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Video Game / Ratchet & Clank (2002)

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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.

A re-imagining of this game has been released, complete with updated gameplay, and it ties into the film of the same name.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Acronym Confusion: When Captain Qwark (under the alias Steve) offers Ratchet a Gadgetron PDA on Oltanis.
    Ratchet: Public Display of Affection?
    Qwark: No no no, Personal Delivery Assistant!
  • All for Nothing: After spending the first act of the game travelling across the galaxy to find Captain Qwark to aid them in the fight against Drek, it turns out Qwark was on Drek's side the whole time and was baiting them to find him so he could discreetly kill them off, making their initial quest a fruitless wild goose chase that only serves to tear a large wound in Ratchet and Clank's friendship.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Challenge Mode starts a new game, but it allows you to keep all of your weapons, a few of the non-essential gadgets and items (i.e. the Bolt Grabber), bolts, gold bolts and skill points so you don't have to find them all over again.
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  • Anti-Hero: It's safe to say that while Ratchet is the hero of the game, he is not a nice guy for the first two-thirds of it. His reasons for going off on the adventure are purely self-serving (i.e. he wants to get off of Veldin to have some fun, with the Blarg just being an obstacle) and he acts rude and abrasive towards Clank, who is dead set on trying to stop Drek's plans and save the galaxy. Once Captain Qwark betrays him, he becomes a borderline Hero In Name Only due to his obsession with getting even with Qwark taking priority over saving the galaxy and souring his relationship with Clank. He eventually comes around once he sees the consequences of his actions unfold (i.e. Oltanis getting ravaged by the Blarg because he was too busy fighting Qwark when he could have stopped them) and learns to be nicer to Clank and more responsible from there on.
  • Antepiece: According the Youtube developers' commentary, the Electroid enemies on Veldin were designed to encourage the player to use the Bomb Glove, due to the distance and mobility of their electric attack making it risky to attack them with your wrench. They do acknowledge that the Comet Strike (throwing your wrench) works as well. Earlier, the gap where Ratchet has to jump directly into two Horny Toads was also meant to encourage use of the Bomb Glove, since its easy to get bitten by the toads if you use your wrench, and there are also some boxes blocking your path.
  • Arrow Cam: The Visibomb Gun works like this, as you can guide the bomb via a POV camera.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemy A.I. in this game isn't all that great, and due to the way it was coded, almost any enemy (unless it's an enemy with long range attacks like the Blarg Commandos and Rocket Tanks) will pretty much forget about you as soon as you move a small distance away from them.
    • The Birdbots on Novalis and the Blarg Paratroopers on Batalia and Gaspar both have brain dead AI, even by the standards of the game's enemies. They just mindlessly shoot their guns in a narrow path while standing frozen in place, even if Ratchet is standing right next to them. They'll occasionally fly or flip around to reorient themselves, but they have the reaction time of a sloth and will more than likely be smashed to pieces by your wrench before then. They'll even mindlessly shoot their own comrades if they stand between you.
    • The Chomper enemies on Gaspar sometimes love to walk into lava while pursuing you.
    • Orxon occasionally has a glitch where a Blarg Space Commando will just stand idle and not attack Ratchet.
    • The Gemlik Base Blarg Troopers' AI amounts to, "If Ratchet is in line of sight, shoot." This leads to a hilarious scenario when you go behind them, hop right into their gun nest, stand right on top of their gun in front of their eyes and watch as they mindlessly fire away at nothing.
    • The Gadgebots have awful AI. You often lose one or two of them because the way they follow you is spotty, slow, and clunky.
  • Asteroids Monster: The Ameboids infesting Blackwater City, annoyingly enough.
  • Autosave: The games save in between levels.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: In the Gemlik Base, 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. The Blarg Troopers in the level don't have breathing masks, either.
  • 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. He can equip the Grind Boots or the Magneboots for both cosmetic and practical effects, however.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The hoverboard race-hosting girl in Blackwater City.
