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Annihilation Nation is a legal gladiatorial combat competition in Up Your Arsenal, taking place on a space station in the Solana Galaxy known as Station Q9.[1] The competition offers prizes, handed out by famous pop star Courtney Gears, for completing its major arena challenges and gauntlets. Ratchet and Clank first competed in search of the Tyhrra-Guise, after Sasha Phyronix suggested it to them. Later, they competed to meet Courtney Gears and ask her about her ties to Dr. Nefarious.

Bolts are awarded for completing each challenge, but the bolt award will diminish each time it is repeated. Completing all challenges will earn the Annihilation Nation Champion trophy for the Starship Phoenix trophy room.

History

Prior to the arrival of Ratchet and Clank, Gary and Helen were both unbeaten,[2] and Scorpio was the champion.[3]

Sasha Phyronix suggested that Ratchet and Clank travel to Annihilation Nation to obtain the Tyhrra-Guise, shortly after the two restored Qwark's memory by playing the vid-comic, Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder. In the mission "Win the Tyhrra-Guise", Ratchet competed in the "Deathcourse Challenge", the first gauntlet, winning the Tyhrra-Guise and the second Qwark vid-comic, Arriba Amoeba!. Ratchet then completed various challenges and gauntlets, including against Gary and Helen, ending in the "Championship Bout I".

Later, after viewing a music video by Courtney Gears in which she spread propaganda for Dr. Nefarious, Ratchet and Clank returned to the Annihilation Nation in order to meet with her and ask more. Gears refused to speak to Ratchet when giving out the prize, but showed great interest in Clank, offering to give him more information if he gave her a role on the Secret Agent Clank show.

At some point, Dallas Wanamaker originally wanted to be an employee, but turned it down to work for Gleeman Vox.

Layout

Annihilation Nation map

Map layout of Annihilation Nation.

Station Q9 is a space station built into an asteroid, in which the Annihilation Nation takes place. The inside of the asteroid is largely filled with lava pits, above which both the gauntlets and the arena challenges take place. The hangar in which the Star Explorer lands is a small, circular room entered through a round opening outside the station leading into it. Past this small hangar is a carpeted hallway leading to a screen in which the challenges are selected, and podiums with an audience surrounding the challenge select screen.

The arena is a circular room contained in a glass dome, with a view of space in the windows that make up the ceiling. Podiums are seen surrounding the arena in the center, which is a circular platform above a pit of lava. Six bullpens surround the arena, with three on either side, separated by a wall with the Annihilation Nation logo on either end of the arena. Small cameras attached to the walls follow the action.

Annihilation Nation 1

The gauntlet.

The gauntlets are held within a lava pit inside a rock crater within the asteroid. Each gauntlet starts from the same starting point, and leads to a small one-room building across the lava, in which the path leads either left or right depending on the challenge. Both paths lead along the cliff wall on either side, with the left focusing on platforming, and the right on combat, with both ending in another room, which then splits again, connecting each other in a bridge across, as well as both leading to separate end points. The right end focuses on platforming traps and puzzles, and the left on a small combat area.

Arena challenges

After completing a challenge, the next prize is only 33% of the previous one, and then rounded up or down to the nearest number divisible by 50.

