Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

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Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Crash Bandicoot TWoC cover.jpg
Developer(s) Traveller's Tales
Eurocom Entertainment Software (GameCube)
Publisher Universal Interactive Studios
Konami (Japan)
Release date(s) PlayStation 2:
USA October 29, 2001
Europe November 23, 2001
Japan December 20, 2001
Europe October 11, 2002 (Platinum)
USA October 15, 2002 (Greatest Hits)
Japan October 17, 2002 (The Best)
Nintendo GameCube:
USA April 15, 2002
Europe April 26, 2002
Japan October 26, 2002
USA 2003 (Player's Choice)
Europe October 22, 2004
(Player's Choice)
Xbox:
USA September 17, 2002
Europe November 1, 2002
Europe April 11, 2003 (Classics)
USA 2003 (Platinum Hits)
Japan December 4, 2003
Xbox Live Marketplace
December 4, 2007
Genre(s) Platformer
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
Console(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube
Mode(s) Single player
Media Disc
Input Controller

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is the fourth platformer installment of the Crash Bandicoot series. It was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 and for the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube in 2002. The game was developed by Traveller's Tales and was published by Universal Interactive Studios. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is the first platformer of the series that was not developed by Naughty Dog.

The game sold successfully on all three consoles, and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was re-released as a Greatest Hits, Platinum Hits, and a Player's Choice title on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube respectively. The PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits release had better loading times than the original PlayStation 2 release.[1] In 2005, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash Nitro Kart were re-released as a Crash Superpack bundle on Xbox. In 2007, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was ported to the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The game centers on the appearance of Crunch Bandicoot, a genetically advanced bandicoot who was created by Doctor Neo Cortex. Crunch is aided by a group of destructive masks called the Elementals. Crash and Coco must travel to various areas and collect their Crystals, which return the Elementals to a hibernated state, and defeat Crunch.

Story

The story begins somewhere outside Earth's orbit, where we see Doctor Neo Cortex's evil space station base. Inside it, Uka Uka has called together a "bad guy convention" and is angry with the evil scientists. According to him, their track record for spreading evil is pathetic. They conclude that Crash Bandicoot is to blame. Of course, they wouldn't let anything stand in the way of evil, especially not a "brainless orange marsupial", and decide that Crash must be eliminated. And so, Uka Uka orders Cortex and his cronies to come up with one good plan... or else. Cortex informs everyone that in his scientific endeavors, he has created a genetically-advanced superweapon of unbelievable strength. But the final missing crucial element is a power source. Uka Uka brings up the Elementals, a group of destructive masks with the power over Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. If they unleashed their destructive energy, they'll have enough power to bring Cortex's secret weapon to life. They would have a weapon capable of crushing mountains, demolishing entire cities, and wiping Crash Bandicoot off the face of the Earth forever.

Back on Earth, strange things begin to happen. Volcanoes are erupting, thunderclouds are forming, and tsunamis are devastating the coastlines. Aku Aku concludes that his evil twin brother Uka Uka is up to his no-good tricks again, and travels into outer space to find out what he is planning. There, he learns that Uka Uka and Doctor Neo Cortex have unleashed the Elementals, and tells Crash Bandicoot and Coco Bandicoot that they must find a way to stop them before they destroy the Earth and all of its inhabitants. He also tells them that the only way to subside their destructive nature is to imprison them with the use of ancient crystals. Each Elemental can be returned to their hibernation state with a total of 5 crystals. So Coco's new Portal Chamber is unveiled. The Portal Chamber is a device that allows the Bandicoots to travel to different parts of the Earth to gather the Crystals needed to halt the Elementals' reign of terror. "It is time to even the odds into our favor," Aku Aku proclaims.

