Released in November of 2002, Ratchet & Clank is Insomniac Games's first release for the PS2 system. A game known for wacky weapons and varied gameplay, it has spawned many sequels and even a spinoff. In this first installment, the duo travel the galaxy in search of the evil chairman Drek before he destroys Ratchet's home planet.
Category Note: Wall clipping and jumping up walls that normally cannot be climbed are the glitches that define a large-skip glitches run.
Best time with large-skip glitches and deaths: 1:11:56 by Robert 'RJWaters2' Ashbaugh on 2008-07-27, done in 16 segments.
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I had initially wanted to keep this run silent until completion to lessen the pressure of working on it, but that ended quickly. A revival of the thread and my needs for attention lead to constant up-to-the-segment trial, tribulation, and success reports. I started the run out of boredom with the other runs, and having always been a R&C fanatic. It was 'started-over' mid-run 3 times in total due to unforeseen route changes or new discoveries (very juicy ones). When I decided to do the run, I knew not one of the major glitches used in the run. The decoy glove I knew about, but never how to apply it -- didn't ever use it for the 2 times in the run I use it. So everything you see was discovered while planning, or in some cases, running (see Gemlik Base, end battle).
The major discovery I had was first experienced on Eudora, I was trying to go OoB from the alcove with the crates in it. I noticed I could walk on the wall a bit, then I found the technique I've coined as 'slope-intercepting'. THIS is the key to the run being over half an hour shorter than any other. With either backpack, but helipack for ease/stability, you intercept the slope while gliding, then jump again. I've found many uses, but only the best go into this run. This technique is not the only major timesaver, but it lead to most others. I'd try to do a S-I (slope-intercept abbrv.) then find a whole new shortcut (see Quartu, first visit) and I am a lucky dog for discovering this S-I, along with every other thing. (ESPECIALLY the Mother Alien and Quark battles)
On to specific comments.
Veldin: First world seems terribly slow, that's because it is. Much bolt farming had to be done here to meet the price of Quark's bouncer. Even more farming was done in my first run (the finished and published one here is the third) because I thought I'd need the Blaster to fight the boss on Umbris, perish the thought. I know now the bomb glove is faster anyway. Anyway.
I should've gone into Ratchet's house, ~1000 bolts extra would've made this much less painful. For those who don't know, there are 3 different types of monetary bolts. The regular off-pink and dull silver ones (from normal crates); the slightly more expensive dark silver and off-copper bolts (from most non-one-hit-kill-enemies); and the highly worthwhile copper-bronzish bolts (from the robo-parrot dispensers on Gemlik Base, among others). Veldin has only the first type.
I bunnyhop because it's faster and seems more techniqued than walking.
Novalis: Keeping Ratchet dry on the way to the plumber is a nice timesaver. After jumping the cliff, I hyperstrike because I pressed (circle) to equip bomb glove while bunnyhopping, so I pressed (square) to, I don't know, I was miles away, not even thinking about the run.
The river skip was a reason why the second run was scrapped (didn't do it then) I found it myself, then saw Tenfold had posted it in the R&C thread. Credit goes to him. I abuse the elevator physics to get some extra speed, only twice or so in the entire run. Things in this segment weren't too glitchy, and that's why I allowed it to be viewed so early on. Glitchiness is the reason I didn't show...
Kerwan: Bunnyhopping again. I was trying to bomb the Blarg into the red crate for a kill, no avail. At the luggage section, a nifty li'l timesaver for the bolt-farmers. Saves some time, but looks way more cool. Tidbit on the train part- you can long jump like I did, but grab onto the second platform's right edge, then shimmy along and jump to the third. You can get up from there and touch the infobot, but nothing happens. Shame.
At the top of the 2nd obstacle course, close call with the wall jumps. A major reason the first run was restarted is because I thought it was a good idea after buying the swingshot to longjump to the second course Island (from the swingshot Island), re-climb the second course, then jump to the gold bolt area for the ~800 bolts. Dumb dumb move. Instead I death-abuse to the ship. Sometimes I'd respawn where Helga was, but I avoid the checkpoint trigger sometimes.
