Dr. Nefarious. A vile, evil, ruthless supercriminal who put multiple galaxies in jeopardy. His most notable offense was his attempt to misuse The Great Clock for his own twisted purposes. Dr. Nefarious's current whereabouts are unknown, and he remains at the top of the Galaxy's Most Wanted list.Docent 427 description of Dr. Nefarious.
Doctor Nefarious is the primary antagonist of the Ratchet & Clank series, being the main antagonist of Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time, the secondary antagonist of Rift Apart, an antagonist in both Ratchet & Clank (2016 game) and the tie-in Ratchet & Clank movie, one of the four main protagonists of All 4 One, and has appearances in other titles. A robot scientist and self-proclaimed supervillain, he is the nemesis of Captain Qwark, and has a distinct hatred for organic life forms.
Dr. Nefarious waged a war in the Solana Galaxy with his robot and tyhrranoid forces, plotting to transform its population into robots with a superweapon known as the Biobliterator, and rule the galaxy. After being thwarted by Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark, Nefarious landed on an asteroid that floated off to the Polaris Galaxy. There, he learned of the Great Clock, and plotted to take over it in order to control time itself and rewrite history to ensure villains always win. To do this, he feigned an alliance with the Zoni before then trying to take them on, but was once again being thwarted by his nemeses. After another failed attempt to eliminate them, he was required to team up with them on planet Magnus in order to stop the Loki Master from destroying the universe.
Dr. Nefarious is a psychotic and sadistic mad scientist. Though not his sole motive, he acted mostly out of vengeance, and has formed partnerships with many whom he would quickly betray. He has used entire armies of soldiers to invade planets, such as the amoeboids, the tyhrranoids, and his various robotic forces. Of his allies, the only one who has stuck with him throughout his career is his butler, Lawrence, who still has a disdain for the scientist. Nefarious is an extremely powerful robot that is deadly in combat, though he is prone to malfunctioning, during which he will freeze up and play an episode of Lance and Janice before being whacked.
By Rift Apart, Nefarious appears to have been fixed thoroughly, as he no longer freezes upon getting angry in said game.
- 1 History
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
Nefarious' early history is detailed in the Qwark vid-comic series, though it is referenced later. Nefarious began as an organic lifeform and attended the same school as Qwark. The two met in Mr. Bozell's ninth-grade biology class. Nefarious hated the class, in no part due to how Qwark, who was three times Nefarious' size and twenty-six years old at the time, would bully him by doing things such as calling him "that freak with the headgear", pouring chemicals on his head, cleaning the chalkboard with his pants (while he was still wearing them) and giving him wedgies. Nefarious nonetheless considered him a friend.
Later, Nefarious, with his new butler Lawrence, created a biological menace known as the amoeboids, which he unleashed upon Blackwater City on planet Rilgar, with the goal of exterminating all life on Rilgar. Captain Qwark, after being notified about the attack by the president, arrived to defeat the amoeboids. Qwark defeated them, causing Nefarious to flee Blackwater City in disgrace, swearing vengeance on the city.
He returned to his base on planet Magmos, arriving six days later, with Qwark clinging onto the side of Nefarious' ship. Qwark attempted to disguise himself as a pizza delivery woman to infiltrate Nefarious' base. Nefarious found this laughable, but allowed Qwark in anyway as he believed his security forces would defeat Qwark. Qwark instead confronted Nefarious, and in an attempt to give him a wedgie for old time's sake, he accidently knocked Nefarious off the catwalk and fell into the machinery of his base. Qwark assumed Nefarious was finished and left, unaware that the machinery transformed Nefarious into a robot.
Following his transformation, Nefarious invaded Metropolis, Kerwan with an army of insectoid swarms that would wreak havoc across the city, acting out of vengeance. The insectoids attacked Qwark during his exercise routine, and Qwark then confronted the robotic Nefarious. Qwark defeated Nefarious, and tore his head from his body. Nefarious swore he would one day return to Metropolis to destroy Qwark and the city, though Qwark threw his head in a trash can.
While caught off-guard, Lawrence incapacitated Qwark, locked Qwark away in one of Nefarious' secret prisons, and began repairing Nefarious. Lawrence accidentally screwed Nefarious' head on backward, angering Nefarious. While yelling furiously at Lawrence, Nefarious froze up and played a Lance and Janice episode. Lawrence opted not to fix this malfunction. Captain Qwark managed to escape Nefarious' prison and hid away in his hideout in the Thran Asteroid Belt. When Nefarious did not resurface, Qwark assumed he was gone for good.
