"They're working together, but they don't have to like it!"
— The game's tagline.
Crash Twinsanity is an action platformer, developed by Travellers Tales, and is the fifth game in the Crash Bandicoot series, released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.Designed as a departure from the usual Crash level style, Twinsanity greatly opens up levels, giving the game a more free-roaming feel. In lieu of totally linear levels, every stage flows seamlessly into the next, and are more open for exploration. There are hidden areas and collectables scattered throughout the game, making many levels have small side paths or puzzles to complete.Despite these changes to form, the game manages to feel very Crash-like, possibly more than its extremely standard predecessor, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, also developed by Traveller's Tales.Three years after the events of The Wrath of Cortex, Crash has returned to his usual sedentary lifestyle of sleeping on the beach, Cortex stuck out in the antarctic wastes. But while digging up an old shoe, he hears his sister calling for him, following her into the jungle...Turns out, it's actually Dr. Cortex, still bitter about his last defeat, and has gathered most of Crash's old foes together to watch his demise. Despite giving it his best shot, and even bringing in a giant robot version of Crash, Cortex ends up defeated once again.Later, Crash and Cortex end up meeting the EvilTwins, strange, bird-like creatures from the Tenth Dimension, who've come to get some sort of strange revenge on Cortex, take over the dimension, and make everyone their slaves. This forces Crash and Cortex to set aside their differences, and form a very uneasy alliance against them, and make their way to the Tenth Dimension to stop their evil plans.But as bright and happy a game as it is, the story behind it is notasfun.Traveler's Tales Oxford, a division of Traveler's Tales was created to work on the Crash Bandicoot series, this being their first, and last, game. It was intended to be a breath of fresh air for the series, since The Wrath of Cortex had been a near carbon copy of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.Their intention was to make a huge game, full of what made the Crash games so good and then some, and spanning multiple dimensions, and even planets, where Crash would help out the locals in fending off the Evil Twins' forces, called Crash Bandicoot Evolution.Despite loads of concept art and tons of ideas, Evolution was scrapped in favor of the simpler Twinsanity, which would simply span a few islands and a few dimensions.But even that turned out to be too much as even more was lost as executive meddling began. Vivendi Universal Games started pulling back the deadline and rushed the game into its unfinished state. Entire completed stages and mechanics were Dummied Out to save time, and the game was released buggy and incomplete, although enjoyable in its own right.Poor reviews and poor sales were the final nail in the coffin for Traveler's Tales Oxford, and the studio shut down soon after, leaving Crash to be handed over to Radical Entertainment.Whether that was a good thing is up to you.
Dingodile: "Cozy, ain't it? Rumor is you two chumps have got your mitts in some treasure, and I want a piece of that pie."
Cortex: "I have no idea what you just said."
Aborted Arc: At the end of the game's first world, the Evil Twins describe something called the "Vice-Versa Reversa Device", which is sucking the goodness out of Crash's dimension, and depositing it into the Tenth Dimension. This is brought up once, in a cutscene, and is never mentioned again, and never comes up in-game.
This was actually part of an undersea Cut Level in which Crash was to use the Mecha Bandicoot to walk underwater and destroy the device.
Bottomless Pit: Averted in Jungle Rumble, where the pits clearly have a bottom, it just happens to be covered with spikes. Played straight in basically every other stage, though.
Cortex, after being knocked into a pit: "I-I'm okay! The... spikes broke my fall..."
Boss Arena Idiocy: Hey Uka Uka, next time you want to snuff out your worthless lackey and your most hated arch-nemesis, make sure you're not entirely made of ice in an area where fire shoots up from below...
Ditto for Dingodile. Although justified, Crash keeps tricking him to shoot the fire dousing switches.
Comically Missing the Point: Crunch shows up at Crash's "birthday party" with a cake and a party hat. He's clearly confused by all the villains that are there.
Continuity Porn: It's obvious the developers played the Naughty Dog games. Within the first half hour of gameplay, you've already seen Crash's House, briefly glimpsed in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and seen a truckload of villains from the previous games. Probably the two greatest moments were the "birthday party guests," which included almost every villain other than the doctors from the fifth generation games, and the inside of Papu Papu's hut in the native village, which was a complete recreation of the hut he was fought in as the very first boss of the franchise.
Dean Bitterman: Madame Amberly, head of the Academy of Evil, is definitely this. She's not above openly mocking her students, current or otherwise.
Madame Amberly: "So! Crybaby Cortex is all grown up! I see you've found employment as a barber."
