||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2014)|
|Ratchet & Clank character|
|First game||Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (2004)|
|Voiced by (English)||Armin Shimerman|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Fumito Yamano|
Doctor Nefarious is a fictional character and the primary antagonist from Insomniac Games' Ratchet & Clank video game series. He has a main role in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, plus cameos in Ratchet: Deadlocked and Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty.
Most of what is known about Doctor Nefarious' past comes from the less-than-reliable Qwark comics featured in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. Originally an organic humanoid with an abnormally-large head, Dr. Nefarious first appeared when he created an army of Amoeboids to infest Blackwater City and destroy all life. After fending off the Amoeboids, Captain Qwark traced Nefarious to a robot factory on planet Magmos and cornered the villain. Upon meeting him, Qwark recognized Nefarious as one of the kids he bullied and humiliated in high school. As Qwark tried to give him a wedgie "for old times' sake", Nefarious fell off his catwalk and crashed into the machinery below, which ultimately led to his transformation into a robot.
In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Nefarious appears unleashes the Biobliterator, a doomsday device that turns all organic life into robots so that he can convert all under his "benevolent, iron-fisted rule". He also attempts to bring Clank over to his side, being a big fan of the small robot's appearances in the "Secret Agent Clank" holovision show (though Nefarious thinks the show is actually real). When Clank refuses, Nefarious has him captured and replaced with a lookalike robot named Klunk. Eventually, Ratchet rescues Clank and destroys the Biobliterator, forcing Nefarious and Lawrence to teleport away to safety. In his haste, however, Nefarious fails to set a destination and they both end up stranded on a drifting asteroid in deep space for between "5 or 10,000 years".
He makes a cameo appearance in Ratchet: Deadlocked alongside Lawrence, both still stuck on the same asteroid as they pass by the just-destroyed ruins of the DreadZone Station. Enraged at his dashed hopes of rescue, Nefarious takes his anger out on Lawrence only to freeze up again. In Tools of Destruction, Nefarious's wallet turns up in the Imperial Fight Festival on Mukow as lost property, a possible hint that his asteroid came upon that planet.
Dr. Nefarious later returns as the main antagonist in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (which is foreshadowed in the ending of Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty). Having crash-landed on the planet Zanifar and gained the trust of the local Fongoids, Nefarious explains that as he tried to comprehend how his past evil plans had always failed, he learned of the Great Clock and devised a plan to use it to alter history so that the villains always defeat the heroes (unaware of the fact that his plan would result in the Universe's destruction). Nefarious uses his trust with the Fongoids to have them build a fortress for himself, then summons the creator of the Great Clock, Orvus, to extract information from him regarding the Clock's operation. Though Orvus remains defiant and escapes, Nefarious learns that Clank is the key to accessing the Clock.
Two years later (the present day in which the game takes place), Nefarious has moved from his fortress to a large space station designed in the image of his head and is terrorizing the Polaris Galaxy with aid from Lord Vorselon and the Valkyries. His plans to harness the Great Clock have not abated, and he orders Lawrence to observe Clank in secret from within the Clock. After Clank opens the Orvus Chamber, Lawrence knocks him out and reports the news to Nefarious. The doctor then gleefully starts "Unnecessarily Evil Initiative Omega-91" by using Clank as bait to lure Ratchet into a Valkyrie ambush. With "help" from Captain Qwark, Ratchet and Clank infiltrate Nefarious's space station and destroy his fleet of ships, but are captured and brought before Nefarious. After explaining the full extent of his plans, Nefarious ejects the two heroes with his "Asteroid Flinger 5000" (installed in the case that he needs an ironic death scenario for his enemies). After surviving a crash landing on planet Morklon and going back in time to help the Fongoids win the Battle of Gimlick Valley, Ratchet and Clank commandeer a ship back to the space station and stop Nefarious from boarding his last remaining ship to the Great Clock. In the end, Dr. Nefarious is again defeated by Ratchet and Clank and falls screaming to his ship's surface. Upon landing, he suffers a complete system breakdown (characterized by random music signals and dancing) before his ship crashes into the space station and destroys it. Though Ratchet and Clank escape in time with aid from Azimuth, it is reported during the credits that Nefarious's body was not found in the wreckage. In the Ratchet & Clank comic series and All 4 One, Qwark confirms that Lawrence teleported Nefarious away in time and that he is still considered to be within the Polaris System.
Doctor Nefarious is a playable character in the game Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, where he initially triggers the plot by tricking Qwark into fighting a giant Light-eating Z'Grute only to be attacked by his own creature. When Ratchet and Clank try to stop it, they, Qwark, and Nefarious are all captured by the Creature Collector Ephemeris, and the villainous robot is forced to work with the heroes to escape. Despite his dislike of his "partners", Nefarious slowly warms up to playing the hero, even going so far as to save Qwark on a few occasions. In the end, Nefarious reasserts his supervillain attitude and escapes, though a final scene hints that he may not have been completely ungrateful for his temporary friends. Nefarious appears as an downloadable skin in Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault. Outside of the Ratchet and Clank series, Nefarious cameos in the San Francisco level of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and was originally planned as a playable character in the game alongside Ratchet and Clank. Nefarious also appeared as an unlockable Chibi-sized Minion in a patch for the game.
Johnny Liu of Game Revolution said that Doctor Nefarious' "psychotic babbling [...] strikes the right balance between threatening and comical". He was included in GameSpot's "All Time Greatest Video Game Villain" contest and reached the "Round 1a" before losing to Dr. Wily. Dr. Nefarious was listed as the sixth the best videogame villain on PS3 by PlayStation Official Magazine. IGN ranked him 65th on their list of "The Top 100 Videogame Villains", saying he is evil, "but evil in the most loveable way" and that "one of Dr. Nefarious' most charming quirks is his tendency to blow a fuse and stop mid-sentence, occasionally picking up soap opera radio waves in the process" when is under stress. GamesRadar listed Nefarious as one of "Gaming's maddest mad doctors". He was ranked seventh in the "Top Ten A.I. Characters of the Decade" article by Matt Miller from Game Informer, who wrote "Dr. Nefarious is just the villain that this sci-fi series needed. [...] A great villain can make a story, and Nefarious hits all the right notes to fit the franchise."
- Johnny Liu (November 13, 2004). "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal review for the PS2". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "All Time Greatest Video Game Villain". GameSpot. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Wordsworth, Rich (October 24, 2012). "The Top PlayStation Villains". PlayStation Official Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Dr. Nefarious is number 65". IGN. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Sterling, Jim (March 30, 2011). "Gaming's Maddest Mad Doctors". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Miller, Matt (November 24, 2010). "Top Ten A.I. Characters of the Decade". Game Informer. Retrieved January 25, 2014.