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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]

Thug Leader goes off on Ratchet and Clank

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]

Freeing Angela

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

Thugs-4-Less Headquarters map

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]

Thug HQ 1

The Thug HQ.

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 2

The ship landing pad.

The Star Explorer lands on a small island located a distance from the city, a Swingshot is used to cross the lava and reach the first of the outer structures.

Outer structures

Thug HQ 3

The grav-ramp tower.

The first structure is a relatively small tower, reached using a Swingshot from the island on which the ship lands. Past this tower, versa-targets are used to reach a bridge to the city, though the path to the bridge on the right is closed off by a glass gate. North of this area is a grind rail, initially held up until the Swingshot pulls it down, which travels around a large, grey tower with red cables and flashing blue laser walls, to the platform beneath it. The tower can then be climbed from a grav-ramp, after the grav-ramp pieces are rotated to the correct positions with the Dynamo, to reach the top, which has a long, narrow grav-ramp leading left to a wall covered in them. Below the wall is a platform, with a narrow bridge to the right leading to a circular platform with a jump pad on it. The jump pad leads right to the landmass connecting to the main bridge.

The area has both a weapons and an armor vendor next to the bridge pillars, with a teleporter returning to the ship, located nearby. A portion of the wall to the south of the area can be climbed upwards using the Dynamo to navigate between platforms, leading to a a room with a platinum bolt near the top.

Bridge

The bridge to the city is a long, flat, suspension bridge held by two large pillars on either side placed in the center of the gap between the two landmasses. A cross-shaped structure connects the two pillars at the top, and a pair of beams on both sides of the pillars adjacent to the bridge connect to the chains from the structure. The bridge is heavily guarded by Thugs-4-Less troops, including v2.0 Megacorp Hover Tanks and Elite Henchman soldiers. During Ratchet's battle with the Giganto-Mech, the bridge was raised.

City

Thug HQ 4

The city.

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.

While Ratchet fought through the Thug soldiers defending the city, many of the roads were blocked off by glass gates with the logo on them, force fields often used to trap him, and lasers swept horizontally across several roads with generators on either side, making them hazardous. The only path available to Ratchet from arriving on the bridge was left down one street, right down another (where he was blocked off by force fields and ambushed) to an open area with no buildings, then right down another street to crossroads (where he got ambushed again), and finally right to where the Giganto-Mech was parked.

Giganto-Mech in combat

Ratchet facing off against the Thug Leader on the city rooftops.

While fighting the Thug Leader's Giganto-Mech, the entire city was open, and several jump pads on the roads could be used to reach the roofs of the buildings. The roofs of the buildings also feature turrets dotted around them, which Ratchet used against the Giganto-Mech.

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]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Going Commando, Monsterpedia
  2. Going Commando script § "Meow"
  3. Going Commando script § "Thug Leader goes off on Ratchet and Clank"
  4. Going Commando script § "Rescue Angela (gameplay)"
  5. Going Commando script § "A shipment of... paperweights"
  6. RAC2 Sep4 prototype - Gorn (@1:14) published by isaki on August 7, 2018 on YouTube. Accessed May 18, 2019.
  7. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep 24 (@4:14) published by uselesspodcasts on August 10, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Developer Commentary - RC2 - Episode 25 (@3:45) published by uselesspodcasts on August 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  9. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep 24 (@6:35) published by uselesspodcasts on August 10, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  10. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep23 (@1:35) published by uselesspodcasts on August 10, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  11. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep 24 (@9:27) published by uselesspodcasts on August 10, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  12. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep 24 (@8:46) published by uselesspodcasts on August 10, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  13. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Episode 25 (@8:46) published by uselesspodcasts on August 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  14. Going Commando Special § "Paintings"
  15. Going Commando Insomniac Museum § Giant robot car
  16. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Episode 25 (@11:19) published by uselesspodcasts on August 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
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