"A shell-ebration of turtle teamwork"
Robot Wars: The Official Handbook

Terror Turtle was a box-sectioned robot from West Sussex that fought in Series 7-8 of Robot Wars, and the New Blood Championship during the second series of Robot Wars Extreme. Terror Turtle also represented Canada in the Commonwealth Carnage, The Third World Championship, and Robot Wars: World Series during Extreme 2, Series 7 and 10 respectively. It failed to win any of its seven battles in its own right, only earning points after a post-battle forfeit, while Terror Turtle was flipped out of the arena by Atomic and Eruption in both of the main series it competed in.

The team often joked about the robot being a turtle, listing it as being a strength and a weakness in the robot's statistic boards. Because the captain was Canadian, Terror Turtle represented that country in two international events, the Commonwealth Carnage, and a Third World Championship qualifier, although it lost the latter to Swiss entry Snake Bite.


"It's a turtle"
— The robot's strength and weakness in Series 7
Extreme terror turtle

Extreme 2 appearance, with the bar weapon

Terror Turtle was designed to resemble a large turtle, covered in aluminium plate and a decorative 4mm fibreglass top, which proved to be weak against overhead weapons. In Terror Turtle's debut in the New Blood Championship, it was armed with a large 90cm 360 degree rotating iron bar with axe heads, raised 10cm off the arena floor.

"Terror Turtle is like an egg armed with a sledgehammer! He's a bit weak, but if he hits someone with this rotating bar, nothing's gonna stand in his way!"
— John Frizell on the spinning bar weapon.
Terror turtle

Terror Turtle in Series 7

This was exchanged in Series 7 for a large 45cm, 9kg spinning disc. The removal of the bar weapon meant that Terror Turtle was now invertible, but in all guises, Terror Turtle's wheels remained completely exposed.

Terror Turtle 2016

Terror Turtle and The Hatchling in Series 8

In Series 8, Terror Turtle's weight was reduced from 96kg to 86kg, to make way for a clusterbot that fights alongside it, named The Hatchling. Weighing 21.5kg, The Hatchling was a static wedge made of 3mm mild steel, driven by industrial electric drills, which intended to impede the movement of other robots by wedging underneath them. Otherwise, Terror Turtle was upgraded to use modern day internals, including new speed controllers that removed the former half-second lag that the robot's controls suffered from in 2003.

Frizell and Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle in the pits in Series 10

During Robot Wars: World Series, Terror Turtle used a new horizontal bar spinner in place of the spinning disc, similar to the spinners used by The Kegs. Terror Turtle's speed was also increased from 5mph to 11mph. The Hatchling did not appear with Terror Turtle in this appearance, although it was still addressed by Jonathan Pearce as being available. This version of Terror Turtle was quoted at weighing 108kg, although it is unknown whether this weight factors in The Hatchling.


Terror Turtle was originally built to enter Series 5 of Robot Wars, and in the qualifiers, Terror Turtle won its battle, but regardless was not chosen to compete in the series due to the robot lacking power in its drive.

"I won my fight when the impact of my rotor knocked out a circuit breaker my opponent had installed to protect his drive motors. But they declined to accept TT because it was 'too feeble' in its drive [which was true]."
— John Frizell, on his Series 5 qualifier

In its Series 6 qualifier, Terror Turtle had an immediate advantage as one of its opponents was immobile to begin with, but after Sumpthing immobilised another potential qualifier, Terror Turtle's promising start was lost when an overhead rotor broke in half, and due to damage Sumpthing caused to Terror Turtle's wheels, it lost to Sumpthing under head-to-head conditions, after the two robots became locked together. It was not awarded a place in Series 6, but Terror Turtle instead appeared in the newcomers-only New Blood Championship in Extreme 2.

Series 7 Qualifier

Terror Turtle fighting in its Series 7 qualifier battle

Terror Turtle Damage

Damage done to Terror Turtle at the Series 7 qualifiers

Terror Turtle's armour was heavily damaged by Fluffy when qualifying for Series 7, though it remained functional until the end of the qualifier, despite being rammed into the arena wall by Gyrobot. The battle was ultimately won by Gyrobot, but Terror Turtle finally qualified for the main competition after being given a discretionary place.

