Crystals are special minerals that contain immense energy. Their exact origin is unknown, but they are usually sought-after for selfish purposes. When these crystals are at stake, Crash Bandicoot sets out to collect them before they fall into the wrong hands, most notably his arch-nemesis Cortex in his quest for world domination. The doctor has repeatedly tried to get all 25 crystals to power up his maniacal creation, the Cortex Vortex, and enslave mankind.
These jewels' number and purpose vary wildly between games:
- Crystals are some of the most important collectibles in most games, and they are required to advance in the platformers that feature them. They are simply referred to as crystals in most games, and there is usually a set of 25 of them.
- In The Wrath of Cortex, they are referred to as Elemental Crystals, but it's unclear whether this is the usual set or an entirely different one, as they look the same and there is a total of 25 as well. 5 Crystals are needed to put each of the Elementals back to their state of hibernation.
- From N-Tranced onward, they are usually referred to as Power Crystals.
- Crystals tend to get much more numerous in spin-offs such as, for example, Crash Tag Team Racing, which has 142 Crystals.
Crystals are called Power Stones in Japan.