Video Game: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

Within their secret lair in deep space, Dr. Cortex and his cronies are sour over their previous defeats by Crash Bandicoot. Uka Uka is giving them an intense chewing out, they still haven't conquered the world, and their current evil productivity is pathetic. During their convension over how to eliminate their nemesis, N. Gin brainlessly mentions Dr. Cortex's super secret project, Crunch Bandicoot, a super mutant with unbelievable strength. However, he requires a completing element. Uka Uka immediately devises upon releasing The Elementals, a destructive band of element controlling elder masks that had previously been imprisoned by Aku Aku, that can be used to power Crunch as well as bring chaos and destruction to the entire planet. Once again it is up to Crash and his sister Coco to save the day.

The sixth installment in the Crash Bandicoot series and the fourth platformer title. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was also the first title in the series to make a leap to a sixth generation console. It was developed by Travellers Tales' Knutsford division and originally released on the PlayStation 2 and later ported to the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.

Tropes Used In This Game:

  • Action Girl: Coco. Even more so than in Warped. Instead of just riding vehicles, Coco actually has her own platforming levels.
    • Faux Action Girl: As a platformer, she is inferior to Crash in nearly every single way.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In "Wizards And Lizards", you have to run from a giant dragon, while in "Jungle Rumble" to take control of a jeep to drive away from a herd of rhinos. And let's not forget the tsunami in the aptly named 'Tsunami', or the wall of fire in "Crate Balls of Fire".
  • All There in the Manual: The origin of the Elementals is more thoroughly explained in the manual.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version once again utilises the "Crash Bandy Kuu!" title theme used in previous games.
  • Bag of Spilling: Crash loses all of the powers he gained from the previous game, and has to re-obtain them the exact same way he did in Warped. The only change is that the body slam was changed to the tiptoe move, and you could now get the "Super Body Slam" through a gem route.
  • BFG: Crash can unlock the Fruit Bazooka power up from Warped. Incidentally the mech's target fire works exactly the same.
  • Blackout Basement: The secret level "Knight Time", which is essentially a slightly tweaked variant of "The Gauntlet" albeit with only a wandering fire fly as lighting to guide your way through the level.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Many of the alternate vehicles and gameplay modes are actually more limited and unwieldy to play compared to Crash himself.
    • Coco - with absolutely nothing making her stand out compared to Crash, except a more limited move set and a slightly better selection of vehicle routes, which isn't exactly hard considering the list below.
    • The mech from "Droid Void" and "Crate Balls of Fire". Despite its imposing appearance, it is still a One-Hit-Point Wonder; it is infinitely harder to control (and quite possibly slower) than Crash is; and the only thing separating it from Crash himself is the fruit cannon (which you get in World Five anyway, making the mech's existence in "Crate Balls of Fire" an absolute joke).
    • The submarine in the underwater levels. It's slower than Crash is, it is completely atomised by contact with even a tiny, non-attacking fish, and - once again - it's harder to control than swimming Crash is. Even worse, unlike the sub jet in Warped which acted as an extra hit point, destroying the submarine costs you a life too.
    • The jeep in "Smokey and the Bandicoot" handles horribly. Like driving a shopping cart on ice. Much like the motorbike levels in Warped it is forbidden to backtrack as well. Just about the only way to get the gem is to go slow enough that you might as well get out and platform the level instead.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Crunch as it turns out, after the Elementals are defeated, the "missing element", that is, Cortex's control over his mind, is missing once again.
  • Cat and Mouse Boss: The third boss, a molten lava mutation of Crunch chases after you. The tables turn after you make your way to a mech with a freeze projectile.
  • Can't Catch Up: Coco as a result of being able to use only two of the unlockable special moves, slowly becomes more inferior to play as than Crash. Amusingly it's subverted literally, as one of them is the Crash Dash move, making her equally efficient for time trial missions.
  • Creative Closing Credits: A rather odd one, with Crash and a disco styled Cortex Commando jiving to some techno music.
