R.O.B. (short for Robotic Operating Buddy) is an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System who has recently made appearances in a few Mario games. In Japan, it was known as the Famicom Robot, which was short for Family Computer Robot. R.O.B. functions by translating flashes of information on the television screen into physical actions (using technology similar to the Zapper Gun). R.O.B. was first used for the game Stack-Up.
Players could control R.O.B. with the control pad to make him raise and lower gyroscopes. To make the gyroscope spin, the player must set the object in the gyroscope spinner and then balance it on one of the two round trays that are connected to controller two. Placing a gyro on the red tray lowers the red GATES; placing a gyro on the blue tray lowers the blue GATES.
Mario Kart DS
R.O.B. is also the last unlockable character in Mario Kart DS. He can be unlocked by getting all gold trophies in the Nirto or Retro Grand Prix in Mirror Mode. In the game, he is one of the heaviest characters, his weight matched only by Bowser. R.O.B's symbol is the NES D-Pad. R.O.B. has two original karts: the ROB-BLS and the ROB-LGS which are similar to the motor bikes in Mario Kart Wii. His karts are fast, heavy, and have wider handling. R.O.B. is the first non-Mario character to appear in the Mario Kart series. The others (in the Mario Kart Arcade GP series) are Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Blinky, and Mametchi. When players play online, they may come across the HVC-012, the red Japanese version of R.O.B.
R.O.B. is also the subject of Stack-Up microgame in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! from 9-Volt's games. In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, R.O.B. is the boss of 9-Volt's stage, the Star Fox boss level. Like many of his other appearances, he's in the Japanese model. He bobs around shooting a strange, orange pistol using both arms. To defeat him, the player had to shoot the flashing blocks set-up for has if he was being used to play Stack-Up.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
R.O.B.s appear under three roles in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. During Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary, they are part of the Subspace Army, and are used to activate the Subspace Bombs, as well as guard the Ancient Minister and come in different variations; R.O.B. Sentry, R.O.B. Launcher, and the R.O.B. Blaster. The bodyguards for the Ancient Minister are called The R.O.B. Squad. When a pair of R.O.B.s are used to activate a Subspace Bomb, they are destroyed in the explosions.
In the Subspace Emissary, it is revealed that the Ancient Minister is actually R.O.B. and the whole reason he was destroying the Super Smash Bros. universe was because Tabuu had killed a lot of R.O.B.s and he had become very depressed. It is also revealed that R.O.B., the Ancient Minister, was once the ruler of the world and he lives on a floating island along with the other ministers. Samus, Pikachu, Captain Olimar, Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong were able to get in this same island. However, when they arrived, the Ancient Minister refused to battle with them.
A hologram of Ganondorf suddenly appeared and started commanding all the R.O.B.s except for the Ancient Minister. All the R.O.B.s attacked the Minister until his clothes were burned off and the gang discovered he was R.O.B. After that, R.O.B. decided to stop destroying the world and teamed up with the gang to stop Ganondorf and Tabuu from destroying the Super Smash Bros. World.
The R.O.B. becomes a playable character in his own right. R.O.B.'s Final Smash makes him shoot a group of short-ranged whirling lasers out of his eyes, followed by some hard-hitting short lasers, similar to the Superspicy Curry. R.O.B. can freely move during this Final Smash, unlike some other characters. There is a Glitch about his final smash, allowing it to be endless. The tiny light on R.O.B.'s head tells how charged up his laser is, being brighter the more powerful. R.O.B. appears as the Japanese version of himself rather than the American version. However, the American gray version is available as an alternate costume.
R.O.B.'s return to the series was officially announced on SSB4 s official website on October 9th, 2014, although he was one of several characters who was initially leaked on August 19th, 2014 as part of the ESRB leak. Compared to his design in Brawl, R.O.B.'s design in the game is more in line with his appearance as a real-life peripheral: the sheen of his body is now a satin finish instead of a glossy finish, his gray-colored components are darker, his head is now slightly smaller, and his eyes are now slightly larger and have more defined lenses. R.O.B. also received a new Final Smash called Super Diffusion Beam.
R.O.B. makes a return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, once again as an unlockable character. He has a new Final Smash yet again, being Guided Robo Beam.
Popularity in other media
Even though R.O.B. proved to be not as popular a peripheral and not as memorable as Nintendo mascot Mario, he has been proven as popular in the modern day, and a sought after by Nintendo collectors.
- In 2008, Disney and Pixar released a film called Wall-E. The main character, Wall-E, somewhat resembles R.O.B.
- The robots in the 1986 film Short Circuit also resemble R.O.B.
- R.O.B. is the only playable fighter without feet.
- R.O.B. is one of the two fighters to never have a home stage from their own universe, the other being Dr Mario.
- R.O.B.'s Boxing Ring English title in Ultimate and the American version of Smash 4, "The Last of His Kind", is a reference to the fact that R.O.B. is the only surviving member of his kind following the conclusion of Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.
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