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Fortress Maximus

Fortress Maximus

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Encyclopedia
Fortress Maximus is the name of several fictional characters from several of the various Transformers universes
Transformers universes
is an entertainment franchise. It began with the Hasbro Transformers toy line, centered on two factions of warring alien robots which are called the Autobots and the Decepticons...

. Fortress Maximus appeared in the season 4 finale of the US Transformers animated series voiced by Stephen Keener. He was one of the stars of the Japanese Transformers: Headmasters annimated series, voiced by Ikuya Sawaki. The Japanese anime series Transformers: Masterforce introduced his brother Grand Maximus as a regular character late in the series, who was also voiced by Ikuya Sawaki.

Transformers: Generation 1



Fortress Maximus is a warrior without compare – courageous, valiant, powerful... and yet a fervent pacifist who wishes that he will never have to fight again. For him, combat is entered into only out of necessity, in the name of saving the lives of others. Leader of the Autobot Headmasters
Headmaster (Transformers)
Headmasters are a sub-group of characters from the Transformers meta-series, distinguished by their ability to detach their heads when transforming into their alternate modes, with the heads then transforming themselves into a humanoid form...

, Fortress Maximus's own cranial component can disengage and transform into the Autobot named Cerebros, whose head in turn is formed by the Autobots' human ally, Spike Witwicky.

In both robot and battle station mode, Fortress Maximus is a walking armory. Retractable pulse cannons, wrist-mounted twin automatic machine gun batteries, dual laser-guided mortars in his legs, two heat-seeking laser blasters and a fusion-powered photon rifle mean that in terms of firepower, Fortress Maximus is unsurpassed. In battle station mode, he is fully equipped with communication, detection and radar equipment, and an extensively-stocked repair bay to suit almost any Transformer. Additionally, Maximus can remote-control two vehicles, Gasket and Grommet, to supply battleground first aid or as combat units, or even to combine into robot mode as Cog. His stature denotes his strength, but also belies his speed – his bulk may seem awkward, but moves with ease. For all his mighty physical powers and abilities, though, Maximus's greatest asset is unquestionably his mind – his vast intellect and tactical knowledge make crafting an attack almost second nature.

As Fortress Maximus must divide his concentration among each of his many parts, his larger self is occasionally left open to attack – his automated defense systems are all he has to rely on should he be controlling Gasket and Grommet, for example. Beyond this, however Fortress Maximus has no known weaknesses.

First available in 1987 as leader of the new assortment of Headmasters toys, Fortress Maximus remains the largest Transformers toy ever produced, standing at around two feet tall. The Japanese release of the toy included the "Master Sword," a gigantic blade for Fortress Maximus, and a smaller version for his Headmaster component (see below).

Fortress Maximus was voted the 8th top Transformer who was bad ass in the comics by Topless Robots.

Marvel Comics


When the Autobots splintered into a series of underground cells following upheavals in the wake of Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. Prime is the leader of the autobots, a faction of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron. The autobots are constantly waging war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons...

 and Megatron's disappearances, Fortress Maximus (here the size of a large, but normal Transformer, rather than the giant of the animated series) became the leader of a group of Autobots who often found themselves opposed by Decepticons under the command of Scorponok
Scorponok
Scorponok is the name shared by several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons that turn into Scorpoins.- Transformers: Generation 1:...

. Tiring of the endless war against the Decepticons, Maximus led his followers away to the peaceful world of Nebulos, but the sudden appearance of the robots threw the planet into chaos. In a show of good faith, Maximus disarmed, but when that did not prove his intention, he gave the Nebulons the most he had to give – his own head, which he tore from his shoulders and threw to the ground. Four of his troops followed suit, and the Nebulon leader, Galen Kord, accepted the gesture and made peace.

Unfortunately, Galen's political rival, Lord Zarak, was not so moved – contacting Cybertron, he asked for help from Scorponok and his Decepticons. When the Decepticons arrived and begun conquering the planet the Nebulons attempted to remote-control the Autobots' bodies in order to fight the Decepticons, but when that failed, Fortress Maximus put forth a suggestion that would truly make the Nebulons masters of the Autobots' bodies. Undergoing a cybernetic enhancement process, the Nebulons were outfitted with exo-suits that allowed them to transform into the Autobots' very heads in a merging of both body and mind; Galen himself became the head of Fortress Maximus. This allowed the Autobots to drive off the Decepticon attackers and to also maintain the fragile peace with the Nebulons. Eventually internal Nebulon politics resulted in Galen being taken prisoner by Zarak. Although corrupted by the sheer power of the Decepticons and by the mind of his Decepticon partner, Zarak managed to free Galen on the condition that both sides would take the fight away from Nebulos and to a distant world in order to save what was left of Nebulos. When the Autobots received a distress call from another group of Autobots, such a world was chosen – Earth. (Zarak's forces learned of Earth through interception of the Autobots' communications some time earlier.)

