Welcome back to
BattleBots Robot Wars Update. Last week’s episode featured a field of robots so incomprehensibly awful that the winner, Robot the Bruce, was just a big fuck off rock that didn’t even have a weapon. We also got to see Dreadnaut, a robot that spent more screen time on fire than it did as an operable machine. Plunderbird made a great effort in the Gauntlet; its laser-guided battering ram guided it straight onto the arena floor grate. Cruella also appeared and did something but I’ll be damned if that robot just went in one ear and out the other because I only remember it from the 101 Dalmatians reference. Then there were Wedgehog and WYSIWYG, two robots that were hilariously underweight and outclassed in every possible manner. Wedgehog’s drivers at least tried, but I found out by audio cues alone that WYSIWYG was hiding a fucking radio controlled car under its wooden shell.
HEAD D COMPETITORS
This episode starts out with the mysterious voice announcing that Jeremy Clarkson actually fucks Matilda without even needing to say her name. Clarkson shows up on the Cyber Christmas platform and starts making jokes about the US Navy, then says today’s episode is a “lightweight special”. Lightweight? You mean like WYSIWYG from last week? If so… why the fuck was that piece of shit hanging around Robot the Bruce, who weighed literally eight times as much? Wouldn’t it have been more fair to– you know what, I legitimately don’t give a shit because that pine box wasn’t going to win anyways.
Let’s just see who’s competing and get on with this mess.
VECTOR OF ARMAGEDDON: So let me get this straight; you built a robot that’s only 11 kilograms in weight, has absolutely no weapon to speak of whatsoever, and named it Vector of fucking Armageddon? Wow. Congratulations, you’re officially “that guy”.
KRAYZEE TOKYO: It took three people to build this fucking thing. Three.
CUNNING PLAN: When the lead-in factoid about your robot is that it was “built by a Star Wars fan” you may as well just turn that thing around and drive it right back into the fog machine room. Granted, Cunning Plan is thus far the least shitty robot but thanks to Jonathan Pearce I now have an endless source of mockery content for its driver.
SAT’ARN: Great, we’ve satisfied this episode’s “robot with a face” requirement. Nice job putting your decorations on your robot’s wedge, not like that’s an important part of it or anything. Also this robot has a three meter turning circle? How? Does it turn with a goddamned sail or something?
BUGS: Negating the fact that this is really “bug” singular instead of “bugs” plural, I can’t decide if this pile of parts is a legitimate attempt at an entry or if it’s just a heavier version of Krayzee Tokyo. Why do none of these robots have a weapon? Like, at all?
THE DEMOLISHER: Coming straight out of the Vector of Armageddon school of robot names we have this piece of shit whose “builders” aren’t even trying to hide the fact that this literally a remote controlled toy car. I guess I can also put “driver” in quotes too because this guy had about 15 feet to lay off the gas and instead chose to bail right out of the side of the arena.
For fuck’s sake, can we just drop one of these robots (The Demolisher) and bring back WYSIWYG? These abortions make that accident look like Muhammad Ali.
Philippa almost gets outsmarted by a circle while she recaps everything we already know about this obstacle course. Then she almost trips on a ramp. Then the camera cuts to the first robot in the Gauntlet for this episode.
CUNNING PLAN is that robot, and its driver Oliver Steeples is flashing that trademark “I’m so happy to be here but haven’t a fucking clue to what’s going on around me” smile. Also, his personal hero is apparently George Lucas; this was just a year before Episode I. Fuck, this is all kinds of depressing. Let’s just cut to the action already.
Cunning Plan gets its business done at the bank quickly because it went on a Thursday at one in the afternoon, but then manages to get confused by the combination of corkscrews, springs, and Matilda pulling donuts right next to it. The wedge lets the corkscrew etch some nasty words onto its face, then decides to careen over into Matilda whose donuts promptly throw the robot over toward the finish line. Remembering that this is the goal of this goddamned fun house, Cunning Plan bolts for the exit and wins. Clarkson waltzes over and says he can’t wait to see Cunning Plan get ripped apart by his side pussy, then there’s an audience shot of people whose teeth remind us that this is taking place in Britain.
