Marcadia is a planet in the Solana Galaxy, featured in Up Your Arsenal. It is the location of Capital City, the metropolis which is home to the presidential palace, where President Phyronix resides as the leader of the Solana Galaxy government.
Ratchet and Clank visited Marcadia after it was breached by a tyhrranoid invasion force. The President sent a distress signal to the Starship Phoenix alerting them about the attack, causing Ratchet and Clank to arrive alongside a group of Galactic Rangers to defend the planet. After successfully defending the presidential compound around the palace, President Phyronix requested that they repair the city's laser defense shield, and provided the Refractor to help.
Marcadia was breached by a tyhrranoid invasion force, operating under the orders of Dr. Nefarious, that appeared in a surprise attack. President Phyronix then sent a distress signal to the Starship Phoenix, which was interrupted by a broadcast that Dr. Nefarious sent out to the galaxy, calling for a revolution. Sasha Phyronix then directed the Phoenix to fly to Marcadia and deployed a force of Galactic Rangers to defend the planet, while Ratchet traveled in his own ship.
Ratchet and Clank aimed to reach the presidential compound to defend it from the attack, commencing the mission "Get to the palace". After fighting through a tyhrranoid force, they met up with the Rangers dropship to travel directly to the compound around the palace in order to secure the area alongside Ranger forces in Operation: IRON SHIELD. After successfully repelling the tyhrranoid attack, President Phyronix greeted both Ratchet and Clank, thanking them for their help. He then informed them that the city's laser defense shield had been damaged in the attack, asking them to repair it.
In "Repair the Laser Defense Shield", Ratchet was given the Refractor, to connect the lasers around and stabilize them. To his surprise, he found that Al was inside, using the main computer to play a Qwark vid-comic, by bypassing the server with a 626-hex-matrix adaptor and reprogramming the graphics sub-processor. Clank then pointed out to him that there was a feedback loop in the induction coils of his DB-3 signal processor, which Al found was indeed the case. After correcting the error, Clank asked to borrow the vid-comic, believing it would help restore Captain Qwark's memory, to which Al obliged.
Marcadia has a dark orange atmosphere, which is reflected in the color of the surface water. It has one large continent when viewed from space, and only a few islands just south of it. The continent and islands appear orange as well.
Capital City is a metropolis with grand, regal structures, which have a mostly orange coloration with green trim. It is mostly built on the red water, and canals in the city are prominent. Most buildings are immense skyscrapers, many of which have dome-like, gilded roofs, while others have more squared roofs. On the smaller buildings, some roofs have a little soil on the roofs where the palm trees and small plants grow. Beyond these, little vegetation is seen in the city, aside from several palm trees with bulbous tops.
During Ratchet's visit, the city had been damaged from the attack, and blast marks were seen along the walls as well as rubble.
The Star Explorer lands on a small plaza near the edge of the city, with a small path leading forward from this plaza to a balcony by a canal. A set of steps on the right bends forward before leading to another plaza with a pool, and a few small areas segregated to the sides. At the back of this plaza are steps on either side of the pool leading into another, wider plaza in front of the door to a skyscraper, inaccessible during Ratchet's visit. Around this plaza are some walls, and on top of one of the walls further back is a titanium bolt.
Along the end of the plaza, a bridge, destroyed during Ratchet's visit, connects this plaza to another, smaller plaza behind it. This area is connected to a long bridge that leads to the palace, but the bridge has been destroyed. A bend left leads to a small set of steps down onto another balcony overlooking the canals. On this balcony, the Ranger dropship picked Ratchet up to travel to the presidential compound.
The presidential compound, which also contains the palace, is only accessible through a courtyard in the rear area. It is segmented off from the rest of the Capital City by a wall and a lava-filled moat on the rear side, and a now-destroyed bridge on the front. Opposite the rear entrance is a round platform on which a turret is placed, seen in various missions of Operation: IRON SHIELD. In it, the presidential palace is situated which, much like Capital City's other buildings, is an immense skyscraper with a gilded roof. The Compound is protected by a laser defense shield network.
