- "We're Firestorm, and you're gonna burn"
- — Graham Bone
Firestorm (spelt Fire Storm in Series 3) was a long time competitor on the British television game show Robot Wars, featuring in Series 3-7, plus both series of Robot Wars Extreme. The team also entered with the less successful Groundhog in Series 2.
In total there were five Firestorm robots built, but they were all essentially upgraded versions of the same basic machine. The rough design of the robot, which was reused for each one, was a wedge driven by two go-kart wheels in the base of the rear, minimizing ground clearance on the front, making it highly manoeuvrable and powerful and driving it at up to 12 mph. The 2-wheel drive did, however, create traction problems when pushing, especially against robots such as Storm 2 and Tornado. On the front surface of the robot was a front-hinged flipper mechanism which doubled as a self-righting mechanism. However, in 5 wars and 2 Extreme series Firestorm only needed to self right three times. Also on the front was a slow bar on the first robot which was succeeded by a quicker panel flipper on the later four, which served as the main weapon, powered by a CO2 fire extinguisher with larger rams and capable of lifting 25 stone. The original Firestorm also featured a hardened aluminium shell, a retracting spear weapon (similar to that of Cassius 2), a set of conveyor belts on the wedge and three separate motors; one from a lawnmower and one from a cordless drill all running at 36V. Another unique aspect was the active differentials to drive Firestorm as it had one 36V motor for forwards and backwards and a 24V motor to steer it left or right whereas most robots only had all four directions on one motor. Added in Extreme 2 was a steel strip to reduce damage taken and ground clearance at the front, which was made to be removable in Series 7 along with a rebuilt body-shell and a slightly faster flipper. Ironically, Firestorm's high clearance at the back gave it the advantage against most wedges, as it could have its front lifted up a considerable amount without suspending its wheels off the ground.
Both the rear spike and conveyor belts were removed for Firestorm 2, which had an inverted paint scheme, a 3mm aluminium shell and had to swap for smaller batteries as it was overweight to begin with and replace the metal casters with plastic ones. This was updated over 3 months but reverted to the original for Series 5 with Firestorm 3, with a new aluminium chassis and 5mm aluminium shell but the transmitter was sometimes unreliable. The paint job remained the same until Series 7 but Firestorm 4 was completely rebuilt over 4 weeks. The pneumatics were once again re-vamped for Firestorm 5 in Series 7.
The Firestorm robot was one of the most successful in Robot Wars history, holding the record for the most battles ever won in the main competition, reaching five consecutive semi-finals. It reached the Grand Final in Series 3, 5 and 6, finishing in third place on each occasion. Consequently, Firestorm was never seeded lower than 7th (except for the Third Wars which had no seedings). It was also the only robot that was able to flip over Mr. Psycho, and broke several records - the shortness of its very first battle stood as one of the quickest for several years, and its final victory against Mute allowed it to take the record of most Out of the Arena flips from Chaos 2. However, despite this huge amount of success, the team only won one official honour in its history; the Commonwealth Carnage Championship in Extreme Series 2.
Whilst lacking in destructive weaponry, Firestorm's success was largely due to the driving skill and tactics. Its driver, Graham Bone, was regarded as one of the best drivers in the UK competition. Firestorm's trademark tactic was to drive an opponent up against the arena wall, and flip it against the side-barrier so that it couldn't self-right. This tactic served Firestorm well throughout its entire Robot Wars appearance, Facet falling foul to this tactic in the second round of Series 3, the last being Mute in Series 7, and many others in between, including the Grand Champions of series 2, Panic Attack. Graham Bone expanded this tactic in the later series, using the reverse wedge at the back of the robot to allow Firestorm to lever its front up onto the arena wall, and use its flipper to topple an opponent over the wall and out of the arena. This was done by a castor at the front so the robot could 'rear up' and 'shove' its opponent out of the arena.
- "Firestorm 5, I think may've beaten us five times before now!"
- — Kevin Pritchard of the Panic Attack team, in Series 7
Firestorm's most notable grudge was with Panic Attack. During the first semi-final of Series 3, the two robots met for the first time, and Firestorm dominated the battle, repeatedly pushing Panic Attack around and flipping it up a few times, and so winning the resulting judges' decision, this victory.
There was no vengeance gained when the two met again during the All-Star championship during Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1. Panic Attack exposed its sides to Firestorm, who pushed it up against the sidewall again, but this time Panic Attack couldn't get down and was eliminated.
During the losers' melee of Series 5, the two once again battled, although this was a far quieter affair, as Panic Attack broke down early on, and Firestorm spent most of the battle taking on Wheely Big Cheese. After Panic Attack came back to life, Firestorm pushed it around and Panic Attack retaliated by lifting Firestorm up in the final ten seconds but despite this late aggression Firestorm was given the victory again after a judges decision.
In the second series of Extreme, the two met again in the second round of the Commonwealth Carnage. The battle was dominated by Firestorm, who once again pinned Panic Attack onto the side wall after shoving Panic Attack around the arena, putting the grudge at 4-0.
The last conflict between the two was during the Series 7 All-Stars competition. All of the robots in this battle took the House Robots on instead of each other, and amidst the chaos, Firestorm drove into the pit, so the fact that Panic Attack technically defeated Firestorm is not an accurate description, but this was the only battle, out of five, between the two where Panic Attack came out on top, as it would go on to qualify for the next round.
- "Fire Storm is smokin'!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The original Fire Storm had a very narrow lifting arm and four conveyor belts on the body; it also had a pneumatic spike weapon at the back. Fire Storm participated in the penultimate heat of the Third Wars. In its first round battle, Fire Storm was placed up against newcomers Crasha Gnasha. In the battle, immediately, Fire Storm sprinted forward, towards its opponent and smashed Crasha Gnasha into the arena side wall, the force of the impact throwing the shark-like machine onto its back and rupturing its CO2 tank. This rendered Crasha Gnasha immobilised as it was unable to self-right. Fire Storm drove away to safety before the House Robots came in to finish Crasha Gnasha off. Cease was soon called and Fire Storm was put through to the next round of the heat.
