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Cortex Vortex in Crash Bandicoot

This article is about the machine. Click here for other uses of "Cortex Vortex".

"We are closer than ever before! Quickly, into the Vortex!"
"But Doctor Cortex, the Vortex is not ready. We have no idea what it could do!"

Cortex and Brio arguing about using the unfinished Cortex Vortex, Crash Bandicoot

The Cortex Vortex is a mind control device built by Dr. Neo Cortex that forces animals already subjected to the Evolvo-Ray to become Cortex's mindless slaves.


Crash Bandicoot[]

The Cortex Vortex's first appearance was in the original Crash Bandicoot game. It was designed to make any creature exposed to it obey Cortex completely, and when combined with the Evolvo-Ray, it could also create an army of mutant soldiers for world conquest. The interior of the Cortex Vortex is lined with television screens that spin around the subject like a vortex. The screens then broadcast and feed signals directly into the subject's brain, theoretically turning them into Cortex's mindless slave. However, the Vortex was still at the prototype stage, and while it did imprint some loyalty to Cortex on its mutant subjects (at least until later games), it also gave them distinct personalities due to the signals the machine broadcasts (Ripper Roo became a giggling maniac, Koala Kong a flexing narcissist, and Pinstripe Potoroo a trigger-happy mafioso).

Despite all this, Cortex insisted on using it on his newest mutant, Crash Bandicoot who was slated to lead his "Cortex Commandos" as their General to world domination. However, the machine rejected Crash, who used the opportunity to escape the castle. Cortex deemed his experiment with Crash a failure and was going to subject Tawna to the Vortex instead. However, Crash arrived in time to stop Cortex by burning down his castle, which presumably destroyed the Cortex Vortex, and saved Tawna.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back[]

Immediately after the events of the first game, Cortex had discovered a new power source he could use to succeed in his plans: crystals. After spending a year building a new and improved Cortex Vortex (one which would be big enough to enslave the planet), his new right-hand man, Dr. N. Gin, informed him that he had only found the "Master Crystal", and that 25 more "Slave Crystals" were needed to fully power the machine. With no other earthbound operatives to assist him, Cortex manipulated Crash into gathering the crystals, claiming that it would help the world survive a "solar flux" with enough power to tear the Earth apart. However, when Crash had gathered all 25 crystals, Coco discovered and revealed Cortex's true intentions: to harness the solar flux's energy with the crystals, using it to power his new Cortex Vortex and brainwash the entire world. His lies exposed, Cortex tried to escape with the crystals to the Cortex Vortex, but Crash defeated him. Afterwards, Crash gave the 42 Gems he gathered to N. Brio, who used them to power up a laser turret that destroyed the Cortex Vortex.

Crash Bandicoot: Dansu! De Jump! Na Daibouken[]

The Cortex Vortex appears in Dansu! De Jump! Na Daibouken known as the Base Station. It is designed to resemble the Cortex Vortex Space Station from Crash Bandicoot 2, but it's much smaller. N. Gin controls the ship while Cortex is out helping Crash get the Power Stones to power it.

Crash Bandicoot: Warped[]

The Cortex Vortex had a very minor, but important role in Warped. A piece of the Vortex plummeted down to Earth after its destruction in Cortex Strikes Back, colliding with an ancient temple and freeing the evil Uka Uka from his imprisonment.

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex[]

In addition to a level in the last warp room being named Cortex Vortex, the spaceship in which Cortex's meeting is held in at the beginning of the game is likely to be a newly-built Cortex Vortex. Upon creating, and then empowering, his super weapon (which later is revealed to be Crunch Bandicoot), it is likely that Dr. Neo Cortex used this newly-built Cortex Vortex to brainwash his super weapon into a slave.

Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure[]

In The Huge Adventure, Cortex uses a space station as his base of operations that resembles the super Cortex Vortex space station from Cortex Strikes Back. This space station isn't referred to as the Cortex Vortex by name, nor is it used for that purpose, but it is identical in appearance to its Cortex Strikes Back counterpart.

Crash of the Titans[]

Though it didn't appear, more on its construction was revealed. According to one Ratnician, after Uka Uka met Cortex, he gave Cortex some of his mojo to aid in his plans for world conquest. Later on, Cortex and N. Brio had used the Mojo to build the original Cortex Vortex.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy[]

The Vortex reprises its role from the original trilogy here, with no significant changes to note.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time[]

The original Cortex Vortex has a short appearance in It's About Time. It can be seen as it is in the N. Sane Trilogy when Crash, Coco and Cortex travel back in time to Crash's Vortex treatment from the first game. Here, the present Crash accidentally knocks a power source out of its container, revealing the reason that the Vortex had rejected Crash in the first place.

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run![]

The Cortex Vortex is mentioned by name in the description of the Crunch Bandicoot skin.



Names in Other Languages[]

Language Name
Traditional Chinese 大頭漩渦機
Dàtóu xuánwō jī
Simplified Chinese 科尔特斯·沃泰克斯
Kē ěr tè sī·wò tàikè sī
Italian Vortice Cortex
Japanese コルテックス・ヴォルテックス
Korutekkusu vu~orutekkusu
Korean 코텍스 볼텍스
kotegseu boltegseu
Portuguese Vórtice Cortex
Russian Вихрь доктора
Vikhr' doktora
Spanish Vórtice Cortex
Thai คอร์เท็กซ์ วอร์เท็กซ์
Khxr̒ thĕks̒ wxr̒ thĕks̒
Vietnamese xoáy Cortex


  • A portrait of the Cortex Vortex can be seen in the level War of the Whirls in Crash of the Titans.
  • After defeating Cortex in Cortex Strikes Back, the Naughty Dog logo can be seen on one of its fins.
  • In a prototype of the first game, the main menu shows Tawna being sent into the Cortex Vortex.
  • Curiously, Tiny Tiger, despite supposedly working for N. Brio at the time, has a personalized boss lair inside the Cortex Vortex Space Station in the second game.