It is I, Aku Aku! My duty is to protect you. You may summon me by breaking open these crates. Call me thrice, and I shall grant you special powers.Aku Aku, Crash Twinsanity
Aku Aku is the deuteragonist of the Crash Bandicoot series. He is a witch doctor spirit who now lives as a wooden mask who guides Crash, his sister Coco and their friends as they defeat the forces of evil. In the platforming Crash games, from the original up until Crash of the Titans, if 3 masks are found, Crash becomes invincible for a limited amount of time, with Aku Aku being placed on Crash's face during this period. He is the deuteragonist of the series, as well as a father figure to Crash, Coco and their friends.
After Crash runs from Cortex and washes up on N. Sanity Beach, he frees Aku Aku, who provides his magical services throughout the game, scattering Aku Aku crates all across the three islands. He does not have a speaking role in this game, except in the Japanese version, where he gives hints when he is freed (except if the mask gives invincibility), but it's only in text, aside from the chant heard whenever a mask is collected in all other versions. He joins Crash to help stop the pollution Cortex has caused.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Once again, Aku Aku aids Crash in his adventure by providing protection against the dangers he comes across. He is still capable of little speech, and he doesn't act upon Cortex tricking Crash into collecting the Crystals for him. He continues giving hints in the Japanese version, this time with animation and voice acting.
For the first time in the series, Aku Aku plays a large role in the story, and has the ability to speak in full sentences other than Japanese. After a piece of shrapnel from the Cortex Vortex plummets to Earth and demolishes Uka Uka's underground prison, Aku Aku hears his evil laughter in the distance, and tells Crash and Coco of how he sealed him there eons before, to protect the world from his malice. He brings them to the Time Twister machine, and instructs them to collect the crystals scattered across time before Cortex and Uka Uka do so. Like in the previous games, he protects Crash (not like the other games however, Coco is a playable character and is protected by Aku Aku as well) from any obstacle, aside from falling. Later, he joins Crash as they confront Uka Uka and Cortex in a final battle. While Crash deals with Cortex, Aku Aku is locked in a fierce battle with Uka Uka; the two of them soon become an obstacle in of themselves, who can actually damage Crash by creating an energy beam between them that grows larger gradually, brawling around the arena, and spinning around for a second, then plummeting to the ground and creating an explosion several times around the arena, which Crash must avoid along with Cortex's attacks. Crash and Aku Aku defeat Cortex and Uka Uka, but the Time Twister malfunctions and self destructs due to N. Tropy's defeat (if the player has all of the gems), sending Cortex and Uka Uka into a time portal. Having just escaped, Crash, Coco and Aku Aku are seen in their home, when Aku Aku lights a fire in their fireplace. Aku Aku tells them "The Time Twister Machine could not hold itself together. We were lucky to escape". After a cutscene with Cortex, N. Tropy and Uka Uka starts, Aku Aku says "It is difficult to say what has happened to our enemies, but I doubt we will see them for a loooong time". As usual in the Japanese version, he gives hints when freed (except if the mask gives invincibility, or in Time Trial mode).
Crash Team Racing
In the adventure mode of Crash Team Racing, Aku Aku serves as the player's tutor for the good characters (Crash, Coco, Polar and Pura) and welcomes them to the adventure arena. He guides them on their quest to save the world from Nitros Oxide and tells them a little bit about the world they're in. After a race, he congratulates the racer and gives the good characters racing advice, such as how to power slide successfully or get a TNT Crate off their head. His hints can be re-heard in the menu section "Aku Aku's Hints". He also appears as an item for the good characters (Crash, Coco, Polar, Pura and Penta Penguin), speeding them up and giving them temporary invincibility from incoming weapons, in addition to acting as a weapon to anyone touching him. He makes another brief appearance in the opening menus, coming out of the Naughty Dog crate with Crash, Cortex, Coco, Tiny and Oxide.
