Skidd McMarx,, alternatively spelled Skid McMarx and Skidd McMarxx, is a support character in Ratchet & Clank, its 2016 re-imagined game, Up Your Arsenal, and Rift Apart. He is a renowned professional hoverboard champion of Rilgar, who worked with his agent, Don Wonderstar. He later joined the Q-Force team led by Captain Qwark as the fleet's black ops, with the codename "Shadow Dude".
In the 2016 re-imagined game, he is the nephew of Agnogg Buckwash, and owner of the McMarx Sports Shack on Aridia.
Ratchet & Clank
Skidd was first seen on an infobot given to Ratchet and Clank by the Plumber, depicting him and his agent's ship, the Solarship Radical, being shot down and crash landing on planet Aridia. Upon landing on the planet, the two located Skidd just behind their landing platform. Skidd gave them the mission "Help Skid get to his ship", in which he requested they kill the sandsharks that blocked his way back to his wrecked ship, as he had a "sprained ankle" and was unable to go by himself. He offered them a hoverboard if they accepted. After the two cleared out the sandsharks, Skidd gave them a Z3000 Deluxe Hoverboard, a rare new hoverboard unavailable on the market, and allowed Ratchet to take his place in the Hovercon Intergalactic Hoverboard Competition on Rilgar.
In Qwark's retelling of events, Skidd had a similar role. He was the nephew of Agnogg Buckwash and owned a McMarx Sports Shack on Aridia. After he accidentally revealed secret blarg schematics for the hydroharvester, the blarg attacked his shack and attacked Novalis. When Ratchet and Clank rescued Mayor Agnogg Buckwash on Novalis, Buckwash revealed the infobot he had received, showing a recording of Skidd being attacked when he revealed the secret blarg schematics.
Upon arrival, much like the original events, Ratchet and Clank defeated sandsharks at Skidd's request to clear his way back to his ship, allowing him to give them a signed McMarx 4000 Hoverboard. After Ratchet saved Skidd's agent, Don Wonderstar, Skidd and Wonderstar left the planet, with Wonderstar scolding him for wishing to visit a hospital about his leg injury, while Skidd remarked he was beginning to feel as if Don Wonderstar did not care about him.
Up Your Arsenal
Skidd joined the Q-Force, as chosen by Qwark for his alleged "nerves of steel". His codename for the team was "Shadow Dude", and according to him, his specialty was black ops. In "Infiltrate the underwater hideout", he volunteered to help Ratchet and Clank infiltrate Dr. Nefarious' hideout on Aquatos. Ratchet was ambivalent at first until Skidd mentioned he had brought a Hacker with him. Ratchet then agreed to bring him along, fighting through amoeboids and hover bots while Skidd used the Hacker to progress forward. Eventually, the group ran into Slim Cognito, startling Skidd and causing him to flee, claiming he had forgotten to feed his goldfish.
After Ratchet defeated the Momma Tyhrranoid on Tyhrranosis, he bragged about his victory to Skidd and Sasha Phyronix, exaggerating events. While doing so, Nefarious sent a transmission on-board the Starship Phoenix to berate the Q-Force.
While Ratchet and Clank explored the docks and infiltrated the weapons facility on Daxx, Skidd took over the Starship Phoenix while other members of the Q-Force were absent, as Qwark and Sasha were meeting President Phyronix, Al was out to lunch, and Helga von Streissenburgen was in the sauna. This worried Ratchet and Clank as they had important information, the two remarked they were traveling to the Obani moon system, and Skidd decided to join them, much to their disappointment.
Skidd arrived late on Obani Pollux during "Explore the Second Moon", held up by traffic for the drive-thru at Galaxy Burger. They discovered that the third moon, Obani Draco, was surrounded by an omega-class disintegration field, and Skidd offered to help. While trying to figure it out, Ratchet received a distress call from the Galactic Rangers about an attack on Blackwater City. Ratchet and Clank then left while Skidd worked on the lock.
As he did, Courtney Gears arrived in a space limo. Unaware she was working with Nefarious, Skidd naively asked her to autograph her t-shirt, giving away his position. Gears then kidnapped him and took him to Obani Draco, using him as a dummy to test the Biobliterator, transforming him into a robot. Ratchet then defeated Courtney Gears, and left the robotic Skidd to be picked up by the Q-Force later. Skidd was later returned to the Starship Phoenix, where he was kept in the same cage as the amnesiac Qwark in Ratchet's quarters.
Al began working on a way to reverse the Biobliterator transformation, finding that an imprint of Skidd's original psyche was still embedded in the neural matrix. In the game's conclusion, Skidd's organic self is seen at the Secret Agent Clank movie premiere, sitting next to his agent in his original attire, indicating he was successfully changed back. This is later proven by his reappearence in Rift Apart.
After Up Your Arsenal
After a scandal surrounding Courtney Gear's connection with Nefarious, her record label dropped her and signed Skidd McMarx to record his spoken word poetry. In a Vox News Galactic Glamour segment, Dallas Wanamaker called Skidd's poetry "deeply moving", but remarked it failed to appeal to the demographics that Gears captured.
