With the Rio Olympics in full swing, and with the new season of BattleBots getting ready to enter the quarterfinals, ABC has made the admittedly smart move to hold off on broadcasting the rest of the show because we as a country apparently have to know if Michael Phelps is actually a dolphin in a human costume or if Usain Bolt is a real life Sonic the Hedgehog. In other news, water is wet. Whether you’re excited or apathetic toward the Olympics I think I can speak for all of us however when I say there’s a part of us that’s still bummed that we’re having to deal with yet another broadcast delay for this show. Hell, I know I am; every time BattleBots runs a new episode and I write a new article that refers to someone’s weapon as “the Chipotle shits” I make $3 from Google Adsense. I’m losing money here.

Throughout this season I’ve been running a recurring gag segment called “What Got Cut” where I go into a bit more detail on fights that were not broadcast in their entirety. I started this segment early on under the assumption that these fights would not end up being posted online, and because I attended the taping of the current season I’d somehow be doing a disservice by not telling you just how bad Bucktooth Burl actually sucked. These are fuck ups that need quantification, and that’s the hard hitting journalism readers of BattleBots Update expect from this site. I have an image to live up to and that image is stale jokes about Abbatoir that wouldn’t have been funny if I were personally screaming them in Ray Scully’s ear at the 1999 Pay-Per-View event. That said, this week’s article is dedicated to giving proper coverage to a smattering of the “better” unaired fights as a nice tide-me-over until the show picks up again proper.


SAWBLAZE vs. RAZORBACK
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

SAWBLAZE

LiMITless Robotics

Weapon: Articulated vertical saw

RAZORBACK

Team Contraption Lab

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

Above: Razorback shows its disdain for the cameraman.

Above: Razorback shows its disdain for the cameraman.

The main problem of this article is now readily apparent: you already know SawBlaze isn’t going to win this match. That said, try to act excited. SawBlaze is one of the four resulting MIT robots that came about from the split of last year’s Overhaul team. Charles kept his anime robot and painted it blue, Adam fucked off to play Call of Duty with Brutus, Jamison put together SawBlaze, and Dane — the guy who built Road Rash — ended up getting the “Ringo Starr” treatment and nobody apparently gives a shit about him, his team, or his robot. Jamison’s SawBlaze is a lot like Skorpios in design and function with the important differences being that SawBlaze A) didn’t have to win a “qualification rumble” to get here and B) hasn’t knocked themselves out by driving into the screws in the first 15 seconds of a fight. Yet. Out of the two similar heavyweights, SawBlaze wins my heart if only for the goofy dragon head. There’s also a bonus pun in the SawBlaze team name; when you see it, you’ll groan.

Let’s pretend we haven’t already seen Razorback show up and suplex the shit out of Ghost Raptor before getting The People’s Elbow from Bronco immediately afterward, meaning we know the robot already wins this fight. This is some high-grade anxiety-laden proto Razorback we’re dealing with here. When Zach Bieber (whose name I’ve misspelled literally on the first try every time) was at this exact point in last year’s tournament he was seconds away from getting his robot’s butthole blown open by Icewave; Razorback has never made it beyond the qualifying rounds so this was a big deal for Zach and his team. Rather than enter this battle with the robot’s fancy trademark grappling jaws we’re instead seeing Razorback enter the field touting the same weapon that it tried to use on Bronco and failed miserably while doing so. At least it’s something.

I'm not intentionally focusing on the asses of robots. I promise.

I’m not intentionally focusing on the asses of robots. I promise.

Right away SawBlaze has the upper hand in this match with its “dustpan” attachment allowing it to slide right underneath its opponent since Razorback has ground clearance for days. Razorback’s drum starts throwing some superficial aluminum sparks off of the dustpan and holy shit this is loud as hell without the magic of TV to dampen the sounds of destruction and replace them with Chris Rose burping the alphabet or whatever. SawBlaze maneuvers Razorback into the corner of the arena and since now is as good of a time as any the robot finally makes use of its weapon and brings its saw blade down onto Razorback and inadvertently connects with its drum, ripping the entire set of teeth off of SawBlaze’s fucking disc in the process. Since this puts SawBlaze’s weapon firmly in the range of “garbage tier” Jamison makes the executive decision to rely solely on the dustpan to keep Razorback at bay which thus far has proven to be a delicious snack for Razorback’s drum and absolute hell on Earth for people with headphones watching this match.