Ratchet & Clank re-imagined
In Qwark's retelling and the holo-film based on the events of Ratchet & Clank, Nefarious has an entirely different backstory. In these events, Nefarious was a member of the Galactic Rangers, a team led by Captain Qwark and commissioned by President Phyronix. He designed and invented most of the weapons used by the other Rangers, though his budget was frequently cut. Due to his mistreatment by Captain Qwark, Nefarious betrayed the team, and attempted to atomize Kerwan's Aleero City. Qwark stopped him, and he was promptly imprisoned. He was assumed to have then died in a subsequent prison escape, though he had survived.
Nefarious began working with Chairman Drek and the blarg, having a key role in designing much of the weaponry and equipment for Drek Industries, including the XK-81 Jetpack, RYNO, and Sheepinator. Chairman Drek had begun work on creating a new planet, New Quartu, built using the parts of planets he destroyed. Nefarious helped Drek's quest, constructing the Deplanetizer, which used an artificial supernova to power its laser, an idea Nefarious had in jail. He also created an army of warbots on Quartu's Skorg City, used to invade planets, of which one of the warbots created in Nefarious' factory was a defect, Clank. Nefarious was nonetheless using Drek for his revenge against Qwark and the Galactic Rangers: by helping Drek destroy planets, Nefarious was ruining the reputation of the Rangers in a bid to destroy as many planets as possible.
Drek sent Nefarious' warbots to invade Quartu, though Ratchet and Clank destroyed the Class G Dreadship and ended the attack, leading to their recruitment as Galactic Rangers. Nefarious then suggested that in order to defeat the Rangers, Drek persuade Qwark to come to his side instead. After attacking Quartu, Drek managed to persuade Qwark to betray the Rangers, without revealing that he was working with Nefarious. Nefarious then convinced Drek that his next target would be planet Umbris, a planet with an unstable core, meaning that its destruction at the right moment could destroy a nearby dwarf star, and thus an entire system, with it.
Before Drek destroyed Umbris, Qwark confronted Drek about the destruction of Novalis and the attack on the Rangers, which Drek had promised would not happen. Nefarious then revealed himself to Qwark to still be alive, mocked him for betraying his friends, and ushered him away. He then used the Sheepinator to morph Drek into a sheep, thrust him into a shuttle to New Quartu, and blasted him away, effectively betraying him and taking control of the Deplanetizer himself, using it to destroy Umbris. While the Galactic Rangers used the Mag Booster to throw the Deplanetizer off, Ratchet and Clank infiltrated the station. After beating Qwark to his senses, Nefarious fought the three of them, using an Alpha Disruptor, and tried to fire the Deplanetizer laser without them. He successfully fired the laser, but it destroyed New Quartu instead of Umbris.
Nefarious' story here has two different endings. In Qwark's retelling of events, Nefarious then fought Ratchet and Clank with an ultra-mech, which Ratchet and Clank destroyed, leading him to fall into the Deplanetizer's artificial supernova, presumably killing him. In the holo-film, Ratchet knocked him into the Deplanetizer with an OmniWrench, leading him to crash on Umbris, where several repair bots, mistaking him for a robot, replaced his body with a robotic one.[a]
Before Up Your Arsenal
Dr. Nefarious plotted his return to the Solana Galaxy for years, suffering endless disappointments. His goal was to transform the entire galaxy into robots with a superweapon, and usher in what he referred to as the "age of robots".
At some point, Nefarious formed an agreement with the tyhrranoids, which would serve as his main army during the war he would wage on the galaxy. He also plotted with Courtney Gears, a robotic pop star, in her hideout on Obani Draco.
At some point, Nefarious entered the show Galactic Idol. His entry was a song titled "Crushin' on Squishies". He was eliminated on the first round and sold a single copy of his album, which was later used to torture prisoners in Zordoom Prison and on planet Ebaro. Nefarious was also a huge fan of Secret Agent Clank, having watched since the first episode when Secret Agent Clank defeated the mind-stealing snotbeasts from Dimension X.
Up Your Arsenal
Nefarious orchestrated a surprise tyhrranoid attack on Veldin, which the Galactic Rangers, with the help of Ratchet and Clank, thwarted. The tyhrranoids launched another surprise attack to the presidential palace of President Phyronix in the Capital City, Marcadia, after which he issued a broadcast across the Solana Galaxy, with Lawrence providing sign language. In the broadcast, Nefarious addressed robots stating the "hour of your liberation" was at hand when all robots would bask in the liberty and equality of his "benevolent, iron-fisted rule". He also promised to rid the galaxy of the organic lifeforms, which he described as bigoted, stupid, squishy, and foul-smelling, calling for their disintegration.