Just before they start off, Cortex shows up via holographic display. He introduces his super weapon, a bandicoot named Crunch, who is more than eager to take on Crash. Cortex states that Crunch is everything Crash wasn't, and leaves telling Crash that "We all make mistakes". With that, Crash and Coco travel the world collecting the Crystals. Uka Uka's patience is already tested with the defeat of Rok-Ko, the Earth Elemental, but Cortex ensures that Wa-Wa, the Water Elemental will make sure that Crash doesn't see the light of day. But with Wa-Wa's defeat, Crunch claims that he doesn't need a mask to help him, and that he can exterminate Crash all by himself, but Cortex insists that he and Py-Ro, the Fire Elemental will vanquish Crash and his annoying friends together. Cortex is already fed up with Crash making a mockery out of him and his minions. With Py-Ro defeated, Uka Uka questions the value of Cortex's "superweapon", and Crunch is becoming equally impatient, saying he can take out Crash with his metal arm tied behind his back. But Cortex somehow keeps his cool, telling Crunch not to be so silly, and ensures Uka Uka that Crunch will use the Elemental masks, saying there's no need for him to lose any beauty sleep. Things are really getting desperate for Cortex, as he prepares an armada of space stations to strike Earth at one point. But thankfully, they're taken out by Coco. With the final Elemental mask defeated, Crunch's Elemental powers reach maximum capacity. The battle takes to Cortex's space station.

In the end, Crunch is defeated, and Uka Uka is prepared to kill Cortex, but in an attempt to blast Cortex with a fireball, he hits a vital part of the space station. All of a sudden, Crunch realizes that Dr. Cortex doesn't have control over him anymore, and decides to give him a piece of his mind, but Aku-Aku insists that they escape instead, because Uka Uka's energy blast caused a slight chain reaction, resulting in the space station reaching a critical overload. Cortex believes that it might be wise if they do the same, and make their way to an escape pod. Uka Uka blames Cortex for this, and says that if he hadn't ducked out of the way, none of this would've happened. Crunch and Crash escape through Coco's spaceship. Back on Earth, Crunch thanks Crash, Coco and Aku Aku for believing in him, and if it wasn't for them, he would still be under the control of Dr. Cortex. Coco asks Aku-Aku if this is the last they'll see of Dr. Cortex. He says that that's what he'd like to believe, but somehow, he doubts that very seriously. Meanwhile, somewhere off the coast of Antarctica, Uka Uka is once again mad at Cortex for stranding the two of them in the middle of nowhere, and proceeds to pursue Cortex around a small island. Cortex yells into the sky: "I'll get my revenge, Crash Bandicoot! Just you wait!"

Gameplay

Crash in the first level, Arctic Antics

The gameplay is similar to the first three Crash Bandicoot games for PlayStation. The game takes place in a Virtual Reality (VR) Hub System that Coco created, allowing her and Crash can access the levels. Both characters start off with five lives, but if they get hit by either an enemy or an obstacle or fall into a pit, they lose a life. Crash or Coco can get an extra life by either collecting 100 Wumpa Fruits or by breaking open a Crash Crate.

If Crash or Coco is accompanied by Aku Aku, they can withstand a hit from basic enemies and obstacles. Aku Aku can be freed from an Aku Aku Crate and also comes to either character's aid if they lose several lives in a level. If Aku Aku is with Crash or Coco and they break another Aku Aku Crate, he turns golden, allowing them to withstand two hits. If Crash or Coco break a third Aku Aku Crate when Aku Aku is with them, they gain temporary invincibility from basic enemies and obstacles.

Most levels contain a Bonus Platform that takes Crash or Coco to a bonus room, where they must go through the area and destroy crates along the way. They can optionally collect Wumpa Fruit and extra lives, which are added to their total if they reach the other end and return to the main level. Once a bonus room is completed, it cannot be played again unless the level is replayed. In several levels, either Crash or Coco must drive a certain vehicle. They can collect a Crystal at the end of every level. If Crash or Coco has broken every crate in the level, including bonus rooms in some levels, they are rewarded a Clear Gem. Some levels have a Colored Gem, which unlock a hidden area.