  • Big Good: Captain Qwark for the first third of the game, only to be knocked off his pedestal midway through when it's revealed that he aligned himself with Drek, who is sponsoring his big comeback.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Although the French version of the game is globally excellent from the translation itself to the voice acting, when Clank is reunited with his "mother" on planet Quartu, he departs saying he will do his best to make her proud. She responds with "you already have", which was translated to "Tu l'as déjà". While it is a grammatically correct literal translation, it just sounds awkward. A more accurate translation would have been "Tu l'as déjà fait" or "Je le suis déjà".
  • 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.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Qwark could have easily killed Ratchet and Clank directly with his trap, but he decides to flee and leave them in the maws of his pet Blargian Snagglebeast instead, and they end up killing it and stealing one of Qwark's ships to escape. In the next scene, Drek reams out Qwark for doing this.
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the weapons, notably the early ones.
    • 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.
    • Pyrocitor: 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 its 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 Device: 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.
    • Devastator: A rocket launcher with decent kick and fairly impressive range. Its slow rate of fire and limited ammo capacity means it's fairly useless in close combat, but since its range is bigger than most enemies' you can just stand back and snipe them with its homing rockets.
  • 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.
  • Call to Adventure: Ratchet is already finished building his own ship when Clank crash lands on Veldin, and upon awakening tells Ratchet about Drek's plans and that he needs his help to find Captain Qwark so they can stop Drek, offering to supply the ship's missing robotic ignition system so it can take off. Upon seeing Blarg ships landing near his garage, Ratchet doesn't even hesitate to accept Clank's offer—but finally being able to get off Veldin helps seal the deal, too.
  • Can-Crushing Cranium: In the cutscene after you buy the Ultra Nanotech, 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.
    Bodyguard: You see how it works? You grease the hinges, the door opens.
  • Character Development: Ratchet starts off as a selfish jerk, nearly becomes a Villain Protagonist in the second act due to this, and finally grows into a hero once he sees the results of his selfish actions and learns to be nicer and get his priorities straight.
  • 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.
  • Coat Full of Contraband: The RYNO Salesman apparently keeps the RYNO in there, although we don't actually see it. He only tells Ratchet it was there after he buys it.
    Ratchet: Urgh, this thing is heavy!
    RYNO Salesman: Yeah, try carrying it around in your trenchcoat for 2 months.
  • Compensating for Something: Drek's height is disproportionate to his ego, so he does this almost as much as Lord Farquaad. All of the rooms in his ships (heck, even the ships themselves) are huge, he proudly stands right next to the Planetbuster Maximus (tilted upward) and when he fights Ratchet and Clank one-on-one, he pilots a mech that's roughly as big as Giant Clank.
  • Cowardly Mooks: The Mine Layers are a robotic enemies that runs away from Ratchet whenever he gets close. During their run, they will deploy 6 stationary mines per interval.
  • 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 which 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). He and the remaining Blarg need O2 masks to breath in it.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • During the ship battle on Gemlik Base:
      Qwark: Son of a...! *radio static*
    • During the Novalis infobot:
      Drek: ...and if you don't like it, you can take your whiny, sniveling, snot-nosed populations, form a line behind me and KISS MY—-We're still on? Well turn it off, you idiot!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Drek.
    Novalis Chairman: This is your last chance! Stop this madness now!
    Novalis Chairman: Really?
  • Decapitated Army: Just defeating Chairman Drek is enough to completely thwart the Blarg's invasion plan, and blowing up Drek's ill-gotten new world along with him sure helps.
  • Derivative Differentiation: According to an interview with Ted Price, after making a trilogy of collect-a-thon games in the vein of Super Mario 64 and its many other imitators, Insomniac Games realized that making yet another game like that would be a dead end in the long run, so for Ratchet and Clank they tried to start playing up the combat aspects of the game over just jumping around and collecting things, and they even tried to avoid calling it a platformer in development (which didn't stop critics from calling it one anyway). The sequels would continue playing up the combat aspects over the platforming more and more.
