The 'Shroom:Issue 198/Pipe Plaza

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom 2021 Pitohui.png

Hello, all you readers of The 'Shroom! The plan to slowly infiltrate the Pipe Plaza offices, sneaking in under the guise of delivering Poll Committee Discussion, is progressing steadily. I have already claimed Zange's pipe for myself. Maybe if I sneak some combat robots away from Shoey's desk, I can use those to secure Community Report and Anniversary Announcements for myself... It's a good thing I found those infiltration plans left in Ninja Squid's old basement stuff before anyone else did...

Listen, don't tell anyone about the plans, and I'll give you some useful information. We've got the latest on recent proposals, Mario releases of Septembers past, Awards tournaments and games, and robot combat! I hear that What's in a Campaign? is doing something a little different this month. Bots that didn't do so hot are getting the spotlight. You'll want to check it all out, and I should get on with the plans before Zange gets back, so I'll wrap it up here and let you get to it!

Section of the Month

Congratulations to Fun With Despair (talk) for taking first place last month while covering two polls inspired by (then) recently-announced games. Now that we know a little more about Super Mario Bros. Wonder... well, honestly, I doubt the results for that first poll he covered would be that different, with how lopsided it already was.

The penultimate NIWA News under PanchamBro (talk), which left it no mystery what new wiki joined NIWA, and GPM1000 (talk)'s musings on the academic calendar's effects on Nintendo's release schedule in Mario Calendar put them in second and third, respectively. Please do keep the votes coming this month to show your support to our writers!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Poll Committee Discussion 7 36.85% Fun With Despair (talk)
2nd NIWA News 6 31.58% PanchamBro (talk)
3rd Mario Calendar 4 21.05% GPM1000 (talk)

Mariowiki sections
The month gone by in promotions and proposals.
The best analysis of the polls around!
The ongoings of the Mario Awards.
Non-wiki sections
Find out all about this month's Super Mario releases.
We ask "what if?" with a trio of could-have-been bots!

Community Report

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)

Welcome to another Community Report, the section that's a report about the community. It's pretty self-explanatory. Another month brings more proposals, as to be expected! If it didn't, we'd either have a big problem, or the wiki reached a utopia state where there's nothing left to disagree about. That would be pretty cool but I don't think it's possible as long as there are fish in the world.

All information is accurate as of September 14, 2023. Proposals and featured articles marked with an asterisk are updates on ones that were ongoing and covered in the previous issue.

