After my refreshing snooze, it was time to head over and stand around just inside the entrance of the building. As noon approached, I merged into the line of other spectators who were also waiting to enter and we made our way across the big open space to the bleachers, where I sat down in the same place I sat the previous day. Ow, my hindquarters. Curse my slender, padding-free frame.
As we walked in, I could hear the sounds of the very small robots fighting in the little arena. I think they had been fighting for a while before we were allowed in. The audience quickly blocked the view of that arena, and frankly, at that point, I no longer cared about those robots. I stayed on the bleachers, sitting in contorted positions.
After the little robots stopped fighting, they held off on starting the action in the big arena. So Morgan took questions from the audience for a while. I think they wound up covering every single topic that always comes up when you're discussing robotic combat with someone unfamiliar with the sport. Weight classes, effective weapons, determining a winner. Hm, someone should have taken notes on what was asked so future events will know what to tell their audiences before the fights begin. Don't look at me -- I was taking notes on the fights themselves.
Let's get to fighting.
I know that to keep the narrative flowing at a proper pace, I should say something preliminary here, but I have nothing new to add about these two robots.
Fight. The Mortician spins its bar up and starts hitting Total Anarchy, but Total Anarchy's armor is sturdy. Though after repeated hits, the front lip of Total Anarchy's wedge is being peeled off. The Mortician would love to get at the juicy sides of Total Anarchy, but Total Anarchy keeps spinning in place. This action by Total Anarchy gradually becomes the result of its left wheel ceasing to work. The Mortician's bar becomes slower, then stops. Total Anarchy pushes The Mortician as well as it can for having only one functioning wheel. At the end of the fight, The Mortician's body is high-centered on the I-beam, but now it can spin its bar again. Time's up. A close 18-15 decision goes to The Mortician.
Well, lots different to go over here. For this battle, the part of Super Megabyte will be played by Megabyte, as Super Megabyte is still recovering from its fight with Buster yesterday. Because there's a lot of available weight left over from making this change, three Little Bytes are placed in the arena to assist Megabyte. Meanwhile, Shovelhead has certainly been planning for this opponent. As you can see resting against the Lexan in the above picture, the lifting plate has been replaced by an articulated Lexan fork in the approximate shape of Megabyte. On the other side of the robot's body is a really big sheet of Lexan curved over the floor. Eh, I'm not sure that's a good idea.
Fight. Megabyte spins up. Shovelhead uses that huge piece of Lexan to wedge underneath the robot, causing Megabyte to bounce into the corner. Megabyte stopped moving... wow. So Shovelhead slams one of the Little Bytes. Oh, now Megabyte is spinning again. Shovelhead wedges Megabyte another time, bouncing Megabyte around. Shows what I know about Shovelhead's strategy. The next hit between the two does tear a chunk of Shovelhead's Lexan away. On the next hit, a spinning Megabyte is propelled into the air and lands on its side. The angle is such that Megabyte doesn't immediately flip one way or the other -- as odd as it seems, the robot starts bouncing on its side. It keeps spinning at full power, and is still bouncing up and down on its side! Megabyte does this for what feels like a solid five seconds, then finally lands upside-down. And that's a knockout.
Yesterday, Last Rites eviscerated poor BodySlam, the carcass of which I saw being loaded into the bed of a pickup truck this morning. Meanwhile, Brutality has got to be feeling pretty good about itself right now.
Fight. Both robots spin their weapons. Brutality goes to work on Last Rites, chewing into it, and how! There's a big opening in the rear of Last Rites' armor and one of Last Rites' tires is thrown into the air! Brutality puts another gash in the rear of Last Rites, which no longer has its bar spinning and is now emitting smoke. Brutality then hits the bar of Last Rites with its bar, which stops Brutality's bar from spinning. The rest of the fight consists of Brutality pushing Last Rites around while Last Rites tries to drive on one tire. Time. I'm not sure whether it was 32-1 or 31-2, but Brutality is the clear winner here.
Big Betty is unchanged. SJ has its sidekick with it.
Fight. There aren't too many big hits here -- both robots are being careful to position themselves just right before attacking. In total, each robot got two good lifts in. Early on in the fight, SJ's sidekick gets flipped over somehow and stays that way for the rest of the fight. But both Big Betty and SJ are ignoring it, so it doesn't really factor in at all. I'd say that SJ is being more aggressive here. Time is up, and an 18-15 decision keeps SJ alive.
