Crash Team Racing (CTR) is the first racing game in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, released on the PlayStation in 1999 and the 4th installment to the series, as well as the last to be developed by Naughty Dog. Crash Team Racing became a 'Greatest Hits' title in 2000 in the US, a 'PlayStation, The Best' title in 2000 in Japan and a 'Platinum' title in Europe and the overall PAL region late 2000. For the Japanese localization, the game was renamed Crash Bandicoot Racing.
In the game's story, an egotistical space alien by the name of Nitros Oxide comes to Earth and challenges Crash Bandicoot, his friends and foes to a racing competition before facing himself, threatening to turn the world into a concrete parking lot if he wins.
Crash Bandicoot, his friends and foes are preparing to enter a kart racing tournament. Unfortunately, a space alien named Nitros Oxide travels from far out space to Earth and offers a challenge to its inhabitants. He claims to be the fastest racer in the entire galaxy, who travels the stars looking for creatures to test his skill. Nitros Oxide challenges them to a game that he calls "Survival of the Fastest" and explains the rules: Oxide races against the best racer on Earth. If Oxide wins, he will turn the entire globe into a concrete parking lot and make Earth's inhabitants his slaves forever, but if Earth's driver wins, Oxide promises to leave the "miserable little rock" alone. He then exits his spaceship and flies down to Earth's surface, where the racers are getting ready for the tournament. Coco uses her laptop to modify her kart, while Pura rests next to her. Tiny upgrades his kart by smashing it with a hammer. Polar takes his time reading a book called "How to Drive", which is upside down. Dingodile unsuccessfully tries to repair his kart's engine, which blows up in his face. Doctor Neo Cortex uses an evil looking invention to improve his kart. Meanwhile, Crash is fast asleep.
To race Oxide, Earth's Racer needs to prove their worth by collecting all 16 Trophies (four at a time) and then race and beat Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, Komodo Joe and Pinstripe Potoroo to earn four Boss Keys. Finally, when Earth's racer has accomplished this task, Oxide challenges the driver to the race for the fate of the planet. Earth's racer is victorious, but although Oxide says that he would leave Earth alone, he declares that Earth's racer can never claim they're the fastest unless they collect all the Relics and race Oxide again.
After collecting the 20 CTR Tokens and winning the five Gem Cups; the player confronts Oxide again with all 18 Time Relics, and this time they race for the title. Earth's racer is the winner and is declared the fastest. Oxide admits defeat and finally leaves Earth for good; heading home to Gasmoxia, never to return.
- Adventure Mode is the single player portion of the game. First, players must choose one of the eight starting racers including: Crash Bandicoot, Doctor Neo Cortex, Tiny Tiger, Coco Bandicoot, Doctor N. Gin, Dingodile, Polar, and Pura. Depending what racer is chosen either Aku Aku or Uka Uka tutors the player. The player is then dropped in the starting area N. Sanity Beach. Players must race through all events and win to unlock the final event against Nitros Oxide. Players can earn a variety of awards to unlock new content for racing and show off their times to friends.
The different awards are:
- Trophies are obtained by finishing in 1st place in a trophy race. Collect all four trophies in each area to open up the boss for that area. After gaining a trophy from one race, another one will open (with exception of starting with 2 open when you first enter an area).
- Boss Keys
- Relic races are unlocked after beating the area boss. Relics are obtained by scoring the lowest elapsed time in a solo relic race by smashing Time Crates. These Time Crates freeze the clock for the amount of seconds shown on the box (1, 2 or 3 seconds). If the player manages to break all the Time Crates, a "Perfect" bonus is awarded, which decreases the final time by 10 seconds.
- There are three types of relics: Sapphire, Gold and Platinum. Sapphire is the easiest to obtain; Platinum which is the hardest, requires the fastest and lowest time.
- After earning all 18 relics, the player can then face Nitros Oxide again for an alternate ending. For a list of times to beat for each relic, scroll down to the World Map and Race Tracks section.
