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In any event that puts multiple people or things into a competitive environment, you'll see fans of those respective fields feel the need to assert their opinion on something relevant to that interest. Sure, calling an athlete 'decent' could be something you firmly believe, but if you want other people to take interest in your opinion you need to be boisterous with it. That's why so many people resort to the terms 'overrated' and 'underrated'. These are two words that are criminally misused, but because virtually everybody misuses them, it becomes the norm for these terms to commonly be used incorrectly. Today, however, we'll try to start righting some of those wrongs, by first pointing out classic examples of machines which are have been called underrated over the years that aren't anymore, before then beginning our search of trying to identify machines which do truly fall into the 'underrated' category.

Classic misuses of 'Underrated'

Underrated as a word is rather simple: something that is underestimated or is not valued as highly as it should be. So how do people so often fail to use this word correctly? It's simple - people think that once you label something underrated that it can remain underrated forever, and that's exactly how we have machines still being labelled underrated when that is no longer the case:

Typically, there tends to be two categories for 'underrated' robots:

The you're-a-very-solid-machine-that-never-truly-gets-to-the-later-stages-of-the-UK-Championship-so-you're-underrated pick:

  • S.M.I.D.S.Y., Diotoir, etc, etc... - This is the typical one for Robot Wars fans to pick out. These machines tend to be considered as the go-to underrated choices for the lazy people, and that's exactly where the problem starts: how are these machines still considered underrated when, on polls or threads of underrated robots, they're consistently picked? How can a machine be underrated if everybody is picking it as the underrated pick? If the vast majority of people are saying it's underrated, then how is it actually being underrated? This is a typical example of people not realising that the term is flexible, and just because you once call a Diotoir underrated for beating Tornado, or a S.M.I.D.S.Y. underrated for always getting to Heat Finals, doesn't mean that can't change. The problem is, people are so determined to pick out underrated gems, that if a machine does become more popular over time then people can claim that they were on the hype train before anybody else. This reluctance to adjust, however, leads to multiple examples of 'underrated' machines often being stuck with this tag, even if that tag is long passed its sell-by date...

The because-you're-a-robot-that-didn't-appear-much-and-did-solidly-when-you-appeared-so-you're-considered-underrated picks:

  • Hellbent, Crusader 2, GBH 2, General Carnage 2, etc, etc... - There are so, so many of these examples. These are machines with good fundamentals and solid weaponry that showed what they were about, but didn't make enough appearances. Because of a fear of them falling into obscurity, people want to call these machines underrated so that they never get forgotten. After some time passes, people certainly have remembered all of these machines - to the extent of many in fact becoming overrated - so why is there the need to call them underrated anymore? People know what they do, people remember them, and people never fail to credit these machines in tournaments - they always holds their own.

Now, with that in mind, let's try to put together a list shall we? We want to find machines that are genuinely underrated by people, and with reasons as to how and why they are. I'll try to make this list a mixture of my own nominations, as well as ones suggested below. However, as I say, even machines you hate can definitely fall into the underrated category, so if one of these vermins is one that you logically conclude is in fact underrated, do not shy away from nominating them.

Nominate away!

Entry 1: Brutus Maximus (Nweston8's first pick)

Brutus maximus

Brutus Maximus: my own laughing gas

Brutus Maximus s7 official image

Your text cannot hide the sheer power of this beast

Brutus Maximus loses a wheel

Oh my god I love this thing

Brutus Maximus saws

BRUTUS MAXIMUS: SPINNAH. Well, it tried to be, anyway...

Brutus Maximus entire wedge

I genuinely didn't notice until now that Roobarb flipped off Brutus Maximus' ENTIRE FRONT WEDGE until now. HAHAHAHA.

Now, unlike the overrated list, I think I'll kick this one off. Why? Well, because as our first commenter, Toast, has already pointed out: it can be hard to find underrated machines.

Typically, people label machines as 'underrated' if they're at least 'good'. However, Brutus Maximus is a clear-cut case where a machine isn't that good - so why am I picking it? Simple: being bad doesn't mean you cannot qualify as underrated - in fact, when you're a machine like Brutus Maximus you're automatically chucked in with all of the rubbish that also loses in Round 1 just because you lose in Round 1.

