The 'Shroom:Issue 206/Pipe Plaza

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Director's Notes

Written by: Zange (talk)

Shroom2019 Zange.png

Soooooo I graduated college about a week ago... and before you ask I cried a lot that night because I didn't want to graduate!!! If I could have stayed in college forever I would have but it's way too expensive for that to be an option... Currently I'm back home for the summer (and possibly longer depending on job-hunting things) trying to sort out all the crap that was packed up from my dorm room. A lot of it is just sitting in piles in front of my shelves until I get around to finding a better home for it. I also took the first steps of trying to deep clean my closet because that's been needing done for literal years at this point. Stay tuned for cleaning progress...

Life stuff aside, it's a new 'Shroom which means a new Pipe Plaza with all kinds of cool stuff!! Anniversary Announcements even makes a grand return this month so you know it's a great time! Don't forget that you can write a thing for us and it can be about whatever the heck you want!! Tell us all about your favorite accidental food inventions if that's something you know about! You get the picture, so head to the sign up page to learn more.

Enjoy your month ^^

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Genie's Lamp 6 31.58% Waluigi Time (talk)
2nd The People of Isle Delfino 3 15.79% Hooded Pitohui (talk)
2nd Archie Sonic Comic Shoebox 3 15.79% Shoey (talk)

News and information
Find out all about this month's Super Mario releases.
The best analysis of the polls around!
The ongoings of the Mario Awards.
All the latest writers and all the milestones of the current ones.
An entirely different breed of Bulldog.

Mario Calendar

Written by: GPM1000 (talk)

Happy May, everyone! I saw when looking at last year's May Mario Calendar that I mentioned Tears of the Kingdom, and I still vividly remember writing that - I can't believe it's already been a full year! I know it's not really related to Mario, but as a Zelda fan I always love bringing those games up. Anyways, let's jump into the Mario games for the month!

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

Honestly, this is a very solid month. For the most part, the month is not that interesting, but the last few days of the month really bring it and have some awesome games! Mario Kart 8 is personally my favorite Mario Kart game of all time, which I know is not a controversial opinion in the slightest (/s). Super Mario Galaxy 2 also came out, and I absolutely love that game as well. That's one of those games that I used to just obsess over when I was a kid - so much nostalgia for that era of Nintendo. New Super Mario Bros. for the DS also came out this month. That series may be done to death at this point, but at the time it was an incredibly fresh take on the 2D Mario formula.

Also, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door comes out on the Switch in just a few days! Besides Super Paper Mario on the Wii, I've never actually played a Paper Mario game, and I'm definitely considering it now. I've heard such fantastic things about the first two entries in the series, and I would love to dabble in them now. Maaaaybe not the more recent entries, however…

Anyways, that's all for this month! I hope you have a fantastic rest of your month, and I'll see you next month as The 'Shroom gets ready for summer!

Poll Committee Discussion

Written by: Natalie J.

Good evening, and welcome to another edition of Storage Jars. I'm Natalie J., and you're watching Disney Channel.

The Polls

Boss Fights in Super Mario platformers have been introduced in several ways. Which is your favorite? (Waluigi Time (talk), April 14th, 2024)

Boss Fights in Super Mario platformers have been introduced in several ways. Which is your favorite?

I do not have a specific preference. Different introductions can be used effectively depending on the boss. 50.97% (1,284 votes)
I prefer when a boss has dialogue before the fight, like in Super Mario 29.91% (552 votes)
I prefer having to do something in the game to begin the fight, like cracking Dino Piranha's egg. 11.12% (280 votes)
I prefer a brief introductory cutscene with no written text. 9.13% (230 votes)
I have no opinion. 4.25% (107 votes)
I prefer when the boss fight begins immediately with no interruption. 2.62% (66 votes)
Total Votes: 2,519

How do you feel about Nintendo's choice to focus on remaking older content in spinoff games such as Mario Party Superstars and the MK8DX Booster Pass? (RubberLuigi (talk), April 28th, 2024)

How do you feel about Nintendo's choice to focus on remaking older content in spinoff games such as Mario Party Superstars and the MK8DX Booster Pass?

I think Nintendo should focus on new ideas, but having some older content in those games is also good. 45.39% (856 votes)
I'd like an even balance of reused content and new ideas. 32.71% (617 votes)
I would prefer if Nintendo shifted their focus to entirely new content rather than reusing content from other games. 11.66% (220 votes)
I have no opinion. 4.72% (89 votes)
I think Nintendo does better with older content, but should try to experiment with new ideas from time to time. 4,61% (87 votes)
I do not like Nintendo's newer ideas in spinoff games, and they should stick with what already works. 0.9% (17 votes)
Total Votes: 1,886

The Discussion

Boss Introductions

This intro is pretty hype.

