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 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
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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