KRAYZEE TOKYO is up next and for a split second I contemplated using this time to just let the video play while I went to go get a glass of water or something, but I’ve made a commitment to you and it’s my responsibility to rip these pieces of shit to shreds (since Sergeant Bash’s saw is a piece of shit this season) so I guess I can face potential dehydration in a first world country to bring you hard hitting coverage of a robot named Krayzee fucking Tokyo. Jonathan immediately starts thinking aloud toward the “combat robot” in front of him, pondering what it’s made from. It’s a wall-mounted metal planter for flowers, Jonathan. Try making a fucking rhyme out of that.
Tokyo gets itself stuck on the floor springs after driving into every corkscrew at least five times, then the editors finally cut away to the team intro shot where Tokyo’s team just sits on their asses and only the fat one on the left makes eye contact with the camera. Watch for the glare that the middle one shoots to the sperg on the right when he starts nodding his head around. I’m sure we’re looking at the soon-to-be series champions. Matilda comes over and is just about to go all Nagasaki on Krayzee Tokyo, but then the bad Thai food she ate just before the fight kicks in and she shits herself right in the middle of the finish line. The match ends and Clarkson finishes making fun of Krayzee Tokyo for me so I can save these jokes for the next robot.
SAT’ARN is that “next robot”. They cut to the team segment before their run even starts, which leads me to believe that this robot isn’t going to do much of fucking anything. Apparently the two kids that built this pile of shit have the know-how to incorporate a moving tail, smoke, and sound effects, but they apparently can’t figure out how to build a robot that doesn’t visibly look like a manifestation of vomit. You may have noticed I left out a “feature” from that list just a second ago, that’s because the fourth one warrants its own sentence; Sat’arn’s builders also went the route of including a laser sight for their weapon: a wedge.
They have a laser-fucking-guided wedge.
Much like Plunderbird from a couple of weeks ago, Sat’arn’s laser sight does fuck all and the robot immediately plows into the pyramid bricks after dodging Shunt. Unfortunately, my initial predictions were wrong and Sat’arn is able to complete the Gauntlet after dodging Matilda, a feat which I can’t imagine was too hard considering I’d be sluggish too if I just shit my pants on national television.
THE DEMOLISHER takes the stage for all of ten seconds, not because it self-detonates, but because it’s able to instantly teleport to the end of the Gauntlet thanks to the fact that it’s the size of a Hot Wheels car and thus none of the arena hazards or obstacles apply to it. Clarkson congratulates the driver and doesn’t have the heart to insult the ten year old to his face. Good form Clarkson, now if you could’ve only have had that same foresight when you were on Top Gear instead of punching your producer maybe you’d still be able to drive funny cars around on the wrong side of the road on TV for a living.
BUGS is already off to a great start in the Gauntlet, visibly moving when the mysterious voice says “three”. Jonathan says the robot is one of the most attractive ones at the event. I disagree, I think Bugs looks exactly like what Nemesis’ turds would look like if robots were capable of shitting. The Bugs team says their robot is “loosely” based off of a ladybug. Yeah, you really took some liberties there. That’s like saying Cunning Plan is loosely based off of a fucking circle. Bugs makes it past Sergeant Bash because the House Robot misses its broadside attack and wedges its knife into the arena floor. Matilda isn’t as stupid however, and manages to thwart Bugs by spinning around in place right in front of it until the timer runs out. Clarkson must be having a good day seeing as how he idly compliments Bugs’ team after they ignore his question.
VECTOR OF ARMAGEDDON, whom the editors had to whip out the tiny font for, is the last robot to attempt the Gauntlet in this episode. Vector’s builder says the robot has Lexan armor on its front. Funny, I didn’t know Lexan looked exactly like aluminum flashing.
Vector boldly takes on the see-saw which is amusing for two reasons; one, I’d bet money on Vector not weighing enough to tilt it down, and two the driver doesn’t seem to realize all Shunt has to do is hit the ramp with its axe and someone in the audience will get a fucking souvenir. Vector clears the first ramp, but then doubles back and drives up underneath it thinking there’s a warp zone under there or something. Hot tip, there isn’t.
Realizing this, Vector goes for the second ramp, gets stuck on it, and dies.
