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Proto:Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex/May 15th, 2001 build

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

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

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.
To do:
Lots of leftover stuff, such as:
  • Mech suit and Jeep gameplay.

The May 15th, 2001 prototype 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.

Debug Features

A small debug menu that can be unlocked by inputting L1 + L2 + R1 + R2 in the Options menu at the same time.

  • INVINCIBILITY - When turned on, a small "Invincibility!" notice flashes at the top of the screen.
  • LIFT PLAYER - Allows you to moonjump by holding Triangle.
  • 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 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
  • The game's music loops without pausing, something that does not happen in the final game.
  • 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 effects upon losing him.
  • Aku Aku doesn't turn gold or give off sparkles in the second form. Instead, he starts to emit a green light.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

Time Trial

Level May 15 Final
Crash and Burn 2:30:00
Tornado Alley 3:00:00
Wizards and Lizards 1:40:00
Banzai Bonzai 1:55:00
Eskimo Roll 1:30:00
  • All relic times are different.

Playable Characters

  • Crash and Coco's running animations are different.
  • Crash only plays the guitar riff animation when he performs a high jump or double jump.
  • The sparkling particles that appear when Crash spins are emitted in a different manner.
  • The smoke particles that appear when Crash slides are very different.
  • Crash's shoes make snowflake particles for every step he takes while walking.
  • Coco lacks the sweep kick move.
  • Coco doesn't blink.
  • Crash and Coco don't close their eyes during the death animations.
  • The death animation where the level area turns black as Crash/Coco get dizzy and die has not been added.
  • The death animation where Crash burns into ash is not present.
  • Upon losing a death in the Atlasphere, instead of it shattering into pieces, Crash will fall over in it like his minecart death animation in the final game.
  • The death animation of Coco turning into an angel is not present.
  • Coco can't use the Speed Shoes.
  • The Fruit Bazooka weapon didn't exist yet.

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.

Level Differences

Crash and Burn

  • The crabs are much more difficult to defeat without dying.
  • The secret area and second exit is not present, or at least cannot be reached. It also contains a total of 114 crates rather than the final's 138.

Wizards and Lizards

  • The level icon is different. The icon shows an even earlier version of the level with different floor textures.
  • 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 dragon breaks less crates in its path.
  • The noises the dragon makes are very different.
  • 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 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 icon is different.
  • 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 purple platforms fall instantly upon touch.
  • 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 icon is different.
  • The level contains 86 crates rather than the 82 of the final.
  • Tiny, Dingodile, and N. Tropy are not present.

Tornado Alley

  • The level icon is different.
  • Coco's instructional dialog that is given to Crash when the level starts is missing.
  • Crash does not fly away when he completes the level; instead, his plane stays static in midair until the game loads the warp room.

Full Warp Room

To do:

Despite the fact that this build of the game uses a condensed version of the warp room, the full version of the warp room can be found in the files of the game.

  • Only the structure data is loaded for the warp room, but all the animated models and code are lifted from the E3 warp room.
  • The game forbids you from walking into any of the teleports.
  • Only the first hub shows level names and the large screen preview, and even then it only shows the E3 selection of levels.
  • There are 5 sides of the warp room for each hub, and there is no side for a load/save screen.
  • The level numbers are missing from the teleports.
  • Other than the particles that each hub contains, all the hubs use the same blue wireframe style as the center of the hub.

Level Leftovers

Development 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\titles\title TITLES TITLES
a\tsunami\toonarmy TSUNAMI TSUNAMI
a\jungle_a\jungle_a JUNGLE ARENA BAMBOOZLED
a\castle\castle CASTLE THE GAUNTLET
a\fire_isl\fire FIRE ISLAND N/A
a\avalanch\avalanch AVALANCHE AVALANCHE
a\water_r\water WATER RESEARCH BASE H2 OH NO

Warp Room Level Arrangement

The full warp room that is present in the demo files has shows that the some of the levels were arranged differently from the final game:

