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You forgot to bring that flashlight didn't you? Not to worry, Aku Aku will be happy to help in Lights Out. You will need to retrieve the yellow gem from The Lab before you can collect the purple gem hidden here.
- Level description

Lights Out (くらやみで ドッキリ lit. A Shot in the Dark in Japanese) is the twenty-fifth level (including boss fights) in Crash Bandicoot and the eighth level that the player must complete on the third island. It involves Crash sneaking around the dark corridors of Cortex Castle while being aided by an illuminated Aku Aku mask. It is also the first type of level to introduce the iconic gameplay mechanic that involves Crash traveling through dark levels with a tiny source of light. The player can use a gem path after acquiring the yellow gem to get extra crates to obtain the purple gem.

Level design

Lights Out takes place in the dark corridors of Cortex Castle, possibly the attic portion of the castle as there is no stable floor or light source available. The corridors of the castle are decorated with many different memorabilia including shields, chairs, and embroideries with "N" on them, which line up against the walls of the castle. Along the way, Crash will be using the beams and moving platforms of the attic to maneuver around. The level is filled with traps of all sorts including swinging blades and falling platforms. The path is also littered with rats.

The whole path Crash will be traversing lacks any source of light. To compensate for this lack of light, he will be using special Aku Aku masks to help illuminate his path. These special Aku Aku masks act different from the ones collected in other levels. Crash will be unable to collect 3 Aku Aku masks in this level, so he will be unable to achieve an invincibility. Losing an Aku Aku masks means that Crash will be losing a source of light. To make up for the high probability of Crash losing his personal source of light due to the traps and enemies scattered around the level, there will be an abundance of Aku Aku masks for him to collect. It's still important that Crash keeps his masks as long as possible though as there are plenty of jumps and enemies lurking in the shadows that could easily cause him to lose his source of light.

Types of crates

Hazard Count

  • Rats: 15
  • Swinging Blades: 11

Stage parameters

  • Aku Aku Crates: 6
  • TNT Crates: None.
  • Other Crates: 9 (3 hidden)
  • Tawna Bonus Round Crates: None.
  • Brio Bonus Round Crates: None.
  • Cortex Bonus Round Crates: None.
  • Total Crates: 15

Walkthrough

Enemies and obstacles

  • Rats - The rats typically appear along Crash's path in the level, and usually creep up from the darkness. They are brown with red beady eyes and they have horns. They usually appear in groups also, so avoiding them will be kind of a challenge. The simplest way to defeat the rats is to just spin them away. This will allow Crash to defeat more than one rat at once.
  • Swinging Blade - These swinging blades cut away ferociously at Crash's path. They can be avoided easily by running around while they are not blocking the path. If a blade hits Crash though, he will lose his Aku Aku mask.

Gallery

Translation of Aku Aku Hints in the Japanese Version

  • As this stage is pitch-dark, I become light. As time passes, my power will run out, so you should hurry. When I was young, you could carry me even longer.
  • If you mess up on timing the platforms, you can jump to the sides to shelter, but only if you're in emergency.
  • If you have mastered this stage, you can even clear it without relying on my power. Don't give up if it becomes dark, advance using the eyes in your heart.

Trivia

  • The level's name is based on an old saying mothers everywhere tell their children at bedtime.
  • This level is the only instance in Crash Bandicoot where a colored gem is required to acquire another colored gem.
  • This is one of the shortest levels in the game but it's still not the easiest.
  • There is a standalone Aku Aku in the yellow gem path, the only instance of this in his ghostly form in the game.
  • In the N. Sane Trilogy, the mask in the yellow gem path has Aku Aku's normal look instead of his ghostly look.
  • The player needs to be careful about spinning rats, because spinning them can break Aku Aku crates in the distance, which would mean Crash would have to go for a period in the future without a light source. It is recommended to always jump on such enemies in this level, instead of spinning them.
  • There is a glitch in this level where if Crash enters with 2 Aku Aku masks and does not die, then towards the end of the level one of the swinging blades will be swinging backward and forward instead of side to side like normal. This does not always happen however. Fumbling in the Dark has a similar blade in the middle of the level.
  • In the first version of the prototype, Lights Out appears unfinished and without textures making it very easy for the player to find their way even in total darkness. Fumbling in the Dark however has textures and looks more complete. The game will also freeze towards the end thus making the level impossible to complete. There is however one known emulator that allows the player to complete the level without it freezing.
  • In the prototype, there is no yellow gem. The area that requires the yellow gem is not there.
  • In the prototype, the swinging blades are not present. They were most likely added later to make the level more difficult.
  • In the prototype, Aku Aku has his normal look instead of his ghostly look in the final version. He still lights up the path even though Crash does not really need him to complete the level. The reason for this is unknown.

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