Supposedly the YouTube video I’m watching this on is in 480p. I’m going to go ahead and say that’s a blatant lie. The quality is pretty awful, but then the 7th wars did air all the way back in 2003, so that was before YouTube even existed. Just don’t expect any decent quality pictures to come out of this.
The 7th wars was the beginning of the worst era of Robot Wars, which funnily enough lasted one whole season before Channel 5 gave it the boot. Of course, this was only after the BBC had palmed it off the C5 in the first place. This is the series in which the active weapon rule came into full prominence, Mentorn decided to be complete and utter bastards, there was a £20,000 prize (Which, as one commenter on the YouTube video said, could build you half of Mortis), and Cassius Chrome was actually a thing. Also no Philippa Forrester, which was depressing.
On the upside, there were a whole 128 robots competing in the 7th wars. Well, actually it was 127 because Terrorhurtz showed up, told everyone their robot wasn’t working, and then went home again. Considering they had known for a while that Terrorhurtz was crocked, you would have thought Mentorn might try and find a replacement. But then we remember this is Mentorn we’re talking about. But anyway, that’s for another episode.
Things in Heat A of Robot Wars the 7th wars kicked off with 2 melees of 4 robots, not dissimilar to what we had this year. The robots competing this time around were:
Pussycat (9), Brutus Maximus, Roobarb, Twister, Vader, M2, Tiberius 3 and Shell Shock. Almost none of those were anywhere near as good as their names make them out to be.
Up in the first melee we have M2 (Which I’m fairly certain was not named after the motorway that runs through Kent), a blue wedgebot with a red and yellow painted flipper. Ah flippers. You can never escape them, can you? Like most good flippers, M2’s major weakness is robots with spinning discs. Probably not a surprise that they were put into a melee with Vader then, is it? Still, at 99Kg and supposedly self self-righting (Dear god that was hard to say), M2 could be a potential threat.
Next up we have Tiberius 3, which now spends its days masquerading around as Photon Storm on Robot Wars’ American sister program Battlebots. Or at least it did until it got torn in half by Minotaur. In the 7th wars, however, Tiberius 3 was a large crusher robot, built with a giant piercing claw that exerted 5 tonnes of pressure (3 at the tip), making it basically a not-so-discount discount Razer.
Moving on, the 3rd robot in this melee is ‘Shell Shock’, which is pretty much a robotic snail. It even has a face painted onto it. And as much as Jayne Middlemiss wants to call it cute, it is actually rather creepy.
Shell Shock actually had a disc cutter, and an axe that is attached to the top of the face, as weapons. On the other hand, it weighed just 83Kg and was in the arena with a flipper, which can only mean bad things. Also see: Petrol engine.
Finally we have Vader, which is another robot with a spinning disc, and one that looked powerful too. A vertical spinner that ran at 850rpm (That was a lot for back then, mind), and named after the famous Sith Lord himself. Vader is not the only Star Wars themed robot in the 7th wars, because there was also another robot, entered by the same team, called IG-88 doing battle later on. It’s not all sunshine and force lightning for Vader though, with a top speed of just 8mph and the inability to self-right potentially causing problems.
Shunt and Sgt Bash (Ah, it’s good to say his name again) are your house robots for today’s proceedings, and we’re ready to get the 7th wars underway!
Things started of pretty frantic. I counted about 2 seconds gone before M2 flipped Vader, although they did land back on their wheels. Vader recovered to try and take some shots at Shell Shock, but M2 didn’t really seem done with them, and flipped them again. But, once more, they landed on their wheels. You can repeat that sentence one more time, because it happened again almost straight afterwards.
Infact, M2 were really the aggressors of the whole fight. After giving up on Vader for a little while, they went after Shell Shock and promptly turned them over. That’s bad news for Shell Shock, who are now stranded on their side. Vader, meanwhile, have died in a corner. Tiberius? Fuck knows what Tiberius have been doing this whole time. Just driving around and letting M2 do everything, that’s what.
So, having been left to do everything, M2 decide they might aswell put Shell Shock out of their misery, and promptly flip them out of the arena altogether. First melee, first OotA. Not bad going really. Cue Jonathan Pearce going absolutely ballistic, as only he can.
