Here it is, the final episode of the very first Robot Wars event. The winner of this heat will move on to the Grand Final… which I presume is at the end of this episode? Because this is indeed the last episode so I don’t know where else the editors are going to cram it in. Maybe there is no Grand Final and the actual “Grand Final” is just ten minutes of Jeremy Clarkson looking at all of the “winners” while laughing. Who knows. Last week Bodyhammer was the winner and it didn’t even need to use its weapon because the entire rest of the field was a joke, like Reali-T which was a UFO-shaped robot with a beeper alarm and some spikes. Or Psychosprout which was literally just a ball with an RC car in it. Wharthog had literally less than 30 seconds of screen time after dying immediately in the Gauntlet, and Torque of the Devil and Full Metal Anorak both lost because there’s a conspiracy against robots with really long names.
Jonathan gives us a quick recap of the finalists thus far. We have the aforementioned Bodyhammer, a circular wedge. There’s also Road Block, a wedge with a saw blade. Recyclopse is a wedge with a lifting device. Robot the Bruce is a really big wedge, but unfortunately customs seized the front wedge part at the UK border because it was contraband in the category of “being too goddamned boring”. And finally, we can’t forget about Cunning Plan, a tiny wedge.
HEAT F COMPETITORS
Jeremy Clarkson’s final monologue is all about how warmongers throughout history call their wars the big one to end all wars and how they’re all wrong because they’re idiots and the Robot Wars are here to be the biggest war to end all wars instead. I don’t think he thought that analogy through all the way. While I’m figuring out the lack of logic behind this burnt pretzel of a monologue, Clarkson mentions how women cooking supper is normal behavior for a country in a time of peace. Not anymore dude, Tumblr happened. It’s great that we can now look back at moments like this with the same sense of proxy embarrassment as all of the blackface in The Jazz Singer.
Let’s meet the final group of robots vying for a spot in the Grand Final.
SKARAB: When the first thing you see on the robot as it comes out of the fog machine room is its horsecock of a weapon you can’t help but feel excited. That’s a wicked looking cleaver on Skarab, and because it looks so awesome that means chances are it’s either not going to work or it’s going to swing with the force of a sociophobe trying to tap someone on the shoulder to tell them not to cut in line. Also, suspension springs from a 1920’s car? I’m sure they’ll be able to find replacements of those if they break.
BLOB: Holy shit, it’s that robot that I said looked like a giant pile of literal garbage way back in the first episode! I genuinely forgot about it. Great design mate, it looks like Skarab with cancer.
TRACIE: I know this robot’s name is an acronym but I’ll be damned if I’m going to type six periods every time I write it; WYSIWYG had the courtesy to drop its periods for me, that’s all I’m gonna say. TRACIE is this episode’s “solid 5” robot. It doesn’t look like a complete piece of shit and I bet you could say the robot was “this tall” with your thumb and pointer finger and get a close approximation. I haven’t yet seen the other three robots for this episode, but TRACIE could probably beat them.
ELVIS: “The King is alive again.” As what, Jonathan? A Gay Dalek? Is it bad of me to want to see Skarab’s blade come down on this disappointment and send it back to Graceland? Real talk, I want to see someone, anyone, go all Problem Child on that stupid little Elvis head. I can’t even tell what this robot’s weapon is, from the photo it looks like a nipple on a stick. Considering the robot itself is Elvis’ head sitting atop a sparkly UFO, I’m probably not that far off.
PRINCE OF DARKNESS: When the mysterious voice says “Prince of Darkness” you start to build expectations about this robot in your head (or you start humming Black Sabbath songs). Point is, when you hear the name you immediately think of a robot design before the smoke clears. I’m willing to bet absolutely none of you defaulted to “shitty underweight red wedge whose name looks like it was literally written on using a Sharpie”. Even Jonathan gets in on this “not the most aesthetically pleasing” nonsense, and what’s even better is that it apparently took a team of four goddamned people to put this together. Fucking four.
EUBANK THE MOUSE: You better turn that fucking thing around and drive it right back in where it came from because I refuse to believe this is the last robot that’s getting announced on Robot Wars this season. Eubank cruises up and off the side of the arena ramp because it’s such a piece of shit that it’s attempting to lose during its introduction. Look, I get that gimmick bots are a thing but we’ve had 36 robots total and two-thirds of them are things that’d probably fit the description of “gimmick bot”. This thing doesn’t even have a weapon and it handles like a no-brakes mod for Grand Theft Auto. I dare you to find me a universe where this robot can win a single fight, because that way I’ll know which black hole to kick you into.
