The finale. The swan song. The Big Stick.
And now, the summary:
Well folks, this is it. "BattleBots" wraps up its partnership with Comedy Central with the super heavyweight semifinals and final. Which I suppose makes more sense than ending the season with the lightweight quarterfinals and the heavyweight preliminaries.
Tim tells us, "Hundreds of homemade hunks of horror are here for the hurtin'." Which is all well and good, except it's the final episode and we'll be seeing exactly four different robots in fights tonight.
The first semifinal fight we'll see is between Vladiator and Maximus. Vladiator defeated Pro-AM, The Probe, and Codebreaker to get here. Maximus has KO'ed Electric Lunch, Atomic Wedgie, and IceBerg. Both robots are sturdy tanks with four wheels and a wedged front. Don't get your hopes up.
Robe out fie tin time. Both Vladiator and Maximus charge each other, each slightly veering to the right. As a result, they miss completely. They both turn around at opposite ends of the Box.
Maximus races across to the corner of the Box. Vladiator stays in place, pivoting to face Maximus. Maximus charges, misses Vladiator, and runs into the side of a screw. Vladiator backs up. Maximus charges Vladiator's side, and drives over Vladiator's lifting plate.
Ten seconds in, and it's suddenly hits me that I'm going to be transcribing three minutes of this. I hate to be a spoiler of a fight that you've probably already seen, but in case you want to skip ahead: the next two minutes and fifty seconds of this fight are the same thing as the first ten seconds.
And the entire goal of writing that paragraph was to postpone writing about the rest of this fight. Don't get me wrong, these two robots are fun to watch. They're just not fun to watch against each other.
Okay, so where were we? Um, Maximus had just driven over Vladiator's wedge. All right. Maximus turns around. Both robots kind of drive toward the other, but both swerve out of the way.
Here comes a wedge-to-wedge collision. Vladiator goes up Maximus' wedge, popping a wheelie. The two robots position. Maximus gets under the side of Vladiator and starts pushing it toward the wall. Vladiator slips off before it can be really stuffed against it.
Vladiator leaves and lines up for a charge. Maximus pivots, trying to face Vladiator. Vladiator moves forward and briefly gets under Maximus, but gets out before it activates its lifting plate.
Maximus charges, misses, and ends up by the red entrance ramp. Vladiator heads over to keep it by the wall. Maximus drives over the spike strip.
As the two robots drive next to the spikes, Maximus gets underneath Vladiator and shoves it into the entrance to the arena. The door shakes. Vladiator escapes to the other side of the Box. Maximus charges, missing Vladiator and hitting the wall hard.
While Maximus is tasting the spikes, Vladiator gets its plate under the body and lifts, but can't go anywhere with it. Maximus and Vladiator then get into a butt-to-butt pushing match. Maximus wins, pushing Vladiator until Vladiator turns to get out of the way.
Vladiator runs into a screw base. Then it backs into a wall. The two robots line up toward one another. Maximus charges, then weaves out of the way.
Another face-off. Maximus charges and Vladiator gets under its side tires. Maximus tips up in the air, but lands right side up.
Maximus arcs along the floor to try to get at Vladiator's side, but Vladiator drives out of the way. The ramrods appear because Pete is bored.
Maximus charges Vladiator again. Again, one set of wheels drive up the wedge. Vladiator lifts the plate and Maximus gets a little air on one side, but stays properly oriented.
Maximus charges, but suddenly goes in another direction. Maximus charges again. Its tires go up the very edge of Vladiator's wedge. Maximus goes up, onto its side, and lands on its back. Now Maximus has no wedge.
Maximus charges the front of Vladiator again. Up, over, and right side up. That solved that problem.
The two charge head-to-head. Maximus goes up Vladiator's wedge and dances a bit, but remains right side up. The two drive forward and miss. Maximus hits another wall.
Vladiator gets under Maximus and lifts the plate, but doesn't control Maximus. Vladiator backs away. Maximus throws it into reverse, speeds across the arena, and goes up Vladiator's wedge, flying into a screw.
Tim and Bil point out that despite the fact that both robots are very speedy, the hazards have not yet even touched their bodies (presumably the screws and spikes are not counted as hazards). Curse the drivers' excellent control!
The two hit each other, but nothing happens. Vladiator charges backward into Maximus. Vladiator goes up Maximus' wedge and hits the hook. That pulls the wedge up, and Vladiator goes flying through the air. It bounces and lands right side up. Maximus hits it once as it gets oriented. And Vladiator tastes some saws.
Maximus coerces Vladiator into driving into the wall. Then Maximus slams into the wall. The two touch, but don't affect one another. Maximus drives back into the wall, briefly getting one of its tires stuck between two of the spikes.
