Crash Bandicoot (franchise)

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Crash Bandicoot
Logo of the Crash Bandicoot franchise.
First installment Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Latest installment Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 (2010)
Number of installments 18 (9 main, 8 spin-off, 1 upcoming)

The Crash Bandicoot franchise is a series of platforming video games originally developed by Naughty Dog for Sony's PlayStation console. The first installment in the series, Crash Bandicoot, was released worldwide in 1996. The series was created by Naughty Dog co-founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin to compete with Nintendo's Super Mario franchise and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series, with the title character as Sony's mascot.[1] The Crash Bandicoot franchise has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

Throughout the series' life, the games have gone through multiple different gameplay and visual changes, due to the rights being held by numerous other companies and developers following Naughty Dog's departure from the series. In the original trilogy developed by Naughty Dog, Crash would run through multiple linear levels to reach the goal at the end, while breaking crates and collecting Wumpa Fruit which, when 100 of them are collected, grant Crash an extra life, and important items such as Crystals and Gems along the way. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure and Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced would later share this gameplay style, albeit the latter two being in 2D rather than 3D. From Crash Twinsanity onwards, which was now published under Vivendi's Sierra Entertainment brand (both of which are now part of Activision), the levels would be more free-roaming and action-adventure-based as opposed to pure platforming. The franchise also spawned several spin-off games, most of which are part of the racing genre.

In 2007, all three original Crash Bandicoot titles were re-released on the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network.

After the release of Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 on iOS, the Crash Bandicoot franchise entered a long hiatus. However, following rumors and speculation of a future installment in the series, Sony announced at E3 2016 a deal with Activision to develop full remakes of the original trilogy (later revealed to be titled the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy) for the PlayStation 4.

