Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, or Crash Bandicoot: XS in Europe, クラッシュ・バンディクー アドバンス [Crash Bandicoot Advance] in Japan, is the seventh installment in the Crash Bandicoot video game series and the first Crash Bandicoot game to be released on a handheld console.
The game's story centers on a plot to shrink the Earth by the main antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex through the use of a gigantic weapon named the "Planetary Minimizer". The protagonist of the story, Crash Bandicoot, must gather Crystals in order to power a device that will return Earth to its proper size, defeating Doctor Cortex and his minions along the way. The levels are based on Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Most of the game is played in 2D with the exception of 2.5D chase sequences and jetpack sequences.
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure is a platform game in which the player controls Crash Bandicoot, who must gather 20 Crystals and reverse the shrinkage of the Earth at the hands of Doctor Neo Cortex, the main antagonist of the story. Much of the game takes place in a series of hubs, from which Crash can teleport to various areas of the Earth. Initially, only the first of four hubs is available for play. Each hub features five levels plus one boss level. The goal in each level is to find and obtain the Crystal hidden in the area. After completing all five levels in a hub, the boss level must be completed, in which Crash must defeat the boss character guarding the area. By defeating the boss, a new hub will be accessible for play. When all 20 Crystals are collected and the Earth has been enlarged to its proper size, the game is won. Crash starts the game with five lives. He loses a life when he is struck by an enemy attack or suffers any other type of damage. More lives can be earned by instructing Crash to collect 100 "Wumpa Fruits" or break open a special crate to collect a life. Crash can be shielded from enemy attack by collecting an Aku Aku mask. Collecting three of these masks allows temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers. Besides Crystals, Gems and Colored Gems can be collected for 100% completion. Gems are awarded to the player if all of the crates in a level are broken open or if a secret area is completed. Colored Gems are found in special levels and lead to hidden areas. Unlike in previous Crash titles, however, there is no purple gem, ergo only four colored gems are present in the game. Relics can be won by re-entering a level where the Crystal has already been retrieved. To obtain a Relic, the player must initiate the Time Trial mode and race through a level in the per-designated time displayed before entering a level. To begin a Time Trial run, the player must enter a level and activate the floating stopwatch near the beginning of the level to activate the timer. If the stopwatch is not touched, the level can be played regularly. The player must then race through the level as quickly as possible. Scattered throughout the level are yellow crates with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 on them. When these crates are broken, the timer is frozen for the number of seconds designated by the box. Sapphire, Gold and Platinum Relics can be won depending on how low the player's final time is.
In a mysterious space station orbiting the Earth, Uka Uka is upset with Doctor Neo Cortex for failing him once again, but Cortex promises a plan that will bring the Earth's inhabitants down to size. Cortex then introduces his relatively new Planetary Minimizer, which he immediately uses to shrink the Earth down to the size of a grapefruit. The situation is brought to Aku Aku's attention when Cortex taunts the now-microscopic people of Earth. When Aku Aku informs Crash of the Earth's predicament, Coco assumes that Cortex is using the Crystals to power his shrinking machine, and requests that Crash find the same kind of Crystals in various locations around the world, which she will use to build a device that will reverse the effects of Cortex's Minimizer. After Crash fends off Dingodile, Doctor N. Gin and Tiny Tiger, Cortex decides to deal with Crash himself by firing the Planetary Minimizer at him. Unfortunately for him, Crash tricks him into shrinking the colored Gems that stabilize the Minimizer, causing it to malfunction. The unrestrained effects of the Minimizer fuse Cortex and the previous bosses together, creating a monster known as Mega-Mix, who chases Crash down the space station's hallway in an attempt to kill him. Fortunately, Crash escapes back to the Earth just in time for Coco to use the Crystals that he has gathered to return the Earth back to normal. The Earth is returned to its original size, while the space station outside Earth explodes with Cortex and the others in it.
- Crash Bandicoot: The protagonist of the game. He is a bandicoot who must reverse the shrinkage of the Earth caused by the main antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex.
- Aku Aku: An ancient wooden mask who can temporarily protect Crash from harm.
- Coco Bandicoot: Crash's genius sister. She is the creator of the machine necessary to reverse the effects of Cortex's "Planetary Minimizer".
