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"They're working together, but they don't have to like it."—The tagline, used in promotions.
Crash Twinsanity is an action platformer, developed by Traveler's Tales, and is the fifth game in the Crash Bandicoot series, released for the Playstation 2 and Xbox
Designed as a departure from the usual Crash level style, Twinsanity greatly opens up levels, giving the game a more free-roaming feel. In lieu of totally linear levels, every 'stage' flows seamlessly into the next, and are more open for exploration. There are hidden areas and collectables scattered throughout the game, making many levels have small side paths or puzzles to complete. Despite these changes to form, the game manages to feel very Crash-like, possibly more than its extremely standard predecessor, Crash Bandicoot the Wrath of Cortex, also developed by Traveler's Tales.
Three years after the events of Crash Bandicoot the Wrath of Cortex, Crash has returned to his usual sedentary lifestyle of sleeping on the beach, Cortex stuck out in the antarctic wastes. But while digging up an old shoe, he hears his sister calling for him, following her into the jungle... Turns out, it's actually Dr. Cortex, still bitter about his last defeat, and has gathered most of Crash's old foes together to watch his demise. Despite giving it his best shot, and even bringing in a giant robot version of Crash, Cortex ends up defeated once again. Later, Crash and Cortex end up meeting the Evil Twins, strange, bird-like creatures from the Tenth Dimension, who've come to get some sort of strange revenge on Cortex, take over the dimension, and make everyone their slaves. This forces Crash and Cortex to set aside their differences, and form a very uneasy alliance against them, and make their way to the Tenth Dimension to stop their evil plans.
Traveler's Tales Oxford, a division of Traveler's Tales was created to work on the Crash Bandicoot series, this being their first, and last, game. It was intended to revive the Crash series, breathe some much-needed life into it, since Crash Bandicoot the Wrath of Cortex had been a near carbon-copy of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
Their intention was to make a huge game, full of what made the Crash games so good and then some, and spanning multiple dimensions, and even planets, where Crash would help out the locals in fending off the Evil Twins' forces, called Crash Bandicoot Evolution.
Despite loads of concept art and tons of ideas, Evolution was scrapped in favor of the simpler Twinsanity, which would simply span a few islands and a few dimensions.
But even that turned out to be too much, even more was lost as Executive Meddling began, Universal Studios Interactive started pulling back the deadline, rushing the game into its unfinished state. Entire completed stages and mechanics were Dummied Out to save time, and the game was released buggy and incomplete, although enjoyable in its own right.
Poor reviews and poor sales were the final nail in the coffin for Traveler's Tales Oxford, and the studio shut down soon after, leaving Crash to be handed over to Radical Entertainment.
Whether that was a good thing is up to you.
Tropes Used In This Game:
- Awesome Aussie: Dingodile. Period.
Dingodile: "Cozy, ain't it? I hear you two have your hands on some treasure, and I want a piece of that pie."
Cortex: "I have no idea what you just said."
- Aborted Arc: At the end of the game's first world, the Evil Twins describe something called the 'Vice-Versa Reversa Device', which is sucking the goodness out of Crash's dimension, and depositing it into the Tenth Dimension. This is brought up once, in a cutscene, and is never mentioned again, and never comes up in-game.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Boiler Room Doom is technically a boiler room, but it has sewer elements, and certainly feels like a sewer.
- Academy of Evil: Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil, Cortex's alma mater, and where his niece Nina currently attends.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Quite a few stages use this style of naming, such as High-Seas Hijinks, Classroom Chaos, Rockslide Rumble, Cavern Catastrophe, Ant Agony, and a number of others.
- Angrish: A lot of Cortex's lines dissolve into this.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Used in the Tikimon boss fight, where he exposes his mouth. A huge crosshair even shows up to tell you exactly where to toss Cortex.
- Big Bad: The Evil Twins.
- Big Ball of Violence: The 'Rollerbrawl' segments of the game, where you control Crash and Cortex in a literal ball of violence through Marble Madness-like levels.
- Big Eater: Moritz.
Moritz: "Is it lunchtime yet?"
- Bottomless Pit: Averted in Jungle Rumble, where the pits clearly have a bottom, it just happens to be covered with spikes. Played straight in basically every other stage, though.
Cortex, after being knocked into a pit: "I-I'm okay! The... spikes broke my fall..."
- Bullying a Dragon: Upon meeting the Evil Twins, Crash and Cortex are less than impressed.
Victor: "Cower you fools, before the awesome might of... The Evil Twins."
Cortex: "Aren't you two adorable. Let me see, I might have some chalky treats here for you!"