Separate Super Mario and Donkey Kong appearances in infoboxes* A proposal to keep appearances in Super Mario and Donkey Kong media listed separately on infoboxes. Nearly every user who participated opposed, arguing that this change would be confusing and cause inconsistencies if it's the only exception made, and the proposal failed as a result. FAILED 1-14
(read more)
August 21, 2023
Reconsider Nintendo's website filenames being used as a source* A proposal to cite alternate names used in files on Nintendo's official websites on articles, and to decide when and where to use them. The majority of voters agreed with citing these names with lesser importance, as well as using them as redirects, overturning a 2021 proposal that decided not to cite them at all. CITE AND CREATE REDIRECTS 6-0-1-0
(read more)
August 24, 2023
Create an article for Tetris 99 and add it to the list of games A proposal to give Tetris 99 guest appearance coverage because of its various Super Mario-themed skins. While there was some opposition, the majority of voters agreed that the content was substantial enough for coverage. The proposal passed and work on an article has begun, which can be seen at Tetris 99. PASSED 6-2
(read more)
August 26, 2023
Decide what else Blargg can be split into* A second proposal to split the Yoshi's Story variant of Blargg, with different options for the article title, following a failed attempt last month. The proposal received significant opposition before being canceled by the admins for violating rule 7, which prohibits attempting to overturn a decision less than 4 weeks old. CANCELED BY THE ADMINISTRATORS
(read more)
August 21, 2023
Split Koopa (Bowser's species) into its own article and rename Koopa (species) to Koopa (clan)* A proposal to split Bowser's species from the main Koopa article, which would then have its identifier changed, because of the amount of information present about them. At the first deadline, the majority of voters were split between making the change and only splitting Bowser's species while leaving the main Koopa page alone. Following an extension, the option to split Bowser's species without changes to the Koopa page barely received enough support to win. ONLY SPLIT 9-11-3-1
(read more)
August 22, 2023
Move Bound Wanwan to Chomp (stomping)* A proposal to use the English name for this Chomp variant which spent hours stomping... YOSHIS. The proposal passed with unanimous support and the page has been moved. PASSED 5-0
(read more)
August 23, 2023
Decide what else Red Blargg can be moved to* A second proposal to rename Red Blargg, as the name has not recently been used. All voters unanimously agreed to move the page to Blargg (small), and the change has been made. MOVE TO BLARGG (SMALL) 7-0-0
(read more)
August 26, 2023
Split the Yoshi's New Island World 2-8 variant of Blarggwich* A proposal to split a variant of Blarggwich seen in Yoshi's New Island, based on its different appearance, behavior, and Japanese name. While all voters supported the split, there was disagreement on what page title to use. The option to use (sandwich) as an identifier passed with the most votes, but the change has not been made. SPLIT TO BLARGGWICH (SANDWICH) 7-5-0
(read more)
August 27, 2023
Consider Yoshis a subtype of Koopas A proposal to consider Yoshis as a Koopa species based on the original design concept and some modern games considering their saddles to be shells. The proposal was heavily opposed, with voters arguing that Yoshis have not been treated as Koopas since early development stages, and the change should not be made without an official statement from Nintendo. FAILED 4-17
(read more)
September 13, 2023
Trim requirements for elemental creatures categories A proposal to trim the categories for various elemental creatures, which include creatures who are composed of the element or are able to manipulate it. The second half has become controversial as it has been used to justify including subjects that only used the element in a single appearance (i.e. Koopa Troopas being included as a water creature because of an animation in Mario Power Tennis). The proposal seeks to either remove element manipulators from the categories altogether, or trim them to only include characters associated with it in a significant amount of their appearances. The option to trim currently has a strong majority of support. Read more September 16, 2023
Italicize the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass A proposal to fully italicize the title of the Booster Course Pass to be consistent with the majority of Nintendo's usage of it. It currently has unanimous support and will most likely have passed by the time you're reading this. Read more September 15, 2023
Move Super Mario (series) to Super Mario Bros. (series) A proposal to rename the main platformer series to Super Mario Bros. based on some promotional material. Only the proposer currently supports it, with the rest of voters opposing on the basis that Super Mario Bros. is a specific Super Mario subseries that only includes some of the 2D platformers. Read more September 21, 2023
Split Power Shot into separate Mario Tennis and Mario Golf articles A proposal to split the Power Shots from different sports games. The proposer argues that it is confusing for these different mechanics to share a page just because they have the same name. There is also a secondary option to merge the Offensive and Defensive Power Shot articles into the article for the Mario Tennis Power Shot, which currently has the majority of votes. Read more September 22, 2023
Split the Special Shot article by game A similar proposal for Special Shot, which would split its tennis, golf, and basketball variations. Unlike Power Shot, this proposal has received some opposition because of how similar the concept of Special Shots is between games. The supporters currently have a slight majority. Read more September 23, 2023
Split Yoshi's Story albums into three separate articles A proposal to split the three releases containing music from Yoshi's Story from the group article. The proposer argues that keeping them all merged is inconsistent with how other soundtrack articles are handled. The proposal currently has unanimous support. Read more September 23, 2023
Split Red POW Block from POW Block A proposal to split the red variant of POW Block that has appeared in some games, beginning with New Super Mario Bros. 2, due to having a slightly different behavior. This would not affect appearances of regular POW Blocks that happen to be colored red. The current majority of voters supports the split, but there is some opposition because of unrelated red POW Blocks appearing over the years. Read more September 24, 2023

The Last Spark Hunter* The Last Spark Hunter was nominated by creator Sparks (talk) after completing work on the page. Some issues were brought up and addressed during the nomination. While the nomination did receive some additional support, there was not enough engagement to meet featuring requirements and the nomination did not pass. It will be eligible for renomination at the end of October. FAILED 2-0
(read more)
August 31, 2023

Good news, we mostly escaped from the Blarggs! Only some residual Blarggage from last month (yes that's a real word, trust me) but other than that things are cooling down as we leave summer. I'll see you next month with more wiki happenings!

Poll Committee Discussion

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

13th Poll Committee Banner

Hello there, all you readers of The 'Shroom! It's me, Hooded Pitohui (talk) and I'm here to bring you what I hear is called by some "the best analysis of the polls around," Poll Committee Discussion. Do we really have any competition, though? We don't have any other sections covering polls, unless you want to stretch the definition and say that proposals are polling wiki editors on which options they prefer, then you could include Community Report. I wouldn't, myself, but, hey, maybe you could jump on into Pipe Plaza with your own section covering polls of some kind!

