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Video Game / Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus

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"The universe looks at you and sees a hero. But do you know what I see? A coward. Someone who lost the guts to find his race."
Vendra Prog

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus is the first Ratchet & Clank game since A Crack in Time that doesn't focus on multiplayer. It's intended to serve as an "epilogue" to the series, going back to the style of the Future games and closing out the different plot elements of those games, while at the same time utilizing new gravity-based gameplay mechanics. It was released on the PlayStation 3 on November 12, 2013.

In this installment, Ratchet and Clank must pursue Vendra and Neftin Prog, a brother-sister duo who attempt to bring their race into the universe, with disastrous effects. The game is shorter than most installments, and serves as the epilogue to the Future series. Following the release of the 2016 re-imagining of the first game, the next game in the main Ratchet & Clank continuity following this one is 2021’s Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - released eight years after Into The Nexus.

Now I prey on these tropes because the economy is in the sh—

  • Action Bomb: One of the creatures on planet Thram (referred to as a Bursting Blekko by the hint screen) will charge towards you and detonate the large growth on its back.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: The game isn't set during Christmas, but there is a weapon called the Winterizer that turns enemies into snowmen while playing Jingle Bells.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you are a certain height off the ground, you can't do your slam attack, which is nice if you're gliding over a large pit. This also holds true for the Netherverse puzzles, wherever the ground may be.
    • The "For Cronk and Zephyr" Skill Point, which requires you to beat Neftin Prog without taking damage, can also be received by beating his robotic double in Destructapalooza with the same criteria.
  • Assist Character: Mr. Zurkon returns, and even brings his wife and son into the mix if leveled enough.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Plasma Striker returns, with its ability to display and hit weak points for additional damage intact. In this game, however, you can purchase upgrades to increase the amount of extra damage that is done. One upgrade even slows down time when zoomed in, allowing you to use the sniper more effectively without needing to keep away from the enemies.
  • Background Music Override: Firing the RYNO VII or the Winterizer will change the background music to "Night On Bald Mountain" or "Jingle Bells", respectively.
  • Badass Family: Upgrading Mr. Zurkon to level 2 brings his son into the mix, and level 3 makes it a family when Mr. Zurkon's wife joins the team.
    Mrs. Zurkon: The family that slays together, stays together.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Like the first game, upgraded gold versions of weapons can be purchased with gold bolts. Oddly, they're still referred to as "Omega" weapons.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The Blazebot (the final challenger in the Bronze Cup on Planet Thragg) is newly single and is looking for someone who enjoys old films, going to the gym, and setting fire to pretty much anything.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Vendra and Neftin Prog.
  • The Bus Came Back: Talwyn returns in a larger role following her absence in A Crack In Time and a slight mention in All 4 One.
  • Call-Back
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Mr. Zurkon retains his fairly small build dominated by his large head, but Mrs. Zurkon is designed with a much larger and rounder body.
  • Combined Energy Attack: A downplayed example: the Zurkon family have an upgrade that will allow them to charge a shot together.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Meridian City museum contains many things, from creatures that enemies could be transformed into in past games, to a room dedicated to the Groovitron (which also contains replicas of the Valkyries from ACiT), to an interactive replica of the Biobliterator.
  • Credits Montage: The first half of the credits (before you gain control of Nether Clank) show images from throughout the Ratchet & Clank Future series.
  • Critical Annoyance: Downplayed - Ratchet and Clank will flash red when low on Nanotech, though Ratchet's ears don't droop.
  • Curse Cut Short: In the ad for Destructapalooza.
    Thug: Before Destructapalooza, I was CEO of a respectable mutual fund and brokerage firm. Now I prey on the living because the economy's in the sh-
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The controls are quite different compared to the previous main game in the series, with many changes carrying into future installments:
