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Lombax
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Lombax is a recurring species in the Ratchet & Clank series, and the species of the main protagonist, Ratchet. It is a humanoid feline-like species of renowned engineers hailing from planet Fastoon in the Polaris Galaxy, who developed some of the universe' most advanced technology in the form of powerful weaponry and fast spaceships, and have an innate affinity towards machinery. Notable lombax technology includes the OmniWrench and the Hoverboots.

The lombaxes were once a revered race who were revered as heroes after defeating the cragmites in the Great War. However, a surviving cragmite, Emperor Tachyon, has since wiped them from the universe. It is now thought to be a mostly extinct race, of which Ratchet, Angela Cross and Alister Azimuth are the last known lombaxes in the universe.

History

Pre-Ratchet & Clank

Ironic, ain't it? The one cragmite they didn't vaporize comes back to oppress the galaxy.
 
The Smuggler, ToD
Tachyon&lombaxes

Several lombaxes listening to Tachyon talk in a flashback

The lombaxes originated from planet Fastoon in the Polaris Galaxy, and had years ago fought the Great War against the cragmite empire. The Great War at first reached a stalemate, with the Center for Advanced Lombax Research developing a weapon to end the war: the Dimensionator. This allowed the lombaxes to banish the cragmites to another dimension entirely, making them the winners of the war. For this, they were hailed as saviors of Polaris.

Years later, the lombaxes found a cragmite egg in their trillium mines. Taking pity on the egg, they raised the cragmite, Percival Tachyon, as one of their own on Fastoon. Tachyon grew up to be an inventor who proposed many ideas for technology for the lombaxes to adopt, light years beyond what they were using, including the blueprints for weapons that would be present in his own drophyd armies later. Most lombaxes, including Kaden, were skeptical of Tachyon's ideas and motives, but Alister Azimuth trusted him, reasoning that Polaris was still a dangerous place and that they would need the help that his inventions could provide, and granted him full access to lombax technology. Tachyon then, after learning about his true origins, betrayed the lombaxes and built his own empire.

The lombaxes fought and lost against Tachyon's drophyd armies, eventually being driven back to Fastoon. Within the Court of Azimuth, they used the Dimensionator to flee to their own dimension. Alister Azimuth was exiled for his failures, while Kaden stayed behind with his son to guard the Dimensionator. Kaden then sent Ratchet to the Solana Galaxy, though Tachyon eventually caught up with and killed Kaden.

Ratchet & Clank onwards

Ratchet grew up on planet Veldin in the Solana Galaxy, where he left the planet after he met Clank, a robot with a Zoni soul who allowed him to pursue many adventures throughout the universe. In the Bogon Galaxy, Ratchet and Clank met another lombax, Angela Cross, who had worked for MegaCorp until it was hijacked by Captain Qwark for his own selfish needs. The three stopped Qwark, and Ratchet and Clank returned to Solana to defeat Dr. Nefarious. Sometime after, Angela Cross traveled with Max Apogee to escape Tachyon's persecution, fleeing to Polaris and later disappearing along with him after escaping the Cerullean Sector.[1]

Lombax dimension

Ratchet looking into the lombax dimension

Later, Tachyon found Ratchet on planet Kerwan, and tore apart the city until Ratchet was killed. Ratchet instead followed Tachyon to the Polaris Galaxy, where he learned the history of his race and found the hidden Dimensionator, located on planet Jasindu. After the Dimensionator switched hands a few times, Tachyon took it for himself and brought the cragmites back. Ratchet defeated the cragmites, and finally caught up with Tachyon, who told Ratchet of the lombax dimension and offered to allow him to join his race. Ratchet refused, reasoning that Tachyon would not leave the galaxy alone, and instead defeated Tachyon and banished him into another dimension entirely.

Ratchet later met Alister Azimuth, a friend of Ratchet's father, Kaden. Azimuth wished to find the Great Clock and use it to correct his own mistakes and bring the lombaxes back. Azimuth eventually fought Ratchet and Clank and attempted to use the Clock to rewind time. Seeing however that the Clock could not be used as a time machine and that doing so risked destroying the universe, Azimuth stopped to Clock in its tracks, dying in the process. This left Ratchet as the last known lombax in the universe.

Ratchet had another chance to be reunited with his race after Vendra Prog and her brother Neftin Prog recreated a Dimensionator to bring the nethers back into the universe. However, Ratchet left the Dimensionator broken, believing he had too much in his own dimension to leave it to join the lombaxes.

Characteristics

Biology

Angela 1

Angela Cross, the only seen female lombax

Lombaxes are feline-like humanoid aliens possessing large heads, hands, and feet, as well as pointy ears. Their fur has been seen to have ranging color palettes from Ratchet's yellow fur with brown stripes to Alister Azimuth's white fur with maroon stripes. This fur can also resemble facial hair, as seen with Azimuth's mutton chops. Lombaxes are also sexually dimorphic; female lombaxes possess breasts, have smaller ears, lack tails, and can grow hair (as seen with Angela's ponytail). Male lombaxes meanwhile have feline tails with plumes of fur on the tips.

Lombaxes are notable for possessing palms connecting with five fingers as opposed to the typical three, which is advantageous when wielding weapons and operating machinery. Their feet are triangular and flat on the bottom, and lacking toes, instead featuring two large claws and one, almost vestigial small claw on each foot. Lombaxes also appear to have very varied facial structure, ranging from a sunken muzzle with a rough brow ridge to a rounder structure with a definite muzzle and cheeks.