Laser shield network
The laser shield network is a series of indoor hallways, and accessed through the dropship which will land at the front end of the presidential compound. The hallways have several regal pillars along them, and blue lights on both the ceiling and walls. Laser beams are found throughout most of the hallways, and connect to small ports near the doors to activate machinery, typically opening doorways.
The entire floor consists of ten rooms, each connected in a row, except for one that is locked and contains a titanium bolt. The laser beam system that must be connected with the Refractor seems to serve as a security system, although tyhrranoids did manage to breach the area somehow. Various secondary mechanics are present, such as bolt cranks, a spider drone, grav-ramps, and a retractable bridge with steps that play various tunes when walked upon. At the very end of the complex is a force field protected room where the laser shield network's main terminal is located.
Marcadia Palace is a map set in the presidential compound of Marcadia. It has much the same structure as the presidential compound seen in Operation: IRON SHIELD, with a few differences in terms of the layout. The turret and its platform remain, but the moat has been drained. The rear entrance extends outwards, with several empty decorative arches serving as cover, with similar structures on the edges of the area. Two curved walls are located in the center of each half of the map, each covering a small copse of palm trees. The map only allows for Capture the Flag and Deathmatch modes.
Behind the scenes
The main Marcadia level was designed by Colin Munson, while Sean Wissler was involved in designing the Operation: IRON SHIELD battlefield sections, and Mike Stout designed the Refractor segment. Tony Garcia programmed the tyhrranoids, as he programmed all tyhrranoid enemies for the game, while Jerrod Putman programmed the Galactic Rangers' behavior.
The Operation: IRON SHIELD missions were going to be optional. In one unused cutscene from an early build of the game, a Ranger tells Ratchet that there are more battles to fight, and promises he'll be paid in bolts for each battle he wins.
Difficulty tuning for Marcadia became nebulous, as so many people were managing different parts of the level, and it was often different people managing the battlefields and the normal level separately. The developers were also only able to have six enemies on screen at a time, but were able to make it feel as if there were far more. Another difficulty was that, at the time, designers at Insomniac Games were not able to script enemies at the time, and instead, they could only lay down entities and splines. This meant Sean Wissler had to script the individual waves without actually scripting, to the point where rigging the waves for one battlefield mission could take a week.
Mike Stout received high praise for the Refractor segment from Mark Cerny, who even gave him a backhanded compliment by saying that the level was "as good as Ratchet design gets" and "totally makes up for the Inspector Bot segment in the Maktar Resort". For the level design, Stout understood it was more important for the player to feel smart than to be smart, and the fact that the decision space was limited meant the player was able to feel smart for working out the puzzle when there was only one answer to the question.
However, the one exception to this was the inclusion of the spider bot. Stout was not proud of this design, as it was very hard to get players to understand how to use the spider bot. In one focus test, none of the focus testers could figure out how to complete the segment and the developers had to tell them all what to do. This was in spite of adding the large image of a spider on the wall as a hint for where to place the spider, as the focus testers thought it was just decoration. Originally, the spider was going to be used in a second challenge at the end that would require the spider to walk all the way to the top and cast a beam; this was removed as it was so difficult for players to work out, and in its place, a titanium bolt was added.
The bridge in the Refractor segment which plays music when Ratchet walks on it was programmed by Peter Hastings. Hastings had mostly moved onto early development of Resistance: Fall of Man, and took a break from Resistance to add the bridge as his contribution to Up Your Arsenal.
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Meet Sasha on the Bridge (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Repair the Laser Defense Shield (gameplay)"
- Stout, Garcia March 2012 6:01
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 1:14
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 8:21
- Stout, Garcia March 2012 11:21
- Up Your Arsenal, August 11, 2004 build on The Cutting Room Floor
- Up Your Arsenal, May 26, 2004 build on The Cutting Room Floor
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 0:58
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 13:12
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 16:09
- Stout, Garcia April 2012 12:21
- Video games
- Insomniac Games (2004). Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (March 26, 2012). Ratchet and Clank 3 - Developer Commentary - Episode 3. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (April 4, 2012). Ratchet and Clank 3 - Developer Commentary - Episode 4. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.