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Robots that don't make any sense

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Some robots make cars. Others make candy. We need cars and candy to sustain our unsustainable lifestyles, so those robots make sense. Videogame robots, however, don’t generally make Toyotas. They don’t make Tootsie Rolls, either. They definitely don’t make sense.

Fictional robot designers detest practicality. Consider killing people. You can do it with guns. Guns are simple. Guns are powerful. Then here comes Dr. Research McDontinterruptit, who insists that guns ought to have wobbly legs, feel remorse, and, actually, don’t shoot bullets, but kick people. That doesn’t make any sense, you stupid fictional fictional scientist!

Of course, none of these robots were meant to make any sense. They were designed to look cool and make games fun. But just because something’s intentionally absurd doesn’t stop us from amusing ourselves by pointing out its absurdity.

That thing on the right is supposed to be a robot. HA HA HA, NO.


Jack (Gears of War)

Jack is an invisible floating robot which appears whenever a map needs to load. He’s really good at opening doors. Why a team of tree-armed men with giant guns need a floating robot to open doors is unclear. Why invisible floating robot technology couldn’t be used to simply win the war is also unclear.


Chibi Robo

Chibi Robo is a great game with a great premise. You’re a robot with a house to clean, and to make the game work (as in, have challenges to overcome), you’re handicapped by your diminutive stature. Mr. Robo’s miniscule body makes the game fun, but if we were actually designing a robot to clean, we’d probably make it at least slightly larger than the dirt it’s meant to clean up.

It would be kind of cruel, actually, to intentionally design something that’s barely capable of the task you’ve programmed it to be obsessed with.


Above: What God would wish me such torment?!


Flybot (Base Wars)

We can accept that someone designed a bunch of robots to play baseball. Barely. But we can’t accept that someone would design a hovering robot to play baseball. Would it not be hard to hit a baseball with any amount of force while hovering? Would touching bases not be a problem? You Flybots are just the living end.


Mousers (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Mousers are Dr. Baxter Stockman’s biped mice-eating robots. Who cleans out the mice guts? Do they poop? What’s wrong with cats? Or mouse traps? Wait, they rob banks too? Human banks or mouse banks? Do mice have banks? What? Mousers are dumb.


Above: This is a giant Mouser, but it's really more of a Turtler



Gizmoduck (DuckTales)

GUEST ENTRY! Chris Antista rants about animated ducks:

Gizmoduck is quite possibly the greatest hero ever to grace the city of Duckburg, so it’s not like we’re taking issue with his design. A cybernetic duck makes perfect sense everywhere else in the history of anything. Except in goddamn the original DuckTales on the NES!


Above: Disney’s Iron Man equivalent, wasted on opening a door 

Not only is Gizmoduck woefully remiss in his bodyguard duties, leaving Scrooge McDuck vulnerable to all manner of pixilated peril throughout the entirety of the game, his sole is appearance is to… break down a green wall? Oh no, not with his standard missiles or rocket propelled grenades. Nay, he fires a single pellet into a single structure ONCE, as if somehow helping the duck who signs his paychecks - on the f***ing Moon! - was a pain-in-the-ass stop on his way to something more awesome. Great game, but making Gizmoduck essentially a key remains a tragic waste of a great character who probably should’ve had his own damn game in the first place!

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44 comments

  • ninjasprout - August 15, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    Lol great article- although I feel I need to step in here and defend Metal Sonic- he was created by Dr Robotnik to convince the animals of planet Mobius that Sonic had gone bad so they would all turn against him! He was programmed to terrorise, loot and destroy. (a little like the london chavs from last week) Travelling at supersonic speed, it was impossible to distinguish it from the real thing! Rather clever of the old boy I think! Anyone who read Sonic The Comic as kid would know this! tsk! ;-)
  • funkymonk - April 8, 2011 5:38 a.m.

    GlaDOS didn't make any sense? Please. Maybe did not make the best sense, but come on (BTW, what's wrong with Space Odyssey?!)... you really want to compare GlaDOS to frikken Cut Man or Top Man from Mega Man? really? The rest of the article was just as good as usual though! Maybe you should have replaced GlaDOS with one of the hundred or so weird robots from Fallout...
  • someguy125 - July 19, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    "Disney’s Iron Man equivalent, wasted on opening a door" well iron man all you did is bassically open doors and destroy power outlets.
  • Mechamorbo - July 19, 2010 3:18 a.m.