- "We didn't expect them to turn over as quickly as it did"
- — Alex Mordue, after the battle
In the second round of the heat, Fire Storm was placed up against a much tougher opponent in previous semi-finalists Facet. In this battle, Fire Storm immediately ran into Facet's side, and then retreated before Facet could flip it. Fire Storm then started running around Facet to come in from behind, doing so and merely running underneath Facet. Eventually, Fire Storm ran into Facet head-on, and was flipped over by the latter. Fire Storm self-righting slowly to come back on the attack. Fire Storm then lured the heftier Facet over to the arena wall, and got in underneath to flip Facet on to its side up against the arena side wall, this put Facet into a position from which it couldn't self-right, it was declared immobile, lifted by Sir Killalot and pitted. Cease was called and Fire Storm was put through to the Heat Final.
- Philippa Forrester: "How do you fight madness....?"
- Alex Mordue: "With madness!"
- — Prior to the heat final
At this stage, Fire Storm came up against crowd favourites Diotoir, but still went in as the favourites to win. The battle was over very quickly, Fire Storm immediately drew Diotoir over to the flame pit, before flipping the Irish machine over onto its back, before finally pushing it fully onto the flame pit, where the polka dot fur caught fire and then was attacked by house robot Dead Metal. As Fire Storm drove around the whole arena for a celebration, a smouldering Diotoir robot was brought over to the arena floor flipper, flipped, and Fire Storm was put through to the Series Semi-Finals.
- "Fire Storm: Hot Stuff!"
- — Craig Charles, after the Heat Final
In the first of the Series Semi-Finals, Fire Storm was involved in the first battle of the episode, and was placed up against newcomers Pitbull in the first round. In the battle, Pitbull very quickly managed to grab hold of Fire Storm's wedge with its jaws, and dragged Fire Storm around the arena, but Fire Storm wriggled free when Pitbull drove it over the arena spike, and remained there for too long. Fire Storm and Pitbull then dispersed, but Pitbull accidentally then drove over the arena spike again, which flipped Pitbull up and over. Pitbull couldn't self-right, despite its barrel-shape, and was deemed immobilised by the house robots. Fire Storm then stayed out of the action, as Pitbull was roasted by Sir Killalot over the flame pit, and then as Pitbull fought back by tramming straight into Sir Killalot's rear. This victory put Fire Storm through to the next round of the Semi-Finals.
- "I think we're gonna test our self-righter this time"
- — Kim Davies of the Panic Attack team, before its battle with Fire Storm
In the second round, Fire Storm was pitted against the reigning champions Panic Attack, this being the first of many battles that would represent a long-lasting rivalry between the two machines. In this battle, Fire Storm was able to get underneath its opponent with ease, and did so several times, without being able to flip it over. But then Panic Attack was caught by an arena spike, and Fire Storm took the advantage, turning Panic Attack onto its side against the arena side wall. Panic Attack eventually managed to self right, but Fire Storm continued to shove it around until the fight ended for a judges' decision; who ruled in favour of Fire Storm, putting the latter through to the Grand Final.
- "Chaos is quite a good machine, I think we'll be doing well to beat that"
- — Alex Mordue
In the first round of the Grand Final, Fire Storm made history by becoming the first Robot to be flipped out of the arena, when it was placed up against former Grand Finalists Chaos 2. In the battle, Chaos 2 tried to get an immediate flip in on Fire Storm, but missed. The two machines then circled each other for a few moments before Fire Storm lay static in the middle of the arena, giving Chaos 2 the opportunity to get in underneath. Fire Storm's wheels then started spinning, but the robot couldn't move. Chaos 2 then turned Fire Storm clean over, carried it over to and promptly threw it over the arena side wall. Fire Storm becoming the first of many robots to be later flipped out of the arena. This took Fire Storm out of the competition, however they still had the Play-Off battle to come, to fight for third place.
- "Chaos 2: Delightful. Fire Storm: De-railed, and deranged"
- — Jonathan Pearce, upon viewing the OotA replay again
Fire Storm was due to fight original reserves Steg-O-Saw-Us in this play-off battle, but won the fight by default, due to the damage received by Steg-O-Saw-Us during its battle with Hypno-Disc being irreparable within the time given. This meant that Fire Storm was automatically awarded third place.
- "We're here for our revenge on Chaos 2!"
- — Graham Bone
Firestorm 2 returned for the Fourth Wars, now seeded 5th, after its impressive run in the Third Wars. Firestorm 2 participated in Heat C of the main competition, and was placed up against two newcomers in Scar and The Morgue in its first round melee. In the battle, Firestorm 2 looked equally impressive as it was in the Third Wars, as it dominated the battle. After having a few light flips on both of its opponents, without causing much damage, Firestorm 2 made a run-up, and powerfully rammed The Morgue into the arena side wall with its new flipper design, flipping The Morgue over in the process, so that the yellow barrel-shaped robot could not self-right. Firestorm 2 then went on to attack Scar, although both robots had already qualified for the second round of the heat, also managing to immobilise Scar up against the arena side wall. Cease was eventually called, and Firestorm 2 was put through to the next round, along with Scar, however, Scar had suffered damage during the battle that proved irreparable in the time given, so The Morgue was reinstated, and so they went through along with the seeded Firestorm 2.
- "Flaming, flipability..."
