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YMMV / Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Whose side is Tiny on? Ripper Roo and the Komodo Bros are easily N. Brio's henchmen, and the N. Gin boss battle is where Cortex's charade definitely starts to fade. But while Tiny could be N. Brio's helper trying to stop Crash, the first in-game hint as to Cortex's true nature is that the boss battle takes place the first time you see a space level; the rest of them take place almost exclusively on Cortex's spaceship in the fifth warp room. And in all games afterwards, Tiny is suddenly Cortex's most Undyingly Loyal henchman.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: The final fight against Cortex. It's a "Get Back Here!" Boss where Crash chases Cortex through space using the jetpack, and you have to catch up to Cortex hit him. He never attacks you; the only challenge comes from the time limit—which isn't much of an issue since you only need 3 hits to win—and the bombs and asteroids in your path, the latter of which don't even damage you, only setting you back from hitting Cortex.
  • Awesome Music:
    • N. Gin's boss battle theme.
    • You can clearly hear Mark Mothersbaugh's Devo roots in the BGM of "Piston It Away".
    • Many a fan have admitted to losing the final boss on purpose just so they could hear the full version of Neo Cortex's theme.
    • Rock It/Pack Attack's theme.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Some of the secret route entrances and colored gems tend to be this. Most of them are given away by abnormal level design (a pile of Nitro crates in the form of stairs, for example), and are pretty easy to find. However!
    • One gem is only found behind a fake wall with your only clue being an empty room full of Nitro crates.
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    • One secret exit requires you to perform a belly flop on top of a certain enemy plant in "Digging It", and this one has no clues about it whatsoever, so unless you go through the level destroying these plants, (which you have very little reason to, as they can be avoided pretty easily) that route can be a pain to find. This plant is the only thing on a small platform, but the platform fits the level design so it doesn't stand out.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Cortex being the game's Big Bad and betraying Crash can be easily deduced by just looking at the game's subtitle. Never mind in-game, considering how obviously shady he is while interacting with Crash.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The final warp room introduces the jetpack mechanic, which is featured in two of the last five levels. In contrast to the rest of the game's free-flowing fast-paced platforming, the jetpack uses a completely different control scheme to the rest of the game, is awkward and finicky to use, and requires the player to move extremely slowly and carefully around tightly enclosed areas. Additionally, the camera is positioned directly behind Crash rather than above him facing downwards, as in the other levels, which makes discerning the relative positions of obstacles even harder than it ought to be. The final boss battle against Cortex is based around the jetpack mechanic — as in, the mechanic that was only introduced five levels ago in a game 25 levels long. And the final boss battle is extremely anticlimactic — Crash just chases after him and spin-attacks him three times, and he doesn't even attempt to defend himself or fight back. The only thing that makes the battle challenging is the awkward jetpack controls and the limited time to finish him off.
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  • Even Better Sequel: Many agree that Crash 2 and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped are much better designed and more enjoyable than the original game, representing the pinnacle of the series, introducing most of the characters fans are familiar with.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Trying to grind some more lives on Turtle Woods? You think the moment when you fall into pit with cyberrats is annoying? Well, there is a legit way which, if it doesn't work at first, is possible to pull off with some skill: just jump above the pit through the faux-walls. In fact, this trick was one of the many objects of this game's Tool Assisted Speedrun, kindly demonstrated here. The same moment in "Un-Bearable" is also avoidable, but this time, with a simple slide jump.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The "jump-spin". You jump, then you immediately spin, causing Crash to jump higher than normal. This can be done with the slide-jump (which isn't a glitch) for an even higher jump. This is the source of many Sequence Breaking in the game.
  • Death-Warping. Once you collect a crystal or gem, it will remain in Crash's inventory as long as he remains in the level, even after he dies. Since extra lives are handed out like confetti, simply killing yourself the moment you get a gem from an alternate path seems far more appealing than backtracking manually. This also allows you to get the purple gem in Bee-Having without getting through the rest of the secret path and get 2 gems at the same run from Turtle Woods, Hang Eight, Plant Food, and Spaced Out when you normally need separate runs for each of them. You can also reduce the run from 3 to just 2 in Air Crash by dying after getting the Death Route gem.
  • The extra box glitch. note  This allows the player to get more crates without taking the harder-to-get ones, allowing for easier box completion. However, it's possible for the box count to reach more than the level expects you to have, making you unable to get the "destroy all crates" gem, so one should watch out for the box count as they respawn and go to the level's finish while breaking just the right amount of crates. Oh, and unless you get another checkpoint, dying after respawning from the above will make the game remember the true amount of crates.
  • In the secret path of Un-Bearable, there'll be a checkpoint crate, 2 off-screen 1-Up crates above, and a Bottomless Pit nearby. You can break the two crates and gain 2 lives, then get into the pit, respawn on the checkpoint and get the 2 1-Up crates again. The catch is, if you don't get it yet, 1-Up crates normally turn into normal crates after they're broken once if you die and respawn, but not these two.
  • The 200% completion, by way of getting extra crystals and gems. The trick is to go to where more than 1 enemies respawn and go around at once, like the rows of 3 seals in Snow Go. Normally you can do a "stomping combo" by stomping on one seal right after another, which gives you wumpas and more wumpas. But you can "preserve" the combo when the seals aren't around by doing a spin as you land and immediately crouch (and keep crouching). When the seal pack comes again, you can stomp them and the game will still count it as a "combo". Do that enough times and you'll eventually get crystals and gems from those seals; do that more and you'll get almost 200% completion (the rest is by discovering secret levels). But Wait, There's More!! There's a much easier way than that: you can just go bouncing on the metal bounce crate right before the seal packs part for almost 200 times, then land the same way (spin + crouch) as you go towards the seals. You'll then instantly get a crystal for the first seal you stomp on.