This certainly got the audience's attention! Let's get the traditional one out of the way -- Killabyte is still a shell spinner. We all know that.
Splinterator is also a spinner. Today, it's a spinner that has been designed to look like a delicious cake. But the thing that makes this robot especially delicious is the fact that it is made of wood. A wooden shell spinner. Dig in, Killabyte!
Fight. Both robots spin up. A rapidly-spinning cake is quite a comical sight to behold. No point in delaying the inevitable -- the two collide, and Killabyte sprays pieces of Splinterator all over the arena floor. Additional hits spread more litter everywhere. After most of Splinterator's sides are gone and the shell is no longer spinning, the robot taps out. We all knew that was going to happen, but it was fun to watch. A good deal of time is spent getting all of those pieces of Splinterator off the floor. Where's that robotic vacuum cleaner when you need it?
Oh boy. It's time for another round of hobbyweights.
Fight. Toxic spins its weapon up but doesn't really drive. Spatula absorbs a few blows. And pushes Toxic a couple of times. Since Toxic isn't able to actually drive anywhere, they count it out.
That leaves Disc Obsession as the only hobbyweight with a spinning weapon. We really need to keep it in the tournament for that reason alone.
Fight. Disc Obsession spins up, but at no point does it drive anywhere. Scoopula moves to the front of Disc Obsession and pushes the robot into the I-beam without even being touched by the spinning weapon. Only one of Disc Obsession's wheels is working. Scoopula miscalculates an attack and gets flipped over by Disc Obsession. So Scoopula voluntarily drives into Disc Obsession's weapon again, causing Scoopula to twirl through the air and land right side up. Because it's not going anywhere, Disc Obsession is counted out.
Fight. Who's Your Daddy? spins up, then wedges into Speed Bump's side -- the drum doesn't even connect with Speed Bump's body. And Speed Bump is dead. Who's Your Daddy? wedges underneath Speed Bump again. Speed Bump taps out.
Fight. It begins with Joe ramping over Wipe Out's wedge. Wipe Out can't get a good hold of Joe in order to flip it. Joe uses its weapon to grind on Wipe Out a few times. One of those hits from Joe flips Wipe Out, so Wipe Out self-rights. Another hit from Joe breaks the chain that controls Wipe Out's lifting arm. There are a couple more hits from Joe, then a hit that flips Wipe Out again. Since Wipe Out can no longer use its lifting arm, it can't self-right, so it's knocked out.
The fact that we're violently shifting from one weight class to another is a good indication that these robots are really taking a beating out there.
Fight. Stewie spins up. The first collision between the two robots tears the lip clean off of Piranha's wedge. Stewie is successfully avoiding getting onto that giant wedge, using its drum to hit Piranha in the sides and back. One side of Piranha's drive is disabled. Then the other side. Because it can no longer move, Piranha taps out.
Fight. Target Practice is the winner of the low wedge contest here, so we're treated to three minutes of Target Practice getting underneath Spatula nearly every time. Target Practice slams Spatula into the wall a couple of times. After three minutes, Target Practice is declared the winner.
Fight. Wedgio starts by getting underneath Scoopula and slamming it into the I-beam. The front of Scoopula's scoop gets caught in the lower seam of the I-beam, forcing Scoopula's body up into the air. Wedgio tries to free Scoopula from this incapacitating position, but Scoopula is jammed in there tight. KO.
On the side of Super Sparky that's facing away from the camera in the picture above is a long spinning threshing weapon. Totally Offensive also has a spinning weapon. There's a low horizontal blade that is mounted underneath the body. Not centered underneath that roll bar-looking thing -- that's the rear of the robot. The blade doesn't extend that far. See the green tape on the cardboard that's serving as a safety cover for the weapon? Yeah, there it is.
Fight. Totally Offensive spins its weapon. The timer isn't working. Super Sparky's weapon doesn't seem to be working, either. Totally Offensive hits Super Sparky, tearing off one of its wheels. Totally Offensive hits Super Sparky again, tearing off the big wheel on the other side of the robot. That's a knockout.
Agsma's forks are back, and now there's also a plate in the middle, resting on the floor.