Philippa pops onto the screen but then disappears because the editors have to fit the Grand Final into this episode somewhere and they don’t have time to let her gab about the obstacle course for the sixth fucking time. Clarkson rattles off how “in the olden days a ‘gauntlet’ was a type of glove” and for a moment I’m thinking this is some kind of anti-joke, but then I remember that those kinds of things are too high concept for Clarkson and he finishes that thought by telling the first competitors to “be more interesting than that”. That’s the kind of shit-tier jab that makes it into a rough draft of BattleBots Update but then gets cut when I proofread everything and think of something funnier.
Like how BLOB, the first robot in the Gauntlet this episode, is named after its driver. Blob is fairly quick and nimble for a robot that looks like a giant wad of chewed gum, but hey I guess any fatty can move fast enough with the right motivation. I think there might be some hamburgers at the finish line to lure Blob there more quickly. Dead Metal comes in and– oh hey look it’s Dead Metal! Welcome to the show man, glad you could make it for the final episode. Dead Metal’s saw doesn’t appear to be working so instead the House Robot pushes Blob over into the pile of giant dildos while the editors cut away to Blob’s team intro. They talk some solid “crashing and bashing” game which Jonathan — of all people — calls bullshit on. Damn dude, chill out.
ELVIS is second in line and let’s just address the elephant in the room here: what the fuck is going on with that chassis? I’m not exactly an Elvis buff but I’m pretty sure “magically getting taller” wasn’t in his repertoire of skills. Raising the robot higher up off the ground is good for getting over obstacles, sure, but if you’re gonna do that you kind of need to raise the whole robot up, not just the shell. That kind of leaves the innards exposed. You know, the most important fucking parts of the robot. The things the shell is supposed to protect. The shell that’s currently two feet off the goddamned ground. Elvis leaves the starting platform and apparently its armor can be raised and lowered at will, because it gets itself high centered on seemingly nothing and proceeds to spend the rest of its Gauntlet run bopping up and down like a shit Mega Man enemy. Sergeant Bash comes over and hits Elvis with its sad blade, which breaks immediately. This surprises no one.
Jonathan tries to inform us all of what TRACIE‘s acronym stands for but every word was like five syllables long and I was rolling my eyes and shouting “come on” by the time he made it to the letter A. In case you’re wondering though, I think it stands for “Triceratops Rollercoaster AnthroCon Internet Explorer”. TRACIE takes its jolly old time getting over to the House Robots because Elvis’ “spirited performance” basically gives TRACIE’s team free reign to take the scenic route and enjoy all the sights. The robot makes it about as far as Blob did which leads me to believe that particular brand of transmitter has a radius of influence of… however far away that spot on the arena is.
EUBANK THE MOUSE is up next and as we see this goofy ass piece of shit slowly spin around on the starting platform Jonathan informs us that the robot was built by a 40 year old “manufacturing supervisor”, whom we then see. Yeah. This is exactly the kind of faux-whimsical piece of shit that a soulless supervisory-type of asshole would build in his garage, alone, while thinking about all of the things he could’ve done differently in his half-over life. Sure, the money’s okay and there’s job security, but waking up and going to the same gray corporate building and sitting at the same tiny little desk day in and day out for decades eats at a man. Once upon a time that person was a child and they had hopes and dreams. Maybe they wanted to be an astronaut, or an actor. Or maybe they aspired to be a firefighter or a police officer. Somewhere, that dream died and they gave up.
Also Eubank finished the Gauntlet, by the way.
SKARAB takes the stage and slowly progresses over toward the House Robots because I guess that’s the only strategy we’re going to see this episode. Jonathan tries filling the idle air with Egypt trivia because the producers paid this man to talk and god damn it he’s gonna talk. He even calls Skarab a “birthday cake on wheels” which means literally nothing. Realizing they’ve got some prime dead air to fill, the editors toss up Skarab’s team intro an– DID THAT MAN JUST SAY HE WAS TEAM ISIS. HOLY SHIT. HE DID. God damn, talk about bad luck. The only thing worse than that would be like having a professional sports team named something that wasn’t a racial slur at the time but is now. Thank god we don’t have one of those, though. Whew. Since Skarab is probably armed with a bomb or something, the House Robots keep their distance and let it get to the finish line.
There’s only one robot left this season to brave the Gauntlet. That honor is wasted on PRINCE OF DARKNESS. As the robot idly spins around in the starting platform I noticed that someone’s gone ahead and drawn some devil horns on the robot’s front wedge. Yep, that’s exactly what the robot was missing; now it’s perfect and is in no way a shoebox with wheels for Matilda to defecate into! Before the run even starts the editors cut to the team intro where the builders are eager to brag that Prince of Darkness was built in under five hours. Buddy, that’s not something to brag about. Now, kindly do us all a favor and get the fuck out of here.
