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Dobbo is a planet in the Bogon Galaxy featured in Going Commando. It is an aquatic jungle planet home to a Megacorp testing facility, which tested products for safety and rejected those that were considered too dangerous. In its orbit is a moon city known as Lunar City.

Ratchet and Clank visited the testing facility after Angela Cross ominously told them to visit the facility if they intended to resolve a crisis that they had caused by returning the Protopet to Abercrombie Fizzwidget. Along the way, they found the Ultra-Mech Pad, allowing Clank to transform to Giant Clank and travel to Lunar City. They faced the Thug Leader in a challenge; after defeating him, the Mathematician allowed them to enter the Megacorp Games on Joba.

History

The testing facility rejected several Megacorp inventions, including the Tiny-Tot Slingshot, the Nuclear Mousetrap, Self-Wedgifying Underwear and the lawn ninjas.[1] In spite of being rejected, the lawn ninjas were later used by Qwark for his hideout on the Thran Asteroid Belt.

If you are watching this, you're fired...

Scientists testing Experiment number 13.

At some point, Megacorp scientists performed tests on the Protopet, known then as "experiment number 13". Testing was conducted by a team led by scientist Dr. James T. Fullbladder, which concluded that, despite early thinking believing the experiment was entirely docile, levels of monsterpropanase in its bloodstream triggered violent tendencies. Attempts to neutralize these failed, and Dr. James T. Fullbladder's staff recommended the experiment be destroyed at Megacorp's Deep Space Disposal Facility.[2] However, Abercrombie Fizzwidget had been kidnapped by Qwark, who was impersonating Fizzwidget. Qwark fully intended to market the Protopet because of its violent tendencies, rather than in spite of them, so that he could then save the Bogon Galaxy and restore his reputation.

On Tabora, after accidentally revealing herself to Ratchet and Clank, Angela Cross gave the two a telescreen with a recording about the Megacorp testing facility, ominously telling them to watch if they had any intention of "fixing the mess" they'd made by giving Fizzwidget the Protopet.[3] Her intention was to showcase the report video by scientist Dr. James T. Fullbladder.

Mathematician with Ratchet and Clank

Meeting the Mathematician.

In "Explore the testing facility", Ratchet and Clank arrived to search for what Angela Cross had asked them to find. On the topside facility where they landed, they did not find any leads, but found the Mathematician, who was assessing candidates for the Megacorp Games on Dobbo's moon. An Ultra-Mech Pad allowed Clank to transform to Giant Clank and travel to the moon. In "Defeat the Thug Leader", Clank defeated the Thug Leader in his mech on the Lunar City moon, satisfying the Mathematician and granting them access to the Megacorp Games.

Testing facility repair bot.png

The testing facility repair bot

Testing facility core terminal.png

Ratchet and Clank contacting Fizzwidget using the core terminal

In the inner facility, they eventually found a core terminal, though it was powered down. They called a repair bot, but if failed to repair, and simply returned to its point of origin. In "Repair the power generator", Ratchet and Clank then used the Glider to follow the repair bot and restore power to the terminal, only to find that it charged them 10,000 bolts to watch the message. After paying it, they viewed Dr. James T. Fullbladder's report on the Protopet. As logs indicated that they were the first to view the recording, they believed Fizzwidget was unaware and attempted to contact him.[1] Qwark, disguised as Fizzwidget, appeared completely aloof to what they were asking, but gave them coordinates to the Deep Space Disposal Facility, and a false password, "Qwarktastic".[1]

After leaving the planet, Megacorp contacted the Thugs-4-Less, giving them a better offer than Angela Cross.

Geography

Overview

Testing facility map

Map layout of the Testing facility

Dobbo from space appears to be a largely aquatic world, with only a few, small continents and archipalegos. The planet is home to many small tropical islands with rocky mountains, and the waters are infested with sharkigators. The sky is very dark and cloudy, and the water appears to have a dark shade.

The testing facility is a series of buildings mostly built on the water and a few on top of islands. Many of the buildings are connected by pipes, and several disconnected walkways and platforms, which are well lit by small green lights on the edges. Some hold thick blocks that the Megacorp Troopers use for cover. Many of the buildings feature large water pumps leading into the water, rotating machinery, and fans. Though the aesthetic of the buildings and their machinery vary, most have a yellow trim, and feature the Megacorp logo on the walkways. The inner facility can be seen to the east of the landing pad, where one large structure stands above the others, with a yellow pyramid roof in the vague shape of an "M", placed on top of a large island.

Overground facility

Testing facility 1

The facility.

The overground facility is a large cluster of platforms and buildings. The landing pad is located on a small island next to a few buildings with water pumps, and contains a Megacorp weapons vendor and a teleporter to the interior facility. A small platform across from this contains a Megacorp armor vendor, and behind it is a step up to a building with an exterior walkway on the right. At the end of this walkway is a small structure on the right side from where Megacorp Troopers spawn, and opposite of it is a gap with a pair of Dynamo triggers to activate platforms. A higher walkway is past this, with a stack of metal containers placed in the center, and a pair of small buildings flanking the walkway behind them. A separate structure stands behind the walkway, which is reached with the Swingshot.

