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Crash Tag Team Racing is a racing/platformer hybrid video game released in 2005. It is (technically) the sixth Crash Bandicoot platformer, the third racing game in the series, and the first Crash installment developed by Radical Entertainment.
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Newsreporters Chick and Stew are covering the Farewell Race of Von Clutch's Motorworld. Not only is the place falling apart, some fiend has stolen the power gems that keep the park's attractions active, as well as the Black Power Gem that powers their cyborg owner, the eccentric Ebeneezer Von Clutch. As it just happens however, Crash Bandicoot and his Arch-Enemy Dr Neo Cortex have quite literally driven into the mess in a recent on-road feud. Von Clutch offers ownership of the park to whoever can find all the gems. The bandicoots decide to aid Von Clutch, while Cortex and his cronies, interested in setting up a new evil lair, decide to join in too.

The game consists not only of a standard racing game, but a short platforming adventure, largely consisting of Crash earning currency (in the form of Wumpa Coins) by collecting items and completing missions, usually to unlock more tracks and bonuses for racing modes. Despite being the third racing game in the series, it plays noticeably different from the previous two. While previous instalments were standard Mario Kart type affair, this is a more standard physics based racer, and is made unique by the gimmick of "clashing" cars with another player as a temporary cooperative.

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This remains the final Crash Bandicoot kart racing game (not counting the remake of CTR, Nitro Fueled), though Radical Entertainment maintained development of the series' regular platform games through 2008's Crash: Mind Over Mutant, albeit with major art design and gameplay shifts.


Crash Tag Team Racing provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor:
    • This is the first game where neither Tiny or Dingodile appear since their first appearance (discounting their multiplayer exclusivity in N Tranced).
    • Uka Uka is also nowhere to be seen and Aku Aku only makes a very brief cameo as a mask worn by a tribesman on the Tiki Turbo track.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: For the first time in the series, Crash's actual in game model is redesigned in the Japanese version of the game to fit his cuter design on Eastern covers and merchandise. The skin is also available as an Easter Egg in the Western versions.
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  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You can get a second costume for each playable character (except for Crash, who has a lot more).
  • Animal Motifs: For some reason, this game contains an unprecedented number of chickens. They show up as the unfortunate victims of Crash's schemes, the perpetrators of Crash's demise, and even as weapons. There's even a cheat that turns the head of every park visitor into a chicken!
  • Anti-Climax: There are no boss battles in this game. Stopping Willie at the end of the story mode is as simple as going up to his control panel and pulling the off switch. Game finished.
    • To add insult to injury, the cutscene of Willie escaping to his ship is named "The Final Showdown". Furthermore, the very next scene is Cortex, N. Gin and Nina appearing in a large spaceship, which is instantly defeated in said cutscene.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game's load screens are far from the worst, but they're still a tad prominent. So how did the developers make it so that nobody complained? They took advantage of a Player Tic where players would often fiddle with buttons during loading, and made it so that one button would play burping noises and the other would play farting. And you can even change the pitch of them by holding the left joystick up or down! Let's just say nearly everyone who has played this game has had a field day just waiting for the game to load.
  • Big Bad: Willie Wumpa Cheeks. Although he was behind the disappearance of the gems, he gets blasted into liquid by Cortex and his henchmen afterwards.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A rather humorous one. Crash retrieves Von Clutch's power gem and revives him, though he accidently depowers him again after a hearty pat on the back. His friends' awkward faces say it all. Although it's likely the others put his gem back in and revived him, so it could be a Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Brick Joke: In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of Crash Team Racing, N.Gin opened a custom auto parts store in Toledo, Ohio, which closed after his "Clear-the-Road" missile system was recalled when it caused havoc on many freeways. Guess what his turret weapon when "clashing" is.
  • Brooklyn Rage: A Park Drone who sells Crash a Power Crystal in Tyrannosaurus Wrecks speaks like this.
  • The Chew Toy:
  • The Cutie: Pasadena starts off competitive and determined to win the park back for Von Clutch. When Crash starts doing favours for her however, she gets very sweet around him to say the least, and by the end of the story is blatantly friends with the bandicoots.
  • Darker and Edgier: To a degree. The game is still cartoonish and wacky as it comes, but for starters the game has an E10+ rating, as opposed to the usual E rating we are used to for Crash fare. In addition, as mentioned in Anti-Frustration Features the loading screens make their name in Toilet Humor, the game features a heavier amount of cartoon violence than before (especially in regards to the use of actual weapons to attack racers, as opposed to only using Mario Kart-esque powerups), and there's a bit of mild language in the game, maybe even in an attempt to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating (phrases like "this sucks", "oh my god", and most notably "damn" make their appearance here where they would have been taboo in past games).
  • Denser and Wackier: To an even greater degree than before, to the point that it in some aspects almost feels like an Affectionate Parody of the series.
