Robot Wars Wiki

Darke Destroyer (in full The Darke Destroyer for Series 3) was the name given to two robots that entered in Series 3 and Series 4 of Robot Wars. The Darke Destroyer reached the Heat Final in Series 3 where it lost to Gravedigger, whilst the second iteration Darke Destroyer 2 lost in the second round of Series 4 to Kronic the Wedgehog.

Versions of Darke Destroyer[]

The Darke Destroyer (Series 3)[]

"Ooh look at that flailing blade on the back of the Darke Destroyer, you wouldn't want to get in the way of that!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Rear view of The Darke Destroyer in Series 3

The Darke Destroyer, alternatively just Darke Destroyer, was a reverse wedge-shaped robot. Its front wheel, located under the robot's head, steered the robot and was powered by a car window motor. The steering wheel gave the impression that The Darke Destroyer's head moved to look where it was turning. The three smaller rear wheels were powered by a golf caddy. The method of steering gave The Darke Destroyer a turning circle of five feet.

The primary weapon of The Darke Destroyer was a large, four-piece lawnmower blade mounted on the wedge. The blade was powered by a Mini starter motor, the third of three electric motors that made up the robot. At high speed impact, the blade compressed (pushing the four blades together to essentially become two-bladed, as two sat on top of each other). All up the robot only weighed 66kg, one of the lighter robots in The Third Wars.

Darke Destroyer 2 (Series 4)[]

"They're like mandibles, of a giant insect."
— Jonathan Pearce on the 'wagglers' of Darke Destroyer 2

Darke Destroyer 2 in the arena

Darke Destroyer 2 (styled as Darke Destroyer II) featured a steeper and more narrow wedge than its predecessor. The wedge now tapered to a point which had only 4mm ground clearance on the floor, as opposed to the higher ground clearance of its predecessor. This allowed the now bladeless Darke Destroyer 2 to use the wedge to overturn opponents, rather than as a mount. It retained the front wheel, but could no longer turn its "head".

Darke Destroyer 2's body was made of a combination of steel, aluminium and wood, and overall the robot gained 11kg to 77kg in total. The immobile front of the robot was a bulldozer scoop (incorporating Darke Destroyer's trademark face) with ramming spikes, and triangular mounts on the robot's sides also tapered into spikes for glancing blows. It was notably faster and had better pushing power than its predecessor.

Darke Destroyer 2's most notable trademark was its "wagglers" - small axes fired by springs and powered by electric motors mounted on either side of the robot's ramming scoop. They had low attack range but operated at a high speed. Like Pitbull in the previous series, Darke Destroyer 2 had "PTO" written on its underbelly.


The name of The Darke Destroyer is a reference to the team's surname Darke, and was likely an homage to boxer Nigel Benn, whose nickname was 'The Dark Destroyer'.

The Team[]

Darke Destroyer with the team in Series 3

The team in Series 4

The Darke Destroyer was built by the Darke family from Romsey in Hampshire. Team captain Rob Darke was the lead builder, while his son Chris drove the robot in battle. Neale Darke completed the team in Series 3, before George Murrell took his place in Series 4.

Robot History[]

Series 3[]

The Darke Destroyer competed in Heat F of Series 3, where it faced Sgt. Meikle in the first round.

"This is almost like a slow waltz at the moment."
— Jonathan Pearce

The Darke Destroyer damages Sgt. Meikle

The Darke Destroyer and Sgt. Meikle in close quarters

Ground clearance hindered the battle between The Darke Destroyer and Sgt. Meikle; the latter's spike was too low to attack The Darke Destroyer's body, and the awkward angle and higher ground clearance of The Darke Destroyer made it difficult to land blows on Sgt. Meikle. The Darke Destroyer drove in circles around Sgt. Meikle, its blade gouging the armour of its opponent but not creating terminal damage. Sgt. Meikle's axe was unable to cause any damage to The Darke Destroyer's top. At several points of impact, Rob Darke claimed that he halted The Darke Destroyer's blade to prevent the blade from breaking, later spinning the blade up to speed once The Darke Destroyer pulled away. By the end of the battle, however, the repeated impacts had caused The Darke Destroyer's blade to compress. The judges decided the battle, and put The Darke Destroyer through.

Philippa Forrester: "Have you done anything to the blade to make it more powerful?"
Rob Darke: "No. It keeps stopping, yeah I know."
Philippa Forrester: "'Cos it keeps stopping. And you say you're doing it and I don't believe you!"
— Philippa Forrester talks to the team before the battle with T 2

The Darke Destroyer was repaired for its second-round battle with T 2, in what proved to be a controversial battle.

