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|Robotic Operating Buddy|
|The basic appearance of R.O.B.|
The Robotic Operating Buddy, or R.O.B. (also known as The Ancient Minister during the events of The Subspace Emissary), was a peripheral created by Nintendo for use with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Due to stores wanting to avoid video games after the 1983 video game crash. R.O.B. was designed to be used as an optional peripheral with two games: Stack-Up and Gyromite. In video games, R.O.B. was said to be constructed by Professor Hector alongside his assistant Professor Vector.
Though R.O.B. was only compatible with two NES games, he has since become a recurring character in various Nintendo games, making cameos in the Kirby series and The Legend of Zelda series, and becoming playable in both the Mario Kart series and Super Smash Bros. series.
While R.O.B. has yet to be the sole star of a game, he was a focal character in The Subspace Emissary, posing as the Ancient Minister out of shame for what he was doing to his own kind. Prior to the events in the Subspace Emissary, R.O.B. was known as a leader to the other R.O.B.s on The Isle of the Ancients. Tabuu invaded the island and forced him to work under him, using the R.O.B.s as part of his forces to set up Subspace Bombs across the world of trophies. When he has nothing left to lose after the huge subspace explosion on Isle of the Ancients, destroying all of his kind, R.O.B. joins the fight against Tabuu.
- 1 History
- 2 Types
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Game Appearances
- 4.1 Mario Party Star Power
- 4.2 ROB Attack!
- 4.3 Nintendo Tag-Team RPG
- 4.4 Super Smash Bros. Fusion
- 4.5 Super Smash Bros. Zenith
- 4.6 Super Smash Bros. Assemble
- 4.7 Gyromite Amiibo
- 4.8 Super 5mash Bros. 5
- 4.9 Mario Kart 3DS
- 4.10 Nintendo 30
- 4.11 Super Smash Bros. Devastation
- 4.12 Battle Theater
- 4.13 Ultra Smash Bros. IV
- 4.14 Kingdoms of Fighters B: Fight for the Future
- 4.15 Super Smash Bros. Calamity
- 4.16 Super Smash Bros. Discord
- 4.17 Jake's Super Mario Kart
- 4.18 TPXZF1997's Super Smash Bros.
- 4.19 Project X Zone 3: Sacred Destinies
- 5 Media Appearances
- 6 Relationships
- 7 amiibo
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
As an Accessory
While it had a short lifespan, R.O.B was instrumental in getting the N.E.S to toy stores. R.O.B. was released with the intention of portraying the Nintendo Entertainment System as a novel toy in order to alleviate retail fears following the North American video game crash of 1983. R.O.B. was available in the Deluxe Set, a configuration for the console that included, among other things, R.O.B. and Gyromite. Stack-Up was packaged separately and included its own physical game pieces.
R.O.B. received commands via optical flashes in the screen. Once the screen lights up, R.O.B. was ready to receive six commands. Just like the NES Zapper, R.O.B. only functioned correctly when coupled with a CRT (cathode ray tube) type of television. Both Gyromite and Stack-Up included a test feature, sending an optical flash that should make R.O.B.'s LED light up.
The R.O.B. unit's height is 24 cm (9.6 in). It has a head movement range of a 45° horizontally centered tilt. The arm movement range is 240° left and right with five stopping points, 7 cm (2.75 in) up and down with six stopping points, and 7 cm (2.75 in) between hands when open. The unit has five accessory slots around the hexagonal base, numbered clockwise, starting at the rear-left from the robot's point of view; and notches on the hands allow for specialized parts to be attached for each game. The optional tinted filter can be attached over the eyes to compensate for overly bright televisions. The unit is powered by four AA batteries.
In 2016, a new model for R.O.B was revealed for Nintendo 30. This model is identical to old ones, more or less, but has a set of blue arms and amiibo functionality allowing for the usage of a blue-armed R.O.B in supported games. It also has other functionality that has yet to be revealed.
Another new model of R.O.B. known as the Nintendo R.O.B 2.0 was unveiled on July 27, 2018. It acts as an more fully functioning robot, with NFC and voice control capabilities, which work with several different games for various systems. The machine also came with a updated version of Gyromite and a game called Super R.O.B. Bros.. More information can be found on it's page.
