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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

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Title Screen

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Also known as: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex no Gyakushuu! (JP)
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation
Released in JP: December 18, 1997
Released in US: November 1, 1997
Released in EU: December 6, 1997

AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
BonusIcon.png This game has hidden bonus content.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back serves as the direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot, and sets the standard for the rest of the series by introducing Crystals, new abilities for Crash, an improved save system, and Coco Bandicoot.

It's bigger, deeper, even wider!


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Unused Animations


Crash2 UnusedCrashAnimationCT19V.gif

The N. Gin boss fight contains an unused animation (CT19V) depicting Crash throwing Wumpa fruits. This animation was later introduced in the remake.

Crash2 Anim CdKoV.gif

While the first frame of the CdKoV animation is used when Crash gets electrocuted, the rest of the frames of this animation which shows Crash returning to his idle pose (intended for use when you get electrocuted with an Aku Aku mask) are never seen in the game.


Crash2 Anim We6aV.gif

This animation (We6aV) depicts the welder lab assistant shaking its head. In early versions of the game, this lab assistant would only get stunned if you attacked it once, and this animation would play when it was no longer stunned. This animation went unused when it became possible to defeat the welder in one hit. The old behavior and this corresponding animation are used in the June 15th, 1997 prototype.

Unused Objects

Bear Down Extra Gem Slot

The level Bear Down contains one crystal and only one gem, but its entrance portal in the warp room holds a third crystal/gem slot with an internal name similar to those used for the secondary gems found in some other levels. The slot does not correspond to any gem or crystal, and if a gem is assigned by hacking, the lighting will also be incorrect.

Easy/Hard Signpost

Crash 2 - EasyHardSignpostDown.png

As shown in the June 15th, 1997 prototype, the level Ruination once featured a stone signpost denoting the "easy" and "hard" paths throughout the level. Although this signpost is no longer present in the final release, its object code and model data still remain in the game's files and are fully functional. It raises when Crash gets near it. Ignore the clear gem platform outline and the checkpoint's position, they were added by the hacker.

Unseen Boxes in Totally Bear

Not technically "unused", but in the level Totally Bear, there are two boxes which are never seen during normal gameplay. These two boxes, a TNT and a life crate, are destroyed due to a mistake in drawing the TNT crate, as some TNT crates automatically destroy other crates when too far away.

In-game In a level viewer
Cb2 totallybear tnt.png Cb2 totallybear tnt editor.png

Missile Patterns

The N. Gin boss battle has data for 20 missile paths, as shown in the beta versions of the game, even though only 10 are used in the final. Some of these unused paths are also mispositioned and can't hit Crash directly but will still damage him.

Beehive Objects

The Alpine levels contain obj_hive objects which go unused as they do nothing since the beehive's position is calculated through the obj_bee_hive object.

Unused Object code

To do:
Find it all. There's lots of it.

Some of the in-game objects have different behavior not used in the final version of the game and that can only be accessed through hacking. These include a homing space bomb from the jet pack levels used in early versions of the game, crate code leftovers from the first game, etc.

Old Revision Leftovers

Old Sewer or Later Gem Path Leftover

The E3 demo did not have a yellow gem path, as the gem platform was not there, and the gem path was instead a "hard" path, accessed by falling in the hole (the way up used the generic x-shaped platform encountered through the game). The scenery of the hard path is also directly connected to the main path, which is not the case for any other section where the camera instantly changes, and is also why a piece of it can be seen near the area with the bonus platform.

The zone "g1_aZ" is a leftover zone (an interactive area of the game, with collision, objects and/or cameras) from that version. It contains a small fraction of collision belonging to the pipe where the clear gem is hidden, but is placed as if the path would split at that point, as it did in the E3 demo.

Old Cold Hard Crash Bonus Leftover

Crash2 - CHCBonus.png

Using a level editor, it is possible to see that the end of Cold Hard Crash's bonus was originally connected to the first hole after Crash falls down from the ice-skating section, meaning that the platform would've gone up to that hole instead of near the bonus' start. This was probably removed due to being too unfair as the player would miss the death route and other crates on the main path.