Eudora: My first use of the slope-intercept. Magnificent. It allowed me to save Aridia until the next segment. I should've long-jumped more.
Aridia: Another reason I scrapped run # 2. I actually did the sand shark mission! What a fool I was. At the last swingshot part, I don't get the skill point because I didn't use enough of the targets. Blarg Tactical Station: Not doing the sandshark opened this mission in the segment instead of BTS all being one segment (run # 2's plan...) I do this one because the alien is hardest and it leads straight to clank. I bomb frogs because they drop mid-worth bolts, as do the baby aliens.
First segment in which I play only one planet. The first tresspassered room holds about 2000 bolts. Very worth it. In the baby-alien test-tube room, I'm surprised no one has done this before (that I've seen) If both are freed too close to simultaneously, the game will freeze.
The room with the gadgetron vendor is where this segment would end most. Dead, bitten, dead, fall off, dead. Bah. Forcefield? Even deactivating it early is for chumps. Though the three aliens do kill me most the time... Important to have full health for the Mother Alien fight. >.>
The skip was found because I was originally looking for a cheap timesaver. After buying the grindboots, the ship that leads back to the beginning (for those who couldn't afford the grindboots) closes up. I figured it'd be faster to take that than the grind rail (incorrect), so I'd rush to the alien room and kill myself in lava. In order to do that optimally, I'd get down to 1 HP before the alien fight by bouncing on lava (quick way to get hurt, no boss time lost). Accidentally found this gem here. Brings a tear to my eye when I find something like that.
The grind rail is faster, has bolts, and leads straight to Clank mission # 1, the tolerable of the two. Side note: the glass around the rail isn't solid. Fall right through. In the Clank mission, the first sequence break I don't remember finding, but it's faster, and shows the Gold Bolt is faux for Clank. The ledge debacle afterwards, I was trying to jump further right.
The Gadgebots are my worst nightmare. I hate the little buggers. Always getting left behind, blown up, stuck, and I can't stand this segment or segment 8, the worst thing ever. Clank could walk back at his supersonic speed, but my second death abuse is quicker.
Showcases my ace-in-the hole for speedrunning: the hydrodisplacer-cancel! Ok, not big, but swing the wrench mid-fill or -drain to keep on moving on. After the third drain, a mini-use for the mega S-I, skips refilling the pool. Much harder than it looks. Run-killer.
Sometimes when I long-jumped into the slimy tunnel, I'd clip through and could glide to the other side of the water-rising door, and wouldn't need to worry about water. It was slower on all accounts, but if I could've done it, I would've. That last long jump before the ladder in the water rising section felt so gooood. Back when I first played this game, I couldn't beat this section. I would always drown. Goes to show how a speedrunner becomes a speedrunner. (1000s of attempts while still sucking at the game >.>) Ahem.
That is the definition of just scraping by. By not collecting the ~2000 from Eudora, I got 15 bolts extra in time for the bouncer. Screw the taxi too.
This planet was #2 in terms of time spent looking for glitches. Damnable, if I'd read Psonar's post about Ghost Ratchet. I manage. Starting off with that exploit of infinitely long swingshots. I take on the turrets for they contain the highest priced bolts. I definitely need them at this point, so it's not good I skip 3 with the tree. Umbris is the hardest level in the run to stay alive in. BTS is a close second. Third case of death-abuse; refill on health.
A lot of people talk about the major timesaver of jumping around those fences, on the right edge. I miss out on that. The mines before the ladder are good for bolts, too.
Using the method I used on Kerwan, luggage area, I can get out of the 2nd fish pit without refilling it. But my Hydrodi-god-damn-splacer is full, and can't drain the 3rd pool. The fish drop mid-worth bolts, so it's cool.
After 3rd fish pit: The wall has no collision data. That I found about on glorious Youtube. What I do afterwards is my own imagination at play. Ratchet can swim on surface or underwater (after being on imaginary surface) forever, but once he ascends from under imaginary water, he drops. Lucky me. Also lucky the infobot is solid. Unlucky the cutscene doesn't trigger. Tidbit: all of the dropships in the room are collision-free, and you can't drive the Drek ships.
