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Video Game / Ratchet & Clank (2002)

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Ratchet: You got a name?
Clank: My serial number is B54296- (clanks against the side of the spaceship as it rickets)
Ratchet: I'll just call you... Clank for short! Hang on!

The first game in the Ratchet & Clank series, and a modest hit for the PlayStation 2.

Ratchet is a young mechanic on the planet Veldin who's built his own ship to travel to new planets, but he can't actually use it without a robotic ignition system. But things change when he finds a small robot he later names Clank, who escaped from a robot factory and crash-landed on Veldin. Clank brings bad news: he's learned that Chairman Drek and the Blarg plan to destroy planets across the galaxy in order to build themselves a new homeworld to replace their polluted old one. In exchange for a chance to see the galaxy via Clank's robotic ignition system, Ratchet decides to help Clank look for the great hero, Captain Qwark, and get him to stop Drek's plot.

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

The tropes on this page are hosed!

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The maximum number of bolts you can hold is 9,999,999, but getting anywhere close to this Cap is easier said than done and requires a truly herculean amount of effort, multiple playthroughs and patience due to Anti-Grinding being in effect. However, only 600,000 of them are needed to complete the game (with an additional 400,000 needed to get the "Bolt Collector" achievement in the HD port) effectively making the grind to maxing out your bolts Empty Levels.
  • 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!
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The bolt economy in this game is not generous, to say the least. Bolts generally give a modest amount of cash at best and the game swiftly curbs attempts to farm for it, and the weapons quickly escalate in price, with the most expensive being the Tesla Claw at 40,000, the R.Y.N.O. at a staggering 150,000, and a few of the Gold Weapons at 60,000. The games use of Cash Gates to make progress doesn't help at all. Mitigating this is that the game never forces you to buy a weaponnote , meaning a player can skip one weapon and save up for a preferred one. The Persuader Item, which can be acquired via an easy sidequest midway through the game, also gives a generous discount on vendor weapons (but not the R.Y.N.O. or Gold Weapons). Challenge Mode also mitigates the bolt collecting by automatically doubling the amounts you can earn.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Blarg are assumed to be this, due to them all willingly serving as soldiers in Drek's army or as scientists and mechanics working on Drek Industries superweapons. The game doesn't elaborate on whether they know that Drek's goals aren't even slightly noble, or whether they would care.
  • All for Nothing: After spending the first act of the game traveling 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-Grinding: Each level is designed to have a "quota" of bolts you can earn from each one before you can earn next to nothing from the level from then on, and each crate is coded to give you a set amount of bolts in the order you smash them in, in order to keep the player from spending too much time in one level or area farming for bolts.
  • 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: On the early planets, where your weapon roster is limited, the game eases you into the basic mechanics through subtly instructive level design, only gradually starting to move on from the basics from Eudora and on.
    • 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.
    • According to designer Brian Allgeier, the first enemies you fight on Metropolis are meant to encourage use of the newly acquired Blaster due to their long range attacks, and the helicopter is meant to teach players how to aim in first person mode due to the inherent difficulty in attacking it. Also, the area immediately beyond Big Al's Roboshack, where you buy the Heli-Pack upgrade, is a quick crash course that immediately forces the player to get acquainted with all three of its functions in a relatively safe environment before throwing you back into combat and further platforming vignettes that involve it.
    • The end of the Blarg Station immediately throws you onto a short and easy grindrail segment after buying them to give the player a safe basic idea of how they work before you get to try them out on Batalia a bit later.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game has a bolt economy that is not at all generous, to say the least, so the dev team throws the player a few bones here and there. The Persuader gadget, which can be acquired by an easy sidequest midway through the game, gives players a generous discount on all vendor weapons, with only the PDA, the R.Y.N.O. and the Gold Weapons being excluded from its benefits. The Metal Detector, an optional gadget that can be acquired on Batalia, is a big help for finding extra bolts as well.
    • The Sonic Summoner, a gadget that can be earned on Aridia via a sidequest, gives players access to Sand Mice, where, upon finding their small houses, they pop out and aid the player in the games trickier combat while also saving them on ammo.
    • The Gadgetron PDA, a gadget that can be acquired at the start of the games third act, makes it so you don't have to stop by vendors to fill up on ammo. The downside is that buying ammo is more expensive due to shipping and handling costs.
    • The game also includes beneficial late-game gadgets like the Map-o-Matic and Bolt Grabber, which makes it easier to find secret areas and makes picking up bolts much quicker.
    • Challenge Mode allows you to keep all of your weapons along with a few of the non-essential gadgets and items so players don't have to waste time getting them all over again. It also automatically doubles the amount of bolts you can earn to make it slightly easier to buy the unlocked Gold Weapons.
  • Arrow Cam: The Visibomb Gun works like this, as you can guide the bomb via a POV camera.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Due to the game operating on Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny, the game plays fast and loose with physics at points.
    • The Heli-Pack's small propellers couldn't possibly be able to even lift Ratchet off of the ground, much less allow him to glide in mid-air.
    • While it makes sense that the Blarg Research Station and the Gemlik moon base has some form of artificial gravity, the lack of atmosphere (which prompts the need of an O2 mask through them) makes one wonder how the Heli-Pack and Thruster Pack could possibly work in an environment where there is no air.