Aku Aku and Uka Uka meet inside a temple in hyperspace and attempt to end their conflict by holding a contest. Uka Uka submits Cortex, N. Brio, Dingodile, Rilla Roo, Tiny and Koala Kong as his players, leaving Aku Aku with a mere Crash and Coco causing him to complain that Uka Uka has the advantage and that each side should be equal. Aku Aku then evens the odds by switching Tiny and Dingodile to the good side. He then leads his team through various minigames in order to defeat Uka Uka's side. During the tournament, he becomes suspicious of Uka Uka's intentions and finds out that he plans to steal the crystals, using them to harness their power. In Space Bash and Snow Bash, Aku Aku can be collected as a power-up that acts as a temporary extra hit-point.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
After spotting an assortment of unusual weather occurrences, Aku Aku comes to the conclusion that Uka Uka has released the Elementals. He appears inside a temple in hyperspace, where Uka Uka denies any mischief; however, the Elementals themselves soon show up and attack Aku Aku, who barely escapes. After appearing back home, he reveals to Crash and Coco what has happened and that they must collect the crystals to stop Cortex and Uka Uka. Delighted at Coco's new VR HUB device, he allows them to use the machine to begin their adventure. During boss battles, Aku Aku often uses his powers to weaken Crunch and the Elementals, giving Crash an opening to attack. He and Crash succeeded in defeating Crunch Bandicoot and each of the Elementals. After the final battle the Elementals are defeated for good and Crash, Aku Aku and Crunch escape. At the end, Crunch is revealed to have been brainwashed and thanks Crash and the gang who accept him as a new member their family.
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
He later appears in Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure to help Crash defeat Dr. Neo Cortex. Aku Aku is the one who told Crash he must collect all 20 crystals to power the machine capable of stopping Cortex's Planetary Minimizer and in the end it works.
Crash Bandicoot: N.Tranced
In Crash Bandicoot: N. Tranced he helped Crash find a way to get to N. Tropy's base and ruin N. Trance's and N. Tropy's plan. When N. Tropy attempted to abduct him and hypnotize him Aku Aku was able to free him (creating Fake Crash in the process). Using crystals Crash collects, he helps Crunch, Coco, and Fake Crash before defeating N. Trance and N. Tropy.
Crash Nitro Kart
In Crash Nitro Kart, Aku Aku has a similar role to Crash Team Racing, serving as the tutor for Team Bandicoot. In the beginning of the game, he is seen discussing weight loss with Crunch before their home is abducted and sent to Velo's Citadel. He gives occasional warnings during races, when one of his racers falls out of bounds or attacks a teammate.
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage
Aku Aku reappeared in the third handheld title, Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage when he and Coco noticed strange beasts walking around they called Crash. So Crash and Aku Aku set out when they met Spyro and Sparx where they teamed up to stop Cortex and Ripto.
Aku Aku maintains his usual role of giving Crash extra hit points upon collecting masks hidden inside crates, but he cannot protect Crash from TNT or Nitro crates (not even when he is being used as a golden mask). He protects Crash from almost all other enemies. He, upon spinning the first Aku Aku Crate at the beginning of the game, gives a small speech to Crash. He states that it is, once again, him, Aku Aku, and he states that his duty is to protect the player. This may have been added in to explain his purpose to new players of the Crash Bandicoot franchise. Later, after Uka Uka is defeated, he teams up with his evil brother to defeat the Evil Twins, but they are unsuccessful, as shown when the Evil Twins appear to return the lifeless masks to Crash and Cortex. Victor, as stated to Crash and Cortex: "Fools! Did you really think that these party toys could defeat us!". Aku Aku also suggests handing Cortex over to the Evil Twins. He helps the team throughout the game.
It is I, Aku Aku! My duty is to protect you.Aku Aku
Crash Tag Team Racing
Crash Boom Bang!
Aku Aku appears in this game giving out tips and is a special power-up for players. He also tells the player the results of mini games.
Crash of the Titans
Aku Aku drops his role of supplying mask crates for extra hit points in favor of staying with Crash at all times, allowing Crash to use him for various tools, including giving him the ability to jack Titans and he also can block light attacks. He can even be used as a skateboard for Crash. In the beginning of the game, Cortex attempts to kidnap Coco and Aku Aku, but only succeeds in taking Coco; Crash manages to rescue Aku Aku and retrieve him before long. From there he jacks monsters with Crash and teleports him to various locations. Aku Aku's appearance has changed significantly from the previous games though not as drastically as his evil brother, Uka Uka. Aku Aku now has a wider and broader face than his original model and has feathers covering all the edges of his face apart from the bottom.
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
He still helps to jack Titans but he is not visible on the Titan's face. However, the Titan's eyes change their glow from red to green, and the cloud of dark Mojo surrounding the Titan disappears. He is also able to shrink one titan at a time so it fits inside Crash's pocket. In the PS2 version certain Titans are too big to be shrunk, like Yuktopus and Scorporilla. He also gives Crash various hints throughout the game.
