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Kerwan
Original

Kerwan is a planet in the Solana Galaxy featured in Ratchet & Clank, Up Your Arsenal, Tools of Destruction, with additional appearances in Deadlocked, Full Frontal Assault as an optional map, and Issue 3: Lost and Spaced of the Ratchet & Clank comic series. It is a large, bustling, urban planet home to the gigantic city of Metropolis. Metropolis is known for its use of flying cars in pre-designated lanes, grav-trains, and large skyscrapers dotted in green vegetation, plants, and moss. The planet is home to Big Al's Roboshack and Gaming Superstore, is the home of Captain Qwark, and is the most prominent location in the Ratchet & Clank series.

Ratchet and Clank first came to Kerwan in search of Captain Qwark, after seeing a commercial for Al's Roboshack. While unable to locate Qwark, they were able to obtain extremely useful gadgets, including the Heli-Pack and Swingshot, which would be invaluable in all their subsequent adventures. The two later returned to Kerwan during Dr. Nefarious' attack with the Biobliterator, as he successfully turned the entire population of the planet into robots. Later, Ratchet and Clank had lived in Metropolis prior to Emperor Tachyon's attack with his drophyd army, and fought off the drophyds while fleeing the planet.

In Up Your Arsenal, the city features a hidden teleporter to the Insomniac Museum. Once the player defeats enemies near the ship at the center area, by going left and breaking the glass, and jumping across to the next section, a teleporter can be found. If the player's game clock is set between 3:00am and 4:00am, they can be transported to the museum.

History

Pre-Ratchet & Clank

Al's RoboShack exterior from R&C 2002

Big Al's Roboshack

Kerwan was the home of Captain Qwark, where he grew up, and attended the Kerwan Learning Annex to draw schematics. It was also the home of heroes Quaternion X and Captain Starshield, the latter of whom had earned the title Citizen of the Millennium.

According to the Qwark vid-comic Deja Q All Over Again, Metropolis originally came under attack by Insectoids, led by Dr. Nefarious. Qwark interrupted his fitness training session in order to fight off the Insectoids, and then defeat the robotic Nefarious. After defeating Nefarious, Qwark threw his detached robotic head into a trash can, before Lawrence knocked Qwark unconscious, retrieved Nefarious' head, and took them both to Nefarious' hideout.

At some point, Qwark appeared in a commercial endorsing Big Al's Roboshack.

Ratchet & Clank

Metropolis from R&C 2002 game screen

The Metropolis cityscape

Ratchet and Clank acquired the coordinates for Kerwan on planet Novalis, after the chairman gave the two an Infobot featuring the commercial for Big Al's Roboshack.

The two landed on the planet in search of Captain Qwark, and found it under attack by the blarg. Ratchet and Clank searched for Al to inquire about Qwark's whereabouts. While Al was unable to help them, he was able to upgrade Clank with the Heli-Pack for 1,000 bolts, as he recognized Clank's compatible hardware. The two then explored the city further, and traveled aboard a grav-train chasing an Infobot, which provided coordinates for Eudora.

The two also completed Qwark's fitness challenge, ran by Helga von Streissenburgen. Upon completing the challenge, she scolded the two for "disgracing" her obstacle course. While the course normally rewards those who complete it with a Swingshot, Helga demanded that the two pay 1,000 bolts and purchase it from her instead. The two obliged, and purchased a Swingshot.

Up Your Arsenal

MetropolisUYA

Metropolis in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

After completing the vid-comic Deja Q All Over Again, Ratchet realized that Metropolis would be Nefarious' next target for invasion, as Nefarious had already attempted to invade Metropolis before Qwark stopped him. Ratchet then traveled to the planet with Klunk, whom he still believed to be Clank.

Ratchet fought through waves of Tyhrranoids before Nefarious then used the Biobliterator. While Ratchet was able to avoid the blast, the blast transformed all organic life forms on the planet, including Tyhrranoids, into robots. Ratchet then chased after Nefarious, before finding the real Clank hostage. At this point, Klunk revealed his true identity, and fought Ratchet in Giant Klunk form, while Nefarious left the planet having accomplished his goal. Ratchet defeated Giant Klunk aboard a grav-train and freed Clank.

Afterwards, the two were able to help the Galactic Rangers elsewhere in the city in Operation: URBAN STORM. The battle ended in victory for the Rangers.

Following the events of Up Your Arsenal, Sasha Phyronix became appointed interim Mayor of Metropolis, leaving the Starship Phoenix to Ratchet, Clank and Al. According to Vox News, Sasha had been appointed after the previous mayor stepped down amid a sordid scandal involving illicit funds from an amoeboid mafia.[1]

Tools of Destruction

Ratchet Kerwarn ToD metropolis

Ratchet and Clank in Kerwan during Tachyon's attack

Ratchet and Clank had been living in Metropolis when the city came under attack from Emperor Tachyon's Imperial Army. They were first notified by Qwark, who sent them a transmission from within the Planetary Defense Center, requesting they come to his aid. The city suffered major damage from Tachyon's army, while Ratchet and Clank fought through waves of drophyds to reach the Planetary Defense Center.