- Doctor Neo Cortex: The main antagonist of the game. He is a mad scientist who shrinks the Earth down to the size of a grapefruit with his new "Planetary Minimizer".
- Uka Uka: The overseer of Cortex's plot and Aku Aku's evil twin brother.
- Dingodile: A flamethrower-wielding dingo-crocodile hybrid and the first boss of the game.
- Doctor N. Gin: Cortex's cyborg right-hand man and the second boss of the game.
- Tiny Tiger: A hulking, muscle-bound beast and the third boss of the game.
- Mega-Mix: A mixture monster and the extra boss of the game.
|Warp Area||Type||Name||Items||Crates||Relic Times|
|Warp Area 1||Jungle; Ruins||1. Jungle Jam||42||: 0:35.50
|Underwater||2. Shipwrecked||63||: 1:17.70
|Jungle; Ruins||3. Temple of Boom||74||: 1:02.70
|Arctic Cavern||4. Frostbite Cavern||114||: 1:31.70
|Sewer||5. Just in Slime||134||: 1:39.40
|Warp Area 2||Arctic Cavern||6. Snow Crash||92||: 1:43.00
|Jetpack; Atmosphere||7. Rocket Racket||37||: 2:30.20
|Sewer||8. Just Hangin'||154||: 1:49.40
|Underwater||9. Shark Attack||26||: 1:31.60
|Jungle; Ruins||10. Ruined||89||: 2:41.80
|Boss; Jetpack||N. Gin||N/A||N/A|
|Warp Area 3||Arctic Cavern||11. Snow Job||96||: 2:12.10
|Outer Space||12. Ace of Space||194||: 1:58.40
|Underwater||13. Sunken City||54||: 1:39.60
|Jungle; Ruins||14. Down the Hole||97||: 1:32.40
|Jetpack; Atmosphere||15. Blimp Bonanza||41||: 2:58.20
|Boss; Waterfall||Tiny Tiger||N/A||N/A|
|Warp Area 4||Outer Space||16. Star to Finish||113||: 2:07.60
|Underwater||17. Air Supply||49||: 2:09.30
|Jetpack; Atmosphere||18. No-Fly Zone||56||: 3:26.30
|Sewer||19. Drip, Drip, Drip||125||: 2:28.40
|Outer Space||20. Final Countdown||119||: 2:30.40
|Boss; Space Station||Neo Cortex||N/A||N/A|
|Extra||Chase; Outer Space||Mega-Mix||111||N/A|
Gameplay differences from Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped
For the most part, the gameplay in The Huge Adventure can be thought of as being the same as Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped in except in a 2D environment with different levels (some of which are based on the ones in the second and third Crash Bandicoot game) and some different vehicles, and with Crash's movement feeling slightly different. Most of the elements of gameplay (such as crates, bonus rounds, crystals, gems, relics, unlocking levels and warp rooms, etc.) are the same from Warped, but there are some differences.
- There are only four warp rooms in The Huge Adventure. This is different from Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, where there were five main warp rooms, as well as a sixth which is accessed via secret entrances or warps on the main path of the levels (Cortex Strikes Back), and by collecting relics (Warped).
- Gems cannot be awarded during time trial mode in The Huge Adventure like they could in Warped.
- Gem paths cannot be accessed in time trial mode in The Huge Adventure (in addition to bonus rounds), whereas in Warped, only bonus rounds were off-limits during time trial, provided that Crash has the required gem to enter the gem path.
- Locked crates in The Huge Adventure are always empty and can be broken by explosive crates, unlike in both Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.
- There is no multicolor gem path like Cortex Strikes Back and Warped both have. Also, there are no death routes, secret warps to other levels, or secret entrances to levels, like there were in both Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.
- Nitro crates don't bubble or bounce like they did in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.
- The Fruit Bazooka does not exist in The Huge Adventure, possibly because the game has four bosses instead of five, though this seems highly unlikely.
- Apparently, due to the absence of the Fruit Bazooka, it is possible to safely break TNT and nitro crates while on a short distance from them via the super belly flop. One use for this is in Frostbite Cavern, where the player can destroy the first nitro crate before starting time trial, eliminating the need to jump (which takes extra time).
