After Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was revealed in June, one of the biggest lingering questions we all had involved the identity of that mysterious new female Lombax who appears in the new world alongside Clank. We've got a theory that she may be far more familiar to fans of the franchise than you might expect.
Because Rift Apart is a return to the original canon, which hasn’t been seen since 2013’s Into the Nexus, that could mean the female Lombax is related to one or more characters from previous games. Could she be the daughter of Alister Azimuth, the Lombax that Ratchet teamed up with during A Crack in Time?
What do we know about the female Lombax?
The official Insomniac Games Twitter account confirmed in June that the female Lombax would be a playable character, placing her on a roughly equal footing to Ratchet. She also wields a signature weapon that's similar to Ratchet's Omniwrench but in hammer form. She also comes from a dimension where Dr. Nefarious completed his world domination, as evidenced by the signage we see in the trailer.
Insomniac has been hesitant to reveal any new details about the character, which implies that she may be related to somebody we know. When Geoff Keighley asked Rift Apart’s Creative Director Marcus Smith and Lead Developer Mike Daly about the female Lombax during Gamescom 2020’s Opening Night Live, they refused to provide a name or even the number of letters in their name. "Too many smart people on the internet,” they said. “They'll figure it out right away."
If there's something to "figure out," then the female Lombax probably has some kind of connection to the pre-existing canon. Prior to the Gamescom event, one popular theory on Reddit posited that she was a female version of Ratchet. Other people have theorized that she's an alternate version of Angela Cross, the one-time antagonist turned ally from Going Commando.
Both of these are possible, but it also seems likely the female Lombax is an entirely new character that's the daughter of Alister Azimuth, Ratchet's ally from Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time.
Why is she the daughter of Alister Azimuth?
In the prime universe, the Lombax race was forced to flee to an alternate dimension after their then-leader, Alister Azimuth, allowed an outsider named Percival Tachyon to examine their technology, which he used to siege their homeworld of Fastoon. In response to this attack, Ratchet's father, Kaden, launched his newborn son to the planet Veldin before dying in combat. Meanwhile, Alister Azimuth was exiled from the Lombax society.
Years later, Azimuth meets Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time and becomes something of a mentor/father figure to our hero. For his daughter to come into the picture as such a major character all this time later feels fitting.
The unknown female Lombax has the same lunar fur and similar armor to Azimuth’s. If her surname is "Azimuth," it would of course immediately confirm this theory, which could explain why the developers were unwilling to offer any hints about her name. There aren't many characters with full names in the Ratchet & Clank multiverse and even fewer Lombaxes with them.
In fact, this new character could both be Azimuth's daughter and, functionally, an alt-reality Ratchet.
Perhaps in this other timeline, Azimuth's daughter survived. Instead of meeting Azimuth, this new character was mentored by Kaden. Essentially, the storyline of these two families could be swapped in this other reality. If Ratchet's father instead survived, this would open up new narrative ground for the series to tread if Ratchet were able to meet him. Sci-fi hijinks leading to meet-ups with dead relatives has made for plenty of compelling stories, including in games like Jak 3.
It would also make for the perfect plot hook for Rift Apart as you travel these different realities as both Lombaxes, learning about the father figures they never had. Now, would that also mean Ratchet will wind up with whoever the female Lombax's Clank-equivalent is?
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be released for PS5 sometime in the console’s “launch window.”