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Context VideoGame / RoboticOperatingBuddy

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1[[quoteright:275:]]˛[[caption-width-right:275:Without him, you might not be playing video games today.]]˛˛In the wake of UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983, Creator/{{Nintendo}} needed to give their upcoming console, the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]], an edge to make it attractive to market to leery vendors and customers alike. The answer came by packaging a toy and promoting the NES as your means of interacting with it (and could play other games on the side, ostensibly). The Robotic Operating Buddy, or R.O.B., was that toy, and it worked just enough for word-of-mouth to take over selling the systems. His role completed, the plucky little robot was quietly retired, but he continues to live on in the hearts of nostalgic fans and retro hobbyists alike.˛˛In reality, R.O.B.'s only been formally compatible with two games -- ''Gyromite'', his pack-in title[[note]]and the far more well-known of the two[[/note]] and ''Stack-Up''. Both games star Professors [[ThemeNaming Hector and Vector]] as they work together with R.O.B to bypass obstacles and achieve given win conditions, with most of the gameplay switching between controlling the professors and inputting instructions for R.O.B. to follow.˛˛!!R.O.B.'s cameos˛Although R.O.B.'s original purpose is fairly obscure nowadays, he is best known by fans for his myriad of cameos throughout several Nintendo games.˛˛* ''VideoGame/StarTropics'': Nav-Com is essentially [[{{Expy}} a purple-tinted R.O.B.]]˛* ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand3'': Appears alongside Professor Hector as a goal of a Heart Star mission.˛* ''VideoGame/StarFox'' series: ROB 64's English name is in honor of the original R.O.B. (In Japan, he's NUS 64 after the development name of [[UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo64}} the console he debuted on]].) Also, the Direct-i drone introduced in ''VideoGame/StarFoxZero'' bears a heavy resemblance to R.O.B.˛* ''VideoGame/WarioWare'': Appears in several microgames throughout the series, generally having to do with in-universe Nintendo enthusiast 9-Volt and his friends.˛* ''VideoGame/FZero GX'': Appears as a background element in the Port Town: Aero Dive track. This carries over to its appearance as a stage in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''.˛* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin 2}}'': R.O.B.'s head along with several ''Stack-Up'' blocks are some of the obtainable treasures.˛* ''VideoGame/MarioKartDS'': R.O.B. is a playable character, even including a kart based on ''Stack-Up''.˛* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'': R.O.B. has been a playable character since ''Brawl''. The ''Subspace Emissary'' story mode from ''Brawl'' prominently features R.O.B. models as enemies, [[spoiler:and the titular Subspace Emissary turns out to be a R.O.B. himself]].˛* ''VideoGame/TomodachiLife'': Appears as an obtainable artifact in-game.˛* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask 3D'': R.O.B. appears in the Curiosity Shop, a cameo that was not featured in the original [=N64=] release.˛* Toys/{{amiibo}}: R.O.B. has received a figure based on his ''Smash Bros.'' appearance (in [[PaletteSwap two different colors]], Red Japanese Famicom and Grey Western NES), and a handful of other games have their own R.O.B. content tied to the figure:˛** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioMaker'' and ''VideoGame/YoshisWoollyWorld'' unlock R.O.B. costumes for their characters.˛** In ''VideoGame/WarioWare Gold'', R.O.B. is one of the characters that Wario can make a sketch of when the figure is scanned.˛** ''VideoGame/ChibiRobo: Zip Lash'' and ''VideoGame/KirbyPlanetRobobot'' also have R.O.B.-themed unlocks from the amiibo figure, but R.O.B. does not personally appear in those games.˛˛----˛!R.O.B. and his games provide examples of:˛˛* AwesomeButImpractical: As cool as it is to have a RobotBuddy to play games with, the simple truth of the matter is that R.O.B. is too slow and cumbersome to be a reliable partner. In ''Gyromite'', it's far more effective to just [[BoringButPractical push the buttons on the second controller yourself]] if you don't have another player to help you. Not to mention the peripheral only worked for two games anyway.˛* ConsoleCameo: As a piece of hardware, R.O.B.'s appearances in later games qualify as this.˛* CuteMachines: R.O.B. is a little robot with big eyes who plays video games.˛* EndlessGame: Both games just loop around to the beginning if you complete all their levels.˛* FakeDifficulty: ''Gyromite'''s gimmick is that gyros need to be spun up and placed on pedals which will then depress one of the controller buttons, moving same-colored pillars in the game level. The timing of R.O.B.'s movements made this problematic in busier sections. It is perfectly possible to simply do this by hand, saving the player a lot of frustration.˛* FunWithAcronyms:˛** '''R'''obotic '''O'''perating '''B'''uddy, of course.˛** Also, in his ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' appearance: '''R'''emembered '''O'''ld '''B'''uddy.˛* GenreShift: ''Gyromite'' had side-scrolling platformer elements and VideoGameLives; ''Stack-Up'' is shown from an overhead view and has no real lose condition.˛* HisNameReallyIsBarkeep: R.O.B. has only ever been called "Robot" in his homeland.˛* InterfaceScrew: One enemy in ''Stack-Up'', Flipper, depresses buttons as he hops across the playing field, possibly adding extra inputs for R.O.B. to follow if he completes a row.˛* LabcoatOfScienceAndMedicine: Both professors. What their field of study is, is never explained.˛* MisbegottenMultiplayerMode: An inversion. Given how it is structured, ''Gyromite'' is completely playable without the robot, turning what normally is a slow, cumbersome game into a frantic cooperative dash through the levels when played with a second person. Of course, then you'd have to worry about them [[WithFriendsLikeThese being an asshole and squishing your player.]]˛* NeverWakeUpASleepwalker: Game B in ''Gyromite'' sees Professor Hector sleepwalking to the right, automatically climbing any ropes he finds. It's up to the player to keep him from blundering into Smicks or pillars.˛* PaletteSwap: The Famicom Robot is red and eggshell white, similar to the Famicom. The international R.O.B. is silver and grey, like the NES.˛* PlayerVersusPlayer: ''Stack-Up'''s Bingo (2P) mode pits the professors against each other for control of R.O.B., fighting to get more blocks on their side of his platforms.˛* {{Portmantitle}}: '''Gyro''' + Dyna'''mite'''.˛* RobotBuddy: When it's two-thirds of his full name, you'd expect this to be obvious.˛* ScoringPoints: ''Stack-Up'''s goals.˛* SirCameosALot: R.O.B. was released with only two compatible games (''Gyromite'' and ''Stack-Up'') and was swiftly forgotten as the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem took off in popularity. Nowadays, R.O.B. is best known for his cameos in multiple Nintendo games, including his playable appearances in ''VideoGame/MarioKartDS'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros.''˛* SwissArmyAppendage: R.O.B.'s hands can either be claws meant for holding gyros or soft foam grips meant for holding blocks.˛* TimedMission: ''Gyromite'''s game modes make you lose a life if you run out of time; ''Stack-Up'' just penalizes you points.˛* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Smicks ''love'' turnips and will stop chasing after the professors to chow down on one.˛* TrojanHorse: The [[TropeCodifier most famous]] one in video gaming.˛* UnusualUserInterface: R.O.B. himself. While undeniably an interesting piece of gaming history, his two games just highlight how impractical he really was as anything but a novelty.˛* [[ZeroEffortBoss Zero Effort Game]]: ''Stack-Up'' is played entirely on the honor system, as the game has no way to verify if you've arranged the colored blocks properly. Once you input that you've satisfied the win conditions, bingo. You win.˛----


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