Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Developer(s): Naughty Dog
Universal Interactive Studios
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Producer(s): Mark Cerny
Connie Booth
David Gracia
Composer(s): Mutato Muzika (Mark Mothersbaugh and Josh Mancell)
Platform(s): Sony PlayStation
Release Date(s): October 31, 1997 (AmeriNTSCan)
December 1997 (EuroPALean)
December 1997 (JapaNTSCese)

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platformer video game originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation. It is the sequel to the previous year's Crash Bandicoot 1: Cortex Strikes for the First Time. Among other things, this game introduces Power Crystals, Nitro Crates, and decent voice acting to the series. Its plot involves someone striking back. Pre-release screenshots suggest that it might be Cortex, but this is unconfirmed.


One year ago, Crash Bandicoot defeated Dr. Neo Cortex on the latter's dirigible. (That's Mexican for "blimp"!) In the time since, Crash suffered a bitter breakup with his girlfriend, Tawna. She left him, so she could be Pinstripe Potoroo's steady girlfriend. This is because Pinstripe is far more receptive to her need to fuck lots of other men, too, all the time, constantly. Pinstripe, you see, is a professional pimp. He's exactly like Katt Williams. Except he's actually funny, not a painful black stereotype (but rather a less painful Italian stereotype!), actually a real-life pimp, has never been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jarvis "Jay Leno" Demonstein, and is an anthropomorphic potoroo with a pet machine gun named Tommy. The story goes that Crashie suffered a bit of a breakdown after this tragedy. He blew all his remaining money on hookers, heroin, and Precious Moments figurines. His debt forced him to sell his house and move in with his sister, Coco Bandicoot. He was more than just friends with her.

By this, I mean they were also siblings. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Meanwhile, Cortex has apparently spent the entirety of his time still falling. Even at falling, he's a miserable failure! One year later, however, he finally lands inside a cave. It's big and cavernous! Just like Tawna's big, wet....scale model of this cave. She had occasional non-sexual hobbies in the years before she became a trollop, you see. Cortie lights a match, and immediately lays eyes on a Crystal. "Oh, right, there was this amazing power source on my island all along, that I could have used in my last scheme but didn't, for some reason," cried Cortex. Neo Cortex racked his neocortex to come up with some Neato Cortex ideas. Suddenly, it hit him. He knew the right man for the job. "I'll hire the bandicoot who just ruined my life," he proclaimed. "Surely that can't possibly happen again!"

Meanwhile, Crashie has begun to clean up his act. He's ditched the heroin, and is only buying used Precious Moments figurines from antique stores. On this beautiful day, Crash and Coco are outside, enjoying the sunlight. Crash is absorbing the light and using the solar power to power his ravenous sleep motors. Or something. Coco is typing away on her laptop, an activity one would assume would be hindered by the glare of the sunlight. What WAS she thinking? Suddenly, she switches the power off, but falsely claims that the power "went out" because the "batteries" "died" instead. She lies like this, because she is too skittish to just straight-up tell Crash that the batteries are for her pretty pink rabbit vibrator. Crishity-Crashity-Bandy-Wandy-Cootie-Dootie-Doodles ventures into the jungle to find the mythical Battery Tree - but is quickly intercepted and warped to a space station, stationed somewhere in outer space.

A Holo-Projector appears and projects a hologram of Cortex's Cortextremely large head. The People's Cortie explains that the planets are aligning. All eleven of them! And when they do so, the Earth will be destroyed, by the cataclysmic power of....things being in a straight line. Um. The obsessive-compulsives will love it, but the rest of us will die! The only solution is for Crash to go through the warpydoos and retrieve the Power Crystals, says Neoie. But as his adventure continues, he starts to receive contradictory messages from a panicky and vibratorless Coco, and a supposedly reformed Dr. Nitrus Brio. And our protagonist, the Non-Crunchy Bandicoot, begins to wonder, just what IS the solution to this mystery?


No, wait. That's the solution to a different, non-Crashie mystery. Sorry.


Crash Bandicoot: A bandicoot named Crash. Rehab kicked the heroin out of his system, so now he's back to go adventurin' once more. While his last quest was for the morally questionable pursuit of Tawna's pussy, and the puttings of his penis inside thereof in a sexually provocative manner, this time he's fighting for a more wholesome goal: helping his eternal archrival, a noted evil genius, with a plot he's being extremely vague about. Crashtastic B is unvoiced in this game.

