I remember back in the day when I got my first console. It was amazing. It was the PlayStation One v2 and it came with Crash Bandicoot. I spent countless hours jumping and spinning while trying to rescue Tawna from the hands of the evil Dr. N Cortex I remember not even knowing Crash Bandicoot 2 was released but catching a glimpse of it at a store and begging my mom to get it for me, which wasn’t all that hard considering she loved Crash just as much as I did. She actually still mentions it now whenever she sees me playing on my new consoles. I remember falling in love all over again especially with the new kind of levels being introduced. And how could I forget my favorite of the trilogy, Crash Bandicoot Warped. When I first saw the case which presented us with Crash decked out in a leather jacket while riding an insanely cool motorcycle my jaw dropped and I turned to my mom and she just smiled at me and asked the vendor for one copy. I believe that was the first time I ever spent all night playing one game until I finally beat it. The PlayStation One holds some of my dearest memories. Not only did Crash offer me my first taste of single player but it also introduced me to the all mighty competitive couch multiplayer with the likes of Crash Bash and Crash Team Racing. The amount of hours I spent shaming my fellow classmates was astounding for a kindergartener. The quality may have dropped but I still played the Crash games. I bought Crash: Wrath of Cortex and enjoyed it. It wasn’t the same, but it was fun to me. But once Twinsanity hit, I had lost my interest. It wasn’t just the fact that I couldn’t ignore the fact that it went against everything I believed in concerning the Crash universe but it was also due to there being the likes of Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank that completely swayed my interest. But I will always have fond memories of Crash, its where my interest with gaming began. I started gaming alongside Crash in the PlayStation One era and since then there’s never been a day I haven’t owned a console. So to commemorate this made up holiday I would like to present you with my some of my favorite moments with the very first Crash Bandicoot.
Crash Bandicoot: Hog Wild
If you don’t remember the first time you hopped on the hog in Crash Bandicoot and went for a ride, then you clearly didn’t play the right Crash. For little ol’ me this part was both hilarious and exhilarating. I remember reading the title for the level and thinking I’d be fighting a bunch of hogs, but as soon as the level starts we’re presented with a hog standing in front of Crash and in the next second Crash looks back at the screen and gives off a smirk almost telling me “Oh you were not expecting this.” And hops on top of the Hog and sets of for what is most definitely a wild ride. It may have been short lived but it was completely different from any of the other levels up to that point and it made me fall in love with Crash even more. I was young and I figured every level would be a simple platformer but this was the level where I realized Crash would be different. That not every level would be what I expected it to be and that I would always have to be on my toes. It was great, I remember moving my controller instinctively with whichever direction I had to move Crash to avoid crashing or falling to danger. It was the first time I was introduced to anything of its kind, you have to remember Crash Bandicoot was my very first game. I was awestruck and thinking back I still am.
Crash Bandicoot: Boulder Dash
We all remember this level. We were not ready. If you beat this level on your first try then I expect you aren’t from this planet, and you most definitely belong in a throne room because I salute you. The first time I loaded this level up I can not tell you how fast my heart was racing. My fingers were sweating and I was throwing my controller left and right cursing naughty dog for throwing this kind of level into the game. It was another curve ball; I had loved Hog Wild for being different but I just couldn’t bring myself to love Boudler Dash. I was confused, the camera angle was completely turned around and it was completely unpredictable to younger me. I remember coming in with ten lives my first time through and being completely crushed when I saw the Game Over screen signifying that I had lost all my lives and would now be promptly returned to the title screen. The first time I faced this level, I gave up. I was frustrated. I had never experienced this amount of defeat before. I may have despised this level at the time but this also where I learned one of the many valuable skills required to be a true gamer. Perseverance. I kept going at it. I would rack up my lives and attack it, hoping for the best. Time and time I would fail. Sometimes miserably, and other times so close to what I thought was the finish line that I would mutter curses to the heavens, until finally the day came. The day in which I reached the final pillars and heard that all too familiar sound of the end nearby. I jumped across the last obstacle and was finally greeting by my pedestal lit up with the red warp material that would send me home. It was the first time in a video game where I leaped with my fist in the air and just said yes. Finally, it was over. I will never forget that sense of satisfaction I felt. I would come to feel time and time again through every generation but I will always be fond of my first time.
Crash Bandicoot: Dr. Neo Cortex
How could I ever forget my first ever final boss fight. You just can’t. Its cemented to your brain, its like your first kiss. Its pretty damn magical. It was an intense battle, seeing Cortex firing at you from a hovering machine while you try and make your getaway from his castle. Little me was hyperventilating at this point. I could not die, it wasn’t only about Crash rescuing the girl, who we don’t even hear much about after yenno, it was more about me as a man and if I would be worthy enough to continue my life as a gamer. I felt that if it took me more than one sitting to beat than I may as well sell my PlayStation at our next garage sale and stick to Yu Gi Oh cards for the rest of my life. And yenno what I did it, I sent those green globs of goo back and straight Dr. Neo Cortex’s face letting him and my PlayStation know once and for all who the pass was around these parts. It was a great moment watching Crash jump because I’d be lying if I said I didn’t jump in triumph alongside him. The only difference was that he never hit the floor and the next scene we see him being carried by the “princess” he just saved. I started cracking up. It may have been because of the weight lifted off my shoulders from finally beating my first game or just because it was hilarious seeing the girl you fought so hard to save holding her in her own arms and not the other way around. All I know is that I was ecstatic after beating my first game. If only I had known how many more times I would taste that same satisfaction.