Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 24- Nemesis vs. Mon*Star

It’s finally here!  The last battle in Bad Guy Beatdown before we reach the quarter-finals!  In today’s battle, we’ve got two literal giants of space – Nemesis from Robotix vs. Silverhawk’s Mon*Star.  Let’s start with Nemesis.

Nemesis is a worker robot from its home planet that has had the mind of the Terracore leader implanted into it.  On his own Nemesis is already an imposing figure, being a 54-foot tall robot (I measured him compared to a human, something I left out of his original respect post) strong enough to throw other Robotix around one-handed.  However, his powers are kicked into high gear when a human enters his command console and takes control.  While the Protectons showed more variety in the forms they could change into, Nemesis himself got the ability to change his left hand into a variety of tools and weapons.  Normally, it acts as a 3-pronged claw but it can turn into a saw blade, a grappling hook, an energy whip, and a laser beam.   Other abilities include a laser cannon on his shoulder and tank treads and rockets on his feet.

Nemesis made it here without any real challenge, crushing the Misfits under his foot.  That’s about it, but you should click here and read it anyway because I think it’s pretty funny.

Mon*Star, the Planet Master comes to us from the Silverhawks and is the leader of some kind of cosmic mob.  You can read about him more here, but in short, he’s just weird.  Originally, he’s about twice the size of a normal human and covered in hair.  He’s strong enough to bend metal panels and bars, but that’s about it.  But when the light of the Moon-Star hits him, he changes into his more destructive Planet Master form, which looks like a robot with a lion’s face on his chest and bunch of spikes on his head.  In this form, he’s got rocket boosters on his elbows that allow him to fly and he carries a big star-shaped laser rifle.  His main power, however, is the Lightstar, a flying red energy star that comes out of his eye.  He can control wherever it goes (though not always very well), and it can paralyze its target or bend them to his will.  Lastly, he has a steed called Skyrunner, which is a flying, armored squid with a few lasers on it.

Mon*Star earned his way to this point against Tormack, and you can read it here.  After failing to penetrate Tormack's Sacred Shield with his regular attacks, he figured out that he could control his Lightstar to bypass the shield and take Tormack out.

Make sure to check back here soon to see who wins this fight before we get into the quarter-finals!

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 15 - Nemesis

Oh man, I've been waiting for this one. One's a 50 feet robot, and the other is three mean girls.

Technically that's not true.  While Nemesis does have all the strength and abilities, not all of it is accessible to him.  Let's do a very brief history of the Robotix and you'll see what I mean.  The home planet of the Robotix was inhabited by two main races - the peaceful Protectons and the reptilian Terracores, which Nemesis lead.  When the planet was threatened by destruction, both races decided their best course for survival was to enter suspended animation and send their ship into the stars.  To preserve their bodies, the ships main program, Compucore, was able to upload the Protectons' and Terracore's essences into the Robotix, large robots they used for manual labor.

I know it's a lot of info, but we're almost there.  The good and bad Robotix began fighting as soon as they were awakened, but they were unfamiliar to their new bodies, so they couldn't do much more than throwing a punch.  But when humans landed on the planet, they went into the Robotix's control console and were able to interface, which granted the Robotix with more abilities, weapons, and configurations.

Nemesis was joined by Kanawk, the leader of the selfish humans on the space crew, who was as much a schemer as Nemesis.  While Nemesis was capable of just about nothing besides tossing Protectons around before, Kanawk was able to activate a bunch of weird configurations in him, starting with an extending drillbit from Nemesis's mouth that opened up to expose a camera.  That's just about the weirdest thing you'll see in the cartoon - I mean, why couldn't it have come out of his hand?  Instead, it looks like he's puking up a metal worm.

Anyway, beyond that, Nemesis mostly gets upgrades to his hands - in fact, instead of reconfiguring his entire body like most of the Robotix can, turning them into vehicles or ladders, even, Nemesis doesn't change his shape at all.  Rather, most of the changes are in his left hand, which is a small three-pronged claw, which he can extend before interfacing.  He's got a cannon on his shoulder, but I'm not sure if interfacing is required to use it.  His other hand, which is also a claw but closer to a pincher, I guess, has two extra features - an energy whip, which can cut through a tree big enough to support Nemesis's weight, and then a data link to control a computer.

