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Joba is a planet in the Bogon Galaxy featured in Going Commando. It is a forest planet with a harsh climate on which the Megacorp Games event, a large arena event, and the Megacorp Hoverbike Race, are hosted. The world is also home to native tribesmen.

Ratchet and Clank visited the Megacorp Games after earning entry from the Mathematician when they defeated the Thug Leader in the Lunar City in Dobbo's orbiting moon. From the games, they obtained the Infiltrator, the Gravity Boots, and the Charge Boots.

History

The native Joba tribesmen were distant cousins of the Vukovar tribesmen from Barlow. A batch of Barlowian saur-beasts were sent to the Joba to be trained, and due to the harsh climate, evolved a tougher shell allowing them to withstand more damage.[1]

Mega Mega Megacorp Games

Advertisement for the Megacorp Hoverbike Race.

Megacorp at some point began to host the Megacorp Games on the planet, a gladiatorial combat event, and the Megacorp Hoverbike Race. The Desert Riders participated in the hoverbike races, and having one of their biker helmets allowed racers to enter. The Megacorp Games was a popular event to visit live, as tickets to the arena were sold out.[2]

Shady Salesman from Going Commando

Meeting the Shady Salesman.

Ratchet and Clank visited after receiving an invite from the Mathematician, which they earned when they defeated the Thug Leader in Lunar City. In "Enter the Megacorp Games", the two fought through waves of Joba tribesmen, but were unable to enter the arena. The Shady Salesman, whom they had previously met on Rilgar and purchased the R.Y.N.O. from, sold them another blargian[3] device, the Levitator, allowing them to enter as participants.

When they entered the arena, the announcer recognized Ratchet, as he had participated in the Galactic Gladiators in the Maktar Resort, but referred to Clank merely as "some metal guy".[4] The two won the Infiltrator from an ordinary match, and the Gravity Boots from a subsequent cage match. They later competed in more challenges, earning bolts.

Biker Two with Ratchet and Clank

The duo meet Biker Two.

The duo also entered the hoverbike races, where Biker Two welcomed them as they owned the helmet. After winning the Charge Boots from the first race, the next race included bolt cash prizes.

Geography

Megacorp Games map

Map layout of the Megacorp games area.

Overview

Joba has a large amount of water as seen from space, though the area that Ratchet and Clank visit for the Megacorp Games is almost entirely tall cliffs with pine forests on top and an empty vast abyss below, suggesting its cliffs extend up several thousand feet. The planet has a very harsh climate, causing the saur-beasts to evolve to adapt.[1] It is home to hostile native tribesmen, with several Megacorp buildings likely used for the Megacorp Games. The forests on top of the cliffs are home to trees with very thick trunks, and large mushroom-like growths growing out of the tree canopies. They are also home to harmless pink birds that rest on rails and the ground, as well as fireflies that gather by lamps.

Megacorp Games arena exterior

The arena.

The Megacorp Games area is built on top of very tall cliffs and within the forests. Though the area is mostly built on, as lamps illuminate the paths and several buildings are built along the way, though they are occupied by the indigenous tribesmen. A few large pipes are also built into the rocks and trees, connected to the buildings. In the distance, several tall cliffs can be seen, with small towers built into them. The largest building in the area is the Megacorp Games arena, which is an extremely tall stadium emitting a large light form the interior into the sky.

Megacorp Games area 1

The Megacorp Games area.

From where the Star Explorer lands, a natural bridge extends down to a lower cliff with a Megacorp vendor. Another natural bridge extends up here to a slightly wider cliff, with a building on the left entered through a large tunnel-like gate, beginning the path to the arena, and a path just off to the right leading to the race course. Adjacent to the building's entrance is a power box with a Dynamo activator that opens a door in the building to the left.

Path to the hoverbike race course

Swingshot gameplay from GC

Ratchet traversing the path to the hoverbike course.

The hoverbike race course is found in a path to the right, and begins with two versa-targets located past a series of large gaps, which can be crossed with the Swingshot to a small cliff with a large tower structure. To the right of this cliff is another small cliff with a tower structure, which can be reached with a bridge, followed by yet another bridge, both of which must be pulled down with the Swingshot. This leads to a room inside a tower built on the side of a larger cliff, connected to the same cliff on which the ship landed. The room leads to a building inside the cliff, where the hoverbike race course starts. Biker Two is also stationed here, along with his hoverbike.

Path to the arena

The path to the arena begins inside a building on the left. The building's first room is entirely empty with an abyss below and a glass door blocking the way to the second room. A Dynamo activator on the left activates the room's floor, several moving pistons on both sides of the room, and also opens the door to the second room at the end. The second room is a light, yellow room, with a glass door on the right (opened with the Dynamo above the power box outside) to a small area containing a nanotech boost, and to the left is a ladder up to an exit.

