[Episode 6 and individual fights available on ABC.com]
This is it. The final countdown. (Da na na NA, da nananaNA!) Six weeks ago I was so inspired by the premiere of BattleBots that I felt it was my duty to come out of writing retirement and work it out with a new generation of builders, and now we are at that point in the series when a champion will finally be crowned. Also, you’re so hyped up that you didn’t even notice that I got the math wrong in the previous sentence and it should’ve been “five” weeks. The hype is real.
BattleBots Update has reached and entertained more people than I sincerely thought it would. I was expecting maybe a dozen or so readers/views at most, but four weeks into this roller coaster BattleBots themselves were tweeting about this. I’ve alluded to some anxiety issues in previous posts, and being responsible for this website and keeping my shit cool while literally thousands of views poured in has helped me chip away at a demon that’s bothered me for a long time.
Now, let’s get back into the BattleBox one last time…
Ya goofed me, Molly. I thought I had this whole thing figured out with people changing their wardrobe every two episodes but you proved me wrong, you fucked me on this one. Everyone has changed their clothes, including Chris who’s chosen to wear a tie so garishly pink that even Pantone told him to fuck off. He goes on to explain how a semifinal works, again assuming everyone watching is an alien from a planet where single-elimination tournaments aren’t a thing. For someone so gung-ho on explaining things like the audience is five, great job with the University of Kentucky reference doofus. I don’t know what the hell that means, but I assume they’re a good team? In what sport, curling? Why spend half a minute telling us how four robots will become 1 instead of explaining a shitty sports joke to people who actually do not give a fuck at all about them? Chris would have had better luck starting that sentence with “white people be all like–“.
We get a quick refresher on the four semifinalists and how they got here. Tombstone has done that “Marcellus Wallace” Pulp Fiction thing to three robots, Bronco has been busy tossing opponents like an autistic toddler reenacting a monster truck rally, and while the hosts don’t yet get into our other semifinalists I may as well finish the list while we’re here; Bite Force has basically made people question BattleBots’ “active weapon” rule by being a wedge with tank tracks, and Ghost Raptor has pretty much achieved the same status by using random garbage as makeshift weapons. It almost feels like Bite Force’s side of the semifinals is an accident and someone dropped the plans for the main tournament and the “Special Olympics” tournament and just shuffled everything together since they were already running late and we all know what Walt Disney’s frozen head does to people that are late to work.
TOMBSTONE vs. BRONCO
Hardcore Robotics (Placerville, CA)
Weapon: Horizontal spinning bar
Tombstone’s chosen weapon for this match is designed to slice into armor.
Inertia Labs (Sausalito, CA)
Weapon: Pneumatic flipping arm
In order to avoid Tombstone’s weapon, Bronco is using an extended lifting arm.
Tombstone is wheeled into the arena with a new weapon bar tacked onto the front because all Ray does in his free time is make new weapon blades for this robot. He’s like those street beggars in foreign countries who try to sell poorly made handicrafts except the stuff that Ray slaves over can actually kill you. Also Ray owns a house. Bronco’s flipping arm has been getting progressively longer as the tournament has advanced forward, and this battle is no different. Reaching what has got to be the final stage of its ridiculous evolution, Bronco’s flipping arm has now become a giant metal dong. The object here is to either get underneath Tombstone from across the arena, or to evenly cook and simultaneously flip enough pancakes to feed Sean Salisbury.
Watch for the face that Chris makes as he stares at Bronco’s dick.
As the battle starts, Tombstone immediately veers left to avoid Bronco’s extended flipping arm, grossly overestimating how long it is. Bronco moseys over to the corner of the arena because Alex Rose can only drive his robot if he is completely jacked up on adrenaline. Rumor has it that before this fight he ate a whole “white mystery” flavored AirHeads candy and didn’t bother trying to guess what the flavor was. Tombstone comes in for the kill and I assume one or both of the robots were packing illegal explosives because Tombstone just completely loses its shit, erupts, and somehow manages to flip over. The flip happens so fast that it is impossible to see. I’ve reviewed this tape frame by frame and Tombstone is both right side up and upside-down at the same time. This is some Stephen Hawking shit right here.
Bronco does a jump because Mack Daddy told him to. Bronco then does another jump because Daddy Mack made the same suggestion. Somewhere in this mess of robots jumping around like goddamned idiots Bronco twists its ankle and one of its wheels gets fucked up and bent into its side armor. Ray comes in to de-ass Bronco and clips a side panel in the process, breaking it off of one side. Over on the BattleBots subreddit I hypothesized those sides would be good for “one or two hits” and Tombstone confirms this, removing said panel. A broken clock is right twice a day, folks. And BattleBots Update is funny never.
