Cortex Castle (クモクモ キャッスル lit. Castle of Spiders in Japanese) is the fourteenth race course featured on Crash Team Racing and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. It is based on Cortex's castle from the first Crash Bandicoot game, and it is the home track of Doctor Neo Cortex.In Adventure Mode, it is one of the first tracks available in Citadel City along with N. Gin Labs. It is in the Green Gem Cup along with Roo's Tubes, Coco Park and Polar Pass and it is in the Nitro Cup.
Being one of the final tracks, Cortex Castle is quite hard; more so than N. Gin Labs. The track features near endless sharp corners and edges as well as several jumps. Obstacles in it are spiders that hang from the ceiling. Hitting them will spin the characters out.
The Nitro-Fueled remake adds quite a few aesthetic additions to the track. At the beginning, a Lab Assistant is electrocuted as the portcullis that blocks off the rest of the track lifts up before the race begins. Birds that were commonplace in the Slippery Climb and Stormy Ascent levels from the original game can be seen flying around the exterior areas. Banners of Dr. Neo Cortex wearing a crown, along with Nina Cortex, Dr. Nitrus Brio, and Fake Crash (wearing a jester's cap) are strewn across the castle walls, as well as statues of Cortex. Two Lab Assistants, along with a giant chicken, are held prisoner in the straight section with the two spider hazards. Oriental-themed Lab Assistants can be seen building a wall section on the downward stairway, along with another Assistant held prisoner inside of a cage. Inside the church-themed section with the shortcut, the stained glass windows have been given more dramatic art, showcasing Cortex's ego. On the home stretch after the big jump, the stained glass windows feature relief portraits of Cortex wearing the blonde wig when he was impersonating Coco in Twinsanity, when he was turned into an infant in the secret ending of Warped, and his normal self.
- C: At the corner of a ledge after the hedge section. If the player is fast enough, there is a chance to grab it without falling.
- T: Floating in midair over the huge jump near the end.
- R: Hanging above the drawbridge at the entrance of the castle. The player will have to jump for it.
Number of Crates: 62
The following times are needed to gain Relics:
- Sapphire: 2:35:00
- Gold: 2:04:00
- Platinum: 1:32:00
Crash Team Racing
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
- This track is heavily based off the original Cortex Castle design from Crash Bandicoot, including the enemies such as the spiders.
- On the Adventure Map, surrounding the portal to this track, there are five stained glass windows which show the mug shots of the bosses in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
- The Nitro-Fueled remaster, however, changes these to simply be various depictions of Cortex.
- One of the glass windows in the remaster depicts Uka Uka with the words "Game Over", which references the Game Over screen from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
- The track can be compared to the Crash Nitro Kart race track Clockwork Wumpa as they both take place inside a castle. Both tracks have tight corners, and they both contain ramps.
- In Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, there are banners of Cortex, Dr. Nitrus Brio, Nina Cortex, and Fake Crash throughout the stage.