Waluigi Time's poll about boss intros (which I can't stop confusing with another poll idea Hooded Pitohui had about boss arenas) brought in over 2500 votes, which is about one story's worth of words if words counted as people. This one refers to the cutscenes, or sometimes lack thereof, that introduce the different bosses that show up throughout Mario games. I would love to know what the first boss in the whole series to have an intro cutscene was; my gut is telling me final Bowser in Super Mario World, but I'm probably wrong about that since I've never been the most interested in older games. If anyone knows what the first boss intro cutscene in Mario was, please let me know.

As for your opinions, barely more than half of the votes said that it really doesn't matter and that as long as it fits well for the boss, it's fine. Crazy to know that 1284 people on the internet can agree on anything, but props to all of you for coming together like that. The second largest group of people, consisting of 552 people, prefer dialogue before a fight. I suppose that being called a pipsqueak or being guilted by an angry caterpillar about getting wet is a pretty effective intro; speaking as a creative writer, it's common to start with a line of dialogue in a story so I can see why that one is so appealing.

What's my take? I think I'm with the people who say that boss intros are versatile enough that I don't have any particular preference. For the most part, the people who voiced their opinions in our discussion thread on the boards agree, but as mentioned in this post, it can also provide some good background for the boss you're about to fight so I can understand not liking it when there's not much of an intro.

Reused Content in Spinoffs

I'm still mad that we lost out on Airship Fortress in favor of a fourth Mario Circuit.

This poll, written by some idiot who's probably not worth mentioning, is about the recent trend of Nintendo only remaking old content when it comes to spinoffs. I wrote this poll after some conversations I've had with one of my friends about how I worry about the future of the Mario Party series. It really feels like we're never going to see any new ideas in the future because every time we do see them, the general public never likes them and then when Superstars comes out, it's heralded as the best Mario Party in years even though it's a lot more flawed than people want to admit, but that's a conversation I could save for a Critic Corner one-off essay some other month even though technically, I already wrote an essay about it for my creative nonfiction class this past semester.

89-word-long sentences aside, what did the Super Mario Wiki's general public have to say? Nearly 1500 out of the 1886 people that voted in this poll said that there should either be a focus on new ideas or an even balance, with the "focus on new ideas" crowd winning 856-617. This is about what I expected, I can't lie. In the paraphrased words of Tom Scott, people like just the right balance of familiarity and novelty.

Don't just take it from me either that I think there should be a focus on new ideas. In the boards' discussion thread, everyone agreed with me. Overall, I think Mario Party Superstars is a great game to have, but I really hope that the next console, or even the Switch, brings us a Mario Party game that makes things fresh and isn't just entirely made of old content. As for the Booster Course Pass, I have a pretty similar take, but I don't think Mario Kart 9 or 10 will be as egregiously loaded with old content.

The End

Look, I made it through an entire Shroom section without a single exclamation point or random bolded word. I'm going to go back to enjoying my vacation now. From La Paz, this has been Ronald Rogers with Poll Committee Discussion.

Anniversary Announcements

Written by: Lakituthequick (talk)

“We follow the wiki, except when we decide their decisions are dumb and we have a better idea.”
Waluigi Time (talk · Boards)

Hello dear readers! Welcome back to the 2024 series of Anniversary Announcements! In which we talk about the yearly celebration of our wiki!
We're back at it! For a bit over a month already, so let's dive right in!

The awards committee

The committee this year is build in a similar way to last year, meaning that there is more something of a board of directors rather than a singular director and subdirector, even if those roles still somewhat exist on paper. Some roles are also taken up by other committee members, divvying up the workload a bit more.

This year's committee consists of:

The easiest way to reach out to the committee is by entering the Awards Discord server. Sharing ideas is greatly appreciated!


A few things changed since last year, a few things remained the same.

First of, community engagement has been a topic of discussion. As time moves on, it is harder to retain attention in longer tournaments and games, and it becomes more tempting to host and engage in shorter events. A few ideas have been coined in meetings, and events will come up as they develop.
This doesn't mean larger scale games such as Killing Games will no longer happen, but hosts of such games are encouraged to host these as a non-Awards event instead.

Secondly, the concept of Bonus Stars as introduced last year will return. Bonus Stars are a fun additional tidbit during the ceremony that focuses not on the main awards, but interesting things that stood out in the results, during meetings, or otherwise are fun to pay attention to. The exact form this year will also be discussed.

