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Boldan is a planet in the Bogon Galaxy featured in Going Commando. Its atmosphere has thick yellow clouds, it contains a fair amount of vegetation, as well as tall mountains close to its islands. It is home to Silver City, one of the busiest cities in the galaxy, with a high skyline, built across an archipelago of islands and mountains.

Silver City was the first planet on which the Protopet was sold, with Abercrombie Fizzwidget filming their first commercial on the planet and giving the first samples away for free. Ratchet and Clank, having learned that the Protopet was actually a killer, decided to travel to the planet in the hopes of finding Fizzwidget and warning him.

The Insomniac Museum can be accessed on the planet.

History

A commercial for the Protopet was first filmed on Boldan, titled "Why is Billy Sad?". The commercial featured Billy, depicted as a lonely child, in which the Protopet was supposed to comfort him and provide company. However, in the commercial, the Protopet instead attacked Billy, even throwing him around and tossing him into a tree. Boldan was to be the first planet where Protopets would be sold, and Fizzwidget would give the first Protopets for free.[1] This advertisement was misleading, as Fizzwidget did not appear himself, but rather a robot replica of Fizzwidget gave out the samples.[2]

Why is Billy Sad?

Billy and the protopet during the commercial

Angela Cross obtained the commercial, and showed it to Ratchet and Clank, while they were searching the rocket silo on Todano. Ratchet and Clank resolved to travel to Boldan to find Fizzwidget and warn him that the Protopet is dangerous, believing it was their last chance to get through to him before the Protopet was distributed around the galaxy. Angela disapproved of their plan as she felt Fizzwidget would not be convinced, but gave them coordinates to Boldan to try.[1] As they traveled to the planet, the Thug Leader sent a message to the rest of the Thugs-4-Less about their new employer, Megacorp, telling the Thugs to be on the lookout for Ratchet and Clank, offering a free pizza party to any squad that captured them.[3]

When Ratchet and Clank landed, they found themselves unable to enter the city as the main entrance was blocked. In "Open the main entrance", the two used the Levitator through the hyper-expressway's maintenance tunnels that ran underneath the city, and opened it from within. Later, in "Ride the power lines", the two used the Grind Boots across the power lines and through construction works, and found another Slim Cognito weapon mod store.

Thug Leader captures the duo

The Thug Leader interrogating Ratchet and Clank

In "Find Mr. Fizzwidget", the two traveled through the main city, fighting through Thugs-4-Less garrisons, to find Fizzwidget and speak to him. When they finally reached the plaza of a shopping mall where Fizzwidget would sell the Protopets, they instead found a robot replica of Fizzwidget giving out the Protopets. This angered Ratchet, who tried to interrogate the robot for Fizzwidget's location. At that point, the Thug Leader ambushed and arrested them, claiming they were "attempting to bump off Mr. Fizzwidget",[2] and taking them to their prison on Aranos, found at Angela's old flying lab.

Geography

Overview

Silver City map

Map layout of Silver City

Boldan has a yellow atmosphere, with several continents bordering a vast ocean. Most of these islands consist entirely of tall, rocky mountains, some of which as high as Silver City's skyline. Other islands also have cliffs with a fair amount of vegetation, while some smaller islands are much more passable. The vegetation includes tall, bark-less trees with leaves like a palm, as well as small plants in the soil.

Silver City 1

Silver City

Silver City is one of the busiest cities in Bogon.[4] It is built on an archipelago of islands, and has a towering skyline, made up of several skyscrapers. Though many skyscrapers are concentrated in what appears to be a downtown area, some are found in the distance built atop islands. One of them is a large clock tower, connected to a shopping mall with a round dome above it. It is traversed by skybridges, as well as concrete streets on top of cliffs the island's cliffs, and by air traffic tunnels.Though the skies from a glance appear to be less busy than Megapolis and Canal City's, the air traffic in the hyper-expressway below is very heavy, filling the space entirely.

The city is characteristic for its glass roofs with a purple tint, circular entrances to buildings, as well as fountains dotted around. The buildings most often have concrete yellow, dark green, or dark blue coloration, as well as several orange roofs. The streets contain concrete paths used by pedestrians, with trees and street lamps along them. The city also has a construction site that the power lines pass through.

The Star Explorer lands on a tower built over rocky islands, in front of the main entrance to the Silver City. The main entrance, initially blocked by an electric force field when Ratchet landed, is a set of stairs covered by a tunnel-like glass roof. A taxi also travels to a maintenance entrance to the hyper-expressway.

Hyper-expressway

Silver City 2

The hyper-expressway

The hyper-expressway[5] is visited during "Open the main entrance". It is a series of large tunnels underneath the water through which bustling air traffic passes through. It is entered from a tower built on top of an island a fair distance from the city (out to the left of the main entrance), where an elevator shaft leads down to a tunnel connected to the hyper-expressway. The wide tunnel is filled with machinery, with rotating cogs spread throughout the chamber. A Levitator pad allows Ratchet to reach the end of the tunnel, pass an exit that opens and closes periodically, and land on a floating platform with, another Levitator pad, in the expressway.

