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Helga von Streissenburgen, also known as simply Qwark's Fitness Trainer[3], is a supporting character in Ratchet & Clank and Up Your Arsenal. She is Qwark's robot fitness trainer who manages his obstacle courses and works with him closely. She became a member of the Q-Force team during Qwark's battle against Nefarious, in which she gained the rank of Training Officer. On two occasions, Helga judged Ratchet and Clank's performance on her obstacle course when determining if the two were worthy of the Swingshot or the Hypershot. They failed in both cases, but she gave them the gadgets anyway.

History

Prior to Ratchet & Clank

Helga waking up Qwark to train.

Helga worked as Qwark's trainer in Metropolis, Kerwan, and would wake him up for fitness training. During the events of the Qwark vid-comic Deja Q All Over Again, Helga woke Qwark for training on the day that Nefarious first attacked Metropolis.

Ratchet & Clank

Helga, angry at Ratchet and Clank's performance.

Helga continued to run Captain Qwark's fitness course in Metropolis, Kerwan, with a Qwark bot welcoming those who chose to participate. After Ratchet and Clank completed the fitness course, Captain Qwark was impressed with their performance and wanted Helga to give them the Swingshot as a prize. However, Helga herself was entirely unimpressed, believing they had "disgraced" her obstacle course, and instead charged them 1,000 bolts for it.[4] After they purchased it, she ridiculed them once more before leaving in a taxi.

Going Commando

Helga was seen working as the fitness trainer in the Thugs-4-Less Prison on Aranos.

Up Your Arsenal

Helga amidst the Q-Force.

Helga was inducted into the Q-Force team when established by Qwark, chosen for what he described as "sensual powers of seduction", and aboard the Starship Phoenix, she worked as the Training Officer. She made ensured the Phoenix crew stayed healthy, by requiring them to take mandatory yoga classes on 4-700, managed a softball team for the Phoenix crew for which she held tryouts,[5] had a wrestling mat for competitions,[6] and brought her high protein meatloaf recipe to the cafeteria.[5] Fellow Q-Force member Al also admitted having a crush on her over the intercoms.[5] Helga also complained that the keyboard she had on the ship was too small for her fingers.[7]

Helga introducing Ratchet and Clank to her new training course.

Before traveling to Daxx, Hegla gave Ratchet and Clank the mission "Complete VR Gadget Training". In this, she challenged them another training course on the VR deck, this time for both the Hypershot and Hacker. Her best time for this course was 50 seconds.[8] After accusing them of returning to disgrace it, Ratchet instead said he'd hoped to just have the gadgets without completing the course, but Helga insisted they do it. Throughout the course, she berated their performance, but occasionally admitted they did okay. After completing the course, Helga then challenged Ratchet to a wrestling match, which he refused. She berated him once again before giving him the gadgets.[6]

Helga at Qwark's funeral.

After this, while Qwark and Sasha Phyronix had gone to meet with President Phyronix, she was in the sauna, leaving Skidd in charge of the ship.[9] After this, when she and the Q-Force had presumed that Qwark was dead and held a funeral in his honor, she broke down into tears while reminiscing about training in the fitness course with him. Helga remained with the Q-Force following this, and greeted Ratchet after he saved the Phoenix from its attack during "Get to the bridge".

Ratchet played the Qwark vid-comic, Deja Q All Over Again, in which Helga appeared.

After Up Your Arsenal

Helga was mentioned by Qwark in Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time. In Tools of Destruction, during the challenge "Light A Match Mustachio!" in the Imperial Fight Festival, Qwark commented on the lombax snooze mist claiming "I haven't experienced gas this deadly since I took Helga to that all-you-can-eat Grubsnucker buffet on planet Veldin." In A Crack in Time, Qwark cried Helga's name after Ratchet and Clank's while fleeing from Snowball.

In A Crack in Time, Ratchet and Clank met the valkyries, Helga's race.[1]

Characteristics

Helga training Qwark.

Helga is a large valkyrie robot with a round, plump body, blue eyes, and large lips. She is typically dressed in trainer gear with a Qwark logo, though between the original Ratchet & Clank and Up Your Arsenal, her appearance changes significantly. In the original game, her trainer gear is simply a black tank top and blue jogging pants, while in Up Your Arsenal, she has a full black and blue suit with orange highlights. Her face also changes between the two appearances, with her face in Up Your Arsenal having longer, narrower eyes surrounded by a black mask.

Helga is loud, aggressive, hot-headed, ignorant, and self-confident. She always condescends towards Ratchet and Clank, who she considers "pansies" that she could easily beat on her fitness courses or in wrestling matches. Helga's softer side is more often shown towards Qwark, whom she is good friends with and often goes out of her way to protect, as well as Al, who admires her.[5] Helga constantly portrays herself as being very physically fit. In the Up Your Arsenal skill point "Beat Helga's best time", it is stated that she completed her own "VR Hacker & Hypershot" training course in 0:50 seconds.

Behind the scenes

Helga in the Beta version of the first game talking to Ratchet and Clank.

Helga was voiced by Mona Marshall in both appearances, and has a heavy German accent, and has even used the term "guten tag", which is German for "good day", to Qwark at the beginning of the fourth Qwark vid-comic. The "von Streissenburgen" is also a German-sounding surname, in which the "von" is a sign of noble lineage.

Helga's last name in a promotional poster is revealed to be "von Streissenburgen". Her first name was revealed in the Epilogue found in the Goodies menu, in the magazine HotBots,[10] despite being named "Fitness Trainer" in mission descriptions. She was consistently named "Helga" afterwards when reappearing in Up Your Arsenal. Helga's species was revealed in A Crack in Time, which introduced a group of female robots known as valkyries as a way to explore her race and organization.[1] However, they were not confirmed as Helga's race until an Insomniac Live show, which provided confirmation shortly before the release of The Art of Ratchet & Clank.[2]

Concept art for the original game.

Helga went through some changes in both games compared to her final version. In early builds of Ratchet & Clank, including the E3 demo, she appears with a drastically different design, and wears full fitness gear without a Qwark symbol in this version.[11] Unused dialogue in Up Your Arsenal depicts Al confessing his feelings for Helga, and the two subsequently start flirting.[12] This would be a continuation of the dialogue still present in the final game, in which Al confesses his feelings to Helga over the ship's intercoms by accident.

A playable skin for Helga can be used in the multiplayer of Full Frontal Assault.

In the 2016 re-imagined game of Ratchet & Clank, Helga does not appear. Instead, the Qwark obstacle course is simply used by the Galactic Rangers.

Citations

References

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