Cortex, defensively: "I'm an evil scientist!"
Madame Amberly: "A scientist, are we? To me, you'll always be a little worm!"
Demoted to Extra: Many of the villains/bosses from prior games make an appearance early on. Out of them, only Dingodile and N. Gin show up as bosses. After his first few lines of dialogue, Aku-Aku is demoted until the Uka-Uka boss, after which they appear together in two more cutscenes, and from then on are only found in crates and say nothing. Coco appears at the beginning, midway through the game, and at the very end, although she was originally going to be playable.
Development Hell: An astounding example of this. There's loads of missing content, unused ideas, and whole models that ended up getting thrown out. As a result, the game is pitifully unfinished, even if pretty fun.
Disney Villain Death: Madame Amberly, following the boss fight when all of her support cables have snapped, plummets to her death in the bottomless pit she dangled over.
The Mecha Bandicoot appeared to have had this happened too. (Despite both Crash and Cortex falling into the same pit, the wreckage was nowhere to be found.) Come the Final Boss, he's back and ready to rumble.
Dissimile: Cortex's description of his gathering all the villains together.
Cortex: "And so I've organized a little gathering... Like a birthday party, except... The exact opposite!"
The Dog Bites Back: Judging by his appearance at Crash's birthday party, Polar has gotten sick of being ridden around by Crash.
Door To Before: Being a more free-roaming game, there are passageways back to previous areas. Strangely, few of the "doors" actually are, most of them are platforms that appear out of nowhere, or start moving.
Dual Boss: N. Tropy and N. Brio show up out of seemingly nowhere to confront Crash on a small floating landmass. N. Brio attacks Crash as a huge frog-like thing, and N. Tropy splits up the platform into bits and attacks Crash from a distance. N. Tropy is the only one you can actually attack, though.
Dummied Out: As mentioned before, loads of content was lost due to time constraints. Lampshaded by Cortex as he activates the Psychetron.
Cortex: "Come now, as we explore a new dimension! ...It should have been two new dimensions, but we... Ran out of time."
Fat Bastard: Madame Amberly is so fat she has to stay suspended by ropes, and has very, very visible jowls. Papu-Papu sort of counts, though the only bastardly thing he does is capture Cortex, and sic the villagers on Crash.
Freudian Excuse: Late in the game, it's explained why the Evil Twins want revenge. They were Cortex's pet parrots, from when he was a child. He warped them to the Tenth Dimension due to a malfunction with the Evolve-O-Ray.
Victor: "Your failed experiment sent two innocent parrots to the Tenth Dimension! The severe reversive radioactive conditions here sharpened our skills, and warped our fragile, eggshell minds."
Cortex, sliding through the building: "Coming through! Ladies... Excuse me madam! Are those real? ...Mother?!"
Good Me Scares Me: In the cut material, Cortex was going to be terrified by his good counterpart in the Tenth Dimension. In other bits of cut material, Cortex was going to be his good counterpart, and Crash his evil counterpart.
Turned right back around to Evil Me Scares Me with Evil Crash, who's scary to everybody.
Grievous Harm with a Body: While paired up, Crash spins Cortex around, swinging him into enemies. He can also slam the flat top of his head down like a hammer, and toss him like a frisbee.
Human Popsicle: Cortex is seen this way just before the title screen, frozen with Uka-Uka chasing him. Later on in the game, Crash and Cortex find Uka-Uka frozen in a different block of ice, and break him free.
Humongous Mecha: The Mecha Bandicoot. Also the Evil Twins' four-legged robot that serves as the final boss.
Cortex: "Meet your brand new, hydraulically-operated twin brother... Mecha Bandicoot!"
Implacable Man: Cortex himself proves to be one of these, even more than in the previous games. He manages to come back from a deep freeze, survives pits of spikes, can be thrown into explosive crates, tossed into freezing water, into bottomless pits, into enemies, and all manner of other things that would kill Crash himself.
Cortex: "Like the fleas in your fur, I keep coming back!"
Subverted in that while playing as him, you're just as vulnerable as Crash is, and he can be killed in the Doc Amok stages. Also if he's left standing somewhere, waiting for Crash to join up with him again, he'll be instantly killed by any hazard that comes into contact with him. Thankfully, if only Cortex dies, Crash doesn't lose a life.
Incoming Ham: "Cower you fools before the awesome might of...The Evil Twins!"
Dr. Cortex displays this as well.
