Video Game / Crash Team Racing

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The first spin-off of the Crash Bandicoot series, as well as the last game of the series developed by Naughty Dog. A Mascot Racer heavily inspired by Mario Kart, and also drawing several elements from Diddy Kong Racing.

An intergalactic visitor called Nitros Oxide arrives on Earth to challenge the world's fastest racers in a grand prix. Eight characters — each one with unique abilities and under the command of either Aku Aku or Uka Uka — will participate in races and win enough trophies to challenge him or else Oxide will turn the entire planet into a large concrete parking lot and enslave all its inhabitants. Also, there are other characters who want to defeat Oxide on their own and will not tolerate any disturbances in their way.

The game has a Diddy Kong Racing styled 1-player adventure mode; most levels have one of each of these items to get:
  • Trophies: For winning a vanilla race
  • CTR tokens: Remember the Silver Coin Challenges in Diddy Kong Racing? Well, they're back, but this time you only need to get 3 letters in each race.
  • Relics: Similar to Crash 3, the courses are littered with time-stopping crates. Break all the crates (if you can) for 10-second subtraction from your final time. Finish 3 laps with a good time for a sapphire or gold relic. Or platinum.
  • There's also bosses (though unlike the ones in Diddy Kong Racing, they're not giant, and they race you in basic karts) and multi-race cups through the adventure, and the battle arenas are converted into contests where you have to get all the crystals in the arena before running out of time (which is cut if you hit a Nitro crate).


Tropes used in this game:

  • 100% Completion: You have to complete all the tracks, get all the CTR tokens, all of the relics (including platinum!) and defeat all of Oxide's ghosts in time trial. Beating all of Oxide's ghosts unlocks the scrapbook for the main menu that is otherwise only seen when you complete Adventure mode (or enter a code)
  • Abandoned Mine: The Dragon Mines, which serves as Komodo Joe's home track. There exist minecarts that serve as obstacles.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Sewer Speedway.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Nitros Oxide, who wants to turn Earth into a giant parking and enslave all its inhabitants.
  • Alternate World Map: The Hub Worlds are all interconnected.
  • Ash Face: Getting burnt by any obstacles in the course only results in spinning out for a moment before shaking off the soot.
  • Astral Finale: The final boss race with Oxide takes place in his track, Oxide Station, which is situated in space just off the Earth.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Oxide states that if he wins, he will turn Earth into a giant concrete parking lot. Obviously he doesn't, but Battle Mode provides a hypothetical "What If?" scenario by naming one of the unlockable areas Parking Lot.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: Crash and Cortex are balanced, Tiny and Dingodile are slow-acceleration high-speed racers, Coco and N. Gin are bad-handling high-acceleration racers, and Polar and Pura are slow-moving but excellent turners. Unlockable racers follow this pattern as well, with the exception of Penta Penguin in the PAL version where he's a Master of All.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Cortex Castle, the battle map Nitro Court, and the hub world Citadel City.
  • Canon Immigrant: Penta Penguin originated from a Crash Bandicoot manga.
  • Cheat Code: There are codes that unlock all of the unlockable racers (including N. Tropy), gives unlimited Wumpa Fruit, automatic and unlimited turbo, automatic weapon gain (without breaking crates), unlocking the scrapbook (you need to 100% the Adventure mode normally), etc. Those that modify the gameplay can be used in Adventure too, however you will need to open the 'New/Load' screen before the codes will work.
  • Comeback Mechanic: These weapons appear in more frequency if you're at the last (8th) place or close to it.
    • Warp Orbs, which hits the player in first place (and all players ahead when it's juiced up).
    • The "clock" weapon is also this; it slows down all other players when it's used.
    • And the Aku-Aku/Uka-Uka mask, which provides increased speed and invulnerability for a short time, as well as able to knock over other karts by colliding into them.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The bosses in Adventure mode have infinite items (of the trap variety, and they are laid CONSTANTLY, though one uses the rolling bombs). Oxide starts the race before the green light! He even laughs at you as he does this.
    • Oxide is also resistant to traps and missiles, merely spinning just like when hit with the chemicals rather than tumbling like with the TNT and Nitro; he would only tumble if you hit him twice.
