Crash Team Racing (commonly referred to as CTR) is the first racing game in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, released on the PlayStation in 1999. It was the 4th installment in the Crash Bandicoot series and the last one to be developed by Naughty Dog. Crash Team Racing became a 'Greatest Hits' title in 2000 in the US, a 'PlayStation, The Best' title in 2000 in Japan and a 'Platinum' title in Europe and the overall PAL region late 2000. For the Japanese localization, the game was renamed Crash Bandicoot Racing.
Crash Team Racing is also available in the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita (PAL regions only) and PlayStation Portable. A remake for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, titled Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, was released on June 21, 2019.
In the game's story, an egotistical space alien by the name of Nitros Oxide comes to Earth and challenges Crash Bandicoot, his friends and foes to a racing competition before facing himself, threatening to turn the world into a concrete parking lot if he wins.
Crash Bandicoot, his friends and foes are preparing to enter a kart racing tournament. Unfortunately, a space alien named Nitros Oxide travels from far out space to Earth and offers a challenge to its inhabitants. He claims to be the fastest racer in the entire galaxy, who travels the stars looking for creatures to test his skill. Nitros Oxide challenges them to a game that he calls "Survival of the Fastest" and explains the rules: Oxide races against the best racer on Earth. If Oxide wins, he will turn the entire globe into a concrete parking lot and make Earth's inhabitants his slaves forever, but if Earth's driver wins, Oxide promises to leave the "miserable little rock" alone. He then exits his spaceship and flies down to Earth's surface, where the racers are getting ready for the tournament. Coco uses her laptop to modify her kart, while Pura rests next to her. Tiny upgrades his kart by smashing it with a hammer. Polar takes his time reading a book called "How to Drive", which is upside down. Dingodile unsuccessfully tries to repair his kart's engine, which blows up in his face. Doctor Neo Cortex uses an evil looking invention to improve his kart. Meanwhile, Crash is fast asleep.
To race Oxide, Earth's Racer needs to prove their worth by collecting all 16 Trophies (four at a time) and then race and beat Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, Komodo Joe and Pinstripe Potoroo to earn four Boss Keys. Finally, when Earth's racer has accomplished this task, Oxide challenges the driver to the race for the fate of the planet. Earth's racer is victorious, but although Oxide says that he would leave Earth alone, he declares that Earth's racer can never claim they're the fastest unless they collect all the Relics and race Oxide again.
After collecting the 20 CTR Tokens and winning the five Gem Cups; the player confronts Oxide again with all 18 Time Relics, and this time they race for the title. Earth's racer is the winner and is declared the fastest. Oxide admits defeat and finally leaves Earth for good; heading home to Gasmoxia, and promising to never return.
- Adventure Mode is the single player portion of the game. First, players must choose one of the eight starting racers: Crash Bandicoot, Doctor Neo Cortex, Tiny Tiger, Coco Bandicoot, Doctor N. Gin, Dingodile, Polar, and Pura. Depending what racer is chosen either Aku Aku or Uka Uka tutors the player. The player is then dropped in the starting area N. Sanity Beach. Players must race through all events and win to unlock the final event against Nitros Oxide. Players can earn a variety of awards to unlock new content for racing and show off their times to friends.
The different awards are:
- Trophies are obtained by finishing in 1st place in a trophy race. Collect all four trophies in each area to open up the boss for that area. After gaining a trophy from one race, another one will open (with exception of starting with 2 open when you first enter an area).
- Boss Keys
- Relic races are unlocked after beating the area boss. Relics are obtained by scoring the lowest elapsed time in a solo relic race by smashing Time Crates. These Time Crates freeze the clock for the amount of seconds shown on the box (1, 2 or 3 seconds). If the player manages to break all the Time Crates, a "Perfect" bonus is awarded, which decreases the final time by 10 seconds.
- There are three types of relics: Sapphire, Gold and Platinum. Sapphire is the easiest to obtain; Platinum which is the hardest, requires the fastest and lowest time.
- After earning all 18 relics, the player can then face Nitros Oxide again for an alternate ending.
- CTR Tokens
- CTR Tokens are unlocked after beating the area boss. There are 25 tokens which come in 5 different colors (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow and Purple). Red, Green, Blue and Yellow Tokens are obtained by finishing in 1st place in a token race, much like a trophy race. However, this time the player must also collect the 3 letters 'C', 'T' and 'R' in addition. The letters are often hidden away or in hard to reach places, meaning the player must go out of their way to grab the letters. The Purple Tokens are awarded for beating the Crystal Bonus Rounds by collecting 20 Crystals within a certain time.