For a robot whose battle strategy has been forced to become purely defensive — and who absolutely cannot stop popping wheelies all over the goddamned place — SawBlaze is hanging in there; its massive wheel base allows it to whip around quickly and keep its dustpan facing Razorback, which of course Razorback wants none of since it only gives SawBlaze an opportunity to push it around. Razorback continuously tries to drift around to its opponent’s wheels but isn’t able to get any purchase and once again ends up getting funneled into the dragon’s dustpan and gets delivered to the Pulverizer… which swings like its pneumatics just fucking exploded. Listen closely and you’ll hear a fucking squeak. With the Pulverizer dead and stuck firmly in what I can only assume is Razorback’s equivalent of a butt crack SawBlaze once again takes its opponent for a ride, presumably to a hazard that isn’t a joke.

Imagine there's a killer flame here.

Imagine there’s a killer flame here.

Unable to achieve this, SawBlaze just puts Razorback into the wall a few more times until the buzzer sounds. Assuming that they have this match easily in the bag, SawBlaze does a victory spin before trying to show off with a giant flame from its flamethrower which they apparently have and did fuck with all for the past three minutes. Since this weapon is also a piece of crap, SawBlaze manages to articulate itself in the air and rip a juicy fart instead. For all of you who had their jimmies obliterated by the “damage with primary weapon” stipulation of the Chomp versus Disk O’Inferno fight, you’re about to have a fucking stroke over this one. Razorback takes a victory by a split decision which the audience absolutely did not agree with.

#RazorGate

WINNER: Razorback, Judges’ Decision


NIGHTMARE vs. STINGER
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

NIGHTMARE

Team Nightmare

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

STINGER

Team Plumb Crazy

Weapon: Lifting wedge w/ flamethrower

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

This picture is radical as hell if you pretend the fire is coming from Nightmare.

This picture is radical as hell if you pretend the fire is coming from Nightmare.

Let’s talk about salt. Good ol’ NaCl. Nightmare is a fucking badass robot. Fact. It still hasn’t been featured on TV this season. Jim Smentowski’s iconic heavyweight has consistently instilled a sense of fear in the event’s safety crew throughout the entirety of the sport; in 1999 before the Battlebox had a ceiling on it officials told Jim he couldn’t spin his weapon upward because it would pose a safety threat, and in 2003 during the final Comedy Central season — when there had been a ceiling on the arena for years now — Nightmare got all of the rumbles shitcanned because its disc lost a tooth and threw it straight through the ceiling. Research has proven that every time Nightmare enters the ring, someone dies. Somewhere. The robot has not aged well, but Jim’s done a damn fine job keeping his robot up with the times; new this season is a special self-righting mechanism that essentially operates by pivoting Nightmare’s entire drive system upside down plus the ability for Nightmare’s disc to spin the other way when inverted.

People have been playing up Bombshell as a “Swiss Army bot”, but Stinger is a robot that was modular before it was “cool”. While it might not be a mobile base with weapon slots, Matt Maxham has refined this machine over the years and is able to outfit it with different lifting arrays, weapon orientations, and wheel layouts depending upon who it’s fighting. Last season saw the rise of Stinger’s “random ass piece of steel the team found behind a Wendy’s”. This season they’ve gone a step further and cut it into a neat little wedge to hopefully deflect blows from Nightmare’s killer wheel. Speaking of wheels, Stinger normally has six of them (as seen in its battle with Mega Tento), but only has four this time around both to make up for the added weight of its wedge as well as not needing them in general since Nightmare isn’t really a robot who’s able to, you know, push back.

rest in rip

rest in rip

Something makes a screeching sound right as this match starts and I can’t figure out if it’s Stinger burning rubber across the floor or Nightmare channeling the souls of the damned to power up its doomsday device of a weapon. Stinger’s wedge makes contact with Nightmare’s disc and serves its purpose of deflection quite nicely. Nightmare recoups and performs one of its trademark karate kick moves, misses with its disc, and brings it right down on top of Stinger. The results of this chain of events is Stinger’s ass absolutely exploding complete with a clean wheel severing and literal chunks of its armor being ripped away. Nightmare also ends up stuck atop Stinger whose flamethrower has been set to point straight up for just this occasion. Not only this, but Stinger’s forklift has been replaced with these tiny little arms that serve to lift Nightmare completely off the ground for a good roasting. I swear to fucking god it’s like Matt Maxham just has dreams about fighting every single possible robot and when he wakes up he just writes down all of the potential outcomes because this shit is uncanny.

Nightmare gets its dangly bits toasted before being spun off of Stinger onto its side. Now, if this were last year’s Nightmare Jim would be 100% fucked, but supposedly he should be able to get his robot back on its wheels. The problem here is that I can clearly see a bunch of random wires and parts exposed on the bottom of Nightmare, and if I can see them then Stinger’s flamethrower sure as shit can too. If you watch closely you can see Nightmare’s wheels still spinning. You can also see the whole robot briefly start smoking though, so I don’t really know where I was going with that optimism. Point is, something broke inside of Nightmare and it was delegated to the junkyard had it not been for the judges giving it a wildcard so it could come back. Nightmare hasn’t yet been eliminated from the competition as of this article; it’s still anyone’s game at this point. Optimism.

