|Crates:||46 (6 on Blue Gem "Route")|
|Collectibles:||1 Clear Gem|
Rolling Stones is the sixth level of Crash Bandicoot. Having just voted Tribesanistani President Papu Papu out of office, in a bloodily bloodless fight to the death, Crashie slips out the back of Papupapusburgh unnoticed, unwittingly stumbling into the Papster's secret stone cheese collection. If our marsupial acquaintance can avoid pursuit by President P.P.'s top-notch security guards, he too can have a delicious taste of Mr. Papupapudopoulos's stash, of Wumpa Fruit and a Clear Gem which he also keeps here for some reason.
Crash Bandicoot and Squaresoft: A Non-Match Not Made in Nonexistent HeavenEdit
In the year 2000....Naughty Dog had just made their triumphant exit from the series, with the release of an anti-climactic Mario Kart clone. Other developers were scrambling for their chance to get their hands on Crashie, who was still a huge commodity at the time. Weird to think that nowadays, right? Crash Bandicoot used to be popular, and also, good? People used to actually like him, for some reason? Somehow Crashie was capable of starring in non-iPhone games? Surreal thought, isn't it? Eurocom secured the rights to develop their fan-favourite anti-climactic Mario Party clone as the final Crashtastic game on the Sony PlayStation, but the future of the series on the much-hyped prequel, the Sony PlayStation 2, was still wide-open and mysterious and unknown and shit.
One of the more successful failed propositions came from the Japanese-based purveyor of console role-playing generica, Squaresoft. Then-current Chairman of the Square Board Committee Squad Panel Tomoyuki Takechi was looking for a splendid way to make money for his company. (According to ill-informed fan complaints, this was because Square only cares about money, though this is not true. Takechi-kun-san-sama doesn't even actually like money, at all. He only needs money as a way to support his whimsical Three Card Monty addiction.) After conferring with his fellow Square Board Committee Squad Panellists and Square Board Committee Squad Panellistas, The Big Takecheese finally devised the brilliant idea of forcing his company to produce an epic Crash Bandicoot MMORPG! He was so positively sure that Universal Interactive Studios would approve of this top-notch idea that he forced the project into production before even receiving explicit permission from them. Set to direct the game was Hiromichi Tanaka, whose name suggests he might've been one of them Japaneses.
Cut to early 2001. Development was progressing developmentally progressively. Tanaka had a wealth of exciting features planned for the game, including an innovative class system allowing players to choose between several different species of bandicoot, each with their own unique abilities. The planned bandiclasses were, in no particular order: Pig-Footed Bandicoot, New Guinean Spiny Bandicoot, Seram Island Long-Nosed Bandicoot, Long Island Seram-Nosed Bandicoot, Rubber Bandicoot, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Bandicoot. The Takechimeister was extremely proud of Tanaka-laka-ding-dong's work, though unfortunately for them, Universal Interactive had caught wind of their not-yet-licensed malfeasance. The Big U.I. sent Squaresoft three cease-and-desist letters, a cease-and-desist postcard featuring an adorable picture of some kitties, and a lovely pair of cease-and-desist fruit baskets. The Squarelings had no hope but to abandon their hopes of a Crash Bandicoot MMORPG - but so much work had been done on the game that it was no longer financially practical to simply throw out. Instead, that no-good dirty Takecheater had the development team hastily reskin the game as Final Fantasy XI, a MMORPG entry in Square's own increasingly awful series of RPGs. The original six bandiclasses were hastily reskinned as classic Final Fantasy job classes, such as the Warrior and Black Mage, despite the fact that they still possessed obviously bandicoot-themed powers, such as wielding a big sword or casting powerful elemental spells, which are things that only bandicoots are capable of doing, obviously. How fucking lazy. Maybe money is all Squaresoft ever cared about. Ugh. I'm physically ill now.
Anyway, the point of all this is that Hiromichi "Ta-Knocka-Knocka, Who's There?, Hiromichi, Hiromichi Who?, Hiromichi Tanaka, Ha Ha Ha!" Tanaka had grown to adore the Crashie Bandicoot series, more than he had ever anticipated. As such, he couldn't help himself, he had to leave an Easter egg in the game as a cheeky homage to the lovable series that had been tragically torn from the grasp of his awful tentacle pervert hands. This Easter egg came in the form of the Stone Cheese item, which is obviously an homage to this very level. I mean, why else would they include an item by that name? The Stone Cheese item from Final Fantasy XI boosts the player character's Hit "HP" Points by 5.5%, exactly like the Stone Cheese Wheels in this stage! Isn't that awesome? It really is too bad that Squarie never got to finish the game, but at least there is this constant reminder of Squarington's deep, unfaltering love of the series nonetheless, a touching note to bring a smile to your face while the rest of your questing party calls you a "faggot n00b" or whatever.
- This level's name may be a reference to the famous rock-and-roll band The Rolling Stones. Lending further credibility to the theory is that the in-game stones keep rolling and rolling, long after it should've ceased to be possible by the laws of physics, exactly like the real-world band. (If this is true, it's interesting to note that the four faces on the stones could be hilarious caricatures of the four faces of the four current band members, a sly reference on the developers' part. It is never explained in-game, however, how Savage Tribesanistani Natives would have any familiarity at all with British rock music.)
- Alternately, this level's name could be a reference to the famous rock-and-roll-and-politics magazine, Rolling Stone, a biweekly publication infamous for its liberal leanings. It is not implausible that Naughty Dog chose this name as a metaphor for how the dirty liberals (Rolling Stone magazine, represented here by physical, rolling, cheese stones) are constantly doing nothing but overtaxing (fatally flattening) the rich (Crash Bandicoot).
- For unknown reasons, Dr. Neo Cortex himself has carved his face at the end of a dangerous, obscure tunnel in this stage, accessible only by using the Blue Gems. Tragically, no future games would ever again touch on Cory's love of the ever-fascinating sport of X-Treme Stonecarving.