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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[citation needed]
Europe November 23, 2001[citation needed]
Japan December 20, 2001[citation needed]
Europe October 11, 2002 (Platinum)[citation needed]
USA October 15, 2002 (Greatest Hits)[citation needed]
Japan October 17, 2002 (The Best)[citation needed]
South Korea March 28, 2003[1]
Nintendo GameCube:
USA April 15, 2002[citation needed]
Europe April 26, 2002[citation needed]
Japan October 26, 2002[citation needed]
USA 2003 (Player's Choice)[citation needed]
Europe October 22, 2004[citation needed]
(Player's Choice)
USA September 17, 2002[citation needed]
Europe November 1, 2002[citation needed]
Europe April 11, 2003 (Classics)[citation needed]
USA 2003 (Platinum Hits)[citation needed]
Japan December 4, 2003[citation needed]
Xbox 360 (Xbox Originals):
USA December 4, 2007[citation needed]
Europe December 12, 2007[citation needed]
Genre(s) Platformer
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 and was initially a sequel to Crash Bandicoot: Warped before being retconned in 2020 by Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. 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.[2] 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 360's Xbox Live Marketplace as a launch title for the Xbox Originals lineup.

The game centers on the appearance of Crunch Bandicoot, a genetically advanced bandicoot who was created by Dr. 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.


The story begins somewhere outside Earth's orbit, where Uka Uka has called together a "bad guy convention" and is angry at Dr. Neo Cortex, Dr. N. Gin, Tiny Tiger, Dingodile, and Dr. N. Tropy. According to his graph, their track record for world domination is miserable. They conclude that Crash Bandicoot is responsible for the nonsense. Of course, Uka Uka wouldn't let anything stand in the way of thwarting to take over the world and decides that his army must erase Crash from existence. And so, he orders the doctor and his henchmen to come up with one good plan in order not to to get punished. Cortex informs everyone that in his scientific attempts, he has created a genetically new and incredibly powerful superweapon. However, 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. Cortex claims that once they use their disastrous energy, they'll have sufficient power for the doctor to give a new lease on life on his superweapon that is able to shatter mountains, reduce entire cities to ruins, and permanently repel Crash off the face of the Earth.

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 serious tricks again, and travels into outer space to find out what he is thwarting. There, he learns that Uka Uka and the evil doctor have liberated the Elementals, and convinces Crash and his sister, Coco Bandicoot to stop them by escorting them back to their own prisons using five crystals per Elemental to subside their disasters—because otherwise, the Earth and all its citizens will be destroyed—so Coco's new Portal Chamber is unveiled as the VR Hub System, 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. Aku Aku proclaims that the bandicoots must "even the odds into their favor."

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. The doctor states that Crunch is known for everything that Crash wasn't responsible for, and leaves, telling Crash that accidents happen. 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 to repel Crash. However, with Wa-Wa's defeat, Crunch claims that he no longer needs a mask for assistance, instead eradicating Crash all by himself, but the doctor insists that he and Py-Ro, the Fire Elemental, will team up to kill the heroes. Cortex is already tired of Crash making a mockery out of the Cortex Commandos. With Py-Ro defeated, Uka Uka questions the value of the doctor's "superweapon," and Crunch is not likely being persevering, saying he can exterminate Crash with his metal arm. However, Cortex somehow convinces Crunch to be rational, and ensures Uka Uka that Crunch will use the Elementals, that he will not need any defeats. Things are really getting desperate for the doctor, as he prepares an armada of space stations to destroy the Earth at one point; however, they're thankfully taken out by Coco. With the final Elemental (Lo-Lo) 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 punish Cortex, but in an attempt to blast Cortex with an orb of energy, he hits a vital part of the space station. All of a sudden, Crunch realizes that the doctor no longer controls over him, 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 faint casual nexus, resulting in the space station reaching a very bad excess. Cortex believes that they recommend doing the same using an escape pod. However, Uka Uka blames the doctor for ducking out of the way. Crunch and Crash escape through Coco's spaceship. Back on Earth, Crunch thanks Crash, Coco and Aku Aku for trusting in him, saying that he would still be under the control of Cortex if the belief was not for Crash and company. Coco asks Aku Aku if this is the last they'll see Uka Uka and the doctor, to which the mask would embrace the trust before somehow doubting 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 the doctor around a small island. Cortex yells into the sky, swearing revenge on Crash.


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.




  • 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.


  • Dr. 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.
  • Dr. N. 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.
  • Dr. 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[edit]

  • 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.


The hub area is set in a warp room called the Virtual Reality Hub System, and it consists of five VR Hubs, each having five portals that can be accessed in a random order. At first, only the first VR Hub is accessible. The first four VR Hubs each have an associated Elemental. After Crash completes every level of a VR Hub, a sixth portal appears, and it leads to the boss level. 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
2 Tornado Alley Crystal
Clear Gem
15 Sapphire: 2:00.00
Gold: 1:20.00
Platinum: 1:00.00
3 Bamboozled Crystal
Clear Gem
125 Sapphire: 1:15.00
Gold: 0:35.00
Platinum: 0:25.00
4 Wizards and Lizards Crystal
Clear Gem
Green Gem
129 Sapphire: 1:15.00
Gold: 0:45.00
Platinum: 0:35.00
5 Compactor Reactor Crystal
2 Clear Gems
150 Sapphire: 1:45.00
Gold: 1:05.00
Platinum: 0:58.00
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
7 Sea Shell Shenanigans Crystal
Clear Gem
99 Sapphire relic: 1:23.60
Gold relic: 1:07.91
Platinum relic: 0:52.38
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
9 That Sinking Feeling Crystal
Clear Gem
12 Sapphire relic: 3:30.00
Gold relic: 2:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:15.00
10 H2 Oh No Crystal
Clear Gem
165 Sapphire relic: 1:35.00
Gold relic: 1:00.00
Platinum relic: 0:50.00
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
12 Tsunami Crystal
Clear Gem (2)
101 Sapphire relic: 1:30.00
Gold relic: 0:45.00
Platinum relic: 0:40.00
13 Smokey and the Bandicoot Crystal
Clear Gem
34 Sapphire relic: 1:20.00
Gold relic: 1:10.00
Platinum relic: 1:00.00
14 Eskimo Roll Crystal
Clear Gem
82 Sapphire relic: 1:25.00
Gold relic: 0:45.00
Platinum relic: 0:34.00
15 Fahrenheit Frenzy Crystal
Clear Gem
147 Sapphire relic: 2:00.00
Gold relic: 1:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:10.00
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
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
20 Weathering Heights Crystal
Clear Gem
140 Sapphire relic: 1:37.34
Gold relic: 1:01.65
Platinum relic: 0:54.08
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
22 Gold Rush Crystal
Clear Gem
Yellow Gem
209 Sapphire relic: 2:15.00
Gold relic: 1:45.00
Platinum relic: 1:35.00
23 Medieval Madness Crystal
Clear Gem
166 Sapphire relic: 1:40.00
Gold relic: 1:20.00
Platinum relic: 1:10.00
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
27 Ghost Town 65 Sapphire relic: 1:10.00
Gold relic: 0:40.00
Platinum relic: 0:30.00
28 Ice Station Bandicoot 20 Sapphire relic: 1:08.00
Gold relic: 0:55.00
Platinum relic: 0:51.23
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

Boss fights[edit]

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[edit]

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.


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
Dr. 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[edit]

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

References to other games[edit]

  • Crash Twinsanity: there is a reference to the game's mixed 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".


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, 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. 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").


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.

Names in other languages[edit]

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