20 Years of Crash Bandicoot
20 years ago, the world witnessed the birth of one of gaming’s greatest legends, a certain orange mutant marsupial.
Back in 1996 before Uncharted 4 and Jak and Daxter, a legendary man by the name of Andy Gavin created one of the greatest titans of the original Playstation, Crash Bandicoot.
Naughty Dog wanted to create a game for the new Sony Playstation. After overlooking the current market of consoles, they decided that the N64 would be too expensive to publish games on and the SEGA Saturn’s hardware wasn’t that great. Gavin wanted to take a somewhat cute animal that nobody knew about and turn it into a legendary character. It came down between a Potoroo, a wombat or a bandicoot. Initially they decided on the name Willy the Wombat, but this was changed because the developers thought the name sounded dorky and there was already a character who had that name, so they switched to a bandicoot. The colour of the character was chosen by process of elimination, comparing colours that worked on backgrounds mixed with popular character colours and TV screens that were available at the time, they eventually decided on orange.
The name Crash Bandicoot was chosen because he was a bandicoot that crashed into boxes, and thus a legend was born.
The story of the first Crash game was that the main villain Dr. Neo Cortex began to abduct animals from three islands off the coast of Australia in order to create an army. Crash is dubbed as the leader of said army. However, he resists brainwashing and escapes by jumping out a window, meanwhile Cortex makes improvements to his Cortex Vortex weapon and begins to test it on Tawna – Crash’s girlfriend. After washing up on the shores of N. Sanity Island, Crash sets out to save Tawna and stop Cortex from taking over the world. On the way Crash encounters the Cortex Commandos – the mutated animals that Crash was supposed to lead. Crash isn’t alone in his quest as he retrieves the power of an ancient witch doctor mask named Aku Aku.
Over the next two years Crash would see two additional outings facing off against Cortex with the aid of his former assistant Dr. Nitrous Brio and his younger sister Coco Bandicoot. However, as his defeats grew, Cortex added several new team members such as Tiny Tiger and Dr. N Gin. But after his second defeat and the destruction of the Cortex Vortex, Crash accidentally released Aku Aku’s evil twin brother Uka Uka who is the true mastermind behind Cortex’s world domination schemes. He was just the first of many villains that the bandicoot has squared off against over the years from Nitrous Oxide – the former fastest in the Galaxy, to two Mutated Parrots from Cortex’s past. Nothing has proved too much for this mute marsupial mutant
While Crash has not seen any new games since 2008’s Mind Over Mutant, there is still some hope that the series will be rebooted due to some recent hints in Uncharted 4. In addition there are rumours of the first game being ported to the PS4’s playstation store.
Happy 20th Birthday Crash!