During a 6 hour Skype conversation with Toast and Nweston, the topic of good and bad robot names came up. Robot names, so much like the robots themselves, can be extraordinarily varying in terms of quality. Some inspire fear and passion, others wilt under the weight of their uninspired letters.
During this Skype conversation, Toast, Nweston and I formulated three "Cardinal Sins" of naming a robot. As we combed through Robot Wars UK Championships looking for the best and worst names, we tended to use these rules to instantly decide the worst names.
1. Repeat Names
This one is pretty self-explanatory; using a name that is already taken, no matter how obscure, shows a lack of originality in your part. The show also took an inconsistent approach to letting repeat names in, which only added to the frustration.
2. Letter number names
No matter how clever you explain what the letters and numbers stand for, if you enter a robot that is simply a letter and a number, there's just no creativity.
3. Names that are a chore to spell, write or say
Whether they have obscure spellings, unnecessary replacements for actual words, or lots of punctuation, these names are instantly unpopular.
We also noted a few lesser sins that we immediately disliked, but not nearly to the extent of the cardinals.
1. People's names
People are not robots. Too often robots are given people's names and yet not given faces or personality. It just seems lazy and uninspired for a robot that is meant to kill and maim.
2. Random sequentials
If this is your first time on the show and you're entering "X Robot 2" to reference an obscure middleweight predecessor no one saw, you fall out of favour by sending fans looking for information they can't find.
Unnecessary suffixes to names. Case and point, Interstellar MML.
As far as the best go, there's no strict criteria, but originality and creativity do wonders. Some names were just so outstanding that we checked them off as defaults every time (until some of them clashed).
- Best are listed in bold italics.
- Worst are listed in bold.
- The All-Timers will be CAPITALISED upon their appearances, whether they win or not. I will try to make clear whether a robot with an acronym name is all timer or not. I've also listed them below and will add them as my write up reaches them.
- Robot the Bruce
- Torque of the Devil
- Wheely Big Cheese
- Ewe 2
WORSTRobots will be capitalised and struck through. These are the names that so badly missed an opportunity or were so offensively bad that we had to single them out.
- T 2
- Kronic 2...Yeaaaahhhh!!
- Heat A. Not a particularly inspiring opener, with nothing to write home about good or bad. Barry was our unanimous loser for reasons in the lesser sins, and Roadblock was out unanimous winner. The road signs and sheer mass suited the name to a T.
- Heat B. RECYCLOPSE won unanimously, arguably one of the best names of all time. It perfectly captures the recycled nature of the robot whilst also capturing its aesthetic, in a portmandeau that rolls off the tongue. Thought Uglybot was considered a contender for worst, the unanimous loser was Leighbot, a robot's name so lazy that it simply took the school and stuck "bot" on the end. Names like this reek of placeholder status, where everyone just kept calling it "The Leigh City Technical College Robot" just condensed more and more. To quote Nick, "pepper pot, you can pour salt through that awful name".
- Heat C. This was a surprisingly close one. Toast latched on to Plunderbird early on and kept voting for it, and we all gave it points throughout. Dreadnaut, like Killertron, just suited a robot name, and ROBOT THE BRUCE very nearly took the top prize. However, WYSIWYG took the unanimous top prize for being so well suited to the robot's stock nature, simple design and for being so unexpectedly easy to say. The worst was hardest to pick. Whilst I voted for Cruella being the most uninspired, Nick and Toast both chose Wedgehog as the most obvious pun.
- Heat D. A steep fall from Heat C, with only Cunning Plan getting any support. Krayzee Tokyo and SAT'arn both nearly took the prize for worst for being unintelligible words with no clear explanation as to what they mean, but Nick put his foot down with his objection to Bugs. The first problem was that the robot was plural for a single beetle shaped robot, and it all went downhill from there.
- Heat E. A much stronger selection, with both Full Metal Anorak and TORQUE OF THE DEVIL picking up votes before the latter won out, and Psychosprout coming in third through sheer delight. The worst came down to Wharthog and REALI-T. Nick was particularly vocal about Reali-T being a cheat - the correct acronym should be "REAT" - but Toast and I decided that a bland animal name is no different to a bland human name.
- Heat F. Finishing on a weak note, I tried to back TRACIE but was outvoted in favour of Prince of Darkness. The weakest name was a dearth of choice, between the generic Skarab, and The Blob, who won out for not even sounding like a robot.
- Heat A: A few good choices here, the Shakespearean Caliban and the sophisticated Piece de Resistance. Ultimately, we went with Napalm, named for the deadly flammable liquid, which just screams death and pain and therefore is perfectly suited for a combat robot. For worst, whilst I don't like Victor, Toast voted for the punderful Panda Monium, complaining of misspelling and spaces. Given that there was no attempt to create a Panda design, it really could've just been called Pandemonium.
- Heat B: No objectively bad choices here, and I can't recall exactly what was debated, but ultimately Wheelosaurus was the least good. As we went through the Robot Wars names we realised that too often people just stuck "osaurus" at the end of a word and passed it as a name. As for the best, simple but effective names in Mace and Chaos could have been checked off, but the winner was undeniable here. From one of the worst Series 1 names to one of the best names of all time, LEIGHVIATHAN kept the homage to Leigh City Technical College whilst also working seamlessly into an actual word.
- Heat C: I like Mortis, who was unlucky to lose to an all-timer in Series 1, but Toast said that Latin should stay in the past and just die. The worst name was
Griffon, a misspelled version of the mythical creature who the cassette tape didn't even come close to resembling. The best name was ultimately highlighted as the space shuttle themed Challenger, but this was a weaker heat overall.
- Heat D: Discussion was raised for the first time about whether Razer was functional or bland; I favoured the latter. Elvis was the ultimate loser, however, as no matter how iconic or famous the name, it's still a name. The first appearance of Behemoth won the vote.
- Heat E: A very poor selection. Killertron and Technophobic sound like default robot names, to be sure. We ultimately chose for the only clever robot Spin Doctor but Toast wasn't happy. As for the bad, ORAC ultimately lost for being obscure, narrowly edging Pain.
- Heat F: An easy loss for Ron. Panic Attack, Corporal Punishment and Whirling Dervish all contended, but the original champion won in the end.
- Heat G: Killerhurtz, somewhat surprisingly to me who was expecting a Roadblock repeat, took this as Nick and Toast were unyielding. The word "kilohertz" had clearly evaded me. Limpet lost out as the only particularly unexciting name.
- Heat H: A shocking selection, Toast and I backed Cassius for being semi-exciting even though it was technically a person's name, wheras Nick went for Rampage. Loco won the race to the bottom against Groundhog, Wizard and Sting.
- Heat I: Though I went in backing All Torque, Nick brought up ROTTWEILER which we soon agreed was an all-timer, combining the vicious attack dog with the family's surname. Cruella placed last, which said a lot about the quality considering Toast backed it as a favourite in Series 1.
- Heat J: Arguably the worst episode for names ever, Nick wanted to vote for Talos until he realised it had a very bland origin. GBH was obviously eliminated for being inconsistently full of punctuation and being bland letters, though Broot came a close second last for its blatantly wrong spelling. Despite Toast's pleas, the best of a bad situation was to agree on Penetrator.
