Top 10 Weirdest Moments

In a series filled to the brim with deranged scientists and lunatic animals (sprinkled with some voodoo for good measure), it's a given that we're playing games that aren't exactly normal. For the most part, Crash Bandicoot games do make sense despite the oddball cast and adventures that are out of this world (both figuratively and sometimes literally), but there have still been a few moments that could be considered weird even by Crash standards.

Keep in mind that this page will contain spoilers for a bunch of games, so if you'd like to experience all of the oddities firsthand, avert your gaze right now. With that out of the way, let's dive into 10 of the most notable examples of when things get strange or come out of left field. Let's get nonsensical. Let's get weird.

#10 - Crunch Explodes

Crunch's skeleton explodes.

Throughout the The Wrath of Cortex, Crunch has a habit of breaking into pieces or dissolving at the end of most fights. Most people don't feel too well when this happens to them, but Crunch never seems worse for wear. While this doesn't seem to make much sense at first, you can infer that it's thanks to the Elementals' influence, since Crunch's body is, at least, made of fire, water, or whatever element he's using against you. On the other hand, this makes it even weirder when you defeat his air form, since Crunch visibly has his real, organic skeleton blown apart for some reason.

Skeletons are nothing new at this point. You can see Crash's whenever he's electrocuted, but it's always played for laughs. Seeing Crunch's gigantic skeleton being scattered to pieces is just kind of unsettling, not to mention nonsensical. I seriously thought Crunch died the first time I saw this happen, but as usual, he just showed up alive and well the next minute, taunting Crash as if all he did was mildly annoy him. Yeah, okay.

#9 - Mega-Mix

The villains fused into Mega-Mix.

The Huge Adventure revolves around Cortex's plan to rule over the planet after shrinking it. The machine he used for this effect, the Planet Minimizer, is damaged at the end of the story, and it ends up fusing all of the bosses together somehow, forming Mega-Mix. Don't you just love science?

The idea itself is pretty unconventional, but the weirdest thing about Mega-Mix is actually how much of a letdown it is: It just chases you for a short while and quickly separates back into all the individual villains, never to be mentioned again. It's surprising that the developers even decided to merge all the bosses together for something so minor.

#8 - Crash's Brain

Various microscopic Crashes greet Cortex inside Crash's brain.

At the end of Crash Twinsanity, an unexplained malfunction with the Psychetron (a machine thus far only used to travel between dimensions) ends up projecting Cortex into Crash's brain. When Cortex comes to his senses, he realizes what's going on as he's surrounded by a multitude of Crashes dancing around him, as a humorous and ironic punishment for trying to catch the bandicoot off-guard.

To be more specific, Cortex winds up in an area called the "brainovial hyperbarium", where someone's personality materializes into reality. Not that you'd know this by playing the game, because it's all part of a removed sub-plot, making the whole thing seem that much more off-the-wall. To make things worse, the next games never bothered explaining how Cortex got out.

On a related note, the infamously cut bonus level Gone a Bit Coco was going to be set in Coco's brain. After the Psychetron froze her, players would have had the chance to explore her mind as Cortex, battling Coco's inner thoughts in the form of cutesy critters, making this another personal hell for the bearded doctor. If this level had made it into the game, this entry would have probably been about it.

#7 - Neo-Cor Systems

The Lab Assistant generator is a complex machine that mass-produces androids and sends them to various time periods.

Discovering the Lab Assistant generator in Crash 3 is a bewildering moment: "You mean all those Lab Assistants I've been defeating in every game are actually mass-produced robots?" This is probably what most people thought the first time they saw it. It doubles as a testament to Naughty Dog's attention to detail, as you can see each Lab Assistant entering production before being shipped to its destination, complete with implementing appropriate attire (and, one can assume, attack patterns).

Besides the general creepiness of the whole thing (especially the way the Lab Assistants look before they have skin), this is also a pretty ingenious setup that hits you in the head later on. These guys all look and sound the same besides their outfits, and some of them have exhibited weird characteristics in previous games, such as random electrical discharges or robot parts. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that they're machines. Not so strange anymore, is it?

#6 - Fake Crash's Debut

Fake Crash dancing on a small island.

This ugly facsimile of our dashing protagonist started out as an inside joke. Fake Crash debuted in Warped, where you can find him doing a less than sensual boogie in a few places after getting the good ending.

The first time I saw him was while watching my brother play the level Makin' Waves. I told him: "Hey, I think I saw Crash back there!", but he was skeptical. A little while after I left the room, he called me so I could witness what he found upon backtracking. Fake Crash's hideous mug was the most unexpected thing I'd seen in the game. Keep in mind this was the first time I saw the character, and there was no information about him back then. It was both amusing and confusing.

Some sources say that Fake Crash was based on a Crash toy made in Japan, which had huge eyebrows and teeth (prompting Naughty Dog to nickname it Trash Bandicoot). Fake Crash's first true appearance was in a Japanese TV advertisement for Crash Bandicoot 2, and he was later included in several games as an easter egg, along with an important role in N-Tranced's story.

Funnily enough, Fake Crash is absurdly popular in Japan (at least as much as Crash himself, resulting in many more of his appearances there, including a playable role in Crash Bash), but to most people, he's just that guy who always shows up at your best friend's birthday parties and stares awkwardly at everyone.

#5 - And Suddenly Crunch Is a Good Guy, I Guess

Crunch joins Crash, Coco, Aku Aku, and Pura inside their house.

Okay, so mind control wasn't exactly a new thing when The Wrath of Cortex came out, but the fact that Crunch, who had spent the entire game antagonizing the good guys, was actually being brainwashed by Cortex this whole time just comes out of nowhere.