- Gem Cups are unlocked after winning four CTR Tokens of the same color. These are played similar to the cups in Arcade mode, where players are awarded points across 4 tracks, with the winner being the one with the most points at the end. Winning a Gem unlocks a character, corresponding to the Gem Color:
Time Trial is a single player mode where the player races against the clock to get the best time. If the player gets a fast enough time, he/she can challenge N. Tropy's ghosts. The player has unlocked the right to race him when he says, "You think you're fast, eh? Well, let's see if you can beat my fastest time on this track!" Upon defeating all of his ghosts, N. Tropy is then unlocked as a playable character. After beating N. Tropy, the player can then challenge N. Oxide ghosts. When the player beats all of Oxide's ghosts, the player will unlock the Naughty Dog scrapbook in the main menu.
Allows the player to quickly race on a selection of tracks against a selection of opponents with up to two players. Players can race on a single track or a racing cup in which players race over four tracks for the highest total score.
|Wumpa Cup||Crash Cove, Tiger Temple, Blizzard Bluff and Coco Park|
|Crystal Cup||Roo's Tubes, Dingo Canyon, Dragon Mines and Sewer Speedway|
|Nitro Cup||Mystery Caves, Papu's Pyramid, Cortex Castle and Tiny Arena|
|Crash Cup||Polar Pass, N. Gin Labs, Hot Air Skyway and Slide Coliseum|
Each cup has three difficulties, with Easy being available from the start. To unlock the higher difficulties you must complete each cup in each difficulty. Doing so will also unlock futher maps for the Battle mode.
Up to four players compete on a chosen track or across 4 tracks for points. There are no computer-controlled racers on Vs.
Some graphic details and textures are missing in Vs. mode, such as the mushrooms near the end in Roo's Tubes, making it easier to take some shortcuts.
Up to four players compete in a "Battle Arena" against each other using weapons scattered around the area. Players can compete in teams or have a "free-for-all," to either deplete all of the other players' lives to zero, reach a certain score first, or gain the most points before the match is over. There are no computer-controlled racers in Battle and items available in the boxes can be selected during the startup to include or exclude certain items.. Parking Lot, Lab Basement, and The North Bowl are exclusive to this mode and must be unlocked in Arcade mode.
|N. Sanity Beach||Crash Cove||None|
|Ripper Roo's Challenge||4x|
|Gem Stone Valley||Slide Coliseum||1x + 10x|
|Turbo Track||1x + + + + +|
|N. Oxide's Challenge||4x|
|N. Oxide's Final Challenge||4x + 18x|
|Red Gem Cup||2x + 4x|
|Green Gem Cup||2x + 4x|
|Blue Gem Cup||2x + 4x|
|Yellow Gem Cup||2x + 4x|
|Purple Gem Cup||2x + 4x|
|The Lost Ruins||Coco Park||1x|
|Papu's Pyramid||1x + 6x|
|Dingo Canyon||1x + 7x|
|Papu Papu's Challenge||1x + 8x|
|Glacier Park||Blizzard Bluff||2x|
|Dragon Mines||2x + 9x|
|Polar Pass||2x + 10x|
|Tiny Arena||2x + 11x|
|Komodo Joe's Challenge||2x + 12x|
|Citadel City||N. Gin Labs||3x|
|Hot Air Skyway||3x + 14x|
|Oxide Station||3x + 15x|
|Pinstripe's Challenge||3x + 16x|
- Red Gem Cup is composed of: Crash Cove, Mystery Caves, Blizzard Bluff and Papu's Pyramid.
- Green Gem Cup is composed of: Roo's Tubes, Coco Park, Polar Pass, and Cortex Castle.
- Blue Gem Cup is composed of: Tiger Temple, Sewer Speedway, Dragon Mines and N. Gin Labs.
- Yellow Gem Cup is composed of: Dingo Canyon, Tiny Arena, Hot Air Skyway and Oxide Station.