    • Even if the Magneboots are strong enough to attach Ratchet to the right surfaces, Ratchet would need to be incredibly strong to be able to move with them at all (though this game does acknowledge how slow and plodding Ratchet is forced to move with them and can't jump with them, the sequels threw this aspect of weight out the window), and that's not taking into account that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for Ratchet to move on a vertical or upside down surface without his body teetering over and snapping his heels (whereas he's able to stand perfectly upright the whole time as if gravity also conveniently changes for him) or a leg flailing loose.
    • Going by Square-Cube Law physics, the Ultra Mech Unlimiteds couldn't possibly stand or walk of their own power, having proportionally small, thin legs with very top heavy bodies mounted on that would've collapsed in on themselves as is. While Giant Clank probably wouldn't have the same trouble just standing due to his much more wide and sturdy legs and moves about as slowly as you'd expect something his size would (though the sequels did away with this by making him far more nimble than anything his size has any business being), its likewise very unlikely his (proportionally) smaller legs would be able to hold his top heavy, gorilla like body up without falling over while taking a step. And it would be flat out impossible for something of Giant Clank's size to even jump at all.
    • Even ignoring the idea that planets can be ripped apart like Lego pieces with the right tech in the first place, Drek's over the top franken-planet scheme simply wouldn't work at all in real life due to the way planets are formed in the first place and the numerous incompatible biomes of each world, to say nothing of the fact that adding a breathable atmosphere would take thousands if not millions of years to do. The thing would just be an uninhabitable husk that wouldn't hold together at all. Then again, the whole thing was just a gigantic real estate scam, so its entirely possible Drek knew this but didn't care since the planet was going to be overpolluted in the future anyway.
    • A planet like Gaspar couldn't possibly support any kind of vegetation, much less a breathable atmosphere, due to the complete lack of moisture in the 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.
  • Bathos: Drek's destruction of planets is a legitimate concern and Ratchet and Clank's falling out is played as serious as expected. But by and large, the game is a juvenile satire that knows better than to take itself too seriously. Much of the game's humor comes from the ludicrous nature of the galaxy the heroes live in, with nearly everyone they encounter being comically self-centered and ignorant, and to say nothing of the numerous scenes of morbid death being juxtaposed with straight-faced news or feel-good advertising. And the gameplay gets very over the top with its weaponry and boss battles. A good example: a merchant on Oltanis sells an Infobot for a new planet. Oltanis is bombed to hell and the place is in ruins, and the merchant is suffering from some combination of shock and deafness from the bombs, but they still manage to shove in a few jokes about how the merchant can barely understand Ratchet at best and has a few non-sequiturs.
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Although Ratchet was already starting to gravitate to Clank's side of things by the time they had infiltrated the robot factory on Quartu, Drek threatening to destroy Veldin is what seals the deal.
  • Big Bad: Chairman Drek, the ruler of the Blarg, in the game's primary antagonist, threatening the galaxy with his planet-breaking activities and antagonizing numerous areas to gather resources for his artificial planet.
  • 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.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Qwark is this, big time. He presents himself as a noble, altruistic and brave superhero who rescues lives and protects the peace, however, he is revealed to be the complete opposite of that. In reality, he is an amoral, selfish, callous, narcissistic sociopath of the first order who only became a superhero purely for the fame and fortune, only does heroics when it benefits him, and he shamelessly allies himself with villains if he has something to gain from it.
  • "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.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: While Ratchet was totally wrong in treating Clank so cruelly and putting personal revenge before saving the galaxy (which was Clank's entire motivation) in the games second act, he is right to call out Clank on being gullible enough to fall for Qwark's trick, which nearly got both of them killed (hypocritically, Ratchet fell for it himself, but at least started wising up to it before the trap was sprung, whereas Clank didn't). On top of that, Qwark is a major threat that was worth dealing with and would have wound up crossing their paths again anyway due to his affiliation with Drek, even if Ratchet was pursuing him for the wrong reasons.
  • Breast Expansion: Performing a few sideways flips in front of the girl who gets you into the hoverboard race in Blackwater City will make this happen to her.
  • Brick Joke: Ratchet when he sees the Plumber again on Batalia: "Hey, the plumber's back!"
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Orxon, the Blarg's original planet, has been turned into a desolate boggy Garden of Evil due to overpollution, with the abandoned Kogor Refinery being taken over by mutant wildlife.
  • 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.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Chairman Drek directs Drek Industries, which amounts to a corporate army that manufactures tools of war and planet-destroying technology. As the Blarg's dictator, he even rules in a corporate fashion, advertising his new planet as if it were a product and planning to pollute it just has he did with Orxon in the name of profit.
  • 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: Why, you 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!
  • Didn't Think This Through: To say Captain Qwark's comeback plan was poorly thought out is like saying getting shot with the R.Y.N.O. is mildly hazardous to your health. Even if he had succeeded in killing Ratchet, he'd have to contend with the fact that he knowingly took sides with a genocidal warmonger who rendered billions homeless by destroying planets for the new blarg homeworld and possibly even killed countless people when everyone was expecting Qwark to defeat Drek, meaning that he'd be just as reviled as Drek himself once it'd inevitably come to light that he was in league with him. On top of that, it becomes clear that Qwark is completely in over his head, what with his dimwitted personality and being too washed up to even try fighting Ratchet on foot and being forced to cowtow to Drek in order to get sponsorship for his comeback, and the failure of his first attempt at killing Ratchet blows up in his face when it causes Drek to ream him out for not following his orders to the letter and causes a vengeful Ratchet to gun for him and eventually hand him his ass during the games second act, resulting in his comeback and reputation going down in flames.