Another collectible are Relics. To obtain a Relic, Crash must enter a completed level and touch a stopwatch to activate the timer. In doing so, Crash or Coco (depending on which character is used for the level) must try and complete the level as quickly as possible. They must break Time Crates along the way to temporarily pause the timer. If Crash or Coco complete a level within its time limit, they are rewarded a Relic. There are three types of relics, and certain one is obtained based on how quickly Crash completes a level. There are three types of Relics, Sapphire, Gold and Platinum, and the one they obtain depends on how quickly they complete a level. The first five Relics unlock a secret level, and every five Relics thereafter open up another level in the Secret Warp Room.

To achieve a 100% completion score, Crash must have completed every area and have collected every Gem, Crystal, and Platinum Relic.

Characters

Protagonists

  • Crash Bandicoot: The main hero and protagonist of the game, and the pinnacle of genetic manipulation. He was formerly a normal average bandicoot, but he was taken away and experimented on with Neo Cortex's Evolvo-Ray. As expected, Crash was quickly booted out the door for crashing Cortex's lab up. Nowadays, he likes sleeping on the seaside, and wiping the floor with Cortex's head.
  • Coco Bandicoot: Like Crash, she was also captured and genetically enhanced. She has an IQ of 164, is an expert in martial arts, and rides a scooter.
  • Aku Aku: An all-powerful ancient voodoo mask that aids and protects Crash in his quest to stop Cortex and Uka Uka from destroying the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

Villains

  • Doctor Neo Cortex: The main villain and the creator of Crunch Bandicoot. He was at the top of his class in The Academy of Evil, but was laughed out of the scientific community because of his outlandish, yet nearly workable theories. He continuously attempts to conquer the world. Uka Uka is the only one he actually fears; his mere presence has him on his knees.
  • Crunch Bandicoot: Cortex's latest creation. A real testament of his scientific genius, and a real bandicoot warrior. He's a large, buff bandicoot who was created to destroy Crash Bandicoot.
  • Tiny Tiger (Non-speaking role): A large ferocious Thylacine who is incorrectly stated in the manual as Cortex's first attempt at genetic alteration. His humongous muscular arms are his strongest weapon. But the only thing tiny about him is his intelligence. He's often seen playing checkers with himself, and waving his hand through holograms.
  • Dingodile (Non-speaking role): Another one of Cortex's mutant animal minions who as his name states, is have dingo and half crocodile. He's an Australian-accented dingo-crocodile hybrid who's hobbies include reading Shakespeare, playing croquet, and roasting bandicoots with his prized flamethrower.
  • Doctor Nefarious Tropy: A time-obsessed freak who is an expert in quantum warp technology and creator of the Time Twister. He often disturbs the temporal flow by creating time paradoxes for laughs.
  • Doctor N. Gin: Cortex's right-hand man and an expert in robotics and cybernetics who became a cyborg after an experiment gone horribly awry. Because of it, he has a missile sticking out of his head, which becomes activated whenever he becomes stressed or angry. He suffers from chronic migraines.
  • Uka Uka: Aku-Aku's evil twin brother and the controlling force behind the scientists.

The Elementals

  • Rok-Ko - The Earth Elemental: He is short-tempered, and a head full of rocks. He controls earthquakes and landslides.
  • Py-Ro - The Fire Elemental: Maniacal and extremely short-tempered, he's the strongest and most evil of the Elementals. He controls volcanoes.
  • Wa-Wa - The Water Elemental: A stick-in-the-mud who wants to flush out the world clean with his watery powers. He controls floods and tsunamis.
  • Lo-Lo - The Air Elemental: A joker who dominates over the forces of wind. He controls tornadoes.