Fight. Hexy Jr. goes to work flipping Agsma. Agsma's added plate comes loose. Hexy Jr. flips and flips and flips. If HexaDecimator couldn't be at this tournament, I'll settle for this. Agsma is having trouble when it spins its wheels -- the robot itself isn't moving all that well. At one point, when Hexy Jr. gets underneath Agsma, the power of Hexy Jr.'s flip keeps the arm on the ground and forces Hexy Jr.'s body up so the robot is resting on its face. Hexy Jr. activates its arm to get out of that position, but lands upside-down. So Agsma presses the inverted Hexy Jr. in the corner, where Hexy Jr. is having trouble righting itself. Soon, Hexy Jr. is able to get out by landing on Agsma. Then Hexy Jr. goes back to owning the fight. Time is up, and the judges' decision (possibly 24-9) goes to Hexy Jr.
Fight. Dolor wedges underneath Enoch and slams it around. In one of those slams, the two robots stacked on top of one another get jammed under the top of the I-beam, with neither able to escape. So a time out is called to get them unstuck. For the entirety of the fight, Dolor is in control, slamming Enoch all over the arena. Enoch loses its saw blade. But now Dolor is suddenly looking sluggish. And Dolor stops moving. A motionless Dolor is counted out before time is up, meaning that it is out of the tournament.
Dear hobbyweight builders: Please stop making wedged boxes. Sincerely, Scott.
Fight. Most of the time in this bout, Lil Shocker is the one that is able to get under Bullet. Frequently, the two robots press full speed ahead into one another, which results either in locked-and-spinning-in-place dancing or in stalemating. The stalemating is kind of interesting from a technical standpoint, but not at all from a spectacle standpoint. Lil Shocker has the slightest advantage in these stalemates. I also noted that "Lil Shocker winning the traction contest," whatever that means. Time is up. It's an 18-15 decision in favor of Lil Shocker.
Fight. Agent 7 begins by ramping up and over Wipe Out. During the fight, Wipe Out keeps getting underneath the body of Agent 7. Wipe Out flips Agent 7 at one point. Wipe Out continues to dominate. Wipe Out slams Agent 7 into the I-beam, which may have gotten Agent 7 stuck. I'm not sure exactly what that did, but now Agent 7 taps out.
Well, if we get these fights out of the way now, then we won't have to see them later.
Fight. I'd estimate that Wedgio was in control of the wedging about 65% to 70% of the time. Over the three minutes, Wedgio flips Target Practice three times; Target Practice rights itself each time. Target Practice's lifter never really gets to do too much. Time. The judges' decision is 19-14 for Wedgio. Which means that one judge turned in a score that was not evenly split. Beg pardon?
At this point, I've assumed that Ziggy's pneumatic flipper isn't that powerful.
Fight. Both robots false start at the same time, so I guess that makes them even. Star Hawk spins its weapon and makes some big sparks on Ziggy. Ziggy has its arm underneath Star Hawk, fires... and Star Hawk gets some serious air! Forget what I assumed -- that's some nice super heavyweight throwing action there! During the entire fight, Star Hawk gets three or four good hits on Ziggy with that spinning bar. But Ziggy is flipping Star Hawk all over the arena. That roll bar on Star Hawk is coming in mighty handy, I'll tell you that. Finally, one toss causes Star Hawk to balance upside-down on the I-beam. The roll bar is no longer rolling, and that's a knockout. Ahh, I got my powerful flipper fix. That felt good.
High Impact has forfeited, allowing Icewave to move forward in the losers bracket to this match.
Fight. Speed Bump has chosen to lead with the end that doesn't contain the lifting arm. Icewave spins up, stays on the ground, and hits Speed Bump, bending a piece of Speed Bump's armor. In the next hit, Icewave dances, landing on its head. Then Icewave manages to get itself dancing again! This time, it lands on its side. It can't dance out of that position. Knockout.
Well, let's jolt the audience into paying attention with two powerful spinners.
Fight. Both robots get up to speed, then collide. There are sparks, of course, and neither robot flinches. So they collide again. This time, they're violently thrown to opposite sides of the arena, with Brutality tearing a hole in the I-beam! Both robots are still spinning. Which means there's another collision. A loud noise, and while you can't necessarily see them, you can hear tiny pieces of shrapnel bouncing off the Lexan walls. But they're still spinning, so another collision -- you can hear more pieces of shrapnel. These two robots just will not stop spinning! Another collision... and large pieces of Brutality are everywhere! Batteries and chunks of armor, torn from the robot! There's no doubting that that's a knockout!