Terror Turtle qualified for Series 8 by open application, and its participation in Series 8 was first indirectly revealed in a teaser trailer released on June 25th, 2016. This trailer focused on Sabretooth, but showed a short clip of Terror Turtle within the arena alongside it.

For Series 9, Terror Turtle applied in the same way as the last series, but this time was not selected to compete[1]. Team Terror Turtle entered Series 10 using The Kegs, but still brought Terror Turtle to filming, and later competed in Robot Wars: World Series using it.

Robot HistoryEdit

Extreme 2Edit

"Will this turn turtle or "terra-pin" down opponents?"
Jonathan Pearce introduces Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle is flipped over

In Extreme, Terror Turtle fought in Heat A of the New Blood, where one flip from Roobarb got Terror Turtle stuck upside down. Roobarb flipped Terror Turtle back onto its wheels, but one end of the metal bar was caught over the arena wall, preventing it from becoming fully mobile again. Mute drove into the pit, but the judges ruled that Terror Turtle had been immobile for too long, and it was subsequently eliminated.

It also represented Canada in the Commonwealth Carnage, as part of the former Commonwealth. It was fighting against Crushtacean from South Africa, Panic Attack from Wales and Cerberus from Cyprus.

"We're up against it, it's going to be tough. Turtles are almost gone from the wild, and they may be gone from Robot Wars shortly too!"
— John Frizell before the first round
Panic, turtle and crab

Terror Turtle in round 1 of the Commonwealth carnage


Terror Turtle lies on its back

It spun up its bar and glanced off Panic Attack, but the impact pulled the rotor out of alignment, leaving the robot weaponless. Terror Turtle spent the rest of the battle fighting Panic Attack, who used its forks to steer Terror Turtle slowly around the arena. Terror Turtle nearly went into the pit just as Cerberus did, and after this, it seemed that Terror Turtle had lost much momentum as Crushtacean and Panic Attack fought one another. Towards the end of the battle, Terror Turtle was illegally flipped by Sir Killalot (Terror Turtle was outside the CPZ) right before cease was called. In protest, JJ Frizell held up a sign that said "Save the turtle." The battle was judged up until Sir Killalot intervened. However, it still lost the judges' decision that had been in favour of Crushtacean and Panic Attack.

Series 7Edit

Atomic vs Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle flies out of the arena

In its first UK championship appearance, Terror Turtle fought 13th seeds S.M.I.D.S.Y., the experienced Atomic and newcomers Cygnus X-1. Terror Turtle had scrapped the bar and replaced it with a small spinning disc on the front for Series 7, but the robot performed no better than before. It was flipped over straight away by Atomic. However, Terror Turtle survived this because it was now invertible having scrapped the metal bar, but it stood idle near the arena wall. As Atomic then charged in for another attack, the yellow robot flipped Terror Turtle out of the arena. As a result, Terror Turtle was eliminated from the competition.


Snake Bite crumples the shell of Terror Turtle

It later represented Canada in the Third World Championship qualifiers, and was drawn against Swiss competitor Snake Bite in its qualifier battle, for the right to fight in the Third World Championship. The two robots drove around each other at the start with Terror Turtle getting the first attack in, slicing through Snake Bite's rear armour and almost cutting into its hydraulic cables. Terror Turtle then drove onto Snake Bite's wedge and was repeatedly pierced by its claw weapon, before eventually being pitted by its opponent.

"Crumpled ... Canadian ... catastrophe!"
Jonathan Pearce as Snake Bite heavily damages Terror Turtle's armour

Series 8Edit

Storm2 vs Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle is pushed by the World Champions

In the first round, Terror Turtle was drawn against former runners-up Storm 2, veterans Sabretooth and full-pressure flipper Eruption. Angela Scanlon complimented the team's green theme in the pits before their battle. Team Terror Turtle made it clear that they hoped to get involved with The Hatchling, not keeping the small robot out of the way.

