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Smolg is a planet in the Bogon Galaxy featured in Going Commando. It is a planet heavily shrouded in thick clouds or fog, with no visible surface. The planet is home to Megacorp's distribution facility, located high above in the clouds.

Ratchet and Clank traveled to Smolg in order to investigate the large shipment in the facility, after Angela Cross stole the Thug Leader's log entry in which he suspected the facility was shipping Protopets.

History

During Qwark's time impersonating Abercrombie Fizzwidget as the CEO of Megacorp, Smolg was used to ship millions of Protopets to other planets,[1][2] though they claimed that it was instead a large shipment of paperweights. The Thug Leader grew suspicious of this claim, and in his log entry 47-92 after visiting the distribution center himself, speculated that there would be 100 Protopets per crate in a shipment of ten million crates. He then contemplated confronting Megacorp to demand a larger role in their plot.[3] Angela Cross pickpocketed this log entry from the Thug Leader,[4] and later showed it to Ratchet and Clank after they rescued her on Snivelak. Ratchet and Clank decided to check out the distribution facility for more.

In "Search the Distribution Facility", Ratchet and Clank initially searched through a large warehouse containing crates full of Protopets. As there were too many to destroy them all, they decided to explore it to find anything of value.[5] Eventually, they reached a balcony on the side of the warehouse vessel, where they received a balloon-a-gram from Angela on her home planet Grelbin, telling them she had found her old ID badge and urging them to meet with her to infiltrate the Megacorp Headquarters on Yeedil.[6] They then explored the facility further, and found a piece for the Hypnomatic gadget.

The Mutant Crab speaking with Ratchet and Clank.

In "Explore the docked ships", Ratchet and Clank explored the ships around the facility, fighting through the ravenous grulch and two-headed Smolgian snappers guarding it, and using the Levitator to travel between the large freighter vessels and the facilities placed on high altitude platforms. Eventually, they encountered the Mutant Crab, a sentient Smolgian snapper with one head, who had become demotivated after realizing the violent nature of his species. After reconciling with Clank, he sold them a telescreen containing a Darla Gratch news report of the Protopet crisis on Damosel for 40,000 bolts.

At some point, Ephemeris raided Smolg for creatures, later seen in All 4 One. These critters included klartopods and sharnapods.

Geography

Map layout of the Distribution Facility.

Overview

As much as from space and in the area Ratchet visits, there appears to be no evidence of a surface, with the entire planet being covered in thick fog or clouds. Only extremely tall support pillars holding up some of the largest structures, and several smaller ones holding up separate platforms (such as the landing pad) hint at the existence of a bottom. Aside from these, the distribution facility consists only of freighter vessels and floating platforms. Despite the smoggy atmosphere, the air remains breathable.

The planet is also home to creatures, in the form of the two-headed Smolgian snappers and grulches seen in Going Commando, and the klartopods and sharnapods seen in All 4 One. It is unknown if they are native to Smolg, as the Monsterpedia does not clarify.

Distribution facility

The warehouse docked at the distribution facility.

The distribution facility is primarily made up of several immense structures with fans on the exterior. These structures are held up by tall support beams, and have a surface made of connected hexagonal tiles, on which large crates are stacked. They also contain large magnetic cranes, tall and hollow towers, and cream-colored dome roofs with the Megacorp logo etched on. Various smaller structures and platforms are visible nearby and in the distance, located on-top of a single pillar.

Around the main structures, the facility is made up largely of freighter ships and a few floating platforms. The biggest freighter ship is the warehouse ship, with a huge number of crates stacked inside. Other freighter ships are small docked ships, which serve as a platform, and long train-like ships carrying cargo. Though the crates in the structure contain Protopets,[5][2] Megacorp are secretive as to their contents; the crates have a logo resembling the two-headed snapper, and Megacorp claimed to the Thug Leader that they contained paperweights.[3]

Warehouse

The interior of the warehouse.

The warehouse, visited in "Traverse the Warehouse", in the first part of the "Search the Distribution Facility" mission is the largest freighter vessel in the facility. It is a massive ship filled with large crates, most of which contain Protopets,[1] while many others contain two-headed Smolgian snappers. These crates are stacked around the facility and moved by small cranes and conveyor belts, which can be activated using the Dynamo. Navigating the warehouse involves moving through paths alongside these crates, and entering the facility requires using a jump pad to enter an opening at the back. On the right of the warehouse is a balcony with a rail connecting to an adjacent structure.

Adjacent structure.

The adjacent structure to the warehouse vessel is visited in the latter portion of "Search the Distribution Facility". It is largely made up of a thick platform held up by several pillars. The path across this structure starts from a grind rail connected to the warehouse, with a Megacorp vendor and a small platform that returns to the ship landing pad. Nearby the structure are series of floating platforms forming a path between the structure and two nearby smaller freighters, forming a path around parts of the structure otherwise blocked off by crates.

Docked ships area

The docked ships.

Visited in "Explore the docked ships", this area comprises several docked freighter ships near a set of structures. A path towards it starts on the right path from where the ship lands, across floating platforms and versa-targets to reach a small freighter. Behind this freighter, a series of platforms bends left to reach the right edge of one of the structures, with a room containing an elevator down to a corridor that leads out to a lower area with a Levitator pad.

The narrow stretch at the end of the docked ships segment.

The area comprises a group of platforms, which are held up by pillars, and freighter ships. All of these are a great distance apart, and must be traversed using a series of Levitator pads. Near the end of a path through these ships is a much larger platform, held up by several pillars, and containing many stacked crates and a single conveyor belt. A smaller structure in the distance can be seen from here, which is held up by four pillars, has a domed roof, and both an open front and back. This structure also contains a teleporter on this floor back to the ship's landing pad.

Behind the scenes

Mike Stout designed Smolg, and was assigned the level when geometry and art was already complete for it, at which point he could not make changes to it.[7] It was the only level he worked on thinking it was bad at the time, and states he was stuck between working on Smolg and Todano,[8] as while Todano was on borrowed time to meet a deadline, Smolg was on borrowed time even more so.[9] Mark Cerny designed the Levitator segment, and one of Stout's first junior designer jobs was to put Cerny's paper design into Illustrator.[10] One of the crab fights ended up making focus testers cry.[11] Stout also said that the flying train freighters were his favorite flying cars.[12]

To reach the warehouse, Stout had to reuse the fling pad from Snivelak as he had no other ideas for how to get there.[13] Many of the boxes inside the warehouse were created from objects that were normally supposed to not break, a rule that Stout broke.[14]

Citations

References

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