The first game in the Ratchet & Clank series, it was a modest hit for the Playstation 2.The game is about how the titular duo meet and then team up to stop Chairman Drek and the Blarg from destroying planets across the galaxy in order to build themselves a new homeworld. In exchange for a chance to see the galaxy, Ratchet helps Clank look for the great hero, Captain Qwark.
Arrow Cam: The Visibomb Gun in this and the next game.
Artistic License - Physics: While it makes sense that the Gemlik moon base has some form of artificial gravity, the lack of atmosphere (which prompts the need of an O2 mask through all of it) makes one wonder how the Heli-pack and Thruster pack could possibly work in an environment where there is no air.
Captain Qwark Can Breathe In Space: In the Gemlik Base level in the first game, Captain Qwark is inexplicably able to breathe and talk in the open vacuum of space when confronting Ratchet, the latter needing an O2 mask just to transverse the level.
Barefoot Cartoon Animal: This is the only game where Ratchet doesn't have shoes, aside from Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank, as well as some unlockable skins in other games.
Though he can equip the Grind Boots or the Magneboots for cosmetic effects.
Bling Bling Bang: Ten of Ratchet's weapons can be upgraded (for 4 gold bolts and 10,000-60,000 regular bolts, depending on the weapon in question) to a golden form that gives bonuses such as increased damage, improved range and ricocheting shots. Getting all of these gold weapons will unlock some bonus content on the goodies menu.
Book Ends: The game begins and ends on Planet Veldin.
Bomb Glove; your default weapon along with the Wrench. It has a large ammo capacity and deals decent damage, but has a short range and is somewhat slow.
Pyrociter; a Flamethrower acquired early in the game, useful for crowd controlling small enemies, but suffers from short range and unremarkable damage.
Blaster: Another early weapon, a simple handgun that deals moderate damage and has an auto-targeting function, but it chews up its ammo fast, and it's bullets only have a short range.
Mine Glove: A homing mine that functions similar to the Bomb Glove and Glove of Doom, but many can be deployed at one time. The mines have short range and move somewhat slow, but combining it with the Taunter makes it even more useful, as the noise increases the mines homing range significantly.
Drone Defense: A series of floating orbs that protect Ratchet from most incoming attacks (sans melee attacks and projectiles). They also home in and self-destruct on enemies if you get close to them, and they have a large ammo capacity.
Breast Expansion: Perform a few sideways flips in front of the girl who gets you into the hoverboard race in Blackwater City.
Brick Joke: Ratchet when he sees the Plumber again on Batalia; "Hey, the plumber's back!"
Brought Down to Normal: Clank during the final boss battle; the first part of the battle against Drek's giant mecha is fought with Giant Clank, but after a small chunk of Drek's health is mowed down, he uses a shrink ray to change Clank back to normal size—with Ratchet still piggybacking.
Can-Crushing Cranium: In a cutscene after you buy some soda that increases your max health, to demonstrate your newfound strength.
Cash Gate: Infobots (which open up new planets) and essential upgrades all cost high amounts of Bolts. At one point you even have to bribe Qwark's Bodyguard to be able to see him.
Chekhov's Gun: After the Gadgetron hoverboard race, Ratchet asks if he can get a discount in Gadgetron gear only to be told that the employee discount only kicks in after two years with the company. In Up Your Arsenal (released two years later), you can import a Ratchet and Clank save to get that discount.
But only with a save file that has progressed up to that point.
Crapsack World: Orxon, the former homeworld of the Blarg. It is a completely uninhabitable wasteland of abandoned buildings, pools of acid, vicious local wildlife, a platoon of remaining Blarg soldiers, and a sickly-green atmosphere that is so toxic, that Ratchet can't even set foot outside of his ship when first visiting (and thus Clank has to travel out alone) and he and the remaining Blarg need O2 masks to breath in it.
The art direction is somewhat different; the lighting is brighter and the design and general aesthetic are more cartoony, unlike the sleeker, more futuristic look the series quickly adapted to.
The gameplay is slower paced, with less emphasis on combat and more on platforming and puzzles. Due to the lack of strafing and the inability to upgrade weapons (barring buying the golden versions) and only having four hit points (which can be upgraded to eight), the game can be a bit harder to some. The game also puts some emphasis put on Backtracking, something that was heavily downplayed in the sequels.
