The Gambler


After leaving the planet of giant aliens, Optimus' group of Autobots are on the way back home to Earth but then the rocket runs out of fuel. As Inferno begins to yell at Perceptor for not making it work properly, there is a sudden blast of light and then the Autobot's spaceship is pulled inside another, much larger craft which then zooms off.


When the Autobots step outside they are led into a laboratory and before they know it has happened they are all put in test tubes as the ship's captain, Bosch, steps out and welcomes them all but refuses to release them simply stating that desperate times call for desperate measures and he uses a machine to turn all of the Autobots into mindless slaves, with the intention of selling them!

But Smokescreen is still OK as his test tube breaks down before the process can be completed, as Bosch starts to get angry over his shoddy equipment and the fact that he used up his last bit of energon on the Autobots. One of Bosch's guards stuns Smokescreen as Bosch heads off to play his gambling machine, which he loses at - despite having it rigged so he should always win. Smokescreen then says that he is good at gambling and gets to have a go, and thanks to a device he uses from his arm, he cheats to win. Bosch is impressed with this and tells Smokescreen of Monacus, the biggest gambling asteroid in the galaxy and that if Smokescreen helps him to win some energon chips there, he will release the other Autobots.

With the two seeing that they need each other's help, they agree to co-operate and Bosch shrinks the other Autobots down in size with a gun for now, saying that they can put them towards a few energon chips to gamble with before buying them back when he's rich. With the energon they will get, Bosch will be able to power his space cruiser for a long time and they all head down in a smaller ship to Monacus.

They land on the asteroid and look into places which might buy robots, but everyone turns them down until there is only one option left: go and see Lord Gyconi, who resides at the lowest of the low place on the asteroid. The head there and enter his "Pit of destruction", where anyone can fighting vicious aliens for 60 seconds. If they survive that long, they get 100 energon chips but few have ever made it. A lizard/frog type alien then approaches them and leads them on to where Lord Gyconi is.

They find the fat bozo in his chamber and they are forced to agree to his terms to use the other Autobots as collateral in exchange for fifty energon chips at 500% interest from him, and they only have an hour to return or he gets to keep the Autobots. Smokescreen isn't happy about this but takes them anyway and immediately starts winning lots and lots of energon chips, to the point where they have way more than they actually need but despite Bosch's warnings to stop Smokescreen is enjoying himself so much he keeps on playing.

He then gets a little crazy and decides to bet everything they have won so far on this next game, but as he starts to play another gambler sees that he is cheating and removes the device he was using to win - and as the game stops Smokescreen and Bosch see that they have just lost everything!

The two head back to see Gyconi but he just laughs them off and says that the Autobots are now his -and then gives them a pair of tickets for tonight's match, where his "Animaliens" will be fighting the robots. As they leave, Gyconi sends Slizardo, that green reptile alien, after them to see what they get up to. Meanwhile, Astrotrain lands on Monacus and off jump Ramjet and Dirge, who have a minor argument and then the two seeker jets head off, although Dirge fears that they may be being watched.

Smokescreen heads to a bar where he says he wished he hadn't made that last bet as they wouldn't be in the mess they are in now although Bosch says that he too never knew when to give it up at time when he has been gambling. Slizardo is also in the bar being beaten up when another robot walks in and knocks away his attackers. Smokescreen sees the Autobot symbol on this robot's chest and calls out to him, and he introduces himself as Devcon - an Autobot who left Cybertron a long time a go to seek out and destroy Decepticons, and he has hunted down three of them to Monacus. Smokescreen and Bosch say that they haven't seen them but guess that if they are anywhere on this asteroid, they'll be at Lord Gyconi's place.

And two of the Decepticons are indeed meeting with Gyconi, and it seems that he works with the Decepticons although Ramjet and Dirge tell him that they've been hearing stories about him stealing energon for himself and not sharing it enough with the Decepticons. He says that this is all lies but the duo then see a couple of tickets advertising tonight's fight, featuring the Autobots and they decide to stick around and watch it.

Gyconi then heads down and injects each Autobot with some energy that will make them fight fiercely for a few minutes. His plan is for this to make them look really strong so loads of people will bet on them, but the Autobots will eventually power down and lose the fights meaning that Gyconi will earn a lot of money. Smokescreen and Bosch can only watch as Optimus is the first out and after initially winning against his alien opponent, he starts to get thrown around a lot.

Smokescreen has enough of seeing his friends being battered around and heads off to fill the place with as much smoke as possible, causing everyone to grab back their energon chips and then leave. Smokescreen and Bosch then head off but Ramjet and Dirge follow them and knock them off the road by dropping down several missiles.

Thankfully Devcon arrives on the scene and hits the two Decepticons with his arm blaster, causing them to transform and run off. Smokescreen is impressed with his skill and asks him to join him and the other Autobots to help defend the Earth but he declines the offer, although he says that he will help them rescue the other Autobots. They head off and almost run over Slizardo, who tells them that the Autobots have now been taken to Astrotrain outside of town.

The Decepticons intend to take the Autobots back to Earth but the Autobots show up and a firefight breaks out between the two sides. As Gyconi attempts to load the Autobots onto Astrotrain, Bosch and Slizardo corner him and demand for the Autobots to be released. Seeing how he is trapped, Gyconi asks Astrotrain for some help.

Astrotrain transforms and says my favourite Transformers line of all time, but before he can actually do much Smokescreen transforms and delivers a thick black smoke everywhere that hinders the Decepticons and lets Bosch and Slizardo get the other Autobots out of the way.

Seeing that they have failed to capture the Autobots, Ramjet , Dirge and Gyconi cram onto Astrotrain who then takes off to head away from Monacus. Devcon says that he can't let them escape and transforms, finally revealing his alt mode which is a Cybertronic spaceship. He offers Slizardo the chance to join him and he accepts, and soon the two are up in the air on the trail of Astrotrain.

With the Autobots restored, none of them can remember what has happened recently until Inferno sees Bosch and remembers that he tried to fry them earlier, but Smokescreen says that he is now their friend and that he has agreed to take them back to Earth. But before they go Smokescreen asks if they can have a little R&R and strangely, Optimus agrees which ends the episode with the message that gambling is super awesome!

Devcon was a character made just for the cartoon - he had no toy. This also marks his first and last appearance in the series.

It isn't the last appearance of Slizardo though, as he appears in the season 3 episode "Grimlock's New Brain" which is set at least twenty years after this one, although he doesn't appear to have aged a bit. It also seems that he must have left Devcon as he is portrayed as a no-good space scoundrel. That episode was also animated by Akom who likely found his animation model, thought it looked pretty cool and so re-used it.

Bumblebee is the only Autobot not to get anything to say.