- — Jonathan Pearce, as Round 2 begins
In the second round of the heat, Firestorm 2 had a much tougher draw, as it was placed up against another newcomer in Bolt from the Blue. This battle was largely uneventful, with neither robot able to gain the upper hand, due to the fact that Bolt from the Blue proved too sluggish, and Firestorm 2's ground clearance at the front proved too high. Firestorm 2 was the definitely more aggressive, ramming its wedge-shaped opponent several times, but could not get underneath Bolt From the Blue. After Bolt From the Blue almost flipped Firestorm 2 over, its flipper seemed to stop working, allowing Firestorm 2 to ram the slower robot several times again. The battle ended in a judges' decision, where the judges controversially went in favour of the seeded Firestorm 2, putting them through to the third round, although certain members of the crowd weren't happy with the decision, and instead decided to boo Firestorm 2.
- "It was very difficult to call, that one. I think it was really lucky that we got through"
- — Alex Mordue after the battle
Firestorm 2 was placed up against the reinstated The Morgue in the heat final. In the battle, Firestorm 2 attempted a couple of times to softly flip The Morgue so its barrel-shape would not help it self-right, but without success. Firestorm 2 then rolled The Morgue onto Matilda, and flipped it again, however the Welsh machine rolled back onto its wheels both times and continued applying pressure to Firestorm 2. Firestorm 2 then attempted to repeat its tactic in the first round, pushing The Morgue against the arena side wall, but the former was unable to flip the latter. The Morgue then came onto the attack, pushing Firestorm 2 around and getting underneath the Durham competitor. As the pit of oblivion then descended, Firestorm pushed The Morgue over towards the pit, with The Morgue reversing over the edge and getting wedged over the pit. Then Firestorm 2 spun around and accidentally reversed into the pit as well. The team of the Morgue celebrated, thinking that they were victorious, however, the judges intervened and awarded the win to Firestorm 2 based on the battle up until that point, and the fact that The Morgue had been immobilised over the pit just before Firestorm 2 went in. This put Firestorm 2 through to the Series Semi-Finals.
- Julia Reed: "What's your message for the opposition?"
- Graham Bone: "Run away"
- — Interview before the Semi-Finals
Firestorm 2's first round battle of the Series Semi-Finals was a fast and furious battle against the unseeded, but thus far impressive Dominator 2. In the battle, Firestorm 2 immediately came on the attack, driving straight under Dominator 2, flipping it and shoving it around the arena. Dominator 2 managed to self-right, however, by repeatedly flailing its axe whilst spinning around on its side. Firestorm repeated the manoeuvre, before Dominator 2 landed a strong axe blow on Firestorm's flipper, embedding the tip in and allowing Dominator 2 to push the seeded robot back, despite Firestorm using its flipper to try and free itself. Dominator released Firestorm, but managed to trap the Durham competitor with its axe when Firestorm drove up its front wedge. Firestorm then came back on the offensive again, flipping Dominator 2 over once more and shoving it against the arena side wall, almost flipping it out, before time ran out and cease was called. The judges' decision was one of the closest ever, being a controversial, 2-1 split decision that favoured Dominator 2 by only one point, eliminating Firestorm 2 from the competition, at this relatively early stage of the competition for Firestorm.
Firestorm 2 also entered the Tag Team Terror tournament that took place during the course of the Fourth Wars. Firestorm 2 paired up with Scorpion. In the first round, the pairing were drawn up against Bigger Brother and Plunderbird 4. In the battle, as Firestorm watched Bigger Brother and Scorpion battle, it wasn't long before the red machine was toppled; therefore, Firestorm did its duty of coming out and self-righting its team-mate. Firestorm 2 retreated as now Plunderbird 4 attacked Scorpion, but then Firestorm 2 shot out of the Red Zone and rammed Plunderbird 4 from behind. Firestorm 2 was warned by Refbot to get back to its zone, which it did, but soon after darted into the Blue Zone and almost toppled its team-mate. Firestorm 2 then bulldozed Plunderbird 4 into the Red Zone, attempting to flip but was lifted by Matilda.
- "What on Earth is going on here, Refbot? Control these robots!"
- — Jonathan Pearce comments on the madness in the arena.
- "Scorpion may have gone blind, and they've shown a blind eye to rules and regulations!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as madness breaks out yet again.
Firestorm 2 entered the Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars/Sumo Basho tournament in the Fourth Wars, but was pushed off in 4 seconds after driving up Shunt's scoop, so finished a pathetic 15th out of 16 participants. It also entered the Pinball Warrior Tournament during the Fourth Wars, scoring a mediocre 135 points, equal seventh with Hypno-Disc.
- "We've done it once, we'll do it again!"
- — Hazel Heslop, before Round 1 of the All-Stars
Firestorm 3 took part in the Robot Wars Extreme 1 All-Stars Championship after having reached a Grand-Final and Semi-Final in the previous 2 UK Championships. In the first round, it was drawn against Panic Attack, who Firestorm had taken the crown off in Series 3. In the battle, Firestorm 3 immediately turned Panic Attack over, before flipping the latter up against the arena side wall where the Series 2 champions couldn't self-right, Panic Attack was deemed immobilised, and Firestorm 3 progressed to the next round of the competition. Firestorm 3 was then placed up against Wild Thing in the Quarter-Final round. In this battle, after a few flips on Wild Thing all over the arena from Firestorm 3, and pursuing Wild Thing into the house robots, Wild-Thing had found itself with its srimech open and pinned off the ground. Wild Thing was deemed immobilised, and was counted out by the Refbot and subsequently pitted, putting Firestorm 3 through to the third round of the competition. In the Semi-Final round, Firestorm 3 was drawn up against World Champions Razer. In this battle, Razer lifted up Firestorm 3 by puncturing its shell with the claw and then retracting with it, carrying Firestorm 3 up with it. Razer then merely carried Firestorm 3 around the arena, with Firestorm 3's flipper flailing in the air, doing nothing. Firestorm 3 was then axed by Shunt, as Razer positioned Firestorm 3 by the house robot, several times in the last 10 seconds of the fight. Despite the punishment that it had taken, Firestorm 3 survived to a judges' decision, however, unsurprisingly, the decision went in favour of Razer, eliminating Firestorm 3 from the competition.
