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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

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"Crash Bandicoot 2" redirects here. For the Game Boy Advance game with "Crash Bandicoot 2" in its title, see Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crash Bandicoot 2 PSX cover.jpg
Developer(s) Naughty Dog
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date(s) PlayStation:
USA October 31, 1997[1]
Europe December 5, 1997[citation needed]
Japan December 18, 1997[citation needed]
PlayStation Network:
Japan August 30, 2007[citation needed]
USA January 10, 2008[citation needed]
Genre(s) Platformer
ESRB:ESRB K-A.png - Kids to Adults
Console(s) PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Mode(s) Single player
Media CD-ROM (PlayStation)
Digital download (PSN)
Input PlayStation Network

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is the second title of the Crash Bandicoot franchise and its main series. It is a sequel to Crash Bandicoot, and was originally released for the Sony PlayStation in 1997. The game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. In 1998, a direct sequel to the game was released, under the name of Crash Bandicoot: Warped.

In 2007, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back was re-released for the PlayStation Network in Japan and Europe and in 2008 in North America. This release was compatible with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.

In 2017, the game was re-released as a remake on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, along with Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.


The game opens up where the first game left off. After being defeated by Crash, Dr. Neo Cortex falls out of his airship. He lands on an island where he discovers the Master Crystal. Convinced that they hold tremendous power, Cortex takes it back into his laboratory. One year later, Cortex and his new assistant, Dr. N. Gin, have rebuilt an upgraded, crystal-powered Cortex Vortex in outer space. N. Gin says that they need 25 more crystals to reach the Cortex Vortex's maximum capacity, and notes that none of their operatives are left on Earth. Cortex then devises a plan to trick Crash into retrieving the crystals for him.

Meanwhile, Coco, asks Crash to retrieve a new battery for her laptop, but Crash is abducted along the way. He finds himself in an ancient Warp Room. Cortex appears as a holographic projection, and tells Crash that he discovered that the upcoming alignment of the planets will create a solar flux capable of catastrophic proportions. Cortex urges Crash to enter the portals and retrieve a Crystal in each area. According to Cortex, harnessing the crystal's energy would dissipate the massive power unleashed. Unbeknownst to Cortex, his former assistant, Dr. N. Brio, appears to Crash as a hologram form. He tells Crash that there are also Clear Gems and Colored Gems to collect; these gems are an alternative form of energy that Brio plans to use against Cortex.

Along the way, Crash encounters a few bosses, including Ripper Roo, the Komodo Brothers, and Tiny Tiger, all returning from the first game. At one point, Coco uses her technology expertise to hack into Cortex's hologram communication to advise Crash to be careful trusting Cortex. Eventually, Cortex instructs Crash to return the Crystals to N. Gin, but when Crash defeats him in a battle, Cortex gets furious.

Once Crash has collected all 25 Crystals, Coco reveals to him that Cortex's ultimate plan is to harness energy from the planetary alignment to power the Cortex Vortex, which he would then use to brainwash everyone on Earth into serving his army. Crash reaches Cortex in outer space and stops him before the Crystals can be used. Cortex is sent drifting through outer space, although the Cortex Vortex is left intact. With N. Brio's help, Crash uses all of the gems that he gathered as an energy source for N. Brio's laser beam machine. The laser beam breaks the Cortex Vortex apart, with one of the pieces falling back to Earth. This scene segues into the opening cutscene of Crash Bandicoot: Warped.


Gameplay screenshot of Crash sliding on ice between crates in the second level, Snow Go

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platform game in which the player controls and plays as Crash Bandicoot. The objective is for Crash to collect 25 crystals for his nemesis, Doctor Neo Cortex. Crash has to access the levels through a series of Warp Rooms, which are the hub areas. Each Warp Room consists of five portals. The goal of each level is to obtain its Crystal. A level is cleared by collecting the crystal and reaching a portal at the end, which returns Crash to the Warp Room. The retrieved crystal then automatically inserts itself into the slot above the level's portal Room. When all five crystals of a Warp Room are obtained, the player must ride the platform in the center of the room to move to the next Warp Room. When riding the platform, the player must fight and defeat a boss character before gaining access to a new Warp Room. The player is given a certain amount of lives, which are lost when Crash is attacked by an enemy or falls into water or a pit. If all lives are lost at any point in the game, the "Game Over" screen will appear, in which the player can continue from the last level played by selecting "Yes".