Moritz: "Chalky treats?! Ooh, ooh!"
- Butt Monkey: Dr. Cortex. Used as a snowboard, chased by angry bees, thrown around by his hated enemy. The list goes on.
- The Cameo: Various villains (also Crunch and Polar) turn up at Crash's "birthday party". Tawna also appears on a sign for the Moulin Cortex.
- Even Spyro makes an appearance.
- Comically Missing the Point: Crunch shows up at Crash's 'birthday party' with a cake and a party hat. He's clearly confused by all the villains that are there.
- Continuity Porn: It's very clear the developers had played the Naughty Dog Crash games a good twenty times a piece. Within the first half hour of gameplay, you've already seen Crash's House, briefly glimpsed in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and seen a truckload of villains from the previous games. It only gets better from there.
- Crate Expectations: As per usual for the Crash games, crates litter each stage with no explanation. Only this time, you don't need to break every single one.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Dr. Neo Cortex disguises himself as Coco in order to gain Crash's trust at the beginning.
Cortex, in drag: "It's true! Blonds do have more fun!"
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Cortex is a lot more invunerable and can do a lot more in cutscene. While playing as him... not so much.
- Dean Bitterman: Madame Amberly, head of the Academy of Evil, is definitely this. She's not above openly mocking her students, current or otherwise.
Madame Amberly: "So! Crybaby Cortex is all grown up! I see you've found employment as a barber."
Cortex, defensively: "I'm an evil scientist!"
Madame Amberly: "A scientist, are we? To me, you'll always be a little worm!"
- Demoted to Extra: Many of the villains/bosses from prior games make an appearance early on. Out of them, only Dingodile and N. Gin show up as bosses. After his first few lines of dialogue, Aku-Aku is demoted until the Uka-Uka boss, after which they appear together in two more cutscenes, and from then on are only found in crates and say nothing. Coco appears at the beginning, midway through the game, and at the very end, although she was originally going to be playable.
- Development Hell: An astounding example of this. There's loads of missing content, unused ideas, and whole models that ended up getting thrown out. As a result, the game is pitifully unfinished, even if pretty fun.
- Dissimile: Cortex's description of his gathering all the villains together.
Cortex: "And so I've organized a little gathering... Like a birthday party, except... The exact opposite!"
- The Dog Bites Back: Judging by his appearance at Crash's birthday party, Polar has gotten sick of being ridden around by Crash.
- Door to Before: Being a more free-roaming game, there are passageways back to previous areas. Strangely, few of the 'doors' actually are, most of them are platforms that appear out of nowhere, or start moving.
- Dual Boss: N. Tropy and N. Brio show up out of seemingly nowhere to confront crash on a small floating landmass. N. Brio attacks Crash as a huge frog-like thing, and N. Tropy splits up the platform into bits and attacks Crash from a distance. N. Tropy is the only one you can actually attack, though.
- Dummied Out: As mentioned before, loads of content was lost due to time constraints. Lampshaded by Cortex as he activates the Psychetron.
Cortex: "Come now, as we explore a new dimension! ...It should have been two new dimensions, but we... Ran out of time."
- Early-Bird Cameo: Nina showed up in Crash Purple during this game's creation. She had a completely different personality, and was used without any permission from Traveler's Tales.
- Enemy Mine: Crash and Cortex's shaky alliance, along with Aku-Aku and Uka-Uka's.
- Everything's Worse With Evil Penguins: Evil penguins with jetpacks, who are angry at Cortex for not paying them.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Naturally, as it is a Crash game, but Nina gets in on the spinny fun as well.
- Evil Teacher: Madame Amberly.
- Evil Twin: Evil Crash in the Tenth Dimension, but not the Evil Twins themselves.
- Fat Bastard: Madame Amberly is so fat she has to stay suspended by ropes, and has very, very visible jowls. Papu-Papu sort of counts, though the only bastardly thing he does is capture Cortex, and sic the villagers on Crash.
- Freudian Excuse: Late in the game, it's explained why the Evil Twins want revenge. They were Cortex's pet parrots, from when he was a child. He warped them to the Tenth Dimension due to a malfunction with the Evolve-O-Ray.
Victor: "Your failed experiment sent two innocent parrots to the Tenth Dimension! The severe reversive radioactive conditions here sharpened our skills, and warped our fragile, eggshell minds."
- Gag Boobs: Madame Amberly's bust is rather sickeningly ample.
- Gang Plank Galleon: High Seas Hijinks takes place on N. Gin's battleship, full of pirates, rats, and missles.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Many, many times, though one of the biggest examples is the Moulin Cortex.
