Upstream (さかなに きをつけろ lit. Beware of the Fish in Japanese) is the fifth level of the first island in Crash Bandicoot. It is the first river type of level. As the name implies, Crash must travel up along a stream, without falling in.
The level is extremely linear, and is bounded on both sides by the banks of the stream which are covered in dense jungle foliage and occasional small sections of temple ruins. Crash must navigate his way up the stream by means of logs, leaves, stone platforms, and sinking lily pads. He must also jump across several red plants with green stems (somewhat similar to the venus fly traps) which will snap shut shortly after he jumps on them. There is also an alternate blue-stemmed variation of this plant, which snaps shut at regular intervals, requiring timing to get past it.
Before Crash can obtain the clear gem in this level, he'll first need to get the orange gem from Generator Room, a level that appears much later in the game. Once the orange gem has been obtained, Crash can access and break all fourteen crates.
Types of crates
- Aku Aku Crate
- Basic Crate (only in the Tawna bonus round and Beta)
- Bounce Crate
- Checkpoint Crate
- Crash Crate
- Iron Crate (only in the Tawna bonus round and Beta)
- ? Crate
- ! Crate (Beta only)
- Time Crate (1/2/3 seconds)
- TNT Crate
- Aku Aku Crates: 2 (none in Beta)
- TNT Crates: 1
- Other Crates: 11 (3 hidden)
- Tawna Bonus Round Crates: 22 (8 in Beta)
- Brio Bonus Round Crates: None.
- Cortex Bonus Round Crates: None.
- Total Crates: 36
Translation of Aku Aku Hints in the Japanese Version
- The wood is slippery, you have to take extra attention. Go calmly and you can surely proceed. Of course, do you know that fish are weak against spinning?
- I'll teach you another important thing. If you break all the boxes and reach the goal, you'll get a beautiful diamond. You can't get it if you start from a checkpoint.
- The river in this level rises at Skull Rock Waterfall.
- The premise of Crash navigating up a stream is repeated later in this game in the level Up the Creek, and in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back in the levels Hang Eight, Air Crash, and Plant Food.
- In the prototype, there is no orange gem. The paths that require the orange gem are not there.
- All platforms (excluding the Venus Fly Traps) are doubled in size in the Japanese version of the game.
- The lily pads and green Venus Fly Traps are much faster in the prototype.
- Pausing in this level is glitched in the prototype version, as the river's polygons glitch out while paused in some locations (as seen in the image).
- In the prototype, there is a switch box before the first checkpoint that activates 2 crates and some lily pads leading to them.
- The first Aku Aku Crate is off-screen in the prototype, but can still be broken. It was moved forward in the retail version.