Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is great for many reasons, but the introduction of Rivet is probably the biggest one. The female Lombax from another dimension is an excellent new character in the series, and almost instantly became a fan favourite. As part of a GDC presentation, in which Insomniac Games' Mark Stuart talked about the making of this PlayStation 5 exclusive, he discussed how the studio designed the new protagonist — including her name.
As it turns out, the name Rivet was actually a fairly late revelation. For a while, she was referred to as Ratchette, but the team decided this belittled the character and put too much emphasis on her gender. Following this, she became known for a long time as Ratchet. "After all, she and Ratchet are technically dimensional counterparts," Stuart explained. "Ratchet is a non-gendered name." Of course, having two major characters both named Ratchet caused plenty of headaches: "This stuck for a while, but ultimately made every draft of the story very confusing... At a time where story treatments were being rapidly iterated on, it was hard to tell what dimension you were in, but also which Ratchet you were talking about."
Next, the character's name was changed to Gadget, but this didn't feel right to the team either. It wasn't until a meeting later in development that the name Rivet was pitched and immediately adopted.
Having two characters named Ratchet would've been wildly confusing, so we're obviously pleased that didn't happen. Nonetheless, it's a brilliant development anecdote. You can read a little more about Stuart's GDC talk over on IGN.
Absolute nonsense! Being Rachette is no more demeaning than being the female version of a male character. Also, that is not demeaning, it's just a fun trope. People are overthinking this video game stuff. It should just be fun, not some cultural battlefield.
@Apfelschteiner They are overblowing it probably, wanted to make a cool story of the name. Not saying they are lying, just that the issue wasn't of that much importance internally.
Still, it was a fun read, thanks pushsquare.
Ratchette would be fine in a parody context, but in a more serious context it would be completely outdated and laughable.
Being a 2D gender swap would be demeaning. Giving the character her own unique name and fleshed out story differentiates the character and turns them from being dumb tropes in to actually likeable characters.
"Ratchette" would always be stuck under Ratchet's shadow
I liked Rivet but she wasn’t anywhere near as bad-ass as Angela Cross. They should do a spin-off with her.
Rivet was definitely the best choice of those. It's similar to Ratchet but not too similar like the character herself. Rachette sounds too similar to Rachet so that wouldn't work and Gadget makes her sound a little too tech-focused. Interesting to hear about stuff like this though. I always imagined coming up with names for characters has got to be among the most difficult parts of writing in all honesty.
Heck Kojima just gave up on coming up with good names for some of the characters in Death Stranding. Die Hard Man!? Come on man!
I think Rachel is also a good name.
Not a big deal but I'm glad they ended up with Rivet, it's a cool name
@Apfelschteiner I can see how it belittles the character and her identity, not just from a standpoint of gender, it's just way too similar of a name to that of the established main character and forces her into his shadow.
A bit like Ms Pacman.
Rivet is a cool name. A unique name like that helps give her her own identity.
I could dig them both being called Ratchet, but every other variation there is objectively worse than Rivet.
Ratchette would have been pretty terrible, given how 'ratchet' is a word and 'ratchette' isn't - it definitely sets her up as a mere variant rather than the protagonist of the franchise in a different universe.
Reading this it reminds me of that Sci-Fi TV series Sliders where they Slide from one Earth to the other.
@Richnj Rivet is still the female Wombax, so basically the female version of Ratchett in the same way as Ms Pacman. Ms. Pacman had a very different character to Pacman. She had a bow and lipstick, much deeper characterization than Pacman.
@kyleforrester87 I don't agree with your take, but I definitely think it would be too confusing/interesting for the two characters to have the same name.
@Apfelschteiner And has MS Pac-Man ever separated herself from her connection from Pac-Man? No. It's in the name. That connection is built in by design.
Imagine if they had called the character of Xena, 'Her-cules'. Do you honestly think this name would have been just as good, and not at all considered a joke and demeaning to the character?
"Would have been too confusing to use the same name."
[Stares at God of War]
@Richnj Her-cules got a good chuckle from me! Are you suggesting that Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man get divorced?
If I introduced you to my brother. He exists independently from me, but your point of reference is me. Just because two people have a relationship or even an arbitrary connection, such as you met them both for the first time at the same time.
Having said that, I'm not going to ignore the fact that Ms Pac-Man is a creation of a female version of Pac-Man. If you made a male version of Lara Croft, then the man would be the secondary, except culturally we never have an urge to balance things up with a male version of a female character (but that would be really interesting). Rivet being call Ratchet would be as if Samuel and Samantha both go by the name Sam.
I'm not too worried if something is demeaning to a cartoon character though.
@Apfelschteiner Is your brother's name "Apfelschteinerbrother"? or does he have his own name?
@Richnj He has the same surname, as does my wife. Also, the idea of Ratchet and Ratchet is basically the same as Catherine and Katherine and Rin in Catherine.
Rivet was waayyyy better of a name choice than Ratchette.
@Apfelschteiner I think the point is it is ultimately a minor thoughtful change (no doubt one of many through her design process) that improved a new character in the series and made her addition less derivative, that’s all. Let’s not make mountains out of mole hills.
No mention of the fact this dude has completely neglected to mention that another writer did 95% of this?
I'm glad that they ended up choosing Rivet in the end.
@kyleforrester87 It depends entirely on their intention. If they wanted Rivet to be a direct equivalent in another dimension, then Ratchet or Ratchette would have been a more suitable name like in Catherine, where Catherine and Katherine are alter egos.
If they wanted a distinct character, then Rivet is more appropriate. Neither is a bad choice, it's just about what is more suitable.
@nessisonett Does he say that he did it, or rather did he just say that it was decided on? That tweet makes it seem like he's trying to steal her credit. It appears to me that he is just telling a generic story. Quite frankly, most people don't care who decided this, names are just unnecessary information when we know the game, but not the developers.
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