Clank, you speak nerd.
―Ratchet, asking Clank to talk to Al because Ratchet could not understand the technical talk of Al  [UYA]

Al, often called Big Al or Cyber-Al, is the owner of a large roboshack on planet Kerwan's bustling Metropolis, and was the only roboshack owner to have been publicized by Qwark. He was the representation of the classic pudgy computer geek with interests in electronics and all things Qwark. He had two siblings—Bob and Edwina—who, like he, also owned their own roboshacks around the Solana Galaxy.


Ratchet & Clank


Al as he appears in Ratchet & Clank (2002 game)

In Ratchet & Clank (2002 game), Al was first seen in a commercial for Al's Roboshack featuring Qwark. In the commercial, Qwark made the doubtful claim that Al made gadgets for Qwark when the "hero" was knee-high to a Sandmouse. Unnoticed to the duo, there was a Wanted poster of Ratchet and Clank on the side of the Roboshack. The poster was removed when the two entered the roboshack. When Ratchet and Clank asked Al about Qwark, Al informed them that he had not seen Qwark since the commercial. Al sold a Heli-Pack to the duo and installed it on Clank for 1,000 bolts.

Going Commando

In Going Commando, Al was only briefly mentioned in the opening cutscene, where Ratchet and Clank were being interviewed for the show Behind the Hero. Clank stated that they had had a wiener roast at Al's.

Up Your Arsenal

In Up Your Arsenal, Big Al was inducted in the Q-Force because of his mastery of electronics. Clank often had to "translate" Big Al's tech-talk for Ratchet. Al was first encountered on Marcadia, where the duo interrupted Al when he was trying to use the planet's laser defense system to play a Qwark vid-comic. Throughout the course of the game, he decoded two data chips containing plans for Nefarious's Bio-Bliterator. Al also accidentally declared his love to Helga over the intercom on the Starship Phoenix. He could constantly be heard over the intercom, looking for his lost Starmaster Scientific Calculator.


Al Starshield bad news

Al hears about Captain Starshield's death

In Ratchet: Deadlocked, Al was abducted by DreadZone and became the technical engineer for Team Darkstar. Al made adjustments to Ratchet's armor, and gave Merc and Green to him. While Ratchet fought for DreadZone, Al and Clank secretly tried to remove their Deadlock Collars. However, Ace Hardlight discovered this plan and shot Al with his blaster. As a result of this, Al had his arm and part of his head replaced with robotic parts.


Big Al with his new cybernetic parts

In this state, Al returned to DreadZone. He helped Clank modify the craft that took DreadZone gladiators to the stadium so that it instead flew to the control area. Later, he fled DreadZone Station in an escape craft with Ratchet and Clank. While aboard, he played messages of thanks aimed at Ratchet, including one from Qwark.

Some time after Deadlocked, Big Al went on to form the Ratchet Fan Club, with Vernon, Lucy, and Eugene (three kids rescued from Dreadzone) as his first members. Nicknamed "Big Tool" by his troop, Al gained popularity with the kids as he fought a malfunctioning vending machine, ate sandwiches with his shoes off, and fended off attacks from a rival group known as the Qwark Core Cadets. However, he was forced to step down from his position after getting into a fight over a set of Exterminator Trading Cards.

Epilog - Big Al

Big Al with the kids

Tools of Destruction

In Tools of Destruction, Al was mentioned by Ratchet, after Clank told him about the Zoni. Ratchet did not believe Clank, and thought that Al should check him out when they went home.

It was revealed that Al had a Holo-Vision show called "Big Al's Bot Wars". The citizens of Kerwan were forced to watch re-runs of the show after the attack on Kerwan.[2]

A Crack in Time

In A Crack in Time, a commercial for Big Al's Roboshack and Gaming Superstore could be heard on pirate radio.

Issue 5: Multiple Organisms

Al was seen in Ratchet & Clank: Issue 5: Multiple Organisms. He was on a screen, trying to help Qwark and Zephyr assemble a second Helios. Al was called in because the Terachnoids were busy trying to find the stolen planets. Al no longer had any robotic parts attached to him.

All 4 One

When the heroes were fighting the Light-Eating Z'Grute for the first time Pepper Fairbanks said "Tonight's battle to the death is brought to you by Big Al's roboshack".

Into the Nexus

Al invented a new upgrade for Clank named the Spotlight and installed it onto him prior to the games main events.

Other side stories and events

Going Mobile

In Going Mobile, Ratchet and Clank spoke to Al in Communication Station. He promised to send the MCGuFIN using Bio Matter Converter Technology into the Secret Agent Clank vid-comic world for the duo to retrieve. However, there was a malfunction and a power surge split the MCGuFIN into six pieces, which were scattered across different Secret Agent Clank vid-comics. Al opened up infolinks and nodes to these vid-comics. After Ratchet and Clank collected all the parts and reassembled the MCGuFIN, he told them that they would have to use an infolink in Maximillian's office to activate it. To do this, he gave Ratchet the Circuit Jammer.

Character Information


Big Al either wore a T-shirt with the Q-Force logo on it, or a T-shirt advertising Big Al's Roboshack. He wore blue or black pants and sometimes a belt with tools in it. He also wore a lab coat and round yellow-green glasses, with a telescope attached to one side.

Nicknames and aliases

The name "Big Tool" was given to Big Al for his role as leader of the Ratchet fan club.

Behind the scenes


Big Al was the very first NPC (non-playable character) to be put into Ratchet & Clank (2002 game).[3]


Big al concept

Big Al concept art

  • In the Ublik Passage, Space Pirates can be heard mentioning Big Al and his show after the attack on Metropolis. They say, "Due to that little Cragmite fella, I have been havin' to watch that Big Al's bot wars show every day in Metropolis."
  • Big Al was the only character from the Q-Force (apart from Ratchet, Clank and Qwark) to appear or be heard in the Future series. Helga was mentioned a couple of times, but Skid was not seen or heard from again after Up Your Arsenal until Ratchet and clank (2016).
  • Big Al sometimes finds feedback loops on things he is working on. In Up Your Arsenal, he was working on the laser defence facility on Marcadia, and Clank informed him about a feedback loop in the processor. He also found a loop in Ratchet's suit's speech function in Deadlocked.
  • Al shows a liking for Helga, as he mentions how he likes Helga over the Starship Phoenix, while the intercom is accidentally on.
  • Al's name when typed as "Al" looks exactly like the abbreviation "AI," meaning artificial intelligence. This may or may not be a mere coincidence.
  • Big Al shares the same name as a Vocaloid by Power FX, although it is merely coincidental and Ratchet and Clank's Big Al was invented first.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, there is a trick that can be performed in a hoverboard race called the "Big Al."



Notes and references

  1. Ratchet & Clank 2010 Wall Calendar
  2. This was revealed after asking IRIS what happened to Kerwan after the attack.
  3. This information can be found in the Concept Art of the Goodies menu after defeating Drek.

See also

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