The final 4 are set. M.R Speed Squared, Foxic, Thor and Shockwave. It’s a real mishmash of different designs, with the spinning blade of MRS^2, the mighty axe of Thor and the snow plough of Shockwave. Oh, and Foxic. I mean Dara said it himself: “The least impressive robot ever to qualify for the next round.” It’s all still great fun though.
Back in the pits, and M.R Speed Squared realise their robot has done a Moebius and literally eaten its own internal systems. Not good. Foxic also have problems, but then that’s not entirely surprising given that they spent half their heat going sideways.
Head to Head 1: Thor v M.R Speed Squared
Our first head to head sees the almighty axe wielding Thor face off against the dieting M.R Speed Squared, which still doesn’t have its bottom panel. Still, they do possess a wicked spinning blade, so much so that Thor has a little metal shield plate across the front to deflect blows. Clever.
Now we get the little videos. We first see Jason, who built Thor all by himself, talk about his might hammer. Still, Thor has changed a lot since it competed in the last series of Robot Wars. If you compare it to the original version, this one looks like someone had put it through a trash compactor. Bit like Shunt really. You can’t say Jason doesn’t put his heart into Robot Wars though. I mean, 300 hours of work? That’s dedication.
Next we see the M.R Speed Squared boys, who come from all different walks of life. Though the weird little scenes about surgery just make me think of the house robot introduction for Dead Metal.
If you’re wondering, it is the aforementioned Dead Metal in the arena for the house robots, along with Shunt. And we’re ready to begin.
Instantly, it’s clear to see something isn’t quite right with MRS^2- the disc isn’t spinning up to full speed. Thor doesn’t help their matters by charging them into the pit release button, but without that spinning blade, what else do they have?
Thor meanwhile is driving around like an annoying bee, not giving MRS^2 an inch, anywhere across the arena. Eventually this leads to MRS^2 being herded not only over the flame pit, but into the clutches of Dead Metal. To make matters worse, Thor is still there, hammering away.
Thor’s next tactic is to basically ram MRS^2 into each and every wall. I’m not sure if they were trying to use that to tip them over onto the exposed underside, but in the end it goes the way of the first set of attacks- back into the claws of Dead Metal. Now I know Thor’s axe is meant to be blunt to cause internal damage, but it still managed to put a hole into the armour of MRS^2. Either that’s piss poor armour, or one hell of an axe. Or both.
Then comes my favourite part. Whilst chasing MRS^2 across the arena, Thor just so happens to drive over the floor flipper… And get tossed into the air, onto its roof. For once, I’m actually going to credit the floor flipper guy, that was perfect. Thor, of course, can self right. That’s not the point. MRS^2 are now turned over however, and Thor starts to rain blows down on the un-armoured insides. It doesn’t last particularly long, mainly because the gyrobot manages to drive itself into the pit. Oops? 3 points to Thor
Head to Head 2: Foxic v Shockwave
In the pits, Angela chats to team Foxic, who claim to have fixed their robot. Craig Danby and the Foxic team are great fun in the pits. I know some people saw them as arrogant, but I love a pantomime villain. It was all good banter in the end.
Onto the videos, and of course we start with Foxic. Craig claims to have built the robot himself so that he didn’t have to compromise with anybody else’s ideas. I think, after seeing how this robot performs, he may want to rethink that strategy.
Onto Shockwave, who were really impressive in the opening heat. Shockwave is built by the same people who created the robot ‘Manta’, a very good flipper bot I’ve seen perform at the live shows. If Manta is anything to go by, then Shockwave should have no problems. Right?
We actually get introduced to the house robots this time around, mainly because we’re seeing Matilda for the first time. Dead Metal is also in there, because who doesn’t like to bash claws with a giant space hedgehog?
The fight begins, and both robots go straight for each other. The good news? Foxic actually works! And they managed to get in underneath Shockwave for a little bit, until they shake themselves off. Shockwave decide the only way they’re really going to win is by dumping Foxic down the pit- which makes sense, seeing as both robots are lifters, so damage is likely to come out as a grand total of zero.
Foxic, meanwhile, is a bit dead. At least, it’s a bit dead for a little bit. It comes back to life once Shockwave begins to push and shove it across the arena. Shockwave are now very much on top, having got that scoop down to a zero ground clearance, they can push Foxic anywhere they want. That usually means into one of the arena sidewalls, or a little bit later, Dead Metal’s CPZ. Foxic, stunned, can’t seem to get away from Sonic the Hedgehog. At least, that’s what you think, because suddenly Foxic begin to push Dead Metal across the arena floor! Drive problems? What drive problems? It’s a fantastic effort by the Foxic boys, and great fun to see. It’s just a shame the lifter wasn’t working, because there’s nothing better than seeing a house robot immobilised. Alas, it was not to be. Shockwave even got a little involved, pushing Foxic (And hence Dead Metal) even further across the arena.
Dead Metal, however, is not one who forgets. With Foxic’s ass now in the air thanks to Shockwave, Dead Metal pushes back, helping Foxic with a nice bit of cosmetic surgery. That ends that fun then. Shockwave, getting back on the attack, once again shoves Foxic into the wall, but this time turns the machine over. Foxic is invertible, of course, but they’re now left wide open, and it’s little work for Shockwave to put them into the pit. 3 points to the snow plough.
