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Crash Bash (Crash Bandicoot Carnival in Japanese) is the fifth and last Crash Bandicoot game on the PlayStation 1 and the first that was not developed by Naughty Dog, who produced the original trilogy as well as Crash Team Racing. Crash Bash was the only Crash game developed by Eurocom, and since then the franchise has seen many developers and publishers. This was also the last Crash Bandicoot game to be exclusive to Sony before going multi-platform in the sixth generation of consoles.

Like how Crash Team Racing is the Crash version of Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing, Crash Bash is Crash's answer to the Mario Party series. Unlike Mario Party, Crash Bash has no boards, and the vs style of play consists of playing game after game and then tallying up the points, similar to Mario Kart. There are 28 mini-games, though most of them can be clumped into groups of four. For example, there are four different games that play like four-way pong, each with different tools or obstacles. Every game can be played in either free-for-all or 2-vs-2 matchups.

There's also an adventure mode where one or two players cooperatively take on computer opponents in each of the games, and a few added boss levels. The story revolves around mask brothers Aku Aku and Uka Uka in an ongoing dispute on whose side reigns supreme. To resolve this, they summon their closest allies in a tournament to settle whether good or evil triumphs over the other. In typical Crash tradition, playing a level again lets you get more prizes. In this case, gems are awarded for winning a handicap match (the Cheating Bastards start with more points than you), crystals for a special match where the game is changed in some way, usually tilting the odds in favour of the Cheating Bastards, and relics for winning 2 or 3 games in a row against Cheating Bastards.* Playing adventure mode unlocks more minigames for you to play.

The minigame types are:

  • Crate Crush: Where players throw/kick crates at each other to damage them until they die. The last man standing, or the man with most HP when the time's up, wins.
  • Polar Push: Where players ride polar bears on icy platforms to try to push others off the edge. The last man standing wins.
  • Pogo Pandemonium: Where players jump around on pogo sticks to color squares with their hopping and then score points. The one who scores the most under the time limit wins.
  • Ballistix: Where players on mini hovercrafts must defend their goals from iron balls. Players have limited amount of life points, and if one ball passes through their goals, one point goes down; a player will die if their life point reach zero. The last man standing wins.
  • Tank Wars: Where players on tanks must shoot at each other, or drop powerful mines. The last man standing, or the man with most HP when the time's up, wins.
  • Crash Dash: Where players on mini hovercrafts race on circular tracks in a number of laps. The first one to complete the laps wins.
  • Medieval Mayhem: The mechanics are different in each minigame, but they're all about scoring points and all medieval-themed. The one who scores the most under the time limit wins.

It was rereleased under the Sony Playstation "Greatest Hits" series, but this version was only released on the Play Station Network in Japan, so only the PSOne discs and emulated versions exist for North American & European regions.

Distantly followed by Crash Boom Bang for the Nintendo DS in 2006, though the preceding Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage on the Game Boy Advance heavily used varied mini-games within its story mode.

Crash Bash provides examples of:

  • Artificial Stupidity: Even though the game is Nintendo Hard, it's surprisingly not because the AI is very smart. In fact, the AI in this game will sometimes do...downright baffling things. One point of notice is that in Crate Crush, the AI is quite fond of taunting, which leaves them open to attacks more often than not. Particularly ridiculous though is that they will taunt... while they are carrying a weight. You know, the thing that kills you if you hold onto it for too long?
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: Unlike Mario Party, a few of the games give different attributes to each pair of characters. This is good for variety, but, as usual, some characters will probably be perceived as better than others depending on the game and the players. A good example is Crash and Coco using their spins as a "kick" in the crate war games, which cover all directions with less ending lag than the other kicks. In contrast, heavy characters like Koala Kong and Tiny can hurl crates great distances and do it fast, but cannot kick them far. Another example is Cortex and Brio having a charge move in the Panic (shoving) games that is more powerful but uses their entire charge bar instead of half of one. However, Dingodile and Rilla Roo have a less potent charge, but use less energy to charge their pushes.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: An epic variation for completing Adventure Mode as a member of Uka Uka's team, with Aku Aku even begging Crash and Coco to run for their lives upon realizing how dire the situation is.
