The Plasma Whip is a weapon manufactured by Gadgetron in Up Your Arsenal and Secret Agent Clank. It is a melee weapon that functions similar to Ratchet's OmniWrench, though it deals more damage, more range, and has additional effects.
In Up Your Arsenal, it can be upgraded to the Quantum Whip, and upon reaching challenge mode, can be upgraded to the Mega Quantum Whip. In Secret Agent Clank, it can be upgraded to the Plasma Cord.
Up Your Arsenal
The Plasma Whip was made available from any Gadgetron vendor upon reaching the Nabla Forest in Florana. It upgraded to the Quantum Whip with use, and was required for the "Whip It Good" challenge in Annihilation Nation.
Upon reaching challenge mode, it could be upgraded to the Mega Quantum Whip from any Gadgetron vendor for 180,000 bolts.
Secret Agent Clank
The Plasma Whip differed slightly in appearance and upgrade paths. It upgraded to the Plasma Cord rather than the Plasma Whip, and there were two available mods for it: the fire snake mod for 25,000 bolts, and the flame trails mod for 35,000 bolts. It was delivered to Ratchet under the guise of the "Plasma Whipcream cake".
The Plasma Whip is a short metal device with a rubber grip from which a whip of plasma is generated. In Up Your Arsenal, this grip is green, and the plasma whip generated is orange, which changes to blue at V3. When upgraded to the Quantum Whip, the whip becomes dark blue and black instead.
In Secret Agent Clank, the grip is orange, and the whip generated is blue.
The Plasma Whip is wielded identically to the wrench, with the same moves, though it is used with the fire button rather than the wrench button. It has a much wider range than the wrench, and greater damage. Unlike the wrench, and unlike past melee weapons in the series, it has set ammo, using up one ammo per attack. The most efficient way to use the Plasma Whip is to throw it or slam it down
The Plasma Whip's main strength is its radius. Due to the variety of moves it has, it can handle many sorts of enemies effectively, but is best against dealing with clusters of melee enemies. Though its damage is outclassed, and against later enemies feels underwhelming, it remains useful against clusters of small enemies that can be destroyed in one hit, such as one-eyed tyhrranoids.
In Up Your Arsenal, the V4 Plasma Whip gains the ability to leave behind a shockwave after slamming it on the ground, and at V5, the Quantum Whip leaves a trail after each attack. These upgrades greatly increase its range, allowing it to damage enemies from further away. Though the weapon's damage will still become obsolete against medium and larger enemies, this improves its ability to deal with mobs of small enemies by making it more versatile.
In Secret Agent Clank, two mods can be purchased for the Plasma Whip to achieve similar effects. Purchasing the flame trails mod for 35,000 bolts leaves behind a shockwave after slamming it on the ground, and purchasing the fire snake mod for 25,000 bolts will leave a trail after normal attacks. As with Up Your Arsenal, these upgrades make the Plasma Whip more versatile by allowing it to damage small enemies from further away.
Behind the scenes
The Plasma Whip was programmed and designed by Tony Garcia as an accident, and was inspired by Chainblade from Going Commando. Garcia had the idea while playing Soul Calibur, as he was impressed by how well Ivy's whip was programmed. During pre-production of Up Your Arsenal, Garcia altered Chainblade's swords to try to recreate the idea of a whip, and tested him performing his different animations with the whip. The goal was to make this whip work as an effect without being animation-driven so that the whip reacted to a character animation without an animator creating a separate animation for the whip, as was done in Soul Calibur. Garcia was only testing the whip idea so that it could work on an enemy, but after showing it working on Chainblade to Brian Allgeier, Allgeier was impressed and challenged Garcia to make it a whip that would work on Ratchet. Garcia put it on Ratchet, and found that it did not break catastrophically, leading to it becoming a weapon. The Chainblade with the whip that Garcia tested on can still be seen in the Insomniac Museum.
Though Garcia was working on a whip that was not animation-driven, he knew that creating a realistic whip that worked with a physics system would not be plausible, as Insomniac Games did not have accurate physics at the time. During the development of Up Your Arsenal, part of Insomniac were working on Resistance: Fall of Man, where actual physics were created. A test was done for a realistic whip that dragged along the ground, hit collision, and wrapped around the enemies, but it was found to be infeasible, and therefore, Insomniac stuck with the old design. This was instead implemented on Helen, as it was able to work in the Annihilation Nation arena due to it always having flat ground.
It was used by Ratchet in PlayStation Move Heroes.
- Video games
- 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.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (March 19, 2012). Ratchet & Clank 3 Dev Commentary: 2 - Florana and Tony's Crates. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (March 26, 2012). Ratchet & Clank 3 Dev Commentary: 3 - Starship Phoenix. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (April 16, 2012). Ratchet & Clank 3 Dev Commentary: 6 - Annihilation Nation. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.