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Proto:Crash Bandicoot/April 8th, 1996 build

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Crash Bandicoot.

Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

The April 8th, 1996 prototype of Crash Bandicoot is a preview version dated over three months before the final NTSC-U release version. It was released in October 12th, 2011.

Sub-Pages

Crash1-Apr8 NSanityBeachHole.png
Level Differences
A lot of layout changes.

Debug Features

  • Press L1 + R1 at the main menu to unlock all levels.
  • Press L1 + R1 while idle in a level to become invincible against most enemies and hazards, except for water/acid and the majority of the pits. Using it during the mask invincibility will make it endless for the rest of the level.
  • Hold L1 + R1 while dead to revive.

General Differences

Startup

  • It starts with a placeholder screen for Sony Computer Entertainment, labelling the build as "DISK 0012 4/8/96".
April 8 Final
Crash1-Apr8 NaughtyDogLogo.png Crash Bandicoot NaughtyDogLogo.png
  • The Naughty Dog logo screen is static and completely different, in a white background, featuring some information regarding the company.
  • Both screens feature basic .JPEG names at the top with a 10 second display mark for both splash screens.
April 8 Final
CrashBandicoot-April8Proto-title.png Crash Bandicoot-title.png
  • The title screen looks nothing like the final one. It shows Cortex and Brio about to give a smiling Tawna the old Cortex Vortex treatment. This scene never actually occurs in the game, as the intro ends before Cortex and Brio start making preparations for Tawna.
  • All characters are animated sprites. Cortex types on the computer and looks at the player. Brio pulls the lever, which makes Tawna's seat go up and down, occasionally looking at the player as well.
  • Tawna's color scheme is very different from the final one: blue mascara instead of grayish purple, brown fur instead of orange, a pink shirt instead of a red one and a green skirt instead of a blue one. She appears like this in every instance of the prototype, including icons. There actually is a leftover of this color scheme in the final game, where she's waiting for Crash at the end of The Great Hall.
April 8 Final
Crash1-Apr8 LoadGamePassword.png Crash1-CardPassword1US.png
  • Despite the "Load Game" option, this button actually leads to a primitive password menu. There is no way to load or save the game onto a memory card.
    • The password system is different; it consists of a sequence of six character icons instead of the button sequences in the final. They likely had to move to a more complicated system after gems were introduced.
  • The options menu has an option that changes controller type from A to B and vice-versa. This has no impact on the controls whatsoever.
  • The music volume is defaulted to zero, although turning it up won't enable it either.

Gameplay

  • The music is completely absent from this build. There are however, some music tracks present in four of the levels (Map, N. Sanity Beach, Jungle Rollers, test level) accessible in the levels' files respectively.
April 8 Final
CB1-April8-Map.png CB1-Final-Map.png
  • The game's map is radically different in this build. It has a painted 2D picture instead of a 3D model, with no levels being marked by name. Crash is represented by the life icon which scrolls across the three islands akin to Donkey Kong Country, with boss icons representing their respective levels on the map.
    • Pressing Start on the map screen will select a level instead of pausing the game.
  • The loading screen is incredibly basic and doesn't show the name of the levels, map or bonus rounds.
  • When a level loads, Crash spawns almost instantly. In the final game, he takes a brief second to show up.
  • A placeholder font is used for the HUD, called "Lithos". It looked less stylized than its final font. Its numbers were later re-used as the font for the warp buttons in Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
  • Crash doesn't have any voice at all, lacking the classic "woah" sound effect when he dies, for example.
  • Crash doesn't make the "yee-haw" animation when collecting three tokens or beating a boss.
  • Crash flashes for a brief moment upon respawning after losing a life.
  • The Wumpa counter is also always displayed when Crash respawns.
  • Checkpoint crates have the word "CONTINUE" come out of the box when the player opens it, rather than "CHECK" and "POINT". The letters swirl upward rather than have each letter come up one at a time, then fly away. Also, a generic warp sound is heard when breaking checkpoints in this build, which went unused in the final game.
  • Pressing Triangle doesn't show the collected tokens onscreen.
  • The player can only have up to 9 lives, rather than 99 in the final.
April 8 Final
384px 384px
  • Warps and exit portals are composed by a bunch of colorful and flickering sparkles, rather than bright and yellow swirly lights encircling it in the final.
  • Gems are completely absent at this point, and as such, there are no gem paths.
  • Due to the absence of gems, there is no level completion screen either. The game simply sends the player back to the map, regardless if all boxes are broken or not.
  • Aku Aku never turns golden in the second form. Instead, it just drops off multi-colored sparkles (which are the same ones used in the warp vortex). In the final game, they are all yellow and pop out rather than drip. Coincidence or not, the second form in Crash Twinsanity is identical to the prototype.
  • Aku Aku invincibility won't grab Wumpas from bounce crates automatically, or collect Wumpa fruits and extra lives nearby.
  • When collecting the third Aku Aku mask, Crash will leap forward if he grabs it while also walking forward.
  • Crash never runs any faster while invincible. Also, the invincibility doesn't automatically give the Wumpas when breaking the crates, and also it won't break it for running under them. This makes it harder to break floating crates placed above trampoline ones, since these last ones get broken as soon as you jump on them.
    • You also get knocked back from explosions while invincible.
April 8 Final
  • Aku Aku has two hurt sounds - the first one plays when the invincibility ends or losing the second form, while the second one is used when he completely goes away, which is also accompanied by a "pop" sound effect. In the final game, there is just one sound effect for all occasions, although both sounds were actually merged into one. Interestingly, the original second form sound effect was later re-used in Crash Twinsanity, and from Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy onwards.
  • TNT crates do not have consistent countdowns. They also lack the black border around the word "TNT", which is red in this version.
  • The Tawna icon had different colors, matching her appearance at that point.
  • Some levels feature the POW crates, a cut crate from the game. It looks like a basic crate with a blue stripe on the top and bottom with the word "POW" written in yellow with a blue border on its sides. Similar to a TNT crate, this crate explodes immediately when spun and enter a countdown when jumped on. When broken, it would explode into several blue and red explosions which would break the surrounding crates but were otherwise harmless. This doesn't always work perfectly though, as some crates are randomly left intact.
  • The default death animation doesn't make the screen go black and zoom in around Crash. This only happens during boss fights in the final game.
  • Tawna bonus rounds are completely different in this version, taking place in a cave instead of a jungle canopy - the scenario was later repurposed into the Brio bonus rounds in the final game, although the textures were changed to dark blue.
    • From Jaws of Darkness onwards, all bonus rounds share the same layout, which is normally not clearable due to a large gap, except with the use of invincibility to reach the end.
    • Upon reaching the end, Tawna doesn't present you the completion percentage like usual. Instead, she gives you the early password system that uses character icons. There is also no text regarding completion percentage.
  • Bounce crates never give you the 10th Wumpa fruit when the crate breaks.
  • The ! switches keep their bouncy properties even after they are activated, and also lack the animated effect of the exclamation mark going away and disappearing. You are able to keep spinning on them forever, just like how they work on The Lab.
  • Spinning right after picking up a Wumpa fruit will cause the game not to count it.
  • Some sound effects have a different pitch, such as life grab and spin.
  • The boss health is indicated by dots, instead of having the boss's icon and their name written on colorful clusters. It's also always displayed on the bottom-right side of the screen.
  • If Crash performs a spin in the corner of the exit portal, he will get teleported away, despite not being on top of it.
  • Crash always make the wiping sweat animation when entering the exit portal, even if he didn't die a single time in the level.
  • Bonus rounds don't carry the Wumpas and lives collected to the main level.
  • When respawning in a boss battle after dying, the game won't give you two Aku Aku masks again.
  • You can keep any Aku Aku's you had after a boss fight, even if you quit prematurely.
  • The screen freezes for a brief moment before respawning, instead of fading out.
  • The ? crates don't have the ability to give extra lives if the player has a few number of lives.
  • Bounce crates will automatically give a Wumpa fruit if they fall into the ground from a impact (like when breaking a crate below).
    • They won't break if they fall in Crash's head, though.
  • There is no ambient echo applied in the sound effects for Temple Ruins, Generator Room and Jaws of Darkness.
  • The pause menu uses a different font and doesn't flash. It also says "Select: Go Map" instead of "Push Select for Map".
April 8 Final
Crash1-Apr8 GameOver.png Crash1 GameOver.png
  • The Game Over screen features a placeholder font and background. The letters are static, but you do get to see Crash fleeing from Cortex like in the final game.
    • The Continue option is absent - the screen automatically returns to the main menu.
  • Collected extra lives will reappear when respawning or leaving the level prematurely and re-entering it.
  • You can exit a level prematurely even while Crash is on mid-air.
  • Sometimes the bonus tokens will reappear once you return to the level.
  • The idle animation where Crash picks up a Wumpa fruit and throws it up in the air is absent.
  • The shock death animation didn't exist at this point.
  • You can still throw an enemy away even if they are vanishing it already from a chain combo.
  • After returning from a bonus round, you will respawn in the same position you were before entering the bonus, instead of respawning on the checkpoint crate.
  • The sparks of electricity have no sound effects.

Levels

  • Lab assistant enemies throw their beakers slower, and lack the animation where they shake the beaker before throwing it. The potion break sound effect is also missing.
April 8 Final
Crash1-Proto ManEatingPlant.png Crash1 ManEatingPlant.png
  • The vast majority of enemies lack textures, such as the man-eating plants (above), turtles, skunks, rats, etc.
April 8 Final
Crash1-Proto SurveillanceRobot.png Crash1 SurveillanceRobot.png
  • Surveillance robots have a more primitive orb-like appearance, and are invulnerable to damage, with only explosions or Aku Aku invincibility being capable of defeating them.

Jungle Levels

  • Crabs are more red on the sideways.
  • Performing a spin attack next to a rolling stone won't hurt Crash.

Native Levels

  • Shielded tribesmen can't be instantly defeated by the player's invincibility, but will instead cancel the invincibility.
  • The spinner platforms are more finnicky with collision detection. You have to specifically touch them while spinning to make them work, making this type of ascent much harder. The final version is a bit more lenient and makes the platforms spin if you miss them by a short distance. You also get pushed to the opposite direction if you touch the log while spinning.

Boulder Levels

  • Aku Aku is banned.
  • The boulder doesn't hit the screen when Crash is crushed.

River Levels

  • The leaves used to cross the river move slower.

Temple Levels

  • The arrowslits play a different sound effect.
  • Bats can't be defeated.

2D Ruins Levels

  • Crash lacks a darker shading.
  • Defeating the hanging bats won't prevent more swarms from coming in, or turn the remaining ones into Wumpa fruits.
  • There is no splash animation, so Crash will always get the falling sound even if he falls into water.
  • Torches can cause the generic death animation.
April 8 Final
Crash1-Lizr-PAL.png
Crash1-Lizg-PAL.png
Crash1-Lizr-U.png
Crash1-Lizg-U.png
  • Lizards' dorsal crest textures aren't corrupted.
  • Lizard enemies behave very differently - green lizards only jump straight upwards as opposed to alternating between jumping away and towards Crash, whereas red ones opt for this behaviour rather than jumping towards him.
    • You can't defeat them by spinning on them, you always get knocked back instead.
  • Timed platforms and pusher blocks use a different sound effect.
  • Pressure platforms tilt back into place far more slowly than in the final game.
  • The lighting effect produced by fire onto a wall is different, with more yellow and a more faded red.

Bridge Levels

  • The red planks are actually left intact rather than featuring large holes in the middle, making them harder to distinguish from the planks you can step on.
  • The defeated turtles can fly away towards the bridge direction. In the final game, they will always fly to the sideways to avoid chaining the other ones ahead, making it sometimes impossible to progress without using the rope.

Factory Levels

  • Robot turtles lack sound effects.
  • Falling on an acid pool will use water splashes and sound effect.

Dark Levels

  • The levels are very noticeably unfinished - as lighting effects are in a very primitive state overall, the levels get darker as you get closer to it, rather than brighter as it should be.
  • Aku Aku appears as his usual self, instead of in his flashlight form.
  • Aku Aku's iconic sound effect won't play when breaking more of his crates.
  • Floating platforms are colored a deep orange, and aren't textured - stationary platforms are green and moving platforms a brighter orange, with both having a more metallic appearance in the final game.
April 8 Final
Crash1-Proto Rat.png Crash1 Rat.png
  • Rats look dark grey and are completely textureless.
  • Many ornamental details, such as the large chairs, patterned ribbons, and wooden columns near the ceiling, are missing.
  • No swinging blades exist at this point.
  • The lamps are bugged and don't display properly.

Unused Levels

Test Level

A very unfinished test level. Oddities include Crash turning green upon getting to the top of the hill and the TNT box not having a countdown. Andy Gavin personally used this level to test the animations for spider and lab assistant enemies, its small size hugely shortening the rendering time needed for the level to load. The 3 crates each contain a Tawna token, and obtaining all 3 will cause the game to load the player into a Tawna bonus round. This level is normally not clearable due to a large gap, but with the use of invincibility, you can reach the end to see Tawna who will provide you with a 6 character password. Unfortunately, this password doesn't appear to do anything.

"Haha. That isn't a mini game. That's a recording of "level0" which was my programming test level. I was just testing spiders and the labass. It was always very useful to have a level that was super small (hence I could process it in 3 minutes instead of 6 hours). I'd just stick whatever creatures I was programming there first and do all the programming I could on them BEFORE putting them in a real level."

Lava Cave

CB PSProto Lava Stage 2.png

Although not accessible through attempting to use the level modifier 02 on the internal level list, the code refers to a "level2", which Andy Gavin claims was a level known as Lava Cave, which was one of the first levels produced for the game. Allegedly, the level was cut for multiple reasons, including that it used up too much memory due to the immense amount of polygons, that it didn't synergize well with the game's linear style of platforming and that the color of the lava severely distracted from Crash's vibrant orange color.


"Our first two test levels "the jungle, level1" and "lava cave, level2" were abysmal, and neither shipped in the final game. First of all, they were too open with way too many polygons. Level1 had over 10 million, whereas a shipping level tended to have around a million (a lot back then). Level2 was better, but not much."

"There are no lava levels, a staple in character action games, because Crash is orange. We made one in Demo, and that ended the lava debate. It was not terribly dissimilar to trying to watch a black dog run in the yard on a moonless night."

(Source: Andy Gavin (http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/2011/02/03/making-crash-bandicoot-part-2/), (http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/2011/02/05/making-crash-bandicoot-part-4/))

But we can still see the level itself, using a customized tool. The interesting fact is that this level is 100% textured (but with only 10% of the polygons), unlike other cut levels. In fact, one can even get a close approximation of when they were last modified: sometime before December 1995, as the level lacks any vertex shading (used to add color to the scenery).

The level still contains its collision tree, too, and it shows more to the level than what we can see through extracting the scenery:

Cavern Level

Just about anything can kill you here, even the walls. However, it has no enemies, obstacles, or any way to complete the level. Also, the acid doesn't kill you at all. Interestingly, the screen turns dark when Crash dies in this level, but the camera won't spin around his body.

By hacking, it's possible to see that the level does actually have fruit, the old fruit mentioned below. It appears in the main path of the level as a trail and over the platforms.

Bizarrely, this level still exists in the final game's code (as level ID 04), but as all of the levels playable in the retail build utilize a newer coding format, it freezes when forced to load, rendering it totally inaccessible.

Waterfall Level

A glitchy unfinished level. Also known as the waterfall level, this one was cut from the final game. Players dodged and weaved through falling platforms, catapults, slippery surfaces, rotating platforms, and the aforementioned waterfall you went in front of and behind while climbing to the top. Enemies here include red plants, skunks, turtles, and a cut hyena enemy. When you die on this level, you may start to glow for some reason.

There is no way to complete this level, as the player comes across a dead end. The end of the level bears a strong resemblance to Ripper Roo's boss level, implying that the waterfall level may have been intended to precede Ripper Roo's boss fight. In the final game, the level Up The Creek takes its place.

Interestingly, it contains data for an earlier version of the POW crate featuring red textures, which is only accessible through hacking, as seen in this image:

Crash1Proto - EarlyPOW.png

Donkey Kong Level

Also not accessible through attempting to use the level modifier 10 on the internal level list, this unknown level is more complete than the lava cave in terms of layout, but uses even older code. The layout of this level directly replicates the first level in Donkey Kong, and there are bouncy plants from the cliff level. There is also a grey textureless ball which goes down a path. Interestingly, its code file is named "KonOC", the same name used in Koala Kong's boss fight. Using a custom tool, it's possible to get a view of the level.

Cliff Level

The last unfinished level in the prototype. Glitches include walking on thin air, being able to walk under the stage, random objects disappear and appear as Crash walks into them, invisible platforms, being able to walk behind the stage, untextured platforms, and as always there is no way out of the level. Due to a mistake in loading textures, they get scrambled near the beginning of the level. The HUD also appears broken.

Unused Music

This theme is present inside Jungle Roller's NSF file but, due to the lack of any music playback code it never plays.

Unlike the rest of the music in Crash Bandicoot, the music found in the test room is split into multiple sequences per track - this is strange as it's the first and only time it has done so. The volume to these tracks get quite loud so this is a volume warning:

Part 1 Test Room Theme

Part 2 Test Room Theme

Test Room Theme Full

This test theme is an arrangement of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy".

Unused Models/Animations

Hmmm...
To do:
Definitely more of these. There is a nice animation guide for anims in the final version here. However, some may have changed position, animation, or be new.

The prototype for Crash Bandicoot contains a lot of unused objects scattered throughout the NSF files.

Snake

The contents of the NSF file for the Lava Cave contain an enemy named of SnakC for its code and something similar for its animations (which albeit in an older format, can be still opened). What the snake does, exactly, is unknown for now. The snake is inoffensive and easily killed.

Crash1Proto - Snake.PNG

Lava Cave Plant

A model and animation by the name of Shro(V/G) resides in the same location as the Snake. It looks like a pink ball with green leaves sticking out, similar to the plants in Upstream and Up the Creek, but much more simple. It is part of the fruit (i.e. loose pickups) code.

Crash1Proto - ShroV 1.PNG

Hyena

A hyena enemy found in the files for the Waterfall level and Cliff level, among many others that were actually finished. It appears in-game in the Waterfall level and Cliff level. However, it is still present in the final version's data.

CB1 hyena.png

Boulder Obstacles

Hmmm...
To do:
Add textures. Also, this is documented in the final version too.

Obstacles found in the files for Boulders and Boulder Dash that act as roadblocks. They have low and high variants.

Roadblock

This roadblock is an obstacle found in-game when playing the Cliff level. You can destroy it by spinning into it.

CB1 roadblock.png

Rock

A falling rock obstacle found in the files for multiple levels but only used in the Cliff level. It has untextured brown and gray variants.

CB1 rock.png

Crash Spin Animation

No, not the spin attack. A weird animation by the name of WiGSV. Unknown what it was used for, although the last few frames ARE still used in the final version as the post-spin animation.

CB1 WiGSV.gif

Unused Early Code

It is possible to use early code from the game in levels postdating early levels that actually used the code. There are some differences with this early code:

  • Crash controls a bit differently than he does using the new code. You can even do a glitchy "double jump".
  • Crash's nose has a slight reflective texture on it, removed in the final game.
  • Crash's shoes aren't correctly textured and the strings have a grey background instead of the red like the rest of the shoes.
  • Wumpa fruit is replaced with 7 types of fruit: limes, coconuts, lemons, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, and grapes, which are worth 1-3 fruit depending on the fruit type. Collecting 100 fruit does not give an extra life, however.
  • There is a special item called the Yin Yang Yuk. It does nothing due to its incompletion but according to design documents released it was intended to be a special object. This item is similar to the Yin Yang Yuk icon from Way of the Warrior, another game made by Naughty Dog.
Design document
  • The Aku Aku mug is also present and can be used, and has a different appearance. When collected, it will spin and shrink in a spiral-like manner. A small orb will appear and float around Crash, representing Aku Aku. It starts off blue, then becomes yellow with a second mask, red with a third mask, and green with a fourth mask. It disappears after Crash gets hit, unless it is in the third or fourth stage, in which it goes back to the first stage.
  • The Crash mug is slightly different, with a larger nose and a different chin. It will shrink and spin in the same way the Aku Aku mug does.
  • Because of the slow spiral animation, if you get a life or mask and go far enough away from them, they stop the animation and not despawn, allowing them to be collected again.

Executable Text

Some of the most interesting text in the executable file (PSX.EXE, the default name).

Enter password: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTU   VWXYZ0123456789:-

Probably an even earlier password system, used in the SGI version of the game.

cMapP
selpA
1upOA
TtbOA
1MapP
2MapP
0MapP
FontD

Corresponds to files inside the S0000019.NSF (map, main menu, etc.) archive. cMapP is the game over screen, 1MapP is the first island and 2MapP is the second island, while 0MapP doesn't exist at all.

NONE
SVTX
TGEO
WGEO
SLST
TPAG
LDAT
ZDAT
CPAT
BINF
OPAT
GOOL
ADIO
MIDI
INST
IMAG
LINK
MDAT
IPAL
PBAK
CVTX

All correspond to the subsystems in the game. Interestingly, PBAK (demo) and CVTX (colored animation) files are not ever used or present in the files for this build.

Won level %d

A string of text representing the ID of the level that was just beaten.