Alright, alright, that's enough joking around. We have polls to get to. I have two to go over, this month, one decently varied and one… not so much. Let's jump into them.


Of the controllers bundled in with Nintendo's home consoles, which is your favorite? - (Hooded Pitohui (talk), August 9th, 2023)

Of the controllers bundled in with Nintendo's home consoles, which is your favorite?

GameCube controller 32.91% (1,320 votes)
Wii Remote and Wii Nunchuk 16.18% (649 votes)
Joy-Cons 15.01% (602 votes)
Wii U Gamepad 10.35% (415 votes)
I don't have any preference for one controller over another. 9.03% (362 votes)
SNES controller 8.03% (322 votes)
Nintendo 64 controller 4.61% (185 votes)
NES controller 2.14% (86 votes)
I do not like any of Nintendo's bundled controllers, and prefer alternatives. 1.75% (70 votes)
Total Votes: 4,011

With the release of Sparks of Hope's final DLC, how do you feel about the game and its post-launch content? - (Cosmic Cowboy (talk) and Fun With Despair (talk), August 31st, 2023)

With the release of Sparks of Hope's final DLC, how do you feel about the game and its post-launch content?

I did not play Sparks of Hope. 60.43% (1,443 votes)
I enjoyed Sparks of Hope, and I thought the DLC was worthwhile content. 21.06% (503 votes)
I enjoyed Sparks of Hope, but I did not buy any of the DLC content. 8.17% (195 votes)
I did not enjoy Sparks of Hope's base game, and likewise did not enjoy the DLC. 3.89% (93 votes)
I did not enjoy Sparks of Hope's base game, and I did not buy any of the DLC content. 2.81% (67 votes)
I enjoyed Sparks of Hopes, but I didn't find the DLC to measure up to my expectations. 2.81% (67 votes)
I did not enjoy Sparks of Hope's base game, but found the DLC to be much better. 0.84% (20 votes)
Total Votes: 2,388


Of the controllers bundled in with Nintendo's home consoles, which is your favorite?

I don't think I'd want the N64 controller even if it were the only thing in the world left without drift.

This poll's results are at least on the varied side. I mean, sure, the GameCube controller has over double the votes of the runner-up here, but it's not like a number of polls we've had recently where there's one option sweeping with over fifty percent of the vote.

I actually think that most of the results here are easily explainable. The oldest controllers are clustered near the bottom of the results list, for the most part, most likely because fewer gamers have actually used them these days. Add onto that these controllers being relatively bare-boned, like the SNES and NES controllers lacking joysticks (even shoulder buttons, in the latter's case), and I'd speculate that a combination of controller design evolving and the simple passage of time that leaves these controllers relegated to being symbols for the NSO service. If I had to take a guess at why the SNES controller is beating the N64 controller, ruining the chronology here, I'd point to the awkwardness of actually holding and using an N64 controller. Jokes could be – and have been – made about its odd three-pronged shape, and those directional buttons over a second joystick, with the joystick which the controller does have placed pretty far off from the d-pad and buttons, just feel awkward to use. The SNES controller might be simpler, but it has an ergonomics advantage.

With the more recent controllers, we also see chronological order thrown out the window, with the nearing-two-decades-old Wii ranked more highly than its successors. I'd almost say I'm surprised, considering the radically different design direction of the Wiimote compared to most controllers and all the grumbling about the "waggle" shoved into every game to use its motion-detecting features, but I can actually see how we get here. I'd suggest that sales numbers are a big factor here. The Wii U was barely bought, so far fewer people have experience with the Gamepad than they do with the Wii remote or Joy-Cons, the bundled-in controllers of two consoles that sold like hotcakes. It lines up with the Wiimote and the Joy-Cons having such a narrow vote gap while both handily beating the Gamepad, and lines up with the poll we ran a few months back which showed that more of our voters have played on the Switch and Wii than on the Wii U. Now, why is the Wii remote ahead of the Joy-Cons? Some of it might be nostalgia, some of it might be the Joy-Cons being small and seemingly better-suited for child-sized hands, but I'd think drift is the biggest factor. It has to be said, while there are some neat things about the Joy-Cons, the persistent problem of Joy-Con drift has made using them a pain and dented their reputation.

