- "A power-packed robot capable of pulling a Land Rover and cleaving all opponents in two with that sharpened steel axe"
- — Jonathan Pearce in Heat A of Series 1, the introduction of Shunt.
Shunt was reminiscent of a bulldozer, with a rear-mounted scoop and fearsome axe, both powered by pressurized carbon dioxide, and a snowplough. Shunt's chassis and scoops were made of steel, while its superstructure was moulded fibreglass. In Series 1 and 2, Shunt was used to fight the competitors in the Sumo trial, and was the flag holder in the trial round of Heat 4 of Series 1.
One of the original four House Robots, Shunt was the lightest of all them, albeit still over the contestant weight limit of 100kg. Shunt was able to pull a fully-loaded Land Rover, and with its snowplough and scoop weapons it excelled at pushing contestant robots around the arena, and featured heavily in the Sumo Basho Trial event thanks to its incredible power. Shunt also had a diamond-edged axe to damage other robots.
Shunt proved to be a very reliable robot, more so than the other house robots, and was often used to push immobilised robots to the edge of the arena at the end of a battle, as a quicker alternative to bringing out the official cleaner/sweeper Shove, which was believed to be an early prototype of Shunt.
- "As producer I needed Shunt - it was totally reliable. We needed it to get the disabled robots off the stage."
- — Tom Gutteridge
Shunt's light weight compared with the other House Robots made it a common target for competitors, especially flippers. Shunt has notably been flipped over more times than any other House Robot, having suffered from this misfortune 11 times.
Shunt was armed with a pneumatically driven diamond-edged axe capable of delivering blows of over 500 kgf/cm² (7,000 psi), along with a rear-mounted pneumatic scoop and front snow plough.
Technical Manual Profile and OriginEdit
The following is the description of Shunt's profile and origin from the Robot Wars Technical Manual:
Looking like a cross between a snowplough, a bulldozer and a steam-driven tank, Shunt presents a depressing sight to any competing robot unlucky enough to encounter him. His extreme power and very low ground clearance mean that he is virtually impossible to turn over - or for that matter, even move. Shunt goes where he wants to go, and there is precious little that anyone else can do about it.
Shunt's origins are as mysterious as that of the other House Robots, although some attempts at analysis have been made for all of them (with the investigating scientists demanding - and receiving - astronomical levels of danger money). However, in Robot Wars, hard scientific research goes hand-in-hand with intriguing rumour and speculation, and Shunt is no exception. One of the most interesting (although unsubstantiated) reports was discovered on an internet website that has since disappeared. The report states that Shunt was originally a remote-controlled drone for use in nuclear reactors. Such drones are used to clean and maintain those parts of the reactor that are too 'hot' for humans, even with protective radiation-proof clothing.
According to this strange and sinister report, about five years ago the drone now known as Shunt was busy constructing routine maintenance on an experimental reactor somewhere in the former Soviet Union, when a sudden power surge occurred, threatening to destroy the entire facility. The engineers fought frantically to bring the reactor back under control, and when they eventually succeeded, they assumed that the maintenance drone had been completely vaporised. The reactor was shut down, and two more drones, equipped with video cameras, were sent in with video cameras to discover what happened.
What they saw sent a wave of terror through the reactor control room. Some scientists fainted on the spot, whilst others fled in panic from the facility, and were never seen again. The first maintenance drone had not been destroyed. Through some unimaginable atomic process, it had mutated into a horned monstrosity- a metallic demon that immediately attacked the other drones, utterly destroying them in seconds. It has become...Shunt!
All attempts to capture the mutant drone met with failure. It seems that the nuclear surge had created a thinking brain out of the mindless internal control circuitry, with the result that Shunt became an intelligent electronic entity, capable of strategic planning, and able to elude his human pursuers. He easily escaped from the confines of the experimental nuclear facility, and was not seen again...until Robot Wars.
Shunt holds the distinction of being the first House Robot to be introduced in Robot Wars, as it was the first featured in the roll call. Its axe was significantly smaller in this series, and its primary weapons were its ploughs and pushing ability. It was also described by Jeremy Clarkson as being the most powerful house robot in this series.
- "If he were a car, he'd be a tank"
- — Jeremy Clarkson on Shunt
Because of this pushing ability, Shunt was used in the Sumo trial in the very first heat. However, it did not get off to the best of starts, only succeeding to push one competitor (Shogun) off the ring, with Roadblock and Nemesis pushing him off, Killertron stalemating it and stock robot Grunt driving off the ring deliberately. On more than one occasion, his low ground clearance caused him to get stuck on the ramps in the Gauntlet.
Although Shunt's axe did not cause much damage, it was still quite fast, so any attack by it was taken very seriously. The axe did have another use - Shunt was the flag holder during the Stock Car trial of Heat 4, and its axe was replaced with a chequered flag, which it waved when Cunning Plan completed its third lap and won.
