Few things are cooler than two robots fighting each other. But not all robots are created equal, and new models appear every day. Thus, to increase the tension, one of the robots will be more powerful than the other. The weaker one is usually the good guy, and makes it through the fight only through sheer force of will. Who will win? Easy, Underdogs Never Lose
Note that this doesn't have apply solely to robots
, just something created that has a successor.
Related to Super Prototype
, David Versus Goliath
. Compare Cain and Abel
and Rock Beats Laser
Anime and Manga
- Fairy Tail: Despite Natsu and Gajeel being first generation dragon slayers, they show themselves capable of curb-stomping third generation ones (dragon slayers who are not only taught by dragons, but have lacrima implanted in them).
- The Starcraft: Frontline comics features a dogfight between a Viking, the Dominion's new experimental transforming gunship, and the Wyrm, the Viking's vastly inferior prototype.
- In the Iron Man comics, Tony Stark has had to face off occasionally against advanced versions of his armor using older models. Some examples include when he battled his own armor gone Yandere in the Sentient Armor arc, and later facing off against Norman Osborn, who was using his Dark Avengers "Iron Patriot" suit, with a suit (literally) made in a cave, with a box of scraps.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a classic example. With the good guys, you have the T-800: powerful, sturdy, and good with weapons. But for the bad guys there is the T-1000: just as strong, just as smart, and able to morph its body into almost anything. The two face each other directly at the end of the film, and only barely does the T-800 win.
- Later good T-800s similarly have had to face off against the T-1000000 (in T2-3D: Battle Across Time) and the T-X (in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). The former is a gigantic spider-bot made of liquid metal and the latter is a much more powerful, tough and better equipped (and fully armed) endoskeleton with a liquid metal cover for better infiltration.
- Iron Man has a sort-of example: The Iron Monger suit is based off research from the original Mark I armor, and is certainly larger and more powerful than Tony's. The latter's Mark III is also an upgrade, but is weaker because it's using the Mark I's old arc reactor.
- Iron Man 2: Rhodey puts on the Mark II and faces off against Tony in his Mark III, but doesn't do too well initially because it's his first time using it and Tony's more experienced. However, he improves and they end up battling each other into a stalemate.
- Played with in I, Robot: U.S. Robotics releases a new NS-5 robot model. Of course, the robots inevitably rebel against their masters. The old model robots try to protect the humans, to no avail. Then Sonny, one of the NS-5s, is revealed to have a special prototype brain, which prevents VIKI from controlling him. Sonny helps detective Del Spooner to defeat the other NS-5s.
- Robocop 2. The OCP corporation decides to replace Robocop with Robocop 2, another robot with a human brain controlling it. At the climax of the movie, Robocop battles Robocop 2 to the death.
- Paul Bunyan the giant lumberjack once faced off against a giant chainsaw. He lost and left into the wilderness.
- The legend of John Henry and his hammer. He technically won against the steam powered drill, but died in his exertion to do so.
- Sonic Adventure: Gamma the robot is made to fight his "brother" Beta, who is the more advanced of the two. To Dr. Eggman's surprise, Gamma wins, so he is charged with carrying out the doctor's missions. Later, Beta is rebuilt and battles Gamma again.
- Metal Gear Solid: Solid Snake and Liquid Snake are both born from an experiment to create clones of Big Boss, one clone superior and the other inferior. Later, the two face off inside Metal Gears, Snake in the original REX mecha, and Liquid in the RAY mecha designed to hunt down REX.
- A non-mechanical example happen in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten with the biological weapons Desco and Des-X. Although the latter is supposed to be more advanced of the two, they actually have near identical stats and skills. The former actually gains her ultimate skill while the latter don't.
- Halo 3's Terminals reveal that the Forerunners built an AI called Mendicant Bias to defeat the Flood, but he went rogue. To counter him, another AI was built called Offensive Bias, as his successor. Offensive wins but only because he was stalling for the Forerunners to fire the Halos that thus destroyed every organic being in the galaxy, robbing Mendicant's fleet of its crew.
- The fight between Klik and Evil Klik in Goblins Life Through Their Eyes is this trope to a t; with an older model facing off against a stronger, more violent, evil model. The underdog doesn't win in this one, though.