En route to Earth, the Autobots significantly upgraded Fortress Maximus, boosting his size and power levels far beyond their original specs. Such was his size increase that a separate regular Transformer-sized body was constructed, a drone named Cerebros, who became the new head of Fortress Maximus (who, although now much larger, still did not begin to approach the massive size of the character as depicted in the animated series, appearing of a stature more comparable to Grand Maximus). It was this body that Galen now formed the head of. In the first battle on Earth the upgraded Maximus proved unstoppable against the Decepticons and it was only through circumstance that the battle came down to a fight between Galen and Zarak themselves. Galen gained the upper hand but Zarak tricked him into breaking off the fight in order to save a human from harm. A rockslide killed Galen in the human's place and Fortress Maximus was rendered immobile until Spike Witwicky, the human Galen had saved, was given Galen's helmet, giving him control over Maximus's body. Operational again, Fortress Maximus quickly drove off the Decepticons. Spike subsequently underwent the binary-bonding process and fully took Galen's place as the head of Cerebros and a component of Fotress Maximus, merely so that he would be able to rescue his brother, Buster, from the Decepticons. This task was accomplished amidst the chaos caused by Starscream's plan to acquire the power of the Underbase, and when the villain was defeated, Spike abandoned his role as an Autobot.

This act effectively left Maximus in cold storage while Spike attempted to return to a normal life, but when the Decepticons Snarler and Carnivac tracked him down on Scorponok's orders, it soon became apparent that the Headmaster process had bonded Spike and Maximus in a much more complete way than any had guessed – Maximus's own mind still existed within Spike's, and as Spike realised this, a true unification occurred as he summoned Maximus's body from the Ark and merged with it to defeat the Decepticons.

Even with this discovery, however, Spike still strived to live in normality, and again returned Maximus to the Ark. When the Ark crashed in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 in 1991, Spike found himself drawn to the crash site, where he recombined with Maximus to battle the deranged Galvatron
Galvatron
Galvatron is the name of several fictional Transformers, most often the recreated version of Megatron, the Decepticon leader. He was voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 1986 Transformers movie, and then by Frank Welker in season 3 and 4 of the animated television series. Since then, other Transformers...

, even as the two personalities struggled to overcome their own internal conflict. In the end, Maximus defeated Galvatron, sending him toppling into the Arctic waters, from which he never emerged.

Fortress Maximus and Spike finally realized how important each was to the other when the comic was relaunched the following year as Transformers: Generation 2. Megatron restored the Ark, having survived its crash. During a deal between Megatron and Cobra
Cobra
Cobra is a venomous snake belonging to the family Elapidae. However, not all snakes commonly referred to as cobras are of the same genus, or even of the same family. The name is short for cobra capo or capa Snake, which is Portuguese for "snake with hood", or "hood-snake"...

 Spike managed to infiltrate the Ark and restore Maximus to operational levels, as Megatron had inflicted enough damage to disable him. After restoring Maximus' systems, Spike became a reluctant participant in a battle between Maximus and Megatron. He protested the lack of choice, but was also determined to stop Megatron. Spike accepted Maximus' decision to destroy the Ark's matter/anti-matter conversion chamber, causing the entire craft to blow up, taking both their lives along with it but failing to destroy Megatron.

Animated series


In the Earth year 2007, when the Decepticons successfully stole the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber and opened the ancient device, a group of Autobots and humans including Cerebros and Spike were blasted across the galaxy by the energy release, crash-landing on the planet Nebulos. Quickly siding with a group of rebels engaged in a war against the planet's evil rulers, the Hive, they deduced a process by which they could combine the best of their minds and bodies together, becoming Headmasters. Of the Autobots present, only Cerebros refused to go through with the procedure, leaving in hopes of finding some kind of peace.