Shunt's actions during Heat E were particularly notable. It was particularly effective in the Labyrinth, helping to prevent Bodyhammer from reaching the end. However, its actions in the Heat Final were controversial as it sacrificed itself to free Bodyhammer from the grilles, who was immobilised.
Shunt was improved somewhat for Series 2, but did not look visibly different from his previous incarnation. Its axe was seen to cause notably more damage this series (for example, it managed to damage Milly-Ann Bug, causing puncture wounds to its eye) and it also was finally able to prove its worth in the Sumo challenges, pushing two robots off the platform. Shunt would also start to use its rear bucket scoop to overturn other robots, which it did to Havoc in the Heat L Final.
Shunt did suffer from a few problems, most notably with driving. It sometimes seemed difficult to keep straight. During the King of the Castle trials of Heat E, it would often drive straight off the platform, often from the entrance ramp. During the second Semi Final, it also drove into the pit by mistake, allowing King Buxton to complete its run.
Shunt also gained something of an arch-rival in this series, in the form of eventual champion Panic Attack. During the Heat F Gauntlet, Panic Attack had gotten stuck on Dead Metal, and Shunt was quick to come in and make numerous holes on the top armour. Panic Attack survived, but Shunt was now on their "hit list", so to speak. The two met again in the Sumo trial, where Panic Attack was quick to get its revenge - after several seconds of pushing each other around, Shunt drove off the ring by mistake. This would not be the last time in the show's history that Shunt and Panic Attack would meet, however.
As this series dropped the Gauntlet and Trials from the main competition, the House Robots, Shunt included, were given a redesign. Although still largely focused on its strength and pushing abilities, Shunt's axe was enlarged significantly and tipped with a diamond shape, allowing it to puncture all but the hardest of armours (Notably Blade and Berserk 2, as well as the chassis of Sir Chromalot, went unaffected by Shunt's attacks).
Thanks to its new axe, Shunt often played crucial roles in the outcome of fights, causing significant damage to the competitor robots. In the first heat of the series, its axe caused some significant damage to Suicidal Tendencies after Mace 2 pushed it into his CPZ. The axe also knocked out All Torque's receiver after it was pushed into Shunt's CPZ by Thing 2, and even the new flip-up paddle of Cassius 2 suffered damage, although this was thankfully minor. Shunt also humorously knocked off the head of the action figure of Atlas and destroyed the walking Anarachnid.
However, Shunt did not always have things its own way. After it flipped Hypno-Disc to win the Grand Final, Chaos 2 chose Shunt as its third victim, after Matilda, flipping it over. As Shunt tried to recover, it knocked off its own exhaust. Razer also crumpled Shunt's bucket scoop out of position, and even the lighter robots gave Shunt trouble, after American Middleweight joint champion Tentomushi cut off the house robot's aerial.
Shunt returned for Series 4 with minor improvements and fine-tuning. It was during this series that some of its most famous moments occurred. One of the most notable of this was during the second round of Heat E, when 101 immobilised Major Tom in the CPZ. After Matilda had caused some damage to Major Tom's head, Shunt hit it with its axe, completely destroying it. Another famous moment occurred in the Grand Final, when Hypno-Disc was pushed into his CPZ after Pussycat damaged its wheel guard. Shunt hit Hypno-Disc's spinning flywheel, stopping it completely and causing severe damage, damage that would prevent it from fighting in the play-off.
Shunt also competed in the Sumo Basho special event, which made a return this series. In contrast to earlier series, it was in top form, pushing 13 of his opponents out of the ring, often in less than 10 seconds. It also got vengeance against Team Nemesis, by soundly defeating Diotoir in retaliation for Nemesis' victory in the show's pilot. This would not last, as X-Terminator and Behemoth survived after charging at it, getting their scoops wedged under its own, preventing it from moving. As if this wasn't bad enough, Shunt later found itself against its old arch-rival, Panic Attack (who had attacked it a few times during the main competition). After a lot of evading and shoving, both robots fell off the platform together after Shunt mistimed its charge on a beached Panic Attack. The replays showed Shunt had hit the floor first, and Panic Attack was awarded the win, and as the only robot to last longer than the house robot, the Sumo Championship.
With the weight limit being increased to 100kg for this series onwards, just 5kg lighter than him, Shunt began to lose its effectiveness. It caused very little notable damage this series and did get involved in some of the contestant robot's frustrations - most notably when it was nearly flipped out of the arena, then overturned completely, by Chaos 2, even though it had lost drive to one wheel.
