Rise of the Robots

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a game by Mirage Technologies (Multimedia) Ltd., and Probe Software
Genres: Action, Fighting Games
Platforms: PC (1994), Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, 3DO, GameGear
Editor Rating: 6.6/10, based on 10 reviews, 13 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Rise of Games

Rise of the Robots is a robot fighting game that's punching its way from the PC to several game platforms, including SNES, Genesis, and Game Gear. The GG version is first on the scene, but something's lost in this translation.

Heavy-Metal Combat

In this one-on-on fighter you're out to stop the new polymorphic Supervisor of Electrocorp. the planet's major manufacturer of military and industrial robots, as she reprograms robot workers for destruction. You battle five mean robot fighters on your way to the ultimate challenge with the Supervisor.

From the first glance, you can see that ROTR s graphics are very basic. The only visual highlights are slick cinemas before and after fights. They're a nice touch, but that memory should have been used to create smoother animation for the main fighting action.

The robots' movements are extremely choppy. In fact, the action's so choppy that it's hard to block moves because they happen so quickly.

As far as the sounds go, if you're into self-torching, this game is perfect for you. The music is bad, but the good news is that it can be switched off.

Hello, Control

Crippling control is this game's big downfall. This weakness relates directly to the choppy robot movement, which never really lets you feel like you're part of the action. Moreover, the moves are too basic and have little excitement to them.

The imprecise game play hamstrings the fighting. Your jumps are short - so short that you can't even do basic stuff like leap over your opponent. Fighting the entire game from one side is just plain boring. Blocking is also a downer: When you block, it seems that you lose as much energy as when you don't block at all!

The one cool feature in the game is the combat training mode. You can choose any of the five main robots and hone your moves for combat.

Fall of the Robots

ROTR may keep you satisfied if you don't own any other games and you're into extremely basic video fighting. The bad control, weak game play, and choppy animation infest this cart from start to finish. Robot's more than a little rusty.


  • Don't block too long. You lose too much energy.
  • Avoid being cornered. If you are, push out with your shoulder move.
  • Use the combat training mode to practice against the robot you want to fight.
  • When an opponent jumps toward at you, meet them with your shoulder move to knock them off balance.
  • Vary your attack patterns to confuse some of the harder robots.

Download Rise of the Robots


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Chances are I shall be using the word "rendered" rather a lot in this review. You see. Rise of The Robots is one of those games that is apparently a revolutionary new thing... i.e. it's a bit different. Okay, if you had to describe it in basic terms you would say it was nothing more than just a Street Fighter- ish beat 'em up with robots, but Rise of The... does use some novel touches.

Developed by Instinct Design, the game has been in development for what seems like eons. No doubt you have read the previews that appeared a number of millennia ago. Now then. Instinct is headed up by a chap called Sean Griffiths... and he's quite sort of famous-ish in the games world. He used to be a Bitmap Brother you see, and they were dead trendy in the 80s - a time when software houses had a stab at turning games developers into pop stars. The Bitmap Brothers were the sort of chaps that wouldn't be seen anywhere without wearing their sunglasses, and acted "cool" a lot. Instinct Design, on the other hand, are awfully good at rendering things... and whilst they don't all wear Raybans, you could argue that they're a bit cool sometimes.

A pretty beat 'em up

As I said at the beginning, at bear bones level Rise of the... is really nothing more than just a basic beat 'em up. You know the sort of thing... two characters stand face to face and are forced to beat the crap out of each other until one of them falls over. Games of this genre have pitted numerous beings against each other, from aliens to bunny-rabbits, but as the name suggests. Rise of the... focuses on robots... huge, dirty great robots with severe attitude problems and an intense desire to clobber things. As you'd expect, to cover the simplistic nature of the gameplay, PwK there is a bit of a storyline to justify the gratuitous panel-beating that goes on here. It seems that a huge company, called Electrocorp, builds virtually all of the best robots in the world and, due to a minor technical hitch, things are now going terribly wrong. The latest invention, a femaleshaped, polymetamorphic droid (a bit like the Tiooo in Terminator 2) called the Supervisor, has been infected with an ego virus and has turned into a vicious, psychotic maniac (although she does have a very nice looking bottom). Rather than simply going loony on her own, though, the Supervisor is now on the rampage and having a go at re-programming every robot in sight. The result? Mayhem.

