Thugs-4-Less, also known as Goons-4-Less, is a mercenary organization, originating in the Bogon Galaxy that appear as the secondary antagonists in Going Commando, Into the Nexus and Rift Apart, with minor appearances in other titles. It consists entirely of a species of reptilian creatures from their homeworld of Snivelak, and was led by the Thug Leader. The Thugs offer their services to the highest bidder, and appear to be motivated primarily by profit, although the Thug Leader had a personal vendetta against Ratchet and Clank.
During Going Commando, the Thugs-4-Less were hired by Angela Cross initially for her protection, though they were later hired by Megacorp to defend Abercrombie Fizzwidget. In Into the Nexus, they were hired by Neftin Prog to help free his sister Vendra Prog, and began to operate in the Polaris Galaxy. This made them partially responsible both for the Protopet crisis in Bogon, and the nether attack in Polaris. In Rift Apart, they are hired by Dr. Nefarious to attack Ratchet and Clank and help him in his theft of the Dimensionator in Megalopolis after he put his assistant Lawrence on paid paternity leave. They continue pursuing Ratchet and Clank through dimensional rifts and also Rivet, as they are unable to differentiate their Lombax target from the two of them. Eventually, they are broken out of Zordoom Prison along with all the other inmates by Rivet and assist her and her allies in the fight against Emperor Nefarious.
They have more recently rebranded themselves to Goons-4-Less, possibly because their numerous contract failures due to Ratchet and Clank have left them uncredible and damaged their reputation. They have since moved their business model to a mobile app, in which anyone can now take out hits on their adversaries at competitive prices.
After Ratchet infiltrated the flying lab of Angela Cross, disguised as the Unknown Thief, on Aranos, she contacted the Thugs-4-Less for protection while in possession of the Protopet, and asked their men to meet her in the Megacorp Outlet, Oozla. Two Thugs-4-Less Henchmen accompanied her as she robbed a galactic map and deactivated the Megacorp Outlet's outer defenses, causing it to be assaulted by the local wildlife. Following this, the Thugs accompanied her to the Maktar Resort, and towed a moon-sized jamming array into the station's orbit, interrupting the annual Galactic Gladiators broadcast.
When Ratchet followed them to the station, they ambushed him in the Wupash Nebula, and at the Maktar Resort, many Thugs-4-Less Brutes with Megacorp Chickenbots tried to eliminate him unsuccessfully during "Find a way to the Thugs-4-Less Jamming Array" and "Win the Arena Battle", and Ratchet disabled the jamming array. Unsatisfied with their performance, the Thug Leader followed Ratchet to Endako and attacked him during "Visit Clank's apartment".
Ratchet then joined the Desert Riders, the number one leisure choice for Thugs-4-Less, on Barlow, and gained the trust of Biker One, who filled him in on the Thug rendezvous point in the Feltzin System, where the employee picnic was taking place on Sunday. Ratchet flew there in "Defeat the Thug Ships", after which Angela sent a transmission to the Thug Leader, furious that his employees were at a picnic instead of helping her. The Thugs then sent Henchmen to the Canal City, Notak, which Ratchet fought during "Search Canal City for thief" and "Explore the Promenade". During the latter, the Henchmen attempted to ambush Ratchet by posing as mannequins.
Sometime after Ratchet had retrieved the Protopet and delivered it to Abercrombie Fizzwidget, the Thug Leader was contacted by Megacorp with a new offer to protect Mr. Fizzwidget, believing he was going senile. Though the Thug Leader was initially hesitant to betray his current client, he was quickly persuaded given the substantial sum of bolts offered. The Thugs then took over Angela's flying lab on Aranos, turning it into a prison, and due to the Thug Leader's vendetta against Ratchet and Clank, he offered a free pizza party to any squad that could defeat them.
Shortly after, Ratchet fought the Thugs-4-Less in the Silver City, Boldan, during "Find Mr. Fizzwidget". After they found a Fizzwidget bot in the shopping mall and demanded to know the real Fizzwidget's location, the Thug Leader arrested them for "attempting to bump off Mr. Fizzwidget", and took him to their prison. Ratchet and Clank escaped the prison, while Angela infiltrated the Thugs-4-Less fleet on Gorn. She pickpocketed a transmission from the Thug Leader, but the Thug Leader captured her.
Ratchet and Clank traveled to Gorn, and in "Defeat the Thug Fleet", destroyed several ships. The Thug Leader sent them an intimidating message in frustration, but in doing so transmitted his exact coordinates on Snivelak. In "Rescue Angela", the two then traveled to Snivelak, fought through a large wave of Thugs, before defeating the Thug Leader in his Giganto-Mech. With the Thug Leader gone, the Thugs-4-Less did not reappear.
Secret Agent Clank
Qwark also hired Thugs to play the sea lemurs in his musical on Planet Venantonio.