Challenge Description Prizes in bolts Rounds Icons
First Second Third
Grand Prize Bout[a] Fight all the gladiators and win a Tyhrra-Guise! 2,000 10
Practice Challenge Face off against Gladiators and win some bolts! 650 200 10
The Terrible Two Fight two gladiators for a big cash prize! 4,000 1,300 450 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon
Robot Rampage Floor traps, flame jets, and flying turrets, oh my! 6,000 2,000 650 12
Two Minute Warning Beat Gary and Helen before time runs out! 5,000 1,650 550 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon Annihilation Nation timed round icon
90 Seconds of Carnage Beat all the gladiators before the clock winds down! 3,000 1,000 350 6 Annihilation Nation timed round icon
Onslaught Beat even more gladiators before running out of time! 4,000 1,300 450 9 Annihilation Nation timed round icon
Whip It Good Use only the Plasma Whip to clear the match! 3,000 1,000 350 6 Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
Hydra'n Seek Destroy all enemies using only the Spitting Hydra! 3,000 1,000 350 4 Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
Championship Bout Cleave your way through the gladiators to a showdown with Gary and Helen! 15,000 4,950 1650 24
Meet Courtney - Arena[b] If you can defeat Scorpio, you get to meet pop sensation Courtney Gears. The prize is merely a nice bonus. 9,000 1
Scorpio Defeat Scorpio in a 1-on-1 match! 2,950 950 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon
Ninja Challenge Defeat all the Gladiators! Now with Ninjas! 7,000 2,300 12
Counting Ducks The area is filled with Gadgetron's Lombax Snooze Mist. Eliminate all opponents before Ratchet is knocked out! 9,000 2,950 950 6 Annihilation Nation snooze round icon
Cycling Weapons Ratchet's current weapon will change on its own! Fight through waves of enemies using every weapon in your possession! 8,000 2,650 850 16 Annihilation Nation cycling weapons icon
One Hit Wonder Destroy all opponents without taking even a single hit! 15,000 4,950 1650 8 Annihilation Nation one hit icon
Time to Suck Defeat all enemies using only the Suck Cannon! 8,000 2,650 850 6 Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
Naptime Beat Scorpio before the Lombax Snooze Mist puts Ratchet to sleep! 10,000 3,300 1,100 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon Annihilation Nation snooze round icon
More Cycling Weapons Defeat Scorpio while Ratchet's weapon changes on its own! 10,000 3,300 1,100 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon Annihilation Nation cycling weapons icon
Dodge the Twins Beat the Twins without taking a hit! 20,000 6,600 2,200 1 Annihilation Nation boss icon Annihilation Nation one hit icon
Chop Chop Eliminate all the gladiators using the Disc Blade Gun! 8,000 2,650 850 4 Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
Sleep Inducer Use the Rift Inducer to destroy all opponents while under the influence of the Lombax Snooze Mist! 8,000 2,650 850 4 Annihilation Nation snooze round icon Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
The Other White Meat Use the Qwack-O-Ray to turn all the enemies into ducks before time runs out! 8,000 2,650 850 6 Annihilation Nation one weapon icon
Championship Bout II Fight through waves of gladiators in changing conditions to a match with Scorpio! 25,000 8,250 2,700? 24
Qwarktastic Battle Test your mettle in the ultimate match that has only ever been beaten by one man! 200,000 66,000 100

Each arena challenge is made up of a few waves of enemies, spawned him from bullpens around the arena when the current arena is empty of enemies. The enemies fought here are blade bots, gladiators, bash bots, laser bots, and ninja bots. Blade bots are small, melee enemies that are destroyed in a single hit. Gladiators and bash bots are medium, tougher melee enemies that can sustain some damage first, and will charge to Ratchet to then swing their attacks. Laser bots are medium-ranged enemies that can provide a threat but are avoidable as their laser can be predicted. Ninja bots are particularly agile enemies that either attack with their sword or with a long-ranged shuriken attack.

The arena also has several hazards. These come in the form of spinning blades nearer the middle and electric traps in the outer areas, and a retractable floor in the center that can reveal a large, invincible, gatling turret that never stops firing while active. All of these hazards must be avoided either by not stepping on the traps while they are active, or in the case of the gatling turret, running away to avoid its fire.

Some challenges feature restrictions or modifiers as a gimmick. These include time limits, forcing a certain weapon, cycling between weapons, sleeping gas that reduces nanotech over time, or challenges that end if Ratchet takes a single point of damage. During the Championship Bout and Qwarktastic challenges, these gimmicks are cycled between the rounds.

Occasionally, an inferno crate will spawn that can last a few rounds. This provides temporary invincibility and causes all attacks to instantly kill, making it a very worthwhile pickup.

Grand Prize Bout

Practice Challenge

This challenge is identical to "Grand Prize Bout", and is renamed after it is beaten once. It consists of ten rounds.

The first round consists entirely of gladiators, which are best dealt with by using weapons such as the Shock Blaster (charged ideally), Nitro Launcher, or Plasma Whip when they cluster in a group. The second round consists of laser bots and bash bots, for which a similar strategy applies. For the third round, blade bots appear; these can either be dispatched quickly with weapons such as the Plasma Whip, or sucked using the Suck Cannon to then spit them out at the enemies in the fourth round, which are laser bots, bash bots, and gladiators. The fifth round also consists of blade bots. For the sixth round, an inferno crate appears. The remaining rounds repeatedly cycle through the same enemies.

The Terrible Two

"The Terrible Two" is a boss battle against Gary and Helen, two large robotic gladiators. They both operate as a tag-team with different attacks, and as one is on the arena attacking Ratchet, the other is perched on an elevated area away from the arena, impervious to damage. After Gary loses a third of his health, Helen will fly down to attack them next. When she loses a third of her health, Gary replaces her. Gary then leaves after losing a third of his health, and when Helen arrives next, she stays until she is defeated; Gary fires missiles when Helen reaches a third of her health, while she remains fighting. After she is defeated, Gary appears one last time.