Levels

There are five VR Hubs, and initially, only the first VR Hub is available. Every VR Hub has five portals, each leading to a different level. The first four VR Hubs each have an associated Elemental. After Crash completes every level of a VR Hub, he can access the sixth portal, which is in the center of the VR Hub, to go to the area's boss. After Crash defeats he can continue to the next VR Hub.

VR Hub 1 (Earth)
No. Level Collectibles Crates Relic times Theme
1 Arctic Antics Crystal
Clear Gem
Blue Gem
147 Sapphire: 1:15.00
Gold: 0:45.00
Platinum: 0:37.00
Snow
2 Tornado Alley Crystal
Clear Gem
15 Sapphire: 2:00.00
Gold: 1:20.00
Platinum: 1:00.00
Farm
3 Bamboozled Crystal
Clear Gem
125 Sapphire: 1:15.00
Gold: 0:35.00
Platinum: 0:25.00
Jungle
4 Wizards and Lizards Crystal
Clear Gem
Green Gem
129 Sapphire: 1:15.00
Gold: 0:45.00
Platinum: 0:35.00
Castle
5 Compactor Reactor Crystal
2 Clear Gems
150 Sapphire: 1:45.00
Gold: 1:05.00
Platinum: 0:58.00
Factory
VR Hub 2 (Water)
6 Jungle Rumble Crystal
Clear Gem
150 Sapphire relic: 2:00.00
Gold relic: 1:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:12.00
Jungle
7 Sea Shell Shenanigans Crystal
Clear Gem
99 Sapphire relic: 1:23.60
Gold relic: 1:07.91
Platinum relic: 0:52.38
Underwater
8 Banzai Bonsai Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
Super Belly Flop
154 Sapphire relic: 1:30.00
Gold relic: 1:00.00
Platinum relic: 0:45.00
Oriental
9 That Sinking Feeling Crystal
Clear Gem
12 Sapphire relic: 3:30.00
Gold relic: 2:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:15.00
Volcano
10 H2 Oh No Crystal
Clear Gem
165 Sapphire relic: 1:35.00
Gold relic: 1:00.00
Platinum relic: 0:50.00
Underwater
VR Hub 3 (Fire)
11 The Gauntlet Crystal
Clear Gem
Purple Gem
136 Sapphire relic: 1:30.00
Gold relic: 0:50.00
Platinum relic: 0:40.00
Castle
12 Tsunami Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
101 Sapphire relic: 1:30.00
Gold relic: 0:45.00
Platinum relic: 0:40.00
Oriental
13 Smokey and the Bandicoot Crystal
Clear Gem
34 Sapphire relic: 1:20.00
Gold relic: 1:10.00
Platinum relic: 1:00.00
Desert
14 Eskimo Roll Crystal
Clear Gem
82 Sapphire relic: 1:25.00
Gold relic: 0:45.00
Platinum relic: 0:34.00
Arctic
15 Fahrenheit Frenzy Crystal
Clear Gem
147 Sapphire relic: 2:00.00
Gold relic: 1:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:10.00
Volcano
VR Hub 4 (Air)
16 Avalanche Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
113 Sapphire relic: 1:35.00
Gold relic: 1:05.00
Platinum relic: 0:50.33
Arctic
17 Droid Void Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
169 Sapphire relic: 2:00.00
Gold relic: 1:25.00
Platinum relic: 1:15.00
Space station
18 Crashteroids Crystal
Clear Gem
14 Sapphire relic: 2:00.00
Gold relic: 1:25.00
Platinum relic: 1:15.00
Outer space
19 Coral Canyon Crystal
Clear Gem
85 Sapphire relic: 1:14.17
Gold relic: 0:56.37
Platinum relic: 0:48.58
Underwater
20 Weathering Heights Crystal
Clear Gem
140 Sapphire relic: 1:37.34
Gold relic: 1:01.65
Platinum relic: 0:54.08
Fortress
VR Hub 5 (Space)
21 Crash and Burn Crystal
Clear Gem
Red Gem
138 Sapphire relic: 1:45.00
Gold relic: 1:25.00
Platinum relic: 1:15.00
Volcano
22 Gold Rush Crystal
Clear Gem
Yellow Gem
209 Sapphire relic: 2:15.00
Gold relic: 1:45.00
Platinum relic: 1:35.00
Desert
23 Medieval Madness Crystal
Clear Gem
166 Sapphire relic: 1:40.00
Gold relic: 1:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:10.00
Castle
24 Crate Balls of Fire Crystal
Clear Gem
110 Sapphire relic: 2:20.00
Gold relic: 1:50.00
Platinum relic: 1:40.00
Space station
25 Cortex Vortex Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
155 Sapphire relic: 1:45.00
Gold relic: 1:05.00
Platinum relic: 0:58.00
Space station
VR Hub 6 (Lab)
26 Knight Time Clear Gem (2) 112 Sapphire relic: 1:20.00
Gold relic: 1:05.00
Platinum relic: 0:50.11
Castle
27 Ghost Town 65 Sapphire relic: 1:10.00
Gold relic: 0:40.00
Platinum relic: 0:30.00
Desert
28 Ice Station Bandicoot 20 Sapphire relic: 1:08.00
Gold relic: 0:55.00
Platinum relic: 0:51.23
Arctic
29 Solar Bowler 86 Sapphire relic: 1:00.00
Gold relic: 0:40.00
Platinum relic: 0:30.00
Outer space
30 Force of Nature 111 Sapphire relic: 1:15.00
Gold relic: 0:50.00
Platinum relic: 0:43.00
Arctic

