Thugs-4-Less Henchmen are enemies in Going Commando. They are Thugs-4-Less foot soldiers which carry a blaster, and often appear in groups of up to three. Ratchet and Clank fought the standard Henchmen in the Canal City, Notak, and later fought the Thugs-4-Less Elite Henchmen in Silver City, Boldan and in the Thug HQ, Snivelak.
Ratchet and Clank first fought them during "Search Canal City for thief", "Investigate wharf area", and "Explore the Promenade" in Canal City, Notak. In the promenade area seen in the latter mission, many posed as mannequins in order to ambush Ratchet. They also operated the Attack-Copters in "Defeat the Thug Leader" in the Lunar City on Dobbo's moon.
Later, Ratchet fought the Elite Henchmen, which are only used by the highest paying customers, during "Find Mr. Fizzwidget" in Silver City, and again during "Rescue Angela", in which they also operated Attack-Copters, on planet Snivelak.
Standard Thugs-4-Less Henchmen are purple soldiers which fight topless, with only pants and an ammo sash, (though in spite of this, they are more durable than the standard Thugs-4-Less Brutes). The Elite Henchmen have green skin, and wear thick armor on their torso with orange shoulder pads.
In combat, Henchmen will bend on one knee and enter an attack formation before firing their weapon, and often work in groups. In the Canal City, they will pose as mannequins in an attempt to ambush Ratchet. On Boldan and Snivelak, they will often take cover when firing, either behind blocks or behind Megacorp Hover Tank v2.0s. On both they still often rely on ambushed to attack as well. If Ratchet approaches, they will whack him with their gun. The standard Henchmen's gun fires an electric sphere in a direct line at the target, while the Elite Henchmen's gun fires a single, fast, blue blast from their Thrasher Cannon.
On Silver City, idle Elite Henchmen can be seen playing rock-paper-scissors against one another before engaging Ratchet in combat. After a match, the winner cheers, while the loser slumps down before playing again.
The standard Thugs-4-Less Henchmen have relatively high durability and considerable firepower, and will whack Ratchet with their gun as a melee weapon if he comes too close. It is easy enough to predict the trajectory of the electric sphere fired from their blasters, making dodging or avoiding them altogether quite feasible. As they are often encountered in groups there is good reason to rely on weapons that need less assistance during aiming. This means that the Chopper and Blitz Gun are effective against them, while the Seeker Gun is useful against those fought individually. The Miniturret Glove and Synthenoids are also powerful for extra firepower.
The Elite Henchmen are more deadly, as their blasts are harder to dodge and do even more damage. The strategy against them is mostly the same, as they will also stay clustered together, often fighting alongside Thugs-4-Less Brute Class IIs (which fight similarly). The Minirocket Tube and Plasma Coil are effective against them, due to being fast weapons with good range to compete with that of the blasts from the Elite Henchmen, while the Bouncer and Hoverbomb Gun is also particularly effective against clusters. Additionally, one can use the Spiderbot Glove with the Acid Mod to take down an Elite Henchman in a single attack.
Behind the scenes
The Thugs-4-Less Henchmen on Notak were the first enemies programmed by junior programmer Tony Garcia, as it was also his first level. He was given few instructions for Notak and only a non-playable prototype with meshes, and began with making the Henchmen as trial by fire. The particle globe effect from their weapon was the first effect that Garcia ever developed, and would have been used for the Electrolyzer puzzles but was deemed too expensive.
Elite Henchmen appear as one of the playable characters in the Up Your Arsenal mini-game Bombs Away.
- Going Commando, Monsterpedia
- Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 9 - Part 1/2 (@4:48) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.