- "A Key Tool selects their Guardian. Few are chosen, and I know Glitch would never choose poorly." -Turbo
Key Tools are small devices that Guardians wear on their left arms. These tools are alive and intelligent, with the ability to turn themselves into many other objects for a given task. Key Tools are also one of the few things that can create a portal and are the most efficient method. Bob's key tool is named Glitch, and Turbo's is named Copland.
When a key tool is assigned to a Guardian, they will exchange code with each other. A key tool chooses its operator and will ordinarily respond only to its bonded Guardian, though it may obey another if given express permission, or choose a temporary operator if the bonded Guardian is unavailable. (The Quick and the Fed)
This bond allows the Guardian to issue commands from outside hearing range, as Glitch once responded to a return command from Bob halfway across Mainframe. (Painted Windows)
Key tools run on stored power and must recharge their battery every so often.
A key tool's body consists of a flat base, a cogwheel and a small bar attached at one of the sides. These three pieces can reform themselves to replicate the function of many devices. The things it can change into, range from simple devices such as a telescope to more elaborate items like a hang glider. The only limitation seems to be that it cannot become a complex vehicle. Key Tools can also fly, and perform several types of detailed scans.
Adding to its impressive list of functions is the ability to form solid energy constructs. Bob used energy rings to protect Dot and Phong from Megabyte, and Turbo used similar rings to restrain Matrix. (Infected)
For the most part when joined to a Guardian, Key Tools remain silent, but as they're sentient will sometimes talk to another Key Tool through a series of clicks, beeps, flashes and whirs of their cogwheels. Copland and Glitch recognized and spoke to each other. Apparently only Guardians can understand this complex language as Turbo was surprised and happy to see his old friend in the Desert Port System. (The Episode With No Name)
Key Tools can be crushed if enough force is applied. Some viruses, like Megabyte, are strong enough to crush a Key Tool with their hand. If damaged, a key tool loses access to its higher-energy functions, such as shape changing and portal forming. It will still be able to perform system scans and Game stats. (Web World Wars) (To Mend and Defend)
A key tool can join with its Guardian, downloading into them. However, the process is irreversible. Bob is the only known sprite to do so when he joined with Glitch. (Mousetrap)
When Daemon infected the Guardians, their key tools left them to keep Daemon from controlling their portal forming abilities. The key tools had hidden themselves in a pocket dimension of cyberspace.
Bob hated it that Dot had chosen to marry a copy of himself. So he tried to separate from Glitch to look like he used to. In the process, he was almost deleted. Bobs last attempt paralyzed him, covering him in a hard black substance. The key tools later returned to save Bob and Glitch's lives, separating them from each other. The Key Tools then return to their respective Guardians. (Null Bot of the Bride)
All Key Tools have a huge list of various commands that their Guardian can make use of. To activate their higher level functions a Guardian must first state their name, and then the required action.
Some Key Tool Commands
- Anything: A bad command. Usually spoken during an emergency when a Guardian is flustered, not knowing what to do. The Key Tool itself will decide which form suits the current situation.
- A person's (or organization's) name: Acts as a communicator. Either opening a VidWindow directly in their vicinity or accessing some other device, like Dot's organizer.
- Arm: A defense mechanism used against viruses. It arms a Deletion Chamber for use. The cogwheel flies onto the open door and flashes. This door slams shut with the virus inside. By pressing down on the ends of Key Tool's rod a control panel appears on its box. The Guardian must press these two buttons simultaneously. A biohazard symbol will appear on the Chamber while an alarm buzzes, breaking down the virus. If for some reason the virus must be ejected the Guardian simply turns the cogwheel, then presses it. It'll turn red and eject the chamber.
- Auto-stow: To contain and shield away something harmful to touch, like a magnet.
- Away: Sends the Key Tool away which flies off.
- BFG: The Key Tools morphs into an electric guitar.
- BSnP: Performs an action of non-imitable violence.
- Car: The Key Tool flies off to a nearby transport and commandeers it, taking control and bringing the vehicle straight back to the Guardian.
- Close file: Reverses any program or damage done by the System Paint Program. The cogwheel attaches to a VidWindow acting as an interface.
- Containment field: Red glowing spheres fly from out and encircle the target. As the person constricted is still being held by the Key Tool the only command that can be issued thereafter is "Release field".
- Cut and Paste: This command retrieves and removes any object from a VidWindow.
- Cutter: The Key Tool cogwheel forms a circular saw wheel which can fly off in a boomerang motion, slicing through virtually anything in its path.
- Doubleheader: Provides a boost for two people as a quick means of evasion. The Key Tool encloses the Guardian and another person in separate spheres of orange energy. Powerful enough to withstand an explosive blast.
- Download: A command that can only be used with the Key Tool's permission. It merges and joins both Key Tool and Sprite together. Its effects are virtually irreversible. Only Bob has ever issued this command, to Glitch.
- Electropulse: Provides a boost for a quick means of evasion. The Key Tool fires a rocket-like blast, sending their Guardian arcing over the immediate danger.