You got nothing left Cortex! It's just you versus Crash!Aku Aku talking to Dr. N. Cortex in Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
Just like in Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart, he helps Crash giving him some hints and advice in the game about Power ups and his quest to help Yaya. You will notice that Aku Aku's face is grey yet his item icon shows his usual brown color.
Aku Aku appeared in Skylanders: Imaginators. In the game, he provides a temporary shield for Crash whenever he revives after losing a life. One of Crash's possible upgrades makes the effect last longer, as well as making Crash run faster during this time. Aku Aku also speaks for Crash Bandicoot, who is only capable of saying short words. He also acts an an NPC in the Adventure Pack level Thumpin' Wumpa Islands. He has 5 feathers instead of 4. In this game, he appears to have bolts on his eyebrows.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
In the remake of the first three games Aku Aku returns to his role as being supplied inside Aku Aku Crates. He also appears on the hint screen during load times, but no longer supplies hints during levels, not even in the Japanese translation.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Aku Aku returns to his role in the Nitro-Fueled remake of Crash Team Racing, where he gives the good characters instructions on what to do during the Adventure Mode and as a power-up (with the exception of Spyro and Hunter who use Sparx instead) during the races. Penta Penguin, King Chicken and Iron Checkpoint Crate can both use either Aku Aku or Uka Uka.
Aku Aku is a happy, good-hearted, and peaceful being, but at the same time, he knows when to take important matters (like saving the world) seriously. He is kind and has helped Crash, Coco, and Crunch throughout many of the games, and acted as a father to them. He is also obedient to the rules of his superiors "The Ancients", mysterious beings who strangely have never been seen. He also seems to understand what Crash is saying, often translating for him. Like his brother, he seems to dislike not having a body, but not to the same extent.
Aku Aku is in the form of a brown wooden mask with yellow, pupil-less eyes with green eyebags, red rectangular eyebrows, red lips, a green goatee at the bottom of his mask formed out of leaves, and a pointy orange nose. Aku Aku often tends to keep a straight face, therefore exposing his teeth most of the time.
One of his most iconic features are his four differently coloured feathers on the top of his head. The colours of these feathers vary throughout the different games. In all Naughty Dog models as well as Crash Bash, his feathers are blue, yellow, red and magenta. In Wrath of Cortex, he instead has seven uneven feathers, in the sequence of green, blue, red, yellow, green, blue, red. In Crash Nitro kart he returned to four feathers, which are red, blue, yellow, green. In Crash Twinsanity they are red, yellow, orange and magenta. In his cameo appearance in Crash Tag Team Racing they are red, blue, yellow and green. In Crash Boom Bang they are green, yellow, cyan and magenta. In the N. Sane Trilogy and Nitro Fueled they are blue, yellow, orange and magenta.
In Crash of the Titans, like all other characters, his design is almost completely different. His appearance is much more "ape-like" in contrast to his original appearance. His appearance changed from a rectangular mask to a more circular mask. He lost the green bags under his eyes and his goatee, and now has green leaves on his sides. He has five feathers on the top of his head, which are blue, red, yellow, blue, red. He has thin green lips and darker markings on the sides of his face, indicating sideburns.
He returned to his original form in the N Sane Trilogy.
Powers and Abilities
- Second Chance Empowerment - He has the ability to grant players one extra hit point if they break an Aku Aku Crate and two extra hit points if the Player breaks two.
- Invulnerability Empowerment - He has the power to grant temporary invincibility and break all the crates and enemies the player touches when 3 Aku Aku Crates are broken.
- Teleportation - He has the power to transport himself and others, though, as shown in Crash of the Titans, he can only take other people so far, whereas by himself, he can transport out into space and even to different dimensions.
- Light Source - He has the ability to turn clear and glow.
- Hovering - He has the ability to hover magically.
- Energy Attacks - He can also use his energy to form beams or explosions.
- Titan Control - Aku Aku can also shape-shift to jack a Titan.
- Second Life - He can re-spawn with Crash or Coco if he dies in a situation where he can't protect them.
- Durability - As seen in Crash of the Titans and Crash Mind Over Mutant, Crash uses him to defend himself from incoming attacks, including those of titans.
- Sensory Tracking - In Crash of the Titans, Aku Aku stated he could sense Coco on the Doominator. The range of this is unknown.
After being found by Crash in the first game, Aku Aku helped him throughout his journey to defeat Cortex and rescue Tawna. Following these events, he became Crash's mentor, parental figure, and partner in their multiple adventures against the doctor's forces as well as his own brother. Aku Aku is perfectly capable of understanding what Crash is trying to say.
