Crash Bandicoot 4: About Time has finally been released into the world. If you want to know a bit more about the history of Crash (along with some random facts about Australian animals), here’s a cheat sheet to impress your friends.
1. Crash Bandicoot was originally going to be called Willy The Wombat
Inspired by the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toons, the folks at Naughty Dog were originally going to make Crash a wombat named Wally instead of the bandicoot we know and love. Luckily, they saw a bandicoot in a wildlife guide and changed their mind before it was too late.
But a wombat might actually have been a more appropriate animal on which to base a fast character who occasionally kills. A bandicoot’s top speed when running for a short burst is 24km/hr, whereas wombats run at 40km/hr. Being chased by a wombat is both terrifying and confusing, because you assume they don’t know what they would do if they caught you. But a wombat’s claws can actually do a lot of damage to human flesh, unlike a bandicoot’s, which are tiny and adorable.
2. The games were originally made by Naughty Dog
If you’re new to the Crash Bandicoot franchise, it’s perhaps difficult to imagine this playful series coming from the studio now known for emotionally obliterating their audiences. It was a different time. But it does give you the opportunity to imagine what Crash 4 would have been like in the style of The Last of Us Part II. I’m crying already, and I don’t know why.
The most recent game was made by Toys For Bob, best known for the Skylanders series.
3. Crash was originally created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin
They’re not household names, but these guys actually made a lot of games you loved. Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin were the founders of Naughty Dog back in 1986. Some of their other games include Keef the Thief, Rings of Power Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak II, and Jak 3.
4. The series has been around for somewhere between 12-6 bandicoot lifetimes
If Crash didn’t have access to time travel and Wumpa Fruits, he would be very dead now. Bandicoots only live for 2-4 years.
5. There is surprisingly little Crash Bandicoot fanfiction
At the time of writing, there’s only 217 works under the Crash Bandicoot tag on AO3 and 299 on fanfiction.net. The most popular pairing appears to be Crash/Neo Cortex, which is unexpected.
I’m not sure whether to be proud of the fandom’s restraint, or disappointed.
6. There is an actual variety of Bandicoot named after Crash Bandicoot
It cannot time travel. It’s also extinct.
7. Ken Kutaragi, the head of PlayStation at the time, hated Crash Bandicoot
Kutaragi thought Crash would be a lame mascot for PlayStation that would make the whole thing seem too childish. He was quite wrong.
8. There was going to be a Crash TV show
The hand-drawn sequences in Twinsanity were originally supposed to be part of a Crash Bandicoot animated TV show. It used a really cool 2D animation style, akin to Earthworm Jim. Alas, it was Sony’s misplaced enthusiasm for 3D animation that killed the project.
9. The soundtrack Whipped It Good
The music for the original trilogy was composed by Josh Mancell and produced by Mark Mothersbaugh. Your parents probably best know Mothersbaugh as one of the founders of Devo, famous for the song ‘Whip It’. He also worked on Tiger King, Happy Gilmore, The Rug Rats Movie, Thor Ragnarök, Pitch Perfect 2, The Sims 2, and Skate 3.
10. We know what Wumpa Fruit tastes like
Apparently one of the original Naughty Dog team members said Wumpas taste like apples-ish. This is quite different to what real bandicoots eat, which ranges from mushrooms to venomous funnel web spiders (they are Australian after all).
11. Crash was a trail blazer in more ways than one
Crash was the first third-person game where you were behind the character. So, I guess we could draw a straight line from Crash to The Last Of Us Part II after all.
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