Megacorp Games area 2

The path to the arena.

The exit leads out to a small open path on a cliff, with a turret in the middle and a door on the opposite side, opened by standing on a switch in front of it, leading into another building. This next building has one small room, with pumps in the back, and a ladder on the left leading out to another exit outside. This leads to a narrow cliff path, with only a wall on the left side. A versa-target on the right of this path allows one to take the Swingshot across to another area on the side of a cliff, at the end of which is a small cylindrical building with a platinum bolt inside. At the end of the normal path is an area with a turret in the center and two doors opened by a button pad each; the left door leads to a small building which is a dead-end, while the right door leads to a small area with a Dynamo trigger on the side of a large wall covered with machinery. The Dynamo creates a floating platform that moves along the path past several obstacles to a small balcony on the side of a building, with an entrance inside.

Megacorp Games area 3

A group of tribesman surrounding a turret

This next building is larger, with two doors leading to small rooms on either side, and a ledge at the end with two turrets on top, and a door outside at the end. Each door requires a button pad to be pressed to open, with the former two leading to small closed rooms. The third door leads to a balcony with a zip wire on the right that leads down to a platform, where the Shady Salesman sold Ratchet and Clank the Levitator. This platform has a taxi that returns to the ship, and a Levitator pad directly in front of the arena. Taking the Levitator up past trees and two towers (the left tower has a platinum bolt on top) leads to a balcony on the side of the Megacorp Games arena, with an entrance to the arena and a taxi that returns to the ship.

Arena

Megacorp Games arena interior 1.png

The ground level of the interior.

Megacorp Games arena interior 2.png

The cage match level of the interior.

The Megacorp Games arena is considerably larger than the Galactic Gladiators arena in the Maktar Resort. The arena has a long, oval shape, and is surrounded by lava, with several audience podiums dotted around the outer rim. Many hazards, in the form of spinning blades and flamethrowers, are built into the ground, and activate on some challenges. In some challenges, the circular block in the center of the arena will rise and transform into a jump pad up to the round, glass cage at the top of the arena, where cage matches take place. Eight bullpens, four on either end of the arena, are used to transport challengers in. One large screen is located on the end of the arena, from which a challenge is selected.

Hoverbike race course

Hoverbike gameplay on Joba

Part of the interior prior to the starting line.

The race course goes through several paths around one of Joba's forest cliffs. It begins with a wide room filled with tall pylons, at the end of which are two tunnels on either side; a metal gate will keep one closed at all times. Both of the tunnels lead out to a swamp filled with mud, with rocks spread throughout, presenting a hazard for the racers. On the right of the swamp is an opening to a canyon path, blocked for most challenges, but leading directly to the second shortcut. At the end of the swamp is a tunnel through a cave, with a long gap past that leading to two vertical entrances: one higher up that can only be reached by a boosting hoverbike, and one lower down. Both of these routes are filled with tree roots either side, and end up at the same path through a forest, though the higher-up cave reaches the end of this path sooner.

Megacorp games race course

The swamp area of the race course

At the end of the path is a ledge that drops down onto a wider, grass road with a fence on the left blocking the way to a large river. Flying turrets over the track drop three explosive barrels presenting hazards to the racers (only one turret appears in the first challenge, and three appear in later challenges), and the path ends in a fork, which is also where the first shortcut merges again. The fork to the left is a long path through a cavern lit up by blue lights along the track on the right, with slopes periodically on either side containing power-ups. The fork to the right (blocked by trees in some races) is a gap out to another cliff with forest on, which can be more reliably reached by a boosting hoverbike, and has one more gap at the end. Both paths lead out to an artificial tunnel back to the starting line in the first room.

Behind the scenes

Joba was designed by Lesley Matthiesson,[5] programmed by Tony Garcia, and artwork was provided by Craig Goodman. Goodman's art encouraged Garcia to put extra effort and detail into Joba to make Goodman's art shine. As he did not want to add flying cars in the background to provide ambiance (which was necessary for Ratchet & Clank levels), he instead had the idea to program in fireflies.[6] Due to how many segments included in Joba, it became especially difficult to fit them all in memory.[7]

The section during "Enter the Megacorp Games" in which the Dynamo created a floating platform used to traverse along the wall was also designed by Mike Stout (and programmed by junior programmer Tony Garcia). This section was internally unpopular at Insomniac due to being a 2D design, the objects pushing Ratchet off a cliff, and the distance between objects not reaching the minimum jump requirement. Tony reflected that the trial and error nature of the challenge was an old school mentality.[8]

References

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