To address the elephant and the room and the biggest affront to the chronological ordering one might expect, let's talk about the GameCube controller and why it might be the case that this 20+ years old design is Nintendo's most popular. I am a GameCube enjoyer myself, and I do think that part of it is a simple ergonomic advantage. You've got the two-pronged design for a natural grip, a cluster of fairly large buttons with a central button that you can keep hitting or holding with your thumb while tapping another, a ridged joystick to make it easier to lock it in a certain direction, and analogue shoulder buttons that provide satisfying tactile feedback. It isn't perfect, with, as our Chairperson himself noted, the little C-stick being awkward to use sometimes, but it's pretty good overall. Nintendo Life ranked it at the top of their list of Nintendo controllers (tied with the Switch Pro controller) for mostly those reasons.

I'd say the GameCube controller's biggest strength, though, is simply that it doesn't really have any competition for its niche from its successors. Every bundled-in controller to come after it incorporated some kind of gimmick, be it the Wii's motion controls, the Gamepad's screen, or the various gimmicks the Joy-Cons cram in, while the GameCube gave you a comfortable controller, plain and simple. The Joy-Cons come the closest to giving it some competition, especially when they're slid into that little holder together to form one larger controller, but then you, again, have drift undermining them. Add on the fact that the GameCube controller continues to see use, between competitive Smash Bros. players still using it, Nintendo officially supporting the controller on the Wii U and Switch, and the original Wii being able to connect GameCube controllers, and folks have had plenty of chances to encounter or use them, too. Really, I think the GameCube is just a solid controller design that folks young and old have used at some point and that has no real competition from later bundled-in controllers, and that's why it ranks so highly here.

With the release of Sparks of Hope's final DLC, how do you feel about the game and its post-launch content?

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope DLC 1 - The Tower of Doooom - Key Art
Tower of Doomed to Never be Played

Ah, there it is! There's the old classic "one option sweeps over fifty percent of the vote"! Yeah, clearly, most of our voters have not bothered to pick this game up. That shouldn't come as a surprise. While this game didn't have the abysmal sales numbers of the Bowser's Inside Story remake and did well with critics, its sales numbers weren't great. Don't just take my word for it, either. Even Ubisoft flagged the game as underperforming expectations. Ubisoft's CEO reiterated as much when mentioning the company regretted not waiting to put it on the Switch's successor. It was even a bit of a meme on the Awards Committee this year that no members of the committee had actually played Sparks of Hope.

I could go on, but it's not all that interesting to keep finding ways to state "not many people played this game," so let's focus in on the responses from people who did. Of those who played the game, the majority of them enjoyed the game itself and the DLC, which makes sense (I may be phrasing this as Shoey would), because, I mean, this was a sequel of a game released only a few years ago on the same system. It promised more of what the first game and refinement and expansion of what the first game offered. If you liked what the first game offered, you probably bought the sequel, and you probably liked what it had to offer. If you didn't click with the first game, then you probably became a part of that big sixty percent-filled bar above all the other options. (Or you joined that bar because you are waiting for a price drop.)

There isn't much to say about the other options here. Some folks didn't care for the game and, unsurprisingly, didn't care for or didn't bother picking up the DLC. I would expect that. If you aren't vibing with a game, unless the DLC offers something radically different, it's not likely to be of interest to you. I would be interested to hear from the folks who were disappointed with the DLC specifically. I've heard some rumblings about folks feeling like Rayman wasn't spotlighted enough, but I don't know if that's widely considered an issue or if there is something else about the DLC turning people on it. I would really be interested to hear from the twenty people who didn't like the base game but who enjoyed the DLC, though. As far as I know, it didn't make major improvements. Did folks just really like the storyline that went with it? Were folks just that happy about Rayman? Nobody who voted for that option said anything in the forum thread, so I don't know, but if you're one of those folks, let me know what the DLC improved so much! I'm genuinely curious!


That wraps it up for this month. We like the GameCube controller and we don't like Ubisoft's game enough to buy it. I'm not going to say much more than that because I already made this fairly long and I need to get back to the poll cave. Fun With Despair puts us on potion-sniffing duty if we're away for too long. Seriously, though, we did just have a Nintendo Direct, so we'll be getting some polls about that together, I'm sure.

Anyway, issue 200 in two months! Don't forget to send in your special submissions! Come back here next month for more unrivaled – literally – poll analysis.

Anniversary Announcements

Written by: Lakituthequick (talk)

“Everyone please move off the platform with the yellow/black line, or risk being crushed by a falling bus.”
GBA (talk · Boards)

Bienvenue tout le monde, it's time for Anniversary Announcements today! Season's nearing its end, but it's not done yet!

Tour de tournaments

In this section of AA, I shall update you on all things tournaments, including new ones and progress in ongoing ones.

September is a bit of a buffer month in which most tournament will wind down, so let's see what is happening on that scene.