  • Disney Death: Von Clutch, having seemingly lost his Black Power Gem forever, deactivates during the final mission of the game. Everyone mourns until Crash inadvertently finds and chokes on it hidden inside Willie's leftover chute, spluttering it back into place and springing Von Clutch back to life, only for Crash to inadvertently pat it back out. Since he can be blatantly reactivated, this case is far less devastating, but much more awkward.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A Park Drone who sells Crash a Power Crystal in Astro Land speaks like this.
  • Drop the Cow: This trope is applied rather literally in gameplay, although launch the cow would be nearer the mark. Some of the more bizarre weapons players can use include submarines, pianos...and cows. All three of these can be thrown for a lot of damage, up to and including a One-Hit Polykill.
    • Applies literally again in one cutscene. A cow thrown from a nearby cannon forms a bridge for Crash to cross to the power gem on the other side. He quickly retrieves the power gem and runs back to safety. As he admires the power gem, the cow falls into the magma below.
  • Engrish: Pasadena refers to Crash as "Handsome-kun" in the Japanese version.
  • Epic Fail: During the credits, N. Gin reveals a few "details" about specific individuals:
    • "This guy's so stupid, it took him two hours to watch 60 Minutes!"
    • "This guy's so stupid, he got stabbed in a shootout!note 
    • "This guy's so stupid, he couldn't put M&Ms in alphabetical order!"
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: The other heroes look completely exasperated when Crash deactivates Von Clutch a second time and apathetically rides off during the ending. Even Coco pulls a frustrated Face Palm, marking about the only time she doesn't find Crash's silliness Actually Pretty Funny.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Throughout the game, it's stated several times that Von Clutch is slowly dying without his Black Power Gem keeping him alive, which eventually culminates in him deactivating when Space Land is opened. Yet throughout all this, he's perfectly fine and dandy with no issues whatsoever in the Hub Level, and remains a playable racer even during his apparent death.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Mystery Island. Overlaps with Jungle Japes.
  • Genre Mashup: It's a racing game. It's also a 3D platformer in Adventure Mode, and there are target shooting mini games done in first person style.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Yet again. You even have to help the bad guys set up their vehicles.
  • Ground by Gears: In one of the "Die-o-rama" cutscenes, Crash is killed by being crushed by giant gears.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Tyrannosaurus Wrecks consists of a mix between Prehistoria, Lethal Lava Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • Hub Level: The Adventure Mode is more or less just an expanded one for the race tracks, albeit on foot. It consists of five themed "levels" and a theme park hub (called Midway) that connects them all.
  • Idiot Ball: Near the end of the game, Coco deduces that since there's Wumpa Whip at every crime scene and Crash is the only one they know who likes that stuff, he must be the culprit... even though the thefts started before they arrived.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Many of the Die-o-Ramas involve Crash doing things that range from blatant "law" breaking, incredibly idiotic behavior or just being plain cruel, which always results in Crash getting maimed in over-the-top ways. It's sometimes inverted though, mostly with the Baby Yetis and the the frozen Yeti.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: In a more literal example, the "lava" in T. Wrecks is actually just hot sauce (and a mild variety too). Crash even drinks and swims in it in a Die-o-Rama before the shark from Mystery Island appears out of nowhere and eats him.
  • Manly Tears: Crunch does this when Von Clutch deactivates.
  • The Many Deaths of You: The "Die-o-Rama" FMVs, which are pretty much an expansive tribute to Crash's previous slapstick deaths throughout the series. These cutscenes have Crash being maimed, shredded, smashed, crushed, blown up, Safed, Pianoed, poisoned, drowned, farted to death, eaten and more. If you feel bad for him, don't worry, he gets better.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Happily Ever Faster, albeit with some fairy-tale elements to it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Crunch's personality starting with this game is based on that of Mr. T, while Chick and Stew are clearly based on Howard Cosell and Charles Barkley respectively. Additionally, the Park Drone in Tomb Town who sells Crash the Mad Scientist costume speaks like Boris Karloff.
  • Oddball in the Series: A battle racing slash platforming item collector, with even the odd mini game added in between. To add into this, it also has arguably the most deranged story of the lot.
  • Point of No Return: At the very start of the game, Crash has to go through a tutorial section to get to Von Clutch's office, which ends with him reaching the top. However, this section cannot be accessed again after Crash hits the switch to activate the elevator going down to the rest of the park, as it won't go up again. As a result, any coins or crates Crash misses in this section cannot be re-obtained, nor can they be collected again after they regenerate.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Von Clutch is a jolly eccentric guy, but doesn't seem to keep remotely good maintenance of his park. The place is borderline dilapidated and most of the employees complain about being mistreated and unpaid. This is likely at least one of the reasons Willie Wumpa Cheeks turned on him and stole all the park's power gems. This might be a recent development for him; the booklet for the game mentions that Von Clutch is losing his ability to maintain the park without his Black Power Gem. In Pasadena's 2nd mission, she mentions that she and the other employees haven't been paid since his Power Gem was stolen.