Gary carries a large repeating rifle that he will fire across the ground following Ratchet's movements. After this, he flies elsewhere on the arena, and launches dozens of missiles in the air, which will target the ground where Ratchet stands and hit after a few moments. A reticule appears on the ground where the missile targets, allowing them to be avoided. Helen, on the other hand, starts off by stomping on the ground, blasting waves of electricity from where she lands that sweep across the arena. After a few of these, she will then fly towards Ratchet, and swing her whip twice across the ground, before then flying back to the edge of the arena to stomp and launch more waves of electricity.

For this battle, the important thing is to know how to avoid their attacks. Gary's attacks are best avoided by moving around constantly, particularly strafing while still focus firing. Helen's, on the other hand, are avoided by jumping, which can also be done while strafing to still fire on her. Against both, single-target weapons such as the N60 Storm are very efficient, along with similar weapons such as the Agents of Doom (if available) that can reliably deal damage to them. A charged Shock Blaster or series of Nitro Launcher attacks are also effective. By constantly evading them and still laying fire into them, they are eventually defeated.

Robot Rampage

"Robot Rampage" consists of twelve rounds, in which the hazards around the arena change periodically, becoming more and more dangerous. Therefore, it becomes imperative to avoid them by watching your step and staying aware. Enemies are a mix of gladiators, laser bots, bash bots, and blade bots, and as usual, they are best defeated in clusters. The floor in the center disappears in the sixth round leaving a lava pit in the center, remaining this way for the rest of the challenge. A gatling gun will rise out of it in the tenth round, remaining for the final two rounds. In the seventh round an inferno crate will become available.

Two Minute Warning

The objective of "Two Minute Warning" is to kill Gary and Helen in under two minutes. The strategy is much the same as "The Terrible Two", with the only difference being that it is more important to focus fire on them while also dodging their attacks in order to defeat them within the time limit.

90 Seconds of Carnage

"90 Seconds of Carnage" consists of six rounds which must be completed in under 1:30 seconds. Using weapons such as the Plasma Whip and Nitro Launcher is imperative in order to defeat clusters of enemies in a short amount of time. As the challenge goes on, spinning blade and electric shock traps will periodically appear, and the center floor disappears in the fourth round leaving a lava pit in its place.

Onslaught

"Onslaught" is similar to the previous challenge, and consists of nine rounds which must be completed in under two minutes. The challenge introduces gladiators using whips rather than swords, while other enemies include gladiators with swords, laser bots, bash bots, and blade bots. As before, using weapons such as the Plasma Whip and Nitro Launcher to defeat enemies in groups is the best bet. Floor traps will appear periodically as the challenge goes on, and for the fifth round, the center floor disappears leaving a lava pit behind, and an inferno crate appears. A gatling gun appears in the center for the seventh round, remaining for the rest of the challenge.

Whip It Good

"Whip It Good" is a weapon restriction challenge, in which only the Plasma Whip can be used. The real difficulty is to clear the challenge without using up all ammunition. This can be particularly difficult if the Plasma Whip has never been upgraded, but is still plausible. Enemies consist of gladiators using swords or whips, laser bots, and bash bots. Floor traps will appear periodically throughout the challenge, and for the fourth round, the floor in the center disappears, remaining this way for the rest of the challenge.

The best strategy is simply to let the first enemies of the round kill each other. This can be done by standing in front of one enemy, letting an enemy behind that one hit you, and then immediately dodging the attack to let them hit the other enemy. Eventually, only a few enemies will remain, which can be killed with the Plasma Whip. Try to keep track of the Plasma Whip ammo, and ensure you use no more than one-sixth of your total ammo before the round is complete. Additionally, throwing the Plasma Whip is the most ammo-efficient attack.

Hydra'n Seek

"Hydra'n Seek" is a weapon restriction challenge in which only the Spitting Hydra can be used. As with "Whip It Good", the challenge is to defeat all enemies without running out of ammo. Enemies consist of gladiators using swords or whips, laser bots, bash bots, and blade bots. Floor traps appear periodically, and for the third round, the center floor disappears.

A good way to clear all enemies is to ensure that more enemies than are targeted get caught in the weapon's fire. This is done by targeting the maximum number of enemies (the reticule appears red when the limit is hit), and then line up the shot to ensure that the blast hits other enemies on the way to hitting the targeted enemies. This makes the weapon very efficient. As before, if you are struggling, it is possible to let the enemies hit each other, or try and level the weapon before attempting it again.

