“Defeated again! This is not fair! Maybe I should retire to a nice, big beach, with a nice big drink, and a woman, with nice, big... bags of ice for my head...”
—Doctor Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Neo Periwinkle Cortex, (ネオ・コルテックス Neo Cortex in Japanese) most known as Doctor Neo Cortex, Neo Cortex, N. Cortex, Doctor Cortex or simply Cortex is a professional evil scientist born in Peoria, Illinois and the main antagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series. He is known as the creator of his nemesis: Crash Bandicoot. In almost all games, Cortex is usually the final boss, the exception being N-Tranced (where he is a playable character in multiplayer mode), Crash Tag Team Racing (where he is a playable character), Crash Twinsanity (where he is the first boss and then becomes a playable character in some levels) and Crash of the Titans (where he is also the first boss).
Cortex embodies many of the classic traits of psychopathy, being short-tempered, reckless, having no apparent conscience (as cited by Doctor Nefarious Tropy in Crash Twinsanity), and frequently manipulating others to get what he wants.
Like many stereotypical villainous mad scientists, Cortex holds a grudge against other scientists for ridiculing his outlandish (yet workable) ideas, and was originally driven towards world domination by the desire to prove his colleagues wrong. This no longer seems to be the case, as it is revealed in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped that Cortex is working under the orders of Uka Uka, one of the only two individuals that Cortex fears (beside Madame Amberly). Although Cortex talks big and acts confident in most of his appearances, he can be shown to become nervous (sometimes downright spineless) when put in the face of extreme and immediate danger (i.e. confronting Uka-Uka, running out of ammo while fighting enemies, etc.).
Another notable personality trait is his stubbornness and inability to plan ahead or learn from his mistakes; he often relies on his minion Tiny Tiger to eliminate Crash by himself, despite the fact that Tiny is too incompetent to do so alone. This impulsive behavior is first witnessed in the opening cinematic of Crash Bandicoot, in which Cortex refuses to heed the warnings of his then-henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio and tries to make Crash the general of his army, despite numerous past failures. Cortex can become quite irritated or agitated when things don't go his way, especially in Crash Tag Team Racing; while most other characters express mild annoyance when Crash fails to perform an errand for them, Cortex scolds and lashes out at him the minute he comes back empty-handed, calling him a "blithering imbecile", "cantankerous twerp" and saying "You're the worst mutation I've ever created!". Mutually supportive relationships with other characters is also evident in the crossover game Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, in which Doctor Cortex temporarily teams up with Spyro the Dragon villain Ripto to destroy both Crash and Spyro, only to start bickering with Ripto at one point.
Cortex is not above lying and deceiving others to fulfill his evil desires, most of which include gathering Crystals to power up his doomsday weapons. He frequently uses the gullible Crash Bandicoot to complete these deeds, most evident in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Tag Team Racing, claiming in both games to use the weapons for "mass helping people" as he puts it. His egotistical tendencies also cause him to alter facts about his life, claiming himself to be the most popular student in his school, even though in reality he was an object of hatred among many students, one going as far as to toss a dagger in his direction. Cortex's vain side becomes most obvious in Crash Tag Team Racing, in which he often calls himself such things as beautiful and pretty. He also owns an airship which he uses from time to time, a possible reference to his inflated ego.
For most of the time, Cortex doesn't care for the lives and feelings of others, caring only for himself and what he wants. While this seems to be the case in most games, the one moment in which Cortex actually shows concern for someone else is in Crash Twinsanity, in which at one point his niece, Nina Cortex, is kidnapped by an evil version of Crash. It is at this point clear that Nina is the only living thing that Cortex cares about, with the latter going as far as thoughtlessly putting himself in danger of being mauled by the ferocious Evil Crash during the level "Bandicoot Pursuit". Besides this instance, Cortex is largely unempathetic, seeing others only as tools for his quest in world domination (although presumably he likes N. Gin, Tiny and Dingodile really, as he puts up with them despite their past failings). It is unknown whether Cortex feels any regret for replacing Nina's hands with metallic death-traps, though this is unlikely, given Cortex's psychopathic tendencies.
Cortex appears as a short, balding, yellow-skinned, large-headed human with a giant permanent tattoo symboled N (which according to the official Crash Bandicoot website and Wrath of Cortex official strategy guide, stands for "Nerd, or more appropriately- Neo") located on his forehead since the age of 3. In all of the games before the Radical Entertainment era, this N appears to be painted or branded on; in Crash Tag Team Racing and Crash of the Titans, the N is shown to be metal-plated. He is most often seen wearing a lab coat, with some sort of black clothing underneath, and donning rubber (leather in later installments) gloves and boots. Cortex is balding, with hair only on the sides of his head and a thick strand on top. Whatever hair he does have is black (blue in some games) and frazzled. He is also shown to have a short beard with the same color along with this. Cortex is a person of short stature in most of his games, seldom being taller than Crash in any of them (with the exceptions of Crash of the Titans, Crash Mind Over Mutant and to a lesser extent Crash Bash and Crash Twinsanity).
Prior to Crash Bandicoot
Cortex spent his youth as the youngest son in a family of circus clowns (later said in the strategy guide for The Wrath of Cortex). Unlike his family, which loved the spotlight and making people laugh, Cortex spent most of his time reading science books. He was always teased, and at the age of three, had an "N" tattooed on his head for "nerd" by a particularly evil group of circus performers. But soon, the torment stopped, after a "freak" explosion wiped out his entire family, leaving Cortex to fend for himself - though a sibling may have possibly survived, as Cortex's niece, Nina, is well known to him; however, Cortex may have married (or at least been in a relationship) and been Nina's father himself, as in Twinsanity, he says "My daught... err... NIECE!" - this was when Cortex decided that he would not rest until he ruled the world.