- Similar to the first game, Crash moves faster while spinning than he does jumping (this is reversed in the PAL version of the game). This is reversed in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped where Crash moves faster while jumping rather than spinning. A perfect example of this can be seen in the third game when using the Crash Dash, as Crash keeps his speed while jumping and loses some of it while spinning.
- Unlike in the original Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped, jumping off enemies onto other enemies, spinning enemies into each other, or jumping from an arrow crate or bouncy platform onto an enemy never gives wumpa fruit or lives in The Huge Adventure. Hence, the extra items cheat is absent in this game, although this was not an intended feature of Cortex Strikes Back or Warped either.
- Body slamming on a bounce crate never gives any wumpa fruit, unlike in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.
- Coco is not playable in any levels in The Huge Adventure, similar to Cortex Strikes Back.
- The bonus round platforms, the entrances, and exits of gem paths act as checkpoints in The Huge Adventure. The blimps in the the flying levels also do the same, except during time trial mode.
- In The Huge Adventure, the HUD in gem paths only shows the crates obtained inside the gem path, although these are added to the total for the main level.
- In The Huge Adventure, nitro switch crates explode the nitros and the crates adjacent to them. This is unlike in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, where the nitro switch crates only explode the nitro crates on the screen at the time, and simply make the other ones disappear.
- The special gem for completing the game with gold relics or better that was in Warped is replaced by the Mega-Mix level, where the special gem is obtained for breaking all the boxes.
- The platinum relic times appear in The Huge Adventure on any level where Crash has obtained a gold relic. In Warped, for the times to appear, Crash needed to reach the game's second ending as well, even though platinum relics could be obtained previous to this.
- Vicarious Visions never released their developer times, although only in the NTSC version of Warped did Naughty Dog release theirs.
- While riding on Polar, Aku Aku invincibility only lasts for eight seconds. However, in other places of the game, it lasts for 20 seconds, the same time as in the original Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped.
- Whereas in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, Crash and Coco could only have Aku Aku invincibility in platforming levels, in The Huge Adventure, Crash can be invincible while on Polar and on the space motorcycle, but not while swimming.
- Unlike in Warped, time trial times in The Huge Adventure are rounded to the nearest tenth of a second. Therefore, the hundredths place is always 0 and is unnecessary.
- The Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment system is far less sophisticated than in Cortex Strikes Back or Warped, with the only aspect being that an Aku Aku mask can be granted upon several deaths at the same point.
- The term "XS" stands for "Xtra Small". This is a reference to the plot of the game where the main antagonist Dr. Cortex is trying to shrink the planet Earth to the size of a golf ball through the use of a gigantic weapon called the "Planetary Minimizer". The term could also be a reference to the clothing size "XS", which is the second smallest size in the chart of men's clothing, behind "XXS", and the smallest in women's clothing.
- This is the first Crash Bandicoot game in the series to have a different name for its PAL release.
- For some unknown reason, this marks the only Crash Bandicoot game to not have a fifth warp area due to the fact this game only has 20 crystals to collect.
- All tracks except the ones from the intro cutscene and the bonus round segments were taken from the Naughty Dog's games, with every level setting borrowing the music from the corresponding setting in those games. The music played in the credits is a remix of Crash Team Racing's main theme. Moreover, except for Cortex, all bosses have their themes switched around: Dingodile has N. Gin's, N. Gin has Tiny's and Tiny has Dingodile's.
- If Crash stands around idle for long enough, he will play on his Game Boy Advance for a few seconds.
- Originally, this game was planned to be released on the Game Boy Color.
- This game, along with Crash Bandicoot: N-Tranced and Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage can be played on a GameCube by using Game Boy Player.
- In total, there are 1,880 crates in the whole game, slightly less than in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
- The sky background from the warp room and the load/save screen is actually the desktop background for Microsoft Windows 95/98.
- Most of the cutscenes in the game are adapted stills from the ones in Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Some mistakes were made during the adaptation process, such as Aku Aku lacking his goatee and a feather in the ending, and Dingodile having the pants he wears in the third game when the Planetary Minimizer goes berserk.
- Uka Uka's line, "Crash has defeated three of your stooges!", could be a reference to The Three Stooges show.
- Some copies of the game came with a poster.
- The main theme for the game is based off of Dingodile & Tiny Tiger's trophy theme from Crash Team Racing.