The History of Crash Bandicoot
James O’Connor takes a stroll down memory lane… Just don’t mind the slightly adult content along the way.
If you were a Nintendo kid in the 90s, there’s a good chance that you bought at least a few issues of Nintendo Magazine System, Nintendo’s o cial games mag at the time. Most of the magazine was what you’d expect – previews, reviews, a lot of bright colours and pictures of Mario – but the letter sections were another thing entirely. For several pages the magazine descended into a baingly obscene bacchanal of home-drawn pornography, hostility, and images of Mario and pals brutally killing Sonic and Crash Bandicoot. In almost every issue one or the other – often both – would be drawn getting ripped to shreds by Nintendo’s stable of mascots, depicted by artists who were encouraged by 90s mascot rhetoric to despise these characters for not appearing on Nintendo’s systems. The 90s were WEIRD, man. Then the GameCube came along, and two things happened – Nintendo’s stock dropped far enough that every major Australian Nintendo-specific mag died, and both Sonic and Crash Bandicoot came to Nintendo. The exclusivity ended, as did the animosity, with Crash’s GameCube and Game Boy Advance outings. But the original Crash Bandicoot games – the three designed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation; the Crash Bandicoot games that people really loved – remained exclusive to Sony until this year. In June Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy finally brought the beloved classics to the Switch, and Nintendo die-hards who have steered clear of Sony were finally able to see what the fuss was about.
With this in mind, now’s a good time to look back over Nintendo’s history with Crash Bandicoot – the games that have made it to Nintendo systems, and what they’ve meant for Crash’s legacy.