At the age of four, Cortex enrolled into Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil, a school for evil children. It was here that Cortex met up with his life-long associates, Nitrus Brio and N. Gin. But soon, the torture of bullying caught up with Cortex again, and he and Nitrus Brio decided to sneak out and go to high school, where they thought they would be revered for being the youngest people to ever graduate.
At the age of eight, both Cortex and Brio enrolled in high school. But even here they were mocked by the cruel teenagers, a tradition that became the story of his life. It was also at this age in which Cortex made his very first prototype of the Evolvo Ray on his own, although credit is given to both N. Brio and Cortex. He then made his pet parrots Victor and Moritz be his first test subjects. The experiment went wrong, sending the two twins into the 10th Dimension where they learned skills from the dimension and later returned for revenge on Cortex in Twinsanity.
They suffered through high school together until another "freak" explosion blew up the entire building, as well as most of the surrounding town. By some amazing coincidence, they were far away from the detonation, two miles underground in an abandoned plutonium mine.
They decided to split and went on a world-smashing rampage. The terrible twosome, calling themselves the Cortex Commandos, left in their wake a trail of charred earth so monumental that they became international criminals. Seeking sanctuary from the various forces against them, they found three deserted islands off of the coast of Australia and set up shop. Soon, realizing that his puny body couldn't crush a fly, Cortex figured the only way to take over the world was to create an army that would do his bidding for him. In memory of his and Brio's "glory days", Cortex named them the Cortex Commandos. In a moment of diabolical genius, Brio came up with the ideas for the Evolv-O-Ray, an energy force capable of mutating common animals into intelligent super-beasts; and the Cortex Vortex, a device that trains the mutated animals to obey their master. Cortex, however, did not see one small problem with the machine.
“MORON! This bandicoot will be my General. And he will lead my Cortex Commandos to world domination. This time I shall reign TRIUMPHANT! We are closer than ever before. Quickly! Into the vortex!”
—Doctor Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot
Together, the doctors began experimenting with the animals and plants from the surrounding islands. Some of them were not so successful, like Ripper Roo, an insane creation that went wrong. But none of them compare to possibly Cortex's greatest mistake ever - Crash Bandicoot. One quiet evening at Cortex Castle, Cortex had just captured two eastern barred bandicoots; one male and one female. Cortex planned to have the male be the general of his army. The male is the first to get zapped by the Evolvo-Ray. It is then raised into the Cortex Vortex, though Brio insists that the Vortex is not ready. It turns out he was right as the male, Crash, is rejected by the machine. Cortex is furious, as he gives chase trying to capture the freed bandicoot. Crash escapes by jumping out the window, but leaves his bandicoot girlfriend (Tawna) in the clutches of Cortex's henchmen. She is used as a lure by Cortex in order to get Crash back. After a time, Crash arrives at the castle, where Cortex confronts him on his hoverboard atop his airship. However, he is defeated when Crash destroys the hoverboard by lobbing Cortex's projectiles back at him, and apparently falls to his death. In the non-canon ending, it is stated that after Crash foiled his plans, Cortex simply "disappeared". The game, however, hints at his return, stating But evil geniuses are harder... to squash than cockroaches.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
“You fool! Do you think I'm unaware of the situation? If we don't have any friends left on the surface, then we need to find… an enemy…”
—Doctor Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
In the intro, it is shown that Cortex survived the fall from his hoverboard and landed in a cavern beneath Cortex Castle. After lighting a match, Cortex finds a well hidden Crystal, causing him to laugh menacingly. The match he lighted then burns out, with him saying D'oh! One year later, Cortex got a new partner, a cyborg named Doctor N. Gin, and has just finished building a new Cortex Vortex in space. The crystal that Cortex found in the cavern turned out to be a Master Crystal, but N. Gin informs him that they will need 25 slave crystals to harness the power of the solar flux which Cortex needs to enslave the human race. None of his former henchmen on Earth help him now, so he locates Crash and warps him to a Warp Room where Cortex (as a hologram) tricks Crash into getting the crystals for him with a promise that he is using it for good purposes to stop the planets aligning. He sometimes drops hints of his real plan as Coco Bandicoot starts hacking into the hologram and tries to tell Crash what's really going on. By the time Coco finally tells Crash, he has already given the crystals to Cortex. Crash then fights Cortex in space with jet packs, attempting to stop him from reaching the Cortex Vortex. The evil scientist loses once again and blasts off into outer space yelling "You haven't seen the last of me, Crash Bandicoot!". However, the Cortex Vortex is still in space, so after Crash collects all the gems, Dr. Nitrus Brio (Cortex's henchman from the first game) helps blow it up with a plasma cannon. However, a part of it falls towards Earth and destroys a temple, freeing an evil mask.
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
“Crash, Crash, Crash...why must you always muck in my mud? Oh, look! I have a mask helping me, too! We will find out which one is more powerful soon enough!”
—Doctor Neo Cortex when the player enters the first time vortex.