  • Developers' Foresight: Normally, when you load a save, you get a brief cinematic of your ship flying to a planet. However, if you load a save on the first Veldin or your initial visit to Novalis (before you actually have a ship), you instead get a picture from space of the planet you're on, without a ship flying towards it.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Surprisingly, unlike later games in the series, the Blaster has its place here. It's a rapid-fire pistol that can be bought as early as Kerwan for 2,500 bolts, which isn't too much even with the game's tough economy. The Blaster comes with 200 shots and can kill most enemies in 4 to 12, while ammo drops give you 25. The best part, however, is that bullets shot will automatically home in on whoever you're shooting at as long as they have a reticle on them, making the use of the Blaster a matter of just looking towards your enemy and opening fire.
    • The R.Y.N.O. can become this if you exploit a specific glitch. You're obviously supposed to get it after a couple playthroughs due to its very high price and the stingy bolt economy, but if you exploit the "Infinite Bolts" glitch on Rilgar (the one in the sewers, not the more famous one triggered by the Hologuise...or in the HD version where these have been patched out, the glitch to access the hoverboard track on foot) and are patient enough, you can buy the R.Y.N.O. on your first visit and then use it to cheese through the rest of the game! By proxy, this also turns the otherwise near-useless Taunter (available as early as the Blarg Station) into a useful weapon, since the aforementioned glitch allows you to use it to stack up on loads of bolts in a short span of time, easily letting you bypass all the cash gates and giving you much quicker access to all the other weapons (and their gold counterparts).
  • The Dragon: The Robot Lieutenant is this to Drek early on in the game, but he promptly disappears after the duo encounters him in the logging site on Eudora and gets replaced by Qwark.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The guy the duo encounters on Batalia is one, though since his whole squad apparently went AWOL on him and left him to fight the Blarg alone, it's pretty understandable.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Dying in battle against Captain Qwark, which is done using Blarg Jet Fighter, makes your attacks do more damage on your next attempt.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: It is the only Insomniac Games Ratchet game (Secret Agent Clank and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters both have the same Ratchet design but are made by High Impact Games) to have Ratchet with no shirt and no shoes (unless you equip the Magneboots or Grindboots from the items menu for a cosmetic effect). In every other game he has some sort of armor or clothing that covers those bits.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In contrast to the sequels, the original game is drastically different in several ways:
    • 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 adopted.
    • Ratchet is more of a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal only really wearing blue jeans. Later games have him fully dressed and in more sci-fi gear.
    • 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—even the creators noted that the design of the game was more around the difficulty of using the weapons than about fighting the enemies, which the sequels eschewed. 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.
    • Ratchet in this game is noticeably mean and unlikable, constantly picking on Clank and not caring about saving the galaxy from Drek. In fact, he makes it clear that he'd rather be hoverboarding and getting revenge on Qwark than spend his time helping people.
    • The Thruster Pack has a distinct moveset from the Heli-Pack, including a hover strafe and slam move—whereas the sequels just treated it as cosmetically different.
    • You have to earn your Helicopter, Thruster and Hydropack, O2 Mask, whereas those are equipped by default in the later games.
    • The Magneboots force Ratchet to walk at half his normal pace, only use his wrench and won't allow him to jump, in sharp contrast to the Gravity Boots that every other game uses.
    • Ratchet's voice actor in this game is not James Arnold Taylor, it's Mikey Kelly.
    • While the game has a fairly large cast of characters, several of whom would become 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 he's more of a know-it-all.
    • Qwark is a mildly competent, if airheaded, villain that is Faux Affably Evil, unlike his later characterization as a Dirty Coward and Flanderization into a cowardly buffoon.
    • There is not a tournament in this game; Going Commando had the first two in the series.
    • The Goodies/Extras menu doesn't show up until you beat the game.
    • The Challenge Mode multiplier works a bit differently. Rather than it starting at none and increasing as you kill enemies, all bolts are simply worth 2x more.
    • The game doesn't pause when you enter the Quick Select menu. While some of the other games allow you to toggle this on or off, the pause defaults to "on" in every other game.
    • Buying ammo is different. When you first buy a new weapon, it only comes half-loaded, and when you go to buy ammo, it starts at 1 and you have to scroll to the right to get to the highest amount you can purchase. Going Commando would do this differently, starting the counter at whatever you need to fill your gun's ammo to the max, and Up Your Arsenal would introduce the "buy max ammo for all weapons that don't have it" choice.