Also returning is the revamped voting schedule that was created last year. In this schedule, the Mario and Fail awards will both have a voting window of two weeks, and the Community awards will have a window of one week starting a week after the other two categories open, while having the compensation of allowing four votes to be cast at once.
This allows for more working time after the polls close, all while data shows that this doesn't affect the vote counts as much as one might expect.

This working time has a few changes to it, however. Initially, people will not be able to sign up for more than three presentations, and back-up spots will only become available for them if they have finished the initial batch, up to a maximum of five presentations in total per person, to prevent people from getting into it over their heads. There will be closer communication to check in on progress, and as needed, extensions can be given case-by-case as long as presenters are able to prove sufficient progress.


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

While the tournament scene is still fairly calm, we do have one tournament thread up now! Let's cover it.

Archipelago Multi-World Randomizer Event
A tournament in which a variety of games is randomised together based on the games the participants own. When started, items from one player's game will end up in another's, meaning that a degree of collaboration is necessary.

The tournaments discussion thread also has a few folks gauging interest. Waluigi Time (talk · Boards) is gauging interest for an artifact hunt, while Roserade (talk · Boards) is looking out for Panel de Pon. Be sure to let your voice be heard if you are interested in any of these.

The awards

In this part of AA, I will describe all updates and changes to the meat and bones of the event, the awards. This includes additions, removals, and changes of both awards and nominees within.

Last year, the number of awards has been reduced from 60 to 45, and it has been decided that 45 will be the hard limit this year as well to keep the number of needed presentations manageable. Still, the procedure of going over each award and determining whether it is worth keeping has carried over.

Due to the large amount of awards and nominees, and the availability of a complete overview document, I will keep the list of awards and changes concise starting this year instead of listing every minute detail. Check out the full list for all additions and removals, and also check out the meeting logs and summaries (new this year) for a more detailed insight in the changes.

New awards

These awards are brand new, or sometimes return from two or more years ago.

Mn1. Favorite Princess Peach: Showtime! Transformation (new)
This new award was created to cover one of the big titles this year, and its main mechanic, Princess Peach's various transformations and outfits. It notably does not cover the purely aesthetic dress prints, as those have no functional role.
Mn2. Favorite Wonder Effect (new)
This award was also created to cover a big title, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and its main mechanic, Wonder Effects. The effects, for the most part, do not have official names, so the effects have been given fitting names by the committee. Originally it was planned to name them after the levels they appear in, but effects and levels do not map one to one, and levels have instead received their own award altogether.
Mn3. Favorite Super Mario Bros. Wonder Level (new)
As above, this award was created for one of the big releases this year. Levels in SMBW cover more than just the Wonder Effects, so they get their own award.

Fn1. Worst Mario Kart Course Remake (new)
This award was created as a counterpart to Favorite Mario Kart Course, but focuses on retro courses that received subpar remakes. It comes to no surprise that this is inspired by the Booster Course Pass, but is not limited to it.

Cn1. Favorite Community Character (new)
Not so much a new award as it is the merger of two others, due to the relative lack of community events in the past year in which characters appeared, Favorite Character Portrayal and Favorite Community Character were merged into this one.

Updated awards

Awards that existed last year and have been updated based on recent releases or with high-ranking write-in votes from last year.

M1. Favorite Major Character
It was suggested to merge this award with Favorite Supporting Character, but it was ultimately decided to keep them both to promote the visibility of supporting characters. However, two characters from each award have been exchanged with the other.
M2. Favorite Supporting Character
See above.
M3. Favorite Mario RPG Character
Relevant this year due to the releases of SMRPG and PM:TTYD on the Nintendo Switch.
M5. Favorite Power-up
SMBW brings new power-ups, which were added in place of low-ranking results from last year.
M6. Favorite Enemy
SMBW also brings new enemies, who were added in place of low-ranking results. A suggestion to instead replace this award with all-SMBW enemies was not chosen for.
M7. Favorite In-game Track
Given new relevancy with the new game releases. While some updates have been done, this award may be revisited after the PM:TTYD remake is out.
M8. Favorite Soundtrack
Still relevant due to recent releases, and has thus been updated.
M9. Favorite Game Mechanic
Updated with mechanics from the recent releases.
M10. Favorite 2D Platformer
A staple award, so it was kept with minor updates.
M11. Favorite 3D Platformer
Due to the lack of any games in this genre for the last seven years, removal was considered, but the importance of this type of game has kept it afloat. This could be revisited if a better 3D game award was to be suggested, but this hasn't happened.
M12. Favorite Bowser Battle
This award was simply amended with high-ranking battles from last year's results and recent game releases.
M13. Favorite Boss Battle
An evergreen award, so it was simply updated.
M14. Favorite Mario Kart Item
This award was kept, as the series is still active and the items are otherwise not represented.
M17. Favorite Sports Genre
Freshly added last year, this award has a bit of longevity left to see how the results shift.
M18. Favorite Retro Game (GBC/N64 and older)
A staple and thus simply updated.
M19. Favorite Classic Game (GCN/GBA through Wii/DS)
A staple, no changes were necessary.
M20. Favorite Modern Game (Wii U/3DS and newer)
A staple and thus simply updated.

