The Worst BattleBot Design Ever
The Internet is great for a lot of things, the largest being the ability to connect with others around the world. Such was the case with an old friend of mine in the early 00’s. In 1999, BattleBots was released on Comedy Central and I was a huge fan. I was all over the message boards and a couple of communities where I’d chat with others about the show and share designs and whatnot; geeky fan stuff. I won’t release his name (or screenname) for his own sake, but a particular friend of mine had convinced me to download MSN Messenger which was pretty basic and primitive back in those days. You could use some really ugly emoticons and send files but they didn’t have thumbnail previews like they do now. Now that I think of it, thumbnail previews are the second best part of the Internet and any kind of application that uses the Internet.
One fateful morning in early 2002 I was talking to this fine and upstanding fellow. The guy was pretty bright, he knew all sorts of technical info about robotics and animatronics. At the time I was 14 or 15 years old, I’d place him at around 17 or 18; the details these days are a little foggy. We were discussing ideas and blueprints just like any other day. I had scrawled down some cheesy ideas for some kind of overloaded robot with chainsaws; stupid crap that’s physically impossible to make but looks totally awesome on paper. He and I chatted about “Totaler”, the idea I had sent him, and then he said he had an “awesome design” he wanted to send my way.
He loaded up the image into MSN Messenger for me to accept, which I did. Thanks to our fabulous ISP CompuServe (read: America Online) we had blazing fast dial-up Internet access. Literally a half hour later this oddly large image was done transferring so I navigated to the folder in My Documents where all of my MSN Messenger transfers are dumped to. I sorted the images by date and found his at the top of the list and eagerly double-clicked the file to open it up in Paint. When my extremely robust eMachines PC finally opened the image I was greeted with a desktop sized picture — unfortunately it wasn’t a BattleBot design. What blasted me in the face can only be described as something from the bowels of the Internet itself.
Amy Rose Hedgehog being double penetrated by Sonic and Shadow the Hedgehog.
It was the worst BattleBot design ever.
The image is forever burned into my retinas. When I close my eyes to sleep at night, this is what I see. My personal hell would be this image tiled across every wall in my house. If I was captured by Jigsaw and locked in a crazy puzzle maze, this would be the terror I was running from. Every childhood memory that I ever had in my head was just shit on, eaten alive, and then shit on again that very moment. This exists.
Of all the people I knew, this was least expected to come from him. Figuring this had to be some kind of sick joke I played along.
“Yeah, Sonic and Shadow giving it to Amy really looks like a great design,” I said.
Apparently my buddy was under the assumption that he honestly sent me his design, because he replied with a simple and dumbfounded “what”. When I told him he had just sent me hardcore Sonic the Hedgehog pornography instead of a BattleBot design, he began apologizing profusely and telling me it was a joke. That’s when it hit me that my good friend here made an honest mistake and sent me porn instead of what he intended, and not the good kind of porn either. The rest of the conversation was incredibly awkward; he later sent the real file but there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion going on anymore. Afterwards I think I only ever talked to him a few more times before he vanished into Internet thin air.
Believe it or not, this was the first time the Internet had raped my childhood (and it wasn’t the last either). Naturally I was shocked and amused at the same time. I told my offline friends the story and we came up with the idea to put it into video form. I made a fake DVD case and “The Sonic the Hedgehog Pornographic DVD” skit was filmed, along with a few other related shorts filmed in the same fashion as a few early episodes of the Radio F Show project. The original DVD prop we used for the videos is the oldest prop still around from the early days of our filming.
If for some strange reason you’ve been following me around all these years old pal, this one’s for you.
[Editor’s Note: The DVD prop referenced in this article made a couple of cameos in Twilight Foundry videos in the late 00’s and was later retired from use when it was gifted to Foundry alumna Cosmic Audino.]