A Gem Path is an alternate route in a level that's only accessible after obtaining the required colored gem. Gem paths are similar to death routes, but don’t require a one-life run to access. However, unlike the death routes, the correct colored gem is required, meaning some of them cannot be accessed on the first run. The gem necessary to unlock a path is designated by the color of the outline of the transport, like in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure. In the original Crash Bandicoot game, the path was determined by the color of the small gems that would expand into a path as soon as the player collected the correct colored gem.
In Crash Bandicoot, gem paths are used to pick up crates in specific levels, which are a necessity to acquire the level's gem. A single colored gem can unlock multiple routes. For example, after obtaining the red gem from Slippery Climb, the player has access to the gem paths found on Native Fortress and Road to Nowhere. Taking these gem paths allow the player to break the crates in areas formerly inaccessible in the level, leading to the player obtaining the clear gem in that level. Both of these levels are originally found before Slippery Climb and so the clear gem on these two levels were unavailable at first. This game also exclusively features the clear gem path in the 'castoff' level, The Great Hall. If the player obtains all of the clear gems in the game (which also requires every colored gem), the entire path is complete, allowing the player to access the 100% complete ending.
Castle Machinery has a different type of gem path. The green gem opens up a path at the beginning of that level, which allows the player to skip right to the end of the level, picking up 27 lives on the way. This path is not required for box completion, and in fact, the player will have to play through the level the normal way to collect the level's gem. The gem platforms rapidly rotate when the appropriate gem isn't collected, but rotate much slower when solid. Levels whose gem paths can't be accessed the first time you enter this level through normal gameplay are listed in bold, the same holds for other games.
|Gem Path Levels||Colored Gem|
|The Great Gate||Yellow|
|Road to Nowhere*||Red|
|Jaws of Darkness||Blue|
|The Great Hall||All Clear Gems|
*In the Japanese version, this level's gem path is accessible the first time you enter this level.
In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, unusable gem paths are not defined by the trails of small gems, but rather by a skeleton of a large, flat, platform gem of the appropriate color. When the player obtains the appropriate gem, the platform solidifies, and the player is able to jump on the platform, which will carry them away to the gem path in another part of the level, rather than contained inside the same path like in Crash Bandicoot. But the idea of multiple gem paths unlocked by one colored gem was kept in this game. For example, the red gem will unlock the gem path in Snow Biz, and a portion of the multicolor gem path in Spaced Out, which requires all of the colored gems to complete. This game also keeps the function of the gem paths of obtaining the rest of the crates for a single level, although the gem paths which contain no crates instead have a clear gem as a reward. This is the only game that does not have an individual gem path for the purple gem, and also the only game that all gem paths can be accessed the first time to play the level.
When in outline form, the platform does not rotate, but it spins at a moderate speed when available.
|Gem Path Level||Colored Gem||Crates or Gem?|
|Sewer or Later||Yellow||Gem|
|Spaced Out||All Colored Gems||Gem|
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped follows the exact same rules as Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. All colored gems unlock a single gem path, and a portion of the multicolor gem path similar to the one found on the previous installment's Spaced Out, now found on the Egyptian themed Bug Lite level. Unlike Crash 2, all gem paths contain a clear gem regardless of there being crates in the route.
The paths that don't contain any crates will take Crash back to the Warp Room, the ones which do will return him back to the main path. Of these, backtracking will be required on Tomb Time and Dino Might! to break any missed crates, Gone Tomorrow will take Crash back to first segment of the level to break the crates activated by the ! Crate on the gem path.
The platform spinning works exactly as it does in the prequel. The gem path in Tomb Time, however, is not accessed via a platform, but rather a split path, where the left path has a door that opens when Crash has obtained the purple gem. It's possible to enter this path from the back side, without the purple gem, if the player has the death tornado spin, though this is easier to do with the gem, as the platforms only appear if Crash has it.
|Gem Path Levels||Colored Gem||Crates?|
|Bug Lite||All Colored Gems||No|
In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the concept of a multicolor gem path from the two previous installment's on the levels Spaced Out and Bug Lite is scrapped, and the colored gems will only unlock one gem path per gem. The platform design changes in this game also. The platform is now similar to a death route platform, but has the emblem of the corresponding colored gem on it. Sometimes, the gem path blends into the level, like it does in Compactor Reactor, and is simply a fence with the emblem of a colored gem.
Although some gem paths in this game do contain regular crates, they are in close proximity to Nitro Crates and so are opened when the Nitro Switch Crate is activated on the main path, meaning the gem path is not required to obtain the level's box gem.
|Gem Path Levels||Colored Gem|
Like in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the colored gems only unlock one path per gem. Like Crash 2 and Crash 3, the platform is a colored outline until Crash retrieves the gem. Like the bonus and ending platforms, when Crash steps on a colored gem platform, he will be teleported to the gem path. There is no purple gem in this game, but the other original colors are kept.
|Gem Path Levels||Colored Gem||Crates?|
|Temple of Boom||Red||No|
|Ace of Space||Yellow||Yes|
The clear, blue, green, purple, red, and yellow gem paths reappear in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy remasters of the first three games where they reprise the same roles they had in the original versions of those games. The orange gem path reappears in the N. Sane Trilogy remaster of the first game, where it reprises the same role it had in the original version of that game.
- Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- In the second and third games, the purple gem platform is only seen in the multicolored gem path.
- In Crash 2, gem paths only contain a gem if they aren't required for box completion. In Crash 3 and The Huge Adventure, gem paths always contain a clear gem, even the ones that are required for box completion. In The Wrath of Cortex, gem paths contain a clear gem, and none of them are required for box completion.
- In Crash 2 and Crash 3, gem platforms can also need clear gems through hacking. As expected, the platforms are colored like the clear gems, but which of the gems needed is impossible to determine.
- The second and third games also feature a glitchy, miscolored, non-rotating gem platform that does not need any gem to be accessed, accessible only through hacking.
- The yellow gem platform is bigger than the others in Crash 2 and Crash 3.
- In the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the gem paths make a hovercraft-like noise when in motion.
|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|