The Tesla Claw is a weapon manufactured by Gadgetron in Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) and Going Commando. It is a continuously firing weapon which fires electricity using electrostatic technology that automatically targets enemies, prioritizing those closer to Ratchet. At 40,000 bolts, it is the most expensive weapon purchased from a Gadgetron vendor.
The Tesla Claw can be upgraded to the Gold Tesla Claw in Ratchet & Clank, and to the Mega Tesla Claw in Going Commando. Both upgrades allow the electricity to hit two targets at once.
Ratchet & Clank
The Tesla Claw was made available in Ratchet & Clank once Ratchet reached Oltanis. It used state-of-the-art electrostatic technology and was the pinnacle of Gadgetron weapons when released. In a subsequent playthrough, the player could upgrade the Tesla Claw to the Gold Tesla Claw, for 60,000 bolts and 4 gold bolts.
The Tesla Claw was one of many weapons available on planet Barlow, and sold by the Help Matron. It was sold for much cheaper than in Ratchet & Clank. Once the player reached challenge mode, the Mega Tesla Claw was sold at any Megacorp vendor, for 100,000 bolts.
The Tesla Claw fits onto Ratchet like a glove with a blue casing, but a yellow and top antenna on the back. The "claw" itself consists of two claws, one larger one arching over the top, and a shorter one at the bottom. There is a gap between the two, but they slightly face each other. At the back is a green open area, with black lines in between, from which the energy is shot. The weapon is completely gold when upgraded to the Gold Tesla Claw.
The weapon makes an electronic buzzing sound when fired. In its basic form, it fires a small electric bolt in front of it. When upgraded, as either the Gold or Mega Tesla Claw, it fires a thicker, green energy.
The Tesla Claw fires continuously, and its projectile always homes in on enemies, prioritizing those close to Ratchet. Much like the Pyrocitor, the weapon will immediately kill most small enemies. The weapon continuously fires on larger targets, and will eventually destroy them. However the weapon can only target enemies who are on-camera in the player's vision, so enemies behind the player cannot be damaged unless the player turns the camera to face them. The ammunition is consumed at the same rate as the Pyrocitor.
The Tesla Claw is an incredibly versatile weapon, useful against all types of enemies. As it requires no aiming, the weapon can be used recklessly, and can defeat most targets. This means that, once owned, it completely outclasses the Pyrocitor and the Blaster, and unlike those weapons, is much less limited in which targets it should be used. However, even though the Tesla Claw is useful against larger enemies, there are still weapons dealing heavier damage that can replace the Tesla Claw against these enemies, such as the Devastator or the Walloper.
The Tesla Claw is one of the most powerful weapons in Ratchet & Clank. However, it deals less damage in Going Commando, and the enemies are much stronger; as such, it is a less useful weapon.
When upgraded to either the Gold or Mega Tesla Claw, it instead fires a green electric beam which can hit two enemies at once. This essentially makes the weapon even more cost-efficient for its ammunition. Due to its ability to rapidly kill many enemies at once, the Gold Tesla Claw is one of the most effective weapons in Ratchet & Clank. The Mega Tesla Claw in Going Commando also increases the ammunition to 400, though like the base Tesla Claw, its damage does not keep up with the stronger health of the enemies.
Behind the scenes
The Tesla Claw's name is likely a homage to Nikola Tesla, a famous inventor and physicist known for his discoveries about electricity. The Tesla coil, a device he created, discharges electricity similar to the Tesla Claw.
In a behind-the-scenes video in the goodies menu of the original Ratchet & Clank, at one point the game creators mention the Tesla Claw and early footage is seen. According to them, the early version of the Tesla Claw had a different function, the electric arc picked enemies up and threw them into the air, killing them. This function was later removed, and the electric effect was changed.
The ammo of Tesla Claw was misspelt in Ratchet & Clank as 'Tesla claw ammo' (without capitalization), and ignores the color code of the game system similar to the bug in Drone Device.
The Tesla Claw's firing animation is the same as Pyrocitor's, but the Tesla Claw has no handle on the left side of the weapon where Ratchet holds his hand in the air.