The PX6 BladeBall, also known as simply the Blade Ball, is an enemy in Going Commando, Deadlocked, and Into the Nexus. It is a small Megacorp robot used for security. It is often used to supplement the Megacorp Security Robot I - Chainsaw Model and the Megacorp Security Robot II - Flamethrower Model, as a cheaper addition. They were deployed both for security (by Angela Cross and the Thugs-4-Less) and for gladiatorial combat (Galactic Gladiators, Megacorp Games, and DreadZone).
The Blade Ball appears in its base form as well as an upgraded v2.0 version in Going Commando. In Deadlocked, it is used throughout DreadZone in many arenas. In Into the Nexus, the Thugs-4-Less occasionally use BladeBalls.
The PX6 BladeBall was built for budget-conscious security consumers. It was first encountered in the flying lab on Aranos, during "Infiltrate the flying base" and "Escape the thief's security robots". Angela Cross, at the time known as the Unknown Thief, used the BladeBalls for security purposes to prevent an intruder from stealing the Protopet. Angela expressed disappointment when Ratchet came close, believing her security forces were outdated. This type of BladeBall was later seen in the Galactic Gladiators in the Maktar Resort, as well as at the frozen base on Siberius. On Siberius they were only deployed through small circular ports on the ground, opening when an enemy approached.
The Blade Ball v2.0, a green deluxe model, was later released, featuring a higher torque motor and sharpened duraplated blades. These first appeared in the inside area of the testing facility, Dobbo, during "Explore the testing facility", and later appeared in many challenges in the Megacorp Games arenas.
Blade Balls were used throughout three of the DreadZone tournaments. These had a near-identical look to the v1 Megacorp BladeBalls, with the same red circles. Ratchet first fought them early on in the Marauder Tournament on the DreadZone Station, before encountering them in again in a few challenges in the Avenger Tournament, as well as on Orxon, Torval, Maraxus, the Liberator Tournament, and on the Ghost Station.
Into the Nexus
The PX6 BladeBall is a small, metal, floating ball, with eight glowing lights embedded into its plating. It can open up, revealings its interior mechanics that contain four blades, which will spin rapidly to attack enemies. The BladeBalls' glowing lights depend on the model, with the base model using orange-red, and the v2.0 variant a bright green.
The BladeBalls will often appear when an intruder enters an area and float towards them. After reaching them, they will expand, slow down slightly, and then start spinning to attack, retaining a slow pace as they home in on their target.
BladeBalls in all games and all versions have the same attack pattern, and the same strategy works against them. They only pose a threat if attacking in a large number, and if they have already reached melee range. In most cases, a simple OmniWrench swing can dispatch them, while a medium-range weapon (in Going Commando, this would be the Lancer or Lava Gun) can be more effective. Support weapons (in Going Commando, this includes the Synthenoids and Tesla Barrier) are also effective as an automated form of defense against BladeBalls, allowing Ratchet to focus on stronger opponents. Nevertheless they can be a threat due to their mobility, especially for no-hit arena objectives.
More powerful BladeBalls that appear later will be more durable, though medium ranged weapons with an area of effect are still ideal.
In Deadlocked they were incredibly easy fodder when attacked with the Shock Mod equipped, using either the Dual Vipers for their targeting accuracy, or the Holoshield Launcher as Holoshields also work against melee foes. They were sometimes also spawned through generators, mainly on Torval, but from Maraxus onwards could also be activated manually by enemies such as DZ Stingers and later variants.
Behind the scenes
Despite being such a simple enemy, BladeBalls had almost ten revisions, relating to the types of blades, before settling on the final design. Ultimately, the design ended up mostly the same as it was originally.
- Insomniac Games (2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Greg Off (November 2005). Ratchet Deadlocked Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 0761552049.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (August 28, 2012). Ratchet & Clank 2 Dev Commentary: 1 - Intro. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.