With Brutus Maximus, it's as simple as this for most people: it's a wooden box that can be damaged easily and lost in Round 1, so it's automatically in the absolute bottom-tier of robots. However, tell me how many write-off Round 1 dropouts took punishment from Razer, Raging Reality, Pussycat, Roobarb, and Twister and still lasted for the vast majority of the battle? And that's the point: yes, Brutus Maximus is wooden, but that's exactly why it deserves praise - a wooden machine that should break down immediately actually has genuine staying power. Bits fly off of it every single time it's attacked, and yet despite so much punishment it just keeps going.

Look at W.A.S.P. in the same fight in Series 6 - that's a genuine, bottom-tier robot. Something that looks awful and lives up to that by losing drive immediately. So many machines that are genuinely the worst of the worst will breakdown or lose drive under literally no pressure, but not Brutus Maximus. It provides the watching audience with lots of visible damage, it moves at a solid speed, it can genuinely push back twice at a robot like Roobarb, and it keeps working. Heck, it even nearly survived to a Judges' decision in Series 7.

In first-round melees, I never think about the best robots - instead, what I want are the worst robots in the fight to be competitive. Yes, having cannon fodder is fine, but it needs to be cannon fodder worth looking at - if not, it's just a complete waste of a fight. Literally any machine can do what W.A.S.P., Kliptonite, Obsidian, Juggernot 2, Rohog, etc, etc can do, and it's even more disappointing when genuinely decent-looking machines on paper like Scarab still can't do any of the fundamentals right in terms of reliability. But no, with Brutus Maximus, it's damage all over the arena, plenty of laughs, classic JP commentary, and no limp breakdowns - the perfect First-Round loser.

Entry 2: Napalm - Nominated by CrashBash

Napalm official

CROSBY BOIS REPRESENT

NapalmvsMortisGrudgeMatch

I guess Mortis got lucky here then

Kater Killer Napalm 1

PIT! PIT! PIT!... pit... pit... pit... (is this fight over yet?)

Steg-O-Saw-Us Napalm 2

Battered, bruised, but still working - unlike Red Dragon, Doctor Fist, and... PP3D.

Napalm Sir Killalot Official0002

Napalm can be considered underrated just for providing us with this sweet image, tbh.

Steg-O-Saw-Us Napalm

THE HOUSE ROBOTS CHEATED LIKE IN THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL REEEEEEEE.

Napalm vs Steg

napalm should've won on damage lol

Shadow of napalm discoinferno

Shadow of Napalm: CLAMPBOT.

MayhemNapalmGeminiSpider

lmao

A Christmas present for you all: Napalm featuring as an underrated robot!

Nomintated by CrashBash, Napalm certainly tends to get a Bashing on a regular basis for a list of mediocre performances blended in with its longevity. Now, just like Brutus Maximus, it's important to note that Crash listing Napalm as 'underrated' does not mean that he's calling it good. What he is pointing out is that Napalm isn't truly the worst of the worst like so many point out.

And I agree: as Crash himself says, Napalm was a machine that functioned properly during the fights its won. However, just like with Brutus Maximus, Napalm gets automatically dropped into the truly lowest tier straight away - with it's appearance and subsequent flopping armour a big factor in that.

Also akin to the Series 6 and 7 Round 1 loser, but in a positive light, Napalm takes punishment well for the most part. Heck, tell me just how many Series 3 machines fullstop would survive being battered around by Steg-O-Saw-Us for 5 minutes without a limp breakdown or something being shaken loose. Napalm not only did this, but it came in with a threatening attack of its own. Truly bottom tier machines do not carry out any competency, let alone threaten to topple a Grand Finalist.

"Okay, but that's just one fight" I hear you say. "Napalm was so lucky against so many machines". And yes, it absolutely was in some cases. It was shunted around by Demolition Demon and should've lost a Judges' decision, while Panda Monium was turned into a piece of fallen bamboo by Matilda in the Heat Semis as Napalm itself sat dormant. I'll give you those.

