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Video Game / Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

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"The elders once said time is a living, breathing thing. Powerful, beautiful and oftentimes cruel. It can humble the strongest army, shape mountains to its will, and turn entire oceans to dust. But time itself is not free from jeopardy. There are those who seek to control it, corrupt it, change it to suit their dark will. And if that ever happens, the universe will need a true hero to stop it. Are you ready?"
General Alister Azimuth

The third entry in the Ratchet & Clank Future saga on the PlayStation 3, after Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty, and the seventh mainline game in the Ratchet & Clank series overall.

Dr. Nefarious returns to take control of the Great Clock, a "marvel of science and sorcery" that regulates time throughout the universe, and is located in the exact center of the universe... give or take fifty feet. As in Secret Agent Clank, the duo spend most of the game separated, trying to reunite and stop Nefarious, while they both learn the truth about their respective pasts. Ratchet discovers that he isn’t the last Lombax standing like he once thought when he meets a rebel named Alister Azimuth, who wants to reset time to prevent the purge of his species; meanwhile, Clank discovers that the Zoni are related to Orvus, his true creator and caretaker of the Great Clock.

You'll never take me alive, Qwark! The tropes... are under my control!

  • 100% Completion: Requires 40 Zoni, 40 Gold Bolts, 10 RYNO V blueprints, and 1040 points awarded from Skill Points. Fortunately, you only need 40 Zoni to reach the Insomniac Museum.
  • 2-D Space: Played straight to a degree when there are force fields in a narrow ring around a planet that you can't get by without disabling.
    • More generally the space sections play like this - in comparison to the free-flying in Going Commando and the on-rails sections in Tools of Destruction, Size Matters, and Secret Agent Clank, you can only fly on a flat, 2D plane.
  • A Boy and His X: One of the commercials you can hear on the radio is for a movie about a boy and his War Grok.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In-game, its not made clear if Orvus committed self-sacrifice to prevent Dr. Nefarious from using the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler on him to learn how to access the Orvus Chamber, or simply dissapeared. T.J. Fixman later confirmed on his Twitter that he's still alive.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Unlike previous games in the series, Challenge Mode does not require you to overwrite your previous save file, and lets you start it in a new one from scratch. Fortunately, you still get to keep everything from your previous save except for the four gadgets you acquire.
    • Challenge Mode also allows you to skip all of the Great Clock recording puzzles without having to try them, at the cost of forfeiting the bolt rewards or Skill Points involved.
    • If a recorded Clank ends his recording very close to a button, but not close enough that he presses it, the game will move the recorded Clank onto the button so you don't have to take your time rerecording them.
  • Anti-Villain: General Azimuth, who risks destroying the universe in an attempt to bring back the Lombaxes using the Clock.
  • Apocalypse How: The initially harmless-seeming Fongoids caused a Class X-3 in the backstory, destroying 83 star systems. Dr. Nefarious' plan to abuse the Great Clock for his own benefit would instead have caused a Class X-4. Azimuth very nearly DID cause one.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "The Nefarious Space Station: an impenetrable fortress fraught with danger, and... uh... windows."
  • Art Shift: The weapon demonstration videos, various Flash Backs, and photographs are typically drawn in 2D rather than CG rendered.
  • As Himself: In-Universe, in My Blaster Runs Hot, Captain Qwark plays himself.
  • Back from the Dead: Via the "six minute rule" as mentioned by The Plumber, Clank is able to briefly use the clock to prevent Azimuth from killing Ratchet.
  • Bag of Sharing: While wandering the Great Clock, Clank can destroy boxes and repair things to earn bolts. That Ratchet can use to buy things. Gold Bolts also carry over, which can be rather strange since you can change Ratchet's skin using Gold Bolts that he doesn't even possess.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Dr. Nefarious and Alister Azimuth both want to take control of the Great Clock for their own ends, with Nefarious wanting to create a timeline where villains come out on top and Azimuth wanting to prevent the exile of the Lombaxes, with both unaware that tampering with the Clock could risk destroying all of reality. Nefarious drives most of the plot, but after he's defeated, Azimuth's desperation to undo his mistake turns him into the Final Boss.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends as a recording of Orvus delivers a monologue, one without an addressee, and the other to Clank. They are both heartwarming.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Fred's hobbies are listed as moonlight strolls along the beach, reading, and mauling unsuspecting enemies with brutal efficiency.
