Mech Fights are real, and it’s the WWE on Robo-Steroids.
Written by Miles Purdy on October 24, 2017
Last week, history was made; the world witnessed it’s first giant robot duel in history. And it was as janky and as you think it would be.
Let’s get some context. Two years ago, American robotics company MegaBots challenged the Japanese company Suidobashi to a formal duel between their two machines; MegaBots’ Mk. II versus the Japanese KURATAS. And you know what, they said yes.
Two years later in a Japanese warehouse, the fights were set, and the cameras rolled. KURATAS took round one in what can only be described as the most disappointing start there could have been for something that sounds so freaking cool. The pilot of KUARATAS wound it’s arm back, rushed Iron Glory., and knocked on it’s on its back in one punch. It was funny just how little chance the Iron Glory had against KURATAS.
In round two, MegaBots released their masterwork, the Eagle Prime. Sixteen foot and 16 times more horsepower than the Iron Glory, this thing was ready to rock. Eagle Prime and the KURATAS ended up locked up in each other’s grills. The MegaBots team realized their gun wasn’t going to cut it, so they swapped out for a chainsaw designed to cut throw stone. It didn’t take much for the saw the start cutting through the armor plating of KURATAS’ arm, and pushing the mech into the sportscaster space in a hail of sparks.
They want this to be a sports league. Seems like a good start.
The whole production was strange; it felt like your average Spike television program and the WWE. The cheese and macho-ness was hard to take seriously at times. Especially a couple of moments in the final round, which were as pre-planned as they could get. They also kept using the term “piloted robots” for these machines. What’s the big deal, just call them mechs and get it over with. That’s what these things are. It felt almost like they couldn’t decide between trying to be taken seriously as a new sport, or trying create something like the WWE.
And I’m going to be honest here, I was rooting for Japan all the way. As the head of Suidobashi said, giant robots are Japanese culture. Without them, we’d never had Voltron, and that’s a world I’m not prepared to live in. So when the good ole’ Americans showed up after our rust-bucket kicked the bucket with a conglomerate-made machine of doom, it sucked. We made the mech equivalent of Ivan Drogo of mech fights. We are now the Soviets of mech fights. And I hate it. It’s unacceptable. But if this is what it takes for giant robots, using the best of our technology and millions of dollars, to become a sport, I think it’s worth it.