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The Electrolyzer is an item in Going Commando. It is a handheld item that can repair circuits to power machinery, by flipping all connectors (all connectors are flipped at once using Circle) to direct moving blue particles to pass through them. If a particle hits the side of a connector, the puzzle restarts instead, but if all connectors are removed, the machine works properly afterwards.

History

Electrolyzer gameplay

Ratchet using the Electrolyzer to rescue Clank.

Ratchet obtained the Electrolyzer in the Maktar Resort, after completing the Galactic Gladiators challenge "Battle for the Electrolyzer"., and subsequently used it to repair the energy bridges to reach his ship. He then used the gadget in Megapolis, Endako, during "Rescue Clank from the thief", to repair cranes and broken doors, allowing him to access the area. It was also used in the Vukovar Canyon, on Barlow, to repair a broken hoverbike that belonged to Biker One, and in the testing facility, on Dobbo, to repair a generator and provide power for the core terminal inside the facility.

It was later used to repair an elevator during "Explore the Weapons Facility" in the Megacorp Armory on Todano, to reach the top of a dam, and again in the warehouse in the distribution facility, Smolg, during "Traverse the Warehouse", to repair an elevator providing an exit to the warehouse. Finally, the Electrolyzer was used on Yeedil in "Break into Megacorp Headquarters" to reactivate a moving platform near the end of the path to the lab.

Behind the scenes

The Electrolyzer is found in the Insomniac Museum, where the player can customize it.

Insomniac junior designer Mike Stout designed the Electrolyzer gadget,[1] and implemented the puzzles while Mark Cerny designed them, as Mike had trouble fine-tuning the difficulty for regular players. The Electrolyzer puzzles are placed in a part of the location that isn't accessible, and the camera teleports to them when an Electrolyzer puzzle is taking place.[2]

Electrolyzer Portal promo render

An Electrolyzer Portal.

The implementation of the Electrolyzer encouraged Mike Stout to program more for the game in spite of only being a designer, as junior designer Tony Garcia was originally tasked with programming the Electrolyzer, but hastily implemented it as he was less invested in it than Mike. As Mike had to take responsibility for the Electrolyzer, he programmed it himself.[3] One thing Mike added was a lingering particle effect that occurs upon failing the Electrolyzer puzzle, to ensure the player knows where and when they were failing and does not repeat the mistake. This was a result of playtests in which players would immediately press Circle to continue, and fail on the same area.[4] The particle effect would have been taken from the Thugs-4-Less Henchman on Notak, but was too expensive to be used; as a result, an effect made by Tim Trzepacz was used.[5]

In a demo of the game, Ratchet could equip the Electrolyzer and use it like a gadget, similar to the Trespasser, suggesting that it was changed to an unequippable item later in development.[6]

During development, Electrolyzer puzzles took hours to develop and were bug prone, as opposed to Infiltrator puzzles which were simpler to author. The Hacker in Up Your Arsenal was therefore designed to address the Electrolyzer's issues by having its minigames very easy to author.[7][8]

References

  1. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 4 - Part 1/2 (@9:05) published by uselesspodcasts on June 21, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
  2. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 4 - Part 2/2 (@6:15) published by uselesspodcasts on June 21, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
  3. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 5 - Part 1/2 (@3:08) published by uselesspodcasts on June 23, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
  4. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Bonus 1 (@0:28) published by uselesspodcasts on September 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
  5. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 9 - Part 1/2 (@4:48) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  6. Ratchet & Clank 2 (Demo) Weapons / Gadgets (@10:51) published by RC Lombax on 28 June, 2016 on YouTube. Accessed February 15, 2018.
  7. Developer Commentary: RC2 - Ep 16 - Part 2 (@6:12) published by uselesspodcasts on July 21, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
  8. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank - Developer Commentary - Ep 13 published by uselesspodcasts on May 28, 2012 on YouTube. Accessed February 10, 2018.
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