- CTR Tokens
- Token races are unlocked after beating the area boss. Tokens are obtained by finishing in 1st place in a token race, much like a trophy race. However, this time the player must also collect the 3 letters 'C', 'T' and 'R' in addition. The letters are often hidden away or in hard to get to places or in places unfavorable for winning the race (or a combination of all three). There are a total of 20 Tokens to collect (four Red, four Green, four Blue, four Yellow, four Purple). The Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow Tokens are obtained by Token races; the Purple Tokens are awarded for beating the Crystal Bonus Rounds by collecting 20 Crystals within a certain time. NOTE: For the Token races; If the player does not collect all 3 letters, but comes in 1st place or if the player collects all three letters but does not come in 1st place, the token is not awarded.
- Gem Cups are unlocked after winning four CTR Tokens of the same color. Their warp vortexes can be found in Gem Stone Valley. A Gem Cup, played in an arcade-style tournament of the four races the CTR Tokens were played on and race against Crash's friends except for the Purple Gem Cup the player races against the four bosses on their home tracks in the respective order. Winning a Gem unlocks a character, corresponding to the Gem Color:
Time trial is a single player mode where the player races against the clock to get the best time. If the player gets a fast enough time, he/she can challenge N. Tropy's ghosts. The player has unlocked the right to race him when he says, "You think you're fast, eh? Well, let's see if you can beat my fastest time on this track!" Upon defeating all of his ghosts, N. Tropy is unlocked as a playable character in modes other than adventure mode. After beating N. Tropy, the player can challenge N. Oxide by beating a new set of times. When the player beats all of Oxide's ghosts, the player will unlock the Naughty Dog scrapbook in the main menu.
Allows the player to quickly race on a selection of tracks against a selection of opponents with up to two players. Players can race on a single track or a racing cup in which players race over four tracks for the highest total score (which is 36). The four available cups in this mode are: Wumpa Cup, that is composed by: Crash Cove, Tiger Temple, Blizzard Bluff and Coco Park. Crystal Cup, that is composed by: Roo's Tubes, Dingo Canyon, Dragon Mines and Sewer Speedway. Nitro Cup, that is composed by: Mystery Caves, Papu's Pyramid, Cortex Castle and Tiny Arena. and Crash Cup, that is composed by: Polar Pass, N. Gin Labs, Hot Air Skyway and Slide Coliseum.
Arcade can be played on difficulties Easy, Medium, and Hard with only Easy being available initially. Unlocking the other difficulties requires players to beat every Cup on the previous difficulty, doing so also unlocks new maps for Battle Mode.
Up to four players compete on a chosen track or across 4 tracks for points. There are no computer-controlled racers on Vs.
Some graphic details and textures are missing in Vs. mode, such as the mushrooms near the end in Roo's Tubes, making it easier to take some shortcuts.
Up to four players compete in a "Battle Arena" against each other using weapons scattered around the area. Players can compete in teams or have a "free-for-all". There are no computer-controlled racers in Battle.
The color mentioned in the track is the color of the CTR token. The second parenthesis show objects required to unlock the track or zone. The tracks Slide Coliseum and Turbo Track are neutral because all characters have their own track, and both of these tracks have the same decoration. Slide Coliseum and Turbo Track are the only tracks that need to be unlocked through methods other than collecting trophies.
