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Nightmare Fuel / Ratchet & Clank

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Just like Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank also tends to have some scary moments and enemies thrown in for good measure.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Games with their own pages:

  • The Sewer Sharks in the first three games. They are gigantic, ugly fish that eat Ratchet and Clank in one bite. They mostly act as simple Border Patrol, and in that case, are not that frightening aside from their general appearance. In certain areas however, (Qwark's training center on Umbris in the first game, and the factory in Canal City on Notak in the second game) their areas actually had to be traversed. In the first instance, their water had to be drained so Ratchet could go down and defeat them to clear the waters before refilling them. While they were easy to defeat with the water drained, if the player missed one by accident and refilled the waters, they would be eaten almost instantly, which could provide quite a Jumpscare. In the second instance, the player had to freeze their waters to escape them. If the player's finger slipped and they thawed the waters, they would be eaten.

  • Most of the villain's schemes can be seen as Nightmare Fuel if you look past the humorous nature of the games:
    • Ratchet & Clank featured Drek ravaging and tearing apart numerous planets to use their resources to construct his own world - which he then plans on polluting so that he can do this all over again.
      • Planet Orxon fell victim to Drek's scheme sometime before the game begins, and it provides a terrifying glimpse into the kind of world that Drek will create if he isn't stopped.
    • Going Commando involves the Protopet - a genetically-engineered "perfect pet" for children that is actually incredibly violent and attacks anyone on sight. You visit a city that is literally overwhelmed by them, and see numerous [robot] citizens being destroyed. The fact that they can multiply very quickly does not help... Of course, this is all part of Captain Qwark's plan to rescue the Bogon Galaxy with the disaster he created in order to save his stained reputation.
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    • Up Your Arsenal has Dr. Nefarious seeking to turn the entire populace of the galaxy into robots via a doomsday device. But it goes beyond that - Nefarious and his allies (among them a Dumb Muscle race, a replica, and a sadistic Evil Diva) essentially see their plot as a genocide of all organic lifeforms.
    • Deadlocked sees heroes abducted and forced to compete in a reality TV show called DreadZone where they are forced to compete for their lives against impossible odds. The captured contestants have to fight thousands of enemy forces or each other in order to achieve their freedom and are forced to wear electroshock Deadlock Collars to keep themselves in line. The producers and hosts of the show want as many contestants to die as possible, and if a hero refuses to compete, or tries to escape, then their permanently-affixed Deadlock collar EXPLODES. The owner of DreadZone has been kidnapping dozens of heroes and many have died in his games before Ratchet came along.
      • Deadlocked also has the Reapers, a mutant gorilla hedgehog crocodile race.
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    • Size Matters has the Technomites - a vast, microscopic race that is responsible for the development and operation of almost all technology in the known universe, which ends up turning against the galaxy because they feel that their accomplishments don't garner enough respect. The fact that the enemy is invisible to the naked eye and yet potentially controls every piece of machinery in existence would've allowed the Technomites to be a far more dangerous threat, if that'd been their plan. The main antagonist of the game, Otto Destruct, really planned on using his army of Ratchet clones to kidnap all the smartest beings in the universe and steal their intelligence so that he would become the most intelligent being in all of existence.
    • Tools of Destruction's main villain, Emperor Tachyon, has two aims: bring back a race of Always Chaotic Evil Cragmites so that they can resume draining and destroying entire planets of their resources and kill anyone who they happen not to like (which is pretty much everyone, given Tachyon is an Absolute Xenophobe), and kill every Lombax in existence - men, women, and children - and destroy all traces of their very existence.
    • A Crack in Time has General Azimuth, whose mad determination to undo his past mistakes and risk shattering the fabric of time and space can be quite horrific after seeing him as a hero for most of the game up until that point.