- Heat K: Plunderbird did strongly, but it came down to a choice between Enzyme and Mega Hurts. With no real enzymes visible for comparison, and the weapon not suiting the name, Enzyme placed a close second to the wonderfully wacky computer bot. The uncreative Demon placed last.
- Heat L: With Penetrator, Flirty Skirty and Tender Caress in such close proximity, Toast was getting rather hot under the collar, but we all agreed that Tender Careess was the best name. Haardvark was the least creative, simply sticking "hard" onto an animal the robot made no attempt to resemble.
- Heat A: A barren wasteland opens Series 3, with the first “Revenge” appearing, being the revenge of an extremely obscure reserve robot. I guess the revenge was for not being let into the series. The placement of Suicidal Tendencies set it up for a very easy victory here. For the worst, Toast wanted to vote for Mace 2 but ultimately switched to Raizer Blade, for the show letting it rip off both Razer and Blade who would appear within two episodes. However, Nick and I couldn’t go past Brimhur, a robot so generic in its design yet so obscure in its name. Toast believed that Brimhur was probably a Ben-Hur reference, but Nick and I still doubled down on it, pointing out that it is an obscure way to reference it when “Ben-Hurt” were right there.
- Heat B: Behemoth could’ve been an easy check off in another weak heat, especially as the name so perfectly suited the version in Series 3. However, Nick and I overrode Toast’s vote for Behemoth by backing Sumpthing, a robot that is charming for its weird spelling, though Toast thought it was hard to say. The bland Robocow was the ultimate loser, though Shark Attack didn’t inspire much more, receiving my vote. Better names for Robocow included "Bovine Batterer", “Udder Destruction” or “Moo, Hiss”.
- Heat C: Agent Orange was the clear winner for me, though I had to talk the others off Backstabber. Worst position was hard; how do you pick between Spike and Blade? As a compromise candidate, we went with Binky, slang for a baby’s pacifier, which suits a robot about as much as a microwave suits a snowball. Toast made us aware that there was in fact a robot named Pacifier, but this was still not enough to avoid the babyish name.
- Heat D: The infamous Flipper was our check off for worst, even if it was named after the dolphin and not the weapon it didn’t have, it still carried the taste of Spike and Blade like garlic. Milly-Ann Bug won the best prize, whether as an obscure pun for “Millennium bug” or as a charming name for a bug robot on its own.
- Heat E: We struggled here. Miss Ile feels cleverer than it is, separating the words without being a pun on anything. Chaos continues to be a great name but not one that you write home about. Toast ultimately proposed The Big Cheese and we all went for it. The worst name was Hammertron, a name that doesn’t inspire much of anything really.
- Heat F: One of the worst offenders of all time, Tantrum managed to take a really good robot name and destroy it by shedding the latter six letters to form
T 2. Toast pointed out the inexplicable space made even less sense. As far as the best went, with Toast once again cursing the Latin, we were left with Gravedigger and Manic Mutant. The latter won, as we weren’t too sure about a robot that pushes robots away from the ground being named for someone who digs holes.
- Heat G: An easy loss for Henry. Napalm managed a repeat win, with Kater Killer coming second due to its identity crisis as part cat, part caterpillar.
- Heat H: I liked Corporal Punishment and Death Warmed Up, but Toast wanted Stealth as the winner. The jet black low wedge certainly fit the name quite well. Nick ultimately backed Death Warmed Up. As far as worst goes, Ally Gator took up the same problems of Miss Ile, splitting a word just for the unclever way of making “Ally” stand for “Aluminium”.
- Heat I: Nick wanted to vote for The Witch, which was simply a rebranded Wizard with a broomstick. However, Crusher was the 2-1 choice for worst, given that it only describes the weapon I can’t imagine many brain cells were strained with that name. Sad that Adam Pengilly, who came up with the outstanding Torque of the Devil, was overruled by the team who came up with Wharthog. Armour Geddon won the top prize as a punderful idea.
- Heat J: 101 won a weak heat, despite not actually costing a pound and a penny it still worked as a metaphor and a memorable name. Eric came close to losing because it was just a name, but Toast made the strong case that the presence of a face made Eric a step above the Barrys and Dereks of the world. Instead, the inconsistent, unimaginative Weld-Dor with its bizarre spelling and completely uncompelling origin story took the bottom prize.
- Heat K: Panic Attack and X-Terminator were both fair choices, but pale in comparison to Judge Shred. Toast’s choice of Toe-Cutter raised some eyebrows, with Nick fully backing him until he realized that Toast was submitting it for best, and not worst. As far as worst went, Purple Predator could have taken the cake for summoning up the image of a pedophile in a Barney onesie, but we couldn’t move past Mr Punch with all the imagination of a six year old whose just picked up his first street fighting game.
- Heat L: Another tepid heat, I weakly banged the drum for Panzer or Flip Flop Fly, but Toast was very firm on Evil Weevil. Atlas was Toast’s second pick, because Toast automatically likes everything starting with “A”, if you didn’t know. Triterobot came last with its strange name, adding an unnecessary syllable to “Tribot” or creating confusion as to whether it is meant to be based on a dinosaur.
- Heat M: As it will do until the end of time, PUSSYCAT won this heat unanimously. There was some nice challenge from Scutter’s Revenge (themed beautifully for Craig Charles) and Plunderstorm (odd sequential notwithstanding). The loser, unsurprisingly, was the misspelled Thermador.
- Heat N: The winner here was the Adams Family Thing 2, which closely won for sheer cleverness even though Nick vociferously objected the lesser sin of no one knowing what Thing 1 was. Crippler, Killerhurtz, Prizephita and All Torque all did well and could have won the prize if Nick Adams had a different surname. In the worst category, the still misspelled Griffon won a second heat in a row.
- Heat O: A weak selection of choices, Firestorm beat the competition as it deserved to win at least once. Toast began his hatred on Diotoir because it was a translation of a tournament that hadn’t happened yet. However, Nick won the day with his condemnation of Schumey Too’s strangely spelt “Too”, which just beat out Sting 2.
- Heat P: The debut of an all-time classic in S.M.I.D.S.Y. makes this an easy one to decide. As worst goes, Toast nominated the pedestrian Psychokiller, but Nick and I felt that it still sounded robotic, as opposed to the vanilla Victor 2.
- Heat A: A relatively decent opener for Series 4. Chaos 2 continues to be decent, and we have pretty neat additions in Indefatigable and Atomic (which received Toast’s vote), whilst King B3 does something really neat to keep with the royalty theme. The winner, however, was clear for Nick and I, and that was Atilla the Drum (spelling notwithstanding) as a delightful pun with the interchanged words in places you wouldn’t expect. The worst was unanimously the only remaining robot, Medusa 2000. Not that it was an awful name, but the clunky “2000” either came across as a generic robot suffix or an attempt to make a Millennium reference.
- Heat B: PUSSYCAT is here so that pretty much ends that discussion, even with Milly-Ann Bug present as a former winner. Razer came close to losing, but for Nick and Toast banding together to condemn the unimaginative Robochicken (one of the fellas also grumbled that it technically falls into the “hard to spell” category because Autocorrect moves it to Robot Chicken).
- Heat C: Firestorm looked like it was going to win again, but Nick and I backed Bolt from the Blue. This heat was a steaming pile with that as the only half remarkable name. On the worst, Toast was banging the drum for Diotoir, which was still named after a tournament that hadn’t happened yet. But Nick and I were firm that Scar, Toast’s motor aside, was still the least creative name.
