Crash Bandicoot. RE-bandi-BOOT

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i LOVED Crash Bandicoot. i absolutely fucking loved that hyperactive marsupial, with every fibre of my being.

i played a lot of games before i played the original Crash game, and i liked them; i played a LOT of the Quest games (be it Space, or King’s) and had a blast, i liked Super Mario Brothers, i enjoyed playing Super Metroid, i will never forget Marathon 2, and Jazz Jackrabbit will always have a place in my game-heart, but i can state unequivocally that i god damn adored Crash Bandicoot.
The game had the wacky humour of an early Looney Tunes cartoon, the colour and style of some kind of terminal sugar-high inducing cereal box art, and hyper-kinetic playing mechanics that emphasised being in control of a technicolour, ADHD wrecking ball. I just got Crash, you know, i understood him. I can’t possibly tell you how many times i’ve seen a crate and thought “is today the day i successfully spin through that wooden bastard”. Unfortunately, the day i successfully spin through that wooden bastard is yet to come.

I even played Crash of the Titans on PSP AND XBox 360, that’s how deep my love for Crash Bandicoot goes.

The original Crash Bandicoot came out in 1996. By my reckoning it is currently the year of our Lord, 2016. That is a passing of twenty (20) human years*.
20 years and still here we all sit, waiting for our most beloved bandicoot to be given the HD, 21st century redesign treatment. So, if Sony, or Activision, or Naughty Dog (or whom ever own Crash nowadays) aren’t going to get on that action, then i sure as hell will.


Do The Evolution.
Character Redesigns.

Crash Bandicoot.

Crash Bandicoot

The eponymous hero of the series, Crash was supposed to be the leader of Cortex’s mutant army. After being zapped with the Evolv-O-Ray it became clear he wasn’t really going to work as a world conquering super henchman, so he was promptly discarded.


Tawna.

Tawna Bandicoot

Another creation of Dr. Cortex, after Crash was rejected, Tawna was still imprisoned prompting Crash to start his rescue effort, in an aid to impress her and win her heart. 
Tawna has a tumultuous history as a Crash character. She wasn’t really seen after the first game apart from cameos in framed photos, or being alluded to work in weird burlesque clubs. She was a playable character in a game made for Nintendo DS (which is a low point for any character), but she was the reason Crash was doing what he was doing in the original game, so it seems only right to bring her back
.


Coco Bandicoot.

Coco Bandicoot

The highly intelligent and spirited younger sister of Crash Bandicoot. She often aids her big brother by building gadgets ideal for the situation or even tagging along with him in his journeys.


Aku Aku.

Aku Aku

An ancient, benevolent witch doctor whose spirit now resides in a wooden mask, carved from enchanted wood taken from the Wumpa trees. As the guardian of the Wumpa Archipelago, Aku Aku joins Crash in order to free the islands from Cortex’s hold. Aku Aku has had devotees throughout the ages who have carved voodoo idols in his image, collecting them will provide Crash with protection and power-ups on the course of his journey.


G.R.U. Gorilla.

G.R.U. Gorilla

 Looking for more muscle to add to his army Cortex made a deal with a Russian black market Arms Dealer; in return for enough money and high tech weaponry to either buy his way into power or level the entire country Cortex was given a family of silverback gorillas, stolen from a Russian zoo.
 Originally the first boss in the first game was Papu Papu, a tribal leader native to the islands, but since i wanted to keep an island natives vs. Cortex (and his hench-mutants) theme, i decided to replace Papu Papu with this guy, a massive gorilla. While i am aware that gorillas are not technically native to the Australasian region, once i  did a quick sketch of him – and decided he would be a gorilla who is an actual guerrilla – the decision was out of my hands. You don’t walk away from an opportunity like that when it falls in your lap.


Ripper Roo.

Ripper Roo

Ripper Roo is an insane mutated kangaroo, he was  Dr. Cortex’s first failed test subject of the Evolv-O-Ray, with which Ripper was zapped at least twice, causing him to go insane.


 

Koala Kong.