As a Character
R.O.B became a character in his own right during the events of the Subspace Emissary, the story mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The R.O.B that the game follows is shrouded in mystery for most of the story mode. Known as the Ancient Minister for much of the story, he is a reluctant antagonist who plans to engulf the world into Subpsace using Subspace Bombs. In the beginning of the game, his face is covered and cannot be seen.
Later in the game the Fighters arrive in the hangar of the Bomb Factory on the Floating Island of the Ancients, in time to see the Ancient Minister watching in sadness as the R.O.Bs load up the Bombs for distribution. Just as the fighters arrive A Holographic Ganondorf orders the R.O.B.s to unload the bombs and set them off. Enraged by this the Ancient Minister tries in vain to stop the R.O.B.s, but under Ganondorf's orders they shoot the Ancient Minister until he catches fire. While he burns the R.O.B.s set up the bombs to create an explosion large enough to kill all remaining R.O.B.s and create a portal large enough to send the ity sized Subspace Gunship through. The Minister bursts free from his flaming robe to reveal he is really R.O.B.. The fighters try to stop the explosion but are forced to give up and R.O.B. goes into a state of shock. Donkey Kong carries him out, and they escape in the Falcon Flyer as the island explodes, making this R.O.B. the last surviving of his kind.
It is notable that even though the Ancient Minister is a robot, he is able to show remorse and is deeply saddened by the deaths of his fellow R.O.B.s. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS references these events in the Boxing Ring stage in the NTSC version of the game, giving him the title The Last of His Kind.
These events set up R.O.B.'s character in Super Smash Bros. Discord's story mode known as X Marks the Spot. Taking place a couple of years after the events of the story mode, R.O.B. joins the treasure hunt during the course of the story. His role in the story mode is said to be somewhat sizable.
This group was first introduced in Brawl. Three types were introduced: Blaster, Launcher, and Sentry. They acted as enemies in the Subspace Emissary mode in Brawl and have yet to make any kind of return.
The ROB Blaster is a laser-firing common enemy variant of the R.O.B. Squad and has the white and gray (American R.O.B.) color scheme. Its only attack is to shoot a short, blue, double laser beam directed at the player. As the trophy description suggests, there are two versions to the R.O.B. Blasters: one that stays stationary and fires (like R.O.B. Launchers) and one that is mobile. The mobile ones are typically the fastest model out of all the R.O.B. Squad variants, as it constantly uses its boosters for movement and generally stay airborne at all times. While they do not directly attempt to recover from edges, they will inadvertently recover from pitfalls when chasing the player by using its hovering.
The ROB Launcher is a missile-firing common enemy variant of the R.O.B. Squad and is identified with its military green color scheme. A similar color scheme is available for the player-controlled R.O.B. character, but the R.O.B. Launcher is different in three areas: it has a blue cord on its back instead of black, brown coloration on certain parts, and has only one "eye." It's only attack is to launch a missile similar to Snake's side special remote missile (although much slower) that homes in on the player. R.O.B. Launchers are stationary, and do not move unless knocked astray by the player. Much like the R.O.B. Sentry, it does not attempt to recover when knocked off a ledge.
The R.O.B. Sentry is a melee-based common enemy variant of the R.O.B. Squad and has the default (Japanese R.O.B.) color scheme of R.O.B. with red arms and a white body. Their attacks are only limited to a single swipe with their arm not unlike R.O.B.'s standing neutral attack. When near the player, R.O.B. Sentries can jump to reach the same height as the player or to mix up its pattern. If knocked off a ledge, they do not recover. Otherwise, they generally stay mobile on the ground.
This type was introduced in Mario Kart DS. They stay stationary in their karts, and have the North American color scheme. They can collect power-ups and drive like the other racers. They stay mobile on the ground, bound to the kart. R.O.B. Karters had three different karts that were exclusive to them:
- ROB-BLS - This kart featured a Stack-Up set up that was molded into the kart. This kart is known for it's high speed stat, average acceleration, fairly high handling, and extremely low drift. As such, this combination allowed for snaking, although it was one of the harder karts to pull this trick with.
