The Thruster-Pack is a backpack gadget available in Ratchet & Clank 1, but has made subsequent appearances in Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal and Tools of Destruction. It is very similar to the Heli-Pack, except that it uses rocket propulsion rather than helicopter blades. It also has a cousin in the form of the Hydro-Pack.
It is bought at Jowai Resort on Pokitaru for 2,000 . After escorting the Resort Owner to the Jet Fighter Garage, Ratchet and Clank needed to use the Thruster-Pack's Power Slam move to open the lock and get inside. The Resort Owner suggested seeing Bob in his Roboshack, who recognised Al's handiwork with the Heli-Pack, and offered to intall the Thruster-Pack.
While also providing three new moves, the Thruster Pack enhances Ratchet's existing ones; the Stretch Jump is faster, and Side Flips, Back Flips and double jumps now have extra height, thanks to the Thruster-Pack being used when performing them.
MovesThe Thruster-Pack is to be considered an upgrade to the Heli-Pack, and as such it has the Glide, Stretch Jump and Boost Jump abilities. To find out more about these moves, see the moves section of the Heli-Pack page, here.
The Thruster Pack also has three additional features on top of the previously mentioned ones. The main new move is the Power Slam. While in the air, pressing the Crouch button will cause Clank to flip around on Ratchet's back, where he'll then slam into the ground. This move is used on very large buttons scattered over the Solana Galaxy, such as Pokitaru or Quartu. The Deplanetizer also used Power Slam buttons to activate its laser.
The two other moves are more secondary, but certainly not short of being useful. If the player double-taps the Crouch button, Clank will help Ratchet hover just above the ground. While it takes longer for Ratchet to get up to speed like this, he does have the ability to Strafe using the L2 or R2 buttons, meaning firefights are much more easy to manage since Ratchet will have his weapons pointed at the enemy even when moving backwards. While in Hover Mode, Ratchet will smoothly transition into a Glide should he encounter a drop.
The third move is the ability to use Stretch Jumps while in the air. Simply press the Crouch and Jump buttons while moving in the air to perform the move. It should be noted that the higher Ratchet is off the ground, the less distance he will travel.
Going CommandoRatchet is able to use the Thruster-Pack in Going Commando after he rescues Clank in Megapolis. It has the Glide, Stretch Jump and Boost Jump features just like the Heli-Pack, it lacks the three additional moves from the previous game. The European site for Going Commando (now no longer active) stated that Fizzwidget did this according to Megacorp standards. In terms of making the game, they were likely removed due to not being needed; Strafe was now a move Ratchet could do at any time, the Infiltrator opened doors, and the Stretch Jump in midair feature was never used much to begin with.
The fact that the player can switch to the Thruster-Pack is not mentioned by the HelpDesk until after the initial few jumps once reuniting with Clank.
Up Your ArsenalBecause Ratchet and Clank start their adventure together from the get go, the Thruster-Pack is immediately available at the start of the third game. However the player does need to equip it manually just as in Going Commando. Unlike Going Commando, the HelpDesk does not mention that you can do this.
Deadlocked, Size Matters & Secret Agent Clank
As Clank was now a technical advisor in DreadZone during Ratchet: Deadlocked, he was no longer with Ratchet and thus could not help him with the Thruster-Pack abilities. In Size Matters, he was only able to use the Heli-Pack. In Secret Agent Clank, Ratchet and Clank are once again seperate for the entirety of the game, and so Clank was unable to help. He did, however, get his own replacement in the form of the Jet Boots.
Future SeriesThe Thruster Pack's fourth and, to date, final appearance is in the franchise's premiere PlayStation 3 title, Tools of Destruction. Here, the Thruster-Pack gets a slight redesign, with different thrusters and jet wings, and a slight bit more freefall while Gliding. The smoke is also changed to be initially orange, before transitioning to grey.
For the third time in the series, Ratchet and Clank are seperated, this time for Quest for Booty, and they remain so for the majority of the subsequent title A Crack in Time. However, like in Size Matters, the Thruster Pack does not make an appearance, probably due to the presence of the Hover Boots.
- As seen in the image above, when Clank is first revealed with the Thruster-Pack installed at Bob's Roboshack, the wings are put on backwards.
- The same quirk can also be seen above with the Tools of Destruction menu preview of the Thruster-Pack.
- The Stretch Jump and Power Slam moves were originally intended to hurt enemies, as seen in some preview videos at the main menu for the original game, and the intructional video for the Sonic Summoner. Part of this still remains in the ability to break crates by Stretch Jumping, but it was ommited entirely for Tools of Destruction.
- A fourth Thruster-Pack move would have been a much higher Boost Jump, allowing Ratchet more distance and far more height, to the extent where he flips forward at the peak of the jump. It was likely removed because there is no point in the game where it is needed. This move is seen in the unlockable Making Of movie in the first game.
- One of the notable design changes with the Thruster-Pack seen in Tools of Destruction is that the base of the main wings are not as thick and do not extend above Clank's head. This was probably done because Clank turns his head over his shoulders whenever he talks to Ratchet in-game.
- Another change was the removal of the hypen in the name, changing the name from "Thruster-Pack" to "Thruster Pack". For simplicity's sake, it is referred to by its original name in this article, except in the Future Series segment.