Skidd reappears in Rift Apart at the beginning of the game, he is in Megalopolis alongside Captain Qwark and Rusty Pete as they participate in the Festival of Heroes as hosts. The festival is abruptly ended when Goons-4-Less attack under the command of Dr. Nefarious. After the Dimensionator is damaged, causing the dimensions to unravel, Ratchet is separated from Clank in Rivet's dimension. Ratchet then meets Skidd's alternative dimensional counterpart simply known as Phantom, a Resistance fighter who navigates Ratchet through Nefarious City so he can find where Rivet and Clank left. Skidd appears again briefly at the end of the game, after Rivet and Kit save Megalopolis with Ratchet and Clank to stop their dimension from being conqured by Emperor Nefarious. After the defeat of the Emperor, the city celebrates and Skidd and Phantom are seen giving each other a high five in victory.
Skidd is a member of the same species as most Rilgar residents, including his agent, Starlene, and the Shady Salesman. He is a slim, green, humanoid alien, with spikes on his forehead. His typical attire is a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals while wearing a red necklace. As a Q-Force member, he instead wears an orange and black uniform with the Qwark logo and a yellow belt, carrying an orange blaster with him. When transformed into a robot, Skidd was a dark silver and orange robot who otherwise shared the same appearance.
Skidd has the personality of a stereotypical skateboarder or surfer, with a very laid-back attitude. He will frequently attach the words "dude" or "bro" to the end of his sentences. This trait persisted when transformed into a robot, he retained this vocabulary, using phrases such as "Like, destroy all squishies, dude".
Skidd also appears to be cowardly and makes excuses for leaving the work to others. He cited a sprained ankle as the reason he could not run past sandsharks, claimed he forgot to feed his goldfish when fleeing Aquatos, and blamed his late arrival after the battle on Obani Pollux on a slow Galaxy Burger drive-thru. Skidd also appeared relieved to have arrived after the fighting was done. Additionally, while with Ratchet and Clank during Aquatos, he ducked out of the combat and appeared frightened when not using the Hacker. He also said that he could not swim. Ratchet and Clank have the least confidence in Skidd's abilities of all the Q-Force members, with Clank even suggesting Skrunch could be a better choice for looking after the Starship Phoenix.
Behind the scenes
"Skidd McMarx" is a play on the expression "skid marks". His name is inconsistently spelled by the subtitles and credits of both the original Ratchet & Clank and Up Your Arsenal, with the former referring to him as "Skid McMarx" and the latter as "Skidd McMarxx." In the 2016 re-imagining, his name was consistently spelled "Skidd McMarx".
When designing Aquatos' gameplay, the main requirement for the level was for it to be about Ratchet and Clank working with a Q-Force member to get through the level. The level's designer, Mike Stout, did not want this to be an escort mission in which the player had to protect Skidd, feeling those segments in games were not fun. Programming Skidd for the level required a huge amount of code due to potential bugs as the player would be unable to complete the level if Skidd could not get through it.
Skidd McMarx was originally going to debut in Up Your Arsenal before the Q-Force and would have been associated with the turboslider racing game. He appears in two unused, in-progress cutscenes present in the early builds of the game. In one, Skidd almost runs over Ratchet with his turboslider before the two reunite, at which point Skidd offers an off-road race in which the Refractor is the prize. In the second, Skidd makes excuses for losing, including a flat tire, an exploded engine, and hair in his eyes, before giving them the Refractor.
Unused dialogue from Up Your Arsenal contains an interview an organic Skidd had with Darla Gratch after being successfully transformed back into an organic life form, in which he appears to still be a fan of Courtney Gears and to have signed a record deal. While the record deal dialogue was removed from the game, it was referenced in the News Update feature on the Insomniac Games website released prior to Deadlocked.
- Ratchet & Clank (2016 game)
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "Locate Skid McMarx (gameplay)"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game), credits
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "infobot - Distress call from Skid"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "Here, catch!"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Phoenix 3"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Infiltrate the underwater hideout (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Courtney Gears Music Video"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Explore the Second Moon (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Escape the Tyhrranoid Ambush (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Beat Courtney Gears (gameplay)"
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Take Datadisk to Big Al (gameplay)"
- Insomniac Games 2005
- Up Your Arsenal script § "Beat Courtney Gears (gameplay)"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "It's him! Skid McMarx!"
- Stout, Garcia, Yu April 2012 7:01
- Up Your Arsenal unused dialogue § "Up Your Arsenal May alpha"
- Up Your Arsenal, May 26, 2004 build on The Cutting Room Floor
- Up Your Arsenal, unused dialogue
- Video games
- Insomniac Games (2002). Ratchet & Clank [Game]. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2004). Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2016). Ratchet & Clank [Game]. PlayStation 4. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (April 29, 2012). Ratchet and Clank 3 - Developer Commentary - Episode 8. uselesspodcasts. YouTube. Anthony Yu.