Powerlink is a term from Transformers Armada and Transformers Energon that refers to a combination between two or more Transformers, or a Transformer and a robotic object.
In Transformers: Armada, all larger transformers (either Autobots or Decepticons) have the ability to powerlink with a Mini-Con by way of specialized "powerlinx ports." This process uses the Mini-Con's unique powers to give the Transformer a boost of energy (such as with Megatron's cannon), or reveal a special weapon (such as Hot Shot's axel-wheel cannon).
- Note - In Armada's Japanese counterpart, Micron Legend, this process is referred to as "Evolution."
In addition, Powerlinking also referred to combination between multiple Transformers. Optimus Prime and Jetfire both had the ability to combine with one another into "Jet Optimus", and later on, with Overload as well.
- Note - In Japan, "Jet Optimus" is referred to as "Jet Convoy" (erroneously used in the dub once). Optimus combined with Overload is "Magna Convoy", and with both Overload and Jetfire, "Magna Jet Convoy." Both of those latter combinations are un-named in the dub.
Other examples of this include the Street Action Team's combination into Perceptor, the three weapon Mini-Con teams' ability to combine into the Star Saber, Skyboom Shield, and Requiem Blaster, as well as Megatron's ability to combine with Tidal Wave (Burning Megatron in Japan).
In the Transformers Armada comic by Dreamwave, the Mini-Cons' ability to powerlink is acquired by extensive remodeling done to them by the Decepticons.
In Armada's sequel, Transformers: Energon, Powerlinking is almost exclusively done between Autobots (other than the combiners Constructicon Maximus and Bruticus Maximus). Through the power of the Spark of Combination, provided by Primus, the Autobots gained the ability to combine with one another, as long as their partners had one as well.
Most Powerlinking was done between two the various members of the Autobot ranks, with one Autobot forming the upper body and the other forming the lower body - the resulting combination was referred to by the dominant Transformers' name with "Powerlinx" in front of it. For example, a combination between Hot Shot and Inferno with Hot Shot as the upper body would be called "Powerlinx Hot Shot."
This method of combination was sort of by sizes, with Checkpoint, Hot Shot, Inferno, Rodimus, Prowl, and Downshift all being compatible with one another, while Ironhide, Jetfire (who had been modified from his Armada incarnation), Overcast, Beachcomber and Cliffjumper forming the other "size-class."
Still other methods of Powerlinking did not involve another Transformer, but rather, a supplementary weapon. Landmine, Landquake, Quickstrike and Bulkhead were equipped with "drones" that they could link with into stronger forms named "Brute Modes." As well, Optimus Prime could link with his "Prime Force" - which consisted of Fire-1, a fire engine, Copter-2, a helicopter, Digger-3, a drill tank, and Submarine-4, a submarine, into his basic super mode.
- Note - A Japanese exclusive model kit called "Grand Scourge" was made in the image of Optimus Prime, and could combine with his drones into "Grand Scourge Hyper Mode."
Finally, Optimus Prime could powerlink with two other individuals; Wing Saber, formerly Wing Dagger, who had been rebuilt after being destroyed at the hands of Shockblast, and Omega Supreme, an ancient Cybertronian warrior. The combinations with Wing Saber took the form of Optimus's "Fight Mode" and "Flight Mode" (both forms being called "Wing Convoy" in Japan), and the combination with Omega Supreme was known as "Optimus Supreme."
At the end of the series, all of the Autobots "Powerlinked together" in a way, by merging all of their Combination Sparks with Optimus's, allowing them to create "Shining Optimus Supreme."
In Transformers Cybertron, Optimus Prime and Megatron both have a combination process similar to powerlinking. Optimus Prime can merge with Leobreaker to form Savage Claw Mode, and with Wing Saber to become Sonic Wing Mode. Megatron can also merge with Nemesis Breaker to form Dark Claw Mode.
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