Championship Bout

The "Championship Bout" is the final challenge of the first set of available challenges available after the visit to Annihilation Nation for "Win the Tyhrra-Guise", available after beating everything from this set of challenges aside from the weapon restriction challenges. The challenge lasts 24 rounds, with the final round being a battle against Gary and Helen. Some of the rounds change challenge type to a different mode temporarily. Floor traps appear periodically, and partway through, the center floor disappears, with the gatling gun periodically appearing in the center. The floor reappears for round 23, and any inferno power active will be deactivated for the battle against Gary and Helen. The challenge is somewhat difficult, and it may be necessary to revisit the challenge later in the game with more nanotech or better armor.

For most of the normal rounds, the strategy is similar to previous challenges. The challenge is an endurance test, as there are many waves, and it is important to avoid as much damage as possible and also be efficient with ammo by waiting until enemies cluster up and then destroying them with area-of-effect weapons. These include the Shock Blaster, Nitro Launcher, Plasma Whip, and Spitting Hydra. Though ammo crates do drop at times, efficiency is still important for weapons to last the entire challenge.

Rounds 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19 are timed rounds, in which you must destroy all enemies in twenty seconds. For these timed rounds, prioritize destroying the enemies as quickly as you can over being efficient with ammo, as if the timer runs out, the entire challenge fails. In rounds 8, 12, 16, and 23, the inferno crate appears; it should be picked up immediately for the invincibility to provide a breather if so needed.

Against Gary and Helen, the strategy is similar to before. However, it may be best to save ammo on weapons that are effective against them, such as the N60 Storm and Agents of Doom, throughout the battle to ensure you do not run out by the time you face them.

Meet Courtney - Arena

Scorpio

"Scorpio" is a basic fight against the titular boss, and an identical challenge to "Meet Courtney - Arena". Scorpio has two attacks, both of which are long-range telegraphed attacks. His first is to place saw blades in the floor that move towards you, while the second is to use a flamethrower that has a fairly long range. Both of these can be avoided by jumping. As Scorpio is slow, he is susceptible to the Miniturret Glove and also to the Agents of Doom. Aside from this, it is best to defeat him with ranged weapons such as the Flux Rifle to avoid his attacks.

This challenge is bugged. Though Scorpio has voice lines for all his normal battles, none play in this challenge.

Ninja Challenge

"Ninja Challenge" is the first normal arena challenge after "Meet Courtney - Arena", meaning it introduces the stronger variants of previously fought enemies. It also introduces the ninja bots as a threat, as well as gladiators carrying both swords and laser whips. The challenge consists of twelve rounds, and aside from ninjas and gladiators, laser bots, bash bots, and blade bots are all fought. No hazards appear in this challenge, and on the eighth round, an inferno crate appears.

The ninja bots are agile melee enemies that move quickly across the arena before attacking, making them a considerable threat. Other enemies are simply tougher versions of the enemies previously fought. As with previous challenges, the best solution is to wait for enemies to cluster together, and use area-of-effect weapons. Most enemies here are melee, making the Plasma Whip, Miniturret Glove, and Agents of Doom excellent choices.

Counting Ducks

"Counting Ducks" is the first challenge in which Lombax Snooze Mist is deployed. This will decrease Ratchet's nanotech by one point every five seconds, making it important to complete the challenge quickly. All enemy types all appear in this challenge. From the third round onwards, spinning blade hazards appear, and electric shock hazards appear for the sixth. As your nanotech will decrease over time, the longer the challenge goes on, the weaker you are to any attacks, making it more important to dodge attacks. Otherwise, the strategy here is mostly the same.

Cycling Weapons

"Cycling Weapons" is a challenge in which Ratchet is assigned a random weapon with a set amount of ammo per weapon, and will switch to another random weapon after using it all up. Next to your currently selected weapon in the HUD, the next two weapons are shown below it, and you cannot switch weapon without using up all ammo. Upgrading your weapon does not affect the current ammo it has. The challenge involves all enemy types. Spinning blade and electric shock hazards will appear periodically, and part-way through the challenge, the floor in the center disappears, and for the last two rounds, the gatling turret appears.

Used ammo during the challenge will not count as used afterwards, aside from rare cases where a weapon's blast can use up more than one ammo at a time, such as the Shock Cannon, in which it will. The Suck Cannon, Holoshield Glove, and Shield Charger cannot appear in the challenge.

As you have limited ammo for each weapon, it is important to use it efficiently and to adapt quickly when switching ammo. You can plan around the next two weapons and around the amount of ammo you have by lining up shots correctly to hit multiple enemies at once, and by focusing on enemies vulnerable to a currently equipped weapon to then focus on the next set of enemies when you switch to the next one.