    • It's implied that the bosses sans Oxide are cheating bastards because Oxide is an even bigger bastard than the other four; they have to make sure that you'll be up and prepared against Oxide's dirty tricks. Evidenced in the Purple Gem Cup where they race together with you normally with the same rules as a normal enemy racer.
  • Cool Gate: The way to enter race levels in Adventure Mode is by driving onto a shining pod on the ground, which sucks the racer into it. The "boss garages" are also cool in their own ways, especially Oxide's.
  • Cool Key: The award for beating bosses is keys, that you'll need to open later areas of Adventure Mode and, in the end, the way to Oxide's boss race.
  • Crosshair Aware: If you're being targeted by a missile or Warp Orb, there's a crosshair on your back that alerts you.
  • Crutch Character: Polar, Pura, Ripper Roo, and NTSC!Penta Penguin. They have good handling, but have inadequate top speed. As such, they are extremely slow initially, and they are not the quickest accelerators either, but they can make turns without slowing down that require faster characters to powerslide or brake, and thus are the best options for learning how to handle the more complex maps.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Going into Crash Team Racing expecting Mario Kart-style short hops before initiating a drift. Due to the height gained with a hop being much higher than in any of the Mario Kart games (not counting Double Dash!!), there's a bit more of a delay before you actually start drifting.
  • Death Mountain: Dingo Canyon, and the battle map Rocky Road.
  • Deflector Shields: The bubble shield weapon you can take from the crates. They can protect you once from any attacks, you can knock another racer off their wheels when you collide into one, and you can also launch them forward as an attack. Normally if nothing happens to the shields, they'll dissipate after a time passes, but when juiced up, they'll remain up indefinitely (unless, again, something happens to the shields). The Aku Aku/Uka Uka masks also function as this, on top of boosting your speed.
  • Double Unlock: To get to race Oxide for a second time and beat the game, all you have to do is beat the time trials on every course. Easy, right? Well, that includes a track that's only unlockable if you collect all five gems. How do you get those? Beat a cup race, four races in a row for one gem. How do you unlock those? Collect 4 tokens of the cup's respective color by beating races and collecting letters around the course.
  • Easy Level Trick: In the form of shortcuts. Some are intentional (e.g Crash Cove, Tiger Temple, Cortex Castle), a few others are not (e.g Hot Air Skyway, Oxide Station).
    • Hot Air Skyway, in fact, has four. The first is the obvious branching to the right of the normal track when you jump off the first ramp. The second (jumping the barrier midway through the level) is relatively simple. The third is almost Rainbow Road-esque, involving turning around and jumping to a lower layer. The fourth is just about impossible to non-competitive gamers, and involves jumping from the last ramp straight to the finish line.
  • Enemy Mine: Everybody teams up against Oxide to save the world; most of the playable roster is made up of bosses from the previous games, in fact. That said, they are competing to be the one who races Oxide. Even the bosses (except for Oxide, of course) are really on your side and are essentially sparring partners. Their job is to make sure that Earth's champion is actually capable of defeating Oxide, because the entire planet loses if the champion loses.
  • Flawless Victory: Getting all the time-freezing crates in a time trial rewards a 10 second deduction from your final time. Quite often, this is necessary due to the ridiculous Platinum Relic times.
  • Fragile Speedster: Coco, N. Gin, and Pinstripe all are high-acceleration karts. Because of this, they reach their top speeds more quickly and recover from hits more quickly as well. However, said top speed is not very high, and their carts handle worse than those of balanced characters.
  • Gainaxing: The trophy girls.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue references Baywatch and Playboy, by way of expy.
  • Go Karting With Neo Cortex: Justified by way of Enemy Mine. There are actually more bad guys than good guys as playable characters! You start with 4 bad guys and 4 good guys, then the unlockables are mostly the bosses in the Adventure Mode. In total, there are five good guys (the four Good defaults and one unlockable) and ten bad guys (the four Bad defaults plus six unlockables).
  • Graceful Loser: N. Tropy when you best him in all the Time Trials.
  • Homing Projectile: The Missile weapon will track the opponent in front of you, provided that you don't aim it too far. When juiced up, it gets better tracking capability.
    • The warp-ball is one for the leading racer, and as such a racer can only get it if they're lagging behind. When juiced up, the ball will also knock over other racers in the way.