- Heat D: After being passive for a while in the “best” category, I jumped up and down to promote Cronos as the best name. Not that the name itself was remarkable, but to give the team props for doing their research. How many of you knew that Cronos was the father of Hades, Poseidon and Zeus? I didn’t before Robot Wars made that connection. When you give the King of the Gods’ name to an ineffectual pickaxe box that gets pitted in thirty seconds, you have to seriously one-up and that’s the best thing the team did. Nick and Toast agreed, though Nick wanted to back Mazakari because it “had a Z in it”. We also noted the first appearance of the punderful Iron-Awe, but any praise was drowned up by my ancient mythology lesson. As far as the worst went, we agreed that Steg 2 was the least creative, even if it was easier to spell than its predecessor.
- Heat E: This was a surprisingly strong heat, with a previous winner 101 coming a distant fourth and Dominator not even getting a look in. Despite my distaste for the robot, I joined the others in declaring DISC-O-INFERNO as one of the greatest of all time. To have a robot with a flywheel, in an arena full of fire, named after the classic song invited so many jokes and references (sadly none of which were taken by JP during the junk bot’s time on the flame pit, according to Toast). But the heat also had the incredible Shadow of Napalm, which was even more ominous than its predecessor considering that burning napalm was often dropped from the sky. Toast started banging the drum for Major Tom, as he would continue to do throughout the exercise, as he loves his songs. The worst robot, the only one of the five outside at least “good”, was Henry 2, and lost in roughly the same time it took to lose in the heat.
- Heat F: A heat split clean in half, with Tornado being a very underrated name for an incredible pushing bot that was unlike anything we saw up to that point. I also still found Kater Killer relatively clever. However, the controversially spelled Inverterbrat lost out thanks to a united front of Nick and Toast, who felt that The Creature was a step down from the team’s previous incarnation. As far as best, despite Tornado, the winner was another all-timer in the first clusterbot, GEMINI.
- Heat G: Whilst the dull Wedgehog ultimately lost Heat C of Series 1, we were all charmed by Kronic the Wedgehog, which managed to double pun the popular SEGA character. Sadly, Kronic seemed to have no bonus meaning which would move it into all-timer status. Thermidor managed to move off bottom ranking thanks to its correct spelling, and overtook Dreadnaut XP-1 due to the clutter of the latter’s name. This left Warhog (close to the previously losing Wharthog but retaining points for at least trying to sound like they were adapting, rather than just adopting, the name), a previous loser in Gravedigger, and The Darke Destroyer. Nick went to bat for Darke Destroyer using the “Rottweiler” logic, but it was denied. Toast and I believed that Darke Destroyer 2 came across as juvenile, rather than clever. Had the robot called itself “Darkeness” or “Darke Night”, the pun would have been clever enough to possibly contend, not only for the win, but also for all-timer status.
- Heat H: Speaking of all-timer status, Roger Plant gave us an instant classic with WHEELY BIG CHEESE, which managed to combine a novelty sequel note with a pun that also referenced two of the robot’s key attributes. You really can’t get much better than that, even with a previous winner in Suicidal Tendencies, and Toast’s beloved Prizephita. Even Maverick was a great name for a robot. However, the loser ended up being Wheelosaurus, as by now the suffix “osaurus” was wearing thin in the creativity department, and it would only get worse.
- Heat I: A very weak heat compared to the previous two. The arguments for Small Torque and Killerhurtz were the same; they both wore off at the same time over exposure, and which did you still prefer? I was getting sick of the novelty of Killerhurtz but Nick and Toast gave it another win. Eric could have cake-walked a loss in my books but for Toast again making the personality argument, and Nick hating Destruct-A-Bubble. We ultimately agreed that putting words like “kill”, “destruction” or “rage” in front of your novelty integer “bubble” does not make you a cleverly named robot.
- Heat J: Another serviceable heat. Toast wanted to vote for Stinger because of the “sting in its tail”, but Nick and I disagreed. We also disagreed with Toast considering Hammer & Tong a weak choice, and after explaining what the phrase meant, Nick and I were confident that it was as well suited a name for a robot as any other in the heat winners so far. Props to Bigger Brother for being clever, but it sadly paled with Wheely Big Cheese so recent in our memory. The real loser here was Spikasaurus, in the same vein as Wheelosaurus two heats prior.
- Heat K: Evil Weevil and Sumpthing both contended for a repeat win in a shockingly weak heat. I vetoed Mousetrap because I wouldn’t give the team credit for building a giant mousetrap and calling it Mousetrap. Ultimately, Nick and I went for Sumpthing again while Toast went for Evil Weevil. Everyone agreed that whilst Little Fly was a weird name (I grew up thinking Sumpthing was Little Fly, because it looked like a fly), the even clunkier Weld-Dor 2 would come in last again.
- Heat L: I don’t think I’ve ever heard Nick speak to Toast as incredulously as he did when Toast was calling Fat Boy Tin a bad name. Nick instantly pushed Fat Boy Tin (a pun on Fat Boy Slim) as the best choice, and when Toast argued that there were better puns, we spent a few minutes struggling to think of anything better. I’m fairly sure there was a hilariously weak suggestion, Nick if you want to refresh. I loved the first and only use of “Spawn of” for a sequel robot, but supported Nick in the end. The worst was fairly easy to choose, as the strangely spelled Knightmare (pronounced Kanightmare) took a famous Battlebots name and added the medieval theme that didn’t reflect in the slightest on the exterior design.
- Heat M: A fairly weak heat. Nick’s first suggested winner was Reactor, but Toast and I felt that it was too unremarkable. Humphrey was our clear loser, with Scorpion falling into Mousetrap territory. Sir Chromalot and The Steel Avenger was pretty much set in the above middle tier forever. This left us with Wild Thing, and I agreed with Toast that they deserved credit for an interesting sequel name at least once. A fairly dispassionate heat overall.
- Heat N: Judge Shred, Behemoth and X-Terminator still kept on keeping on, but I think we were just in the mood for Millennium Bug references as we didn’t really consider the old favourites. I voted for Rambot as the worst, but was persuaded to switch when I could at least acknowledge an attempt to name it after an animal. Instead, I joined Nick and Toast complaining about Arnold, Arnold Terminegger. Toast was the standard bearer for this one, noting the confusing hybrid of two names from the same franchise, whilst simultaneously adding a perplexing comma that makes it seem like two robots named “Arnold” and “Arnold Terminegger”. In my comrades’ words, it was a name so needlessly long that they were forced (?) to shorten it in the next series.
- Heat O: Panic Attack continued to come a distant second, this time to S.M.I.DS.Y. There was an amusing discussion of Saw Point, as Nick tried to convince us that it was a common phrase and clever name (he succeeded only on the latter). As far as worst went, Aggrobot 2 and Oblivion 2 both duked it out between Toast and Nick, and I broke the tie with the slightly less interesting name.
- Heat P: A wasteland greeted us, with the generic V-Max, bland Predator and previous losing nominee Raizer Blade. Nick and I joined Toast in voting for Raizer Blade, as they opted to keep the name despite Blade's and Razer’s success in the previous war (they were forgivable when they debuted at the same time as Blade, but no longer). On the best, somehow the not-appearing Onslaught managed to still be one of the best names in the episode, but we finally agreed on Terror-Bull for a clever pun with an animal flair.