List of games

Platforming games

Cover, original release and system Synopsis
Crash Bandicoot
CB1 Boxart.jpg
USA September 9, 1996
Crash Bandicoot is the first game in the series, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and Universal Interactive Studios for the PlayStation. Set on the fictional Wumpa Islands off the coast of Australia, the story revolves around Crash on an adventure to stop Dr. N. Cortex and Dr. N. Brio's plans on world domination and save his girlfriend Tawna. In this game, Crash has two basic controls: running, jumping and spinning, which he can use to defeat enemies and break crates to collect Wumpa Fruit. If Crash breaks every crate in a level in a single run, he will earn a Gem. The colored Gems, when collected, grant access to hidden areas.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
CB2 Boxart.jpg
USA November 5, 1997
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, released a year later, takes place immediately after the first Crash Bandicoot. Following his defeat, Cortex allies with N. Gin and tricks Crash into collecting Crystals scattered around the world, which he needs to power his latest creation, the Cortex Vortex. Each level in the game contains a Crystal that Crash must collect to proceed to later levels, as well as a clear Gem rewarded for breaking every crate in the level. Some gems such as the colored ones are found in secret areas. Crash also has new moves this time, including a slide and body-slam ability. Rather than an overworld map from the first game, Cortex Strikes Back uses a "Warp Room" as its main hub, which consists of five floors each with five portals leading to different levels in the game. If Crash manages to collect all 42 Gems, Brio, now no longer affiliated with Cortex, uses them to power a machine that ultimately destroys the Cortex Vortex.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
CB3 Boxart.jpg
USA October 31, 1998
Known as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped in PAL regions, the game takes place after the alternate ending in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, in which Crash and Brio destroy the Cortex Vortex. However, the resulting debris crash-lands onto Earth's surface, freeing Aku Aku's evil twin and Cortex's master, Uka Uka, who recruits Dr. N. Tropy, a master of time, to aid them into creating a "Time-Twisting Machine" that allows them to retrieve the Crystals from different periods in time. The gameplay is most similar to that of its predecessor, as Crash must enter different levels using the Time-Twisting Machine to collect Crystals. In certain levels, the player can play as Coco, or control a vehicle such as a motorcycle, jet-ski and bi-plane. In addition to Crystals and Gems, Crash can earn Relics by entering Time Trial mode, in which he must speed through the level as fast as possible to achieve the best time.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
CBTWOC Boxart.jpg
USA October 29, 2001
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
The first entry in the series to be released on multiple platforms, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, developed by Traveller's Tales, follows the traditional gameplay of the original trilogy, mainly that of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, featuring a Warp Room with 25 main levels, each containing a Crystal, Gem(s) and Relic, although the level environments are more varied, and Crash has more methods of control such as the Atlasphere (an object similar to a hamster ball) and a mech. The story revolves around Crunch Bandicoot, a muscular, mutant bandicoot and Cortex's newest creation who, with the help of the Elementals, a group of masks that control earth, fire, water and air, seeks out to destroy Crash under Cortex's command. After Crunch is defeated, he is freed from Cortex's control and sides with Crash.
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
CBTHA Boxart.jpg
USA February 25, 2002
Game Boy Advance
Titled Crash Bandicoot XS in PAL regions, The Huge Adventure was the first Crash Bandicoot game to be released on a handheld. Developed by Vicarious Visions, it is a side-scrolling platformer with very similar game mechanics and level themes as those found in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. At the beginning of the game, Cortex uses his newly developed Planetary Minimizer to shrink Earth to the size of a grapefruit, which forces Crash to gather the Crystals to power a device developed by Coco that will grow it back to normal.
Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
N-Tranced Boxart.jpg
USA January 7, 2003
Game Boy Advance
Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is the second handheld and 2D Crash Bandicoot game, and the follow-up to The Huge Adventure. Cortex is absent in this game; instead, N. Tropy aids Uka Uka in his plan for world domination. They recruit a new member, N. Trance, a master of hypnotism, as part of a plan to brainwash Crash and his friends to join their side. However, they only manage to capture Coco and Crunch, and Crash must venture out to save them. In addition to pure platforming, the game also features several wakeboarding and Atlasphere levels. Coco and Crunch also become playable in certain levels once they are freed from N. Trance's control.
Crash Twinsanity
Twinsanity Boxart.jpg
USA September 28, 2004
PlayStation 2, Xbox
In Crash Twinsanity, Crash and Cortex are forced to work together to stop the Evil Twins, a pair of mutant parrots, from destroying the Wumpa Islands. The gameplay is a departure from the traditional gameplay present in past Crash Bandicoot games, as it is more free-roaming as opposed to the linear nature of the previous games' levels, though Crash can still find Gems hidden throughout the game world. The game's music was performed by the acapella group Spiralmouth. Crash Twinsanity also introduces Nina Cortex, Cortex's niece, who is also playable.
Crash of the Titans
CrashTitans Boxart.jpg
USA October 4, 2007
PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
Crash of the Titans is a platformer with beat-em-up elements, in which Crash ventures out to stop Cortex from taking over the Wumpa Islands using an army of powerful mutants known as Titans, and to save Coco, whom Cortex has kidnapped. Many of the characters have received drastic redesigns, notably Aku Aku and Tiny. The game's main mechanic is the ability to "jack" Titans, enabling Crash to take control of it. Each Titan species has its own unique abilities. Additionally, the game can be played cooperatively, and rather than collecting Wumpa Fruit, Crash collects pieces of a substance known as "mojo", which grant him new abilities. The game can also be played cooperatively.
Crash: Mind over Mutant
MindOverMutant Boxart.jpg
USA October 7, 2008
PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
Crash: Mind over Mutant follows the same gameplay style as its direct prequel Crash of the Titans. This time, Cortex reunites with his former ally N. Brio to create a device known as "NV" that brainwashes any individual that wears it. Coco and Crunch fall victim to Cortex and Brio's mind control, forcing Crash to save them. A new feature added to the game is the ability to store a Titan for later use. Like the Game Boy Advance version of Crash of the Titans, Mind over Mutant on the Nintendo DS is set in 2D instead of 3D.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
N SaneTrilogy Boxart.jpg
USA June 30, 2017
PlayStation 4
The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is an upcoming compilation of full remakes of the original Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. It is being developed by Vicarious Visions, which also developed the Game Boy Advance installments. In addition to high-definition graphics and fully redesigned character models and worlds, the soundtrack and voice acting will also be remastered and re-recorded. The N. Sane Trilogy will be released worldwide on June 30, 2017 for the PlayStation 4.

Racing games

Cover, original release and system Synopsis
Crash Team Racing
CTR Boxart.jpg
USA October 19, 1999
Crash Team Racing is a racing game and a spin-off of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, as well as the last game to be developed by Naughty Dog. The gameplay is very similar to that of the Mario Kart series, as the player races against seven other racers, and can drive through the "?" crates scattered across the track to obtain power-ups and weapons. In the game's Adventure mode, the player must compete against an extraterrestrial named Nitros Oxide, who claims to be the fastest racer in the galaxy, by winning races and gathering Boss Keys. There are a total of fifteen characters in the game (seven of which are unlockable), and over sixteen different race courses.
Crash Nitro Kart
CNK Boxart.jpg
USA November 11, 2003
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance
Crash Nitro Kart is a spiritual successor to Crash Team Racing, developed by Vicarious Visions for consoles and the Game Boy Advance. The game features the same gameplay elements found in Crash Team Racing, with an added anti-gravity mechanic that activates in certain parts of the track. The single player campaign revolves around Crash, Cortex and their respective allies competing against the fastest racers in the galaxy in a tournament held by Emperor Velo, who has abducted the main characters from Earth, in order to earn their freedom. While both the console and handheld versions share the same roster of 16 characters and 17 race courses, the latter had its courses redesigned and several elements cut from the game (such as the full-motion cutscenes) to accommodate for the Game Boy Advance's limited hardware capabilities.
Crash Tag Team Racing
CTTR Boxart.jpg
USA October 19, 2005
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Crash Tag Team Racing is the first game in the series to be developed by Radical Entertainment. In it, Crash must help Von Clutch, a theme park owner, in retrieving the Power Gems stolen from him. In order to do so, Crash and his friends must partake in racing matches, which are the primary focus of the game. The main mechanic of racing is "clashing", which allows the player to fuse with another racer's vehicle and have one control the driving, while the other operates a gun used to shoot down racers. There are up to eight characters and a variety of vehicles from which to choose, each with its own attributes and gun type. Outside of racing, there is also a free-roaming platforming component, in which Crash can explore the theme park to gather coins required to unlock new vehicles.