  • Hub Level: Appears in the Adventure Mode.
  • Invisibility: One Battle mode-only weapon lets the user become invisible for a time. Only their wheels can be seen during this state.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Crash, Cortex, Fake Crash, and Komodo Joe all have balanced stats. They can power slide adequately in straight lines, and maintain a good top speed accordingly. Their acceleration and handling are also solid, which means their maneuverability and time taken to reach top speed are what would make them stand out from karts that have really good top speed but poor acceleration and handling.
    • Also Penta Penguin in the PAL version of the game, having perfect 5/5 stats all round.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mystery Caves.
  • Levels Take Flight: Hot Air Skyway.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: N. Gin Labs, and the unlockable battle map Lab Basement.
  • Magikarp Power: Polar and Pura initially start out as this, in Adventure Mode. Their karts do not have much in the way of top speed, and power sliding in a straight line is a troublesome task for them. After Papu Papu's boss fight is when tracks turn out more favorably for the handling-centric karts and the game gives myriad opportunities for them to come out on top. Notably, tracks such as Dragon Mines and Hot Air Skyway are turning-centric. While they would normally be difficult for someone without stellar handling, Polar and Pura have karts which make those tracks a breeze for them.
  • Man-Eating Plant: There are these in Papu's Pyramid, although the worst you suffer from them is lots of lost time.
  • Master of All: In the PAL version, the cheat-only character Penta Penguin has perfect scores in all stats. When it comes to the race itself, though, he's often tiered lower than the high-speed-low-handling characters, due to how power-sliding works.
  • Mayincatec: Papu's Pyramid. Also the battle map Rampage Ruins and the hub world both tracks are placed in, The Lost Ruins. To some extent, Tiger Temple.
  • Meta Power-Up: The Wumpa Fruits are used to increase your max speed and, when you reach 10, upgrades all of your acquired weapons.
  • Mighty Glacier: Tiny, Dingodile, Papu Papu, and N. Tropy are all heavyweight karts with exceptionally good top speed. Because they're heavyweights, however, their handling suffers and they take their time to reach top speed.
    • Difficult but Awesome: Once power-sliding is mastered, however, those guys can remain on their top speed the whole race, trivialize turns, and even, thanks to the low handling stat, even powerslide in straight lines without losing time.
  • Nitro Boost: The sliding boost mechanic can give the racers additional speed boosts while sliding. There are speed-up pads on many sections of the track, usually for crossing gaps. You can also acquire the Turbo and Super Engine weapons, both of which gives you a free boost, with Super Engine giving up much more (but is only available in Battle mode plays). The Aku Aku/Uka Uka masks also functions as this, on top of making you invincible.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: No matter how many Nitros, chemicals, TNTs, bombs, missiles, or warp-balls (that work like the spiny shell in Mario Kart) the racers get hit with, the worst they get is a tumbling and then they always eventually land wheels-down to continue.
  • Nonlethal Bottomless Pits: Whenever a kart falls into a pit, Aku Aku/Uka Uka will lift them back up.
  • Nostalgia Level: Lots. A few examples: Blizzard Bluff is one to the snow cavern levels in Cortex Strikes Back, and N. Gin Labs is one to the lab levels in the very first game.
  • Not Just a Tournament: At the start, the cast just races for the fun of it, but then Oxide comes and threatens the whole planet to become slaves unless their racing champion can beat him at racing.
  • Oddball in the Series: A Vehicular Combat game in a series of platformers.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Due to how power sliding works, acceleration tends to not be much of a factor for a good player, who will remain at top speed the whole race, and having a high turning stat may prove to be hindering, preventing a character from power sliding in a straight line (sound familiar?); so characters are tiered pretty much based on their top speed.
  • Palm Tree Panic: Crash Cove, the battle map Skull Rock and the hub world N. Sanity Beach.
  • Player Exclusive Mechanic: The CPU racers never get any of the Comeback Mechanic weapons, unlike the player. They also never use the (harder) shortcuts, even in the hardest difficulty.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Attempted with Penta Penguin in the PAL version. However, due to poor handling actually being an advantage, he's not actually top tiered.
