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The first spin-off of the Crash Bandicoot series, as well as the last game of the series developed by Naughty Dog. A Mascot Racer heavily inspired by Mario Kart, and also drawing several elements from Diddy Kong Racing.
The game has a Diddy Kong Racing styled 1-player adventure mode; most levels have one of each of these items to get:
- Trophies: For winning a vanilla race
- CTR tokens: Remember the Silver Coin Challenges in Diddy Kong Racing? Well, they're back, but this time you only need to get 3 letters in each race.
- Relics: Similar to Crash 3, the courses are littered with time-stopping crates. Finish 3 laps with a good time for a sapphire or gold relic. Or platinum.
- There's also bosses and multi-race cups through the adventure, and the battle arenas are converted into contests where you have to get all the crystals in the arena before running out of time (which is cut if you hit a Nitro crate).
Tropes used in this game:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Sewer Speedway.
- Bubbly Clouds: Hot Air Skyway.
- Comeback Mechanic: As is standard in a kart racer.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The bosses in Adventure mode have infinite items (of the trap variety, and they are laid CONSTANTLY). Oxide even starts the race before the green light!
- Double Unlock: To get to race Oxide for a second time and beat the game, all you have to do is beat the time trials on every course. Easy, right? Well, that includes a track that's only unlockable if you collect all five gems. How do you get those? Beat a cup race, four races in a row for one gem. How do you unlock those? Collect 4 tokens of the cup's respective color by beating races and collecting letters around the course.
- Enemy Mine: Everybody teams up against Oxide to save the world; most of the playable roster is made up of bosses from the previous games, in fact. That said, they are competing to be the one who races Oxide. Even the bosses (except for Oxide, of course) are really on your side and are essentially sparring partners. Their job is to make sure that Earth's champion is actually capable of defeating Oxide, because the entire planet loses if the champion loses.
- Gainaxing: The trophy girls.
- Go Karting With Neo Cortex: And there are actually more bad guys than good guys as playable characters!
- Green Hill Zone: Coco Park. Slide Coliseum and Turbo Track also count, to a lesser extent.
- Jungle Japes: Papu's Pyramid and Tiger Temple combine this with Ruins for Ruins Sake.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: N. Gin Labs.
- One Stat to Rule Them All: Due to how power sliding works, acceleration tends to not be much of a factor for a good player, who will remain at top speed the whole race, and having a high turning stat may prove to be hindering, preventing a character to power slide in a straight line (sound familiar?); so characters are tiered pretty much based on their speed.
- Palmtree Panic: Crash Cove.
- Regional Bonus: Penta Penguin, the secretmost character, is a run-of-the-mill beginner character in the NTSC version, but, in the PAL version, has all stats maxed out.
- Shark Tunnel: Most of Roo's Tubes takes place in one of these.
- Shifting Sand Land: Dingo Canyon.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Blizzard Bluff and Polar Pass.
- Took a Level In Badass: Every item has a "juiced-up" version if you have 10 wumpa fruit (which are scattered around the course and also slightly increase your speed, like coins in classic Mario Kart).
- The Unintelligible: Ripper Roo, whose speaks in mad laughter. In the Japanese version, he actually speaks, thereby averting this trope.
- Urban Legend of Zelda: You cannot unlock Oxide, and even with a cheating device he is not playable in all tracks due to it being too large. Keep that in mind when looking for cheats for this game.
- Wacky Racing: Obviously.
- Wake Up Call Boss: Papu Papu. Very fast, tricky track. The game after him begins to shape up a bit.
- Warmup Boss: Ripper Roo is a character with low top speed, who is raced in one of the more simple tracks of the game, and his trademark trap can be easily shaken off.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: The game's credits have one, explaining what happens to each of the playable characters.
- A Winner Is You: Beat all of Oxide's ghosts in time trial... and you can see from the main menu the scrapbook you get shown if you complete Adventure mode.