One Hit Wonder

"One Hit Wonder" requires Ratchet to complete the challenge without being hit once. All enemy types appear, and both spinning blade and electric shock hazards appear periodically, making it crucial to avoid them. The floor in the center does not disappear until the final two rounds, making it a fairly safe area until then. However, when it does disappear, the hazards in the outer areas also disappear, making them safe.

Because you cannot take a single point of damage, it is best to play defensively. The Miniturret Glove and Agents of Doom are extremely helpful in this case, allowing them to slow down enemies approaching you and focus on closer ranged combat. The Plasma Whip and Lava Gun are also good choices, as they can attack in an area-of-effect around you. Aside from this, focus on constantly jumping and side-flipping to avoid attacks, especially from the laser bot, which provide the biggest threat.

The Shield Charger cannot be used in this challenge.

Time to Suck

"Time to Suck" is a weapon restriction challenge, in which you can only use the Suck Cannon. For this challenge, blade bots will appear in every round to be used as ammo against the larger enemies, which come in the form of gladiators, ninja bots, laser bots, and bash bots. If gladiators still appear and there are no more blade bots, you will fail automatically. Spinning blade and electric shock hazards appear periodically.

To beat this challenge, fill up Suck Cannon with blade bots until there are no blade bots left or the Suck Cannon is at max capacity, and then focus on only the larger enemies until you run out. At this point, suck in all blade bots around and fire at the remaining enemies. Try not to ever fire blade bots at other blade bots unless there is no other option, and always check the arena near the end of each round to ensure only blade bots are still around.

Naptime

"Naptime" is a Lombax Snooze Mist challenge against Scorpio, unlocked after beating "Counting Ducks", in which spinning blade and electric shock hazards appear. The strategy is much the same as the normal Scorpio fight, though it is important to kill Scorpio as quickly as possible as the Lombax Snooze Mist reducing Ratchet's nanotech will making him more vulnerable to Scorpio's attacks if he is on lower nanotech. Therefore, it is even more important to supplement Ratchet's damage with the Miniturret Glove while destroying Scorpio with more damaging weapons.

More Cycling Weapons

"More Cycling Weapons" is a weapon switching challenge in which Ratchet must fight Scorpio while cycling weapons, unlocked after beating "Cycling Weapons". The same weapon cycling rules as "One Hit Wonder" are used, the center floor is gone, and the outer electric shock hazards are active. For this mission, as you cannot control which weapon you use, the focus should be on staying defensive while you burn through ammo to move onto the next weapon. In some cases, you will be unlucky and given a close-range weapon such as the Plasma Whip or Lava Gun, which can be difficult to use when Scorpio is using his flamethrowers. If you are confident with timing your jumps to avoid his flamethrowers, it is best to use them against him, otherwise, simply waste the ammo (as you won't have to pay for it after the challenge) so you can use a ranged weapon instead.

Dodge the Twins

"Dodge the Twins" is a one-hit challenge in which Ratchet must fight Gary and Helen without taking any damage, unlocked after beating "One Hit Wonder". No hazards appear for this challenge, though both of Gary and Helen's attacks are very wide-reaching, making them crucial to dodge. The strategy to defeat them is much the same as before, though you likely have more powerful weapons this time. The Annihilator in particular can make short work of them before they can even attack (aside from Gary's missiles). Otherwise, the strategy is to simply focus on avoiding all of their attacks, and on defeating them as fast as possible.

Chop Chop

"Chop Chop" is a weapon restriction challenge in which only the Disc Blade Gun can be used. It comprises four rounds against all enemy types. The central floor disappears in the second round, and other hazards appear periodically. Due to the limited ammo available of an unleveled Disc Blade Gun, it may be necessary to let the enemies hit each other and then kill the remaining enemies.

Sleep Inducer

"Sleep Inducer" is a weapon restriction and sleeping gas challenge, in which only the Rift Inducer can be used while Lombax Snooze Mist will reduce Ratchet's health over time. The challenge is four rounds long, and hazards appear periodically. However, all enemies are susceptible to the Rift Inducer, and it is easy to defeat clusters of them together with only one black hole per round if placed properly. Ensure no more than two are used per round to have no difficulty.

The Other White Meat

"The Other White Meat" is a weapon restriction in which only the Qwack-O-Ray can be used to defeat all enemies. Despite the mission description, there is no time limit. The challenge consists of six rounds, in which all enemies are fought, and hazards appear periodically. As the Qwack-O-Ray does not use ammo, the only real challenge is staying alive and firing the Qwack-O-Ray's beam at a good enough distance away from the enemies.