- Purple Gem Cup is composed of: Roo's Tubes, Papu's Pyramid, Dragon Mines and Hot Air Skyway. This cup features the four bosses of the game competiting without their infinite items.
|Character||Difficulty||Top Speed||Acceleration||Handling||Kart Color||Mask|
|Intermediate||2 / 6||2 / 4||3 / 4||Blue||Aku Aku|
|Intermediate||2 / 6||2 / 4||3 / 4||Red||Uka Uka|
|Advanced||6 / 6||1 / 4||1 / 4||Green||Uka Uka|
|Intermediate||4 / 6||4 / 4||2 / 4||Pink||Aku Aku|
|Intermediate||4 / 6||4 / 4||2 / 4||Purple||Uka Uka|
|Advanced||6 / 6||1 / 4||1 / 4||Olive||Uka Uka|
|Beginner||1 / 6||3 / 4||4 / 4||Aqua||Aku Aku|
|Beginner||1 / 6||3 / 4||4 / 4||Indigo||Aku Aku|
|Beginner||1 / 6||3 / 4||4 / 4||Orange||Uka Uka|
|Advanced||6 / 6||1 / 4||1 / 4||Yellow||Uka Uka|
|Intermediate||2 / 6||2 / 4||3 / 4||Mustard||Uka Uka|
|Intermediate||4 / 6||4 / 4||2 / 4||Charcoal||Uka Uka|
|Intermediate||2 / 6||2 / 4||3 / 4||Blue-Grey||Uka Uka|
|Advanced||6 / 6||1 / 4||1 / 4||Light Blue||Uka Uka|
|6 / 6 ¹|
1 / 6 ²
|4 / 4 ¹|
3 / 4 ²
|4 / 4 ¹|
4 / 4 ²
|White||Aku Aku ³|
Nitros Oxide ⁴
|Intermediate||2 / 6||2 / 4||3 / 4||Hovercraft Green||Uka Uka|
- ¹ These stats apply to the PAL or NTSC-J version of the game.
- ² These stats apply to the NTSC-U version of the game.
- ³ In the NTSC-U version, the Invincibility Mask icon when playing as Penta is shown to be Uka Uka, but Aku Aku will still show up when used.
- ⁴ Nitros Oxide is not playable by any means without hacking the game and using cheat codes.
Crash Team Racing received critical acclaim. Official PlayStation Magazine described Crash Team Racing as "the game that made kart racing cool" and proclaimed that "nothing has ever matched its quality." Electronic Gaming Month noted that the game was "heavily inspired by Mario Kart, but still an amazing multiplayer racer." Doug Perry of IGN stated that the game was "rock solid" in playability and graphics, but was critical of "the insanely capitalistic smile of Crash." Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot called the game "a great Mario Kart clone", and that it succeeded where similar games like Mega Man Battle & Chase, Bomberman Fantasy Race, Diddy Kong Racing, Chocobo Racing and Mario Kart had failed. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution concluded that despite the fact that the game "doesn't add much to the tired genre, it manages to do everything well."
The game's controls were well received. The D-Pad Destroyer of Gamepro praised the controls as "nearly-perfect" and explained that "the transparent controls allow you to concentrate on racing and blasting your opponents, and so the races are faster, more fluid and more fun." Johnny Liu of Game Revolution concluded that the controls "feel very natural, with an emphasis on maintaining speed rather than fighting lousy controls." However, Joe Ottoson of Allgame ("All Game Guide" at the time) said that the inability to reconfigure the controls was "the only real drawback to Crash's presentation."
The graphics of the game were positively received. The D-Pad Destroyer of GamePro, while noting that the graphics were not too complex, cited the "cartoony look and the ingenious use of textures and colors" as high points in the graphics department. Doug Perry of IGN commended the "sharp looking" environments as "clean and fully formed" and the characters are "full of funny animations and cleanly designed". Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot said that the environments "are reasonably large, and they convey the cartoon-like attitude of the game very nicely." Johnny Liu of Game Revolution stated that the graphics were "smooth and seem to push the PlayStation's limits."
