The Gadgetron Swingshot is a Hand Gadget that first appeared in Ratchet & Clank, but it also appears in almost every Ratchet & Clank (Series) title in one form or another, and thus it is easily the most well-known gadget in the franchise. In the original game, Ratchet was supposed to have earned it from Captain Qwark's Fitness Trainer, Helga, after completing her fitness course. Helga however thought that Ratchet and Clank's performance was disgraceful, so she forced them to pay 2,000 for it.The Swingshot works by firing a cable made up of titanium wire connected with a grappling hook on the end, which latch onto Swingshot targets known as Versa-Targets. In the original game, there are two types of these. The most basic is the Green Versa-Target. When the Swingshot hooks onto one of these, the user will be pulled to the target, after which he will stop, and then fall to the ground (most of the time there is ground to land on). The second type is the Yellow Versa-Target. These always appear in pairs, and generate a yellow beam between them. The Swingshot latches onto this beam, and the user is able to swing backwards and forwards on it, so that he can hurl himself to solid ground, to a green target, or to another yellow target. Momentum can be gained by using the Left Analog Stick to push the user forwards and back (and even sideways!).
It is important to note that in order to work properly, the fire button must be held down in order for the Swingshot to work correctly. If the the user wants to let go early, they should probably think about whether there will be any ground to land on should they let go. Long sections of Versa-Targets are commonly referred to among fans as Swingshot courses.
Going CommandoThe Swingshot is earnable in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando in Megapolis on planet Endako. Rather than having to buy it, Ratchet simply finds it in his apartment along with his Grindboots. Ratchet didn't actually have these gadgets equipped when he was warped to Fizzwidget's ship at the start of the game, however it is possible that he either had them in his Inventory at the time, got the chance to go back and get them along with his Omniwrench, or Megacorp gave him a new one.
Going Commando introduces a new Versa-Target to use, colored blue. These function similarly to the green targets, except instead of pulling the user to the target, they can pull the target to him. Usually these blue targets are attached to objects, so that pulling them will bring with them a platform to use, or pull down a structure to act as a makeshift bridge. Yellow Versa-Targets are also changed to a single green target that emit the yellow beam from either side, but they function as exactly the same as the old ones.
Up Your Arsenal
The Swingshot in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is replaced by the Hypershot, which fires light cables and comes with the functionality of the Dynamo gadget from Going Commando. In a nod to the original Swingshot, the Hypershot is also acquired via Helga after completing one of her courses.
For further information on the Hypershot, please visit its article.
Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile replaces the Swingshot with a very similar gadget called the Clank Grapple. It works exactly the same as the Swingshot, but because Going Mobile is a 2D sidescrolling title, Ratchet is only able to swing in two directions.
For more information on the Clank Grapple, please visit its article.
DeadlockedThe Swingshot once again makes an appearance in Ratchet: Deadlocked. It, however, appears identical to the Hypershot and also fires the green light cables. The reason for the name switch could be explained in that this Swingshot does not have the Dynamo abilities. Like the Hypershot, this Swingshot has to ability to auto-equip when the player jumps to a Versa-Target. While this initially requires a bit of courage, it will ultimately save time when having to get through particular platforming segments. The old Hypershot got rid of the Blue Versa-Targets, and they have not appeared since, and the yellow targets are once again changed, this time to a rotating green target emitting green light rings. The Swingshot in all of these appearances is available from the very start of the game.
Ratchet & Clank Future SeriesThe Swingshot appears once again in the Ratchet & Clank Future series of games, made up of Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and A Crack in Time. However, it is given yet another redesign in that it is now a full glove, rather than a gadget attached to the wrist. It also features a grapple, but despite this, it still fires a light cable. However it is likely that the cable is attached to grapple which is what's actually being fired. Like with the previous three appearances, this Swingshot is Ratchet's starting weapon with these titles. The Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty Swingshot though fires a cable that has a strange light trail effect on it only seen in that game.
Being one of the few Gadgets in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, the Swingshot appears on the special gadget Quick Select that can be accessed via the D-Pad (for the Swingshot, it is equipped by pressing the Right button). A Crack in Time also changes the color of the green targets to a cyan color, but it should not be confused with the blue targets from Going Commando.
- In early renders of the gadget for the orignal Ratchet & Clank, as well as in-game appearances, the Swingshot's hooks are strangely not visible, despite them showing up in the full game. The hooks fit into the slots that are visible. One reason for why they are missing in-game could be because the hooks are considered part of the cable that is fired, which is a seperate object and thus doesn't appear.
- Several early promotional videos for Ratchet & Clank show a cut gadget similar in design to the Hypershot, this may have been the original Swingshot, or a potential upgrade.
- The Swingshot is one of the few gadgets to be based on a real-life item (in this case, the grappling hook).
- Several renders of the Swingshot show a metallic block in front of the weapon's wristband that was not seen in the game, this was mostly likely planned to be a grip of some sort for the user.
- Excluding Secret Agent Clank, the Swingshot (or a variant) has appeared in every Ratchet & Clank installment.