Captain Qwark was recovered by Ratchet and Clank at the request of President Phyronix, as Qwark was the only man to face Nefarious and survive. Qwark founded the Q-Force, and was appointed the leader of the fight against Nefarious by the president. Under Qwark's orders, Ratchet and Clank found Nefarious' office in his base on Aquatos. Lawrence informed Nefarious of the infiltration and of Qwark's involvement while Nefarious was watching a Secret Agent Clank episode. Nefarious was infuriated to learn this, and demanded the Q-Force be annihilated.
Nefarious began to work on a superweapon, the Biobliterator, which would transform all organic lifeforms. His goal was to use the weapon to attack every planet in the Solana Galaxy, planet-by-planet. The plans were drawn up in Nefarious' research facility on planet Daxx. Information was deleted from Daxx' main computer, and stored in a data disk, located in the Leviathan. The Biobliterator was delivered from Daxx to Courtney Gears' hideout on Obani Draco for testing one day prior to Ratchet and Clank's arrival on Daxx. Nefarious discussed the Biobliterator in an episode of the holovision show Supervillain Weekly, stating he would annihilate critics who believed his plan was derivative. Additionally, a computer was used to edit one of Courtney Gears' songs, "Robots of the Galaxy", which was actually propaganda for Nefarious.
In addition to producing propaganda for Nefarious, Courtney Gears lured Clank into a trap. After Gears filmed a Secret Agent Clank episode, "Maxmillian Strikes Back", on Holostar Studios, she incapacitated Clank and took him to see Nefarious. Nefarious offered Clank a role on Nefarious' side of the war, calling Clank a "hero to robots across the galaxy". As Clank refused, Nefarious imprisoned and replaced him with a replica named Klunk, who would act as a spy.
After Ratchet survived a tyhrranoid ambush, on Holostar Studios, Klunk informed Ratchet that Nefarious was on board the Leviathan to lure them into a trap. The Q-Force located the star cruiser while it was refueling in the Zeldrin Starport, leading Ratchet, Klunk, Qwark, and Skrunch to get on board the Leviathan to confront Nefarious. Once they confronted Nefarious, he told them that he had lured them there to destroy them. Nefarious self-destructed the ship and teleported away, though Qwark obtained the master plan. Qwark used an escape pod to escape, and landed on Zeldrin below before fleeing to his hideout, leaving the master plan behind.
With the Biobliterator successfully tested on Q-Force member Skidd McMarx, Nefarious returned to Metropolis to enact vengeance on the city which he had sworn years ago. Nefarious attacked Metropolis with an army of tyhrranoids and used the Biobliterator to transform the entire city into robots, including the tyhrranoids. Nefarious called this the "age of robots", and declared it to be the final chapter in Solana's destiny. Ratchet then caught up with him, only to find he was holding the real Clank prisoner. Nefarious teleported away, while Klunk fought Ratchet, though Ratchet defeated Klunk and reunited with the real Clank.
As a result of Nefarious' attack, galactic citizens went into a state of hysteria. President Phyronix conceded defeat in the war, believing that Nefarious would transform the entire population of Solana to robots within a week, and merely changed his electoral strategy to accommodate Nefarious' win. Nefarious, meanwhile, planned to attack Veldin with the Biobliterator next, and recharged it on Koros, while also secretly constructing a second, more powerful Biobliterator. Ratchet obtained the master plan data disk from Qwark's escape pod in the crash site on Zeldrin, allowing Al to decode it. Nefarious launched an attack on the Starship Phoenix to try to stop them, though Ratchet and Clank repelled the attack, and traveled to Koros. Clank made use of a cannon on the planet to destroy the Biobliterator, much to Nefarious' dismay.
Nefarious traveled to Mylon, where the second Biobliterator was being prepared to attack Veldin. Ratchet, having learned of its existence when Al finished decoding the data disk, traveled himself and fought Nefarious at the launch site. Nefarious then teleported inside the Biobliterator with Lawrence, and attempted to kill Ratchet and Clank, only for Qwark to fly in with his shuttle and interrupt it at the last minute. Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark destroyed the Biobliterator, leaving Nefarious humiliated. The Biobliterator's computer announced the reactor would detonate within sixty seconds. Nefarious demanded Lawrence teleport away, but failed to specify a destination, only for the computer to announce it would detonate much earlier than sixty seconds. Nefarious and Lawrence were able to teleport to an asteroid, which was out of range of any planet or space station, with Lawrence predicting it could be five or ten thousand years before anything came in range.
After Up Your Arsenal
Nefarious and Lawrence continued to float on this asteroid. During Deadlocked, they floated through the Shadow Sector and it appeared that they were coming within range of the DreadZone Station. When they arrived, they found the station had been destroyed, infuriating Nefarious and causing him to short circuit.
The asteroid floated towards the Polaris Galaxy, spotted by space pirates in the Breegus Nebula. The rock eventually picked up speed and turned into a ball while drifting to planet Zanifar, and Nefarious and Lawrence sought refuge with a fongoid tribe, arriving in the middle of their spring break celebration.