"I think he must be the most lovely robot in the place, let's hope his looks don't get ruined during the event!"
— John Frizell
Eruption flips terror turtle oota

Terror Turtle is thrown into the trench

According to the plan, The Hatchling was the more involved robot, wedging under Eruption while Terror Turtle held back. Storm 2 had targeted the turtle, and pushed it across the arena into various CPZ's, bending Terror Turtle's disc teeth, while The Hatchling overturned itself by driving over Eruption. Terror Turtle had been flipped over, and was pinned in the CPZ by Eruption and Storm 2. The Hatchling was immobilised by Eruption, after being wedged onto the arena wall where its wheels could not gain a purchase. Terror Turtle attacked the immobilised Sabretooth, although most of the sparks were generated by the arena floor. Caught off guard, Terror Turtle was thrown out of the arena by Eruption, eliminating it from the melee.

Series 10Edit

"I used to work for Greenpeace, so as an active environmentalist, I try to bring those principles to the building of the robot, so it's built mostly out of recycled material, and a bit of scrap as well. Terror Turtle is bringing something special to the Rest of the World team, it's the best-looking robot in the bunch!"
— John Frizell

Terror Turtle represented Canada as part of the Rest of the World team during the second episode of Robot Wars: World Series. In the Tag Team round, Terror Turtle was partnered with a fellow North American entry, Cathadh of the United States of America. The team faced two previous Grand Finalists, Concussion and Thor.

"John, I want you to go in first with Terror Turtle. We're going to tag about every 30 or 40 seconds, I want to make sure everybody drives two times. And the most important thing is, play fair, but do what you have to do to win."
— Michael Mauldin to John Frizell
Concussion vs Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle is immobilised by Concussion

Shunt vs Terror Turtle

The immobile Terror Turtle is axed by Shunt

As per the tactics of Team Toad, Terror Turtle started the battle first, against Concussion. However, Terror Turtle charged straight into the drum of Concussion while it was still accelerating its bar spinner, and was thrown onto its back by this first impact. Terror Turtle had been immobilised within three seconds, and John Frizell admitted defeat, forcing Cathadh to fight the rest of the battle on its behalf. After Thor disabled the spinner of Cathadh, Concussion drove out of the CPZ to attack Cathadh from behind, immobilising it in an illegal manner. Thor placed Terror Turtle onto the flame pit, where Shunt flipped it over and away from the hazard, but punctured the fibreglass shell while both robots were counted out, and 'cease' was called.

Dara Ó Briain: "Is this an official objection? Is this some controversy?"
Michael Mauldin: "Actually no, I'm seriously, yes! I was double-teamed. In a Tag Team match, you are not allowed to have two opponents attack at the same time!"
— Michael Mauldin raises an official objection on behalf of Terror Turtle and Cathadh

In spite of Terror Turtle and Cathadh both being immobile, the Rest of the World team believed that Concussion's attack on Cathadh was unfair, and Michael Mauldin raised an objection to Dara Ó Briain. After a brief debate, Michael Oates of Team UK was consulted, and he agreed to award three points to the Rest of the World team.

Dara Ó Briain: "Are you willing to hand over the points because of this disgraceful behaviour?"
Michael Oates: "Yeah, I think, let's even up the score, and let's go into the head-to-heads with a clean slate."
— Michael Oates of Team UK favours the case of Terror Turtle and Cathadh
Terror Turtle flags

Terror Turtle flies the flags for Canada, ahead of its battle with Big Nipper

In its head-to-head battle, Terror Turtle fought Big Nipper of Team UK. At this stage, Team Rest of the World had fallen behind in points, and Michael Mauldin advised John Frizell to 'take a bite out of Big Nipper' using its spinner, and recover the team's efforts. John Frizell was highly complimentary of Big Nipper ahead of the fight.