WINNER: Stinger, KO


ICEWAVE vs. MECHA SUBZERO
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

ICEWAVE

Team Icewave

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

MECHA SUBZERO

Team Hammertime & Team XD

Weapon: Pneumatic scoop

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

owies

owies

Ah, Icewave. One of the poster children of last year’s tournament unceremoniously cast aside this year with a grand total of zero of its battles from this season making it to air. Last year Icewave eviscerated both Razorback and Chomp in battles that would’ve been the most violent fights of the show had it not been for Stinger’s literal rape of Warhead. This year the iPad-on-a-stick-funded robot returns with mostly the same configuration that we’re already familiar with; Icewave’s basically a heavyweight version of former middleweight champion Hazard with its primary weapon being a long helicopter blade powered by a goddamned gasoline engine because builder Marc DeVidts absolutely does not fuck around. For those of you not in the know, driving your weapon with an internal combustion engine (I.C.E., geddit?) essentially ramps your weapon power up to 11 at the expense of pretty much losing the fight if it stalls out. Since Icewave’s weapon motor is so stupidly huge it’s mounted above the goddamned weapon, otherwise it’d be able to decapitate its own driver.

Mecha SubZero, which has apparently officially been retconned to just “SubZero” this season, is a robot that has been around longer than almost every single competitor this year with the exception of Nightmare, Warhead, Son of Whyachi, and maybe a few others on technicality. Hard to believe for a robot that’s seemingly just come out of left field. Originally built as a middleweight in 2004, SubZero began battling in its builder Jerry Clarkin’s home state of Pennsylvania before eventually travelling down to Texas to complete at events under the “S.W.A.R.C.” banner. It was at these events where Jerry met Brady and Logan Davis of Team XD allowing them to form the two-team partnership behind “Mecha” SubZero, the only one of its kind this year. Riding into battle looking like a dollar store Toro, SubZero’s primary mode of attack is its pneumatic bulldozer scoop. Normally I’d say SubZero’s days are numbered coming into this match but Icewave has proven to be unstable around bullshit lifting contraptions, so you never know. (Actually, we do know but again I want you to act surprised.)

oh no

oh no

Right away we get a great shot of SubZero’s ass which shows us that its top panel isn’t on straight. Might I remind you this is a 12-year-old robot. It’s not like Jerry Clarkin just woke up and threw some shit together — because that was his craptastic super heavyweight Hammertime — come on, dude. At least Jerry knows what needs to be done when you face a spinner like Icewave, though: ram your whole face into it. Going to town like this was some kind of robot pussy eating contest SubZero immediately slams into Icewave’s blade… and then loses its bearings seconds thereafter. Icewave gets the opportunity to land in a few glancing blows before getting a good bite on SubZero’s side ripping a gash into it like it was Chomp 2.0. Stunned, SubZero takes another surgical hit to the same wound. Well, as surgical as you can get when you have a piece of steel weighing dozens of pounds being spun at fuck knows how fast by a chainsaw motor or whatever.

Jerry fires his robot’s pneumatic flipper because this is something you do when your robot’s drivetrain utterly fails. With his finger on the trigger praying that whatever’s loose gets jostled back into place, SubZero flips up, up and over exposing its underside to Icewave who wastes no time at all turning its opponent from a Mr into a Ms. SubZero looks like it should be stranded on its side, however hilariously the robot is able to self-right using its impossibly tiny T-rex side arms like some shit taken out of Robot Wars. Even better news is SubZero is now mobile again and careens into Icewave’s blade resulting in a perfect 360 twist and what we in the editing biz call “one for the highlight reel”. Icewave musters one more hit before the worst case scenario with a gasoline-powered weapon creeps up: a dead engine. Icewave’s blade stalls out which is exactly what SubZero has been waiting for this whole time. Now, if only it didn’t resemble a Thanksgiving turkey wrapped in aluminum foil maybe it could turn the tables here.

aaaaaa :c

aaaaaa :c

Icewave’s front wedge is there for exactly this type of situation. Normally, if its opponent’s scoop wasn’t bent to hell and back Marc would be totally boned right now, but since SubZero has been turned into a Volkswagen that’s been rolled down a cliff his robot has no problem shoving it around. Despite taking numerous shots to the face SubZero’s flipper still works, though it appears to have sustained enough damage to render it almost inoperable and completely ineffective. Icewave takes SubZero over to one of the screws, presumably so it’d bite the side of its opponent and flip it over, but those must’ve been the screws that Invader broke or something because they’re choosing to sit this one out. SubZero gets taken to a Pulverizer as a contingency, however Marc makes the mistake of bringing it to a red square Pulverizer and I don’t think Jerry & Co are stupid enough to drop the hammer on their own machine.

