The Maktar Resort is a location in Going Commando, with a cameo in Up Your Arsenal and Going Mobile. It is a Megacorp space station and holiday resort based in the Maktar Nebula in the Bogon Galaxy, home to casino gambling and an arena hosting the annual Galactic Gladiators event, featuring the popular gladiators Chainblade and the B2 Brawler. The station's attractions are spread across both its large interior and buildings surrounding it connected by green, glass walkways outside the station. The walkways outside have breathable air and artificial gravity but also a view of space.
Ratchet visited the Maktar Resort after being sent by Abercrombie Fizzwidget since Angela Cross (at the time the Unknown Thief) had been identified at the resort, and the Thugs-4-Less, under her employ, had towed a jamming array to the resort's orbit, interrupting the Galactic Gladiators broadcast.
The Maktar Resort was later featured as a setting in the Secret Agent Clank holovision series.
The Maktar Resort was known throughout Bogon for its entertainment and excitement. Around the time Ratchet was working for Megacorp, the resort was preparing for its next Galactic Gladiators tournament, an annual event broadcast around the galaxy on Mega-View. Angela Cross was identified at the resort shortly after robbing the Megacorp Outlet on Oozla, and the Thugs-4-Less towed a moon-sized jamming array into the station's orbit, interrupting the annual Galactic Gladiators broadcast. It is unknown why Angela visited the resort.[a]
Abercrombie Fizzwidget sent Ratchet to the resort to sabotage the jamming array. Ratchet also decided to participate in Galactic Gladiators, as he was intrigued by the sport and not intimidated by the gladiators in the commercials. Along the way, Ratchet was ambushed by Thugs-4-Less fighters in the Wupash Nebula. After destroying them, he proceeded to the Maktar Resort, where the Thugs-4-Less sent Brutes, as well as Megacorp Chickenbots, to eliminate him, with no tourists in sight.
In "Win the Arena Battle", Ratchet reached the arena after fighting through the Thugs and participated in the Mega Battle. The announcer was completely unimpressed by him at first, referring to him as "this guy" from "nowhere in particular", until Ratchet surprised him and became the first and only winner of the games. Ratchet won the Electrolyzer as a prize and also competed in additional battles that earned him prizes in bolts, some of which involved competing against Chainblade and the B2 Brawler multiple times.
After leaving the tournament, Ratchet used his Electrolyzer to repair the bridges that would help him return to his ship. On the way out, he found a photo booth and used it to take a photo of himself as a souvenir for Clank. As soon as he took one, however, the screen was replaced with a transmission from Angela Cross, showing that she had kidnapped Clank. She had him electrocuted, temporarily incapacitating him. She warned Ratchet that if he did not return to the Solana Galaxy, he too would come under harm. Ratchet then received coordinates for Megapolis, Endako, in order to rescue Clank, though he was running into a trap.[b]
In "Find a way to the Thugs-4-Less Jamming Array", Ratchet searched for a way to reach the Thugs-4-Less jamming array from the Maktar Resort. To his fortune, an Inspector Bot was inspecting the resort, and by manipulating it with the Tractor Beam, Ratchet was able to gain clearance to otherwise locked out areas. This allowed him to reach a space limo, which took him directly to the jamming array. After destroying the array's signal transponders, Abercrombie Fizzwidget gave him a new assignment to infiltrate the Thugs' operations, by presenting a commercial for the Desert Riders, a hoverbike gang affiliated with the Thugs-4-Less, based on Barlow.
Up Your Arsenal
The episode of Secret Agent Clank that Ratchet and Clank saw in the intro movie was set in the Maktar Casino. In this movie, Secret Agent Clank, with an entourage of hotbots, competed with Maxmillian, his adversary, in a gambling game. Agent Clank won, but Maxmillian had him ambushed by robot ninjas. Agent Clank defeated them and subdued Maxmillian, then left with a hotbot, while his chauffeur, Jeeves (played by Ratchet), escorted him back in a limo.
When transported to a Secret Agent Clank holovision episode, Ratchet and Clank had to explore the Maktar Casino, which was where Maximillian's office was located.