"The Big Nipper team are just superb engineers and mechanics, they're toolmakers, they have access to good equipment, and more importantly, they have the skills to use it, and the imagination to use it in ways that others haven't thought of. It's an honour to fight them, really."
— John Frizell
Big Nipper vs Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle maintains its balance against Big Nipper

Matilda vs Terror Turtle

Terror Turtle is turned over by Matilda's flywheel

Terror Turtle attempted to spin up its weapon again, but Big Nipper fit its claws around gaps in Terror Turtle's fibreglass shell, and attempted to crush and lift it. Terror Turtle's weight kept it on the ground, causing Big Nipper to lose balance, but after it regained footing, Terror Turtle was pushed over the arena spikes, towards Matilda. The House Robot struck the side of Big Nipper directly, but this also caused Terror Turtle to be cast aside in recoil, and Terror Turtle lost mobility as Big Nipper was brought out from inside it. Although Big Nipper had caught fire, and Terror Turtle's weapon still operated, it could not escape from Matilda's flywheel, sustaining damage directly to the tyre, while also being flipped onto its side. Although Terror Turtle was freed by the House Robot, it had to be counted out, losing the battle to a still-functional Big Nipper by KO.

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar: "I was thinking that when Big Nipper caught fire, that it would stop working, and at that point, if Terror Turtle moved a bit, it would've won!"
Professor Noel Sharkey: "It would've won, that's right. But it didn't move a quarter of an inch, it was dead. That's twice it's died on us!"
— The Judges on Terror Turtle's mobility

Three points were awarded to Team UK, who ultimately went on to win all of their subsequent battles, and the tournament. John Frizell decided that, in the face of more modern opponents, Terror Turtle was to be retired, over fourteen years after its first appearance.

"This has been Terror Turtle's final fight. The kind of robots he's fighting with now are much more powerful, and much tougher. ...So Terror Turtle, have a good retirement!"
— John Frizell


Extreme Series 2
New Blood Championship
Round 1
Heat A, Round 1 vs. Mute, Roobarb Eliminated
Commonwealth Carnage
Representing Canada
Round 1 vs. Panic Attack (WAL), Cerberus (CYP), Crushtacean (RSA) Eliminated
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat G, Round 1 vs. Atomic, Cygnus X-1, S.M.I.D.S.Y. (13) Eliminated
The Third World Championship
Representing Canada, Eliminated in Qualifier
Qualifier vs. Snake Bite (SUI) Lost
Series 8
Series 8 - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat 4,
Group Battle
vs. Eruption, Sabretooth, Storm 2 Eliminated
Series 10
World Series, representing Canada
Partnered with Cathadh in Tag Team battle
Episode 2, Tag Team vs. Concussion & Thor Lost via KO (0 points)
NOTE: Team UK later conceded their points due to a rule-breakage during the battle, gaining Terror Turtle 3 points
Episode 2, Head-to-Head vs. Big Nipper Lost via KO (0 points)


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 7

NOTE: One of Terror Turtle's losses was forfeited by the initial winners due to a rule breakage, awarding it the points of a victory

Series RecordEdit

  • Team Terror Turtle with their robots in Series 8
  • Team Terror Turtle enter the arena in Series 8
Main Series Terror Turtle Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Failed to qualify
The Sixth Wars Failed to qualify
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 1
Middleweight Championship with Steel Sandwich
Series 8 Heat, Round 1
Series 9 Not selected
Series 10 World Series
Entered with The Kegs
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Entered
Middleweight Championship with Steel Sandwich

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Terror turtle jpg

Terror Turtle as Terry Turtle at Techno Games

Terror Turtle also competed in the football competition in Techno Games. For Techno Games, it was renamed Terry Turtle, and competed in the 2002 series with Bugs Buggy.

Terror Turtle remained in working condition between Series 7 and the 2016 reboot, although it could not compete at live events due to the rule against spinning weaponry. For more information on the team's excursions, see here.


  • If the post-match forfeit after Terror Turtle's immobilisation to Concussion and Thor during the World Series is still considered a loss, Terror Turtle holds the worst win-to-loss ratio in Robot Wars, with seven televised combat losses to zero wins.
  • Terror Turtle was one of eight robots whose silhouette was used as a placeholder when demonstrating the Series 9 episode format. During this demonstration, it qualified alongside Eruption and PP3D by defeating Robo Savage (despite it not being possible for three robots to qualify from a four-way melee). It then qualified for the heat final against Eruption with eight points - defeating both PP3D and Kan-Opener via knockout and tying with Eruption in the head to heads.



External LinksEdit