SubZero finally gets dropped off at a hazard that is both functional AND controlled by the blue square resulting in a half-assed Pulverizer “hit” that still somehow manages to break SubZero’s scoop off of its mount. It’s a shitty end to a fight that went south at about the halfway point, but I’ll take it. Let this be a lesson to Team Hammertime and Team XD though, sticking some bullshit metal spikes on the back of your robot and putting “Mecha” before its name didn’t work for Tentomushi and it sure as hell didn’t work for you. Since we know who it is you’re copying ideas from now I guess we can expect to see you back next year as “Mega Sub”. That sounds like some gay shit. Literally.

WINNER: Icewave, Judges’ Decision


ESCAPE VELOCITY vs. OVERDRIVE
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

ESCAPE VELOCITY

Ground Control

Weapon: 4-bar lifting arm (main) & spinning outer shell (minibot)

OVERDRIVE

Team Coolrobots

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

We have already seen the end of the space program thanks to Tombstone, but this battle took place back when we still had hopes and aspirations. Back when John F. Kennedy was giving his speech at Rice University about going to the moon. You know, before his head exploded the following year. Escape Velocity embraces all that is 1960’s kitsch and funnels it into a clusterbot that looks like a lunar lander and a satellite or descent module or something. Whatever man, fucking space. This is a robot for the Carl Sagan in all of us. For the Neil Tyson in all of us. For the Bill Nye in all of us. When you take all the dreams of a country in perpetual fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union and condense them into a BattleBot you get a shitty lifter and something that spins too goddamned fast for its own good. There was actually something wrong with Escape Velocity before this battle, aside from blind enthusiasm, with its spinner specifically. Originally this fight was set to take place closer to the beginning of the day of shooting, but whatever needed to be addressed resulted in this match happening dead last.

Overdrive is a returning contender this year and is the latest and greatest from two-time BattleBots champion Christian Carlberg, better known as the builder of Minion and Overkill. Overdrive has been completely rebuilt from last year changing from a four-wheel drive wheelbarrow thing to “another goddamned robot with two wheels and a vertical blade” which leads me to believe that Christian hasn’t a fucking clue as to what he’s doing and he’s just building and rebuilding his robot to see what sticks. (See also: Chomp.) For what it’s worth, he’s an experienced builder and he’s bringing something like two decades of firsthand knowledge to the table which is more than what can be said for Escape Velocity and its rookie team. I wish I could think of more to say about Overdrive, but it’s really just Brutus with a louder paint job and no guns, or Bucktooth Burl except functional. Shoutouts to that gaudy paint job though. I didn’t know it was possible to hear colors.

Above: Escape Velocity has its Oscar moment.

Above: Escape Velocity has its Oscar moment.

Escape Velocity’s lifting robot is the heavier of the two so it takes center stage to meet Overdrive in the middle of the BattleBots logo for one hell of a hit that probably broke a light or something. This is done so that Escape Velocity’s spinner can get running up to full speed which it quickly achieves and subsequently doesn’t stop. People spent so much time asking if we “could” but nobody stopped to ask whether we “should”, and now Escape Velocity’s spinner is about to live up to it’s fucking name because it’s spiraling out of control to get ready to GO TO THE MOTHERFUCKING MOON Y’ALL. The spinner cannot contain itself and goes full-Challenger, pulling a Moebius and turning into a centrifuge of death and shits out copious amounts of its internal parts all over the place. I’m not a rocket scientist, but my professional opinion is that this craft is no longer space worthy. If you don’t trust my judgment I’m sure you can find Team Loki’s Korey Kline hanging around the vending machines to get his.

Escape Velocity’s journey to the moon is absolutely a mission failure leaving only the lifting portion of the multibot functional. Likely due to the fact that Christian was distracted by the laser light show happening across the arena, Escape Velocity is able to make the best of the situation and flip his robot over a couple of times. Suspiciously, Overdrive’s weapon has also stopped working. If you review the tape frame by frame you can see that one of the “pieces” that flew out of the spinbot wasn’t a battery or a motor but one of the ship’s crew who sacrificed themselves for the greater good of AMERICA to collide with Overdrive’s spinner and take it out. You can expect to eventually see a movie about this act of heroism because if they’re willing to invent a “hero” out of the BP oil spill from a few years back then I’m sure some dickhead with dollar signs for eyes will snatch up this hot ticket in no time.