This, as ever, is where you come in. As a big, muscley-looking, Cyborg thing (which is a robot with a human brain, huge arms and no willy), your job is to go to Electrocorp and, ahem, "kick some ass".

Starting at the bottom, as it were, your first job is to wipe out a big yellow thing called the Loader, which is basically a droid loosely based on a cross between the Loader from Aliens and a fork-lift truck. This first guy is, to be perfectly honest, thick and shouldn't pose too much of a problem to a competent gamer. Fortunately, this gives you the opportunity to play around with the moves and to master the rather unique control method.

Unfortunately, the game only allows for one fire button on a joystick, and as a result you have to learn how to get different levels of both kick and punch from just a very simple setup. Basically, the power level is achieved by a rather novel R-Type style set-up whereby the move is deemed "harder" the longer you hold the fire button down for. To produce a kick or a punch, though, you have to move the joystick to either the left or right after the button has been pressed. It may seem a fairly arse-about-face way of doing it but it does actually work rather well. Obviously it takes some getting used to, but hey... what doesn't, eh?

Beyond this first meanie you then have five further robots to beat, which range from the ape-like "Builder", which bangs its chest and does an admirable impression of Thing from The Fantastic Four, to the obviously Japanese inspired "Sentry", which is both huge and exceptionally hard. As you would expect, the game ends with you taking on the Supervisor herself as she morphs herself into all kinds of loony shapes and then beats the shit out you. (You really don't stand a chance with this one... would somebody please tell me the cheat!)

As a one-player game, you take each of these chaps on in sequence, but thankfully there is also a two-player game where you can go head to head with a chum and learn all kinds of extra special moves to brighten things up a bit. Fancy making yourself invincible or even turning all your opponents' special attacks off? Thanks to a ludicrously difficult to access bunch of movements, you can. It makes things that little bit zanier at least.

Pretty rendered stuff

Although the gameplay isn't going to win any design awards, the graphics no doubt will. Everything in the game has been rendered using 3D Studio... the backgrounds, the cut scenes, all of the characters, the menu screens and the game sprites. If it's got bright highlights and shadows on it, it's undoubtedly rendered and to be frank, it looks great.

Now, with all this detail being thrown around in svga {there is a vga version coming out as well but we've not seen that yet), you'd expect the game to require a hefty amount of processor muscle. Fortunately, however, it will run on a 486SX25, but the most important aspect is the video card. If you have a decent svga board that supports dos applications rather than Windows, you're totally sorted.

Presentation-wise I would say that Rise of The Robots is virtually perfect. It looks amazing and sounds brilliant. If you're a saddo Queen fan, you'll also appreciate the fact that curly-follicled, guitar maestro Brian May is responsible for all the tunes in the game, with just a few bits nicked and remixed from the Back To The Light album (harmony guitars are the order of the day throughout). The tunes suit the game surprisingly well and coupled with the wonderful sound effects, make for a wickedly atmospheric experience.

Apart from the unusual control method I mentioned earlier, my only other complaint about Rise of the... is actually caused by the complexity of the presentation. Apparently, because the rendered sprites arc so complex, they can't actually turn around, which basically means that you can't ever jump over your opponent in true SFII or Mortal Kombat style. It's not a major quibble, it just strikes me as a bit odd when everything else seems so good. As far as beat 'em ups go on the pc this is quite possibly the best I've seen yet. To be honest, the alleged "King" Street Fighter II was crap, and Mortal Kombat left a lot to be desired. So, if you really want a good beat 'em up and haven't got a console... this is the mutt's nuts.