During this whole mess Bronco doesn’t manage to actually leave the corner it backed itself into at the start of the fight, and after another hot pep flip attempt, Bronco is now not only still in that corner but also upside-down in it as well. It also seems that because Bronco’s flipping arm has grown to half the length of a fucking soccer field the robot apparently has lost its ability to right itself. I guess after being the first team to literally throw an opponent out of the arena Inertia Labs forgot every other detail about robot combat. Tombstone is trying to come in for the kill but Bronco’s inability to stay on the fucking ground is causing more problems for Ray’s accuracy than a Time Crisis gun someone stepped on.
Finally, Tombstone hits Bronco below the belt just as the bull is getting back on its feet, removing one of said feet in the process and throwing it over where Stinger’s burnt carcass is probably still sitting. Tombstone then whips out its ultimate weapon by playing Lamb of God and Metallica at the same time, because as anyone who isn’t a fucking moron knows this combination of music makes raging bulls immediately stop whatever they’re doing and mosh themselves to death. Now one with the music, Bronco starts smoking and eventually dies of exhaustion.
Just to show off, Tombstone swings in and takes one final bragging blow at Bronco. This proves to be a poor decision, as this sends Tombstone careening off to the side while suffering a complete and total failure to keep its large intestine inside of its ass. In the pornography biz this is known as a “rosebud”. Don’t Google it.
Winner: Tombstone, KO
BITE FORCE vs. GHOST RAPTOR
Aptyx Designs (Mountain View, CA)
Weapon: Clamping & lifting jaw
This is what Bite Force looks like without a giant metal wedge tacked onto it.
Team Raptor (San Francisco, CA)
Weapon: Sharpened lifting arm
Ghost Raptor has made it this far literally weaponless.
Bite Force is supposed to have been armed with a lifting and clamping jaw but for the most part it’s done nothing except be a brick with tank tracks. After its previous sissy slap fight with Overhaul I question the legitimacy of that weapon entirely. For all the work Paul has put into attaching magnets onto his tank tracks they’re really doing fuck all considering there have been numerous occasions where the belts just helplessly spin against the BattleBox floor. Ghost Raptor made it this far by Chuck literally just making shit up as he went along since he modeled his original weapon after a Kit-Kat bar. Team Raptor has been picking random shit out of the dumpster behind the venue and using it as their “weapon”. This time around, Chuck shows off a two-pronged attachment to the robot’s lifting arm and makes up some bullshit about having a “modular bot”. Fifty bucks says that if Ghost Raptor still had an actual weapon we wouldn’t hear anything at all about modularity.
Also nice plug for the Neato vacuums right in the middle of your trash talk Chuck, who the fuck do you think you are? Tony Stewart? Why didn’t you just enter a multibot consisting of fourteen Neatos and skip the middleman? Yes, I did actual math to come up with that punchline. Sabertooth vac.
Groot’s awful Ghostbusters song quote thing for introducing Ghost Raptor is the cringiest shit I’ve heard so far.
Pay close attention to the start of this fight. Remember how Ghost Raptor’s weapon gave out after one hit? The rest of Ghost Raptor decided that its cut of the TV royalties from ABC was bullshit and also blows it load after taking a single glancing blow from Bite Force. Chris won’t stop yelling and Paul tries taking Ghost Raptor to a Pulverizer controlled by Team Raptor because the arena hazards this season are a goddamned mess. Bite Force attempts to lift Ghost Raptor up and starts to tip forward, but miraculously manages to pull off the first decent lift we’ve seen this season. And it only took us until the semifinals. Wow. About fucking time.
Someone must have spiked Chris’ sippy cup with Red Bull because for some reason he’s still yammering about what Bite Force is going to do. He’s going to lift him up, Chris, because that’s what it’s fucking built to do. That, and only that. Kenny says it’s going to be a suplex because there is not a single moment that passes where he isn’t wishing he was wrasslin’ with sweaty muscular dudes in ball shorts. This is who they hired to do the commentating.
Ghost Raptor manages to come back to life after taking a few generous blows from the correct Pulverizer but appears to second guess that decision once the camera cuts away. Ghost Raptor gets an ass piercing from one of the spikes in the arena floor which Chris refers to as a “Hellraiser” because when the officials were giving him and the other hosts a tour of the arena he was busy fucking with his phone. Bite Force topples Ghost Raptor once more, and for some inexplicable reason one of Ghost Raptor’s wheels just falls off. Bite Force puts its opponent onto the screws and Paul’s teammate commends him on reaching the finals because he’s the one person on this show thus far who doesn’t need a fucking tournament bracket explained to him.