    • Auto-targeting is significantly downplayed compared to all previous games, instead placing a higher emphasis on manual aiming. As a result, the game plays much more like a traditional 3rd-person shooter. This change would also carry over to the 2016 reboot and Rift Apart.
    • In a positive example, Ratchet can now double-jump after performing his initial jump in any direction; previous games locked the double-jump if Ratchet started with a backflip or sideflip, frequently leading to unnecessary deaths. This change greatly improves Ratchet's mobility and was also carried over to subsequent games.
    • Gadgets are mapped to dedicated buttons, rather than being equipped with the D-pad.
      • Due to this, Circle can no longer be used to fire weapons, instead being dedicated to the Grav-Tether.
      • L1 is used to aim/strafe, rather than L2 which is dedicated to the GrummelNet Jetpack. This was reverted in future games.
    • The Comet Strike (throwing the wrench) is done by holding L1 and pressing square, rather than holding R2.
      • This is especially bad once you get the Hoverboots: in ACiT, boosting with the Hoverboots and preparing for a Comet Strike are both R2, meaning that while you were boosting, you could throw your Omniwrench simply by pressing Square. In this game, using the Hoverboots is still R2; however, this no longer simultaneously prepares the Comet Strike. This may lead to some confusion for veteran ACiT players who try to throw the Wrench while Hoverbooting and then wonder why they came to a dead stop to swing the Wrench instead, since they probably weren't also holding L1 at the time. Rift Apart would take this further and complete disallow throwing the wrench while boosting.
  • Darker and Edgier: This game seems to have a more spooky atmosphere than usual, and many of the planets visited have been evacuated thanks to being haunted by Nethers. In addition, the Progs are plotting to release an Eldritch Abomination into the Polaris galaxy from another dimension, and Cronk and Zephyr are Killed Off for Real.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The "Black and White" filter does exactly what the name implies.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Fusion Grenade, once it hits V3 and becomes the Fusion Bomb, which explodes into Pyrocidic Nitroballs. It gets better when you use your Raritanium to increase the amount of Nitroballs that fly out.
  • Disney Death:
  • Dungeon Bypass: On Planet Thram, you have to meet Neftin to come up with a plan to get Vendra back and banish the Nethers. To get to where you need to go for that mission, you have to get 10 Gargathon Horns and give them to the Smuggler to get the Hoverboots. After this, you can go and solve a light puzzle segment to get to your destination... or you can collect 30 more Gargathon Horns and give them to the Smuggler, which gives you access to jetpack fuel, and just fly up to where you need to be.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Leader of the Nethers is a gigantic mishmash of clockwork machinery and flesh who talks in something resembling Black Speech.
  • Enemy Mine: Ratchet & Neftin team up after Vendra is thrown into the Nexus by the Nethers.
  • Epic Flail: Neftin and his robo duplicate have two flails that he can use to create various types of electric shockwaves.
  • Equippable Ally: The Netherbeast weapon has a tamed Nether that sits on Ratchet's arm, which flies out to chew on anyone who dares to come near our lovable furball.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Neftin is fiercely dedicated to Vendra even though she treats him rather poorly.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Neftin protests at having to destroy the Nebulox 7 after helping Vendra escape. This could have been foreshadowing his Heel–Face Turn later on.
  • Evil Duo: Vendra and Neftin Prog, again.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Leveling up Mr. Zurkon to level 2 will cause his son to also appear when you summon him. Get Zurkon and son to level 3 and Mr. Zurkon's wife will also appear whenever you activate the weapon.
  • Fastball Special: How does Neftin create a zipline for Ratchet to deliver the Dimensionator? By shooting a Thug with a cable attached to him into a wall near the Lombax.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Played for laughs in the Meridian City Museum, which states the the Groovitron can cause death, "or worse, a social media video resulting in lifelong shame and embarrassment".
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Vendra calls the Nether Leader "Mr. Eye" in one of her audio diaries. Justified, as she's a child when she meets him, so either she started calling him "Mr. Eye", or he introduced himself as such.
  • Flunky Boss: Appears so often that it would be easier to just list the exceptions: The Voltanoid, and... Yeah, that's it.
  • Foil: Vendra is this to Ratchet; both are the last of their kinds and deal with the issue in separate ways.
