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For fighter info, see R.O.B. (SSBB), R.O.B. (SSB4), and R.O.B. (SSBU). For other uses, see R.O.B. (disambiguation).
For the universe, see R.O.B. (universe).
For the Star Fox character, see ROB 64.
Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.)
Robotic Operating Buddy.jpg
The original R.O.B..

The American and Japanese versions of the R.O.B. peripheral.
Universe R.O.B.
Debut Stack-Up (1985, as a peripheral)
Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997, in-game cameo)
Smash Bros. appearances Brawl
Most recent non-Smash appearance WarioWare Gold (2018, in-game cameo)
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System (peripheral)
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (in-game)
Species R.O.B.
Gender Male[1]
Place of origin Real world
Isle of the Ancients (Super Smash Bros. series)
Created by Gunpei Yokoi
Article on Wikipedia R.O.B.

R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) (ロボット, Robot) is a peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Initially made as Nintendo's attempt at enduring the North American video game crash of 1983, R.O.B. has since transitioned into a video game character via in-game cameos and playable appearances.

R.O.B. made his Super Smash Bros. series debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an unlockable character, and has appeared as such since then.


As a video game peripheral[edit]

Due to the North American video game crash of 1983, Nintendo sought to enter the North American market by portraying the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) as an advanced toy instead of a video game console. Nintendo of America's then-sole marketing staff Gail Tilden was tasked with promoting the system as such in preparation for its North American test launch. To this end, Tilden suggested that the Family Computer Robot, a niche peripheral for the Famicom, be packaged alongside the NES in order to promote the console as a futuristic toy.

According to Tilden, the Famicom Robot's North American name was "originally going to be OTTO, which was a play on the word 'auto'", but she instead settled on rechristening the Robot as the Robotic Operating Buddy, or R.O.B. for short.[2] To further promote the NES as a futuristic toy, R.O.B. was bundled with his own compatible game, Gyromite, alongside the NES Zapper and Duck Hunt.

Along with Gyromite, R.O.B. was compatible with Stack-Up, complete with additional peripheral pieces to further promote the toy aspect of the NES. Although the player did not necessarily need R.O.B. to play Gyromite and Stack-Up, he still remained a key figure in Nintendo's attempt to keep the video game industry alive.

Although R.O.B.'s time in the spotlight was brief, he nevertheless established a legacy. He was ranked fifth in GameSpy's "25 Smartest Moments in Gaming" because of his impact in reviving the video game industry and helping Nintendo establish a major presence in the North American video game market.[3]

Conversely, ScrewAttack called R.O.B. the fifth worst game peripheral ever, citing that he only moved up, down, and side to side, was noisy and slow, was nearly impossible to put together by oneself, and specifically noted the lack of games that could be played with him.[4]

As a video game character[edit]

Despite his brief status as a peripheral, R.O.B. has gone on to make many appearances in games. His earliest in-game appearance was a cameo in Kirby's Dream Land 3; in this game, there is a stage in which Kirby must complete puzzles in various rooms to collect pieces of R.O.B. for Professor Hector, R.O.B.'s creator in Gyromite, so that R.O.B. can be rebuilt.

R.O.B.'s head appears as treasure in Pikmin 2, and is known as the "Remembered Old Buddy". Similarly to how his head is a collectable treasure, R.O.B.'s status as a collectable is referenced in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, where he makes a cameo in his entirety in the Curiosity Shop. However, he can only be seen to the right of the counter when looking from the backroom and he cannot be purchased. Robotic cranes designed in R.O.B.'s image can be seen in the F-Zero GX course Port Town Aero Dive, which can also be seen in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl stage of the same name.

Mario Kart DS notably marked the debut of R.O.B. as a playable character; in this game, he appeared as an unlockable driver alongside his own signature karts, one of which resembles his stand for Stack-Up.[5]

The Star Fox series in particular has been tied with R.O.B. closer than any other Nintendo series. ROB 64 references R.O.B. both in name and as a robotic assistant, owing to his status as the pilot of the Great Fox, the Star Fox team's battleship and base of operations. On a related note, R.O.B. himself also appears as a boss in the Star Fox-based levels in 9-Volt's stage in WarioWare: Smooth Moves.

Lastly, Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard both feature robots that are almost identical to R.O.B. Zero features Direct-i, who is tethered to the Gyrowing and functions similarly to ROB 64 and R.O.B. himself by being an assistant to the player. Conversely, Guard features the A.T.K. Unit, which is one of the "combat class" robots in the game that threaten the player's mining facilities.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: R.O.B. (SSBB)
R.O.B., as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

R.O.B. is an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Initially appearing as the Ancient Minister during the events of The Subspace Emissary, his true identity is revealed rather late into the story. R.O.B. sports his Japanese color scheme of white and red, though one of his alternate costumes consists of his North American color scheme of white and gray.