N. Sanity Beach (Available from starting)
- Crash Cove - Crash Bandicoot's Track (Red) (Available from start)
- Roo's Tubes - Ripper Roo's Track (Green) (Available from start)
- Mystery Caves (Red) (1 Trophy)
- Sewer Speedway (Blue) (3 Trophies)
- Ripper Roo's Challenge - (Boss Challenge) (4 Trophies)
- Skull Rock - (Purple) (1 Key)
Gem Stone Valley (Ripper Roo's Key)
- Slide Coliseum (10 Relics)
- Turbo Track (All Gems)
- N. Oxide's Challenge - (Final Boss) (All Keys/All Relics)
- Red Gem Cup - (All Red CTR Tokens) - Unlocks Ripper Roo
- Green Gem Cup - (All Green CTR Tokens) - Unlocks Papu Papu
- Blue Gem Cup - (All Blue CTR Tokens) - Unlocks Komodo Joe
- Yellow Gem Cup - (All Yellow CTR Tokens) - Unlocks Pinstripe
- Purple Gem Cup - Boss Cup (All Purple CTR Tokens) - Unlocks Fake Crash
The Lost Ruins (Travel through Gem Stone Valley)
- Coco Park - Coco Bandicoot's Track (Green) (Available from the start)
- Tiger Temple - Pura's Track (Blue) (Available from the start)
- Papu's Pyramid - Papu Papu's Track (Red) (6 Trophies)
- Dingo Canyon - Dingodile's Track (Yellow) (7 Trophies)
- Papu Papu's Challenge - (Boss Challenge) (8 Trophies)
- Rampage Ruins - (Purple) (2 Keys)
Glacier Park (Papu Papu's Key)
- Blizzard Bluff - Penta Penguin's Track (Red) (Available from the start)
- Dragon Mines - Komodo Joe's Track (Blue) (9 Trophies)
- Polar Pass - Polar's Track (Green) (10 Trophies)
- Tiny Arena - Tiny Tiger's Track (Yellow) (11 Trophies)
- Komodo Joe's Challenge - (Boss Challenge) (12 Trophies)
- Rocky Road - (Purple) (3 Keys)
Citadel City (Komodo Joe's Key)
- N. Gin Labs - Dr. N. Gin's Track (Blue) (Available from the start)
- Cortex Castle - Dr. Neo Cortex's Track (Green) (Available from the start)
- Hot Air Skyway- Pinstripe Potoroo's Track (Yellow) (14 Trophies)
- Oxide Station - Nitros Oxide's Track (Yellow) (15 Trophies)
- Pinstripe's Challenge - (Boss Challenge) (16 Trophies)
- Nitro Court - (Purple) (4 Keys)
- Red Gem Cup is composed of: Crash Cove, Mystery Caves, Blizzard Bluff and Papu's Pyramid.
- Green Gem Cup is composed of: Roo's Tubes, Coco Park, Polar Pass, and Cortex Castle.
- Blue Gem Cup is composed of: Tiger Temple, Sewer Speedway, Dragon Mines and N. Gin Labs.
- Yellow Gem Cup is composed of: Dingo Canyon, Tiny Arena, Hot Air Skyway and Oxide Station.
- Purple Gem Cup is composed of: Roo's Tubes, Papu's Pyramid, Dragon Mines and Hot Air Skyway.
Note: The rivals for the Purple Gem Cup are the four bosses of the game without their previously-used infinite power-ups.
The following is a list of weapons available in the game. CPU drivers can only use Tracking Missiles, Bowling Bombs, Explosive Crates and N. Brio's Beakers.
- Normal: Fires a tracking missile locking onto the closest driver in front of you. If it hits, the enemy kart will tumble and crash. When you are being tracked by one, a cross-hair appears on the back of your kart as the missile hunts you down. You can avoid getting hit by waiting for it to get very close and then placing a TNT, Nitro crate or N. Brio's beakers. Can be picked up either as a single item or as a group of three.
- Juiced Up: The missile moves faster and is more accurate.
- Normal: Roll these bombs at karts in front of or behind of you to make them tumble and crash. They only roll straight ahead or straight back so aim carefully before release. You can explode the bomb before it hits something else by pressing 'O'. Can be picked up either as a single item or as a group of three.
- Juiced Up: The bomb has a bigger blast radius, which is useful for sending up to three or more players flying.
- Normal: The green shield protects the player from being hit by a weapon for a few seconds once activated. The shield will disappear after a few seconds, or when a weapon or other driver makes physical contact (with the latter making said driver tumble). The player can fire the shield like a bomb at another player. When the player gets another shield when they already have the shield pressing the circle button again will make the shield wear off. Pressing it again will use the other shield.
- Juiced Up: The shield is now blue and lasts forever until hit by a weapon or fired like a bomb at another player.
- Normal: Place the TNT Crate onto the track and if a player runs onto it, the box lands on their head. After a three seconds countdown the crate will explode causing the player to tumble and crash. If players can hop enough times before the TNT explodes, it will bounce off and land at the same location, exploding on impact. Will also explode if in the blast radius of another explosion.