Ratchet & Clank (2002)

  • Planet Orxon. Once the homeworld of the Blarg race, the entire planet was reduced to a desolate, radioactive wasteland by Drek as part of his money-swindling scheme. Powerful mutants roam freely, pipes dump chemical waste into what remains of the planet's water sources, and the atmosphere is so toxic that the surface is blanketed in green fog. Ratchet can't explore at all without the O2 Mask. Appropriately, this planet marks the point where the game stops pulling punches; Clank goes on a grueling solo mission through the abandoned factories while Ratchet faces hordes of freakishly tough mutants.
    • Even the level's soundtrack sounds desolate and toxic. Clank's section is no better, with an incredibly foreboding track to go with it.
  • Planet Oltanis' Gorda City is a dark, rainy metropolis caught in a perpetual lightning storm, filled with dark alleyways and electric robots with glowing eyes. Previous locations in the game like Batalia were already war-torn, but Oltanis is utterly decimated; the sheer scale of the destruction is horrific. Charred husks of skyscrapers act as lightning rods, robot commandos swarm the streets, and the city is completely devoid of any living creatures except for a single salesman who has gone insane. Sadly Clank cannot leave the ship because of lightning, leaving Ratchet to go and explore the city by HIMSELF, missing some of his most useful maneuvers. The level is widely considered to be the most difficult in the game.
  • The unlockable "big head enemies" cheat. Fighting the game's menacing creatures may not be too scary, but just wait until their ugly heads swell to an unnatural size.
  • In the HD port, due to a graphical error right at the end of the PDA cutscene on Oltanis, Captain Qwark's pupils inexplicably disappear. While it doesn't sound that creepy on it's own, it can be a rather unexpected surprise for new players.

Going Commando

  • The Swamp monsters from planet Oozla. We first see one throttling a scientist before fighting Ratchet, while never showing more than two tentacles and an eye stalk. Kinda creepy, but it gets far worse when you face the second one as a Bonus Boss. You get into its lair by sliding down a pipe, and then falling, to end up trapped in a dark cavern with no solid ground and no apparent way out. And then the monster reveals itself: A horrific, slug-like thing (a giant version of the mutant swamp beasts fought throughout the level) with lots and lots of teeth, tentacles, and pincers. It tries to eat Ratchet alive, and if it succeeds, he takes a lot of damage.
  • Heck, Oozla itself as a whole. Dark, foreboding, and dotted with nerdish, teddy-bear looking mall employees who are all either eaten or liquified by the local wildlife with no chance of saving them... the planet may be the first real level in the game, but Green Hill Zone it ain't.
  • Later into the game is planet Snivelak, a dark, glowing lava world that is home to the Thugs' headquarters. It could be said that the planet is one of the darkest and scariest locations in the entire series, and it marks the introduction of a severe Difficulty Spike, even moreso than the infamous planet Boldan before it.

Up Your Arsenal

  • Qwark's Hideout is guarded by security robots that look like Qwark. As with many enemies their armor falls apart as they take damage, revealing the silver robot beneath the armor. The scary part is that when they fall down, you can't assume they're destroyed. They've lost their legs, but they will drag their torsos across the ground with their hands to try and swipe at you, looking like robotic zombies. And to cap it all off, the Qwark-bots take an insane amount of punishment before falling, furthering the zombie impression.

Size Matters

  • At one point, Ratchet is captured by the Technomites and sent to a research facility. As he's strapped to the operating table, doctors approach with sharp surgical tools and a chainsaw before he blanks out and gets sent to the surreal, freakishly difficult Dreamtime level, implied to be Ratchet hallucinating while the Technomites experiment on him. The mission description for Dreamtime more or less speaks for itself:
    Mission description: "All the world's a stage, FIND / And all the men and women merely players, A / They all have their exits and entrances, WAY / And one man is in his time plays many parts, OUT!"

Tools of Destruction

  • In Kortog's Stratus City, the giant jellyfish do not hurt you but the way they are just there is unsettling.
  • The Mag-Net Launcher locks an enemy in place while dealing electrical damage to them. Imagine being stuck in place, incapable of striking back as you are slowly electrocuted to death...

A Crack in Time

  • A Crack in Time has the Tetramites, swarms of invincible insects that can kill Ratchet in just a few seconds. The only ways to kill them are with the Omniwrench or the Voltan Ivy. Nothing else will kill or even slow them down. Even with the wrench and ivy, the nests which respawn Tetramites are indestructible. There is scary music that plays around them, and if they touch Ratchet, his jump is severely limited, making it hard to escape them. With their invincibility, massive health draining, a musical theme straight out of a horror movie, and massive numbers, they can be very frightening.