- Forces Special: The Forces Special didn’t strain any brain cells. Mega-Hurts reused a name, whilst Shockwave and Rhino picked names that would later be copied, implying that the names weren’t hugely creative to begin with. Toast didn’t like Rhino for a tank and no one liked Oblark for being a cheaper, nastier Dantomkia, but ultimately the recycled Mega-Hurts was still worse. On the best end, with half the list contending for awful, we didn’t have much to choose from. Unanimously we picked the relatively fine Sub-Version, a submarine themed sneak attack which is a far better name than the robot deserved.
- Antweight: This one was voted on pretty unanimously, but I didn't have Nick's vote when I published Extreme 1's results. There were a number of choices here for worst, with half of the lineup making some kind of "Ant" joke. I really liked Anty B, which also referenced Ant Pritchard's name, though I suspect this was a bonus to just being an ant-sized Behemoth. Razzler is underrated, as a less threatening version of the big machine's name. Little Nipper was clever but distracting, since it and Big Nipper both appeared in the same year but weren't related. The ultimate winner was Combat Ant, which doubled as a pun on "combatant" whilst also being the most aggressive of the names and an ant pun. On the other end of the spectrum, Craig Danby didn't do any mental gymnastics with Anto, sticking an 'o' on the end of his robot's weight class shorthand.
- Middleweight: A pyramid shaped full body spinner named Typhoon? Sign me up. I love storm themed robot names, and so did Toast, who backed me. Nick didn’t care at all for Typhoon, and booed the idea, instead backing Genesis. We had pick of the litter for worst, with Doom somehow not even getting a vote. Nick felt very strongly about Zap (despite having a Z in it), but Toast and I banded together to criticize Mammoth, a bizarre choice of name for one of the lightest robots in Extreme 1. You wouldn’t expect a robot named Mammoth and a robot named Doodlebug to be roughly the same weight.
- Second World Championship: This one I had to include purely, purely for the triggering that would be Toast talking about Whirlpool 70. This is his most hated name in the history of Robot Wars. Whirlpool itself is perfectly adequate, daresay good, but was completely butchered by the team whilst adding a superfluous 70. Lesser sin aside, it then commits the cardinal sin of being a letter number name “W70”. Worst of all, W70 actually takes longer to say than Whirlpool 70! There was never any doubt, but I was hoping that someone might vote for Yeborobo. I couldn’t even give a safe dissenting vote, because Nick refused to vote for W70, instead holding his vendetta against NEAT Machine with capital NEAT. On the best side of things, with Wheely Big Cheese and Pussycat both missing out on the tournament by one battle, the field was more open. Tornado looked like a contender for a moment, but the translation of Ansgar (god spear in German) was enough to win the field.
- Heat A: By the beginning of Series 5, we have some seriously established all-timers and S.M.I.D.S.Y. cakewalked this heat once more. We threw an honourable mention to Obsidian for a suitably deadly sounding name. The debate raged around the placement of 8645T. Toast considered it clever, and insisted that we should call it Beast. Nick, however, wasn’t having any of it and declared it the worst licence plate number of all time. The Tartan Terror was lucky to avoid last place.
- Heat B: I’ve been partial to Adam Clark robots all the way through, trying to muster enthusiasm for Corporal Punishment twice. This time, I was finally able to get my way with the adorable story behind Adam Clark’s Wowot, being his young son’s pronunciation of “robot”. Nick reluctantly went along, but Toast wasn’t having it, voting for Kan-Opener. The worst robot was easily Juggernot 2, a double sin of being misspelled and sequentially named, though we took time to criticize Lambsy, which appeared to be the name of the sheep and not the wolf-designed robot beneath it.
- Heat C: Bizarrely, it took a desolate heat for Plunderbird to finally win. With this being its final iteration, it came not a moment too soon. On the worst end, I instantly voted for S3, which Nick defended on the grounds that “Sting 3” would be just as bad, if not worse. After enduring Toast’s attempts to make a name based around the singer “Sting” we agreed that S3 was indeed the worst and moved on with our lives.
- Heat D: GEMINI was again the clear winner, but there was a strong challenger in Bee-Capitator and even Bot Out of Hell (Nick’s vote), but the latter faltered because Toast didn’t like the issues with capitalizing the letter O. No one disputed our unanimous choice for worst: the incomprehensible Rohog (we presumed it was Robot Wharthog).
- Heat E: Even with a number, Napalm was still the best this heat had to offer. Prizephita was wearing thin and Thermidor was wearing off. Though the robot itself was rather neat, the ultimate loser was The Alien, a fairly pedestrian name that came very close to being a repeat name for a Series 3 soccer player overturned by its own hard right turn.
- Heat F: This seemed like a sewn up loss for Derek, but then we considered two pieces of information. The first was that Kronic 2 destroyed the only piece of its name that made it appealing in the first place. The second was realizing that Kronic 2’s actual name in Series 5 was, unironically, deliberately,
- Okay have you let that sink in? Good. I think you’ll agree that the double-barreled misfire of that name is far worse than a boring bot given a boring name. As far as the best went, there wasn’t much competition for 13 BLACK, voted as an all-timer.
- Heat G: Unanimously, we went for Spawn Again, the team once again giving a great name evolution as the robots were completely revamped. Diotoir was bested by Sabretooth as the new “Toast doesn’t like this name but struggles to articulate it”; he would vote for it almost exclusively for the next four appearances of the machine. It would also be remiss of me not to mention that Toast didn’t like Evolution either, believing that a tank machine should’ve been called Thomas. But when it came to worst, Nick and I weighed up between Dome and Hydra, and surprisingly, we both agreed that Hydra was more unforgiveable. A Hydra’s most iconic feature is its five heads. Hydra was a box with a flipper. It did nothing whatsoever to earn such a name. At least Dome was actually a dome.
- Heat H: This heat was an absolute classic. When a flywheel robot named Supernova doesn’t even get a look in at the top two, you know you’ve got some picks of the litter. CRUSHTACEAN was effective, perfectly named for its design, and easy to roll off the tongue, and earned Toast’s vote. However, Nick and I were still enamoured with WHEELY BIG CHEESE, who showed itself to be even bigger and better. On the worst level, Granny’s Revenge got a pass for the mild laugh you get when you hear it for the first time. Robochicken Evo, despite being worse than the name that got it last place in Series 4, squeaked by. But we all unanimously agreed that
Axe-Awewas the worst name in Heat H, likely the worst in Series 5 and potentially one of the worst of all time. First of all, you have a brilliant pun in Iron Ore. How do you up that? Gold Awe? Something similar like Chrome Might? No, they just stuck the word “axe” on top of it and expected us to be impressed. But here’s the thing. The original Iron Awe had an axe. The only thing added was a flipper. Why base your new name around a weapon the old one also had? Shouldn’t it be Flip-Awe? That would at least stay clever.
- Heat I: Had Team Jurassic given their robot the name Steg 3, it would’ve been on the top of my “worst names” ballot, but instead they opened up creativity and we got the brilliant 3 Stegs to Heaven. Shame about the robot, but full points for cleverness. Brilliant second place went to Tetanus as well, a name that just makes you uncomfortable to be around a robot with jagged edges. As far as worst went, Splinter, Bigger Brother and Onslaught were all fairly safe and tried and tested by now, neither evoking passion nor disdain. Fortunately, we were all sick of acronyms and we voted for VIPER 01 as the worst, with a silly additional number and a name none of us can remember what it stands for. Does anyone remember what VIPER stands for without looking it up? I can’t.