Infact, Jonathan only just manages to regain his composure before M2 goes back and takes Vader out too. So, er, that’s the fight. M2 and Tiberius (Which seem to be the 7th wars’ version of Foxic) progress into the next round. Of course, we couldn’t end it without Jonathan making reference once again to the £20,000 top prize. Channel 5 probably gave him a bonus for it.
So, onto the second melee. You’d like to think that there would be more than one decent robot in this fight, unlike the previous one in which M2 did basically everything. First up and entering the arena is Roobarb, a high wedge bot with a low pressure flipper, and a robot that looked damn good too. It was pretty fast too at 15mph, which could be good to get it away from everyone else should they turn out to be any good. Can’t really help but see Roobarb as Bigger Brother’s disco cousin though.
Next up is Pussycat. Does Pussycat really need an introduction? A weird and wonderful robot that has all 4 wheels attached to the back edge of an almost box like pyramid exterior, such that it makes the robot look pretty much uncontrollable for most of its fights and yet still highly functional, Pussycat has a rather powerful sawblade (Or rather, two of them) that spun around 3,500rpm. It’s also seeded 9th (Don’t ask me why they decided to kick things off with the 9th seed, because I don’t understand either), so that would make it the favourite. Naturally.
Thirdly we see Twister, a Dutch robot that made the journey over to compete on Robot Wars. Not to be confused with the god awful robot from the 5th wars which managed to lose to a walker. Dutch Twister was fairly flat in design, being wider than it was long. It still had a pretty fierce looking triangular blade attached to it, and was entirely invertible. One to watch, especially given it had reached the heat final in Dutch Robot Wars (And then been given a wildcard into the Grand Final).
Finally we have Brutus Maximus. Brutus Maximus is made of wood. I do not need to say any more.
In all seriousness though, Brutus Maximus was a box shaped robot with 3 rotating discs as weapons, and is most well known for having its arse handed to it by Razer in the 6th wars. Also, it’s made of wood.
Shunt and Bash, which sounds like the name of a two piece punk rock band, are back in as our resident house robots. Because apparently it’s too difficult to have a bit of variety.
The fight started with everyone practically ganging up on Twister, although Pussycat eventually left them to go and focus on Brutus Maximus. Because everyone loves an easy target, right? But as Pussycat were chasing BM around, they managed to catch a hit from Twister. Watch that blade…
Meanwhile, Brutus Maximus actually managed to be useful and pinned Roobarb against the arena side wall, leaving the flipper rather uselessly stranded. It doesn’t last long, because soon Twister come on and start tearing pieces out of Brutus Maximum, and they have to let Roobarb go.
Twister and Pussycat start going for each other again, with Pussycat looking strong against the powerful blade of Twister. Brutus Maximus then went in hard against Roobarb, so hard that the entire weapon system decided to depart from the robot and roll across the arena floor.
In fairness, losing the weapon system did not seem to deter Brutus Maximus, which then decided to become a wedgebot and ram Roobarb into the arena wall, before getting one massive wallop from Twister. Twister then get flipped by Roobarb, the first thing that Roobarb have actually done all fight. Pussycat get involved too, spinning up against Twister. Brutus Maximus, meanwhile, have started shedding parts like a dog. I mean, it is made of wood. Roobarb then flips it over, although it can still run… Kind of. Pussycat then hits the pit release button. Let me rephrase that- Pussycat destroyed the pit button.
At this point it’s ‘Everyone gang up on Brutus Maximus’, because literally the 3 other robots are hovering around, tearing pieces off with every attack. It’s still alive though, rather remarkably. Twister, on the other hand, has now lost any function in its weapon, and is taking hits from Pussycat. Eventually, however, the pressure tells on Brutus Maximus, and with one final flip, Roobarb actually take one of their wheels off.
Brutus Maximus then cop a few hits from Shunt as they’re counted out by the refbot (Ah, how I miss the refbot). Basically, their run is over. As for the rest of them, they faced an anxious wait for a judges’ decision. And the winners were, drum roll please….
PUSSYCAT AND ROOBARB!
With Twister the unfortunate robot to go out, that concludes the first initial melees, and we have 4 robots left to compete in the rest of the heats. They are:
And so join me in part 2, where the first heat of the 7th wars will reach its conclusion, and one of those 4 would be going through to the series semi-finals.