F1. Worst Power-up
A relatively new award, this award was kept.
F2. Worst Enemy
This award was simply updated.
F3. Worst Obstacle
After initially being on the chopping block due to a lack of diversity, this award has been kept and amended.
F4. Worst Level Concept
Also initially on the chopping block, it was later kept due to a new concept in SMBW.
F5. Worst Game Mechanic
This award was simply updated with a recent mechanic from SMBW.
F6. Worst Boss Battle
Recent releases mean that this awards was kept and updated.
F8. Worst Remake
This award was kept due to the new remakes this year, but has not been otherwise updated.
F9. Most Forgettable Game
This award was kept, and to an ironic twist, a few games were de-nominated for not being forgettable enough.
F10. Most Shameless Business Decision
Some more discussion happened regarding this award due to happenings around emulators this year, but those topics in particular were considered to be represented by existing nominees. A few irrelevant options were removed and new options added.

The community awards are still being discussed, so the updates regarding those will follow next month.

The bins

The blue bin contains awards that may have potential left, but will only be considered to be kept to fill up necessary awards spots. The red bin contains awards that have been removed entirely.

Favorite Mario Movie (2023) Portrayal (removed)
Not relevant anymore until a few years from now, so this award has been removed.
Favorite Mario Kart Course (to be considered)
This award needs to be (re)considered at a later point in time, but due to the new Mario awards, is likely to be cut.
Favorite Mario Party Board (removed)
Due to the lack of content in the Mario Party series in the last few years, this award has fallen out of fashion.

Most Disappointing Update Cycle (removed)
Ironically, due to the lack of updates recently and no updates in sight for recent releases, this award has fallen out of fashion and has been removed.

Thanks for joining us once again for the news about the wiki's anniversary! See you again next month!

The 'Shroom Report

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)

Hello there, 'Shroom readers! Lately, I've been thinking about The 'Shroom Report and pondering some changes. This section covers a lot of statistics about The 'Shroom, which is to be expected when it has its foundations in two of our previous Statistics Managers! But there's not so much about what's going on in The 'Shroom. Well, this month and going forward, I've decided to add two new categories, New Sections and Guest Sections! If there's anything else about The 'Shroom you'd like to see covered in this section, please let me know and I'll definitely consider it! Here's the new list of categories and how they all work:

  • First-Time Writers lists everyone who wrote their first section for The 'Shroom in the previous issue.
  • New Sections lists recurring sections that started their run in the previous issue. This includes returning sections that previously went inactive.
  • Guest Sections lists one-off submissions from the previous issue.
  • Milestones covers certain section numbers reached in the previous issue. Writers are mentioned for every 10 sections written in a team and every 50 sections written overall, teams are mentioned for every 100 sections, and The 'Shroom itself is mentioned for every 500 sections.
  • Most Sections Written lists the current all-time record holders.

Special thanks as always to Meta Knight for keeping our spreadsheets up to date! And now, without further ado, here's all of that sweet sweet data from Issue 205.

First-Time Writers
Writer Section
Boo1268 The Spectral Lens
ViableBunnyBudd Hint Art
New Sections
Section Writer
The Spectral Lens Boo1268
Hint Art ViableBunnyBudd
'Shroom Quiz Hooded Pitohui (talk)
Monokuma, Public Instigator Flygon64 (talk)
An Overly Detailed and Funny Walkthrough of Mega Man Sparks (talk)
Guest Sections
Section Writer
Game Corner Shoey (talk)
Peddler's Place Waluigi Time (talk)
Genie's Lamp Waluigi Time (talk)
Shoey's Shoetacular Reviews Shoey (talk)
Video Game Review Waluigi Time (talk)
Galactic Expedition Meta Knight (talk)
Writer/Team Milestone
Meta Knight (talk) 50 Main/Staff sections
Shoey (talk) 70 Fake News sections
TheBlueCatMenace 10 Fake News sections
Strategy Wing 600 sections
Most Sections Written
Team Writer Number of Sections
Main/Staff Henry Tucayo Clay (talk) 142
Fake News MCD (talk) 148
Fun Stuff Shoey (talk) 136
Palette Swap FunkyK38 (talk) 195
Pipe Plaza Yoshi876 (talk) 128
Critic Corner Hypnotoad (talk) 182
Strategy Wing Yoshi876 (talk) 115
Overall Yoshi876 (talk) 747
'Shroom Trivia
The first mention of Poochy in The 'Shroom was back in Issue XXXVII (37), found in Gabumon's Fake Game article. Poochy would not become the official mascot of the paper until Issue 100, 63 issues later!

