"Dirty, underground, futuristic, mechanised mayhem"
— From the back of the Arenas of Destruction box

Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction (often abbreviated as RW:AoD or shortened to Arenas of Destruction) is the second of five video games based on the British TV show Robot Wars.

Created by Climax Group and published by BBC Multimedia, it was released for the PC and PlayStation 2 on November 22, 2001 in the UK. In this game, players fight several tournaments across eight different arenas, while earning credits to build their own robots.

The PC version of the game was also distributed in the United States, published by Vivendi Universal Games and released on October 22, 2002, with Stefan Frank replacing Jonathan Pearce as the commentator. There was also a Dutch version of the game released by Uitgeverij Memphis Belle, which was also quite similar to the UK and US releases, however the language on the menus was in Dutch, and the commentator's voice was replaced by that of Rob Kamphues.

The PC version was also distributed in Japan by Natsume. The game itself was the original English version but the manual was translated into Japanese. Roadshow Interactive distributed the UK PlayStation 2 version in Australia.

Arenas[edit | edit source]

Location Chooser

The game has eight arenas, each containing pits, CPZs, flame jets, and hazards unique to the arena's setting, e.g. unexploded mines in Siberian Military Base, a molten steel vat in New York Steelworks. The arenas are listed as follows:

Features[edit | edit source]

Buying and Making a Robot[edit | edit source]

My First Bot

When you first start the game, you start with 2000 credits and a robot called My First Bot, which is a small wedge-shaped robot armed with a spring-loaded pickaxe and armoured in wood. You can sell this robot and get an extra 1350 credits to spend on a new one. There are various parts to use when making a robot. The chassis cost 100-500 credits, the locomotion costs 0-1700, the power costs 100-1500, the drive costs 40-3500, the weapons cost 150-9500, the armour costs 100-5000, and the extras cost 10-100 credits, but you can get some items at a lower price in the Scrapyard.

Scrapyard[edit | edit source]

The Scrapyard is accessed in the robot creation/editing screen, the option straight under Shop. It is the only place to buy items at a reduced price, which makes Titanium affordable and make a robot with said Titanium able to compete in the Sao Paulo Scrapyard competitions. It is the only way of getting Aluminium step-plate and Salvaged Steel. Items bought in the Scrapyard can be sold back at full, effectively providing a way to create infinite money.

Robot Battles[edit | edit source]

You must enter your robots in Championship mode in order to gain credits. In the later tournaments, you need to pay an entry fee in order to take part. There are three tournaments in each of the arenas, with different entry requirements for each event. These requirements usually involve entering a robot of a certain weight, fitted with a certain type of weapon, or within a certain cost.


Besides Championship mode, there are numerous other options depending on what type of battle you want. There is Freeplay mode, where you can battle against up to five CPUs, the CPUs are chosen at random. There are five different types of Freeplay battle. These are:

  • One on One - Battle against another robot.
  • Annihilator - Battle against 1-5 robots.
  • Collateral Damage - This is about causing as much damage as possible to a set of objects scattered around the arena.
  • Capture the Flag - This is where you must get the flag and hold onto it until the match ends.
  • Mad Bomber - This is where a robot has a bomb attached to it and the robot must give another robot the bomb. If a robot doesn't get rid of the bomb, the bomb will explode, eliminating the robot.

Freeplay mode is both a single and multiplayer mode. You can also choose to not have the House Robots in the arena.

Chaos 2 against Thor

The second mode of play is Vengeance. This can be single or multiplayer. In Vengeance mode, you can only go up against a robot that is in your possession, i.e. a robot you have made or bought. Unlike Freeplay mode, you must have the House Robots in the arena.

The third mode of play is Training Ground. This is where you can practise your skills against three challenges. These challenges are:

  • Slalom - Where you attempt to get your chosen robot through a slalom in quickest time.
  • Robot Battle - This is a one on one battle against a robot of your choice. There is also no commentary in this mode.
  • Ultimate Challenge - This is where you can take any one of your robots and put them up against a House Robot.

Unused Jonathan Pearce audio clips from the PlayStation 2 version of the game reveal that commentary lines were written about Gauntlet, Pinball and Tag Team Terror game modes, inspired by the real life side tournaments. However it is currently unknown why these were not a part of the final game, or how far through development any mode was before being scrapped.

Playable Robots and House Robots[edit | edit source]

Main article: Competitor Robots in Arenas of Destruction

There are many playable robots that must be bought in order to use them. Robots are separated into weight categories which are, lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight. Robots that participated in reality are very expensive and are classed as super heavyweights. The only exception to this is Chaos 2 which is classed as a heavyweight. The following robots are the "real-life" competitor robots:

In addition to these competitors, there is a robot called Thor, the winning entry from a contest in the original Robot Wars Magazine that was held to design a robot for Arenas of Destruction. Thor is treated as though it were a real-life competitor; it must be unlocked by winning a certain event, and it uses its own unique components. It has no relation to the Thor that did appear in Robot Wars.