Boss fights

VR Hub no. Level Super Power Description
1 Rumble in the Roks Sneak Shoes Crunch gets the power of Earth from Rok-Ko by binding himself in a stone sphere, similar to the Atlasphere Crash is in. Throughout the boss fight, Crash must avoid Crunch. He must roll into moving boulders to turn them blue. Once every boulder turns blue, they collapse onto Crunch and damage him.
2 Drain Damage Double Jump In this boss fight, Wa-Wa uses his powers to make Crunch double in size and turns him into a being of water. As Crunch jumps between platforms, Crash must follow him, avoiding the tidal waves Crunch produces, and knock Crunch off of his feet, causing him to de-materialize.
3 Crashes to Ashes Death Tornado Spin In this fight, Py-Ro turns Crunch into a being of molten lava. Crash must run away from Crunch's fireballs until he reaches the end of the pathway, where there is a giant robot suit. From there on, Crash chases Crunch back to the starting area, spraying him with a water gun.
4 Atmospheric Pressure Fruit Bazooka Lo-Lo turns Crunch into a gigantic, purple genie-like tornado. Crash has to pilot a plane to attack him, who uses a variety of attacks himself, including an energy ball, energy breath, a laser, and an energy wave. The completion of this boss fight gives Crash the Bazooka ability.
5 Crunch Time Speed Shoes This is fought in the main control room of Cortex's space station. Crunch launches various elemental attacks at Crash; when he jumps onto the button where the yellow lights are, a rock avalanche will start, Crash has to avoid the falling rocks; when Crunch jumps onto the button where the blue lights are, balls of water come from the left and right sides that freeze Crash temporarily; when Crunch jumps onto the button where the red lights are, Crash has to avoid getting burned since any of the four portions of the floor will catch fire; when Crunch jumps onto the button where the purple lights are, lightning-like lasers will shoot from any of the nine ports on the front and back of the floor, Crash has to avoid these lasers. Crunch can't be hit directly, so Crash has to use the Bazooka on him. When Crunch is hit by the bazooka fire, he'll punch Cortex onto the floor in the arena; Crash has to then spin Cortex. This boss battle requires 8 hits, 4 for Crunch and 4 for Cortex. Crunch changes his attack pattern for each hit.

