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Robot Wars: The First Wars was the first series of the British television game show Robot Wars. It was originally broadcast in 1998 on BBC Two. The series was hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, the pit reporter was Philippa Forrester and commentary was provided by Jonathan Pearce.
The series consisted of six heats, with six robots competing in each heat. The six winners from the heats moved onto the Grand Final. In each heat, the six robots would compete through a series of three challenges - the Gauntlet, the Trial and the Arena.
- The Gauntlet was an obstacle filled maze defended by house robots. Competitor robots had to make their way as far down the course as possible in the time allowed. The robot covering the least ground was eliminated, leaving five robots to continue.
- The Trial varied from heat to heat with games like, 'Sumo', 'British Bulldog', 'Stock Car', 'Labyrinth', 'Snooker', and 'Football'. Each trial had a specific goal and the worst performing robot was eliminated, leaving four robots to continue.
- The Arena was the point at which the robots finally entered the arena to do combat. The four remaining robots paired off and fought head-to head in the enclosed arena patrolled by the house robots. The two victorious robots then fought for the heat championship. The winner of each heat then went through to the Grand Final.
In the Grand Final, which was held at the end of the final heat, the six heat winners met in a single battle to determine the champion of the series.
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat A
Gauntlet: Barry eliminated
Trial (Sumo): Grunt eliminated
- Nemesis vs Roadblock: Roadblock won
- Killertron vs Shogun: Killertron won
- Killertron vs Roadblock: Roadblock won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat B
Gauntlet: Uglybot eliminated
Trial (British Bulldog): Detonator eliminated
- Recyclopse vs Scrapper: Recyclopse won
- Mortis vs Leighbot: Mortis won
- Mortis vs Recyclopse: Recyclopse won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat C
Gauntlet: Plunderbird 1 eliminated
Trial (Football): WYSIWYG eliminated
- Robot The Bruce vs Cruella: Robot The Bruce won
- Dreadnaut vs Wedgehog: Wedgehog won
- Robot The Bruce vs Wedgehog: Robot The Bruce won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat D
Gauntlet: Vector of Armageddon eliminated
Trial (Stock Car): Krayzee Tokyo eliminated
- Cunning Plan vs Bugs: Cunning Plan won
- Demolisher vs SAT'arn: Demolisher won
- Cunning Plan vs Demolisher: Cunning Plan won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat E
Gauntlet: Wharthog eliminated
Trial (Labyrinth): Psychosprout eliminated
- Bodyhammer vs Torque of the Devil: Bodyhammer won
- REALI-T vs Full Metal Anorak: REALI-T won
- Bodyhammer vs REALI-T: Bodyhammer won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat F
Gauntlet: Elvis eliminated
Trial (Snooker): Eubank the Mouse eliminated
- Skarab vs The Blob: Skarab won
- Prince of Darkness vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won
- Skarab vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Grand Final
First Wars Grand Champion: Roadblock
- Main article: Robot Wars Awards
These are the winners of the various awards given out at the end of the series:
- Best Design: Plunderbird 1
- Best Engineered: Mortis
- Most Original Entry: Psychosprout
- Sportsmanship Award: Nemesis
- Main article: Robot Wars: The First Great War
The highlights of the First Series were later released on video.