Although the setting for this game is around Series 4 of Robot Wars, Refbot does not appear, but Dead Metal, Shunt, Sir Killalot, Matilda and Sergeant Bash do.

Voice Artists[edit | edit source]

There are two voices in this game, the commentator and the Robot Builder Advisor. Jonathan Pearce is the commentator in the UK version, Stefan Frank in the US version and Rob Kamphues in the Dutch version. Interestingly, Frank's commentary is word-for-word exactly the same as Pearce's (except for the pronunciation of the letter "Z") and Kamphues' commentary is a direct translation into Dutch. Beatie Edney voices the Robot Builder Adviser in both English language versions.

Glitches[edit | edit source]

  • Occasionally in some arenas, a House Robot will start a battle hovering above their CPZ, and drop down to the ground either during Jonathan Pearce's opening speech in the first round, or after "3, 2, 1, Activate" is called in later rounds. This often happens to Sir Killalot and Dead Metal in the New York Steelworks.
  • Pussycat is the only robot capable of running inverted in the game, but due to the limitations of the game's physics engine, if you are upside down for more than 20 seconds you will be classed as immobile, even though you are perfectly moving.
  • It is possible to have more than the maximum of six robots in the arena (not including House Robots). During a tournament, if the player exits the repair screen to look at the battle menu, goes back to the repair screen and then back to the battle menu, one of the listings will have a blank space where the robot names should be. The player will then fight against not only their intended opponent, but those robots as well. Switching in between the repair screen and battle menu multiple times can cause the other battles to merge as well, and if performed successfully before the second round of the Russian Rampage tournament, 16 robots including the player will now appear in the arena. If the player wins one of these battles, the final (and earlier rounds if more than 4 robots were involved in the battle) will have no opponent in the arena resulting in an automatic win, although the glitch can cause the game to crash, especially with 7 or more opponents.
  • For unknown reasons, the glass in the middle of the Tokyo Rooftop arena appears to function similarly to a CPZ. When a player controlled robot touches the glass, at least one House Robot will start chasing the player for a short time, attempting to either push them off the edge or over the glass. However, this does not happen to a computer controlled robot when the player touches the glass.
  • There is a glitch that allows the player to get easy credits early on in the game without using the 'JPEARCE' profile. Purchase as many items as you can from the scrapyard and place them in storage, once all credits have been spent, Save and Exit, then return to the workshop and check storage, all of the items that were placed in there are now at full Shop price and can be sold to make a profit. This does not work with Scrapyard exclusive items, such as Aluminium Step Plate and Go Kart Engine. (Example - Purchasing a Torch Cutter at 3780 credits, storing it and returning after leaving the workshop, it will then be at 9500 credits)

Patch[edit | edit source]

One patch (1.2) was released on December 14, 2001 for the PC version of the game that addressed several issues that were in the initial release:

  • The game not restarting after the screen resolution has been changed from the default 640x480 display.
  • Unexpected characters appearing in text boxes when the shift, alt and ctrl keys are pressed.
  • Not being able to use the mouse to click on buttons and options after the screen resolution has been changed from the default 640x480 display.
  • Allowing the sound effects to be turned back on after they have been turned off via the options screen.

Patched versions of the game have the text "v1.2" in the bottom left-hand corner of the log-in and main menu screens.

Cover Gallery[edit | edit source]

Game Images[edit | edit source]

Credits[edit | edit source]

Vivendi Universal†[edit | edit source]

  • Lori Inman, Jill Le Grand, Patrick Sweeney, Brandon Valdez, Randy Linch

BBC[edit | edit source]

  • Producer: Colin Fuidge
  • Executive Producer: Dave Anderson
  • Rights and Acquisitions Executive: Tim Bolaji
  • Head of Rights and Acquisitions: Sian Teasdale
  • Technical Manager: Kish Hirani
  • Marketing Executive: Emma Such
  • Localisation Manager: Lena Strand
  • Product Development Director: Sarah Hennings
  • Director of Multimedia: Dave Lee

Voices[edit | edit source]

  • Game Commentary: Jonathan Pearce, Stefan Frank†
  • Robot Builder Advisor: Beatie Ednay
  • Music Robot Wars theme tune by Golden Break Music

Climax[edit | edit source]