Mario Boards Mega Brawl
There is no news to be reported about this tournament.
Awards Randomizer Killing Game: Wheel of Misfortune
Submissions for the final phase have been submitted, and we are waiting for the results.
The first weekend of games has been completed with great success, with the second weekend being currently ongoing.
This year's Minecraft games take place in Camp Sedonia, a cosy location between the mountains with all the necessary facilities. Spread around camp are 28 red campfires that give access to DREAMB experiences build by community members.
The Scribble Scrabble 2023
Two rounds of scribbling have been completed, with the third being underway and wrapping up in the weekend this section is published.

And with that, we have covered the bits that can be within this month of September. All tournaments are expected to have wrapped up in October, but maybe there will be another AA then. Who knows! If yes, I hope to see you then, and otherwise, have a good one, merry Christmas, happy new year, and I hope to see you next year! Cheers!

Mario Calendar

Written by: GPM1000 (talk)

Hey everyone, welcome to September’s Mario Calendar! I’ve had quite the busy month, and this sort of went under my radar once again. As a result, I’ll probably be a little less detailed in the analysis like I was last month. Let’s hope for a much less busy October! Anyways, let’s get into it.

Region Abbreviations

Abb. Region
ALL All Regions (JP/NA/EU/AU)
JP Japan
NA North America
EU Europe
AU Oceania/Australia
SK South Korea
CHN China
UK United Kingdom

Console Abbreviations

Abb. Console
NES Nintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Family Computer Disk System
SNES Super Nintendo Entertainment System
N64 Nintendo 64
GC Nintendo GameCube
GB Game Boy
GBC Game Boy Color
GBA Game Boy Advance
DS Nintendo DS
3DS Nintendo 3DS
Switch Nintendo Switch
Wii VC Nintendo Wii Virtual Console
3DS VC Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
Wii U VC Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console
VB Virtual Boy
G&W Game and Watch
64DD Nintendo 64 Disk Drive
MS-DOS Microsoft Disk Operating System
CD-i Philips CD-i
IQ iQue Player
NVS Nvidia Shield
ACPC Amstrad CPC
ZX ZX Spectrum
Coleco Colecovision
TI-99 Texas Instruments TI-99/4A

  • September 8
    • 1981 (JP/NA): Chef (G&W)

This month is fascinating - it’s basically the tale of two very different stories. On one hand, you have two of the most important games in Mario’s history releasing in Japan - Mario Bros. on the NES and Super Mario Bros. The series would be nowhere close to what it is today without these two games to establish so much of the world and characters that we still hold dear.

However, there is still so much of September that goes almost entirely ignored. There are full days with not a single release, which is uncommon over the 40-year history of the franchise. I suspect that this has something to do with many children going back to school. I made that same assumption last month and think that it still holds true, as it is primarily the beginning of September that has this characteristic.

Anyways, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your month, and I will see you next time!

What's in a Campaign?

By: Shoey (talk)

Hello, and welcome back to What's in a Campaign?, a section where we look at various competitors from the hit UK show Robot Wars. This month, we're going to be doing things a little bit differently. In every issue until now, the way this section has worked is I've spotlighted one robot (or two if there was a tag team) and covered their respective performance. With that format, there has always been an unofficial minimum battles required before I'd cover a robot. They had to fight in at least three fights in order to qualify for coverage. But Robot Wars is a cruel beast, and the better robot doesn't always win. So there are plenty of examples of robots with a lot of promise who get eliminated early thanks to a combination of poor luck, poor tactics, or a poor draw. Until now, those robots would never qualify for coverage, because, well, I wasn't going to cover a robot with only one or two fights. But this month, for the first (and not the only) time, we're going to cover these "what if?" bots, robots that I feel could have made at least the Heat Final (or, in the case of our third bot, won their whole competition). The robots we are going to cover today are Series 3's Wild Willy, Series 4's Rambot, and, finally, Series 7's Staglet.

As a reminder, all pictures are sourced from the fantastic Robot Wars Wiki. This month, if you'd like to watch along, we have a video for each robot.

