Nabla natives are enemies in Up Your Arsenal, found in the Nabla Forest, Florana, encountered during the missions "Find the Mysterious Man", "Walk the PATH OF DEATH!", and "Defeat Captain Qwark". They are hostile humanoid tribesmen who wear large wooden masks and wield bladed boomerangs as their main weapon.
Nabla natives reside in villages made of wooden treehouses dotted around the forest, and have built windmills, wooden drawbridges, and also use vines as zip lines to travel around the forest. The natives also live inside Florana's abandoned stone temples. One of these abandoned temples which they use as their own is the site of their Path of Death, for which they are spectators.
Captain Qwark, during his time on Florana, lived among them and wore one of their masks, and became a leader of their tribe. In A Crack in Time, Qwark claimed to the agorians that they once referred to him as "He With Mighty Pecks Who Hath Delivered Us From Serenity". In his battle against Ratchet and Clank, after they overcame the Path of Death, Qwark summoned nabla natives to his aid.
Nabla natives have orange skin and a humanoid appearance, and are taller than Ratchet. They have glowing yellow eyes, visible beneath their large, wooden masks in battle they were in battle. After sustaining damage, their masks will fall off, revealing their simian faces beneath.
Before Ratchet engages the natives in combat, some of them can be seen huddled in a group communicating with one another. They communicate with squawks, grunts, and body language. Among the temples in Florana are primitive inscriptions, which may have been written by their natives. The natives' wooden masks, as well as serving as armor, also appear to denote authority. Wearing Qwark's mask after defeating him meant Ratchet was seen as their leader.
The natives appear to be in harmony with Florana's wildlife. The Floranian blood flies and swamp monsters appear around native encampments, but do not attack the natives. Additionally, while Qwark was a member of their tribe, he had good relationships with the cyclophic monkeys, particularly Skrunch, and accidentally mated with Skrunch's sister during mating season.
All natives use the same three-sided bladed boomerang as their only weapon. Natives will focus on either melee or ranged attacks. Melee nabla natives will simply charge towards Ratchet and swing their boomerang to attack, and will after striking take a second to look around, opening them up to a counter. Ranged nabla natives will throw a boomerang and wait for it to return to them, but can also use it to swipe at enemies if they are too close.
The melee nabla natives often attack in clusters and can sustain some damage, meaning that the Plasma Whip is particularly effective against them. For the ranged natives, their boomerang can be dodged by jumping, and the Shock Blaster and N60 Storm are effective at defeating them from a distance. The Nitro Launcher is also useful for the largest groups.
Behind the scenes
The nabla natives were programmed by Tony Garcia, who had difficulty coding them as they had gigantic feet and it was important to prevent their feet from sliding. The developers wanted Florana to have both a melee and a ranged enemy, but simply used the same native models for both, which became a problem as it was not obvious to the player which one used a ranged boomerang and which was melee.
- Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal Official Strategy Guide, p. 13
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Defeat Captain Qwark (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Rendezvous with Qwark (gameplay)"
- Ratchet and Clank 3 - Developer Commentary - Episode 2 (@4:50) published by uselesspodcasts on March 19, 2012 on YouTube. Accessed October 28, 2019.