- Heat J: Let’s just get it out of the way. Monad lost. It wasn't a good start for Team Monad. I don’t know if they named it after the philosophical term for unit, the musical note or the algebraic concept, but none of them fit and all of them suck. It was a lucky miss for Kat 3, though, who was bland, misspelled and non-sequential. It was also an interesting discussion on Mini Morg, a name whose intention was not at all clear. Was it meant to be a place for dead midgets? That was both morbid and completely non threatening. I know MORG stands for metal organism, but the grim reaper logo was everywhere and I’m not convinced that was the intention just yet. On the best spectrum, I didn’t have a horse in the race and got to listen to Nick and Toast clamour for attention as they pushed Barber-Ous and Major Tom respectively. Nick proved the more eloquent and ended up winning Toast’s support too, with its pun name and its magnificent reference to its origins as a barber’s pole.
- Heat K: A really rough heat here. Once again, we had a complete clash, this time with Nick. The name Axe-C-Dent was mentioned as a possible contender, and Nick rushed to agree – if we meant in the worst category. Toast and I were stunned. Axe-C-Dent was a fairly neat pun and there wasn’t much competition. Nick was adamant. “It’s got a c that has no earthly business being there”, he beseeched us. “Is it meant to be Axe-Dent, is it?” we asked, to no legible response. Fortunately, Nick was distracted by a cloud in the shape of Destruct-A-Bubble and immediately latched onto his old hatred, and Toast supported him. Rick, my vote, was forgiven by Toast for reasons I’m still not sure of. I think he said it stood for Maverick so it was more forgiveable. Suicidal Tendencies won the race of the also-rans. It feels wrong that its won twice. It's good, but not that good.
- Heat L: This is another sensational heat. PUSSYCAT won once again, but it beat out two more icons in TERRORHURTZ (voted an all timer with my reluctant support) and Fluffy, a name that only misses out on all-timer status because its only outstanding when juxtaposed with the robot. 101, a former winner, didn’t even get a look in the top 3. But when it came to worst, Twister took the top prize for lack of imagination. We couldn’t quite stretch it to “repeat name” since Adam Clark’s F2Q bot was only learned of recently.
- Heat A: Remember when I said I was done with acronyms? I lied. WASP was my vote for the best name of Heat A, because not only did the robot resemble the buzzing bug that it was named for, but its acronym of What A Silly Project was the most apt name for a joke, have a go bot since Sumpthing. Worth an honorable mention is the first appearances of what Nick would coin “such a series 6 name” in Raging Reality and Brutus Maximus. A “Series 6 name” is usually comprising of two lengthy words put together. Some Series 6 names that weren’t actually series 6 robots include Suicidal Tendencies and Cataclysmic Variabot. We all love the name Raging Reality, perhaps even more than WASP, but ultimately it is not particularly clear what it means and so we couldn’t edge it in front. As far as worst went, Weld-Dor 3 took the clean sweep for the robot’s iteration. With three losses in three appearances, its somewhat shocking that Weld-Dor doesn’t contend for our worst of list. It’s not offensively bad, it’s just so completely not good it takes something very special to be worse.
- Heat B: Another “Series 6 name” won this heat, with Barbaric Response being doubly clever in playing on the team’s name. We couldn’t make it an all timer, however, as Toast didn’t think it was better than Mega-Hurts, and you can’t make one an all-timer without unanimous approval. Robochicken dodged the bottom rung thanks to Spirit of Scorpion. Aside from the fact that it confuses the hell out of everyone (is the spirit fighting? Is it the spirit of the original?) it creates a bug in Spirit of Knightmare/Knightmare that means those two have to share an article to keep consistent with Scorpion in Series 7 and Spirit of Scorpion in Series 6.
- Heat C: CRUSHTACEAN finally got to win, thanks to Wheely Big Cheese’s retirement. It won this relatively tepid heat, though I did have to suggest Doctor Fist which just makes me laugh every time I hear it. On RA2’s blog (back when no one did them) he once made the joke that it sounded like an adult film and I’ve never been able to cleanse that. Dantomkia was an interesting one that has a great story behind it, but Nick convinced me that had Dantomkia lost in Round 1 and never returned, I wouldn’t have cared less about it (remember Oblark?) On the worst front, Destructosaur cleaned up for sounding like a Series 1 name that showed up 5 years too late, though Mr. Nasty did well to avoid the Mr. Punch pratfall.
- Heat D: Toast tried really hard to make Armadrillo happen for worst, but Nick and I weren’t having it, not when we had previous loser The Alien and two letter-number names in S3 and GBH 2. S3 took a double crown just because it had less letters than GBH 2 did. On the best side of things, Nick was the one to lodge a protest, as Toast and I backed ICU. Nick claimed that ICU’s lack of number shouldn’t pardon its cardinal sin of being letters, but Toast giggled his way through an eloquent explanation of how ICU sounds like “I see you” and it was going to put opponents in the ICU. Nick grumbled that ICU would have no prospects of putting anyone in the ICU.
- Heat E: Another “Series 6 name” won this heat with Infernal Contraption, and for the first time I am very unhappy with the result. Nick had absolutely no tolerance for Adam Clark names and said that since I got my way with Wowot, I wasn’t getting 259. With a united front, I had no chance, even though I think Clark’s cutesy stories are way more memorable than Infernal Contraption’s name. There’s nothing else in Heat E worth mentioning at all, so we agreed UFO was the least imaginative and called it a day. Remember when Series 1’s UFO robot still came up with “Reali-T” as a name?
- Heat F: I went in hard for Fluffy, wanting it to win at least once but was denied in favour of a repeat victory for 13 BLACK. I also resisted voting Chompalot worst, but Nick was once again a wise and just orator and reminded me to divorce the name from Simon, Debs, Iron Maidens and the Series 8 campaign. It’s just a lazier pun on Lancelot, let it go, TG, let it go.
- Heat G: Toast said something funny about Terror Bull; it missed one series and felt like it missed half the show. It’s not relevant but so true that I wanted to share it. Anyway, Terror Bull could’ve contended but there was something so cool about the name Anarchy that we all went for it, but none of us could really explain why. Toast went out hard and vicious for Inshredable, wanting to punish the pun on “incredible” that Nick and I weren’t convinced was intended. I also wasn’t a fan of Judge Shred 2.5 because of the random sequential was so unneeded (it bore no resemblance to Judge Shred 2 so I’m not sure why they didn’t go straight to 3 and then name the s7 version Judge Shred 3.5). However, Edge Hog was Nick and my vote for the loser. Once you make one hedgehog reference, you’ve made them all.
- Heat H: Much like Crushtacean, Supernova moved out from the eclipse and won a heat in its own right. Spawn Again missed a massive opportunity to continue the evolution of its name “Respawn”, which wouldn’t have even required the robot be re-designed (as we’ve seen with Comengetorix and Vercingetorix). On the worst, we had a battle of the underwear bots, but Hot Pants was the least exciting. The Hassocks Hog squeaked ahead thanks to alliteration, but not for long.