Dr. Neo Cortex: The primary antagonist, though you wouldn't know this unless you had the foresight to read this game's subtitle. He lies and tells Crash that the Crystals will save the world, but this is false. He actually intends to use them to destroy the world. Or control the world. Or gently give the world a prostate massage. Does he ever specify in-game? Well, anyway. He's up to no good, and he must be stopped - by doing exactly what he told you to do. Oh, logical logic, how logically thou dost logisticalate! Voiced by Clancy Brown.

Dr. N. Gin: He's the second-in-command in Uncle Cortie's bizarre quasi-scheme. This strange little man has a nuclear missile, in his head! Isn't that positively wacky? His hobbies include building overly complicated mechs with an inexplicable weakness to Wumpa Fruit, creepily lusting after his sexy sexy boss, and providing guest vocals for the Black Eyed Peas, thanks to his naturally auto-tuned voice. Voiced by Brendan O'Bulletpoints.

Dr. Nitrus Brio: Cortex's former right-hand man. When Cortex grew a right hand of his own, Brio left in disgust and became a goody-goody-goo. (By "grew a right hand of his own", of course, I mean "took credit for the Evolvo-Ray, which was actually created by Nitrus O'Bri".) He tells Crash that Cortex is a professional liar, and that he should collect Gems instead! Using the Gems, he says he can power his giant laser doodad and use it to destroy the Cortex Vortex forever, or until Crash Bandicoot 4: Cortex Wraths Back, whichever comes first. Voiced by James Brendan: Agent Double-O Brien.

Coco Bandicoot: Crash's younger, hotter sister. She's here to help him every step of the way. She does this, by bitching at him via hologram. She likes high-technology. Like computers. And lapine marital aids. Voiced by Vicki Winters.

Aku Aku: Crash's wooden parakeet mask guardian unit. He lives a peaceful life in his wooden crate, but if Crashie violently breaks into his home with a Spin Attack, he'll gladly protect our bandicoot acquaintance from minor harm!

Polar: Everyone's favourite retarded polar bear! Crash likes to ride him, all night long, because Poley-Woley-Wolar is too retarded to protest, you see. It's not rape if they're too retarded to protest, you see! ....I think.

Björn the Turbö Surfing Bjöard: A laid-back Swedish surfing dude who loves hanging around rivers. He'd be entirely too pleased to introduce Crashie to the Satanic world of surfing, and sadly, this is required to get through the game. Goddamn Swedish hippie surfer kids. He's probably powered by meatballs or weed or weedballs or something. Ughhhhhh....

Judge Jetty Packer: When he's not handing down verdicts in his native Melbourne, Judge Packer likes to strap himself to the backs of marsupials. For, um, justice or something. Yeah. As a thank you for indulging his unique and wonderful hobby, he'll gladly use his Turbo-Charged Gavel Power to propel Crashiekins through bland tube-shaped portions of Uncle Cortie's space station. For, um, justice or something.

Mr. Firefly: A kind-hearted if absent-minded firefly gentleman whose fly is totally open and stuff. He likes to pretend he's some sort of pasty Finnish guardian mask or something. He's a helpful ally, but a terrible husband.

Ripper Roo: Cortex's beloved insane straitjacket-wearing kangaroo abomination. In this game, he's working for Bribri. Or something. I never really understood it. He likes hopping, political science, and explosions, and always stands by his mantra that laughter is always the best medicine. <3

Komodo Brothers: Komodo Joe is the smart one, and Komodo Moe is the stupid one. As such, they are a fairly stereotypical comedy Komo-duo. They love swords so much that they can apparently conjure up an endless supply to Komo-throw. And that pun's getting old. Yes, yes, I Komo-know.

Tiny Tiger: The best fucking character in the entire fucking series! Tiny is Cortex's second first creation, and as such, is a primitive moron. He'll even jump into holes if you trick him into doing so! He doesn't understand the futuristic techno-future so well, you see. Hell, in this game, he didn't even fully understand that his name isn't "Taz Tiger" yet! What an idiot! Ha ha ha!


Crash Bandicoot 2: The Strike-back-ening features a more fleshed-out control scheme compared to its predecessor. As such, it is actually mildly amusing to play. He maintains the abilities to jump and use his signature Spin Attack, but now he can also crouch, crawl, use a sliding attack, perform a belly flop, and even perform a shitty high jump! Using these skills, he'll have to traverse the five (plus one secret) Warp Rooms and retrieve all the Power Crystals. Similar to the first game, he can also earn a Clear Gem if he breaks all the crates in a level, too. Conveniently, unlike the first game, you don't have to do this entirely without dying. Nonetheless, Connie Booth is still....a fucking cunt.