However, what I won't give you is the typical the-other/better-machine-loses-so-Napalm-is-lucky-because-it-should-lose-to-those-machines-on-paper. No. Warhog having a Warhog moment is not luck - it just shows an inherent flaw of Warhog's. Disc-O-Inferno having the limpest of breakdowns is not luck - it's Disc-O-Inferno not being engineered well in its debut campaign. Against Robopig: Robopig drove up the wedge of Napalm. It really is as simple as that - it's not luck, its sheer incompetence on Robopig's part. And sure, while you can say "well the other machine being incompetent doesn't mean that Napalm deserved the win". But why not? In Robot Wars - especially during the early days - it often did come down to 'which machine can show the most consistency in their fundamentals until something happens to one of the machines'. In that regard, due to its simple design that isn't reckless, overcomplicated, or uncontrollable, Napalm is excellent at being a machine that never gets itself in danger through its own means - and that's a massive plus point.

Speaking about incompetency, while Napalm keeps ticking along, let's talk about the Mayhem it won. The one which is labelled as the luckiest Napalm win of all time. But again, I ask you: is it really the definition of luck? Is The Spider limply breaking down after a flick of flame luck, or just a flaw with The Spider in general? Is Gemini getting both of its parts beached in the same way - something which was carried out again in Series 5 - luck, or a design flaw? Again, yes, Napalm doesn't win this fight through its own attacking potential, and I'm not arguing that it did. Instead, I'm asking: does the fact that these unreliable, flawed opposing machines doing exactly that while Napalm remains sensible in what it does, really translate to meaning Napalm is lucky? Because to me, all it does is compliment Napalm. In a complicated Robot Wars arena with a string of machines already showing their flaws, Napalm is just able to do a what machine wants to do: trundle along and keep moving. It won fights by accepting its own limitations, and because the other machines couldn't finish off Napalm quickly enough the flaws in the other machines showed - as flaws tend to do over time.

Take some truly bottom-tier robots. Like W.A.S.P.. Would W.A.S.P. get 'lucky' like Napalm did against Gemini, or would the likelihood of W.A.S.P. losing drive happen again? Could The Tartan Terror hold out for long enough for Gemini to immobilise itself, or would it immediately lose drive on one side again? The point is, there's so, so many genuinely bad robots like those mentioned above that simply wouldn't even last long enough for this 'luck' to happen to them. No, instead, they'd break down themselves. Now, chuck Napalm into Heat A. By the logic of Napalm being lucky, that means that The Tartan Terror losing drive on one side straight away is lucky. That means that it outlasting Rohog would make it lucky. That means that it outlasting Twister would make it lucky. That means it outlasting Axe-C-Dent would make it lucky. That means it outlasting Kliptonite would make it lucky.

I could go on for ages with those examples, which just proves the point. If Napalm is engineered better than other machines, which means it lasts longer, which means it wins - then that it something it does better than the opposing robot, and nothing more.

Napalm was a case of the viewing audience getting tired of the repeated strokes of 'luck' it had over many a series, but the next time you're watching a Napalm fight and are ready to utter a 'sigh' - just pause, and ask yourself: should I be sighing at Napalm's 'luck', or the opposing robot's inability to beat Napalm? I know what I'll be doing.

VERDICT: Underrated

Entry 3: Firestorm 2 (Nominated by Toon Ganondorf )

Firestorm flips Scar

can any other machine say that they flipped toast's favourite machine? i don't think so, lads

Bolt from the Blue vs Firestorm

the best pushing power of any firestorm confirmed

Dominator 2 vs firestorm 2

leighbot...

Dominator 2 vs firestorm

for some reason, this one result (not even the fight itself) is the difference between firestorm 2 being very good and the worst version of the machine

Firestorm flips The Morgue

firestorm 2 flips mini mega the morgue over

Firestorm vs The Morgue

*standard insertion of official photo*

Firestorm2

oh yeah, and the colour scheme is the best too

The other two machines on this list so far have qualified for selection due to being low quality machines that do something to drag them away from the true bottom tier of robots. However, in Firestorm 2's case, we have one of the 16 best robots of Series 4 picked for selection. This will prove to be one of a couple notable examples of this type, where certain versions of a machine are unfairly compared to their predecessors or successors in the line, and are marked down as a result.