Maximus rides the saws. Its rims are looking really beat up. Vladiator comes from behind and pushes Maximus out of the way, then continues its journey into the wall directly in front of the judges' table. The judges jump backward.
Vladiator charges Maximus. Maximus begins to charge. The wedges meet, and Vladiator tips up into the air. Then lands on its wheels. As robots usually do when they go into the air.
Maximus charges into another wall. Then some positioning, and some missed charges. Vladiator backs into Maximus, causing Maximus to spin around.
The two go to opposite sides. A charge. Maximus goes up Vladiator's wedge and flips over onto its back again. Maximus, inverted and confused, drives under the sledgehammer, which is all too ready to finally land on a robot.
Vladiator charges Maximus. But it raises its lifting plate too early and drives up the flopping plate that usually forms Maximus' wedge. Vladiator lands on Maximus' body, and Maximus holds Vladiator against a wall.
Vladiator is stuck between Maximus and the wall. Its wheels aren't touching anything, and moving its plate isn't helping. And with only ten seconds left on the clock, you can be sure Maximus isn't going to release. Six, five, four, three, two, one. Time's up.
Replays, then into the Box for the official decision. The three judges have turned in a split decision. Well, there's a shocker. The robot that received 23 points is... Vladiator! Gage Cauchois cheers, and gives Rick Jolin a handshake with his non-injured hand.
Interviews. Arj shares a tender moment with Team Gladiator. Gage speculates that Maximus was inspired by Vladiator, even though Maximus had a wedge before Vladiator did.
Throughout this episode, there will be a recurring theme in that they will be giving away fake awards for various robot-related things. For example, Best Victory Dance. Obviously, it goes to Diesector. Diesector's so good at dancing, it even tried its hand at the video game "Dance Dance Revolution." You can imagine what happened.
Carmen takes us to the commercial with another rousing installment of BattleBots Trivia. "Which rookie advanced to last season's superheavyweight finals? A. Bladder Bot, B. New Cruelty, C. Vladiator, D. Toro." Five seasons, and finally a urine-related joke. I was wondering when that would happen.
You have to wait until the commercials are over to learn that the correct answer is "New Cruelty." I know, I know, I thought it was A, too.
The next fake award is for Longest Hang Time. And we relive the fun moment when The Matador performed its self-righting maneuver, flying eight or so feet into the air. From a purely technical standpoint, I'd have to say they're right about this one.
Let's see how the other two super heavyweight semifinalists got here. New Cruelty first defeated the Toro-inspired Mad Mer. Its next victory was over Ogre, which was followed by No Apologies. Now it's finally getting some screen time this season.
While we haven't seen New Cruelty up to this point, we have seen all of Diesector's fights this season. There's that beautiful destruction of Final Destiny, the domination of Dreadnought, and the quick knockout of Hammertime.
Now Diesector and New Cruelty will meet for a rematch of last season's semifinals. Last time, New Cruelty won in a judges' decision. This season, the robot looks more or less the same, except with a smaller scoop in the front. Diesector is still in Classic mode.
Roe baa tff I tint "I'm." The robots meet in the center of the Box. And the close-up positioning begins. New Cruelty tries to get its scoop under Diesector. Diesector tries to get its wedged jaws under New Cruelty. As it does so, the hammers swing. I start yelling at the television that didn't Diesector learn its lesson about trying to wedge under New Cruelty last season?
Diesector briefly gets a tire onto New Cruelty's body, then gets off. Some more poking by both robots. Diesector's hammers hit New Cruelty's body and tires.
New Cruelty backs off. Diesector follows. New Cruelty charges Diesector. Stalemate. New Cruelty gets to the corner of Diesector and starts kind of pushing. Diesector moves away.
New Cruelty starts chasing after the tail of Diesector. The front of New Cruelty and the rear of Diesector engage in a pushing match. Again, neither robot takes an advantage. Could we just toss a coin?
Diesector backs (fronts?) away from the pushing match, driving over some saws in the process. New Cruelty gives chase. It gets a scratch from the saws.
More pushing. Diesector opens its jaws! All right, time for some clamping.
Diesector immediately closes its jaws back into a wedge. Aw.
New Cruelty charges Diesector's wedge-jaws. The collision is like that of New Cruelty hitting a brick wall. Diesector simply turns in place to keep New Cruelty from pushing it anywhere.
Diesector chases after New Cruelty, hammers swinging. It briefly gets the tip of its wedge under New Cruelty's behind, but that doesn't help. More close-up positioning. Neither robot can get under the other.