THE MASTER vs. THOR
Weapon: Gas-powered circular saw
Weapon: Hydraulic hammer
No, I don’t know what the fuck is going on either. Philippa goes into the pits to judge Krayzee Tokyo with her disappointed gaze, then Clarkson shows up and says to play some B-roll of Robot Wars matches elsewhere in the world… as in America, and as in “the Robot Wars America finals that happened in London”, so it’s less “elsewhere in the world” and more “happening right across the street”. So here we have a fucking battle on our hands out of goddamned nowhere.
The Master is a very phallic-looking robot built by Mark Setrakian, a legendary robot combat circuit competitor who (in the context of 1995) would later go on to build memorable robots such as Mechadon and Snake. He’d also end up being the builder of that radical “Dr. Claw Dildo Table” from the sixth BattleBots season that I cracked so many jokes about. But this is where it all began. The primordial ooze known as The Master harbors all of its internal parts inside of its testicles and in place of a massive cock the robot instead wields a gasoline-powered cutoff saw kind of like the kind Sergeant Bash uses except this one isn’t a total piece of shit. The robot’s backside acts as a lifting arm because there isn’t a single square inch of this robot that won’t slice your hand off and fist you with it.
Thor, the one that looks like a shitty cardboard dragon from an elementary school stage play, is some kind of hammering contraption built by a team of engineers from Schilling Robotics. The robot was notoriously expensive to build. You’re gonna wanna sit down for this one. Thor cost $70,000 to construct… in 1995 money. That’s just over a hundred thousand dollars today. That’s like three new cars. Where’d all the fucking money go? I don’t see a laser-guided anything on this robot, all I see is a bulky piece of shit with automotive-style steering and– wait a second, did Schilling Robotics go “The Demolisher” route and just buy an actual car, shrink it down, and put a hammer on it? Those Rick Moranis motherfuckers…
Anyway, the fight has already started and right away The Master drives up the side of Thor and just digs its saw right in. I almost thought the saw blade fell into the slot where Thor’s hammer goes but nope, it just slices through Thor like there’s nothing there. If you’re playing along at home and trying to figure out what part of Thor cost so much money you can cross out “armor” now. The Master is obviously doing some significant damage to Thor as splashes of hydraulic fluid are literally just ejaculating out of Thor every time it swings its hammer down now. This battle now qualifies as “Transformers slash fiction”. The camera angles keep getting cut to make it look like The Master is shredding up a pillow like a dog that has to take a shit and honestly for all I know I wouldn’t be surprised if there was actually a pillow stuffed inside of Thor because right now there sure as shit aren’t any working internals. Is that even the real Thor? Is it a dummy?
Jonathan uses the phrasing “splattering, skiddy, and slippery” to describe the hot and heavy action in the arena. This battle is now full-on Transformers yaoi fanfiction with full penetration. Copious amounts of smoke begin pouring out of Thor because splashing hydraulic fluid onto $70,000 circuitry is probably not the smartest of things to do. Thor is dead, and Jonathan announces The Master as the most super strongest powerful omniscient hungriest tallest robot with the biggest blackest dick in the world.
Also, since we’re at the end of this battle, now’s a great time to point out that The Master’s wheels were built from the bowls of industrial toilets. Thor literally got monster trucked by a shitter with a saw blade.
$70,000. I bet someone got their ass fired over this.
We’re back in the UK where Clarkson introduces the race trial for the remaining five robots. I guess they went with a race track because half the field are built from goddamned toys and putting them in a sumo ring with Shunt would result in the episode ending about 12 minutes earlier than scheduled. Clarkson makes a joke about Michael Schumacher whom I guess is a famous race car driver from what Google tells me. Is that the extent of that reference? Is he also famous for driving like every race is Grand Theft Auto? I mean, I know he apparently fucked a tree while skiing but that was only a year ago and I don’t think Jeremy Clarkson is capable of seeing the future.
Whatever I guess. 5th place loses. Let’s see who fucks this up.
The answer is Krayzee Tokyo, who takes a false start because these shitheads managed to fool themselves into thinking their robot could actually win and jumped the gun before the mysterious voice said “activate”. Nobody seems to give a shit however, because it’s Krayzee Tokyo and it’s also poor form in Japanese culture to be confrontational. We better get Mortis’ JAPANESE weapon in here to give us the full scoop on this situation because Mortis’ guy with the anime hair is the only resident expert on otaku culture. Also The Demolisher gets thrown around because it weighs less than a sack of groceries. The Demolisher completes its first lap, again because it’s so small that none of the track hazards apply to it, and by this point I’ve lost track on who’s who and how many laps have been completed.