Crash has the ability to jump, perform a Spin Attack, slide across the ground, and perform a Body Slam. Crash must jump over enemies, pits, and other obstacles along the way. The Spin Attack allows Crash to spin away enemies, although it can also spin away Wumpa Fruit, preventing Crash from collecting them. By sliding, Crash can quickly dash through tight gaps or obstacles placed slightly above the ground, and it is also the only way for him to defeat some of the enemies. Crash can perform a higher jump if followed immediately after a slide or a crouch. The Body Slam also allows Crash to defeat certain enemies. A lot of Wumpa Fruit is found along the way, and collecting 100 of them earns Crash an extra life.

There are Bonus Paths, which are signified by platforms with a question mark on them, and they lead Crash to a Bonus Room. In these areas, Crash can collect numerous Wumpa Fruit and extra lives. If Crash reaches the end, any items that he has collected carries over into the main level. If Crash falls off-screen, he loses any of the collected items, and is returned into the main level from which the Bonus Path was accessed. Even if he fails at a Bonus Room, Crash can re-enter it to try again.


Returning from the first Crash Bandicoot game are Crates. Crates are composed of either wood or iron, and the latter ones cannot be broken. Crash can obtain a Clear Gem by breaking every wooden crate in a level. Regular Crates contain a Wumpa Fruit, which Crash can obtain by breaking the Crate.

  • Aku Aku Crates: These contain Aku Aku, who shields Crash from an enemy's attack (two if collected twice in a row). If Crash breaks three Aku Aku Crates in a row, he is given temporary invincibility.
  • Arrow Crates: Crash can jump on one to propel himself further into the air than he can ordinarily reach. These crates can only be broken from a Spin Attack.
  • Checkpoint Crates: By breaking one, Crash can restart from it if he loses a life in a level. If more than one Checkpoint Crate has been opened, Crash starts from the one that he most recently opened.
  • Nitro Crates: These explode upon physical contact, which causes Crash to take damage.
  • Nitro Switch Crate: Crash can spin into it for every Nitro Crate to explode simultaneously.
  • TNT Crate: When Crash jumps on one, a three-second fuse is activated, followed by an explosion.



The game starts with a basic tutorial level named Intro before Crash enters the Warp Room.

Jungle Warp Room
No. Level Boxes Collectibles Theme
1 Turtle Woods 62 Crystal, Clear Gem, Blue Gem Jungle
2 Snow Go 74 Crystal, Clear Gem, Red Gem Snow
3 Hang Eight 74 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) River
4 The Pits 53 Crystal, Clear Gem Jungle
5 Crash Dash 44 Crystal, Clear Gem Chase
6 Boss level: Ripper Roo N/A N/A Waterfall
Ice Warp Room
7 Snow Biz 124 Crystal, Clear Gem Snow
8 Air Crash 102 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) River
9 Bear It 48 Crystal, Clear Gem Snow
10 Crash Crush 57 Crystal, Clear Gem Chase
11 The Eel Deal 79 Crystal, Clear Gem, Green Gem Sewer
12 Boss level: Komodo Brothers N/A N/A Circus tent
Sewer Warp Room
13 Plant Food 53 Crystal, Clear Gem, Yellow Gem River
14 Sewer or Later 57 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Sewer
15 Bear Down 42 Crystal, Clear Gem Snow
16 Road to Ruin 89 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Ruins
17 Un-Bearable 58 Crystal, Clear Gem Chase
18 Boss level: Tiny Tiger N/A N/A Space laboratory
Alpine Warp Room
19 Hangin' Out 93 Crystal, Clear Gem Sewer
20 Diggin' It 95 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Mountain
21 Cold Hard Crash 155 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Snow
22 Ruination 84 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Ruins
23 Bee-Having 92 Crystal, Clear Gem, Purple Gem Mountain
24 Boss level: Dr. N. Gin N/A N/A Space laboratory
High-Tech Warp Room
25 Piston It Away 69 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Space
26 Rock It 39 Crystal, Clear Gem Jetpack
27 Night Fight 46 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Jungle
28 Pack Attack 46 Crystal, Clear Gem Jetpack
29 Spaced Out 60 Crystal, Clear Gem (x2) Space
30 Boss level: Dr. Neo Cortex N/A N/A Space
Secret levels
31 Totally Bear 40 Clear Gem Snow
32 Totally Fly 44 Clear Gem Jungle


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.


  1. "Naughty Dog - 30 Year Timeline". Naughty Dog official website (Wayback Machine).
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