  • 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, insisting that its a third person shooter with platforming elements sandwiched in (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.
  • Developer's 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. While its available as early as Rilgar, you're obviously supposed to get it after a couple playthroughs due to its very high price and the games 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 (mitigating this just slightly is that ammo for it cant be found in crates and isnt very cheap to buy from vendors either)!
    • 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 relatively short span of timenote , easily letting you bypass all the cash gates and giving you much quicker access to all the other weapons (and their pricey gold counterparts).
    • The Pyrociter of all weapons unwittingly became this in the PAL version of the game. Due to a design oversight when converting the game to 50hz, the weapon deals far more damage per frame than its supposed to, making it extremely powerful for a weapon you get at the very start of the game.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Ratchet spends the majority of the game's story barefoot, unless he's in a situation that requires him to have special boots equipped.
  • Door to Before: To keep the player from having to do too much back and forth travelling through levels, the dev team purposefully designed the linear level paths to either loop around in a circle or, barring that, have teliporter pads or flying taxi cabs to quickly return you to the ship.
  • Down the Drain: The main path through Rilgar is Blackwater City's sewer system, which gets flooded with water as Ratchet explores it. There's also an optional, much cleaner Absurdly-Spacious Sewer on Pokitaru.
  • 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.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Gemlik Base, a massive Blarg space station attacking Oltanis from orbit, is set up as potentially the final level of the game. However, Drek has already fled by the time Ratchet and Clank get through it, so while they get to take out Captain Qwark, there's still five more levels to go through afterwards.
  • 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: The original game is drastically different from its sequels in a plethora of ways. While its clearly aiming to be a third person shooter, its whole gameplay style can be summed up as "Spyro the Dragon with guns":
    • Due to the games story basically being made up as it went by the dev team, the all around tone and story is much more comedic and episodic than the Future-era games, and there is more emphasis on blatantly cartoonish, whimsical sci-fi and satirical anti-capitalist elements that the series would gradually downplay and move on from over time, as there were no real plans at giving the series a consistent lore, much less a serious tone, at this point.
    • The art direction is somewhat different. The lighting is brighter and the design and general aesthetic are more cartoony and industrial in look, unlike the sleeker, more retro-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 strategy, platforming and puzzles. Due to Ratchet's slightly slower movement, 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 and branching routes, 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. There are also unusual gimmick weapons like the Taunter, which on its own has no real offensive capabilities at all, something the series would never have again afterward.
    • 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 Heli-Pack, Thruster-Pack, Hydro-Pack, and 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.
    • In addition, Clank also uses contractions fairly regularly, something that is dropped almost entirely by the next game.
    • Qwark is a much darker character in this game compared to how he is portrayed the sequels as a buffoonish and incompetent anti-hero. Here, he is an irredeemable asshole who is Faux Affably Evil, has a sadistic streak and is overall a lot more cunning than how he is in the sequels.
    • 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 games bolt economy is notably more stingy than later installments, making it much harder to rack up large quantities of bolts. The Challenge Mode multiplier also 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.
    • As a holdover from Insomniac's previous game series, this game has prominent use of Cash Gates to stall the players progress while also keeping players from buying new weapons too quickly. While this was held over for the sequel, all of the games afterward completely abandoned this concept for the players benefit.
    • Giant Clank moves noticeably slower and jumps far less high than he does in the next two games.
  • Earn Your Fun: The R.Y.N.O. sidequest operates on this idea, as the dev team specifically designed it so that you had to play through the entire game twice at minimum in order to get enough bolts to buy it, as they figured that by the time you would be able to afford it, you would have likely completed every other challenge in the game already (not that it stopped players from discovering shortcuts to getting it anyway).
  • 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.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Extermibots and amoeboids on Rilgar will attack each other. The Extermibots are actually a police force sent to stop the amoeboids, but are hostile toward Ratchet for reasons unknown.
  • Eternal Engine: Quartu is home to the Robot Plant, where Drek Industries' Mecha-Mooks are produced and where Clank was born. Ratchet infiltrates the factory using the Hologuise to finally locate Drek's whereabouts.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Clank is completely shocked after Qwark, who he and Ratchet spent a good part of the game searching for, turns out to be in cahoots with Chairman Drek. All he can do is utter a despondent "But... why?" in response.
  • 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...mean!
  • 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.
  • Excuse Plot: As elaborate as it gets, the story at its core is just a thinly veiled excuse to go hopping around from planet to planet and blowing up stuff. Tim Trzepacz, one of the game's programmers, recalled being told that "story wasn't important at all" during the game's creation.
  • Expository Gameplay Limitation: Oltanis is in the middle of a big thunderstorm which shocks Clank when he steps outside of the ship, so Ratchet has to navigate the city without him.
  • 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.
    • Also, Qwark. He comes across as charismatic and friendly at first, however when he is revealed to be on Drek's side, he shows his true nature as a cruel and dishonest scumbag who even goes as far as to rub it in Ratchet's face after luring him in to be killed off.