What's in a Campaign?

Written by: Shoey (talk)

Hello and welcome back to What's in a Campaign?, a section where I, The 'Shroom's number-one Robot Wars fan, takes a look at the individual campaigns of various competitors from the hit show Robot Wars. Last month, I looked at the Series 4 run of Mortis, the final run from one the series' early favorites. This month, we return again to the final classic Robot Wars series as we look at longtime series staple, Bulldog Breed, and its Series 7 run!

The Bulldog of war!

Built by Tony Somerfield, his son Robert Somerfield, and friend Karl Asplin, Bulldog Breed was one of the many wedge flippers that British robot combat was so famous for. A CO2-powered flipper with custom cylinders providing the power, Bulldog Breed also had a a blade at the bottom of said flipper to make it easier to get under opponents. This British Bulldog had a very powerful flipper, one easily capable of throwing a robot out of the arena. Although, in fairness, by Series 7, it was more surprising if a flipper couldn't throw a robot out of the arena. Armored with a combination of aluminum, polycarbonate, and a special nylon-cast armor, Bulldog Breed was, you could argue, somewhat lightly armored for this period of Robot Combat. Taking full advantage of the weight limit, Bulldog Breed was powered by electric motors and had a middle-of-the-pack top speed of 10mph.

Originally appearing in Series 3, Bulldog Breed was one of the most consistent competitors in Robot Wars. From Series 3 to Series 7, Bulldog Breed had appeared in every war, and also appeared in both seasons of Extreme. A two-time heat finalist, Bulldog Breed was one of many robots (such as Supernova, SMIDSY, and The Steel Avenger) who just couldn't quite break through to the upper echelon of Robot Wars. A very solid machine, Bulldog Breed hadn't quite managed to have that breakout performance needed to get a victory in the main wars. In Series 4, a promising run was upended in the Heat Final where Bulldog Breed was matched up against the swinging mace of Stinger. Unfortunately for Bulldog Breed, this was when Stinger was at its absolute peak, and Bulldog Breed would find itself easily bashed to death by Stinger's mace.

Man, how do you get this draw twice?

Then in Series 5 and 6, Bulldog Breed's campaigns really ended before they even began because Bulldog Breed had the misfortune to be placed in the same heat as Hypno-Disc, who tore Bulldog Breed to shreds in the Series 5 Heat B Final and then repeated the performance in the second round of Heat K in Series 6. What's particularly unfortunate is that Hypno-Disc did so much damage to Bulldog Breed that it prevented what could have been a breakout performance for the flipper in the Robot Wars Extreme 1 Annihilator 2. Having easily won its mayhem battle against Judge Shred 2½ and Spirit of Knightmare, this Annihilator (wildly seen as the weaker of the two) could have seen Bulldog Breed genuinely compete for the title. Unfortunately, though, the damage done by Hypno-Disc was too great (Series 5 and Extreme 1 were filmed at the same time) and Bulldog Breed was forced to pull out.

But while Bulldog Breed had yet to have that breakout performance everyone thought it could in the main series, they finally got it in the Robot Wars Extreme 2: Tag Team Terror. Teamed up with fellow flipper and fellow animal-themed robot Robochicken. Bulldog Breed would immediately make its mark by flipping the Robot Wars: Series 4 runner up and Robot Wars: Extreme 1: Tag Team Terror Champion – the previously covered Pussycat – clean out of the arena.

Bulldog Breed has arrived!

This made Bulldog Breed the only robot to ever throw Pussycat out of the arena, and it had done so while on one of the most dominating single tournament performances ever seen. Bulldog Breed almost single-handedly won the Tag Team Terror, knocking out five of the six robots it came up against in the tournament, including easily defeating Hydra, Diotoir, Lighting, and The Steel Avenger, all of whom had previously been or would eventually become Heat Finalists in their own right! Bulldog Breed's dominance even extended to the House Robots! In its second tournament fight, Bulldog Breed got the better of Growler, nearly flipping the House Robots' pet dog over! With this tournament victory, Bulldog Breed rode into Series 7 with a lot of hype and a lot of momentum.

