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You can say that again.
"Crash Bandicoot. You banished me to the past, but all it did was give me more time to plan your doom."
Dr. Neo Cortex
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Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is a 3D platformer developed by Toys for Bob and the eighth installment in the Crash Bandicoot seriesnote . It is the series' first original platforming title since 2008's Crash: Mind Over Mutant, and is a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, using a similar art style to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (though with some changes in character design).

In the aftermath of Warped's events, Dr. Cortex, Uka Uka, and Dr. N. Tropy were left stranded in time and space with no way out... but of course, that didn't stop the villains from trying. After decades of fruitless attempts, they eventually escape their makeshift prison. But there's even worse news— namely, the fact that in the process, they tore a hole in the space-time continuum, which not only exposes an entire multiverse, but puts all of it at terrible risk. Crash and Coco Bandicoot catch wind of this disturbance and set out to fix it by traversing the many universes to gather the four Quantum Masks; their powers will not only repair the rift, but aid the two on their journey. All the while, Cortex and his associates endeavor to stop them so that the multiverse can be theirs for the taking. Where will this adventure take them? One thing's for sure: it's gonna get weird.

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The game was released on October 2, 2020 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (with cross-gen support for the fourth generation Xbox consoles). As part of the series's 25th anniversary, the game will see release on other platforms in 2021. Versions for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S (a true native version) and Nintendo Switch released on March 12, 2021. Following that, a PC version released on March 26, 2021 via Blizzard's Battle.net service.

See the official Reveal Trailer and the official website.


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It's About Time for tropes:

  • 100% Completion: The maximum completion percentage is 106% this time around. You must collect all 228 gems in Normal and N. Verted Mode (which means breaking every crate, getting 80% of the Wumpa Fruits / Bumpa Berries, finding the hidden gem, and all without dying more than three times), the four colored gems, find and complete the Flashback Tapes, get the N.Sanely Perfect Relic (which means collecting every gem except for the hidden gem without dying once), the Time Trial relics, and the skins. If you want the platinum achievement / trophy, you also need to get the Platinum Time Trial relics as well.
  • The '90s: The Flashback Tapes are set in 1996 (the year the first Crash Bandicoot came out) and focus on Cortex testing Crash and Coco's abilities not long after he mutated them. The final area of the game is Cortex Island in 1996, right before the events of the original game.
    • Likewise, it means that the events of the original trilogy took place on the same year as the games' releases.
  • Absentee Actor: Despite being a major character in the previous two games and most of the following ones, Tiny is completely absent, with his only nod being a few paintings in the final level of the game, Cortex Castle.
  • Action Bomb: The TNT/Nitro-carrying robots from Sn@xx Dimension.
  • Action Girl: Coco as usual, but the alternate version of Tawna they run into also counts, being a lot more action-packed and less fanservicey than main universe Tawna.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Most times, Cortex doesn't really fight without some sort of gadget enhancing himself. Here, he full on platforms as a player character, with the gadgets used being supplementary ones; a laser that turns ennemies into platforms, and a booster that briefly gives him an air dash.
    • This alternate Tawna is a rugged, badass Action Girl who's a lot more capable of fighting enemies and adventuring as opposed to her original Damsel in Distress counterpart.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Flashback levels directly touch upon the period between Crash's creation via the Evolvo Ray and his failed Cortex Vortex brainwashing, as it shows the training that he and Coco were forced to go through by the scientists.
    • Nitro Crates of all things get this as well. During on of the Flashback levels, Cortex mentions that the Nitro Crates show promise but require more research and development, explaining why they weren't in the first game.
    • The Bermugula's Orbit levels not only introduce more types of Gasmoxians like Oxide (who brought up Bermugula in a throwaway taunt line for his debut appearance), but also show off Bermugula itself with all its flora and fauna.
    • Crash's origin story is also subject to this. After defeating Present Cortex in 1996 and releasing the doctor's past self, Crash accidentally removes a key componant of the Cortex Vortex, resulting in his own failed brainwashing, making Crash himself directly responsible for becoming the bandicoot he is today.
  • Agony of the Feet:
    • If Crash or Coco gets killed by N. Sanity Peak's hammer-wielding tribals, they get hammered in the foot and limp around a bit before getting hammered in the head.
    • Crash has one after they rescued Akano. Boy, he sure is heavy.
  • Aloof Ally: Tawna. She works alone by saying "I fly solo". This is hinted to be because she is still trying to get over her version of Crash and Coco dying.
  • Alliance of Alternates: After tossing Cortex aside, N. Tropy teams up with an alternate, female version of himself, who is explicitly stated to be from the same universe as alternate Tawna.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome:
    • Alternate Tawna is a badass hero and explorer, compared to the Damsel in Distress she was in the main universe.
    • Implied with the Sn@xx Dimension's Dingodile, who manages to set up a highly successful franchise with his diner while the main universe Dingodile's attempt to market his Diner crashes thanks to several health code violations.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Uka Uka isn't seen after Cortex and N. Tropy leave him trapped in the past, making it uncertain whether he's recovered from his power exhaustion at all. Unless the 106% ending is unlocked, that is, as he's shown to be alive and well.
    • Played much straighter with the N. Tropies not being seen for the rest of the game after their defeat and supposed banishment, to the point that the 100% epilogue narration mentions that the dimensions have not heard of them since. It also says that "mad scientists are harder to squash than cockroaches", so they might return.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • Aside from Crash and Coco, there are multiple playable characters, such as Cortex, Dingodile, and an alternate version of Tawna.
    • Roughly half of the Flashback levels are the only levels in the entire game where you don't have the option to play as Crash, as you play exclusively as Coco in them.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing various challenges and collecting gems awards you with various skins for you to change Crash and Coco into.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Some levels are ones that Crash and Coco go through, but from the perspective of Cortex, who actively tries to get rid of them by triggering some background elements, and Dingodile, who's unknowingly helping the Bandicoots while trying to find a way home.
    • Tawna does the exact opposite in her levels, helping Crash and Coco whenever she can without them knowing she was even there.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Since collecting enough Wumpa fruit in a level now has its own reward, fruit collected from breaking crates will now automatically gravitate towards Crash, and unlike previous games, Crash cannot spin fruit away.
    • There is now a bright yellow circle beneath Crash and Coco whenever they jump to show where they're going to land.
    • The game introduces an alternate "modern mode" which grants infinite lives and continues, making level progression more beginner-friendly. In return, players will get better rewards if they avoid dying too many times.
    • Voiced dialogue in levels will only play once per visit, meaning you won't have to hear the lines again every time you die.
    • Gem platforms now count as checkpoints when completed, much like Bonuses do, so you don't have to re-do these brutal bonus paths if you die before reaching another checkpoint.
    • Bosses have checkpoints in between their phases. So if you die in the middle of them, you don't have to restart the fight from the beginning.
    • You only need to collect 80% of the Wumpa Fruits in a level to get all three Wumpa Fruit Gems, so no need for worrying about that Last Lousy Point.
    • The N. Sanely Perfect Relic requires obtaining all the level's gems without dying — except the hidden gem. Considering how dangerous or tricky it is to obtain some hidden gems, this can be a relief. Additionally, N. Verted levels don't have separate Perfect Relics: obtaining one in either version of the level counts for both, so you don't need to perfect run each level twice.
    • Every level that's accessible or completed can be conveniently chosen using the pause menu, eliminating the need to do time-consuming travel in the dimensional map.
    • The gem requirement for skins carries over between the normal and N. Verted levels, so if you can’t reach a gem, you can play the N. Verted level to collect enough to unlock the skin. However, you’re out of luck for the final levels- you’ll need to collect all the gems to get the skins for those.
    • If a checkpoint crate is broken while a TNT crate is counting down, the TNT crate and all other crates within the blast radius will be counted as broken immediately, so players will not have to go back to set the TNT off again if they die before the next checkpoint.
    • Even if you die before reaching a checkpoint after you collect it, the Hidden Gem only needs to be collected once per level.
  • Anti-Gravity: Ika-Ika, one of the Quantum Masks, allows Crash and Coco to shift their gravity and walk on walls and ceilings.
  • The Apunkalypse: The Hazardous Wastes dimension takes place in a Mad Max-inspired wasteland filled with discarded machinery and metalhead enemies.
  • Arrange Mode: N. Verted Mode is essentially this, as the levels are not only mirrored, but also have their visual presentation altered, the physics are changed in a specific way for each one, and all the Wumpa Fruit are replaced with a new collectible known as Bumpa Berries.
  • Art Evolution: While the base art style of the game remains the same as the N. Sane Trilogy, trailer pictures show that the main characters' designs have been tweaked slightly.
    • Crash's mouth is covered in light-orange fur like the front of his body, rather than pinkish skin. His mohawk is more exaggerated, being large tufts of fur rather than a shorter split line. His ears are also slightly bigger and his teeth smaller, complete with other tweaked facial features that make him look more handsome and less goofy than in previous games.
    • Coco's face is also furred like Crash's, and her mouth is positioned on her snout instead of below it. She wears goggles on her head instead of a flower (similar to her appearance in Mind Over Mutant), and her overalls now have a heart-shaped patch on the right knee. Her figure is slimmer and more noodly overall.
    • Cortex looks mostly the same, but his body now appears to be slightly taller and his head a bit more rounded.
    • N. Gin's head went from a skull-like shape to something slightly more rounded, and one of his arms has a mechanical glove over it.
    • Dingodile now has green crocodile scales going all the way up his spine as opposed to just on his tail. He also has a black vest, blue jeans with a patch on the knee, and is overall more bottom heavy.