The winner of this fight will be in the finals. The loser will have to work its way back up to the finals.
Fight. New Attitude starts things off by wedging under Joe, flipping it. As Joe runs inverted, New Attitude continues to boss it around. New Attitude flips Joe right side up again. Joe returns the favor by flipping New Attitude over. New Attitude attempts to right itself by ramming Joe with its rear end, driving up the wedge, getting some good air, and succeeding. New Attitude flips Joe again. New Attitude rams an upside-down Joe, Joe takes its turn at flying through the air, and lands right side up, with one of its spikes breaking off. However, when that collision took place, New Attitude quit moving. The knockout is declared, and Joe wins.
Fight. Both robots spin up, as is to be expected. The first two times they collide, sparks are produced. You can tell that Killabyte is trying to get at Totally Offensive's vulnerable backside, but it's hard to aim a spinning puck. The next hit is a big one, with a piece of something substantial hitting the wall. And now Killabyte is off-balance, as its spinning shell is making sparks on the floor. To minimize this effect, Killabyte switches to the strategy of not spinning up until it's near Totally Offensive. During one of those spins, Totally Offensive hits Killabyte, at which point Killabyte quits moving. Knockout.
And for the first time in this entire tournament, Devil's Plunger will be fighting. This is where luck plays into the sport. In the initial brackets, Devil's Plunger received the one bye in the ladder, so it immediately moved into the first round of the winners bracket. It should have faced Nasty Attitude in its first fight. But after being torn up by The Mortician, Nasty Attitude was in no shape to battle, so it had to forfeit (both drivers were disappointed, as the match would have been a good test of their excellent driving skills). So now, without having to fight yet, Devil's Plunger finds itself at the stage where the winner of the fight will take a place in the finals.
Unlike Sewer Snake, Devil's Plunger is still just a hinged wedge -- nothing articulated. And of course, Doom on You! doesn't have any ablative wood on its body, since Devil's Plunger isn't a spinner.
Fight. I notice that Doom on You! is being very conscious of not spinning its blade when the blade is in danger of hitting the wall. And Doom on You! appears to be getting the upper hand on Devil's Plunger -- Devil's Plunger can't wedge effectively, while Doom on You! is uglying up Devil's Plunger's wheels. Then Devil's Plunger wedges underneath Doom on You!, securely carrying Doom on You! on its back. Devil's Plunger drives Doom on You! around, then Doom on You! gets off. After some back-and-forth between the two, Devil's Plunger rams Doom on You!, causing Doom on You! to lose the little front foot thing it has positioned below the blade. That was the key, because for the remainder of the fight, Devil's Plunger dominates Doom on You!. Time is up. The judges turn in a 22-11 decision in favor of Devil's Plunger.
SJ does not have its sidekick with it this time. Vicious Circle has not changed (nobody was expecting it to -- I just thought I'd confirm that fact).
Fight. Vicious Circle spins up. Amazingly, the first hit of the fight actually involves Vicious Circle's disk -- it hits SJ's wedge, producing unique blue sparks. SJ wedges underneath Vicious Circle, but Vicious Circle gets away. Then SJ gets underneath Vicious Circle from behind, pushes it to the corner, and flips Vicious Circle over the I-beam! Vicious Circle is out!
Fight. Throughout the fight, both robots take turns controlling the other. It looks pretty close, with Hexy Jr. having the advantage to my eyes... at least until the end, when the left side of its drive stops working. Time. The final flip count was four flips for Hexy Jr. and three flips for Wipe Out, but losing half of its drive cost Hexy -- the 18-15 decision keeps Wipe Out in the game.
Fight. Hoo boy, neither robot is driving very well. Whenever the two come near one another, Piranha activates its flipper way too early. Exactly once, Piranha wedges under Enoch and performs a vague sort of flip. Exactly zero times, Enoch pushes Piranha. But then Piranha gets stuck underneath Enoch. Enoch drives off, and now Piranha is dead. That'll count as a knockout.
The winner of this fight will get to sit back and watch as three robots fight their way through the losers bracket for the right to face it in the finals. Karcas is back to its original jaws formation. Though not pictured, Sewer Snake has a long spear/tine thing on it now.