Lombaxes are stated to be an example of "single brained organisms" by a terachnoid Lab Assistant.

Society

LombaxAlphabets

The lombax alphabet

Lombaxes were known not only as engineers but also great warriors, being the only race capable of matching the cragmites in all-out war. Little else is known about lombax society, though they are highly revered throughout Polaris and Ratchet's race is considered notable by aliens in other galaxies and often brought up. Lombaxes are however known to have their own language, which Talwyn Apogee can speak. The language consists of circles with different shapes cut out, often in the shape of machinery like bolts.

The lombax people had elite warriors in the form of the Lombax Praetorian Guard. General Alister Azimuth is the only member, with the rank of 4-Bolt Magistrate (where "Bolt" is presumably the equivalent of "Star" in the United States military). The Guard made use of their own Hoverboots, trillium armor and double-bladed Praetorian OmniWrenches for close-quarters combat.

Habitat

Lombax Ruins Night

Lombax ruins on Fastoon

Lombaxes appeared to live in large cities, as seen in the Fastoon ruins and in glimpses of the lombax dimension. The architecture seen in these cities somewhat resembles Meridian City on planet Igliak, suggesting the lombaxes inspired its architecture.

Behavior

Lombax

Ratchet, a male Lombax

Note to self: Never mess with a trigger happy Lombax.
 
Annihilation Nation commentator., UYA

Lombaxes are well known and revered throughout the Polaris Galaxy for their advanced technological knowledge. Lombaxes rarely used unmodified equipment, and are well known for inventing and modifying technology on their own. Additionally, through research centers such as the Center for Advanced Lombax Research, extremely intelligent lombaxes worked in groups to finish large projects, such as the Dimensionator.

Lombaxes were also known for enjoying high speeds and being proficient with weaponry. The cragmites, according to statements by Percival Tachyon, considered the 'typical' Lombax to be "noble" and "courageous".[2]

Technology

Trillium

Trillium armor's shape shows that it was designed for Lombaxes

The most common and well-known lombax weapon is the OmniWrench. Ratchet wields many different OmniWrenches collected throughout his adventures from different manufacturers, while Azimuth wields his own double-bladed Praetorian OmniWrench. Another powerful lombax weapon is the Alpha Disruptor, a nano-weapon which fires a beam of plasma that can hit multiple enemies, and was powerful enough to be ranked third on the Polaris Compendium of Ridiculously Overpowered Weapons.

Lombaxes are also known to have developed very fast spaceships, which are sentient. Ratchet finds Aphelion on Fastoon, a ship that he can later modify by collecting Zoni. Azimuth has his own lombax ship with the same design as Aphelion. Lombaxes are also known to develop ground vehicles, such as the Gyro-cycle, as well as ion propulsion cells and zero-g stabilizers used in transportation devices such as the Hoverboots.

Lombaxes were known to have mined a material known as trillium, used in their own trillium armor, an armor set Ratchet can later acquire in Tools of Destruction.

Behind the scenes

Ratchet colour test

Color testing for Ratchet

Insomniac CEO, Ted Price, named the lombax species.[3][4]

Ratchet's race was originally not designed as a cat-like creature, as he was first going to appear as a more reptilian alien.[5] David Guertin of Insomniac eventually altered the design until the team settled on a brown fur design.[6][7] Sony's Japanese animators suggested using a yellow color for Ratchet and adding stripes to the ears to appeal more to a Japanese audience, changes Ted Price of Insomniac stated the team would make "over my dead body", though Guertin implemented by Guertin nonetheless and they were accepted by the team.[6][8] Lombaxes were given five fingers rather than less to be more culturally acceptable to Japanese audiences, a decision made by Insomniac as a result of conventional wisdom rather than a suggestion by Sony of Japan.[8]

Prior to A Crack in Time, debate existed amongst fans as to whether or not Angela was a lombax, based on having no tail, on Ratchet being referred to as "the last lombax" in Tools of Destruction, and on a lack of clarity as to Angela's race. Her race was then confirmed in a space radio segment in A Crack in Time.[1] Writer TJ Fixman reiterated at the Ratchet & Clank 10th anniversary panel that she is in fact a lombax.[6]

Grant Hollis of Insomniac Games designed the lombax alphabet.[9] All letters are known apart from the letter "J", and each letter appears to resemble a bolt or wrench.

Lombax mouse and robot

A "lombax mouse" with a robot it built

A removed cutscene shows a small lombax known as a "lombax mouse" in A Crack in Time.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time: Radio news reveals Angela's fate.
  2. Quotes in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction: "Typical Lombax…so noble, so courageous…and so very dead!" —Emperor Tachyon.
  3. Adapt or Die: The 15-Year History of 'Ratchet & Clank'. Rolling Stone. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  4. “We made a four-page manual on crate stacking”: Ratchet and Clank’s creators on the lessons of their 15-year success story. {{{website}}}. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  5. IGN Presents The History of Ratchet & Clank p1. IGN. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 [http://ign.com/videos/2012/09/05/remembering-ratchet-and-clank-the-10th-anniversary-celebration-panel-pax-2012 Ratchet & Clank - The 10th Anniversary Celebration Panel (PAX 2012)]. IGN. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  7. Ratchet & Clank: 10 Years of Concept Art. Insomniac Games (archived). Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Devs Play S2E02 · "Ratchet & Clank" with Ted Price and Tim Schafer, DoubleFineProd. YouTube. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  9. Twitter logo @TJ_Fixman on Twitter.