As a reminder, all pictures are sourced from the fantastic Robot Wars Wiki. If you'd like to watch any of these fights, check out this video. Timestamps are provided in the section.

With so many veteran teams having pulled out of Series 7, Bulldog Breed was given a seed for the first time! Although, strangely enough, apparently its Tag Team Terror dominance wasn't factored at all into seeding, so instead it was given the 12th seed on the back of its Series 4 and 5 Heat Final appearances (and because a lot of the robots that would have been seeded didn't return)! Placed in Heat K, Bulldog Breed's first round melee saw it go up against veteran vertical spinner Infernal Contraption, bar spinner Jabber, and Crusher Crunch Up winner Mantis. The fight (1:23) starts with Bulldog Breed doing a little dancing around, probably trying to figure out whether Jabber or Infernal Contraption is the weaker opponent. Bulldog Breed decides to target Infernal Contraption after realizing it's… *checks notes*… a bad robot.

How does Infernal Contraption keep qualifying?

Pushing it in the CPZ, Bulldog Breed comes very close to throwing Infernal Contraption (a robot with 1 win and 5 losses!) out of the arena but can't quite do it. As this happens, Mantis gets its crusher into Jabber and lifts it so high that it almost lifts it out of the arena! From this point on, those two are basically irrelevant because Jabber and Mantis spend the majority of the fight stuck together! As that happens, Bulldog Breed keeps up the attack on Infernal Contraption, again flipping it and this time throwing it high into the air, sending it crashing back down. Bored of picking on Infernal Contraption, Bulldog Breed switches targets to the Mantis-Jabber homunculus, ramming it a few times, but it can't get under for a flip. Aw man, and then Infernal Contraption actually lands an attack on the back of Mantis with its stupid fucking disc! But don't worry! Mantis takes 0 damage from the attack! Because it's Infernal Contraption doing it and what else do you expect!?

Honestly, the rest of the fight is pretty boring. It's a lot of driving around with some light pushing, though Bulldog Breed does land a flip on Jabber right before the cease is called. But while the fight itself is pretty boring, there's one thing that happens that nearly ends Bulldog Breed's run before it can even really start. Near the end of the fight, some mesh falls out from underneath Bulldog Breed. Now, you might be thinking "big deal. Who cares?", but this mesh nearly got Bulldog Breed disqualified.

Very bad boys, very bad.

The purpose of the mesh was to protect the custom-made cylinders on Bulldog Breed, but here's the thing. Mesh is super illegal at this point in time! The reason? If a spinner were to make contact with the mesh, it could end up becoming entangled with it. That's a big no-no at this point in time. You cannot have an entanglement device! If, say, Jabber would have hit Bulldog Breed and torn out the mesh, snagging its blade and causing the blade to stop, I believe Bulldog Breed would have been disqualified. As it stood, however, Bulldog Breed was given a yellow card by the production team and ordered to remove the mesh, presumably because the mesh was caught before it actually did anything that mattered. So while Bulldog Breed was allowed to continue and moved on to the second round, it was forced to remove the protection of its custom cylinders.

With the mesh removed, Bulldog Breed moved on to the second round, where it faced off against a fellow flipper, the Belgian bot Hard. Bulldog Breed starts the fight (7:49) off aggressively, getting under Hard multiple times before finally flipping the Belgian machine over.

Still can't quite get that Outta, though.

In the process, though, Bulldog Breed leaves its side open and Hard manages to outflank it, pushing Bulldog Breed into the arena wall. But Hard can't get its flipper to activate and Bulldog Breed escapes what could have been a disaster. Hard then just breaks down. It's weird! They're pushing Bulldog Breed and then they just stop moving. Bulldog Breed gets a big flip in, but it looked like Hard was dead before that… Either way, Bulldog Breed is on to the Heat Final!

Once again back in the Heat Final, Bulldog Breed is so close to finally breaking into the Semi-Finals! Who stands in his way? The spiked axe of Kat 3! This is a very interesting fight because it’s a battle of two robots that have always been right around each other in terms of quality. They were both Heat Finalists in Series 5. They both fell in the second round in Series 6. They were even in the same heat! Had Kat 3 won its second-round match, Kat 3 could have gotten torn apart by Hypno-Disc! It's fights like these that make me really like Series 7, because you're finally seeing some of these robots get the chance to crash the Semi-Finals after Series 5 and 6 had such static Semi-Finalist rosters.

