Captain Qwark

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Captain Qwark
Ratchet & Clank character
Captain Qwark.png
Captain Qwark as he appeared between 2007 and 2011.
First game Ratchet & Clank (2002)
Voiced by (English) Jim Ward
Voiced by (Japanese) Kenji Nomura

Captain Qwark is a fictional character from Insomniac Games' Ratchet & Clank video game series. He first appeared in the 2002 video game Ratchet & Clank as an antagonist, then the main villain of the second game, but later assists the protagonists. In the series, Qwark is a selfish, deluded coward willing to do daring acts in order to gain money and publicity. He also has been known to temporarily side with the villains and betray his allies in order to save himself. However, as of the end of the third game, he has become much more moral, though he still remains a coward. Video game commentators have provided different opinions regarding the character; some criticized his personality calling him an "idiot" and "coward", while others praised his role as a villain.

Appearances[edit]

Captain Qwark was renowned throughout the Solana Galaxy as a superhero at the time of the first game. At the same time, Qwark was also egocentric and materially-driven to the point he made a deal with Chairman Drek to be the spokesperson for the new artificial planet Drek was building. After Ratchet and Clank started interfering with Drek's plan, Qwark attempted to kill them by forcing them to battle a Blargian Snagglebeast; after the duo defeated the Snagglebeast, Qwark travelled to the Gemlik Moonbase and used Drek's starfighter in an attempt to shoot Ratchet down, only to be shot down himself. Having crash-landed on Planet Oltanis, Qwark adopted the alias "Steve McQwark" and began selling gadgets which he claimed were genuine Gadgetron products.

Following the discovery of key defects in one of his bogus Gadgetron products, the Personal Hygenator, Qwark was revealed to be a fraud and was eventually arrested. After escaping during the events of the second game, Qwark travelled to the Bogon Galaxy and re-adopted his alias as Steve McQwark before continuing to sell more of his bogus products. Determined to recover his identity as a hero, Qwark kidnapped Megacorp founder Abercrombie Fizzwidget and disguised himself as Fizzwidget in order to hire Ratchet to recover the Protopet, which had been stolen by Angela Cross so she could destroy it. After recovering the Protopet, Qwark intended to neutralise the Protopet's destructive tendencies and blame these on Ratchet and Clank; his plan failed after the Helixamorph gadget he had taken from Angela amplified the Protopet's tendencies, causing it to eat Qwark. After Ratchet defeated the Protopet, Angela fixed the Helixamorph and used it to neutralise the Protopets; as punishment, Qwark joined Megacorp as a test subject including on a new device, the "Crotchitizer".

Some time later, Qwark fled the Megacorp facility and ended up in the Jambu Forest on Planet Florana in the Solana Galaxy. Having forgotten his previous life, he joined the monkeys there until Ratchet and Clank arrived to find him and bring him back - along with his monkey companion, Skrunch - to the Starship Phoenix, where Ratchet helped Qwark to remember who he was by playing a Captain Qwark vid-comic. Now in charge of the effort to take down Dr. Nefarious, Qwark used Ratchet to carry out any field missions, while claiming credit for the success of these missions.
Qwark only entered the field after Clank revealed that Nefarious' star cruiser was docked at the Zeldrin Starport; Nefarious instead used it as a trap and activated the self-destruct sequence. Qwark remained behind claiming to have seen something important and was presumed dead after the cruiser self-destructed; in reality Qwark escaped and returned to his secret base in the Thran Asteroid Belt. Ratchet and Clank later confronted him over his cowardice, shaming Qwark and leading him to aid the duo in their final battle against Nefarious.

During the events of Ratchet: Deadlocked, Qwark remained at home on Planet Metropolis and only appeared in-game as a voiceover at the end of the game. Qwark claimed that there was no "hero-kidnapping business" as Dreadzone hadn't tried to kidnap him. It can be assumed that Gleeman Vox didn't consider Qwark to be enough of a "hero" to warrant abducting him, instead preferring to kidnap Ratchet who did count as a hero.

Several years later, Qwark sent a distress call to Ratchet and Clank after he was attacked by Emperor Tachyon's forces. In order to save himself, Qwark allied himself with Tachyon but instead worked as a double agent in order to occasionally assist Ratchet. He later attempted to destroy the Dimensionator but instead ended up delivering it to Tachyon on the ruined Cragmite homeworld of Planet Reepor. Qwark later ended up shut in a cupboard in Meridian City on Planet Igliak and remained behind to help rebuild the city after Tachyon's army ravaged it. He was later present at the Apogee Space Station when the Zoni abducted Clank.