Party games

Cover, original release and system Synopsis
Crash Bash
CrashBash Boxart.jpg
USA November 6, 2000
Crash Bash is a party game developed by Eurocom, in which players participate in a variety of four-player minigames. The game's story mode centers around a contest between good (Aku Aku) and evil (Uka Uka) to decide which side is the strongest. The minigames include Ballistix, in which each player pilots a ship to knock iron balls away from their zone; Polar Push, in which players must knock each other off the ice rink while riding on polar bears; Pogo Pandemonium, in which players ride pogos to color squares and earn points; and Crate Crush, in which players must use crates to deplete each other's health to win. There are eight characters in total.
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage
CrashPurple Boxart.jpg
USA June 3, 2004
Game Boy Advance
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage is a crossover installment with the Spyro the Dragon series, released alongside its counterpart Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy. As the titles imply, Cortex joins forces with Spyro's nemesis, Ripto, and create minions disguised as Spyro, misleading Crash into believing the two protagonists are enemies. Both eventually meet and discover they were tricked by Cortex and Ripto and so team up against them. While the game uses the same engine as the first two Crash games on the Game Boy Advance in the platforming sections, the main focus of the game is minigames, in which Crash must take part to earn Gems and Crystals.
Crash Boom Bang!
CrashBoomBang Boxart.jpg
Japan June 20, 2006
Nintendo DS
Crash Boom Bang! is a party game developed by the Japanese company Dimps, and the only installment to be developed in Japan. The main gameplay is similar to that of a board game, as it involves players rolling a die to move along the number of spaces shown. The spaces have different effects on the player, such as triggering a minigame, or granting them an item. The Adventure Mode's story centers around the characters competing to obtain the fabled Super Big Power Crystal.

Mobile games

In addition to consoles and handhelds, the Crash Bandicoot franchise has also appeared on mobile devices. On June 9, 2008, Activision published and released Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D for iOS, and almost a year later on May 27, 2010, its follow-up Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. Both games are similar in gameplay to Crash Nitro Kart, except with touch controls, and use Crash of the Titan's character designs.