Eons before the series, Aku Aku and Uka Uka were human brothers, both reincarnated into their tribal masks but choosing different paths. After Uka Uka threatened the Earth, Aku Aku battled and defeated him and, along with the Ancients, imprisoned him in his tree. However, he was accidentally released by Cortex (and revealed to be in league with him), resulting in Aku Aku, Crash and Coco rising to defeat him once again.
As Cortex became a threat to the Wumpa Islands, Aku Aku's team-up with Crash ensured he would never succeed. As revealed in Crash of the Titans, Aku Aku considers Cortex dumber than Nina.
Like with Crash, Aku Aku acts as a father figure to Coco. Whenever Crash gets into trouble, they work together to help him however they can. It was stated on the Crash Bash website that Aku Aku is protective over Coco.
Like Crash and Coco, Aku Aku acts as a father figure to Crunch following his freedom from Cortex. They do what they can to help Crash on his adventures and try to keep Coco in check, only to keep getting burned by the latter.
Uka Uka is free? No... It cannot be! Evil, great evil has come...Aku Aku, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
After many eons, my evil twin brother, Uka Uka, has been freed from his underground prison. Long ago, I locked him there to protect the world from his malice. Now, free once again, he must be stopped!Aku Aku, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Crash, Coco. Remember, it is not only Dr. Cortex that we battle. Beware of Uka Uka my children; he is a far more dangerous enemy than anyone can imagine.Aku Aku, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Let the games begin.Aku Aku, Crash Bash
Something's wrong. That's not sunlight...!Aku Aku, Crash Nitro Kart
You will have to race in order to win the Galaxy Circuit and go home. To compete in a race, drive onto a warp pad with a vortex on it. Finish the race in 1st place to win a Trophy. Collect Trophies to create additional vortexes to more tracks. Good luck, and drive fast.Aku Aku, Crash Nitro Kart
It is I, Aku Aku! My duty is to protect you. You may summon me by breaking open these crates. Call me thrice and I shall grant you special powers.Aku Aku, Crash Twinsanity
Uka Uka, wait! An evil greater than yours threatens to destroy this world.Aku Aku, Crash Twinsanity
Divided, we are but two magical masks. Join me, and together we shall defeat this evil infestation.Aku Aku, Crash Twinsanity
Dr. Cortex, what have you done?Aku Aku, Crash Twinsanity
Yes, I know I don't have feet! Let's just go already!Aku Aku, Crash of the Titans
Come on, Crash! We need to head back to Wumpa Island! Nobody invades our turf and gets away with it!Aku Aku, Mind Over Mutant
Why should we help you? You're a jerk! Remember mom's birthday? You sent her socks! Honestly, who sends socks to a magic mask with no feet?!Aku Aku, Mind Over Mutant
You're in luck, Cortex. Spyro's been scouting ahead, and he believes you aren't COMPLETELY to blame for this.Aku Aku, Skylanders: Imaginators
- Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Dansu! De Jump! Na Daibouken
- Crash Bandicoot 99X
- Crash Bandicoot: Warped
- Crash Team Racing
- Crash Bash
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
- Crash Nitro Kart
- Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage
- Crash Twinsanity 3D
- Crash Nitro Kart (mobile)
- Crash Twinsanity
- Crash Tag Team Racing (cameo)
- Crash Racing
- Crash Boom Bang!
- Crash of the Titans
- Crash Nitro Kart 2
- Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
- Crash: Mind Over Mutant
- Crash Bandicoot: Mutant Island
- Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
- Skylanders: Imaginators
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
- Crash Bandicoot Mobile
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
See: Aku Aku/Gallery
- In Warped, there are special warp vortex messages from Aku Aku if the player leaves a level without taking its crystal, where he briefly scolds Crash and Coco, mirroring Neo Cortex in the previous game. This doesn't happen in the N. Sane Trilogy.
- Aku Aku, Crash and Cortex are the only characters who have appeared in every home console title.
- He, as well as Uka Uka, have the ability to travel quickly to far off places like the Hyperspace Temple and different dimensions as shown in Crash Twinsanity. He can transport people with him, but as shown in one of the cut-scenes in Crash of the Titans, he can only go so far with them.
- In the playable demo of Crash Tag Team Racing, Aku Aku appears at the end of a race and on the pause menu.
- In Crash Bandicoot, Aku Aku's mask pickup would originally be a 2D icon with a slightly different design, instead of the 3D pickup used in the game. The 2D icon was relegated to the crate graphic instead.