The Maktar Resort is an immense space station organized around a central rotating dome, in which the arena is located. The rest of the resort comprises walkways located outside, with artificial gravity and a view of space but still within a breathable atmosphere. These walkways connect several structures scattered around, including one large cluster of buildings.
Throughout the resort, bright lights light up the walkways, including beaming spotlights rotating up and down. Floating billboard screens hover around the resort, showing both the Megacorp logo and the Galactic Gladiators logo. Slot machines are located on a walkway nearby the landing pad and inside buildings, which provide rewards of bolts (300 for the jackpot), ammo, and nanotech, but can also explode. Flying, driverless limos provide transport throughout parts of the station, entirely free of charge. While no tourists are seen on the walkways that Ratchet visits, space ships are seen flying from the resort, with traffic originating from the central dome, and a large audience appears within the arena.
Surrounding the resort are several floating, rotating satellites, many of which are small and made of glass, while others are much larger and appear more solid. Seven astronomical bodies, likely either planets or moons within the system, can be seen from the resort, most of which are blue and appear to be cold or aquatic, with one standing out as a dark red world. The Maktar Nebula itself is light blue, visible to the right of the Maktar Resort from where Ratchet's ship lands.
The Star Explorer lands on a platform with a ramp leading down to a green, glass platform filled with lights and floating billboards which forms part of the walkway. The walkway presents an immediate fork, with a path to the left providing a route to the arena, and a path to the right leading to a space limo that travels directly to the jamming array. Straight ahead of the ramp is an electric bridge that goes to a teleporter connected to the arena.
Path to the arena
The walkway to the arena begins with a narrow path with four slot machines placed along it, connecting to a round platform, with two blue screens stood on top of a spherical base, and an elevator shaft up to a higher floor on the right. The higher floor is a short path with a space limo on the end, which travels to another part of the resort.
The limo lands in a small, lower area, with a ladder leading up to the main walkway. This section of the walkway is apparently under construction, as it has cranes placed atop higher ledges on either side (with a platinum bolt on the right ledge behind a crane), and there are gaps in the walkway connected by electrified tubes. At the end of this walkway are two walls that can be ascended by using a wall jump; they lead to the top of a building with an open window on the roof. The building has a mostly red interior, yellow glass windows surrounding it, and two paths of stairs leading down with several slot machines on the bottom floor. The exit on the bottom floor is wide open and leads back to a narrow walkway, on the end of which is a tunnel leading into the main central dome, an entrance to the arena.
The arena featured in Galactic Gladiators is entirely round, with an electrified gap connecting it with the outer audience podium. It has twelve circular blades in the floor that activate during some challenges, six in the inner ring and six on the outer edges, as well as six flame hazards that will light up and spew fire at times. The arena is surrounded by floating billboards and six bullpens from which gladiators are entered into the arena for battle. The audience podium contains many rows of audience members, with large screens around the podium. Above the arena, four screens hang from the ceiling, presumably for the audience' benefit, and one large screen is located at the end from which the challenge is elected.
Path to the jamming array
A brightly lit path on the walkway, northeast of the landing pad, leads to the entrance of a large building. A space limo parking spot is initially separated by a gap and blocked off by a forcefield on the other side, while the entrance to the building is blocked off by a large column that can be moved with the Tractor Beam.
The building consists of three large circular rooms with bright lights and green glass floors. Each is connected with a narrow corridor in a linear order, with at the end a fourth smaller room that leads to an exterior area as well as a fifth room. Each of the four main rooms are blocked off, but use of the Inspector Bot, time bombs, and catapults can see to it that each blockade is removed.
The entire complex appears to be still under construction, considering the presence of explosives, the Inspector Bot, the locked doors, unfinished flooring in the final corridor, and the general emptiness of the area aside from two lone slot machines.
Outside the building is a semicircular platform, a catapult holding another time bomb, and a small landing pad on which a space limo is parked. A forcefield initially blocks off the limo, though after it is disabled, an energy bridge connects the landing pad to the walkway used to enter the first building.