Firestorm 2 falls exactly into that section. Every single other Firestorm machine made at least the second round of the Semi-Finals, but the second instalment of Graham Bone and Alex Mordue's famous front-hinged flipper only managed to scrape into the Semi-Final stage in the first place after a less-than-stellar Heat display. A loss to Dominator 2 saw Firestorm 2 drop out in the first round of the Semi-Finals, and a subsequent breakdown in the Tag Team Terror compounded Firestorm 2's campaign after the original Fire Storm achieved a podium position in Series 3.

However, just because Firestorm 2 performed the poorest, does not make it the worst version of the machine. This is something that'll be highlighted later on in the list too, when another famous machine will appear. See, in these instances, the moment a machine shows any form of weakness, they're ranked as the worst - especially in Firestorm's case when people think of a machine strolling through the Heats in comfortable fashion series after series.

But see, Firestorm 2 is widely considered the worst Firestorm machine - with 'the poorest wedge of a Firestorm machine' a consistent flaw pointed out. This just isn't true. Firestorm 2 failing to get underneath a low, awkward machine like Bolt From The Blue cannot be used to discredit Firestorm 2's wedge in comparison to Fire Storm - after all, Fire Storm faced a machine with the ground clearance of the Statue of Liberty in Crasha Gnasha, before being against a list of machines with nice-to-breach areas.

Obviously, a lot is also made of Firestorm 2's inability to finish off The Morgue too, but once again, Firestorm 2 failing to KO a machine that had the ability to roll over - unlike everything Fire Storm faced in Series 3 - is not a reason to criticise it, especially when it proved it could beat it in the first-round melee. That Heat Final was completely dominated by Firestorm 2 anyhow, with a lack of precision in the driving stakes being something that let the machine down - not the machine's capabilities itself.

Despite mishaps, Firestorm 2 still competed all the way with the impressive Dominator 2 in a battle where it was very unfortunate to lose. If Firestorm 2 was completely swept aside, then sure it would be a concern, but despite losing, Firestorm 2 proved in this fight that it is still a top-tier machine. Its just that Series 4 saw progression in designs giving the ability for machines to stay alive longer in fights, unlike in Series 3 - something which obviously helped Fire Storm. Compared to other machines, Firestorm 2 did make less progress in evolving for Series 4, and maybe this is what makes Firestorm 2's campaign felt more flat.

Now, if Firestorm 2 was a machine which didn't prove competitive, its design was worse than Fire Storm's, and the machine lost the general capabilities of winning fights, than yes, I'd agree with the decision of it being the bottom of the Firestorm line. In Firestorm 2's case however, it was a mixture of awkward opponents, less-than-precise driving, and close calls, which meant Firestorm 2 was unable to fully live up to its potential. It still had all the potential to reach the end of the competition, and just because that didn't come to fruition, does not mean its worse than Fire Storm - which struggled in stages itself against the likes of Facet and Pitbull.

Despite this entry to the list coming in, I'm not saying Fire Storm is the worst either. Instead, I'm more criticising the need that people have in wanting to always label something as the 'best' or 'worst'. No Firestorm machine is the worst: Firestorm is simply a string of high-quality machines, and the need to pick out the worst from such a list of great machines is totally unnecessary - especially when the differences are so little.

Entry 4: X-Terminator 2 (Nweston8's second pick)

X-Terminator Arnold Arnold Terminegger

X-Terminator 2 completely dominates a very solid machine with drive alone

X-Terminator lifts Behemoth.

consistency, persistency, well paced - X-Terminator 2 is a fantastic machine

A machine that got to the Semi-Finals, a machine that beat the 6th seed, a machine that held Shunt in the sumo... I could keep going, but basically, the point is: why the hell is X-Terminator 2 considered rubbish?