Into the Nexus

  • Into the Nexus runs on Nightmare Fuel out of its aim to take a "spookier direction". Vendra in particular makes her entrance by shorting out all power and gravity to the Nebulox Seven, turning it against the heroes, kills Cronk and Zephyr and then tries to kill Ratchet as well.
    • The Meero Orphanage on Yerek is disturbingly similar to current-day Chernoybl, and is completely abandoned to boot. Plus, in front of it is an endlessly spinning merry-go-round and a disturbing hopscotch court that goes to seven, before reaching a square with a dead expression drawn on the very edge of the cliff. And let's not forget the creepy singing robots that are out front too.

Ratchet & Clank (2016)

  • Even if the 2016 Ratchet & Clank film and game are generally Lighter and Softer than their source material, they still have their moments of this:
    • Worth noting is the changes done to Quartu, given how it's the Blarg homeworld in this continuity. Forget the rather plain-looking planet with a jaunty tune from the original game—this Quartu is a dark, dreary looking world full of factories, obviously suffering from the very heavy pollution that Drek's father inflicted on it. It's like if the Blarg took the factory on Yeedil from Going Commando and hired Dr. Nefarious as their interior decorator.
      • Clank's initial escape is much more scary in the game, given the darker aesthetics and the presence of Victor Von Ion. He's a tiny, sentient little robot whose first conscious experience is being chased by a big, scary warbot eager to tear him to scrap.
    • In the game, Ratchet and Clank getting trapped in with the Blargian Snagglebeast in Nebula G34 is scary given the context and a little extra thought. The context is that Ratchet and Clank are utterly terrified by the monster in front of them. Okay, not too bad. The little extra thought is that it's important to remember that Qwark very likely knew this is what the Blarg were making, and yet sent these two on a suicide mission just so they could stop hogging his spotlight. And if we're going by the film's timeframe, this is well before he teamed up with Drek. Adaptational Heroism only goes so far sometimes.
    • Drek's Deplanetizer blows apart the entire planet of Novalis, on-screen. Although it's mentioned that the living inhabitants were evacuated in time, the sheer devastation wreaked on the peaceful, beautiful planet deals a serious blow to the resistance and sends Ratchet into a Heroic BSoD.
    • Many players have taken note that Drek—while still a Jerkass—is less evil in this version of the story, with his father being the one to pollute the Blarg homeworld this time and his desire to make a new planet for his people being slightly more genuine. However, even if the film downplays him into more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist, the way he's written in the game has him retain some of his original counterpart's wrath and malice. Even if he's still played for comedy, he's more outwardly aggressive towards his forces, and during the first visit to the Deplanetizer, we hear him admit that, like his original counterpart, he's not planning to stop at just New Quartu:
      Drek: After I've built us a new home world, I'll make another, and another! (chuckles) Can you imagine? Dozens of Blarg-owned planets, forged not by nature, but by my company. We'll create an entire empire using your galaxy's wasted planets! I suppose this will leave many of your citizens homeless or, well, dead... but sacrifices must be made!
      • It's also worth noting that he gleefully rubs it in that he's destroying the home planet of one of the Rangers:
        Drek: Is it true Cora Veralux is from Novalis? Oh, this is just too good! Not only do I get a choice piece of planet for New Quartu, but I get to destroy a Galactic Ranger's home? Talk about a win-win!
      • And as revealed in the film via throwaway dialogue, the only reason Novalis was evacuated in time was due to the Blarg, with Drek engineering it in advance in order to sway Qwark into joining their side. Drek would've been willing to blow up a planet with millions of sentient people on it regardless.
    • Beyond a more organic design, the film's version of Dr. Nefarious is also surprisingly less comedic than his canon counterpart, being more Faux Affably Evil as opposed to his usual hamminess. And after gleefully disposing of Drek, he's plans to destroy the entire star system just to spite the Galactic Rangers, ultimately not caring if he gets caught in the crossfire. Novalis may have been evacuated in time, but that sure as heck couldn't be pulled off with a disaster this big. And to think that his Start of Darkness here only happened because Captain Qwark mistreated him as a Galactic Ranger.
      • While she thankfully manages to overcome this by the end of the movie and game, Elaris, the new tech whiz for the Galactic Rangers, is shown to be at the same risk of Sanity Slippage that Nefarious went through, and it's shown that the stress and disrespect from the other Rangers is slowly putting a dent in her psyche.