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Ratchet hoverboarding in Blackwater City

Ratchet during a hoverboard race in the 2002 game.

Hoverboard racing is a popular sport in the Solana Galaxy, playable in Ratchet & Clank and the 2016 re-imagined game. Racers compete against each other, riding their own hoverboards through a Gadgetron HoverTracks[1] with three laps.

Hoverboard races take place in the major hoverboard competition in Blackwater City on Rilgar, the Hovercon Intergalactic Hoverboard Competition[2] presented by Starlene, which Ratchet and Clank participated in to take the place of the pro-hoverboarder Skid McMarx. The two also competed in a test race course used for testing Gadgetron Corporation's hoverboards at the Gadgetron site on Kalebo III.

History

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet and Clank found pro-hoverboarder Skidd McMarx stranded in Outpost X11 on Aridia, having seen him in an infobot given to them by the Plumber on Novalis. Skidd assigned the mission "Help Skid get to his ship", in which he requested they defeat sandsharks to clear a way for him to return to his ship and leave the planet, in exchange for granting him his Z3000 Deluxe Hoverboard, a rare hoverboard not available on the market.[3] Later, the two found Skidd's agent, Don Wonderstar, who asked them to compete in the Blackwater City hoverboard races in place of Skidd, offering them a reward in return.

After "Explore the blarg warship" in which the two searched a blarg warship in Nebula G34, an infobot gave them details on Darla Gratch's reporting on the hoverboard competition in Blackwater City, and resolved to compete as Captain Qwark would be presenting the grand prize.[4] The two arrived in Blackwater City, approached Starlene, and competed in the hoverboard race against other racers. Captain Qwark presented them the grand prize, a Platinum Zoomerator, allowing them to increase a boost gauge in the hoverboard by performing tricks in the air. After bringing this back to Don Wonderstar on Aridia, he provided them with a Sonic Summoner.

When searching the Gadgetron site on Kalebo III for the Hologuise, the Gadgetron CEO Wendell Lumos offered it to them if they beat his racing test dummy racers, hoping they could represent Gadgetron's new line of hoverboarders.[5] After they beat the hoverboard race, Lumos was impressed with their racing performance and filmed an advertisement with the two, but was unimpressed with their commercial.[6] He nonetheless granted them a Hologuise.

Re-imagined

The 2016 re-imagined game and movie are in-universe fictional accounts of the original Ratchet & Clank.
The re-imagined game describes Captain Qwark's account of events, while the re-imagined film is an in-universe holofilm. As Qwark is an unreliable narrator, and the holofilm is fiction, any events that contradict the original are non-canon (though those which correspond still apply). Please see Project:Bulletin board/Canon for the wiki's coverage of canon.

In Qwark's retelling of events, the same hoverboard race tracks appeared with slight differences. After "Defend the planet", Mayor Agnogg Buckwash on Novalis asked Ratchet and Clank to help his nephew, Skidd McMarx, on Aridia, who had been attacked by the blarg at the opening of his new McMarx Sports Shack in Outpost X11 when he accidentally revealed hydroharvester schematics. When the two found him on the planet, he offered them the mission "Help Skidd get to his ship", for which he granted them a McMarx 4000 Hoverboard for defeating sandsharks. He then gave them the mission "Find Skidd's Agent", Don Wonderstar, whom he had been separated from.

After they rescued Don Wonderstar from a blarg attack, Don and Skidd reunited. Don scolded Skidd for being unable to compete due to his industry, though he offered Ratchet the chance to compete, and gave Ratchet an infobot for the Blackwater City Hoverboard Competition on Rilgar. The infobot implied the sport was extremely dangerous, with many racers suffering heavy injuries, but nonetheless enjoying the competition. The two arrived on Rilgar, and after "Travel to the hoverboard event", they met Starlene, who allowed them to compete in Skidd's stead. Following this, they competed in the Bronze Cup, the Silver Cup, and the Gold Cup, winning a RYNO holocard for the Gold Cup. The hoverboard races were sponsored both by Gadgetron and Megacorp, with Starlene sometimes reading out advertisements for the latter's Protopet.