While living with the fongoids, Nefarious tried to decipher how he had failed despite his efforts, and went on a spiritual, soul searching journey with the fongoids to learn the answers. He studied fongoid meditation, attended anger management class, dabbled in yoga, attended more anger management class, but while on a spirit walk on planet Quantos, he discovered a fongoid cave from which he learned through wall paintings about a race known as the Zoni, in charge of protecting the universe and keeping time in balance. He then learned of their ultimate creation, the Great Clock, located in the center of the universe (give or take fifty feet). From this point, he plotted to take over the Clock for himself and rewrite history, so that the heroes always lose.
Nefarious fooled the fongoids into believing he had good intentions, and gained their assistance in creating his Tombli Outpost base on Zanifar, which would be used as a base to manufacture his army of Nefarious Troopers and new starships. He also worked with terraklon mercenary Lord Vorselon to assist him and serve as the enforcer for his new army, whom he promised to return to his original body upon taking over the Great Clock (though he later noted to his computer he would actually betray him once controlling the Great Clock). Nefarious also formed an alliance with Pollyx, the terachnoid CEO of Pollyx Industries, who signed a contract that had many terachnoids, who had exclusive access to Zoni information and technology, work for Nefarious. With the assistance of the fongoids, whom he had betrayed and imprisoned in work camps, he constructed his Nefarious Space Station, and with the help of the terachnoids, began to contact the Zoni leader, Orvus.
Orvus met with Nefarious and Pollyx, though Nefarious imprisoned him and interrogated him about accessing the Orvus Chamber within the Great Clock. Orvus refused, and Nefarious used his Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler to try and destroy Orvus, though Orvus escaped and revealed that the only one able to access the chamber was safe, far from him. This would be Orvus' heir, Clank, prompting Nefarious to find Clank once again to access the chamber.
Nefarious' new robotic army had managed to take control over much of the Breegus System. He at one point fought the lombax Alister Azimuth. Despite his history with Orvus, Nefarious managed to nonetheless form a partnership with the Zoni, who would contact Clank upon arrival in Polaris, and bring back to the Great Clock to understand his purpose.
Clank's logic and memory appeared to be dysfunctional upon returning to the Great Clock, with Nefarious promising the Zoni he would fix it. Ratchet had learned about this from the Obsidian Eye on planet Merdegraw, and chased down to the Breegus Nebula.
A Crack in Time
Nefarious, under the guise of repairing Clank, attempted to access Clank's subconscious to access the Orvus Chamber. The Zoni locked him out; when it became clear that he would not be able to access the chamber this way, Nefarious ended his partnership with the Zoni, using the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler and summoning his Nefarious troopers to deal huge damage to the Great Clock.
Nefarious' damage to the station had awakened Clank, who tried to escape Nefarious, but to no avail as Lawrence used his orb of gratuitous immobilization to incapacitate Clank. Nefarious left Clank with Sigmund to learn more about the Great Clock, but had Lawrence spy on Clank's progress. Meanwhile, he returned to his space station, rehearsing his original "epic romantic action comedy space opera" play, Night of the Living Squishies.
Nefarious learned that Ratchet and Qwark had arrived through Vorselon. Nefarious sent Ratchet and his new ally, Alister Azimuth, a transmission while at Pollyx Industries headquarters at Axiom City. Ratchet questioned if Nefarious still wished to turn everyone into robots, which he denied, claiming instead that Ratchet would soon see Nefarious' "greatest triumph" before sending the VX-99 machine to destroy them both, which they defeated. Furious at Vorselon's failure to defeat them, Nefarious instead brought in the Valkyries, Cassiopeia, Carina and Libra, who would assist in trying to stop Ratchet, Qwark and Azimuth.
When Clank led Lawrence to the Orvus Chamber, Lawrence incapacitated Clank and informed Nefarious, who initiated the next stage of their plans (known as "Unnecessarily Evil Initiative Omega-91"), in which Lawrence would take Clank to Vapedia to lure Ratchet and Azimuth there and have Cassiopeia defeat them. Qwark infiltrated Nefarious' base in a poor disguise, which Nefarious recognized but played along with the ruse regardless, while Ratchet successfully defeated Cassiopeia and was reunited with Clank, though Alister Azimuth left them both over disagreements about the Great Clock's use.
Ratchet applied a hologuise of Nefarious and infiltrated Nefarious' base, though Nefarious caught Ratchet, Clank and Qwark in the act and cornered them. He revealed to them his plan to rewrite history so that every "protagonist's triumph will be reversed". Nefarious attached Ratchet and Clank to an asteroid, using his Asteroid Flinger 5000 that he installed in the event of needing a "super ironic death scenario", which flung them away to planet Morklon, though the Zoni helped them both survive the crash.