There were two reasons I was so keen to spend a day in Stoke-on-Trent. One was that, despite never having been anywhere near the place. Stoke City were my childhood football team (something to do with Gordon Banks I think). The second reason was the short demo I'd already seen of Rise Of The Robots. The game was looking more than a little special. When it was displayed at a recent trade show some distributors refused to believe it was running on a pc. and insisted they were watching a video. So I arrived in Stoke full of anticipation and British Rail coffee. Unfortunately things didn't get off to the best of starts.

What's in a name

'What an innovative marketing idea.' I said. 'You've got a guaranteed take up from all the Bobs out there.'

'I'm sorry?'

'Rise Of The Roberts. It's brilliant. A beat 'ern-up about Roberts taking over the factory. It's a marketing department's dream. Everyone called Robert. Bob. Bobby they'll all want a piece of the action. Perhaps you could get it endorsed by Robert DeNiro.'

'It's Rise of The Robots. It's robots that take over the factory.' 'Oh I see. and these robots are all called Robert?'

'No. They don't have a name.

They're just different types of robot: builders, soldiers etc.' 'And the hero is?'

'The hero is a Cyborg sent to regain control of the factory.'

'And he's called Robert.'


'Then who is called Robert?'

'No one. Please listen very carefully. There are no Roberts in this game. Just robots - specifically droids and cyborgs.'

'Then why in the name of Norman Wisdom is it called Rise Of The Roberts?'

The ld(ea)

So what's the idea behind Rise Of The Robots? What does it aim to achieve? Sean Griffith, game designer and big cheese on the Instinct Design development team, takes up the story. 'I had the original idea for Rise Of The Robots before Streetfighter II hit the arcades.' Sean had been responsible for Barbarian, a classic beat 'em-up of about four years ago. which he feels 'had never really been bettered.' Until now of course. There are two aims within Rise Of The Robots. Firstly, to use 3D Visual Contouring to produce a 3D world of smooth contours and complex shapes. Secondly, to produce a beat 'em-up with effective ai. Previously, simple algorithms have been used to control computer fighters. This has led to the player following a pattern to defeat his opponent, which should not happen. 'So Rise Of The Robots should have revolutionary 3D graphics, powerful ai and. of course, instant playability.'

The Ego

Although essentially Rise Of The Robots is a head to head beat 'ern-up there is an overall scenario to the game, a reason to the madness. Action takes place in the future - a future in which Electrocorp are the biggest manufacturer of military and industrial robotics. In the spirit of industrialists the world over they are keen to reduce the number of employees on the shop floor. To this end they develop The Supervisor, a state of the art android capable of running the whole operation. So out go the humans and in comes the Supervisor.

However, before you can say: 'Reduced overheads', the Supervisor, infected by the Ego virus, siezes control of the factory, sets up a security blockade and attempts to introduce the other robots to the principle of revolutionary communism. Today the factory: tomorrow the world, ha ha ha.

In order to regain control of the factory Electrocorp send in a cyborg with a human brain as its cpu (so it couldn't be infected by the virus). Obviously, being money mad. property obsessed capitalists. Electrocorp don't want the factory damaged so the cyborg must go in unarmed. (See that weaponless cyborg walking into that factory full of killer robots? That's you that is.) As with most games the plot will be set up by an introduction sequence plus a number of inter-level sequences. The aim is to keep the player immersed in the game as much as possible. 'In conventional games the player is constantly broken away from the game's "world" by having to view high score tables, credits and various interfaces' Not so with Rise Of The Robots. 'All external game input will be done through graphical sequences relating to the plot'. A good example of this is in the selection of one or two player mode. This is done by moving your cyborg down the relevant tunnel. It's little touches like these...

Jung guns go for it

At the heart of Rise Of The Robots is a classic arcade style combat game, except with robots instead of ninja, sumo wrestlers or leather boys. 'So it's like a computer version of that game I always wanted for Christmas.' I cried. 'The one with the two robots in a boxing ring and when you knocked one of them out his head zapped up on a stick. Smart!'

