Robot Review: Pulsar (S08E05)

Here I am! I say this, having not posted anything for like 10 days lol. Robot Wars aired back in July/August, so it’s been nearly 4 months since it began airing and yet I’m still here, writing reviews because I’m both super busy and usually lack the necessary willpower to write one of these after a hard day of trying not to fall asleep in lectures. The fact writing one of these takes me at least 2 hours probably doesn’t help either.

But if you really want to blame anything, for this month anyway, blame NaNoWriMo. Writing 1,666 words in a day is hard enough, but having to do it every day is painful. But it’s worth it in the end.

Anyway, even though I haven’t been posting much, there are still like 60 of you on this blog’s Facebook page now. Idk why you’re all there, but it’s nice to feel vaguely popular. I still only get like 5 views an article but we’ll ignore that point. 

Anyway, Pulsar! Another of the robots bundled into the ‘Experimental Tech’ category of competitors this year, Pulsar featured the fastest rotary weapon on the show, a vertical drum that spun at 9,000rmp. Not quite Minotaur, but still pretty damn fast. A drum that fast can not only cause some serious damage, but also almost act like its own flipper, making it a 2-in-1 weapon of sorts.

Pulsar started this episode with a melee against Ironside 3, Chompalot and Thermidor 2. That melee was really a wide variety of weapon types, which made it interesting and hard to prepare for. Still, Pulsar went in as one of the favourites to escape.
To start the fight, Pulsar seemed to be doing… Well, nothing. Whilst everyone was fighting it out, Pulsar seemed to just be driving around. Now, that could just be because of the editing (Let’s face it, probably was), but at least it meant Pulsar wasn’t getting molested by Shunt like Thermidor 2 (And Chompalot, to a lesser extent). When Pulsar did finally see some TV action though, it was them reversing into the blade of Ironside 3, which did all the damage to Pulsar and none to Ironside. Nice.

This impact unfortunately left Pulsar spinning in circles. They were pretty circles, but they were still just circles. It kind of left Pulsar a little bit marooned, at least until Chompalot decided it could be a great idea to drive into their spinning drum. Finally, we got to see what Pulsar could do, and it wasn’t even their attack.

Shred.png
Shred

Unsurprisingly, driving around in circles doesn’t get you very far, and so Pulsar were eliminated from the tournament. That, you would think, should be the end of it. But no! Partly because Chompalot self-destructed in the next round, and because they actually lasted longer than the steamed lobster that is Thermidor 2, Pulsar were given a reprieve! Sure, they only had 2 H2Hs to fight in, but it was a challenge to restore their honour. Could they? Or would the robot fail them again?

First up was Beast, a robot made of scaffolding but armed with a full pressure flipper… supposedly. As the battle began, Beast and Pulsar charged each other, with Beast kinda bouncing off Pulsar’s wedge. Beast then attempted to flip Pulsar, but just ended up exposing the underneath, where Pulsar got in a slight hit with the drum. But this was a good start, and Pulsar were beginning to make targeted attacks at Beast’s wheels. The first few times they could only hit the scaffolding, until finally, with one big charge, Bingo!

Sparkz.png
Sparkz

And that shot, ladies and gentlemen, ended Beast right there and then.

So with 3 points and a genuine shot at actually making the heat final, Pulsar came up against their nemesis, the robot that initially had eliminated them, Ironside 3. GRUDGE MATCH!

The fight started tentatively, with a bit of chasing going on between the two robots. But eventually they would collide, and collide they did! Not only was it a collision, but it was a head on collision between two different types of spinning weapon. This time Pulsar came out on top, using the drum for its secondary purpose and flipping Ironside high into the air. They came crashing down, upside down, and with the robot slow to self-right, it looked as if Pulsar had it in the bag.

Impact Zone.png
Impact Zone

Then Sir Killalot came along, righted Ironside, and things became a little more complicated. 

In fairness to Pulsar, it had tried to put more of a hurt on Ironside, even though it had been tipped over, before Sir Killalot took over and reignited the battle. And despite Ironside being righted, Pulsar remained on top, and the sparks that flew were almost exclusively because of Pulsar’s drum striking Ironside 3. But then, just when Pulsar looked to have it in the bag regardless, things got interesting. 

Pulsar, to all intents and purposes, stopped. They stopped and Ironside pushed them into the waiting pit, before going in themselves. This caused much confusion amongst myself and the world about what was going to happen. Fortunately, sanity prevailed and Pulsar were given the points, putting them through into the heat finale!

And so, in the heat finale, Pulsar faced off against Gabriel, a robot they had not met before. However, Pulsar would hope to be going in as favourites, after seeing what the spinner of Ironside could do to the wheels.

Gabriel, however, came out firing (Or should that be swinging?), narrowly missing Pulsar with their first assault. Pulsar, though agile and nimble, was finding it hard to pinpoint an attack on Gabriel, with the wheel so narrow a target, and the vertical drum best suited to robots that would drive up the wedge first. But Pulsar would still score some hits, first driving side on into Gabriel and getting a shot off on the samurai sword, whilst also dislodging some rubber. This back and forth continued for some time, with Pulsar doing occasional damage, but nothing serious.

Speedbump.png
Speedbump

And then, just like that, Pulsar stopped. Gabriel took the opportunity to land some blows, but then Pulsar restarted again. Unreliable perhaps? It certainly wasn’t helping with nerves. Pulsar started up again where they’d left off, taking bits out of Gabriel’s wheels and generally knocking them off balance. 

And then Pulsar stopped, again, and in the same part of the arena too. Then they restarted, and I felt a weird case of déjà vu. Repeat this cycle one more time, and that was basically the fight. It was a stalemate, and would go to the judges. But who would be victorious?…

PULSAR!

Yes, Pulsar would go on to the Robot Wars Grand Final. Some performance considering they were knocked out earlier. But they showed resilience, and took their second opportunity with both hands. Beast were easily dispatched and Ironside would have gone fairly easily too if they hadn’t been turned back over by Killalot. Gabriel were a much harder opponent, and they got taken right to the end, but eventually triumphed. It was a good performance, but it still must be taken into account the fact that Ironside almost ended the run there and then in the first melee. Pulsar were lucky. They were good, but lucky.

Robot Rating (Pulsar): 7/10

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