- "It's no surprise, no controversy"
- — Craig Charles, before announcing the decision
Firestorm 3 also took part in a Vengeance battle with Diotoir, after Team Nemesis made fun of the fact that the Firestorm team spend much time doing their hair. Before the battle even began, Dr Zulu was caught on the security cameras "vandalising" Firestorm 3; however, it's believed that this was all just a big set-up joke for the cameras. In the battle itself however, within the first 10 seconds, it was all over as Firestorm 3 only needed a few flips to send Diotoir rolling onto the flame pit, on its side, where it couldn't self-right, Diotoir's fur caught fire, but the flames was extinguished by the Refbot, as the Refbot also began counting out Diotoir, this resulted in Firestorm 3 being the winner of the battle.
- "Firestorm have come back to them,and have met fire with fire!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as Diotoir lies on the flame pit
After reaching the All-Stars Semi-Finals, Firestorm 3 was allowed to represent the United Kingdom in the Second World Championships, along with Chaos 2, Razer and Tornado. This competition was also broadcast during Extreme Warriors: Season 1. In the first round of the competition, Firestorm 3 was drawn up against NEAT Machine of the Netherlands, Drillzilla of the United States and Whirlpool 70 of Sweden. In the battle, Firestorm 3 performed quite well, flipping both NEAT Machine and Whirlpool 70 over, putting them both out of the competition, as neither could self-right. However, Firestorm 3 couldn't get its flipper into contact with Drillzilla, who had the power to shove Firestorm 3 all over the arena. Firestorm 3 had to work on the defensive for much of the battle, but did survive to a judges' decision, as both Firestorm 3 and Drillzilla were still mobile at the end. The judges' decision ruled in favour of Drillzilla, eliminating Firestorm 3 from the competition.
- "Guys! What's happening!"
- — Craig Charles, to Team Firestorm, upon announcing the decision
Firestorm 3 was also due to compete in a Mayhem qualifier for one of the two Annihilators, but it withdrew before the competition started, presumably due to the damage it sustained during the Fifth Wars, especially against Razer.
- "They say this is their year, we shall see"
- — Philippa Forrester on Team Firestorm
Firestorm 3 was seeded number 7 for the Fifth Wars. Firestorm 3 sustained major damage to its flipper from house robot Matilda's flywheel in its very first fight of the main competition against newcomers Bee-Capitator. However, Firestorm 3 had already disposed of Bee-Capitator; it carried the underdog around the arena before eventually flipping over the furry robot. Bee-Capitator was unable to self-right as it was without a self-righting mechanism, it was counted out by Refbot, so the seeded Firestorm 3 moved through to the next round of the heat. The team repaired the damaged flipper for the second round battle, where it fought the experienced Sir Chromalot. Firestorm 3 swiftly flipped Sir Chromalot over within five seconds of the bout. Due to the "Class Act" robot being unable to self-right, it was declared immobilised and was eventually counted out by Refbot, putting Firestorm 3 through to the next round. Firestorm 3 progressed to the Heat Final, where it fought previous heat semi-finalists Reactor 2. During the battle, after some tense driving, the seeded Firestorm 3 pushed Reactor 2 over to the arena side wall, before flipping it up onto the arena wall. Reactor 2 stayed there for a moment, but the unique body-shape of Reactor 2 forced it to slowly topple over the arena wall and out of the arena on its side, declaring it out of play. This put the Firestorm machine through to the Series Semi-Finals for the 3rd time in succession.
- Craig Charles: "Are there any improvements you can make for the Series Semi-Finals?"
- Graham Bone: "Charge the batteries"
- — Post Heat Final Interview
Firestorm 3's opening semi-final battle saw it get placed up against the number 3 seeds Hypno-Disc. This battle was over after just one attack from the destructive weapon of the number 3 seeds, Firestorm 3 ran forward but the immobilised body kept rolling over to the angle grinder on the other side of the arena. Firestorm 3 was counted out by Refbot and Sir Killalot then pitted Firestorm 3 after its disappointing performance. However, Firestorm 3 came back strongly to win the Losers' melee up against the 6th seeds Panic Attack and the 10th seeds Wheely Big Cheese. Firestorm 3 outmatched the favoured Wheely Big Cheese after Panic Attack was pinned against the arena side wall, unable to move for a while. Firestorm 3 was able to get in underneath and ram Wheely Big Cheese until they slowly ground to a halt. Firestorm 3 then took on Panic Attack and began a pushing battle between the two of them. Firestorm 3 got a few flips on the Series 2 champion, although Panic Attack nearly got Firestorm 3 out of the arena near the end of the bout before the battle went to a judges' decision between the remaining two machines. The judges went in favour of Firestorm 3, sending them back into the competition. Firestorm 3 then went up against the 2nd seeds Pussycat in the second round of the Series Semi-Finals, where its wedge shape and flipper allowed it to dominate the battle, throwing Pussycat around the arena constantly, with little resistance from the previous runners-up. The battle resulted in a judges' decision, where the judges went in favour of the reinstated Firestorm 3, putting the number 7 seeds through to the Grand Final for a second time.
