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So How Did Crash Bandicoot Wind Up in Skylanders Imaginators on PS4?

David A. Rodriguez's Avatar Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 // Narrative Lead, Vicarious Visions

By now, the world has learned all about Crash Bandicoot’s triumphant return to consoles to celebrate his 20th anniversary. Not only are three of his original adventures getting a candy-coated HD makeover, but his royal Cootness will also appear as a special guest star and fully-playable toy in the new Skylanders Imaginators game launching October 16 on PS4.

Now, some folks might look at the toy as a swell way to celebrate this momentous occasion and call it enough. At Vicarious Visions, we looked at “enough” and we said “Nay! We will do more!” (We didn’t say that at all, really. It mostly involved looking at schedules, and manpower, and spreadsheets, and then having some meetings until we reached a sensible decision… but who wants to read that blog.)

In the end, we knew that the appetite for Crash was so great that “enough” would never suffice. We needed to lay out a veritable smorgasbord of delicious treats for fans to gorge on ’til their eyes popped out from fun-gluttony.

So, we decided to create a brand new Crash Bandicoot-inspired adventure for Skylanders Imaginators.

And then we might have started freaking out.

Finding Our Beat

We had to create something that would not only resonate with the hardcore fans who grew up with Crash, but also gracefully introduce him to the new generation waiting to discover him in the Skylanders universe. We ran the risk of either creating a love letter to the original Crash games that would be so packed with inside jokes and references that it would be incomprehensible to a new player (much less a six-year old), or swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction to create something that felt so alien to the fan base that they dismissed it out of hand.

Fortunately, we knew the vehicle for delivery: an all-new, Crash-themed level. Offering new adventures has been core to the Skylanders experience from the very start, so giving Crash his very own level was a no-brainer. The question that remained was, what sort of adventure?

Our early prototypes were heavily inspired by the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy. They had a lot of third-person platforming, side-scrolling sections, rage-inducing chase sequences, etc. We knew we had to call back to all of the classic Crash experiences, but we still needed to find that core hook for a unique level that would feel at home in Crash’s world.

The solution to this conundrum arrived (as all good things do) with its own musical accompaniment.

A Groovy Dude

The original Crash Bandicoot soundtrack is a treasure trove of awesomeness. It’s an upbeat and memorable score that matches Crash’s personality and gives him plenty of opportunity to show-off his mad dance skills. Fortunately, we have a long history with music and music-inspired gameplay. Thanks to our amazing sound department and some rhythmically-blessed developers, we had already done some early explorations in Skylanders, where we had slivers of gameplay match the beat of the music that was playing.

So, we decided to pitch the idea of an entire rhythmic adventure where the music, environment, and all its denizens move to the beat of the Crash Bandicoot soundtrack. It wouldn’t just be a party at the Wumpa Islands. The Wumpa Islands would become the party!

Pretty soon, everyone from top to bottom had signed off on the concept. There was a lot of excitement! We just had to figure out how to deliver on this thing we’d never really done before, and, you know, not disappoint the entire fan base.

Welcome to the Great Synchronization Celebration

The Synchronization Celebration came about as a sort of meta-nod to Crash’s long history. It is a very special event, conveniently scheduled to occur once every 20 years, where everything on the island moves in sync with the powerful rhythmic energies of the Wumpa Islands.

Guests from all over (including Skylands!) are invited to join in this rare celebration and partake in the dancing, frivolity, and piles and piles of cake. But with Crash coming back to celebrate his triumphant return, it wouldn’t be long before an old enemy decided to rear his giant, misshapen head to attempt to steal some of that Bandicoot thunder…

The Doctor is Out (of Sync)

We couldn’t bring back Crash without reviving his old nemesis, Dr. Neo Cortex. The not-so-good Doctor has constructed a machine to harness the rhythmic energies of Wumpa Islands during the Synchronization Celebration. Once properly channeled, he’ll be able to use his Matrix Chamber to create an army of loyal minions to carry out his most dastardly of wishes. Unfortunately, his plan goes a little haywire when one of Cortex’s minions shows up unannounced.

The machine backfires and begins creating pockets of “bad vibes” all over the Wumpa Islands. The resulting syncopation threatens to shake the whole island apart if they aren’t returned to their harmonious rhythm. Cortex would prefer to keep the island intact and so decides to puts his world domination plans on hold to join forces with Crash Bandicoot and the Skylanders to keep the Synchronization Celebration and the Wumpa Islands from falling apart.

But wait… how does Cortex join forces with them, you ask? Is he like one of those NPCs who gives you advice and stuff as you go along?