    Megaman bugged me as a kid, but Astroboy bugged me MORE
  • shyfonzie - July 18, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    good job agent!
  • camelfro - July 18, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    my favourite article ive read this week i loved the mega-man part thanks guys! reCaptcha meowing french
  • GameManiac - July 18, 2010 5:50 a.m.

    It's a good thing that I don't ask so many questions about things.
  • GIGATONxPINCH - July 18, 2010 4:31 a.m.

    Those mousers were so ridiculously annoying. I wished I could ripem apart with my bair hands.
  • ViolentLee - July 16, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    I disagree about Chibi Robo. It was a very flawed game. I think rather than worrying about his size, they should've designed said robot not to run out of juice after 2 minutes -- requiring a forced-return to the home base. So annoying...
  • MaynardJ - July 16, 2010 7:46 p.m.

    Cool! I remember seeing the Ducktales cartoon in Dutch. Gizmoduck's Dutch name was actually Roboduck, Scrooge McDuck's name was Dagobert Duck. Huey, Dewey and Louie were Kwik, Kwek and Kwak and the pilot guy was Turbo McKwek. And I guess "Blathering Batherskyte!" is the English equivalent of "Belabberde Labbekak!". Nice article, Tyler.
  • darkvare - July 16, 2010 2:58 p.m.

    what about thosse little box robots on starwars
  • philipshaw - July 16, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    So true with the mega man stuff
  • JayBeat - July 16, 2010 10:13 a.m.

    Awesome article! Robot fleas are genius.
  • AuthorityFigure - July 16, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    Robots are made more dangerous, dirty and menial tasks. Playing through Megaman is in the last category.
  • raf - July 16, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    after seeing gizmoduck i remember i used to have figurine of that damn thing and if i still had it i could have sold it shit.
  • Jalygtra - July 16, 2010 5:10 a.m.

    How can anyone think Gizmoduck is irrelevant!
  • TheWebSwinger - July 16, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    You're a witty man, Tyler Wilde. Great article.
  • Spybreak8 - July 16, 2010 3:45 a.m.

    "Why a team of tree-armed men with giant guns need a floating robot to open doors is unclear. Why invisible floating robot technology couldn’t be used to simply win the war is also unclear." Well isn't it obvious?! They got chainsaws on their guns instead of welders! Also loved Chris' rant about Gizmoduck, haha accentually a key. Ouuch ReCaptcha: reversed plucked - oh oh in relation to Ducktales perhaps!?
  • Icalasari - July 16, 2010 2:03 a.m.

    Chiborobo makes sense, provided you use it on something such as a desk as a little organizer/toy combo (put obstacles in its way and see what it does) Mousers make sense because, well, think about it. Even the Turtles master is a giant, mutated rat. When rats can become giant anthropomorphic freaks of nature, you don't send a cat after them (unless it is a lion, of course). No, you send robots. However, they did mouser wrong. It should be more heavily armoured and... Well, I guess it can't use missiles due to having to go in sewers. But hey, what about making it a giant death machine made of blades, making it akin to a giant grinder? The Megaman enemies make sense in that... Erm.. Um... Alright, I've got it. They make sense because the creators were probably on drugs at the time Metal Sonic makes sense. None of his other robots worked, so it is reasonable to assume that something about Sonic's overall shape is what helps him (I mean, come on, Sonic can practically turn into a saw!). So making a robot that is essentially a mimic is a great idea, partly because it slows him down as he has to think about how to counter something that can copy what he does. What Robotnik SHOULD have done was use a weapon to kill Sonic while Metal Sonic kept him busy Also, the Metal Overlord was due to the Chaos Emeralds, which turn Sonic into an invincible golden hedgehog that can fly. Did you expect the thing that they turned Metal Sonic into to make any sense? Although, if you think about it, WHY is a robot even reacting to them in the first place...? GLaDOS had a core added BECAUSE she was malfunctioning. What I find stupid is that they gave her an ANGER CORE! I mean, what the hell? Why give something that RUNS THE FACILITY AND ITS DEATH MACHINE A CORE THAT MAKES IT HATE ANYTHING THAT SO MUCH AS BREATHES!?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 16, 2010 2 a.m.

    Meta Ridley, soley because I beat him in under 30 seconds in Metroid ZZero Mission.

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