  • By lightly touching the Death Route platform and then quickly sliding away from it, you can make the platform be permanently there even if you die afterward (when normally dying will make the platform disappear).
  • Memetic Mutation: The game's advertisement, due to how terrible it is.
    • The new ruins level. Explanation 
    • "And now, I have to do it... AgAAAAaaiN!"
    • Crash telling Cortex to "Take a twelve step program off a ten step pier". note 
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The level "Un-Bearable". Most levels in the game where you run towards the screen have you running from a boulder. However, in this level, you are chased by a large polar bear with a creepy grin.
    • "Diggin' It". That frightening buzz and the killer bees coming with their stings ready... it gets worse in Bee Having where a group of bees come together and only a well-timed spin can defeat them all, if you fail, they will get you.
  • Nightmare Retardant: While one of Crash's drowning animations is among the most unsettling in the series, the other isn't so much. For starters, Crash doesn't actually drown - he floats face-up with a dazed look on his face, but is still very much alive as his eyes still blink.
  • The Scrappy: Crash himself. Not in the game, mind you, but in the trailer.
    Caddy: I'm sorry, but I just don't get this... Take a character with no voice at all... Give him a voice... And make him Arnold Schwarzenegger 10 OUT OF 10!
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • So you decided to play it safe and avoided destroying any crates next to the nitros, thinking that you'll be getting them anyway since triggering the green !-block at the end of the stage causes all of them to explode? Too bad, since that only affects the nitros and nothing next to them. Time to start the level again.
    • The game is really big on the whole backtracking thing through some of the levels, but some of them really don't account for Crash having to do that like the boulder levels in which the camera pans out away from Crash so the player can see what he's doing. Many of the really hard gems in the game come from Crash having to backtrack a lot in highly dangerous levels that the player can't easily anticipate the hazards coming.
  • That One Level:
    • "Cold Hard Crash", a nightmare if you're trying to get the "destroy all crates" gem. There's 155 crates in this level, more than any other level in the game by far. You have to play through the first half of the level without dying to reach the Death Course, a difficult, checkpoint-free path covered in crusher traps and nitro crates, almost entirely on slippery ice. When you reach the end of the death course, you need to activate a switch and backtrack all the way to the beginning of the area to get the new crate spawned there by the switch, at which point you take the platform back to the main level and complete it, because the Death Route's exit takes you to a later segment of the main level. Oh, and there's a single, hard-to-find crate hidden just offscreen in the bonus stage. Missed it? DO THE WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN. Thankfully, this issue is rectified in the N. Sane Trilogy, so the crate is more visible on-screen.
    • "Diggin' It" suffers from same problems and more when you're trying to get all boxes. It also has Death Route with boxes on it halfway through the level, but unlike Cold Hard Crash, it is not a sidescrolling level, so during Backtracking you have to run towards the camera. To top it off, you have to backtrack through segments with bees made by indestructible hives and while the bees themselves can be eliminated, because of the direction they come from the only cue when to spin them off is the buzzing sound.
    • "Piston It Away" in the final warp room is just as bad, if not worse. There's a Death Course about 1/3 of the way into the level, and just like in "Cold Hard Crash", it has crates in it. But unlike the one above, this Death Course leads to an alternate exit, so doing the whole thing means missing all the boxes on the normal path. So how do you get the Gem? Simple. Go through the entire level the normal way, then backtrack all the way back to the Death Course. Bear in mind, the entrance to the Death Course disappears if you die once in the main level, so you have to do all this on a No Death Run too. Also, several jumps are tricky to make backwards without leaving certain enemies alive or using glitched jumps. This level is so crazy that Speedrun videos often have to point out: "No, this is not a Speedrunning trick, this is how they ACTUALLY INTENDED you to 100% this level."
    • To some players, the jetpack levels in the final warp room also count.
    • "Bee-Having". Grenade spitting plants, swarms of bees that chase you, two-faced moving statues, hammer-wielding Lab Assistants, and a TON of Nitro boxes make this an extremely tricky level to finish. And there's the secret area hiding the Purple Gem, which is accessible only by jumping on top of a stack of fake Nitro.
    • "Road to Ruin" and "Ruination" are also among the hardest in the game. Swiveling, tilted platforms, very narrow platforms, and monkeys that throw logs at you (though you can always spin the logs away). On top of that, there's one bit in Ruination where you find a helpful little ! crate, and a bunch of wire frame boxes ready to appear for you to destroy so you can get the gem! Smack the block, wooden crates, just a field of Nitro Crates with barely any room to maneuver. note  Good luck!
    • "Plant Food" can be this if you're trying to get the Yellow Gem. Much like "Hang Eight," there's a time limit. However, if you're in a hurry, the Jet Board can be tricky to control, particularly with all the mines and Nitro crates floating around. Most notably, the final Jet Board section has you wedged between two man-eating plants in a narrow passage. If you make it to that point without a mask, you can forget about the Yellow Gem as you have no choice but to take the hit - there is almost no time to kill the plants beforehand. Finally, even if you do make it to the exit of the level, if the timer ends, the Gem vanishes right under your nose if you don't reach it on time.


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