It did not take long for developer Naughty Dog to realise what potential their mischievous Bandicoot offered and they instantly started working on a sequel for the game. With a small budget of $2 million, they started to develop the game based on concept art for the environments created by Bob Rafei, Eric Iwasaki, Erick Pangilinan, Charlotte Francis and Jason Rubin, all who were employees of the developer. It took them around 13 months to create the game, as they began production on October 1996 for their sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
Some major additions were made to the game, such as the inclusion of Coco Bandicoot. Her original purpose was to balance out the existence of Tawna, who was Crash’s girlfriend in the first game and does not return in this one, as Sony Computer Entertainment Japan felt the need to see a character that was not overtly sexualized in contrast to the main hero. In the end, she would gain her own popularity and become a main stay of the franchise, even becoming playable in the third installment of the game. In comparison to Crash, she was also given a voice thanks to Vicki Winters. For those wondering, Crash actually was given a voice in some rather terrible trailers.
Speaking of voices, a fantastic addition was Clancy Brown playing Cortex. His performance is one thing that truly gives the main villain a hilarious touch. Sometimes it is just funt o listen to his dialogue, or even in the first level play with him as he tells you to collect crystals, but you simply ignore them to slowly drive him insane.
The sequel takes place directly after the first game on N. Sanity Island, where Crash is living with his younger sister, Coco, when she sends him off to get batteries for her laptop. On his way, he gets abducted by the always nefarious Cortex, who this time seems to have turned over a new leave and is asking Crash to collect the crystals to avoid a calamity destroying their home. It is a simple plot that move the Jump n’ Run game further along, but actually does feature a rather obvious, but fun twist that does not take itself serious. During his new adventure, Crash will battle against Ripper Roo, the Komodo Brothers and Tiny Tiger to not only gather crystals, but also 42 gems.
From a gameplay perspective, not much has changed for the Bandicoot. The rules of collecting Wombat fruits, destroying boxes and trying to collect crystals remain the same. An addition added is that you are now given more items to collect, which does offer a bit more time for fans to enjoy their time playing the game. There are now also jetpack stages that offer a bit more variety. Crash also has a few new abilities, such as crawling that also adds the ability to slide, which becomes quite helpful for additional distance when jumping.
A rather interesting thing to note is that Crash is quite famous for having very out-there death animations, such as him turning into an angel, or being squashed. The latter was actually part of a lot of controversy, as during the time of its release a serial killerwas on the loose in Japan, who left behind the severed head and shoes of his victims. To avoid any issues with these circumstances, the death animation was left out of the game completely during its release in 1997.
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Source: Internet Archive
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