Old Air Crash Leftover

The way the death platforms are named and set up in Air Crash would indicate that the player would be able to return to the main path while in the death route. However, this is turned off in the game.

Old Road to Ruin Leftovers

In the files for the level Road to Ruin, one can find some objects that are placed VERY far away from the actual level. These include a leaner, 2 falling platforms and 2 crumbly falling platforms. Putting them back into their (supposedly) original positions will make them clash with some of the existing scenery.

Unused Textures

Item Slots

There are leftovers of some gem/crystal graphic slots, but most importantly, filled slots that originally would be 2D textures, which would be later replaced by the actual 3D models. This idea was most likely scrapped as these filled slots could be difficult to distinguish due to their similarities to the unfilled ones.

Crash2 CrystalSlot-filled.png Crash2 CrystalSlot2-filled.png

Crystal slots.

Crash2 RedGemSlot-filled.png Crash2 RedGemSlot-unfilled.png

Red gem slot.

Crash2 BlueGemSlot-filled.png Crash2 BlueGemSlot-unfilled.png

Blue gem slot.

Crash2 ClearGemSlot-filled.png Crash2 ClearGemSlot2-filled.png Crash2 ClearGemSlot-unfilled.png

Clear gem slots.

Crash2 GreenGemSlot-filled.png

Green gem slot.

Crash2 YellowGemSlot-unfilled.png

Yellow gem slot, featuring a similar shape from the first game.

Crash2 CrystalSlot-UnusedArt.png

Another crystal slot that seems to be related to the fifth warp room.

Save Icon Placeholders


These four placeholder images are loaded in the graphics data for the save icons until the save/load menu is accessed.

TNT Textures

Crash 2 - UnusedTNT.png

Grouped with the Ripper Roo files are some TNT textures with the numbers 1 to 8 on them. TNTs are never shown with the number 7 or 8 during the battle, making them unused.

Dirt Particles

Crash2 DirtParticle1.png Crash2 DirtParticle2.png Crash2 DirtParticle3.png

In the Chase and Alpine levels (which share the same texture pages), there are three unused textures of brown dirt particles. Pre-release footage reveals that these were related to the diggable magenta soil in the Alpine levels, appearing whenever Crash jumped in/out of the soil, or navigated underneath it.

Unused Models

In the Ripper Roo boss fight, the files RT06G/RT06V, RT16G/RT16V, RT26G/RT26V, RT36G/RT36V, RT46G/RT46V, RT56G/RT56V and RT66G/RT66V are used as the graphics for the TNT tiles used by the boss ("TNT", then the numbers 1 through 6, respectively). However, there are two extra files RT96G/RT96V, though it is simply an untextured and un-colored version of the crate tiles.

Unused Scenery

Although the game does not have unused areas, it does have some unused scenery polygons never seen in the game from older versions of those levels. Them being Turtle Woods, The Pits, Crash Crush, Un-Bearable, Hangin' Out, Diggin' It and Bee-Having.

Internal Object Names

During the game's development, each game object was assigned a name to allow developers to identify the objects more easily. These names are still present in the game's files, some of which are noteworthy.

  • Crash's spawn position in each level is marked by an object named obj_willy, a reference to the name Willy the Wombat which was used during development before the name Crash Bandicoot had been chosen.
  • Checkpoint crates are internally called obj_box_continue.
  • The warp room object that generates portals, load/save screen, etc. is internally known as obj_monty_hall, likely a in-joke referring to the late former host of the U.S. game show "Let's Make a Deal", where, in an analogue to what you have Crash do, contestants could choose from a set of doors, to choose what could be real or fake prizes, in some of its games.
  • The spiked saucer enemies in Night Fight and Totally Fly are strangely named obj_dragonfly. An early screenshot of Night Fight reveals that dragonflies did in fact exist in the level at one point, but were eventually replaced by saucers.
  • The gorilla enemies in Road to Ruin and Ruination are named obj_gorilla_boulder despite actually throwing logs.
  • The sparky tentaclebot unit enemies in Piston It Away and Spaced Out are named obj_fred.
  • The Komodo Brothers are called obj_kimodo.
  • Many of the lab assistant enemies in the game include "ass" (standing for assistant/lab assistant) as a lone word somewhere within their names. Excluding obj_ass_banger, most of these names are rather tame. However, this trend eventually escalated to much more profane names in the sequel.
  • N. Gin is called N. Jin in the texture page names.

