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A HALO jump was the action of jumping out a ship, above a planets surface. Often executed in order to escape fire, or lack of a landing spot.
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet performed HALO jumps by either ejecting from his ship or diving from a Galactic Rangers' Dropship. While falling from the sky, missiles would be shot up towards Ratchet (although there was never any indication as to where they were coming from) varying from white missiles, which followed a linear path until they either detonated or hit something; to red missiles, which loosely homed in on Ratchet. If they missed, they could not turn around to hit their mark. Ratchet was always occompanied by Galactic Rangers during HALO jumps, excluding the dive to Nefarious' Launch Site, where almost every missile shot was red.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
- “ They just had to invade during rush hour… ”
- ―Ratchet freefalling down to Metropolis' Planetary Defence Center. [ToD]
In Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Ratchet's HALO jumping occurred at much faster speeds than in Up Your Arsenal, and were much more varied, while the whole time being controlled by the SIXAXIS controller.
Metropolis (The first jump)
Ratchet's first jump began after the destruction of a bridge in Metropolis which had him diving right into rush hour traffic and had him dodge things like taxis, police cars, and a giant support beam. This was really meant as a tutorial for SIXAXIS, as it was the first motion control segment of the game (although the first motion control was displayed with the Tornado Launcher in the demo), and a tutorial for the HALO jump, as bumping into any of the cars (or the support beam) wouldn't actually harm Ratchet.
After reaching Stratus City with The Smuggler, Ratchet's Lombax trace was found by the Imperial Army, and the Smuggler promptly dropped the duo out the cargo hatch, causing them to go plummeting to the planet's surface. This was also the first instance of the purple missiles, which were shot down to towards Ratchet and curved up to hit him. These missiles had much better homing abilities than the red missiles from Up Your Arsenal, but were arguably easier to dodge due to the fact that Ratchet moved faster, and the missiles' increased homing ability set them on a very specific path.
- “ Zephyr: Uh oh! We're picking up multiple hostiles in the spaceport! Haha! You rookies got the stones for a HALO jump?
Clank: I.. do not understand. What are stones? Do I have them?
Ratchet: I'll tell you later, and… no. ”
- ―Zephyr, Clank, and Ratchet [ToD]
Now that Ratchet was accompanied by Aphelion, it was seemingly easier to land on planets, but when the Lava Refinery's defense detected the vessel, there was no where safe to land. Ratchet, Clank, Cronk, and Zephyr had to freefall to the planet with no protection. This circumstance also prevented Talwyn from landing.
While landing on Viceron and getting into the prison was not a problem for the duo, the defenses from the prison were activated and shut off the elevator needed to get to the holding chambers to free Talwyn. After decrypting the elevator controls, a backup plan was intiated where a laser grid would activate, should Ratchet try and jump down the shaft. Fortunately, thanks to a power failure on Deck 5, the laser grid was malfunctioning, leaving empty spaces for the duo to weave through and reach the bottom relatively unharmed.
After finding the Dimensionator and losing it to Qwark, the team headed to the Cragmite Ruins to find that Qwark's escape pod's homing beacon terminated, perhaps signifying that he landed around an area that oddly enough, had nowhere 'safe' to land. Once again, the duo, accompanied by Cronk, Zephyr, and this time Talwyn (although she was nowhere to be seen during the dive), HALO jumped to the battlefield, finding the shuttle crash-landed in the middle of a wave of Tachyon troopers.
Fastoon (The last jump)
Because of five Magna Cannons stationed around the Lombax Ruins, both the Aphelion and Talwyn's ship were unable to come too close to the planet's atmosphere, let alone land, without being shot down. Ratchet, Clank, Cronk, and Zephyr HALO jumped together one last time to destroy the Magna cannons so the Aphelion and Talwyn could land, meaning that they could fight off the Imperial Defense Force and the Cragmites.
- "HALO" stands for 'High Altitude Low Opening'.
- On Planet Kortog, if a player skipped the cutscene with the Smuggler prior to HALO jumping, a glitch probably occurred where Ratchet was actually falling like normal instead of freefalling, which made it much easier to land safely and even allowed him to glide straight to the Hall of Knowledge from the air. However, throughout the rest of the stage, all the missiles that would've come sailing at Ratchet during the jump would instead home in on him while walking; sometimes travelling through walls and even up from the ground without warning. This added extra challenge and also frustration to the level. If Ratchet died at all during the stage, he would respawn to start the stage from the first jump due to the glitch not allowing any continue points. Chances were that, even if he did make it to the end, Ratchet would die during the Robo-Wings segment, as one hit would send him crashing down to the ground.