Prince actually makes it across the finish line, but even the “judges” don’t give a fuck and are like “nah man you didn’t go all the way across so it doesn’t count lel”. Matilda pushes Prince away, but the tiny robot is able to find an opening and make it across the finish line for real. Clarkson shows up and without wasting any time declares Prince of Darkness to be the worst robot he’s ever seen despite it crossing the finish line “twice”. Prince’s driver says “that thing can pull a car” in response. Oh, really? Well if it can pull a car then I think it could also push Matilda out of the way, which it failed to do. Maybe it can pull the fucking Power Wheels Barbie Jeep you rode to the show on, but I’ll be damned if that wooden abomination doesn’t get turned into its principle atomic particles in the next round.
Humor me for a moment and imagine you’re watching your favorite TV show. For the sake of convenience, let’s assume you’re a completely unremarkable nobody and the only thing you give a shit about is American Idol. Now, let’s say the host comes up on stage and before anyone starts singing says “singing might not be the greatest thing in the world but, meh, fuck it here’s a Chinese dude who’s here to sing some Ricky Martin shit”. That’s exactly how Clarkson introduces the concept of snooker. I mean, he tries to flip things on their head by saying “but robot snooker…” but it’s a failed save. You goofed, Jeremy.
The rules for robot snooker are apparently identical to the robot soccer trial from a couple episodes ago, except the ball’s size has been cut in half and there’s like a million of them. Also, each robot has their own goal, and the object is to hoard as many balls as you can. So in other words, it’s nothing at all like snooker and it’s exactly like Hungry Hungry Hippos on crack. Clarkson says the robot who loses will be taken outside, tied up, and then left to die. God damn dude, we get it you’re trying to be edgy and all that bullshit. What’s next, do the winners get to shoot up a school of their choosing and meet Marilyn Manson?
Blob, the slowest robot in the field, ends up being the one to break the mess of snooker balls in the middle of the arena. As you might imagine, they go everywhere and ensure that it will be nearly impossible for me to focus on what the hell is going on. Right away TRACIE dies near its starting gate meaning the rest of this trial is pretty much fucking moot. To hammer that point home, Prince of Darkness becomes the first robot to score in this fucking trial. For fuck’s sake, it looks like Prince has half a trash can stuck onto its front to corral balls; that trash can is meant to double as the robot’s intended receptacle when it loses. They weren’t supposed to cut it in half and use it as some special attachment. Speaking of, everyone’s got some kind of bullshit ball hoarding apparatus except for Eubank the Mouse, because effort.
Skarab takes one ball back to its scoring square and then just stops, because it’s not like this is meant to be exciting. This isn’t being broadcast on TV or anything. With two robots out of the trial and Eubank fucking off to the far corner without an attachment, Prince of Darkness has free reign to start scoring points and makes it up to three balls. Blob tries to score a point and fails, and Jonathan confirms that Eubank has died. By the time all is said and done, Prince has scored six fucking points making it extremely difficult for me to make fun of this piece of shit because it won by five goddamned balls.
Apparently, Eubank has broken down “irreparably” and is eliminated instead of TRACIE who couldn’t even manage to leave its starting square. I’ll just be forthcoming with this, but that’s all kinds of suspicious. First of all, how can they tell just from looking at the robot from all the way up in the rafters? Secondly, “irreparably”? You motherfuckers wanna talk “irreparable damage”? Dreadnaut died on camera more times than fucking Gandalf and that robot made it through to the god damn combat rounds.
I had to go look this up. Apparently I’ve been doing a bad job writing about this series because Eubank the Mouse is actually what was known as a “stock” robot — a robot built by the Robot Wars production team whose sole purpose was to fill in gaps in the event while not being permitted to make it into the combat stages.
Are you shittin’ me? I wrote that sick burn about Eubank’s alleged “builder” being some dumbass production supervisor and it was all for naught? Now I look like a fucking asshole! He’s probably a decent guy! Even worse is that Eubank isn’t the only stock robot at this event. WYSIWYG, a.k.a. “that shitty 11kg wooden wedge with RC car motors in it”, was another stock robot and I wrote some bullshit “women don’t belong in the arena lol Gamergate” stab about it. She didn’t even build that fucking thing. I might as well join Reddit or something now. And Grunt! That stupid thing we ended up using as a unit of measurement was also stock! That’s why it drove off the side of the sumo arena before Jonathan could finish whatever bullshit analogy he was farting out. God damn it, you guys.