Silver City 8

The hyper-expressway

The first part of the expressway is a a wide open chamber serving as an intersection between two tunnels, with traffic passing one way from a tunnel on the left to a smaller tunnel blocked by a force field on the right. On the ceiling are several large screens directing traffic, and at the bottom is a hole to another tunnel. At the end of the left tunnel is a second intersection between two tunnels that are blocked by force fields, and one short tunnel in the middle, up in the wall that is not used by air traffic. This tunnel has another Levitator pad, and has large electric cables running across it, with power generators on the ceiling, and cogs and machinery at the bottom. At the end of the tunnel is a ledge, with an elevator that leads up inside Silver City, to a path adjacent to the main entrance.

Silver City main area

The main area of Silver City is visited during "Find Mr. Fizzwidget". It begins with the main entrance, a set of stairs underneath a glass roof which is initially closed off. Past the stairs, there are three paths; the path straight ahead leads to a tower from where the power lines are reached, the path right leads to an elevator down to the hyper-expressway below, and the path left leads to a building built on one of the cliffs. This left path has a short flight of stairs, followed by a stretch with some metal plates that can be used for cover.

Silver City 3

The fountain

The first building is a single story building, with a glass wall just past the entrance, which has a door that is opened by standing on a switch. The room has two stairways in the back. The left stairway leads to a small park outside with a fountain, on top of which the teleporter to the Insomniac Museum appears when the player's internal clock is set between 3:00am and 4:00am. A small area that has glass walls on both sides, with a platinum bolt behind it, has a small gap at the bottom which the Spiderbot Glove can reach to activate a switch and open the wall on the other side. The right stairway leads to a larger street.

The street has a glass wall separating it and the next one on the left side, and the edge of a cliff on the other end. Along this street on the left side are several houses, as well as the previously mentioned glass wall area. On the opposite side of the street, a fountain is found in between the buildings, and an elevator shaft up to an open roof on one of the buildings can be found.

Silver City 9

A street in the Silver City.

This roof has large glass walls as railings, a door on the right to a small room with crates, and a path left along the roof leading to another elevator shaft down to a short street connected to the first street, blocked off by the glass wall. This street has five buildings, two either side, and one larger one on the end with stairs into its entrance. The building has only one room containing little inside, with stairs at the end leading upwards to a small area outside with an elevator leading up to a room within a large skyscraper, near the top.

The room in the skyscraper has both a Megacorp weapons vendor and an armor vendor, a shop counter (which is empty), an open balcony on the left with a taxi that returns to the landing pad, and another small balcony at the other corner leading out. Stepping on this balcony causes it to retract into the walls, leading to an entire grav-ramp-plated wall. Below the wall is water and some rocks, and there are several windows along the wall with more retractable balconies. The bottom-right window on the right side leads to a short grav-ramp covered tunnel, that leads to a corkscrew-shaped grav-ramp across to a large, open area.

Silver City 4

A sector of the Silver City

Said area is located on an island, with a slanted glass ceiling and glass walls around it. This area has four towers, two tall ones holding up the higher ceiling, and two short ones, one of which is connected to the corkscrew grav-ramp, and another the same height but stretching along to an elevator up to the top of the area. Close to the top of the two tall towers and near the mid pont between them is a floating round platform with a platinum bolt. The ground at the bottom is mostly vegetated, with grass and a few trees, as well as large stashes of crates. A grav-ramp leads up to the short tower on the right end, which in turn leads to an elevator up to the taller tower on the other corner, which then leads to the taller tower on the left through a versa-target.

Plasma Coil gameplay

Ratchet traversing the grav-ramp

On this tower, a larger corkscrew-like grav-ramp leads across to a building on the right side of the clock tower. This leads onto a lower roof of a building joined just to the right of the clock tower, and an elevator here leads up to a higher roof. Along the roof, a very narrow bridge, and two grav-ramps along the sides with glass walls behind them are joined to a floor on the outside of the clock tower building, near the roof.

Clock tower and shopping maill

These joined buildings are easily visible from the top of the skyscraper visited during the first area in "Find Mr. Fizzwidget", as well as from the platform where the hyper-expressway is visited. Both buildings are visited at the end of "Find Mr. Fizzwidget", and are where a Fizzwidget bot gave out free samples of the Protopets.

Silver City 5

The interior of the shopping mall

The clock tower is among the tallest in Silver City, and its time matches the console's internal clock. It is reached from a building joined to it on the right side as seen in the main Silver City area, which leads to a floor near the very top of the tower. On this floor is a door leading out to a balcony on the left, which retracts to create a path down along another grav-ramp wall, which has more windows with retractable balconies. A window on the left at the bottom leads to a grav-ramp inside the shopping mall. The shopping mall is a wide, empty area, with a large glass dome roof, four large red screens around the outer area, and a a versa-target at the back that allows the Swingshot to reach the outer edges of the glass dome roof.

Power lines

Silver City 6

The Silver City power lines

The power lines pass through several parts of the outer city, including a construction site. Pink electrical transponders will electrify the cables, presenting a hazard. They are reached from a tower reached directly past the main entrance, after taking an elevator shaft most of the way up the tower, and using a ladder to reach the top.