  • Lead Programmer: Ben Potton
  • Programmers: Nick Vincent, Will Baker, Dominic Wong, Tony Mack, Ewen Graham, Zzkj
  • Additional Code and Advice: Chris Caulfield, Shawn Hargreaves, Damyan Pepper
  • Lead Artist: Matt Cooper
  • Artists: Kate Wright, Dave Harrap, Jerry Smith, Adam Comiskey, Ryan Frank, Adam Attew
  • Lead Designer: Mark Davies
  • Designers: Cal Blagbrough, Tim Adams, Oliver Reid Smith
  • Music: Matt Lightwood
  • Sound Effects: Matt Simmonds
  • Test Manager: Stuart Bayliss
  • Testers: Barry Martin, Stuart Thomson, Tony Read, Bradley Oakley
  • Production: Barry Simpson
Senior Management
  • Group Development Director: Gary Liddon
  • Creative Director: Joe Cavalla

US Localization†[edit | edit source]

  • Production: Sarah Bain
  • Programming: Ewen Graham, Tony Mack, Leigh Bird, Will Baker
  • Art: Kate Wright

Robots Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Hypno-Disc: Dave Rose, Ken Rose, Derek Rose
  • Mortis: Infrantor 5*, Rob Knight, Arthur Chilcott, Ben Gord**
  • Chaos II: George Francis, Ian Swann, Richard Swann
  • Terrorhurtz: John Reid, Dominic Parkinson, Rebecca Reaston-Brown
  • Panic Attack: Kim Davies, Michael Davies, Christian Bridge***
  • Behemoth: Anthony Pritchard, Michael Pritchard, Kane Aston
  • Diotoir: Peter Redmodn****, Carion Byrne*****, Joe Gavin
  • Razer: Ian Lewis, Simon Scott, Vincent Blood
  • Pussycat: Alan Gribble, David Gribble, Robert Bettington
  • Firestorm: Graham Bone, Alex Mordue, Hazel Heslop
  • Thor: Jamie Leslie
  • With thanks to all at Robot Wars LLC and Mentorn Baraclough Carey****** and special thanks to Steve Carsey, Tom Gutteridge, Bill Hobbins, Stuart McDonald, Julian Fullalove, Chris Reynolds, Derek Foxwell

*"Infrantor 5" most likely refers to Infranor Motors, one of Mortis's original sponsors and component suppliers
**Misspelling of Ben Gordon
***Christian Bridge's name is shown in brackets, due to him joining the team via the competition in the Robot Wars Magazine
****Misspelling of Peter Redmond
*****Misspelling of Ciarán Byrne
******Misspelling of Mentorn Barraclough Carey
†US version only

Cut Content[edit | edit source]

Various robots, weapons, accessories and even game modes were scrapped between early prototypes of Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction for currently unknown reasons.[1]

"This is Trouble Shooter - a robot that has no fear. It'll hurt, cause pain, and generally sends other robots insane!"
— Unused introduction from Jonathan Pearce for Trouble Shooter
"He's a mean, lean, fighting machine! Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee - it's Robot Ali!"
— Introduction for another scrapped competitor called Robot Ali
  • Several weapon types were scrapped between prototype versions of the game, including a taser (which would later appear in the PC and Xbox versions of Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction), large boxing glove, small built-in flipping arm and liquid nitrogen gun. It is unknown whether these are related to the notification you receive unlocking "secret components" after winning the Zorten Industries' Cup.
    • Unfortunately, the taser and liquid nitrogen gun are non-functional in accessible prototypes of the game, and the boxing glove is not present at all. However, commentary lines are available for all of these weapons.
  • It was planned for Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction to feature tournament modes inspired by The Gauntlet, as well as Tag Team Terror and Pinball side events from early Robot Wars series.
    • Unused commentary reveals Tag Team tournaments in the Sao Paulo Scrapyard and Hamburg Dockyard called Scrapyard Assault and Dockyard Double. These modes may have been scrapped before lines were recorded for other arenas, however this is unconfirmed.
    • Different arenas were also intended to host Pinball events, as activating the silo switch in the Siberian Military Base for example would earn you 100 points.
    • A tournament called Maze Mayhem was also intended for a Gauntlet event, however it is unknown from unused commentary which arena this was intended to be hosted in. As above, it is also uncertain whether Gauntlet tournaments were prototyped for every available arena.
    • Another planned mode, 'Assault Course', was intended to offer additional driving challenges similar to the 'Slalom' mode featured in the final game.
    • Unused lines from Jonathan Pearce also imply that there was meant to be a challenge where the player's robot destroyed a stuffed teddy bear. However, it is unclear whether this was intended for 'Assault Course' or to be included as a separate challenge in Training Ground mode.
"We're really looking forward to this Robot Wars Tag Team extravaganza!"
— One of several unused lines for a Tag Team game mode
"It's time to get all giddy on the Robot Wars Pinball table!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces the Pinball game mode
"Let's see how our robots do against the House Robots, as they run The Gauntlet!"
— Further unused commentary introducing The Gauntlet
"Get ready for the Assault Course - this'll test your driving skills!"
— One of Pearce's introductions for the Assault Course mode
"That's one mean-looking teddy! See if you can show him who's boss!"
— Unused introduction for the scrapped 'teddy bear' challenge
  • In addition to being able to recolour your custom robot and change its aesthetic appearance with a range of accessories, there was a Skins tab in prototype versions of the game, which allowed you to apply decals and wraps to your robot in a similar vein to Robot Arena 2: Design & Destroy, released two years later than Arenas of Destruction. Example decals included flames, shark teeth and jungle camouflage.
    • Sadly these skins are not appliable on early prototypes of the game, however most can be previewed in the Workshop.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Chaos 2 thrown out of the Military Base by a mine.