You know what? I’m ending the “Grunt” recurring gag. No more. You all blew it, Robot Wars. I’ll find something else that’s 140 centimeters in length to joke about. Like Jeremy Clarkson’s face.
Fucking robot snooker indeed, Jeremy.
SKARAB vs. BLOB
Team Isis The Islamic State
Weapon: Spring-loaded hammer
(No Team Name)
Weapon: Ramming blade
Here’s a fight between two robots that for all intents and purposes look exactly like one another. Be careful however, as only one of them will declare jihad. Blob is the one that doesn’t have the axe-thing, and Skarab is the one who does. I’m curious to know if that cleaver actually works though, since Dead Metal broke it in the Gauntlet when it scalped Skarab like an Indian.
Oh fuck, that reminds me. Washington Redskins.
The two robots connect in the middle of the arena, and the fight is already half over. Skarab’s cleaver doesn’t swing because I guess it’s broken. Sergeant Bash choofs its flamethrower so that we think there’s action or something going on. Meanwhile, Skarab’s axe finally swings and while it technically works I’m just going to continue assuming it doesn’t work because it’s quite obviously a total piece of shit.
Speaking of shit, Blob is dead. Don’t know how it happened, don’t care how it happened, it just happened and Jonathan had to fill time by reading every stupid ass jingle and ditty from his note cards to fill what would’ve been dead air. He whipped out the “rust in peace” line, the man’s grasping at straws now. By the time the Grand Final rolls around Jonathan will probably just be reading pages out of a goddamned dictionary.
PRINCE OF DARKNESS vs. TRACIE
PRINCE OF DARKNESS
(No Team Name)
Weapon: Dual ramming spikes
The Prince of Darkness team has completely repainted their robot in the time following the robot snooker trial. I also previously noticed during its arena introduction the robot’s little preview picture doesn’t have a wedge, so that was also obviously added on a whim at some point post-arrival. Here’s a thought, call me crazy or whatever but how about next time you bring a robot that’s fucking done? Just throwing that out there.
Jonathan says Prince is the “crowd favorite” because he’s apparently supposed to remind us that “the crowd” at this event is intended to be an object of which we are meant to focus our unfiltered derision toward. These are the same people who booed Cunning Plan for beating a fucking remote controlled toy car because Cunning Plan hurt the poor widdle kid’s feelings. Fuck those people. Anyways, in the time it’s taken me to remind you that the Robot Wars audience has a collective IQ of 3 TRACIE has shanked both of Prince’s tires and flattened them… because putting pneumatic tires on something and bringing it to an event where there will be sharp things is totally a great idea. That’s that signature “five hour quality” from Prince that we love so much.
TRACIE parks itself on the arena floor grating once it’s done with Prince and the fight is called as the crippled robot hobbles away. For a moment I thought TRACIE may have been disqualified for driving on the grating, but then I remember that there are no rules at this event and Clarkson calls the TRACIE team up into the Cyber Christmas Zone and awards them the Robot Wars Medal of Honor for removing Prince from the tournament.
SKARAB vs. TRACIE
Team Isis The Islamic State
Spring-loaded hammer Mace
Weapon: Dual ramming spikes
After being taken down a peg by Clarkson, Skarab’s builders decided to write the host’s remark about their robot… on their actual robot. Get a load of these cucks; I wish every team wrote Jeremy’s insults somewhere on their robots after each match. That needs to be a new rule, stat. Team ISIS is also borrowing Killertron’s mace for this match, because that wouldn’t be the first time a terrorist cell has been unintentionally funded by a first world country. Also, is it really a good idea to borrow a weapon from someone who lost? Just stating the obvious here, but that weapon apparently did fuck all for them.
TRACIE might’ve been a waste of time in the trials but holy shit this thing is really making a 180 in the arena. When TRACIE spontaneously floors it and lunges into its opponent I’m still assuming something is going to break, but at least you get that sudden jolt of excitement like you’re watching a prison fight. TRACIE backs away from Skarab with a piece of its opponent still stuck on one of its prongs. That’s about the most metal thing I’ve seen in this episode, and it also begs the question of what the fuck is wrong with Skarab’s builders to coat their robot’s framework with what is clearly armor made out of duct tape?
TRACIE speeds across the arena and lodges itself firmly inside of Sergeant Bash while Matilda comes over and slices off Skarab’s aerial. They weren’t really using it anyways, so no big loss. Since Skarab is pretty much [slow moving cheese on] toast, TRACIE spends the rest of the fight dicking with the House Robots until the officials stop the match and call it in favor of TRACIE. Finally, the “solid 5” of an episode wins.
