The Ancient Minister (エインシャント卿 Einshanto kyō?) is a reluctant antagonist in the Subspace Emissary. Being the leader of the R.O.B. Squad and their deployments of Tabuu's Subspace Bombs, he is considered to be a Tragic Villain (an antagonist who does not truly intend to be a villain), as he truthfully regretted his actions of bringing the World of Trophies into Subspace under the orders of Tabuu. He is the same character as R.O.B.
Role in the Subspace Army
Ancient Minister was once known as the Master Robot, who ruled over the Isle of the Ancients with the rest of the R.O.Bs. Tabuu held the entire island hostage, forcing the Master Robot to follow his orders. The Master Robot, in his own shame, disguised himself and took on the name Ancient Minister.
Tabuu used technology from the Isle of the Ancients to build Subspace Bombs and the Subspace Gunship and began production of them, the Subspace Bombs on the Isle and the Gunship in Subspace itself. Each Subspace Bomb required two R.O.B units to power it. These units, and a number of military specialized units became the R.O.B. Squad. A number of Subspace Bombs and sacrificial R.O.B units were deployed into the world, while a Subspace Bomb factory was formed on the Isle and protected by most of the R.O.B Squad.
During the Subspace Emissary
The Ancient Minister is encountered, as the fight between Kirby and Mario seemed to be friendly in nature. The Ancient Minister deploys a Subspace Bomb in the Midair Stadium, assimilating it into Subspace. This first attack was protected by the captured Battleship Halberd. Mario, Kirby, and (depending on who the player saved) Princess Peach/Zelda escape. He then attacks a number of different locations with Subspace Bombs. As the story proggresses, the Ancient Minister is shown to be saddened by the loss of R.O.B units, a number of times having flashbacks about the lost R.O.B units. Every location absorbed into Subspace causes a number of new characters to join a party that fights against the Subspace Army. This party eventually recaptures the Halberd while Samus, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon and Captain Olimar attack the Isle of the Ancients.
The party enters a large room with a number of R.O.B units and Subspace Bombs inside, as well as the Ancient Minister. Ganondorf appears via hologram and orders the R.O.B units to detonate all the Subspace Bombs at once. The Ancient Minster physically moves them away from the Bombs and orders them not to detonate the bombs. Ganondorf then reaches for a remote and hits a button on it, causing all the R.O.B units eyes to glow red, and their motion to become more mechanical. The R.O.B units, now unresponsive to the Ancient Minister's commands, continue to follow his orders for detonation. The Ancient Minster continues to physically remove the units from the bombs, which leads Ganondorf to order them to attack. The R.O.B units light the Ancient Minister on fire using lasers, and the Ancient Minister destroys the robes that he was wearing, putting out the flames and revealing himself as R.O.B. to the party of heroes, being introduced as R.O.B. He joins the party, who all collectively attempt to remove the R.O.B units from the Subspace Bombs to no success. Ganondorf orders the Subspace Army to attack the party, which evacuates. The party escapes using the Falcon Flyer, fighting Meta Ridley in the process.
The Isle is engulfed by the bombs and enters Subspace. The Subspace Gunship exits out of it and begins attacking the party, who use various aerial vehicles to fight back and enter Subspace. The Master Robot confronts and is trophified by Tabuu along with the rest of the party, who are all restored by the likes of King Dedede, Ness, Luigi and Kirby. The Master Robot is a choosable character for the Great Maze and the final fight with Tabuu, though he is referred to as R.O.B.
The Master Robot is seen with the thirty four other playable characters, including the Pokémon Trainer's released Pokémon, who stand in front of a shore and stare at a large X-shaped light in the sky, which is the Isle of the Ancients. Due to so many bombs being detonated in it at once, the Isle can not escape Subspace, and the Isle is gone, though it is not quite known why a large light source resides in its place.
The rest of the R.O.B units were either on the Isle when it was destroyed, destroyed when the Subspace Bombs were deployed, or destroyed by the heroes when they attacked the Isle (it appears as if only the Master Robot is capable of trophification instead of death), meaning that it is the last R.O.B. remaining.
As a trophy
The commander of the Subspace Army who uses Subspace Bombs to tear up this world. He was once the lord of this world, living on the floating Island of the Ancients with many robots-but the robots were taken hostage on Tabuu's orders. Now that their home's a bomb factory, the robots carry out their functions while enduring deep sadness caused by the loss of their colleagues.
- The Ancient Minister appears as a selectable picture in Wi-Fi mode for the player's logo.
- Although set on fire, the Ancient Minister seems unharmed after the R.O.B.s turn against him. This hints that his armor may have taken all the damage.
- The Ancient Minister gave into Tabuu's demands because he wanted to make sure he didn't destroy the R.O.B.s. Ironically, all of the R.O.B.s were destroyed except for the leader.
- The Ancient Minister's armor has add-ons to the regular R.O.B: increased durability, a laser canon mounted to its bottom, and some sort of anti-gravity device that lets it float.
- The Ancient Minister is one of 3 characters to be officially introduced twice in the Emissary, along with Samus and Zelda- once as the Ancient Minister, and again as R.O.B. Also, the Ancient Minister himself, in his disguise, is one of only three NPCs to be officially introduced, along with Master Hand and Tabuu.