“So, you're helping Cortex to gather Crystals, and yet you've acquired a Gem! Interesting! Heheheheh! Well Crash, heheheh, know this, as long as you are allied with C-C-C-Cortex, you are my sworn enemy and I will do everything in my power t-t-t-to stop you! Heheheheheh! If the fate of the world is truly your concern, you must g-g-gather the Gems, not the Cr-Cr-Cr-Crystals.”
—N. Brio telling Crash to collect the gems., Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Doctor Nitrus Brio (also known as N. Brio, or simply Brio) is a scientist who formerly worked under Doctor Neo Cortex. Brio's loyalty has fluctuated throughout the series, working on his own accord in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, with Doctor Nefarious Tropy in Crash Twinsanity and even returning to Cortex's side in Crash: Mind Over Mutant. His name is a play on the word "embryo" (a fact that he himself alludes to in Crash: Mind Over Mutant).
Like most of the characters in the series, Brio's age is uncertain, though a piece of Crash Twinsanity concept art suggests that Brio is the same age as Cortex and N. Gin. As a child, Nitrus Brio was a classmate of Neo Cortex and N. Gin in Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil. Brio is responsible for taking Neo's faulty prototype Evolvo-Ray and refining it into a fully functional weapon. However, his lack of self-esteem allowed Doctor Cortex to take full credit for the creation.
Naughty Dog era
At the start of the series, Brio acts as an assistant to Cortex. While he is somewhat loyal, he has his doubts over whether Cortex's plans can actually work. He stutters when speaking, Brio acts as the penultimate boss of the first game, drinking a potion and transforming himself into a hulking monstrosity to combat Crash. When defeated, he accidently sets the castle on fire. When he wakes up, he decides to go up against Cortex who didn't give any credit to Brio all these years. In the non-canon ending, it was revealed he worked as a bartender prior to this game.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Nitrus Brio reappeared one year later in the form of a hologram when Crash got his first gem, attempting to convince Crash Bandicoot to save the world by gathering the Gems he needs to destroy Cortex's space station instead of the Crystals that Cortex needs to control the Earth, threatening to destroy Crash if he keeps gathering the crystals. When Crash continues to gather Crystals, Brio recruits Ripper Roo and creates the Komodo Brothers and Tiny Tiger to assassinate Crash and keep him from gathering the Crystals for Cortex. Brio finally manages to convince Crash to gather the 42 Gems needed for the laser to be operational, and gives him the honor of activating the weapon, destroying Cortex's space station. He appears to have doubted that Crash would find all the gems, as in the 100% ending, he says, "You have acquired all of the Gems! Incredible! Heheheheheh! Crystals are not the only means of harnessing planetary energy. Heheheheheh! The Gems have that ability as well, and with them, I can destroy the Cortex Vortex... forever! Heheheheheheh! Let me warp you to my completed laser installation, hm..."
In Crash Bash, Brio is surprisingly called by Uka Uka to fight on the Evil side in the battle against Aku Aku's Good side. Similar to Cortex, he uses a blue ray gun to stun his opponents. He has the same characteristics of Cortex. In the Crate Crush levels He has a very powerful throw, a high jump, fast run, but weak laser. His battle cry is an old laugh that was also heard in the Disney films Fun and Fancy Free and Aladdin. In the tank mini games he has a green laser that bounces off walls. And also like Cortex in the pogo stick and the polar mini games he has a jetpack.
Traveller's Tales era
In Crash Twinsanity, Brio teams up with Doctor Nefarious Tropy to defeat Cortex and gain the Evil Twins' Treasure. He appears alongside Tropy in a boss fight, immediately following Crash's escape from N. Gin's battleship, in which Brio (after being instructed by N. Tropy to "get changed") drinks a potion to transform himself into a large, green frog-like monster. While in this form, he bounces around on the iceberg trying to squash Crash. He then appears (in his human form) alongside N. Tropy and N. Gin again in the Evil Twins' fortress, claiming the Twins' treasure for themselves. However, they are thwarted by Spyro the Dragon, who had been trapped in the Twins' vault, when he breathes fire on them.
