Earlier this month, we at Complex were fortunate enough to get an opportunity to ask Ratchet & Clank's Captain Qwark a few questions. Qwark has played a role in nearly all of the duo's adventures, though who the main characters really are is up for debate—at least that's what Qwark have you believe.
In addition to that particular neurosis of his, we got to chat about cross dressing, galactic prison and Qwark's roller coaster relationship with a device known as the crotchitizer, the potential benefits of which are, for most people, far outweighed by the discomfort of its use. Not that Captain Qwark would ever let that stop him, of course. Read on!
You've spent ample time as both a hero and a villain. Which role do you prefer? What other heroes or villains do you look up to?
Did I put lives in jeopardy in a selfish attempt to inflate my own personal bank account? You bet I did.
Look, mistakes were made, but I’m not sure it’s fair to say I was ever actually a “villain.” Did I fracture an occasional law in order to achieve fame? Sure. Did I put lives in jeopardy in a selfish attempt to inflate my own personal bank account? You bet I did.
But look at the score card. I’ve been the one constant in every major crisis this universe has seen in recent history, and we’ve always come out on top. I’m not suggesting I was the reason for our survival, but there is substantial math that supports that argument.
[Editor's note: we're not good enough at math to either verify or refute this claim, so we'll just assume he's telling the truth. Journalism! Yeah!]
Your relationship with R&C is complicated, to say the least. How would you sum it up?
I’ll be honest. When I first met Ratchet and Clank, I didn’t think much of them - especially Ratchet. I mean, what kind of hero doesn’t wear a costume? Luckily they were open vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge.
I taught them everything about being heroes: how to brand yourself, how to find lucrative endorsement deals, how to adopt children from impoverished planets in order to appear benevolent, et cetera.
You worked PR for Chairman Drek early on. How did public relations treat you?
I’m sorry, my lawyer has instructed me not to answer that question.
You got a lot of attention from the fellas when you were disguised as a lady. Did you secretly enjoy it?
I think what we’re talking about here is dedication. A true hero does whatever it takes to get the job done, period. Sure, I had the nurse’s outfit prior to the mission. And yes, I think my legs looked fantastic in it.
But the only reason I wore it was because I care about the universe. And I don’t care what pictures or video you may have that suggests otherwise.
What was your stint in galactic prison like? Did you get any badass ink?
Make any lifelong prison buddies?
Prison? What prison? That was an exclusive day spa for the universe’s most infallible heroes. The barbed wire and guard towers were part of the facility’s décor! You journalists will do anything for a story.
What was your real motivation for helping R&C defeat Nefarious?
I’ll give you three: justice, galactic peace, and groupies. And I’ve got one of those motivations waiting for me back at the presidential compound, so if we could speed this interview along…
You've suffered your fair share of kidnappings. What's your favorite way
to get 'napped?
What you call “kidnapping” I call “baiting a trap.” The idea that I could ever be a victim of anything is ludicrous. What I like to do is lure the enemy into a false sense of security via crying and begging for my life. Sometimes I’ll curl into fetal position for effect. Then, when they think they have me in their crosshairs, I pounce like a hungry space cobra.
What I like to do is lure the enemy into a false sense of security via crying and begging for my life.
You've had a few mid life crises-a hiatus from the superhero business at the start of your career, faking your own death-where would you say your addiction to drama stems from?
I would answer this question, but unfortunately it brings up memories of great personal trauma that I don’t wish to relive.
You're also a talented actor, having assumed the parts of Steve McQwark, Abercrombie Fizzwidget, a monkey, and Nurse Shannon at various times. Which of your many personae did you enjoy playing most? Which do you think is closest to the true you?
I guess it’s no secret I’m something of a showman. Theatricality is part of the gig, so I just embrace it. Once I was tailing this raritanium thief through the jungles of Umpta Province. The only way I was able to get close to him was by dressing up as a carnivorous Umpta tree jackal. Poor guy didn’t even see me coming.
On a side note, a lesson to heroes-in-training: when disguising one’s self as an Umpta tree jackal, make sure it isn’t mating season. The females are really pushy, and are genetically inclined to maul you if you don’t present them with flowers.
The females are really pushy, and are genetically inclined to maul you if you don’t present them with flowers.
What are your goals for the future?
I’ve actually been developing a polo shirt with a hundred-and-three popped collars. It cost me millions of taxpayer bolts, but it’s gonna be huge on college campuses.
Some fans see you as the comic relief. Do you have main character aspirations or are you satisfied in that role?
There may be a small segment of the population that sees me that way, but I’m pretty sure my fans are savvy enough to recognize real talent when they see it. I’ve never played second fiddle to anyone in my life.
The only reason Ratchet and Clank get top billing is because the Sony folks and I decided it was the charitable thing to do. I mean, you have to pity them, right? Ratchet’s the only Lombax in the universe, and Clank’s too small for real hero work. What would either of them be able to accomplish without good ol’ C.Q. in their corner?
Ratchet’s the only Lombax in the universe, and Clank’s too small for real hero work.
Would you rather go back to galactic prison, undergo further crotchitizer testing, or spend the rest of your life as Ratchet and Clank's personal assistant?
None of those options are remotely possible. Especially since the crotchitizer people stopped returning my calls.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One drops on store shelves today for the PS3.