The fight (13:22) starts with neither robot gaining an advantage. Kat 3 misses multiple axe blows while Bulldog Breed, despite getting to the side of Kat, can't quite get under the feline machine. Finally, Kat 3 strikes first, piercing its axe right through the flipper panel of Bulldog Breed.

No, Bulldog Breed! Don't get hit with an axe, stupid!

But Bulldog Breed strikes back immediately, getting under Kat 3 and throwing them over, proving that cats don't always land on their feet! Bulldog Breed stays on the attack, pushing Kat 3 into the CPZ where the dreaded Sir Killalot lays waiting for its prey. But in doing so, Bulldog Breed gives Kat 3 the momentum it needs to self-right, and Kat 3 flees with the Bulldog in hot pursuit. Bulldog Breed pushes Kat 3 near the side wall but again can't quite get under Kat 3 as Kat 3 hits the pit release button. Turning away from the pit release button, Kat 3 fires its axe again, landing what appears to be a glancing blow on the flipper plate of Bulldog Breed, albeit while doing no real damage in the process. Bulldog Breed pushes and pushes Kat 3, trying desperately to get its steel-plated flipper panel under the Kat, but it just can't seem to find the perfect spot. Finally, though, on a charge it finds the spot, throwing Kat 3 into the air, the feline robot spinning as it rises! Kat 3 struggles to self-right before Bulldog Breed drives in and lands an all-time great flip, sending Kat 3 up in the air and causing Kat 3 to land on top of Sir Killalot and to tumble off of him.

Just an all-time great non-Outta flip

Kat 3 attempts to get the axe in play but can't land a blow on Bulldog Breed, who gets under Kat 3 again before charging at the wall. They hit their flipper too early – probably, a later flip might have sent it out – sending Kat 3 crashing into the wall. Landing on its feet, Kat 3 manages to finally go on the offensive, landing an axe blow right on the top of Bulldog Breed and sending sparks flying. But this offensive surge is too little, too late, and the fight ends with Bulldog Breed flipping Kat 3 as time winds down. Apparently, this fight was close enough to where the judges personally inspected Bulldog Breed to see how much damage it took. I don't know why. I don't think the fight was close. Kat 3 landed like 3 axe blows the entire fight and spent the rest of the fight being pushed and flipped by Bulldog Breed. Maybe they cut some axe blows for time? It doesn't matter either way; Bulldog Breed is awarded the victory and, with that, Bulldog Breed has finally broken through. It's going to the Semi-Finals!

Its first Semi-Final match is actually a grudge match of sorts! Finally here, Bulldog Breed ends up facing off with the Dutch robot Tough as Nails, who is one of my least favorite robots! Tough as Nails made the Semi-Finals by winning a close judges' decision against Bulldog Breed's tag team partner Robochicken! So not only is Bulldog Breed fighting to make the top 8, it's also fighting to avenge its tag team partner! The fight (19:17) starts with the two robots charging right at each other, with Bulldog Breed getting the better of the exchange (I guess) because Tough as Nails rides right over the flipper. Disaster nearly strikes early for Bulldog Breed as Tough as Nails nearly locks Bulldog Breed in its Hardox jaws. But before the jaws can fully close, Bulldog Breed fights out of them and turns the tables by getting under Tough as Nails. Unfortunately, they don't manage to fire their flipper before Tough as Nails escapes, fleeing to try and regroup. Tough as Nails then decides to go for literally their only tactic: hitting the pit button before locking robots in their jaws and dropping them in the pit (I hate them so much)!

Bulldog sends the favored machine flying.

Yet, while they're doing that, Bulldog Breed scores a nice flip on Tough as Nails, scoring aggression points (but not much else since Tough as Nails can drive both ways up). Bulldog Breed stays on the attack, landing another flip on Tough as Nails, who again flees before charging at Bulldog Breed, trying to get them in the signature Tough as Nails vice grip. Bulldog Breed outdrives Tough as Nails, though, escaping the vice and again flipping them, this time nearly getting Tough as Nails stuck on the arena wall. After getting off the wall, Tough as Nails charges Bulldog Breed, finally getting ahold of them and trying to slowly squeeze them to death as they make their way to the pit. But it appears that Bulldog Breed has a little more driving power then Tough as Nails. The two robots spin in circles before Bulldog Breed breaks the iron hold of Tough as Nails by repeatedly firing its flipper.