- Standard RB - This kart was a fairly standard kart in design, and featured a high speed stat for standard karts. It also had average acceleration, fairly high handling, and low drift.
- ROB-LGS - This absurd kart was stylized in a way that gave R.O.B. a taller look, almost as if he had legs, towering over the other karts. Much like R.O.B's other karts, it had a high speed stat, average acceleration, fairly high handling, and extremely low drift.
- Main page: R.O.B.B.E.R.
In Mario and Luigi: The Seven Black Diamonds, Bowser supposedly creates copies of R.O.B. to face off with the Mario Bros. Like their names suggest, these kinds of R.O.B.s are used to steal items from the Mario Bros. Not much is known about them.
Powers and Abilities
Starting with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, R.O.B. has been depicted with the ability to create powerful lasers out of his eyes, usually in a red color. These lasers can be charged over time, with the bulb on the top of his head lighting up to show that he is fully charged up. He can also boost with the rockets under his body, giving him a fairly good recovery game as he can boost multiple times in the air without falling into a falling state. However, this has a cooldown and R.O.B needs to remain on the ground to keep it low or he will overheat and fall into a helpless state.
He can also use spinning gyros to attack, able to charge them up to fly farther and deal more damage. Additionally, his arms can spin like a rotor and can entrap opponents in his whirlwind of punches and even reflect projectiles with it. However, this has a bit of a pause after it, which prevents him from continuously using it. These abilities were first seen in the Super Smash Bros. series, although they were inspired by his real world appearance and mechanisms.
In R.O.B. Attack!, R.O.B. could gain new attacks and equipment over the course of his journey. These included more projectile attacks, allowing him to fire even bigger and more damaging laser attacks or even bullets. He could additionally create a spotlight to help him see in the dark and use a camera to take pictures.
In Super Smash Bros. Discord, R.O.B. has a bevy of new moves that call back to his original two games and later appearances. He can summon radishes for Smicks (hailing from Gyromite) to follow and eat, causing damage for anyone in their path and summon the Flippers from Stack Up to deal damage. He can also use robotic tentacles that were first seen in Fighters of Lapis.
R.O.B. is implied to be heavily modular to his mechanical nature and given the right technology, R.O.B. could change up his moveset with new parts added onto him.
As a character in the Super Smash Bros. series R.O.B. has many Special Moves, derived either from his origin games, his real life appearance, or extrapolations from his robotic form. Shown below are his Special Moves from Brawl onwards as well as their Custom Move counterparts in Smash For.
R.O.B. is an unlockable character in Mario Party Star Power. His minigame is Gyromite (in 3-D). His stage is Robotland. His present are R.O.B. Arms and R.O.B. Goggles.
When most of Nintendo's universes crash, R.O.B. is the only one remaining in ROB Attack!. In the game, he acts as the main playable character and is interestingly powered by Pikpik juice thanks to a mechanical Pikmin. R.O.B must obtain weapons and equipment throughout the game, otherwise he is completely powerless, as seen in the first level of the game. He can additionally gain different kinds of paints that alter his color scheme.
R.O.B. makes a cameo in Nintendo Tag-Team RPG, as he appears as the DTV's AI system.
R.O.B. appears in both versions of the game as a unlockable character. His moveset is identical to past Smash games with no noted changes.
R.O.B. returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Zenith, being a unlockable character. He can be unlocked by playing 40 Vs Matches, or beating Target Smash with 25 different fighters.
R.O.B. makes a return as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Assemble, revealed in the Assemble!!! trailer alongside Zero Suit Samus, Mini Mario, and the e-shop Bag. In the trailer, he is coating copies of other fighter's limbs in paint to call back to the game's feature of creating your own character. Eventually, Umbra's robots invade the place and Zero Suit Samus and R.O.B. assemble to stop them.