Later, after meeting Gadgetron CEO Wendell Lumos in the Gadgetron Headquarters on Kalebo III while searching for a Hologuise following "Find the Focus Lab", Lumos lamented that they were out of the product, as blarg had raided their stockpiles, but still had a prototype remaining in their hoverboard races. The hoverboard race track was inaccessible due to a flood, after the blarg bombed their dams, but Ratchet drained it using the Hydrodisplacer, draining the water around the site. They then allowed him to compete, and he won the Bronze Cup rewarding him with the Hologuise, the Silver Cup, and won the Gold Cup, awarding them with another RYNO holocard.

Post-Ratchet & Clank

While hoverboard races were not explicitly featured, similar skyboard races were popular in Size Matters, on planet Kalidon and in the remains on Medical Outpost Omega.

Skidd McMarx appeared to have changed his career, having joined the Q-Force during Up Your Arsenal, and later scoring a successful career in spoken word poetry.[7]

How to play

Ratchet hoverboarding in Gadgetron Site

Ratchet in a hoverboard race at the Gadgetron site

Hoverboard races are competed in by speaking to the presenter of the race, which is either Starlene on Rilgar or Wendell Lumos on Kalebo III. They can be competed in at any times, even after the initial mission has been completed. Each race lasts three laps around a map, and is won only by coming in first place.

There are several boost pads around the track, and rings providing short boosts. Traveling through these will provide quick burst of speed to beat the track (though in the re-imagined release, traveling through rings instead adds to the boost gauge). It is possible (and highly recommended) to cut corners by jumping over corners rather than going wide. Jumping over ramps allows you to jump in the air for extended distances, and performing tricks in the air fill boost gauges that can be used to provide speed bursts through the track. In the original release, this requires the Platinum Zoomerator won from the first race initially, and there are a set of specific tricks.

There are also several crates located throughout the tracks. In the original release, normal crates provide bolts, while explosive crates will cause you to fall off your board, and then be reset on the track later, with a slight delay. In the re-imagined release, normal crates provide bolts and also fill your boost gauage, while explosive crates simply slow you down and stop any momentum you had. In both cases, it is important to avoid explosive crates as much as possible while hitting as many normal crates as you can.

In the race on Kalebo III, there are also shortcuts opened up by riding through three rings, allowing Ratchet an advantage. In the original release, it is possible to pick up a Devastator along the course, and fire one blast per pick up to destroy other racers, stopping them temporarily until they respawn, allowing Ratchet to overtake.

List of races

Original Ratchet & Clank

Location Required mission(s) Reward
Blackwater City, Rilgar "Win the hoverboard race" Platinum Zoomerator
Gadgetron site, Kalebo III "Get past the blarg", "Win the Hoverboard race" Hologuise

Blackwater City

The Hovercon Intergalactic Hoverboard Competition race is hosted by Starlene in Blackwater City, Rilgar. In this mission, Ratchet races against four other racers with a similar appearance to Skidd McMarx. Near the latter portion of this track, several amoeboids can be found, which will provide small boosts when ran over. The key is to maintain constant boosts,

The fastest route requires you to be boosting constantly throughout the track and cut corners. From the starting position, immediately ride over the boost pad and bend right, then ride over the next boost pad, leading to a fork in the track where you can either take the ramp up on the left or jump over the red exploding crates on the right. Jump over the exploding crates in the middle of the right path, and ride over at least two of the boost pads down here, then take the ramp at the end and jump up. While in the air, steer right, and aim for the boost ring in the air on the upper level (cutting corners slightly).

