Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


Crash Bandicoot 2 enhances everything that made the original game memorable, from gameplay and graphics to level diversity. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the Crash Bandicoot series, offering a mix of challenge, fun, and nostalgia.


Dive into the whirlwind adventure of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, a landmark sequel in the beloved Crash Bandicoot series. This game continues the story of Crash Bandicoot, tasked with gathering crystals to prevent Doctor Neo Cortex’s latest scheme for world domination.


“Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” is a captivating sequel to the original Crash Bandicoot game. Developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation, it was released in the United States on October 31st, 1997. The game is a linear platformer and is the second best selling Crash game of all time, with at least 7.58 million copies sold globally.

The game’s story begins right after the events of the first game. The villainous Dr. Neo Cortex falls from his hoverboard and lands within a mine, where he discovers a large crystal and has a flash of inspiration. One year later, he is seen in a space station being told by his new assistant, Doctor N. Gin, that to harness the Master Crystal’s power he will require an additional 25 “Slave Crystals” scattered across the Earth.

Since Cortex does not have any “friends” left on the surface, he decides he needs to “find an enemy”. Crash and his sister Coco Bandicoot are relaxing on N. Sanity Beach, when the battery runs out on Coco’s laptop. This is where Crash’s adventure begins. He is on a mission to collect crystals and help Dr. Neo Cortex save the world.

Dr. Cortex convinces Crash to help him gather Power Crystals to ‘save the world’. But is the doctor telling the truth? Regardless, Crash needs to find his way back home, and his sister Coco may be all there is to stopping Dr. Cortex’s potential scheming.

Crash’s girlfriend Tawna, from the previous game, has left Crash for Pinstripe Poteroo. Now Crash lives with his sister Coco. One trip through the jungle for batteries for Coco sends Crash to a warp room with 5 portals. There he meets Dr. Neo Cortex again (this time, through a projector). To power up the Cortex Vortex, Cortex needs 25 crystals, so he convinces Crash to get the crystals for him.

In the game’s story, Crash Bandicoot is abducted by Doctor Neo Cortex, who has apparently turned over a new leaf and is now willing to save the world. Crash is then thrust into several parts of the islands in order to gather crystals and allow Cortex to contain the power of the upcoming planetary alignment and keep the planet from being destroyed.

He is joined by Coco Bandicoot, his sister, who is suspicious of Cortex’s true intentions. N. Brio, who has a personal vendetta against Cortex, tries to convince Crash to gather gems instead of crystals in hope of destroying his arch-enemy Cortex and sends his own henchmen to stop the bandicoot’s progress.

Throughout the game, Cortex tricks Crash (and Aku Aku) into getting Crystals. Crash is led to believe that the crystals are the only means of stopping a mysterious planetary force, caused by the alignment of all the planets in the Solar System. So, he sets out to get them for Cortex.

The game ends with a thrilling climax, leaving players eager for the next installment. The game’s success can be attributed to its engaging storyline, immersive gameplay, and memorable characters. It remains a classic in the Crash Bandicoot series and continues to be enjoyed by gamers worldwide.”


Main characters include Crash Bandicoot, the adventurous and determined protagonist; Doctor Neo Cortex, the cunning and deceptive antagonist; and other notable characters like Coco Bandicoot, Crash’s intelligent sister, and Aku Aku, the protective mask that aids Crash on his quest.


Gameplay involves navigating through diverse levels, breaking crates for bonuses, and avoiding traps and enemies. Players must collect a crystal in each level and reach its end to progress. The game introduces new movements for Crash, such as sliding and body slamming, enhancing the gameplay experience.


Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is not just a successful sequel but a defining moment in the platforming genre. Its contribution to the Crash Bandicoot series and the broader gaming community remains significant, making it a must-play title for fans of retro gaming.

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