“Papu much tired of watching puny slugs race so slow. Papu want in action, to lay boom down big and prove Papu is world's best driver. Papu move so fast, you munch tracks.”
—Papu Papu, Crash Team Racing.
Papu Papu's first appearance was in Crash Bandicoot, where he is the first boss. He is infuriated when Crash awakens him from his slumber in his throne. Papu Papu attacks Crash and a battle ensues. Papu Papu uses his tribal staff to fight Crash; however, the marsupial outsmarts the strong native and defeats him by knocking him out. This is accomplished by jumping on his head when his staff is down on the ground.
He subsequently sold the castle ruins of Cortex Castle and opens the Big & Tall Shop to raise more money.
Crash Team Racing
Papu Papu reappears in Crash Team Racing as the second boss in the game. His home track is Papu's Pyramid in The Lost Ruins. He throws both green and red beakers to try to slow his opponent down. Like Tiny, Dingodile, and Doctor Nefarious Tropy, Papu Papu was a speedy racer at the expense of poor turning and acceleration. He can be unlocked by completing the Green Gem Cup in adventure mode or by holding L1 + R1 buttons while pressing Left, Triangle, Right, Down, Right, Circle, Left, Left and Down on the main menu. His kart is yellow.
After the events of CTR, he became a wrestler and changed his name to "Mr. Bad Belly". Unfortunately, his signature move, the Bad Belly Bounce, was eventually banned after several of its victims suffered severe rope friction burns.
In Crash Bash, Papu Papu is summoned by Uka Uka as the first boss of the game. His battle arena is similar to boards like Jungle Bash, etc. He is surrounded by a ring of fire for protection. He summons Crash clones to fight the player. When they are defeated, Papu Papu laughs, disabling the fire and leaving him vulnerable. At this time, he must be hit with a block or TNT. When his hitpoint is at its lowest, he is ultimately defeated when a block crushes him. After suffering injuries, he goes back to leading his tribe.
Papu Papu has a minor appearance in Crash Twinsanity. He is first seen when Doctor Neo Cortex reveals he envies the life of the tribesmen in Totem Hokum. Cortex later bumps into Papu Papu, who captures him, takes him to the native village, and has him tied to a totem pole, possibly for some kind of ritual. Crash storms the village and uses a worm to save Cortex. After Crash frees him and destroys the totem pole, Papu Papu sends the rest of the tribe after the Bandicoot.
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
Papu Papu returned as a boss in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. While his boss fight in the remastered version of Crash Bandicoot is similar to the original one, Papu Papu now sports five hit points instead of three (like in the Japanese version of the original game) and will spin around in the air before collapsing on his back upon his defeat, allowing Crash to use him like a trampoline.
Papu is bilingual, able to speak two languages; English and his native language. In Crash Team Racing, Papu speaks in third-person and with lack of pronouns, much like Tiny Tiger; i.e. "Papu move so fast, you munch tracks". In Crash Twinsanity, however, he speaks his native language, though mostly only to his people.
In CTR, Papu Papu is the largest playable character, even larger than Tiny, Dingodile, and N. Tropy. While racing, this honor belongs to Nitros Oxide. However, Papu still beats Oxide's size on the podium. Oxide only appears larger on the track because his in-kart model is over-sized, and his kart hovers.
In Crash Twinsanity, there is a glitch where Crash is standing with Papu Papu and his tribesmen when he kidnaps Cortex.
Papu Papu is the first boss ever fought in a Crash Bandicoot game.
He had many hat variations in each one of his appearances.
It is unknown if Papu Papu was affiliated with Cortex in Crash 1, or if Crash just woke him up in his tribal hut triggering his rage; however, in Crash Bash (if the player plays an evil character in adventure mode), Uka Uka refers to him as "an old friend". In Crash Twinsanity, Papu Papu works on his own accord
In Twinsanity in the worm chase part of Totem Hokum, Crash can go into his hut when he is sleeping. Nothing really happens when Crash goes in, except that he can jump on him.
In CTR, in his character icon, he looks like a whole different character; his chin looks like a happy mouth, his red painted mouth looks like a red nose, and his actual nose somewhat looks like eyes, causing his actual eyes to look like part of his hat.
A small joke is that Papu Papu, when chanting, says the very same chant that Aku Aku does whenever he is summoned. This could hint at the two either knowing each other, being in the same tribe, or they may just be able to speak the same language. If Papu Papu can speak aborigine, then Aku Aku must be speaking the same language, which would explain the same sound being heard from two very different characters.
Throughout the series his character model hasn't changed much with only little changes to his tribal clothes so he looks very similar in all his appearances.
He has made a total of 4 appearances in the series, appearing in two main series games and two spin-offs.
In Crash 1 he can be quickly defeated by jumping on his head as soon as possible three times in a row. The player does not have to wait for any specific moment for to be vulnerable unlike any other bosses in the game.
In Crash Bash he has his yellow hair ornament which was first seen in his artwork for Crash 1.
In some early NTSC copies of CTR Papu Papu had a different icon: his mouth was a darker shade of red and the hair ornament was a blackish grey. He shared this trait with Pinstripe.
Papu Papu is the only human boss in CTR, as well as in Crash Bash. Ripper Roo, the Komodo Brothers, the Bearminator, and Pinstripe are animals, and Oxide is a Gasmoxian, i.e. an alien.
When Crash defeats him in Crash 1, Crash can actually die if Papu Papu falls on him, forcing the boss battle to restart.
Crash Twinsanity is the only game Papu Papu is in where he is not featured as a boss.
Papu Papu bares a resemblance to Dr. Shemp, a witch doctor, and warlord, hired by Gnasty Gnorc to kill Spyro, who is a villain in the Spyro series.