  • Brick Joke: When we're introduced to him, there's a gag about Sigmund having a cuckoo clock-type extension in his chest compartment. Near the game's end, when he tries to confront Azimuth, he uses it to get a few hits in.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: After the Aphelion gets hit by something and falls through the atmosphere of Planet Quantos until it gets stuck in a temporal distortion, we get this from Captain Qwark.
    "So much for clean underwear."
  • Call-Back: One of the skins you unlock is Mustachio Furioso, (pride of the Flurbian Galaxyverse).
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Captain Qwark is overly dramatic, runs around with a ray gun, and thinks of himself as the hero of the story with Ratchet as his sidekick despite the fact he's at best occasionally helpful and more often the cowardly comic-relief.
    Qwark: That's CAPTAIN Qwark. I didn't take a two-week hero correspondence course just so I could be called "Mister".
  • Censored Title: Apparently, "Ratchet & Clank Future: Clock-Blockers" was deemed too inappropriate for the game. But the name later ended up as a skill point in Into the Nexus.
  • Central Theme: Letting go of loss and moving on.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Subverted. Qwark saves and sort-of-adopts Snowball in the Agorian Battleplex. Despite being spared, the aforementioned War Grok doesn't do much of anything for the rest of the game. Aside from turning on his master.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: For a weapon; the Combuster from ToD is noticeably absent, having been replaced by the Constructo Pistol. This wouldn't be so bad if the Combuster hadn't appeared in Tools of Destruction, All 4 One, and Full Frontal Assault.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Inputting "Up, Right, Down, Left, Triangle, Square, X, Circle, R3" will get you the Bancho Ratchet skin.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The obligatory scene with the Plumber. Within it, you can see a handful of mementos from Tools of Destruction, like "Body By Qwark", Tachyon's crown (but not his scepter or the giant walking throne), the Dimensionator and Nuclear Powered Rocket Sled (which is still in pieces). Ratchet's Omniwrench Millenium 12 is also featured quite prominently in that scene, despite the fact that Clank had never seen Ratchet use that particular wrench.
  • Continuity Nod: This has a lot, possibly due to its likelihood of being the last game in the series. (Except it wasn't.)
    • A particularly deep cut is found in the often overlooked prologue cutscene — During his interview, Qwark flexes his left arm and states, "You can't see it, but there's a tribal tattoo under there!"
  • Cool Old Guy: Orvus. Guy saved the universe and created Clank. Loves puns. Also perhaps the most quotable character in the entire series.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Great Clock.
  • Crosshair Aware:
    • Vorselon's thunderbolts show crosshairs on the ground before striking.
    • Cassiopeia's acid missile shows target markers before launching it.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Near the end, Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark, surrounded by his guards, surrender to Dr. Nefarious. Never mind that there are only eight guards, and Ratchet and Clank later fight Nefarious with the exact same level of preparation.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Ratchet was able to scar Nefarious' face with just a Constructo Bomb, that lasted through the entire game and even All 4 One. After the fight against Nefarious, Ratchet's more powerful weapons, even the RYNO, didn't inflict permanent damage on the villain.
    • When Ratchet was diving down to save Clank from his fall, Ratchet's hoverboots can work on surfaces he normally couldn't use in the game.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: R1 was used to zoom in for the past games' Sniper Rifles. In this game, it's the fire button. Be prepared to waste a lot of ammo getting used to the Plasma Striker.
  • Delayed Safety Feature: In the first cutscene with Ratchet and Qwark, Ratchet's ship, Aphelion, loses propulsion to an unknown force, causing them to careen onto Quantos. Aphelion becomes stuck in a time distortion and hovers in midair after crashing into and flying off of a cliff, which neatly explains why Ratchet and Qwark have time to talk about the situation for a moment before the airbags deploy on the duo.
  • Developer's Foresight: When Ratchet is first learning to use the Hoverboots, he eventually asks if there's a way to go any faster with them... unless you've already been holding R2 to speed up, in which case this dialogue is replaced with Azimuth commenting on how Ratchet's found the accelerator himself.