First up, we've got the rapid-fire pickaxe machine, Wild Willy. Weighing 80.8kg and powered by two wheelchair motors, Wild Willy was built in just a month by the team of Paul Wilcox, Mark Garroway, and Ryan Pettefer. Wild Willy has a very distinct design, with a flashy purple paint job with its name painted as radically as possible on the side. Wild Willy, to me, sort of has a submarine-style look to it, with its bug-like headlight on it's top. For its weapon, the team went with a standard pickaxe powered by a car starter motor. While the weapon wasn't exactly damaging (I mean, it was just a regular pickaxe), Wild Willy went with the Mortis school of thought when it came to axe blows. What I mean is, much like Mortis, Wild Willy, instead of tying its axe into singular powerful blows, instead went for a rapid-fire approach. This means that instead of concentrating on maximum damage, Wild Willy was instead going for aggression points as it rained blows upon its foes. Combine that with a respectable 15 mph, and you've got a pretty promising Series 3 bot.

More like Style Willy

Placed in Heat L, Wild Willy's round one opponent was fellow newcomer thwakbot Flip Flop Fly. Wild Willy would start the fight on the attack (first video), charging at Flip Flop Fly, firing many axe attacks at the slow-moving thwakbot and hitting its exposed wheels a few times. One thing I love about Wild Willy is that, every time it fires its axe, the whole robot shakes and rattles because Series 3 was a simpler time! Trying to get in position to attack Flip Flop Fly again, Wild Willy would make the mistake of driving too close to a CPZ and find itself being blocked and attacked by Sgt. Bash. Sgt. Bash attempts to roast Wild Willy… ineffectively, because it turns out robots have armor and armor is pretty good at not letting flames burn up their insides. As Flip Flop Fly, in what can best be described as legally an attack, slowly raises its axe head and brings it down up Sgt. Bash, because, by the time it manages to land its axe, Wild Willy had already driven away to avoid it. Finally escaping Sgt. Bash, Wild Willy would dominate the rest of the fight, landing blows upon blows on Flip Flop Fly, one of which, I think, punctures the thwakbot's tires.

Wild Willy just taking it to Flip Flop Fly

After this beatdown, Wild Willy uses its pickaxe as a grabber and drives Flip Flop Fly around the arena, slamming it into the arena wall. Wild Willy would attempt to drive Flip Flop Fly into the pit, but Flip Flop Fly just barely managed to drive away and onto the arena spike.

By this point, Flip Flop Fly is slowly losing power, barely moving. Wild Willy would again attempt to push it into the pit, but would again just narrowly fail. Unfortunately for Wild Willy, this would prove to be its undoing. After failing, Wild Willy would accidentally drive over the arena spike while trying to reposition. The spike then activated under Wild Willy and the team panicked, driving Wild Willy forward and getting the bot stuck on the pit (In Series 3 the pit was always opened). Wild Willy attempted to use its pickaxe weapon to generate momentum to bounce themselves out of the pit, but it didn't work. Wild Willy was soon pushed into the pit by Matilda.

And just like that it's over.

The fight went to the judges, because Flip Flop Fly had essentially broke down as Wild Willy pitted itself. The judges, controversially, picked Flip Flop Fly over Wild Willy, sending Wild Willy home after a promising start. I actually think the judges made the right call, because I don't think they were judging it based off the criteria of a standard fight. Because, if they were, obviously Wild Willy wins in a landslide. Rather, I think they were looking at it like this. When Wild Willy first gets stuck on the pit, Flip Flop Fly is still moving. It's barely moving, but it is moving. By the time Wild Willy goes in the pit, Flip Flop Fly is reduced to just barely twitching back and forth, which is not considered "controlled movement" under the rules of Robot Wars. So both bots were immobilized under the rules, but because the pit is supposed to act as an instant loss and Wild Willy was technically immobilized longer than Flip Flop Fly. Since Flip Flop Fly had not been immobile for thirty seconds, they hadn't been immobilized long enough to be counted out by the time Wild Willy went into the pit, so based on those factors, while Wild Willy was indeed the more impressive robot, I can understand why the judges would pick Flip Flop Fly over it. And that sucks because, if Wild Willy had just left well enough alone, they would easily have won because Flip Flop Fly was in the process of breaking down when they drove into the pit. It's a tragic end for a run that could have shown so much promise.

I firmly believe that, had Wild Willy not lost this fight, it would have won this heat, where it maybe even could have been a Grand Finalist. In the second round, it would have taken on heat winner, Evil Weevil, who was just a worse Panic Attack clone. In theory, Evil Weevil would have the advantage because its lifting forks should have allowed it control over Wild Willy, who had a lot of ground clearance. But Evil Weevil, to put it bluntly, was not a good robot. It struggled to beat the three-sided, made-of-ground-clearance Triterobot. Then it beat Flip Flop Fly because, well, it was Flip Flop Fly, subsequently winning its heat final after Panzer broke down before the fight even started. I think Wild Willy, as long as it didn't get pitted, would have beaten Evil Weevil because it had a better weapon, it was heavier, and it was faster. Then it would have beaten Panzer even if Panzer was working.

