The Reformatting is the first episode of the Beast Machines TV series.
On the metal-and-steel planet of Cybertron, a single flower bizarrely grows out of a tear in the street. Suddenly, a gorilla races past, pursued by a horde of Tank Drones. In an even stranger vein, Primal has lost his Transmetal properties and is now in his original furry body. After a couple minutes of cat-and-mouse, Optimus decides to face them down and prepares to Maximize. But his beast mode parts refuse to move and he screams in pain as he is tortured by electrical shocks.
Suddenly, his eyes glow and he receives a strange signal from an alien source. He sees a monorail vehicle nearby and swings away from the drones, and finds another one of his missing comrades—Rattrap. Rattrap explains that he has had a lot of trouble transforming as well and has no memory of returning to Cybertron after the end of the Beast Wars and the capture of Megatron. They escape from the transport after the drones blow it to pieces and Rattrap tries to use his command code repeatedly, resulting in nothing but shocks and pain.
Fortunately, Cheetor leaps out of nowhere, covering the eyes of one of the drones. Its head spins wildly, and it takes pot shots, destroying one of its counterparts. Cheetor is hoping to find a CR chamber and use it to eliminate the transformation lock virus that plagues them all. Rattrap points out that Cybertron seems to have changed a lot in their absence. But there is no time to discuss matters, as new tank drones are readying a renewed assault. Plunging into a hole, the Maximals bounce on a web. It is Blackarachnia, the Predacon-turned-Maximal, unable to convert and stuck in her organic body.
Optimus Primal decides that the best course of action is to head deeper underground, where the Vehicon drones have failed to look. Using the webs of Blackarachnia, they head deeper into the bowels of Cybertron, passing layers and layers of cities as they descend. Brushed metal and steel give way to rusting iron, which gives way to stone. Eventually, too weak to climb, they fall, plunging into complete darkness. Determined not to die, Primal throws a piece of scrap metal, shattering some kind of covering and awakening the supercomputer called the Oracle. A wall of flames springs up. Undaunted by the seeming threat, Optimus walks straight through them, revealing the hologram. The Oracle speaks to Primal, taking him into the bowels of the Matrix.
Granted visions that he could not yet understand, he sees images of an Earth-like planet transformed into a purely mechanical world. Concluding with the mysterious statement that "the seeds of the future lie buried in the past", the Oracle declares that it is time for him to begin his "reformatting", tapping the power of the Matrix and converting his purely organic gorilla body into a perfect blend of organic tissue and mechanical parts. Stepping back into real-space in a wash of light, the other three Maximals admire his new body. Primal says that they must be "reformatted" as well, and one by one, Cheetor, Rattrap and Blackarachnia exit the Oracle, in new, technorganic bodies.
Suddenly, the Oracle winks out of existence, and a hum fills the cave. This is another squadron of Vehicons, but instead of tanks, they are motorcycles. Lining up, Optimus Primal orders the Maximals to Maximize. Although no pain ensues, nothing happens. Optimus realizes they must learn how to transform as it has somehow become a lost art after the first Transformers "came" to Cybertron. Realizing this, the Maximals resign to combat in their strange new beast modes. Rattrap attacks a Cycle Drone's wheel with his teeth, Cheetor pounces on a motorcycle, and Blackarachnia uses her webs to snare another. Primal is shot, and plunges into a pit. Panicking, a voice from the Oracle reminds him that "he must tame the beast without to release the warrior within".
Finding his inner balance, he manages to transform. A blue light spreads throughout his body, converting it to robot mode through a liquid-morph style transformation. Activating his jets, he flies out from certain doom. Grabbing the nearest Drone, he demands answers, but gets none as they escape. His anger has made him lose his center, and he converts back to beast mode. Awed, Cheetor expresses his interest in this new transformation style. Optimus declares that they must re-learn the art of transformation and their new style of combat.
Meanwhile, a mysterious figure watches the battle in the citadel and vows to destroy the "impure" organic Maximals. It's Megatron, now the supreme ruler of Cybertron!