It turns out that evil mask, Uka Uka, has been working with Cortex and is the younger twin brother of Aku Aku, who imprisoned him in the temple to protect the world from his wrath. Uka Uka is upset that Cortex lost the previous crystals and gems, meaning there is no power source. But, now that he's free, he can continue to enslave the world, and with a time travel genius named Doctor Nefarious Tropy by his side, he'll make sure Cortex succeeds. Together, they build the Time Twister Machine in order to retrieve the crystal's and gem's from their original places in time. However, Crash and Coco start retrieving them. Throughout the game, Cortex and Uka Uka talk to Crash and Coco via a warp vortex. Cortex is also seen watching the two battle with Tiny. By the end, he becomes mad and has his boss fight with Crash under the Time Twister while Uka Uka battles Aku Aku. Cortex loses and falls down a hole onto a platform below, where he lets out his frustration: "Defeated again! This is not fair! Maybe I should retire to a nice big beach, with a nice big drink and a woman with nice big... bags of ice for my head." Uka Uka, however, still has high hopes, as Crash and Coco don't have all the gems. Eventually, though, they do get all the gems and fight Cortex and Uka Uka together. When the two villains lose, a warp sphere starts to engulf them, Tropy, and the entire Time Twister Machine. Luckily, Crash, Coco, Aku Aku and the other animals escape. Meanwhile, in another time period where all three have been reduced to infants, Cortex and Tropy are seen fighting over Uka Uka while stretching him.
In Crash Team Racing, Cortex takes part in the race to beat the crabby alien, Nitros Oxide, who threatens to turn the world into a parking lot if he wins and make its inhabitants his slaves. Cortex is seen in the intro laughing evilly, while powering his kart with one of his gadgets. His kart's stats are the same as Crash, Komodo Joe and Fake Crash, having even acceleration, speed, and turn; his home track is the Cortex Castle. In the epilogue, Cortex discovers a new element in the periodic table which law suits failed to change the name, so he chose element 117, Cortexrulestheworldium.
Cortex is later (in the middle of a new scheme) forced to participate on the bad side in a battle of good and evil by Uka Uka and Aku Aku. Cortex is also joined with old henchmen, N. Brio and Koala Kong, and newcomer Rilla Roo. In the minigames, both the doctors have great stats but also have their weaknesses. In the Crate Crush minigames, whilst Cortex has a terrific throw with the boxes his ray gun is very poor. In the Polar Push minigames, Cortex has a jetpack which pays off nicely but he can only use it once at a time and it takes a while for his boost meter to fill up again. He has the fastest weapon in the Tank Wars minigames which is a laser but is quite weak.
“Get ready to face my wrath, Crash Bandicoot! Hehehehahahahahahahahahahaha!”
—Doctor Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Sometime after Warped, Cortex had built a new space station. Uka Uka holds a meeting to discuss evil with Dr. Cortex, Dr. N. Gin, Dr. N. Tropy, Tiny, and Dingodile, and claims that their attempts at evil are pathetic, although they say that Crash is to blame for their failures. N. Tropy lets on that Cortex is working on something in his lab, which Cortex denies. N. Gin then foolishly tells Cortex that N. Tropy was probably referring to a super secret weapon he was making day and night since the last time Crash defeated him.
Cortex then admits he was and is almost finished making a super weapon of unbelievable strength. The power source is the final solution, at which point Uka Uka thinks of The Elementals. Cortex agrees that once he has the power of the Elementals, then he'll have a weapon that's stronger than Crash and will wipe him off the face of Earth. With an evil laugh, he declares "Get ready to face my wrath, Crash Bandicoot!". The only way to get rid of The Elementals is to gather 25 Crystals, which is what Crash and his friends set out to do. Like the previous games, he talks to Crash, but this time via hologram. He also introduces his newest creation and super weapon: Crunch Bandicoot. However, even with the aid of The Elementals, Crunch keeps losing, and eventually Cortex's space station is destroyed (again) and Crunch becomes a member of the Bandicoot family. Portraits of Cortex are seen on stained glass windows in Wizards and Lizards.Planetary Minimizer, which he immediately uses to shrink the Earth down to the size of a grapefruit. The situation is brought to Aku Aku's attention when Cortex taunts the now-microscopic people of Earth. Crash eventually manages to return Earth to its normal size, foiling Cortex's plans once again.
Cortex is playable in the multi-player mode in an Atlasphere. His hair at the sides of his head is also visible at the game over screen.
Cortex is a playable character in Crash Nitro Kart, in which he drives for the Team Cortex , in a well-rounded kart, with N. Gin, Tiny, and N. Tropy. In the story, he is abducted (along with other characters) by Emperor Velo XXVII and forced to compete in the Galaxy Circuit. In the end, the trio is stranded on Terra, but eventually return home.
Doctor Neo Cortex and Ripto from the Spyro the Dragon series joined forces to rid themselves of their respective nemeses Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, by genetically modifying Ripto's "Riptoc" minions and disguising them as Crash and Spyro, leading the two protagonists to believe they are against each other. The two heroes eventually discover this and work together to defeat the two evil-doers. Spyro eventually ends up tagging Cortex with a transmitter which leads both Crash and Spyro to Cortex and Ripto's headquarters in outer space, where they are defeated.
“Surprised to see me, Crash? Like the fleas on your fur, I keep coming back! 3 years I spent alone in the frozen Antarctic waste! And I missed you, and so I organized a little gathering, like a birthday party, except... the exact opposite! And look, all of your friends are here; you are so very popular. Let's start handing out the presents!”