Ratchet and Clank returned to the station and confronted Nefarious before he made his way towards the Great Clock. Nefarious ordered Lawrence to fall back to the outer perimeter to avoid damage done to the ship, as a fierce battle ensued between Ratchet and Nefarious, with Lawrence assisting Nefarious with the station's weaponry. Ratchet was able to defeat Nefarious, who malfunctioned heavily and fell unconscious. Ratchet and Clank were able to escape when saved by Alister Azimuth, while Lawrence used the ship's escape pod to leave. Lawrence teleported Nefarious' unconscious body away, which reporters revealed they could not find.
The Polaris government became aware of Nefarious' teleportation out, but was unable to find them.
All 4 One
Dr. Nefarious and Lawrence' threat level in Polaris had increased from "unknown" to "alive and at large", to which the newly elected President Qwark assured the galaxy there was no danger. Ratchet and Clank, while interviewed by Kip Darling and Pepper Fairbanks via satellite, stated they had full confidence in Qwark's ability to handle Nefarious again.
Nefarious, having escaped, had obtained the remains of a Light-Eating Z'Grute, and set up a false award ceremony for Qwark in the depths of Igliak, for the award of "Intergalactic Tool of Justice" for allegedly defeating a Light-Eating Z'Grute. Qwark attended this ceremony, while Ratchet and Clank followed closely behind, suspicious. Nefarious there resurrected the Z'Grute's remains and announced he would unleash it on the city, though the Z'Grute raged uncontrollably and Lawrence simply walked away, announcing his registration. Nefarious was then forced to team up with Ratchet, Clank and Qwark to defeat the beast, which had attracted the attention of a vast and powerful machine known as Ephemeris the Creature Collector, which transported the four to a testing laboratory on planet Magnus.
Cronk and Zephyr attempted to retrieve the four, but were stuck in an asteroid field and could not reach them. Therefore, the four would have to escape the world themselves and stop the Ephemeris. A small girl named Susie took the four to the tharpods, native to the planet, that explained the Ephemeris in detail to them. Eventually, the four worked to destroy the machine and defeat the Loki Master, who had planned to use it to destroy the universe. Nefarious worked with the four, though he expressed annoyance with Qwark and even tried to kill Qwark, before Qwark at one point saved Nefarious from falling off a cliff.
Nefarious dealt the final blow to the Loki Master in the final battle. Following this, Cronk and Zephyr were finally able to retrieve the four. Nefarious was instead saved by Lawrence, who vowed to return to Nefarious as the "market for evil sidekicks was rather thin" and the two escaped in their ship while Ratchet, Clank and Qwark were not looking, contemplating how best to avoid the Polaris Defense Force patrols. Nefarious was then seen looking at a picture of Ratchet, Clank and Qwark with a sad expression, sad to leave his new friends.
Nefarious' location was unknown, but though he remained at the very top of the Galaxy's Most Wanted list.
At some point, Dr. Nefarious came out of hiding and attempted to conquer the universe multiple times (at least 80 attempts) only to have Ratchet and Clank defeating him each time. After these defeats, Nefarious once again went into hiding for a long period of time that Ratchet and Clank assumed he retired from villainous, but in reality, Nefarious was fed up losing so many times that he planned to travel to another dimension where he always wins. After years of searching, Nefarious found the dimension, and after acquiring the Dimensionator from the Festival of Heroes, Nefarious attempted to find the coordinates to the reality where he always wins, but after Ratchet shot the core of the Dimensionator, it caused it to malfunction and subsequent catastrophic dimensional collapse in which multiple realities began to mix. Despite Ratchet and Clank beating him again, Nefarious was able to find the right coordinates and warped him and the two to through a dimensional portal which took them through multiple realities until finally landing into the other dimension before the Dimensionator exploded. Being teleported to a throne room, Dr. Nefarious found that because his counterpart always won, he was known as Emperor Nefarious, who has conquered his dimension, only being opposed by the resistance, lead by Ratchet's dimensional counterpart Rivet. During the whole crisis, Nefarious attempts to settle into the throne of his alternate self whilst Rivet attempts to reunite Clank and Ratchet.
As an organic life form, Dr. Nefarious was a humanoid, with a large, egg-shaped head, grey/yellow-ish skin, a hunchback, and a large mouth bearing his teeth. Little is seen from the vid-comics to make out his attire as an organic life form, but it appears he wore a grey bodysuit with matching gloves and boots. In Qwark's retelling and the holo-film (where he is featured more in his organic form), Nefarious had a similar cranial structure and utilized a similar bodysuit, but was equipped with decorative wings on his back, as well as red-tinted accessories such as a large node strapped to his forehead, a glowing red sigil on his chest, and a button on his belt to summon a robotic exoskeleton; this version of him had green-ish skin. These features would roughly carry over into his robotic form in both cases.
