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Jul 20

Jul 20

Previously Unreleased Stormy Ascent Level Out Today for Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy

Play Stormy Ascent -- a level originally removed from Crash Bandicoot because it was too hard -- in the N. Sane Trilogy... today! Free through August 19.

Dan Tanguay's Avatar Posted by Game Director, Vicarious Visions

Taylor Kurosaki, formerly one of the original members of the Crash Bandicoot team at Naughty Dog, joins the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Game Director, Dan Tanguay, from Vicarious Visions to talk about the notorious Stormy Ascent level. The previously unreleased Crash Bandicoot level, Stormy Ascent, is now coming to life in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.

How did this level come to be?

Taylor Kurosaki: Early in production of the original Crash Bandicoot game, everyone at Naughty Dog often wore multiple hats. However, by year two we were somewhat specialized and I went from artist to game designer. I ended up designing and laying out ¾ of the levels in the original Crash Bandicoot. And Stormy Ascent was one of mine.

Dan Tanguay: The team here at Vicarious Visions knew the fans really wanted Stormy Ascent, and so did we! One of the best players on the design team had beat the first game and wanted a new challenge. So, we told him to try the original Stormy Ascent. It took him 60 lives to get through it – needless to say it was much more challenging than he had expected. However, he still fell in love with it and we decided to bring it life.

Tell us about making Stormy Ascent

“It’s roughly four times longer than any other level in the original game.”

Taylor: I was new to games and game design back then; I didn’t have a great understanding of a difficulty curve. This level was so close to the end of the game and, you guessed it, it ended up being insanely difficult. As in, so difficult that it was hard for me, and I’m the guy who knew exactly how far Crash could jump, how late a player could take-off, and so on.

Dan: This is the “sister level” to Slippery Climb in the original Crash Bandicoot. It features the same assets but new challenges. It’s also roughly four times longer than any other level in the original game. Getting through it is a feat of both skill and endurance! Taylor’s right, it’s considered to be not only one of the most difficult levels in the original Crash Bandicoot, but probably in the entire N. Sane Trilogy.

It was challenging to first master the level so that we could accurately remaster it. In particular, the timing of the level was challenging to get right. The hazards and platforms steadily increase in speed as you go along!

It never actually shipped, right?

Taylor: Yes. It was one of the last levels I finished during production, and as we prepared to deliver our Gold Master to Sony for manufacturing, the decision was made to cut it. It was playable, but just too damn difficult, and we ran out of time to make it easier. It remained on the disc as it was less risky just leaving it rather than trying to remove it. It was basically hidden, but it was there.

“It was playable, but just too damn difficult.”

Dan: Fans found it though, using Gameshark.

Taylor: I think it’s cool when fans find hidden things in games, this was no exception. I was glad it somewhat found the light of day, and I think it’s an awesome level.

In 2017, games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne are all the rage. People like games that are difficult! We were so ahead of the curve! Now Stormy Ascent is alive as part of the Vicarious Visions-developed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Go forth and enjoy!

Click here to download Stormy Ascent for the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy for free through August 19, 2017.

Add Your Own

RADRAD1985 said:

July 20th, 12:18 pm

So this stage was too hard, but you left in The High Road?

    lightninstriker said:

    July 20th, 12:35 pm

    I don’t get what was so bad about The High Road, that level was a nightmare in the original game too, I don’t see what makes the remake version that much worse, and if those hogs and jumps are really so bad, the option to just cheese the whole thing by walking on the ropes is still there.

    JustFrankNYC said:

    July 23rd, 5:01 pm

    I agree the high road is extremely hard! I don’t remember it being this hard in the old version. I can’t wait to try Stormy Ascent!

JumpMan33 said:

July 20th, 12:18 pm

It’s says $2.99 when I click that link, I’m guessing there is an error going on the back end?

jeffuiuc said:

July 20th, 12:18 pm

Not showing up as free yet.

JumpMan33 said:

July 20th, 12:20 pm

Also, I hope more stages get added later… I’m loving the game so far :)

Ryuhza said:

July 20th, 12:23 pm

It’s showing up as $2.99 on the store right now.

mcsqueeb117 said:

July 20th, 12:24 pm

Soo y’all wanna fix your shop? It’s not free, even though Sony promises in this blog post that it is.

dnl_hrn said:

July 20th, 12:26 pm

It’s not showing up as free :(

Trendy_Kid said:

July 20th, 12:31 pm

This is a nice surprise!

lightninstriker said:

July 20th, 12:34 pm

Guys, add the DLC to your cart, it shows up as Free in there, I just got it.

    cusman said:

    July 21st, 6:49 am

    Thanks for the tip

Felipasio said:

July 20th, 1:57 pm

Where do i select this extra level inside the game so i can play? PlayStation Store says ive purchased and installed it (with no download shown, though), but i can’t find it inside the first game. Somebody?

Argetlam350 said:

July 20th, 3:52 pm

Wait this is free? Then I want the 2.99 back that was taken when I went and bought it when I saw it earlier.

paulogy said:

July 20th, 7:06 pm

The ability to add back in levels that were cut is another reason why I prefer these kind of remake/remasters instead of simple backward-compatibility (if I had to choose).

brn-dn said:

July 21st, 12:49 pm

This game sure is challenging!

ioanina said:

July 23rd, 5:35 pm

Well, I can say that the story behind the last-minute decision to chop Stormy Ascent out of the level lineup certainly is interesting, but the re-inclusion in the N. Sane Trilogy will surely make many long-standing Crash players fueled with rage until they cleared it. I don’t suppose there’s probably more tossed out levels that could be brought back to the N. Sane Trilogy, yes?

My one wish, I would like to see in there is a boss rush mode that pits Crash against all the bosses he’s faced in the trilogy to beat the time limit. Hope that gets made as DLC someday.

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