While the other Robotix can convert into wheeled or even flying vehicles, Nemesis is too good for that 95% of the time.  Only on two occasions did he move by other means and one of them you can't even tell what he's doing.  I think his feet have turned into tank treads, but it's hard to tell if his feet always looked like that.  The other time, he flew with rocket boosters on his feet.

That's it for Nemesis's abilities, but how is he at leading?  Definitely not good since halfway through the movie - I should mention that this wasn't a full series, but was a movie made up of 16 shorts - Nemesis is taken out by his second-in-command, Trannix, shot in the back and knocked off a cliff.  What is it with Hasbro cartoons where the leader has a backstabber as his lieutenant?  He comes back a few minutes later and doesn't even do anything for revenge on Trannix.  That's lame!  He could have at least yelled at him, but the next time they're together, there's not even a mention of it.  He was able to capture two of the Protectons and replace their programming with other Terracores, including their leader, but that one was reversed pretty quickly.  The other one was left as a spy, but it didn't amount to anything.

It's really telling that a villain's only real defining feature is Peter Cullen's villainous voice - unlike Venger, who had the voice but kicked ass as well.  Nemesis is probably the most disappointing thing about his cartoon - the most boring robot mode, no other configurations, and loss of control over his 4 - yes 4! - subordinates.  I'd say that doesn't bode well for him, but I think he lucked out with his opponent.

Click here if you want to see my original thoughts of Nemesis from when I was a kid for some more degradation of this guy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 23 - Results

Genghis Rex’s shuttle sped after the small craft, steering deftly between the jagged metal structures.  Huge plumes of smoke bellowed from many of the towers, making the chase difficult enough that Rex contemplated cutting off at every turn.  Somehow, the small jet made the turns with ease, as if it were familiar with the weird topography. Rex scanned the vehicle, small enough that not even a small human could fit it in, like the Dinosaucer’s cursed Secret Scouts, searching for a pilot.
Instead, the results showed that the craft itself was alive, or at least close to a living being.  That made the ship even more valuable, as it was able to evade most of the Reptilon’s sensors after their ship crashed on this planet.  As Ankylo made repairs to their ship, Quackpot noticed the small craft flying in circles overhead, and Genghis gave chase.
The ship led him back to this apocalyptic terrain and flew directly to the largest spire.  As it flew in circles around the tower, Genghis got a sense it wanted to land there but didn’t want to leave itself vulnerable.    It finally broke its patrol around the building and flew its erratic course through the clouds of smoke.
As Genghis chased the craft his temper began to get ahold of him.  Where he wanted to catch it in working order before, now he would be happy to pick up the wreckage once he’d shot it down.  He aimed his lasers and fired.  
The ship spun around once to dodge the fire, then stopped in mid-air.  The jet glowed in for an instant and changed shape into a tank. “What the--?” Genghis shouted at the sudden transformation.  Unable to stop his course, Genghis’s shuttle crashed into the tank and it rolled over the cockpit. Genghis felt a clang and turned on an exterior camera. 
Two arms on the tank, flanking a hideous painted face, were digging into the shuttle’s armor. “Two can play at that,” Genghis said, powering up the grabber claws installed on the ship’s sides.  The articulated appendages snapped out and folded towards the top of the shuttle, the two giant claws clamping shut on the tank. Genghis steered his shuttle back towards his base, his transforming prey safely clamped down. 
Alarms blared in the cockpit alerting of significant damage to the fuselage.  Looking at the exterior camera again, Genghis saw the tank was no longer a tank, and now a giant drill. It bore into the engine, shredding through the propulsion system.