Version differences

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex the first Crash game to be released outside a Sony console. There are a few minor differences between each version:

  • The PlayStation 2 version was praised for smooth graphics and shading textures but had significantly long load times which was the game's major complaint. The loading times for entering and exiting a level would run for nearly a full minute. Reviews of the PS2 version commented on the presence of a Wumpa Fruit minigame that played during load times, but it was later removed due to a copyright complaint.[citation needed]
  • The Nintendo GameCube version has more or less fixed loading times than the PlayStation 2 version, but has a lower framerate. The version has an exclusive minigame, Crash Bandicoot Blast, which can be selected from the main menu and played from a Game Boy Advance via the Nintendo GameCube-Game Boy Advance Link Cable.

The Xbox version fixes the loading problem with drastically shortened load times, in addition to enhanced lighting and visible character fur.

Credits

The musical score is composed by Swallow Studios, made up of Andy Blythe and Marten Joustra. Most of the score consists of electronic dance music, most noticeably in the boss battles and the ending credits.

These are the voice actors for the English and Japanese versions:

Character English voice actor Japanese seiyū
Crash Bandicoot Brendan O'Brien
(archive footage)
Kappei Yamaguchi
Coco Bandicoot Debi Derryberry Ema Kogure
Aku Aku Mel Winkler Kenichi Ogata
Doctor Neo Cortex Clancy Brown Shōzō Iizuka
Uka Uka Clancy Brown Ryūzaburō Ōtomo
Crunch Bandicoot Kevin Michael Richardson Yūji Kishi
The Elementals Thomas F. Wilson (Rok-Ko)
R. Lee Ermey (Wa-Wa)
Mark Hamill (Py-Ro)
Jess Harnell (Lo-Lo)
Toshiaki Kuwahara (Rok-Ko)
Kappei Yamaguchi (Wa-Wa)
Toshitaka Shimizu (Py-Ro)
Masaru Ikeda (Lo-Lo)

Pre-release and unused content

Main article: List of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex pre-release and unused content

References to other games

  • Crash Twinsanity: there is a reference game's poor reception, with Cortex blaming his minions' underpay on the rough past few years; "...Wrath of Cortex didn't do quite as well as we hoped".

Reception

The game was a commercial success. The game was mainly criticized by critics for offering nothing new to the series, featuring linear gameplay almost identical to Warped that didn't push the newer console's power, unlike Naughty Dog's next game Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.

Additional criticism came from the character models, that were poorly modeled and animated, as well as Coco's limited capabilities, available in only seven levels and a more restricted moveset than Crash's. At IGN.com, the PlayStation 2 version has a 7.4 rating, the GCN version a 6.9 and the Xbox version a 6.7. Despite average reviews, the game was a slow burner, and went on to sell an estimated 1.7 million copies. Although it did not quite match the sales of previous Crash Bandicoot titles, it did however make it one of the most commercially successful games of the early 2000s. The game sold enough copies to become Player's Choice (GameCube version), Greatest Hits (PS2 version), and Platinum Hits (Xbox version).

The game shares some similarities to Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. Both games were the first multiplatform release of their respective series, both were the fourth release after their respective original PlayStation trilogies, garnered a similar reaction due to their uninnovative gameplay, and were released around the time that Vivendi Universal took control over both franchises, after the. An interesting similarity was through the series plots. Both villains came back from circumstances that would be impossible to escape, (Cortex was transformed into an infant and sent to a time prison in Warped, while Ripto sank in a pool of magma) in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, without any explanation as to how they escaped, (fan-theories have been created for both plotholes, though the only official discussion of this was in the official website and Wrath of Cortex strategy guide, reading "don't ask").

Gallery

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クラッシュ・バンディクー4 さくれつ! 魔人パワー
Kurasshu Bandikū Fō: Sakuretsu! Majin Pawā
Crash Bandicoot 4: Explosion! Magician Power

References

  1. "Greatest Hits Inducts Crash". IGN. Published October 15, 2002.