You get all the gems, defeat Cortex a second time, and this... somehow snaps Crunch out of his supposed trance. Is it linked to that lever Cortex hits by accident? Why didn't that have the same effect in the bad ending, then? More importantly, how is this suddenly a thing? Why do all the characters act like they knew Crunch was good? What, is that why he punches Cortex during the final boss fight? Tell me you didn't think that was out of frustration.

I always used to chuckle when Crunch thanked the heroes for "believing in him", because, in my mind, they were just as surprised as I was, but decided to be polite and act like they hadn't been trying to kill him. "Uh yeah, we totally knew you were being brainwashed. We thought blowing you up several times would fix it."

Perhaps weirder is the fact that Crunch joins Crash and the others inside their house. How does he fit through that tiny door?

#4 - The Spyro Crossover

Crash and Spyro join forces.

Back in 2004, someone had the bright idea of creating Crash Bandicoot Purple (a.k.a. Fusion), a crossover with Spyro the Dragon. This makes about as much sense as eating a hot dog with yogurt in it. After all, each thing is best enjoyed individually (I think. I haven't really tried a "hot dogurt" yet).

At the time, both franchises were platformers starring daredevil mascots owned by the same company, not to mention they had a history of supporting one another. The only problem is that, at its core, Crash has little in common with Spyro. Besides the very different settings in each series (one being a cartoony version of Earth and the other a magical fairy tale realm), the character designs are also very jarring when mixed with each other, and they don't blend in at all. To me it always looks like Crash is fighting plush dolls when I look at him next to a Rhinoc.

This would have been fine if it was a spin-off with no real bearing on each character's universe, but it's treated as a typical adventure for both heroes, and that's where it starts feeling off. It would have helped if there was an explanation for how exactly this came to be, plot-wise. You could assume Cortex found Spyro's world while studying other dimensions and contacted the dragon's arch-nemesis, Ripto, but it's never explained. For all we know, Cortex and Ripto might as well have been college roommates.

Actually, I would have watched a sitcom like that.

#3 - The 2007 Changes

The main cast redesigned for Crash of the Titans.

Shortly after a brief text reveal of Crash of the Titans, a scan showing the first images from the game started floating around the Internet, and the fandom immediately exploded. Crash's new design was the only thing everyone talked about for a long while. The bandicoot getting a new haircut and trading his iconic gloves for tattoos? It was completely unprecedented.

Not long after the scan popped up, a character sheet was released, and this is where things started to get really strange. Most characters looked extremely different, some beyond the point of recognition. People couldn't even tell for sure if Uka Uka and Tiny were supposed to be themselves or new characters (especially Tiny, who was now a run-of-the-mill Bengal tiger instead of a Tasmanian tiger).

Regardless of your opinion on these redesigns, the fact of the matter is that the whole thing caught everyone off-guard, making this one of the most surreal moments in the series. The point is further driven home in the game itself, where some characters act or sound very different from usual. And these weren't the only changes, either. Different voice actors, character designs, personalities, settings, and gameplay all combined to make this game something very unexpected for everyone.

The only reason this isn't higher up on the list is its meta nature, as the game simply acts like this is how everything's always been. The first impact is shocking, but you eventually come to realize and accept that most of this stems from marketing decisions and whatnot.

#2 - The Chimera

The Chimera.

Unless you've done your Crash homework or suffered through the Nintendo DS version of Mind Over Mutant, you've probably never even heard of this character before. The Chimera is, perhaps, the weirdest character in the series: a freaky amalgamation of several Titans that shows up with no explanation whatsoever. It's the final boss in the game, and what sets it apart from Mega-Mix (besides just being there all of a sudden) is that it's extremely powerful and played completely straight. It also looks pretty gruesome, and one of the scrapped designs was even worse.

This version of Mind Over Mutant was made by the Japanese company TOSE, but these guys didn't get the memo that said, in big bolded letters, that Crash games do not have JRPG end bosses. One of the Titans exclusive to this version, the Psycho Mandrake, gets an honorable mention for being just as strange, the way only a sentient 6-foot tall flower with a faceless head could. Oh, and good luck beating the Chimera, by the way. Better have a tissue ready for your tears once you realize it can regenerate its health.

#1 - Arriving at the 10th Dimension

Evil Crash confronts a terrified Dr. Cortex.

So you're playing through Twinsanity, and you finally reach the fabled 10th Dimension, which you know nothing about. As soon as the Iceberg Lab is transported there, the first thing you see is Cortex unknowingly stroking the fur of Crash's never-before-seen doppelgänger. This comes completely out of left field, as Evil Crash simply appears inside the Iceberg Lab for reasons that are never explained.

Although the game never explicitly mentions it, the 10th Dimension is the polar opposite to our own universe. That's why Evil Crash exists and lives in a nightmarish version of N. Sanity Island. The place itself could almost qualify as an entry in this list, if not for the fact that it's supposed to be weird, and thus, makes complete sense in context.

Whatever the case is, seeing Evil Crash appear out of nowhere, immediately kidnapping Nina (who you suddenly learn might be Cortex's daughter), and forcing you to go after him in a hellish, unknown territory is a bit too much to take in all at once, and bound to confuse anyone who goes into the game for the first time. I mean, I've been playing this game for over 10 years and I still don't know what the deal with this scene is. And then none of this is ever mentioned again, as if it was all just a bad fever dream. Oi.

 

And so we've come to the end of these mind-boggling moments, but it's worth noting that an oddity is in the eye of the bewildered. Do you agree with this list? Got any other weird moments you'd like to share? If so, leave a comment and let everyone know how flabbergasted they left you.



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