exists. He tells Soundwave to bring Spike closer, so he can watch the Autobots being led to their doom. Spike tells him the Autobots won't be played for suckers and he will lose, but Megatron says not this time. And once they've disposed with the Autobots, they'll dispose of him. He then tells Spike to watch the monitor.

Back at the battle, Hound, Warpath and Prowl lead the attack, but Starscream shoots at them, resulting in Warpath and Hound getting hit. Megatron and Starscream get the clones to face off with each other, and Megatron says he's written a brilliant scenario of Autobot destruction.

Starscream says it's not quite as brilliant as it would be if he was there himself to wipe out Optimus Prime, but Megatron reminds him the Prime there isn't the real one. He tells Starscream to say his line. At the battle, the Starscream clone tells everyone to stop firing, as he wants to challenge the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, to a one on one battle to the finish. Ironhide asks which one he's going to take on, and of course Starscream selects the Prime clone. Starscream has his clone tell everyone that the loser and his troops must leave the area immediately and forever.

The contest begins, and the clones don't hold back, firing rapidly at each other. But eventually the Prime clone gets a chance at a perfect shot, which his the Starscream clone and destroys it.

Trailbreaker says this Prime just destroyed Megatron's number 2 varmit, so he can't be working for Megatron. Huffer says he must be the real Optimus Prime, and asks what his orders are. Prime tells them to follow him into the crevasse -they must investigate the source of the energy emissions. The other Prime tells the Autobots not to follow him.

But they tell him the real Optimus Prime wouldn't chicken out of a little recon operation, so they'll follow him. As they head towards the crevasse, Windcharger suddenly drives out and transforms. The Autobots think this must mean the crevasse is safe, but Windcharger tells them it's not -the only reason he survived is because he transformed before he landed on a heap of korlonium crystals. The crystals destroy electronic parts on contact, but thanks to his rubber tires providing insulation, he was protected.

He says they're being led into a trap set by Megatron, who also has Spike. Prime says this is pure drivel, and Megatron has obviously reprogrammed Windcharger's logic circuits to mislead them. There's nothing that will harm them in the crevasse, so they will follow him and give Megatron a taste of his own medicine. Bumblebee asks about Spike, but Prime says he's unimportant.

The other Prime tells them to forget the crystals. The Autobots realize which prime is the real one, as the real one would save Spike. They know the other Prime is the imposter, and Ironhide says to destroy it.

The Autobots fire and the clone Prime is sent into the crevasse, where it hits the crystals and is vaporized. Megatron had been trying to stop them but it's too late, he sees all that's left of the clone is a plume of smoke. He tells the Decepticons they must escape -now! The Autobots charge towards the Decepticon HQ, but just as they get there, it blasts off.

Megatron yells to Prime that he won't catch him, but here is something to catch if he can: Spike! He throws him out of the rocket, but thankfully Powerglide is on the way. He transforms to his plane mode and says from one ship to another... big deal! He safely catches Spike and lands. As the Autobots regroup, Spike asks if Prime really is Prime. He says this time he is definitely him... or himself... or whoever he is... and tells Spike to put it there, partner.


-SCRIPT DIFFERENCES -Click here for details.

-This episode is the first not to animated by Toei or AKOM. It's one of several episodes fans haven't been able to pin down as to who animated it (they're trying, though!). This episode actually has quite a lot of nice animation, and it's thought whoever animated it also animated Auto Berserk.

-This episode also marks the last appearance of Reflector for a while. He does show up again a few times later on in the season, but the writers had been instructed not to use him due to his toy being discontinued. Reflector's toy was never on store shelves, but was eventually made available via a mail-order offer... in 1986. Which was a bit too late.

-Suddenly, out of nowhere there are two brand new Autobots: Warpath and Powerglide. Warpath's debut is pretty bad, since he gets nothing to say and he's shown getting hit, then he disappears for the rest of the episode. Powerglide does a bit better, getting a few words in and also saving Spike. But there is no explanation to where these guys came from. The original script had Inferno and Ramjet make an appearance, but their scene was cut. It seems the writers had to awkwardly start putting in the characters who had new toys for the 1985 line, but more on that later.

-The supposed real Optimus Prime refers to Trailbreaker as "Trailblazer" at one point. And then near the end he also calls Spike "Splick". Did the Autobots really destroy the right Prime?

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