Some aspects of R.O.B.'s real world design are incorporated into his moveset. Specifically, his "Gyro" and "Spinner" from his Gyromite configuration are used for his Gyro special move; his ability to rotate his torso is used for his down smash and Arm Rotor special move; and the LED bulb on his head indicates how powerful Robo Beam is. Due to the aesthetic used in Brawl, R.O.B. also looks more detailed than he does in other games and real life.

R.O.B. boasts a strong zoning game, thanks to Robo Beam and Gyro. Despite his appearance, he is a heavyweight that also boasts excellent recovery thanks to Robo Burner, a potent air game, and useful tilt attacks. However, R.O.B. is terribly weak for a heavyweight, as his strongest attacks require opponents to be significantly damaged before they can KO reliably. As a result, R.O.B. is currently ranked 18th out of 38 on the tier list, placing him in the C- tier.


R.O.B.'s trophy in Brawl.
R.O.B. sporting his Famicom colors. R.O.B. debuted in Japan as Robot in 1985 as an add-on for the Famicom. He could be combined with a "gyro set," etc. for two types of play. The player controlled Professor Hector, the TV emitted light and R.O.B. responded to the light by moving. At the time, it was epoch-making game play. Recently, R.O.B. appeared in Mario Kart DS.
NES: Nintendo Entertainment System Robotic Operating Buddy


Name Game Effect Characters
R.O.B. Mario Kart DS AttackSpecialsIndirect+015SpecialsIndirect.png Attack +15 R.O.B.ROBHeadSSBB.png
Robot & Blocks Stack-Up AttackSpecialsIndirect+027SpecialsIndirect.png Attack +27 R.O.B.ROBHeadSSBB.png
Robot Mario Kart DS AttackEnergy+032TypeIcon(Energy).png Attack +32 R.O.B.ROBHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker R.O.B. (Mario Kart DS US).png
(Mario Kart DS US)
Brawl Sticker Robot & Blocks (Stack-Up).png
Robot & Blocks
Brawl Sticker Robot (Mario Kart DS JP).png
(Mario Kart DS JP)

R.O.B. Squad[edit]

Main article: R.O.B. Squad

The R.O.B. Squad is the general term referring to the army and race of R.O.B. enemies in The Subspace Emissary. Although having no real canon of their own outside of the Super Smash Bros. series, the story of The Subspace Emissary suggests that the race of R.O.B. robots called the Isle of the Ancients their home before it was subsequently taken over by Tabuu in preparation for his invasion into the World of Trophies.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: R.O.B. (SSB4)
R.O.B., as he appears in Super Smash Bros. 4.

R.O.B.'s return to the series was officially announced on SSB4's official website on October 9th, 2014,[6] although he was one of several characters who was initially leaked on August 19th, 2014 as part of the ESRB leak. Compared to his design in Brawl, R.O.B.'s design in SSB4 is more in line with his appearance as a real-life peripheral: the sheen of his body is now a satin finish instead of a glossy finish, his gray-colored components are darker, his head is now slightly smaller, and his eyes are now slightly larger and have more defined lenses. R.O.B. also received a new Final Smash called Super Diffusion Beam.

R.O.B.'s previously unimpressive KO potential has drastically improved, as his smash attacks, up aerial, up throw and back aerial are now potent KOing options. His grab game now boasts combo potential, thanks to down throw becoming a useful combo starter into up aerial. R.O.B.'s mobility has also improved, as his walking, dashing and especially air speeds have all increased, the latter of which also improves his already excellent recovery. Outside of these changes, the potency of his zoning and air games has remained largely intact: Robo Beam and Gyro are both reliable projectiles, while his neutral, back, up and down aerials boast disjointed hitboxes.

However, R.O.B. has some weaknesses. While his KO potential has been significantly improved, his newfound KOing options suffer from noticeable ending lag for some of his moves. His Arm Rotor in particular has a lot of ending lag. His projectiles have also been toned down: Robo Beam travels slower, while a fired Gyro deals much less damage and covers less distance. R.O.B.'s large hurtbox has also become slightly larger and his falling speed has increased; when coupled with his status as a heavyweight, these traits make him more susceptible to combos. Lastly, his grab game is hindered by his much smaller grabboxes, which have significantly decreased his overall grab range to the point it is now the shortest in the game.

Nevertheless, R.O.B. is generally seen as somewhat more viable in competitive play than in Brawl, thanks to his zoning game's potency largely remaining intact and his improved KO potential. He has since earned some noteworthy and dedicated mains, who have achieved decent results at all levels of play. As a result of his improvements and tournament success, R.O.B. is currently ranked 36th out of 55 on the tier list, placing him in the D tier.