Championship Bout II

The "Championship Bout II" is a conclusion to the set of challenges available after the second visit to Annihilation Nation for "Meet with Courtney Gears", available after beating everything from this set of challenges aside from the weapon restriction challenges. Like the first, the challenge lasts 24 rounds, with the final round being a battle against Scorpio, and the rounds change challenge type to a different mode temporarily, with the changes lasting two rounds. This time, the challenge modes that appear are the cycling weapons and Lombax Snooze Mist types introduced in this set of challenges; no timed rounds appear. As with before, floor traps appear periodically, and the center floor disappears partway through until round 23, with the gatling gun periodically appear in the middle instead.

For most of the normal rounds, the strategy is similar to previous challenges, and all enemy types are fought here. It serves once again as an endurance test, and it is important to avoid as much damage as possible and be efficient with ammo. If this proves difficult, it may be worth returning to the Starship Phoenix to purchase better armor. While preserving ammo is important as before, many of the rounds are cycling weapons rounds in which ammo does not matter anyway, so don't worry too much about saving ammo for Scorpio. Still, when the inferno crate appears on rounds 8, 16, it is best to kill fast enough for it to last at least two rounds. An inferno crate appears on round 23, but cannot be used due to the cycling weapons challenge.

Rounds 2 and 3, 8 and 9, and 16 and 17, are sleeping gas rounds, but you will recover any nanotech lost from the Lombax Snooze Mist afterwards, so treat these as normal rounds and stay defensive if low on nanotech. Rounds 5 and 6, 11-14, and 19-23, are cycling weapons rounds, so simply adapt to the weapon you're given and otherwise do not worry about conserving ammo, as it will not count towards ammo used up at the end of the round (if you do not like the weapon given, just waste ammo to use the next).

The strategy against Scorpio is similar to before. As you will come to this battle with low health, make sure you focus on long-range weapons against him, such as the Annihilator and the Flux Rifle. The Miniturret Glove is also helpful as usual. Beating this challenge will unlock the "Qwarkstatic Battle", which is best attempted near the end of the game.

Qwarktastic Battle

Trophy: Qwarktastic Win
Beat the "Qwarktastic Battle" challenge Silver

The "Qwarktastic Battle" is the final and most difficult challenge in Annihilation Nation, available after beating "Championship Bout II". Similar to both Championship Bout challenges, the challenge type changes, switching between all possible types depending on how late in the challenge. The challenge lasts 100 rounds, making it a long and grueling endurance challenge, and hazards appear periodically. At round 50, Gary and Helen are fought, and at round 100, Scorpio is fought.

It is best to return to Qwarktastic Battle later in the game, such as around the time of reaching the Thran Asteroid Belt, Koros, or Mylon. Fighting the battle with Aegis Mark V armor and nanotech of around 80 makes the challenge significantly easier, and failing this, returning at the very end of the game with the Shield Charger purchased can significantly extend your survivability. It is also good to pick up the nano-pak from Zeldrin.

In terms of strategy, the same strategy applies as before: defeat enemies in clusters using area of effect weapons to use ammo efficiently. Defeating enemies in clusters is made easier with later weapons such as the Rift Inducer, Bouncer, and Plasma Coil. The Qwack-O-Ray is an excellent choice as it does not ever use up ammo, which is helpful before round 65 when cycling weapon rounds start. It is a good idea to conserve Annihilator ammo before round 50 to fight Gary and Helen, though this is not necessary before Scorpio as cycling weapons rounds do not use up ammo and enough ammo crates drop anyway. However, the challenge is a great opportunity to level up older weapons, as most older weapons are still viable against the enemies here.

During time-limited rounds, which appear every fifth round in between rounds 1-30, make sure to kill enemies quickly as a priority. In sleeping gas rounds appearing periodically between rounds 35-64, simply focus harder on avoiding damage as all nanotech is restored by the end. Cycling weapon rounds appear periodically between rounds 65-98 and last multiple rounds. For these rounds, simply adapt to whatever weapon is given, as there is no need to focus on conserving ammo. If using a weapon randomly selected while cycling proves challenging, simply waste its ammo to get to the next weapon as it is better to waste ammo than become vulnerable to damage.

Gary and Helen should be very easy opponents, as the Annihilator can destroy them in a few hits. This is similar with Scorpio, though the Bouncer can destroy him even more quickly.

Beating this challenge in the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Up Your Arsenal will unlock the silver trophy "Qwarktastic Win".

Gauntlet challenges

After completing a challenge, the next prize is only 33% of the previous one, and then rounded up or down to the nearest number divisible by 50.