  • Regional Bonus: Penta Penguin, the most secret character, is a run-of-the-mill beginner character in the NTSC version, but, in the PAL version, has all stats maxed out.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Nitros Oxide (note the lack of a U).
  • Rule of Cool: Pinstripe, the tommy-gun wielding mafioso, has his level be a gloriously impractical length of twisty tarmac in the sky. This is in contrast to the more 'normal' levels of the other warm-up bosses (a Shark Tunnel, Mayincatec temple and an underground cavern).
  • Sacrificial Planet: It's revealed that Nitros Oxide is the cause of the barren wasteland on Mars: the inhabitants on the planet failed to defeat him at racing and thus got decimated. He threatens to do the same on Earth (by making the planet a parking lot and enslaving all its inhabitants) if they fail to defeat him at racing, too - setting up the story.
    You're the fastest racer so far? You're the best this planet can offer? This is going to be a bigger joke than that last civilization I challenged. What was it called... on that red planet so close to here... Oh, yes. I think you call it Mars. Now that was an easy win. What? You say there is no civilization on the planet Mars? (laughs) Not anymore! They lost the race!
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The tracks in Adventure Mode aren't placed in ascending difficulty. Many times, the courses are chosen because it fits into the theme of the world rather than difficulty. This is why, for example, the second world has both Coco Park and Papu's Pyramid, a simple track and a pretty hard track respectively. The Arcade Mode cups fix this and the tracks are in ascending difficulty.
  • Secret Character: Penta Penguin is the only character who must be unlocked with a cheat code. The other hidden characters can be unlocked via cheat codes or accomplishing in-game tasks.
  • Shark Tunnel: Most of Roo's Tubes takes place in one of these.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Blizzard Bluff and Polar Pass, as well as the battle map The North Bowl and the hub world Glacier Park.
  • Space Zone: The Oxide Station, which doubles as a Marathon Level due to its extreme length. It's also the only track that cannot be played in multiplayer.
  • Squashed Flat: A number of the track-specific obstacles can flatten the racers and make them run slower for a time, such as the rolling barrels in Sewer Speedway or the rolling rocks in Blizzard Bluff. You can also inflict this on other players with the Turbo weapon by activating it and then pressing the hop button when you're crashing behind them (it needs good timing).
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The rolling bomb weapons, which can only be shot in a straight line. It can also be shot backwards.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Every item has a "juiced-up" version if you have the maximum 10 Wumpa Fruit (which are scattered around the course and also slightly increase your speed, like the coins in Mode-7 Mario Kart titles as well as 7 and 8).
    • One particularly noteworthy example is the Warp Orb. A normal Warp Orb acts like a Mario Kart blue shell and targets the player in first place, although other racers in its path can get hit if they aren't careful. The juiced-up Warped Orb? It hits EVERYBODY IN FRONT OF THE PLAYER.
    • PAL!Penta has souped up stats everywhere, making him quite the speed demon.
  • The Unfought: N. Tropy in the main game; you only fight him in the Time Trial mode. Quite fittingly.
  • The Unintelligible: Ripper Roo, who speaks in mad laughter outside of the Japanese version.
  • Variable Mix: In the hub world, each and every hub has a variation of the overworld theme that plays in the background.
  • Vehicular Combat: Battle Mode, where players try to shoot each other while speeding on their karts.
  • Wacky Racing
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Papu Papu, to racers who aren't Tiny or Dingodile. Top speed is his primary stat, and Papu's Pyramid does not offer much of a disadvantage for him as most of the turns needed are still wide enough for him (and Tiny/Dingodile) to make without much of an issue. The map is significantly more difficult than other levels within the same mini-hub. Papu Papu's traps are the N. Brio beakers, which provide more of a notorious hazard than any of the other bosses' traps as they are hard to dodge and cannot be shaken off once hit. After Papu Papu is defeated, the game's Adventure Mode begins to shape up.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Ripper Roo is a character with low top speed, a high handling that wouldn't do him any good in his challenge map, as said map (Roo's Tubes) is one of the simplest and most straightforward in the game, and his trademark TNT traps can be easily shaken off.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Played for Laughs, of course. Like how Pinstripe becomes an used car salesman in New Jersey or how Cortex found a new element he calls (and patents as) "Cortexrulestheworldium".

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