The Thruster-Pack, occasionally spelled Thrusterpack, is a gadget in Ratchet & Clank, Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, Tools of Destruction, and Ratchet & Clank (2016 game). It is a rocket upgrade for Clank installed at Bob's RoboShack, that allows Clank to change his feet to rocket boosters and his arms to wings. Like the Heli-Pack, this allows Ratchet to glide, hover above the ground, to boost jump, and to stretch jump.
In the original and re-imagined Ratchet & Clank, it provides additional functionality, though in later games, it has the same functionality as the Heli-Pack and is merely an aesthetic choice for the player.
Ratchet & Clank
The Thruster Pack was installed in the original Ratchet & Clank in Bob's RoboShack on planet Pokitaru for 2,000 bolts, completing the mission "Buy Thrusterpack from Bob" to help the Resort Owner. Ratchet then used the new gadget on the lock that was stopping him from accessing the jet fighter and destroy the blarg ships. The Thruster-Pack is also used elsewhere on the Resort to access a gold bolt. Much later he had to use the power slam feature again to open a lock while progressing through the "Infiltrate the secure area" mission at the robot factory on planet Quartu.
Near the end he had to use it once more for the same purpose and reason while on the mission to "Save Ratchet's planet". Finally, after defeating Drek, Ratchet was about to fall to his death but was saved a split second before impact by Clank who managed to catch him using the Thruster-Pack.
In the re-imagined Ratchet & Clank, the Thruster-Pack was granted for free by Al on Pokitaru during the mission "Destroy the hydroharvesters". With it, Ratchet was able to use it to activate a thrusterbolt, which allowed him to disable the security barriers blocking access to the pumping stations, thus granting him the mission "Clean up Amoeboids in Pumping Station".
Clank also made use of the Thruster-Pack in Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, and Tools of Destruction, as he stayed equipped with it. However, it provided no power slam functionality, and both the boost jump and stretch jump were identical to the Heli-Pack.
The Thruster Pack allows Ratchet to perform the same three moves as the Heli Pack: the boost jump, stretch jump, and glide. It can also smash through crates when stretch jumping through them. In the original Ratchet & Clank, it provides additional functionalities. It has a built-in power-slam to unlock special locks on the ground, and the ability to hover and subsequently strafe, and stretch jump in mid-air after boost jumping. The power slam is quite powerful and can be performed by pressing in the mid-air. Hover mode is activated by double-tapping , and strafing is done by pressing and holding and . The strafe feature is rather unconventional and difficult to use at times, but it does allow weapon usage, making it potentially useful in combat.
The re-imagined Ratchet & Clank, rather than providing a power-slam and hover mode, allows Ratchet to turn special bolt cranks faster, and can also provide the ability to stretch jump in mid-air after boost jumping.
In other entries, the Thruster Pack has the same functionality as the Heli-Pack and is merely an aesthetic difference. In Up Your Arsenal, the Thruster Pack emits black flames instead of red when using Klunk.
Behind the scenes
Early builds of the original Ratchet & Clank show that the Thruster Pack was going to feature a side jump ability.
It reappeared in the 2016 re-imagined game, installed again in Pokitaru, though this time by Al, as Bob has been removed. It can long jump after a high jump in mid-air like the original, though it no longer features strafe (which Ratchet can do on his own) or power-slam, and instead can be used to unlock special bolt cranks in combination with the OmniWrench.
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game), Ratchet & Clank Prima's Official Strategy Guide, p. 119
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "Destroy the blarg ships (gameplay)"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "Buy Thrusterpack from Bob (gameplay)"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) script § "...where's that fighter?"
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game), demo
- A Crack in Time, unused assets