—said by Cortex before his boss battle.
Taking place three years after the events of Wrath of Cortex, Dr. Cortex and Uka Uka wash onto N. Sanity Island frozen in an ice cube. It melts and Cortex rounds up several of Crash's old enemies to ambush him. He also appears as the first boss, right before Mecha-Bandicoot. After stunning Coco and disguising himself as her, he lures Crash to an arena for the "birthday party" and does battle with Crash. Defeated once again by Crash, the two get into a brawl in a mine in which the two reluctantly agree to work together to escape. After escaping the mine, they encounter the Evil Twins, who claim they will destroy the Wumpa Islands. After Cortex doubts it, they take out his brain, causing him to flee in terror.
“I'm an Evil Scientist, what did you expect? This isn't a game!”
—Said by Cortex after he zaps Farmer Ernest.
Crash later finds him and Cortex tells about his love of the Wumpa Islands, and envies the Tribesman, and after mentioning the bumblebee being humble, he is swarmed by bees, causing him to run blindly on a bridge full of traps, which Crash must protect him from. After being chased by bumblebees, a bee-hive falls on his head, later attracting a bear. Crash helps him escape all of these, but after escaping the bees, he ends up getting captured by Papu Papu, who hoists him high on a totem pole with intentions to cook him. Crash rescues him, but causes the totem pole he was on to fall down the nearby waterfall. He is later seen at Farmer Ernest's Farm, where he zaps Mr. Ernest with his ray gun and takes the crystal that was promised if they got rid of the worms infesting his land. Soon, they confront the Evil Twins once again, who reveal they came from the tenth dimension and proceed to bring to life a totem statue, Tikimon.
The Evil Twins leave after their defeat, and soon Cortex gets an idea. Insisting they go to his brand new base; the Iceberg Lab where he attempts to open the main entrance with a remote, which doesn't work. Then Cortex insists they take a different route. He is later seen talking with his penguin minions who are demanding the crystal Cortex found. Then he tries to bribe them with fish to let him keep his crystal. But, the bribing doesn't work and they growl at him until Cortex shoots one of the penguins. Then he and Crash continue their journey until they accidentally free Uka Uka, who was frozen in a cave. Uka Uka then tries killing both of them because of their history with each other, by making himself a body of ice. The duo defeat Uka Uka.
After revealing the Twins' plan, Uka Uka allies with him, saying it was his job. Crash and Cortex eventually reach his Iceberg Lab where they confront the Evil Twins. They bring out Aku Aku and Uka Uka who end up paralyzed by the Twins. Armies of Ants are then sent to kill them. Eventually, they destroy all of the ants and the Evil Twins then flee. After they leave, Aku Aku and Uka Uka question Cortex about the Evil Twins and how they said that he ruined their lives. Crash and Cortex team up to defeat the Twins. Then, Cortex shows Crash the Psychetron, a device capable of teleporting to different dimensions. Cortex then says that they need six crystals, but they have four. So, Cortex has the idea of going to N. Gin's battleship to get the 2 crystals, where they go to a balcony in a mountain and where Cortex thinks how are we going to get to N. Gin's Battleship in time?, causing Crash to push him off and use him as a makeshift sled.
They eventually reach the Battleship where Cortex lies in the snow, humiliated, where Dingodile hears their intention of getting the Evil Twins' treasure. After Crash is launched back to the Iceberg Lab, Cortex is standing there, where he goes to the Psychetron room and gets attacked by Coco, who thinks Cortex has kidnapped Crash. After kicking him in the groin, she sends him into the Psyhcetron controls, screwing it up, and paralysing Coco. Then the two go to Cortex's Airship and to the Academy of Evil to find Nina Cortex, the only one capable of fixing the Psychetron. While flying, they are ambushed by the Evil Twins and an army of ants. Cortex eventually defeats them and they reach the Academy of Evil where Cortex accidentally finds a hidden staircase to the boiler room under the central fountain. Crash later finds him in the boiler, where he gets stuck in a pipe. Crash and Cortex eventually find Dingodile in a large boiler room, where he threatens Cortex to give him his cut of the treasure that he thinks that they found in his Australian accent. Cortex then replies to him that he doesn't know what he said, then Dingodile shoots the platform he is on and it flies up.
“My airship! Without it, we're stranded! Tie it to something secure, I said! Hurry, Nina, or you'll miss the bus!”
—Cortex to Nina
He is later seen in the classrooms where he nearly gets hit by toxic spray coming out of the walls and quickly slides under it. He then orders Crash to attach the airship to a secure area while he goes to look for his niece, Nina. After going through many hallways and classrooms, he finds his niece, who willingly scares him with a fake dummy of herself. Then, when he tries to shake hands with her, they clamp onto his hand. He then sends Nina out and he goes to the fountain area only to find that Crash had misunderstood his orders and detached the airship, then Nina later catches it. He later meets up with her in a room where they are ambushed by ants and Nina leaves. After defeating the ants, Cortex wanders into a large acid room, where he meets up with the founder of the Academy of Evil, Madame Amberly. She mocks Cortex and the two eventually get into a fight. Cortex later snaps all the ropes supporting Madame Amberly and she falls into the acid pit.
“This is where we wrong the rights! And sweep the past under the rug.”