Cortex, sliding through the building: "Coming through! Ladies... Excuse me madam! Are those real? ...Mother?!"
- Good Me Scares Me: In the cut material, Cortex was going to be terrified by his good conterpart in the Tenth Dimension. In other bit of cut material, Cortex was going to be his good counterpart, and Crash his evil counterpart.
- Turned right back around to Evil Me Scares Me with Evil Crash, who's scary to everybody.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: While paired up, Crash spins Cortex around, swinging him into enemies. He can also slam the flat top of his head down like a hammer, and toss him like a frisbee.
- Groin Attack: Coco shows up at Cortex's iceberg lab, and delivers a kick to his crystals.
Coco: "You Monster! Let my brother go!" (She delivers the aforementioned kick)
Cortex, wheezing: "My crystals!"
- Human Popsicle: Cortex is seen this way just before the title screen, frozen with Uka-Uka chasing him. Later on in the game, Crash and Cortex find Uka-Uka frozen in a different block of ice, and break him free.
- Human And Bandicoot Snowball: Crash and Cortex end up in one of these near the end of Slip Slide Icecapades.
- Humongous Mecha: The Mecha Bandicoot. Also the Evil Twins' four-legged robot that serves as the final boss.
Cortex: "Meet your brand new, hydraulically-operated twin brother... Mecha Bandicoot!"
- Implacable Man: Cortex himself proves to be one of these, even more than in the previous games. He manages to come back from a deep freeze, survives pits of spikes, can be thrown into explosive crates, tossed into freezing water, into bottomless pits, into enemies, and all manner of other things that would kill Crash himself.
Cortex: "Like the fleas in your fur, I keep coming back!"
- Subverted in that while playing as him you're just as vunerable as Crash is, and he can be killed in the Doc Amok stages. Also if he's left standing somewhere, waiting for Crash to join up with him again, he'll be instantly killed by any hazard that comes into contact with him. Thankfully if only Cortex dies, Crash doesn't lose a life.
- Incoming Ham: "Cower you fools before the awesome might of...The Evil Twins!"
- Dr. Cortex displays this as well.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The Psychetron, Cortex's gigantic interdimensional portal generating machine. Also the technology the Evil Twins use to warp reality, letting them pass through dimensions.
- Jungle Japes: The first few levels are this, when they're not Palmtree Panic, to invoke the feel of the original Crash Bandicoot.
- Load-Bearing Boss: After Mecha Bandicoot's defeat, the floor drops out from under it, taking Crash and Cortex with it into an Underground Level.
- Large Ham: Cortex has always been somewhat hammy, but in this game, he really goes whole hog.
- Lighter and Softer: While the Crash games have never been particularly dark, Twinsanity places a greater emphasis on humour which would continue throughout the Radical games.
- Living Statue: The Tikimon boss. A huge, invincible, four-armed totem god, who coincidentally has bad indigestion.
- Motor Mouth: Cortex is one of these momentarily, thanks to the Evil Twins' reality-warping powers.
Cortex "I will-"
Moritz, dismissively "Bo-riiing!"
Cortex, speaking too fast to be intelligible "Ishallcrushyoulikethepunyruntsyouare, youarenothingtomeforIamthegreatandallpowerfulNeoCortex! Howdareyoumock, manhandleandmanipulateme! Restassured, Iwilltakemyterriblevengeanceupon..." [He stops, panting heavily.]
- NameTron: The device used to take Crash and Cortex to the tenth dimension is called... The Psychetron. For some reason.
Cortex: "This... is the Psychetron. Gateway to the infinite dimensions, beyond our universe!"
- No Sidepaths No Exploration No Freedom: Handily averted by greatly opening up the stages and adding secret areas.
- Nostalgia Level: Most of the first world counts, specifically Jungle Rumble and Totem Hokem. The first is a throwback to the first stages of the original Crash Bandicoot, and the second is a throwback to the native fortress stages, complete with a recreation of Papu-Papu's hut, down to the textures.
- Notable Original Music: The soundtrack was composed by Spiralmouth, an a capella group, which gives the game a very distinctive sound style, compared to all the other Crash Bandicoot games.
- Notice This: In the first half of Classroom Chaos, there are sections where you need to get to a hall monitor without being spotted. The game helps you by putting massive sparkles on the objects you need to hide behind.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Used during the Tikimon boss' theme. While not really Latin, it's certainly ominous.
- One-Winged Angel: N.Brio, as usual, only this time he turns into some sort of giant frog.
- The Other Darrin: First appearance of Lex Lang as Dr. Neo Cortex.