  • Forced Transformation: The transformation weapon in this game is the Winterizer, which turns the enemies into snowmen.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: While Ratchet does sympathize with Vendra's desire to rejoin her kind, he admits at multiple points in the game that it doesn't excuse her and Neftin's actions of killing Cronk and Zephyr, forcing the Zarkov sector's population into homelessness, and further endangering the galaxy by their use of the Dimensionator technology.
    Ratchet: Look what you've done to the sector! How many lives are you going to let Vendra ruin just to open a few portals?
    Neftin: She's strong-headed, I'll give you that. Hard to blame her, though. Can you imagine? Seeing your kind right there, close enough to touch… but impossible to reach?
    Ratchet: Yes. Yes, I can. But wanting something too badly can change you into something you're not.
  • Genre Shift: The game turns into a gravity-based puzzle platformer during Clank's Netherverse segments.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Ratchet is allowed to compete in the Thugs-4-Less Destructapalooza even though they've been hired to kill him. The Thugs even give Ratchet prizes when he wins battles.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Once you enter Challenge Mode, you can use both bolts and Gold Bolts to buy the Omega versions of your weapons, which allows you to level them up to Level 6 and gives you a few more Raritanium upgrades.
  • Gravity Is Purple: Both the gravity streams generated by the Grav Tether and the entrances to the gravity puzzle-filled Clank levels are a very bright magenta color and match the purple color scheme of the Nethers.
  • Gravity Screw: Gravity-altering in gameplay was a deliberate theme:
    • Gravity Boot sections return, along with the ability to launch between gravity surfaces.
    • The Clank levels allow manipulation of gravity.
    • The Grav Tether lets you ride in gravity streams to solve puzzles.
    • The Temporal Repulsor and Vortex grenade both suspend enemies in midair.
  • Guide Dang It!: A minor one. Like in All 4 One, you can map your favorite weapons to each of the four buttons on the D-Pad. However, you're never told about this ingame.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Omniblaster upgrades to Dual Omniblasters at level 3, leading to Ratchet brandishing a pistol in each hand when he equips them.
    Get automatic action star status by firing two Omniblasters at the same time!
  • Hand Gagging: Pollyx does this to Ratchet in his first scene.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Neftin (and eventually Vendra) team up with Ratchet and Clank to stop the Nethers after they're released.
    • In A Crack in Time, Pollyx was a minor antagonist who was affiliated with Dr. Nefarious; he apparently switches sides prior to being captured.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Vendra isn't that tiny, but her brother Neftin's huge mechanical suit makes her appear so.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Nether Blades were a weapon created by Vendra when she was a child. The upgrades version, the Prog Blades, was modified by Neftin and bears the twins' name. You can end up using this weapon against Neftin himself later on. There's also the "An Eye for an Eye" Skill Point, which requires you to defeat the Nether Leader using only Nether-based weapons.
  • Hover Skates: Ratchet uses a pair of hoverboots to speed around and jump off ramps.
  • I Gave My Word: Neftin promises that if Ratchet and Clank save Vendra and help her defeat the Nethers, he'll turn himself in to the police for the murders of Cronk and Zephyr. At the end of the game, he says, "A deal's a deal", and heads to jail along with Vendra (though the latter needs to be carried off by her brother, and she isn't exactly pleased with being forced back into imprisonment).
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The RYNO returns in its seventh edition. It now plays "Night On Bald Mountain" as you fire it.
  • Interface Spoiler: On Thram, there's a vault that requires 6 keys, but inspecting it will give you a mission telling you to find 5 keys, tipping the player off that something's up. Sure enough, the Smuggler has the last one, and wants all the Gargathon horns before he'll part with it.
  • Jet Pack: Sadly, the Thruster Pack is missing from this game. However, one of the new gadgets is a Grummelnet Jetpack that allows you to fly anywhere... as long as you don't run out of fuel.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cronk and Zephyr are blown up when the Progs detonate the Nebulox 7. Because of their deaths, Ratchet decides that It's Personal.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The advert for Destructapalooza mentions how a jetpack attachment for a small robot companion is an "oddly specific" prize.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Dimensionator breaking and Clank taking it are some of the final moments of the game, serving as a Sequel Hook. Then as the years went by and the reimagining came and went fans began discussing these moments openly as the uncertainty of a true sequel started setting in. Fortunately a sequel would eventually come in the form of Rift Apart in 2021, where the last remnants of this game's ending being a spoiler were blown away with the plot of Rift Apart being entirely centered around Clank fixing the Dimensionator.