Such was not to be for Cerebros – while roaming the wilds of Nebulos, he came upon the original city that had been the Hive's base, until they moved their operations underground. Returning to tell his allies of his discovery, the exhausted Autobot collapsed at their feet, even as Spike conceived of an idea to thwart the Decepticons' newest super-robot, Scorponok
Scorponok
Scorponok is the name shared by several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons that turn into Scorpoins.- Transformers: Generation 1:...

. Under protest, Cerebros took Spike back to the city, where he was able to manipulate the abandoned construction machines to rebuild the city into a giant Headmaster Transformer, integrating both himself and Cerebros into it. Returning to Cybertron, Spike was successfully able to use the power of Fortress Maximus and his own human ingenuity to stop the Decepticons and their plan to destroy the Earth and Cybertron in a supernova, in the process using the excess solar energy to revitalise Cybertron into a new Golden Age. Trapped in alternate mode without Spike to form his head while this went on, Cerebros then requested that Spike deactivate him so that he could finally escape the conflict – but when Spike became his head once again and he bore witness to the new age that had blossomed around him, Cerebros reconsidered, and was appointed the guardian of Nebulos by Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. Prime is the leader of the autobots, a faction of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron. The autobots are constantly waging war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons...

.

Fortress Maximus made his only appearance in the original animated series in its final episode, "The Rebirth," Part 3. He does not exhibit any signs of having his own intelligence, except for perhaps his one line of dialogue – "Decepticons... prepare to face ... Fortress Maximus!" – provided by Stephen Keener. Cerebros was performed by Jared Barclay, while Spike was vocalised, as ever, by Corey Burton
Corey Burton
Corey Burton is an American voice actor, perhaps best known as Count Dooku, Ziro the Hutt and Cad Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Brainiac in the DC animated universe and Spike Witwicky and Shockwave in the Transformers universe...

.

Whereas "The Rebirth" served as an ending for the cartoon series in the west, in Japan, it was decided to continue producing new episodes. To that end, "The Rebirth" was discarded, and in its stead, a new 35-episode series titled Transformers: Headmasters was created, along with a new Japanese concept for Headmasters which differed distinctly from their Western counterparts. There would be no Nebulons or humans here – instead, the heads were small Cybertronians, and the bodies were lifeless constructs called "Transtectors" to which these small robots connected themselves, and which they controlled. Although the Japanese toyline, like the West, gave the Headmaster components different names to the larger Transtectors – Spike (no longer that character) was renamed "Cerebros" – the animated series used only one name for both the head and the Transtector; for Fortress Maximus, there was no Spike, and no Cerebros – there was simply Fortress.

Four million years ago, Fortress was the leader of one of the many groups of Autobots who fled Cybertron to escape the wars. Things took a turn for the worse, however, when their spaceship crashed on the planet Master, the harsh environments of which killed many members of the crew. In order to survive the dangers inherent to life on Master, the Autobots created the lifeless bodies known as Transtectors, and underwent rigorous training to master the transformation technique and merge with them. Their training also allowed them to develop considerable mental powers such as telepathy
Telepathy
Telepathy , is the induction of mental states from one mind to another. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference...

 and telekinesis.

However, a member of the group known as Zarak
Scorponok
Scorponok is the name shared by several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons that turn into Scorpoins.- Transformers: Generation 1:...

 chafed under Fortress's leadership, and he and three of the Headmasters loyal to him turned on him, only to be defeated and forced off of Master. Zarak subsequently teamed up with Decepticon leader Galvatron
Galvatron
Galvatron is the name of several fictional Transformers, most often the recreated version of Megatron, the Decepticon leader. He was voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 1986 Transformers movie, and then by Frank Welker in season 3 and 4 of the animated television series. Since then, other Transformers...

, and when they attacked Cybertron in the year 2011, Fortress and his men – Chromedome, Brainstorm, Hardhead and Highbrow – returned to their home planet aboard Fortress's battleship, Maximus, and joined the war once more.

When Zarak succeeded in decimating Cybertron in a colossal explosion, Rodimus Prime elected to search for a new world that the Transformers could live on. In his absence, he appointed Fortress the new commander of the Autobots, and it was not long before he was forced to reveal his greatest transformation secret: Battleship Maximus itself was, in fact, a gargantuan Transtector, to which Fortress connected, forming Fortress Maximus and defending San Francisco against a Decepticon attack.