    • On the note of shops, this game is the only one to have a video of someone talking to you when you're in the shop. The Future games and the re-imagining do have someone talk to you, but there's no video.
    • The Charge Boots don't exist; the only boots are the Grindboots and Magneboots.
    • In this game and the next one, you need to manually equip the Swingshot to use it. UYA was the first game that would allow you to jump off a ledge and swing from a target without having to do the extra step of equipping the Swingshot.
  • 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."
    • Drek intends to pull this off on Ratchet's homeworld Veldin by using the Planet Buster bomb and eventually the Deplanetizer superlaser, although this ironically ends up happening to his own planet instead, via the very weapon that was meant to destroy Veldin.
  • Easter Egg: Level designer Dan Johnson's face is on every tree mushroom on Eudora, and you can see his face on the small computer monitors in the Blarg Research Station.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even at his worst, Ratchet is still horrified to learn that Drek plans to destroy an entire planet when he learns about the Planetbuster weapon on Orxon.
    "Now this guy's gonna blow up an entire planet?! Thats just...nuts!"
  • Evil All Along: Captain Qwark, who Ratchet and Clank were seeking out to help them fight Drek, starts off seeming like the noble hero they need—until they finish the training course on Umbris, where Qwark proceeds to pull the rug out on them both by revealing that he's been in league with Drek the whole time.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Ratchet becomes so obsessed with killing Qwark and letting Drek kill millions of innocent people that he comes a hair's breadth away from being a Villain Protagonist until his Heel Realization in the Oltanis Orbit. Clank is the only thing that keeps him from completely going over the edge.
  • 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 greedy, genocidal monster he really is.
  • Fake Difficulty: The dev team noted that a lot of the game's challenge was built around the fact that it was just hard to control and use your weapons, since there's neither a strafe function (other than the borderline useless one the Thruster Pack offers), nor a proper lock-on function to help you aim your weapons (although a very loose one exists for a couple of them) and you can't pause the game with your quickselect, which can make combat slower and more frustrating than it needs to be. On top of that, Ratchet's Mercy Invincibility only lasts 1 second. The sequels and the 2016 reimagining deliberately rectified these issues.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Captain Qwark. He's a legendary hero throughout the galaxy, but in reality he's a slimy, air-headed coward who sold out to Drek so he could make a big comeback. He's too washed-up to even be able to fight Ratchet on foot, so he uses a starfighter instead, and given the fact that the fight isn't very hard and ends with Qwark getting his ass handed to him on a silver platter, it shows that when push comes to shove, Qwark is all talk and no show.
  • Fatal Flaw: All three central characters have one.
    • Ratchet's flaw is wrath. When Qwark betrays him, getting revenge becomes Ratchet's sole objective, and has no care on the countless lives at risk that he can easily protect. It's not until he complete his goal that he realizes how his blind rage caused a whole city to be destroyed, and he becomes The Atoner.
    • Clank's flaw is naivety. He failed to realize that Qwark had set him in a blatant trap, and foolishly pulled Ratchet into it, breaking their friendship. In spite of that, he continued to stay along with a hostile Ratchet, thinking he could be redeemed when the more realistic thing to do is find another hero and have Ratchet thrown in jail. And in the end, he shows pity for Drek for trying to find his race another home, when he isn't.
    • Qwark's flaw is Pride. He sells himself out to Drek for good publicity, and pulls a Bait the Dog on them to off them, causing their own flaws to emerge in the process. This continues on in subsequent games, and by the third, Ratchet calls Qwark out on it when he bails out on the fight against Dr. Nefarious out of cowardice.
  • Foreshadowing: The game's first act all but spells out to you from the get-go that Qwark is in league with Drek.
    • When Ratchet & Clank first leave Veldin, Drek is seen observing them and asking one of his subordinates to deal with them. All we can see of said subordinate is just his silhouette—the game drops a Red Herring by making you think it's the Lieutenant robot due to his similar large frame, but once you've played the entire game, you'll immediately recognize Qwark's head and antenna.