Heat 3: Thor v Shockwave
This is the big one, if you like. With both Shockwave and Thor on 3 points apiece, the winner will give themselves one foot in the final melee. Of course, an outright win is better than a win via judges’ decision, but either one would give vital points.
Before that, we get Dara talking to one of the judges, but I never much care about that part of the show, as cool as it is. I’m here to see robots tear shit out of each other, and/or the house robots. I’m still waiting for someone to topple Shunt, which was a favourite pastime of the original series. We haven’t had much in the way of flippers yet, but with the likes of TR2, Orte, Dantomkia all competing next week, I’m rather hopeful at least one of them can do it. Don’t let me down.
Before the fight, both robots have had slight overhauls. Thor no longer has the metal plate, but a couple of front teeth that aim to render Shockwave’s ability to get underneath null and void. Shockwave meanwhile have fed their scoop steroids, and it’s now twice as big, all in the hope of deflecting the axe. As you’ll soon find out, it failed miserably.
Dead Metal (Again) and Matilda (Again) are your house robots. No sign of Sir Killalot 2.0 in this week’s fights yet, he obviously got lost on the way to the arena. That or he had too much oil to drink the night before and is horribly hungover.
The fight starts like some kind of weird mating ritual, with both robots circling each other. Shockwave have the scoop up to deflect axe blows, but Thor uses that as an opportunity to get underneath and push Shockwave into Dead Metal. Shockwave can get up to 20mph, but without the purchase on the scoop, it’s at Thor’s mercy- and now Dead Metal’s. Thor crushes Shockwave into DM, turning the ploughbot over. Shockwave can self right, but now Dead Metal is doing damage. At one point, it slices straight through one of the exposed tyres.
Thor meanwhile is loving life, and about to assert its dominance. When Shockwave attacks again, Thor brings its axe down and quite literally takes one of the sections of the scoop off completely. It’s gone.
Thor rains down blow after blow, and eventually the scoop just falls apart. It come off, piece by piece. The actual frame the scoop was mounted on is completely bent in. At one point, I thought Shockwave were going to drive down the pits just to end it, but they managed to just about keep themselves out. There’s now just one bit of the scoop left, hanging on for dear life. But shockwave are not out of this, and in one moment of fantastic driving, they manoeuvre Thor into Matilda’s flywheel. Now there are bits of Thor everywhere too!
In the end Shockwave holds on to take it to a judges’ decision. It was a fairly easy decision, I feel, to give it to Thor, but what a fight! 2 points for Jason and Thor means they now sit at the top on 5, and looking very, very good. Shockwave, on the other hand, have some rebuilding to do.
Head to Head 4: M.R Speed Squared v Foxic, Quite possibly the worst battle Robot Wars has ever seen.
Before we begin recapping robogeddon, we find out that Shockwave haven’t just bust up their robot, but one of their teams members too. Obviously Shockwave wasn’t too happy with defeat, and took it out on its creators. RISE OF THE MACHINES!…
M.R Speed Squared looks a little like Episode 1 C-3PO in the pits, i.e. half finished. Foxic looks… well, like a dead robotic fox.
Killalot 2.0 is back in the arena! He must be over his hangover enough to partner Dead Metal, who I’m pretty sure has only not been in one of these fights so far. Seems they just can’t get rid of him.
The battle, if you can call it that, starts with booth robots driving onto the flame pit, something I would say is ill advised, not least because M.R Speed Squared has no protective armour on one side. Once they realise that’s a bad idea, they, er, run away. M.R Speed Squared’s disc isn’t working, rendering them all but completely useless. Foxic looks a little lost, to be honest. That is until he drives into Dead Metal, hoping to repeat the heroics of his last fight.
Infact, Foxic ends up stuck under Dead Metal’s pincer, meaning they both end up going round and round in circles. Killalot then joins the party, turning Foxic over, because what else did you expect him to do? Dead Metal now has Foxic in its claws, and sawblade. That spark show is better than anything M.R Speed Squared is doing, because it is doing nothing. Literally nothing. I think they activated the pit at one point, but that is basically it. Eventually they sort of come together, though most of it is Foxic attempting not to drive themselves down the pit. M.R Speed Squared looks so fatigued I half expected it to just spontaneously combust as a way of throwing in the towel, but somehow it kept going. Kind of.
It went to the judges, but quite rightly everyone tore both teams to shreds. Angela called them both ‘Robot Wimps’, Noel Sharkey (Ponytail) called it ‘Possibly the worst fight he’s ever seen’, and he’s seen them all. Even the two teams agreed that it was awful. Foxic supposedly only had drive on one side, but even so. If you’re wondering, the judges gave their first split decision, in favour of MRS^2. I personally disagree, and would have given it to Foxic. They were at least somewhat more entertaining.
Either way, thank god that’s over.
Next time, which could be this evening or tomorrow, we finish the recap, where Thor, Shockwave and M.R Speed Squared (But not Foxic, they’re essentially gone) look to make it into the week 2 finale. Until then.