  • Press X to Die: You're allowed to wander around the park. There are signs you can walk up to and literally press X to die. Each one is different, and you can fill up a gallery.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Several level themes incorporate classical music into their melodies.
  • Regional Bonus:
    • The Japanese version used a special skin for Crash based on his Japanese design. The Western versions also have it as a secret unlockable.
    • Zigzagged for the PAL version, which fixes a few bugs and unfinished touches from the NTSC version, but also downgrades on a few other things (the PS2 version has a lower framerate and the Easter Egg commentary played during the credits is omitted).
  • Remember the New Guy?: Yet another game that introduces more mutant Funny Animals that have never been stated as being created by Cortex or any other doctor in the series.
  • Running Gag: Upon destroying various obstacles on the tracks, certain characters will exclaim "Coco did it!" or some variation thereof.
    Cortex: Oh, um...Coco did it!
    Pasadena: Ummm...Coco did it?
    N.Gin: Coco did it!
    Coco: Coco did it! <Beat> Never mind!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the mission to find N-Gin's slippers, the hint text says "You know what! I'm out" followed with "Seriously, forget this, I'm going to make accounting software".
  • Shifting Sand Land / Build Like an Egyptian: Tomb Town.
  • Space Zone: Astro Land.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-universe, Cortex quotes this word for word in the ending.
    N. Gin: Yes, haha, my lord! Hahaha, hee hahaha-
    Cortex: Stop having fun.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Sort of. While not talking conventionally, Crash babbles and grunts far more excessively than in previous titles, even making some coherent words. This is also Nina's first voiced speaking role. Both characters were completely mute in Twinsanity.
  • Threatening Shark: Shown in the some of the "Die-O-Rama" cutscenes where Crash becomes chow for the sharks.
  • Toilet Humour: Pressing X or Triangle on the loading screen causes fart and belch noises to play.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Crash might as well define this trope whenever he's in a Die-O-Rama.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: While the nature of the series was always goofy, a few characters seem to have suffered a bit of an IQ drop since the previous game. Willie Wumpa Cheeks even lampshades the idiocy of the entire group. Coco and Crunch in particular, originally the Only Sane Men, are just as idiot prone as Crash and the villains.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Crash has a much meaner sense of humor in this game, pranking and tormenting Park Drones and innocent bystanders. Don't worry about him getting away with it though, the game also allows you to force Crash into hilarious and brutal (for E10+, anyway) death scenarios.
    • Also applies to Coco. This game personifies her as being extremely vain, flaunting that she's prettier and more intelligent than everyone else around her, and she also has no problem cheating to win.
  • Town Girls: Coco (Femme, though she acts a bit more tomboyish in some other Crash games), Pasadena (Neither), and Nina (Butch).
  • Undying Loyalty: While most of the Park Drones hate Von Clutch's guts and are looking to get other deals as the park awaits closure, his Number Twos Pasadena and Willie stand by his side and try to help the others collect the gems. This was just a facade for Willie, who was in fact the culprit.
  • Unknown Rival: Pasadena declares herself Cortex's opposition for the power gems in the opening cutscene....and is completely ignored by him as he continues talking deals with Von Clutch.
  • The Unintelligible: Crash. Instead of just saying "Whoa!" upon death, he randomly blurts out meaningless pieces of gibberish (although some characters seem to be able to glean meaning from his ramblings).
  • Uranus Is Showing: Someone on the development team must have really loved Uranus jokes, considering every track in Astro Land has "Uranus" in its name note .
  • Variable Mix: The music tracks in this game are split into four parts: One that plays at the start of the race and three more that alternate with each other depending on your current position in the race. If you're doing well, the music will be upbeat and triumphant. If you're falling behind, the music will be tense, as if warning you to catch up. If you're in dead last, the music will be ominous and gloomy, with the singers telling you to "move faster" or "hurry up".
  • Video Game Caring Potential: A lot of the missions involve helping NPCs or getting racers upgrades. You can get through the game without even unlocking most of the other characters, depending on whether you wanna help out or not...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Crash is also allowed to attack every non playable character in the Adventure world. All of them even have unique quotes and grunts in response (some of which are recycled from a previous Radical game, The Simpsons: Hit & Run).
    • After agreeing to their missions, you can keep chatting with the racers empty handed just to piss them off.
    • The park drones repairing the tracks will be knocked flying when a racer runs into them. The game actually encourages you to do this, as running them over will fill up your turbo meter.
  • Villain Ball: Willie is incensed enough by everyone's idiocy to confess and brag that he was the culprit when everyone else thought Crash did it, including Crash himself.
  • Went to the Great X in the Sky: After Ebenezer Von Clutch deactivates from running without his Black Heart Power Gem too long in the game's ending, Pasadena O'Possum laments that it's time for him to go to "the big demolition derby in the sky".
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