    • When Drek is meeting the Mayor of Novalis, he laughs off the idea of Captain Qwark coming to stop him. Now, why again would he be so cocky about Qwark when he previously showed concern over a mere mechanic and a defective robot being a potential threat?
    • The monster Qwark fights in the Roboshack ad is a Blargian Snagglebeast.
    • Qwark's fitness trainer Helga tells Ratchet that Qwark is already aware of who they are and entices them with a gift Swingshot. At first it makes you think he does want to help them, but think about it—we just saw Drek ordering a guy to take care of a nobody and his robot from a backwater planet, and how would someone as famous and busy as Qwark even know—much less care—about these guys who have just started off on an adventure? He wanted them to find him so he could discreetly lure them into a trap.
    • The two people who directly work with Qwark—Helga and the Bouncer—have a rather low opinion of him. Helga openly dismisses him as a fool, and the bouncer describes him as a patronizing cheapskate. While it just seems like them griping, it subtly hints that Qwark may not be the noble paragon he's portrayed to be.
    • When Ratchet and Clank finally get to meet Qwark, something about the way he talks to them just His overdramatic body language and tone of voice give away that he's just playing along with them. That he uses a mic to narrate over the Infobot he gives them (and suddenly hides it when it's noticable) is a microgag that subtly shows that he has a big ego and is willing to use deceitful methods to get an advantage.
    • As an added bonus, when Qwark welcomes Ratchet and Clank to his base on Umbris, he's riding the same kind of helicopter the Blarg troopers use. That's to say nothing of Umbris itself—what famous superhero in his right mind would station his HQ in what amounts to a desolate warzone?
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Ratchet does this in the Bomb Glove demonstration animation. However, Ratchet's weapons have never ever been able to harm himself, making it more jarring.
  • 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 after 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 missile launchers and mace-flails armed on their 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 punching, firing missiles and a Wave Motion Gun blast, and mopping the floor with all of the Ultra-Mechs while the Enlarging Machines inventor sabotages it to ensure 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.
  • Insistent Terminology: Insomniac Games head Ted Price made it clear in an episode of Devs Play that the game is a third person shooter with some platforming elements, but Insomniac Games does not consider the game a platformer and even avoided calling it one in production, although that didn't stop critics and audiences from referring to it as a platformer since it most definitely is one whether the devs wish to admit it or not.
  • Irony:
    • The story starts with two guys who set off to find a hero to stop Drek, only to go on a journey that forces them to become the heroes who stop Drek themselves.
    • It's clear from the beginning that Ratchet wants nothing more than to get off of a backwater planet like Veldin so he can explore the galaxy. And what's the final step that leads him to become dead set on stopping Drek? Finding out that Drek plans to blow up Veldin and replace it with his new planet.
  • It's Personal: Once Ratchet finds out Drek is preparing to destroy Veldin, he is absolutely furious and completely dead set on stopping him. He was already concerned about Drek blowing up other planets as early as Orxon and set on stopping him by the time he reached Quartu, but finding out his homeworld is a target just sealed the deal.
  • Jerkass: After Umbris, Ratchet becomes revenge-obsessed and very cruel towards Clank. At one point, when told that billions of lives are at stake, Ratchet states that he has "his own fish to fry."
  • Jerkass Realization: Once Ratchet stops Qwark, he soon realizes that the planet Blarg was destroyed because he was too focused on stopping Qwark rather than protecting the planet and learns to be much nicer and selfless.
  • Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: Ratchet's character arc is structured like this. While he's not that bad in the first act, he becomes a real jackass during the second act, and finally develops into a nicer person when he realizes and owes up to what a jerk he was at the start of the third act.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Captain Qwark plays right into Ratchet and Clank's eagerness to seek him out (especially Clank), and once he's lined them both up like ducks, he sarcastically thanks Clank for helping him, drops them right into a Snagglebeast pit, reveals his allegiance to Drek, and rubs in their faces the fact that they were tricked by him and are about to be killed by his Snagglebeast. Clank is heartbroken over it, and Ratchet is royally pissed that he was played for a sap and that their journey was all for nothing.