  • Developer's Room: The Insomniac Moon, unlocked by collecting all 40 Zoni and defeating Lord Vorselon for the final time. Filled with Dummied Out content.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Albeit an intentional example with the saucers on Nefarious's space station. Still an impressive sight, though.
  • Disney Death: Ratchet when Azimuth kills him. Clank manages to save him in time.
  • Disney Villain Death: Cassiopeia. Though Lawrence has another theory on why she disappeared...
    Lawrence: Perhaps she thought about marrying you and decided to make a run for it.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Dynamo of Doom weapon... at least until it upgrades into the Dynamo of Devastation.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Orvus is prone to this.
    Orvus: Did you see what I did there?
  • Dragon Their Feet: Lord Vorselon shows up after you beat the final boss after he was absent from the game's climax.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Agorians are basically dumb jocks as a species. Interestingly, they're aware enough of their stupidity that they hire the Terachnoids to think and handle other complex work for them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Rift Inducer 5000 summons one of these. It's called Fred...
  • Empty Room Until the Trap: Lampshaded. After going through two of these in the Valkyrie Citadel, Ratchet is not surprised by the third.
    Cassiopeia: So, you...
    Ratchet: Yeah, I know, another death trap.
  • Enemy Mine: This is one of the reasons why Ratchet decides to seek out Alister Azimuth, citing the old "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" saying; if Azimuth is an enemy of Dr. Nefarious, then he is a friend of Ratchet. (And yes, Ratchet uses the term "friend" over the more appropriate "ally".)
  • Energy Weapon: An unlockable upgrade for the Constructo Pistol.
  • Eternal Engine: The Great Clock.
  • The Exact Center of Everything: The Great Clock is located at the center of the universe (give or take 50-ft).
  • Face–Heel Turn: Azimuth pulls one of these when he isn't allowed to use the Great Clock to go back in time.
  • Face Palm: Another Funny Background Event from Ratchet while Qwark is boasting, this time near the beginning of the game.
  • Failure Knight: General Azimuth is this until he goes a bit crazy and tries to reverse his failure.
  • Fantastic Rank System: Alister Azimuth is a "Four Bolt Magistrate".
  • Fire-Forged Friendship: A one-sided one between Azimuth and Ratchet (the latter already viewing the former as a "friend") when they meet.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • The monster summoned by the Rift Inducer 5000 is named "Fred".
    • Also, Snowball, Qwark's Agorian War Grok.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Qwark somehow tames a War Grok.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Vorselon's message to Ratchet: "Only one lombax need perish tonight. If you'd be willing to take his place..."
    • There's also part of Clank's encounter with the Plumber, just prior to the six minutes hint: "No, you'll have to do this one alone..."
  • Foil: Orvus to General Azimuth. Both are fathers or father figures to our titular heroes, heavily involved with their origins and the only two people in the universe to have answers for their existential questions. Both are also Horrible Judges Of Character that led directly to their respective downfalls. Both have a sense of For the Greater Good, but ultimately have very differing perspectives on it. While Azimuth is focused on the Greater Good for Lombaxkind and puts them above everyone else, Orvus is concerned about the safety of the entire universe. Azimuth also regularly appeals to Ratchet's sense of loneliness by trying to get him to put their kind over himself, while Orvus ultimately wants what's best for Clank and would've very likely accepted his refusal to become the Great Clock's keeper. Their philosophies on the universe having "a sense of humor" also demonstrates this contrast. Azimuth bemoans the sense of humor as cruel and punishing when he brings up the purge of his kind, never having been able to move past it. Orvus, however, sees it as wonderful and believes that it all boils down to you knowing how to take a joke - or rolling with the punches that life throws at you.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: While Nefarious is rehearsing his (Epic Romantic Action Comedy) Space Opera, if you're watching very closely, you can see Qwark's emblem on his blaster.
  • Funny Background Event: In the Agorian Battleplex - while Qwark is trying to woo the audience, in the background Ratchet is being mauled by the War Grok.
  • Gainax Ending: Parodied. According to a radio broadcast, the season finale of Lance and Janice was one of these. Doctor Nefarious is not happy.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: This game has a nasty bug that apparently makes two lines of code continuously conflict in the background while both attempt to resolve. Long story short, never use the Dynamo weapon in the Battleplex Arena fights, especially the ones that have respawning ammo crates. It can lead to crashing your PS3's operating system and causing a player to have to factory reset.