The Maktar Casino is seen in an episode of Secret Agent Clank in Up Your Arsenal. This is a room surrounded by red slot machines, with a green table in the middle in which a gambling game is played with dice and tokens. Electric chandeliers hang from the ceiling to light the room, and the room has a patterned carpet. Outside the entrance to the casino is a large glass door, with two giant lit red dice on top of the building. The casino is visited by hotbots and robot civilians.
Behind the scenes
Maktar Resort was originally referred to as "Space Vegas", but since Insomniac Games found that the name "Las Vegas" was trademarked, the name was changed. The resort appears to be inspired by Las Vegas, evident in the casino gambling.
The level was programmed by Peter Hastings, while Maxim Garber programmed the arena. The Thugs-4-Less Brutes were custom coded by Peter Hastings for Maktar specifically (and every level), and in order to make the world feel realistic, some Brutes were made left handed, and each one was custom coded to have a different scale. However, after spending a lot of time tuning each individual enemy in the resort, he received a bug report stating "not all enemies are same scale".
The Tractor Beam segment involving the Inspector Bot was designed by Mike Stout and programmed primarily by Peter Hastings. Before the segment was tested by external user tests, design director Brian Allgeier sat Mike down and warned him that test players would not know how to get past the first part and would not think to use the Tractor Beam. Mike disagreed on adding a message to inform the player to use it, but Brian was proven correct. Mike then watched repeated failures by testers, which he said "broke" him as a designer, and has said in hindsight that he would have scaled it back significantly. Mark Cerny later, when praising one of Mike's segments during Up Your Arsenal, commented that it "totally makes up for the Inspector Bot segment" in the Maktar Resort, which Mike referred to as a "backhanded compliment".
The Maktar Resort had more issues related to its difficulty. Internally, Insomniac developers became too good at their own levels, meaning that difficulty tuning for enemy setups with the player in mind was difficult. As a way around this, developer Roberto Rodriguez played the levels with the controller upside down as a handicap. Additionally, for the bomb catapult at the end of the Tractor Beam segment, the markers around the Tractor Beam were added because players could not keep track of how far back they had to walk before releasing the bomb.
The floating billboards around the resort were coded by Peter Hastings, though Mike Stout coded an early version, which appear in the Insomniac Museum. These billboards have a hidden image of Jak and Daxter that can only be seen by breaking them and looking at the debris. The image is hidden on the third slide of the triangular prisms used to switch between the Megacorp and Galactic Gladiator logos.
The Maktar Resort featured in a demo for Going Commando. The demo had a few differences from the final release: notably, it included metal crates, lacked the floating billboards, had slot machines with different screens, lacked a platinum bolt, featured rendered aliens in the crowd in the arena, and many of the objects were not breakable.
- It is possible that Angela actually intended to disrupt the Galactic Gladiators broadcast; due to her intense dislike of Megacorp at the time, she may have wanted to interrupt an important annual broadcast to spite them.
- This is evident due to the fact that as Ratchet arrived to rescue Clank, Angela immediately shoved him into the same room, with no immediate means of exit.
- In the Holostar Studios, many casino gambling slot machines can be found, suggesting episodes set in the Maktar Resort were filmed in the studios.
- Off 2003 p.24
- Going Commando script § "Investigate the Megacorp store (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Megacorp Arena Commercial"
- Going Commando menu § "Win the Arena Battle"
- Going Commando script § "Win the Arena Battle (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Intro movie"
- Stout, Garcia June 16 2011 p1 2:23
- Stout, Garcia June 16 2011 p2 12:30
- Stout, Garcia June 20 2011 4:26
- Stout, Garcia June 20 2011 1:32
- Stout, Garcia June 20 2011 6:02 Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "uselesspodcasts GC ep3p1 tractor beam" defined multiple times with different content
- Stout, Garcia June 20 2011 11:25
- Going Commando, demo version
- Video games
- Insomniac Games (2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2004). Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- High Impact Games (2008). Secret Agent Clank. PlayStation Portable. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Greg Off, Linda Wanczyk (December 2003). Ratchet & Clank Going Commando Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 0744003288.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 16, 2011). Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 2 - Part 1/2. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 16, 2011). Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 2 - Part 2/2. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 20, 2011). Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 3 - Part 1/2. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 21, 2011). Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 4 - Part 1/2. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.