Silver City 7

The building at the end of the power lines

The power lines begin with three from the top of the tower, and bend to the left to one of the city's buildings. The power lines stop briefly, though two yellow railings on the balcony of the building can be grinded across to reach another set of power lines, which bend left and then head straight to a construction site, where they end. The beams in the construction site can be traversed across, at the end of which another set of power lines can be reached. These power lines bend left around an island and then right into a tunnel, filled with cogs, which goes through the island and then bends right to a lower part of the same construction site. At the end of which is a final short set of power lines bending left to an island. The island contains a single story building, with the entrance to a room with a teleporter inside back to the main entrance path, and a button for Slim Cognito's weapon mods shop.

Insomniac Museum garage

Insomniac Museum garage exterior

The garage exterior

The garage containing the teleporter to the Insomniac Museum is built on the cliff on top of an island a distance away from the streets in the main city, and connected by a concrete bridge from the main city to the garage. The island on which it is built has a tunnel with power lines through it (seen in "Ride the power lines"), and the garage and island are visible during "Find Mr. Fizzwidget" shortly after the first corkscrew-shaped grav-ramp

Insomniac Museum garage interior

The garage interior

The garage is a large garage signified by a tall green door with a blue circle directly above it. Concrete floors on the island surround all floors of the garage. Inside, the building has one room consisting of two corridors, one straight, and one off to the right found half-way through the first corridor room. The room has yellow lights of various shapes across the walls, but is otherwise empty aside from two teleporters on either end of the main corridor (with the teleporter on the end going to the Museum).

The garage is accessed through the teleporter on a fountain in the main Silver City area (found in the area left of the first building entered), only when the player's internal clock is between 3:00am and 4:00am of their timezone. It cannot otherwise be accessed through normal means, as the street and bridge from which it is reached are outside of the playable area, and even if it were to be reached, the door is shut.[a]

Behind the scenes

Boldan was originally known as "Planet Ottwock".[6] The level was programmed by Tony Garcia, designed by Colin Munson, and artwork was provided by Lloyd Murphy.[7] Garcia was very proud of his work on Boldan, as he felt he had come along well as a programmer by the time he was working on the level, and his chemistry with Munson led to smooth development. Munson would always make Garcia feel listened to while not allowing for his bad ideas to be implemented.[8] Boldan was pointed to internally as an example of a well-designed level, along with Dobbo, while working on Up Your Arsenal.[9]

Having agreed with Garcia's previous desire for enemies to have idling animations in his levels (seen with the tribesmen having conversations on Barlow and the Thugs-4-Less Henchmen posing as mannequins on Notak), Munson came up with idle animations for enemies before engaging with Ratchet. On Boldan his idea was for the Thugs-4-Less to play rock-paper-scissors.[10]

For the Levitator segment, the electricity effect was reused from the Tesla Claw effect and made static, while prototyped rotating objects were provided by Mike Stout.[11] Stout also provided an initial prototype for destructible cover, which Munson had wanted to implement.[11]

The Silver City's clock presented many difficulties during development. Lloyd, who provided the art, later stated he was unsure why the clock hands were done the way that they were. The clock was originally supposed to be a 100% real-time clock synced perfectly with the PlayStation 2's internal clock. However, while debugging Boldan, it was found that after approximately half an hour of playing the level, it would significantly impact framerate. To fix this, Garcia had the clock's time be simply pulled in memory when the level loads at first and never again. This would mean the clock would not be perfectly in sync if the framerate slowed down at any point.[11]

The development of Boldan was where the developers decided they wanted to allow enemies to walk on walls. This proved to be a lot of work to implement.[12] In the final release, after being hit by any weapon, enemies would simply fall off the surface when hit only once. Garcia made this choice because enemies would have knockback reactions after being hit, which would be too difficult for Garcia to program on certain surfaces. Instead, Garcia simply let them fall off the rail.[13] The Gravity Spheres that appear in the Insomniac Museum were supposed to appear on Boldan in the garden area with large stashes of crates at the bottom close to an elevator.[14]

The grind rail segment being used to access the Insomniac Museum was completely unintended by the developers.[15] The idea to add a teleporter on Boldan had come from Munson, who joked about a secret only appearing at 3AM in the morning, due to the developer name "Insomniac Games". This led to the Museum being added in Silver City due to the clock being tracked. The teleporter would instead take players to another area with enemies to get past first as a test of their skills.[16] This was placed inside a building in Silver City that had been given art for no apparent reason. Due to its placement, many players found it through a glitch in the grind rail segment.[17]

Notes

Annotations

  1. It is possible to access the Insomniac Museum garage and reach the teleporter through a glitch. To do this, the player must ride the power lines, and at the construction site, jump onto the left power line, then deliberately git hit, and glide left off the power line, towards the garage. Though the garage has no entrance, the concrete around it is not solid, so it is possible to fall through it, walk right, and then jump up into the room and reach the inside of the garage, and thus, the teleporter.

Citations

References

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