Robot Review: Apollo (S08E04)

In the week or so since I published the Storm 2 review (Which has been my absolute favourite review to write so far), I have been extremely busy with Uni stuff. So, whilst it looks like I’ve disappeared, I am still here. Including Apollo, there are 9 robots left to review. I will be done by the end of October, I promise, because I am not mixing this with NaNoWriMo. 

Anyway, Apollo! One of just 3 robots in the 8th wars to have *just* a flipper (The others being Dantomkia and Beast), the concept of Apollo is fairly simple. Long body robot, giant flipper arm- flip competitors high, far and out of the arena if possible- and a cool name that gives me the license to make space puns. Apollo is still slightly different to most other flippers in the competition anyway; The long wheelbase (And hence long, wide flipper arm), set it apart from the likes of Eruption, which has a short wheelbase, and Dantomkia, which also has a shorter wheelbase (Going up to the flipper), and a much thinner flipper arm. 

In the arena, Apollo found itself competing against PP3D & Kan-Opener. Sweeney Todd was also there in the arena, but I’m not sure if you could ever say it actually competed. It was just there as cannon fodder. Still, PP3D’s vicious spinner and Kan-Opener’s grabbing claws posed something more of a threat.

It’s fair to say, Apollo probably had one of the worse starts you could have in a melee battle. Without having attacked any other competitors, they drove over the floor flipper and were tossed into orbit, then back down onto their flipper. They self-righted of course, but that was certainly an interesting way to start things off.

#Levitate.png
#Levitate

Possibly feeling the need to actually go and attack competitors, Apollo hunted down Kan-Opener, pinned them against the arena side wall and then flipped then high into the atmosphere. Unfortunately this left them open to attack from PP3D, who got in underneath them and tore one of their wheels out from underneath them. Ouch.
It took Apollo a little while to get used to the fact they now only had one functioning wheel. After not moving very much, flipping themselves over, flipping themselves back the right way and then milling around for a bit, they seemed to just about figure out what to do. I mean I commend anyone that can drive a one wheeled robot- nobody can quite do it like the Minotaur boys on Battlebots, but still. It’s impressive.

Now actually driving the robot with vague precision, Apollo managed to reach the grapple between Kan-Opener and PP3D, and then flipped the both of them. If that wasn’t a show of how powerful the flipper was, just wait until later in the episode. Some more stuff not involving Apollo then happened in the battle, before Apollo came back into the K-O/PP3D exchange, getting under Kan-Opener and firing them so hard across the arena they knocked the link out. Score one for Apollo.

Flying Crab.png
Flying Crab?

That just left Sweeney Todd… Meh. Nobody cares about Sweeney Todd. They were basically out as soon as they set wheel in the arena. Let’s just say Apollo got down to doing some pancake tossing with them and leave it at that.

Apollo’s first H2H saw them come up against PP3D for the second time in a row, this time hoping that they didn’t lose a wheel to the giant flywheel. The best thing to stop that was to turn PP3D over, or alternatively just get them out of the arena altogether.
Apollo took no time in actually assaulting PP3D, driving straight at them after the battle had begun. PP3D simply rode up the flipper and bounced off, but it was a sign of intent. There was then a short sparring session, where PP3D and Apollo almost felt each other out, bumping into each other to test the waters. PP3D couldn’t get underneath Apollo this time though, with the flipper bot always facing forward. Equally, Apollo couldn’t get enough purchase underneath PP3D to get a viable flip in. It was tense.

That was until Apollo herded PP3D into one of the CPZs, lined them up, got underneath and then TOOK PP3D’S WHEEL CLEAN OFF!

Instant Karma.png
Instant Karma

How’s that for poetic justice. PP3D was now down to one wheel and running in circles. Apollo, however, seemed to have taken some hefty damage from PP3D’s assault, and themselves were also only really running on one wheel. I mean they still had both attached, they just weren’t using one of them very well. This led to some kind of weird dance across the arena floor between both robots, until eventually Apollo manages to make contact with PP3D, get the flipper in and send them sprawling. It was an almost identical kind of hit to the melee, where they eliminated Kan-Opener, and had the same result. PP3D’s removable link was, erm, removed, and Apollo took home the 3 points.