- "Firestorm must be ahead by this stage"
- — Jonathan Pearce reviews the highlights, before the decision is announced
Firestorm was very much the underdog in its second Grand Final appearance, fighting the frighteningly destructive number 4 seeds Razer in the grand final eliminator round. Razer certainly started the battle on top, as Firestorm 3 drove at it but was unable to drive underneath Razer's front wedge. Razer then proceeded to attack the vulnerable armour around Firestorm's flipper, crumpling, but not piercing it. Firestorm 3 tried to use its flipper to free itself, however in doing so it exposed its interior, allowing Razer to crush one of the hydraulic rams powering Firestorm's flipper, leaving it wedged open for a while. Firestorm 3 eventually escaped, and kept trying to drive under Razer; however, it ended up driving onto Razer's scoop twice, allowing the crushing arm to cause some more minor damage. However, on one of its attacks, Razer accidentally pushed Firestorm's flipper closed, and that was the turning point of the battle. With its flipper now closed, Firestorm was able to drive underneath Razer's side, and shove it against an angle grinder. The Razer team had a huge scare, as Razer became pinned against the arena wall, but was able to drive free after being nudged by the Refbot and Sergeant Bash. Then, in a display of amazing tactics, Firestorm 3 then deliberately drove onto Razer's front scoop, allowing the beak to come down, and proceeded to almost shove Razer into the pit, and then into Sergeant Bash's CPZ. Both robots escaped to the middle of the arena, but Firestorm 3 repeated the tactic almost exactly the same, nearly pitting Razer and shoving it into Sergeant Bash once again. Firestorm nearly pitted Razer for the third time, before Razer came back on the attack - however, either Firestorm's armour was too thick, or Razer's beak had lost power, as Razer was only able to cause minor damage to Firestorm's front. As the final seconds ticked down, Firestorm pushed Razer against the arena wall and into Shunt, who axed the silver machine just before time ran out for a judges' decision. For only the second time in Robot Wars history, the judges entered the arena to inspect the damage done to both robots. This was considered to be Razer's closest victory ever, with the judges awarding Razer the win based on the damage caused to Firestorm's flipper early on in the fight. Firestorm 3 got its revenge in a fast and furious rematch with the 3rd seeds Hypno-Disc for third place. With its flipper still out of commission from the previous fight, the team had used the extra weight to add additional armour that enabled it to stand up to the blade of Hypno-Disc, although Firestorm 3 did lose its wheel armour on both sides exposing its tires. After pushing Hypno-Disc around the arena, it rammed the spinner down the pit, but drove in with it. The judges called for a rematch, however the Hypno-Disc team couldn't comply, as the impact with the bottom of the pit had badly damaged its mobility. Firestorm 3 finished third again in its second grand final appearance.
- "Four weeks, and they've completely re-built it!"
- — Philippa Forrester
Firestorm 4 returned for the Sixth Wars, as the number 3 seed after its Series 5 performance. Due to its seeding, Firestorm 4 was placed in Heat B of the main competition. In the first round, Firestorm 4 were placed up against veterans Mega Hurts 2, and two newcomers in Cedric Slammer and Colossus. In the battle, almost immediately, Firestorm 4 flipped over Colossus in the CPZ, leaving it unable to flip itself onto its wheels, as it was up against the arena side wall, and the flipper wasn't even attempting to fire. Meanwhile, Firestorm 4 also flipped over Cedric Slammer, leaving that immobilised as well, and for good measure, Firestorm 4 then scooped up Mega Hurts 2 and flipped that over, causing its monitor to break off. Firestorm 4 then pitted the overturned Mega Hurts 2 machine, as that was unable to self-right as well. After the house robots began to have a go at the other two robots, Firestorm 4 accidentally drove into the pit itself.
- "That's all we need!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as Firestorm 4 drives down the pit
Since they were immobilised the longest, Colossus and Cedric Slammer were eliminated, meaning that Firestorm 4 and Mega Hurts 2 went through to the next round. In the second round of the heat, Firestorm 4 was placed up against another newcomer in Barbaric Response. In this battle, Firestorm 4 flipped the Barber machine several times, and after getting beneath the Refbot and flipping it on its side, it pushed Barbaric Response into a position from which it could not escape, on the arena side wall. Barbaric Response was deemed immobilised, and Firestorm 4 proceeded to the third round. In the heat final, Firestorm 4 was placed up against a former semi-finalist in X-Terminator. In this battle, Firestorm 4 and X-Terminator circled each other, with X-Terminator getting beneath Firestorm 4 and attempting to flip it over with its scoop. After almost flipping X-Terminator into the pit, Firestorm 4 catapulted X-Terminator into the side wall, leaving it feebly attempting to self-right. Firestorm 4 then attacked and flipped Shunt onto its side. X-Terminator fell onto its back after trying to self-right, here, it definitely couldn't self-right, it was subsequently counted out by the Refbot, putting Firestorm through to the Series Semi-Finals for the fourth time in succession.
In the Series Semi-Finals, Firestorm 4 was placed up against the rising stars 13 Black in the first round. Immediately at the start of the battle, Firestorm 4 made the most of 13 Black's quite high ground clearance and flipped 13 Black over, 13 Black tried to carry on running with the discs, butting little movement occurred. Firestorm 4 then tried to prop 13 Black onto the arena side wall, and did so, after a lot of effort. 13 Black couldn't get away, leaving it immobilised, meaning that Firestorm 4 progressed to the next round. In the second round, Firestorm 4 was drawn up against the number 7 seeds S3. In this battle, Firestorm 4 didn't have to do much more work, as it easily pushed S3 up to and then onto the arena side wall, at enough speed so that the weight of the disc and wheel caused S3 to fall over the wall itself and out of the arena, giving Firestorm 4 the victory. This meant that Firestorm had made it to its third Grand Final.
- "They teetered and they toppled, and Firestorm have flicked them out"
- — Jonathan Pearce, at the end of the battle
In the Grand Final, Firestorm 4 was placed up against the number 12 seeds Tornado. In the battle, Firestorm 4 put up a good fight, flipping Tornado over very early on, so that the wedge became useless. However, flipping it back onto the front caused Firestorm 4's demise, because Tornado got beneath the wedged robot and pushed it into the open pit of oblivion, eliminating Firestorm 4 from the competition. However, Firestorm 4 still had to fight in the play-off battle, up against the unseeded Terrorhurtz machine. In this battle, despite having a chunk of armour torn off by the deadly axe of Terrorhurtz and losing forward and reverse drive during the battle as well, Firestorm 4 was technically still classed as being mobile, as constantly turning allowed it to keep moving forwards. However, part of the way through the battle, in a surprising turn of events, Terrorhurtz suddenly lost all drive itself. Terrorhurtz was deemed immobilised, and was defeated. This meant that Firestorm placed in its predicted position of 3rd yet again in Robot Wars.