The race turns into a goddamned mess with Sat’arn and Krayzee Tokyo sitting in the center while Bugs tries to figure out the bold new concept of a right turn. Cunning Plan at least appears to have its act together and narrowly misses The Demolisher who decides that having a two lap lead is good enough and promptly up-ends itself in the far corner while Jonathan loses his shit. Allow me to remind you that this is a grown ass man — a fucking sports commentator at that — screaming about a remote controlled car with a fucking metal wedge bolted onto it. And people say Survivor killed television. Everyone who is not Cunning Plan has either been flipped over or has stopped working, leaving the only robot in the field built by someone competent to take the lead and finish the race.
Clarkson immediately calls out Krayzee Tokyo’s driver on their false start and smokes the driver a second time when he provides a bullshit excuse about “same frequencies”. Perhaps unintentionally, Tokyo’s driver just Hiroshima’d themselves by revealing that they had an interference issue. That’s a problem that only toy cars have. Great work there, chap.
Philippa catches up with the remaining teams after the race that she clearly didn’t watch, because she described Bugs’ performance as “mind blowing”. Mind blowingly shitty, maybe. She also checks in with The Demolisher’s builders who are clearly doing something other than working on their robot because you don’t need hand tools to plug in a Tyco battery. Coming as literally no surprise to anyone Krayzee Tokyo’s team are still butthurt about their seemingly unfair loss. Yeah, well next time either don’t build your robot out of a fucking toy, or if you do then buy a bigger transmitter. Now shut the fuck up, take your loss like men, and go join the Plunderbird team breaking glass by the dumpster.
MORE ROBOT WARS IN AMERICA
Jonathan narrates some more footage of American Robot Wars action, this time from 1996. The clips are cutting far too quickly to actually make sense of what’s happening so here’s my best run down. La Machine tries to flip DooMore with its cooking spray-coated wedge but fails because DooMore is the size of a dinner table. The Master tries to bring its saw blade down on Tazz, a predecessor to Tazbot, but ends up shorting out because even the Tazbot prototype robot was too much of a goddamned headache to put up with. Vlad the Impaler punches Punjar right in the dick. Biohazard tries flipping a robot I don’t recognize and can’t find any information on. La Machine comes back to try and flip Mauler but fails because Mauler is the size of a dinner table. Biohazard flips over yet another robot that I don’t recognize.
Finally, there’s a rumble. The camera is generously focusing on The Master who serves no other purpose than to rip chunks out of the arena floor for several seconds. Then, just one year after it emasculated Thor, The Master tries to do the same to Vlad the Impaler and gets reduced to just a set of balls when its entire fucking saw — engine and all — are ripped away and scoot across the floor just on the residual spin of the blade alone. La Machine tries to flip Vlad the Impaler and fails because Vlad is the size of a dinner table. Biohazard starts sparring with Vlad so that it can get a head start on future BattleBots fights and La Machine comes in and cocks it all up. Finally, Trey Roski’s mobile griddle is able to topple not only Vlad but DooMore as well, throwing the latter completely out of the arena.
That’s apparently the end of that, and if anyone actually has complete footage of these early US Robot Wars events and would like to donate a copy to BattleBots Update for, uh, “journalistic purposes”, you’ll be graciously honored indefinitely in the BattleBots Update Hall of Everlasting Fame. No really, if you have a tape I want it. — battlebotsupdate ‘AT’ outlook ‘DOT’ com
CUNNING PLAN vs. BUGS
University of Reading
(No Team Name)
Philippa introduces Cunning Plan’s builder to his opponent, Bugs. The robot that thus far only moves when no one is looking at it. Philippa forgets what weight class this episode is about and asks Cunning Plan’s driver what “weapons” he has in store for Bugs. None, Philippa. The answer is “none”. Oliver seems to be the only person this episode who photographs nicely so there’s another shot of Philippa following him around asking him if the Star Wars droids inspired him. Unable to pick up on the social cues of an attractive woman talking to him Oliver says “no” and keeps walking, ruining the bit. Of course the droids didn’t inspire him you daft cunt, all that kid cares about is Slave Leia.
