- Species: Human (Homo Sapiens Sapiens)
- Gender: Male
- Alignment: Evil
Dr. Neo Cortex is both Crash Bandicoot's creator and arch-nemesis. He is a scientific genius stubbornly bent on world domination, usually by kidnapping animals from the wild and turning them into his minions with mutating technology. Crash was originally intended to be the general in his army of super animals, but the experiment failed and he couldn't control Crash's mind. The big-headed doctor has had his plans foiled by Crash ever since.
Originally laughed at by the scientific community, Cortex became more and more obsessed with ruling the world. He is uptight and has an ego the size of his cranium. While not physically powerful, he possesses great intelligence, manipulative skills, and a trusty ray gun. In his calmer moments, the doc can sometimes be heard mumbling oddly poetical metaphors, but despite his intellect, Cortex is quick to throw a tantrum when things don't go his way. He is also quite cowardly sometimes.
As an ingenious scientist, Cortex is the proud creator of many machines and devices, which usually serve as the means to try and bring his evil plans to fruition (keyword being "try"). Notable mentions are the brainwashing Cortex Vortex and the Psychetron, a delicate station capable of traveling through dimensions. Cortex is also falsely credited as inventing a machine called the Evolvo-Ray, the key component in enhancing animals to use them as minions. The Evolvo-Ray's true creator and Cortex's former partner, Dr. Nitrus Brio, didn't take kindly to Cortex stealing all the glory, at one point turning against him.
Cortex often works under the instructions of the mighty Uka Uka, an evil witch doctor spirit and Aku Aku's twin brother. It's more of a necessity than a want — the necessity of not being smoldered to a crisp. He's not without his own surrogates, but his influence is not as strong as Uka Uka's, and they are quick to turn against him when there's something to be gained. His only shred of affection goes towards his beloved niece, Nina Cortex.
No matter how many times Crash defeats him, Cortex never gives up and is always planning his next move.
- Cortex underwent several different designs during his conception as a character, including one that became the basis for Dr. Nitrus Brio.
- He is the most recurring character in the series behind Crash Bandicoot, having been featured in every game excluding a couple of minor mobile titles.
- Cortex is one of two left-handed characters in the series (along with Nitrus Brio), a trait that is subtly but consistently shown in almost every game.
- His full name is revealed to be Neo Periwinkle Cortex in Crash Tag Team Racing and Crash of the Titans for the Nintendo DS.
- According to Crash of the Titans (Nintendo DS), Cortex is 1.60m tall and weighs 59kg.
The original design.
Thanks to Alen for the picture.
Crash Bandicoot 2
A more detailed version of the original design. Cortex notably has some different tinges to him, such as the purple tone of his hair and bluer boots.
Thanks to Alen for the picture.
Crash Bandicoot 3, Crash Team Racing
An even more detailed version of the original design. His hair now has a tinge of blue and his teeth are smaller.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Cortex's skin is now yellow, matching old promotional artwork. His head is flatter, and his hair is back to being purely black with a taller fringe. His eyebrows are thicker, and his eyes have a different, Asian-esque shape with red irises. Due to the different head shape, it's more difficult to see the N on his forehead entirely (which itself has become a bit larger).
Crash Nitro Kart, Purple
A return to the original design with some alterations. Cortex seems to be losing sleep over his defeats, as the bags under his eyes are huge and pitch-black. His skin is a different shade of yellow that is closer to its initial color. His eyebrows are more jagged now and the N on his forehead is light-blue and that much gaudier. His attire is more similar to his original one, albeit with red gloves and boots, and buttons on his lab coat.
Thanks to Crasharki for the picture.
Cortex has gotten considerably taller (though he still owes most of his height to his huge head). He has once again changed to a different outfit for potentially hygienic purposes, with less cartoon-ish boots, no triangular shoulder pads, and the letter N embroidered on his coat, which lost the buttons.
His skin color matches the yellow used in The Wrath of Cortex, and the N on his forehead is not only metallic now, but it also seems embossed rather than painted on. His eyes have black outlines instead of bags underneath, and his irises are simple, black dots. His lower lip is a bit smaller. Like every other character in the game, he has grown a fifth finger on each hand.
Crash Tag Team Racing
Although Cortex's head is pretty much identical to the previous design, he is now shorter than ever. The N on his forehead seems much glossier, and his boots are shaped like they used to be in his original design. He's gained back the triangular shoulder pads, but the small N on his coat is gone, and he's gone back to having four fingers on each hand.
Crash of the Titans, Mind Over Mutant
Either Cortex has been playing with his Planet Minimizer, or he's now the tallest he's ever been, having no trace of ever having been short before. His head has a considerably different shape and is no longer flat on top. His hair is bluer and less wide, and his skin is a bit paler. Cortex's ears are much bigger, and his beard is less wide. Once again, his outfit is different as well.
Cortex has returned to his original design, but his model has a much higher number of polygons than ever before. As a whole, he looks distinctly like the original concept art by Charles Zembillas, with the biggest difference being the addition of buttons on his lab coat.