Koala Kong

An Aquarius who likes long walks on the beach, collects antique teaspoons, and is a complete psychopath. His proudest moment is either the time he ripped down 200 trees (in one afternoon), or the time he finished The Da Vinci Code (that took him three months).


Pinstripe Potoroo.

Pinstripe Potoroo

The Head of Cortex’s personal security force. A no nonsense potoroo with a love of violence and a good amount of skill with his Thompson M1921 submachine gun, which he has affectionately named “Miss Killsgood”. 
I feel that it should be said that i am from Australia, and i had never heard of a potoroo before playing Crash Bandicoot…


Dr. Neo Cortex.

Dr. Neo Cortex

Short tempered, reckless and manipulative. Creator of the Evolv-O-Ray, CEO of the Cortex Corporation, and textbook mad scientist. Cortex has cornered the market in disintegrating weaponry, deforestation equipment and genetically modified Australasian wildlife.


Welcome to Wumpaland.

The Wumpa Archipelago, a cluster of islands off the south east coast of Australia, owned (and fully exploited) by Dr. Neo Cortex. Cortex has turned the islands into a fortified proving grounds for his experiments, a massive factory-lab where he conducts his research and creates abominations, and a humble shipping port, from which he exports containers filled WumpaBoxwith Wumpa Fruit (found only on the islands), exotic plant and animal specimens and various technologies of his own design.
There are very few parts of the island chain that are free from his influence, but those untouched by Cortex remain lush and pristine, and provide refuge for both the mad scientist’s rejected experiments as well as the few animals left he hasn’t sewn together or genetically fiddled with.

i see the game playing a lot like a Just Cause or Far Cry style. All three islands would be openly explorable from the outset, and would be divided into territories of three different factions

The Natives/ Mutant Revolutionaries: The native inhabitants of the islands and the outcast mutated animals who just want to live in peace with the other creatures.

The Rejected: Mutants who were deemed defective or escaped from the labs and just want to wreak havoc on the islands, destroying everything they can.

 Cortex’s Army: The mutants, and hired mercenaries loyal to Cortex, paid or otherwise incentivised to eliminate anyone who isn’t a loyal company man (or animal).

The Wumpa Archipelago consists of three islands;

South Island – Home of the Temple of the Ancients and the sacred Wumpa Grove, a patchwork of half constructed buildings, experimental technologies, and impenetrable jungle. The fact that even Cortex’s specially engineered de-forestation machines can’t penetrate the older, thicker parts of the jungle means that South Island still has pockets of dense, lush forest free of Cortex’s influence. for now…

East Island – The East Island has been cleared of all but the toughest and oldest trees, making way for the Cortex Exports operations office, the Cortex Port, and the Proving Grounds; where Cortex’s experiments battle each other to prove their worth to their master.

Cortex Island (formerly North Island) The site of Cortex Co. head office, the Cortex Manufacturing Factory-Lab, and testing ground for Cortex Mining Industries’ prize investment: the Magma-Matic – a device which (in theory) harvests magma from the active volcano to be pumped offshore, (in theory) creating more islands to be terraformed by Cortex Co.


Map of the Wumpa Islands




*This is equal to either 472, or 19.825 Bandicoot years, math is not an exact science…



 

11 thoughts on “Crash Bandicoot. RE-bandi-BOOT

  1. Reblogged this on Crashy News and commented:
    This is… actually pretty cool
    But I am worried that it could really throw off so many fans, if we were assuming that a hypothetical reboot scenario like this… See COTT

    • Thanks man!
      i have to say while i was working on this i didn’t think it was different enough from the original game, having only added the open world map, and changed the character designs…
      Sadly, i don’t think the Crash Bandicoot formula would work as a AAA title these days, it would be dismissed as too linear and simple nowadays, just look at Tomb Raider – when it was released it was revolutionary, but now not even the mobile versions are as simple as the PS1 game.
      i see a Crash reboot needing to be more like a cartoonish version of Far Cry in having an open explorable environment, but – kind of like the original Fable game – still centred around boss fights and set pieces to progress the story, this would allow the basic game play to be very similar to the original game; Crash would still run, jump and spin through stuff, just on a much much more open scale.