  • Game Within a Game: "My Blaster Runs Hot - The Game". It's a twin-stick shooter that has Qwark and Rusty Pete (in 2-player mode) facing down hordes of robots.
  • Gangsta Style: Discussed when you do the final Bronze Cup challenge for the first time. Captain Qwark points out that if you hold your gun sideways, it'll hurt your accuracy, but also make you look more menacing.
  • Hand Wave: The Pirate radio explains the absence of Angela Cross, saying that Max Apogee traveled to the Bogon Galaxy to save her from the potential wrath of Percival Tachyon, and they are both missing in action, but the possibility of them using another Dimensionater to flee to the Lombax dimension is brought up. It also officially confirms that Angela is a lombax, and that female lombaxes dont have tails.
  • Hover Skates: Ratchet uses a pair of hoverboots to speed around and jump off ramps.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: To quote Lawrence: "Might I suggest engaging the safety, so as not to kill any more troops?" Qwark also majorly fails gun safety when he gestures to his "intelligence" by pointing a gun to his head.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • A familial example. In his final message to Clank, Orvus states that while he does want Clank to watch over the Great Clock in his place, like any father, he's nonetheless content that Clank does whatever "makes him feel whole." With this knowledge, Clank leaves the Clock in Sigmund's care and departs with Ratchet.
    • Ratchet was willing to do the friend-variant for Clank, by allowing him to stay and watch over the Great Clock. Luckily, Clank belives that he can't just leave Ratchet after losing Azimuth, and stays with him, at least till he finds his own family.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The Fongoids are willing to share the secret of the Zoni to Ratchet shortly after he arrives on their planet, in contrast to Tools of Destruction with the mysterious Lombax Secret that drives the plot.
      • After questioning how Orvus is talking to him without physically seeing him, Sigmund tells Clank in the second Great Clock sector that Orvus’ location is a secret, and isn’t willing to tell him anything else.
    • When first asked why he didn't leave with the Lombaxes, Azimuth wistfully answers: "Sometimes the universe has a cruel sense of humour". At the end of the game, Orvus concludes his final message to Clank by saying: "The universe has a wonderful sense of humour. The trick is learning how to take a joke."
    • Nefarious’ death, which is played for laughs, is shortly followed by Ratchet falling to his demise, which is played far more seriously.
      • Ratchet falling at the Great Clock can also be considered an echo of the same thing happening on Planet Reepor in Tools of Destruction, OR the aforementioned "mid-air rescue" of Clank at the Valkyries' base.
    • When we first meet Azimuth, he tries to kill Ratchet which leads to a rail grinding segment. At the end, he accomplishes this temporarily, anyway, which — in the long run — leads to another rail grinding segment.
    • During the Battle of Axiom City, Ratchet identifies Alister’s motivation for the battle as "reward over consequence"; this also explains why he wants to save the Lombaxes while ignoring the consequences of the Great Clock’s instability.
  • Just Between You and Me: Hilariously played with:
    Ratchet: What is it this time, Nefarious?
    Dr. Nefarious: Part of me wants to let you live long enough to find out. But the other part of me really wants to kill you!
    [A klaxon sounds off]
    Ratchet: Well, now we know what he went with...
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: The American case cover uses this with the eponymous characters to contrast them as "Flesh and Steel".
  • Kent Brockman News: Kip Darling and Pepper Fairbanks on the radio.
  • Killed Off for Real: This game features an impressive death count of important characters: Alister Azimuth, Lord Vorselon, Cassiopeia, Carina and Libra.
  • Let's Dance: Clank delivers one of these in his typical Spock Speak manner to the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler as the battle begins.
    Clank: It is time, Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler. Let us dance.
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics:
    Qwark: This Lombax is young. He does not understand that being a hero is 45% strength, 60% bravery, and 10% raw intelligence.
    Ratchet: That's 115%!
    Qwark: You're welcome.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: As revealed at the very beginning of the game, Orvus is Clank's father, in the sense that he's the source of Clank's soul.