- Heat I: Just as Wheely Big Cheese no longer obstructed Crushtacean’s path to greatness, nor did Pussycat obstruct 'TERRORHURTZ’s'. Terrorhurtz gets the recognition it deserves, succeeding the genius Killerhurtz with an even louder soundwave to present another threatening and clever name. Toast once named his Chimecho Terahertz, in a juxtaposition that is so classically Toast it’s not funny. On the worst end, it was a race to the bottom between Kronic 2, who still ruined a great name but dropped the blasphemous “….Yeaaahh!!!” and A-Kill, which sounds like an android named by a fat scientist who had to jot something down before the cafeteria ran out of donuts. The loser was all of us, but ultimately Kronic 2 came lower.
- Heat J: Now I get to talk about by far one of the greatest Robot Wars names. Pussycat is the undisputed best, but when it comes to #2, Toast, Nick and I diverged. For me, I can count on one finger the names that are cleverer than COMENGETORIX. How often can you take the name of a famously ultra-Latin word and make a pun on it? Look at it, it’s got a V and a C and an X – it’s like a nightmare scrabble move! But the team managed to throw down that gauntlet and issue a challenge to all roboteers to “come and get us”. If I could be present for any historic Robot Wars moment, I’d have loved to be in the room when the bright spark suggested “Let’s call it Comengetorix”. S.M.I.D.S.Y. may be an all-timer, but it was left in the dust. On the worst, readers of the comments section can be sure that Axe-C-Dent 2 was Nick’s vote, but Toast went for St. Agro, the saint of misspelled aggression and uber-obscure UK towns. I wanted Hydra to reclaim its former non-glory, but since the Series 5 loss had Nick’s support and Nick wasn’t voting for anything without a Dent in its name, I had to tie-break the two of them. I voted for St. Agro, partly because I thought Axe-C-Dent was a good name, and partly because Nick’s reaction was funny.
- Heat K: Barber-Ous 2 won the weak heat. Funnily enough, this was probably Hypno-Disc’s best showing, as it was in the same tier as Bulldog Breed, and both were better than the dregs. We had Kat 3, still dull, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, which is a mouthful and a half, and Spin Doctor, which was repeat name. Surely if you were a producer of Robot Wars Series 1-5 you’d remember there was a robot that tore off Matilda’s tusks. I could forgive forgetting that Wharthog existed, or Humphrey, but Spin Doctor, c’mon.
- Heat L: Series 6 closed out with an all-timer taking the crown again, DISC-O-INFERNO. Still no burn baby burn jokes, but still a brilliant name. Toast once again cited Major Tom, but we weren’t having it. On the worst, we could’ve had Tridentate, which was a series 3 finalist with “ate” on the end. If it was named after the ligand, I’d like to point out that the Tridentate ligand has a shorter Wikipedia article than half of the King of Bots contenders do on our fledgling sister Wiki. Basically, it’s obscure. Unfortunately, Tridentate was denied even that glimpse of notability, as Derek 2 punched in with its haymaker of mediocrity and lay down in the middle of the room. Safe to say, it got the loss it missed in Series 5.
Extreme 2 - New Blood
- Heat A: The New Blood Tournament may have been a good idea, but it gave us no more good names than it gave good robots. Case and point, Heat A. Niterider could have contended if it wasn’t a misspelled variation on Night Raider in the very next heat. The heat heavyweights, Mute and Roobarb, had no explanation behind their names. We were left then with Terror Turtle, who picked up the win with alliteration and for the cheap laugh you got when hearing the name for the first time. Mr. Nasty, who was lucky to beat Destructosaur last time, came in at the bottom again.
- Heat B: Nick and I continued our disdain for Edge Hog, and would’ve gotten my vote if Toast hadn’t snuck in with a “what does Round Table 81 even mean”. Funnily enough, RT-81 was so long that I didn’t even realise it was a letter-number name. On the best side, Toast really like Chip, but Nick and I couldn’t quite get on board. Instead, we went with Hell’s Teeth, a dangerous sounding name that surpassed its robot in memorability.
- Heat C: Poor Nick was met by ICU once more and launched an immediate campaign to have Chopper installed as the best. Sadly, this campaign was short lived, as ICU won with both my and Toast’s vote. I for one couldn’t vote for Chopper, which was just a shorter version of Daisy Chopper, and if Daisy Chopper couldn’t even crack the top half of its heat I couldn’t justify a win here. For the worst, Storm 2 was the clear loser. Not only was it a more vanilla version of Tornado, Typhoon and Storm Force, it had the additional sin of being sequentially named.
- Heat D: The final heat offered some of the best and worst New Blood had to offer. On the best front, Piranha was the winner, a welcome change from sharks and crocodiles whilst retaining the aquatic aggression theme. Bash Gordon warranted a chuckle and some praise, and I still found Doctor Fist funny. The worst name was the ill-conceived Fatal Traction. Not only is it a reference to a movie that is inappropriate for its target audience, what does fatal traction even mean? Is it meant to grind its opponents to death with its deadly grip on the arena floor? Or is it meant to run opponents over? Fatal Traction is a case of a name not being objectively bad, but misjudged. I would still rather a dozen Fatal Traction esque names than another Spin Doctor, Black Widow or Spike.
- Heat A: Is it redundant to even mention PUSSYCAT heats? Possibly. This one Pussycat won very comfortably, with a very distant second probably being Brutus Maximus. On the worst, we had one of the hardest decisions of all time. A letter-number in M2, and two repeat names in Shell Shock and Twister. What happens when two cardinal sins collide? I didn't vote for M2 from the get go. Until such time as its explicitly proven M2 stands for Mincer 2, I'll defend it as an okay name of the motorway. If it really is Mincer 2, maybe I'd have voted for it. But with two repeat names, who comes worse? We all like Shell Shock, not only as a good name but it references the snail found inside Fat Boy Tin. Twister is a whole lot more generic. But what led us to voting Shell Shock as the worst was the fact that the Series 4 Fat Boy Tin team were more likely to have heard of Series 3 Shell Shock than the Dutch team were to have heard of Series 5 Twister. Consider also that Twister may have pre-existed Series 5 Twister in some form during the planning stages.
- Heat B: We decided to leave Terrorhurtz as an honorable mention and pick an actual favourite from the robots that competed. Toast kept voting for Kan-Opener, and during a chat the other night with ThatRedOtter I realised just how confused I was by that love. Toast, when you read this, please enlighten us as to why you are so in love with a misspelled "can opener", given that you voted against Kat 3 for a similar reason and took such hatred with punctuation. But seriously, the k's were weak in this heat, with Killerkat voted our worst unanimously. On the best, Gyrobot is a bit cleverer than first appears when you realise it's a perfect hybrid of "gyro" and "robot", instead of just sticking "bot" on the end. But the winner for me and Nick was Jackson Wallop, a robot I almost deem to be an all-timer. Not only is the word wallop a lot of fun to say, it's a pun on someone that one might never expect to make a play on, and it just suits a flail bot perfectly.
- Heat C: The Hassocks Hog 2 couldn't stay above last place twice, even though I tried to make the case for Rick again, I was outvoted. On the best front, we didn't have a lot of choice, and Toast voted for Tomohawk while Nick and I voted for IG-88. It's fun to see such a great Star Wars reference continue, one a whole lot cleverer than Vader.
