“I hear ya knockin' so I'm gonna let ya out!”
—Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex manual
The Aku Aku Crate, when broken, releases Aku Aku, a magical witch doctor mask who will then aid the player in one of two ways. In most instances, the Aku Aku mask released can have a layering effect of benefits, meaning the more Aku Aku crates are broken, the more powerful and beneficial Aku Aku becomes. In the first two Crash Bandicoot games, Aku Aku masks are occasionally found outside of crates, like how wumpa fruit usually is, and how 1-ups occasionally are.
- When one crate is broken, Aku Aku will appear at the player’s side. Aku Aku can take one hit for the player before disappearing. (Hits do not include falling into holes, crushed by boulders, etc.)
- When an additional crate is broken, Aku Aku will then turn a gold color (or start to glimmer in Crash Twinsanity). In this state, Aku Aku can take a single hit before reverting into his original state, giving him the ability to take two hits total. In Crash Bandicoot: Prototype however, breaking two crates will cause Aku Aku to enter his invincible state instead of three. When invincible, he will retain his gold coloration.
- When a third crate is broken whilst having the gold Aku Aku, Aku Aku will press himself against the player’s face, allowing the player to become invincible for a short amount of time. In this state, the player can eliminate almost any enemy, but is still vulnerable to holes and other similar obstacles. The player can also destroy nitro crates and TNT crates without getting damaged by just a single touch. However, in Twinsanity, Aku Aku cannot destroy enemies, will instantly die by any explosive (by any mask no matter how strong it is), and is much shorter. When the invincibility ends, Aku Aku reverts back to his gold state. This process can be repeated as long as the player hits an Aku Aku crate when Aku Aku is in the gold state. (In Crash Twinsanity, Aku Aku still possesses his original colors.)
There are certain obstacles in some games that act differently when the player has Aku Aku invincibility. For example, in the Egyptian levels in Crash Bandicoot: Warped, the doors that normally open and close based on a timer will remain open when the player has Aku Aku invincibility. The time that Aku Aku invincibility lasts depends on the game.
- In Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds.
- In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds. However, Aku Aku invincibility also terminates when Crash goes on the jet board, and picking up a third Aku Aku mask while already on the jet board does nothing.
- In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds. In Time Trial mode, it lasts a bit longer (around half second) and Crash doesn't even "jump" as he breaks the third Aku Aku crate.
- In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 10 seconds.
- In Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds, except when Crash is riding on Polar, in which case it only lasts 8 seconds.
Aku Aku crates can also release a translucent version of Aku Aku, who can aid the player as a lighted guide the dark levels: Lights Out and Fumbling in the Dark in the original Crash Bandicoot game. This lighting power of Aku Aku is temporary, and after a certain amount of time, the Aku Aku will no longer light the path. This Aku Aku does not have the layering effect of the standard Aku Aku. If a crate is broken while the player still possesses a lighted Aku Aku, then Aku Aku is able to stay by the player’s side for another standard length of time. This Aku Aku, however, is still able to take a single hit for the player, but disappears after being hit, leaving the player without light.
In Crash Twinsanity, when the player is either Cortex or Nina Cortex, the Aku Aku Crate still has Aku Aku's image on it but Uka Uka is instead summoned, which functions the same as a standard Aku Aku crate. Similar to Aku Aku, Uka Uka will glimmer when the player has two free hitpoints and will grant invincibility to the player when three masks are collected. Uka Uka still has the same limitations of Aku Aku however.
- Crash Bandicoot (as Witch Doctor's Mask Box)
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
- Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage (iron version only)
- Crash Twinsanity
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
|! | ? | Aku Aku | Ammo | Arrow | Basic | Big TNT | Block | Bounce | Checkpoint | Copter | Crash | Detonator | Freeze | Infinity | Invisibility | Iron Arrow | Iron Check Point | Iron | Locked | Magic Carpet | Nitro | Nitro Switch | Breakable Nitro Switch | Outline | Pants | Slot | Spike | Time | TNT | World | X|
|Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure|
|Protagonists||Crash Bandicoot | Aku Aku | Coco Bandicoot|
|Bosses||Dingodile | Doctor N. Gin | Tiny Tiger | Doctor Neo Cortex | Uka Uka | Mega-Mix|
|Items||Crates | Wumpa Fruit | Crystals | Gems|
|Levels||First Chamber (Jungle Jam, Shipwrecked, Temple of Boom, Frostbite Cavern, Just in Slime) | Second Chamber (Snow Crash, Rocket Racket, Just Hangin', Shark Attack, Ruined) | Third Chamber (Snow Job, Ace of Space, Sunken City, Down the Hole, Blimp Bonanza) | Fourth Chamber (Star to Finish, Air Supply, No-Fly Zone, Drip, Drip, Drip, Final Countdown)|
|Enemies||Bird | Eel | Electric Eel | Frog | Jellyfish | Lab Assistant | Lizard | Penguin | Polar Bear | Pufferfish | Rat | Scrubbing Bubbletron | Seal | Shark | Sparky Tentaclebot Unit | Spike Lizard | Squid | Steam-Powered Hover-Spike-O-Trons | Venus Fly Trap | Yeti|
|Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced|
|Protagonists||Crash Bandicoot | Aku Aku | Coco Bandicoot | Crunch Bandicoot | Fake Crash|
|Antagonists||Doctor Nefarious Tropy | N. Trance | Uka Uka | Evil Crunch | Evil Coco|
|Items||Crates | Wumpa Fruit | Crystals | Gems | Gem Shards | Super Slide | Rocket Jump | Death Tornado Spin | Crash Dash|
|Levels||First Chamber (Island Intro, Prints of Persia, Lagoony Tunes, Globe Trottin', Pharaoh's Funhouse, Runaway Rug) | Second Chamber (Tiki Torture, Hoppin' Coffins, Barrel Roll, Flockful of Seagulls, Magma Mania) | Third Chamber (Run from the Sun, Now It's Istanbul, Mister Lava Lava, Water Logged, Slip-N-Slidin' Sphinx) | Fourth Chamber (Rocks Can Roll, Rock the Casaba, Eruption Disruption, Spaced Out, King Too Uncommon) | Fifth Chamber (Wild Nile Ride, 101 Arabian Kites, Fire Walker)|
|Enemies||Arsonist | Beetle | Crocodile | Lab Assistant | Monkey | Scorpion | Seagull | Shark | Snake|