  • MacGuffin Location: Doubling as a Cosmic Keystone, The Great Clock is a colossal space station constructed at the center of the universe, give or take fifty feet. In the distant past, the misuse of time travel posed a significant threat of a Reality-Breaking Paradox. To keep the universe's structure intact, the Zoni built the Great Clock, which serves as a cosmic pacemaker. The game's antagonists believe that by commandeering the Great Clock, they can manipulate it as a time machine to alter history as they see fit, oblivious to or obstinately rejecting the fact that doing so would result in the universe's implosion.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The RYNO V only fires a few missiles at lower levels, but throws out about 2 every second once you level it up to the max.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right:
    • Nefarious's ultimate goal is to use the Great Clock to go back in time and not only undo his previous defeat at Ratchet and Clank's hands, but make it so that, after sufficient meddling with the time continuum, a universe has been created where villains always triumph over the heroes. An excerpt from the speech where he reveals this provides the page quote for this trope.
    • Since this would mean allowing every evil plan ever foiled by the heroes to succeed, from Chairman Drek onward, logically, General Azimuth's plan would have caused this too, since it would have prevented Ratchet from ever meeting Clank.
  • Market-Based Title: Like its immediate predecessors, A Crack In Time dropped the "Future" from the title.
  • Meaningful Echo: Not an immediately obvious one, but so perfect it can't be anything but intentional. Late in the game, Ratchet rescues Clank by using his Hoverboots to catch him in mid-air and save his life. This mirrors the ending of the original game when Clank uses his Thruster-Pack to push Ratchet in mid-air and save his life. The latter happens in the adventure where the two first meet, the former when they meet up again after their first significant time apart from each other. It's also worth noting that, in their respective games, both the Hoverboots and the Thruster-Pack are used for the same tasks: gliding through the air and crossing horizontal distances quickly.
  • Mistaken Identity: Vorselon mistakes Ratchet for Azimuth early on, despite them looking nothing alike.
  • More Dakka:
    • The 'Rapid Fire' mod for the Constructo Pistol. Shoots so quickly even tapping the fire button for a split second will fire off 2-3 shots.
    • Unlike prior weapons in the family which either shot a bunch of missiles or a bunch of beams, the RYNO V shoots a bunch of bullets, with missiles still present, but in a much smaller quantity.
  • My Brain Is Big: Terachnoids. Loading screen trivia implies that they actually house multiple brains in their massive skulls, as the smartest was born with seven and a half.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Alister Azimuth gets one of these moments after you defeat him, since he's about to get the entire universe destroyed.
  • My Greatest Failure: A big plot point in Tools of Destruction was that Tachyon was able to defeat the Lombaxes and conquer the galaxy due to having improved Lombax technology. This game reveals that Azimuth was the one who gave Tachyon access to the tech. (Ironically, he did so because he believed that Tachyon's improvements would help defend the galaxy.) This mistake weighs on Azimuth so much it drives him a bit insane, which comes to a head in the climax of the game.
  • Mysterious Waif: Clank, more or less. Not a very standard one, but his backstory certainly fits.
  • New Game Plus: Challenge Mode returns once again, letting you start a harder version of the game from the start, but with all your weapons, bolts and Gold Bolts, Constructo upgrades, items and Zoni retained. The only thing you lose are the gadgets you obtain throughout the game, minus the Swingshot.
  • No Scope: While this was effective in previous games, ACiT discourages the tactic by giving the Plasma Striker the ability to shoot weak points on enemies for extra damage. These can only be seen and hit when scoped in.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • If you have save data for Quest for Booty, Ratchet gets the "Captain Ratchet" costume, which is his current armor with a pirate hat. Rather than wearing the hat on his armor, the helmet is simply removed, allowing the player to see Ratchet's face even if they're using the normally head-obscuring Hyperflux armor.
    • If you have a Tools of Destruction save file, several of the weapons that had previously appeared in Tools of Destruction (Mr. Zurkon, Groovitron Glove, Mag-Net Launcher, and Buzz Blades; the Negotiator, as a Battleplex prize, is not affected) will be discounted at the GrummelNet vendor.
  • Only Friend: Qwark barrels right past simply implying this during the intro to Ratchet's side of the story, and states it like a fact. While this was true early on in the series (mostly) it certainly isn't this far down the line. Still heart-wrenching, considering that Ratchet and Clank are certainly each others' closest friend, and were, at one point, the only one the other had.