Diesector drives its wedge onto New Cruelty's scoop. New Cruelty tries to push, but Diesector pivots out of the way. Diesector drives around New Cruelty. The jaws open again. All right, I think this time Diesector really is fixing to try to clamp New Cruelty. Since flipping New Cruelty isn't going to do much to it, I'd say this is a better strategy.
Well, the fight looks exactly the same. Both robots continue to try to get under the other, but neither can gain an advantage. At least Diesector looks more menacing this way.
Diesector rolls up one of New Cruelty's tires. As New Cruelty starts to push it, it crosses the jaws so they overlap. It then backs away so that all four of its wheels are on the floor.
Diesector gets one of its fangs into the space between New Cruelty's scoop and front tire. As the two play a pushing game, Diesector lets its hammer hit New Cruelty. No damage. Diesector tries to clamp, but can't get a good grip. The two separate.
New Cruelty pushes Diesector's front corner. Diesector backs away. New Cruelty kind of gets under Diesector and starts to push. Diesector pivots out of the way.
The last twenty seconds consists of more of the same. Time is up. Diesector immediately goes into its victory dance. That's a bit premature, don't you think?
Replays. Then over to learn who won. It's a 29-16 decision. And the victor is... Diesector! Team Mutant Robots cheers. Dick Stuplich nods.
A fan in the audience holds up his Pro Series RC Diesector toy. The chisels are missing, but the yellow arm holders are still there. That's what he gets for trying to enter it in the lightweight division.
Immediately to commercial. Carmen tells us not to operate a BattleBot unless we have super vision.
Some more fake awards. For some reason, they feel compelled to mention that Carl the Mascot creature. I was just starting to forget about him, too.
Bil briefly spotlights some of the female BattleBot builders. The award then goes to the pit girls. I think that concisely sums up this series.
Here we go with the super heavyweight finals. Diesector versus Vladiator. Tonight is the night for Diesector semifinal rematches -- in season three, these two fought, with Vladiator winning in a 24-21 decision. Both robots have one championship under their belts.
For the last time, at least for a while: The box is locked, the lights are on, it's robot fightin' time.
Diesector worms its way into the space between Vladiator's lifting plate and the floor. Vladiator backs off. Diesector chases after Vladiator's rear end. It easily wedges underneath the back of Vladiator and forcefully shoves the robot into the wall.
Vladiator gets off and runs away. Diesector goes after it. Vladiator lifts its plate too early, giving Diesector another easy shot at getting underneath. It takes advantage of it and shoves Vladiator into the screw. Man, Diesector is angry about that loss from last year.
Vladiator leaves to position itself. Diesector slams into it again. Vladiator runs, and Diesector follows.
Vladiator backs up and charges the side of Diesector. It gets under one side of those big exposed wheels and flips Diesector onto its back. Diesector quickly adjusts its jaws to form a wedge while upside-down.
Vladiator gets a surprise from a saw. Diesector reaches the rear of Vladiator and starts hitting it with a hammer. Vladiator tries to get away, but Diesector is sticking to it like glue. It doesn't hurt that Diesector is keeping one of Vladiator's sides off the ground for the most part, either.
Vladiator gets away and takes a hit from the sledgehammer. It backs into Diesector, which hits it with one of its hammers. Vladiator moves to the other side of the Box.
Diesector follows Vladiator. Vladiator gets its plate under Diesector, lifts, and shoves Diesector toward the same screw that Diesector shoved it into. Diesector falls off right before it hits the screw. Vladiator, its plate still in the air, slams into the Lexan panel behind the screw. Hard.
So hard, in fact, that Vladiator has dislodged the Lexan! Watch the metal beam directly behind the center of the screw when Vladiator hits the wall. On the left side of the beam (from the camera's viewpoint), black strips start dangling out toward the audience. This is not normal behavior for the BattleBox. That is a loose wall.
Vladiator drives under the side of Diesector again, flipping it right side up. Vladiator continues forward and smashes its plate against the piece of Lexan directly next to the loose piece.
Vladiator prematurely lifts its plate again and Diesector, its jaws already back in normal wedge form, gets underneath and pushes Vladiator back.
Vladiator gets its plate under Diesector and lifts. Diesector slips off as Vladiator charges ahead. Diesector follows Vladiator and wedges underneath Vladiator's rear, sending Vladiator flying over Diesector's body. Somebody from the BattleBots staff walks over to inspect the wall.
Vladiator charges Diesector, misses, and steams full tilt into the base of a screw. Directly in front of the loose Lexan. Had Vladiator been traveling at a slightly different angle with its plate up, that could have been ugly.
Vladiator bounces back about three feet from hitting the screw base. It backs across the Box. Diesector follows. Vladiator runs to the other side of the Box. Diesector follows. Vladiator runs back to where it was. Diesector follows. The guy inspecting the wall raps his knuckles against it.