- "You came, third in the third war, you were third in the fifth war, and you're third, in the sixth war!"
- — Craig Charles, pointing out Firestorm's consistency
- "Now even more durable"
- — Jonathan Pearce
For reaching the Grand Final in the Sixth Wars, Firestorm 4 took part in the All-Stars tournament in the second series of Extreme. Firestorm 4 was placed in Heat A of the competition, and was placed up against Bigger Brother and S3 in the first round melee. In the battle, Firestorm 4 didn't have to do very much, due to the fact, after Firestorm 4 had S3 pinned up against the angle grinder, Bigger Brother flipped S3 onto its side, and then Bigger Brother flipped the latter out of the arena. Although Firestorm 4 did still feel the need to get one last shove onto Bigger Brother, shoving it into the arena side wall and flipping it away, and then flipping Bigger Brother into Mr. Psycho's CPZ, before cease was finally called. This put Firestorm 4 and Bigger Brother through to the next round of the competition. In the second round, Firestorm 4 was placed up against Dantomkia. Despite being similarly matched on paper, Firestorm 4 dominated the battle, throwing Dantomkia over several times. Firestorm 4 flipped Dantomkia into the CPZ, from which the latter self-righted. However, Dantomkia did get a few flips in on Firestorm 4, flipping it over once, and then flipping it up, for it to balance on Dantomkia's open flipper. Eventually, Dantomkia's safety link was knocked out, so Dantomkia was immobilised, and subsequently eliminated, putting Firestorm 4 through to the third round. The heat final saw Firestorm 4 get placed up against Bigger Brother again, after they defeated Tornado in the previous round. In this battle, Bigger Brother did put up more of a fight than Dantomkia had, but still couldn't avoid being flipped around with ease by Firestorm 4. Bigger Brother's higher ground clearance meant that Firestorm 4 was easily able to flip Bigger Brother around the arena, with Bigger Brother having to constantly self-right. Eventually, Bigger Brother ran out of gas in the flipper, and Firestorm 4 flipped it over again, and managed to push it down the open pit of oblivion, this putting Firestorm 4 through to the All-Stars Grand Final. After Heat B was finished, it became apparent that Firestorm 4 would have to go up against Razer in the final, a robot that had beaten Firestorm twice before. In this battle, Firestorm 4 had a much better start in this encounter slipping straight under Razer's front (a rare feat) and pushing it into Dead Metal. Razer brought its claw down into a battery and seemed to leave Firestorm with no forward or reverse drive. Firestorm 4 was eventually pitted by Razer, despite a good effort to escape, meaning that Razer, once again, was crowned All-Stars Champion.
- "Representing England, the pressure's on!"
- — Philippa Forrester to Graham Bone, at the start of the Commonwealth Carnage
Firestorm 4 also represented England in the Commonwealth Carnage competition in the second series of Extreme. In the first round, it was placed up against Weld-Dor 3 of Northern Ireland, Corkscrew of Scotland and Bondi Titch of Australia. In the battle, Firestorm 4 started very promisingly, as it immediately flipped Weld-Dor 3 over, who then swiftly self-righted, before doing so again. Weld-Dor 3 then showed some strain in attempting to self-right, so Firestorm 4 took advantage by flipping Weld-Dor 3 into an unoccupied CPZ, and then flipping the Northern Ireland entry out of the arena. Firestorm 4 then targeted Bondi Titch, trying to get that out of the arena as well. Firestorm 4 desperately tried to flip out the Australians, flipping it up against the arena side wall several times, and into Mr. Psycho's CPZ. Bondi Titch then really began to sustain damage, as it became immobilised in the CPZ, with only its hammer working. Firestorm 4 then closed in again, and flipped Bondi Titch out of the arena, putting Firestorm 4 through to the next round of the competition, along with Corkscrew. In the second round, Battle 4 of the Ancient Firestorm/Panic Attack grudge commenced as Firestorm 4 was drawn up against Panic Attack, who was representing Wales. In this battle, Firestorm 4 was easily able to get in underneath Panic Attack and flip it around the arena, with Panic Attack showing little retaliation. Eventually, Firestorm 4 managed to flip Panic Attack up against the arena side wall, at such an angle where Panic Attack couldn't self-right, Panic Attack was deemed immobilised, counted out by the Refbot, and finished off by the house robots. Firestorm 4 then finished the battle by spectacularly flipping Sergeant Bash, and then Mr. Psycho, making Firestorm the only robot to manage to flip Mr. Psycho, before or since. This victory put Firestorm through to the next round. In the final, Firestorm 4 was placed up against Crushtacean, who was representing South Africa. In the battle, Firestorm 4 started by trying to flip Crushtacean over. Firestorm 4 then forced Crushtacean into an Angle Grinder, and flipped it into Dead Metal, in its CPZ. Firestorm 4 then flipped Crushtacean on its side, from which Crushtacean couldn't self-right. Crushtacean was deemed immobilised, counted out and thus defeated. Firestorm 4 concluded this battle by chasing Dead Metal, however Firestorm 4 was unable to flip this house robot over, and was instead crumpled by Sergeant Bash's claw, but had finally won a trophy.
- "What an amazing fight, it turned into an exhibition!"
- — Craig Charles at the end of the fight
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Have you made any modifications to the machine, since we've seen you last?"