Radical Entertainment era
Crash: Mind over Mutant
Brio reunites with Neo Cortex once more in Crash: Mind over Mutant, in which he aids in the development of the NV, a personal digital assistant that can control both mutants and bandicoots. He uses recycled parts from the Sludge Junkyard to mass-produce NVs and create a new space station for Doctor Cortex. Throughout the game, he claims to be the inventor of numerous things, including recycling, and also claims to have an interest in falconry and "classical" cheeses. He is found in the junkyard with a brainwashed Crunch Bandicoot by Crash and Aku Aku, who are then attacked by Crunch under Brio's orders. When Crunch is broken free from the NV's control, Brio is forced to reveal the whereabouts of Uka Uka, who is acting as the source of the negative mojo needed to control those wearing NVs. He is then told to leave the island. He relucantly complies, but promises the trio that it wasn't the end.
The spoilers end here. Whatever you do, don't scroll up—unless you want to!
- Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Crash Bash
- Crash Twinsanity
- Crash: Mind Over Mutant
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Brio is a shy and meek man, which serves as a contrast to Doctor Cortex's megalomania. He has never had people respect him or take him seriously (a fact he laments in Crash: Mind over Mutant), resulting in a low self-esteem. It is this weakness that originally caused him to join Doctor Cortex in his plot for world domination. However, it is also this weakness that allowed Cortex take the full credit for an invention that Brio was more responsible for attaining any sort of effectiveness, resulting in the development of intense inner-contempt and jealousy of Cortex on Brio's behalf. The most notable examples of Cortex stealing from Brio was the first functional Evolvo-Ray, which Brio did not actually create, but perfected its original faulty design into a more effective weapon. This betrayal on Cortex's part is a continuing source of disdain for Brio and is the prime motive for his abandonment of Cortex following the events of Crash Bandicoot.
As a way of making up for his mistake of allowing Cortex to take credit for his inventions in the past, Brio has developed a notable level of self delusion, as he cites himself as being the actual inventor of the Evolvo-Ray (Even though he only perfected it). This worsens even further where he constantly, almost impulsively reminds anyone in his presence of his inventions, even crediting himself with several other things that he couldn't possibly have created, like recycling, slinkies as well as claiming to have written a bible.
In the earlier games, he stuttered and occasionally laughed like a madman whenever he spoke. This could be a result of the bolts in his head, or too many failed potions. In the game Crash Bash, these talking mannerisms are taken to a new level when, instead of stuttering or laughing, he would babble on nonsensically, nobody being able to understand him. Crash Bash is the only game in which this "nonsense speaking" is heard or used.
In the N. Sane Trilogy, his personality in the first game is more solidified. He now acts like a bumbling but cautious assistant with incredibly eccentric mannerisms, a strong stutter, and much more manic laughter.
Brio appears as a taller figure than Doctor Cortex, with an equally tall head, which has twin electrode-like bolts attached to the sides like Frankenstein's Monster. While Cortex and N. Gin wear white lab coats, Brio wears a green one in most of his appearances, but wears a lab coat similar to that of Doctor Cortex in Crash Twinsanity. In some instances, his lab coats do not feature sleeves. Unlike Cortex, who has black hair, Brio has almost no hair to speak of, with his eyebrows being the only pieces of visible hair on his body, though a piece of concept art for Crash Twinsanity suggests that Brio had a strand of blonde hair on his head during his childhood. In Crash Twinsanity, Brio's skin has become more wrinkled, and has noticeably darkened, taking on an almost grayish hue, possibly due to the not insubstantial amount of mutagenic chemicals he's been known to ingest over the years. According to Cortex, the mutagen tastes like "peppermint barf, with a hint of..." It is also implied that the mutagen has an addictive effect on Brio, as he's almost always seen carrying and sipping from a beaker of the stuff, although it appears he does this to keep himself in a relatively human state, turning into a musclebound green monster whenever he gets sufficiently enraged and drinking the mutagen to reverse it.
Brio was originally voiced by Brendan O'Brien in the English versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bash. He is voiced by Michel Mella and Sergio Tedesco in the French and Italian versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bash. He is voiced by Maurice LaMarche as of Crash: Mind Over Mutant. He is voiced by Vincent Violette and Angelo Nicotra in the French and Italian versions of Crash: Mind over Mutant respectively. In the Japanese version of the series, he is voiced by Mitsuru Ogata in the games up to Crash Bash.
“But Doctor Cortex, we haven't determined the cause of past failures. Heheheheheheh!”