    Uka Uka: There is nowhere to hide from the wrath of the mighty Uka Uka! BWAHH HA HA HA!
  • Battle Royale Game: The Crate Crush, Polar Push, Ballistix and Tank Wars category of minigames are all about free-for-all match where you have to take down other opponents and be the last man standing. In Crate Crush and Tank Wars, you deplete opponent's HP; in Polar Push, you push your opponents out of the ring; and in Ballistix, you deplete opponents' points by knocking balls into their goal.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the good ending, Uka Uka yells “I want what is mine!”, in reference to the crystals. Unfortunately for him, Aku Aku is all too happy to give him what he really deserves, being launched into space as “the penalty for disturbing the crystals”.
  • Boom in the Hand: In the Crate Crush category of minigames, if you lift a TNT crate, the countdown will start from 3. If you hold it for too long, it'll go boom and hurt you.
  • Boss Arena Urgency:
    • In the boss fight against Bearminator, every time you knock off a third of his health, he'll fire a big grenade to the arena to reduce its size to 3/4 and then 1/2. The arena, by the way, is a Polar Push-type arena that is not just slippery, but also tilting.
    • In a variant, Melt Panic has Uka Uka periodically making the stage smaller by, well, melting the ice.
  • Bottomless Pits:
  • Breakable Power-Up: In the Crate Crush, Pogo Pandemonium, Crash Dash, and Medieval Mayhem sets of minigames, you'll lose the Power-Up you're currently holding if you get hit.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • N. Brio was last seen in the second game where he helped Crash against Cortex if Crash collected all the gems. He comes back here, representing Team Evil alongside Cortex. Brio switching between resenting Cortex or begrudgingly rejoining him would become a recurrent character trait with this title.
    • Koala Kong (who was absent after the first game) is also a playable character, while Komodo Moe rejoins his brother as a boss battle, thus acting as an effective Bus return for all the cast that didn't appear in Crash Team Racing except the "retired" Tawna.
  • Button Mashing: Defied for the Kick move in the Ballistix games; if a kick doesn't hit anything, the ability is de-activated for a split-second.
  • The Cameo: Ripper Roo, and N. Gin are reduced to being this in El Pogo Loco and N. Ballism respectively.
  • Character Check: Brio is randomly working back with Cortex for no stated reason in this game, despite turning on him in his previous appearance in Crash 2. The Japanese epilogue for Brio's campaign however notes that Brio still holds some grudges against Cortex and upon winning the tournament, he decides to try conquering the world solo.
  • Cheat Code: The demo had a code which, when entered, allowed you to play the entire game in debug mode because it was easier to release the debug mode with most features blocked off than make an actual demo. Had this been known at the time, the game's sales would most certainly have flopped.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: In some of the games (such as Pogo Pandemonium and Ring Ding), you will be designated to a specific color. Player 1 is yellow, player 2 is red, player 3 is blue, and player 4 is green.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: A big part of what makes the game so ludicrously hard is that it doesn't even attempt to be fair.
    • In Gem, Crystal, and Relic challenges, the computers have ridiculously beefed up stats compared to the player: they take less damage, do more damage, they weigh a lot more in Polar Panic games, and they even get a beefed up kick in Ballistix. Even combined with Artificial Stupidity, this quickly makes things way too difficult.
    • In some of the racing levels, there is a glitch that allows one of your opponents to get a free lap as soon as the race starts. This glitch never benefits you, and it usually occurs during the Nintendo Hard Relic Challenges, making them all the more aggravating.
    • Invoked even more in the gem challenges wherein you need more points than they do to win. Also in most of the crystal challenges which generally employ a handicap against you, such as restricted controls or being able to suffer a One-Hit KO in a way the computer can't.
    • In Tank Wars, the AI can rotate their turret faster than you. This is because of the fact they have the ability to "lock on" to you, whereas you have to rotate left and right until you get your aim down. Averted in Swamp Fox, which has Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon instead, and the computer enemies turn their vehicle around in normal speed. Even then, in that game they usually use the force field (exclusive to that minigame) with good timing.