  • 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—and Ratchet also has a noticeable delay in his movement, which can make combat slower and more frustrating than it needs to be, forcing the player to fall back on either strategy or just bullrushing their enemies and hoping for the best. On top of that, Ratchet only has four hit points (four more can be bought with two pricey upgrades) and his 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.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Ratchet's last encounter with Qwark sees the ruined ex-hero shucking gadgets from a ramshackled stand on the sidewalk under the name "Steve". The Stinger after the credits shows Qwark in an infomercial.
  • 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.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: The game starts peacefully on Veldin, when suddenly Clank crashes there, Ratchet notices it and goes to check what the hell happened. The only enemies are some frogs and robots that followed Clank, all quite easy to dispatch. However, over the course of the game, the Big Bad decides to destroy Veldin and station his Deplanetizer there, so you must trek over on this place, except you now can and have to continue well beyond Clank's crash site and the enemies are Elite Mooks and Dropships.
  • Foreshadowing: The game's first act all but spells out to you from the get-go that Qwark is in league with Drek.
    • Qwark's situation of falling out of the public limelight is immediately established from the very first mention of him when Clank explains to Ratchet his desire to seek him out for help in stopping Drek, with Ratchet looking at a poster of him in his garage and mentioning he's on the radio every once in a while, which later leads into his motivation of why he would even side with Drek in the first place—for a highly paid PR comeback deal.
    • 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? Also worth noting is that The Plumber mentions working class folk have to wait for people like Captain Qwark to rescue them. Guess who we don't see springing into action this whole time while gladly taking part in trivial PR stunts like the Big Al's Roboshack ad and a Hoverboard event instead.
    • The monster Qwark fights in the Big Al's Roboshack ad is a Blargian Snagglebeast, and if you look carefully in the background, you can see health boxes and ammo crates, which is a hint that foreshadows Ratchet's fight with the Snagglebeast. Also in the Roboshack ad, which is the first time we actually get to see Qwark in action, he's immediately established as something of a smarmy Attention Whore, insensitively mugging the spotlight from Big Al the whole time. Also, the fact that a celebrity superhero like Qwark is shilling out his image to something as mundane as a repair shop in the first place just reeks of him being the marketing whore he pretends not to be, which is something Ratchet snidely remarks on and is proven correct about later on.
    • The Qwark-Bot the duo find at the Metropolis fitness course casually mentions that Qwark enterprises is "not responsible for broken bones, bruised egos or accidental death while taking the challenge". It just seems like a joke at first that isnt at all out of place with the satirical anti-capitalist and dark comedy undertones, but it also foreshadows Qwark's true nature as a slimy and amoral person who would gladly kill or sell out countless lives for money.
    • Qwark's fitness trainer (retroactively named Helga in the third game) 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 without risking his public image.
    • 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 insincere 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 noticeable) 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?
    • Besides that, the game drops numerous hints that despite the surface motive of Drek trying to find a new planet for the Blarg, the game spells out from the get go and in numerous cutscenes that Drek is a totally ruthless and greedy warmonger and sociopath who could care less about anyone but himself, much less his people or the billions he leaves homeless by tearing apart their planets. If his incredibly callous and condescending attitude towards the people who work for him doesn't spell out what kind of person he really is despite his supposedly noble intentions, then the fact that Darla Gratch reveals in a news report on Gorda City that Drek is, in fact, destroying planets for his own selfish needs certainly does.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A minor example can occur on rare occasions on Umbris. During the water pool part of Qwark's obstacle course, one of the Sharkigators in the third pool can randomly become invincible to your entire arsenal (including the R.Y.N.O.) making it impossible to complete the level, as part of the puzzle requires you to kill the otherwise invincible creature when the pool is drained by the Hydrodisplacer. Fortunately, dying, quitting and returning or resetting the game fixes this.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When our heroes visit planet Novalis early in the game, it is already being torn apart by Drek's forces and the previous cutscene even has Drek himself stating that the damage done to the planet will cause it to go off-orbit and crash into its sun. Still, nothing prevents the player from going back to Novalis at any point, even just before the final battle with Drek, when a large chunk of the planet has already been cannibalized and its flora destroyed. Leaving Novalis accessible for the entire game was most likely an Anti-Frustration Feature to prevent the player from missing out on secrets they could have overlooked on their first visit.
  • Ghost City: The Gorda City Ruins on Oltanis. The city was destroyed by Drek's army with only a few people still sticking around, and the thunderstorms normally regulated by lightning rods are left rampant, preventing Clank from stepping outside the ship.
  • Graceful Loser: Played with. At the very end of the Gemlik Base boss fight, Qwark, in a pathetic and ineffectual attempt to sway Ratchet into sparing him, drops his usually cocky attitude and tries to make him call off the fight and let bygones be bygones, to the extent that he congratulates Ratchet for defeating him as his ship goes down in flames. And when they meet one more time on Oltanis, Qwark oddly isn't hostile to Ratchet's presence and even sells him a Gadgetron PDA, though it's implied this is a passive-aggressive act done to scam bolts off of Ratchet with a questionable gadget to subtly spite him.
  • Green Hill Zone: Novalis, the first planet visited after Veldin, mostly takes place within Tobruk Crater, a grassy riverside trench being raided by Drek's army. There's also a factory and a cavern in the upper levels of the regions.
  • 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.
