I hear ya knockin' so I'm gonna let ya out!
The Aku Aku Crate, when broken, releases Aku Aku, a magical witch doctor mask who aids Crash and friends in one of two ways. In most instances, the Aku Aku mask released can have a layering effect of benefits, meaning the more Aku Aku crates are broken, the more powerful and beneficial Aku Aku becomes. In the first two Crash Bandicoot games, Aku Aku masks are occasionally found outside of crates, like how Wumpa Fruit usually is, and how 1-ups occasionally are.
- When one crate is broken, Aku Aku will appear at the player's side. Aku Aku can take one hit for the player before disappearing. (Hits do not include falling into holes, crushed by boulders, etc.)
- When an additional crate is broken, Aku Aku will then turn a gold color (or start to glimmer in Crash Twinsanity). In this state, Aku Aku can take a single hit before reverting into his original state, giving him the ability to take two hits total. In the prototype of Crash Bandicoot, however, breaking two crates will cause Aku Aku to enter his invincible state instead of three. When invincible, he will retain his gold coloration.
- When a third crate is broken whilst having the gold Aku Aku, Aku Aku will attach himself to the player's face, allowing them to become invincible for a short amount of time. In this state, the player can eliminate almost any enemy, but is still vulnerable to holes and other similar obstacles. The player can also destroy nitro crates and TNT crates without getting damaged by just a single touch. However, in Twinsanity, Aku Aku cannot destroy enemies, does not protect against explosives, and lasts for a much shorter time. When the invincibility ends, Aku Aku reverts back to his gold state. This process can be repeated as long as the player hits an Aku Aku crate when Aku Aku is in the gold state. (In Crash Twinsanity, Aku Aku does not change colors).
There are certain obstacles in some games that act differently when the player has Aku Aku invincibility. For example, in the Egyptian levels in Crash Bandicoot: Warped, the doors that normally open and close based on a timer will remain open when the player has Aku Aku invincibility. The amount of time that Aku Aku invincibility lasts depends on the game:
- In Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds.
- In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Aku Aku's invincibility lasts 20 seconds. However, Aku Aku invincibility also terminates when Crash goes on the jet board, and picking up a third Aku Aku mask while already on the jet board does nothing but play a sound effect.
- In Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds. In Time Trial mode, it lasts a bit longer (around half second) as Crash doesn't leap when he breaks the third Aku Aku crate.
- In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 10 seconds.
- In Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Aku Aku invincibility lasts 20 seconds, except when Crash is riding on Polar, in which case it only lasts 8 seconds.
- In Crash Twinsanity, Aku Aku invincibility lasts approximately eight seconds.
Aku Aku crates can also release a translucent version of Aku Aku, who can aid the player as a lighted guide the dark levels: Lights Out and Fumbling in the Dark in the original Crash Bandicoot game. This lighting power of Aku Aku is temporary, and after a certain amount of time, Aku Aku will no longer light the path. This Aku Aku does not have the layering effect of the standard Aku Aku. If a crate is broken while the player still possesses a lighted Aku Aku, then Aku Aku is able to stay by the player's side for another standard length of time. This Aku Aku, however, is still able to take a single hit for the player, but disappears after being hit, leaving the player without light.
In Crash Twinsanity, when playing as either Doctor Neo Cortex or Nina Cortex, the Aku Aku Crate summons Uka Uka instead. He functions the same way as Aku Aku, glimmering when the player has two free hitpoints and granting invincibility when three masks are collected. Uka Uka has the same limitations of Aku Aku as well.
- Crash Bandicoot (as Witch Doctor's Mask Box)
- Crash Bandicoot (manga)
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
- Crash Bandicoot: Warped
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
- Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
- Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage (iron version only, wooden version appears as a card)
- Crash Twinsanity
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
- Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!
- In all games up until the N. Sane Trilogy and excluding The Wrath of Cortex, Aku Aku was incorrectly depicted on the crate. Even as far back as Crash Bandicoot, he was portrayed as having 5 feathers on top of him, while his in game models have always had 4.
|! | ? | Activation | Aku Aku | Ammo | Arrow | Basic | Beenox | Big TNT | Block | Bounce | Checkpoint | Coin | Copter | Detonator | Flamethrower | Freeze | Infinity | Invisibility | Iron Arrow | Iron Checkpoint | Iron | Life | Locked | Magic Carpet | Nitro | Nitro Bounce | Nitro Switch | Outline | Pants | Purple ? & !| Slot | Spike | Time | TNT | World | X|
|Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy|
|DLC Content||Crash Bandicoot: Stormy Ascent|
Crash Bandicoot: Warped: Future Tense