    • N. Brio's eyebrows are more bushy, the sclera of his eyes are slightly yellow, and he now wears a belt holding several vials.
    • In the concept art, Ripper Roo mostly looks the same, although his black nose appears to be blue. However in the 100% ending, his snout is longer, his mustache is longer and white, he has a monocle instead of glasses and his straight jacket is black to closely resemble a tuxedo. He doesn't appear to have a bowtie or a blonde wig.
  • The Artifact: ? Crates were originally so labelled because they could contain multiple Wumpa Fruit, an Extra Life, or (in some games) a Mask. In IAT, they always contain 10 Wumpa Fruit, so the contents are not a mystery as the "?" implies.
  • Art Shift: When Crash and Coco witness Past Cortex creating Crash with the Cortex Vortex in the ending, the opening of the N. Sane Trilogy version of Crash Bandicoot (1996) is reused and unaltered, meaning that it still uses the redesigns of Vicarious Visions rather than the ones by Toys For Bob from this game. This is especially jarring when Past Cortex was seen in the flesh right before, still in the Toys For Bob character design.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The WOAH! meme actually gets used in-game at the end of the dream-esque rail sequence taking place before the battle against N. Tropies. The creator of the original video, Chris Patstone, tweeted about the inclusion and is also listed under "Special Thanks" during the end credits.
    • Coco has her own version, although she goes YEAH! instead. The images that accompany Coco's version appear to be taken from this video.
  • Asian Lion Dogs: Tranquility Falls, a world based on The Theme Park Version of medieval Japan, is home to temple lions of animated stone that keep watch over certain portions of the levels, pouncing forward when they see the player. Their front halves are heavily armored and impervious to damage, and they can only be taken out by waiting for them to turn around to go back to their posts after charging and hitting their softer backsides.
  • Ass Shove: Cortex plans to shove N. Tropy's tuning fork up his butt when he betrays him and states his intentions to remake reality in his image.
  • Author Appeal: There's a noticeable increased amount of active girls and menacing female creatures compared to the original trilogy (Coco, Alternate Tawna, Louise, the "Dino Dash" T-Rex, Mama Shnurgle, Alternate N. Tropy and even some lab assistants). Incidentally, the game's writer is Mandy Benanav.
  • Back from the Dead: In the Flashback Tapes, due to the tapes' running time still going after you die, Cortex reacting to your death as if it happened before, him mentioning a device that can revive people, and Brio complaining about "cleaning bandicoot guts off the floor", it's implied that when Crash and Coco die, they die for real and are later brought back.
  • Backported Development: The original PS 1-era Cortex seen near the end of the game looks and acts exactly like the Cortex seen in IAT, retaining his bright yellow skin and much hammier, campier nature while lacking his more serious Knight of Cerebus traits.
  • Bad Boss: Cortex is this to N. Brio, during the Flashback Tapes. At one point, Cortex mentions withholding N. Brio's bathroom privileges, and the latter begs him to relent.
  • Bag of Spilling: Crash only retains the Double Jump from Warped. And if the Flashback Tapes are of any indication, Crash and Coco could Double Jump prior the first game where Crash couldn't.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted with Dingodile. He's a lot more scruffy-looking and quite a bit more hideous, but at the same time, is on the side of the good guys for the first time.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Coco and Tawna are usually Immune to Slapstick that the boys suffer in-story, with Coco always an elegant and unharmed contrast to Crash's prat-falling and painful luck. Emphasis on only in-story however, in-gameplay Slapstick Knows No Gender.
  • Becoming the Costume: Largely averted with the unlockable skins, as they're purely aesthetical. The only exceptions are the Floaty skins, which turns Crash/Coco into a balloon animal, their expressions don't move, and receiving most kinds of contact damage immediately causes them to deflate.
  • Belated Backstory: The Flashback Tape levels take place prior to the events of the first game, showing the rigorous tests that Cortex put Crash and Coco through.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: After escaping from their interdimensional prison and leaving a giant hole in the universe, both Dr. Cortex and N. Tropy plan to take over all the dimensions.
    • After Cortex fails to defeat Crash and Coco in his first boss battle, N. Tropy reveals that he has already allied himself with a new partner, which is quickly revealed to be his gender flipped counterpart from another timeline.
  • The Big Easy: The Mosquito Marsh world, which heavily resembles the swamps around New Orleans.
  • Big Good: The game introduces the four Quantum Masks who protect time and space whose help Crash and Coco require in stopping Dr. Cortex and N. Tropy's schemes for inter-dimensional domination.
  • Bit Part Bad Guys: Crash and Dingodile both have to deal with these before their part in the plot starts; Crash escapes from The Guardian after having treaded on its territory and found Lani-Loli, while Dingodile witnesses the Wumpashiner bats destroy his diner and subsequently unleashes his revenge on them.
  • Bookends: The game begins and ends with Cortex trapped in a desolate void. Although the second time this happens, he is much more content with it. That is, until Uka Uka shows up.
    • It also begins and ends with Crash sleeping on a couch in the beach before being woken up by a ally of his.
  • Boss Banter: Quite a lot.
  • Brain Bleach: Everyone reacts with disgust upon seeing N. Tropy flirting with his female counterpart from Tawna's universe. Except Dingodile, who instead cracks up laughing at it while giving Crash a "nudge-nudge" gesture.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Purple Relics. They don't count towards 100% completion (or even 106%), don't give you any achievements or trophies and don't even show up on the progress screen (they are counted as Platinum Relics for completion purposes instead). Since these relics are unlocked by beating the developer times, and in a game where just getting the Platinum Relics is difficult enough, going for these is only recommended as a Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • Breather Episode: In terms of the plot of the game, the Sn@xx Dimension is this, wherein the gang decides to head to Neon City for a celebratory lunch after defeating the N. Tropys and sealing all the dimensional rifts throughout reality. Not so much so in terms of gameplay, given that it's the ninth and penultimate world.
  • Brick Joke: Alternate Tawna complains about wanting to go to a dimension with a much warmer setting, during "Building Bridges". The 100% epilogue shows her relaxing in a Summer outfit, near an active volcano.
    • Oxide says his wife is going to kill him when she finds out that his kart has been stolen. A messy divorce is one of the misfortunes Oxide suffers in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Collecting the Flashback Tapes sends you into extra-difficult levels taking place during Crash and Coco's past, which function similarly to the Death Routes from the original trilogy.
    • The all-gem path in Toxic Tunnels, which is a grueling gauntlet of the level's hazards. The path carries the majority of the level's crates (which also means that getting the Wumpa Fruit gems means going through this path, and despite having the gem platforms, dying at any point sends you back to the beginning on the path.
  • Bullet Time: Kupuna-Wa, one of the Quantum Masks, allows Crash to slow down time to dodge obstacles or enemies, along with, for the first time in the series, bouncing on Nitro crates to detonate them without getting blown up (because they take a split second to detonate, on rare occasion this can happen without using Kupuna-Wa, though it's pretty much just luck).
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Heroic example; neither Coco nor Tawna treats the high-stakes of their current situation (the instability of the entire multiverse) any differently than the adventures they usually have.
  • Call-Back: In Crash Team Racing, one of Nitros Oxide's taunts is "you're slower than a Bermugulan Slagvork!" In the "Crash Landed" level, you finally get to visit the planet Bermugula and encounter said creature (it's an eel-like monster that lunges out of the walls).
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: After the previous game, Dingodile retired from villainy and set up his own diner at a bayou. Unfortunately for him, he gets dragged into the action once again, when said diner gets wrecked by his competitor's minions and he falls into a dimensional hole shortly after destroying said competitor's establishment.
  • The Cameo:
    • In Snow Way Out, Penta Penguin appears frozen in a block of ice in the water, although unlike past appearances, he's a rockhopper penguin as opposed to a more standard one.
    • In at least one of the Flashback levels, Crunch's face appears on the monitors in the background.
    • Ripper Roo stands on one of the rooftops in "Off Beat". In the same level, Pinstripe Potoroo can be seen on a wanted poster.
    • A poster of Megamix can be seen in N. Gin's level.
    • Carvings of the Elementals can be seen in the prehistoric levels.
    • A pillow with mainline Tawna's classic bonus round token can be seen on the couch, in the bonus round for "Rude Awakening".
    • Like N. Sane Trilogy, Fake Crash can be seen just standing and dancing around at some points in the game. He also appears as one of the parade balloons in Off Beat and an unlockable skin.
    • In addition to Ripper Roo, N. Trance, Zem, Nina Cortex, Chick and Stew all cameo in the 100% ending of the game.
    • In "Out For Launch", the Evil Twins can be seen on one of the monitors early on.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
  • The Cat Came Back: In the 106% ending, after being out of commission for the entire game, Uka Uka is revealed to still be alive, and finds Cortex at the end of the universe.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: After leaving Uka Uka for dead, N. Tropy and Cortex seek to conquer the multiverse for their own purposes… that is, until it's revealed that N. Tropy had been scheming behind Cortex's back, having resolved to reset the timeline and create it in his own image.
  • Climax Boss: Cortex, whose defeat in the 11th Dimension is followed by N. Tropy declaring his intent to delete and rewrite the entire multiverse.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: For once, Crash isn't the only one to suffer from this; every playable character gets this treatment due to death by electrocution.
  • Conservation of Competence: While in previous games, the whole cast tended to be Dysfunction Junction and distributed the Idiot Ball or Sanity Ball rather evenly (and even the latter often involved weaponising their crazier traits), here characters are played more specifically to tiers that usually favour the more serious members. N. Tropy is portrayed as a much more serious and sinister threat than Cortex and the other goofy scientists and is treated as Eviler Than Thou for a long period of the story until Cortex hijacks the Quantum Masks following Tropy's defeat.
