Jak and Daxter is among the most popular PlayStation IPs, something Insomniac celebrates with clever cameos in the Ratchet and Clank games.
By Shane O’Gorman
Published May 04, 2021
During the height of the PS2 era, both?Ratchet and Clank?and?Jak and Daxter?were neck and neck as the premier action platformer series. Both features great humor, intriguing worlds and satisfying action based gameplay. As the years and gaming generations went on however, only Ratchet and his trusty sidekick Clank have survived up to the present day, with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart?available soon. But just because Jak and Daxter are gone does not mean they were forgotten.
Being a fellow PlayStation icon, allusions and references to?Jak and Daxter?have been commonly found within the many games in the?Ratchet and Clank?series. From “blink and you’ll miss it” winks at the audiences to cleverly hidden Easter eggs, Naughty Dog’s PS2 mascots have been celebrated on numerous occasions by the team over at Insomniac across multiple?Ratchet and Clank?games.
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RELATED:?Uncharted Might Just Be The Next Jak and Daxter
Flashing back to 2003,?Ratchet and Clank?proved to be a big hit for Insomniac, with a sequel set for launch later that year. Similarly, Naughty Dog was hard at work expanding its own franchise with?Jak 2?also landing on the PS2 that same holiday season. Because of these timetables lining up for two hugely similar games, Insomniac probably thought it would be fun to include not one, but several sly nods towards?its fellow gaming developers over at Naughty Dog.
For starters, Jak and Daxter can be seen in a few locations scattered across the adventure in?Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. Before the game even begins at the “Press Start” screen,?the duo can be seen played?games in the?Ratchet and Clank?series on the TV. If the player waits long enough, the game’s being played eventually change to both Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy?as well as?Jak 2.
There is another cameo easily visible within Clank’s apartment on the planet Endako, with the two characters projected on a screen within the room. Later on in the game on planet Damosel,?the heroes are seen once more only this time on a giant billboard within the Allgon city. Both of these references are fairly easy to spot, and the images feature the visual appearances that Jak and Daxter feature in?Jak 2’s storyline, for players familiar with that game.
That’s not all however, as the floating screens between the Megacorp and Thugs 4-Less signs in the Maktar resort area also feature a fun reference to Naughty Dog’s platforming mascots. They can however only be seen if the player breaks these screens first and then walk behind the debris, with the image in plain sight. As if these aren’t enough, there is an instance?after a grind rail section where Ratchet and Clank seem to copy the animation displayed in?Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy?when the player acquires a Precursor orb.
Ratchet Deadlocked?was a genre shift for the series, emphasizing action far more than any prior title. Even with these changes, Insomniac still found a way to squeeze in a reference to its fellow PlayStation franchise. Specifically in the co-op mode of the game, players can unlock Jak as a skin for their character to be used in the game. The catch is that it is the look of the character from the first title, and only the second player may use this outfit. Strange caveats aside, it is still a fun detail for fans of both games.
While the?Ratchet and Clank?feature film released in 2016 unfortunately didn’t break the video game movie curse, it still featured a series of fun gags. One of which moves across the screen so quickly, that it is very easy to miss, but those who return to the scene will be treated to a cameo from none other than Daxter. In the film when Ratchet and Clank first meet, we see things from Clank’s perspective as he attempts to identify what race Ratchet is within his internal records. A series of options appear on-screen, with one of them being the wisecracking Ottsel featured in the?Jak and Daxter?games. As an extra bonus, Sly Cooper also flashes onto the screen as a possible option, a character that should be familiar to any PlayStation fan.
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Jak and Daxter
Ratchet And Clank
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