- Palmtree Panic: The first world of the game, N. Sanity Isle, is this when it isn't Jungle Japes.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Cortex dresses up as Coco to lure Crash through the jungle. Crash doesn't really seem to notice that his sister suddenly has a man's voice, a completely different body shape, a giant triangular head, and a beard.
- Plot Coupon: The Power Crystals serve as these, as mentioned below. There's only twelve in the entire game, and it's impossible not to get them.
- Power Crystal: The Plot Coupons of the game, as mentioned above. There's only twelve in the entire game, and it's impossible not to get them.
- Punny Name: Quite a few levels have pun names, like Ant Agony, which takes place in the Evil Twins' lair, and predominately features their ant-like Mooks.
- Quest Giver: Subverted with Farmer Ernest, who offers to give Crash a crystal if he defeats the worms stopping his Wumpa Trees from growing. Cortex shoots him and steals the crystal.
Cortex: "I'm an evil scientist, what did you expect? This isn't a game."
- Retcon: Cortex did in fact create the Evolve-O-Ray, Nitrus Brio only perfected it.
- Although it's far more likely that Brio did create the Evolve-O-Ray, and Cortex stole it.
- Sadist Teacher: Madame Amberly, who wears gloves that apparently generate lightning, used to great effect in her boss battle.
- Scenery Porn: Unlike Crash Bandicoot the Wrath of Cortex's stiff, ugly, off-model graphics, Twinsanity is very, very pretty, filled to the brim with little details, crisp textures, great character models, and good special effects.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Iceberg Lab and its stages are this, although one is a Gang Plank Galleon stage.
- The Starscream: Almost every prominant ally of Cortex turns on him after hearing of the Twin's supposed treasure. Dingodile even directly attacks the doctor at one point.
- Supervillain Lair: Cortex's massive Iceberg Lab.
Cortex: "Before you rises a cathedral of diabolical genius! Scary, but in the wrong hands this iceberg lair could do much... goodness in the world."
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Cortex seems to have forgotten about the first game, and continues to fire returnable plasma balls at Crash.
Cortex: "Here's one gift you can return!"
Cortex: "The check bounced?! Well, Wrath of Cortex didn't do as good as we had hoped..."
- This Is a Drill: The Evil Twins' ant minions seem to like drills a lot. In Cavern Catastrophe, you meet up with one of their gigantic drill crawlers, the sides of which come down to let out troops. There are also ant minions with drills on their heads, letting them tunnel underground, or charge at Crash.
- Toilet Humour: To be expected, as the script was written mostly by former Ren and Stimpy writers, but this also means it's Actually Pretty Funny.
Cortex, stuck in a pipe: "I'm stuck! The greatest evil scientist in the world! ...Stuck in a pipe. How could things get any worse?" [He farts, letting out a whine soon after.]
- Uberwald: The Academy of Evil is designed like this.
- Uncle's Little Villain: Cortex's adorable niece, Nina. Though we're not informed of anyone else in the Cortex family, leaving the 'niece' thing a little ambiguous.
Cortex: "My daught-err... Niece!"
- Underground Level: Cavern Catastrophe, which takes place deep underground N. Sanity Isle. It serves mostly as a tutorial level for the Crash-Cortex team gameplay, when you're not controlling the both of them in a Big Ball of Violence.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: During the final boss, Crash runs away, leaving Nina and Cortex to fight it themselves. He comes back in the final stage of the boss, driving the Mecha Bandicoot, which he uses to defeat the Evil Twins' Humongous Mecha.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Utilized as an entire part of the game, Doc Amok, in which Cortex runs full tilt into hazards and pits, unless Crash does something to get rid of them.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: While dragging him around, Crash can toss Cortex into hazards and enemies, with little regard for the doctor's safety. He keeps coming back, though.
- The Voiceless: Crash, who's even more voiceless than usual, and Nina, save for a few grunts. Also Dr. Nitrus Brio.
- Wasted Song: Quite a few songs didn't make it in, or had the stage they belonged to cut. Some found use in the trailers, but others were just left on the soundtrack. An even stranger example of one is the music for Uka-Uka's boss fight, due to the boss being so pitifully easy and short, you won't hear much of the song unless you wait around forever.
- What Could Have Been: Several hours worth of content was removed from the game, including several returning characters, new levels and a Villain Song for Dr. Cortex entitled "Take a Walk Inside My Brains". Two members of the development team released a great deal of information on these removed items, which can be viewed here: http://www.crashmania.net/?menu=ts&page=concepts
- You Can Panic Now: After telepathically removing Cortex's brain from his head through his ear, Victor lets him go with this line as Moritz gestures for him to go.
Victor: "This is the part where you run away screaming."