Two years later, Qwark returned to being a "hero" after a stint in acting and joined Ratchet to search for Clank. Qwark proved to be of some use during their traversal of Planet Quantos; after later being captured by Lord Vorselon and rescued by Ratchet, Qwark helped the Fongoid residents of Quantos to escape. He later travelled to the Agorian Battleplex where he ended up fighting in the area; after being saved again by Ratchet, Qwark used his high-school drama skills to go undercover as "Nurse Shannon" on the Nefarious Space Station. Despite being captured when helping Ratchet and Clank to destroy Nefarious' fleet, Qwark escaped and with the company of his wark grok Snowball, held Nefarious' troops off so that Ratchet could reach Nefarious.

In the Ratchet & Clank comic book series, Qwark had become Galatic President at some point, leading to retribution against him by former Presidential candidate Artemis Zogg. Qwark was able to provide information on Zogg's Helios Project but played very little part in any actual heroics, instead preferring to call on Ratchet and Clank again after they were rescued from prison. Qwark was still president during the events of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One but relinquished this role at an unknown point afterwards. Six months later, the now-retired Qwark joined forces with Ratchet and Clank to defeat one of his former fans, Stuart Zurgo.

Qwark played a minor role in Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus by towing Ratchet's ship Aphelion to Planet Yerek, and later by assisting Neftin Prog and Pollyx to repair the Lombax Dimensionator.

Spin-off material[edit]

In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, Qwark began following Ratchet and Clank to see what they were doing in hopes of joining them in their next adventure. Ratchet and Clank agreed to let Qwark use their ship's computer to research his family history in return for him leaving them alone. Qwark found that his dad was Emperor Otto Destruct of the Technomites, who was planning to make himself big and begin getting credit for all the work he did. After Ratchet and Clank defeated Otto, however, Qwark discovered he was wrong and his parents were killed by defective Technomite technology. He put Otto in Otto's Intelligence Machine, planned to use to trade his intelligence with Otto's intelligence. Otto used his shrink device to shrink Qwark before it happened, but because of that, was given the intelligence of Skrunch the monkey instead of Qwark. Tiny Qwark was taken to Ratchet and Clank's apartment where they kept him hostage there. In the following games, Qwark has somehow returned to normal size.

Conception and creation[edit]

Captain Qwark was a late addition in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando; halfway through production of the game, the development team, having missed the character, shoehorned him into the game with a series of vignettes before making him the main villain of the game.[1]

Reception[edit]

In his review of Ratchet & Clank, Gavin Frankle of Allgame stated that Captain Qwark's scenes (along with Chairman Drek's) proved to be more entertaining than those of the main characters.[2] His comical trait was also commended by several reviewers, including CraveOnline,[3] GamesRadar,[4] and GameSpot, with the latter adding he is "useless and unwanted as expected".[5] He was included in GameSpot's "All Time Greatest Video Game Villain" contest and reached the "Round 2" before losing to General RAAM.[6] Qwark was included on "10 Best Dressed Gaming Characters" by CraveOnline as "Qwark is bombastic, over-the-top, and comically worthless…just like his spandex".[7] GamesRadar listed Qwark as one of the "Bestest Frenemies",[8] "cowards in gaming",[4] and "Villains that need their own spin-off games".[9] IGN ranked him 54th on their list of "The Top 100 Videogame Villains", saying Qwark's "biggest fault, [...], is his cowardice".[10] Reviewing Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, Hardcore Gamer stated Qwark "mean a lot to fans of the franchise", noting its disappointment as he should "get more screen time".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McLaughlin, Rus (October 30, 2007). "IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2009. Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2, 3, 4.
  2. ^ Frankle, Gavin. "Ratchet & Clank". Allgame. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  3. ^ Ames, Kyle (November 15, 2013). "Review: Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus". CraveOnline. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Most cowardly cowards in gaming". GamesRadar. Future plc. June 23, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ Woolsey, Cameron (November 11, 2013). "Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "All Time Greatest Video Game Villain". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "10 Best Dressed Gaming Characters". CraveOnline. July 18, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ Reparaz, Mikel (September 19, 2011). "The Top 7... Bestest Frenemies". GamesRadar. Future plc. p. 2. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ Cooper, Hollander (June 23, 2012). "The Top 7... Villains that need their own spin-off games". GameSpot. Future plc. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Captain Qwar is number 54". IGN. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ Dunsmore, Kevin (November 11, 2013). "Review: Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved March 17, 2014.