Fred, also referred to as the inventor, is a minor character in Ratchet & Clank and Up Your Arsenal. He is a gadget engineer and an inventor, who has worked for the blarg at the Blarg Tactical Research Station, for himself, and for Gadgetron Corporation. Fred is notable for sharing the appearance of a character frequently appearing in commercials, often having an unlucky fate, and for inventing the Grind Boots and the Persuader. Fred is a short alien with yellow skin, brown hair, and cat ears, who appears to be a member of the same species as the Ultra-Mech Scientist, and the Inventor from Going Commando.
Ratchet & Clank
Fred featured in Chairman Drek's promotional video for new employees at the Blarg Tactical Research Station, alongside many other employees with identical appearances, testing the Grind Boots. On the grind rail, Fred jumped with the boots and missed, landing between his legs, causing him to slip and fall off.
Fred was attacked by alien swarmers when a colleague left their cages open, but was saved by Ratchet and Clank in "Explore the space station". He then sold the Grind Boots for 2,000 bolts, their price with the employee discount. Afterwards, Fred left the station, and left his job with the blarg.
Fred at some point invented the Persuader, and later traveled to Pokitaru, searching for Raritanium, which the oceans of the planet were a great source of prior to the blarg waste disposal tankers. Fred encountered Ratchet and Clank after "Navigate the sewers". Ratchet recognized him, and he attempted to hypnotize Ratchet with the Persuader to find Raritanium, though Ratchet was unswayed. Fred denounced his gadget as worthless, mentioning that it could only get him a Gadgetron vendor discount, which convinced Ratchet to find Raritanium to trade with the Persuader. After Ratchet acquired it on Hoven from the Miner, he gave Fred the Raritanium and traded for the Persuader.
Though similar characters are seen in later commercials, for the Ultra-Mech Unlimiteds on Quartu and the Hologuise on Kalebo III, it is unclear if either of these are Fred or merely identical looking characters.
Up Your Arsenal
Fred became a Gadgetron Corporation accountant, and participating in an Annihilation Nation deathcourse. He allegedly claimed at one point that a Morph-o-Ray went off in his pants. After starting the deathcourse, Fred was obliterated by lasers merely seconds after beginning the challenge.
Behind the scenes
As Fred's character model is reused in many cutscenes on planets on which he is featured, often depicting humorous on-screen deaths, it is unclear if any of these depict Fred suffering near-death experiences and surviving, or if these are merely characters using Fred's character model that died. In the original Ratchet & Clank, these deaths included two Blarg Tactical Research Station employees who fed a chicken to an alien snapper before being eaten by the mutant while the chicken survived, two employees who died in failed Suck Cannon tests, and one who was eaten by a puffer fish on Pokitaru. Following the Annihilation Nation tournament death, Fred never reappeared, suggesting his death here was permanent.
Characters using Fred's character model also appear in two more commercials. In one commercial for the Ultra-Mechs, seen on Novalis being startled by an anklebiter, on Rilgar with the Robot Lieutenant pointing a gun at him, and finally on Pokitaru being frightened by a sand mouse. In another for the Gadgetron Hologuise, the character demonstrates the Hologuise and fools sentry-bots on Kalebo III. Though these characters did not die in either commercial, it is unclear if either are Fred.
Even if the player skips the Blarg Tactical Research Station, Ratchet will greet Fred as if he already knows him.