—Cortex being dramatic
He later finds Crash and the three head to the airship, where Cortex remembers the origin of the Evil Twins, on how he was eight years old building an Evolvo Ray prototype, which he used on his pets, Victor and Moritz, and how the machine messed up and the two parrots disappeared. Then, they land at the Iceberg Lab where they warp to the Tenth Dimension. When they arrive there, Evil Crash, Crash's counterpart, comes out and kidnaps Nina. They go to a balcony pursuing Evil Crash, where Cortex thinks on how they are going to save Nina, when Crash once again pushes Cortex off the balcony and uses him as a make-shift sled. After pursuing Evil Crash to his house, Cortex attempts to save Nina but ends up getting chased by Evil Crash. Crash eventually saves him and they reach the Evil Twins' base, where Cortex and Nina go in, with Crash following them. They meet up in the Evil Twins' treasure room where they meet N. Trophy, N. Brio, and N. Gin there, when Cortex states that the treasure is stolen property. Spyro the Dragon then comes out and burns N. Tropy, N. Gin, and N. Brio.
“True, now, PLAYTIME IS OVER!!! Victor! Moritz! Back in your cage! You naughty boys!”
—Cortex to the Evil Twins
They meet up with the Twins in their massive throne room, where they have a discussion. Cortex then orders them to go into their cage, which they obey. Then angrily, they transform their cage into a large robot, the Deathbot, then the three fight the robot. Nina takes out the shields, making it vulnerable, leaving Cortex to destroy the weapons. Mecha-Bandicoot then hops in front of him, revealing Crash piloting it. After Crash destroys the Deathbot, they flee in terror, soon to be eaten by Evil Crash. After this, they all return to their dimension, where Cortex betrays Crash, activating the Psychetron, but it malfunctions and sends Cortex into Crash's brain, where he confronts thousands of Crashes doing the Crash Dance; at this instance, he screams.
He later escapes from Crash's brain and the two are sent to the psychiatrist, where they practice trust exercises, where Cortex will fall backwards and Crash will catch him. But Crash is distracted by a Wumpa Fruit that rolls up to his foot and Cortex falls backwards and sits up and replies "I hate bandicoots" and then falls backwards again. Cortex also uses a teleporter in this game.
Cortex appears as an unlockable playable character in Crash Boom Bang!.
“Is- Is this thing on? Yeah? Haha! I'm back, babies! Surrender to Cortex!”
—Cortex on his airship
Aku Aku, who Crash saves in the first level from a group of Ratnicians. He proceeds to The Temple of Zoom to drain it of all its mojo. He then challenges Crash atop the temple with his Yuktopus. After the Yuktopus failed to kill Crash after the first boss fight, Uka Uka replaces him with his niece, Nina Cortex, who continues his plan of creating a giant robot called The Doominator and use it to destroy all of Wumpa Island. Almost all the minions agree that Nina is a better leader than Cortex, except N. Gin. At the end of the game, Nina is defeated in her Arachnina and Cortex "forgives" Nina for what she did. In this game and in Mind over Mutant he is much taller and has a different lab coat. He is also less intelligent and a sore loser.
In Crash: Mind over Mutant, Cortex sent Nina to Evil Public School for betraying him, then reconciles with his old colleague Dr. Nitrus Brio to invent the NV, a personal digital assistant that controls whoever uses it by transmitting bad Mojo, unwillingly supplied by Uka Uka through the use of a milking
machine. He later engages in a fight with Crash inside his new Space Head space station, empowering himself with the use of a mutagen formula stolen from N. Brio. Upon losing the fight, Cortex throws a tantrum, causing the Space Head to plummet towards Earth. Returning to normal, he escapes the Space Head in a smaller shuttle with an unnamed Znu. In his boss fight, he can burp or fart which stuns enemies, punch the ground, and perform a spin that will instantly defeat any enemy on contact.
Dr. Cortex appears in Skylanders: Imaginators as a playable character. He is a Tech Sensei of the Sorcerer Battle Class.
Cortex is also responsible for setting into motion the events of the Adventure Pack level Thumpin' Wumpa Islands. After 20 years of planning, Cortex intends to use the rhythmic nature of Wumpa Island to power his Cortex Matrix Chamber and build an unstoppable army. However, despite his belief that none of his henchmen will be around to spoil his plan, Fake Crash hi-jacks the robot and starts dancing poorly, causing terrible vibes to happen across the island that threaten to shatter it. Cortex, now working for the Skylanders, must make amends and stop Fake Crash.
He was only mentioned by Crash that he was going to stop him from taking over the world and creating an army of evil Mutants. It is unknown if he will ever be introduced in the show.
- Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
- Crash Team Racing
- Crash Bash
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (playable in multiplayer mode)
- Crash Nitro Kart
- Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage
- Crash Twinsanity
- Crash Tag Team Racing
- Crash Boom Bang!
- Crash of the Titans
- Crash Nitro Kart 2
- Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
- Crash: Mind Over Mutant
- Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
- Crash Bandicoot: Mutant Island
- Skylanders: Imaginators
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
When Cortex initially mutated Crash, he planned to have him become general of his mutant army. However, Neo was in such a rush to turn Crash evil so he ignored N. Brio's warning of the Cortex Vortex being unstable, thus sealing his future with Crash. Naturally, Neo hates Crash, seeing his as his biggest mistake. Nevertheless, Cortex isn't above teaming up with the marsupial if a greater evil threatens him and/or the world or even trying to make Crash take pity on him by telling him he's been like a father to him.