On the upper level, be careful not to fall off, and ride over two boost pads spread across the first three platforms. After the second boost pad, jump to the right (cutting corners again) to drop down just before the boost ring. Here, ride on the lower path aiming for the boost pad up the large ramp through the crates and through the boost ring behind them. On this bend, jump over the water to the other side, land on a boost pad, and either take the large ramp up on the left through the boost ring, or simply avoid the crates and ride to the next boost pad. Repeat this twice more.

Completing this track in under 1:35 (or 1:36 in the PAL version) will earn the skill point "Speedy". Following the above path should reach a time below 1:35. If it cannot be completed on the first try, complete it with the Platinum Zoomerator, constantly using tricks in the air.

Gadgetron site

The race in the Gadgetron site on Kalebo III is a race against five test dummies. Notably, the track contains Devastator pickups throughout, allowing Ratchet to pick up a rocket and destroy other test dummies. There are also two shortcuts, one in the middle of the track and one near the end leading into the next lap, that are opened by passing through three gates to unlock a path. This map also contains metal crates, which can only be broken using the Devastator, though firing the Devastator against it wastes a rocket.

The fastest route requires the shortcuts to be used each time when possible. From the beginning, a boost pad leads up to a ramp; the boost pad should definitely be hit, though the ramp is optional, as you may choose to collect the first rocket pickup on the left instead. Around the bend, two ramps appear, one closer on the right leading to crates, and one on the left leading up to another rocket. Either are optional, but ensure to use one of the hoverboard tricks to gain a boost while in the air before landing.

Following this is a large ramp leading either to the main track on the left or a small shortcut ramp above on the right. Providing you have a boost, hold boost and jump up to the right, passing through the gates, and a large gate will open giving a shortcut to the next area. However, if there is no boost (or if you fall down), in the main area, ride over the boost pads in between the pillars end up in the next area containing two ramps on either side, both optional; as long as you boost over the pads and avoid the metal and exploding crates, this will not be a problem. Either the shortcut or main path will lead to a track with two stacks of metal crates on either side; pass through the middle, possibly picking up a rocket on the way to destroy a racer, to a large ramp. Make sure to hit the boost ring while performing tricks in the air.

The next area is a drop down to a track that forks in two, with a gap to be jumped over on the left leading to a rocket, and a ramp on the right, both leading to short tracks that converge on the end. It is faster to take the ramp on the right and perform a small trick in the air. There will be a set of boost pads all across the track for final stretch, and three gates. Passing through the gates will unlock the second shortcut on the right from the start of the lap. This will lead to a small area with several breakable crates and two boost rings. Ensure this shortcut is used on both following laps, while aiming to use the other short cut on the other laps, and you should win the race without difficulty.

Earning 4,500 points in the hoverboard race will earn the skill point Magician, which are earned by performing tricks in the air. For this, it is not required to win the race, so it is recommended to enter the race with the goal of earning this skill point, avoid shortcuts, and take all ramps available and perform tricks without slipping.

Re-imagined Ratchet & Clank

Location Cup Required mission(s) Reward
Blackwater City,
Rilgar
Bronze "Travel to the hoverboard event", "Win the hoverboard race" 1,000 bolts
Silver "Win the Silver Cup" 3,000 bolts
Gold "Win the Gold Cup" 7000 bolts, RYNO holocard
Gadgetron Headquarters,
Kalebo III
Bronze "Find the Focus Lab", "Win the hoverboard race" 2,000 bolts, Hologuise
Silver "Win the Silver Cup" 4,000 bolts
Gold "Win the Gold Cup" 7,500 bolts, RYNO holocard
Trophy data
Winner Winner Sandshark Dinner
Complete the Bronze Cup on Rilgar Bronze
Faster than a Speeding Amoeboid
Complete the Gold Cup on Rilgar in under 1:35 Silver
Radical
Complete the Bronze Cup on Kalebo III Bronze
Kalebo Thunder
Complete the Gold Cup on Kalebo III in under 2:05 Silver
Go Speed Ratchet, Go!
Complete the Gold Cup on both Rilgar and Kalebo III Silver