With the ship’s engine disabled and the shuttle descending towards one of the Horde’s factories, Hordak changed his shape from a drill to a small four-legged mechanical insect.  His smaller form allowed him to squeeze his way out of the claws holding him and he leapt from the craft before it crashed through a smokestack. He landed on the roof a dozen yards from the crashsite and changed back to his regular form.  
When he reached the cockpit and he found it empty, he shifted his right arm into a cannon form and began sweeping his surroundings.  A laser shot out of the smoke and struck the ground below him. The metal surface of the building changed to brittle stone and collapsed under Hordak, dropping him into the factory.
During the fall, Hordak changed his form to a rocket and flew back up through the hole.  He changed form high above the building and as he fell, he fired his laser cannon at the crash site.  A few shots struck the shuttle and triggered an explosion, shaking the building and reducing the ship to scrap.  Hordak landed and changed his eyes to binoculars to see through the smoke.  
A blurry figure came crashing down right in front of Hordak, throwing him back.  In the second it took his eyes to revert to normal, the figure fired his weapon directly at Hordak’s chest.  
Hordak clutched at his chest, feeling his whole body change.  His arms bulged with muscle and his forehead sloped, the scales on his face shifting down.  His mind began to devolve, the ideas in his head starting to slip away in a jumble of abstracts he couldn’t understand.  He felt his whole consciousness crumble but forced one thought to the front of his mind.  
As Hordak further regressed, his giant red opponent stood over him and gloated.  “Even on this planet, you evolved from mindless oafs,” he said, but when Hordak roared, he flinched. 
Before Hordak could strike him, he forced his body to glow blue again, turning himself into a spinning top.  Four arms stretched out from the top, turning him into a flailing machine. Multiple punches at high speed struck the reptilian creature in the gut, throwing him back and dazing him.  Hordak reverted to his original form, his constantly changing body able to reverse the devolving effect of his opponent’s weapon. “Interesting trick,” he said, picking up the weapon from the ground and imagining what it could do to She-Ra.  He changed his arm again and aimed at his foe, this time spewing a tongue of fire.
The red creature burst into flames as Hordak resumed his rocket form and flew back to his throneroom.
 Click here for Hordak's and Genghis Rex's respect post.

In this fight, the real advantage only came down to Hordak's shape-shifting availability.  He could easily counter anything Genghis's ship could do, which is half of the stuff Genghis has going for him.  Besides that, he's got his two weapons, but I personally think that since both weapons are able to change the traits of the target, Hordak's shape-changing could counteract them.  Both weapons also seem to have a delay in changing their targets, even giving one of the Secret Scouts a chance to explain what was happening to him.  That time could possibly allow Hordak a chance to reverse the effect on him.

The Winner

Click here for the previous fight and here for the rest of Bad Guy Beatdown.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 23 - Hordak vs Genghis Rex

Sorry for the delay in this round - on a personal side, my autistic son started going to Pre-K on August 19 and it's been a big adjustment at home.  He's taken to it really well, already showing some progress, even gets onto the bus by himself without any fights.  Another positive from it for myself is that I used to put him to bed every night to give my wife a break from watching him all day.  Now that he's in school, she going to put him to bed, giving me a few hours to myself at night.  That's going to give me a ton more time to write on my book and the blog, and that's awesome for both me and you.

Anyway, let's get to the combatants. We're starting with the scourge of Eternia, Hordak, and you can see his original post here.  Surprisingly, Hordak only appeared in eight of the first thirteen episodes of She-Ra, so I had five more to watch.  And it was worth it because he showed a ton more forms he could take.  Besides the laser cannon and flamethrower we've seen earlier, he can change his right hand into a magnet, a suction cup, a claw that can cut through a metal cable, and a shield strong enough to block one of Skeletor's blasts (a later hit knocked Hordak out for half the episode).  In addition to the rocket and drill, he's turned his whole body into two different kinds of tanks, one with spider legs and one with regular treads and grabber claws, and a jet. At this point, we can just assume he can change into practically anything. 

Hordak got to this point in the tournament by defeating Hun-Dred from Robo Force, a robot that was killed by being thrown into a wall.  You can read the battle with Hordak here, but it ended the same way as his cartoon appearance - Hordak slammed Hun-Dred against a wall and he blew up.

Ghengis Rex, on the other hand, showed up in twelve of his thirteen episodes and the last one I watched didn't help him at all.  You can read about his powers here, but I'm going to save you some time.  Genghis Rex has the approximate strength of a creature his size, probably twice that of a normal human.  His real advantage is his arsenal. He uses two weapons: the Devolver Rifle and a Fossilizer.  The first one turns its target into a brainless version of itself - a Dinosaucer turns into a normal dinosaur and a human into a Neanderthal.  I didn't expect this, but he's actually a decent shot with both of them.  The Fossilizer turns its target into stone.  Lastly, Genghis flies a ship that is armed with lasers and grabber claws.

To get here, Genghis squared off against Cobra Commander and you can read it here.  To no one's surprise, Genghis's ship destroyed CC's helicopter before Genghis turned him into a statue and shattered him.  It wasn't much of a fight.

check back next week to see how Hordak fares against the leader of the Reptilons!