R.O.B

So, I’ve been replaying Super Smash Bros Brawl. It would appear I’ve fallen in love with my favourite characters again. Kirby, Yoshi, Mr Game and Watch, and some others. But R.O.B is probably my top favourite.

Why?

Because he exists in the real world, too!

R.O.B, also know as the Robotic Operating Buddy, was first made in 1985, after the Video Game Crash of 1983. He was made to give back popularity to video games, preferably the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). He was able to serve as a second controller in two games, ‘Gyromite’ and ‘Stack-up’, which I will give a quick summary of.

‘Gyromite’

‘Gyromite’ came with many things to add-on to R.O.B. It came with two claws for R.O.B, two gyros (tops), two blue and red trays where the gyros go, a spinner, and two black trays for the gyros when they weren’t in use. ‘Gyromite’ is a puzzle-adventure game in which you must collect as much dynamite as you can before time runs out, but there’s red and blue pillars block the way, which is what the gyros are used for.

                                                                   Video by slimer525 on Youtube

‘Stack-Up’

‘Stack-Up’ came with five trays, five coloured blocks, and two claws for R.O.B to pick up the blocks. There were three different modes. ‘Direct’ had you match up your blocks with the one of the screen. In ‘Memory’,  you make a list of commands to recreate the shown blocks, and R.O.B follows the list. Finally, in ‘Bingo’, you make a stack like the one shown on the screen, and the colour didn’t matter. There were two enemies in the games: One made you lose a life, and the other made poor R.O.B mess up his orders.

Video by Gilbert Cruz· on Youtube

Another thing that made our robotic buddy so special was he responded to light on the screen. Sometimes, this light was too bright, so Nintendo made R.O.B some cool sunglasses to wear:

Sadly, these were the only two games that R.O.B could play with. But what made R.O.B special was he didn’t need wires (other than to connect to the NES, of course)! He ran on four AA batteries.  He was 9.6 inches tall, so he didn’t take up much space. R.O.B also had a LED light to show when he could see the colours on the screen. Another nice thing is that his colour scheme was changed for outside of Japan (where he is known as the Family Computer Robot). This is because the colours of the NES were altered. EDIT: Actually, the Family Computer Robot was made for the Famicom system. A mistake on my part.

Japanese R.O.B, who hosts the same appearance as the one in SSBB

Outside of Japan R.O.B. Look, he even has his name on the bottom!

Sadly, R.O.B’s legacy soon ended, only lasted about a year. But he has made many cameos in later games, such as Mario Kart DS and Pikmin 2. All in all, I think R.O.B was a very nice move on Nintendo’s part. Now, all I need is a Robotic Operating Buddy of my own.  

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