Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank)
This article needs to be updated.(October 2021)
|Ratchet & Clank character|
|First appearance||Ratchet & Clank (2002)|
|Created by||Insomniac Games|
|Designed by||David Guertin|
|Voiced by||Mikey Kelley |
James Arnold Taylor (2003–present)
|Species||Lombax (Cat-like creature)|
Ratchet is one of the titular protagonist game characters of the Ratchet & Clank video game series. In the English versions of the games, Ratchet is voiced by Mikey Kelley in the first Ratchet & Clank and by James Arnold Taylor since the second game.
Ratchet is an anthropomorphic character known as a Lombax. His first appearance was on Planet Veldin, but it is later revealed in the series that Ratchet was originally born on the Lombax home-world of Planet Fastoon in the Polaris Galaxy and later sent to Planet Veldin in the Solana Galaxy by his father to protect him from Emperor Tachyon. Growing up on Veldin, Ratchet longed to travel to new worlds and even built his own ship.
Shortly after completing his ship, Ratchet met a diminutive robot fugitive whom he dubbed Clank, who helped him to leave Veldin and fulfill his dream of travelling. From this point on, Ratchet and Clank traveled extensively through the Solana, Bogon and Polaris Galaxies, saving them on several occasions.
Ratchet also appears as a playable character in Hot Shots Golf Fore!, Jak X: Combat Racing, PlayStation Move Heroes, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Mediatonic's Fall Guys and the PlayStation 4 version of Super Bomberman R, and in cameo appearances in Jak II and Astro's Playroom.
Ratchet was originally envisioned by Insomniac Games Vice President of Programming Brian Hastings as a space-traveling reptile alien who would collect various weapons as he progressed through the game; Ratchet's final form was decided upon after Insomniac looked at various terrestrial creatures, such as dogs and rats, and feline features stood out to them because of the sense of agility associated with it. In response to the negative critical reception of Ratchet's design and personality in Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet's personality was altered in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando to be "less cocky, ...much more friendly to Clank, and... able to handle himself better in stressful situations without being impetuous".
Ratchet tends to be headstrong and is usually not afraid to voice his opinion. During the first game he had a short temper, which he eventually learned to control in later titles. Yet at the same time, Ratchet can be self-conscious and often appears concerned with how people view him as a person. He is also deeply attached to his friends, although at times this relationship can be strained. Following the second game in the series, Ratchet becomes a well-trained commando, with great knowledge of weapons, close-quarters-combat and athletic ability.
On Mikey Kelley's vocal performance as Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank, Douglass C. Perry of IGN commented that "while Ratchet strives for that perfect dude-like teenager vibe, the voice actor generally hits the mark." Ratchet's in-game model in Ratchet & Clank, particularly his facial animations and fur, was praised by Louis Bedigian of GameZone. Gavin Frankle of Allgame found it hard to form an emotional bond with Ratchet or Clank, saying that Ratchet is "your typical teenager [...] who desires nothing more than excitement and adventure". Benjamin Turner of GameSpy was highly critical of Ratchet in his review of the first game, citing his uninteresting aesthetic design and rude and immoral demeanor as reasons for his ire. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution noted that Ratchet "starts out with a blue-collar attitude, but he's mostly there for deft observations and cutting remarks" and appreciated Ratchet not being "pigeonholed as a typical goody-goody", but concluded that he wasn't very fleshed out.
Critics took note of Ratchet's improved character in subsequent games. Perry commented that Ratchet "is no longer an angry, selfish teenage furry creature from outer space. He's a commando, a little wiser, a little more forgiving and a lot more palatable. Though still furry..." Carlos McElfish of GameZone, describing Ratchet's in the previous game as a "laughably confident, smart-alecky hot-shot", commented that Ratchet's new voice forces a psychological reset in the minds of players. Jeremy Dunham of IGN noted that Ratchet's "Why me?" delivery is "spot on." Ratchet was voted as the sixteenth top character of the 2000s decade by Game Informer's readers.
- "Every cameraman reference in Astro's Playroom". Gamepur. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- McLaughlin, Rus (October 30, 2007). "IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2009. Additional pages archived on January 1, 1970: Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.