  • Cosmic Flaw: The plot starts with Neo Cortex and N. Tropy finally leaving the world they were trapped on after many fruitless attempts, thanks to Uka Uka exhausting himself and left for dead by the two of them, only for them to make a crack into the space-time continuum, exposing the universe to other dimensions.
  • Crate Expectations: While it is a Crash game after all, the number of crates in some levels can get really ridiculous in this case. Levels with hundreds of crates are the norm rather than the exception, especially in Dingodile levels which exploit his air gun to the limits.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Tawna, upon seen a dragon, says "Awww Kawai!"note 
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Downplayed in regards to Tawna; she's depicted as capable right up until the scene prior to the boss battle with N. Tropy, in which both versions of them manhandle her without any issues. It's pretty jarring when you consider that she, like Cortex and Dingodile, never gets to fight any bosses in-game and her version of N. Tropy is her archenemy, so you'd think she would know how to deal with their methods.
  • Darker and Edgier: While still retaining the series' trademark fun and goofy tone, there are some aspects that notably push the boundaries compared to past entries. The violence, while still cartoonish, is considerably toned up, there's more offensive language involved (e.g. Dingodile's "bugger", "bollocks", and "bastards" as well as "kickass" during the 100% video and "Hell" from Tawna), actual humans are used as regular enemies for the first time since Twinsanity, and there's a subplot revolving around an alternate universe version of Tawna who hasn't gotten over the loss of her universe's Crash and Coco. This even extends to the villains, as the threat of N. Tropy and his female counterpart are played dead seriously with hardly any jokes to spare. In Europe, this is the first game in the series to receive a PEGI 12 rating.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Crash and Coco from Tawna's dimension, given by the way Alternate Tawna reacts to Coco's remark about her and Crash biting the dust. This ultimately comes off as Black Comedy, given the series' slapstick humor and the ways its playable characters "die". In "Stowing Away", Tawna cites the reason why she prevents Crash and Coco from boarding Oxide's hovercraft to confront the N. Tropys by stating that she "can't lose [them] again". Later, it is revealed that the female N. Tropy from Tawna's dimension killed them in front of Tawna.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Unlike the other games in the classic series, this game's default mode does away with lives and instead has a death counter, tallying how many deaths you've taken, otherwise you can continue on as you please. You can switch it to "Retro mode", though, which brings back the lives system.
  • Demoted to Dragon: While he was the Big Bad of Crash Team Racing and presented as a major threat to the world, in this game, Nitros Oxide is the beleaguered servant of the N. Tropys.
  • Demoted to Extra: Uka Uka is ultimately left in the past while N. Tropy and Cortex make their escape, has no dialogue and doesn't show up again for the rest of the game. Until the 106% ending, that is.
  • Depending on the Writer: Coco and Tawna act much sillier in gameplay than they do in the story itself. This is likely because being the Immune to Slapstick Only Sane Man isn't nearly as entertaining as an individual playable character as it is as a story foil (as reviewers had previously bemoaned about Coco's playability in Wrath of Cortex).
  • Disc-One Final Boss: After the N. Tropys are defeated and the quantum rifts are mended, all seems well again… but it turns out the game isn't over yet, and at the end of the next dimension, Cortex kidnaps Kupuna-Wa and travels to the past to attempt to stop Crash from being created. He is the proper final boss of the game.
  • Discontinuity Nod: As detailed more under Leaning on the Fourth Wall, they seem to be aware of the games released after the original Naughty Dog trilogy that should have qualified as sequels.
  • Doomed Hometown: Downplayed; the scientists' space-time meddling leads to Dingodile's diner being destroyed.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: Despite coming from two distinct universes, Coco and the alternate Tawna greet each other like besties that haven't seen each other in a while. Granted this is made even more puzzling by the fact Coco never really interacted with the original Tawna in previous games either.
  • Double Entendre:
    • In the game's pre-order demo, the Cortex Timeline level for Snow Way Out has been renamed to "Ship Happens".
    • The first level in the Salty Wharf area is named "Booty Calls."
    • One of Dingodile's stages in the Eggipus Dimension is called "Rock Blocked".
    • When the female Doctor Nefarious Tropy recalls killing Tawna's friends, the clock hands on her primary counterpart point upward.
    • There is also this gem after N. Tropy betrays Cortex:
      Cortex: I'd like to see him try after I shove that tuning fork up his-
      Coco: But not if we get him first.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The subtitle "It's About Time" refers directly to the time-hopping premise of the plot but also the fact that a new game in the traditional Crash Bandicoot style, or in fact a new game in the series in general, had been long overdue.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Flashback levels are chock-full of it, both in regards to the prior trilogy games and the main plot of this game.
  • Drive-Thru Antics: "Out For Launch" involves the gang going through a pit stop in space, in order to prevent Oxide's ship from launching and stow away on it, in the hopes of reaching the Rift Generator before the N. Tropys do.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Crash and Coco have to fight Cortex, who is also a playable character, twice throughout the game.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • When Cortex decides to team up with the Bandicoots, Crash quickly gives him a not-entirely-welcome bear hug.
    • When Dingodile finally meets up with Crash and Coco, a brief explanation from him and Tawna that he's not a bad guy anymore is enough for them to get along.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played with. After defeating the Doctors N. Tropy and Cortex, all the playable characters have a happy ending. Dingodile's diner is rebuilt, and after seeing an alternate, very successful version of it as a franchise in the future, tries to do the same, only for all but the original to be closed down and quarantined. Alternate Tawna saves Crash and Coco from her N. Tropy, making up for her own failure of saving her versions of Crash and Coco. As for Cortex, who was always miserable and wanted a way out of the fighting for good, can finally rest now that he's been banished to the end of the universe by the Quantum Masks, relaxing in peace… Until Uka Uka finds him.
  • Electric Jellyfish: One type of bizarre lifeforms found on Bermugula in the level "Crash Landed" is a floating, electrically-charged jellyfish-like alien. Naturally, making contact with one will give the player character a nasty shock.
  • Enemy Mine: After Cortex is beaten the first time, N. Tropy reveals that he's found a new partner, and that they are going to erase the current timeline, and start anew. This forces Cortex to work together with Crash and Coco to stop N. Tropy.
  • Escort Mission: Downplayed with the boat segment in Run It Bayou (and, by proxy, the Alternate Timeline level Dillo Dallying); while you do need to keep up with it, there are stacks of TNT crates that force it to stop moving, so those need to be triggered before continuing.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: For no particular reason, zombie vikings are one of the two main sets of enemies found in the 11th Dimension levels, and they seem to have been created by Cortex.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Sucking in Nitro Crates as Dingodile will cause them to explode on him, as will sucking in TNT crates and failing to launch them before the timer hits 0.
  • Fake Difficulty: Finding all the crates. While the majority of crates still come down to skill, this game also has a huge increase in the number of crates diabolically hidden completely off camera or behind or inside objects where many players would never think to look. While these kind of boxes were hidden in previous games in the series, Crash 4 takes them up to eleven.
  • Fake Longevity: If you're going for full completion, prepare to spend about 10 times as long as it took you to complete the main story.
    • The N. Verted levels require all 6 gems to be recollected, with the only differences being the stage layouts are mirrored, there's a different art style, and the hidden gem is in a different place.
    • Getting all of the gems in the main levels can often be tiresome, especially when boxes (and sometimes, gems) are hidden in the sneakiest of places and performing a No Death Run on the level can be ruined by a number of factors.
    • The alternate levels where you play as other characters. Usually, you play as Tawna, Dingodile, or Cortex for about half of the level (sometimes more, sometimes less), then you play as Crash or Coco in the same level that has already been completed, with the only difference being the box layout. These levels also have to be completed in N. Verted mode, meaning that you have to go through some sections at least four times.
    • In addition to all of the above, if you lose too many lives to get the No Death Run gem or miss a box that you can't go back for, you have to restart the level (and the loading times make this worse).
    • Then there's the time trials. Thankfully, you only need to complete the time trials on the normal version of a level, since the N. Verted levels don't have time trials. Unfortunately, this time the Platinum relics are required for max completion (in previous games the only one you needed was the Gold relic, relegating the Platinum relic to a Bragging Rights Reward). The Bragging Rights Reward here are the Dev times, which are insanely low (although that means the Platinums are more achievable by comparison).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three playable characters who aren't Crash or Coco fit into this:
    • Tawna is the Thief, who can Wall Jump and uses a Grappling-Hook Pistol to move long distances, break objects from afar, and stun enemies.
    • Dingodile is the Fighter, being able to suck up TNT crates and launch them at enemies while having a much larger range on his spin attack compared to Crash.
    • Cortex is the Mage, who lacks a melee attack but has a Transformation Ray which turns enemies into platforms of various types to aid him.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The boss fight between the two N. Tropys involves the use of the Quantum Masks with the exception of Lani-Loli (although he is used in the rail section prior). The final boss against Cortex inverts this, as he uses the Quantum Masks against you in succession.
  • Final Exam Finale: The final standard stage in the game, Cortex Castle, ends with a segment involving all four Quantum Masks in quick succession, so much so that the last leg literally has them side-by-side.
  • Flanderization: Not as blatantly as the Radical titles per se, but a lot of characters do get one side of their personality emphasised a lot more in this title, often for the sake of Conservation of Competence and to make them better contrasts against another:
    • Reconstructed for Crash and Coco, who have become even more divergent than in the earlier titles, after several post-Naughty Dog games easing them as Not So Different equals and establishing more comedic flaws for Coco and a more earnest crafty side to Crash. Here Crash's blundering comic relief role is emphasised more, and resultantly Coco's more dignified level headed approach, verging on making her Crash's Hyper-Competent Sidekick. Coco does revert back into her contemporary slapstick-prone persona in gameplay, however, where Crash is no longer around as a foil.