This game places more of an emphasis on secret areas than the first. Every single standard platforming level in the game features a Bonus Round, whose purpose has changed from a year ago. As the player can now save whenever they desire, the Bonus Rounds exist only to add to the crate count for a level. Yes, the Bonus Round crates actually count now. Non-bonus alternate routes exist, too, so keep an eyeball-peeler handy! Sometimes, you'll even come across a Death Route - a particularly difficult diversion that only appears if you've yet to die in the current level. As they are often required to fully complete a level, it's safe to say that this is where Boothie focused her cuntiness this year.

Coloured Gems are back, too, though limited to just five colours now: Blue, Red, Yellow, Yellowy Blue, and Readily Blue. They are no longer obtained via the whole crate-busting thing, though. Instead, they're well-hidden inside the levels themselves, and often require Crashie to do something odd to earn the right to possess their Gemminess - and it IS necessary to possess their Gemminess, if you want to ride the Gem Routes! In a similar vein, in addition to the standard crate Clear Gem for each level, some levels now contain a bonus second Clear Gem, generally obtained by clearing a special secret area. Naughty Dog worked very hard to make Gems more interesting in this game, as per Brio's revised contract.


First Warp Room: Generic Crashie-Style Ruins!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
1 Turtle Woods Generic Introductory Jungle Crystal, Clear Gem, Blue Gem 62
2 Snow Go Eskimoslovakian Ice Ruins Crystal, Clear Gem, Red Gem 74
3 Hang Eight Surfin' Safari! Crystal, Clear Gem x2 74
4 The Pits Generic Introductory Jungle Crystal, Clear Gem 53
5 Crash Dash Indiana Jones Holiday Special Crystal, Clear Gem 44
BOSS 1 Ripper Roo Boss N/A N/A

Second Warp Room: Uncle Cortie's Snow Hole!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
6 Snow Biz Eskimoslovakian Ice Ruins Crystal, Clear Gem 124
7 Air Crash Surfin' Safari! Crystal, Clear Gem x2 102
8 Bear It Polar's Frigid Crevasse Crystal, Clear Gem 48
9 Crash Crush Indiana Jones Holiday Special Crystal, Clear Gem 57
10 The Eel Deal Unusually Clean Sewer Crystal, Clear Gem, Green Gem 79
BOSS 2 Komodo Brothers Boss N/A N/A

Third Warp Room: The Kingdom of Sewertopia!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
11 Plant Food Surfin' Safari! Crystal, Clear Gem, Yellow Gem 53
12 Sewer or Later Unusually Clean Sewer Crystal, Clear Gem x2 57
13 Bear Down Polar's Frigid Crevasse Crystal, Clear Gem 42
14 Road to Ruin Chimpanadu Nighty Ruins Crystal, Clear Gem x2 89
15 Un-Bearable Indiana Jones "Polar Bear Awareness" Special Crystal, Clear Gem 58
BOSS 3 Tiny "Taz" Tiger Boss N/A N/A

Fourth Warp Room: Indeterminate but Possibly Mine-Based Thing!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
16 Hangin' Out Unusually Clean Sewer Crystal, Clear Gem 93
17 Diggin' It Softy Brick Road Crystal, Clear Gem x2 95
18 Cold Hard Crash Eskimoslovakian Ice Ruins Crystal, Clear Gem x2 155
19 Ruination Chimpanadu Nighty Ruins Crystal, Clear Gem x2 84
20 Bee-Having Softy Brick Road Crystal, Clear Gem, Purple Gem 92
BOSS 4 Dr. Numberfourboss Gin Boss N/A N/A

Fifth Warp Room: By This Point Cortex Isn't Even Trying to Hide the Fact That You're Just in His High-Tech Space Station!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
21 Piston It Away Uncle Cortie's Recently Renovated Professional Science Laboratorium Crystal, Clear Gem x2 69
22 Rock It Jetty Packer Tube Zone Crystal, Clear Gem 39
23 Night Fight Generic Introductory Jungle....After Dark Crystal, Clear Gem x2 46
24 Pack Attack Jetty Packer Tube Zone Crystal, Clear Gem 46
25 Spaced Out Uncle Cortie's Recently Renovated Professional Science Laboratorium Crystal, Clear Gem x2 60
BOSS 5 Dr. Neo Cortex Boss N/A N/A

Secret Warp Room: Hidden Warp Room!Edit

Level Name Type Collectibles Crates
7 Air Crash (Alt.) N/A N/A N/A
2 Snow Go (Alt.) N/A N/A N/A
14 Road to Ruin (Alt.) N/A N/A N/A
26 Totally Bear Polar's Frigid Crevasse....After Dark Clear Gem 40
27 Totally Fly Generic Introductory Jungle....After Dark Clear Gem 44


Reception and Legacy and Friends!Edit