Now, I know what I'll be hit with: the axe. Yeah, the axe is awful, I get it. However, the fact that's it's awful should make people more aware of X-Terminator 2's other strengths, such as insane speed, strong drive power, consistent aggression... but no, its weapon - which actually scores it points due to multiple hits - is something that sadly drags the whole machine down.

X-Terminator series 3

The thing is, this won't be a Firestorm 2-esque case either, where I'm defending Firestorm 2 from people who call it the worst Firestorm machine. No, in this case, X-Terminator 2 is actually one of the very best X-Terminator machines. Why? Let's go through the line of machines:

X-Terminator 2 vs. X-Terminator - Series 3

Heck, why is the first X-Terminator given automatic leverage over X-Terminator 2 just because its axe had a pointed tip? X-Terminator 2 even used the pointed axe in Series 4, and it changed very little. X-Terminator 2 has more versatility in weapons, and that alone pulls it above than the first X-Terminator. I mean, don't try to tell me that X-Terminator from Series 3 would ever have a hope in besting Behemoth.

X-Terminator 2 vs. X-Terminator - Extreme/Series 5

X-terminator

This was a bad, bad move by the X-Terminator team. It's like they got so sucked in by people criticising their axe that they felt the need to have a big and bad weapon for the following series. Well, X-Terminator's first 'upgrade' after the weight increase shows exactly what a hater of X-Terminator 2 would actually do: ignore all of the great parts of X-Terminator 2, try to give it a good weapon, and end up making the machine a sloppy, clunky mess.

X-Terminator 2 vs. X-Terminator - Series 6

X-Terminator

This is a good X-Terminator machine that irons out enough issues from the previous incarnation but without excelling enough to be a big enough threat. Solid, yet not awesome drive, solid, yet not awesome weapon. Yeah. It does a job, and it offers nice enough fights, but it doesn't have a true identity either where you can say "yeah, this X-Terminator machine is strong in this area".

X-Terminator - Series 7 vs. X-Terminator 2

X-terminator 7

Obviously, this is a no brainer. Nevertheless, highlighting the Series 7 X-Terminator is still key in comparison to X-Terminator 2.

So, X-Terminator from Series 7 is basically an insane weapon with not a lot else backing it up without that weapon. Trundling top speeds, an awful srimech setup, and long, wides side to attack and flip - it's hardly covering itself as an all rounder.

Still, we ignore that because of its weapon - a weapon that was reliable, destructive, and did its job by pulling X-Terminator through so many fights in Series 7. But if we can ignore X-Terminator Series 7's flaws because of its great points, why can't we do the same for X-Terminator 2? I mean, I know why: because ultimately, a flawed machine covered up by an amazing weapon is going to be much more visually impressive than a machine with strong fundamentals but an awful weapon. After all, you're rarely going to see somebody get more excited by watching something like 101 than 259.

X-Terminator Millennium Bug

there's your visible damage, lads

But still, as I said early: that's the point. It feels so, so harsh just to downplay X-Terminator 2 just because its weapon is comically awful. Ultimately, it's a machine that can outpush you, speed around you, be aggressive, and use different weapons depending on the opponent. So next time, think about the good parts of a machine instead of thinking X-Terminator 2 would lose 11-1 to bloody V-Max just because its axe is bad.

Entry 5: Vector (Nominated by SpaceManiac888)

Vector

it has a v in its name so i like it already

Vector vs T2

"don't smoke, vector - it's bad for your health"

Vectorlive

it still has better armour than spiksaurus in this photo

Our next nomination is certainly a left-field choice, with Vector being nominated by SpaceManiac888.

Like a few Series 3 robots, Vector was a machine that suffered from problems in its only battle, as it lost to T2, all while showing little in the way of movement. As a result, it's very easy to simply chuck Vector into the scraphead with all of the other first-round losers.

However, despite its result, Vector is not your simple first-round dropout. Featuring what looks like a solid lifting arm, Vector also had a logically shaped shell, and the potential for self-righting capabilities. This machine certainly looks capable of registering a win or two on paper, as it is certainly a well-thought-out machine for Series 3 time.