- Graham Bone: "We've totally re-built the shell, and we've done a little bit of work inside on the plumbing, to maybe get the arm a bit faster"
- — Pre-first round interview
Now the second seed, with high expectations placed upon it yet again, Firestorm 5 returned for the Seventh Wars, and was placed in the final heat of the series. In the first round of the heat, the seeded Firestorm 5 was placed up against Team Mousetrap's clusterbot Black and Blue, newcomers Daisy-Cutter and Dutch Grand-Finalists Bamm Bamm. Firestorm 5 proved very impressive in this battle, dominating the fight. In the battle, Firestorm 5 quickly threw Bamm Bamm over also flipping the one of the Black and Blue twins over in the process. Bamm Bamm was unable to self-right, so Firestorm 5 carefully positioned the former onto the panel covering the pit of oblivion, and then pressing the pit release button, pitting Bamm Bamm. Firestorm 5 then flipped one of the Black and Blue twins around the arena a few times, as Daisy-Cutter and cornered the other up against the arena side wall, by an angle grinder. Firestorm 5 then flipped the twin that it was taking on towards Daisy-Cutter, but as the twin tried to escape, it began to slow to a halt. Firestorm 5 took advantage of this, and shoved the Black and Blue twin down the open pit, securing victory. This meant that Firestorm 5 and Daisy-Cutter progressed to the next round of the heat.
- "Firestorm burning up the war zone!"
- — Craig Charles after the first round battle
In the second round, Firestorm 5 was placed up against a much improved Reptirron the Second machine. In this battle however, despite a degree of worry from Graham Bone, Firestorm 5 easily tossed Reptirron the Second across the arena, as its ground clearance at the base of the wedge proved too low for Reptirron the Second. Firestorm 5 soon flipped Reptirron the Second into the CPZ, into the arena side wall, overturned. Shunt axed Reptirron's flipper, preventing it from closing properly. Reptirron the Second subsequently couldn't self-right, so Firestorm 5 then took its time in carefully positioning the former up against the arena side wall, and then out of the arena, putting the seeded machine through to the third round of the heat.
- "I was worried going in to that one, it's a good robot"
- — Graham Bone, after the fight
In the heat final, Firestorm 5 was drawn up against the impressive Ripper machine. In this battle, Firestorm 5 almost immediately immobilised Ripper, throwing it onto its back, where the giant low-pressure flipper flopped open and failed to self-right. Firestorm sportingly righted Ripper, only to drive it around the arena, again flipping it over, this time onto the arena side wall. Once again, Ripper's flipper jammed open and appeared to be stuck. This time, the Roaming Robots competitor was out of luck, as the Refbot came in to count it out (with the counter display going from 21-29, before reaching 10). After the count was complete, Firestorm 5 came in again, drove in underneath Ripper and toppled it out of the arena, securing its place in the Series Semi-Finals.
- "Third in the Fifth Wars, third in the Sixth Wars, can they go one better?"
- — Jonathan Pearce in the Semi-Finals
Through to the Series Semi-Finals for the 5th consecutive time, Firestorm 5 was drawn against the unpredictable newcomers, Mute, in the first round. In the battle, although the robots seemed similarly matched in shape and weaponry, Mute was no match for Firestorm 5, being driven under and flipped over straight away. Mute desperately tried to self-right, but kept over-shooting, so it couldn't get back onto its wheels, every time that it flipped, Firestorm 5 drove underneath it, sustaining damage from each impact of Mute coming down to the arena floor. Firestorm 5 then steered the overturned Mute over to the arena side-wall, so that Mute couldn't activate its incredibly powerful flipper without throwing itself out of the arena. If Mute had, though, the result would have been the same - Firestorm 5 quickly dispatched Mute by closing in and flipping it over and out of the arena. This meant that Firestorm 5 progressed to the next round, it also meant that Firestorm had broken Chaos 2's record of 6 OotAs.
- "Measuring, clinical, and there's the kill"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as the OotA is replayed
In the second round of the Semi-Finals, Firestorm 5 was placed up against the impressive New-Blood Champions and number 16 seeds, Storm 2. Firestorm 5 started this battle promisingly, managing to slide underneath the rambot's low ground clearance several times, although failing to flip it, due to the speed of the latter. Storm 2 however came back on the attack, bending the front blade of Firestorm 5 so it couldn't get under the zero ground clearance. This made it easier for Storm 2 to slam Firestorm 5 around the arena, and eventually into the pit of oblivion, ending Firestorm 5's highly impressive run in Series 7.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Who've you ganged up on?"
- Graham Bone: "I wouldn't like to say"
- — Pre-first round interview for the All-Stars
As it was one of the most experienced machines in the wars, Firestorm 5 returned for the All-Stars Tournament at the end of the series. In the first round of the competition, Firestorm 5 found itself being drawn up against Kat 3 (for the first time), Bigger Brother (for the third time) and Panic Attack (for the fifth time). However, none of the robots attacked each other, and Firestorm 5 charged Shunt immediately, flipping it onto its side. Throughout the battle, Firestorm 5 and its opponents attacked Cassius Chrome, until Firestorm 5 tried to ram the Refbot, before the Refbot moved, causing Firestorm 5 to accidentally drive into the open pit of oblivion. After a while, after the truce was off, Firestorm 5 was joined by Bigger Brother, who also carelessly drove into the pit. This was Firestorm's last appearance on Robot Wars. This was also the only time that a Panic Attack/Firestorm battle saw Panic Attack go through.