Upon arrival, the two found the Planetary Defense Center vacant, and were forced to flee on grav-train rails using the Grind Boots. Eventually, they caught up with Tachyon, who introduced himself, and promised to kill no one else on Metropolis if Ratchet surrender and allow Tachyon to kill him. Ratchet disabled Tachyon by breaking one of his walking throne's legs, and fled using Tachyon's ship to the Polaris Galaxy.

According to the IRIS Supercomputer, a portion of the Imperial Army stayed behind on Kerwan in search of the Dimensionator before leaving, while the city underwent reconstruction and the inhabitants were stuck watching repeat screenings of Big Al's Bot Wars.

During the events of A Crack in Time, Al relaunched Big Al's Roboshack and Gaming Superstore, with an announcement on space radio.

Comic series

In Lost and Spaced, Kerwan is mentioned as one of the planets that were stolen by Artemis Zogg and taken to his Artemis Galaxy. Once Zogg was defeated, it was presumably returned to its previous location.

Geography

Panoramic Metropolis

Metropolis landscape

Metropolis is a large, bustling city, featuring tall skyscrapers covered in vegetation. The skyscrapers are so high up that those who look below will see only a dense blue-ish fog that obscures the view. The buildings also feature bronze caps on top as decorations, as well as grassy areas, plants and moss. The city features varying means of transportation. Flying cars are always seen flying throughout the city in pre-designated lines, while grav-trains connect parts of the city.

Multiplayer

Up Your Arsenal

Metropolismapcenter

The center of the map, viewed from a tower on the side

Metropolismap

Metropolis multiplayer map layout

The area of Metropolis used in Operation: URBAN STORM also features in a multiplayer map. It is among the larger multiplayer maps in the game, and supports all game modes. The map is symmetrical and designed for Siege mode, containing six nodes with three per side, and the opposing nodes are identical. It consists of two sides divided by a bridge with walkways and upper areas on the sides of the map. The base area does not have any special defenses. Like all maps desgined for Siege, the flags spawn at the base teleporters in Capture the Flag. The map is full of large gaps separating its areas, meaning the Hypershot and jump pads must be used to navigate across it. The two vehicle pads on the map spawn Hoverships.

The nodes on the upper platform closest to the bases are guarded by three turrets and contain vehicle pads capable of spawning Hoverships. It can be accessed from a jump pad below the node or by the versa-targets leading from the tower. Once captured, the node will spawn two weapon crates and one ammo pack around it. Next to the node is a defense turret facing towards the center of the map.

The nodes on the top of the magnetic towers near the center, accessible via gravity boots or a hovership, are guarded by two turrets. They spawn four weapon crates and two ammo packs once captured.

The nodes in the corners of the map are located on the walkways near the base. The nodes can be accessed quickly from the bases and are guarded by three turrets and two troopers. Once captured, the node will spawn two weapon crates. The node leads to a large tower containing Drones.

Full Frontal Assault

Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault Metropolis Postcard

Metropolis during Full Frontal Assault

Metropolis features as a downloadable map for Full Frontal Assault. It does not appear in the main story.

Other appearances

Metropolis was also used in both PlayStation Move Heroes and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

Behind the scenes

Metropolis was the first level of Ratchet & Clank that Insomniac Games presented to Sony to showcase the game, in which buildings were merely cardboard cutouts of their final appearance, and Ratchet had a Pyrocitor and a Suck Cannon. Vegetation (suggested by Mark Cerny) and flying cars were added to the city to make it feel alive.[2]

While the name "Metropolis" for the city was constant throughout, in the beta, planet Kerwan was originally named "Planet Caldera".[3]

Throughout its appearances, planet Kerwan as seen from space has changed in appearance dramatically. In the original Ratchet & Clank, the appearance from space resembles Coruscant from Star Wars, implying its surface to be a worldwide city. In Up Your Arsenal, Kerwan from space is instead a lush, vegetated world covered in vast oceans, implying there is more to the planet beyond Metropolis' urban landscapes. In subsequent appearances, Kerwan similarly looked different from space, but more closely resembled the Up Your Arsenal version.

Kerwan was later used as a tech demo for Tools of Destruction, as the team began development by recreating a diorama of Metropolis in the Resistance: Fall of Man engine to visualize what a Ratchet & Clank game would look like. A camera was sent through it and audio effects were added, which was shown at the 2006 Game Developers Conference.[4]

In the 2016 re-imagined game and movie, while the planet name "Kerwan" was kept, the city was renamed to "Aleero City".

Gallery


References

  1. News Update
  2. Insomniac Live - Ratchet & Clank. YouTube. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  3. RC Lombax: Ratchet & Clank E3 Demo Differences. YouTube. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  4. {{{author}}} ({{{year}}}). Game Developer, Issue February 2008. {{{publisher}}}. p. 34.