Nightbird is a minor villainess in the original G1 Transformers cartoon. She is a giant robot kunoichi who is built to benefit mankind and is invented by the Japanese scientist Dr. Fujiyama. She only appears in the episode "Enter the Nightbird". She would appear in the comics as a recurring villain.
Dr. Fujiyama secretly contacted the Autobots to help him guard his new invention that he will present to the entire world, in fear the Decepticons will stole it. The Autobots agreed out of curiosity. During the presentation, Dr. Fujiyama unveils Nightbird, a giant robot kunoichi he invented to help mankind. Unfortunately as feared by the scientist, the Decepticons arrived and gained an upper hand on attacking as the Autobots won't cause any human casualties in the panicking crowd. After the guests have left the building, the Autobots then counter-attacked the Decepticons, unaware that Starscream and Skywarp had lift the roof of the building and stole Nightbird. Gaining their prize, the Decepticons retreated to their hideout.
Upon arriving there, they met up with Bombshell, who is working with a reprogramming device. Bombshell then reprograms Nightbird under Decepticon control. Megatron then gave his first orders on Nightbird by attacking Starscream, much to the Decepticon leader's impression. Soundwave then gives Nightbird her new orders: steal the World Energy Chip from Teletraan I.
Nightbird soon arrives at the Autobot headquarters by accessing the base on top of the volcano, eavesdropping Spike and Prowl's puzzled conversation on the Decepticons' plan. She manages to avoid all the Autobot traps invented by Wheeljack by walking from above. Reaching Teletraan I, she immediately removes the World Energy Chip, causing a huge blackout into the base, alerting the Autobots of an intruder.
In her first attempt to escape, she was spotted by a startled Mirage, whom she bashes her way through. She is then chased by a group of Autobots who manages to corner her and reveal who she is. Remembering Dr. Fujiyama 's orders not to harm the robot, the Autobots tried their best to capture he without even harming her, only to be blinded by her smoke bomb to escape. The Autobots pursues her outside, where Optimus spots her climbing atop a cliff and shoots her with a stun ray. As Bluestreak approaches her, she suddenly jumps up and kicks the latter before throwing more shurikens at the Autobots. Tired of trying to capture Nightbird without even harming her, Cliffjumper tries to shoot her, only to be stopped by Optimus, who reminded him of their promise to the scientist. The Autobot leader then tried to reason with her, only to be attacked by her energy katana and stealing his rifle, leaving her katana behind.
Watching remotely, Megatron and Bombshell are fully impressed by Nightbird's work and plans to use her as a replacement for Starscream, leaving him jealous. Ratchet and Ironhide discovers the absence of the World Energy Chip from Teletraan I and alerted Optimus about this. Using Hound's sensors, the Autobots quickly relocate Nightbird and Optimus tries to lure her using her katana. Nightbird merely takes the weapon back and knocks him down.The Autobots continue in their attempts to retrieve Nightbird without even harming her, only to fail numerous times.
After numerous attempts, the Autobots successfully manages to capture Nightbird using an electro-mesh prison. Megatron, upon seeing this, orders the Decepticons on a mission to retrieve her as well as the World Energy Chip she stole. Optimus is able to regain the chip, only to be dropped from a Decepticon ambush. After a brief spell in Bombshell's possession, Optimus is able to retrieve the chip but Megatron in the other-hand, frees Nightbird and unleashes her to the Autobots. Unfortunately, she is shot on the back by a jealous Starscream, who manages to escape his prison. Enraged by this, Megatron orders the Decepticons to chase Starscream as revenge for hurting Nightbird.
The Autobots manages to return the unharmed Nightbird back to Dr. Fujiyama, who decided to store her away to prevent from being used for evil. Despite being neutralized, Nightbird seems to have shown symptoms of gaining human emotions by giving an angry glare as she is stored away.
- Though not actually a Decepticon but a brainwashed robot, she is the first robot villainess in the entire Transformers series.
- Nightbird's appearance greatly resembles Thunderblast.
- Nightbird's katana sounded like a lightsaber from the Star Wars franchise.
- Despite having a one-shot appearance, Nightbird has appeared in many expanded media of the Transformers universe, being labeled as a Decepticon.
- Stinger's early designs as a female robot under the name "Widow Maker", appears to be a supposed homage to Nightbird before being turned into a red clone of Bumblebee.
- Fans have oftentimes shipped Megatron with Nightbird, due to the way Megatron treated care for the stolen robot.