    • Similarly, while Tropy was on higher terms with Uka in Warped, he was only relatively more sinister than Cortex, and equally arrogant, comedic, and tantrum-prone when pressured. In this title, he is played far more cleanly at the top of the hierarchy and as a far more suave, sadistic, and menacing opposite to Cortex and the other scientists, who resultantly are conveyed as far more outwardly buffoonish, making them closer to their Radical counterparts than the original characterisations they follow on from.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: The N. Sane Trilogy version of the first Crash Bandicoot game’s intro is briefly seen and heard again. This time, Maurice Lamarche’s lines as N. Brio are rerecorded by Brio’s new voice actor, Roger Craig Smith.
  • For Your Own Good: In "Stowed Away", Tawna ties up Crash and Coco to prevent them from going after the N. Tropys, citing not wanting to lose the siblings yet again before taking N. Oxide's cart to go to the rift generator. Ironically, she actually puts them in more danger by not allowing them to come along, as Nitrous' ship gets hit traveling through a meteor shower and crash lands on a planet.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since it's obvious that Crash and Coco will have successfully completed their tests, the Flashback levels have unlimited tries.
  • For Science!: Mention by name during N. Brio's boss fight.
    N. Brio: For science!
  • Foreshadowing: One of Dingodile's death animations has him become an angel when he turns into a winged soul. Meanwhile, one of Cortex's animations has him turn into a devil. This means that while Dingodile has changed his ways, Cortex hasn't.
  • Funny Background Event: The armadillo cook riding the boat in "Run It Bayou" can plainly be seen preparing a pot of food and having a drink, while the player braves through the obstacles above him.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Crash and Coco use the same victory animations in the Flashback Tapes, including the one’s where they pull out their smartphones and take selfies despite the tapes taking place in 1996.
    • Crash and Coco also retain any costumes they were wearing when selecting the tapes despite not obtaining them until the events of the game.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Crash, who is sleeping on his couch at the beginning, gets woken up by Aku Aku. Loudly.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Tawna comes equipped with the Hookshot, which allows her to not only traverse her levels, but also defeat enemies from a distance.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In the level Potion Commotion, at one point Tawna says "Awwww kawaii!".
  • Grind Boots: Several of the levels has you grinding across rails or vines.
  • Guide Dang It!: Boxes in almost every level are hidden to a degree that far surpasses the extent or frequency they were in Naughty Dog's games.
    • The Triple Spin, if only because of how poorly the game explains it. You're told you need to press the spin button three times, but mashing it like the Death Tornado Spin doesn't work, meaning the player is likely to inconsistently pull it off. It turns out you're supposed to press spin immediately after the previous spin's animation ends.
    • Mitigated with the colored gems; while seemingly ludicrously unintuitive, there are diagrams or graffiti on the walls of the level providing hints at how to obtain them.
  • Happy Ending Override: Both Dingodile and Cortex get seemingly rare pleasant outcomes in the normal ending. They expectedly come crashing down in the 106% ending extension. Dingo Diner's franchise building is left up in ruins due to poor hygiene and quality control, while Cortex finding peace at last is cut short by the return of Uka Uka, whose evil laugh likely forebodes bad news for him and the bandicoots too.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: In contrast to the main levels, the bosses are much simpler and each follow a predictable pattern. And even if you die the game is quite generous with checkpoints and there is no penalty for dying too many times.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At some point before the game, Dingodile went through one and opened a diner. It being destroyed plays a role in his story arc.
    • After N. Tropy takes over as the Big Bad, Cortex looks to have gone through this, in order to help the Bandicoots (and Dingodile) stop N. Tropy (and his female alternate counterpart) from erasing the timeline. However, after the N. Tropys are defeated, Cortex takes back control as the game's Big Bad, and decides to use the Quantum Masks to undo his biggest mistake; creating Crash Bandicoot.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • The Tawna we see in this game has gotten a number of adventures under her belt by the time the regular Crash and Coco meet her. Her levels are all about her helping out the Bandicoots from behind the scenes.
    • Dingodile's adventures are largely separate from the Bandicoots and while his actions do help out the heroes it's mostly by accident.
  • The Hero's Birthday: One of Crash's Flashback Tapes was recorded on his birthday. Cortex marked the occasion with an announcement during a test and revoking N. Brio's bathroom rights for the sake of a cake.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Three times over. The plot starts with Uka Uka opening a rift, only for N. Tropy and Cortex to abandon him and assert themselves as the main villains after he gets exhausted. Later on, N. Tropy reveals his own plan to conquer the multiverse with a parallel version of himself and he abandons Cortex. They get dealt with just in time for Cortex to take advantage of Kupuna-Wa's powers, travel to 1996, and make a last-ditch attempt at eliminating Crash.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: The timed exclusive Serious Upgrade skins on the Playstation 4 version turns Crash and Coco into these.
  • Hufflepuff House: Despite the fact that this game's version of Tawna and a female version of N. Tropy came from another dimension, it never gets explored in any meaningful detail beyond what's stated in dialogue.
  • Huge Holographic Head: Cortex taunts the heroes using a holographic projection of his head. The trailer shows that his hologram is tinted green, whereas in Cortex Strikes Back, it's semi-transparent but colored normally. In the final Dimension, while Present Cortex still keeps his green hologram, Past Cortex has a yellow hologram.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After being betrayed by N. Tropy and losing to Crash again, Cortex is sick of the "endless cycle" of fighting and losing and teams up with the heroes to save the universe. However, once both N. Tropys are defeated, Cortex decides the only way to end the cycle is to erase Crash from existence.
  • In Their Own Image: While Cortex is content to be a Multiversal Conqueror, N. Tropy betrays him, teaming up with his gender-flipped counterpart to reset all of space and time and reshape the multiverse to his liking.
    N. Tropy: You were content to simply rule over space and time, but I'd rather start from scratch. Erase it all. Wipe the slate clean. I'm going to reset the timeline and rebuild it to my liking.
  • Interface Screw: The brand-new N. Verted Mode completely alters the visuals and adds variants to the gameplay, such as spinning to splash color paint on a black-and-white stage. This is teased during the battle with N. Brio, after which you gain access to the N. Verted levels.
  • Ironic Hell: At one point, Cortex gets sick of fighting and losing to Crash all the time. His ultimate fate? The Quantum Masks exiling him to the end of the universe, where Cortex can enjoy peace at last.
  • Irony: Crash and Coco wearing the Quantum Masks gives them a suit of armor which cover everything except their facesnote .
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The Level "Off Beat", which takes place during a big parade in a New Orleans-inspired town. Even the platforms sport Mardi Gras masks.
  • It Was All A Dream: Mentioned by name in the end credits disclaimer.
    End credits disclaimer: The events of this game are absolutely 100% canonical, unless you didn't like them. In that case, it was all a dream.
  • Justified Extra Lives: At least in the Flashback Tapes, Cortex mentions the "Revivotron" when you die.
  • Kubrick Stare: N. Tropy gives one of these in a cutscene.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cortex sought to use the power of the Quantum Masks to cause havoc in the multiverse and eventually travel back to 1996 to undo the creation of Crash Bandicoot, only to ironically play a part in his creation. When all is said and done, the Masks banish Cortex to the end of the universe, where he can cause no harm.
  • Last Lousy Point: Fortunately averted with the Wumpa Fruit gems, since you only need a maximum of 80% of the fruit in any given level for all three gems. Played straight with the boxes, where levels can have several hundred boxes and missing even one of them prevents you from getting the box gem for that run.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • A cutscene in Snow Way Out jokes about how the game takes place before the many games developed after the PlayStation trilogy.
      Lani-Loli: How many times have you beaten this clown, anyway?
      Coco: Three.
      Lani-Loli: Really? Only three?
      (Crash nods with a "Mm-hmm")
      Lani-Loli: Funny. Seemed like more.
    • At the end of the 100% ending, Crash says he's "doing just fine", referencing the resurgence in popularity he's had since the release of N. Sane Trilogy.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: The N. Brio boss battle is directly lifted from his boss battle from the first game, right down to him Hulking Out into a green creature once his health bar is depleted to one. One of the few differences is that the purple potion attack now has a much larger range, making it harder to avoid. N. Brio even lampshades and foreshadows this at the start of Off-Balance:
    N.Brio: Any guesses on your reward? I'll give you a hint: it's something you've had before! Muahahahaha!
  • Look Both Ways: Oncoming, fast-moving flying cars are one of the hazards encountered in the Sn@xx Dimension.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: After the gang defeats the N. Tropys, Cortex realizes the potential of the Quantum Masks, and blindsides the heroes with his new plan: to travel back in time to 1996 to undo the one fatal mistake in the doctor's life, creating his Arch-Enemy Crash Bandicoot. Ironically enough, in his efforts to do so, he ends up creating him, as after being defeated, his past self sees his defeat as proof that his bandicoot project will work, and thanks to Crash destroying the core of the Cortex Vortex, creates his Arch-Enemy.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Like the main Crash trilogy and its remake, there are several different ways to die from enemies and hazards, be it burned, beaten up, shocked, flung away, eaten, etc. Not only that, there are some enemies that have different kill animations for different characters, such as the Sn@xx dimension's recycling robots (they throw Crash and Cortex straight in, hold Tawna by the legs for a bit before throwing her in, bounce Coco around before throwing her in, and get clogged by Dingodile and attempt to cram him in).