Evidently, R.O.B. would have been a big part of the Black Sun trailers and story mode, having been captured by Virtual Boy and having his body turned into scrap to create Virtual Boy's body. Samus tries to rescue R.O.B, but is unable to pull him through the bars of the cage he's in before she has to run away.
R.O.B. features no big changes to his moveset in the game. He is a unlockable character that is unlocked once the player obtains 100 trophies.
In this oddly titled game, Professor Hector, Vector, Sector, and Nectar must collect the dynamite that threatens their creation, R.O.B., from ensured destruction. The game interestingly does not feature a playable appearance from R.O.B., instead focusing on his creators.
Main article: R.O.B. (Smash 5)
R.O.B. reappears as a playable character in Super 5mash Bros. 5, being an unlockable character. He has "Gyromite" as his home stage and his unlock conditions differ on handheld and console. Uniquely, he has two moveset options with their own custom moves, with Special Set A mimicking his original Smash 4 moveset with customs, and his Special Custom Set B giving him entirely brand new moves.
R.O.B. appears as an unlockable racer in Mario Kart 3DS under the cruiser class. His special item is Laser, which allows him to stun multiple racers with the after-mentioned laser. He is unlocked by winning the 150cc Ice Flower Cup or receiving at least 1 Star Rank for all 150cc Mirror Grand Prix cups.
A new R.O.B accessory has been created for Nintendo 30. This model calls back to the original design, but gives it a set of blue arms. This model is more of a collector's item than a actual accessory, but it also has amiibo functionality, allowing the player to scan the bottom of the model to play as a blue armed R.O.B. There is also other functionality, but it has yet to be revealed.
- Main article: R.O.B. (SSBDevastation)
R.O.B. appears as a unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Devastation, being overall buffed from his appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, although many of his moves that gave him combo potential were severely cut back. Robo Rocket now replaces the Robo Burner and his Final Smash was altered back to Diffusion Beam. He can be unlocked through winning 110 Versus Matches, collecting 250 trophies, or having R.O.B. join you in story mode.
- Main article: Samus & R.O.B (Battle Theater)
Samus and R.O.B. are a playable duo character in Battle Theater. Generally they attack together, usually following the other's attack up with an attack of their own. They can win over the crowd with their Best Drama move.
"The two make a surprisingly cute couple. One is a robot and the other wears high-tech armor, so it just makes sense. Don't tell the other Smashers though. They make a good pair in battle, each using their unique skills. R.O.B is perfect for laying down damage, and Samus is quite athletic."
- Main article: R.O.B. (USBIV)
R.O.B. reappears in Ultra Smash Bros. IV as a playable fighter. He was confirmed through Famicom Smash Week alongside other returning and new characters famous from their Famicom appearances. He is 19th on the 103 character tier list, making him a A- character.
R.O.B will be appearing in Kingdoms of Fighters B: Fight for the Future with blue arms, similar to his Nintendo 30 appearance except lighter in color, resembling the shade of blue found on Samus' Zero Suit suit. Fittingly enough, R.O.B and Samus are depicted as being in a committed relationship, similar to Exotoro's The Girl and The Robot series on the Lapis Wiki.
- Main article: R.O.B. (Calamity)
R.O.B returns in Super Smash Bros. Calamity as a playable character, being a unlockable character. The only known changes to his moveset are his aerial side special and up special are now different versions of Robo Burner, relying on the same fuel as that move. He has his Famicom, American, an alternate that appears to be referencing his Kingdoms of Fighters B: Fight for the Future/Nintendo 30 appearance, and four alternates that reference the Virtual Boy, the Nintendo Wii, his appearance in Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS (like the alternates he has in Project M), and the Nintendo Switch.
Returning to the roster in Super Smash Bros. Discord, R.O.B is described as being part of the race that lived on the Isle of the Ancients, taking his backstory from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. R.O.B. is mostly unaltered from how he appeared in Super Smash Bros. 4, with several new customs referencing Stack-Em and Gyromite as he is still the sole representative of those games. In the X Marks the Spot story mode, he will be portrayed as in a relationship with Samus Aran, although this relationship is depicted as a secret unknown to the rest of the characters.