Pfffft. Like he would stand for such a thing. Cortex is no one’s talking head. He is a fully-playable character with his own unique move-set, iconic gadgets, exploding mines, lasers, and superior scowls.

Oh, and he’s also got his very own toy. Yes, it is glorious. Look upon that imperious yellow visage and despair. (Or get super-excited… because now it’s a party!)

Thanks for all the Wumpas

We feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to create the Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands level for Skylanders Imaginators. The responsibility of bringing Crash and Cortex back to their fans and to the new generation around the world has been an incredible honor and gift. We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed contributing to the legacy of one of the true video game legends.

David A. Rodriguez and Leo Zuniga

P.S. I’m not saying that if you leave Crash and Cortex on your shelf at night that they will come to life and fight each other for your game-room dominance… but I’m also not not saying it.

//Add Your Own

33 Comments   7 Replies

1

+ gerneric123 on August 16th, 2016 at 11:34 pm said:

Will the original games ever be playable on Vita in North America?


     

    + Elvick_ on August 16th, 2016 at 11:40 pm said:

    Even with the PS4 versions coming, I’d still really like this. It sucks that we can’t play them properly on Vita. :( Spyro too.


     

    + KoRnRuLz16 on August 16th, 2016 at 11:41 pm said:

    Ive only ever been able to play them on a PS3 and PSP unfortunately. In order to play on Vita you need to create a European account and re-purchase each original Crash game. In my opinion this is horse **** and needs to be remedied ASAP. Of course Sony and/or Activision don’t care


     

    + NIGHT-AND-DAY90 on August 20th, 2016 at 2:50 pm said:

    I have a question that a lot of people are confused about:
    is the remastered Crash trilogy going to be a port of the original PS1? Or the same game with simple HD quality (Just like jak and daxter HD on PS3) or is it going to have a new character models and and better graphics and new audio sounds and new voice actors (just like the NEW R&C on the PS4)? please answer this question.


2

+ Elvick_ on August 16th, 2016 at 11:40 pm said:

“but who wants to read that blog.” I would actually. I find it endlessly fascinating how gaming companies determine what they do. Particularly including him in another game that came out not too long ago. To be vague enough that it won’t spoil someone who may not know.

Anyhoo, this has actually made me excited for Skylanders again. I wasn’t very excited about this game, not sure why. Wasn’t even planning to get it at launch. But the Crash and Cortex figures look really nice and Crash looks great ingame and I’m liking the sounds of the level he has as well. So I’m back to buying it at launch. I can’t wait.

And I’m thrilled beyond belief about the upcoming HD renovation of the original trilogy. Now if only a little purple dragon could get some love outside the Skylanders universe.


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 17th, 2016 at 7:14 pm said:

    All right, now I need to pitch my spreadsheet and planning blog to Sony and see if they’ll bite! :)


3

+ seppo91 on August 16th, 2016 at 11:43 pm said:

Sounds great! Been a huge Crash fan since I was a kid and will definitely pick up they toys at least, as toys to life isn’t really my thing.
Remake? Day 1 tho’!


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 17th, 2016 at 7:16 pm said:

    That’s cool. Now Crash and Neo can keep you company while you’re playing through the remakes.


4

+ Astroking112 on August 16th, 2016 at 11:48 pm said:

Sorry, but after being burned by Giants making a collection worthless and Infinity suddenly crashing, I’m staying far away from Toys to Life, even if I do love Crash.

Could we get some more news on those remakes, though? Hearing about “a new coat of HD” is pretty different from “remade from the ground up for PS4.” The level design can be the same (Sorry, Vicarious Visions, but I don’t trust your level designers enough to redesign the old games expertly yet), but one of the main appeals would be modern graphics, not simple upscaling.


     

    + Elvick_ on August 17th, 2016 at 12:10 am said:

    Disney Infinity didn’t “crash”. They were making money, they just didn’t feel like going on with it. The investment was high, and the reward wasn’t *enough*. Disney would rather do the minimal effort and maximize profits, by licensing out their IP to others to develop games for instead of investing into their own development of not just a game but high quality figures.


5

+ motwera on August 17th, 2016 at 12:02 am said:

OMG, This is so amazing and all, but I have a question that David A. Rodriguez might not be able to answer immediately, when are going to see more information about Crash Bandicoot Remastered? if you could in the future, that would be appreciated!