Vladiator stops moving. Diesector runs into it. A buzzer, likely added in post-production, sounds. Diesector backs off, then stops moving. Bil announces, "The super heavyweight final is over!" Gage looks at the wall.
For safety's sake, the fight was ended early so Vladiator wouldn't slam through the wall and into the audience. However, the show chooses to hide that fact and instead tries to make us think that that really was a full three minute fight. Even though it only lasted just a little more than half that long. In the final shot of the BattleBox right as the fight is called, there's a black box covering the clock to hide the fact that it still has over a minute displayed on it.
Replays. Not as much to choose from. They don't show Vladiator powerfully hitting that wall either time.
Into the Box for the hand-raising. The clock, visible between the referee's knees and still displaying the time left when the fight was stopped, is blurred out.
Mark Beiro stumbles in announcing that the 29-16 decision goes to... Diesector! Team Mutant Robots celebrates. Donald Hutson accidentally elbows the camera.
Commercial time again.
As they come back, the show presents its choice of Hit of the Whole Entire Tournament. The honor goes to Diesector, for so beautifully disassembling Final Destiny. And for one of the few times ever, I actually agree with the show that yes, this was the best fight of the season. Boy, we just start getting along, and now there's only two more minutes of show left.
Donald Hutson tells Carmen Electra how he feels about winning this season. Carmen stays quiet until Donald introduces his fiancée, at which point she interjects, "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" Louder than it should have been. Almost sarcastic. Not every husband is Dennis Rodman, Carmen. This engagement is actually a good one. Based on love. (Ooh, that was low, even for me. I take comfort in the fact that there is no chance Carmen is actually reading this.)
Tim and Bil bid their farewells. Donald Hutson gets the last word ("it") as he holds his trophy. And that, my friends, concludes this season of "BattleBots."
So there you have it. BattleBots is on hiatus until it can find a new television deal. So what is the future of combat robotics? Besides the Robot Fighting League, I mean. Obviously, that's a significant factor. I'm referring to other aspects. So let me dust off my sparkly wizard hat and make some predictions, hmm?
In the next two years, there will be a robot with an upside-down wedge design. It will drive up onto opponents, drop two powerful magnets down to attach itself there, then deploy a drilling device to pierce the opponent's armor and disconnect wires. Much to everyone's surprise (including the builders'), it will win its weight class. Suddenly, the "attach and drill" style of robot will become the biggest thing since drum spinners, spawning variants such as "attach and hammer," "attach and spike," and "attach and break down, losing the match by disqualification for not being able to release from the opponent."
As a result, several new robots will be introduced that have plastic armor. The builders will gloat that they cannot be harmed by the "attach and _____" robots, since their armor is non-magnetic. The builders of aluminum- and titanium-covered robots point out that their machines have always been non-magnetic, then laugh as they obliterate the plastic robots. The "attach and _____" trend quickly fades.
New venues are tried, such as in a football stadium, in the center of a shopping mall, and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. None, however, were as bad of an idea as the tournament held on a cruise ship.
The first robot versus human battle! A convicted criminal, wearing armor bringing his weight up to 220 pounds, will face off, using nothing but an ordinary hammer, against a heavyweight hammerbot with exposed wheels (to give both sides a chance). The fight is fast and ugly -- the robot quickly charges the man, knocking him onto his face, then delivers a blow directly into his thigh. The criminal, whose only strategy was to use the nail-pulling side of the hammer to puncture the robot's tires, taps out as the robot is lining up on his spine.
The Mouser Mecha-Catbot theme song will briefly top the UK charts.
A new weight class will be proposed -- 22.5 pounds, or the "leafweights." It will be recognized that this is an incredibly stupid idea, and only one robot will ever be built for it. That robot will win an unprecedented 15 championships before retirement.
BattleBots will land a contract with Fox, but will quickly be replaced by a series titled "America's Most Spectacular Bear Baiting." Bear baiting will become the biggest craze to hit the country since Beanie Babies.
In order to get back on TV, BattleBots will be forced to team up with a struggling sitcom to create a weekly half-hour show about a family that builds fighting robots. Punchlines such as "My nickname is Steve-E Warrior" and "Guess where I got the crystals for your earrings" won't go over with the audience and the show will be cancelled in four weeks.
Tired of not being recognized as a real sport, robot builders (and their robots) will descend on the Baseball Hall of Fame. Robot combat will gain widespread media coverage -- not only as a sport, but because of the fifteen builders forced to serve jail sentences. While in jail, Christian Carlberg will create a successful antweight out of toilet paper, his shoelaces, and the prison mashed potatoes.