Cunning Plan maneuvers around near Bugs, who thus far has proven to only be capable of spinning around in circles. Remind me again why the hosts of this show have consistently praised this piece of shit? Thanks to the fact that Bugs has a stupid amount of ground clearance, Cunning Plan is able to easily shove it close to the arena grill and then using nothing more than the power of suggestion manages to convice Bugs to kill itself. Dead Metal cruises over to try and pick up Bugs but fails to do so because the House Robots weren’t built to be able to grapple and fuck with robots smaller than a toaster. The camera cuts to the Bugs team who shake their heads in despair implying that they were expecting something other than this to happen. Dead Metal gives up and the mysterious voice mercy kills the match.
The driver of Cunning Plan compliments Bugs’ paint job after the fight because I guess in 1998 all you had to do to impress someone was paint something red and then choof a few dots of black spray paint all over it. Clarkson seems thrown off by Oliver’s ambivalence and ends the interview.
THE DEMOLISHER vs. SAT’ARN
(No Team Name)
(No Team Name)
Weapon: Laser-guided wedge
Before the match starts we see a couple of shots of each of the robots wherein it appears that the “effectiveness” of their designs has somehow traded places since the start of the episode. The Demolisher has added an unnecessary bumper to the front of their robot that invalidates their wedge design while Sat’arn has removed that stupid cow nose that was previously clogging up their ramp.
The robot with the edge in this match is obvious since Sat’arn is the size and weight of something like six Demolishers, but somewhere in this mess of winning the robot abruptly stops working presumably because “winning” is something it’s not supposed to do and Sat’arn had an existential crisis the moment it had the upper hand in the fight. The Demolisher worthlessly flails around and gets pushed out of the way by Shunt who probably didn’t even notice it hit something on its way to Sat’arn. Matilda also smells blood and starts to attack with her chainsaw, and for some reason The Demolisher just won’t fucking leave well enough alone and almost gets sawed literally in half in the process.
As The Demolisher team returns to the pit the rest of the teams, who brought actual robots to the event, cheer them on for their win because it’s not nice to exclude people with special needs and no one is willing to make the initial social faux pas of not cheering.
CUNNING PLAN vs. THE DEMOLISHER
University of Reading
(No Team Name)
Here we are. We live in a world where a remote controlled car has made it to the fucking finals of a robot combat event. Mercifully, Cunning Plan is also here because that robot’s builder is the only person on this episode who knows what the fuck they’re doing (and the producers took note of this, apparently).
Jonathan starts talking about how these two robots are similar and different, like there’s fucking pros and cons to be had here. Sure, The Demolisher might be the faster of the two but name me one thing this robot can do that Cunning Plan can’t do fifty times better. Also, is this really a match between two “featherweights” when there’s an 8 kilogram difference in weight? Sure, Cunning Plan is a featherweight but the only bullshit weight class I’d use to describe The Demolisher is “paperweight”.
Also, Cunning Plan just knocked it out in a single blow. What a shame. I would’ve loved to have seen The Demolisher advance to the grand final and try to make practical sense in the arena with Robot the Bruce who would’ve been nearly thirty times heavier. Just imagine the insensitive dwarf jokes I could’ve written about that match up.
The crowd boos Cunning Plan because it beat a piece of shit robot who’s only redeeming factor was that it was driven by a child. For fuck’s sake.
That’s the end of the Robot Wars “featherweight special”. While I’ll give props to Cunning Plan… I really fail to see the practicality of the robot being entered in the first place when it’ll be going up against robots several magnitudes heavier than it. I guess it’s at least good to get a pulse on the “least worst” featherweight at the event though?
Thank you for tuning in this week and spending some time with me here at The Update. Without going into detail, since it’s really nobody’s business and my problems aren’t your problems, this week has been pretty bad. 2016 overall has been pretty shitty to be completely honest with you. It’s nice to at least have one thing to look forward to each week, though. Have I mentioned BattleBots Update is on Facebook? BattleBots Update is on Facebook.
Join us next week when we’ll find out which robot gets to join Cunning Plan in the Grand Final and potentially crush it under its massive weight difference.