    • Ratchet frequently does this to Clank after the above event, threatening to sell him for scrap and just acting rude and obnoxious towards him because he basically dragged him into an adventure that got him tricked and humiliated by the very guy they looked up to and made their entire quest up to then a pointless wild goose chase, even though Clank had absolutely no way of knowing Qwark's true intentions. Ratchet eventually lightens up on him after he defeats Qwark and owes up to what an irresponsible jackass he was once he sees Oltanis being ravaged by the Blarg.
  • Kill Sat: Drek's Deplanetizer, built to destroy Veldin after the failure of the Planet Buster Maximus.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The numerous, numerous sequels give away that Ratchet and Clank move on from their initial falling out and succeed in stopping Drek. Likewise, Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal spoil Qwark being a villain, since his fall from grace became major plot points in both of them.
  • 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 electric force field between you and an enemy (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.
    • Mundane Utility: Its sound waves can be used to destroy boxes, especially detonating the explosive ones from safe distance, which is useful due to absence of the Box Breaker in this game.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Planet Gaspar, complete with Convection Schmonvection.
  • Look Behind You: When Clank warns Ratchet that robots aren't easily fooled after watching a video promoting the Hologuise, he tricks Clank into looking back at nothing.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: The Metal Detector Gadget allows you to find a few extra bolts, but it's never required to complete the game.
  • Minimalist Run: Completing the game with only the minimum number of weapons (you get the Wrench and Bomb Glove by default, you need the Visibomb Gun to destroy certain targets, and the Blaster is needed to fight Drek) and no health upgrades. Its also been proven possible, but extremely tedious and difficult, to beat the game using only the wrench if you exploit certain glitches.
  • Motive Misidentification: When Ratchet and Clank corner Drek on top of the Deplanetizer:
    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.
  • Mythology Gag: Some of the trees on planet Eudora are directly recycled from a previous Insomniac game, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Clank, the alias given to him by Ratchet in lieu of his long serial number name.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: The Drone Device releases six orbiting drones that protect Ratchet from projectiles and detonates on anyone who dares to come close to him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Drek spends almost all of the game on his giant ship giving others. It isn't until the final battle that he finally decides to take matters into his own hands and fight Ratchet and Clank personally.
  • Overly Long Name: Clank's "real" name, which is a very long serial number that he doesn't get to finish before Ratchet cuts him off and gives him his nickname.
  • Pet the Dog: For all his unreasonable cruelty towards Clank in the second act, Ratchet does lighten up on him now and then and finally comes to accept him as a friend after Qwark is defeated. When Clank gets fried by lightning upon landing on Oltanis, he's genuinely concerned for his safety and allows him to stay on the ship while he treks out alone. And then there's the ending, where it seems like Ratchet has abandoned Clank for good—only for Ratchet to call for him, invite Clank back to his garage, and offer to fix him.
  • Planet Looters: The Blarg, or at least Drek.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In the second act between Ratchet and Clank, in one of the most infamous example of this trope. By the time the third act starts, Ratchet gets his priorities straight and they make up.
  • Powerup 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 up an enemy will give you more bolts than just killing it.
  • Railroading: The game forces you to complete certain levels in order to finish others, and backtrack to finish previous levels. For example, in order for Ratchet to go outside on Orxon, he needs the 02 mask from Pokitaru. But in order to get the O2 mask from Pokitaru, he has to complete a flight mission—but in order to pilot the ship, you need the Pilot's Helmet, which is located on Gaspar. And before that, you're forced to get the Magneboots with Clank on your first visit to Orxon in order to complete Batalia, since the Anti-Air Defense Cannon is only accessible by a magneboot pathway.
  • The Reveal: Three:
    • The big one: Captain Qwark is actually working for Chairman Drek.
    • Veldin is the planet Drek intends to destroy to make room for the new Blarg homeworld.
