Protopets, sometimes referred as MegaCorp Protopets, referred to as "the experiment" in Going Commando before its real name was known, were MegaCorp's genetically-modified pet. Designed as the ultimate plaything, the pet was released with defects, purposely left unchecked by Qwark, who was masquerading as Abercrombie Fizzwidget at the time. He intended to create a galactic crisis in which these "cute" furballs would wreak havoc across the galaxy so that he could step in and "save" the galaxy from destruction, re-establishing his superhero title following his defeat by Ratchet and Clank during his work with Drek.
The Protopet, dubbed "Experiment #13" during its testing stages, was stolen by the thief prior to its intended release, so Mr. Fizzwidget hired Ratchet and Clank to recover the creature. They eventually did so, not realizing the conspiracy at hand. The pets were soon released to the public despite warnings from MegaCorp's scientists, most of whom were devoured by the original Protopet during testing. It became clear that the Protopet's sole intention was to consume other sentient life, be it organic or even robotic. In Allgon City on planet Damosel, the city and entire planet were hit worse by rampaging Protopets as they feasted on Native Tourist Robots, Exterminator Bots and even the Teleporting Train railway tracks, causing many trains to derail into the oceans of planet Damosel.
The released pets began to attack people all over the Bogon Galaxy, causing chaos across numerous worlds in the galaxy. They reproduced quickly by opening their mouths and burping out three Protopets. To make matters worse, they also are endlessly spawned from MegaCorp Protopet Dispensers and pop out from manholes, MegaCorp Cereal Boxes and MegaCorp Protopet Crates. Several planets, among them Grelbin and Damosel, were quickly infested by the Protopets, threatening social order and prompting the intervention of local authorities. The Protopets were ultimately defeated when Ratchet defeated the Mutant Protopet on Yeedil, exposing Qwark as the mastermind behind the conspiracy, and former MegaCorp employee Angela Cross used the Helix-O-Morph to render them all docile.
Later during Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Qwark claimed to the people of the Solana Galaxy that he was the one who defeated the "Protopet menace." The original Protopet also appeared with Abercrombie Fizzwidget watching the latest Secret Agent Clank holo-film.
Gadgetron apparently was also creating the ultimate pet on planet Barlow, like MegaCorp, known as the Gadgetron Hound of Cuddly Death. After Gadgetron left Barlow, these left behind genetic pets went from docile creatures into killing machines, becoming deadly pack predators to take down prey. Much like the Protopets, they too are rogues genetic pets.
The Protopet is a "swarm type" enemy. Although weak in small numbers, they are; however, a serious danger, and even just one can cause havoc! What makes the Protopet dangerous is their exponential breeding rate. A single Protopet can produce three new Protopets. Also, as Protopets are always found in groups, they are able to spawn as many as 50 or more Protopets. To make matters worse, there are MegaCorp Protopet Dispensers throughout Allgon City on planet Damosel that churn out Protopets. They also appear out of manholes and MegaCorp Cereal Boxes, though only a few are spawned from these at one time. On planet Yeedil, in the MegaCorp Headquarters, they pop out MegaCorp Protopet Crates, each containing three. The Blitz Cannon should take care of them in these small numbers. The Exterminator Bots are helpful when not attacking you as they primarily target Protopets, but are easily overwhelmed, as swarms of Protopets will rip the Exterminator Bots into nothing but nuts and bolts.
An effective method to kill groups of these pests is to first destroy any Protopet Dispensers or Crates, and then to use the Mini-Nuke or the Blitz Cannon, or any weapon with a wide area-of-effect attack, to eliminate as many as possible in one shot. Better yet is the Plasma Storm, as it will eliminate a number of Protopets across a wide area as well as targeting Dispensers and other enemies. Be wary, as if even only one Protopet is missed, it will multiply at a ferocious rate, creating dozens more of its brethren which will then attack Ratchet again.
Behind the scenes
The Protopets were inspired by 1980s creature flick.
- Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (first appearance)