A lot of people do step over the mark, too: simply laughing at Vector's lack of movement and JP's subsequent commentary line. For machines that looked like jokebots from the off, these type of remarks of understandable, but in Vector's case it's a shame people are unable to even consider the minute possibility of Vector being effective in some form. I understand why people do it, because as aforementioned, it's so much easier to simply brand it in that category of the worst of Series 3 than to deeply analyse every single machine's possibility at being okay, but in Vector's case it is a shame that's it's absolutely, 100% dismissed as well.

Ultimately, Vector is a machine with a simple conclusion. Because it ultimately showed very, very little in the arena, it's hard for people to rate it properly fullstop. We literally don't know what it would have actually been capable of, and therefore it's hard to justify calling it 'underrated'. Still, when even the diehard Robot Wars fans continue to ignore it, that's when it does become a machine that deserves at least some attention. This doesn't mean than people should rate it higher either - it simply means that people should realise that it could've been alright.

VERDICT: Unfairly ignored

Entry 6: Kan-Opener (Nominated by Raz3r)

Kan opener pulls ripper

ripper gripper

Kan-Opener Apollo PP3D Sweeney Todd

backs against the wall

Kan-Opener Ewe 2 Annihilator Round 1

the worst name in robot wars is pitted

Kan-Opener Thermidor 2 Annihilator Final 1

one in the rear for thermidor 2

Kan-Opener Major Tom Annihilator Round 3

a true robot wars legend and kan-opener lock horns

Kan Opener Damage 1

ouch

Atomickanopener

i swear i always see this image for some reason

Ripper vs kan-opener the apprentice

ya fired

Ripper tries to free kan opener

raging knightmare lasted longer in this state than it did in its semi-final battle against tornado

Kan-Opener Raging Knightmare Annihilator Round 4

insert swiss cheese commentary line

Kan-Opener Ripper Annihilator final

the only way is up, baby

Kan-Opener grease jaw

A greased up Kan-Opener. hmm.

Raging Reality Kan-Opener Annihilator Round 2

lol poor team knightmare

Atomic Kan Opener 1

IT'S AN ANTI-PIT DEVICE AS WELL: AN APD.

Team Kan-Opener Annihilator winners

and the most repeated quote trophy goes to...

Kanopenergateway

lol

Kanopener 2016

kan-opener z spec or whatever the hell it is by this point

Team Kan-Opener Team Roaming Robots

andy kane waving goodbye to any potential kan-opener praise

Number six in the line of inspection is Kan-Opener. A machine that is infamous for its UK Championships success rate, yet capable of the highest of highs in the Annihilator environments.

Kan-Opener's introduction to the wars wasn't very inspired. A cobbled-together, uninvertible machine was swiftly dealt with by Atomic, and back off to the drawing board the team went. On the face of things, it looked like they had learned their lesson. A new machine, with revamped hydraulics, the ability to run either way up, and a generally more balanced-looking design. Unfortunately, the result of Kan-Opener's return was much the same, with a first-round loss thanks to Fluffy.

Redemption time finally came during the Extreme 2 Annihilator. Kan-Opener went about its business well - cynically finishing off Raging Reality, and staying out of danger well. When it came to a true one on one, it ground down Thermidor 2 in a true Robot Wars classic. Not just a few wins under the belt, but a trophy, too! Was this Kan-Opener's breakthrough?

Well, you'd hope so. Heat B of the Seventh Wars looked nicely set up for the trophy winner. Terrorhurtz was back down the motorway before Killerkat could even get fur on their robot, while the rest of the competition for a Semi-Final place came in the way of Big Nipper and Grim Reaper. Based on previous performances, Kan-Opener was very much capable of a Heat victory - or at least a Heat Final place, at that.

But no. Kan-Opener gets tangled up in Barbaric Response, and that was that. The Kan-Opener cycle of life continues after this, too. Another Annihilator victory caps off the classic series wonderfully, but Kan-Opener's inability for UK Championship progress is highlighted one final time in Series 8 - dropping out after a limp link loss following an Apollo flip.

So based on this, we know Kan-Opener really is the definition of a mixed bag. But is it underrated? Well...