Overdrive performs a perfect headstand, and loses.

Overdrive performs a perfect headstand, and loses.

Overdrive cruises over to inspect the wreckage that used to be Escape Velocity’s spinner and knocks it around a bit while its teammate desperately tries to establish some kind of sit-rep of the crash site. Annoyed with Overdrive’s bullshit, Escape Velocity rolls it over yet again before going back to trying to save the crew. Realizing they’re all dead, its attention is focused back on Overdrive in the form of a couple of weak ass lifts. I’m not sure if they’re just not able to get the right amount of leverage or if their lifter really is a total piece of shit (or both), but Escape Velocity’s performance has been notably lackluster. That is, until the part where it takes advantage of the fact that Overdrive’s weapon is also total shit and tips it onto its front end. Under normal circumstances this would not be possible, however thanks to the brave sacrifice of Escape Velocity’s B-team the Red Menace has finally been vanquished. Too bad that killer lift happened with not enough time on the clock for a proper knock out.

Friendly reminder that this fight was apparently worthy of a #32 seed for Escape Velocity.

WINNER: Escape Velocity, Judges’ Decision


BITE FORCE vs. MOHAWK
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

BITE FORCE

Aptyx Designs

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

MOHAWK

Euclid Robotics

Weapon: Piercing jaw w/ flamethrower

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

SHIT

SHIT

HEY YOU GUYS REMEMBER BITE FORCE, RIGHT? You know, the robot that won the Giant Nut last year? Good, because even though this season debuted in like fucking June or something you’re not going to see this robot on TV proper until the end of August. Look man, I don’t call the shots at ABC but if I did I can guarantee you two things: Bite Force in episode one and I’d hire someone to wear a real life costume version of the furry stripper mascot from Team Think Tank’s Bad Kitty signs. Anyways, Bite Force used its grabbing claw to snatch the Giant Nut right out from Tombstone last year much to the dismay of many who claimed the robot’s use of its “shiny metal ass” was “not fair”. Well, now Bite Force has even more bite. What do you naysayers have to say about that? Where a clamper of dubious efficacy once sat is now a… uh, another… goddamned… vertical spinner. You guys are aware that Tombstone’s blade is flat and level with the floor, right? If that’s who you’re copying you’ve all fucked it up.

Mohawk has actually won a fight to make it this far which already puts them ahead of where they were last year when they lost to Hypershock in a single blow. Hypershock didn’t even need to use a rake for that one. After “proving” its might in a 3-way qualification rumble where its opponents were an air hockey puck and an impossibly shittier version of itself things started looking up for the estranged veterans. Spearheaded by Team Loki alum Korey Kline, this is the first match he’s won in probably forever. I’m not going to bother to fact check that one. Mohawk got a pretty big dick after its qualifying round win; so much that while showing off for the crowd during the arena introductions Mohawk lit its hair on fire, choofed a few times, and then its internals fucking detonated and blew out the white piece of gasket you see stuck around what I guess is its neck. It’s not even a good cut either because you can clearly see where the cut lines were drawn and the asshole who had the X-ACTO blade just went “yeah that’s good enough for national television”.

lol nice bib where u get it the BABBY STORE #roasted

lol nice bib where u get it the BABBY STORE #roasted

Likely due in part to the unexpected explosion, Mohawk is having some trouble getting its fire lit and spends some time driving around the arena looking like it’s wearing a bib for a goddamned crab boil. Paul Ventimiglia is over in the red square like “well a win is a win” and plows Bite Force right into Mohawk’s ass for some early damage. In retaliation, Mohawk’s internals manage to blow up a second time earning them the world record for “most failed attempts by a suicide bomber”. Then, because I guess Paul attached them with packing tape or some shit, Bite Force straight up loses both of its front prongs for getting underneath its opponents. Clearly this isn’t an issue in this fight but that’s because Bite Force might as well be picking on a fucking practice dummy. If this were Bronco it was dealing with Bite Force would be fucked in more ways than there are operative hazards in the arena right now. Not all of the blue shrapnel flying around is from the reigning champ however, part of it is also one of the ass plates from the back of Mohawk whose usual strategy of “wait until the other guy falls apart” isn’t quite working as well this time around.