- Big Gaz (December 14, 2002). "Ratchet and Clank Interview". Gameplanet. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- Talon, Durwin S. (2004). "David Guertin on Comics & Video Games". Comics Above Ground: How Sequential Art Affects Mainstream Media. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 80–82. ISBN 1-893905-31-4. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- Turner, Benjamin (May 8, 2003). "Ted Price on Going Commando". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2009. Additional pages archived on January 1, 1970: Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.
- Douglass C. Perry (2002-11-04). "IGN: Ratchet & Clank Review". IGN. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
The voice acting is solid, if not familiar, too. While Ratchet strives for that perfect dude-like teenager vibe, the voice actor generally hits the mark. Clank is also quite engaging, and in some cases, charming, especially when he finishes a level or gains a weapon. Many of the supporting characters offer the same kind of commercial quality voices found in Jak and Daxter, and some of the times they're quite funny. Other times they just sound commercial. The quirkier ones are best (such as the weird athletic woman at the end of the stunt course), but few stand above the standard and obvious stereotypes.
- Louis Bedigian (2002-11-12). "Ratchet & Clank Review - PlayStation 2". GameZone. Archived from the original on 7 June 2003. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
When getting up close and personal with Ratchet, you'll be amazed at how smooth his animation is. His facial expressions are top-notch. Like a character from a computer-generated movie, Ratchet's eyebrows raise when he is excited, while his mouth moves perfectly in-sync with what he is saying. Even his eyes move realistically! This is true for the other, non-playable characters as well. However, none of the NPCs are as realistic-looking as Ratchet. Ratchet's skin (if you can call it that -- it looks kind of furry) has nice, vibrant, detailed textures that make him look even better.
- Frankle, Gavin. "Ratchet & Clank". Allgame. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Benjamin Turner (2002-11-13). "GameSpy.com - Review". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 14 September 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
First, Ratchet sucks. Based on design alone, Ratchet is not a very interesting lead character. However, he's even worse when you start to see his personality come out in the cut-scenes. He's rude, childish, and has a decided lack of the moral fiber needed to be a hero. Clank is the complete opposite, and after a bit I began wishing the game was called Clank & Ratchet. Or Clank & Some Other Character Altogether (Who's Also Not Blinx).
- Johnny Liu (2002-11-01). "Ratchet & Clank review for the PS2". Game Revolution. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
Ratchet starts out with a blue-collar attitude, but he's mostly there for deft observations and cutting remarks. I appreciate how he hasn't been pigeonholed as the typical goody-goody, but he's not very fleshed out. Clank is somewhere between Gir of Invader Zim in form and chatty C3PO in function. He's the straight man to Ratchet's jokes, offering clueless intellectualism to contrast Ratchet's pissy humor.
- Douglass C. Perry (2003-11-11). "IGN: Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review". IGN. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
And perhaps what I like best, despite the eccentricity of the comment, is that Ratchet is no longer an angry, selfish teenage furry creature from outer space. He's a commando, a little wiser, a little more forgiving and a lot more palatable. Though still furry…
- Carlos McElfish (2003-11-21). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review - PlayStation 2". GameZone. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
The many instances of dialogue are excellently voiced, all the trademark inflections and quips that the original game established are successfully carried over to Going Commando, including Clank’s impossibly cute, awkward robot laugh. Ratchet sports an entirely new voice, forcing a psychological reset in the minds of players (He is no longer the laughably confident, smart-alecky hot-shot he was in the original game). Thank God.
- Jeremy Dunham (2004-10-28). "IGN: Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal Review". IGN. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
Captain Quark in particular is pretty hysterical, with the Bill Clinton-esque Galactic President one of the more endearing characters. Clank's dry sidekick humor is in great contrast to Jak's own sidekick Daxter (for those of you that play both games), while Ratchet's "Why me?" delivery is spot on.
- Bryan Vore (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Marchiafava, Jeff (February 16, 2011). "Guinness Names Top 50 Video Game Characters Of All Time". Game Informer. Retrieved February 2, 2018.