N. Brio was Doctor Cortex's first lackey, and ignored his warnings on the Cortex Vortex not being ready to turn Crash Bandicoot over to the side of evil. Because of him believing Brio was too incompetent to have as an assistant, he replaced the chemist with N. Gin. As a result, Nitrus vowed revenge against Cortex for replacing him, and he got it by having Crash collect all the gems in the second game so he could destroy his space station. However, the two reconciled in Crash: Mind Over Mutant, once again working together to use NVs to conquer Earth.
After Cortex and N. Brio found the Wumpa Islands, they also found the tomb where Uka Uka was sealed. They then made a deal: if Uka Uka gave the duo his mojo to power the Cortex Vortex, they would carry out his plans to take over the world. After he was freed, Uka Uka took control of Cortex's operations. Neo ultimately took this standing back in Mind Over Mutant and broke their partnership altogether.
Following his first defeat, Cortex replaced his previous lackey, Nitrus Brio, with cyborg engineer, N. Gin, who has remained Cortex's right hand man to this day. Despite being dismissive towards him at best and abusive at worst, N. Gin remains loyal and doting towards the doctor (he once considered abandoning him for Nina for all his mistreatment, but then decided against after realizing he enjoyed most of it, tipping Crash to their whereabouts so he could free his master).
Cortex's beloved "daught-errrr-niece", the doctor took Nina under his wing, teaching her evil principles and making a few "adjustments" to her, blessing her with her metal hands. This came back to haunt him in Crash Of The Titans, when Uka Uka considered her a more competent replacement for taking over Wumpa Island. Cortex was left quite proud of this act of devious treachery, not that this stopped him from disciplining her harshly.
- In most games, he has been the main antagonist. There have been exceptions, however, in Crash Team Racing, Crash Bash, Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Crash Nitro Kart, Crash Twinsanity, Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash Boom Bang!, and Crash of the Titans. In a few of the games, he is accompanied by other villains as additional main antagonists. Those games are Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Crash Nitro Kart 2, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, Crash: Mind Over Mutant, and Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2.
- After Crash defeats him in Twinsanity, he becomes an ally by force. However, he is still an evil character, and his alignment with Crash is only temporary. This happens again in Skylanders: Imaginators.
Cortex appears in Dansu! De Jump! Na Daibouken where he plans on turning everyone into his mindless slaves with his newly built Cortex Vortex. But he'll need Power Stones to power it up and so he tells Crash that he's a good guy and asks him to gather the Power Stones to save the world and become irresistible. He even decides to help Crash find them when he grows tired of waiting, which leads to some comical situations for Crash and Cortex.
“Moron! This bandicoot will be my general and he will lead my Cortex Commandos to world domination. This time I shall reign triumphant! We are closer than ever before! Quickly, into the Vortex!”
—Cortex, Crash Bandicoot
“Three Crystals. Not bad. I see you're getting the hang of it. I need to conserve power. I will contact you after you retrieve the fifth crystal.”
—Cortex, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
“Who, what?! Where was I? Oh. Tiny was a good fellow. He hated everyone and everything, but a good heart nonetheless. Please be more reasonable with my minions next time.”
—Cortex, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
“Uka Uka, it's not our fault! That wretched bandicoot is to blame!”
—Cortex, The Wrath of Cortex
“How do I get into these situations?”
—Cortex, The Wrath of Cortex
“Get ready to face my wrath, Crash Bandicoot!”
—Cortex, The Wrath of Cortex
“Crash Bandicoot, my old nemesis. How the heck are you? Still gathering Crystals? Old habits die hard, don't they? Meanwhile, my days have been spent on something much more intriguing. Meet Crunch, my newest creation!”
—Cortex, The Wrath of Cortex
“Can't you EVER let me win?! What do you want from me, you cretin?!”
—Cortex, The Wrath of Cortex
“It's true, blondes do have more fun!”
—Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
“Surprised to see me, Crash? Like the fleas in your fur, I keep coming back! Three years I spent alone in the frozen Antarctic waste! And I missed you, and so I've organised a little gathering, like birthday party except... the exact opposite. And look, all of your friends are here! You are so very popular. Let's start handing out the presents!”
—Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
“This is from Tiny, this is from Dingodile. Ripper Roo you shouldn't have! Pinstripe how thoughtful. Oh, dear, 2 of the same! Well, don't worry; I kept the receipt.”
—Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
“The check bounced? Are you sure? Well, these past few years have been kind of slow. The Wrath of Cortex didn't go as well as we'd hoped and...”
—Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
“I'm an evil scientist, what do you expect? This isn't a game.”
—Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
“You can't replace me! My name's on the stationary!”
—Cortex, Crash of the Titans
“It's not fair! It's not fair! I want to win! It's my turn! I've been trying for flipping years!”
—Cortex, Mind Over Mutant
“At last! 20 years of meticulous planning, preparations and machinations have all built to this single moment! The fathomless rhythmic energies of Wumpa Island itself shall power my Cortex Matrix Chamber, and create an unstoppable of army of loyal minions! And this time, none of my stupid henchmen will be around to ruin it for me! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”
—Cortex, Skylanders: Imaginators
- Ironic to the general opinion about them, the Spanish dub of the Titans duology has the most similar portrayal of Cortex in the games where he was voiced by Lex Lang. Being Twinsanity the least similar.
- in CTTR, one of Cortex's quotes is: "1.2 gigawatts of power!". This is a reference to the film series Back to the Future.
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is the only game not to feature Cortex because he failed to stop Crash again. But he does appear on multiplayer mode.