  • Lava Pit: The Thugs-4-Less Destructapalooza arena has one as the series-standard hazard surrounding the arena ring. Certain challenges even remove the ring entirely and have you and the enemies jetpacking in the air above the pit.
    Announcer: In case anyone cares, that's natural lava we're using. Because Thugs-4-Less cares about the environment.
  • Lighter and Softer: Somewhat Zigzagged: While the atmosphere of the game is definitely darker than the previous ones, the way the plot is handled is more like a cartoon, if not a dark cartoon at that, rather than the heavier stories of Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time.
  • Market-Based Title: The game is simply titled Ratchet & Clank: Nexus in PAL territories. Funnily enough this was also the working title for the title that ultimately ended up becoming Ratchet: Deadlocked.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In the description for Hero difficulty.
    An adventure for experienced players whose middle name may or may not be "Danger". (But it probably isn't, because that would be weird.)
  • Mighty Glacier: Neftin Prog.
    Neftin: Look at me! I'm a lot of things, but nimble isn't one of them.
  • Monster Clown: One of the creatures that can be shot out of the Nightmare Box as ammunition takes this form.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The description for the Nightmare Box (a weapon that summons the nightmares of your enemies) says that you can use it to exploit the carpool lane.
    • Similarly, the description for the RYNO VII (the seventh iteration in the line of Infinity+1 Guns) says that it makes a killer quiche.
  • New Game Plus: Challenge Mode from the older games returns, though the bolt multiplier only goes up to x10 instead of the usual x20. However, now there are sound cues to tell you when your multiplier increases or disappears.
  • No-Damage Run: Each Clank Netherverse level has a skill point for beating it without getting hit.
  • Non Standard Game Over: There's a minor one in the first level. If you don't jump onto the Thug ship when it tries to ram you the second time, it comes back and tries again. If you don't jump on that time either, you get a short scene where the Thug ship blows up the structure you're in, and declares that he's going to get a bonus. Then the game reloads your checkpoint.
  • Nostalgia Level: The museum in Meridian City is full of references to past games. There's even a boss battle against a functional replica of the Biobliterator.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Vendra considers herself the same as Ratchet due to them both having been orphaned and separated from their races at a young age, and as such, is absolutely baffled by how Ratchet decided to forego finding the Lombaxes in Tools of Destruction.
  • One-Time Dungeon: Certain sections of planets Yerek and Silox - along with the entirety of the introductory level - can't be accessed again after completion. Thankfully, none of the collectables or Skill Points are in these areas.
  • Opening the Sandbox: On Planet Thram, you originally only have access to one area on the planet; however, after getting 10 Gargathon Horns, you can get the Hoverboots, which allow you to jump off of ramps to access new areas with more Gargathon Horns, and collecting 30 more to give to the Smuggler gives you access to Jetpack fuel, which opens the rest of the area and more Gargathon Horns.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The orphanage the Progs were at seems to have been unpleasant at best; Vendra's holo-diaries mention that she and Neftin don't have any friends and the adults don't care that they're being bullied.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Due to all the work the Progs have done to weaken the barriers between this world and that of the Nethers the sector is considered haunted. It turns out that Robots do have souls or at least ghosts in the stinger when Cronk & Zephyr's ghosts show up at the end. Judging by their comments on picking up women at the robot cemetery, they're not an isolated case.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Nightmare Box summons ghosts, robot skeletons, and ghouls from a parallel universe and, when further upgraded, the summoned ghouls gain the ability to spit acid at your foes. During pre-production, the Nightmare Box was even originally called the Zombitron.‎
  • Pintsized Powerhouse:
    • Zurkon Jr., once he starts fighting with his father.