  • Dancing Mook Credits: The credits sequence has the titular character dancing with a Disco Dan version of the game's garden variety enemy.
  • Demoted to Extra: The first four bosses from Warped - Tiny, Dingodile, N. Tropy and N. Gin - appear only briefly in the introduction, following which they appear only as stage hazards in a few levels. Pura, a playable character in previous titles, also makes only a cameo in the opening and ending cutscenes.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Crash Bash, Coco was an alternate for Crash in terms of gameplay, having an identical spin attack. Here Coco has obtained kick attacks in their place. Granted it could be taken with a grain of salt since her abilities overall still work to the same effect as Crash's (albeit with a lower number of abilities). Arguably keeping her with identical moves as Crash would have actually been more productive.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Cortex actually generates almost harmless tornadoes with floating mechs.
  • Double Jump: Crash gains this move after defeating Wa-Wa, the second boss.
  • The Dragon: Crunch to Dr. Cortex. Cortex himself is this to Uka Uka.
  • Dull Surprise: Coco and Crunch noticeably never change facial expressions no matter how they're supposed to be feeling at that moment.
    • Also Tiny and Dingodile in the intro cutscene. While the other villains at least manage some awkward looking upset expression as Uka chews them out, these two just have their usual menacing scowl throughout.
  • Dummied Out: The game uses a few areas from early development and planted new levels on top of them. Ice Station Bandicoot for example uses a small platforming area as a background under the helicopter racetrack. An unused racing and dogfight level have also been found inside the game, as well as some extra Coco animations suggesting she was meant to be more fully playable.
  • Elemental Powers: The Elementals funnily enough. Crunch counts as well when they boost his powers.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: It's a Crash game, what do you expect?
  • Expressive Mask: Aku Aku and Uka Uka. Even more so in beta footage where Aku is animated constantly miming chatter during gameplay.
  • Extended Gameplay: Akin to Warped after collecting all the crystals, there are the gems, time relics (of three different difficulties) and five hidden stages. Furthering on and collecting all these goodies can expand your completion percentage to 106%.
  • Failures on Ice: Coco is barely able to stay up on ice platforms. Ironically Crash seems more adept.
  • Game Over Man: Cortex again.
    Cortex: Giving up?...
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Why, exactly, are you racing a polar bear riding a magic carpet in "Ice Station Bandicoot"?
    • It makes mildly more sense upon researching the games development, the original level was an on foot area with the bear as an enemy.
  • Gimmick Level: The gimmick levels outnumber the standard ones.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The Knight enemies (who for some reason have no pants?) wear white boxers with red dots.
  • Hub Level: Coco conveniently enough just finished whipping one up as the Elementals attacked. And it looks near exactly like the one in Warped as well.
  • Human Sacrifice: Early footage of the game depict a more story-centric level in which Coco is captured by gorilla tribesmen and placed in a cage hovering dangerously over a pit of lava.
  • Joke Character: Coco. Essentially Crash limited to only his default move set (par unlocking two of his special moves) and his slide attack replaced with a more tedious crouching kick. For obvious reasons, most of her levels are more vehicle orientated.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Though Mark Hamill's hammy acting ensures he is still somewhat entertaining, Py-Ro comes off as much more sinister and manic than his bretheren, even referred to as the strongest and most evil mask in the manual. He was in fact meant to be the final Elemental boss, though was switched with Lo-Lo for unknown reasons.
    • Crunch himself lacks most of the Laughably Evil traits of Cortex's other minions, the creepy transformations caused by the Elemental masks doesn't help. This however, proved to be a result of being Brainwashed and Crazy, as later games show, the normal, good-natured Crunch isn't serious or intimidating, at all.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The original PS2 version suffered from very long loading times. You could be waiting up to a minute just to play each level. The "Greatest Hits"/"Platinum" versions fixed this to a more reasonable fifteen or so seconds. The Xbox and GameCube ports speed it up to only five or so seconds.