  • Marathon Level: While the majority of the levels are longer than an average level from the trilogy, some manage to be especially ridiculous.
    • "Crash Landed" has a normal platforming segment, one with Ika-Ika, an alternate gem path, and not one, but two ride segments. It's almost enough to practically be considered its own world.
    • "Rush Hour" essentially has a Dingodile level and an alternate!Tawna level, jammed together back to back, with rather lenghty traffic jumping and rail grind segments by themselves.
  • Mask of Power: This game introduces four new mask characters, dubbed the "Quantum Masks". Rather than providing extra hitpoints like Aku Aku, they act as special power-ups for the level.
    • Lani-Loni allows you to turn certain objects such as platforms and crates intangible and back.
    • Akano grants you a spin akin to a souped-up version of the Death Tornado Spin from Warped that allows the Bandicoots to glide, deflect certain projectiles, and smash iron-frame boxes with ease.
    • Kupuna-Wa lets you slow down time to get through obstacles moving too fast for normal speed, including the ability to bounce on Nitro crates.
    • Ika-Ika inverts the world so that you can walk on ceilings.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Cortex's endgame this time; having discovered The Multiverse after escaping his temporal prison, he and N. Tropy plan to conquer it all. N. Tropy takes it a step further, plotting to remake it all in his own image.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Just like in Wrath of Cortex, It's About Time introduces four different living masks as supporting characters, as shown in website art and the trailers. Unlike the Elementals from Wrath of Cortex, the Quantum Masks in this game are on Crash's side and grant him special powers.
    • Alien engineer enemies in space-station themed levels are Gasmoxians, the same species as Crash Team Racing villain Nitros Oxide. In fact, Oxide himself appears in the opening of "Out for Launch", the first level of Bermugula Orbit, and can be heard operating the space station in the subsequent levels.
      • The following level, "Stowing Away", takes place on Oxide's ship, starting in what is presumably the garage. Two karts can be seen below the garage's glass overlook, a crossed-out picture of Crash driving (which is just a screenshot from Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled) is hanging on the wall, and the iconic CTR trophy can be found behind a pane of glass.
    • One setting visited is a post-apocalyptic wasteland with graffiti all around, similar to the Rustland theme from Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled's Megamix Mania track. Megamix himself appears on a poster in the background (using his render from Nitro-Fueled).
    • Crash's shoes have treads on the bottom shaped like paw pads, not unlike his sneakers from his design first seen in Crash of the Titans. Coco, meanwhile, has goggles resting atop her head, referencing her own Mind Over Mutant design.
    • Crash's pants are very similar to his scuba gear from Warped.
    • The game starts on N. Sanity Beach, just like in the first game. In addition, the purple surfboard seen there bears a tribal tattoo pattern, the fridge has "C R U N C H" spelled with fridge magnets, and spinning Crash's TV allows you to flip through the title screens of the original trilogy.
    • One of the unlockable outfits seen in the State of Play trailer is Crash's biking costume from Warped.
    • Dingodile owning a diner goes all the way back to the motorcycle levels from Warped, which featured Dingo's Diner on the side of the road. The same diner was also featured in the Nitro-Fueled version of Dingodile's home track, Dingo Canyon.
    • The Playstation-exclusive Marsupus Erectus skins for Crash and Coco bring to mind not only the prehistoric levels of Warped, but also the cave bandicoots seen in the Prehistoric Playground track in Nitro-Fueled.
      • It's also likely to be a reference to the Cave Crash skin in Tag Team Racing.
    • Similarly to the above, the Serious Upgrade skins seem to evoke the look of Warped's "future" levels.
    • When the Bandicoot siblings run into an alternate version of Tawna, Coco mentions they lost touch with the one in their universe — a reference to the fact that Tawna wasn't seen beyond the first game in the classic series.
    • One of Tawna's moves is a roundhouse kick, just like Coco in Wrath of Cortex.
    • Two of the neon signs in the Fruits Dimension levels are called "Papu's Pyramid" and "CTR".
    • The tropy awarded for beating the two N. Tropys is called "Twinsanity".
    • During his boss fight, Cortex sprouts off "Feel the wrath of Cortex".
    • Just like in Cortex Strikes Back, the blue gem requires you to beat a level without breaking any of the crates.
    • Cortex and N. Tropy's holograms cast them in shades of green similar to Wrath of Cortex. The Cortex in the past, however, creates his more color-accurate holograms by having a spherical projector drone orbit the space he wants the projection to be in.
    • Cortex notes that the test subject prior to Crash had been a wombat; and during the final level when Cortex plans to undo his creation of Crash, he bemoans "If I had stuck with the wombat, none of this would have happened!" This is a reference to the fact that Crash was originally going to be called Willie the Wombat early in development. Crash also has an actual Willie the Wombat costume he can earn, and Coco even has her own version called Wanda the Wombat.
    • One of the balloons in the parade found in the Mosquito Marsh level "Off Beat" is of Pura driving a kart.
    • At the start of "Shipping Error", Cortex ponders why he replaced the teleport function of his blaster with a hairdryer. In Twinsanity, Cortex's primary method of getting to an objective or out of a place he's otherwise stuck in when he wasn't directly controlled by the player was through teleporting.
    • "Crash Landed" features pink goo with sliding mechanics similar to the ice from Cortex Strikes Back. The first set of crates in the level are on a patch of this pink goo, and are in the exact same layout as the crates on the first patch of ice in Cortex Strikes Back.
      • The level itself is named after the eponymous cancelled Crash game that Radical Entertainment were working on, before their folding.
    • In the 100% ending, Crash remarks that “The dimensions have heard nothing more from the Doctors Tropy since Crash foiled their plans, but evil geniuses are harder to squash than cockroaches”. This is a reference to dialogue referring to Cortex in the 100% "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of the original Crash Bandicoot.
      • Also from the 100% ending, Coco's opponent in her gaming tournament is Nina Cortex, who was her rival in the Radical games.
    • Similar to Wrath of Cortex, the complete ending sees the doctor terrified and trapped in the middle of nowhere with a vengeful Uka-Uka.
    • The sphere you run in during the last portion of "Hit the Road" is a Mad Max-styled version of the Atlasphere from the post-Naughty Dog games. The music for that section is even called "Atlasphere".
  • Narrator All Along: The narrator in the 100% epilogue turns out to be Crash himself.
  • Never My Fault: Cortex has always been guilty to some degree of playing the victim towards his own hubris, but this entry takes it to entirely new heights. He seems to genuinely not understand that the only reason he keeps suffering defeats at Crash's hands is because he keeps coming back to cause trouble, up to behaving as if Crash and Coco are being unreasonable when they chase him back to the past to stop him from undoing Crash's existence. He even goes so far as to take genuine offense at being called the "bad guy".
  • Never Say "Die": Gleefully averted. Apart from a single instance of "doom" uttered by Cortex, the game doesn't shy away from such terms, with many instances of "die" and "kill" brought up throughout.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Defeating N. Tropy and breaking the Time Twisting Machine at the end of Warped turned out to be a huge mistake on the Bandicoots' part in the long run, as Cortex managed to put his latest scheme to work after he, Uka Uka, and N. Tropy were sent back into the past at the end of the previous game. Or so Cortex's dialogue in Snow Way Out implies. In reality, it was N. Tropy who orchestrated the scheme in the aftermath of escaping the past. It's not clear when he conceived the rift generator he uses, but it could have been after meeting his alternate-dimension counterpart.
  • Nintendo Hard: Crash Bandicoot 4 is without a shadow of a doubt the hardest game in the series by a country mile. Levels go on for ages with enemies and obstacles everywhere that will make short work of you if you aren’t on point with your timing and reflexes. Aku Aku crates are also much rarer to come by making mistakes far more costly. Reviewers and even seasoned veterans of the series have all made a point of how nightmarishly hard the game can get.
    • Taken Up to Eleven if you decide to go for 106%. Not only do you need to complete each level without dying once but you need to break every box, some of which are hidden in downright devious spots. The stages' sheer length also make dying far more punishing. And if that wasn’t enough going for the Platinum Relics is now mandatory for completion.
  • Non-Linear Character: Kupuna-Wa, the Mask of Time, is capable of seeing the past, present, and future all at once. She immediately greets Crash and Coco like they were longtime friends on their very first encounter, hints about events that would occur in the near future, and knows about how the bandicoots will meet their end.
  • Noodle Incident: Alternate Tawna, having already been on a few adventures by the time she shows up, is fond of these. In Potion Commotion, she compares the level to 'Neo-Nippon' — "...minus the Kaiju Tanuki" — and at the start of Building Bridges, she mentions having lost her jacket (presumably a thicker one than the one she's already wearing) in the 'Bermuda Quadrangle'. On a more dramatic note, there's the death of her universe's Crash and Coco, later revealed to be the work of Alternate N. Tropy. Besides Tawna, Cortex also mentions having experimented on a wombat before settling on a bandicoot, and in the Flashback Tapes, he apparently met N. Tropy for the first time sometime between the first and second games.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Sn@xx dimension which, despite being a bustling futuristic world, has falling platforms, drones carrying TNT or Nitro crates that they will gladly drop on bystanders, recycling robots that will grab anyone getting close and toss them in their bin like regular garbage, other robots whose sole purpose seems to be delivering a lethal electric shock to anyone who touches them and Bottomless Pits all over the place. Also, Dingodile's diner is a successful franchise in that dimension.