    Qwark: Luckily for Ratchet, Captain Copernicus L. Qwark was on the case! His mission: rescue the lombax's one and Only Friend. Yup, without Clank, Ratchet was alone in the universe — alone. Alone. Alone!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Nurse Shannon is just Captain Qwark dressed up in a nurse's outfit with a red wig and a falsetto voice. He even still wears his green skin-tight bodysuit with attached balaclava.
    • The Nefarious hologram might count too, due to the fact that Ratchet's so short.
  • Peninsula Of Powerleveling: The final sector has two. As a part of the story, Ratchet needs to defeat an Argorian invasion, and the fighters are tough. As in, take a level 1 weapon and fully upgrade it in 3-5 minutes tough. The second place is a moon full of Agorians who are just as tough as the aforementioned invaders. Considering this place only has one gold bolt, it really seems the devs put it there so you could max out any guns you didn't have in the first peninsula.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: On the first visit to Vorselon's ship, you rip out some hyperspace fueling modules. The female A.I. announcing this rolls along fine with the primary and secondary ones, but stumbles at the third:
    Ship A.I.: Um... third...iary hyperspace fueling module released.note 
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Apart from Ratchet's trademark Comet Strike, the Spiral of Death/Carnage shoots saw-blades just like a boomerang.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: My Blaster Runs Hot is a rare In-universe example.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Agorians.
  • Put on a Bus: While Talwyn doesn't appear in the game, it is suggested that she simply didn't come with him on this particular mission rather than dropping off the radar entirely.
  • Recurring Boss: Lord Vorselon.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Alister Azimuth. Somewhat overlaps with Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Nefarious's room in his flashback. He also appears to be eating the crayons he used to, er, decorate.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Discussed by Ratchet and Azimuth. When Ratchet realizes that if they use the clock to change time, he'll never have met Clank, Azimuth suggests those that actually activate the clock will remember the previous timeline, noting that he can't guarantee it. Proven to be true when Clank uses the clock to rewind time by six minutes to save Ratchet. Unless of course that was his quantum actuator doing its thing...
  • Rust-Removing Oil: Rusted out machinery will be back in order by splashing them with oil collected by the OmniSoaker.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Demonstrated several times over the course of the game by Qwark, mostly, but Ratchet gets an impressive scream as the War Grok throws him across the arena.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Ratchet and Azimuth's motivation. Later subverted when it turns out it wouldn't really work and Ratchet and Clank must stop Azimuth.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • The Constructo-Shotgun can be downplayed, averted, or played straight, depending on if you give it the Spread, Choke, or Double Barrel, respectively.
    • The Sonic Eruptor downplays this trope.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own section on the page.
  • Slow Clap: After Qwark's passionate speech in the Agorian Battleplex to "save" Ratchet, the crowd starts slowly clapping.
  • Smoke Out: When Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark make their way onto Nefarious's space station, Qwark tries to use this once they get caught by the actual Nefarious. Unfortunately, he didn't realize the smoke bomb doesn't actually cause Offscreen Teleportation.
  • Something We Forgot: When Racthet, Clank, and Qwark are caught by Nefarious, the doctor has the former too shot out into space on a chunk of rock as payback for the end of third game. The action follows the duo as they race to return to the space station and stop Nefarious, and we never see Qwark again...until the end, when it's revealed he's also stuck on a rock drifting through space. With Snowball, the violent space beast he tamed in the arena, who is now hungry for blood.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: The final boss, Azimuth, can spin his wrench fast enough to deflect anything you shoot at him, even RYNO bullets.
  • Spread Shot:
    • As in Tools of Destruction, the Negotiator's upgraded form, the Judicator, shoots three rockets at once, with one going straight ahead while the others fly diagonally to its sides.
    • The Spiral of Death, when upgraded to the Spiral of Carnage, does just about the same thing.
  • Stealth Pun: In the second cutscene (with the "Orb of Gratuitous Immobilization") you can hear part of the Westminster chime. This is right before we're informed that Clank is in the Great Clock.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Azimuth figures out that Ratchet's a real Lombax instead of a holo-guised assassin due to his striking resemblance to his father, Kaden.