Battalia: Finally, another segment on multiple planets*. [*sarcasm] Another 2000 bolts from a tresspassered door. I get hit a lot there. The vent is normally slippery (can't stand on) but after breaking it, it isn't. Later, an unlikely (to be found) S-I to forego all bolt cranks.
I did the rail grind second because it ends closer to the ship than the Orxon infobot does. I earn my only skill point in the run, for not getting hit on the rails.
Gaspar: Bit of a trip-up after hitting the explosive crate. Made up for with the first try nailing of a double S-I to skip the level.
Hands-down, the most aggrivating part of running this series. The gadgebots. Uncooperative. Fragile. Idiots. This was a slow point in the run. It was running this game that I learned that Clank could use the warps the gadgebots use. Clank runs slow and can't bunnyhop. Right before the row of explosives room, I punch an explosive box because I had time before the elevator went back up. This segment isn't so bad until the after the magneboots. The mine field, ramp maze, and crab field cause so many gadgebot deaths and leave-behinds. In this maze I manage to run constantly after the first obstacle, which is good. Since I'm only as fast as my slowest gadgebot (all of 'em) I keep them in camera at all times. To keep them all alive in the crab field, I killed all the frogs and avoided crabs. Spur-of-the-moment box breaking before infobot. At 7 minutes (of game time), this is my longest segment.
Finally a new weapon. This level was another I used to have trouble with. I found the windshield trick thinking 'hah, this couldn't work!' then-facepalm-I didn't have to deal with the fish anymore. Not to waste ammo, I comet-strike until the boat stops, then kill them all ASAP to raise the boat. The main cause of failing this segment was leaving a fish behind. The jet fighter sequence went smoothly.
If it weren't for the chasing of the infobot, I could skip to the end of this level, too. Best part of this is the skipping of the magnestrip. Most attempts here ended due to crab attacks.
The runkiller here is 4 seconds in, I'd always fall in the water behind the building. The Blarg troopers drop mid-level bolts. It's faster to go around the tunnels. A rare use of the ramp-thrust after the second tunnel for extra bolts. Shooting the Planetbuster where the hit boxes overlap quickens that up.
Gemlik Base was equal to Umbris in time spent looking for glitches. Time to buy the Devastator and start this run proper! I first got the plan not to buy it after abusing the hyperstrike's homing-to-box ability. Some rare times, I would land on the wall and even jump again! It wasted time. I'm thankful that the rafters were solid (no doubt because of the visibomb gun's capabilities) after that S-I and slope-thrust abuse. The longest jump in the game by Ratchet is the jump-pause-flip-pause-thrust-glide-hyperstrike, or JPFPTGH. I don't need the hyperstrike here, or anywhere else in the run. The turrets won't shoot if you're off the edge of the platform, or on the railing. Death abuse for health and some-what-warp.
Stepping on the very edge of the button allows Ratchet to reach the elevator door before it sinks into the floor/ceiling, so I fall off early. That can be used to land back in there right-side-up. Lots of high- and mid- worth bolts.
This Quark battle is something to behold. The way I take out his protecting fleet, the timing of missiles, the actually-fighting-him. Another lucky skip based on a wild goose chase. I decided to see if the Drek ship would be there, invisible, but solid, without fighting Quark. Nothing. I step off the platform onto the runway and the red lights hit! I thought Insomniac would descend from the heavens to congratulate me, or anything as awesome. Even better than that. The light is the burners from Quark's ship taking off in slow-mo. They keep going and are cool to watch cast their glow over the stage. The magic that ensued was I tried to jump back to the rest of the stage, but came short. I died, respawned, then cutscenes started to pour. I had averted another boss. I was so satisfied, I postponed the run another two months. If I was good enough at the game to make it back, I would have never learned to skip him. Who says practice makes perfect?
Return of bunnyhop and continued bolt farming. The trick used here is when an enemy is hit, it stops what it was doing for the hit animation. That's why I kill all the tesla bots at once. They drop mid-level bolts. Shame I ran out of Blaster ammo, it would've came in handy in the next segment. I stay on the elevator so long because it moves faster than Ratchet and provides the extra leap. This is the last segment where I purposely collect bolts.
