Crash Bandicoot, or “Crash” is an Eastern Barred Bandicoot, and the main protagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series. He lives quite a peaceful life on a three-chain island just south-east of Australia. Unfortunately his quiet days are often interrupted by Dr. Neo Cortex, and he has to regularly defeat him to put his life back in order. You really have to feel sorry for the guy, all he wants is to sit around doing nothing, but he isn’t left alone.
Although Crash isn’t a normal Bandicoot, he’s genetically advanced, this could be the reason that he gets so much unwanted attention. He’d stand out a lot less if he wasn’t walking around in a pair of jeans though. The spinning orange fuzzball has a lot of friends, and is accompanied often by Aku-Aku, Coco Bandicoot and Crunch Bandicoot.
Crash was first created as a mascot for Sony and their PlayStation system. After the realization that Nintendo had Mario and SEGA had Sonic, Sony needed a poster boy of their own to back up their console. Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin set out to make a character, but seeing as the Crash games were to be multi-dimensional they didn’t want him to revolve around one set attribute like cool, cute or fast.
During the development of the first game, the marketing director of Universal Interactive Studios demanded that the main character be called “Wez”, “Wuzzle” or “Wizzy” the Wombat. Although looking at those names now, I don’t think anyone would of bought a game starring Wuzzle the Wombat. Crash eventually got his name due to his tendency to “Smash” boxes, Smash rhymes with Crash.
Our Eastern Barred hero wasn’t always genetically enhanced, he was once a normal Bandicoot, just like you or me. But one day he was snatched from the wild by Neo Cortex and subjected to the “Evolvo-Ray” as part of Cortex’s plan to make him the “general” of his “Cortex Commandos”, which would be used to conquer the world. However, Cortex soon deemed him “unworthy” of commanding his army and promptly ejected him from the castle.
As an act of revenge and to rescue his love interest (a female bandicoot named Tawna), Crash traveled through the Wumpa Islands, defeating Cortex’s minions as he went. He eventually stole Cortex’s airship, defeated Doctor Cortex, and escaped alongside Tawna. Over the following years Cortex continued to meddle in Crash’s affairs, simply to get his own back on the Bandicoot. Though when you think about it, it was Cortex’s fault to begin with.
Crash rarely adventures alone, most of the time one of his friends or relatives accompany him. Aku-Aku (A possessed mask) assists him 95% of the time, and provides protection for him. Most other times its his sister Coco or “Super Weapon turned good”; Crunch Bandicoot. The quirky character has had his fair share of experiences too, his games have led him in more directions than Mario; Riding Motorcycles, shooting bazookas, through space/time, and even collaborating with his foes to save the day! Although he’s always kept his trademarked “Spin Attack”.
Unfortunately our orange friend seems to have failed as a mascot for Sony, although he seemed to be doing well up until the launch of the PlayStation 2. Although his fuzzy look and hilarious actions proved to be very successful, others deemed him as “the most see-through, copycat mascot that ever existed.” His voice has also been heavily criticized, that it doesn’t suit the character and even going as far to compare it to a child’s voice – “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.”
The Bandicoot has quite a legacy of games under his belt too, some are good, some are bad, some are great and some are downright terrible:
- Crash Bandicoot – 1996
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back - 1997
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped – 1998
- Crash Team Racing – 1999
- Crash Bash – 2000
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex - 2001
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure – 2002
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced – 2003
- Crash Nitro Kart – 2003
- Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto’s Rampage – 2004
- Crash Twinsanity – 2004
- Crash Tag Team Racing - 2005
- Crash Boom Bang! – 2006
- Crash of the Titans – 2007
- Crash: Mind over Mutant - 2008
15 Games in total, quite a collection. I think the main reason behind Crash’s failure as a mascot would be his appearances on on other consoles. A while after he became the “unofficial” Sony mascot his games deviated to the GameCube and GBA. Now you could also say this true with Sonic, but the Hedgehog was always SEGA’s official mascot and as a company they chose to have him appear on other consoles after they dropped out of the console business. I think if it had been up to Sony, Crash would have stayed exclusive.