The structure is a largely empty building, opening up to a larger platform with a tower on the right, and many of the metal objects used as cover by the troopers. The tower can be climbed and used to reach another platform connected to an even larger building. It has two floors, with the lower floor only being used to contain a collection of Chickenbots and two pillars used to support a narrow path that crosses to the other side. A pair of extra thin walkways connected the central one to the walls on each side. The central walkway leads to a large opening that allows access to another lone building through the use of a versa-target.

Testing facility 2

A building near the exterior of the facility.

This last building has two floors and is also placed atop the water surrounding the facility. A lone walkway is accessed at first, which leads right, past a locked doorway, and turns left past a corner, revealing a larger platform with a small, door-less room, and another guard tower. The tower can be used to cross to a higher walkway, leading past the east-side of the second floor of the building, as well as another door-less room. The walkway ends abruptly at the corner, requiring the use of the Dynamo to access a final walkway that only connects to a fourth room and juts out over the water, facing a series of versa-targets. At the end of them stands an island, which contains a single short walkway with a taxi that stops here, an Ultra-Mech Pad. This island is where the Mathematician told Ratchet and Clank about the Megacorp Games.

Inner facility

Testing facility 3

The interior of the facility.

The inner facility is largely a single long corridor, with a few narrow paths surrounded by lava on either side, and rotating fans dotted around the walls. Several pipes are found throughout the first two rooms. It is patrolled with Megacorp Sentinels, hovering robots with spotlights that will fire on a target upon detecting them or upon behind hit, while stationary Megacorp Security Turrets produced lines of plasma to eliminate intruders. Megacorp Sweeper Bots (though not visible) cleaned ashes of intruders that were killed.[4]

From where Ratchet arrives with the teleporter, a corridor stretches out past several sentinels to a small platform on lava, with lines of plasma generated from a security robot. Past this the corridor bends left and then right, leading to an elevator shaft down to a lower floor with a narrow walkway stretching out to another small area with an elevator shaft back upwards. This entire room is filled with many cross-shaped metal bars that reach up to the ceiling. Past the second elevator shaft is a higher ledge, with a long gap crossed with the Swingshot to another higher ledge. Dynamo activators generate platforms across to a flying platform that leads up to the core terminal at the top of the room at the very end of the corridor.

Testing facility 4

Part of the Glider segment.

On the top floor with the terminal is a teleporter and a Glider pad. The core terminal itself is a black computer with two yellow buttons and a large built-in telescreen. The Glider path extends backwards across the same path, and then leads behind the first teleporter to a narrow tunnel that appears to be on the inside of several large and hollow rotating cogs. It first bends to the right into a short room with circuit grids on the walls, and then into another tunnel bending right again, and then sharply bending down to a lower area. It opens up into a massive open room, with lava at the bottom and another series of cross-shaped bars filling the space from floor to ceiling. Padt this is a platform with an Electrolyzer port and a teleporter, and a completely empty room behind it where the maintenance bot will disappear to and vanish.

Behind the scenes

The outside portion of the "Explore the testing facility" mission was designed by Brian Allgier, and programmed by Tim Trzepacz. The level was used as a point of study for how to do Ratchet & Clank level design correclty during the development of Up Your Arsenal, and became a standard to which later levels would be measured against.[5]

The enemies were difficult for Trzepacz to program, however, due to Megacorp Troopers being strafing enemies that used cover, as only Ratchet's character model used the animation bundling system at the time. The solution was thus for the Troopers to be made of two parts that move independently of each other.[5] Scripting waves of enemies was also difficult, as enemies in levels had previously simply been placed and ran along splines. Dobbo's successful level design led to more waves being added, meaning more complex systems were put in place to handle waves, in which every enemy had a link to all enemies that would spawn after dying. This was challenging to program and initially led to bugs.[6]

The last Dynamo section in the inside portion of the "Explore the testing facility" mission (before the Glider segment) was designed by junior designer Mike Stout, who considers it the worst thing he added to the game. Stout tuned the section for himself, without keeping average players in mind, and was dismayed when playtesters found it difficult and failed often.[7] Stout also coded the Dynamo platforms, using art that was taken from elsewhere and upscaled. This art was never replaced, as it did not look bad enough to warrant replacing.[8]

Dobbo went through a few changes in aesthetics and placement of unlockables during development. The color of the water was originally a lot lighter, and the placement of some items at the beginning changed slightly. These changes are present in old prerelease builds, as well as the Retail Employees demo.[9] In terms of unlockable placement, the nanotech boost in the Glider segment originally did not appear,[9] while a platinum bolt at the very end of the Glider segment did, which was removed from the final release.[10]

References

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