  • Nostalgia Level: Rude Awakening starts on N. Sanity Beach, with the early part of the level using several of the same elements in its design as seen in the first game (crabs, rolling stone wheels, and the like) and even the music is a slight remix of the N. Sanity Beach theme from the first game. Things change up as soon as you come across the first rail segment, however.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Several of the scenes that Crash or Coco encounter appear to be Contrived Coincidences, such as a random cannonball blowing away a group of rat pirates or a random potion being thrown at a gate. When playing through Tawna's, Dingodile's, or Cortex's levels, we get to see how all these happened, caused by the player character (like Dingodile accidentally setting off the cannon that blows up the pirates, or Tawna distracting N. Brio, who misfires his potion, for the above examples).
  • Obliviously Evil: It's not so much that N. Brio isn't aware what he's doing is wrong, so much as he's so delusional and insane that he doesn't seem to ever make the connection from "terrible things are happening" to "maybe I should stop making them happen". In his mind, him trying to murder Crash and Coco to test an experimental weapon he plans to use against Cortex is no different than them all working together and being friends — in fact, he seems to perceive himself as the good guy despite his experiments wrecking a dimension.
  • Origins Episode: The Flashback Tapes are a downplayed example, detailing Crash's and Coco's training under Cortex.
    • It is revealed that Crash's full name is "Crashworth Cortex", which was given to him by Cortex as graduation present for passing the final exam (he escaped the same day), while "Coco" is a code name, short for "Peramelesnote  Coco".
    • The Bandicoots' outfits are hand-me-downs: Crash's iconic blue pants were Cortex's, while Coco's overalls were N. Brio's.
    • Coco was in Cortex's castle during the first game, albeit offscreen, and she managed to get out by finding a secret passage on her own before reuniting with Crash, hence why Cortex Strikes Back opens with them living together. Also, the reason why Coco always ends up fighting N. Gin is because she was personally trained by him, just as Crash was trained by Cortex.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Cortex uses the Quantum Masks to go back in time and avert Crash's creation. He meets up with his past self, who immediately sics his assistants on his future self. Future!Cortex kills the assistants, then puts Past!Cortex in a cage. He later remarks to the heroes about "how stubborn [he] used to be."
    • Dingodile follows suit after visiting a dimension where his diner was a successful franchise; It came at the cost of selling food other people loved, but he can barely tolerate.
    • Subverted with the N. Tropies. In fact, they possibly get along a little too well.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: After the N. Tropies are defeated, the Quantum Masks non-specifically chuck them into a rift. Where they ended up and what happens to them afterwards is unclear.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Papa Batfield's Wumpa Distillery is only around to give Dingodile a reason to go on an adventure, as they don't have any direct relation to Cortex's plans.
  • Powered Armor: The reveal trailer shows that the Quantum Masks convert themselves into suits with Tron Lines to grant Crash their powers. Instead of covering his face like Aku Aku does, the Quantum Masks stick to Crash's back while he's using the suits.
  • The Power of Rock: N. Gin's boss battle has him control a robotic drummer.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In During Dingodile's beginning level, "Home Cookin'," he refers to the enemies that blew up his diner as "bastards!". During the opening cutscene when he notices them going into his diner he shouts "You buggers!", which is a pretty strong word in the British Isles.
    • In Dingodile's part of "Rush Hour", when he is musing about setting up a franchise after seeing his future self's franchise, he says "Bollocks, my head hurts!".
    • After Cortex backstabs the group, and makes off with Kupuna-Wa, Tawna tells Crash and Coco to "give him hell!".
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • After appearing as the non-playable Big Bad of the N. Sane Trilogy, Cortex is now a fully playable character in his own right for the first time since Twinsanity.
    • Dingodile becomes playable for the first time in a main game, trading his flamethrower for an air cannon.
    • Tawna (or at least an alternative dimension version of herself) is playable.
  • Random Events Plot: In-universe case with Dingodile, whose subplot mostly consists of stumbling through various rifts while trying to return to his beloved diner.
  • Rat Stomp: Inverted. Rats are among the very last few enemies in the game encountered in the final world. They carry spiked shields with them, which, depending on how they hold it, makes them either immune to being jumped on or immune to being spun into from one side.
  • Reality Ensues: Dingodile's choice in food causes his diner to have a D sanitation grade. After being inspired by seeing an alternate version of his diner as a successful franchise, because he doesn't change anything, it leads his attempt to franchise to backfire and close down in record time due to how disgusting and unhealthy it was.
    • What happens to Crash and Coco if they get hit by an enemy and most obstacles while wearing the Floaty skins? Since they're balloon animals while wearing them, they pop and deflate.
  • Redemption Rejection: While he seems to mull over the idea in the midst of his Enemy Mine with the heroes, Cortex ultimately decides to seize the opportunity to backstab them at the perfect moment.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Played with; Coco's interactions with the alternative Tawna make it clear that she's met her universe's Tawna at some unspecified time before.
    • Done in-universe with Kupuna-Wa, who treats the bandicoots like old friends, since she can see through every period of time. They're understandably confused by this.
    • Papu Papu and his tribe are completely absent as the denizens of N. Sanity Island, and in their place are a group of strange creatures that look like a cross between monkeys and the Deku.
    • Cortex's Lab Assistant army now has a fair few females thrown into the mix, even though in past games it was a group of mass-manufactured identical male androids.
  • Retcon: In the original Crash Bandicoot, the Cortex Vortex malfunctions when it tries to brainwash Crash so Cortex can make him general of his Cortex Commandoes due to the machine being unfinished. After Crash and Coco defeat Cortex in 1996, Crash accidently ejects the power source of the Cortex Vortex, causing it to malfunction, and is the reason why Crash is the zany bandicoot we all know today.
  • Retraux:
    • The Flashback Tape levels use the original version of the trilogy's soundtracks, fittingly enough.
    • Defeating N. Brio nets you the "Classic" skin, which gives Crash and Coco their original Playstation design in all their polygonal glory. Their character icon is also the 1-Up icon from the original games.
  • Ruder and Cruder: This game notably has more profanity than previous entries of the series, mainly with Lani-Loli using the word "putz" a few times and the 100% completion epilogue mentioning Coco competing in e-sports competitions as "Kickass Coco".
  • Schrödinger's Canon: Part of the announcer's comically long disclaimer during the end credits is to basically say that the game is as canon as you want it to be.
    Announcer: The events of this game are absolutely 100% canonical, unless you didn't like them, in that case it was all a dream.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: Either Crash or Coco can be used in gameplay, but never both. This comes to a head in the N. Tropy Dual Boss fight, as the story goes with the assumption that they are fought with both bandicoots.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After losing the first time, Cortex quits and chooses to retire to a tropical island... Until Tropy reveals that he was scheming with a new partner (his alternate, genderbent self from Alternate Tawna's universe), intending to erase Cortex, the Bandicoots, the Quantum Masks, and all of reality to remake in his image as god. Learning this forces Cortex to team up with the Bandicoots to stop the two N. Tropys.
  • Screw Yourself: Implied between the two N. Tropys when the group see them on a monitor about to head for the Rift Generator and their platitude at each other suddenly turns to flirting. Naturally, everyone's either squicked out (Coco, Tawna, Cortex, N. Oxide), amused (Dingodile) or just utterly confused (Crash) at this display.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cortex tries to go back into the past to stop Crash from ever being created. But his future self ultimately is one of the causes that allow it to happen, since by leading Crash back to the past and the ensuing fight, it convinced his past self that the bandicoot project works and he goes to complete it, with Present Crash's clumsiness accidentally sealing the deal.
  • Sequel Escalation: Compared to Warped. While the former's theme was time travel, this game naturally expands it to an entire multiverse.
    • The N. Sane Trilogy allowed players to play as either Crash or Coco with the ability to switch between them in the hub sections of each game after defeating the first boss. This game, on the other hand allows players to switch between Crash and Coco at any time and unlocks the ability to do so after the second level.
    • Certain levels in Warped changed Crash and Coco's outfits into those fitting whichever time period or environment they were in, like a biker or an airplane pilot. Here, a lot of costumes can be unlocked and they can be used in every level.
    • The original trilogy games had 25+ levels each. The length for this one is roughly 100+ levels, which is the size of the entire trilogy combined, when taking the regular levels, Alternate Timeline ones, the N. Verted variants, and the Flashback Tapes into account. Even if you take those away (since Alternate Timelines are essentially skull routes, N. Verted Mode are palette swaps, and Flashback Tapes look and smell like bonus rounds, albeit harder and explaining a bit more about the lore), it still leaves about 30 unique levels, and they are ridiculously long when compared to the original trilogy (the estimated time of completion for the first level in the game is 4 minutes).
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The 106% ending shows Cortex at the end of the universe, when he hears Uka Uka's laughter and the mask looms out of the darkness.
    • To a lesser extent, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue preceding the 106% ending has cameos from post-Naughty Dog characters, confirming at least some of them still exist and can be used in the future. In addition, the two N. Tropys are given the same description as Cortex in the original game's 100% ending, indicating we may not have heard the last of them.
    • Kapuna-Wa mentions that at some point in the future the heroes will face a "mask eating monster from beyond the stars", which doesn't happen at any point in the game.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: Only in Japan, due to their games continuing to be numbered after 3: Warped. Wrath of Cortex already held the name “Crash Bandicoot 4” but It’s About Time still went as “Crash Bandicoot 4” in spite of that.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The rats in the final world of the game carry spiked shields, and either hold it in front of them or raise it above their heads. Spinning into their front (for the former) or jumping on them (for the latter) will cause Crash/Coco to take damage instead.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A swim ring resembling Spyro the Dragon can be found floating near the beach at the start of the game. He shows up again as a parade balloon in the Mosquito Marsh level Off Beat.