- Juiced Up: Instead of a TNT, the crate is now a Nitro Crate and will explode on impact if another player drives into it.
N. Brio's Beakers
- Normal (Green): Drop one out at the back of your kart (By pressing 'O'), or fire one into the distance (by pressing the forward button while pressing 'O'). The next kart that hits it (including you) will spin out of control and crash. Can also explode if in the blast radius of another explosion.
- Juiced Up (Red): Now the beaker is a poison. After a player hits it and spins out of control, a black storm cloud will appear over their head and the player will now drive slower, plus your currently held weapon will change.
NOTE: If too many explosive crates or beakers are present on the track, earlier ones will begin to explode.
N. Tropy's Clock
- Normal: Usage of the clock will make other racers spin off and will be much slower. Also temporarily disables the collection and use of weapons. Exclusive to races.
- Juiced Up: Its effect lasts longer.
- Normal: You can use a turbo for few seconds, is the faster turbo that you can get in the game, and you can go near of a rival and jump on the rival, flattening them.
- Juiced Up: Is longer and a little faster.
- Normal: A giant blue orb targets all racers on the center of the track. It will always target the racer in first place. The Orb will not hit you if you are using an Aku Aku/Uka Uka or a Power Shield. Exclusive to races.
- Juiced Up: No physical change, however, it now targets all racers on the track in front of you. Again, if you're using an Aku Aku/Uka Uka or a shield, it will not harm you.
- Normal: You now have invincibility. Your cart will also travel faster for the duration of its use, and you will not lose any Wumpa Fruit if you fall (though it will still wear off immediately if you do). You can also knock into other racers and make them tumble and crash.
- Juiced Up: Lasts a little bit longer and you move faster.
- Normal: When used, it provides a constant turbo boost for as long as you are accelerating. Lasts a few seconds. Exclusive to battles.
- Juiced Up: Last a bit longer.
- Normal: On your screen, only the wheels will be visible. On other players' screens, nothing will be shown to reveal your location (unless you are boosting, in which case you will appear as a ghost image). Also cloaks you from Tracking Missiles. Exclusive to battles; cannot be the only weapon available.
- Juiced Up: Lasts longer.
Crash Team Racing Characters
|Character:||Alignment:||Image:||Top Speed:||Acceleration:||Handling:||Type:||Kart Color:|
|Crash||Good||5 / 7||5 / 7||5 / 7||Intermediate
|Cortex||Evil||5 / 7||5 / 7||5 / 7||Intermediate
|Tiny||Evil||7 / 7||3 / 7||1 / 7||Advanced
|Coco||Good||4 / 7||7 / 7||3 / 7||Intermediate
|N. Gin||Evil||4 / 7||7 / 7||3 / 7||Intermediate
|Dingodile||Evil||7 / 7||3 / 7||1 / 7||Advanced
|Polar||Good||3 / 7||4 / 7||7 / 7||Beginner
|Pura||Good||3 / 7||4 / 7||7 / 7||Beginner
|Ripper Roo||Evil||3 / 7||4 / 7||7 / 7||Beginner
|Papu Papu||Evil||7 / 7||3 / 7||1 / 7||Advanced
|Komodo Joe||Evil||5 / 7||5 / 7||5 / 7||Intermediate
|Pinstripe||Evil||4 / 7||7 / 7||3 / 7||Intermediate
|Fake Crash||Evil||5 / 7||5 / 7||5 / 7||Intermediate
|N. Tropy||Evil||7 / 7||3 / 7||1 / 7||Advanced
|Penta Penguin||Good||7 / 7 (in PAL,NTSC-J)|
3 / 7 (in NTSC)
|7 / 7 (in PAL,NTSC-J)|
4 / 7 (in NTSC)
|7 / 7 (in PAL,NTSC-J)|
7 / 7 (in NTSC)
Perfect (in PAL,NTSC-J) Beginner
Handling (in NTSC)
|Nitros Oxide (Unplayable)||None||7 / 7||7 / 7||7 / 7||Expert
- Note that the alignments of the characters that are protected by Aku Aku are considered to be good and the alignments of the ones that are protected by Uka Uka are considered to be evil. If hacked to be playable, Nitros Oxide is protected by Uka Uka.
