For the love of blarg, cut out all the sappy melodrama before you lose my entire audience!
Gleeman Vox, DL
Gleeman Vox is the main antagonist in Deadlocked. He was a slademan and the found and owner of a media empire, known as Vox Industries, the Vox Network, and several other business ventures within the lawless Shadow Sector as part of his Gleeman Vox Media Empire. He also had a pet, Slugha, who he kept as a companion.
Gleeman Vox was cold, sadistic, and obsessed solely with earning bolts and the highest ratings possible. He was the leader, president and producer of DreadZone, an illegal combat sport that pitted heroes across the universe against one another for adoration of trillions of fans. The reality show kidnapped many heroes to force them to participate, including Ratchet. However, Ratchet along with his team of Clank and Big Al, began instead to work out a way to sabotage DreadZone from within and to fight their way to freedom. This eventually led to Vox's death and the downfall of his media empire.
Interesting fact folks, DreadZone started out with two guys fighting over a Breakfast Burrito, and the rest is history!
Gleeman Vox began making his fortune in several business ventures he founded within the Shadow Sector, such as Vox Industries, the Vox Network, Vox Pharmaceuticals and Vox Airways. Vox was later inspired to create a new holovision show after witnessing superheroes on holovision one morning, which caused him to ponder about creating an illegal combat sport in which intergalactic superheroes were kidnapped and forced to battle one another. A few phone calls later, DreadZone was born, and grew into an intergalactic sensation. Vox had his hands in holovision stations in four different galaxies, had his own personal army kidnapping heroes, countless DreadZone battlecourses on planets throughout the Shadow Sector, the DreadZone Station, and the show lasted for another six years. It managed to gather at least 6,000,000,000,000 fans across four galaxies.
Vox met Ace Hardlight, who went on to become a five-time grand champion, and appointed by Vox to become the leader of the Exterminators. He also oversaw the reconstruction and rehabilitation of pop sensation Courtney Gears by his own team of robotic surgeons, guaranteeing her full recovery in exchange for signing over all past and future rights to her music, image, name and likeliness (as well as her collection on Secret Agent Clank memorabilia).
After Captain Starshield was killed in an episode by Ace Hardlight, Gleeman Vox ordered his troops to set up a false distress beacon in Quadrant J0713 to lure the Starship Phoenix to the Quadrant, and kidnap three-time galaxy savior Ratchet. Ratchet, known internally as Subject 209, was then kidnapped along with Clank and Big Al. Vox declined to terminate Clank and Al, instead also giving them deadlock collars and putting them in a team as Team Darkstar, in which they would have to fight for freedom or their deadlock collars would detonate and kill them if they did not die on the battlefield.
Vox began to grow frustrated with Ace Hardlight, as despite manufacturing Ace as a marketable hero, he was failing to sell any of his merchandise. Vox called Ace into his office and scolded him for being "a pompous **** with the charisma of Blargian gnat cheese", which he believed was driving sales away. In a separate meeting with Ace following Shellshock's defeat, Vox believed that he had underestimated Ratchet and that Ratchet could prove useful, which Hardlight denied, believing that Shellshock was unfit to be an Exterminator and Ratchet had gotten lucky. Vox nonetheless continued to try selling Hardlight's merchandise, finding instead through sales of fuzzy lombax ears and focus groups that consumers were more interested in merchandise for Ratchet.
Gleeman Vox later became aware that Team Darkstar were attempting to escape the DreadZone Station and had found a way to remove their deadlock collars. Not wanting to lose his contestant, Vox dispatched Ace to foil their plans, who then shot and injured Al. After Ratchet defeated Ace Hardlight in the Liberator Tournament, Ratchet was taken to see Vox. Vox then proposed that Ratchet could become the new captain of the Exterminators, having seen the commercial potential around him. He claimed that Vox News had simply been building up his "bad boy image" to become the "hottest celebrity in the galaxy", and excitably listed Ratchet's marketing potential, citing potential record deals, movie rights, reality shows, video games, and commercial deals. However, Ratchet rejected Vox's deal, instead prompting Vox to want Ratchet dead. Vox ordered his two DZ Strikers to return Ratchet to his Containment Area, and then ordered a Test-Bot to prepare Ratchet one final battlecourse, the Gauntlet of Doom (Ghost Station), which had been mathematically proven to be unbeatable, in the hopes of killing Ratchet.