A fight involving three Skull Draggers.

Several Arenas of Destruction gaming stands present in The Pits

PlayStation Magazine Demo Disc 17 featuring an Arenas of Destruction demo

The first screenshot shown at the end of the demo

The second screenshot shown at the end of the demo

The third screenshot shown at the end of the demo

  • It is possible to get a robot out of the arena in this game. The robot that makes this the easiest is Behemoth, with Firestorm and Mortis also being fairly prominent, as well as custom robots implementing Mortis' lifter design. Panic Attack and Chaos 2 are also capable of performing out of the arena flips, but this is more difficult. Another possible, but difficult way to get opponents out of the arena is to ram them against an arena corner, in a similar manner to Storm 2's Series 7 victory over The Steel Avenger. The Arena Floor Flipper in the Robot Wars UK Arena and the mines in the Siberia Military Base can achieve this too.
  • Some of the arenas have intentional gaps in the fences which make it easy to push a robot out the arena. For example, the North Sea Oil Rig has a gap in the fence around the helipad, there are gaps in the wall on the Tokyo Rooftop, and there is no fence to prevent robots falling into the sea in the Hamburg Dockyard. All the other custom built arenas are fully enclosed, making out of the arenas practically impossible (Except the mines in Siberia Military Base, which can sometimes blow a robot out of the arena).
  • Entering the profile name 'JPEARCE' will unlock everything in the game and give the player 999,999 credits.
  • Arenas of Destruction is technically Terrorhurtz's first ever appearance in Robot Wars, because the game was released just before Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction and before Heat L of Series 5 was shown on television. Team Hurtz' Series 4 entry Killerhurtz could not be included in Arenas of Destruction because the rights to its name and likeness were owned by BattleBots. Jonathan Pearce does however refer to the robot as being "from the Killerhurtz team" in the UK version's commentary.
  • Terrorhurtz has "10^12" instead of "Hz^12" painted on its side.
  • In arcade mode, it's possible to have two or more opponents that are the same robot. Also, you can play in a battle and find yourself up against the robot that you are playing as. This mostly happens with Chaos 2. It is also possible in Tournament mode that the robot appears twice. Again, this mostly happens with Chaos 2.
  • Firestorm 2 is simply known as Firestorm in-game.
  • When a robot is defeated through methods such as the pit or being flipped/pushed out of the arena, the in-game commentary will often act as if it occurred due to poor driving, even if it actually happened solely because it was pushed or flipped by an opponent.
  • During filming for Series 6, Dutch Robot Wars: Series 2 and German Robot Wars, several game stands containing the PlayStation 2 version of Arenas of Destruction were present in The Pits.
  • The Van de Graf balls accessory present on robots such as Skull Dragger was included as a nod to American physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff, though his surname has been misspelled in the game.
  • Several other fictional competitor robots were planned for the game, but were removed in early prototypes. Though it is unknown for sure why these were scrapped, several bear a strong resemblance to other fictional competitors that were present in the official release.
  • Early prototypes of the game contained .vag audio files of "Yakety Sax", more commonly known as the theme to The Benny Hill Show, as well as the chorus of Scorpions' hit single "Rock You Like A Hurricane".
    • The files, named benny_hill.vag and rock_me.vag respectively, may have been used as placeholders for audio that had not yet been added, though this is unconfirmed.
  • A demo of the game was included on Demo Disc 17 of the Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine. Strangely, the demo was simply referred to as "Robot Wars" and was released in February 2002, three months after the game's November 2001 release. The demo features a single battle of up to 5 opponents with the option of House Robots in the TV Studio. The only robots included are Major Damage, The Axe Master, Salvage and Granite Grinder, the latter only being an opponent and the former three being playable. Having more opponents can result in doubles of the same robot fighting due to the limited inclusions of robots. When the player has finished the battle, three screenshots are shown with advertisements of the full game's contents.[3]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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