- Heat D: Another late game all-timer, of which Series 7 was full of. Whoever thought of making an explosive flipper named GRAVITY is an absolute genius and manages to emphasise the most dangerous and damaging feature of the weapon. 13 BLACK came second once again. On the bad end, Hydra once again escaped our votes as The Alien ran into Hodaf the Bad. Toast voted for The Alien again. For me, Hodaf the Bad is a nothing name. It sounds like a randomly generated orc captain from Shadow of Mordor's nemesis system. Nick agreed.
- Heat E: Sadly, fans of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit will be disappointed. Fun as it is to say, there's too little in change to avoid it being Barber-Ous 2. It had no hope of being ahead of third place. Tetanus Booster was a perfect sequel in the vein of Wheely Big Cheese, when so many roboteers were not only sticking numbers on the end, but dropping the actual name to just a letter (S3, looking at you). But it couldn't hold up to EWE 2, an outstanding pun that kept the team's sheep theme and completely neutered any complaint of the random sequential. On the worst front, Sawpoint 2 lost as a random sequential and a repeat name, beating out Leveller 2 who could only be blamed for one of those.
- Heat F: Speaking of outstanding flipper names, how can you go beyond Tsunami, a destructive force that can hurl vehicles and even buildings with their raging force. I myself made a vote for Scarey-Go-Round, but in the time since out initial vote I can appreciate Tsunami more. There were no votes for Fluffy this time, as a feeble Extreme 2 campaign reduced the juxtaposition and actually made it rather apt. We had a few choices for worst, mostly coming down to Constrictor and Killer Carrot 2. There was a strong push for Killer Carrot 2, considering that it probably was Killer Carrot 2 and the original Killer Carrot in Series 6 should've just dropped the number. In the end, however, I believe Constrictor won for being rather bland, and not even featuring a crusher.
- Heat G: SMIDSY won again, finalizing its career with a terrific 4/5 wins. It had one of its weakest challenges yet, with probably Terror Turtle coming a distant second. I don't particularly remember who the other candidates were for worst, but I only remember Nick being very, very against I Bot One Beta. I will let him elaborate in the comments section as I've forgotten his case, but it was very passionate and persuasive.
- Heat H: Another all-timer, and one Toast feels very strongly about. CEROS had the brilliant and novel idea of using the second half of a name when the first half was taken (not that it stopped bloody Rhino from having a repeat name, more on that later). Think how many great names we could have had if others had actually made an effort. We could've had Epithemeus instead of another Prometheus, Wooly instead of another Mammoth, and it seems a shame that we have no robot called Hurricane but have three Cyclones and three Twisters. How can you not reward such effort and innovation with All-Timer status? It could've lost the heat, though, MING DIENASTY being as clever as it is as both a violent sounding name and a play on dynasty. A relatively strong heat was undone by some weak end contenders, with the second Revolution machine being Revolution 3, another dull "osaur" with Scraptosaur, but the worst by far was the repeat name of The Scrapper. Just because you stick a "the" in front of it, doesn't mean you're not repeating the name. Imagine if we had "The Tornado", "The X-Terminator", "The Mousetrap" or "The Splinter". We wouldn't let those past without complaint.
- Heat I: Second series in a row, Supernova takes the top prize. As Toast put so well today, if you're looking for a dangerous sounding name, just look to the stars (he didn't put it quite as well as that). Supernova, Pulsar, Magnetar, Black Hole, Apollo - they all sound suitably powerful, deadly or both. What doesn't sound deadly is Storm 2, not when the current reigning champion is the more dangerous sounding Tornado, and certainly not when we've had the cooler sounding Firestorm (irony) and the at-least-they're-trying Storm Force. Sadly, I was outvoted on Storm 2, even with the sequential 2 that I'm sure some people still think makes Storm 2 the successor to Storm Force. No, the loser was Mayhem, with Toast and Nick both feeling that it was generic and bland. It also had the double fault of being named after both a tournament and a video game, which makes it more offensive in the taken category than Rhino, who can be excused for forgetting the Extreme 1 Army bot.
- Heat J: Kronic the Wedgehog somehow claimed victory in an absolutely awful heat. We had nothing to do but reward it for finally remembering exactly why we liked it in Series 4, but it wouldn't have won many of the other heads. This heat was chock full of short forgettables like Pinser, Mobot, Cobra, The Kraken, with Pinser getting a dishonourable mention for being misspelled. But Nick and I still felt the wooden spoon went to 8645T 2, which is an absolute pain to write, a chore to say and an bother to say. I think we now know why they didn't use a 7 for the T, 8645T can at least be said fast, "86457 2" certainly can't.
- Heat K: Infernal Contraption won again, and I was more supportive this time. Bulldog Breed joins Hypno-Disc on my list of favourite robots with solid suitable names that never came close to winning. The heat was fairly weak, with Hard, Mantis, Jabber and a very lazy pun in T-Wrecks (seriously, who hears this pun and likes it so much they name their robot after it? Sounds like a first idea). But after escaping loss twice, Kat 3 finally came in at the bottom for its misspelled and bland name.
- Heat L: CRUSHTACEAN makes another appearance and there's nothing else to be said when a top-tier robot is in the heat. Judge Shred probably came a distant third now that it finally committed to being a full numbered iteration (not sure why Robot Wars hated the number four so much, only two robots ever used it). UFO was considered our worst pretty much unanimously, and I can clarify that my previous comment about space names all being good was Toast's and I never said it.
- Heat M: Though I badly wanted to reward Tough As Nails, I had to put my personal feelings around it and DISC-O-INFERNO aside and remember that on a name front, Disco is just an all-timer. An all-timer can't lose to an above average. BOD did very well not to be considered worse, turning an average name in Blades of Destruction into the nothing acronym. It's the exact same number of syllables as both Disc-O-Inferno and Kronic the Wedgehog, and is actually less syllables than Infernal Contraption. The worst was the reused Spin Doctor, who came back with better blades but no better name. It's still taken, guys, Ellis Ware had the respectability to rename his upgraded Pulsar, can't you do the same with Spin Doctor? Spin Master, perhaps? It's minimal effort, but at least that's more than reusing a Series 2 robot's name and hoping we didn't notice.
- Heat N: After not giving Spawn Again credit for Series 6, it saddened me that we couldn't come up with any other winner for Series 7. I would have liked to think Spawn Kill would've been a good one after Respawn (not sure if it was in the cultural lexicon in 2002). Oh well, this is a fairly atrocious heat, with the Kanightmare boys back, Chip being fairly adequate, NEAT Machine having Nick's hated capitalization, and ROCS and Topbot being unworthy of discussion. The worst, though well-intentioned, was the ill-named Revenge of Trouble & Strife. This is an example where acronyms would've been fine; we all call it ROTAS anyway.
- Heat O: Another fairly trashy selection, Typhoon 2 won for the same reason its middleweight predecessor did. I also quite liked the selection of Typhoon 2 being a successor to its middleweight brother, it overcame the random sequential that hammered the other Grand Finalist. I felt very strongly about Hammerhead 2, with its repeat name status and sequential (both somewhat forgiveable by it being a Dutch machine with history), but Toast and Nick weren't having it any other way. URO was voted worst, for being literally UFO but shaped more like its inspiration, with the word "rotating" subbing in for "flying". It's hard to imagine why it evokes so little passion in its design; I'd be willing to bet the design came before the name.