—Nitrus Brio, Crash Bandicoot
“But Doctor Cortex, the Vortex is not ready. We have no idea what it could do! Heheheheheheh!”
—Nitrus Brio, Crash Bandicoot
“Yes! Go for it, Dr. Cortex! Eye of the tiger! Hadouken! Paper covers rock... but paper can't stop rocks. IT MAKES NO SENSE!”
—Nitrus Brio, Mind Over Mutant
“I...was in...the first...GAME!”
—Nitrus Brio, Mind Over Mutant
“Well you were wrong, and I was right! As right as... Betamax! Why won't the world understand? We've got limitless bad mojo to power the NVs!”
—Nitrus Brio, Mind Over Mutant
“I created Slinkies! STOP PLAYING WITH THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE MINE!”
—Nitrus Brio, Mind Over Mutant
- In the intro of Crash Bandicoot when Crash is being put into the Cortex Vortex, Brio is speaking but his mouth isn't moving. This was an error in the game.
- If the player approaches Brio in his boss fight in Crash Bandicoot he will attack by striking his beakers together causing a small explosion that injures Crash.
- Crash Twinsanity is the only game that N. Brio doesn't speak in the game at all.
- Brio's theme in Crash 2 is somewhat hard to hear because Brio is talking over it. How it was supposed to sound remained a mystery for 15 years until Josh Mancell shared the song.
- His name is a pun on the word "embryo." Ironically, his head is shaped much like that of a theropod dinosaur egg.
- N. Brio's first name is factional pun on the word "Nitrous" which is commonly known as laughing gas. This is easily defined while the character always laughs during his dialogue.
- He has the most health in a single phase boss fight, with 9 Hit Points.
- However, he is defeated in a single hit at the end of Crunch's boss fight in Crash: Mind Over Mutant.
- In the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy remaster of the first Crash game, instead of 9 Hit Points, he has 7 Hit Points when facing his normal form, and 3 Hit Points when facing his monster form, which adds up to 10 Hit Points. However the 7th Hit Point automatically goes down when Brio drinks his potion which turns him into a monster.
- In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, he shouts the word "Hadouken", a reference to the character Ryu from the Street Fighter franchise.
- Despite being a frequently recurring character, he has never appeared as a playable character in a racing game.
- He doesn't have any lines in Crash Twinsanity despite being one of the bosses in the game.
- Curiously in Crash Twinsanity N. Brio and N. Tropy are shown as working together despite never sharing a scene in prior games, on top of that in each of their respective games it is never both of them that are present.
- He worked with Dr. Cortex in Crash 1 then no longer worked with him until Crash: Mind Over Mutant.
- In Crash Twinsanity, N. Brio has an unused animation titled "N_Brio_Monster_Ice_Feed".
- He, just like Koala Kong and Tawna, is one of the characters from the original Crash Bandicoot not to have made an appearance in Crash Team Racing. However, his beakers are included in the game, and recalled "N. Brio Beakers" which suggests that he may have originally been planned to be in the game.
- He bears a resemblance to the Old Man in the Shortz film, The Tell Tale Heart, just as Dr. Cortex resembles the Narrator/main character.
- Doctor Nitrus Brio is one of 2 characters to feature in Crash Bandicoot and Cortex Strikes Back and not to feature in Warped; the other is Ripper Roo.
- Although Brio has a new outfit in Mind over Mutant, most of the cutscenes show him wearing his old uniform from the first Crash game.
- The monster he turns into in Crash Bandicoot bears a slight resemblance to The Hulk.
- The bolts lodged into his head are based on Frankenstein, as the character similarly has bolts in his neck.
- If looked in a certain perspective, N. Brio's head is shaped much like a lava lamp.
- N. Brio is the first scientist to have brought back an extinct animal (e.g. Tiny Tiger) the second being Dr. Cortex (though generally all of them are genetically spliced into modern day animals).
- N. Brio was going to have a minigame based on him in Crash Bash, but the developers scrapped it and used Beach Ball.
- In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, N. Brio says that his name "sounds like a fetus." This statement is both accurate and inaccurate, since embryos and fetuses technically aren't the same thing despite both terms being colloquially used synonymously.
- It is interesting to note that both Cortex and Brio have worked with Crash in one game each. (Brio in Cortex Strikes Back, and Cortex in Twinsanity.)
- The spanish pronunciation sounds similar to the word "Embrión".