Level # May 1 Final
Level 1 Arctic Antics Arctic Antics
Level 2 Tornado Alley Tornado Alley
Level 3 Fire Island Bamboozled
Level 4 Wizards and Lizards Wizards and Lizards
Level 5 Compactor Reactor Compactor Reactor
Boss 1 N/A Rumble in the Roks
Level 6 Crash and Burn Jungle Rumble
Level 7 Coral Canyon Sea Shell Shenanigans
Level 8 Banzai Bonsai Banzai Bonsai
Level 9 Eskimo Roll That Sinking Feeling
Level 10 H2 Oh No H2 Oh No
Boss 2 N/A Drain Damage
Level 11 Jungle Rumble The Gauntlet
Level 12 Tsunami Tsunami
Level 13 The Gauntlet Smokey and the Bandicoot
Level 14 That Sinking Feeling Eskimo Roll
Level 15 Fahrenheit Frenzy Fahrenheit Frenzy
Boss 3 N/A Crashes to Ashes
Level 16 Medieval Madness Avalanche
Level 17 Avalanche Droid Void
Level 18 N/A Crashteroids
Level 19 N/A Coral Canyon
Level 20 N/A Weathering Heights
Boss 4 N/A Atmospheric Pressure
Level 21 Bamboozled Crash and Burn
Level 22 N/A Gold Rush
Level 23 Smokey and the Bandicoot Medieval Madness
Level 24 N/A Crate Balls of Fire
Level 25 N/A Cortex Vortex
Boss 5 N/A Crunch Time
Level 26 N/A Knight Time
Level 27 N/A Ghost Town
Level 28 N/A Ice Station Bandicoot
Level 29 N/A Solar Bowler
Level 30 N/A Force of Nature

File Differences

Older Environment Map

May 15 Final
CrashTROC-ENVTXT.PNG Crash WOC Environment Texture.png
  • The initial env map depicted a lake instead of being bumpy chrome gloss. The file is dated Feb 22, 2001.

Early Level Icons

Arctic Antics

May 15 Final
CrashWOC ArcticAnticsIcon May15.png CrashWOC ArcticAnticsIcon Final.png

Tornado Alley

May 15 Final
CrashWOC TornadoAlleyIcon May15.png CrashWOC TornadoAlleyIcon Final.png

Tornado Alley's early icon is sunny like how the level is seen in prerelease screenshots.


May 15 Final
CrashWOC BamboozledIcon May15.png CrashWOC BamboozledIcon Final.png

Bamboozled's early icon is completely different in nature, possibly a remnant of when it was an "arena" level.

Wizards and Lizards

May 15 Final
CrashWOC WizardsAndLizardsIcon May15.png CrashWOC WizardsAndLizardsIcon Final.png

Compactor Reactor

May 15 Final
CrashWOC CompactorReactorIcon May15.png CrashWOC CompactorReactorIcon Final.png

Jungle Rumble

May 15 Final
CrashWOC JungleRumbleIcon May15.png CrashWOC JungleRumbleIcon Final.png

Banzai Bonsai

May 15 Final
CrashWOC BanzaiBonsaiIcon May15.png CrashWOC BanzaiBonsaiIcon Final.png

That Sinking Feeling

May 15 Final
CrashWOC CrashandBurnIcon.png CrashWOC ThatSinkingFeelingIcon Final.png

That Sinking Feeling uses Crash and Burn's icon as a placeholder.

The Gauntlet

May 15 Final
CrashWOC TheGauntletIcon May15.png CrashWOC TheGauntletIcon Final.png


May 15 Final
CrashWOC BanzaiBonsaiIcon May15.png CrashWOC TsunamiIcon Final.png

Tsunami uses Banzai Bonsai's icon as a placeholder.

Eskimo Roll

May 15 Final
CrashWOC EskimoRollIcon May15.png CrashWOC EskimoRollIcon Final.png

Eskimo Roll's early icon comes from a very early layout from back when it was an "arena" level. This version of it can be seen in some prerelease footage and the map was eventually repurposed into the Copter Pack race level "Ice Station Bandicoot."

Fahrenheit Frenzy

May 15 Final
CrashWOC FahrenheitFrenzyIcon May15.png CrashWOC FahrenheitFrenzyIcon Final.png


May 15 Final
CrashWOC AvalancheIcon May15.png CrashWOC AvalancheIcon Final.png

Coral Canyon

May 15 Final
CrashWOC CoralCanyonIcon May15.png CrashWOC CoralCanyonIcon Final.png

The level's environment is totally different in the early icon for it.

Medieval Madness

May 15 Final
CrashWOC TheGauntletIcon May15.png CrashWOC MedievalMadnessIcon Final.png

Medieval Madness uses The Gauntlet's icon as a placeholder.

Fire Island

May 15 Final
CrashWOC FireIslandIcon May15.png N/A

Fire Island was cut from the final game, so it goes without an icon.

Asset Notes