Fight. Both robots take turns wedging underneath one another. During one of its turns Sewer Snake attempts to lift Karcas, but only succeeds in lifting its own body. Karcas gets Sewer Snake in the corner, lifts using the top mandible, then winds up clamping Sewer Snake's body. So Karcas shoves Sewer Snake all over the arena while it has the advantage. After the appropriate amount of time, Karcas releases Sewer Snake. Sewer Snake charges toward Karcas... and Karcas has gotten stuck in one of the floor seams! Sewer Snake politely frees Karcas. Sewer Snake gets under Karcas once again, lifts... and Karcas is flipped over the I-beam and out of the fight! Sewer Snake advances to the $10,000 finals!
We're starting to get near the end -- this is another finalist-determining match.
Fight. Both robots spin up and go at it drum-to-drum. Stewie gets the better sparks in the collisions. After a few hits, Who's Your Daddy? can no longer drive, though its drum is still working perfectly well. Knockout.
Fight. As usually happens when they each employ a spinning weapon, both robots spin up. Angry Asp approaches The Mortician. The Mortician responds by slamming its spinning bar into the I-beam, stopping the bar from spinning for the rest of the fight. Which gives Angry Asp every opportunity to control The Mortician, repeatedly hitting it and flipping it around. It all goes well until Angry Asp gets stuck in one of the floor seams. Showing true sportsmanship, The Mortician heads over to free Angry Asp, even though Angry Asp was clearly winning. On The Mortician's attempt to push Angry Asp free, it hits the spinning weapon and gets flipped. But now Angry Asp is free. So it goes back to work on The Mortician. Time is up. It's a 25-8 decision for Angry Asp.
SJ does not have its sidekick with it for this fight. Duh.
Fight. Megabyte gets up to speed. SJ and Megabyte collide. Megabyte rolls on the floor like a coin, still spinning its shell. Once Megabyte gets settled, there's another big hit. After that, it's a hit that tears SJ's arm off! And now SJ is looking wounded in its driving. A spinning Megabyte hits SJ's wedge. SJ is spun around on the floor. Megabyte rams its spinning self into the rear of SJ, repelling both of them from one another. SJ taps out.
Since we're getting close to the end of all of the weight classes, here's a fun grudge match to keep the action going while the remaining robots are being repaired. It's every lightweight for itself here.
Fight. In the beginning, Agsma and Conniption go at one another while Herr GepoŁnden goes and does its thing elsewhere in the arena. Between the two, I'd say that Conniption might be slightly winning. Maybe. Then Agsma slams Conniption across the floor and hard into the wall, breaking Conniption and knocking one of the orange lights off of the tree, causing it to drop and shatter on the I-beam below! Conniption is dead. Since Herr GepoŁnden has just been busy being a thwackbot against the open air, Agsma spins in place to mock it. Time is up. I don't know if they bothered to declare a winner, but I'd have to say Agsma took that one.
When these two fought yesterday, it didn't go very well. Let's hope for the best.
Fight. Speed Bump gets itself underneath Enoch, but Enoch ramps over Speed Bump like it was... well, a speed bump, of course. Then, once again, not much happens. Speed Bump tries to flip Enoch at an appropriate time, but its lifting arm won't come out. So there's more driving. And another ramp by Enoch. Speed Bump gets underneath Enoch, is able to activate its lifting arm, lifts Enoch, and flips it over. That knocks Enoch's wheels out of whack. Since Enoch can't move, it's declared KO'ed.
Okay, I've got to ask -- how did Splinterator get into the Nationals? It defies all logic that the robot is even here. As you can see, new wooden disks have been put into place. I trust that the spinning blade of Totally Offensive should make quick work of those.
Fight. They both spin up -- Totally Offensive because it will use its spinning weapon for a spectacular hit, and Splinterator because... well, I guess because it'll look more impressive if it gets hit while spinning. I mean, there aren't even any impact teeth on the disks or anything. The two meet... and that first hit shatters all but the very top disk of Splinterator! But wouldn't you know it, that top disk is still spinning. The rest of the robot is exposed and vulnerable, but it's spinning. Since Totally Offensive's blade is so low, the next hit just tears into the guts of Splinterator's body, spraying them across the floor. And there's the tap out. There's no doubting that the audience enjoyed watching that explosion.
Don't worry, we've only got two more fights in this weight class to go. The winner of this battle will face Lil Shocker in the finals.