  • Hand Wave: Even pretty much lampshaded by Drek doing a literal hand wave at the camera when explaining his plan to construct a new planet made from chunks torn out from others. How exactly does the completely physics-breaking technology that would allow this to even be possible work? Ehh, the people watching wouldn't and couldn't possibly understand so why bother.
  • Hate Sink: Chairman Drek and Captain Qwark.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Ratchet and Clank suddenly end up at each other's throats in Umbris because Ratchet has chosen to put his single-mined goal of finding Qwark ahead of the safety of countless worlds under the threat of Drek, and is coldly dismissive towards Clank's goal of stopping Drek. Ratchet does mellow out eventually when he sees Gorda City in ruins, and he and Clank become genuine friends.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Ratchet's obsession with getting revenge on Qwark makes him apathetic to the billions of lives in danger by Drek; even if he had the knowledge and proof to bring Qwark down lawfully, Ratchet would rather kill Qwark with his own two hands. Such an action would most certainly make Qwark look like a martyr, and Ratchet an irredeemable villain, to the public. Fortunately, Ratchet is brought to his senses when he sees Gorda City in ruins.
  • 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.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: After Qwark gets his butt handed to him by Ratchet at Gemlik Base, Drek calls off the endorsement deal that Qwark hoped to use to make comeback. Thus, Qwark is left a penniless nobody who is stranded on the now-crumbling Oltanis and is reduced to selling off the cuff Gadgetron merchandise (possibly bogus merch at that given the nature of the gadget) at a ramshackle wooden vendor under an alias. He presumably found a way off world afterward and is left selling bogus Gadgetron merch on holovid ads, and things only get worse for him in the sequel. Considering what a scumbag he is in this game, its a deliciously ironic fate.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite:
  • Industrial World:
    • Orxon, the Blarg's homeworld, has become so polluted due to Drek's overindustralization, it is practically uninhabitable to any non-mutated organic species.
    • Quartu is home to the robot factory where Clank was "born".
    • Drek's new planet was planned to become this so he can repeat the same planet plundering process once it became too toxic to inhabit safely.
  • Informed Species: The Sand Mice that Ratchet can summon via the Sonic Summoner don't have the slightest resemblance to a mouse, looking more like Smurf-esque Muppets with goggles and antennae.
  • 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: Ratchet was already a self-centered and arrogant thrill seeker, but after Qwark betrays them on Umbris, Ratchet's worst traits bloom into a petty, vindictive and revenge-obsessed hothead who acts 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 gets his revenge on Qwark, he soon finds out that Drek got away with attacking and ruining Oltanis because he was too focused on stopping Qwark rather than protecting the planet and learns to be much nicer and selfless.
  • 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.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch:
    • Drek frequently verbally abuses and talks down to Qwark whenever he fails him. However, given what a low-life sell-out Qwark is, it's pretty satisfying to watch Drek do so.
    • While his attitude to the situation was totally wrong, Ratchet mopping the floor with Qwark at Gemlik Base was a fate the captain long had coming to him and is quite gratifying to watch unfold as Qwark is pathetically reduced to begging Ratchet for mercy as his starfighter falls apart. Though Ratchet is somewhat nicer to Qwark when they meet on Oltanis and even buys a Gadgetron PDA from him, since he's moved on from his grudge against him and realizes Qwark has hit rock bottom as is.
  • Kill Sat: Drek's Deplanetizer, built to destroy Veldin after the failure of the Planet Buster Maximus.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Drek's actions end up leading to his well deserved defeat and DEATH. He is defeated by Ratchet-whom he incited to attack him (presumably with the intent of removing him off the equation) by making the Planetizer's target Ratchet's homeworld. Clank is also a robot created by the program that oversees his own robot factory in his home planet with the very purpose of stopping him. Finally, he is utterly decimated along with the scam planet he created from pillaging at the hands of the same weapon he intended to destroy Veldin.
    • Qwark's actions eventually lead to Ratchet handing him his butt on a silver platter at Gemlik Base, leading to Drek calling off the lucrative endorsement deal planned for him, leaving Qwark a penniless has-been who is reduced to selling junk merch via Holovid ads just to get by.
  • Last Disc Magic:
    • The Tesla Claw, the games strongest weapon next to the R.Y.N.O., isnt available until you reach Gorda City Ruins, and it costs a whopping 40,000 bolts to get (30,000 with the Persuader equipped). The Morph-O-Ray also appears in this level, but that weapon can be found for free.
    • The first five Gold Weapons (Bomb Glove, Pyrociter, Blaster, Glove of Doom and Suck Cannon) are made available right at the start of the games third act on Gemlik Base provided youre aware of the secret area, though their fairly high price tags will make it unlikely youll nab them by the end of the first playthrough. The other five Gold Weapons (Devastator, Morph-o-Ray, Tesla Claw, Mine Glove and Decoy Glove) are unlocked to buy upon reaching Novalis in Challenge Mode.
    • The R.Y.N.O. is technically available as early as Rilgar, but its insane 150,000 bolt price tag guarantees you wont be getting it until you play through the game at least two or three times—unless youre willing to exploit the Infinite Bolts glitch, anyway, which turns it into a Disc-One Nuke.
  • 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: Gaspar is a craggy planet with lava surrounding all of its land, complete with Convection, Schmonvection. The Blarg Depot there is used to develop and test Blarg technology, so Ratchet visits it to steal a helmet he can use to pilot fighter ships.