World Champions Storm 2 were up next for Apollo. Less likely to do damage, but definitely a possibility they could turn the annoyance factor up to 11. Also, very low ground clearance. At least Apollo were more likely to keep both their wheels.
But it was Storm 2 that started the battle as the aggressor, getting underneath Apollo and pushing them around. Apollo spent half the time riding on top of Storm 2 and they looked to get round the back, where there was actually a little bit of ground clearance. But eventually, they found their opening, and they turned Storm 2 over (Via several mid-air flips). Storm 2 then ran away, onto the floor flipper, where they got thrown around again. The good thing for Apollo was Storm 2 being upside down meant their ground clearance was significantly higher. Storm 2 could self-right, however, so it didn’t last forever.

Taking a brief interlude from flipping the World Champions, Apollo decided to drive into Dead Metal’s CPZ. Now instead of back the hell out of there and get on with the fight, Apollo decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. And go for it they did…

Dead Metal dead.png
Dead Metal… Emphasis on the ‘Dead’

Jesus Christ guys.

Apollo did go back to fighting Storm 2 for a bit, flipping them a couple of time, but eventually that can get boring, so instead they went and attacked Matilda. It wasn’t a smooth attack- the first flip only succeeded in taking half the house robot’s ass of- but they got there eventually. Somehow this had managed to jam open Apollo’s weapon briefly, something that gave Storm 2 an advantage. Infact, it gave them such an advantage that Apollo almost ended up in the pit not once but twice. I stress the word almost because they not only survived, but won the judges’ decision and qualified for the week final. Still, fight against Eruption up next.

This fight was just a bit pointless. Apollo were already through, Eruption were already out. Still, battle of the flippers anyone?

Eruption had reverted back to its RWL variety that had been so successful, but Apollo were still the first bot to try and land a flip. They missed. There was a bit of a weird robotic dance in the centre of the arena before Eruption also tried to get a flip in. They also failed. Great start everyone.
Eruption were the first robot to get an actual flip in though, courtesy of Apollo getting stuck on the lip of the pit. With Apollo recovering, Eruption managed to pin them up against the wall and flip them again. What followed was some awesome synchronised self-righting, before Apollo got the narrowest of flips on Eruption, causing the robot to do a pirouette. Now that’s entertainment.

The show couldn’t last forever though, there was some real fighting to be done. Well, at least there was if you were Eruption. Apollo was now just a little bit dead. OK scratch that, they were very dead. The flipper was open again, and they weren’t moving. Oops.

British Lucky.png
It’s like Lucky all over again, except Apollo managed to keep their flipper arm.

The ironic thing is that, as soon as the klaxon for the end of the fight had sounded, Apollo started working again. Brilliant.

It didn’t matter, because Apollo had already qualified. And as such they faced a rematch against serial full body hammer Storm 2, a fight which had run close in the Head to Heads.
It was a tense start. Nobody wants to give too much away at the start of a week final, but eventually it was Storm 2 who landed the first blow, getting under Apollo and driving them into Shunt’s CPZ. Apollo, not wanting to miss an opportunity, then turned Shunt over too. Of course they did.

Bulldozer meets Space Trash.png
Bulldozer meets Space Trash

Storm 2 kept at them, pushing them around wherever they could go. But Apollo is a very good robot, and it was only a matter of time before they flipped Storm 2 over. Storm 2 did very well in evading Apollo afterwards, but there’s only so far you can run. There’s only so far they could go before Apollo rear-ended them, then flipped them high into the air once again. It was an evenly matched fight, but a battle of this magnitude was going to end with a bang one way or another. And when Apollo got underneath Storm 2, not only flipping them but pinning them against the arena barrier, that was the moment. Apollo lined them up, got underneath, and then took them straight out of the arena. 

It was a fantastic way to end a fantastic run through the heat, and guaranteed Apollo a place in the week 6 grand final.

So, how did Apollo do? Well they made the most of an opening melee in which they spent the majority of the fight with just one functional wheel, and even KOed Kan-Opener. They then got revenge on PP3D by also taking them out via KO, before a very close contest with Storm 2 which they managed to get through despite problems and win, as well as put on a great show by flipping not one but both house robots in the arena. The Eruption fight was the only low point, but was somewhat inconsequential. Then there was the week finale, and what a fight that was, and what an ending. It was evenly fought up until that point, but Apollo made their point in some fashion. 

Robot Rating (Apollo): 8.5/10

 

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