  • Continuity Nod: The scenery for the crystal challenge of El Pogo Loco features a knocked-down alien sign, referencing a secret in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
  • Continuity Snarl: The entire reason for Uka Uka and Aku Aku setting up the tournament is because as Aku Aku states in the opening cutscene “the ancients would not allow [us to fight directly]”. Yet Aku Aku saw no issue squaring off against his brother during the final battle of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
  • Cosmetic Award: Platinum relics are only good for increasing your completion rate and proving your supreme skill (or incredible luck) against computer opponents in that game.
  • Crate Expectations: Naturally, for a Crash game. One set of games revolves around throwing and kicking crates at each other.
  • Cycle of Hurting: In the Crash Dash minigames, it's pretty easy to get knocked out of the tracks into the pit right after you respawn from it.
  • Death from Above:
    • The weight power-up from the Crate Crush and Polar Push minigames, which is passed around in a manner not unlike Hot Potato by hitting opponents while carrying it. Whoever is holding it when its timer runs out is instantly killed.
    • The Crystal challenge for Jungle Bash has you avoiding the flying Nitros aimed at you.
    • The Crystal challenge for Polar Panic has the satellite being crazy and periodically shooting stunning lightning as it flies around.
    • The Crystal challenge for Metal Fox has instant kill mines periodically dropping onto battlefield being targeted at you. The helicopters in Jungle Fox also sometimes drop an active mine.
    • In Melt Panic, Uka Uka's ray's effects are always negative.
  • Downer Ending: If you beat Adventure Mode with a member of Uka Uka's team, he assumes complete power from the crystals and fully intends to devastate the Earth and all its inhabitants. Aku Aku laments his faith in goodness and sends Crash and Coco to run for their lives, ending the game on a sharp dive into Cosmic Horror Story territory.
  • Dragon Rider: the Dragon Drop minigame has the players riding dragons to get the gems lying around, then throw them to a moving target from a distance to score points.
  • Dual Boss: Once you smash the Komodo Brothers' machine, the two of them come out to face you themselves.
  • Dueling Player Characters: If playing a two-player adventure with one good and one evil character, the two players must duel each other at the end to decide whether good or evil triumphs. There are no ties, and tiebreakers are given after all games are played.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: If you fail Boss battles repeatedly, you'll end up doing more damage per attack while they'll do less to you. Likewise, some challenges like Sky Balls Crystal Challenge will dumb down opponent's reflexes. Rather fortunate considering the difficulty of them.
  • Earn Your Fun: At first, only sixteen games are available to you. In order to unlock the remaining twelve, you have to play Adventure Mode.
  • Easy Level Trick: Since a team wins as long as at least one team member completes the required number of laps, the Crash Dash levels can be effectively cheesed in Co-op Mode by having one player prioritize doing the laps while the other player goes round the opposite way and focuses entirely on attacking and otherwise impeding the enemy team. It's pretty much a human-controlled reversal of Spiteful A.I..
  • Enemy Posturing: When you start Papu Papu's boss fight, he's protected by a shield. After you beat his flunkies, he'll start laughing and gloating at you, which will cause his shield to dissolve and leave him open to attack.
  • Excuse Plot: Aku Aku and Uka Uka decide to settle their rivalry by having their minions battle it out with the teams determining which alignment is better, since their ancestors' beliefs forbid them from duking it out themselves. This outright ignores the fact that the two already fought each other in the third Crash game.
  • Explosive Barrels: Aside from the standard explosive crates (the TNT and Nitro), the game also has actual exploding barrels in Keg Kaboom and radioactive barrels in Toxic Dash.
  • Extended Gameplay: Adventure Mode stops at the last boss as far as the story is concerned. After that, there are extra games to unlock. There are also challenges to complete, but they can be ignored once you've done the previous two.