- Cortex appeared in all main series Crash games as a final boss except Crash Twinsanity, and Crash of the Titans.
- His name is a pun on the neocortex, a part of the brain.
- Cortex's middle name has been revealed to be Periwinkle by Ebenezer Von Clutch in Crash Tag Team Racing.
- Cortex's initials are, ironically, NPC (an acronym for 'Non Playable Character' in video game lingo).
- Since then, Cortex's full name has been revealed to be "Neo Periwinkle Cortex". However, since the game itself wasn't canon, the middle name is somewhat debated by fans. However, he does refer to himself as "Neo Periwinkle Cortex" in the DS port of Crash of the Titans.
- Cortex is one of the few characters to ever break the fourth wall during the series, along with Coco, N. Brio, Tiny, Ebenezer Von Clutch, N. Gin and a certain Crash of the Titans enemy type being the only others.
- His theme in Crash Bandicoot 2 is his fastest theme.
- In the original versions of the first three games, Cortex uses a different icon for each of them. In the remaster trilogy, Cortex uses the same icon for the remasters of the first and second games. Since the icons Cortex uses in the original versions of the first and second games are very similar anyway, it is understandable why the developers didn't trouble to make his icon different for each of the three remaster versions of the games.
- In Crash 1's level 'Generator Room', the 'N' on his forehead is missing whenever he appears on the TV screens.
- When he is turned into a baby at the end of Warped, the 'N' on his forehead is lower case.
- The "N" on his forehead likely stands for his first name "Neo". However, the back stories say it was tattooed on his forehead at age 3 for "Nerd".
- Cortex once called Nina his daughter but covered it up when he saw Crash coming up behind him. Which means only the doctor knows the real relationship between him and Nina.
- Cortex has appeared in three stages (adult, child in Twinsanity, and baby in Warped)
- After Twinsanity, Cortex seems to have somewhat befriended Crash in a way. In Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash helps Cortex out a lot, though they are still enemies. This might be a direct homage to DBZ characters, Goku and Vegeta who started off as enemies once and later off befriended one another despite their history.
- In Crash Tag Team Racing, it is implied that Cortex had served in the Vietnam War, in the Da Nang Air Base. This gives much of clue of what Cortex's age was during the war, though it's highly unlikely what year he did join. If he did serve at Da Nang back in the beginning of the war he chronologically would be 37 years old during the years of the Naughty Dog trilogy.
- According to Clancy Brown during an interview, he stated the reason why he stopped doing the voice of Dr. Cortex was because Universal gave minimum wages to the actors and that he was never told about the Crash games (Wrath of Cortex and Crash Nitro Kart) during the time. Another reason for Lex Lang replacing Clancy Brown was that in an interview Lex Lang stated that parents didn't like Clancy's impersonation of the character and thought it was too mean for younger audiences and wrote letters to Universal about the problem.
- In one concept design, Cortex appears to have a hunched back.
- In the Naughty Dog era, Cortex was more evil but in the Traveller's Tales era, he is somewhat eager and angry, yet somewhat cowardly, and during the Radical era, he seems more comical. However, he is more ruthless in Radical era.
- When Cortex was a baby, he still had a beard. Strangely enough, he didn't have a beard when he was 8 years old.
- Cortex and N. Brio should technically both take credit for the Evolvo-Ray, since Cortex built the original (faulty and instead ended up functioning as a "one way" inter-dimensional teleport for Victor and Moritz) Evolvo Ray prototype. N. Brio improved it greatly, but Cortex took credit for it all anyway.
- In Twinsanity, there is a glitch to play as him at the Iceberg Lab.
- Cortex has always been the last boss in the main PS1 games.
- Through most boss fights with Dr. Cortex, each theme goes through subsequent pattern, going from slower to faster and then slower again.
- In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Cortex is revealed to have red irises. However, promotional art from Crash Bandicoot has show Cortex to have pink irises.
- Cortex's full name is derived from Greek and Latin origins meaning that his name "Neo Periwinkle Cortex" means "New Bark Flower" or "New Flower Shell".
- Because of his appearance and personality change in Crash of the Titans and his voice being provided by Lex Lang, Cortex has met mixed receptions among his fans. Most fans have preferred Cortex's original appearance and have favored Clancy Brown as the iconic voice for Cortex.
- Cortex, along with Crash, N. Gin, and Coco are one of the four characters that are playable in all of the racing games.
- Cortex bears a very strong resemblance to the British actor Roger Delgado. This could most likely explain his somewhat British accent and debonair in Crash Bandicoot 2-3 with him finishing a sentence with a "ta ta for now". Ironically, to some of his minions (namely N.Gin) Cortex is replied to gracefully as "The Master". A role Delgado was famous for playing in the British TV show Doctor Who.
- Dr. Cortex in Crash of the Titans proves to be more ruthless and maybe even evil compared to Naughty Dog's Dr. Cortex as is shown in one of the last levels that his Titans' heads are placed on mantles in the corridors of the Doominator.
- In Crash Twinsanity, Cortex will frequently perform acts of superhuman speed in order to reach distance or to return to Crash after he's thrown him. This ability cannot be used during stages where he is a playable character.
- Dr. Cortex's nationality can debated among fans as to whether he is British or Hispanic in origin, though some evidence can be pointed out that he is British given his elegance and cunning in the sequels made by Naughty Dog, along with his ending catchphrase "Tata for now" and him sporting a cup of tea in Crash of the Titans (stereotypical traits of British people). It can also be proven that Dr. Cortex favors big game hunting as a hobby since he kills his own Titans for fun and hangs their heads as trophies.