People are well aware of Kan-Opener's form in the UK Championship compared to the Annihilator. It's a typical Robot Wars talking point. Despite this, I agree with RAZ3R that Kan-Opener itself is just never a talking point. People just don't bring it up. It's a machine that gets forgotten about the moment it's out of the competition. No wondering how well it could've progressed, no real endorsements for what it's good at. It's just not mentioned.

Why? Maybe it's because of the attention given to its UK Championships-Annihilator form comparison. That's the notable thing. It's always brought up when people talk about Kan-Opener, and by mentioning that interesting piece of trivia people seem to think that that's all they need to say about the machine. Basically, people make Kan-Opener out to be a very set-in-stone robot that excels in one tournament, doesn't in another and that's it. After all, it's fallen in the first round multiple times, and won the Annihilator multiple times. Because these things have happen more than once, people are fine with Kan-Opener being and opened-and-immediately-closed case when talking about it.

So why is Kan-Opener this opened-and-closed case? Well, I think Kan-Opener falls under the Alex Brown Effect again. Basically, if the show says something, then people go along with it. The show mentions Alex Brown being a great driver over and over? The fans go along with it. Hypno-Disc vs. Dominator 2 being labelled as the worst fight of all time? The fans go along with it. The show mentions Iron-Awe 2.1's melee being called boring? The fans go along with it. Kan-Opener also gets an under-the-radar version of the aforementioned examples, too. On multiple occasions, both Craig and Philippa questioned why Kan-Opener performed differently in different tournaments. Each time, Andy Kane responded with the very, very generic "different philosophy's for different tournaments" line. It was said so much that the viewing audience is bound to absorb it themselves. Anyhow, despite Andy's reasoning potentially having substance in some cases, I can't help but disagree with what he said being relevant for Kan-Opener itself. It was a line that can have truth in general, but I don't think it's one that truly represents Kan-Opener's difference in form between tournaments.

"When you go into the UK championship, you get one chance at it, and you kill. This Annihilator is a different game altogether - it's staying alive that counts."
— Andy Kane's famous line - for about the 90th time

So, as we see above, Andy mentions it being a survival game vs. a killing game, and on the face of it, survival is the true definition of an Annihilator. However, just because the show wants to make us believe that the Annihilator is a completely different ballgame battle-in-battle-out, doesn't mean that it is.

People will hit back with the following: about how Spiksaurus, Onslaught, Arnold A, Spirit of Knightmare, and co reached Annihilator finals - proving Andy Kane's point right. I get it, lower-quality machines can progress in Annihilators. I'm not denying that. But none of those machines mentioned above reached the finals by trying to survive either.

First of all, Spikasaurus carried out aggressive actions throughout against. It took the fight to Dominator 2 in multiple rounds, and withstood axe blows from Killerhurtz and Dominator 2 numerous times, too. Onslaught? This machine was in the thick of the action the entire time: lifting Razer, toppling Behemoth, being flung by Spawn of Scutter's spike - it deserved to progress, and again didn't progress by 'trying to survive'.

Arnold A? It was on Hypno-Disc's case throughout and constantly used its weapon on anything and everything. If anything, Pussycat was more cowardly in that Annihilator.

Spirit of Knightmare? It consistently contributed. Both it and Panic Attack took damage from Disc-O-Inferno, but for whatever reason Panic Attack took the damage less well.

And that's the annoying thing. Worse machines on paper doing well has never been through getting a lucky route through. All of them contributed and deserved their places later in the tournament. Unfortunately, the show also doesn't help this though. Julia and Jonathan consistently say "X has gone under the radar" - making it seem like they're not contributing anything but still progressing. It's funny: the likes of Julia wanted Arnold A to get credit for progressing, but she's the one that actually plays down its achievements - and because she's one of the faces of Robot Wars, the viewing audience will absorb what she says what she repeats this throughout an episode. She acts surprised at Arnold A's progress, acts like it will go out at any moment, but also wants it to be given credit. Strange way to go about it when it was deserving of its progress in each round.