Dr. Nefarious' typical robotic form is that of a tall, humanoid robot. He has a green, transparent, egg-shaped head-dome featuring gears and cogs inside, and brightly colored red eyes. Nefarious has red highlights across his torso, a pair of mechanical wings attached to his pauldrons, hydraulic pipes on his chest and back, and diamond-shaped guards on his legs and arms.
Nefarious' appearance changes slightly between different releases. In Up Your Arsenal, his body is more realistically proportioned, with a blue body, and red highlights adorning his eyes, chest, groin, forearms, and shins. In A Crack in Time, he retains this color scheme, but has a larger head, more sunken-in eyes allowing for more facial expression, a broader upper torso, and exaggerated proportions. In All 4 One, Nefarious' body is purple rather than blue. He appears much shorter, with a larger head as proportional to the rest of his body, and a more exaggerated torso with ganglier limbs. After Ratchet traveled back in time to rescue Orvus, he gained a scar on the right side of his head after having a grenade thrown at him, slightly cracking his head and causing his right eye to limp slightly within its socket.
In Rift Apart, Nefarious's proportions return to what they were in A Crack In Time, while retaining his purple colour scheme from All 4 One while also having his scar repaired. However, if one were to look close enough, a faint scratch can be seen where his scar used to be. His exact height isn't quite clear as he's not seen anywhere close to Ratchet in the gameplay trailers. A subtle new touch is the fact that his optics now have apertures in them which allow his pupils to shrink and grow in addition to telescopic eyelids that allow him to actually close his eyes, all in the name of giving him improved expressiveness. Additionally, the "Emperor Nefarious" from Rivet's dimension possesses a distinct appearance from Dr. Nefarious; numerous holograms, statues and screens depict Emperor Nefarious as having a slightly bulkier and more embellished body. His face is more skull-like and his eyes are larger and more sinister (resembling their appearance from Up Your Arsenal).
Dr. Nefarious is characterized as a deranged, eccentric, egomaniacal scientist, sadistically showing no remorse for his actions and pleasure in villainy. He is also very conceited, with many of his creations being made in his own image, and many of his robotic servants resembling him or sharing his mannerisms, suggesting narcissistic traits. He has an extreme hatred for organic life, referring to organic life forms as "squishies", and seeking to exterminate them or transform them into robots. Even when putting aside his hatred towards them in order to further his goals, he vowed to eventually destroy them again once he was finished.
Nefarious has proven to be cunning, able to manipulate many to work for him. He was able to fool the fongoids, the terachnoids, the Valkyries, and the Zoni to ally with him, before betraying them all. While working with them, however, he has often shown a complete impatience towards them when they fail him. While he normally betrays his allies once he has obtained his goal, when it seems clear that they will no longer be useful or co-operate with him, he will betray them prematurely.
Towards the end of All 4 One, Nefarious' companionship with Ratchet, Clank and Qwark appears to have changed him, being close to tears when looking at a photograph of the four of them.
However, in Rift Apart, Nefarious seems to have reverted to his evil supervillain ways but has grown tired of losing to Ratchet and Clank and sought to make them know what it feels like to lose by going to an alternate dimension where he always wins. After successfully entering the dimension where an alternate version of him reigns supreme, Nefarious was exuberant at the thought of actually succeeding and didn't hesitate to take his counterpart's throne. Nefarious engrossed himself in the power his new position as emperor, almost enjoying it too much.
However, after meeting his more capable counterpart, Nefarious showed an uncharacteristic submissive side, begging for his life to team up with Emperor Nefarious to save himself and almost regret from impersonating him. Though their team up appeared decent it was ultimately a very tense one, as Emperor Nefarious overshadowed and dominated over Dr. Nefarious the entire time, abusing him, leaving the doctor to be quiet and subdued; things Nefarious never is. Nefarious would try to advise his counterpart and make suggestions, but he would be ignored and belittled, leaving the doctor despondent and sullen. Nefarious would ultimately feel outraged and betrayed after his counterpart announced his plans of invading his home dimension, as he believed that was his dimension to rule. He would, however, get his own form of payback as he watched with amusement as Emperor Nefarious struggled in defeating the heroes and rebels that united against his counterpart, stating all along that the heroes besting him wasn't because of him but because the heroes and people of his home dimension were stubborn. After Emperor Nefarious was completely beaten and defeated, leaving him begging Nefarious for help, the doctor would simply use his counterpart's own cruel words against him and abandon the emperor to his doom.