  • Light Is Not Good: Captain Qwark, who looks like a typical superhero, but is revealed to be anything but.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Ratchet and Clank act like this in Umbris when bickering over finding Qwark or Drek, which causes Clank to resort to blackmailing. This lasts until Qwark is defeated, due to Ratchet's Heel Realization.
  • 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.
  • The Lost Woods: Eudora is a heavily forested planet, with the Logging Site being located on top of several cliffs.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The Persuador gives you a discount on any and all weapons you have not yet purchased, but has no effect on the pricing of ammo.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: The Metal Detector Gadget allows you to find a few extra bolts, but it's never required to complete the game.
  • Mega City: Metropolis, located on the planet Kerwan, is a massive Skyscraper City where citizens get around on flying vehicles. Gorda City on Oltanis looks similar, but was reduced to ruins from Drek's attack on the planet.
  • Mega-Corp: Gadgetron, the company that manufactures most of the weapons and tools that Ratchet uses on his adventure. They're a galaxy-wide operation with shops on every planet, and one of the last areas visited in the game is their headquarters on Kalebo III, a futuristic factory standing high above the water with plenty of product-testing rooms.
  • 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.
  • Mordor: Umbris is a harsh planet covered in mud and filled with gnarled trees, a suspiciously odd place for Qwark's HQ to be located.
  • Morton's Fork: It's stated that the conflict between Qwark and Ratchet would've had nasty consequences for the winner if the other is killed. If Ratchet died, Qwark would've eventually been found out as a fraud for working with Drek and for disposing of witnesses. If Qwark died, he'd be seen as a martyr while Ratchet's Protagonist Journey to Villain would be complete, potentially with him being killed, imprisoned, or handed over to Tachyon.
  • 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!.

    N - Z 
  • The Needs of the Many: Averted; Clank naively assumes Drek really is doing all that he does because he sincerely wants to make a new home for the Blarg, but Drek spells out to him that he couldn't care less about his race or any of the planetary populations he renders homeless, having overpolluted Orxon on purpose and only caring about the cash he'll get from milking the real estate of his new franken-planet for all its worth and then pollute that world as well to repeat the scheme all over again, and so on. Clank is absolutely livid upon discovering this.
  • Never My Fault: Ratchet keeps blaming Clank for getting them to fall into Qwark's trap, despite Ratchet himself going along with going into Qwark's base as well, only realizing it a little sooner than Clank what they got themselves into.
  • Noob Cave: The Kyzil Plateau on Veldin is where the game starts, with Ratchet wandering away from his home to find Clank's crash site. It's a brief level where he learns how to platform and use his starting weaponry, and afterward, the duo sets off to Novalis for the game's first proper level.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chairman Drek's actions are horrid, but at least vaguely understandable since he is trying to create a new planet for his species due to Orxon becoming uninhabitable. Over time, this excuse becomes more and more hollow, as he starts waging war on planets like Batalia and Pokitaru for their resources and plans to blow up Hoven purely because it was in an orbit he wanted his new planet to be in. Towards the end of the final boss fight he drops all pretenses and admits the new planet is just a money-making scheme, planning to pollute it just like he did with Orxon so he can continually profit.
  • 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, albeit with the protection of a giant robot he's piloting.
  • 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.
  • Palmtree Panic: Pokitaru's Jowai Resort is an oceanside vacation site with several beaches and docks. The Blarg's intrusion scared away all the vacationers and mutated the local sealife, so the resort's owners requests that Ratchet and Clank fend them off in exchange for an O2 Mask.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: On Oltanis, Ratchet finds a now disgraced Captain Qwark holed up at an impromptu "vendor" shilling a Gadgetron PDA, with his disguise being...the mere nom de plume of Steve McQwark.
  • 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.
  • Pickup Hierarchy:
    • Primary: Gadgets, Infobots
    • Secondary: Gold/Platinum/Titanium Bolts, Trophies (in Up Your Arsenal)
    • Tertiary: Bolts
    • Extra: Skill Points
  • Planet Looters: The Blarg, or at least Drek.
  • Player-Guided Missile: The Visibomb Gun fires powerful long-range missiles that can be steered by the player using an Arrow Cam.
  • Player Nudge: If a player reaches a roadblock that they don't have the proper gadget to bypass, the Gadgetron Helpdesk will prompt you about what item you need, sometimes even giving a hint as to where to find it. An example is if you go to Aridia immediately after Novalis instead of Metropolis, which results in the player finding a segment that needs the Swingshot to be completed, which the Helpdesk hints has to be found on Metropolis first.
  • Police Are Useless: The Extermibots on Rilgar usually lose to the amoeboids, and are hostile toward you.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Planet Orxon, to the point where it has become horrifically mutated in numerous ways, requires the O2 Mask when playing as Ratchet, and has flesh-melting toxic sludge wherever water should be. Worse yet, Chairman Drek is planning to turn who-knows-how-many more of the Ratchet & Clank universe's planets into what Orxon has become in this game.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • The Drone Device is a neat concept for a weapon but the execution feels undercooked. It doesn't always block damage and only attacks enemies in very close proximity to Ratchet. As such, the weapon essentially functions as a melee weapon, though one that has paid ammunition, unlike the OmniWrench or Walloper. It can only block damage six times, and it has a small ammo stock, meaning a player has to constantly reload it and use it with discretion. Also, despite what the Help Menu description states, the drones don't protect Ratchet from incoming projectiles that aren't bullets.