|FIRE STORM - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat O, Round 1||vs. Crasha Gnasha||Won|
|Heat O, Round 2||vs. Facet||Won|
|Heat O, Round 3||vs. Diotoir||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. Pitbull||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 2||vs. Panic Attack||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Chaos 2||Lost|
|NOTE: This was the first case of a robot being flipped out of the arena.|
|Grand Final, Playoff||vs. Steg-O-Saw-Us||Won by default|
|FIRESTORM 2 - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
5th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 1
|Heat C, Eliminator||vs. Scar, The Morgue||Qualified|
|Heat C, Semi Final||vs. Bolt from the Blue||Won|
|Heat C, Final||vs. The Morgue||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. Dominator 2||Lost|
Equal Seventh (with Hypno-Disc)
|Tag Team Terror|
(with Scorpion), Runner-up
|Round 1||vs. Bigger Brother & Plunderbird 4||Won|
|Final||vs. 101 & King B3||Lost|
|FIRESTORM 3 - RESULTS|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Round 1||vs. Panic Attack||Won|
|Quarter Final||vs. Wild Thing||Won|
|Semi Final||vs. Razer||Lost|
|Single Battle Events|
|The Second World Championship|
Representing UK, Heats
|NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during US Season 1|
|Heat||vs. Whirlpool 70 (SWE), Drillzilla (USA), NEAT Machine (NED)||Eliminated|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
7th Seed, Third Place
|Heat D, Eliminator||vs. Bee-Capitator||Won|
|Heat D, Semi Final||vs. Sir Chromalot||Won|
|Heat D, Final||vs. Reactor 2||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Hypno-Disc (3)||Lost|
|vs. Panic Attack (6), Wheely Big Cheese (10)||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 2||vs. Pussycat (2)||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Razer (4)||Lost|
|Grand Final, Playoff||vs. Hypno-Disc (3)||Won|
|FIRESTORM 4 - RESULTS|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
3rd Seed, Third Place
|Heat B, Round 1||vs. Mega Hurts 2, Cedric Slammer, Colossus||Qualified|
|Heat B, Round 2||vs. Barbaric Response||Won|
|Heat B, Final||vs. X-Terminator||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. 13 Black||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 2||vs. S3 (7)||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Tornado (12)||Lost|
|Grand Final, Playoff||vs. Terrorhurtz||Won|
|Extreme Series 2|
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Bigger Brother, S3||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Dantomkia||Won|
|Heat A, Final||vs. Bigger Brother||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Razer||Lost|
Representing England, Champion
|Round 1||vs. Bondi Titch (AUS), Corkscrew (SCO), Weld-Dor 3 (NIR)||Qualified|
|Round 2||vs. Panic Attack (WAL)||Won|
|Final||vs. Crushtacean (RSA)||Won|
|FIRESTORM 5 - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
2nd Seed, Semi-Final, Round 2
|Heat P, Round 1||vs. Daisy-Cutter, Bamm Bamm, Black and Blue||Qualified|
|Heat P, Round 2||vs. Reptirron the Second||Won|
|Heat P, Final||vs. Ripper||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Mute||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 2||vs. Storm 2 (16)||Lost|
|Round 1||vs. Kat 3, Panic Attack, Bigger Brother||Eliminated|
- Wins: 34
- Losses: 11
- Series 1: Did not enter
- Series 2: Entered with Groundhog
- Series 3: Third Place
- Series 4: Semi-Finals, Round 1
- Series 5: Third Place
- Series 6: Third Place
- Series 7: Semi-Finals, Round 2
Outside Robot Wars
Shortly after Robot Wars, Firestorm was retired, but it has occasionally appeared at live events as a static display over the years.
Like many Robot Wars competitors the Firestorm team entered Techno Games. The team entered the football tournament with a robot called Snowstorm, a white and blue, weapon-less Firestorm. Snowstorm was teamed with Kat's Whiskers from Team KaterKiller.
Appearances in Merchandise
- Firestorm/Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem
- Firestorm/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Firestorm/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)
- Firestorm/Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction
- Firestorm stands as the only robot with a front hinged flipper to successfully flip another robot out of the arena.
- Firestorm 4 was the second robot to flip two robots out of the Arena in one battle.
- Firestorm has lost to the eventual champion of a series of UK Robot Wars three times, more than any other robot. On each occasion, it happened during the Grand Final Eliminator stage.
- Along with Hypno-Disc, Firestorm has reached the joint most Grand Finals of any other robot, at three.
- Firestorm was the only robot to compete in all three All-Star tournaments.
- Firestorm and Plunderbird are the only machines to name a Model 5 machine. Other machines such as Bulldog Breed entered five versions of the machine, but Plunderbird and Firestorm were the only two to designate their machine as the fifth in the series, rather than a general name.
- Firestorm 4 became the third robot in history, after Killertron in Series 2 and Chaos 2 in Series 4, to finish in its position predicted by seeding (third).
- Additionally, Firestorm 4 was the first and only occasion where the third place finisher in the previous war was seeded third.
- In five UK championships and two Extreme series, Firestorm has only needed to use its flipper as a srimech three times, in Heat O of Series 3 against Facet, in the Tag Team Terror Round 1 in Series 4 against Bigger Brother and Plunderbird, and in Heat A of the Extreme 2 All-Stars, against Dantomkia.
- Out of all of the Series 4 Semi-Finalists, only Firestorm and Steg 2 have never fought in an annihilator or Mayhem qualifier.
- Excluding Series 3, Firestorm competed in the first Semi-Final at even-numbered series (4 and 6), and the second Semi-Final at odd numbered series (5 and 7).
- At 5, Firestorm has reached the most semi-finals of all robots. It was also the only one of the robots to enter at least five wars and never to fail to reach a semi-final.
- Ironically, Firestorm was the first robot to be Thrown Out of the Arena, but went on to beat Chaos 2's record of OotAs in Series 7.
- Every house robot except Matilda was flipped by either Team Firestorm or Gravity. Ironically, Matilda inflicted grievous damage to both of them at one point.
- Firestorm 3 was the only Losers' Melee winner to go on and reach the Grand Final.
- The Firestorm series of robots have fought every Robot Wars Grand Champion except the first and last.
- Firestorm is one of only two robots to lose a battle to an opponent and then defeat them later in the same tournament, the other being Lizzard.
- With 8 occurrences, Firestorm holds the dubious record of being pitted the greatest number of times.
- Despite this, Firestorm went on to qualify from or win two of the battles where it was pitted.
|Only competitor robot to flip Mr. Psycho|
|Most UK Championship Victories (25)|
|Honourable Mention in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame|
|Most UK Series Semi-Finals reached (5)|
|Joint most Grand Finals reached (3)|