Robot Review: Apollo (S09E05)

Penultimate review! And we’re now in the deep end as we take a look at reigning Champions Apollo, who are aiming to defend their crown from the 39 other robots striving to steal it from them. A high pressure flipper, Apollo has a low, sleek design with a long flipper arm. This aids them in actually getting underneath another robot, as they act practically like a ramp. Apollo’s flipper is rather powerful, able to toss some robots as high as 6ft into the air. They also seem to have a thing for flipping house robots, having managed it on 3 of the 4 so far, only missing Sir Killalot.

The first step to Apollo defending their crown comes in the initial melee, with fellow flipper Rusty, clamp and crush robot Coyote and deadly robot plant Ms Nightshade looking for an early scalp.

As soon as the fight starts, Apollo decides that Rusty is the first target for them to go for, and starts to chase them down, before finally catching up and flipping them. Not content with one, flip, Apollo goes in again, this time flipping them so hard that Rusty’s back panel comes flying off upon landing.

Apollo King
King of fire

Taking a brief break from flipping Rusty, Apollo sets its sights on the supposedly unflippable Ms Nightshade, and completely proves their claim wrong by getting underneath and flipping them over, immobilising them. Apollo also goes after Coyote to complete the trio, but fails at the first attempt. Not deterred, they keep trying, eventually getting what they desire.

Rusty then tries to flip Apollo, turning the tables, but all it does is flip itself and end up immobilised. Because of this, Apollo is now guaranteed to get through, but still lets loose the rogue house robots anyway, before giving out even more flips, first to Coyote and then to the still-working-but-immobile Rusty. It was certainly a dominating performance.


Now into the Head to Heads, which they would have been seriously disappointed not to get into, Apollo face their greatest opponent. Having stolen the crown from them last series, Apollo are once again going flipper to spinner with Carbide, the most feared robot in the 9th wars.

Apollo go in for the attack pretty much straight away, forcing Carbide to perform some evasive manoeuvres. Apollo do at one point think that they’re underneath Carbide enough, but the flip misses and sends them onto their back, vulnerable. Apollo do right themselves, but now Carbide are in on the attack, getting in a few glancing blows, plus one which managers to tear one of the black flipper panels out of its holder.

Apollo practically nose dive into the pit release button, and as they’re coming out of that they drive back into Carbide’s spinner, which connects with and bends the flipper arm completely out of shape. Not only that, but it seems to have killed Apollo itself. Doesn’t stop Carbide from going in and causing even more damage to Apollo, just for old times’ sake.

Cue these priceless reaction poses.

The face of defeat
The faces of defeat

Somehow, just as they’re counted out, Apollo lurches forward and straight into Carbide, but seemingly not of its own control. Spooky.


Having tamed the immobile yet haunted Apollo, and done a considerable amount of work to even get the flipper arm back in place, there’s another fight to be had, this time against Coyote, who they faced in the melee. If ever there was a time for a performance, it was now.

Apollo, never one to be frightened of battle, go straight in on the attack again, and Coyote seemingly present less of a challenge than Carbide did. With a noticeable ground clearance at the back and no particularly damaging weapons, Apollo manage to get in underneath and flip Coyote into the patrolling house robot, Sir Killalot. A good start.

And it was a good start that practically kept repeating itself. Killalot would push Coyote back into the centre of the arena, where Apollo would come in and get underneath them, then flip them again, usually back into the path of Sir Killalot… And repeat. Coyote offered little in the way of resistance, and Apollo were enjoying themselves.

It all has to end eventually though, and soon enough Apollo manage to land the finishing blow. After pinning Coyote to the arena side wall, Apollo manage to just about tip them over, sending them out of the arena and collecting the 3 vital points that go with it.


But it, of course, is not over. Because there’s one more Head to Head fight against the clusterbot, Crackers N Smash, which will decide who joins Carbide in the heat final.

You might think Apollo wouldn’t have trouble against robots that weight almost half of Apollo itself, but in the first attack, Crackers manage to get Apollo trapped on top of it, with Apollo having to fire its flipper to get off. But it’s a warning that things aren’t going to be as easy as they might seem.

Watch me flip
Watch me flip

Infact it takes a while before Apollo is able to get its first flip on target at all. But when that does come, it comes against Crackers, with Apollo managing to toss them straight into the sawblade of Dead Metal, which not only causes a few sparks to fly, but turns Crackers over.

Whilst Crackers is somewhat stranded, Smash is still in the game, so it’s their turn to be chased by Apollo. And when Apollo catches up, they catapult Smash across the arena and into the side wall with quite some force. Now Smash is turned over too, which is no use for the clusterbot.

Switching things up, Apollo hits the pit release button, which sends Dead Metal onto Smash. Equally, it also sends Sir Killalot chasing after Apollo, potentially as revenge for its fellow house robots from last series. After managing to evade the giant house robot, Apollo regains pursuit of Smash, managing a few final flips before the clock runs down. It’s going to a judges’ decision.

But it’s a judges’ decision Apollo win, and they’re going into the heat final.


 

Carbide, again. The eternal enemies, at each other for one last time before we know which of them will be heading into the grand final. Will Carbide strengthen their hand against Apollo, or will the flipper be able to exact some revenge of its own?

Once again, Apollo aren’t afraid to attack, even in the face of such a powerful robot as Carbide. But whilst Apollo is successful in getting underneath and pushing Carbide around, the flipper doesn’t fire, and Carbide manages to deal a significant amount of damage to it. There’s still hope for Apollo though, because every time Carbide go up the flipper, they look unstable. If Apollo could just get them in the right position…

It’s a battle of attrition, with Apollo ramming into Carbide left, right and centre, but with Carbide dealing out equally heavy blows with their spinner, visibly tearing Apollo apart piece by piece. There’s one particularly heavy onslaught where Carbide relentlessly attacks the flipper, not letting up for several seconds. After that, there’s no way Apollo can come back.

Things wouldn’t be complete without the house robots exacting absolute revenge, bending back Apollo’s flipper arm and tossing them over the flame pit. Humiliation.

Reaction faces
I could make a whole folder of these

So, how did Apollo do? Well, they were always going to be big targets for other robots, being the champions. And none wanted to get one over on them more than Carbide. They performed well against the likes of Rusty, Ms Nightshade and Coyote, and even though Crackers N Smash took them to the judges, they were still fairly dominant. But they couldn’t best Carbide. They just couldn’t do it.

Expectation v Result (2nd-2nd): 0
Flipped their way out of the melees: +2
Flipped Coyote out of the arena: +3
Immobilised Crackers and defeated Smash: +2
Mitigating Bonus point for having to face Carbide: +1
Ultimate destruction by the hand of Carbide: -3
BONUS: Reaction faces: +2

Robot Rating (Apollo): 7/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here:
https://robotwars2016.wordpress.com/robot-review-rankings/ )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.

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