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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.

Boldan 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]

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 vendor.

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

Map layout of Silver City

Boldan has a yellow atmosphere, with several continents bordering a vast ocean, and at least one massive city located on an island archipelago. Most of these islands consist entirely of tall, rocky mountains, some of which as high as the 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 is one of the busiest cities in Bogon.[4] It 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.

Silver City.

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

The hyper-expressway, and a chamber to the expressway.

The hyper-expressway[5] is visited during "Open the main entrance". It is a series of wide tunnels underneath the water through which bustling air traffic passes through. There are two known entry points. One is through an elevator shaft in a tower built on top of an island a fair distance from the city (out to the left of the main entrance), leading to a chamber connected to the expressway. The other is an elevator inside the city's main entrance. Throughout the hyper-expressway are intersections for traffic, large screens with directions, and occasional forcefields blocking certain paths. In nearby chambers connected to the expressway are rooms with rotating cogs, dangling electric cables, and power generators.

Silver City main area

The fountain near the entrance.

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 into the city itself. The city then opens with a short flight of stairs leading up to a building built on one of the cliffs.

A street in Silver City.

Within Silver City are simple streets usable entirely for pedestrians,[a] with several houses and street lamps either side. Many of these streets are blocked off from one another by thick, translucent walls. Nearby, and sometimes alongside, the streets are small patches of vegetated land, as well as water fountains, one of which is located adjacent to the city's main entrance and contains a teleporter to the Insomniac Museum garage. To navigate the city, grav-ramps provide a means to traverse otherwise inaccessible paths around the streets and between the larger buildings. One of these grav-ramps is a corkscrew structure, and connects two towers,

A sector of Silver City.

As well as houses, Silver City is also home to a few larger buildings, and some skyscrapers. One of these skyscrapers, the clock tower, has a store on its top floor, which has both a Megacorp weapons vendor and an armor vendor, as well as an empty shop counter. This store room also has an open balcony on the left with a taxi that returns to the landing pad, and another small balcony, which is retractable and will retract onto a grav-ramp covered wall. Similarly, Silver City is home to a vast garden area located on an island, with a glass dome above it. Nearby the garden area are towers that are directly adjacent to the conjoined clock tower and shopping mall, the city's most notable known attractions.

Clock tower and shopping mall

The interior of the shopping mall

The clock tower is among the tallest buildings in Silver City,[b] and connected to the shopping mall, where a Fizzwidget bot gave out free samples of Protopets. At the top of the clock tower, is a balcony which retracts to create a path down to a grav-ramp wall, throughout which other retractable balconies are located, one of which leads to the shopping mall. The shopping mall is a wide, empty area, with a large glass dome roof, and four large red screens located on its walls.

Power lines

The Silver City power lines, and the building at the end.

The power lines pass through several parts of the outer city, including a construction site located out on the water, a presumed planned expansion for the city. Pink electrical transponders will electrify the cables, presenting a hazard. They begin from a tower reached directly past the main entrance, and end on an island a distance off from the city, with a single story building containing a teleporter inside, and a button for Slim Cognito's weapon mods shop. Also along the power lines is a tunnel through an island, filled with cogs and machinery.

Insomniac Museum garage

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.[c]

The garage is a large building 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).

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

The grind rail segment being used to access the Insomniac Museum was completely unintended by the developers.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

Notes

Annotations

  1. The streets of Silver City do not appear to have parking places or any area where one could feasibly drive. It is possible therefore that all of Silver City's traffic is located in the hyper-expressway underground, keeping the city itself clean.
  2. The clock tower is 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. Its time will match the player console's internal clock.
  3. In gameplay, the Insomniac Building garage is not actually visited. Instead, it 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. However, it is also 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