Cortex, after removing his Paper-Thin Disguise: "Surprised to see me, Crash? Like the fleas in your fur, I keep coming back! Three years I spent alone in the frozen antarctic wastes! ...And I missed you!"
Interdimensional Travel Device: The Psychetron, Cortex's gigantic interdimensional portal generating machine. Also the technology the Evil Twins use to warp reality, letting them pass through dimensions.
Long Song, Short Scene: Quite a few songs didn't make it in, or had the stage they belonged to cut. Some found use in the trailers, but others were just left on the soundtrack. An even stranger example of one is the music for Uka-Uka's boss fight, due to the boss being so pitifully easy and short, you won't hear much of the song unless you wait around forever.
Motive Decay: We first see N. Gin piloting the Mecha Bandicoot, the next time we see him he has gone from being Cortex's loyal right hand man to being a pirate. No explanation is given, at least not in the final product as presented.
Motor Mouth: Cortex is one of these momentarily, thanks to the Evil Twins' reality-warping powers.
Cortex: "I will-"
Moritz, dismissively: "Bo-riiing!"
Cortex, speaking too fast to be intelligible: "Ishallcrushyoulikethepunyruntsyouare, youarenothingtomeforIamthegreatandallpowerfulNeoCortex! Youinfantilevermin! Howdareyoumock, manhandleandmanipulateme! Restassured, Iwilltakemyterriblevengeanceupon..." [He stops, panting heavily.]
Victor: "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Skip to the good bit."
Nostalgia Level: Most of the first world counts, specifically Jungle Rumble and Totem Hokem. The first is a throwback to the first stages of the original Crash Bandicoot (1996), and the second is a throwback to the native fortress stages, complete with a recreation of Papu Papu's hut, down to the textures.
Notable Original Music: The soundtrack was composed by Spiralmouth, an a capella group, which gives the game a very distinctive sound style, compared to all the other Crash Bandicoot games.
Notice This: In the first half of Classroom Chaos, there are sections where you need to get to a hall monitor without being spotted. The game helps you by putting massive sparkles on the objects you need to hide behind.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Cortex dresses up as Coco to lure Crash through the jungle. Crash doesn't really seem to notice that his sister suddenly has a man's voice, a completely different body shape, a giant triangular head, and a beard. Of course, this [[Cloudcuckoolander is]]Crash Bandicoot we're talking about...
Plot Coupon: The Power Crystals serve as these, as mentioned below. There's only twelve in the entire game, and it's impossible not to get them.
Point of No Return: Once you enter the Academy of Evil for the first time, you need to complete the area before returning to the previous two areas, but Slip Slide Icecapades is locked off until you beat the game. Once you enter Twinsanity Island, you can't return to the other three areas until you beat the Final Boss, even if you enter after beating the game.
Retcon: Cortex did in fact create the Evolve-O-Ray, Nitrus Brio only perfected it.
Although it's far more likely that Brio did create the Evolve-O-Ray, and Cortex stole it.
Sadist Teacher: Madame Amberly, who wears gloves that apparently generate lightning, used to great effect in her boss battle.
Scenery Porn: Unlike The Wrath of Cortex's stiff, ugly, off-model graphics, Twinsanity is very, very pretty, filled to the brim with little details, crisp textures, great character models, and good special effects.
Scenery Gorn: Twinsanity Island is pretty grim compared to it's counterpart. With dead trees, scary looking tiki carvings, red sky, and set near a volcano.
This Is a Drill: The Evil Twins' ant minions seem to like drills a lot. In Cavern Catastrophe, you meet up with one of their gigantic drill crawlers, the sides of which come down to let out troops. There are also ant minions with drills on their heads, letting them tunnel underground, or charge at Crash.
Underground Level: Cavern Catastrophe, which takes place deep underground N. Sanity Isle. It serves mostly as a tutorial level for the Crash-Cortex team gameplay, when you're not controlling the both of them in a Big Ball of Violence.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: During the final boss, Crash runs away, leaving Nina and Cortex to fight it themselves. He comes back in the final stage of the boss, driving the Mecha Bandicoot, which he uses to defeat the Evil Twins' Humongous Mecha.
Video Game Caring Potential: Utilized as an entire part of the game, Doc Amok, in which Cortex runs full tilt into hazards and pits, unless Crash does something to get rid of them.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: While dragging him around, Crash can toss Cortex into hazards and enemies, with little regard for the doctor's safety. He keeps coming back, though.
The Voiceless: Crash, who's even more voiceless than usual, and Nina, save for a few grunts. Also Dr. Nitrus Brio.