Dr. Nefarious, a self-proclaimed genius, is incredibly intelligent, demonstrating his engineering abilities when he designed and built the Nefarious Space Station (a weapon with a superlaser powered by a hypernova), the Biobliterator (a superweapon that converts organic matter into robotic material), and legions of robotic soldiers. Nefarious was even able to create weapons that could combat the Zoni, a godlike race with manipulation over space and time, notably the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler that could defeat them and destroy their equipment, and a Zoni vessel that kept Orvus captive. Nefarious also demonstrates his intellect as a strategist, coming very close to winning a galactic win in Solana with the President practically surrendering, cunningly manipulating many races to help him achieve his goals, and successfully tricking Clank and Sigmund into opening the Orvus Chamber for him.
In combat, Dr. Nefarious has a vast array of powers and abilities. To attack opponents, Nefarious is able to control and release forms of energy from his hands, which among other things, can rain down rainbow-like streams of energy to hit targeted areas, raise walls of energy from the ground, project holograms of himself that slash his foes with a claw, and lob explosive balls of energy creating shockwaves when hitting the ground. He can fire a large barrage of explosive missiles from his body to cover the battlefield. Nefarious also has great agility, able to perform flips and powerful jumps (most notably with his Cloak & Dagger technique in All 4 One), and fly with booster jets in his feet and using wings on his back to keep balance (and also fire at opponents mid air). In Rift Apart he has been shown to possess some degree of telekinesis, having the ability to pull objects in the environment towards him and push them back at his enemies with great force to damage them and has a large retractable blade in his right forearm, that he uses to lunge and slash at his opponents with.
Nefarious is extremely resilient, able to take large amounts of damage before being incapacitated. Despite the strength of Ratchet's weapons, Nefarious has never been heavily damaged beyond repair, and has always been able to escape with the help of Lawrence.
While Nefarious rarely used equipment himself as his robotic form already capable of dealing damage, many of his minions wielded powerful weaponry. He still made use of some weapons himself, often invented by him. In his first battle with Ratchet and Clank he utilized two guns to perform a laser sweep. A notable weapon is the Biobliterator, which doubled up as a vehicle that he at one point piloted to fight Ratchet, Clank and Qwark. The Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler was used by him throughout the Great Clock, as it was able to damage Zoni and their equipment. He also possessed a blaster with ricocheting bullets that could take a Nefarious Trooper down with one shot.
During All 4 One, Nefarious used a large arsenal of weapons, including his own RYNO VI Protosuit. Nefarious equipped himself with the Annihilator Blades as his regular melee weapon; which he would use to attack with a slash from each claw, followed by a third strike with both. Nefarious also used it for his Comet-strike, where he would detach it from his arm and launch it at an opponent. His special weapon was the Cloaker, which allowed him to turn invisible, and while attacking with it he would execute the "Cloak & Dagger" maneuver whereupon he jump incredibly high and slam his Annihilator Blades into a foe.
Behind the scenes
Dr. Nefarious was conceptualized as a new galactic calamity for the heroes to overcome when creating Up Your Arsenal. The character of a mad scientist that wanted to destroy the galaxy was a nod to villains from old radio shows and vintage science fiction films.
Dr. Nefarious was originally going to be permanently killed at the end of A Crack in Time, thought to be the last game in the series, with his crashing into the Nefarious Space Station being thought of as a fitting end for the character. However, Sony executives requested that he be kept alive and the series was set to continue after A Crack in Time, leading to him be retconned to still be alive within the comic series and returning later.
Nefarious's height varies greatly between his appearances. In the vid-comics in Up Your Arsenal, organic Nefarious is shorter than Qwark, though robotic Nefarious is twice Qwark's height during fights. During both Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time cutscenes, Nefarious is a little taller than Qwark, though in All 4 One, Nefarious is listed as 6' and is shorter than Qwark.
Early concept art of Nefarious reveals he was going to have a different design, with a cape in place of wings.
- In Size Matters, Nefarious can be seen during Ratchet's dreamtime.
- In Secret Agent Clank Klunk created a clone of Nefarious which shared his abilities and was programmed to obey him.
- During Tools of Destruction, Qwark, while working as the announcer at the Imperial Fight Festival, could be heard saying "Will a 'Dr. Nefarious's please report to the concession stand; we recovered your wallet" over the arena's loudspeaker.
- In the comic series, newspapers can be seen written about Nefarious.
- Like many characters, a skin of Nefarious can be used in Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault.
- In Into the Nexus, Nefarious is found in planet Igliak's museum in a center of the room containing the universe's greatest criminals, with a working replica of the Biobliterator in the Solana Galaxy section.