Ntsc This NES accessory was released in 1985, a groundbreaking system that controlled the robot via a game on the screen. In Smash Bros., R.O.B. has two projectile weapons and can use his rocket base to fly through the air. If you let his Robo Beam charge over time, it'll make for a powerful blast.
Pal Originally released in 1985 as a peripheral for the NES, R.O.B. was a little robot that responded to flashing lights in games. In this game, he can fire gyros and lasers at his enemies. He also has the ability to hover, which is handy for recoveries. Keep in mind that his Robo Beam can be charged up for an extra-powerful shot.
NES: Robotic Operating Buddy (10/1985)
Nintendo DS: Mario Kart DS (11/2005)
R.O.B. (Alt.)
Ntsc R.O.B.'s side smash, S3, fires a laser beam that does more damage up close. You can also aim it slightly up or down before firing. His down special Gyro sends a spinning top hurtling forward and can be charged for more damage. You can even dodge while charging!
Pal R.O.B.'s side smash, S3, fires a laser beam that does more damage up close. You can also aim it slightly up or down before firing. His down special Gyro sends a spinning top hurtling forwards. While charging it up, you can move left or right to do a quick dodge, then continue charging where you left off!
NES: Robotic Operating Buddy (10/1985)
Nintendo DS: Mario Kart DS (11/2005)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: R.O.B. (SSBU)
R.O.B., as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

R.O.B. makes a return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, once again as an unlockable character. He has a new Final Smash yet again, being Guided Robo Beam.


Fighter spirit[edit]

Primary spirit[edit]

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Base Power Max Power Base Attack Max Attack Base Defense Max Defense Ability Series
SSBU spirit Ancient Minister.png
Ancient Minister
★★★ 2 2822 8507 1213 3658 1609 4849 No Effect Super Smash Bros. Series

Support spirits[edit]

No. Image Name Class Cost Ability Series
SSBU spirit Stack-Up.png
Stack-Up ★★ 1 Falling Immunity R.O.B. Series
SSBU spirit Gyromite.png
Gyromite ★★ 1 Back Shield Equipped R.O.B. Series


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ロボット, Robot
UK English R.O.B.
France French R.O.B.
Germany German R.O.B.
Spain Spanish R.O.B.
Italy Italian R.O.B.
China Chinese (Simplified) 机器人, Robot
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 機器人, Robot
South Korea Korean R.O.B.
Netherlands Dutch R.O.B.
Russia Russian R.O.B.
Portugal Portuguese R.O.B.


R.O.B.'s appearance in Port Town Aero Dive makes him the only playable character in the series to also appear in a stage that's not from the same universe as him.
  • The R.O.B. peripheral has a product ID of HVC-012. This appears as his name in the Japanese version of Mario Kart DS,[5] in the filenames of stickers related to him, and is even referenced in Palutena's Guidance regarding him.
  • R.O.B. is the only character in the Super Smash Bros. series that is not from a video game. Instead, he is a video game peripheral for the NES. This gives him the distinction of being the only character in the series who originates from the real world.
    • Along with Duck Hunt, he is one of the only two characters that has a direct connection to the real world.
  • R.O.B. is the only known character who is not coded to experience helplessness, as in Brawl the game freezes if he is put in helpless state. As of SSB4, however, he can be rendered helpless by touching Pac-Jump's red trampoline.
  • As of SSB4, R.O.B. is the only character whose default costume is different depending on what version of the game is played. He uses his NES color scheme in all regions outside of Japan, whereas his Famicom color scheme is used in the Japanese version.
  • Although difficult to hear, R.O.B. actually has a "voice" of sorts, which consists of subdued mechanical beeps. It is easiest to hear him when he is stunned, asleep, or star KO'd.
  • R.O.B. is the only unlockable newcomer in Brawl to remain as an unlockable character in both versions of SSB4.
    • Additionally, he and Wario are the only newcomers from Brawl to return for SSB4 as unlockable characters, as Wario is a starter character in Brawl.
  • R.O.B. is one of four characters to have a different Final Smash across every installment since Final Smashes debuted in the Super Smash Bros. series. The other three are Pit, Zero Suit Samus, and King Dedede.
    • He is also the only sole fighter from a series to have this trait.
  • R.O.B. is the only playable fighter without feet.
  • Ike and R.O.B. are the only characters whose default costumes became alternate costumes in a later installment.
    • However, his Famicom color scheme is still the default in Japanese versions of SSB4 and Ultimate.
  • With his debut occurring in July 1985, R.O.B. is the earliest fighter introduced in Brawl.
  • R.O.B.'s up aerial is very similar to an attack used by Spyborg, a boss from Star Fox 64. Interestingly, Spyborg bears a vague resemblance to R.O.B., and its Japanese name is HVC-09,[7] which is similar to R.O.B.'s serial code, HVC-12.
  • R.O.B. is the only fighter to currently lack a home stage from their own universe.
    • He is also the only fighter to represent a universe introduced in Brawl that lacks a single Assist Trophy.


  1. ^ Official sources, such as Super Smash Bros. trophies, consistently refer to R.O.B. with male pronouns.
  2. ^ Kohler, Chris (2004). Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life. Brady Games.
  3. ^ 25 Smartest Moments in Gaming. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007.
  4. ^ The Best and Worst Gaming Peripherals.
  5. ^ a b TMK - R.O.B. in Mario Kart DS.
  6. ^ More "Secret" Super Smash Bros. Characters Officially Revealed
  7. ^ Star Fox - Sector X