    • Also appearing as a balloon in the parade is Eruptor from Skylanders, another Toys for Bob creation. What's more, his balloon is nearly identical to his balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
    • N. Gin's giant drum-playing robot, the Weapon of Mass Percussion, attacks you with a series of glowing multi-colored discs, a reference to the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games.
    • The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue mentions Tawna having "a brief fling with some dweeb named Smathan Trake".
    • In one of the flashback tapes, Cortex wonders aloud about experimenting on a hedgehog, a bobcat or a gecko.
    • Some Ghost Peppers appear in the Tranquility Falls levels.
    • The trophy you get after Cortex betrays you is called Sudden but Inevitable.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Zigzagged. In gameplay, Tawna and Coco are just as susceptible as the male playable characters to being flattened, incinerated, or eaten alive. Subverted in cutscenes, however, where they are near always straight men to Crash's slapstick bungling.
  • The Slow Path: In the opening, a throwaway dialogue from N. Tropy reveals that he, Cortex, and Uka Uka didn't just magically transform back to their adult selves after being transformed into infants and left stranded in the prehistoric era at the end of Warped. They actually had to spend decades there before Uka Uka finally manages to create a rift between the universes, aging them naturally, and thus making them Older Than They Look.
  • Sneeze Interruption: In Cortex's version of Snow Way Out, Ship Happens, he sets up a big pile of dynamite inside a ship, which he intends to detonate when Crash walks on it. However, he sneezes due to the cold weather and hits the button too early, which is why, in Crash's version of the level, the dynamite detonates before he gets to it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Flashback levels make use of the trilogy's songs in them. While most of them are appropriate for Cortex Castle's training chambers, others, like N. Sanity Beach and Hang Eight, aren't so much.
  • Spiritual Successor: In a way, this game is one to Wrath Of Cortex. Like that game, this one's story features four new Masks of Power and Coco as a major playable character. The game is also canonically set up as a follow-up to the original "Naughty Dog" trilogy and features, to some capacity, Crunch Bandicoot.
    • The final boss is effectively a more well-done version of the final boss of Wrath Of Cortex, with Cortex using each of the four masks in succession while trying to kill you.
    • Both games have a maximum completion score of 106%.
    • Oxide makes a brief appearance like in that game, albeit to a greater degree here.
  • Spoiled by the Format: In past games, Cortex is usually the final boss. He's fought after three of the four Quantum Masks are found. Sure enough, N. Tropy announces his true plans and the urgency of the plot speeds up from that point onwards.
    • Likewise, past games have had 5 boss battles. Beating N. Tropy after he had hijacked the plot as the fourth boss in the game is a telling sign that Cortex's Heel–Face Turn isn't gonna last for much longer.
  • Squick: An In-Universe example occurs when N. Tropy and his Gender Flipped alternate universe counterpart display suggestive romantic tones towards each other. The implications of which cause N. Oxide, Coco, and Tawna to react with utter disgust, and Cortex and Crash to react with Stunned Silence. The only one who isn't disgusted with it is Dingodile, who instead cracks up laughing at it.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Cortex goes back into the past to stop Crash from existing, but his attempt only inspires his past self to continue, and Crash accidentally causes the accident that ensures that he wouldn't be under Cortex's thrall.
    • Dingodile seeing his diner become a franchise in the Sn@xx Dimension inspires him to start a franchise in the main dimension. The logic of this actively confuses Dingodile. In the 100% ending, however, it's revealed that Dingodile's aspirations are cut short due to the Dingo's Diner franchise closing over health code violations, possibly breaking the loop if the Sn@xx Dimension is truly Crash and Co.'s future.
  • Stealth Pun: The cockroach enemies in the final few levels can electrify themselves. In other words, they're shockroaches.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Crash/Coco's section of "The Crate Escape" has them jumping on cargo crates falling out of the rear of a carrier craft in order to get inside it.
  • The Stinger: The 106% ending closes with Uka Uka, alive and well, appearing to Cortex while the latter is lazing around at the end of the universe.
  • Straw Loser: Poor Crash has always been an Idiot Hero, but of the Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass kind. Here however Crash's low intellect is Flanderized and he tends to be relegated to blundering comic relief for nearly all the story while the other characters handle things relatively more competently. This is especially evident with Coco, who Toys For Bob actively wanted to push and now is essentially a far more fluent and plot-effective duplicate of Crash, and is conspicuously Immune to Slapstick whenever he is onscreen.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Uka Uka unceremoniously dies in the opening cutscene while opening a rift to escape the dimension. Subverted as the 106% ending reveals that he's still alive.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Crash himself in the secret ending. He's doing juuust fine!
  • Super Drowning Skills: Deep water just acts as an alternate to a Bottomless Pit, so Crash and Coco immediately bite the dust when they tread it. Not even alternate Tawna, who's a full-fledged Action Girl, knows how to swim. Even Dingodile, who is half-crocodile, instantly drowns, as well.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: In "Dino Dash", a tyrannosaur gives chase at Crash multiple times through the level, even jumping over gaps to get at him. Ultimately, it culminates with it trying to jump over a lava flow, only to fall short and slip into the lava.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Crash and Coco run into an alternate Tawna, they get to talking and mention that they lost touch with their universe's Tawna. When Coco ask if Tawna did the same in her universe, she suddenly acts a bit nervous, even moreso after Coco jokingly asks if they've, "like, died or something".
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • In the final boss, Cortex insists on spawning assistants to kill Crash and Coco when the Masks fail him, even though the two spinning the assistants into him is the only reason they're able to win.
    • During his first battle, he doesn't fare any better. Instead of just using missiles, tornado generators, and dropping platforms you're standing on, he keeps releasing Punch-Bot mk. II, which you can send back on him.
  • Tele-Frag: Using Lani-Loli to make an intangible object tangible while Crash or Coco are inside it will result in them being hurt as if they touched an enemy if it's a crate or outright killed regardless of protection if it's a solid object.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The 106% ending. Cortex, despite facing banishment to the ends of the universe, is perfectly content and has seemed to retire from villainy for good… and then Uka Uka shows up, having recovered from his coma.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: When meeting Kupuna-Wa, the mask of time, for the first time, she states that life-changing events for Crash and Coco are about to take place. Lani-Loli stops her from saying too much, but she then states that it's their loss for not knowing about "the mask eating monster from beyond the stars".
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: During his trip to 1996, Cortex has a lot of trouble making sense of stopping himself from completing Crash.
  • Title Drop: In the first boss battle against Cortex, he greets Crash by saying "Crash Bandicoot. It's about time."
  • Totally Radical: Buying the game digitally gives you "Totally Tubular" skins for Crash and Coco, deliberately throwing back to the 1990s which the game takes place in.
    • Two of the skins that can be earned in the 11th Dimension levels are snowboarder outfits labelled "Shreddin' the Gnar".
  • Training from Hell: The Flashback levels feature Crash and Coco going through Test Chambers in Cortex's Castle, which have been specifically designed to push their skills to the absolute limit so that they can be inducted into his mutant army.
  • Transformation Ray: Cortex's means of dispatching enemies is to use his raygun to transform them into platforms he can jump on. The first shot turns them into a standard platform, a second turns them into a bouncy platform, and a third turns them back to normal. Some enemies (particularly those in cramped ceiling areas) get turned into intangible platforms instead of bouncy ones on the second shot.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The 100% epilogue manages to have this for one character. Neo Cortex is seen in the still image for Coco's portion, even though he's been banished to the end of the universe in the ending.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Uka Uka exhausting himself to the point of collapse in order to open the Quantum Rift that allows them to escape their pocket dimension, N. Tropy and Cortex leave him for dead while they escape, with the former even saying that "he has served his usefulness". In the 106% ending, Uka Uka is back and pays Cortex a visit at the end of the universe.
  • Unique Enemy: There is only one wild boar enemy in the very first level and no more appear in the game after that. The crabs are also a downplayed example, with only two of them at the start of the game.
  • Unishment: At the end of the game, the Quantum Masks banish the present-day Cortex into the end of the universe. Surprisingly, Cortex is content with this fate and decides to live there for the rest of his days. Unfortunately for him, a rejuvenated Uka Uka is there waiting for him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Flasback Tapes indicate that N. Gin no longer notices the rocket on his head.
    Cortex: So, was that rocket in your head an experiment gone wrong, or...?
    N. Gin: What rocket?
    Cortex: Oh, never mind.
  • Variable Mix: This game's soundtrack is very dynamic with each level having multiple songs to fit each area of it.
    • The dimensional map uses different arrangements of the main theme for each different dimension.
    • In general, the music for the bonus rounds is a remix of the main level theme with 8-bit noises
    • Using the masks will sometimes affect the music
      • Lani-Loli will distort the music when used
      • Using Akano makes the song 2x faster while using Kupuna-Wa makes it 2x slower
      • When using Ika-Ika, some instruments of the music will be reversed.
    • Rude Awakening: The starting area of the level uses a remix of the classic N.Sanity Beach but once you reach the caves the music changes into a quieter and more ambient remix, after the cave the music changes into a fast paced song for the grinding section. Later on the level, the music changes into a tense tribal song once you reach the ruin area with the falling pillars, after that strings are added to the music and once you reach the top, the music ends and changes into a tense song.
    • N.Sanity Peak: The level starts with a very eerie ambient song that transitions into a more upbeat theme once you reach the first checkpoint. Later on, once in the room were Lani-Loli is found, the music changes into a more tense remix and when you reach the platform with the mask the music will change to a short timpani loop. After that, the music changes once again during the chase sequence, and once the guardian supposedly stops chasing Crash the music will change into another drum loop, only to change again into a more tense chase song that ends with a fanfare.