Winner: Bite Force, KO
(Stick around for the post-fight interview if you want to see someone smash “beginning” and “get go” into a single word.)
WITCH DOCTOR – NIGHTMARE – OVERHAUL
Aw yeah, a motherhumping rumble. That’s the good shit right there. How many bots are in this demo derby? Wait, three? Just three? God damn it you assholes, three robots isn’t called “a rumble”. Three robots is called “catching the second half of a Robot Wars eliminator”. Ah well, at least Nightmare is back, an actual legendary robot that was unfortunately put out in the first round and failed to receive a wildcard because Jim gives bad head. Also joining the fray are Overhaul and Witch Doctor, whose sidekick Shaman has come back from its trip to the other side.
Chris starts reading the cheat notes he’s written on the back of his tie to fill idle time and introduces the rumble as “a tradition” with a strangely poignant tone. Yes Chris, a tradition, just like the high school prom, Werther’s Originals candies, your family getting into a fist fight on Thanksgiving, and illiterate rednecks defending the Confederate flag because the public education system where they live still has water fountains labeled “colored”. Whatever. It’s a tradition I guess, I’ll concede. Like the South.
Both of the robots who are not Nightmare know that Nightmare is the main threat in this rumble, but neither competitor knows how to land the first blow. Witch Doctor scuffs one of Nightmare’s wheel guards and proceeds to try and chew at one of the tires but fails to do so. Overhaul and Shaman try to surround the huge spinner, but like some fucking Three Stooges skit they all crash into each other instead and Witch Doctor ends up getting flipped over. We’re like thirty seconds in and the robot that thus far has put up the best fight against Tombstone has its plans foiled by a guy wearing anime cat ears and its own goddamn teammate.
Shaman tries to help its partner out, but Nightmare’s five-dimensional spinning wheel has some choice words regarding that plan. Shaman takes a hit and vanishes in a puff of butane, but re-appears in the corner of the arena because at the last minute the Witch Doctor team upped its armor to protect against up to six dimensions of attack. What they didn’t factor in was Shaman’s six dimensions of shit when it comes to aiding out a stranded ally, because even though Shaman is just trying to help it only succeeds in having Witch Doctor literally get hammered in the ass. Good effort Shaman, you’re like a punchline from fucking Full House.
While this is going on, Nightmare pimp slaps Overhaul’s jaw and breaks it. It’s around this time that I also noticed Overhaul is using weird rolly wheels of some sort… which harkens back to when Charles said both his robot and Bite Force were “non-wheeled”. I guess on technicality he wasn’t crazy after all. That’s my Texas A&M education coming out for you guys. Either way, Overhaul appears to be broken and is capable of only doing that weird wound-tonguing thing people do when they lose a tooth. Gross.
Nightmare wins, yay!
TOMBSTONE vs. BITE FORCE
Hardcore Robotics (Placerville, CA)
Weapon: Horizontal spinning bar
Contrary to popular belief, TM28 does not contain the move “TOMBSTONE”.
Aptyx Designs (Mountain View, CA)
Weapon: Steel wedge with clamping jaw
Out of all this season’s Razerkin, Bite Force is the best.
Hey guys remember these two robots? Let’s talk about how they got here. Or let’s not, because I’ve already done so and I can only crack so many jokes about Radioactive and Warhead before I just start saying unintentionally racist or nationalist shit. In Tombstone’s previous fight the robot suffered a catastrophic anal blowout that Ray has somehow managed to recover from (he really does have the best damn pit crew). Bite Force on the other hand just slapped that fucking wedge back onto his robot and called it a day. Kenny starts talking strats and suggests that Bite Force will try a box rush, and do you know what it’s going to try to do to Tombstone’s weapon? That’s right. It’s going to jam it up. Smuckers must be paying this guy an awful lot of peach preserves because he sure does love that goddamned word.
Also yes Kenny, Bronco had a tactical error in its previous fight. That error was “not winning”.
Commercial break! Somewhere out there the zombie spawn of Philo Farnsworth and Milton Berle awaken.
Bite Force starts the match doing its best Nixon impression and proceeds to deflect Tombstone’s spinning bar away using its hefty ramp. Ray gets his robot a little too close to the arena wall, close enough for Kenny to use the J-word, and Bite Force promptly puts its opponent up near the screws. Tombstone slinks out of the position and starts trying to erase Bite Force’s face and succeeds in giving him a neat scar, like the kind you can put on your character’s face in an Elder Scrolls game. The hits are bigger than Star Jones at her worst, but there’s relatively no significant damage being done to either robot.