Fight. Somebody in the audience is standing and blocking the view of the arena. By the time they sit their selfish butt down, we discover that Wedgio has been flipped upside-down somehow. There is driving. Eventually, Wedgio is turned right side up again. There is more driving. A little back and forth action between the two. Bullet gets flipped, then rights itself with those rear-positioned wheels. The fight goes on. Then time expires. It was pretty even, actually. I don't have a score, but the winner is... Bullet.
Devil's Plunger is waiting in the finals. One of these robots will face it.
Fight. The weapons are spun. The two robots collide, and since both keep working, they collide again. On that second collision, Doom on You! is flipped over and its blade torn off! Angry Asp takes the opening and repeatedly attacks Doom on You!, tearing tiny pieces off of its body. Then we can hear Angry Asp's weapon hitting the floor. The axle of the weapon slips out, and that puts a stop to Angry Asp's spinner. Doom on You! comes back for the pushing match. Then the pushing match evens out, with both robots doing well. Time is up. That fight deserves a split decision -- 17-16 for Angry Asp!
Here we go for the right to face Joe 2.0.
Fight. Much to my surprise, it's Wipe Out that wins the "lower wedge" contest. So much so that it's having trouble driving around due to hitting the seams in the floor. Wipe Out even flips itself over once after hitting a seam. Since it isn't the lower wedge, New Attitude doesn't have much it can do -- Wipe Out isn't letting it get at its sides or back. Wipe Out flips New Attitude once. Then Wipe Out's weapon looks spent. Time. I'm surprised that this one is a split decision. The winner is Wipe Out.
This is the last fight of the heavyweight losers bracket. The prize money and championship title are within sight.
Fight. Megabyte spins its shell as it sits near the wall. Karcas plows into Megabyte, shoving it against the wall. Megabyte is still spinning, so Karcas plows it again. This time, Megabyte's shell is stopped. Karcas shoves Megabyte into the corner. Megabyte emits the magic smoke, which means that it ain't moving no more. The knockout is called and Karcas comes out of that fight completely unscathed.
You may be noticing a theme -- this is another fight wherein the winner will be taken to the finals.
Fight. For all three minutes, Speed Bump never gets the upper hand. A slightly-dazed Who's Your Daddy? uses that drum to knock it all around, eventually tearing off its wedge lip. At the end, Who's Your Daddy? makes Speed Bump hop a few times. That's the end of the fight, and the 25-8 decision means that's the end of Speed Bump XL.
This time, it really is Super Megabyte fighting as Super Megabyte. One Little Byte has entered the arena with it. Star Hawk has removed its roll bar. This is the last super heavyweight fight of the tournament. I've lost track of where each robot stands in this round-robin structure, so I don't know what this match represents.
Fight. Both weapons get to spinning. Star Hawk approaches Super Megabyte. Super Megabyte drives around to Star Hawk's side for a big spark-filled hit. And Super Megabyte is able to attack Star Hawk in the side again. In a third hit, Super Megabyte tears Star Hawk's rear panel clean off! Super Megabyte hits Star Hawk in its exposed rear. Then there's a weapon-to-weapon collision between the two. Star Hawk taps out just as Super Megabyte hits it again, breaking one of the orange ends off its weapon.
Um... I'm not quite sure how to interpret this. I was told that Shovelhead took the title, and I guess that makes sense. Congratulations!
Here's a grudge match between two robots from the two different middleweight tournaments we've been watching. When it's spinning, Icewave's weapon is very powerful. But Total Anarchy has a very sturdy wedge. Let's see who will win.
Fight. Icewave's weapon is up to speed. The first hit between the two causes Icewave to dance (of course). As it dances, the cover on Icewave's motor is torn off! Icewave lands right side up, but now its weapon is broken. The rest of the fight consists of Icewave using its little wedged bottom to push Total Anarchy around. Total Anarchy's wedge lip is still curled from that previous fight and just plain doesn't have the advantage here. Time is up, and the announcers ask the audience to vote on the winner. The audience declares that Total Anarchy won, because the audience are idiots.
And that's too bad, because now Cyclecide is back to engage in various antics. Little children are running around unsupervised, climbing on the arena walls. Apparently their parents have mistaken ComBots for a Chuck E. Cheese.
Oh good heavens, it's these two again.
Fight. This fight goes exactly the same as it did last time. Exactly. I'm not writing it down again. Now the stalemates as the two press into one another are even longer. When time is called, an 18-15 decision is turned in, and Bullet is the winner. Don't worry, we won't be seeing the hobbyweights again.