Pre-Into the Nexus
The Thugs-4-Less were hired by Neftin Prog, who wished to free his sister, Vendra Prog, from the Nebulox Seven Prison Ship.
Into the Nexus
The Thugs-4-Less attacked the Nebulox Seven and freed Vendra Prog, who became their leader. They protected the Prog twins thereafter, and set up an outpost on Yerek. The Thugs aided the twins up until Vendra successfully released the nethers which caused them to flee in terror.
The Thugs-4-Less, now rebranded itself as Goons-4-Less, are fought once again in Rift Apart in a city called Megalopolis, where they were hired by Dr. Nefarious to destroy Ratchet and Clank. They eventually get transported into Rivet’s dimension where they continued to follow through with the bounty placed on Ratchet and Clank but end up fighting his dimensional counterpart, Rivet. Nonetheless, they constantly hunt the lombax resistance fighter, barely seeing the difference between her and Ratchet but fail numerous times. The Goons begin to have second thoughts on continuing with the bounty after they were sent to Zordoom Prison by Emperor Nefarious. After being freed by Rivet in her attempts to free Ratchet, Clank and Kit, they ultimately side with the heroes in combating Emperor Nefarious after learning of his plan to conquer their's and Ratchet's home dimension. With the combined strength of the heroes, Goons and Space Pirates, Emperor Nefarious was finally laid low, freeing Rivet's dimension and saving Ratchet's.
Following Emperor Nefarious' defeat, the Goons-4-Less begin to interact with their more spiritual and mellow counterparts of the Savali Monks, trying out each others lifestyles. This is foreshadowed earlier, when a goon can be seen in his cell at Zordoom Prison, clumsily attempting to mimic the monk's yoga routine.
The Thugs-4-Less are a mercenary group which serve the highest bidder. They can offer services to multiple clients at once. Though they typically do not work for one client against another due to the conflict of interest, they do not hold strongly to this principle and have in the past been persuaded to do so with a sufficient offer of bolts. The Thugs provide offers on their services, for example: "pay for six hits, and the seventh is free".
Though the Thugs do not have a moral compass, they appear attracted to especially dangerous assignments, and driven by personal vendettas. The Thug Leader, upon realizing the extent of Megacorp's large Protopet shipments on Smolg, intended to demand "a bigger cut of the action". Additionally, the Thug Leader also offered incentives in the form of free pizza parties to his employees in order to attack Ratchet and Clank, despite that not being the focus of the assignment.
The hierarchy of the Thugs-4-Less is unclear. Though the Thug Leader seemed to be in absolute control while in power, it is unclear who led the Thugs after he was defeated, as though Satch has a commanding role, he does not appear to be the new CEO.
Thugs-4-Less is composed entirely of members of the same species originating from Snivelak. They are a reptilian humanoid species, with blue, green, or purple skin, sharp carnivorous teeth, three fingers, and three clawed toes for feet. Their species is not particularly intelligent, as for example they had placed a button on their cruiser that plays music directly adjacent to a button that fires omnirockets. They also appear particularly bad with math, as their leader was unable to count the number of Protopets in a shipment, rounding them to "three point five zillion". They were capable of cunning however, as seen in combat, where they would often rely on ambushes and tactics.
The Thugs-4-Less species have a variety of accents. Biker One from the Desert Riders has a distinctly Southern American accent, which is very distinct from the accent that both the Thug Leader and Biker Two. The Thugs in the Polaris Galaxy, however, have both Russian accents and cockney British accents. In Rift Apart, they seem to have stereotypical surfer accents shown in gameplay referring to others as “bro” and “dude”.
The Thugs-4-Less' number one leisure choice is the Desert Riders, a hoverbike gang based on Barlow in the Bogon Galaxy. The biker gang is advertised to Thugs who are socially awkward, as bikers in commercials talk about how the hoverbike gang provides them a sense of belonging despite being a social outcast. The Thugs-4-Less also host an arena tournament known as the Destructapalooza, located on planet Kragg in the Polaris Galaxy, where many Thugs compete for cash prizes. This tournament is advertised to Thugs who grew up as school bullies.
The Thugs-4-Less also host a weekly employee picnic, which serves as a bonding exercise, which too place in the Feltzin System when Ratchet and Clank attacked it. In the Silver City, Boldan, while waiting for Ratchet and Clank to arrive, many Thugs can be seen playing rock-paper-scissors. The Thugs are fans of the song "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".
The Thugs use Megacorp technology often, even prior to Megacorp becoming their client. In the Maktar Resort and Canal City, Notak, the Thugs made use of Megacorp Chickenbots to hunt down Ratchet. Later, while defending the Thug HQ on Snivelak, the Thugs deployed Megacorp Hover Tank v2.0s as a defense force. This extends to the Polaris Galaxy, where they make use of PX6 BladeBalls often. In the Polaris Galaxy, the Thugs are also seen to use Grummel Net Industries technology, in the form of the GrummelNet Jetpack used by many of their soldiers and given away as a prize at the Destructapalooza. They have also taken to buying technology from other avenues and purchased Robomutts (originally created by Drek Industries) in bulk for hunting down targets. They continue to use Megacorp made technology in Rift Apart in the form of Custom Megacorp hoverbikes that they use for greatly increased mobility when pursuing Ratchet and Rivet through dimensions, with mounted long range weaponry.
