Space Pirates were Decadroid robots in the Polaris galaxy created by Percival Tachyon when he was young. Their purpose was to scour the galaxy and bring back materials Tachyon could use to build his Imperial Army. Once their job was complete and the Tachyon's Cragmite Empire was set to restore the Cragmites, Tachyon banished them to Praxus Seven.
After their exile, the space pirates continued to engage in a life of piracy; attacking and looting ships and cities across Polaris, all while enjoying their favorite alcohol: grog.
One of the earliest space pirate captains was Julius MacGuffin from the Andromeda System. Blackstar and Angstrom Darkwater also operated as space pirate captain. On Planet Merdegraw, Captain Darkwater was beheaded by his treacherous first mate, Romulus Slag, who became the new pirate captain. Years later, Captain Slag and his first mate, Rusty Pete, returned to find the fabled "Lombax Secret," competing against Tachyon's forces, as well as Ratchet and Clank.
Known pirate hideouts were located on Ardolis, Kreeli Comet, Ublik Passage, Merdegraw, in the Voron Asteroid Belt, the Rakar Star Cluster, and the Pegasus Outpost near the Verdigris Black Hole. They often used cutlasses as weapons, in addition to cannons and blasters.
Pre-Ratchet & Clank
These pirates appeared in the "Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder" and "Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder - Special Edition" Qwark Vid-Comics in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal.
Captain Slag and Rusty Pete first appeared in Tools of Destruction. Their pirate hideouts were on Ardolis, Kreeli Comet, and the Ublik Passage. They also attacked Ratchet when he was flying Aphelion through space in the Voron Asteroid Belt, Rakar Star Cluster, and Verdigris Black Hole.
After many battles through space and at the pirate hideouts, Slag and his pirates managed to get the Lombax Secret, the Dimensionator, from Ratchet on Jasindu while attacking Kerchu City. Ratchet and Clank then flew to Slag's Fleet in Ublik Passage and infiltrated the pirate forces. Ratchet defeated Captain Slag, leaving only his head, which was kept by Rusty Pete, who named Ratchet as the new "captain" of the pirates. In the end, Pete was shown trying to teach Captain Qwark how to say a pirate "arr" correctly, which Qwark failed to do, much to Pete's annoyance.
In Quest for Booty, Ratchet was searching for Clank, who was kidnapped by the mysterious Zoni. Ratchet learns about Angstrom Darkwater, a space pirate captain who was somehow connected to the Zoni. Ratchet, accompanied by Talwyn, traveled to Merdegraw, a pirate-infested planet. The two boarded a pirate ship over the Azorean Sea, hoping to learn the whereabouts of Darkwater, the Zoni, and most of all Clank. However, the pirates told them that Darkwater is dead, and then attacked them. Ratchet and Talwyn fought back, but were seized by the pirates. They were placed in a cannon, which the pirates used to send them to Hoolefar Island.
While on the island, Ratchet and Talwyn learned the story of Captain Darkwater. Darkwater, while visiting the Breegus Nebula, met and befriended the Zoni. Their leader gave him a Fulcrum Star, which Darkwater could use to communicate with the Zoni. Darkwater valued his Fulcrum Star greatly, and was very protective of it. He also grew suspicious of his first mate, Romulus Slag. So, Darkwater placed a curse on himself and his crew, so if they died and their corpses were disturbed, they would rise from the dead to defend Darkwater's loot. Darkwater's suspicions were later proven true; Slag lead a mutiny, which had taken the lives of Darkwater and any pirates who stayed loyal to him. Slag became the new captain, and left the remains of Darkwater and his crew to decay at Morrow Caverns.
Later, Rusty Pete arrived on Hoolefar Island. Pete was carrying the head of Slag (which Pete had revived by re-routing Slag's memory banks). Pete and Slag offered to take Ratchet and Talwyn to Morrow Caverns. They accepted, and the four headed off to the caverns.
At Morrow Caverns, Rusty Pete and Slag guided the two heroes through the caves, which were littered with the corpses of Darkwater's crew. When Pete, Slag and Ratchet (Talwyn was accidentally separated from the group) arrive at a ship (containing Darkwater's headless corpse and a treasure map), Pete betrays Ratchet by attaching Slag's head to Darkwater's torso. This activates the Curse of Darkwater, causing Darkwater and his crew to rise from the dead in the form of ghosts and zombies. Slag now had a new body, but he was forced to share it with Darkwater. While Slag and Darkwater fought with each other over control of the body, Pete convinced them to do some pillaging. Captains Slag and Darkwater, their first mate Rusty Pete, and their army of undead pirates chose their first target: Hoolefar Island. Ratchet joined with Talwyn again and escaped from Morrow Caverns.
Ratchet and Talwyn landed on Hoolefar Island to warn the local Hoolefoids of the upcoming pirate raid. When the undead pirates came, the Hoolefoids took shelter while Ratchet defended the island.
After repelling the undead army, Ratchet and Talwyn traveled to Darkwater's personal sanctuary, the island of Darkwater Cove. When Talwyn gets captured by the pirates, Ratchet escapes the island.