Bite Force pushes Mohawk into the wall while writing its name on Mohawk’s ass so the team never forgets why their robot will absolutely never shit right again. The refs call a time out because it’s believed that Mohawk has become lodged under the spike strip. The battle is stopped, the bots are separated, and when the match is started again — surprise surprise — Mohawk wasn’t stuck at all and was instead just knocked out. You guys, this isn’t going to make your robot magically come back to life. It’s not even like running the clock down in football, they stop the timer for this shit. What you’re doing right now is the same shit that sore losers pull at the spelling bee when they ask for the definition, source, and sentence with a word that they have no fucking clue how to spell just to waste everyone’s time. The ref immediately starts counting out Mohawk while Bite Force tries to get it under the Pulverizer before deciding “fuck it” and goes for a victory dance instead.

WINNER: Bite Force, KO


WRECKS vs. RED DEVIL
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

WRECKS

Team Wrecks

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

RED DEVIL

Team Duct Tape

Weapon: Articulated clamp

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

GOTTA JUICE

GOTTA JUICE

You might remember Wrecks from last year. Actually, if you watched any of last season at all I can guarantee you remember Wrecks because this isn’t exactly a robot you casually forget. Wrecks is a non-wheeled “walker” robot, the only one of its kind that qualified for the tournament. 99 times out of 100 wheels are pretty much the de facto standard as far as locomotion goes, but when you make a walker bot you actually get a weight bonus to make up for the fact that you’ve irrevocably handicapped your robot on purpose. Wrecks competed last year and lost to Plan X, the robot that was literally the size of a fucking garden shed and featured a weapon that didn’t even spin the right goddamned way. The reason why Wrecks lost was because, as I said a season ago, it moves around like a fucking zombie torso from a video game. Nothing really seems to have changed with Wrecks other than the fact that it’s red now instead of green.

[UPDATE: I’ve been informed that walkers no longer receive a weight bonus. Now Wrecks just looks even more ridiculous. Get some wheels, man.]

Speaking of things that are red, Red Devil is also here. Jerome Miles has custom fabricated almost every component of this robot and you can tell because much like its opponent Red Devil is one of a kind albeit in a markedly different — and better — way. Despite being outgunned in the “spinning vertical thing” department, Jerome has kept Red Devil’s saw intact for this match, though it appears to be leading in with its clamping jaws first for obvious reasons. We already know who’s coming out ahead in this bout but I really need to point out just how fucking lucky Red Devil has been regarding vertical spinners and tank tracks. Every single battle this robot had this season was against a vertical disc and for one reason or another it’s never lost its treads. This type of luck is fucking incredible. Jerome, go buy a lottery ticket.

"THE SUPLEX." - Kenny Florian

“THE SUPLEX.” – Kenny Florian

For a robot who’s as mobile as someone who just stepped on a land mine, Wrecks’ disc is another story altogether; that loud whirring sound you hear is that weapon achieving ludicrous speed. See if you can guess where all the extra weight went in this robot. Wrecks starts to crawl out of its starting square and makes it about four inches before propping itself up on its ass and toppling backward letting all of the kinetic energy in its weapon literally teleport Wrecks straight over to the Pulverizer. It’s hard to tell from the tape, but that hit left a fourteen inch gash in the floor that stayed there for the entire rest of the show. You may have noticed it in the other fights, now you know who fucked up and made it. Way to break in the new arena dude.

This battle is pretty much a free win because if Plan X can beat Wrecks then anybody can; you just have to be careful not to touch Wrecks from the front. Jerome figured this out probably before the fight started and does exactly that as he maneuvers his robot in to try and grab the dinosaur to do naughty things with. Wrecks breaks free by spinning its ass around and immediately starts ripping up the floor again. I’m assuming the little “leg” array on Wrecks is supposed to help the robot get back into a proper orientation but it looks like it could stand to either be a few inches wider, or otherwise just not a piece of shit in general. Wrecks is finally able to roll over onto its “good” side before Red Devil is right back in the game holding Wrecks’ legs in place so the robot flips itself over again.

Why you never drive like a dumbass near a dangerous weapon.

Why you never drive like a dumbass near a dangerous weapon.

Wrecks is basically just making one hell of a racket now and seems to only be capable of pissing off Trey Roski for ruining the finish on his arena’s floor. There’s “breaking in the arena” and then there’s “breaking the arena”. If Plan X wasn’t a crappy metal box with a ghillie suit and some RC cars we probably would’ve seen this happen last year too. As it stands, Wrecks is on defense and finally lands its first hit as Red Devil pushes it into the wall. If you watch closely you can see Wrecks’ disc clip one of Red Devil’s actuators and break it. The claw that gets busted is also the one hooked into the dinosaur’s walking assembly which means the officials have to stop this fight to separate the two bots. Wrecks is absolutely capable of dealing out some choice damage, but only when it wants to apparently.