    • A Real Grind: The music in this level is normally slow paced but it changes to a more fast paced remix during the grinding sections. The same effect happens in Crash Compactor, Booty Calls, Off Beat, Stay Frosty, Blast to the Past, Dino Dash and Out For Launch.
    • Crash Compactor features two songs used in the platforming sections with the first section being slower and more ambient while the second section is more intense and upbeat. In between both sections there's also a faster paced grinding remix.
    • Hit The Road starts with an intense but still rather ambient track that changes into a very fast paced and tense song in the chase sequence.
    • Stage Dive has three different songs used for each phase and when N. Gin is hit, the music stops and quickly changes to a tense countdown theme.
    • The music for Booty Calls has four variations, the main one that plays at the beginning of the level, a more epic and fast paced remix that plays while grinding, a calmer and more beachy variant that plays after the grinding section and an eerier remix that plays in the cave at the end of the level.
    • In Hook, Line and Sinker the drums of the song will change if Tawna is using her grappling hook or grinding. This level also has another variant that plays in the water section with shark hazards.
    • Jetboad Jetty plays a rather slow and eerie tango song that changes into an upbeat schlager tune when Crash is riding the jetboard.
    • Trouble Brewing features two different songs for each part of the fight, one for N. Brio and another for his monster form.
    • The music for Off Beat also changes as you progress, starting with a fairly calm but still happy theme at the beginning to an upbeat and jazzy carnival track for the rest of the level. At the end, in the grinding sections the music will change into a faster and more upbeat remix.
    • Run It Bayou starts off with some fast paced bongo beats that quickly change into a remix of Ripper Roo's theme from Crash 1 once Crash starts using the jetboard. After that, in the platforming sections, the level will normally play a more calm song.
    • Snow Way Out has four variants, one that plays at the start of the level that quickly changes into a more intense variation once the ship is destroyed by Cortex. After that the music will change into a calmer tune that will later change into a more epic and intense song once Crash reaches the final checkpoint.
    • Stay Frosty starts with a calm and jolly winter level theme that changes to a fast paced tune with remixed parts of Snow Go from Crash Bandicoot 2 during the rail grinding section, after that the music will change into a song that remixed both Cortex's boss fight theme from Warped and the aforementioned Snow Go theme.
    • Bears Repeating plays an upbeat ice level theme that also remixes parts of Cortex's theme during the platforming section and a more upbeat and zany song while riding Polar.
    • Blast to the Past normally plays a heavily percussive and ambient theme that changes into a more fast paced remix in the grinding sections.
    • Similarly, Dino Dash also features a faster remix for the grinding section, but after that the music changes into a very tense theme before the dinosaur starts chasing Crash and once the chase starts, a more intense song begins to play.
    • Out For Launch also features a grinding remix that is a remix of the main theme of that level but with techno drums and only the bass.
    • Just like Bears Repeating, Crash Landed has two songs, one for the platforming sections and one for the riding sections.
    • Rush Hour has two different songs, a more upbeat and happy one for Dingodile's segment and a more intense one for Tawna's segment.
    • The Crate Escape, just like other Cortex levels will play a remix of his boss fight theme, however, once the player gains control of Crash/Coco again at the blimp chase segment at the end the music changes into a tense action theme that wouldn't feel out of place in a movie.
    • At the very last section of Cortex Castle, the music will stop and change into a very eerie and ambient track.
    • Timeline levels will always remix the main level theme with each character's motif.
      • Tawna's motif is the Hook, Line and Sinker theme
      • Dingodile's motif is the Home Cookin' theme
      • Cortex's motif is his boss fight themes from the trilogy.
    • In some dimensions, playing on N.Verted Mode will change the music in each level.
      • In N. Sanity Island the music will sound more distorted as Crash/Coco spins to light up the level
      • In The Hazardous Wastes, the songs will have different drumbeats that will change volume depending on the brightness of the level.
      • In Salty Wharf the music will have a high-pass filter over it when the player isn't in a colored area.
      • In Mosquito Marsh the music will usually be remixed with a honky-tonk piano and will have lower quality
      • In the Sn@xx Dimension, the music will be remixed with steel drums and tropical percussion
      • In Cortex Island all the songs are 8-bit remixes
  • Version-Exclusive Content: A few cases with the skins:
    • Digitally downloaded copies are granted the exclusive "Totally Tubular" skin.
    • The Playstation 4 & 5 versions of the game have the "Marsupus Erectus" and "Serious Upgrade" skins as timed exclusives.
    • The 9th gen versions released in 2021 feature the "Bare Bones" skin, not seen on the original versions.
  • Villain Protagonist: Some sections have you playing as Cortex as he's trying to set up a trap for Crash.
  • Vocal Evolution: Fred Tatasciore's take of Dingodile is much gruffer and lower-pitched this time around.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Any world or level that doesn't have the heroes go through peril directly caused by the scientists, which generally consists of dealing with enemies that are only around for background flavor.
  • Wall Jump: Tawna can wall jump off specific walls.
  • Weapons That Suck: Dingodile has traded in his Flamethrower for an air cannon. Not only can it pull objects towards him, but it can push him up into the air to cross large gaps.
  • What If?:
    • One of the universes that are visited shows what would happen if Crash and Coco were not able to be heroes and Tawna had to pick up that mantle.
    • There's even one that's a What If? for this game's story itself, with one of the dimensions being a bustling future metropolis... wherein Dingodile's diner presumably didn't violate health regulations after it got rebuilt, with signs and advertising for it appearing throughout the city.
    • The General Rule skins give an idea of how Crash and Coco would look like if they didn't escape Cortex Castle and became Cortex's general(s).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Uka Uka is left for dead after he exhausts himself finally creating an opening for Cortex and N. Tropy to escape through, and isn't seen after the opening... until the 106% ending, that is.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In the 100% ending, the narrator (aka Crash) will explain what happened following the events of the game.
    • N. Gin gave up heavy metal for a career in smooth jazz. His first album "My Heart is a Doomsday Machine" is number one in elevators and hotel bars.
    • N. Brio, still stuck in his pterodactyl form, was caught and caged in Ripper Roo's "Curious Cabinet of Curiosity", under the Taxidermy exhibit.
    • Nitrous Oxide, addicted to caffeine, became the spokesperson of a brand of energy drinks, but is currently in rehab "and the throes of a messy divorce."
    • Cortex's lab assistants turned his blimp into a pop-up shop selling crystals.
    • Dingodile's Diner became the most popular in casual chain dining, before closing overnight due to a record case in health code violations. The original location is still open, though it's been condemned.
    • Tawna went globetrotting and scrapbooking (not that she's good at the latter, "but she's getting there"). The still also shows her relaxing in front of an active volcano. The narrator also reveals she had a brief fling with "some dweeb named Smathan Trake."
    • Coco took up competing in e-sports as "Kickass Coco" after failing to invent the first self-flying flying car.
    • "The dimensions have heard nothing more from the Doctors Tropy since Crash foiled their plans, but evil geniuses are harder to squash than cockroaches."
    • Crash serves as the smooth-voice narrator for the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue and assures the player that he is "doing just fine".
    • And as for Dr. Cortex? He doesn't get the peace he wanted for long, as Uka Uka finds him.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: As tradition, the default death animation for the playable characters has them turn into winged angels… except for Cortex, who turns into a red winged devil.
  • Women Are Wiser: After spending several titles deconstructing the trope, this title reverts to playing it perfectly straight.
    • Coco and Tawna portrayed as far less comedic, flawed, and accident-prone than the male cast, and generally only take part in slapstick abuse when caused by the player. Crash, Cortex, and Dingodile's tendencies to just bungle through the story and suffer Amusing Injuries at every turn even seem to have gotten Flanderized to punctuate the contrast (which is saying something considering what previous titles had already done to them).
    • Even with N. Tropy's own Darker and Edgier upgrade, his gender swapped alternative universe counterpart is portrayed as the most serious and menacing villain in the series so far, to the point of being established as succeeding and killing her own universe's Crash and Coco. Much like the girls on the hero side, only a subdued amount of gags are played at her expense (mostly connected to her...unusual attraction to her other universe counterpart). Deconstructed however, when Cortex usurps the role of Big Bad from both of them.
  • The Worf Effect: After being established as a capable heroine for most of the game, Tawna winds up getting subdued by the two N. Tropys without much in the way of resistance, requiring Crash and Coco's intervention.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • After not seeing Tawna for a good while, Crash and Coco run into another version of her during their multiverse travels. However, she rebuffs Coco's offer to join them on their latest adventure and resumes flying solo, to their disappointment.
    • Cortex takes his banishment to the end of the universe surprisingly well. Too bad Uka Uka finds him.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: While Cortex, N. Tropy, and Uka Uka have spent over two decades trying to get out of their temporal prison, only a few weeks or months have passed at most back in the present.
  • You Already Changed the Past: After beating Cortex for the final time, his past self sees this a proof that his bandicoot general will work, and rushes to complete it. As this is happening, Crash accidently ejects the core of the Cortex Vortex, which created Crash in the first place.
    Coco, after seeing this happen: Explains a lot.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: After the gang defeats the N. Tropys, their adventure seemingly comes to a close as they head to the Sn@xx Dimension for a celebratory lunch. Things quickly go south when Cortex, being the cad that he is, kidnaps Kupuna-Wa and escapes to 1996 to erase Crash from existence.

"The events of this game are absolutely 100% canonical, unless you didn't like them. In that case, it was all a dream."


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Crash Bandicoot 4

The end credits acts as one long-winded content warnign

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

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