      • Hey, cool art. I thought I’d jump into the dicussion as it is an interesting topic.

        I agree that Crash would need a little different approach for todays audiences, but changing it all so much that it doesn’t look from the same series, is just too much – because it ruins what you built in the first place. Then you might as well make an entirely new franchise 🙂 (Like Naughtydog did with Jak and Daxter and Uncharted)

        A new, fresh Crash game is hard to plot I am sure of that, but it is not impossible to keep his styles from the past and still modernize it. (Rayman Origins, Tomb Raider). I like to look at “Project Trico” / “The last guardian”, what would it be like if they had rushed to the deadline, made quick and cheap decisions? Also, I know this probably wasn’t a portal 2 sequal idea, “Two robots, one Wrench”. Valve did explore things differently from the first portal game before they decided going back to Glados and Chell. The Crash series has alot of potentials to explore too, but knowing when it’s gone too far is a skill in itself I guess. I’m real enthusiastic about what they might be cooking in their studios at the moment.

        To direct this back to your project here, if you’re intending to make this in consideration to today’s gamers, I’d suggest making alot of different concepts and playtestings, ask for feedback and design them based on the feedback you get. Only then will you know what people really like and dislike.

        (I’ll let you know my feedback if you want, just mail me back)

        Cheers, I’m happy to see Crash fans taking action in showing their support to the franchise.

      • Hi!
        First up thank you for replying!
        I would love to get as much feedback on this as possible, while i’m not actually thinking of pitching this as a game to be made, it is something i think could work. And so hearing perspectives from other fans/ artists is great, and in the long run that feedback is what actually makes this stuff worth doing.

        Thanks again for the reply.

  2. Hey, this is actually really interesting, the idea of a cartoony Far Cry is good, and I really like your style.
    But as much as I love the art I have to say that this is not what Crash Bandicoot should be.
    First of all I don’t think redesigns are needed for any of the characters, Crash had a unique look but all the redesign from the PS2 era didn’t help him at all (In my opinion at least). I think the original designs should be the one for a next game, when you say Crash people are going to think about the PS1 classics, and the only reason Twinsanity is so beloved among fans his because it relies heavily on nostalgia offering something new (It has too many problems to even be considered a good game).
    Anyway the main problem I have wth this designs is that they look like regular people with animal features, the originals had personality to their designs, and they weren’t anatomically correct or proportionate, just look at Tiny or Cortex for example.
    I see Crash as a Looney Tunes kind of character, he is wacky and expressive, and he is designed so that his facial features can be exagerated a lot, and his death animation are hilarious and the best part of the games. The other characters follow a similar design pattern, their main characteristics are exagerated in their design (Cortex his smart and weak: Big head and tiny body. Koala Kong is a mindless brute: Gigantic and muscular body, especially on the chest area. Ripper Roo is crazy: Crazy eyes, long tongue contantly sticking out).

    Another thing is the islands: Why are they all the same? In think the tropical look works for N. Sanity Island, but others need something different, they need their own look. Cortex island should look taken over by Cortex: Trees are dead, everything is polluted, factories and Cortex Castle are a must.

    In the end this could be a very interesting and fun game to play, just not a good Crash game, even as a reebot. In my opinion the perfect reboot for Crash would need to go back to the original roots and restart from the original game, larger levels with lots of different routes and secrets but still linear (Getting from point A to point B). I don’t think that tubular levels would work but having big level could be a good idea still mantaining the linear level strutturare.