This wall slam also serves the important purpose of calming down Wrecks’ bad case of “twisty butt” and leaves the robot unable to move when the match starts back up. Not able to just fucking leave well enough alone, Red Devil comes back in and starts trying to nibble on Wrecks’ face. Failing that, for some reason Jerome decides to cruise around Wrecks’ disc and takes a glancing blow that visibly fucks up the little red “hub” thing on its treads and also causes Red Devil to start hobbling around. If Wrecks just had some fucking wheels I’m absolutely convinced that Red Devil would be in about a million different pieces by this point if this is the type of damage mere glancing blows can do. Instead, the dinosaurs are all extinct. Not because of a meteor, but because of a fatal outbreak of Special Snowflake Syndrome.

wrecks in peace

WINNER: Red Devil, KO


MEGA TENTO vs. POISON ARROW
(QUALIFICATION ROUND)

MEGA TENTO

Robot Action League

Weapon: Capturing dome w/ vertical spinning disc

POISON ARROW

CaustiCreations

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum (main) & flamethrower (drone)

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

om nom nom :3

om nom nom :3

Hey here’s a great battle where everybody wins because these two robots are still in the game as of this writing. Wrecks’ builder originally designed his robot as a 1-pound “antweight” before ramping it up to a heavyweight, Lisa Winter on the other hand has taken her old lightweight robot and force fed it steroids until it evolved into this impossibly large behemoth. I don’t know if she’s ever built or worked on a heavyweight before, but just because you have 250 pounds to work with doesn’t mean you have to enter something that’s as big as a fucking carnival ride. Mega Tento’s primary mode of attack is no different from its original lightweight counterpart: get opponents trapped under the sandbox. Unseen to the naked eye is a small vertical cutting disc hidden under the hood (the same disc that was mounted on the robot’s ass-end in its fight against Stinger). Additionally, Lisa had a bunch of janky pieces of metal on chains under the sandbox but when Trey noticed it he had a PTSD flashback to Complete Control’s net, stopped the introductions, and made her take them off.

Poison Arrow is the best possible opponent for Mega Tento to fight because this robot is literally “snack sized”. Minotaur is probably also a good pick, but if Mega Tento got hit with that thing’s weapon it’d probably get sent to another dimension or something. Poison Arrow is a longshot who’s commanded quite a bit of hype in its televised matches where it dispatched the fiendish rake of Hypershock and also popped Son of Whyachi so high up in the air that it crash landed three cities over. Zach Goff has gone with a compact drum spinner for his robot’s main component as well as a flamespitting drone with six propellers because he’s the type of guy that overdoes things. I don’t even know why the drone has more propellers than anyone else’s while also managing to look like the cheapest fucking thing made out of Tupperware and tin foil. Also, we can’t forget Poison Arrow’s detachable ass. This is crucial and has consistently been Zach’s ace in the hole.

The booty.

The booty.

Right away Poison Arrow easily fits under Mega Tento’s dome. Watch for the ass. It detaches. I’m not really sure what gets accomplished by removing one’s own ass and putting it in the mouth of their opponent, but I can definitely say that this is a sentence I never thought I’d ever type. It’s hard to tell who’s pushing who around considering both of these robots have fairly weak drive systems but as it currently stands Poison Arrow is presumably taking shave damage from Mega Tento’s spinning disc. Since I don’t hear anything that sounds like a broken moped, I’m assuming Poison Arrow’s drum hasn’t started spinning either. I guess since we’ve got some time to kill now would be an okay moment to point out Mega Tento’s special attachment for dealing with the drone: stuff. I guess that was Lisa’s main idea behind getting her robot ready for this battle, just put a bunch of shit on it and we’ll see how it goes.

Anyways there’s the scream of the apocalypse so it looks like the tables are about to turn now that Poison Arrow has its weapon running. The two robots start meeting weapon to weapon but since Mega Tento still has Poison Arrow under its dome the robot gets taken to the wall for some calm down time while its drone just aimlessly flutters around doing what drones usually do. Nothing. Poison Arrow breaks away and lines up a box rush sans-weapon and collides with the ladybug, knocking away what I’m assuming are chunks of its own armor that Mega Tento has previously carved off of it from the first minute or so of this fight. For a drum the size of a stack of CD’s that, uh, clitoral weapon thing has some bite to it. Girl power. Oh look, there’s a shot of Poison Arrow’s creepy portable twerk machine. This whole fight is awkward.

lol another win for gamergate

lol another win for gamergate

Poison Arrow’s drone starts getting a little feisty with its flying and sweeps in closer to Mega Tento with its fire because Zach socked the pilot in the shoulder and said “DO SOMETHING DUMBASS”. The drone keeps the heat where it hurts and as the robot’s main drum spinner collides with Mega Tento the sandbox plastic fails at the point where the articulating lifter attaches to it. That’s primary weapon damage, Mega Tento is fucked. Better send someone to the pits to get a head start on packing things up because the judges have officially checked out for the rest of the match. Despite the sandbox being broken Poison Arrow still manages to slide up under it as it continues to indiscriminately whack its opponent. I know earlier I mentioned that I couldn’t tell who was pushing who around, but in this case I’m going to safely bet on Poison Arrow since Mega Tento starts drifting sideways and I don’t think Colson tires allow robots to do that. Not intentionally, at least.