In order to transform into Fortress Maximus, Fortress must draw the blade known as the Master Sword from his command console, which can only be done when his physical and mental energies are in perfect synchronisation. Fortress then enlarges as he transforms into head mode, and Fortress Maximus wields a larger version of the Master Sword in battle. Composed of G Metal, the hardest substance in the known galaxy, use of the sword's power to become Fortress Maximus leaves Fortress considerably weakened after each use – a factor that prevented him from stopping Zarak, now combined with his own giant Transtector as Scorponok, from destroying Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

.

Subsequently, Battleship Maximus carried Fortress and the Autobots in pursuit of the Decepticons across the galaxy as they ransacked planets for their energy, with Fortress often becoming Fortress Maximus and forcing the Decepticons to retreat, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Upon both forces' return to Earth, the Autobots discovered Scorponok's weak spot, and Fortress Maximus used the Master Sword to strike it, critically wounding Scorponok, who fled Earth and returned to planet Master, where he mined for G Metal to create a shield that could counter the Master Sword. In the ensuing confrontation, his newly-created Zarak Shield deflected the Master Sword, and Fortress Maximus was defeated. The Decepticons then returned to Earth, and Scorponok began a plan to destroy the planet, which culminated in a battle between the entire Autobot and Decepticon armies at the North Pole
North Pole
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

. Trapped in a struggle with Scorponok, Fortress Maximus was energised by the power of all his troops, and used the Master Sword to destroy Scorponok's Transtector, hacking it in two. The Decepticons fled into space, and the Autobots left Earth to pursue them.

Dreamwave Productions



In Dreamwave Productions
Dreamwave Productions
Dreamwave Productions was a Canadian art design studio and comic book publisher founded in 1996 and is best known for their multiple Transformers comic book series...

' 21st century reimagining of the Generation One universe, Fortress Maximus's appearance was brief, but essentially portrayed the character in the same style as the Marvel Comics. After the disappearance of Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. Prime is the leader of the autobots, a faction of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron. The autobots are constantly waging war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons...

, Megatron and their troops four million years ago, Fortress Maximus and Ultra Magnus
Ultra Magnus
Ultra Magnus is the name of several fictional characters from the various Transformers storylines.-Transformers: Generation 1:The greatest Transformer of them all. A commander could want no finer a soldier than Ultra Magnus...

 took fluctuating joint command of the Autobots, but the role did not sit well with Maximus, who sought an end to the war.

Fortress Maximus appeared in as a major character in Dreamwave Productions Micromasters mini-series. In issue #1, "Destined For Nothing", Countdown and Groundshaker return from space to find the Autobot base largely abandoned. The first Autobots they encounter, Topspin
Topspin (Transformers)
Topspin is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers universes. Due to legal issues, later incarnations of the character are called Autobot Topspin.-Transformers: Generation 1:...

 and Twin Twist seem surprised to see them, and more surprised that Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. Prime is the leader of the autobots, a faction of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron. The autobots are constantly waging war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons...

 isn't with them. Countdown and Groundshaker are equally surprised that Optimus has not returned to Cybertron before they did. Countdown confronts Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus and informs them that Operation: Containment, an attempt to prevent the Decepticon threat from spreading beyond Cybertron, has failed. Countdown explains that the Decepticon Skystalker and his forces ravaged the peaceful planet, Paradron, and that the Autobots need to mount an intergalactic patrol force to prevent the same fate from befalling other worlds. Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus disagree, stating that Autobot forces are already underpowered and spread thin as it is. Groundshaker interrupts, belligerently demanding the Autobot command take action, before he is pulled from the room by Countdown. As Countdown and Groundshaker leave the command center, they overhear Big Daddy
Big Daddy (Transformers)
Big Daddy is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. The first Big Daddy was a Micromaster, while the later two are homages to the original character, both of which use the same toy, even though they are different characters.-Transformers: Generation 1:Big...

 and his patrol griping about the day's events, which interests Countdown greatly. Big Daddy and company then confront Magnus and Maximus, upset that Crunch lost his life defending Roadbuster
Roadbuster
Roadbuster is the name of three fictional characters from the various Transformers universes.-Transformers: Generation 1:Roadbuster's bio described him as happiest when he is in battle destroying Decepticons. While he is an inspiring presence and natural leader in battle, he doesn't adapt well to...