  3. Hey, this is actually really interesting, the idea of a cartoony Far Cry is good, and I really like your style.
    But as much as I love the art I have to say that this is not what Crash Bandicoot should be.
    First of all I don’t think redesigns are needed for any of the characters, Crash had a unique look but all the redesign from the PS2 era didn’t help him at all (In my opinion at least). I think the original designs should be the one for a next game, when you say Crash people are going to think about the PS1 classics, and the only reason Twinsanity is so beloved among fans his because it relies heavily on nostalgia offering something new (It has too many problems to even be considered a good game).
    Anyway the main problem I have wth this designs is that they look like regular people with animal features, the originals had personality to their designs, and they weren’t anatomically correct or proportionate, just look at Tiny or Cortex for example.
    I see Crash as a Looney Tunes kind of character, he is wacky and expressive, and he is designed so that his facial features can be exagerated a lot, and his death animation are hilarious and the best part of the games. The other characters follow a similar design pattern, their main characteristics are exagerated in their design (Cortex his smart and weak: Big head and tiny body. Koala Kong is a mindless brute: Gigantic and muscular body, especially on the chest area. Ripper Roo is crazy: Crazy eyes, long tongue contantly sticking out).

    Another thing is the islands: Why are they all the same? In think the tropical look works for N. Sanity Island, but others need something different, they need their own look. Cortex island should look taken over by Cortex: Trees are dead, everything is polluted, factories and Cortex Castle are a must.

    In the end this could be a very interesting and fun game to play, just not a good Crash game, even as a reebot. In my opinion the perfect reboot for Crash would need to go back to the original roots and restart from the original game, larger levels with lots of different routes and secrets but still linear (Getting from point A to point B). I don’t think that tubular levels would work but having big level could be a good idea still mantaining the linear level structure.

    • Hi,
      First up thank you for taking the time to comment.
      To put it as plainly as I can, there were 2 reasons I did the redesigns the way I did;
      Firstly and most importantly: was to make the most of drawing the characters in my own style, and
      Secondly: I had very little interest in copying the characters in their 1996 incarnations, while those designs were great, as a project to do in my spare time that would have been, in a word, boring.

      I wouldn’t really say any of the characters I drew are approaching “anatomically correct” once you take an anthropomorphized character to the point of standing on two legs, and wearing jeans and sneakers it is pretty unlikely they will retain their natural characteristics. Were that the aim, even the original design for Crash would have been closer to something like Timon from the Lion King or, more realistically the mice from Ratatouille (bandicoots are basically rat like in build).

      Ultimately the idea of keeping the original designs of any or all of the characters and environments would likely only be seen in an HD remake, not a reboot.
      Any reboot of the series is highly unlikely to go back to the original, it may hark back or build on the originals, but as far as game developers are concerned (I am a game artist/ animator for a small company here in Sydney) developing a new game means new assets and new styles, especially for a 20 year old game, just look at Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine from the Resident Evil HD remake, their original character models are vastly different from the modern versions of the characters, having both versions as playable skins only highlights the changes that have been made over the years (for better or worse).

      I am aware that I have made many changes in the character designs for my version and – due to laziness – not given any reasoning for the changes aside from fitting the characters to my style – I did have my reasons and I may update the post to include them, however as a personal interest project I can’t say it would have been nearly as enjoyable (or warranted as much comment) had I just drawn Crash Bandicoot and co. as they were 20 years ago.

      Again, thank you for commenting, speaking as an artist; it is always nice to see that anyone actually notices any work you do.

      • I see your point, and I totally respect that, an artist needs to feel comfortable with the characters he works with, especially if they aren’t even his own to begin with.
        You know, the thing is that I’m used to those designs and seeing them change it’s strange to me, it’s like seeing Mickey Mouse have a complete redesign, it just doesn’t seem right. Of course many artist have their own interpretation of the character (I’m from Italy and here the Disney comics have many different artists with vastly different art styles, sometimes the differences are so evident that the characters look like different characters completely, but as long as you have the basic shape and details of the design you don’t notice much difference.)
        I didn’t know you were a game designer, by the way, that’s awesome, maybe one day this all idea could be a reality, as a Crash game or not, who knows, but one thing I know is that I would totally play it!

  4. To be honest, I’m all for a more “Far-Cry” esque approach to the franchise. Although the strictly linear level design was what made the original games stand out from other 3D platformers at the time, you definetely have a good point about how it just won’t work for a triple A-game.
    Also, I really like your designs of the characters, especially Cortex. It gives off a Marvel Comics vibe.

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