Non-Ratchet & Clank appearances
Nefarious appears in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in San Francisco where his Nefarious Space Station is located. After some time in the stage, he will move the players onto the station and begin attacking them with help from the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler. In this game, he is allied with the Chimera, a species from Insomniac Games's Resistance series. He also appears as a Minion that is unlocked by reaching Level 80 with 3 characters.
Nefarious also appears in the Firing Range in PlayStation Home (future), and in 8-bit Mini-Mayhem.
IGN listed Dr. Nefarious as 65th in a list of Top 100 Videogame Villains, noting he was an example of a series villain who is "evil in the most loveable way", and praising his malfunction in which he blows a fuse only to be whacked later. A Game Revolution praised Nefarious' "psychotic babbling", stating that it "strikes the right balance between threatening and comical". Matt Miller writing for GameInformer listed Dr. Nefarious as their seventh best in a list of top ten A.I. characters of the decade, claiming his plots "are too ridiculous to take seriously, and just the right challenge for the dynamic duo", concluding that he was a great villain who who "hits all the right notes to fit the franchise". Jim Sterling listed Nefarious as one of "Gaming's maddest mad doctors" in an article for GamesRadar.
- As Qwark's retelling and the holo-film contradict Nefarious' story in the Qwark vid-comics, which is referenced on many occasions throughout the series, it can be assumed these events did not take place.
- Up Your Arsenal script § "9th Grade Biology Class"
- All 4 One
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Emergency Plan Number 2"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Qwark Has a Big Heart"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Qwark Holds His Breath"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Somebody Order a Pizza?"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "9th Grade Biology Class"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Giant Green Bratwurst"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Quit While You're a Head"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Redecorating the Torture Chamber"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Who's Butt is This?"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Find Dr. Nefarious (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Get to the bridge (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Defeat the Biobliterator (gameplay)"
- Off 2004 p. 108
- Tools of Destruction, IRIS supercomputer dialogue after asking
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Film a Secret Agent Clank Episode (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Intro movie"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Meet Dr. Nefarious"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Eliminate the Enemy Forces (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Captain Qwark Returns"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Dirty Laundry and Whatnot"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Infiltrate the Weapons Facility (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Find Nefarious (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Supervillain Weekly"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Explore the Docks (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Beat Courtney Gears (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Explore the Crash Site (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Supernova Taxi"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Defeat Giant Klunk (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Phoenix 7"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Access big gun control panel (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Defeat Dr. Nefarious (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Agent Clank's Next Mission"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Bass Odyssey"
- Deadlocked script § "You make me feel like a young boy again!"
- Tools of Destruction, In Slag's Fleet, Ublik Passage, a group of space pirates could be found speaking together, one saying "I saw him ridin' on one of them asteroids in the Corvus Nebula, a brain like clockwork and such. He also had a round fella with him. He called him 'Janice'."
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 1: Ears of War p. 15
- Into the Nexus, Docent 427 in Nefarious' entry: "Dr. Nefarious. A vile, evil ruthless super criminal who put multiple galaxies in jeopardy. His most notable offense was his attempt to misuse the Great Clock for his own twisted purposes. Dr. Nefarious's current whereabouts is unknown, and he remains at the top of the Galaxy's Most Wanted List."
- McLaughlin 2012
- Sony Computer Entertainment 2018 p. 120
- Allgeier, Fixman 2018 14:50
- Allgeier, Fixman 2018 43:40
- Dawkins 2018
- Off 2011 p. 15
- IGN 2010
- Game Revolution 2004
- Miller 2010
- Sterling 2011
- Video games
- Insomniac Games (2004). Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2007). Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2008). Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2009). Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2011). Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2016). Ratchet & Clank [Game]. PlayStation 4. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Greg Off (November 2004). Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 0744005000.
- Greg Off (October 2011). Ratchet & Clank All 4 One Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 0744013437.
- Sony Computer Entertainment (July 24, 2018). The Art of Ratchet & Clank. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 1506705723.
- Rus McLaughlin (June 14, 2012). IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank. IGN. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017.
- Dan Dawkins (March 26, 2018). “We made a four-page manual on crate stacking”: Ratchet and Clank’s creators on the lessons of their 15-year success story. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018.
- Rus McLaughlin (June 14, 2012). IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank. IGN. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017.
- Game Revolution (November 13, 2004). Ratcheting up the fun. Review. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017.
- Matt Miller (November 24, 2010). Top Ten A.I. Characters of the Decade. Game Informer. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017.
- Jim Sterling (March 31, 2011). Gaming's maddest doctors. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017.
- IGN (May 11, 2010). The Top 100 Videogame Villains. IGN. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017.
- Brian Allgeier, TJ Fixman (June 26, 2018). 15 Years of Ratchet & Clank: A Lombax Story. GDC. YouTube.
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