Back in the 90s, all the great video game companies had their own game and character mascot, and for PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot became their flagship game. This orange, fruit-munching and box jumping bandicoot helped Naughty Dog to pioneer the 3D platform game, completely changing the course of gaming history for more than 20 years. Now that Crash will be returning to PS4 in just 2 days’ time, we’ve compiled a list of everything young gamers need to know about this crazy platform character.
If you remember Crash Bandicoot from the original PlayStation game, why not see how many of these facts you already know?
1 - Crash Bandicoot was originally a wombat
Naughty Dog founders, Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, were inspired by the Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil and started developing a platform game about an obscure marsupial on zany adventures. Originally, the character was going to be a wombat until the pair found out about bandicoots in an Australian wildlife guide.
Universal Interactive Studios, however, wanted the character to be a wombat called Wuzzle in order to attract younger audiences instead but the team at Naughty Dog were so against this, they threatened to stop working on the game, even though they were already in mid-development.
2 - Sonic’s back was the inspiration for Crash
Before Crash Bandicoot and other games such as Super Mario 64, platform games were 2D and this meant that Naughty Dog’s decision to put the in-game camera behind the character was extremely innovative. It also meant that in comparison to the sideways viewpoint used by Sonic the Hedgehog and other games, the majority of the game would leave the player looking at Crash Bandicoot’s back.
The boulder levels where the camera is in front of Crash was designed so that players could get to know the character more and build an attachment to him.
3 - The item boxes were just a quick afterthought
The wooden boxes that you collect throughout Crash’s adventures were only added late on in the game’s development to give easy levels some complex puzzles for players to enjoy. It’s Crash’s way of collecting these boxes (running into them headfirst at great speed) that gave him his first name.
4 - Just one actor voices most Crash Bandicoot characters
Brendan O’Brien not only voices Crash’s iconic reactions, he’s responsible for Dr Neo Cortex, Dr Nitrus Brio, Pinstripe Potoroo and Koala Kong.
Ripper Roo’s distinctive maniacal laugh, however, was provided by a sample of Dallas McKennon, a Golden Era voice actor. You may recognise it as the hyena’s laugh in Lady and the Tramp, but sped up.
5 - The Witchdoctor Mask was named after a restaurant
Aku Aku, the witchdoctor mask that follows and helps Crash, was named after the Polynesian restaurant the Naughty Dog team ate at in Boston. Dave Baggett, one of the developers, said that Aku Aku “had a giant tiki statue out front and, as I recall, fairly terrible food”. Nowadays, a seafood restaurant stands in Aku Aku’s place and the tiki statue has been replaced by a fisherman.
6 - Have you ever wondered why Crash is orange and has no neck?
The first Crash Bandicoot game came out in 1996, and games graphics were still pretty basic, which meant the Naughty Dog team had to design him with practicality in mind. Crash’s giant face and lack of a neck was needed to ensure the players could see all his whacky facial expressions on 90s TV sets.
Similarly, the colour orange was chosen out of practicality and necessity. Due to the game’s colourful environments, Crash needed to be a colour that would guarantee he stood out from the background. It’s this reason why you won’t find any lava levels throughout the original games.
7 - An entire level was removed for being too difficult
The first Crash Bandicoot game was challenging for even experienced gamers and the irregular save points meant that you could easily lose hours of progress with just one Game Over. There’s nothing more frustrating to Crash players, especially in the later levels.
Nowhere is this more of an issue than the Slippery Climb level, but the Naughty Dog team originally created an even tougher version, called the Stormy Ascent. It was decided the Stormy Ascent was too brutal and it was left out of the final game, but fans looking for the ultimate challenge can still access the level using a GameShark.
8 - Crash Bandicoot pioneered Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA)
After realising that the original Crash Bandicoot was incredibly tricky, the team at Naughty Dog developed a subtle system to help players who were struggling with the game.
DDA was developed to give them bonus hit points after deaths, and more checkpoints would be spawned if they lost a certain number of lives. Whilst DDA is a familiar and common aspect in modern gaming, it was originally developed by Crash Bandicoot.
9 - Doctor N. Gin’s head was based on a true story
Dr N. Gin, Neo Cortex’s right hand man in Crash Bandicoot 2, is an insane cyborg who randomly throws explosive and dangerous tantrums due to the missile stuck in his head, due to an experiment gone wrong. As a result, the active missile can randomly cause Doctor N. Gin to experience severe headaches.
Crash Bandicoot creator Jason Rubin experiences chronic migraines and used his own experiences to create the concept of Doctor N. Gin.
10 -They’re not apples...they’re Wumpa Fruit!
Throughout the Crash Bandicoot, you collect what we all originally thought were apples, but they’re actually wumpa fruit. Despite this, when developer Dave Baggett was asked what this fictional fruit tasted like, he said they tasted like apples.
Here at Pop Up Arcade, we’re all fans of the original Crash Bandicoot games, providing hours of challenging fun for everyone. We’re sure that when the new game comes out in a couple of days, a whole new generation of gamers will be able to enjoy this classic, embarking on a range of crazy adventures with Crash.
For more information about how Pop Up Arcade will provide the very best games and newest releases for your gaming party, simply call us on 0800 321 3941 or send us a message online today.