|Cold Hard Crash|
|Level Number||18 (Warp Room 4)|
|Number of crates||155 (31 in bonus, 23 on Death Route)|
|Gem type||Power Crystal, Clear Gem (x2)|
|Previous level||Diggin' It|
Cold Hard Crash is the eighteenth level and is the third level of the fourth warp room in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. It is the final Arctic themed level in this game. This level features the highest crate count in the game and one of the highest in the series, at 155. This level also features a death route where Crash can collect an additional gem.
Cold Hard Crash is split into three different parts: two outdoor and one indoor part. The first part of the level begins outdoor and features various enemies like penguins and seals. In addition, there is also icy terrain that Crash will skate across, making it harder for him to maneuver. Eventually, Crash can take a lift that will lead him into the indoor portion of the level.
The indoor portion of the level features different obstacles including falling icicles and log crushers. There is also a skull platform that the player can ride to the death route portion of the level, if the player reaches it without dying. The death route features a tougher path with more obstacles, more ice, and a bunch of nitro crates. It is highly recommended that the player has two Aku Aku masks before entering the death route, as Crash can get a third one inside. At the end of the path, there is a clear gem that Crash can collect. In addition, the player must traverse the death route and return back to the skull platform in order to collect every crate. At the end of the death route and indoor area, it will take Crash back outside to the final portion of the level.
The final portion of the level is similar to the first portion of it where Crash is in an outdoor environment. This time around though, Crash must avoid rolling stones as he jumps across gaps. At the end of the level, Crash can reach the portal to return to the Warp Room.
- This level's name is an pun on "cold hard cash".
- This level contains 155 crates, the highest crate total of any Crash series level until Wrath of Cortex introduced Gold Rush (breaking the two-century mark with 209).
- This level used to be in Warp Room 2 instead of The Eel Deal, as seen in the Crash Bandicoot 2 MTV GB Strategy Guide. This was changed in the final release.
- This is one of two levels in this game where, after completing the bonus round, it is possible to die before the game is finished adding the bonus round crates to the crate total. This causes a glitch where it is possible to get credited with breaking more crates than there are in the level. The other level in this game where this is possible is Bee-Having. In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, this is possible in Sphynxinator and Flaming Passion.
- Getting the clear gem for destroying the crates is considered by many to be difficult because it invovles backtracking in the death route and then returning back to the main route.