Differences Between Versions
|Beta Version||Final Version|
- Six unused audio from Aku Aku and Uka Uka. One of them was a congratulatory message for obtaining a Boss Key.
Crash Team Racing received critical acclaim. Official PlayStation Magazine described Crash Team Racing as "the game that made kart racing cool" and proclaimed that "nothing has ever matched its quality." Electronic Gaming Month noted that the game was "heavily inspired by Mario Kart, but still an amazing multiplayer racer." Doug Perry of IGN stated that the game was "rock solid" in playability and graphics, but was critical of "the insanely capitalistic smile of Crash." Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot called the game "a great Mario Kart clone", and that it succeeded where similar games like Mega Man Battle & Chase, Bomberman Fantasy Race, Diddy Kong Racing, Chocobo Racing and Mario Kart had failed. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution concluded that despite the fact that the game "doesn't add much to the tired genre, it manages to do everything well."
The game's controls were well received. The D-Pad Destroyer of Gamepro praised the controls as "nearly-perfect" and explained that "the transparent controls allow you to concentrate on racing and blasting your opponents, and so the races are faster, more fluid and more fun." Johnny Liu of Game Revolution concluded that the controls "feel very natural, with an emphasis on maintaining speed rather than fighting lousy controls." However, Joe Ottoson of Allgame ("All Game Guide" at the time) said that the inability to reconfigure the controls was "the only real drawback to Crash's presentation."
The graphics of the game were positively received. The D-Pad Destroyer of GamePro, while noting that the graphics were not too complex, cited the "cartoony look and the ingenious use of textures and colors" as high points in the graphics department. Doug Perry of IGN commended the "sharp looking" environments as "clean and fully formed" and the characters are "full of funny animations and cleanly designed". Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot said that the environments "are reasonably large, and they convey the cartoon-like attitude of the game very nicely." Johnny Liu of Game Revolution stated that the graphics were "smooth and seem to push the PlayStation's limits."
Critics expressed mixed opinions of the game's audio. The D-Pad Destroyer of GamePro said that the "whimsical" background music is "quite enjoyable" and the character sound bites are "varied enough to avoid becoming annoying." Doug Perry of IGN had a more mixed take, saying that the "classic bouncy, xylophone-heavy beat" is "not necessarily great", and that after a few courses, "you either stop hearing it, or the incessant simplicity of it makes you want to cry or pull your hair out". On the subject of the voice acting, he concluded that there is "nothing really that cute, clever or memorable" in the game, and noted that Crash's voice in the game is extremely similar to that of Luigi from the Mario Kart series. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot wrote that while the music and sound effects "push the game's cartoon theme," the themes were not too "over the top" or incessant. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution passed the music off as "standard kitschy fare" and added that while the sound effects "add to the cartoon quality of the game", some of the character voices were unsatisfactory. Joe Ottoson of Allgame noted that the characters "are all quite vocal", and the music "sets off the whimsical mood nicely".
Crash Team Racing has sold over 1.71 million units in Europe, 2.64 million units in the United States and just under 500,000 units in Japan. As a result of its success, the game was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up in 2000 and for the Platinum Range on January 12, 2001. An indirect sequel titled Crash Nitro Kart was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, GameBoy Advance and N-Gage and was the first game in the Crash Bandicoot series to feature full motion video.
- In the North American version of the game, the blue CTR Tokens is regular Blue and in European version has the light blue Token.
- It is possible to have a save with 102% completion without cheating. This is achievable when the player has successfully completed Adventure Mode, with all relics at least Gold (101%) and Platinum (102%) in both the hero and villain adventures and finished the game.
- A character called Fasty was planned to be playable in the game but was scrapped.
- This is the last Crash Bandicoot game to ever be developed by Naughty Dog as Crash Bash was by Eurocom Entertainment Software.