In the semi-finals, it would have faced Hypno-Disc, where, to be honest, I give a pretty good chance. Hypno-Disc was really struggling to do damage after its fight with Berserker in the heat final. In fact, its internals were mightily struggling following the internal damage it took against Berserker, to the point where Hypno-Disc sort of struggled to destroy the fiberglass shell of Evil Weevil. Because of that, I actually give Wild Willy a pretty good chance at the upset. I don't know if it gets any farther, because the tracked 101 would probably outdo it in a pushing match, but, still, Wild Willy was a pretty well-put together bot for Series 3. It was fast, it had a weapon that would score you aggression points, and it drove nice. I really think that, had it just left well enough alone in the first round, you're looking at - at worst - a top sixteen finisher in Series 3, and one with a slim-but-not-improbable chance to make the Grand Final.

Up next on our "what if" list, we have, from Series 4, Rambot. A nice, sleek, and sexy wedge-on-wheels, Rambot is a classic old school-style robot. No real active weapon, instead featuring four spikes to jam into opponents, Rambot instead relies on what used to be a really common tactic. What tactic? The tactic of "be a wedge on wheels, get under your opponent, and push 'em around!" Powered by two wheelchair motors, Rambot had a top speed of 20 mph, making it one of the faster robots in the field. A two backwheel-driven machine, Rambot could run both ways up, giving it an advantage against flippers. With its inspiration, the ram, painted on the front, Rambot, true to its name, was a ram on wheels!

Here to throttle the competition

Placed in Heat N of Series 4, Rambot's first round match would be against Arnold, Arnold, Terminegger, an interesting axe/lifting fork combination. They would also face off against the number six seed (and this section's favorite robot), Behemoth. Rambot starts the fight a little out of control thanks to its high speed and only being two wheel-driven. Arnold and Behemoth meet and Arnold actually gets the better of Behemoth, nearly toppling the seeded machine over as Rambot's only contribution to this is a slight slam after Behemoth manages to get away. Behemoth then went after Arnold and Rambot took advantage of this, landing a powerful slam to the backside of the seeded machine. Behemoth and Rambot then briefly worked together, with Behemoth flipping Arnold on its side as Rambot came in for a mighty slam, pushing it back onto its wheels and onto the wedge of Rambot, who drives Arnold into Sgt. Bash's CPZ.

Sliding right under the Sergeant

Rambot then does something pretty cool, actually managing to use its wedge to drive under Sgt. Bash before landing a broadside attack on Arnold. At this point, Behemoth has clearly decided that Arnold is the weak link, going on and easily flipping them over.

Not Rambot's smartest move…

Rambot then, in a tactical error, attempts to attack Behemoth, driving right onto the bulldozer-like scoop of Behemoth and finding themselves flipped over. Rambot would spin away as Behemoth once again flipped over Arnold. The fighting continues to be intense, with Behemoth flipping over Rambot again, then Rambot landing an attack on Arnold before managing an attack on the side of Behemoth, puncturing it with its spikes!

Look at that DAMAGE!

Rambot then turns around and gets under Arnold with ease, driving them into the arena wall again. The fight would go to the judges as the clock ticks down, with Arnold managing to get a lift on Behemoth. The judges, grading on style, control, damage, and aggression, easily put Behemoth through to the second round. Which, like, that makes total sense; Behemoth was easily the strongest machine and spent most of the fight bodying both Rambot and Arnold (but especially Arnold). For the second robot that went through, the judges chose Arnold over Rambot, sending Rambot home after a pretty solid performance.

I gotta be honest. I don't agree with this decision. Now, of course, like all judges' decisions, I have to acknowledge that there are parts of the fight we didn't see. After all, it's a five minute fight condensed into a three minute TV match. But from what we saw, I don't see how you could pick Arnold over Rambot. I'll start by saying this. Yes, as Johanthan Pierce says in his commentary, Rambot was too fast for its own good. There is a lot of the fight where Rambot is spinning around because it was going too fast. Because of this, Rambot was losing a lot in the control category, and, yes, it's true that Behemoth got in a few flips on Rambot. On the flipside, Rambot was easily the second-most aggressive robot in the fight, slamming into robots and driving Arnold into the wall. It even should have scored comparatively high marks in the damage category, because its spikes did damage Behemoth. Now, it was superficial damage, but still it should have counted, and damage was the highest-weighed category. Not only that, but Arnold really only has two good moments in the fight. The first is at the very beginning, where it gets the better of Behemoth and almost lifts them over, and the second is at the very end, where it again gets the better of Behemoth. But outside of that, Arnold is easily the most bodied in the fight, doing, by far, the least. So because of that, while, yes, Rambot would lose to Arnold in the control category, it should have easily made up for that in the aggression and damage category. I really don't see how you look at that fight and put Arnold through. Yes, it was close, but Rambot, to me, was clearly the second-best robot in that fight.