. The argument grows more heated, before Fortress Maximus orders the Hot Rod Patrol to turn in their weapons and dismisses them.

When conflict erupted over the loyalties of the Micromasters
Micromasters
Micromasters is a Transformers subline composed of small figures that came packaged in groups and with bases that interacted with the figures. They were sold at the peak of Galoob's Micro Machines craze and were packaged in groups of four just like Micro Machines...

, Maximus reached a decision – he might not be able to end the war, but he could end it for himself, by refusing to fight any further.

When the planetwide deactivation known as the "Great Shutdown" struck, Fortress Maximus willingly surrendered to oblivion's bliss to escape the conflict. However, upon reactivating in the present day, he was dismayed to still see war around him. It is apparent that he revived Optimus Prime's original idea upon becoming commander – to abandon Cybertron altogether – but any further details of that plan (which presumably resulted in his, and others', relocation to Nebulos) were never revealed, as Dreamwave's bankruptcy and subsequent closure left any further stories of Fortress Maximus untold. However, Maximus as a Headmaster made a surprise appearance in the first War Within series in Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. Prime is the leader of the autobots, a faction of transforming robots from the planet Cybertron. The autobots are constantly waging war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons...

's Matrix related visions of the future.

IDW Publishing


Maximus made his first IDW Publishing
IDW Publishing
IDW Publishing, also known as Idea + Design Works, LLC and IDW, is an American publisher of comic books and comic strip collections. The company was founded in 1999 and has been awarded the title "Publisher of the Year Under 5% Market Share" for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 by Diamond Comic...

 appearance in the Spotlight issue on Arcee
Arcee
Arcee is the name of a fictional character in the Transformers franchise. She is a female Autobot, usually pink in color. Being the most famous of the Female Transformers, she has two primary forms...

 as commander of an Autobot penal facility housing some of the most dangerous Transformers prisoners, including the Monstructor components
Monster Pretenders
The Monster Pretenders are a group of fictional Decepticons in the Transformers franchise. The team is the last of the traditional combiners from the Generation 1 series and is one of the few non-Micromaster combiner teams to have six members .-Transformers: Generation...

 and Arcee herself. When the Combaticons
Combaticons
The Combaticons are a group of Decepticon military vehicles in the assorted fictional universes of the Transformers.- Transformers: Generation 1 :...

 attacked, a reluctant Maximus released Arcee to assist his outgunned troops. Despite this, the Combaticons escaped with the Monstructor Transformers and Maximus, persuaded by Jetfire
Jetfire
Jetfire is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers universes. He is nearly always depicted as an Autobot with jet or space shuttle alternate mode.-Transformers: Generation 1:...

, took the decision to release Arcee to track them down. He also did not appear to be much larger than most other Autobots.

Convention comics


Fortress appeared in the unlicensed mini-comic released for the 2011 TFcon, called "Changes in War". This story is set on the planet Master before the events of Transformers: The Headmasters
Transformers: The Headmasters
is a Japanese anime television series.-Development:Inititally, Takara, the Japanese producers of the Transformers toyline, imported the American Transformers cartoon series from 1985 to 1986...

. Fortress is among the Autobots who try and fail to stop Scorponok
Scorponok
Scorponok is the name shared by several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons that turn into Scorpoins.- Transformers: Generation 1:...

 and his allies from escaping.

Toys

  • Generation 1 Fortress Maximus with Cerebros and Spike (1987)
Standing at 2 feet (61 cm) tall in robot mode, Fortress Maximus was the tallest robot in the Generation 1 toy line, and indeed the largest Transformers toy ever. He transformed into a compact "city" mode, and assumed a secondary mode described in the U.S. instruction manual as a "battle station". This mode was rebranded as a starship for the Japanese instructions, and was the toy's "default" mode in the Headmasters anime series. Additionally, the 1987 Hasbro toy catalog featured a mis-transformed Fortress Maximus in a mode referred to as an "impenetrable fortress", essentially consisting of his city mode with the legs splayed outwards.
In all modes, Maximus had a wide array of pop-out (non-firing) guns and gimmicks. His left leg hid a small prison cell, plus had a swing-out cannon/helipad. His right leg had a small storage compartment. His torso had a gear-activated spinner for the detachable radar array accessory, a "control socket" for Cerebros's "communications tower" mode, and a working elevator that could lift small toys up to its central ramp to be launched in his altmodes. (The crank for this elevator ended up in a very unfortunate position in robot mode.) Each arm had a long ramp on the back with sliding launchers for small vehicles.
His robot-mode head was formed by Cerebros, who did not actually need Spike to attach to the upper body. He came with both Headmaster units, plus the Gasket and Grommet mini-vehicles.
The Japanese release of Fortress Maximus came with a pair of swords; a small one for Fortress and a large one for Maximus. It is unknown if the swords were originally planned for the Hasbro version but dropped for price or safety concerns, or if they were a Takara-initiated addition to their release of the toy. The large sword was re-released with the God Fire Convoy
Omega Prime
Omega Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers toyline. He is the combined form of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus.-Transformers: Robots in Disguise:...