Ratchet later boards another pirate ship over the Azorean Sea, in order to stop the pirates from conducting another raid (this time against the Zoni dimension), as well as to rescue Talwyn and take the Fulcrum Star. Ratchet fights a final battle against Slag and Darkwater, who took turns attacking Ratchet. Ratchet defeated the two captains, causing them to once again bicker with each other. Slag and Darkwater fall overboard into the water, thus getting rid of Darkwater. On the other hand, Rusty Pete jumps into the water to save Slag. Pete accidentally leaves the Fulcrum Star behind, which Ratchet takes to find out Clank's location.
Rusty Pete (who narrated the game's story by reading it from a storybook out loud to Slag) is shown to be sitting on a small wooden crate in the middle of the sea with Slag, who once again lacks a body. Slag, who was uninterested in listening to the story, commands Pete to grab an oar and row the crate until they find a new body for Slag.
There were still reports of space pirate raids against ships across Polaris. However, it is mentioned that the Valkyries were twice as dangerous and ruthless as the pirates, and that they have recently been conducting more raids than the pirates, likely due to the Space Pirate Captain being a head.
While traveling through space, Ratchet may have the option of helping a certain Vullard, who explains to him that his ship was attacked by space pirates.
A Buccaneer was held in the cell next to Ratchet and Clank's. He helped Clank escape from his prison cell in Vartax Detention Facility, and in turn is freed by Clank. The pirate later got the other inmates to riot, in order to keep the guards busy while the duo escaped.
There is a pirate exhibit at the Intergalactic Museum of History, the exhibit features the likes of Captain Slag, Rusty Pete, and numrous Undead pirates. Slag, Pete, regular pirates, and Captain Darkwater all make cameos in the ending credits as well.
After Rusty Pete inadvertently activated Darkwater's curse, undead space pirates appeared. They looked like normal space pirates, but resembled animated skeletons with a ghostly green light emitting from them, and were stronger. These zombie pirates would often suddenly appear from nowhere to attack. Darkwater was also undead, although he was a ghost rather than a zombie.
Another type of space pirate is a Pirate Doorkeeper. These disembodied pirate heads do not serve any actual combat purpose, although they are in charge of locking doors and restricting access to pirate-controlled areas.
Blackstar's crew of pirates were referred to as Robotic Pirate Ghosts. One type wielded a sword, another threw flaming skulls. There were also Pirate Heads that jumped up from below deck to attack.
The space pirates appearing in Secret Agent Clank were only referred to as Space Pirates. They utilized guns, swords and cannons.
A list of known space pirate leaders, in assumed chronological order:
|Julius MacGuffin||Unknown||MacGuffin was one of the earliest captains of the space pirates. Not much is known about him, although he was seemingly a captain some time before Angstrom Darkwater.|
|Blackstar||Unknown||Blackstar was a space pirate who terrorized Solana Galaxy during the 5th galactic equinox with his crew of Robotic Pirate Ghosts. Captain Qwark claimed to have defeated his crew. Not much is known about him and he is only ever seen in the Insomniac Museum.|
|Angstrom Darkwater||Romulus Slag||Darkwater was killed in a mutiny led by Slag. However he cursed his tomb and crew so that he would return if disturbed.|
|Romulus Slag||Rusty Pete||Slag was apparently killed by Ratchet. Pete named Ratchet the new "captain" of the pirates.|
|Ratchet||Rusty Pete||After defeating Slag, Rusty Pete named "the Dread Pirate Ratchet" as captain of his crew. This did not last long however.|
|Rusty Pete (disguised as Slag)||Rusty Pete||Rusty Pete had looked after the disembodied head of Slag, and appears to have taken over as captain by pretending to be him. Pete wore Slag's head like a mask to fool the other pirates into thinking that Slag had returned.|
|Union of Romulus Slag and Angstrom Darkwater||Rusty Pete||Out of his undying loyalty to Slag, Rusty Pete attached Slag's head to Darkwater's torso. Slag now had a new body, but he was forced to share it with Darkwater. Eventually, Darkwater was sent to his watery doom; on the other hand, Pete saved Slag (who was once again reduced to a head).|
Behind the scenes
In Secret Agent Clank Qwark tells a tale of having defeated Space Pirates in the Delta Sector of the Solana Galaxy, these likely fictional space pirates were much different from other incarnations, appearing as small mushroom people.
Several space pirates are playable in the multiplayer of Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault; Scurvy, Gultch and Scallywag appear as part of the Pirates Pack and Rusty Pete appears as part of the Future Pack.
In original concepts of the game, the Space Pirates didn't exist, as their role in the game was fulfilled by obsolete cleaning robots instead. This idea was later scrapped, but several models of the Obsolete cleaning robots models later were used as Space Pirates.
- Pieces of space pirates could be seen at various locations in A Crack in Time, including a pirate treasure chest and Pirate Doorkeeper's head located on Torren IV, and a Rogue's head in the Nefarious Space Station trash compactor.
- There was a space pirate skin for every character in All 4 One.
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (robotic pirate ghosts)
- Secret Agent Clank (fictional and non-robotic)
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 2: Friends with Benefits
- Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart