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Proto:Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.

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

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

The May 15th, 2001 prototype of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is a PlayStation 2 demo build showcased at E3 2001 and dated over four months before the final NTSC-U release version. It was released on March 20th, 2021 as part of Project Deluge, a big prototype release hosted by the folks over at Hidden Palace.

Debug Features

This build contains a small debug menu that can be unlocked by inputting L1 + L2 + R1 + R2 in the Options menu at the same time. There are four features to be seen: INVINCIBILITY, LIFT PLAYER, EXTRA MOVES, and GLASS PLAYER.

  • INVINCIBILITY: When turned on, a small "Invincibility!" notice flashes at the top of the screen.
  • LIFT PLAYER: Allows you to moon jump by holding the button down.
  • EXTRA MOVES: Gives you all of the post-boss "Power-Ups", except for the Fruit Bazooka.
  • GLASS PLAYER: Makes the player transparent, similar to the invisibility crate. This option is not present in the final debug mode.

General Differences

May 15 Final
Crash4-May15-Title.png Crash Bandicoot- Wrath of Cortex-title.png
  • The title screen differs quite a bit from the final.
May 15 Final
CrashWOC Loading May15.png CrashWOC Loading Final.png
  • The loading screen is different, and it displays each part of the loading process at the bottom.
  • As a demo build, much of the game is not present. There's a demo timer which kicks the player back to the title screen if it's idle for too long, and the only five playable levels are the following:
    • 1 - Crash and Burn
    • 2 - Tornado Alley
    • 3 - Wizards and Lizards
    • 4 - Banzai Bonsai
    • 5 - Eskimo Roll
  • Finishing a level takes you straight back to the central area of the warp room, rather than spawning you just outside the entrance to the level you were just in.
  • There are some unfinished particle effects and missing animations here and there - for example, some enemies will immediately vanish when they're defeated.
  • A number of textures have been changed throughout.
  • The HUD text is universally orange rather than being a range of colors - for example, the "BONUS" text is orange instead of green. The 3D HUD lettering also has less depth to it.
  • The pause menu is particularly basic and primitive looking, and only offers the ability to continue, restart the time trial, restart the level or return to the warp room. The level's theme also keeps playing during the pause.
  • When you respawn after a game over, you reappear with zero lives.
  • There is a portal in the floor at the end of each level instead of a teleporter. When the player approaches it, the character's animation freezes in place or gets stuck in a loop before the screen fades out.
  • Crate placement is different in a number of places.
  • TNTs don't have the countdown sound effect.
  • Bounce crates require the player to bounce on them ten times and gets one Wumpa fruit for each jump. This was later changed to five bounces with each one giving two Wumpa fruits, just like how it was in Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
  • There are no specific music tracks for bonus rounds - the main path music is always used instead.
  • Crystals have a darker, more transparent appearance.
  • Aku Aku lacks sound effect upon losing him.
  • Aku Aku doesn't turn gold or give off sparkles in the second form.
  • The invincibility form lacks a theme.
  • There is no life sound effect or pop up animation when collecting an extra life.
  • Life crates reappear upon respawning even after having collected them before.
  • Crash and Coco's running animation are different.
  • Coco lacks the sweep kick move.
  • Coco doesn't blink.
  • Coco can't use the Speed Shoes.
  • The death animation where the level area turns black and Crash spins around and falls down is not present.
  • The death animation of Coco turning into an angel is not present.
  • The alternate death animation of the level area turning black when Coco dies is not present.
  • Crash and Coco don't close their eyes during the death animations.
  • Attacking the Nitro switch will play a sound of Crash's "Woah!", followed by a didgeridoo sound effect from the previous games.
  • The Time Trial's stopwatch icon spins around in circles.
  • The Fruit Bazooka weapon didn't exist yet.
May 15 Final
CrashWOC GameOver May15.png CrashWOC GameOver Final.png
  • Dr. Neo Cortex wears a white suit on the game over screen, and the green glow is missing.
Level May 15 Final
Crash and Burn 2:30:00
2:06:00
1:50:00
1:45:00
1:20:00
1:15:00
Tornado Alley 3:00:00
2:30:00
2:00:00
2:00:00
1:20:00
1:00:00
Wizards and Lizards 1:40:00
1:04:00
0:41:00
1:15:00
0:45:00
0:35:00
Banzai Bonzai 1:55:00
1:25:00
1:17:00
1:30:00
1:00:00
0:45:00
Eskimo Roll 1:30:00
1:17:00
1:00:00
1:25:00
0:45:00
0:34:00
  • All relic times are different.

Level Differences

Warp Room

  • The warp room appears very primitive, with few features besides five levels and the ominous floating heads of Dr. Neo Cortex and the Elementals.
  • The central hub of the demo - which is also where the game starts - is a variant of Coco's VR Hub System, but without any of the chambers seen in the final game.
  • There are no visual displays of how many gems, crystals or relics have been collected in each of the levels, nor are the collected items shown to the player when they leave a level.
  • Entering levels involves physically jumping into the holes and through the floor, rather than standing on each of the numbers and being zapped by a teleporter.
  • The button pads themselves feature holograms depicting the respective level overlaid onto the pad itself.