 gift set in the 2000 Transformers: Car Robots
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Transformers: Robots in Disguise, known in Japan as , is a Japanese anime television series and serves as a self-contained universe separate from any of the other existing Transformers universes...

series.
Based on Spike being about 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and the toy being in scale, Cerebros would stand 16 in 6 in (5.03 m) tall and Fortress Maximus would stand 185 feet (56.4 m) tall.
During its time of release, Fortress Maximus retailed at $89.99, making him the most expensive Transformers toy in the U.S. market (a record that wasn't met or broken for nearly two decades, until the release of 20th Anniversary DVD Edition Optimus Prime, Ultimate Bumblebee) and Supreme Constructicon Devastator. Maximus was also the third most expensive toy Hasbro produced at the time (behind the USS Flagg
USS Flagg
The USS Flagg is a fictional U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier from the toy line, comic and cartoon series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. It is the G.I. Joe Team's primary sea going vessel...

and Defiant
Defiant (G.I. Joe)
The Defiant is a fictional space shuttle complex vehicle and station from the G.I. Joe series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, line of toys, comics and cartoons.-Toys:...

Space Shuttle Complex from the G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe is a line of action figures produced by the toy company Hasbro. The initial product offering represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces with the Action Soldier , Action Sailor , Action Pilot , Action Marine and later on, the Action Nurse...

 series).
This toy was designed by Kouzin Ohno, and is filed under U.S. patent D305,786.

Grand Maximus



Grand Maximus is the brother of Fortress Maximus.

Animated series


Japan continued their trend of exclusive series in 1988 with Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, which took place a few years after the events of Headmasters. Fortress himself put in one very brief cameo in the show, appearing as barely identifiable behind a communication screen full of static, but the series featured a very similar character - his younger brother, Grand. The Grand Maximus toy was the same as Fortress Maximus, except for its new coloration, and the most notable change - the Headmaster component, Grand (the redeco of Fortress/Cerebros), now possessed a Pretender
Pretenders (Transformers)
Pretenders is a subline within the Transformers toy line, introduced in 1988. The concept behind the toy was that the Transformers were capable of disguising their robotic forms through the use of synthetic organic outer shells.-Cloudburst:...

 shell.

Grand was among the Transformers who went with Fortress to Master, where he became a Headmaster, before leaving the planet and teaming up with a small group of Autobots lead by Metalhawk
Metalhawk
Metalhawk is a fictional character, a Transformer robot in the Japanese Masterforce series.-Transformers: Generation 1:Metalhawk transforms into a jet, and has a human Pretender shell. In robot mode his left hand could retract and launch knock-out gas. His weapons include a Jet Rifle, Titanium...

. Metalhawk's team pursued another group of Decepticons through space, and they both wound up crashing on Earth several thousand years ago. There, in order to blend in with the primitive humans, the Autobots used their Pretender abilities to shrink their bodies down into the form of humans themselves. The Decepticons, on the other hand, took the form of monstrous creatures, terrorizing early man as demons until Metalhawk, Grand and the other Autobot Pretenders defeated and imprisoned them.

It is not clear at what point it occurred, but eventually, Grand rejoined his brother and the other Autobots in space, where the main conflict with the Decepticons occurred post-2011. When the Autobots discovered that the Decepticon super-weapon Black Zarak
Scorponok
Scorponok is the name shared by several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons that turn into Scorpoins.- Transformers: Generation 1:...

 was heading towards Earth, Grand was dispatched to warn the Pretenders, arriving on Earth ahead of Black Zarak in his own downsized Maximus-style battleship (where Fortress's battleship was sized to transport Transformers, Grand's was sized to transport humans and human-disguised Transformers like himself and the other Pretenders). Grand gave the Autobots the plans necessary to create a drone named God Bomber, who would be able to combine with Ginrai
Ginrai
Ginrai, occasionally spelled Jinrai and also known as both Super Ginrai and God Ginrai, and later rebuilt as Victory Leo, is a fictional character from the animated series Transformers: Super-God Masterforce and its toy line, one of the Transformers series exclusive to Japan...