By the by, Wipe Out is from Team Plumb Crazy. So are Angry Asp, Devil's Plunger, and Sewer Snake. Every single robot that Team Plumb Crazy brought to this event made it to the finals. It would not surprise me to hear that the other builders suggested to the team that if they don't want to be so busy during the finals next time, they shouldn't win so often.
Fight. Joe's weapon is spinning, and it uses it to repeatedly pop Wipe Out, tossing it and flipping it twice. Wipe Out self-rights each time, but just can't take advantage of Joe. There are a couple of lulls in the fights as Joe positions itself. I think Wipe Out has lost the use of the right side of its drive. That's time, and a definitive 26-7 decision makes Joe 2.0 the lightweight champion.
Team Plumb Crazy shouldn't feel too bad about losing that last fight -- they built both Devil's Plunger and Angry Asp, so they're guaranteed the middleweight national championship at this point.
Fight. You've got to admire Team Plumb Crazy -- they are showing no mercy to their robots in there. Devil's Plunger has more driving control, shoving Angry Asp into the I-beams. But Angry Asp is getting its own hits in, the most notable being the one that tears off Devil's Plunger's front right wheel! Another hit from Angry Asp's weapon flips Devil's Plunger. Time is up. I suppose this makes sense, since the team was fighting itself -- it's a split decision. The champion is Devil's Plunger.
Time for these two to face each other again to determine the champion of the open tournament.
Fight. Who's Your Daddy? gets underneath Stewie and makes sparks. This time around, Who's Your Daddy? is the dominant one, freely attacking Stewie drum-to-drum and pushing Stewie all around. Stewie loses the left side of its drive. And Who's Your Daddy? keeps attacking. Just from all the attacking it's doing, Who's Your Daddy?'s rear wedge is coming loose. Its side wedge is pretty beat up, too. Who's Your Daddy? continues to attack. But then Who's Your Daddy? dies. And that means that Stewie wins.
Okay, here we go. This is for the $10,000 grand prize. Unlike the previous final fights, the heavyweights will be following the exact rules of a double elimination ladder. Since Karcas has lost one fight already, if it loses this fight, it's out and Sewer Snake is the champion. But since Sewer Snake has not lost a fight yet, if it loses this bout, then the robots will have the customary twenty minutes to repair themselves and one final fight will be held to determine the winner.
Karcas has had to do a lot of weapon switching -- it's back to its jaws and tail again. Unlike its previous fight against Karcas, this time, Sewer Snake has chosen to use its two-pronged forks. The pavilion's interior lights surrounding the arena are turned off for dramatic effect. There's a long delay as Donald Hutson tests Karcas to ensure that its jaws are riding perfectly flat on the floor.
And now... fight. And as you could expect, this fight is pretty darn even. There really aren't any standout moments in the battle, just a lot of good back-and-forth action. Personally, I think that Karcas has just the slightest bit of an upper hand. At least until the very end, when with two seconds left on the clock, Sewer Snake places Karcas upside-down on the I-beam. Not out of the arena, but in a prone position. And now time is up... it'll go to the judges.
The judges turn in their decision, and both teams are brought into the arena for the announcement of the winner of the fight. It's a split decision, 17 to 16. Ooh, that's never how you want to potentially determine a $10,000 champion. How dare these competitors be so evenly matched.
The winner is... Sewer Snake! That's the end -- Sewer Snake and Team Plumb Crazy win the $10,000 ComBots Cup! Donald Hutson is noticeably displeased at the decision, and I sort of agree -- like I said, I thought that he had a small advantage... at least until those last two seconds.
But the decision is final -- congratulations to Team Plumb Crazy! There's no denying that they fought some excellent fights.
After the presentation of the trophy, the event ended and both builders and spectators began to exit the building. It was dark, but we had no trouble seeing where we should go -- we should go away from the flame-shooting smoothie maker that was being demonstrated just outside the door. Which would be an unusual sight anywhere other than at this competition.
What more could you ask for? Big hits, exciting fights, and some history-making moments. A good time was had by all, except for maybe the builders who left the event with objects that looked a lot less like fighting robots than they did 48 hours ago.
Some people visit San Francisco for the tourist attractions. I visit for the robot fighting. I may not have tons of photos and souvenir squished pennies, but I'm leaving knowing that I had a weekend filled with fun. And my backside in incredible pain. They are two things that will never completely leave me.