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 17th, 2016 at 7:13 pm said:

    Hi, Motwera! Glad to hear you’re excited about the adventure pack! I don’t have a specific date for you regarding the remastered Crash adventures but I promise we’ll get it out in front of you guys as soon as possible. Trust me, we can’t wait either!


     

    + TriTails34 on August 19th, 2016 at 10:49 am said:

    To David from Vicarious Visions,

    May you have the time to watch this?
    https://youtu.be/Hi6FnyfWjgI

    This is a open letter to you developers that bring up suggestions coming from various fans of Crash for the remasters (or remakes, as we should call it), when it comes to gameplay, content, aesthetic and other stuff.

    This may help and inspire you on how to make this game the best possible.

    You’re welcome. ;)


6

+ jgr9 on August 17th, 2016 at 12:06 am said:

Please tell me Sony is doing at least SOMETHING with Crash Team Racing…. I was really really hoping for an online modification for it, or at least netplay between friends (even if it still shows splitscreen) like emulators can… partially do. But are we getting anything at all?….


     

    + jgr9 on August 17th, 2016 at 12:15 am said:

    And WHY THE HELL can’t the US have Crash Bandicoot on the Vita?!…..


7

+ TurtMan on August 17th, 2016 at 2:06 am said:

CRASH TEAM RACING. CTR is all we want. No one wants this Skylanders crap.


8

+ ZarKryn7 on August 17th, 2016 at 4:28 am said:

Vicarious Visions! Can you please give us Glassic Spyro? PLEASE!


9

+ Xcaligamer1 on August 17th, 2016 at 8:03 am said:

I’ve not really cared for skylanders n was a bit upset when spyro when spyro just seemed like a marketing thing and didn’t feel like a part of the game to a non skylander player like me. This treatment of crash has me interested in the game and not just the figures


10

+ shadysaiyanz on August 17th, 2016 at 1:18 pm said:

When is Skylanders gonna stop? They’ve been dead at my store for the last 2 years. Superchargers literally sold NOTHING at all at my store until everything was like 30% off after a few weeks. The market for this is pretty much gone. Like we still have tons of stock of Swap force that never went anywhere that we finally clearanced out…. still it sat there till it was salvaged out of the system all together..

Also, i don’t like the look of Crash here, and i never really noticed that enormous underbite Cortex had, but it has been a while.


11

+ Jerez_29 on August 18th, 2016 at 4:06 pm said:

Hey David A. Rodriguez! I know we’re getting the 3 remastered originals, but surely you haven’t forgotten the 4th original!
Any word on whether CTR will be getting a remaster? Perhaps a feature in the 3 game remaster?
I love playing it with my mates and it would be great to have updated graphics and some new characters and tracks.


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 19th, 2016 at 12:22 pm said:

    Hi, Jerez (And others who have asked!)

    Unfortunately I don’t have any current information regarding a plan to remaster CTR like we are remastering the original trilogy. I know CTR has a lot of fans around the world and in our own office, so we can all keep hoping. After all, this is the year that Crash got a new adventure, 2 figures and the remastered trilogy! So who knows what the future will bring?

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the coming releases!


12

+ LightTriforce on August 18th, 2016 at 10:35 pm said:

This has got me more excited on getting it. You guys at Vaicarious Visions seemed to have gotten that classic look for the characters. Will we maybe be seeing some of the Crash remakes at Playstation Experience this year?


13

+ ALI321-22 on August 19th, 2016 at 2:36 pm said:

hey + David A. Rodriguez are tawna (crash bandicoot girlfrind) from crash 1 will be in the remaster


14

+ BrakeBR on August 19th, 2016 at 7:23 pm said:

Hello, David A. Rodriguez!

The Crash Bandicoot Trillogy Remastered will be a remaster with only graphics update or the remasters will be a totally update, like a remake? Thank you for your attention, I’m really excited for the return of our dear Bandicoot!


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 19th, 2016 at 7:40 pm said:

    Hey BrakeBR!

    You’re welcome for the time, it is no problem at all. These blogs have been a lot of fun and its great to interact with you guys. To answer your question, the Remastered Trilogy is just that, a Remastering of the original games for our High Definition generation and not a remake at all.

    I hope that helps!


15

+ EvarMayi94 on August 20th, 2016 at 5:14 pm said:

Dear daivd in some comments your saying remakes and in a comment you said that it is a remastered now which one is the correct one cause I’m lost


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 21st, 2016 at 8:03 am said:

    It is not a remake, it is a remastering of the original trilogy. Sorry that I’ve made you confused by using a word in a different comment above. It wasn’t my intent to throw you guys on this. This is a HD remaster. Tell your friends!