The fight slowly turns into a demonstration of what nobody else was able to quite get right, except for maybe Witch Doctor: how to properly account for Tombstone’s retard-strength spinner. If you put a piece of metal thick enough and solid enough onto your robot, Tombstone can’t get you. Sure, you’ll probably have to disarm yourself in the process, but as Bite Force demonstrates, once you wear Tombstone down the whole robot starts to burn up since its batteries were stolen from Inspector fucking Gadget. The smoke might also have something to do with Tombstone’s recent induction into the Guinness Book of World Records for “Largest Hemorrhoid on Record”. Just a thought, Bronco kind of did the legwork there by slam dunking the grim reaper a couple of times.
By the end of the fight, neither robot is fully functional. Bite Force’s wedge and frame are bent to hell and preventing one of the treads from fully working, and Tombstone burned itself so badly that they have to get the guy with the Face-Vape smoker to come in and hose it down. Ray has the gall to taunt Bite Force’s bout of paralysis, completely ignoring the fact that his robot has scored enough frequent flyer miles to get a free Pepsi on its next flight. People who have never flown on a plane won’t get that joke, but anyone who has will tell you $6 for a fucking Pepsi is such a rip off that they have to keep throwing out cans of Sprite after every flight because it transmutes entirely into Crystal Pepsi by the time the plane lands. Bite Force is still able to shimmy around as the clock winds down on this championship match, and when all is said and done two nearly destroyed robots sit in the middle of the arena while the judges score the match and Fon Davis wonders if the Killsaws this season only existed in his mind.
AND THE WINNER IS…
BITE FORCE, Faruq says after visibly waiting for the signal from the director. Also Chris is down there for some reason. Why is he there, did someone play a joke on him and say “hey aren’t you on the Tombstone team”? Oh, he’s down there to say literally ten words. Also, holy shit, the guy that I kept referring to as “Fat Guy in BattleBots Polo” is actually Trey fucking Roski! And next to him is Adam Savage’s stunt double! That’s a bigger twist ending than every episode of Scooby Doo rolled up together and stuffed in the ass of that Sixth Sense kid who in a double twist turned out to also be a Bruce Willis alien that’s harmed by water. And is a ghost.
Pretty Black Dress Lady reappears to remind us that 24 competitors yielded one winner because that’s kind of the point of a tournament, but more importantly she leaves us with the hope that there will be a seventh season (second season on ABC). You know what that means; it means you better hop to it and start bothering @BattleBots and @BattleBotsABC and tell them they need to renew BattleBots and give it the same treatment as Saturday Night Live, but to stop before BattleBots gets its equivalent of Andy Samberg. Hell, bother @megagreg and @treyroski on Twitter too. Yeah I know the second account says “SkyTime Helicopters” but that’s what Trey’s doing when he isn’t losing with Ginsu.
You think I’m kidding but I’m not. Please show your support for the show, or else I’ll have Bil Dwyer and Chris Rose come to your house and start talking about video games. You won’t like this because both of them think Link is the one named “Zelda”.
This may be the end of season six, but it’s not the end of The Update; I have some hardware (awards) of my own to give out as well as some other random ideas for season six-related content. Afterward, as the thumbnails on the homepage show, I intend to go back and revisit the original Comedy Central series as well as some other surprises I haven’t talked about much.
I know the major hype is now beginning to fade, but I intend to do my part to see to it that we get a seventh season, and I hope you’ll join me here when it happens. As for The Update in the here and now, I put a ton of things in my personal life on hold because of how many people this website was reaching, and I gotta go back and at least check on those things. from this point onward articles might not come out on a firm weekly basis, but we’ll still get there together and we’ll still get to laugh at Bil Dwyer’s frosted hair.
I’d like to thank everyone who has made this adventure possible, “this” being BattleBots Update but also the sport itself and those who helped foster my interest in it. I am appreciative of and humbled by every view, link, and comment this website has received because I sincerely believed it would not really get much traction at all. I want to personally thank Goose from TrackMill Games for being my right-hand man in the robot combat gaming scene for the past 12+ years. I also want to thank BattleBots and all the teams who got behind this goofy website and laughed along throughout this ride. I want to thank Maxtheking, zx9000, iNTERNAL, and TOPKEK whose diligence in filesharing aided me greatly in assembling these articles and obtaining the screenshots that I’ve been using each week. Finally, I’d like to thank my dad, Draco Sr, because without his encouragement and support I’d never be able to call myself a “bot builder”.
space cowboy roboteer.