- Elevator: Provides a boost for a quick means of evasion. The cogwheel turns into an elevator.
- Energy driver: Extends into a golf club.
- Energy shield: The cogwheel tilts forward shooting a yellow glow at a specified target. This glow forms a cylindrical field around the object, protecting that inside. Whatever external comes into contact with this will be rebound, ricocheting off.
- Energy shields: Surrounds their Guardian in cubic green energy that can disrupt enemies' weaponry.
- Firewall: Used to initiate senders that power a firewall, only used if a system's COMMAND.COM has charged said Guardian with its activation.
- Flash Light: A hand-held portable electric spotlight.
- Game info/Game stats: Displays information on the Game Cube currently downloaded into a system.
- Hammer: An ordinary tool meant to deliver blows to an object.
- Homing signal: If the Key Tool has been stolen or misplaced it will bleep continually revealing its whereabouts.
- Ignition: The Key Tool attaches itself to a car acting as a gearshift rod. It basically hotwires the vehicle, forcing it to start.
- Jackhammer: Transforms the Key Tool into a robust hydraulic motor driving a sealed pneumatic hammer system.
- Key: Used for large unstable tears like a class-12. Glitch will stabilize it into a portal to its fixed destination. The cogwheel detaches and locks onto the portal's surface, acting as a passable window. Once the Key Tool is called back by name it returns destabilizing into a tear again.
- Line: Shoots a projectile cable with a grappling hook onto any surface allowing the Guardian to swing across great distances.
- Med-gun: A medical tool that administers a ray vaccine or peptic to someone in pain or sickness.
- Mend: Used primarily for mending tears in systems. The wheel rises up and emits a beam at the tear which surrounds and shrinks it. After this, the error fades away into nothing where the Key Tool returns to its usual configuration.
- Multi-tool: The Key Tool transforms into a wide array of instruments normally for repair or maintenance.
- Narrow beam: A yellow light shines from the Key Tool penetrating through anything within range.
- Net-wide alert: An emergency protocol when a system is facing a crisis or disaster of some sort. This message is ordinarily picked up by other system Guardians who come to their aid.
- Paraglide: Used for a short flight. The Key Tool changes into paraglider wings using a ram-air airfoil.
- Particle beam: Shoots out a bright continuous beam at a close-range target.
- Pin: Transforms into a sharp pin needle.
- Portal: Commonly used on normal tears to form a portal to another system. Like the command "Mend" the portal collapses into nothing straight after transporting someone or something through.
- Power hammer: Forms into a mechanical hammer that pounds onto nearby surfaces.
- Power ram: Unleashes a large beam of energy that slams into its target.
- Probe: Used to inspect technology. The Key Tool morphs into small telescope-like device revealing its contents on a monitor. It will display a bold "Warning" should the equipment carry an explosive.
- Return: A command issued to summon the Key Tool, which attaches back onto its bracer.
- Rotor: The cogwheel extends on the rod and extrudes three helicopter-like blades. In this form, the Guardian can fly short distances.
- Safe distance: Used to calculate the proximity between a Guardian and a potentially explosive blast.
- Scanner: The Key Tool morphs into one of its many sophisticated scanners to analyze and display surrounding data or signals for the Guardian to interpret. The Guardian may also specify what information they want, possible transport or ports to the Net for example.
- Screwdriver: Transforms into an electric screwdriver specifically designed to insert and tighten, or to loosen and remove, screws.
- Shield: The cogwheel expands into a gear-shaped shield.
- Solid state mode: Gives the Guardian better protection and endurance in a melee battle. Additionally, the Key Tool will exclusively shapeshift into solid objects during combat to prevent energy-draining viruses from being able to feed off of it.
- Splitter: Used to separate or decompile a subject within a tear. The cogwheel flies off, and divides into two "gears". Each attaches to one side of the tear, forming a sphere. It stretches horizontally extracting the subject back into its original forms.
- Stats: Used to monitor a subject's condition, power-level or health.
- Stop: Aborts whatever command the Guardian previously issued the Key Tool.
- System scan: Gives a full complication of the surrounding system. Alerting the Guardian to the presence of nearby tears or viruses.
- Tongs: Morphs into a pair of gripping and lifting tools.
- Tracer: Used to track a fast-moving person or object. A tiny glowing ball is fired out of the cogwheel and flies after the target. It fastens itself as a red dot onto the subject. While the Key Tool displays the tracer's exact location.
- VidWindows, large Icons: Summons a pop-up advertisement.
- Viewer scope: Used for scanning someone's anatomy. It morphs a Key Tool into a binocular-like device where the cogwheel adjusts the focus.
- View-scope: The Key Tool changes into a hand-held telescope for the observation of remote objects and people.
- Wide-field energy beam: Primarily used as a weapon. The cogwheel rises and shoots an orange burst of energy at a single target.
- X-ray: The Key Tool's bar extends into a handle and the wheel shapeshifts into a giant magnifying glass. It can be used to view the inside of packages. The image of the interior is shown by stripping through layers until it reveals the hidden object's wireframe.