  • Fake Longevity: To earn a trophy, you must win a total of three times against the CPU, who can also win, prolonging the game. In the worst case scenario, you will end up playing the same stage nine times for a single trophynote . Some minigames (i.e. the pogostick ones) have the timer set to a minute and a half, meaning that it could take almost 15 minutes to get the trophy.
    • And that's just for the trophies. To win the gems and crystals, you have to complete the minigames again with additional stipulations (such as having less points at the start, a tighter time limit to defeat the CPU, or being unable to use certain moves or power-ups). After completing the first warp room, gems and crystals (as well as trophies) are mandatory for story completion.
    • Then there are the relics, which require you to win twice in a row and three times in a row for gold and platinum, respectively. Unfortunately, you have to battle a CPU that actively does as much as possible to stop you from winning even once, let alone multiple times in a row.
    • All in all, that's three wins for a trophy, another win for the gem, yet another win for the crystal, two more wins for the gold relic and three more wins for the platinum relic. Assuming you win every time (which is next to impossible, given how hard some of them are to get), that's ten wins for each of the 28 minigames. If each one takes a minute and a half on average, getting full completion would take seven straight hours (not including loading times, cutscenes, bosses, or the time it takes to walk to each one).
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The first six game types (Ballistix, Polar Push, Pogo Pandemonium, Crate Crush, Tank Wars, and Crash Dash) have four arenas that all play very similarly to each other with usually a gimmick or two unique to each of the specific levels. However, the Medieval Mayhem levels all play completely differently from each other, the only thing consistent between the four being that all of them take place in a circular arena and that they're about scoring points.
  • Gang Up on the Human: In standard matches, computer players will target each other as much as they'll target you, while in Gem and Crystal Challenges, you're typically at a disadvantage, but the computer still won't actively target you. In Relic Challenges, however, the trope starts getting played hair-pullingly straight, depending on the game being played:
    • Games like Ballistix, where there's no real way to impede your progress directly, generally avert this, except for the fact that the CPUs are basically inhumanly perfect and insanely difficult to score against.
    • Endurance-based games like Polar Push, Crate Crush, and Tank Wars generally just have all three computer players gang up on you.
    • Point-based games like Pogo Pandemonium and Medieval Mayhem take it to ludicrous extremes, as the AI will actively coordinate to take you down. One player will typically focus on racking up as many points as possible, the second will block you off from scoring and obtaining powerups, and the third will act as a bodyguard for the scorer and attack you whenever possible.
    • In Crash Dash, although the AI can't actively gang up against you, they still will only use weapons (or the booster dash) on you. This goes for the Pogo Pandemonium levels as well.
    • Something to note, though, is that in some games this can actually end up backfiring against their favor. In the first two Tank Wars games, for example, they will still target the human even at opposing corners, and will shoot their weapon which will cause it to hit them in the face because they're facing a wall. In Pogo Padlock, this puts them at a disadvantage because they end up never stealing squares from each other.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: None of the game's bosses are given much context by the plot, but Bearminator stands out due to being the only boss who's not a returning character from previous games (unless you count the giant polar bears that chase you in Crash 2). Aku Aku and Uka Uka don't even mention him in their intro to the battle and instead just instruct the player to defeat "the mechanical bears" (which Bearminator sends out during the fight).
  • Heel–Face Turn: Tiny and Dingodile are originally on Uka Uka's side, but they're moved to Aku Aku's to even the teams.
  • 100% Completion: The relics are insanely hard to get, especially in one-player, but they can boost completion all the way to 200%. Essentially, for gold relics you must face a perfectly calibrated CPU team of the best balanced characters for a particular game...and win twice in a row. Then there are platinum relics which require you to win three times in a row. To preserve some gamers' time (and sanity), there is no reward whatsoever for getting 200% completion.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Exploited; some of the lesser-used tracks in Warped are put to greater use in this game, including the N. Gin boss track. A lot of the remixes are truncated significantly, though.
  • Lovecraft Lite: While the aforementioned Downer Ending takes a Cosmic Horror Story route, the good ending sees Aku Aku foiling Uka Uka's mad grab for power and preventing his transformation into a cosmic-level threat.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Much like Dingodile who was introduced in Warped, Rilla Roo is a cross between a gorilla and a kangaroo.