So why does this all link back to Kan-Opener? Well, because I don't think it's the 'Annihilator philosophy' that made their fortunes change. I simply believe Kan-Opener is a 'one of those things' robot.

Series 5, it simply wasn't good enough. It's the team's first attempt, you let them off.

Series 6, they're just caught in a 'one of those things' situations. Fluffy completely mangles it. Was there a Fluffy in an Annihilator setting to kill off Kan-Opener? No. Would the same attack have happened in an Annihilator setting? Absolutely. Kan-Opener was open to attack, and Fluffy killed it. It had a potent weapon, and that did the damage.

Series 7 is a complete freak. The House Robots just gave up on trying to unpin Kan-Opener and Barbaric Response, and that was that. There's nothing Kan-Opener can do. Was this defeat down to Kan-Opener's differing philosophy? No. Kan-Opener was the most potent machine in the melee, but it lost trying to 'kill'. It's another one-of-those-things situations.

Series 8? It competes incredibly well in a tough field of robots before the link pops out. This happening is the team's own fault, but their battle philosophy didn't stop them progressing.

It's just a simple matter of fact. In Annihilator's Kan-Opener just has a smooth time of things where nothing goes wrong. It helps when a destructive weapon like Fluffy isn't in the Annihilator's it won, but Kan-Opener simply didn't have its freakish UK Championship moments happen in Annihilators. In robot combat, sometimes you're caught out or found in an awkward spot, and sometimes things go smoothly. For Kan-Opener, it's just coincidental that things went smoother in the Annihilator than in the UK Championships.

But what does all of this rambling have to do with Kan-Opener being underrated? Well, it's simple: the team themselves made Kan-Opener underrated. Andy Kane being forced to spew out that generic quote multiple times meant that the fans of the show don't feel like they need to have an opinion on it. So they don't. As a result, Kan-Opener is just swept aside, and that's a shame, because it's a machine that definitely was capable of more, but people simply don't care enough to mention it enough.

VERDICT: Underrated

Entry 7: Nuts 2 (Nominated by Wolfwingslaveleia)

Nuts S10

It isn't.

Entry 8: Technophobic (Nweston8's third pick)

Technophobic`

I always remember Technophobic from my childhood - although I'm not sure why

Technophobic Abaddon

DONTBRINGWHEELSINTOTHEARENA

Technophobic Pitbull

taking the doggy for a walk (well, if the team moved the bloody robot when its weapon lifted)

Here's a bit of a random one for you: Technophobic. In the midst of the overpopulated Series 3, it's very easy for any modest-to-decent machine to get forgotten about, and I'd say that this robot falls into that category.

Technophobic is a solid, logical-looking machine. A chunky, yet boxed-in shape, Technophobic hugs the floor well for Series 3 time. Technophobic tries to reinforce its attempts at a decent ground clearance further, by featuring two diagonal prongs at either side of the front of the machine. This also aids the weapon, which is a very viable-looking lifting arm - which looks well constructed, has good range of movement, and functions at a good speed.

Technophobic isn't a slouch in a general sense either, with the potential of 25mph top speeds. It certainly showed a nippy dart for its movement in the arena.

Against Abaddon, Technophobic did okay. It struggled to make full headway at first, but in the end still comfortably won the Judges' decision. The more impressive of its two fights was against the very solid Pitbull. If you're a run-of-the-mill Series 3 Heat loser, you should easily be bullied by Pitbull, but no. Technophobic pushed back, and even lifted Pitbull at one point. It really threatened the dog before its disappointing breakdown.

Really, the only thing stopping Technophobic being a very decent Series 3 machine was its driver. The robot was often quite static when attacking - failing to combine its good weapon with a solid drive to complete the attack. With somebody who was more competent at using that type of weaponry, Technophobic could've really done quite well. I also think a tinkered Technophobic could've done well in Series 4 - it would've certainly been a very entertaining robot to see in a melee.

Really though. it's just a shame Technophobic was in a Heat with Pitbull and Behemoth - two machines of very good Series 3 quality. The fundamentals were definitely there for it to do better than it did, but it still did okay for itself despite the short shelf life.

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