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R.O.B. (an abbreviation of Robotic Operating Buddy) was an official Nintendo Entertainment System accessory first released in its launch in 1985 (based of the Famicom's Family Robot) and communicated with the television with via signals recieved through his eyes. R.O.B. is also a reacurring Nintendo character. The Robot Series was a series of games made for R.O.B.
R.O.B. was one of Nintendo's marketting tricks to market the Nintendo Entertainment System in retail stores in North America Following the North American Video Game Crash Of 1983 (the others being the Game Pak, the NES Zapper Light Gun, and the Nintendo Entertainment System's design itself). Because R.O.B. was unlike any video game peripheral before it, more retail stores carried the system. R. O. B.'s first release was in the Nintendo Entertainment System Deluxe Set bundle, along with one NES Zapper Light Gun and copy of Gyromite and Duck Hunt. Because of his popularity, he went on later in 1985 to be sold alone with Gyromite. Also, to accomidate televisions with brighter screens, a brightness filter was released for R. O. B. with all his released. This was a shaded piece of two-sided tape attatched to a piece of protective paper. Once seperated, they could be affixed to R. O. B.'s "eyes" to improve reception.
Games compatible with R.O.B. were strictly from the Robot Series, which only consisted of two games: Gyromite and Stack-Up. It should also be noted that both games can be played without R.O.B., just by using two controllers.
To play with Gyromite, R.O.B. needed to be equipped with two claw-like hands, a spinner, a tray that holds an NES Controller, and a gyro holder. In addition, two gyros are needed for R.O.B. to move around. During gameplay, the player controls Dr. Hector, who controls R.O.B. to move red and blue gates in his way. For R.O.B. to start, the two gyros must be spun one at a time in the spinner. Afterwards, R.O.B. may pick them up one at at a time and use them. R.O.B. can either place the gyros in the gyro holder if they are not needed, or put them in the tray with two gyro holders; one red and one blue. Which ever color holder the gyro is placed in corresponds to which color gate will be moved (the holder pushes either the A or B button which communicates with the television. R.O.B. is told what action to perform (up, down, right, left, open and close) by pressing the START button on Player 1's controller will switch control of the characters (black for Dr Hector, blue for R.O.B.). There is also a test mode in Gyromite; by pressing the SELECT button, the red LED light on the top of R.O.B.'s head should light up via signals, confirming he's properly connected. Another fact about Gyromite is that R.O.B. can still be used when the game is off.
To play Stack-Up, five pedestals are attached to R.O.B.'s base, which hold five colored blocks (blue, white, green, yellow and red) and R.O.B. is affixed with foam, rounded hands. An order is given for the blocks to start off in, and the player (Dr. Hector) must jump on the right buttons to rearrange the discs in the given ending order. There exist three variations of this, game, but all funtion similarly. There is also a function in Stack-Up known as 'Test' mode. once selected, it will send signals to R.O.B.'s eyes, and if he is properly connected, the red LED light on the top of his head will light up, just like Gyromite.
In Gyromite, R.O.B. is the creation of Dr. Hector (Player 1) and Dr. Vector (Player 2). Some time after his creation, the doctors' lab was attacked by Smicks, who scattered sticks of dynamite throughout the lab. For 40 rooms, Dr. Hector and Dr. Vector take turns controlling R.O.B. and defusing all the bombs in each stage. That very night, Dr. Hector was sleep-walking through his Smick-infested lab, and must help him find his way safely across the rooms in the lab. Once the Smicks left the lab, Dr. Hector used R.O.B. to stack colored blocks in a certain order by jumping on buttons on a giant control pad. Soon after, two more bugs invaded the lab and Dr. Hector teamed up with Dr. Vector again to stack the blocks in thr right order again on a bigger board, which requires a whole row of five buttons to be pressed to give R.O.B. a demand, while being chased by two more bugs, Spike and Flipper, alternating turns.
R.O.B has been seen in more recently-produced games. He was a racer in Mario Kart DS and he appeared as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The music and sound effects from Gyromite were re-used as a setting for the Electroplankton Beatnes.