, giving him the power to defeat Black Zarak.

When God Ginrai clashed with Black Zarak and Overlord on Earth's moon, Grand joined the fight, shedding his Pretender disguising and combining with his battleship to form Grand Maximus. With their combined strength, they defeated the two Decepticons, and Grand Maximus pusued the fleeing BlackZarak back into space. However, in the time they then spent in the void, BlackZarak mastered localised gravity manipulation, and trapped Grand Maximus within a black hole until God Ginrai rescued him, briefly leaving the Earth open for BlackZarak to attack. Grand Maximus then participated in the resultant series of battles which culminated in the destruction of BlackZarak and Devil Z, and he returned to join the ongoing battle in space.

In the Transformers: Zone
Transformers: Zone
is a one-shot OVA exclusive to Japan in the fictional Transformers universe.-Development:Originally intended to be a full TV series, Transformers: Zone was forced to become direct-length direct-to-video due to less than expected toy sales. The series was canceled after just one episode at 25 minutes...

 animation Grand Maximus is seen among other high-ranking Autobots (such as Road Caesar, Landcross, Metalhawk, Lander, and the Autobot Godmasters) when Dai Atlas is sworn-in by Victory Saber as the new Supreme Commander of the Autobot forces.

Toys

  • Generation 1 Grand Maximus (1988)
A remold of Fortress Maximus. Only released in Japan.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise



In the parallel universe
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

 of Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Transformers: Robots in Disguise, known in Japan as , is a Japanese anime television series and serves as a self-contained universe separate from any of the other existing Transformers universes...

, Fortress Maximus made his return to TV screens in the west for the first time since the end of the original series. The toy itself was not actually released in the West, however, as it was unable to pass American safety tests. Known as Brave Maximus in Japan, his toy was a recolored version of the original Fortress Maximus figure, except he did not come with Gasket, Grommet or his hand-held weapons. His Headmaster component is known simply as The Emissary (Brave in Japan). The Emissary's Headmaster is Cerebros (known as Plasma in Japan), the smallest component of the toy. Interestingly, rather than being portrayed as human/Nebulon-sized in the animated series, Cerebros was the size of a normal Transformer, making Maximus particularly large compared to Generation One Fortress Maximus and the largest Transformer in history.

Fortress Maximus was hidden on Earth in order to protect the planet, slumbering beneath its surface, with the assorted keys to his re-awakening scattered across the globe. These component pieces are known as the O-Parts. They were concealed within ancient structures: the Orb of Sigma within a subterranean pyramid, and Cerebros, the power key of Maximus, within a South American temple. All the was presumably done with the aid of the early civilisations responsible for the constructions. At some undefined point, a group of six Autobots were sent to Earth to reactivate him. Their ship crashed and they joined Maximus in stasis until the emergence of Megatron and Optimus Prime's forces.

Although he kept his agenda secret, Megatron had actually come to Earth in order to reactivate Fortress Maximus. To that end, he kidnapped noted archaeologist Doctor Kenneth Onishi, who had detected energy emanations from Maximus beneath his city, and had mapped the location of the O-Parts. Kept comatose, a resistant Onishi's mind was read by Megatron in hopes of learning the location of the O-Parts. Meanwhile, the Autobots had a microchip gifted to Onishi's son, Koji, to guide them. The first of the O-Parts was located within the Cave of the Dragon, and a second was later found.