After previously making a playable appearance in Mario Kart DS, R.O.B. reappears as a racer once more in Jake's Super Mario Kart. Unlike in his previous appearance, the player can choose between using his Japanese or North American designs in Jake's Super Mario Kart, though the former is used in all regions by default.
R.O.B. appears as a Hidden Character.
R.O.B. makes a cameo appearance as part of Pit's Solo Unit attack.
R.O.B is a agent for some secret organization that has not been confirmed as of yet. He is confirmed to be the Super Smash Brothers movie sequel. Had this cinematic universe continued, it was likely that R.O.B. would have gotten his own movie that would have seen him travelling to other dimensions and time periods, but due to the cancellation of the project, it has been scrapped.
In the SMASH film series, R.O.B is a machine sent by the gods to help. He was built with no feelings or emotions, but learns them over time.
R.O.B. was set to appear in The Stories of New Tendo City episode "Grumpy Old Men", where he was to be married to Mr. Game & Watch. The episode would have revolved around them ranting about the younger characters.
R.O.B. was forced to work under Tabuu during the events of the Subspace Emissary, a fact he was so ashamed of he would work under the identity of the Ancient Minister as he led his own people to his death via the Subspace Bombs. Faced with the complete annihilation of his race at the hand of Ganondorf, R.O.B. turned to the other side, given nothing to lose. He joined the rest of the Super Smash Bros. to defeat Tabuu and restore the World of Trophies, although he suffered the biggest loss out of everyone involved.
R.O.B. and Tabuu have never been allies in the traditional sense, although it's clear R.O.B. is frightened by his power and what it means for his people. When his people are completely destroyed in the Subspace Factory attack, R.O.B. seems to have no qualms going against his orders anymore and even seems heavily depressed by the death toll Tabuu has inflicted onto him.
R.O.B.'s creator is Professor Hector, who he performed tests and played games with while fairly young in his production cycle. It's likely that Professor Hector created the rest of the R.O.B. race, although this is merely speculative.
R.O.B. doesn't really have much of a relationship with Samus Aran within the Nintendo canon, but in several fangames he is in a romantic relationship with Samus Aran. They seem to be a rather strong couple, usually fighting together or investigating incidents (as seen in Fighters of Lapis/崛起的火星 or Kingdoms of Fighters B: Fight for the Future). Their strong connection seems to come from feeling very similar things about the demise of their species (The Chozo and the R.O.B. are both near extinct) and generally both being fairly insular socially.
|An amiibo figure of R.O.B. exists! For more info about these amiibo, see this page.|
- Across localizations, R.O.B. has numerous titles in the Boxing Ring stage in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS, many being plays on his acronym.
- NTSC Region: The Last of His Kind
- PAL Region: Robotic Obliteration Buddy
- Mexico and Spain Region: Experto en Rayos Láser (Expert on Laser Beams)
- Japan Region: 灼熱のロボビーム (Red Hot Robo Beam)
- Germany Region: Randaliert. Ohne. Bedauern. (Rampages. Without. Regret.)
- French Region: Rectifier Oblitérer Broyer (Correct Obliterate Crush)
- Italian Region: Robot Obliterante Benevolo (Benevolent Obliterating Robot)
- Netherlands Region: Retro-Ogende Bondgenoot (Retro-Looking Ally)
- Portugal Region: Robô Obliterador Bondoso (Obliterating King Robot)
- R.O.B.'s design in the Super Smash Bros. series is actually more detailed than his original accessory design. This is likely to accommodate for his added moves that were made up for the game as well as to make it appear as if R.O.B. could actually pull those moves off.
- R.O.B. has a product ID of "HVC-012", which is referenced often, such as in the file names of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and even in a Palutena's Guidance conversation. In the Japanese version of Mario Kart DS, R.O.B. is solely referred to by this serial code.
- In Mario Kart DS, R.O.B. had a human voice actor who imitated the noises of a robot, but in the Super Smash Bros. series he simply has a "voice" which consists of subdued mechanical beeps generated digitally.
- R.O.B. is the only unlockable character to debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and remain unlockable in all subsequent entries of the Super Smash Bros. series.