- Sometimes his name is spelled as "Aku-Aku", with a dash.
- Aku Aku is named after a restaurant. According to ex-Naughty Dog employee Dave Baggett, "The name Aku Aku comes from a Polynesian restaurant that resided near the Alewife T Station when Andy [Gavin], Jason [Rubin], and I [Dave Baggett] lived in the Boston area. It had a giant tiki statue out front and, as I recall, fairly terrible food."
- Ironically, "aku" means "evil" in Japanese.
- In early versions of Crash Bandicoot, Aku's second form would not be golden. Instead, it would just drop multi-colored sparkles. This idea would coincidentally be later used in Twinsanity.
|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|
First Chamber: Jungle Jam | Shipwrecked | Temple of Boom | Frostbite Cavern | Just in Slime
|Enemies||Electric Eel | Frog | Jellyfish | Lab Assistant | Moray Eel | Penguin | Polar Bear | Pufferfish | Rat | Scrubber | Seal | Shark | Sparky Tentaclebot Unit | Spike Lizard | Squid | Sewer Mech | Venus Fly Trap | Yeti|
|Crash Mind Over Mutant|
|Protagonists||Crash Bandicoot | Aku Aku | Coco Bandicoot | Crunch Bandicoot|
|Antagonists||Dr. N. Cortex | Dr. N. Brio | Dr. N. Gin | Nina Cortex | Uka Uka|
|Titans||Spike | Ratcicle | Magmadon | TK | Sludge | Rhinoroller | Scorporilla | Grimly | Battler | Stench | Yuktopus | Snipe | Titan Heroes|
|Items||TNT Crate | Basic Crate | Wumpa Fruit | Mojo | NV|
|Levels|| Console: Wumpa Island | Ratcicle Kingdom | Wasteland | Junkyard | Mount Grimly | Space Head|
DS: Crystal Mountains | Deserted Wasteland | N. Jin Labs
|Enemies||Ratnician | Brat Girl | Doom Monkey | Znu | Slap-E | Spike Crate|
|Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled|
|Racers|| Default: Crash Bandicoot | Dr. Neo Cortex | Tiny Tiger | Coco Bandicoot | Dr. N. Gin | Dingodile | Polar | Pura | Crunch Bandicoot | Geary|
Unlockable (Bosses): Ripper Roo | Papu Papu | Komodo Joe | Pinstripe | Nitros Oxide
Unlockable (Misc.): Penta Penguin | Fake Crash | Dr. N. Tropy | King Chicken | Iron Checkpoint Crate
Pit Stop Purchases: Krunk | Small Norm | Big Norm | Nash | N. Trance | Real Velo | Zam | Zem
Bonus: Tawna | Ami | Megumi | Liz | Isabella | Baby Crash | Baby Coco | Baby T | Spyro | Hunter | Gnasty Gnorc | Komodo Moe | Dr. N. Brio | Nina Cortex | Koala Kong | Pasadena O'Possum | Ebenezer Von Clutch | Rilla Roo | Yaya Panda | Hasty | Chick | Stew | Megamix | Emperor Velo XXVII | Lab Assistant | Baby Cortex | Baby N. Tropy | Fixed Rilla Roo
|Supporting characters||Aku Aku | Uka Uka | Sparx | Velo Mask | Apo-Apo|
|Customization||Skins | Bodies and Decals | Wheels | Paint Jobs | Stickers|
N. Sanity Beach: Crash Cove | Mystery Caves | Sewer Speedway | Roo's Tubes
|Battle Arenas|| Original: Skull Rock | Nitro Court | Parking Lot | Rocky Road | Lab Basement | Rampage Ruins | The North Bowl|
From Crash Nitro Kart: Temple Turmoil | Frozen Frenzy | Desert Storm | Magnetic Mayhem | Terra Drome
|Collectibles||Trophy | Crystal | Gem | Relic | CTR Token | Key | Wumpa Coin|
|Power Ups||Missile | Bowling Bomb | Warp Orb | TNT Crate/Nitro Crate | Power Shield | N. Tropy Clock | N. Brio's Beaker | Turbo | Invisibility | Super Engine | Invincibility Mask (Aku Aku/Uka Uka/Velo Mask/Sparx/Apo-Apo)|
|Misc.||Pit Stop | Grand Prix (Nitro Tour | Back N. Time | Spyro N. Friends | Spooky | Neon Circus | Winter Festival | Rustland | Gasmoxia | Post Grand-Prix)|