Now the two robots are face-to-face, with Bulldog Breed still trapped in Tough as Nails' iron claw. The robots' tires spin in place, neither robot able to move the other. Bulldog Breed tries their flipper trick again, hoping to break free fully, but this time it's a mistake. Firing the flipper unbalances Bulldog Breed, allowing Tough as Nails to launch a huge charge, slamming Bulldog Breed into the arena wall. But this recenters Bulldog Breed, who takes the upper hand in this pushing match, forcing Tough as Nails to briefly let go as it tries to get a better angle. It's not a great idea, because Bulldog Breed continues to be more powerful than Tough as Nails, slamming the Dutch machine over and over again into the wall, again forcing Tough as Nails to let go. Bulldog Breed goes back on the offensive, landing another flip on an increasingly-desperate Tough as Nails. Realizing Tough as Nails literally only has one strategy, Tough as Nails again tries to pincer Bulldog Breed, but again it fails as Bulldog Breed lands yet another flip. Finally, Tough as Nails gets what should be the perfect angle on Bulldog Breed, getting around to the back and locking in those dreaded Hardox jaws.

Nothing outpowers a British Bulldog!

Tough as Nails should be at the advantage because Bulldog Breed has to drive in reverse to prevent Tough as Nails from driving them into the pit, but the power of the Bulldog is too much and, despite having the position advantage, Tough as Nails can't move Bulldog Breed an inch. Once again, Tough as Nails is forced to let Bulldog Breed go as the fight goes to the judges. Looking at style, damage, control, and aggression, it's an easy upset win for Bulldog Breed, who, fun fact, were such underdogs that Craig Charles actually lost a bit of money betting on Tough as Nails to win in a backstage bet. With that, Bulldog Breed moves into the top 8!

In the top 8, there's only robot standing in the way of Bulldog Breed making the stage of the grand final, and that bot is the 1,500rpm flywheel, X-Terminator! Bulldog Breed goes into the fight (25:35) with two strategies. First, it needs to get under X-Terminator before its flywheel can get up to speed, taking advantage of X-Terminator's slow 4mph top speed. Two, it then needs to flip X-Terminator out of the arena as fast as possible. Unfortunately, neither of those happen!

You know what? I'm just gonna say it! Sub-optimal start!

Instead, on the first attack X-Terminator splits Bulldog Breed's flipper blade, making it very difficult for Bulldog Breed to get under X-Terminator. Not that it would really matter much if it hadn't split, because the very next attack completely destroys the flipper, rendering it completely useless. Bulldog Breed really never stood a chance. Every blow from the flywheel tears another piece off. Bulldog Breed is flipped and battered throughout the arena. They try to fight back, but the armor is just too weak and X-Terminator has no problems slicing right through it. X-Terminator pushes Bulldog Breed into the claw of Sir Killalot, who cleaves through the armor and picks Bulldog Breed up, spinning them around. By this point, Bulldog Breed is barely moving, but X-Terminator keeps up the attack in what's basically a Robot Wars murder being broadcast on live tv. This actually leads to one of the lowest moments in Robot Wars, because Bulldog Breed dies but X-Terminator, trying to get an Outta, keeps attacking the immobilized robot, causing just a ton of completely unnecessary damage to Bulldog Breed.

Don't worry guys X-Terminator is gonna get theirs real soon!
Has more combat championships than some robots, too!

The whole display really goes against the usual honor system the roboteers had, which is basically "don't completely destroy your opponent for no reason". The X-Terminator team would later explain they got caught up in the heat of the battle and apologize, but, regardless, X-Terminator never got the Outta on Bulldog Breed. Instead, the team realized they were being dicks and left Bulldog Breed to be counted out. Bulldog Breed's run ends with a top 8 finish.

Strangely, Bulldog Breed was never approached to join any of the side events of Series 7, not even the veteran All-Stars tournament. Bulldog Breed was always a very good robot. It was a solid flipper that could throw robots out of the arena. But I think top 8 was always its ceiling; I don't think Bulldog Breed could have competed for the title even if it did somehow beat X-Terminator. But make no mistake, this was a really good machine. Not only did it dominate an entire tournament in Extreme 2, but even its Series 7 run was solid. Like, even though it's weird it got zero Outtas in five fights, fights which honestly might be the most fights in Series 7 a flipper had with zero Outtas, it dominates Kat 3, who is a solid heat-finalist-caliber robot.

After that, it easily bodies Tough as Nails, who had a lot of hype around it as a championship-caliber robot. It even outpushed Tough as Nails, which was like Tough as Nails' big thing! If Bulldog Breed had better armor, it might have done better, but, still, this is a solid, really good top 8 machine. Had Robot Wars continued, I don't see any reason why Bulldog Breed wouldn't have scored a couple more heat wins, maybe even a Grand Final appearance.

That's all for this month's What's in a Campaign?. Join me next month as I look at another robot.

The 'Shroom: Issue 206
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