Shunt did have a few notable appearances in its favour, though. During a vengeance battle between Plunderbird 5 and Mega Morg, Shunt attacked the inflatable sheep on the latter after it had been burned by Sergeant Bash. Shunt would meet Plunderbird 5 again, alongside Stinger and Scorpion in the House Robot Rebellion. Tussling with Scorpion all the way through, it eventually pitted it and Plunderbird 5, but was unable to finish off Stinger despite help from Dead Metal and Matilda.
Shunt had a few notable appearances in Series 5. The first was when X-Terminator took on Immortalis in the first round of Heat F. After Immortalis was immobilised, Shunt struck the white globe like ornament on its back, completely destroying it in a similar fashion to Major Tom's head the previous series. The second, however, would not go in its favour. Shunt suffered one of the few instances in this series of a competitor attack on a House Robot - during its Heat Final clash against 3 Stegs to Heaven, Bigger Brother flipped it over.
- "He was there!"
- — Ian Watts' excuse for attacking Shunt
Shunt's third notable appearance this series came during a battle in Heat K, where Destruct-A-Bubble broke down against Rick. Shunt attacked Destruct-A-Bubble before it had been counted out, which resulted in a red card from Refbot. Shunt, apparently unhappy, tried to pursue Refbot. Another notable moment was when Wowot was fighting Lambsy, and Wowot knocked the sheep of the top of Lambsy, Shunt then repeatedly axed the sheep, and then held it over the flame pit.
A final incident occurred when Shunt tried to pit a beaten Terrorhurtz, but ended up driving in with it.
Once again, Shunt did not have a great deal of involvement during this series. However, one of the few House Robot attacks by a competitor was on it, after Firestorm 4 defeated X-Terminator in the Heat Final of Heat B. Firestorm was able to get underneath Shunt, flip it onto its side and drive it round the arena a few times before overturning it. Fittingly, Shunt was able to get some revenge on Panic Attack, dragging it to the floor flipper and then the drop zone.
There was also a somewhat comical moment during one of the heats, when Sir Chromalot drove into the arena and hit Shunt. Shunt seemed to take offence to this and chased Sir Chromalot to its starting spotlight.
Shunt appeared frequently during the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, but, just like in Series 6, notable moments involving it were genuinely limited. It was, nonetheless, involved in a rather controversial moment during the Iron Maidens tournament. During the second round, Behemoth had flipped Chompalot over and it appeared as though Chompalot would be unable to right itself, but Shunt came out of its CPZ and flipped the dragon-based robot back onto its wheels. Later, Shunt clashed with Behemoth after it drove into a CPZ. With Chompalot holding it in place, Shunt axed through Behemoth's top, eventually knocking its link out. As the House Robots are not meant to "help" an immobilised robot unless it is stuck on an arena hazard or the arena wall, Shunt's actions were criticized by the Behemoth team in particular.
In the last series, Shunt had to bear the brunt of several competitor attacks, more so than any of the other House Robots. Ceros, Hydra and Raging Knightmare all flipped it over during the course of the series (humorously, a clip from its on-board camera had been playing as Raging Knightmare flipped it) and Ripper flipped it onto Sir Killalot where it got stuck.
The most notable attacks on Shunt came during Heat D and the All-Stars special. During the heat final of the fourth heat, Lightning had broken down after constant flipping by Gravity. The House Robots moved in to attack Lightning as Refbot counted it out, when Gravity caught Shunt unaware and flipped it over. Shunt landed heavily on its top end and various parts, including its camera, broke off. During the first round of the All-Stars, all four robots ignored each other and attacked the house robots, Shunt being their first victim. It was easily flipped over by Firestorm, whereupon Bigger Brother tried to flip it out of the arena, with no success.
Rather fittingly, as the first House Robot to be introduced, Shunt also appeared in the Grand Final of the World Championships, the last episode of Robot Wars. During the match, Supernova stacked itself against the arena wall. As both the Storm team and the House Roboteers believed that Storm 2 had won, Shunt stacked it against the arena side wall for fun. This lead to a rather controversial finish (see Storm 2/Controversy), but Storm 2 was given the win anyway.
Shunt made numerous appearances in both the American Extreme Warriors and Nickelodeon series of Robot Wars. It is the only original House Robot to compete in all three Robot Rebellions in that region. In the first Rebellion, it spent a majority of the fight attacking Tut Tut but towards the end ran out of power and was beaten into submission by Tricerabot. It had better luck in the second Rebellion against Snake Bite and Snookums and managed to outclass the two less powerful robots until Sir Killalot came in to finish them off. In the Nickelodeon Rebellion, Shunt was sent flying by the spinning maces of Humdrum but managed to recover. It then spent much of the fight attacking Squirmin Vermin, lifting it up into the air until Sir Killalot once again came in and threw Squirmin Vermin out of the arena and sent Humdrum to the Drop Zone.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Shunt/Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem
- Shunt/Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction
- Shunt/Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction
- Shunt/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Shunt/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)