Blackwater City

The Blackwater City Hoverboard Competition is hosted by Starlene in Blackwater City, Rilgar. Ratchet races against five other racers of the native Rilgar species, named Apollo Hiks, Chester St. Cloud, Victor Equinox, Griff Blastex, and Irwin Littleton, each with wildly different appearances. The track is similar to the track featured in the original release, though it is slightly shorter, and notably has a busier background, with visible crowds, busy flying traffic above, trees, and billboards. There are three different cups, though the Silver Cup and Gold Cup are raced on the same track, only different in that they add explosive crates and step up in difficulty.

The track begins with a short path forward and a bend to the right, where it then splits into two with a ramp on the left leading upwards to two boost rings and another path downwards with crates in front; taking the ramp on the left is faster, allowing you to also perform tricks in the air to fill your boost gauge. This is followed by another bend to the right splitting into two halves, with the right half being a ramp leading up to an upper level with platforms, while the left is a straight path with one short ramp and a boost ring; taking the path right up to the platforms is faster, as it provides more boost rings to fill the gauge, and ends on a boost ring.

Another bend right ends in a short bend left, where the right edge of the track leads up to a boost on the end while the rest of the track simply bends left, and both lead to a ramp in the middle of the track leading up to a large stack of crates. Ignore the ramp on the end as it will only slow you down, and head straight for the boost ramp in the middle and through the crates. This leads to a larger stretch leading to a bend. It is possible to, if boosting, jump through this and a cut corner here. The bend ends in the final stretch of track, which bends left, leading to one long ramp on the edge on the right with a boost ring, or a stretch on the left with one ramp on the left on the edge leading to a boost ring. Take the long ramp on the right and boost to the end of the lap. Repeat this three times.

If the above path is followed, and if constantly boosting often, and cutting corners, the track should be complete in under 1:35. Completing the Gold Cup in under 1:35 unlocks the trophy "Faster than a Speeding Amoeboid". Simply completing the Bronze Cup once will unlock "Winner Winner Sandshark Dinner".

Gadgetron Headquarters

The Gadgetron hoverboard race is hosted by Wendell Lumos in his office in the Gadgetron Headquarters, Kalebo III, against the same Rilgar racers Apollo Hiks, Chester St. Cloud, Victor Equinox, Griff Blastex, and Irwin Littleton. This track is near identical to the track in the original release, with the main difference being that it starts earlier in a different position, beginning with the large ramp that leads to the area downwards. The background also contains crowds in floating stations. As with before, the Silver Cup and Gold Cup are the same race track, though they contain exploding crates throughout that must be avoided.

The track opens with a ramp leading to two boost rings before heading down to a smaller path; both boost rings should be picked up. It then splits off into two short paths separated by a building in front that converge on the other side, with the right path leading to a boost ramp and the left leading to a boost ring; the path on the right is slightly quicker. Following this is a set of three gates, and passing through each will open a shortcut to the right off the main track; ensure that you pass through them each time. If the shortcut is opened, it will lead off to the right on a straight path that contains several stacked crates and skips a section of the track. If not, the track instead leads left to a bend with a few ramps, and then circles back.

The next area after this is a boost pad leading to a ramp upwards, that either leads to another main path or to a shortcut in a smaller track on the upper right. Boosting up to the shortcut will land on a narrow stretch of track with gates across them, and take you to a shortcut that skips the rest of the track and lands on the finish line. If not, the path instead leads to a path straight, ending in a bend back to the beginning of the track, with boost pads and ramps along the way.

If boosting constantly, if few exploding crates are hit, and if every shortcut is used without fail, then the finishing time should be under 2:05. Reaching under 2:05 in the Gold Cup will earn the trophy "Kalebo Thunder". Completing only the Bronze Cup alone earns the trophy "Radical". When the Gold Cup here and for Rilgar are both won, the trophy "Go Speed Ratchet, Go!" will be unlocked.

References

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