  • Take Me Instead: As part of his attempt to rescue Ratchet at the end of the first tournament on the Battleplex, Captain Qwark offers himself in Ratchet's place.
    Qwark: ...All I ask is that you name something impressive in my honor! Perhaps a school, or a food court.
  • Tempting Fate: Discussed.
    Captain Qwark: The key to surviving situations like this is to avoid phrases such as "it's too quiet in here" and "everything's gonna be alright".
  • There Is Another: Alister Azimuth, just about the only Lombax aside from Ratchet remaining in the universe. Sadly, he doesn't live past this game.
  • Too Many Halves: In one of his many boasts, Qwark explains to Ratchet that "being a hero is 45% strength, 60% bravery, and 10% raw intelligence". Ratchet doesn't fail to lampshade that something doesn't add up.
  • Tragic Keepsake:
    • Azimuth's pocket watch becomes one after his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The hoverboots Azimuth gives Ratchet originally belonged to Ratchet's father, Kaden.
  • Tron Lines: Ratchet's armor is typically grey or black with neon light lines for accent.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Nefarious during his flashback to life post-asteroid.
  • Verbal Tic: All Fongoid males have one. The loading screen trivia mentions that scientists have no idea why it's the case, but also that the leading theory of time travel as the cause was dismissed as "both laughable and impossible" by the scientist who came up with it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Azimuth begins to break down towards the end, killing Ratchet to meet his goals. His ranting during the final boss battle is also increasingly unhinged; it takes a My God, What Have I Done? moment to calm him down.
    • It's heavily implied that Nefarious went through one after being rescued from the asteroid, before recovering... no thanks to that anger management class.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Libra, one of the three leaders of the Amazon Brigade, has an extremely masculine voice, unlike the other two who have more traditionally feminine sounding voices.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Happens at the beginning of the raid on the Nefarious Space Station, but Qwark can brace the walls forever, and all you have to do is just blow up some Mooks in the enclosed space before the trap is released.
  • The War Sequence: The Battle of Gimlick Valley, near the end of the game.
  • We Have Reserves: Dr. Nefarious's response to accidentally killing his minion with an "unloaded" gun is to simply press a Big Red Button to call in the next (completely terrified) minion.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: General Azimuth after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Wham Shot: Azimuth rescues Ratchet and Clank from Dr. Nefarious after his defeat, but then he attacks them, succeeding in killing Ratchet, and once Clank undoes the death, he becomes the Final Boss.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The game fails to resolve several plotlines that Tools of Destruction left hanging. The comic series may resolve them yet, though.
    • One thing does get solved, though; if you listen in on the radio, you can catch a report that seems to imply that Max teamed up with Angela from the second game (now apparently confirmed to be a Lombax), and docked on Kerchu where they used the Dimensionator to flee to wherever the Lombaxes were. The radio also plays a song dedicated to Ratchet from Talwyn, indicating that she wasn't totally forgotten.
    • At the end of Tools of Destruction, Tachyon yells at Ratchet that he is the only one who knows Ratchet's true purpose in Polaris and his true name. This is brought up in the final cutscene where Clank confirms that he detected no lie in Tachyon's voice. Despite this, this ends up never being referenced again, and Azimuth's account makes it sound like Ratchet being left behind was just a mistake.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Lord Vorselon becomes this at the end of Ratchet's final rematch against him. After you finish the real part of the fight, his suit completely falls apart and he's reduced to a disembodied head. At this point, he can't attack and the only way to lose the fight is by quitting or getting a power outage. You don't even have to attack him—Ratchet can kill him by simply stepping on him. He's as easy to beat as Bob The Goldfish.

"The Clock, much like time itself, is a gift, and not to be tampered with. But like any father, my only wish is that my son does that which makes him feel whole. You are an intelligent and logical being, Clank. But intelligence and logic would have been wasted gifts without honor and loyalty. I am proud to see you came into those on your own. So, should the Clock be too small for your plans, I pray the cosmos light the way towards a future you yourself design. And remember, the universe has a wonderful sense of humor. The trick is... learning how to take a joke! Heeheeheeheehee!"

Alternative Title(s): Ratchet And Clank A Crack In Time


Dr. Nefarious

Dr. Nefarious does not simply chew the scenery. He ANNIHILATES it!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilIsHammy

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