Extra Ending Gem

The ending unlocked after collecting all gems and crystals features a tall tower of gems at the start. However, there are 38 clear gems and 5 colored gems in said tower, totaling 43 gems, which would further prove that the level Bear Down was going to have an extra gem.

Regional Differences

Excluding language, there are some minor differences between the different regional releases of the game:


  • Various physics differences as a side effect of retiming the game to run at 25 frames per second. These include:
    • Crash runs slightly faster & jumps a little bit higher.
    • TNTs take exactly 3 seconds to explode, as opposed to slightly more than that (which can make some levels harder, but also the Polar levels easier).
    • It's now possible to go through the jet pack lab assistants by spinning them once while thrusting forward. The fire wall does nothing to impede Crash's progress.
    • The pusher lab assistant enemies move slower.
    • The attract mode demos have been rerecorded.
  • An anti-piracy warning splash screen is now displayed before the game starts, similar to the PAL release of the previous game.
  • You can choose a language at the title screen. Languages available are English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. The characters are fully dubbed, but the level names stay the same.
  • The radius of Crash's bodyslam attack is greatly increased in the European version, fixing an issue where players can get stuck inside a stack of locked crates.
  • During the Tiny Tiger boss fight, the pause menu now correctly displays the boss name as "Tiny". This was incorrectly displayed as "Taz Tiger" in the American version, which is a leftover of his original name.
  • The large font texture used as menu titles for the memory card screens is now replaced with the default small font instead, likely to avoid potencial spacing issues with the localized text in other languages.
  • The music in Bear Down takes a bit of time to load.
  • For unknown reasons, Crash will not play his spawn animation at the beginning of Rock It, and may also randomly fall through the floor and die right at the beginning. This also happens in the gameplay demo of the American version, when you leave the game idle at the title screen.
    • A similar glitch occurs where if you skip the Komodo Bros. intro right away, you'll also lose a life.
  • The memory card save icon is no longer animated.

(Source: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back - PAL, Crash Mania.net for the lab assistants glitch & the "demo glitch" in Rock It)


Cb2 jp akuaku.png
To do:
Some levels have a different box count.
  • The text related to Sony Computer Entertainment has a gradient applied to it.
  • The title screen music is completely different, featuring the Crash Banji-kyuusu theme song, featured in most Japanese media and promo material associated with the series.
  • Crystals are localized as "Power Stones".
  • When Aku Aku is collected, he will inform the player about various aspects of the game in a tutorial-like manner. This is similar to the first game, but he now features facial animations and audio rather than onscreen text. On a side-note, the Aku Aku model you see in Crash Team Racing whenever he speaks to you is based on this one.
  • The "TNT" label on TNT boxes has been replaced with an image of a bomb, and the "Nitro" label accordingly has been written in Katakana.
  • Crystals give you 1% instead of 2%. Colored gems give you 2% instead of 1%. Bosses give you 4% when beaten. Cortex gives you 6% instead of 3% when beaten. Secret warps still give the same percentage, but discovering the hidden easter egg in the warp room gives the last point.
  • A death animation was slightly altered. When Crash is hurt by a crushing hazard in the international versions, Crash is shown to have his body compressed into a head and shoes. In the Japanese version, this animation is made completely flat. According to Andy Gavin's blog, this was done to avoid a striking resemblance to a serial killer's actions in Japan at the time.
  • Like in the European version, the radius of Crash's bodyslam attack has been increased, fixing an issue where players can get stuck inside a stack of locked crates.
  • The cutscene that plays when you collect your 25th crystal in the international versions now plays when you collect your 24th crystal. A very short cutscene with Coco Bandicoot plays at your 25th crystal instead.
  • A hidden bonus video can be accessed by holding Left + Circle + L1 + R1 at the PlayStation logo when booting the game. However, the game freezes after the video ends, so the console must be reset to access the game.
  • Vibration support for the DualShock controller.