  • The Many Deaths of You: As usual, the developers take great fun in imagining any possible amusing manner Crash can lose a life, ranging from being torched to ashes, turned into a bat or freezing into a mini iceburg. Coco gets in on it too, though not nearly to the same extent.
  • Marathon Level: Gold Rush is really long by Crash standards, with over 200 crates to smash, which makes getting both the gem and the platinum relic quite a challenge.
  • Minecart Madness: The start of "Compactor Reactor". "Ghost Town", meanwhile, is a minecart race.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The Wrath of Cortex for the most part emulates the mechanics exactly as Warped had previously. It wasn't the last game in the series to follow this method.
  • Never My Fault: After another failure, Uka attempts to smoke Cortex with an energy ball as punishment, which misses and hits the circuitry of the space station, causing a breakdown.
    Uka Uka: This is all your fault! If you hadn't ducked out of the way, none of this would have happened!!!
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Though there are slightly more frequent use of widened pathways or secret areas than the previous titles, it loyally follows their very linear structure. Apparently the game was originally planned to subvert this and act as a free roamer.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Uka seems to have converted into one since the previous titles, even frequently managing a Mr Spacely-style bellow of Cortex's name.
  • Off Model: The large majority of the cast seem a little "different" from previous titles, the game's designs seem to base themselves more on the early CG promo art for the series than the actual in game graphics of the earlier games.
  • Pass Through the Rings: "Avalanche" has you snowboard through rings as a gem minigame, also used in "Ice Station Bandicoot" in a race. Against a magic carpet-riding polar bear no less...
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: As usual, Crash and Coco, and Aku Aku and Uka Uka.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Zigzagged; Coco suffers a few Amusing Injuries, but not nearly to the same extent as her brother. Such cases are punctuated a bit by her being less adept to it however (see her on ice or her angel attempting to ascend).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: "Arctic Antics" and "Avalanche." Made especially difficult in the latter due to the sloped pathway and cluttered path of Nitro crates ahead.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: In "Tsunami", the level's last box is a checkpoint. It is impossible to die on the path between the checkpoint and the exit portal. And said portal is literally on the other side of the screen. This setup is because the blue gem platform in front of the checkpoint is the hardest in the game - and you have to play as Coco.
    • Unlike Warped, you are allowed to keep Aku Aku masks when activating time trials, which is just as well since some levels are longer and more challenging, and a lot of the vehicles are One Hit Point Wonders without.
  • Title Scream: A lot less in your face than the previous game.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Despite spending most of the final boss attacking Cortex, the final ending shows Crunch knocked out and freed from mind control. This is a result of leftover development, the original storyboard had Crash fight Crunch directly and Cortex smash his control panel in a rage beforehand.
  • Villain Decay: Uka Uka's Villain Decay really sets in in this game. Rather than being the menacing force of evil he was in Warped and Crash Bash, he comes across as a petty, loud-mouthed jerk who contributes next to nothing to Cortex's schemes. Even when he finally loses his patience with Cortex and attacks him, he fails to hurt him in any real capacity. He somewhat recovers from this decay in Crash of the Titans, only to go through it again in Mind Over Mutant.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Elementals disappear after the final boss battle, their fate never explained. While it is assumed the crystals are used to imprison the Elementals once again as Aku implied, it is never shown or even referenced.
  • X-Ray Sparks:
    • During the Lo-Lo boss fight, Crunch's skeleton appears when he charges up electrical attacks.
    • At one point in "Fahrenheit Frenzy" Crash will run through an area inspected via X Ray vision. He also, expectedly, has such an animation when killed via electrocution.
  • You Have Failed Me: Uka Uka attempts punish Cortex with a fire ball in the final ending...but misses and damages the space station.
  • Your Size May Vary: Coco is noticeably teeny in this game. Perhaps her single plus over Crash is the smaller hit box she gets from this.

Alternative Title(s):

The Wrath Of Cortex