Rambot, to me, is a victim of a bad draw. Rambot was fast, it hit hard, and it was invertible. In a large number of heats, it would have easily made at least a Heat Final. I'd even argue there are multiple heats, such as Heat H (where Wheely Big Cheese won), Heat I (where Splinter won), and especially Heat K (where Mousetrap, of all things, won), that Rambot could have won outright. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think Rambot was a championship contender, and I don't think it would have gotten out of the first round in the semifinals because of its control problems, but it was a solid bot and I don't even think it's outside the realm of possibilities that Rambot couldn't have beaten X-Terminator in the second round of its own heat, putting it into the Heat Finalist. To me, Rambot is an easy, at the minimum, Heat Finalist-caliber robot that got sent home early thanks to a bad draw and a bad judges' decision.

The last robot on our "what if" retrospective is the only one from in a weight class other than heavyweight. Created for the Series 7's featherweight tournament, we have Staglet!

Just the most adorable little robobug!

Weighing 10 kg, Staglet is, as the name suggests, a descaled model of the heavyweight robot The Stag. Featuring two horizontal crushing pincers, the Staglet didn't use its pincers in the way you might expect! While, yes it's possible that the pincers of both The Stag and Staglet could cause crushing damage, the damage was almost a secondary plus. The real benefit of this model is, once they pincered a robot, or even if they managed to wrap the weapon around another robot, they would then be able to drive them all over the arena as long as they had superior pushing power. This makes this style of robot a pretty good control bot against anything except really big spinners. Staglet is one of my favorite robots almost entirely because of how cute I think it is!

Entering the Series 7 featherweight championship, Staglet fought in the Heat E featherweight side event. The way the tournament worked was that there were three separate qualifying matches. The first two that aired had seven robots in them, and the third qualifying match had four. At the end of the qualifying match, two robots would make it through to the final, where they would all face off in a free-for-all match. The winner of that match would be declared featherweight champion! Staglet participated in the second of the two seven-way matches. Its opponents were:

  • The spinning weapon of Alienator.
  • The mammoth walkerbot Mammoth
  • The full-body spinning Typhoon Cadet
  • The circular saw of Bernard.
  • Finally, DTK and Cutlet, the mighty featherweight flippers!
Brilliant use of your opponent as a weapon there, Staglet
Sadly the brightest candles burn the fastest :(

Staglet would start the fight by immediately getting control of Cutlet, driving the tiny flipper into DTK before letting them go and attempting to grab hold of the walkerbot Mammoth. This plan fails, as Staglet isn't able to pierce its armor, so it drives away, looking for another opponent. It would find one in the Alienator, easily getting its pincers into the spinning disc bot. Staglet would drive the Alientator around the arena, even using it as a battering ram of sorts, slamming it into Typhoon Cadet as the full-body spinner got up to speed.

Staglet then helps DTK attack Mammoth, trying to once again get its pincers in the double-size walker after DTK flips Mammoth up (but not over). Alienator would then hit the pit button as DKT and Staglet faced off, with DKT getting the better of Staglet and flipping them over. But luckily, Staglet is invertible, so it can run both ways up! After DTK flips over Typhoon Cadet and as Mammoth slowly pushes Cutlet into the pit, DTK once again puts pressure on Staglet. Staglet reverses, attempting to get away from DTK.

But they were too close to the pit, and Staglet accidentally drives itself into the pit, sending it out of the featherweight championship after a fairly strong start!

Staglet definitely would have made it into the finals of the featherweight championship. It was off to a strong start, pushing around Cutlet and the Alienator. Now, the finals would have been a different story. DTK, who won the featherweight championship, had bodied Staglet in the first round when they fought each other, and the final had even more flippers. So I'm pretty sure it would not have managed to win the finals, but it still should have made the finals, so I think it qualifies as a "what if" could-have-been. Plus, again, I think it's adorable, and this is my section!

That's all we're going to cover this month. Join us next month when we look at another combat robot performance.

The 'Shroom: Issue 198
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