    • Drek was the one who polluted Orxon in the first place and the whole thing was just a giant real estate scam that he plans on performing over and over again.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: So much that Ratchet's destruction of Drek's planet is seen as a good thing.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After completing the game, you're realize that, in the cutscene after Ratchet leaves Veldin, Chairman Drek is telling none other than Captain Qwark to take care of him.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: One moment has the titular duo traverse a Rilgar City Sewer System. Cue a small button that opens the door you need to advance through, but also a pipe that starts pouring water in. While you can't outrun the water, you must stay underwater as little as possible so Ratchet won't run out of his breath.
  • Sampling: The music for the Umbris level samples some vocals from Sonic CD, specifically the japanese theme for Quartz Quadrant's Bad Future.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: On Planet Eudora, when Ratchet and Clank confront the Robot Lieutenant, the big robot looks as though he's going to attack Clank, so he does a kung-fu pose, prompting the Lieutenant to run away. We then get to see that Ratchet was behind Clank, holding his wrench and looking very threateningly at the Lieutenant.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Beating the game with the bare minimum of required weaponry: the Omniwrench, Blaster, and Visibomb Gun.
    • Beating the game with only the Omniwrench, which was long thought to be impossible, even by the dev team themselves (who had purposefully designed the game to be impossible to beat with only the wrench), due to obstacles like the Towers on Gemlik Base and Rocket Tanks and Flying Transports on Veldin (which usually need the Devastator, Visibomb Gun or Suck Cannon to be destroyed) until Tealgamemaster successfully completed the challenge, using tricks like a very difficult wall jump exploit to bypass the aforementioned towers on Gemlik Base.
    • Another is the "No Ammo Run" challenge, where you avoid buying ammo from any vendors and only get it from crates.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • On Metropolis, there's an out-of-reach area with a lot of extra bolts that you need the Heli-Pack upgrade to reach. By wall jumping off a nearby tree, however, Ratchet can get just high enough to grab a ledge, giving him early access to these bolts.
    • There is a huge shortcut on Aridia. After defeating all the sandsharks, when you leave the ship using the crane of the vehicle, instead of going down you can get to the gold bolt area using the helipack and then go right to Skidd's Agent, skipping a third of the level.
    • By exploting a very hard to execute wall jump glitch, its possible to bypass the shield towers (and a big chunk of the level) without having to use the Devastator or Visibomb Gun on Gemlik Base.
    • In Challenge Mode, you can use the Invincibility Cheat to exploit a glitch in Drek's fleet that allows you to bypass the giant laser cannons and skip the starfighter segment. Its also possible, but very difficult, to bypass it normally by carefully weaving through the volley of lasers.
    • Considering the R.Y.N.O. was purposefully priced high enough to ensure that you need to play the game at least twice to get it, the Infinite Bolt glitch on Rilgar (especially the one you can pull off in the sewers as soon as you land on the planet) counts as this.
    • The Infinite Long Jump glitch, which allows you to bypass huge chunks of a level and even lets you completely bypass the final boss fight.
  • Shout-Out: The music for Qwark's base on Umbris samples some vocals from the japanese soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.note 
  • Side Quest: Surprisingly big parts of some planets can be skipped without blocking your process. For example, only one path of Gorda City Ruins leading up to grind rails has to be explored. Similarly, a path on Eudora not blocked by a Trespasser puzzle leads only to the Suck Cannon which, while useful, can be ignored.
  • Take That!: In a video playthrough, Insomniac CEO Ted Price said that Drek's appearance and personality was based off of executives he encountered while he made games with Universal as their distributor. He also added that Drek is his favorite villain in the series because of that.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ratchet starts off as abrasive for the first third of the game, and becomes a total jerk in the second act due to becoming obsessed with revenge. Overall, he spends about 80% of the game being a selfish twat.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Fortunately, Ratchet comes around in the third act when he sees the consequences of being such an asshole unfold before his eyes (i.e. Oltanis being devastated by the Blarg due to Ratchet not being there to stop them) and starts acting nicer and more responsible after that.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Captain Qwark.
  • Unfortunate Names: Chairman Drek, especially when you know that "Drek" in Slovenian is slang for feces.