     

    + TriTails34 on August 22nd, 2016 at 2:08 pm said:

    Even though you clarify as a HD remaster and not a remake, it was mentioned though it would be made “from the ground up”.

    Will it at least feature brand new graphics with a few tricks and turns with the original gameplay and level design and some extra content?

    Or it’s going to be the exact same game, with exact same graphics, gameplay and everything but in 1080p, like this?
    https://scontent-cdg2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14102206_293293814368079_3686528860569465501_n.jpg?oh=bb0fabfe5cfa0d5ddfd5f77052d1216c&oe=584AA5F3


16

+ NIGHT-AND-DAY90 on August 20th, 2016 at 5:43 pm said:

I have a question that a lot of people are confused about:
is the remastered Crash trilogy going to be a port of the original PS1? Or the same game with simple HD quality (Just like jak and daxter HD on PS3) or is it going to have a new character models and and better graphics and new audio sounds and new voice actors (just like the NEW R&C on the PS4)? please answer this question.


     

    + EvarMayi94 on August 21st, 2016 at 7:09 am said:

    Exactly bro


     

    + EvarMayi94 on August 21st, 2016 at 7:10 am said:

    Btw I think we are going to see it 7th of September


17

+ drepsx3 on August 21st, 2016 at 6:51 am said:

Didn’t get say to thank you yet, so thank you and everyone from Vicarious Visions for working on this. The Crash franchise is very dear to me and watching gameplay of this just warms my heart. Can’t wait for October


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    + David A. Rodriguez on August 21st, 2016 at 8:08 am said:

    To drepsx3! From all of us at VV and Activision, you are sincerely welcome! You all are part of this 20 year celebration too and we don’t take that lightly. I’m glad you’re looking forward to the party.


18

+ NIGHT-AND-DAY90 on August 21st, 2016 at 3:25 pm said:

Sorry if I’m bothering you but can you answer my question?

I have a question that a lot of people are confused about:
is the remastered Crash trilogy going to be a port of the original PS1? Or the same game with simple HD quality (Just like jak and daxter HD on PS3) or is it going to have a new character models and and better graphics and new audio sounds and new voice actors (just like the NEW R&C on the PS4)? please answer this question.


19

+ dougledog396 on August 22nd, 2016 at 1:21 pm said:

I know you said the trilogy of the first three crash games coming to ps4 won’t be a remake but a remaster, does this mean the game will have the same graphics but be upscaled to 1080p? Or will the graphics be different like the ratchet and clank re boot for example except for no difference to the original gameplay? Thanks.


20

+ NIGHT-AND-DAY90 on August 22nd, 2016 at 3:09 pm said:

AGAIN!
is the remastered Crash trilogy going to be a port of the original PS1? Or the same game with simple HD quality (Just like jak and daxter HD on PS3) or is it going to have a new character models and and better graphics and new audio sounds and new voice actors (just like the NEW R&C on the PS4)? please answer this question.


21

+ NIGHT-AND-DAY90 on August 22nd, 2016 at 5:20 pm said:

is the remastered Crash trilogy going to be a port of the original PS1? Or the same game with simple HD quality (Just like jak and daxter HD on PS3) or is it going to have a new character models and and better graphics and new audio sounds and new voice actors (just like the NEW R&C on the PS4)? please answer this question.


22

+ AbdulazizAzhar on August 23rd, 2016 at 12:03 am said:

Dear, David A. Rodriguez
Thank you and to vv for making crash bandicoot trilogy remaster! I really loved Crash bandicoot nitro kart and gba titles!

But i have question :

Are we going to get crash bandicoot ps2 games soon? At the PlayStation store? To celebrate His 20th anniversary ;)


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23

+ David A. Rodriguez on August 23rd, 2016 at 8:26 am said:

Hey, everyone! This is a catch-all reply for some questions that have been repeated above. I don’t want to clog the thread with a bunch of the same replies so I will put them down here and trust that you guys can work out which one answers your question. :)

1. I’m sorry but I have no information on the remasters being available for the Vita.
2. I don’t have any information regarding plans to remaster or re-release any other Crash titles outside of the 3 we’ve announced.
3.There are questions asking what the full extent of what this remaster means to Crash and I totally understand the curiosity, but for that one I’ll ask that you please be patient and wait for the official reveal! Everyone has worked really hard on the project and I’d hate to steal any of their reveal thunder.

I think I got them all. And I realize that when I say “got them all” I am telling you I pretty much know nothing, but I hope that helps. :)

Thank you all for participating!


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