Video Games Come to Life: America and Japan to Duel Giant Fighting Robots

America vs. Japan in a Giant Robot Duel. Yes, this is real life.

For years, gamers have been fascinated with giant fighting robots called mechs. Mechs are a form of robot that can be piloted by one or more people and generally are used to fight other giant robots or giant alien creatures.

In recent years, there have been many popular mech fighting games, amongst which are included Titanfall, Hawken, Mechwarrior, and Armored Core. The one thing each of these games has in common is the inclusion of a multi-story armored robotic vehicle which responds to the pilots’ commands and/or movements. Essentially, games about giant fighting robots.

While gamers were playing at being giant fighting robot pilots, two companies were busy making their dreams into realities. In Japan, Suidobashi Heavy Industry has created a 9000 lb, single-seat robot named KURATAS. This robot includes twin gatling guns, an advanced targeting system, a full HUD user interface display, and melee motion control via a power glove.

In addition to the base prototype of KURATAS, Suidobashi also offers custom builds of their giant robots to collectors - for the right price.

Meanwhile, in the United States, MegaBots has persevered after an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign in creating their own giant robot, the Mk. II Mech. The two-pilot robot includes, as expected, really big guns. Weighing in at 12,000 lbs, the Mk. II Mech is specifically designed for robot arena fighting. It features a cannon capable of firing three-pound paint cannonballs at up to 120 miles per hour.

MegaBots issued a challenge on June 30th, 2015 to Suidobashi Industries, inviting the Japanese company to bring its robot, KURATAS, to duel against the Mk. II Mech. Posted on YouTube, MegaBot’s challenge video included footage and an overview of both the Mk. II Mech and the KURATAS.

Suidobashi, we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel [...] Prepare yourselves and name the battlefield. In one year, we fight.

- Matt Oehrlein, MegaBots

On July 5th, 2015, Suidobashi Heavy Industries responded to MegaBots’ challenge with a response video authored by Kogoro Kurata. In his response, the CEO of Suidobashi Industry indicated that he found the American challenge “interesting," but that it lacked a certain panache. His response? Ratchet the difficulty up a notch - include melee fighting. While the KURATAS already includes melee controls for both a fist and a claw, the Mk. II Mech relies heavily on its guns to do the fighting.

Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. That’s… Super American. But you know, we really need melee combat. If we’re going to win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it.

- Kogoro Kurata, Suidobashi Heavy Industry

With a firm “Absolutely,” Suidobashi’s founder accepted the American challenge on behalf of Japan. To MegaBots, Suidobashi firmly states: Organize the duel. We’ll be there.

In one year's time, MegaBots of America and Suidobashi of Japan will come together with the KURATAS and the Mk. II Mech and battle it out to see which giant fighting robot is the best. One robot will be left standing, but we all know who the true winners are - enthusiasts and gamers around the world who have been waiting eagerly for years to see their dreams come true.

And maybe by that time, Americans will be able to cheer for a name a bit more catchy than “Mk. II Mech”.

Published Jul. 6th 2015
View Comments
  • topher339
    I can't help but think that neither mech will fair well.

    A 6mm bb is no match for paintballs that weigh 3 pounds. With those four legs sticking out the KURATAS' right arm is just about useless. So I doubt there will be any real pounding via fists. With the MK II having two very large canons firing at 120 mph, I don't see how KURATAS can compete with only a small minigun. They'll need something much bigger.

    The KURATAS is definitely more stable with the four legs but it's movement may be inhibited depending on the terrain due to the use of wheels. The MK II has tracks but looks very top heavy. The stability gained by the tracks is lost by the fact that any decent incline would cause it to tip over.

    The MK II has a cockpit that allows for fragments of objects to enter. Be it bb shards (rather dangerous as high speeds) or simple dust. The KURATAS however, is completely enclosed. This is a larger problem as a couple well placed shots would easily blind the (obviously placed) cameras used for targeting and vision. Additionally, the KURATAS is far more reliant upon computers and tech. Were any of these to fail, the mech would be a sitting duck. Maybe a rolling one.

    And, really, I can't help but think this will be like a fight between two large turtles. Big and powerful, but slow.

    But maybe I'm just overthinking.
  • StayNoLonger
    Featured Contributor
    Robot Wars has evolved!
  • Phillip W
    I'm so ready for this
  • Jay Ricciardi
    They need to get del Toro to name this bot. Pls.
  • Ainyan
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Welp, this might be my new favorite thing.

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