Quartu: This segment is the highlight of the run. Not in play quality, but in sheer gamebreakiness. How I was skipping this part changed a lot in the runs. When I discovered the ramp-up to the infobot room, the door would open for me from this side. Then, it wouldn't, ever again, on any other attempt. My only explanation for this I got from the weirdest glitch I'd seen. I was going through the hologuise part of Quartu, at the place after the ledge hanging. All forcefields had been deactivated, and instead of the robots there, there were 3 tesla robots (from on the way to Giant Clank) in their place. Because of this, I took in account when the room's door opened, there wasn't a robot in there as per normal, but 5 or so robot dogs from the path to Giant Clank. I have no explanation for any of it.
So, I opted just to do the Giant Clank and abuse a S-I in the first vendor room on Quartu to go straight to the race. Back then, I still acquired the hoverboard.
On the second run, I discovered that Giant Clank's (triangle) move has long distance, and I knew that killing the robot sentries would deactivate their forcefields. So, I would position Clank on the very edge of the path near the swingshot, then I would have to fall off in mid-attack to get enough distance to kill the first sentry (then pause, exit clank, and run over). This was to be in the route until I just broke down and decided I needed the decoy glove. In the current run, it should be noted how hard it is to go through that door. Quartu is the planet with the most time spent searching for a way to break it.
Drek's Fleet: The original reason I didn't buy the decoy glove and got the hologuise was this level. The first forcefield skip came about when I was just fooling around, pondering how long I could postpone this run. I just start walljumping and notice Ratchet dips in above it a bit. The hyperstrike's homing ability completes it. The rest was just luck. If the robots didn't run closer after pressing the button, I'd have to retreat until they forget me.
The second and last use of decoys prove that all flat (90 degrees with floor) walls can be decoyed through. I play it safe afterwards because getting either decoy skip right is hard enough, and was excited to do both right. And screw the gold bolt. (interesting thought)
A ho-hum segment. Hardest part is not getting hit while over a gap. Filled completely (enough) on Blaster ammo for next segment. Haven't had any since Oltanis. I kill the frogs before the magnestrip because I can't pass them hovering, and I won't walk that long strip. Last case of death abuse, for health. Those tanks aren't that big a deal if you go in at an angle and have no fear. I also kill the frogs on the other side to do the trespasser unhindered.
The last hydrodisplacer room is harder than it seems. Thanks to my hydro-cancel, I can jump in the water while it still rises. If I go under during that, it treats my point of entry as the surface (as well as the actual surface). What results is a pocket of air that leaves ratchet screwed unless the gap is less than a hyper-strike lift above him (he can't jump when he hits the pocket, just hover/fall) Try it yourself.
Giant Clank 'battle' went well. He's faster punching only when he's homing in on something, so I stop on the ramp. Drek is a plaything with the abused (triangle) shot.
Some claim it's the hardest boss battle in the series. Those people normally have 8 health and a Tesla Claw at the least. Bomb Gloving is about equal to Blastering, and I have to use up the ammo at some point. He's only slow enough to hit during the ring attack and, when on the second arena (doesn't do it on the first), the mine spewing, but you only get the splash damage from the bombs. Second round, could've gone constant been am greedy for ammo. Main cause of restarts is opening up every ammo crate in round 3 to get decoy ammo for my full glove. I throw decoy gloves out, seemingly wasting time, but I need to unload them sometime to get the Blaster ammo to spawn.
Third round, the meat of the segment. I unload decoy ammo on the rails because it spreads out his targets, meaning they don't all get destroyed in one attack (sans the rings) Again, I don't decoy because I need the diversion, I do it for ammo spawns (80% or less ammo capacity for at least 3 weapons spawns ammo - Psonar) So it's Bombs on the ring attacks, Decoys on the rails, and Blaster when I can. Damage abuse to stop Drek's last chasing-meh. Save at button because I dislike manual timing (for games without seconds in their timers) and I need to know if that was good enough. And it was good enough for me.
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