WINNER: Poison Arrow, Judges’ Decision


ICEWAVE vs. NIGHTMARE
(ROUND OF 32)

ICEWAVE

Team Icewave

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

Seed: 8th

NIGHTMARE

Team Nightmare

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

Seed: 25th

[This match is available on BattleBots’ official YouTube channel.]

WHERE NO ROBOT HAS GONE BEFORE

WHERE NO ROBOT HAS GONE BEFORE

This is an awkward section to write because I’ve already introduced both of these robots in this article. Usually there’s like previous matches or some other dumb bullshit for me to yammer on about, but not in this case. Marc DeVidts’ robot proved to be cooler than SubZero and caused enough damage to the flipping bulldozer to score a judges’ decision despite losing its ***PRIMARY WEAPON***. Now it’s here to face Nightmare in a match that features two of the competition’s absolute deadliest weapons. When you have fights like this you get one hit, maybe two, where enough energy to start a fucking universe is unleashed in the center of the arena and someone usually dies spectacularly. I feel bad for the materials used to create these robots because when all matter was created during the Big Bang this absolutely isn’t the shit they signed up for.

Something amusing to point out about these two robots is that they’re both their team’s flagship creations; Team Icewave and Team Nightmare. Nightmare is coming into this match as a wildcard after being BBQ’d to death by Stinger for biting it on the ass. Last season a lot of fans thought Nightmare got snubbed for a wildcard, this year the “selection committee” has made the right decision. I’m not saying I broke into their houses in the middle of the night and licked all of their glassware to send them a message, but I’m also not saying I didn’t. As of this battle Nightmare has a 8-9 lifetime record in BattleBots; it hasn’t won as many fights as you might’ve assumed. Even worse, out of Nightmare’s four previous fights against horizontal spinners it’s lost three of them in increasingly destructive ways. The only horizontal spinner that Nightmare has managed to beat is Surgeon General, and that’s a Team Loki robot so we all know how that one probably went.

Last known sighting of "Nightmare".

Last known sighting of “Nightmare”.

For a robot as obtuse and cumbersome as Nightmare it’s surprisingly mobile and is able to connect with Icewave before its helicopter blade spins up to full speed. Like you saw in the match with SubZero this is basically the only way to come at Icewave; SubZero was just fortunate enough to have a beefy shell to absorb the hits needed to kill the weapon. Nightmare’s armor is mostly air combined with having the surface area of one of those stupid toothpick bridges you had to build in high school physics. The hit isn’t enough to stop Icewave’s blade, but it’s definitely enough to break something off of Nightmare and destabilize its entire frame so its disc hits the ground. I think Jim knows this has turned into yet another YOLO fight for his robot, so he prepares to send his robot to its death, revs up its weapon, and sends it in to end it all. Surprisingly, Nightmare survives the hit. Its right wheel and wheel guard can’t say the same, but it’s still… mostly functional?

Icewave clips Nightmare again and evens out the situation with the wheel guards while Nightmare against all odds still twirls around and tries to spin its weapon up which results in more bouncing and copious amounts of smoke. More importantly, Icewave has spontaneously died. Originally it was assumed the robot became high centered on debris, however the actuality is its radio died and literally came back to life after the ref counted them out. Still a KO loss though, and a shitty exit for a robot who caused so much carnage last year and was one of the few who probably guaranteed the season we’re watching right now. Marc, I like your robot. I want to see it come back and slit some more throats next year, hopefully on TV too.

WINNER: Nightmare, KO


Hopefully I did these unaired fights justice. I know this week’s article is a bit of a weird one since we all knew who was going to win so there wasn’t any real “hype”, but I figured I ought to do something during the break for the Olympics. Stick around and make sure you tune in this coming Thursday for the newest episode of BattleBots when the Round of 16 comes to a close. There’s still so much crazy shit left to happen that you won’t want to miss it, but I’m sure you already know that. Tell your friends to watch it too so that ABC will keep making season after season of this so I can keep making my $3 from Google every week. Eventually, I’m gonna get a boat.

Blah blah blah BattleBots Update on Facebook, yak yak yak Donate button. Thanks for hanging out this week and I’ll see you next time!

– Dracophile

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