Challenge Description Prizes in bolts
First Second Third
Deathcourse Challenge[c] Be the first contestant to survive the Deathcourse Challenge and win Qwark vid-comic 2 and the Tyhrra-Guise! 5,000
Heat Street Navigate a lethal obstacle course featuring fire traps, break away floors, push blocks, and killer robots. 1,650 550
Crispy Critter 2,000 650 200
Pyro Playground 3,000 1,000 350
Suicide Run 4,000 1,300 450
Meet Courtney - Gauntlet[d] Battle through the gauntlet and you'll gain access to the main event. -- and a few bolts beside. 6,000
BBQ Boulevard Navigate a lethal obstacle course featuring fire traps, break away floors, push blocks, and killer robots. 2,000 650
Maze of Blaze 8,000 2,650 850
Cremation Station 10,000 3,300 1,100
The Annihilator 12,000 3,950 1,3000
Annihilation Nation gauntlet gameplay 1

A gauntlet room.

The gauntlet challenges are obstacle courses that award the player for successfully reaching the end of the course. Each gauntlet takes place over a set path over a pool of lava, with a specified path between rooms until the end is reached. After reaching a room, Ratchet stands on a switch in the middle of the room, and an arrow will then open up a door either right or left to continue the path (though the arrow appears random, it is always the same for that challenge).

Annihilation Nation gauntlet gameplay 3

Push hazards.

The obstacles in between the rooms include fire traps that occasionally light up, platforms that may fall if Ratchet lands on them, push blocks that will push Ratchet into the lava pit, and small laser turrets that appear from a hatch and fire a green laser as Ratchet approaches. The fire traps, when observed, all follow a pattern, meaning it is possible to predict when flames will activate on a platform, and jump around it to avoid damage. For falling platforms, it is best to simply jump quickly in between the platforms and guarantee safety. Push blocks can be more tricky, as there may not be enough space in between the push blocks to avoid them entirely. In situations like these, it is best to observe when the push blocks expand and retract, and stand on some to then jump further past them when it is safe. For the small laser turrets, either shooting them when they appear can disable them, or the Refractor can avoid any damage from them.

Annihilation Nation gauntlet gameplay 2

Laser hazards, a laser bot, and cameras.

In addition to obstacle courses, enemies will appear, in the form of the blade bots, ninja bots, and laser bots. In some cases, teleporters will appear where the enemies will simply teleport in, often in groups, until the last ones are destroyed, while in other cases, the enemies are just encountered as normal. Laser bots can provide various forms of hazards throughout the challenges, as some move in a set pattern, either by spinning or by moving back and forth across a set path with the laser firing. Laser bots and ninja bots can also be positioned on elevated platforms to fire ranged attacks at Ratchet on approach. In both cases, weapons that outrange them, such as the N60 Storm, are preferable to deal with them before this becomes an issue. In some cases, after jumping past platforms, the enemies will be present around the next area before you land, meaning throwing the Miniturret Glove while gliding can deal with them before touching the ground.

There are four gauntlet challenges available on the first visit to Annihilation Nation for the "Win the Tyhrra-Guise" mission, while remaining challenges are available upon returning for the mission "Meet Courtney Gears". Two titanium bolts can be obtained along the gauntlet paths, depending on the challenge.

Completing any gauntlet challenge without taking damage earns the skill point "Flee Flawlessly".

Deathcourse Challenge

Heat Street

"Heat Steet" is the same area as the "Deathcourse Challenge", which is renamed after it is completed once. It opens with a set of three platforms, two of which are flame traps while the inner is safe, into the first room with blade bots. It then leads left to a path across with laser turrets stationed around and a laser bot moving left to right at the end, after which are two laser bots situated on elevated platforms before the path leads right to a series of flame traps in front of another room. The room opens up the path right to a bridge across to a different room, which opens the path left to a small path at the end, with push blocks along the path before leading to the final room.

Crispy Critter

"Crispy Critter" is the second gauntlet challenge. It opens with a set of falling platforms and flame traps leading to the first room, which opens a path to the right. Past this is a series of falling platforms along the way to the next patch of ground where several blade bots circle around and fly towards Ratchet while crossing the platforms. Up from this is a set of flame traps on the steps up where a spinning laser bot will teleport in, and as the path continues, two laser bots will fire at Ratchet from elevated platforms while two spinning bash bots will warp in and move between the flame traps around the area before the next room is reached. The room will open a door on the left to a bridge with blade bots across to the next room, which will open a door on the right to the last room. The final area is guarded by a laser bot and three ninja bots, before the gauntlet is complete.

Pyro Playground

The third gauntlet, "Pyro Playground" opens with floating flame trap platforms crossed to reach the first room, which teleports in blade bots and then opens a path on the left. A series of falling platforms are used to cross to the next patch of ground, guarded by two laser turrets, and to the left of this, several blade bots as will as a spinning bash bot teleport in. The path continues with a set of push blocks over a lava pit to reach the next room, guarded by a laser bot. This room opens a path on the left, with several blade bots and two laser bots guarding the final area.