Some time later, the hapless Predacon Sky-Byte
Sky-Byte
Sky-Byte is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. He is usually a Predacon who turns in a mechanical shark.-Transformers: Robots in Disguise:...

 held a tower of humans hostage. He was able to bluff the Autobots into suggesting their O-Parts as ransom, completely unaware as to what the components truly were. The plan resulted in failure, and soon after, the Autobots discovered Fortress Maximus's body buried beneath the city. They brought it to the surface and hid it from their enemies. With the help of the liberated Doctor Onishi, the remaining five O-Parts were quickly recovered by the Autobots despite Predacon and Decepticon interference. United, the seven O-Parts formed a map that led to the Orb of Sigma, which then merged with the O-Parts to lead the Autobots to Cerebros. Unfortunately, the Decepticons successfully captured Cerebros, and Scourge
Scourge (Transformers)
Scourge is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers series. He first appeared as one of the central villains in the 1986 film The Transformers, voiced by Stan Jones. He also regularly appeared in the animated Transformers series and Transformers comic books. Since then other...

 was able to use the part of his programming that was Optimus Prime's to command him to activate Fortress Maximus. Summoning forth the city's transforming master computer, the Emissary, Cerebros became its head, then it in turn became Maximus's head. However, Transformer immediately began rampaging out of Scourge's control until Koji commanded it to stop, and Maximus once again disappeared beneath the Earth, leaving behind Cerebros in Decepticon hands.

In his assignment as protector of Earth, Maximus had been harmonically keyed to obey commands from human beings. With this information, Scourge used the part of his bio-signature that was human to briefly control Maximus until a mass of human children overrode his control. The Decepticons then kidnapped Koji's friend, Carl, and used him to control Maximus. The plan failed when Scourge then turned Maximus on Galvatron
Galvatron
Galvatron is the name of several fictional Transformers, most often the recreated version of Megatron, the Decepticon leader. He was voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 1986 Transformers movie, and then by Frank Welker in season 3 and 4 of the animated television series. Since then, other Transformers...

 (an upgraded incarnation of Megatron). With Cerebros and the full understanding of Fortress Maximus finally in Autobot hands, the Autobots countered an attack by the Decepticons by activating Maximus. Maximus engaged Galvatron in battle and almost had him defeated, until he used his power-draining abilities to sap Maximus's strength, using it to boost his own. While Omega Prime
Omega Prime
Omega Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers toyline. He is the combined form of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus.-Transformers: Robots in Disguise:...

 challenged the empowered Galvatron to a battle at the Earth's core, Koji had children all around the world send their hope and energy to Fortress Maximus. Maximus channelled this energy to Omega Prime in the form of the mighty Matrix Blade (that looked like the Master Sword), with which Prime defeated Galvatron. Maximus, along with Ultra Magnus, subsequently transported Galvatron and his troops away from Earth for imprisonment.

Toys

  • Car Robots Brave Maximus (2000)
A blue repaint of G1 Fortress Maximus. This toy was similarly equipped, but lacked the swords of the original G1 release. He was never released in the U.S. along with the Robots in Disguise line, reportedly due to cost issues and concerns over stricter toy safety regulations.

Transformers Animated


In the episode "This is Why I Hate Machines", the Elite Guard's Cybertron base is revealed to be named "Fortress Maximus". It is a tower (resembling the central tower of the G1 version's city mode) that can transform into a cannon.

Other uses of Fortress Maximus


The name Fortress Maximus had been previously considered by Hasbro for the character who eventually became Omega Supreme
Omega Supreme
Omega Supreme is the name of a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. He is always an Autobot and is often depicted as a gigantic transformer with vast strength and/or overwhelming firepower.-Transformers: Generation 1:...

, and again for Metroplex
Metroplex (Transformers)
Metroplex is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers series.-Transformers: Generation 1:Metroplex is capable of transforming into a battle station or a giant robot...

. The possibility of this name being applied to Metroplex was long enough in consideration that both the storyboards for The Transformers: The Movie
The Transformers: The Movie
The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated series of the same name. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986 and in the UK on December 5, 1986....

and the Marvel Comics adaptation of the film itself refer to the city's transformed state as "Fortress Maximus."

Also, the 2000 Robots In Disguise toy Bruticus was renamed from its original name, Cerberus, to avoid confusion with Cerebros. Interestingly, the Megabolt Megatron toy, designed for Beast Machines
Beast Machines
Beast Machines is an animated television series produced by Mainframe Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. Hasbro has the full distribution rights to the show as of 2011. It was a direct sequel to Beast Wars taking place within the continuity of the original Transformers series...

, is of comparative size to function as a head unit for the Fortress Maximus toy. Upon carefully removing the head/ship mode's ball-jointed, spider-like legs from their sockets, Megabolt Megatron does fit into the port for Fortress Maximus's head. It should also be noted that Armada Laserbeak in camera mode can also serve as a head for a Maximus robot.

External links