However, the Thugs do appear to develop their own technology as well in the form of vehicles. In both the Bogon and Polaris galaxies, the Thugs made use of their attack ships and Attack-Copter vehicles. The Thug Leader made use of two giant mechs: his mech used on Lunar City, and the Giganto-Mech used on Snivelak.
The Thugs in Going Commando have two types of infantry soldiers; these are the the Thugs-4-Less Henchman (and the Elite version and the Thugs-4-Less Brute (and the Class II version). They are both capable of advanced tactics, such using barriers or moving upgraded Megacorp Hover Tanks as cover, as well as ambush tactics, preferring to attack in overwhelming force. They all come equipped with their own Gravity Boots for maneuvers across and on grav-ramps. The Henchman units fire electric spheres, whereas the Brutes fire a trio of missiles and can spawn Megacorp Chickenbots from their gun. Their stronger variants differ from this in that they both use guns with single-projectile fire, as well as wearing more armor.
The Thugs, now using the name Goons in Rift Apart have a standard ground infantry unit, equipped with burst action blasters. A melee rusher unit armed with large hammers and swords. Finally a flying infantry unit on jetpacks known as Zoom Goons and armed with incendiary grenade launchers. They are often accompanied by their enemy faction's swarmer type; Robomutts.
Vehicles and spaceships
In Going Commando the Thugs rely on a large variety of vehicles, ranging from their dropships with which they warp in troops (including Megacorp Security Robots), to massive Carrier Ships only seen on Gorn. On Notak they used Thugs-4-Less attack ships, which were capable of firing a large fireball, and on Snivelak they had Attack-Copters and v2.0 versions of the Megacorp Hover Tanks guarding their inner city.
They also have a number of space fighters, which come in a light, medium, and heavy type. Their ace fighters on the other hand only have vastly improved versions of the light fighter ships.
In Rift Apart the Goons have a special vehicle unit known as Vroom Goons, expert trackers mounted on Custom Megacorp hoverbikes and armed with a lightning sweeper launcher. They also have attack Dropships for deploying their infantry, armed with a gatling laser cannon and which functions as their faction's mini-boss unit. The Goon Dropship is also fully capable of space travel.
Behind the scenes
During the lead up to Into the Nexus, Insomniac Games tweets referenced the Thugs-4-Less heavily. The first tweet appeared on July 9, 2013, with a tweet linking to the Ratchet & Clank Wiki's's Thugs-4-Less Henchman article, followed by a link to a Thugs-4-Less Prison clip from Going Commando, a clip asking who Thugs-4-Less' next employer would be (with another link to a YouTube clip from Going Commando), and a tweet using the hashtag "#THUGLIFE", and an image of a Thugs-4-Less Henchman. The PlayStation official Twitter page Tweeted an image to Insomniac Games on July 10, 2013 with the text "When Worlds Collide Heroes Return." Insomniac Games then posted the image stating there would be big news on July 11, 2013.
- Going Commando
- Into the Nexus
- Rift Apart
- Going Commando script § "Thief hires Thugs-4-Less"
- Going Commando script § "Investigate the Megacorp store (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Visit Clank's apartment (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Desert Riders Ad"
- Going Commando script § "Thugs-4-Less Employee Meeting"
- Going Commando script § "A Free Pizza Party to the Squad who Bags Him"
- Going Commando script § "Thugs-4-Less Gets a New Employer"
- Going Commando script § "Search the rocket silo (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Find Mr. Fizzwidget (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Rescue Angela (gameplay)"
- Going Commando script § "Thug Leader goes off on Ratchet and Clank"
- Going Commando script § "A shipment of... paperweights"
- Going Commando script § "The Company Picnic"
- Insomniac Games (July 8, 2013). Thugs-4-Less:. Twitter. Insomniac Games.
- Insomniac Games (July 9, 2013). Thugs-4-Less Prison Promo:. Twitter. Insomniac Games.
- Insomniac Games (July 9, 2013). The guys at Thugs-4-Less always seem to have a new employer. Who will it be next?. Twitter. Insomniac Games.
- Insomniac Games (July 9, 2013). #THUGLIFE http://instagram.com/p/bj57AQytxK/. Twitter. Insomniac Games.
- PlayStation (July 10, 2013). .@insomniacgames. Twitter. PlayStation.
- Insomniac Games (July 10, 2013). Big News coming tomorrow!!!!. When Worlds Collide…. Heroes Return:. Twitter. Insomniac Games.