    • Vendra Prog, while not exactly tiny, is certainly very small compared to her brother, and in the climax of the game, uses her telekinesis to throw the colossal Nether Leader back through the portal leading to the Netherverse.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The backing music when the Winterizer and RYNO VII are fired are the Christmas carol "Jingle Bells" and Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" respectively.
  • Real Is Brown: Parodied with the "Doom and Gloom" filter. The graphics don't become that much duller, but the bloom is increased to ridiculous levels.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The Nether armour is the most powerful armour in the game. It's also bright purple.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: In addition to bolts coming out of everything you break, there are a few Skill Points that require you to smash various things. One of them is even called "Vandal".
  • Rise to the Challenge: In a couple of occasions on planet Silox you must escape from rising water. Which is incredibly funny given that Ratchet can still officially swim AND has an O2 Mask (as the section out in space in the first level proves), meaning that rising water shouldn't even BE an issue except for the fact that Insomniac is refusing to add swimming back in. Made even funnier when Ratchet is saying "That was a close one" as if he's forgotten how to swim completely.
  • Robot Me: One arena challenge features the Prog Bot, a robot duplicate of Neftin Prog.
    Announcer: Our engineers built the Prog Bot as a practice robot for new thug recruits, and it looks like Neftin because - well, who wouldn't want to get a chance to smack around their boss?!
  • Roboteching: The Warmonger/Peacemaker has a "surround" upgrade in the Raritanium Upgrade menu that makes the rockets home in, possibly changing their trajectory to do so.
  • Sequel Hook: Clank takes the broken Dimensionator in the very last cutscene for an unknown reason, despite knowing that it's too dangerous to use. Rift Apart reveals that he did so in order to repair it and present it to Ratchet as a gift - his doing so kicks off the events of that game.
  • Ship Tease: Towards Ratchet/Talwyn, specifically Talwyn saying Ratchet & Clank are all she has left after Cronk & Zephyr's deaths, and Ratchet telling Clank that he's not sure if he'd use the Dimensionator to join the Lombaxes, as there's more for him out there than with his people, whilst glancing at Talwyn.
    • Vendra is at least slightly flirtatious towards our hero too...
  • Space "X": Vendra is referred to as a space witch, and Ratchet is once again called a "space rat".
  • Sticky Shoes: Perhaps the most prominent use of Gravity Boots in the series, forming the basis for the gravity manipulation mechanics.
  • The Stinger: Cronk & Zephyr in the afterlife, haunting the museum in Meridian City.
  • Time Stands Still: The fully upgraded Temporal Repulsor, which is now called the Quantum Repulsor, can immobilize enemies mid-air giving Ratchet just enough time to make them eat another shot.
  • Timed Mission: Many of the arena challenges are timed.
  • The Dreaded: The Nightmare Box/Terroriser can scare any enemy in the game...Save for Mr. Eye, who scares it.
  • The Unfought: Vendra is never battled; her brother does most of the heavy lifting in the first half, and she's imprisoned in the Netherverse in the second half. By the end of the game, she's just forced Mr. Eye back into the Netherverse and is all tuckered out from doing so as her brother hauls her off to prison.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mr. Eye and the rest of the Nethers don't care about Vendra at all; they're simply using her to enter the world.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: If Ratchet gets hit by the beams of the Biobliterator replica in the Solana Galactorium, he gets turned into a robot temporarily.
  • Video Game Flight: The GrummelNet Jetpack gadget allows you to fly anywhere. Except you need to fill it at a fuel station first. And not all planets have fuel stations. And the fuel depletes the more you use it. And one planet has "No-fly Zones" that will automatically remove all your fuel.
  • Weapons That Suck: The Vortex Grenade summons a black hole that floats in the air and pulls in enemies, temporarily making it impossible for them to fight back. When it upgrades to the Singularity Grenade, it gains the ability to outright suck enemies into the black hole, instantly killing them.

"If the Dimensionator was functional, would you use it?" "To find the Lombaxes? I dunno. There was a time I would've said yes, but... at this point, there's more for me here than over there."


Video Example(s):


Vendra Prog

Vendra thinks she and her brother were forcibly taken from the Nexus and that Mr. Eye was trying to help her. It is not until it was too late that Mr. Eye sent them to the Polaris Galaxy to manipulate them into breaching the Nexus for galactic domination.

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / UnwittingPawn

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