I don't know if you've ever been in close proximity to a programming team whose prized product you have just compared to a mid '70s kids' toy but it's not something I would recommend doing too often. In one player mode you fight a series of head to head bouts against progressively tougher robots, each in his own (and beautifully rendered) environment. After you've defeated one robot (in a best of three, five or seven bouts depending on the difficulty level) you pass, via a rather impressive link sequence, into the next location and the next robot until ultimately you end up face to face with the Supervisor; a character not totally uninfluenced by the tiooo in the film Terminator 2.

Robert Robinson

It's a shame, really, that Rise Of The Robots isn't looking like a really hopeless game. If it was I could have headed this paragraph 'Robot A Flack' or something equally clever. Oh well, that's journalism for you. In fact Rise Of The Robots is looking truly excellent. The backgrounds, each of which has been designed properly by an interior designer, have an absolute wealth of detail and atmosphere. The robots themselves are also a joy to behold and what I saw of the animations promises great things. If these boys fight as well as they look they could set new standards for beat 'em-ups which is good news for Roberts everywhere.

In the far future, a surprising number of robots have gone haywire. As a cyborg, you are the only one with a chance at defeating them before mankind is destroyed.

Rise of the Robots is your typical fighting game, although special moves are a bit hard to find. You have your punches and kicks to maul your opponents, mano a mano.

The face of your enemy is cold steel. You will fight against innocuous mechs like a power loader, but eventually much nastier things like combat droids will spring to life.

Rise of the Robots is filled with lots of rendered graphics. Even the cinemas look cool. Unlike other versions, the 3DO game has much more of a plot, given to you in the form of the cinemas.

While it may not compare to the arcade-style fighting games, this one does have a certain charm to it. Also, fighting games aren't very plentiful on the 3DO, so fighting fans might want to test their skills with this one.

People say:


This is by far the worst fighting game I've ever seen. It dwells too much on cinemas and its (supposed) eye-popping graphics. The game play is almost non-existent. The few moves are near-impossible to do. In this game, trying to do a normal punch is on par to a special move. The animation really lacks, and it's just plain boring to watch. Rise of the Robots is a game that is just not fun to play. I don't like ripping on games, but ones as poor as this deserve it.


Sorry, no sale. Rise of the Robots comes off as a huge disappointment. For a game that was touted with so much hype during its development, the end result is a pure letdown. Sure, the snazzy cinemas will grab you at first, but just try and actually play this game. It's just doesn't work as a fighting game, or anything else for that matter. Couple that with pitiful access time and bad control, and you have yourself some disappointment. Avoid it like the plague.


Oh brother! (pulling hair out in disgust) What in the world is this supposed to be? There is absolutely no balance in this game whatsoever. There simply was just too much full-motion video in the game (especially between matches) that I didn't care to play the game anymore. The load time really hurt it. As far as the game goes, Rise of the Robots really isn't much of one. The moves, even the basic punches and kicks are difficult to pull off. (sigh) Sorry.


Well I have to admit that the cinemas are done well. They sure are lengthy and quite abundant in this fighting game. Yet, I don't think it really needs that many. It seems that too much time and resources went into the good cinemas but it's overdone way too much. The characters are sort of boring and the moves are tame by any standard. The controls work okay, but there aren't a lot of moves and fighting strategy to make this work. It needs moves, combos and technique.

Last month you might have seen the Super NES version of this same game. Well, now there's a portable version on the Game Gear.

Robots have gone haywire, and you must face them all. If you can, use your metallic fists and feet to smash them into the ground. It will take fast fingers if you are to survive the five troublesome mechanoids.

If you need a good fighting game for the Game Gear, Rise of the Robots might satisfy your desire for carnage. Rise of the Robots looks pretty good, so check it out.

  • Manufacturer: Acclaim
  • Machine: SNES

Yow! These robots lank really great! I mean, these babies look like they could step right off the screen. And these backgrounds - it looks like you're right there. Huh? you mean this is a game? I thought it was a screen saver. This is a clunker.

  • Machine: Game Gear.
  • Manufacturer: by Mirage. publisher Time Warner Interactive.