Crash and Burn

  • The secret area and second exit is not present, or at least cannot be reached. It contains a total of 114 crates, rather than the final's 138.

Wizards and Lizards

  • It's called "Enter the Dragon".
  • Medieval Madness theme is used here.
  • The level contains no bonus stages nor the secret exit and there are a total of 70 crates rather than the final's 129.
  • The ? crate above the bounce crate at the beginning was moved to the ground in the final game.
  • Knights are holding a spear instead of a shield. They also attack when the player is near.
  • The wizard's attack turns Crash into an angel instead of a bat.
  • The crate behind the first wizard was switched. The ? crate is placed on the left instead of right.
  • The dragon is triggered way too early. It also lacks any shading.
  • The ? crates after the two small pitfalls in the first chase section were moved further to the corner in the final game.
  • In the second chase section, the basic and ? crate on the left side were switched.
  • In the third chase section, the floating Nitro in the first small pitfall is missing.
  • Two more Nitros are missing right ahead.
  • Missing Nitro on the right after the barrel.
  • In the barrier of Nitros, a Nitro is missing above the left one.
  • Two more missing at the end of the chase.
  • After the final checkpoint, the stack of crates with TNTs on each side are different: top basic crate was changed to a ? one, and the bottom crates were switched in the final game.
  • The crate layout next to the fireplace was changed: a Nitro on the ground and a floating Nitro right after it are present. In the final game, they were changed to a slot crate and a ? crate at the bottom, and another ? one floating above.
  • A knight was removed, and a wooden box was added in the final game.
  • Right after it, an arrow crate is missing, the the life box is placed further to the right.
  • In the final knight segment before the end of the level, several objects are missing in the background, such as two cannons, four barrels, and two giant wooden boxes.
  • The Nitro switch was moved further behind, and the barrier of Nitros and crates behind the wizard are missing. There is also one wizard instead of two.

Banzai Bonsai

  • The level contains 113 crates instead of 152. The bonus stage contains 28 of those crates, rather than 32 of them.
  • The red gem route is absent.
  • The cranes are, instead, flamingos.
  • The moving platforms don't sink when Coco steps on them.
  • The first ? crate was changed to a basic one and was moved further behind in the final game.
  • In the first checkpoint section, the fish was moved to the left in the final game.
  • Right after the first checkpoint, a fish before the moving platforms was removed.
  • Red chōchin lanterns are present right ahead.
  • Before the top-down section, a fish was moved to the right, a TNT crate was added in the stack, and the top ? crate was changed to a basic one.
  • A ? crate was removed in the final top-down hall.
  • Before the second checkpoint, a basic crate was changed to a Nitro one in the final game.
  • A TNT crate was removed, and the wooden floor has different textures.
  • A slot crate was changed to a Nitro in the final game.
  • The bonus platform is different.
  • The iron crate was changed to a TNT in the final game.
  • The activable crates are all iron crates, which were changed to two Nitros and a basic crate in the final game.
  • After the last torch, the basic crate was changed to a TNT in the final game.
  • The last basic crate was changed to a TNT in the final game.

Eskimo Roll

  • The level contains 86 crates rather than the 82 of the final.
  • Tiny, Dingodile, and N. Tropy are not present.

Level Names

Although most levels have been erased from this build, references to unplayable levels still exist in the game's files. The following is a list of code names for levels existing at the time of the build date, compiled using level name and function name strings referenced in the main executable.

Path Level Name (Development) Level Name (Final)
b\testzone\test TEST ZONE TEST ZONE
b\gameover\chamber GAME OVER GAME OVER
b\hub\e3hub FRONT END WARP ROOM
b\titles\title TITLES TITLES
a\fire_fly\fire_fly FIRE FLY THAT SINKING FEELING
a\castle_c\castle_c DRAGON CHASE / ENTER THE DRAGON WIZARDS AND LIZARDS
a\castle_a\castle_a CASTLE ARENA MEDIEVAL MADNESS
a\fire_r\fire_r FIRE RESEARCH BASE FAHRENHEIT FRENZY
a\tsunami\toonarmy TSUNAMI TSUNAMI
a\farm\farm FARM / TORNADO ALLEY TORNADO ALLEY
a\garden\garden GARDEN / BANZAI BONSAI BANZAI BONSAI
a\jungle_a\jungle_a JUNGLE ARENA BAMBOOZLED
a\castle\castle CASTLE THE GAUNTLET
a\fire_isl\fire FIRE ISLAND N/A
a\jungle_r\jungle JUNGLE RUMBLE JUNGLE RUMBLE
a\snow_m\snow SNOW MOUNTAIN ARCTIC ANTICS
a\coral_c\coral CORAL CANYON CORAL CANYON
a\avalanch\avalanch AVALANCHE AVALANCHE
a\earth_r\earth EARTH RESEARCH BASE COMPACTOR REACTOR
a\west_a\west_a WESTERN ARENA SMOKEY AND THE BANDICOOT
a\water_r\water WATER RESEARCH BASE H2 OH NO
a\volcano\volcano VOLCANO ISLAND / CRASH AND BURN CRASH AND BURN
a\cold_a\cold_a COLD ARENA / ESKIMO ROLL ESKIMO ROLL