The Darke Destroyer finds itself in-between T 2 and Shunt

T 2 shoves The Darke Destroyer

The Darke Destroyer was pushed around the arena in the opening stages of the battle, and left it in the clutches of Dead Metal. After taking damage from Dead Metal's saw, The Darke Destroyer escaped and landed glancing blows, but was pushed back towards Shunt by T 2. T 2 drove into a flame jet and both robots escaped. Another clash caused the blade to buckle T 2's front ram, and other blows landed on the side and wheels. T 2 pushed into The Darke Destroyer, raising its own front off the ground, but its rear-mounted wheels allowed it to push The Darke Destroyer into the side walls and almost overturn its opponent. When this failed, T 2 pulled away, only just escaped Dead Metal, and pushed The Darke Destroyer around, taking one blow that caused it to jump slightly. When cease was called, a split decision put The Darke Destroyer through, prompting some boos from the audience.

"It came through mostly on aggression, on the fact that their weapon was much more aggressive."
— Philippa Forrester explaining the decision to T 2's team

In the Heat Final, The Darke Destroyer fought Gravedigger, who had defeated heat favourites Mortis in the previous round.

The Darke Destroyer scratches Gravedigger's shell

Darke Destroyer is pinched and sliced by Dead Metal

Gravedigger and The Darke Destroyer became wedged together early on, Gravedigger's flipping arm unable to gain purchase and The Darke Destroyer's blade scratched at its paint. A second clash saw more scratches, with Gravedigger unable to bring its wedge into play. Gravedigger was able to push The Darke Destroyer into the flame pit and into the claws of Dead Metal, from whom The Darke Destroyer escaped after taking a severe cut.

The Darke Destroyer is flipped

The Darke Destroyer on Dead Metal's camera

The Darke Destroyer lays battered and beaten

After several more attempts, Gravedigger finally brought its wedge into play and threw The Darke Destroyer, but The Darke Destroyer landed on its wheels. Pushing The Darke Destroyer around in the arena, an arena spike was ultimately the cause of The Darke Destroyer's downfall, flipping the robot onto its back as Gravedigger pushed it into Shunt. Shunt attacked its underbelly, and Dead Metal sliced into the bodywork once more.

"Now the rotor blade is totally useless, they know it. They think it's all over for them, and it is."
— Jonathan Pearce

Series 4[]

"They were looking for revenge - Gravedigger have gone!"
Jonathan Pearce

The Darke family had plans for revenge in Series 4, as Darke Destroyer 2 had once again been placed in the same Heat as Gravedigger. However, Gravedigger had already been eliminated, quelling their hopes of vengeance straight away. In the first round melee, it instead faced the seeded Dreadnaut XP-1 and Warhog.

Darke Destroyer 2 attacks Dreadnaut with its "wagglers"

Darke Destroyer charges towards Warhog

Darke Destroyer 2 rammed Dreadnaut XP-1, but was unable to push it further or bring its wagglers into play. A glancing blow with its wedge against Warhog caused it to spin away. Warhog later broke down and was placed on the floor flipper, but Darke Destroyer 2 rammed the immobile robot free at the last second and pushed it into the side wall instead. The battle ended and Warhog was eliminated.

"I think the House Robots just wanted Warhog to be flipped, but Darke Destroyer wants more action!"
— Jonathan Pearce

This brought Darke Destroyer 2 up against one of the robots who had denied it the chance to get revenge on Gravedigger, Kronic the Wedgehog.

Drake Destroyer rams and attacks Kronic with its wagglers

Kronic the Wedgehog overturns Darke Destroyer 2

Darke Destroyer 2 was able to push Kronic the Wedgehog, its spring-loaded axes firing rapidly but unable to cause damage. It escaped one flip, and manoeuvred around the slower Kronic the Wedgehog, but was ultimately caught and flipped over by the newcomer.

"PTO? Please Turn Over? Yep, okay, we've done it, what are you going to do now?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Shunt decimates Darke Destroyer as Dead Metal slices off the tire

Darke Destroyer 2 is pitted by Sir Killalot

Unable to self-right, the House Robots closed in for the kill. Dead Metal put Darke Destroyer 2 on the floor flipper, which only flung it a short distance. Sir Killalot grabbed hold of the veteran, almost slicing through its frame, and dropped it into the pit.

"They're about to go. They lost in Series 3, to Gravedigger, in the heat. And they're gonna lose here today to Kronic the Wedgehog. Into the pit. Darke Destroyer 2 beaten."
— Jonathan Pearce


Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat F, Round 1 vs. Sgt. Meikle Won
Heat F, Round 2 vs. T 2 Won
Heat F, Final vs. Gravedigger Lost
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 2
Heat G, Eliminator vs. Dreadnaut XP-1 (29), Warhog Qualified
Heat G, Semi-Final vs. Kronic the Wedgehog Lost


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[]

The message underneath Darke Destroyer 2

Series Darke Destroyer Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Heat Final
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter


Official Series 3 photo

  • Darke Destroyer 2 was the second robot, after Pitbull, to have "PTO" (Please Turn Over) written on the underside of the robot. This was likely following its defeat by flipping in The Third Wars.
  • In both series that Darke Destroyer competed in, it was misspelt as "Dark Destroyer" in the list of all the robots that competed in the series.
  • Darke Destroyer 2 was one of only two returning heat finalists, along with Inverterbrat, not to be seeded in The Fourth Wars.
  • In both series it competed in, Darke Destroyer was placed in the same heat as Gravedigger.