This is probably one of the more disappointing titles of the last year. After being hyped to the skies, mostly for its rendered look, the final game falls short in lots of different categories, including animation and control.

But if the SNES version didn't live up to its potential, the Game Gear version is the pits. Trying to keep up with what little action there is (there seems to be less than four frames of animation per move) on a tiny four inch screen is enough to induce migraines. Stay away.

  • Machine: SNES.
  • Manufacturer: by Mirage. publisher Acclaim.

Humans aren't the only ones who get a little power hungry. In an effort to streamline operations, Electrocorp turned over the reins of its massive Metropolis Four plant to its highly developed robots. The Supervisor Droid has been successfully managing the day-to-day operations until the EGO virus infected it and now the Supervisor is putting its own goals ahead of its assigned daily tasks.

The Supervisor has infected the other plant droids with the EGO virus and reprogrammed Metropolis Four's security defenses to create one heck of a potential loss for Electrocorp. But the company has a secret cyborg up its sleeve and hopes that it can remove the rebellious robots and avoid further destruction of company property. Gee, all this grief for one measly factory? What a prime example of the corporate mindset.

As a game that was originally designed for PC, Rise of the Robots offers impressive graphics and a solid soundtrack. But the old phrase 'never judge a book by its cover' applies here, since there is not much beyond visual appeal to hold your interest.


  1. The Loader Droid is heavy and strong. Fortunately, it's short on intelligence.
  2. A powerful upper body contributes to the BHF03 Builder Droid's ape-like appearance.
  3. The Crusher Droid - programmed to destroy malfunctioning droids - is a trained killer.
  4. Overcome the size and speed of the Sentry to get to the Supervisor Droid behind the problem.
  5. Designed for combat, the Military Droid combines heavy armor and high intelligence.
  6. As the EC035-2 Cyborg, you're trying to be the hero of this story.

If you're wondering why the 16-bit market may be dying, just play Rise of the Robots. This has to be one of the most unappealing fighting games ever made for the SNES.

ProTip: Use the mission briefing to find out the fighters' strong and weak points.

The graphics are average at best, with dark, bland colors for both the backgrounds and combatants. It's the fall of the robots.

The sounds are as lifeless as the characters you play. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

The control is extremely weak and choppy for both the fighters' movement and their fighting techniques. It's a real struggle to do anything tactical.

All the elements that make fighting games enjoyable are absent from ROTR. Someone unplug these robots -- please.

You are a cyborg handyman in the far away future sent to a huge corporation where an evil AI has taken control of the companies robots. You are charged with facing these robots in combat and eliminating them one by one to reach the core and deactivate the AI.

Rise of the Robots is a futuristic Street Fighter 2 clone featuring battling robots. Includes a story mode for anyone who cares. Gameplay wise this is a standard beat-em-up with gorgeous graphics. It has some annoying limitations like not being able to jump over your enemy and only one fire button.

Beware of the Rise of the Robots!!!

Rise of the Robots is noted as one of the least successful and most critically maligned fighters of all time, that was developed by Mirage Media and released by Time Warner Interactive in 1994 and ported to numerous other game systems. Despite featuring incredible graphics for the time, it suffered from myriad crippling gameplay problems.

A virus plaguing futuristic robots makes them believe they should destroy the human race. As the heroic Cyborg, you must defeat enemy robots in one-on-one battles to save humankind.

Rise offers deceptively good graphics - the rendered cinemas, characters, and backgrounds do their best to gloss over the choppy gameplay animation and lack of moves. Like the graphics, the music and sound effects in the cinemas are good quality but sparse.

Good fighting games provide a variety of moves, but Rise implements only six. While there are six playable robots, the fighting is so limited that each match feels the same.

You'd have more fun if you bought two electric can openers and smashed them together until only one works.


  • Once you have a lead over the Prime-8, stand over him and throw punches. He'll duck until time expires.
  • Comer the Sentry with alternating standing and crouching punches.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

3DO Screenshots

See Also

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