In the series, Crash is described as a genetically-advanced Eastern Barred Bandicoot whose quiet life on a three-island chain southeast of Australia is frequently interrupted by his nemesis Doctor Neo Cortex, and must defeat him to put his life back in order. He is often accompanied by allies such as Aku Aku, Coco Bandicoot and Crunch Bandicoot.
Crash is voiced by Brendan O'Brien in the Naughty Dog games, by Steven Blum in Crash Nitro Kart and by Jess Harnell in the Radical Entertainment games. In the Japanese versions of the games, he is voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi in the games up to Crash Nitro Kart and by Makoto Ishii in Crash Boom Bang!. Crash has drawn comparisons to Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog by reviewers. His animations have been praised and his voice has been criticized, while his redesign in the Radical Entertainment games has drawn mixed reactions.
Conception and creationEdit
After working on such games as Rings of Power and Way of the Warrior, Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin set out to create a mascot for Sony after realizing that Sega had Sonic and Nintendo had Mario. Wanting the series to be multi-dimensional in character depth as well as gameplay, Gavin and Rubin chose not to base Crash around one attribute such as "fast" or "cute". During production of the first game, the marketing director of Universal Interactive Studios insisted that Crash be named "Wez", "Wuzzles" or "Wizzy the Wombat". Crash was given his final name due to his tendency to smash crates. Crash co-creator Jason Rubin considered Crash one of his favorite characters alongside Doctor Neo Cortex and Ripper Roo.
Crash is a very emotional character who is quick to laugh and quick to cry. While he has a danger-loving, fearless nature and loves a good fight, he prefers relaxing in the sun and rarely seeks out trouble deliberately.
Before being ejected from Doctor Neo Cortex's island fortress, Crash became romantically attached to a female bandicoot named Tawna, who was another one of Cortex's experiments. Crash's separation from Tawna at the hands of Doctor Cortex serves as the primary root of Crash's antagonization of Cortex.
To the ire of Crunch and the amusement of Coco, Crash is prone to impolite personal habits such as belching or stratching his posterior. It is implied in Crash Twinsanity that he is a chronic carrier of fleas.
Once an ordinary Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Crash was snatched from the wild by Doctor Neo Cortex and subjected to the Evolvo-Ray as part of Cortex's plan to make Crash the "general" of his "Cortex Commandos", which would be used to dominate the world. However, he is later deemed unworthy of being in Cortex's army and is ejected from Cortex's castle. As an act of revenge and to rescue a female bandicoot named Tawna, Crash travels through the Wumpa Islands, defeating Cortex's henchmen along the way. He eventually steals Cortex's airship, defeats Doctor Cortex, and escapes alongside Tawna. A year later, Crash is sent off to get a new laptop battery for his sister Coco, but is soon abducted by Doctor Neo Cortex, who claims to have changed his ways. Crash is then ordered to gather Crystals for Cortex while fighting off opposition from Doctor Nitrus Brio. When Cortex's true intentions are revealed, Crash sends Cortex flying off into space and aids Nitrus Brio in destroying Cortex's space station. When the remains of the space station crash into Earth and set the demonic Uka Uka free, Crash is recruited by Aku Aku to use Doctor Nefarious Tropy's Time-Twisting Machine to gather the powerful Crystals in their original places before Cortex does so. Crash eventually gathers all 25 Crystals and defeats Nefarious Tropy, causing the Time-Twisting Machine to implode on itself. Crash appears as a playable character in Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash. The epilogue of Crash Team Racing states that Crash sold his life story, titled "The Color Orange", to a major film studio, set to be released by the Christmas season.
In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crash is recruited to gather Crystals and return a group of destructive masks named the Elementals to a hibernation state and stop Cortex's new superweapon Crunch Bandicoot. He is recruited to gather Crystals once again in Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure to power a device built by Coco that will reverse the effects of Cortex's Planetary Minimizer, which has shrunken the Earth to the size of a grapefruit. In Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Crash is awoken from his nap by the kidnapping of Coco and Crunch to Nefarious Tropy and N. Trance, and is almost kidnapped himself before being rescued by Aku Aku. He is then sent off to rescue Crunch and Coco, recruit Fake Crash, and defeat N. Trance and Nefarious Tropy. Crash is a playable character in Crash Nitro Kart, in which he is abducted (along with other characters) by Emperor Velo XXVII and forced to compete in the Galaxy Circuit. When Velo relinquishes his power to Crash, the latter seriously considers the possibility of ruling over Velo's empire, but decides to turn Velo down and leaves him with his empire. In Crash Twinsanity, after foiling another plot by Doctor Cortex to eliminate him, Crash teams up with Cortex in order to defeat the Evil Twins and restore the natural order of the universe. In Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, Crash is tricked into thinking that Spyro the Dragon is attacking the Wumpa Islands, but discovers the truth after a fight on a bridge, and teams up with Spyro to defeat the combined forces of Doctor Neo Cortex and Ripto.
In Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash is recruited (along with other characters) by Ebenezer Von Clutch to gather the stolen Power Gems of his amusement park and win the park's ownership. He also finds Von Clutch's lost Black Power Gem by the end of the game. Crash is a playable character in Crash Boom Bang!, in which he interrupts the Viscount's wish to the Super Big Power Crystal and wishes for a vast amount of Wumpa Fruit. In Crash of the Titans, Crash aids Coco in the development of a butter-recycling device. This is interrupted when Neo Cortex arrives and kidnaps Aku Aku and Coco. Crash throws Coco's machine at Cortex's airship, severing the chain holding Aku Aku's cage, which causes the cage to fall into the nearby forest. After Crash rescues Aku Aku, they discover that Cortex and Uka Uka are stealing Mojo from a nearby temple and decide to stop them. Crash is unable to rescue his sister, but manages to defeat Cortex and begins his search for Coco, interrogating Tiny Tiger, N. Gin, and Uka Uka on her whereabouts. Crash finally confronts and defeats Nina Cortex inside of the Doominator robot, liberates his sister, and averts the destruction of Wumpa Island. Feeling happy for themselves, Crash and his family decide to celebrate their victory with pancakes, which he blurts out (speaking for the first time) in joy. Soon after, the NV, a personal digital assistant that everyone must possess, is released to the public. However, this turns out to be a plot by Doctor Cortex and his old partner Doctor Nitrus Brio, who use the NV's Mojo-transmitting powers to control everyone who uses the device. Because Crash is unaffected by the NV, he is able to free his friends from the control of the NV and stop Cortex's and Brio's plot.
As a mascot character, Crash has drawn numerous comparisons to competing mascots such as Mario and Sonic by reviewers. A reviewer for Game Revolution praised Crash's "quirky mannerisms" as "always refreshing", and John Broady of GameSpot described Crash as "disarmingly cute and fuzzy". Doug Perry of IGN was critical of the character, seeing him as "insanely capitalistic", negatively comparing his voice to Luigi of the Mario series and accusing him of being "the most see-through, copycat mascot that ever existed." Louis Bedigian of GameZone also disliked Crash's voice, remarking "It is really annoying to hear a child say, "Whoa!" every time you fall in the water, especially when you realize that the child's voice is supposed to be Crash." Crash's animations, particularly in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, have been praised as humorous by reviewers. Ryan Davis of GameSpot analyzed Crash's "overextended running style and self-punishing attacks" as establishing him as an "empty-headed but enthusiastic character", and compared his facial contortions to those of comedian Red Skelton. A reviewer for Worth Playing also praised Crash's facial expressions and commented "The boy is about as sharp as a sack of hair and he proves it every time the camera zooms in on him, or every time his attention span visibly wanders off to play with the butterflies while other stuff is going on around him. He's great to watch."
Crash's aesthetic design in the games developed by Radical Entertainment has received mixed reactions from reviewers. Brian Rowe of Game Revolution wondered when and why the change happened, but concluded that "it’s better than the popular goatee-of-rage that so many other platform giants are sporting these days." Arnold Katayev of PSX Extreme was unhappy with Crash's tribal tattoos (which he saw as "pretentious"), mohawk, fighting stance (which he deemed "out of character") and voice (which he described as "annoying gibberish"). Matt Keller of PALGN also criticized Crash's voice, which he felt made him sound "like a confused baby". Craig Harris of IGN was more positive on Crash's new appearance, remarking that he "looks a little cooler and more appealing than his more "Japanese-inspired" edits over the years," while Louis Bedigian of GameZone felt that "these changes, no matter how subtle, have really hurt Crash’s appearance as a leading game character".
- Crash Bandicoot at Bandipedia at Wikia
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