  • Mood Whiplash: Despite the game upholding the series's usually wacky tone for the most part, the two alternate endings are pretty damn serious. One has Uka Uka throw an epic tantrum before getting shot into hyperspace, the other has him gain control of all the crystals "and ALL OF THE POWER", leading Crash and Coco into exile). Naturally both fall into Canon Discontinuity.
    • But what happens in co-op when one character is good and other is evil, you ask? Why, the two of you, who have been working together exclusively up to this point, are pitted against each other in a winner-take-all showdown to determine the ending.
  • Nintendo Hard: Adventure Mode quickly becomes extremely difficult, especially the Gem and Relic challenges, which involve a lot of cheating CPU.
  • Nostalgia Level: Many of the minigames are based on past levels of the original trilogy. For example, Space Bash is based on the future levels in Warped, while its Crystal challenge is based on the Egyptian levels, also from Warped.
  • Not Just a Tournament: Uka Uka proposes the contest as a way to determine if good or evil is stronger, but in reality wants to use it as an opportunity to claim the crystals. In the cutscene preceding the tiebreaker, Aku Aku even tells the good player that “this has gone beyond a tournament” when Uka Uka runs his mouth and mentions the crystals.
  • One-Hit Kill: Crystal challenges commonly either feature a special stage hazard or modify an existing hazard to instantly kill your character.
    • The Crystal challenge for Pogo Painter has mushrooms randomly appearing on multiple squares. You instantly die if you step on one.
    • The Crystal challenge for El Pogo Loco has Ripper Roo creating Nitro squares instead of TNT ones. These instantly kill you if you get hit.
    • The Crystal challenge for Metal Fox has yellow- and green-colored mines instead of the normal gray and black ones. These mines both replace the mines normally used by the players and fall from the sky in boxes. You'll take twice as much damage from these as you do from normal minesnote ; since normal mines take away half your health to begin with, it equates to instant death for you.
    • The Crystal challenge for Dot Dash has the missiles being outright One-Hit Kill for you instead of just slowing you down.
    • The Crystal challenge for Sky Balls has some balls being randomly changed into red balls that will kill you (but not the CPU) if you get hit by them. Don't worry, letting them pass through your goals won't reduce your hit points. The boss fight with N. Oxide also features these.
    • The Crystal challenge for Manic Panic forces you to start on foot, turning bombs into these (which normally result in the loss of your bear on first hit).
    • The Crystal challenge for Drain Bash has the purple "?" crates, which normally break open with a kick to reveal Wumpa Fruit or special weapon inside, but will instead explode and One-Hit Kill you if you kick them (the opponents naturally can open them normally). There's still a way to open it, though... by throwing the crate.
    • The Crystal challenge for Ring Ding will make other colors' balloons (instead of the ones meant for you) kill you if you mistakenly pop them.
    • The Crystal challenge for Swamp Fox features a slowly moving torpedo that destroys you on one hit while others just hover merrily over it.
    • The Crystal challenge for Keg Kaboom has a bomb that walks around the edge of the arena, which kills you if you get hit by it.
    • Outside of Crystal challenges, there's also the Weight power-up in Polar Push and Crate Crush levels. When activated, a timer ticks down, and whoever is holding it when said timer expires is instantly killed.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: the Polar Push games involve shoving everyone else off before the time limit. While just one fall results in elimination, there are times where it's hard for one player to get the decisive shove on another, especially when it's down to two players who are moving conservatively.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Uka Uka nonchalantly allows Aku Aku to pick two of his squad to even the odds so the contest can go forward.
  • Promoted to Playable: Doctor Nitrus Brio and Koala Kong are playable for the first time.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The Japanese version of Dot Dash and Splash Dash, features the Can Can song.
  • Regional Bonus: The Japanese version has Fake Crash as an unlockable player character via a cheat code.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Rilla Roo, who just shows up on Team Cortex without anyone batting an eye.