- Early screenshots show how the start line of every single track in the game used to be unique. For some reason, they were all changed to the ribbon saying "CTR" in the final version.
- Originally in Adventure Mode, the warp vortex was going to be surrounded by a checkered pattern. This feature ended up being too heavy for the PlayStation hardware to handle, so it was removed. The trophy floating inside the vortex was also silver-colored, instead of golden.
- The faces on the boss garages do not look pixelated because they are not textures, but rather fully polygonal compositions.
- Pura and Polar were originally meant to be one racer, and Komodo Moe was meant to appear with his brother Komodo Joe (possibly as one racer as well).
- Early in the development of the game, Naughty Dog made a replica of Crescent Island from Diddy Kong Racing to see if they could make a racing track of that size on the PlayStation.
- Ripper Roo was originally going to speak in the game and would've made this game the first Crash game where he'd talk normally. He would say, "Are you crazy enough to race me? I should face Oxide in the big race!", with a high pitched voice. Unfortunately, the final release just had his trademarked manic laughter but had subtitles included to see what he was saying. He did speak normally with some laughs in the Japanese version, however. There are also no subtitles in the Japanese version.
- Nitros Oxide's name derives from the gas called nitrous oxide. It's interesting to note his name is spelled exactly like the gas in Crash Nitro Kart.
- Nitros Oxide was going to be a playable character, but was scrapped. He can be played using a Gameshark code. There are also some lines he would say when you play as him, instead of the mocking he used in the boss race.
- Nitros Oxide was originally another evil scientist with a more standard human appearance. During development, the story was that he was trying to make the world faster and faster until the end of time, because of his obsession with speed. While further details about the original story are scarce, an old comic suggests Oxide would use a machine called the X Device.
- According to Naughty Dog, they once considered making Nitrous Oxide a playable character. He was going to be unlocked by completing various tasks and beating certain records in the game. However, they were unable to do so due to the extremely limited memory of the Playstation. Eventually, his boss level was designed with those limitations in order to make him functional.
- There is roughly a minute and a half of removed dialogue from Oxide on the disc, suggesting that there were going to be more cutscenes between areas where he would taunt the player.
- Some tracks have the same names as a few real locations, likely out of coincidence. These are Tiger Temple, as the Theravada Buddhist temple in the Sai Yok District of Thailands's Kanchanaburi Province, Mystery Caves, as the Forestville Mystery State Park in Minnesota, Glacier Park, as one of the seven national parks located in British Columbia and Dragon Mines.
- This game marks Pinstripe's only speaking appearance in the series.
- Penta Penguin is not unlockable through normal means. He can only be obtained by inputting a secret code.
- The kart wheels are similar to the previous games' Wumpa Fruit. Rather than being 3D objects, they are billboards (sprites that always directly face the camera). They are more complex than the Wumpa Fruit in that their animation changes depending on the camera angle, giving them the impression of being in 3D. This was necessary because of hardware limitations.
- This game was originally planned after Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back but Naughty Dog still had some ideas to put into another Crash game, so CTR was held back until after Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped was released.
- In 1999, Pizza Hut did an advertising partnership with Sony. Robin Clark (Pizza Hut's manager of national advertising) wanted to advertise their then-new Stuffed Crust Pizza with an image that portrayed 'fun'. Their association with Sony allowed them to use Crash Bandicoot for that effect, so a few TV ads were made using the character. Additionally, Pizza Hut was giving away free PlayStation demo discs to customers buying the Stuffed Crust Pizza. The first disc had a demo of Crash Team Racing, as well as Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Ape Escape, Final Fantasy VII and Cool Boarders 4.
- Crash and Ripper Roo have opposite color schemes in this game: Crash has orange fur and drives a blue kart whereas Ripper Roo has blue fur and drives an orange kart.
- The female bandicoots who hand out prizes, Ami, Isabella, Liz and Megumi, are named after real-life women who were involved in the Crash Bandicoot games, as demonstrated in the credits.
- In Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the names for the Relic Trophies from the third game are references to Crash Team Racing commercials.