Suicide Run

The fourth gauntlet challenge, and the final challenge on the first visit of Annihilation Nation, "Suicide Run" opens with a series of flame trap platforms in a square shape in front of the first room. This room opens a path to the right, where a bridge made of flame traps is used to cross to the next patch of ground. When continuing the path, three teleporters warp in blade bots, and after this, two laser bots on elevated platforms as well as flame traps guard the path to the next room. The tunnel to the room is guarded by ninja bots, and the room opens up a path to the right, with push blocks across the wall that must be avoided when crossing the path to the ending.

Meet Courtney - Gauntlet

BBQ Boulevard

"BBQ Boulevard" is the same area as the "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet", which is renamed after it is completed once. The gauntlet opens with flame traps in two lines which must be crossed to reach the first room. The switch opens a path on the right, with floating platforms create a path upwards from which the top platform can be used to glide to the other side, where blade bots and a laser bot reside. To the right of this, two spinning bash bots and a ranged ninja bot are fought, and to the left of them is a tank bot. Past it, several blade bots guard the next room, which opens a path left, where ninja bots guard the next room. The switch creates a path right, where a group of ranged ninja bot and two laser bots, and another group of three bash bots, are fought before the gauntlet ends.

Maze of Blaze

"Maze of Blaze" is the second gauntlet challenge after "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet". The gauntlet opens with a series of falling, floating platforms leading to the first room, where laser bots are fought inside. The switch opens a path to the left, where a gap must be crossed to reach a set of flame traps in front of the path forward. Next is an area with several blade bots warping in along with two elevated laser bots, and after this is a path with gaps and laser turrets across it to reach the next room, containing ninja bots. The switch opens a path right to the bridge, with laser bots warping into two balconies along it, which leads to another room, which opens a path left with flame traps and push blocks before a spinning bash bot appears just in front of the final room where the gauntlet is complete.

Cremation Station

"Cremation Station" is the third gauntlet challenge after "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet". It opens with a set of falling platforms on the path to the first room, where the entrance is guarded by a laser bot. The switch in this room creates a path left, where several falling floating platforms form a path across a gap. After this, blade bots warp in around an area guarded by three laser bots, and to the right, separated floating flame traps form the path to the next room. This room opens a path left, where several spinning bash bots and ranged ninja bots are fought before the gauntlet is complete.

The Annihilator

"The Annihilator" is the fourth gauntlet challenge after "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet", and the final gauntlet challenge in Annihilation Nation. The gauntlet opens with a set of flame traps leading to the first room, which creates a path right where falling platforms and a flame trap must be traversed to the next patch of ground, where four spinning laser bots guard the area. To the right, two spinning bash bots appear with a ranged ninja perched atop the ledge, and below it, several blade bots warped in. After this, a few laser bots are fought before the next room. This room creates a path right, with falling platforms and push blocks across the gap where a laser bot guards the final room is entered where the gauntlet is complete.

Behind the scenes

Annihilation Nation beta

The early block level of the gauntlet section.

The Annihilation Nation challenges were programmed by Anthony "Moo" Yu.[4] As the arena challenges had been a huge success for Going Commando, his approach for Up Your Arsenal was for the challenges to have the same feel and retaining the best parts of Going Commando challenges, as well as to keep the challenges focused and simple then escalate them properly. Though Maxim Garber, who had programmed the arenas for Going Commando, had had to move on to early development of Resistance: Fall of Man, he was nonetheless able to provide advice to Yu throughout development and impart knowledge, particularly when Yu ran into the same problems that Garber previously had.[5] Most of the gauntlets were designed by Colin Munson.[6]

One common bug for the arenas during development was that the player would be unable to progress if an enemy bugged out of the level. To resolve this, Yu placed a pill around the entire arena, and any enemy that fell out of it would be killed instantly, ensuring this would not happen. [5]

Notes

Annotations
  1. The "Grand Prize Bout" is renamed to "Practice Challenge" after it is first completed, being initially only available directly after "Deathcourse Challenge".
  2. "Meet Courtney - Arena" is renamed to "Scorpio" after it is first completed, being initially only available directly after "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet".
  3. The "Deathcourse Challenge" is renamed to "Heat Street" after it is first completed.
  4. "Meet Courtney - Gauntlet" is renamed to "BBQ Boulevard" after it is first completed.
Citations

References

Video games
Bibliography
  • Greg Off (November 2004). Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 0744005000
Videos
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