- Apart from N. Brio, Cortex is the second evil scientist to actually resurrect prehistoric animals back to life (i.g. the Titans).
- Despite Cortex claiming that Crash is his worst creation, logically Crash is Cortex's best creation. Being able to operate many mechanical items with ease, being able to fend off any enemy or boss, being able to survive most conditions and hazards. Crash mostly appears to be brave, running into dangerous situations with a clear head (whatever that may be for Crash). There have been times (other than boss battles) that he's even outsmarted and reacted to events faster than his creator, like in Twinsanity, even if it does mean Cortex gets put through some pain and distress.
- This technically makes Ripper Roo Cortex's most destructive creation. Despite being almost hyper intelligent, he is completely unstable, highly destructive, and extremely erratic. The irony of it is that Cortex wasn't able to control Crash and is rather annoyed on his personality, it is also that Cortex's high bolstered ego is what also ruined his chances of controlling Crash, if he had listened to N. Brio and took more caution into his invention the Cortex Vortex he most likely would have control over Crash to this day.
- In CTTR, Cortex has a chance of saying "Burn baby, burn! ...Disco Inferno!" when destroying another racer's car. This is a reference to the song known as "Disco Inferno" made by The Trammps.
- ↑ Crash Bandicoot NTSC instruction manual, page 19
- ↑ Doctor Nitrus Brio: But Doctor Cortex! We have not determined the cause of past failures!
Doctor Neo Cortex: Moron! This bandicoot will be my general! And he will lead my Cortex Commandos to world domination! This time I shall reign triumphant! (Crash Bandicoot)
- ↑ Doctor Neo Cortex: I was 8 years old and the most popular student in the academy. Ahh, yes.
(A dagger is thrown at Young Cortex, but misses.)
Doctor Neo Cortex: How they loved me! (Crash Twinsanity)
|Cortex's mother | Doctor N. Gin | Doctor Nefarious Tropy | Doctor Neo Cortex | Doctor Nitrus Brio | Ebenezer Von Clutch | Lab Assistant | Madame Amberly | Nina Cortex | Papu Papu | Park Drone | Shield Native | Tribesman|
|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 Mind Over Mutant|
|Protagonists||Crash Bandicoot - Aku Aku - Coco Bandicoot - Crunch Bandicoot|
|Antagonists||Doctor Neo Cortex - Doctor Nitrus Brio - Doctor N. Gin - Nina Cortex - Uka Uka|
|Titans||Spike - Ratcicle - Magmadon - TK - Sludge - Rhinoroller - Scorporilla - Grimly - Battler - Stench - Yuktopus - Snipe - Titan Heroes|
|Items||TNT Crate - Basic Crate - Wumpa Fruit - Mojo - NV|
|Levels||Console: (Wumpa Island - Ratcicle Kingdom - Wasteland - Junkyard - Mount Grimly - Space Head) DS: (Crystal Mountains - Deserted Wasteland - N. Jin Labs)|
|Enemies||Ratnician - Brat Girl - Doom Monkey - Znu - Slap-E - Spike Crate|
|Crash Bandicoot Racing Series Playable Characters|
|Crash Team Racing||Coco Bandicoot | Crash Bandicoot | Dingodile | Doctor N. Gin | Doctor Nefarious Tropy | Doctor Neo Cortex | Fake Crash | Komodo Joe | Papu Papu | Penta Penguin | Don Pinstripelli Potorotti | Polar | Pura | Ripper Roo | Tiny Tiger|
|Crash Nitro Kart||Coco Bandicoot | Crash Bandicoot | Crunch Bandicoot | Dingodile | Doctor N. Gin | Doctor Nefarious Tropy | Doctor Neo Cortex | Emperor Velo | Fake Crash | Geary | Krunk | Nash | N. Trance | Nitros Oxide | Norm | Polar | Pura | Spyro the Dragon | Tiny Tiger | Velo | Zam | Zem|
|Crash Tag Team Racing||Coco Bandicoot | Crash Bandicoot | Crunch Bandicoot | Doctor N. Gin | Doctor Neo Cortex | Ebenezer Von Clutch | Nina Cortex | Pasadena O'Possum|
|Known characters||Crash Bandicoot | Cortex | Dingodile | Bandicoots | Coco Bandicoot | Unidentified character | Polar|
|Known items||Frogzooka | Lab Frogzooka Launcher | Lightgate | Orb | Boombat | Bottle Rocket-Launcher | Fertilizer Gun | Anti-Aircraft Gun | Dingodile's cannon | Lab Grow Fist | Gloves | Glow Top|
|Known Enemies||Wasp | Nite Creatures | Small Floating Robot | Thug Bot | Living Flower | Unnamed Sea Urchin-like Creatures | Stench | Scorporilla | Frog | Hog | Hyena | Squid|
|Hybrids||Bandicoot-Shark Hybrid | Alligator-Turtle Hybrid | Giraffe-Turtle Hybrid|
|Locations||Rocky Island | Black Rock Island | Swamp | Underground Caverns | Tree Island | Shipwreck Island | Cortex's Lab | Mountain Island | Flower Island | Rock Formation Islands|
|Known characters||Crush Bandicoot | Doctor Neo Cortex|
|Known Levels||Cut Buggy Level | Unnamed Floating City Level | Mines|