Before Ratchet competed in the course, Vox then made a public address mourning Hardlight's supposed death, but not before using the opportunity to sell Hardlight merchandise, selling the "Ace Hardlight memorial action figure" for 299 bolts and encouraging users to purchase it to express "grief and sympathy".
Ratchet completed and destroyed the Ghost Station, and then he and Team Darkstar attempted to reach the Control Level of the Battledome to release the remaining heroes. As it became apparent to Vox that the show must end, he decided that it should go out with a bang, and had his forces set up six gigatons of nitroglycerin within the Battledome, creating enough firepower to destroy the entire DreadZone Station and kill everyone on board. When Ratchet and his combat bots, Merc and Green arrived to sabotage the station, a dozen cameras arrived to film it, and Vox used the opportunity to air one final DreadZone episode: Ratchet had to race against time to prevent the explosion, or all the fans and contestants would be killed.
Ratchet was able to deactivate the containment fields and allow escape shuttles filled with heroes and DreadZone fans to escape. Nevertheless, Vox and Slugha returned to the Station on board a Giant Mech to kill Ratchet for a DreadZone finale episode. Ratchet destroyed Vox's mech suit, to which Vox expressed no remorse, as the two both dying live on holovision would make for the greatest ratings he'd ever had. Clank sent a final escape shuttle to pick up Ratchet and Vox's pet Slugha before the station exploded, and Vox screamed in anger before his death.
Media magnate Gleeman Vox ran a crooked battle arena known as DreadZone for years before it was shut down by Ratchet and Clank. The void left by the shows cancellation was replaced with a continuous loop of Lance and Janice episode 10,972 titled "I Like You, But I Don't Like-You, Like-You."
Docent 427, ItN
Vox's robotic arm was seen floating around the remains of the station, as the only part of him that had remained intact.
Following his death, the Vox Network, which ran shows such as Lance and Janice, continued to operate. Vox Holo-Films also produced My Blaster Runs Hot. To fill the void left by the cancellation of DreadZone, one continuous loop of a Lance and Janice episode 10,972 titled "I Like You, But I Don't Like-You, Like-You" was aired. Furthermore, a statue of Gleeman Vox was added into the Hall of Villainy of the Intergalactic Museum of History in Meridian City on planet Igliak, as the result of his crimes. He was one of five top villains to appear in the Hall of Villainy, along with Chairman Drek, Emperor Tachyon, Dr. Nefarious and Stuart Zurgo.
Gleeman Vox was a slademan who had green-turquoise skin and a golden cybernetic left arm. He wore a red suit with orange and yellow highlights, and black and goal shoes. He also had a moustache just covering the top of his lips.
You're not just corrupt, you're stupid!
Gleeman Vox appeared affable and charismatic live on holovision, often hyping the viewers up to prepare for DreadZone. However, in private, he was cold, sadistic and cruel, who had kidnapped and forced numerous heroes to enter the Battledome against their will, most of whom would almost certainly die or become one of Vox's Exterminators, despite falsely promising heroes could win their freedom. Gleeman Vox appeared to care solely about his own ratings and fortunes, though he also wished to rule space by expanding battlecourses from planet to planet. Vox also did not care about his own fans, willing to kill them along with Ratchet and the heroes at the Battledome as part of the grand finale for his show.
Vox used a Giant Mech in battle.
Behind the scenes
Early in development, his boss battle would emit copies of the Exterminators in combat while in the Giant Mech.
- Ratchet: Deadlocked Instruction Booklet
- Ratchet: Deadlocked strategy guide (Prima), p. 7
- Ratchet: Deadlocked: Dallas Wanamaker during the challenge Destroy the Central Core: "My dear, sweet, Juanita, I apologise for the last six years of…"
- Deadlocked, News Update
- Sony Computer Entertainment (2018). The Art of Ratchet & Clank. Dark Horse Comics. p. 130.