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Snivelak is a planet in the Bogon Galaxy featured in Going Commando. It is an orange-tinted planet, with a dark red atmosphere, filled with oceans of lava. The planet is home to the Thugs, and notably the location of the Thug HQ, from which the Thugs-4-Less are based.

Ratchet and Clank traveled to Snivelak to free Angela Cross, who had been held captive there after she was caught infiltrating the fleet on Gorn. They fought the Thug Leader in his Giganto-Mech and defeated him, freeing Angela.

History

Snivelak is the homeworld of the Thugs-4-Less species, and is where the organization and all its classes originate from. It was also the birth of Chainblade.[1]

The Thug Leader standing in front of the coordinates to his location on Snivelak.

After Angela Cross was captured during her transmission to Ratchet and Clank, the Thug Leader demanded she be taken to the headquarters on Snivelak.[2] By the time they arrived on Gorn, she had already been taken, though the Thug Leader sent them a transmission which included coordinates to his exact location on Snivelak.[3]

Ratchet and Clank freeing Angela after defeating the Giganto-Mech.

In "Rescue Angela", Ratchet and Clank fought through large waves of Thugs-4-Less before reaching the Thug Leader in his Giganto-Mech. The two eventually destroyed the mech, freeing Angela. She then showed them a telescreen she had pickpocketed from the Thug Leader,[4] detailing the Thug Leader's log entry 47-92. In it, the Thug Leader grew suspicious of Megacorp's shipments in the distribution facility on planet Smolg, and planned to demand a bigger cut of the action. Ratchet, Clank and Angela split up, with Ratchet and Clank traveling to the distribution facility while Angela returned to her home on Grelbin, hoping to find an ID to infiltrate Megacorp Headquarters.[5]

After leaving the planet, Ratchet and Clank watched another episode of Behind the Hero, this time speculating about the whereabouts of Captain Qwark

Geography

Overview

Map layout of the Thugs-4-Less Headquarters.

Snivelak is a hot planet with lava oceans, and a dark red sky. From space, it appears to have several volcanoes from which rivers of hot lava lead to the oceans. The planet is hospitable, and supports life on several of its continents and islands, many of which are mountainous. Vegetation comes in the forms of large blue mushrooms, grass, large grey weeds on the walls of some buildings, and trees with thick, twisting roots, with orange growths instead of leaves. The planet is home to reptile-like inhabitants, as seen in the Thugs and Chainblade, both hailing from Snivelak.[1]

The Thug HQ area encompasses a city with several surrounding structures across an archipelago of islands. The city and HQ are built on the largest island, central to the archipelago. Several tall pillar-shaped structures are built into the lava itself, while other fortress-like structures with a tall spire in the center are built atop surrounding islands. A long bridge connects a cluster of outer structures to the city itself. The buildings have a mostly grey look with bright red lights, and air traffic is found throughout the city.

The Thug HQ itself is the largest building in the area, significantly taller than any of the surrounding structures. It has a truncated pyramid shape, with yellow cone-shaped objects at the top surrounding a spherical object. It is located at the back of the central island, behind the city.

Thug HQ

The Star Explorer lands on a small island located a distance from the city. Adjacent to it are several outer structures concentrated around a larger island a distance off from the city. Most of these structures resemble a fortress around the island, which is connected to the city's main island by a long, flat suspension bridge held by two large pillars either side. Located just a distance away from the island are towers, including a shorter one with a control room (near to the smaller island with the Star Explorer landing pad), and one with rotating machinery and a large grav-ramp.

The city is built on the central island with a wall surrounding it and the Thug HQ, an immense building that dwarfs the others. It comprises several streets of multi-story buildings, with small red lights across the roads. The city itself is also well-defended: at times, many roads are blocked off by glass gates or by forcefields, laser defenses run horizontally across the streets, and jump pads and turrets are located atop several rooftops.[a]

Behind the scenes

Snivelak was originally referred to as planet "Killnar",[6] and was designed by Colin Munson,[7] while Peter Hastings programmed the Giganto-Mech boss with Mike Stout prototyping it.[8] It is widely considered to be one of the hardest levels in the game, and was supposed to be a difficulty spike that forced the player to go back and grind for items. It had a lot of back and forth internally because it was even more difficult during development, though the final version of the level settled on was one that was still hard.[9] Programmer Tony Garcia, who worked on the level, was especially proud that the level was difficult but felt fair. During focus tests, despite players often dying, they did not feel too bad about it.[10] Additionally, one reviewer referred to Snivelak specifically as difficult but rewarding to complete; Garcia printed this quote and put it on his desk as a reminder of the good work he had done.[11]

The rain effect was added as a scrolling texture over the camera rather than as a particle effect. It was an alternative to another rain effect that came in the form of particles that fell from the sky that followed Ratchet.[12]

The purple nanotech crate in middle of the road in the enemy segment after crossing the bridge is a trap: if the player does not break it open, the electric force fields never appear.[13]

Hastings, while developing the Giganto-Mech, was unsure how the boss would work when both fought on rooftops and on the ground below. As it is turret based, floating bombs were needed to make the turret gameplay still challenging rather than monotonous.[8] The original intention was for the Giganto-Mech to be fought using a hovering robot car. Artwork for this version of the boss still appears in the final game in the Special menu.[14] The car appears in the Insomniac Museum.[15] The boss originally had more hit points, until Hastings tuned it down.[16]

Notes

Annotations

  1. During gameplay, while Ratchet fights through the Thug soldiers defending the city, glass gates and forcefields block the road, and lasers are activated. Only a narrow path is available to where the Giganto-Mech is parked. While fighting the Giganto-Mech, the entire city is open, and jump pads used to hop between the roofs).

Citations

References

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