- Heat P: Much as I love the robot, Ripper is fairly bland and feels more suited to Series 2 than Series 7 (not to mention that it was in fact a Series 2 robot). As far as clusterbots go, I have to express some affinity to the cleverness of Black and Blue, which is simultaneously a violent threat and a clever pairing.
- Heat A: Here we were. The first episode of a new era. Seeding was eschewed, but that didn't stop the show secretly slipping seeds into each heat. We were ready for the return of the grant, mighty...Bonk? This name is almost funny how lame it is, and I think that saved it from being voted the worst. No, the worst name was voted as Kill-E-Crank'E, a name which we all know has a meaning, but one too obscure to be easily remembered. As the best went, the love affair with TERRORHURTZ continued.
- Heat B: Perhaps the most infamous name of the reboot by far, it was somewhat of a surprise to learn that M.R. Speed Squared was not going to be voted worst name, despite being impossible to say and awful to spell. We also began banging the drum for Thor to be considered worst, since it now had an axe instead of a hammer, they might as well have called it Hermes for all the accuracy of its name. No, the worst was Shockwave, a repeat name even though it was far more memorable than the Forces Special robot that came before it. As best went, it was slim pickings, but we unanimously went with Chimera, a mythical beast well suited to its design, the head of one animal and the tail of another.
- Heat C: I've alway hated T2 as a name, but TR2 outdid it. I'll never forget the contempt which I felt when I saw Alex Brown say that TR2 wasn't short for Toon Raider 2, because it meant he actually thought a jumble of letters and numbers was a good name! I mean, it clearly does stand for TR2, for heavens sake, I have no idea why he would refute that unless he had an obsession with Robot Wars canon. We came to this decision fairly easily, though Nick took the Latin-hating torch from Toast and claimed that Or Te was worse. For the best, our love affair continue with Supernova. This was a pretty weak heat, considering that Glitterbomb was probably second best.
- Heat D: Apollo captured my heart very early on in Series 8 and has still never let go. First of all, it just sounds like a champion. Typhoon 2 doesn't sound like a champion's name. Slicer doesn't sound like a champion's name. Even iconic robots like Chaos 2 and Tornado only feel like champions names because we know them to be so. But Apollo, boy, that feels like a champion. It was so refreshing to see a robot named after a deity be good (Cronos, Thor, Sobek, and endless supply of Zeus and Prometheus). It was also a beautiful tie in to Team MAD's old robot Hades. But that all might have been a coincidence, because Apollo was clearly named for the shuttle and that led to the best line in Series 8 - "we call it a launcher". Now that I've done my spiel on Apollo, let's look at some other strong contenders. Terror Turtle, still funny. Eruption is a stupendous name for a flipper. Kan-Opener...okay maybe it was just a strong top end. As far as worst goes, even though we were able to persuade Toast that "Storm2" is not a real world nor a real spelling, Storm 2 still managed to come last, because for heavens sake we have Eruption in this same heat, and Storm just sounds wanting. PP3D dishonorable mention for being letters and numbers, though I like it more than others because at least it stands for something.
- Heat E: And here comes Toast's love of the Team Saint names, with Gabriel winning the vote. We really like Pulsar, just because space names are usually awesome, but Nick and Toast voted for Gabriel, which was well suited to its "death from above" design. As far as worst, though it was then my favourite robot of Series 8 behind Apollo, Ironside3 is a general mess for missing the space bar and the first two Ironside machines in one go.
- Heat A: Shockwave might be been a cool word that came last, but sequels don't get much better than AFTERSHOCK. Aside from it being an outstanding naming convention in the vein of "3 Stegs to Heaven" or "Wheely Big Cheese", the name is perfectly suited to a devastating vertical flywheel that throws opponents into the air or into walls. It even edged out Terrorhurtz, which we were getting used to. We're months removed from doing this blog so I can't recall everything clearly, but I do remember Toast really disliking the name Sabretooth, though it escaped the bottom two. There fell Crank-E, which lost the etymology of its predecessor in favour of brevity, but ultimately its still a robot called "cranky". However, at least Crank-E had brevity behind leaving half of its letters out. TMHWK had no such reason. Tomohawk was a perfectly acceptable name, but the abandonment of vowels had no benefit. I'd love to rewatch the Series 5 clash between RZR and BGGR BRTHR.
- Heat B: I kept forgetting that Eruption didn't win this heat. That honour went to CHERUB (all-timer at Toast's insistence) based on the children drivers and the natural succession to Gabriel, as well as the size difference. No, the loser was repeat name Cobra, which was enough to slip below the previous loser PP3D.
- Heat C: The first time I heard Expulsion, I thought it was just another derivative of Eruption. Even Suspension didn't clue me in. Only when I realised they had a robot called "Internal Suspension" that I, a toe-the-line student who memorised the punishment code at school, realised the connection and loved it. We had plenty of choices for worst; Tauron, the new Leighbot; Thor, even more blatantly axe wielding; and M. R. Speed Squared who didn't lose last time but had to lose just for being an absolute mouthful. Just because its clever doesn't mean its good.
- Heat D: Ironside3 lost again. Pulsar would have won this heat hands down if not for the all timer CRUSHTACEAN returning from retirement. It's nice to think that their return did at least some good.
- Heat E: Once again, Apollo is the winner. Carbide is a neat second place, but otherwise this is a pretty dead heat. Ms Nightshade, who seemed to think the "Ms" made for a better than than the already suitably cool "Nightshade". Meggamouse, who is misspelled. Coyote, who managed to steal Lambsy's team name (and Toast hates that). But no, there was never any other choice. Rusty was the loser. How could it be otherwise? It destroyed an all-timer to create an incredibly generic one. Imagine if they renamed Disc-O-Inferno "Slasher", or Gravity "Mr. Plow"? Toast was vindicated.
- Heat A: Apollo won a pretty consistent heat here. Names like Apocalypse and Behemoth might have won weaker heats, but Apollo's name continues to carry the prestige and potency of a former champion out to reclaim its crown. I still chuckle every time I hear the name Donald Thump. As for worst, we had to choose between The Swarm and Sabretooth. We let Toast convince us on the latter.
- Heat B: Another dry result, as Aftershock also went back-to-back, edging out former winner Gabriel and top-tier choices Carbide and Eruption. This left us a choice between Big Nipper and Crackers 'n' Smash. The latter got one of our votes (I don't remember who), but Big Nipper was selected as the loser.
- Heat C: Man, Series 10 was a bit of a formality. Terrorhurtz won again. In the race to the bottom, we had Bucky the Robot (which doesn't really even mean anything, I'd have thought "Chatterbot" would've been a terrific name) and Trak-tion, but I don't think we were ever going to have another loser. Trak-tion, with its awkward hyphen and incorrect spelling, is a name worthy of the robot's quality.
- Heat D: Concussion got to upgrade itself into a winner. Nuts 2 received Nick's votes for worst, but the interesting division of Head D was on Androne 4000. Nick voted for it as the best name of the heat, whilst Toast and I voted for it as the worst. Nick can defend it in the comments - I've forgotten his reasons - but for me, the combination of a random number and a made up word doesn't inspire passion.
- Heat E: Fans of Pulsar will be pleased to know that Magnetar finally won its place as a bigger and more powerful upgrade of Pulsar. Expulsion probably fared a distant second. In last place, edging out Coyote, Thor continued to bore us.