The weapons are much more simplistic and nowhere near as plentiful as they are in the sequels, and the enemies are likewise much less numerous and threatening. The Thruster Pack has a distinct moveset from the Heli-Pack, including a hover strafe and slam move—wheras the sequels just treated it as cosmetically different, and you have to earn your Helicopter, Thruster and Hydropack, O2 Mask, whereas those are equipped by default in the later games, and the magneboots force Ratchet to walk slowly, only use his wrench and won't allow him to jump.
Ratchet's original voice is more like a surfer dude and comes off as a case of The Other Darrin.
While the game has a fairly large cast of characters, several of who would becoming recurring extras, many of them only appear briefly, and outside of Ratchet, Clank, Qwark and Drek, there are no other major characters you interact with.
Clank's voice is more monotone and is more of a know-it-all.
Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Drek mentions this as an eventual side-effect of his planet looting; when a large portion of a planet is extracted to be added to Drek's new world, the sudden change of mass would cause the crippled planet to "spin out of control and drift into the sun where it will explode in a flaming ball of gas".
Faux Affably Evil: Chairman Drek. He seems to come off as humorous or composed, but he has a very short fuse when things don't go his way, and it's clear by the end of the game just how much of a genocidal monster he really is.
Heroic BSOD: Ratchet gets one after Qwark's betrayal, becoming a major Jerkass as a result. At this point, the only thing keeping him from dumping Clank and packing it all in is a need for mutual cooperation. He does become determined to get back at Qwark though and gets better when he defeats him.
Humongous Mecha: The Ultra Mech Unlimited, a series of 40 foot tall robots made into giants by an enlarging machine, armed with a missile launcher and mace-flail armed on it's shoulders. Amusingly, they are marketed as a personal defense system, when they are clearly weapons for the Blarg. Fortunately, Clank uses their enlarging machine to turn himself into Giant Clank, capable of punches, firing missiles and a Wave Motion Gun blast, and mops the floor with all of the Ultra-Mechs while the Enlarging Machines inventor sabotages it so it will only work for Clank.
Chairman Drek uses a giant flying Mecha during the final boss battle, which is briefly fought against by Giant Clank, only for Drek to use a built-in cannon to shrink him back down, and the rest of the fight is fought on-foot.
Lethal Joke Weapon: The Taunter. On it's own, it seems like an obnoxious noise-maker that can't even directly harm your opponents, and just leads them in your direction and smashes crates. However, certain situations such as an enemy between you and an electric force field (one situation where you perform this will get you a skill point and another is needed to obtain a Gold Bolt), and combining the Taunter with the Mine Glove weapon (which the Taunter can automatically activate and increase its homing ability) turns it into a fairly useful item.
Metal Detector Puzzle: The Metal Detector Gadget allows you to find a few extra bolts, but it's never required to complete the game.
Clank: There must be a better way to find a home for your people. Drek: You think that's what this is about? Who do you think polluted the last world? I did. This is about one thing and one thing only: cash, and lots of it. See, I've been paid for every square inch of my new world. Once the new inhabitants move in, I'll begin polluting this world as well, and the whole thing starts all over again. Ah... brilliant.
Power-Up Letdown: The Morph-O-Ray allows you to turn enemies too large for the Suck Cannon into chickens, allowing you to stock up on Suck Cannon ammo whenever you want. The giant chickens produced by the Gold Morph-O-Ray, however, are too big for the Suck Cannon.
Plus, thanks to a Good Bad Bug, Morphing and then Sucking an enemy will give you more bolts than just killing it.
Rewarding Vandalism: So much that Ratchet's destruction of Drek's planet is seen as a good thing.
What Measure Is a Mook?: The Blarg may be fighting for the creation of their new planet but they do not know that their leader actually polluted their own original planet and is making money off of them in the process.
Where It All Began: The final battle with Drek takes place on Veldin-the first level of the game and Ratchet's home planet.
Drek: "Imbeciles. After all the trouble you've gone to, you're about to die right where you started. *sniff* It's so...poetic."