  • Remixed Level: The crystal challenges actually swap the background of given level. Sometimes it just settles for changing daytime (Sky Balls, Polar Panic) or changing background slightly within the same theme (Manic Panic), but sometimes it changes completely (Dot Dash, Space Bash). In Tilt Panic this also explains the Crystal Challenge itself.
  • Rules of the Game: The crystal challenges will put restrictions on the human players but not the computers. Some gem challenges do this, too. This leads to very Nintendo Hard challenges.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: All of the stages in Polar Push take place in this. Also the Snow Bash stage, a Crate Crush-type minigame.
  • Socialization Bonus: Adventure Mode can be played with two people, and it makes the game so much easier it's laughable. Instead of one player (i.e. YOU) on your side and three against you, you now have 2 vs 2. If one player picks a character from the Good side and one from the Evil side, once you defeat the final boss, you are pitted against each other in a best 3 out of 5 contest to determine the winner of the universe. However, this contest is Crate Crush, which some characters are much better at than others.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Crash has his traditional Spin Attack in some games. Coco gains her own version too, as do Dingodile and Rilla Roo.
  • Special Effect Branding: In many of the minigames, each type of character would use things themed to them. For example, in the minigame Pogo Pandemonium, Crash and Coco use actual pogos, Dingodile and Rilla Roo use...some kind of modified gas-powered pogo that shoots flames, Tiny and Koala Kong use spring coils attached to their soles, and Neo Cortex and N. Brio use Jump Jetpack.
  • Squashed Flat: Papu Papu gets squashed under a pillar block at the end of his boss fight.
  • Stock Audio Clip: None of the playable characters actually talk. They either reuse past voice clips (for example, Cortex's laugh from the opening cutscene of Cortex Strikes Back), or have voices comprised completely of stock voice samples. Some are more obvious than others, like Dingodile having a rather unfittingly stupid-sounding laugh and Brio, who's rendered into The Unintelligible.
  • Tail Slap: Dingodile and Rilla Roo can do this in Crate Crush games as their "kick" attack.
  • Tank Goodness: The Tank Wars mini-game, in which you have to off the other players while riding in tiny tanks.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Papu Papu, while still the first boss, puts up much more of a fight than in the first game. Not only is he smart enough to position himself where the player can not conventionally attack, his cane whacks are now powerful enough to cause harmful quakes on the ground and he now seems to possess the ability to voodoo several of his own little mini-Crashes to do his bidding.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Even with Gameplay Roulette in effect. Most bosses are based on existing mini-games, but the first part of the final boss is a 3D space shooter not seen anywhere else in the game.
  • The Unintelligible: Even with most characters using pre-arranged audio-samples, Brio's dialog stands out as mad gibberish.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The Japanese version of the game adds descriptions of what happened to each of the characters.
    • Crash seals away Uka Uka, and to his surprise, he's congratulated by Tawna...or what he thinks is Tawna. It's actually a hologram of a more adult Coco.
    • Coco continues work on a computer program she was working on before the tournament interrupted her. With it, she can scan her body and show a projection of herself as an adult, with the intent of becoming an Idol Singer.
    • Tiny forgets about his past as a servant of Cortex and Uka Uka, and celebrates his victory while holding a big screw, which he unknowingly took from Cortex's latest invention.
    • Dingodile scorches everything with his flamethrower while celebrating his win.
    • Cortex attempts to take over the world again using a big robot, but his plan falls apart due to a missing screw, which Tiny took.
    • N. Brio gets over his feelings of inferiority to Cortex and decides to take over the world by himself. He concocts a plan to combine the DNA of a bandicoot and a kangaroo to create a bandiroo.
    • Koala Kong goes back to Hollywood, but faces a sharp drop in popularity after the tournament exposed him as being evil.
    • Rilla Roo decides to open a yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant in Hollywood with Dingodile, and also become Koala Kong's manager.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: The Polar Panic stage is set on a flat iceberg on the night sea, with auroras in the sky.
  • You Have Failed Me: Uka rants this at his minions in the Good ending, and for once, seems dead serious about it.