    • 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.
    • The Gadgetron PDA is a neat idea in concept, basically being a vendor you can access anywhere on the go. The downside is that the ammo gets more expensive if you buy it this way. It should only be used when low on ammo during a boss fight or otherwise in situations where you need ammo and are unable to access ammo crates or a regular vendor.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: After defeating Qwark on Gemlik Base, Ratchet confronts him again in Gorda City on planet Oltanis, where he offers to sell Ratchet the Gadgetron PDA. While this sounds like a rather nice thing of Qwark to do, despite everything that previously happened, keep in mind he is only doing this to get money off of Ratchet, considering his pitiful disposition by that point due to losing Drek's endorsement deal. Considering the PDA actually increases the price of weapons and ammo ten times, it's entirely possible Qwark sold a bogus (or, barring that, flawed) gadget to Ratchet as a passive-aggressive way of getting back at him, which isn't at all out of character for him.
  • Purposefully Overpowered:
    • The R.Y.N.O. is a ludicrously overpowered weapon that can instantly turn the tides in any situation due to its very hard-hitting and accurate rockets and high ammo stock and all but superannuates the rest of your arsenal once you get it. It was specifically designed to be a weapon you earned after you had beaten the game at least twice, since the dev team figured by the time you would've scraped together enough of the 150,000 bolts needed to get it, you had probably accomplished everything else in the game anyway.
    • The Gold Weapons likewise fall into this, especially in regards to the Gold Tesla Claw, which rivals even the R.Y.N.O. in game-breaking nature. Hence, half of the Gold Weapons are off limits until Challenge Mode (the first half can be found in a secret area at Gemlik Base) and you need a substantial amount of bolts along with 4 gold bolts apiece to buy even one of them, much less all 10, which altogether will set you back 250,000 bolts, a price even higher than that of the R.Y.N.O.
  • 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 O2 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.
  • Redemption Quest: Once Ratchet sees the ravaged remains of Gorda City and has a Heel Realization, he spends the remainder of the game swearing to set things right, and redeem himself from nearly becoming a villain in the public eyes.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Veldin's skies when revisited at the end are an ominous shade of red, underscoring the planet's imminent fate if Ratchet doesn't put a stop to Drek's plans once and for all.
  • Remilitarized Zone: Krontos Fort on Batalia is the site of a battle between the Blarg and the planet's army located in a Jungle Japes setting. The planet's main mission is to enter the fort and use a turret to fend off the invaders.
  • 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 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.
  • Satire: A large chunk of the game's humor, when its not relying on Bathos or Black Comedy, is what can best be described as what a kids' video game made by Paul Verhoeven would be like. The game's writing is absolutely bursting with Anti-Capitalistic undertones (many of the game's NPCs demonstrate this, being by and large selfish, self-serving opportunists who refuse to stick their neck out to stop the Blarg, much less help Ratchet unless they can profit from it themselves. Ratchet's own personality is arguably a byproduct of this kind of cutthroat environment) and very on-the-nose social commentary that spells out that media is inherently deceitful and dishonest bupkis dressed up in a shiny coat of paint. The entire story is driven by two villains who are so greedy that they're willing to doom billions of lives (in Drek's case, he's willing to risk his entire species) not only for the sake of lining his pockets, but for the sake of public image (in Qwark's case). To say nothing of the fact that the environments of some worlds are a byproduct of unchecked capitalism and callous disregard for life gone rampant, with military grade weapons being publicly hocked and sold at vendors across the galaxy with all the discretion and responsibility of selling a hamburger with fries.
  • 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 Heli-Pack and then go right to Skidd's Agent, skipping a third of the level.
    • By exploiting 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.
    • Also on Gemlik Base, if you use a wall jump on the tower at the very end of the level, you can find an elevator to a secret area that gives you early access to five of the games Gold Weapons.
    • On Kalebo III, it's possible to skip the bulk of the level by carefully using the Visibomb Gun to bypass the laser gate in the Gadgetron lobby and detonate it near the button that shuts it off, giving you instant access to the Gadgetron CEO. Barring this, its also possible to clip your way over there by using the Heli-Pack in a certain way on the nearby roof.
    • 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. It's 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, giving you early access to it with patience) counts as this.
    • Using the Infinite Long Jump glitch allows you to bypass huge chunks of a level and even lets you completely bypass the final boss fight, skipping right to the game-ending Thruster-Pack switch on the Deplanetizer.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Aridia is a dry desert planet filled with mud pits and deadly Sandsharks. Ratchet and Clank land at Outpost X11 to assist Skidd McMarx and his agent, who crash-landed there after a Blarg attack.
  • 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.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Hoven is a snow-covered planet with slippery ice and evergreen trees. Drek sets up the Bomb Factory there so he can destroy it with a Planetbuster warhead, which Ratchet and Clank stop to get the coordinates to Gemlik Base.
  • Space Station: The Blarg Tactical Research Station in Nebula G34, the first of the many Blarg research and development locations visited. It is home to a decommissioned Blarg ship with an infobot on it, an open-space portion traversed by Clank, and an alien breeding facility.