ROAD BLOCK — ROBOT THE BRUCE — RECYCLOPSE
CUNNING PLAN — BODYHAMMER — TRACIE
ROAD BLOCK — ROBOT THE BRUCE — RECYCLOPSE
CUNNING PLAN — BODYHAMMER — TRACIE
Clarkson introduces the Grand Final as a 6-way orgy. That’s the description he went with because there weren’t any other ways of describing it that were more appropriate and didn’t require him to look and sound like a goddamned creep. Nope, none. All six robots are in the arena and I don’t really need to go over them again because I did that at the beginning of the article; I’m not that hard-pressed for word count and content. Yet.
Cunning Plan lands the first blow of the Grand Final on TRACIE and immediately rebounds off because Cunning Plan weighs as much as a toaster oven and isn’t going to win. Recyclopse tries to go down on TRACIE but fails to do so thanks to Road Block salting its game. All of the robots who aren’t Cunning Plan huddle together in the center of the arena like some shitty demolition derby, and much like some shitty demolition derby Cunning Plan charges across the arena, makes contact with Robot the Bruce, and nothing happens because Cunning Plan isn’t going to win. TRACIE tries to line up a shot on Road Block and drives up and on top of Cunning Plan because it didn’t see it. Cunning Plan, not winning, takes the Andross route of “if I go down I’m taking you with me” and acts as TRACIE’s folly. Sure, Cunning Plan could back up if it wanted to, but that would require the robot to not be a fucking lightweight.
Road Block starts pushing Recyclopse around, making absolutely no use of its rear-mounted cutting disc, while Bodyhammer cruises around and bounces off of fucking everything without swinging its hammer ever. Both teams are making excellent use of their weapons that were apparently so important that they had to be included on their robots. Recyclopse continues to defy the laws of physics and somehow gets up on top of Bruce. Rather than take control of a situation now leaning heavily in its favor, Bruce just bounces and leaves Recyclopse for Road Block to deal with. The shock of being dropped apparently broke one of its drive chains however, so Recyclopse gets dropped off in the corner to officially become the House Robots’ problem.
Bruce gets the bright idea that charging at a fucking wedge is a smart thing to do and promptly rolls itself over Road Block’s side. This thins the battle to just Road Block and Bodyhammer, two robots with active weapons who refuse to use them for some fucking reason. I’m sure the last legs of this fight will be truly gripping. Or not, because we’re apparently out of time! Man, I’ve never been more relieved. Here I was getting my taxes out and shit because I thought I had time to kill.
The Grand Final comes down to a judges’ decision. Neither robot made any use of its weaponry, so really this comes down to a decision between a robot that did absolutely nothing and a robot that spent the entire duration of the final with its face up someone’s ass. Road Block of course is the winner, and the team gets a shiny trophy that looks less like a trophy and more like some bullshit abstract sculpture that a well-to-do cockwad would have on their corporate desk in 1994, but whatever. Congrats I guess to Road Block, you’re the least worst competitor!
Oh shit, here I am getting up to leave and go back to the cruelness of the real world and Jonathan pulls a Billy Mays and is all like “but wait there’s more”. Dude the credits literally just rolled, you couldn’t find a more appropriate time for this?
BEST ENGINEERED ROBOT: Mortis
This thing broke down or something and became a ram-bot, right? Yeah, ‘best engineered” my ass.
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Nemesis
Why’d they get this award? Did they offer their chair to anyone who wanted to sit in it?
BEST DESIGN AWARD: Plunderbird 1
LASER-GUIDED BATTERING RAM.
MOST ORIGINAL ENTRY: Psychosprout
Proof that something doesn’t even have to work for you to get recognition.
I can’t believe it, but that’s a wrap on Robot Wars series 1. I know this was a major deviation from the usual content of this website, but I’m very passionate about robot combat of all walks and I think our friends in the UK deserve some support now that their series is officially back on the air as well. I’ll be running Update articles for the new Robot Wars series whenever it makes it to television… and downloads or streaming options become available. Thank you so all very much for going back in time with me and taking a look at one of the places where this sport began; coming up next we’ll have coverage of the first season of Comedy Central’s BattleBots. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so you’ll get the heads up when it goes live.
Normally I end each article with some bullshit image made from a screencap of the episode. This time though I wanted to do something… unique. So, rather than put up a screenshot of Elvis getting its shit ruined I had a very “special” picture commissioned just for this occasion. Enjoy.
(It’s a sexy Matilda because everyone involved with this ordeal is a fucking pervert.)