The Zoni are mystical beings of energy in Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and A Crack in Time, and are also mentioned in other following entries. They are powerful beings of bio-energy who can manipulate time and space to their will, as 117,000 Zoni operate and maintain the Great Clock, the universe' keeper of time. While neither organic nor robotic, they require metal suits to survive in other dimensions. The Zoni are a hive-minded race, who are much more powerful in groups, and whose power multiplies the more are present. They are led by the creator of the Great Clock, Orvus.
The Zoni at first are invisible and can be seen only by Clank, as they provided help to him and Ratchet in the Polaris Galaxy on their journey for the fabled Lombax Secret. The Zoni would provide Clank with visions of the future, as well as providing the Robo-Wings and Geo-Laser, powerful zeptotech upgrades required to progress. The Zoni later appeared visible to everyone, and took Clank with them to the Great Clock to fulfill his destiny. They worked with Dr. Nefarious, who at first promised to repair Clank for them, but betrayed them as they denied him access to the Orvus Chamber, by unleashing a Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler to damage the Clock and chase the Zoni away. Ratchet then found 40 Zoni scattered throughout the Breegus System, which he could capture inside a Zoni Vessel and use to grant upgrades to his ship, Aphelion, they are voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz.
Pre-Ratchet & Clank
Eons ago, the Zoni entrusted the fongoids with the ability to travel through time. The fongoids misused the privilege of time travel over the course of 3000 years, causing large amounts of time paradoxes that wore the space-time continuum thin, and caused a tiny rip in the continuum that destroyed 83 celestial bodies. To restore temporal normality to the universe and fix the universe, Orvus created the Great Clock in the center of the universe (give or take, fifty feet) to repair the rift and restore temporal normality to the universe. The Zoni then stripped the fongoids of their ability to time travel as punishment for their actions and the fongoids resigned themselves to a life of simple tribes people.
Since then, beings within the Breegus System appeared to be the only ones with concrete knowledge of the Zoni's existence, as they were either unheard of or merely mythical across the rest of the universe. The fongoids knew most about and revered the Zoni as a religious icon and as guardians of time, erecting statues and temples in their honor. They lived in Breegus in tribes, abandoning most of their technology as a punishment for their damage to space and time.
Tools of Destruction to A Crack in Time
The Zoni appeared to Clank while unconscious during his travel to the Polaris Galaxy in Emperor Tachyon's vessel, showing him a vision of Stratus City on planet Kortog and directing him to the Hall of Knowledge. When Clank arrived on Kortog with Ratchet, the Zoni provided Clank with the Robo-Wings, allowing them to it. Later, the Zoni appeared on Fastoon, helping Clank to find parts to fix the Aphelion, before providing Clank an ominous vision of the cragmites on their homeworld of Reepor. The Zoni then appeared to Clank in the Apogee Space Station, providing him a Geo-Laser to access the final room when the door was sealed. They helped Clank once more on the Kreeli Comet, helping Clank repair the IRIS supercomputer, and providing him a vision of Talwyn Apogee on Zordoom. Finally, the Zoni helped Clank return to Ratchet on Reepor when separated, before providing Clank a vision of Fastoon. After Ratchet and Clank defeated Emperor Tachyon, the Zoni abducted Clank from the Apogee Space Station, and Clank remained in the Great Clock for repairs.
The Zoni worked with Dr. Nefarious at first, who pretended to be an ally of the Zoni who claimed to fix Clank. However, when it became clear they would not grant him access to the Orvus Chamber, Nefarious instead unleashed the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler to chase them from the Clock and damage it, causing the Zoni to scatter. Ratchet could find 40 of the Zoni throughout the Breegus System, capturing them in a Zoni Vessel and using them to repair and fix the Aphelion.
The Zoni are neither mechanical nor biological beings, and are instead made of pure bio-energy. They do not appear in their pure form in Ratchet and Clank's dimension, but appear in metallic casing. With the exception of Orvus, the Zoni lack visible mouths.
The Zoni hail from their own Zoni dimension, though 117,000 Zoni reside within the Great Clock.
The Zoni are a hive-mind, which function better in groups. Zoni are almost always found floating together in groups of three, and when speaking, will speak in unison. When separately, scattered Zoni on their own appear to float around aimlessly until captured in a Zoni Vessel. While the Zoni are very intelligent and can keep track of time, they are not omniscient and cannot predict the future, as they could not predict Nefarious' betrayal.
Friendly little creatures they are. Can manipulate time and space to their will!
Angstrom Darkwater, writing in his personal journal, QfB
The Zoni are made of bio-energy, and their bio-energy is the most powerful resource in the entire omniverse.
The Zoni are very intelligent and extremely powerful, able to phase in and out at will, fire energy at enemies, fix or energize machinery, levitate objects, or freeze time. They can appear invisible and non-existent to those who they do not wish to be seen by, and can grant visions of the future. They are also known to have gifted the fongoids the ability to travel through time.
Despite seeming all powerful, they possess a weakness: they are greatly affected by sonic weaponry, and powerless against Dr. Nefarious' Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler. Zoni can also be captured in a Zoni Vessel which they do not appear to be able to escape from. The Zoni do not appear to be mortal, however, as when damaged, they will stand back up shortly after a fall. When energizing an object, they will sometimes disappear afterwards, as their energy has been exhausted.
The Zoni also created powerful technology, using zeptotech, a superior form of nanotech which is smaller (zepto refers to "one sextillionth" while nano refers to "one billionth"). When upgrading Clank, the Zoni provide Clank with both the Robo-Wings and the Geo-Laser devices. The Zoni also created the Chronoscepter and Time Bombs, devices which can manipulate time and are used by caretakers of the Great Clock.
The Great Clock in Ratchet and Clank's universe is also a Zoni invention by Orvus, the brightest Zoni.
Tools of Destruction
The Zoni are controlled by Clank in a similar manner to the Gadge-Bots from previous games. The Zoni fire at enemies on their own, and after being attacked will not die, but will rather lie on the ground for a few seconds before again standing up. They also allow Clank to slow down time, and appear to also be affected by Clank's slowing of time. When found, they will follow Clank throughout until used up with Charge Up.
Three commands can be given to the Zoni: Levitate, allowing Clank to hover for a certain amount of time; Manipulate, allowing them to fix objects (provided he enough are used at a time); or Charge Up, energizing an object allowing Clank to proceed to a new area (using up the Zoni in the process).
A Crack in Time
In A Crack in Time, 40 Zoni spread across five sectors in the Breegus System appear as collectibles that Ratchet can obtain to find Clank, and provide upgrades for the Aphelion. Zoni are found throughout several planets, similar to gold bolts as well as earned from completing missions on moons. Collecting the Zoni places them in a Zoni Vessel, and Zoni are collected by Ratchet grabbing one in mid-air with the OmniWrench. Collecting Zoni also grants Ratchet nanotech experience.
The Zoni are an unlockable skin in Secret Agent Clank. They are unlocked using the cheat , , , , on the pause menu. The code is revealed in Tools of Destruction.
Behind the scenes
The Zoni were given prominent round eyes similar to Clank, to maintain the connection.
The Zoni are mentioned in the 2016 re-imagined game, despite originally being unheard of outside of the Breegus System of Polaris. They are mentioned by characters such as Grimroth Razz, and a small picture appears. They lightning bolt that hit a robot factory on Quartu which created Clank was also caused by the Zoni.
The Zoni appear in PlayStation Move Heroes as Clank's special move, they hover above his head and shoot at enemies to aid him.
- Sony Computer Entertainment (2018). The Art of Ratchet & Clank. Dark Horse Comics. p. 146.