Major characters

Image Brief biography First appearance
Crash Bandicoot
CrashBandicoot.png Crash Bandicoot is the main character of his eponymous franchise. A mutated bandicoot, Crash was the result of a failed experiment conducted by Dr. Neo Cortex and Dr. N. Brio. Crash's signature move is his spin, which he uses as a means of attack against enemies, as well as for breaking open crates. He can also perform a body slam move and a double jump. Crash resides on the Wumpa Islands along with Coco, Crunch and Aku Aku. He owns a pet baby polar bear named Polar, who appears in certain levels in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
Crash Bandicoot
Aku Aku
AkuAku.jpg Aku Aku is a witch-doctor mask and Crash's companion. If Crash obtains an Aku Aku mask, he will receive an extra hit point. If Crash manages to obtain three masks, however, he will become temporarily invincible to enemies and obstacles. In many games, Aku Aku acts as Crash's instructor and provides the player with tutorials on how to play. Aku Aku has an evil twin brother, Uka Uka. In Crash of the Titans and Mind over Mutant, he can be used as a skateboard, and was given a drastic redesign, with his face more resembling that of an ape.
Crash Bandicoot
Dr. Neo Cortex
N Cortex.png Dr. Neo Cortex is Crash Bandicoot's arch-nemesis, and a mad scientist bent on world domination. Cortex was responsible for the creation of Crash, and vows to eliminate him for repeatedly foiling his plans. Many of Cortex's actions are done under his master Uka Uka's command, though he also leads his own army of villains, including N. Gin, Tiny and Dingodile. In Crash Twinsanity, after an evil force threatens their home, Cortex is forced to cooperate with Crash to save it. His name is a pun on "neocortex", a part of the brain.
Crash Bandicoot
Coco Bandicoot
CocoBandicoot.jpg Coco Bandicoot is Crash's sister, and also a subject of Cortex's experiments. In contrast to her brother's dim-witted personality, Coco is highly intelligent, as she develops and constructs the machines and contraptions used to aid Crash on his adventures. She became playable in some of the vehicle levels in Crash Bandicoot: Warped, though it wasn't until Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex when she became fully playable in on-ground levels. She is a fan of martial arts[2], and owns a pet baby tiger named Pura.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crunch Bandicoot
CrunchBandicoot.jpg Crunch Bandicoot is a genetically enhanced bandicoot originally created by Cortex as a super-weapon against Crash. Infused with the power of the Elementals, Crunch fought Crash several times during the events of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. However, he was eventually snapped out of Cortex's control and joined Crash and his team. Crunch is playable in a few Atlasphere levels in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, and in Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing, he is a heavyweight racer. Crunch is also an avid weightlifter.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Uka Uka
UkaUka.jpg Uka Uka is Aku Aku's evil twin brother and Cortex's master. He was imprisoned by Aku Aku long ago as punishment for his crimes[3]; however, shortly after the Cortex Vortex's destruction, the debris crash-landed onto Earth and inadvertently freed Uka Uka. He is the controlling force behind Cortex's obsession with world domination.[2]
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Dr. N. Brio
N Brio.jpg Dr. N. Brio is a scientist who specialises in potions. He was originally Cortex's assistant in the original Crash Bandicoot game, and helped in developing the Evolvo-Ray that was used to genetically mutate Crash. Following the events of the game, Brio was doublecrossed by Cortex[4], and reappeared in Cortex Strikes Back to seek revenge by urging Crash to collect the Gems required to power a machine that he can use to destroy the Cortex Vortex. Years later, however, Brio re-allied with Cortex in Mind over Mutant to create the "NV", a mind-controlling device. His name is a pun on "embryo".
Crash Bandicoot
Dr. N. Gin
N Gin.jpg Dr. N. Gin is a scientist and Cortex's right-hand man. The nuclear missile stuck in his head was the result of a mishap in one of his past science projects, and is known to set off if he becomes frustrated.[4] Although he is never fought directly, N. Gin is usually seen operating a large, heavily armed mech in combat.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Tiny Tiger
TinyTiger.jpg Tiny Tiger is a mutant, heavyweight tiger and one of Cortex's minions. Though he is dim-witted, Tiny is one of the most loyal and physically strong members of the group. In Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Tiny is shown to keep young lions as pets[3], which he unleashes on Crash during his boss battle. Though he exhibits hatred for Crash, Tiny (along with Dingodile) was forced to side with him to keep both teams even in Crash Bash. In Crash of the Titans and Mind over Mutant, Tiny was given a major redesign, more resembling a realistic tiger than a cartoon-styled one.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Dr. Nefarious Tropy
N Tropy.jpg Dr. Nefarious Tropy is a master of time who worked alongside Cortex. He is the creator of the Time Twister, the main hub of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, which allows one to travel between different periods in time. He took the role as main antagonist in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, where he recruited N. Trance, master of hypnosis, to brainwash the bandicoots and bring them to their side. His name, when shortened, is a pun on the word "entropy".
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Dingodile.jpg Dingodile is one of Cortex's minions first seen in Crash Bandicoot: Warped. He is half dingo and half crocodile, and speaks in a distinct Australian accent. He is almost always seen with a flamethrower, his main weapon. Although Dingodile's allegiance lies with Cortex, he ended up on Crash's team along with Tiny in Crash Bash to keep both teams even, and on Velo's team in Crash Nitro Kart due to brainwashing. According to the Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex manual, Dingodile enjoys reading Shakespeare and playing croquet.[2]
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Nina Cortex
NinaCortex.jpg Nina Cortex is a student of the Academy of Evil and Neo Cortex's niece. After showing traits of a kind personality and a love for small animals, Nina was sent to the school by Cortex for her to develop her "evil" side, and installed bionic gloves on her hands to prevent her from holding animals. In Crash Twinsanity, she was requested by her uncle to assist him in repairing the Psychetron, a teleportation device, after which she became playable. Nina has most recently appeared in the Radical Entertainment-developed Crash games, continuing her role as Cortex's assistant.
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage


  1. ^ PlayStation. (December 23, 2014). Naughty Dog Full Length 30th Anniversary Video. YouTube. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex instruction manual
  3. ^ a b Crash Bandicoot: Warped instruction manual
  4. ^ a b Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back instruction manual