Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Ending Explained

How does Ratchet, Clank, Rivet, and Kit's latest PS5 adventure and what does the ending mean for the future of the franchise?

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Photo: PlayStation Studios

This Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart article contains spoilers.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart reaches its epic conclusion when the iconic duo is transported back to their own version of Megalopolis. But it looks extremely different to how they left it.

The joint forces of Dr. and Emperor Nefarious have led the city to swiftly descend into chaos as it suffers from various dimensional portal openings that are unsustainable, putting the whole multiverse at risk of collapsing. Ratchet, Clank, and new friend Rivet don’t have long to act, and must work together in one last heroic battle.

The group’s only shot at saving the dimensions involves taking down Nefarious’ giant-sized Imperial “Power Suit,” repelling his underling forces, before finally retrieving the Dimensionator in order to restore order. It all comes to a head when Ratchet and Rivet eventually go toe-to-toe with the emperor himself using the wide arsenal of chaotic weaponry they’ve accrued. 

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The game ends pretty definitively, with our heroes saving the day (surprise, surprise!). That said, there are still a few unanswered mysteries worth digging into at the end of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

Let’s take a look:

Why did KIT return to help Rivet and Ratchet defeat Emperor Nefarious?

Late in the game, it’s revealed via flashback that the warbot responsible for taking Rivet’s right arm is none other than KIT. Whereas Clank (her dimensional counterpart) quickly grew to realize he’s capable of more than just destruction all the way back in the first game, Rift Apart finds KIT at a point where she is still reconciling with the consequences of her actions. In this dimension, she’s not had a Lombax companion to help guide her, after all.

Over the course of a couple of planet-hopping adventures with Ratchet, however, KIT eventually begins to believe she could forgive herself, and may even have a life outside of simply guarding the Archives back on Savalis. Unfortunately, all this good work is undone when Rivet and KIT are reunited, and the latter refuses to join the others in the final battle against Emperor Nefarious due to still being racked with guilt and thinking herself broken.

Luckily, when all hope seems lost, and Rivet is forced to face down dozens of menacing warbots on her own on Megalopolis, KIT drops out of the sky just in time to lend a hand. “I cannot run away anymore,” she tells the appreciative Lombax, and agrees to hold off Nefarious’ army while Rivet attempts to take him down.

Why the change of heart? KIT has had time to contemplate her actions, understanding that it’s important to do what’s right whether she has Rivet’s forgiveness or not.

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Was Emperor Nefarious defeated for good?

The multiverse is saved when Ratchet destroys Emperor Nefarious’ mechanized power suit, with Rivet taking him down in a one-on-one battle soon after. The Dimensionator then falls back into Ratchet’s hands, and it isn’t long before the Emperor is left dangling on the edge of a crashed starship with a portal directly below him. He calls out for help from his own doppleganger, the original Dr. Nefarious, but even he has had enough of the emperor’s constant failure. Cut to him stepping on the emperor’s hand, which causes him to fall to his demise.

So is this the last we’ll see of Emperor Nefarious? We doubt it.

Considering that gripping him from within the portal was the sprawling tentacled sea creature Ratchet and Clank met on Ardolis, it’s more likely that the emperor has now been left biding his time back on the pirate-themed planet. Insomniac could have easily confirmed Nefarious’ death by showing the creature gobbling him up whole, but the fact they didn’t leads us to believe that this arguably superior version of Ratchet and Clank’s dastardly villain will be back in some form.

Where is the “pit stop” Ratchet suggests they visit before returning KIT and Rivet to their dimension?

The whole reason the titular pair are transported to an alternate dimension in the first place is that Clank wants to treat Ratchet to a surprise trip to find the other Lombaxes. This, of course, ultimately leads the Dimensionator Clank’s been working on to fall into the hands of Dr. Nefarious, kicking off the events of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. When the dust eventually settles and Nefarious is defeated, Rivet and Ratchet posit making a certain “pit stop” together before returning to their home dimensions.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the location they’re referring to is most certainly the place that Ratchet and Clank originally intended to go. However, Rift Apart never makes it clear whether Clank knows the exact coordinates of where the remaining members of the Lombax race are located, or if a good amount of travel and mishaps will be required to find them. Our best bet is that it’s the second option, which could potentially leave the door open for future Ratchet & Clank adventures. Whether the next installment will star the duo, as before, or reunite the foursome is also left open to interpretation.

Is Rift Apart setting up a “Rivet and Kit” spin-off?

Clearly destined to find each other within their own universe at some point, Rift Apart effectively speeds up the timeline and most definitely sets up a potential “Rivet and KIT” spin-off game. Whether we’ll get to enjoy the pair’s intergalactic escapades in the form of a standalone entry or as part of Ratchet and Clank’s future adventures remains to be seen, but too much effort has gone into introducing these two new heroes for Insomniac to suddenly forget all about them.

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Even if they don’t appear in the immediate sequel to Rift Apart, what happened to Rivet and KIT will need to be addressed – even if it occurs off-screen. We know from this latest game’s ending that both Lomboxes and their ex-warbot companions now intend to find more of their kind using the Dimensionator, yet things never end up being quite that simple in the world of Ratchet & Clank.