  • Space Zone: Gemlik Base, which resides Oltanis' orbit, is entirely exposed to outer space, thought it has enough gravity for Ratchet to navigate it without the Magneboots.
  • 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.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: While Ratchet and Clank's relationship starts out without much in the way of conflict (aside from Ratchet repeatedly steering the adventure away from getting Captain Qwark to stop Drek and towards his own desires), once Qwark backstabs them, Ratchet becomes pissed with Clank for dragging him into a trap, since Clank wanted the Lombax's help in finding Qwark to begin with. After this, he and Clank constantly butt heads throughout a good chunk of the game afterwards, since Ratchet's desire to get even with Qwark above all else conflicts with Clank wanting to help others and stop Drek before he causes too much damage. However, the duo doesn't split up at this point because without Clank's robotic ignition system, Ratchet can't start a ship, allowing Clank to force him into doing the right thing. After getting his payback on Qwark, however, Ratchet discovers what his selfishness brought about, starts caring more about Clank, and ultimately agrees with him that Drek must be stopped, which leads the two to work better together and even strike up a friendship in the end.
  • 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 and blaming Clank for roping him into this mess to begin with. 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.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: You can use the Gadgetron PDA to order ammo on the go if you can't access ammo crates or a regular vendor. However, what the game does not tell you is that the ammo will be more expensive, which you won't realize until you actually activate it. This is presumably because you are being charged for shipping and handling.
  • The Unfought: Drek's Robot Lieutenant is properly introduced in Eudora's Infobot cutscene, commanding the Blarg's robot forces to harvest lumber from the planet. A cutscene upon flying to Eudora suggests that he'll need to be fought, but when you encounter him, he drops the Blarg Station Infobot and runs away, exiting the story aside from a few more Infobot videos later on. According to developer commentary, he was supposed to be the first boss, but the artists didn't have time to finish all his animations and the fight was cut from the game.
  • The Unpronouncable: Whatever Clank's real name is, all we know is that it's a serial number of some sort (which is different than the one that shows up later in the franchise.)
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The Pyrocitor, a weapon you can acquire very early in the game. It's good for crowd-controlling small enemies, but its flame has a short range and the damage is mediocre. Fortunately, getting the Gold upgrade makes it a much more effective weapon, as it has a longer range and does more damage. The PAL version of the game curiously averts this by unwittingly made it one of the strongest weapons in the game due to a design oversight when converting the game to 50hz.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Captain Qwark gets hit with this pretty hard in the climax of the second act. While he was cunning and resourceful enough to nearly off the duo on Umbris, its later made clear that Qwark is too washed up to even consider taking on Ratchet, who has been angrily gunning for Qwark and building up an impressive arsenal on the way, in a one on one fight at this point, so Drek loans him a large and heavily armed starfighter with an entire squadron of Blarg Saucers backing it up...which Ratchet proceeds to chase down and utterly eviscerate with a run of the mill starfighter.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Throughout the fight against him at Gemlik Base, Qwark acts extremely cocky and constantly insults and patronizes Ratchet throughout it. But as Ratchet whittles down Qwark's starfighter into practically nothing, Qwark finally realizes the chips are down and tries in vain to appeal to Ratchet's good side by saying they should let bygones be bygones and call it a day, which the vengeful Ratchet is having none of. He even pitifully congratulates Ratchet for defeating him in an attempt to do this as his now running on fumes ship is sent careening towards Oltanis.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Captain Qwark. However, after getting his ass kicked by Ratchet, Qwark's good publicity is shattered, which is what leads to Qwark becoming the Big Bad of the second game.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ratchet, only in this game and Size Matters.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Umbris has several mini-machine gun turrets that fire a non-stop spray of fire. They can be stunned, but oddly not destroyed. The guns themselves arent particularly threatening on their own due to their slow movement and predictable attack pattern, but the cramped and narrow environments of Qwark's HQ combined with their strategic placement makes it more difficult to evade them than it should be. Gorda City Ruins features another variant of the turret that, unlike its Umbris counterpart, are triggered by sentry alarms and can be destroyed.
  • Weapons and Wielding Tropes:
  • Weapons That Suck: The Suck Cannon, which is one of the most useful weapons in the game, since it uses small enemies as ammunition!
  • Weird Currency: Bolts, nuts, and gears (only referred to as "bolts") are the primary currency of the game.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chairman Drek is not one of these, as he is really just trying to exploit his own people at the cost of millions of lives, all for the money.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Drek's lackey, the Robot Lieutenant, vanishes from the game after you meet him on Eudora. Per Word of God, he was meant to be a boss fight, but was scrapped due to time constraints.
  • 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.
  • World of Jerkass: With a few exceptions, many of the people Ratchet and Clank meet throughout the game are self-centered or shady jerks who are interested in their own agendas rather than helping out Ratchet and Clank to save the galaxy on principle. Ratchet himself, being brought up in this kind of pro-capitalistic environment, likewise starts off as a selfish jerk, but gradually mellows out of it by the end of the game.
  • Wrench Wench: Clank gets the Hydro-Pack upgrade from one on planet Hoven.

"Hey, tin can! Where do you think you're goin'? We, uh... still need to fix that arm!"


Elite Blarg

Chairman Drek sends out his Elite Blarg troops to destroy Ratchet & Clank.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / EliteMooks

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