Critics expressed mixed opinions of the game's audio. The D-Pad Destroyer of GamePro said that the "whimsical" background music is "quite enjoyable" and the character sound bites are "varied enough to avoid becoming annoying." Doug Perry of IGN had a more mixed take, saying that the "classic bouncy, xylophone-heavy beat" is "not necessarily great", and that after a few courses, "you either stop hearing it, or the incessant simplicity of it makes you want to cry or pull your hair out". On the subject of the voice acting, he concluded that there is "nothing really that cute, clever or memorable" in the game, and noted that Crash's voice in the game is extremely similar to that of Luigi from the Mario Kart series. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot wrote that while the music and sound effects "push the game's cartoon theme," the themes were not too "over the top" or incessant. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution passed the music off as "standard kitschy fare" and added that while the sound effects "add to the cartoon quality of the game", some of the character voices were unsatisfactory. Joe Ottoson of Allgame noted that the characters "are all quite vocal", and the music "sets off the whimsical mood nicely".
Crash Team Racing has sold over 1.71 million units in Europe, 2.64 million units in the United States and just under 500,000 units in Japan. As a result of its success, the game was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up in 2000 and for the Platinum Range on January 12, 2001. An indirect sequel titled Crash Nitro Kart was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, GameBoy Advance and N-Gage and was the first game in the Crash Bandicoot series to feature full motion video.
- The game's plot completely ignores the ending of Warped and offers no explanation of how Cortex, N. Tropy, and Uka Uka were able to escape their fate at the end of that game when they were trapped in a time warp that resulted in both doctors being reduced to infants.
- In the North American version of the game, the blue CTR Tokens is regular Blue and in European version has the light blue Token.
- According to the developer, Bob Rafei Mario Kart was a huge inspiration and the developers at Naughty Dog were huge fans, though they also did work to ensure the game would stand on its own. 
- It is possible to obtain 101% completion in Adventure Mode, if all the obtained relics are at least gold.
- The faces on the boss garages do not look pixelated because they are not textures, but rather fully polygonal compositions.
- Pura and Polar were originally meant to be one racer, and Komodo Moe was meant to appear with his brother Komodo Joe (possibly as one racer as well).
- Early in the development of the game, Naughty Dog made a replica of Crescent Island from Diddy Kong Racing to see if they could make a racing track of that size on the PlayStation.
- Ripper Roo was originally going to speak in the game and would've made this game the first Crash game where he'd talk normally. He would say, "Are you crazy enough to race me? I should face Oxide in the big race!", with a high pitched voice. The final release just had his trademarked manic laughter but had subtitles included to see what he was saying. He did speak normally with some laughs in the Japanese version, however. There are also no subtitles in the Japanese version.
- Nitros Oxide's name derives from the gas called nitrous oxide. His name is spelled like the gas in Crash Nitro Kart.
- Nitros Oxide was going to be a playable character, but was scrapped due to console limitations. He can be played using a Gameshark code. He has voice recordings and a victory dance on the podium programmed into the game.
- Nitros Oxide was originally another evil scientist with a more standard human appearance. During development, the story was that he was trying to make the world faster and faster until the end of time, because of his obsession with speed. While further details about the original story are scarce, an old comic suggests Oxide would use a machine called the X Device.
- There is roughly a minute and a half of removed dialogue from Oxide on the disc, suggesting that there were going to be more cutscenes between areas where he would taunt the player.
- Some tracks have the same names as a few real locations, likely out of coincidence. These are Tiger Temple, as the Theravada Buddhist temple in the Sai Yok District of Thailands's Kanchanaburi Province, Mystery Caves, as the Forestville Mystery State Park in Minnesota, Glacier Park, as one of the seven national parks located in British Columbia and Dragon Mines.
- Penta Penguin is not unlockable through normal means. He can only be obtained by inputting a secret code.
- The kart wheels are similar to the previous games' Wumpa Fruit. Rather than being 3D objects, they are billboards (sprites that always directly face the camera). They are more complex than the Wumpa Fruit in that their animation changes depending on the camera angle, giving them the impression of being in 3D. This was necessary because of hardware limitations.
- This game was originally planned after Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back but Naughty Dog still had some ideas to put into another Crash game, so CTR was held back until after Crash Bandicoot: Warped was released.
- In 1999, Pizza Hut did an advertising partnership with Sony. Pizza Hut ended up giving away free PlayStation demo discs to customers buying a Stuffed Crust Pizza. The first disc had a demo of Crash Team Racing, as well as Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Ape Escape, Final Fantasy VII and Cool Boarders 4.
- The female bandicoots who hand out prizes, Ami, Isabella, Liz and Megumi, are named after real-life women who were involved in the Crash Bandicoot games, as demonstrated in the credits.
- Trophies and achievements for the relics in the N. Sane Trilogy are references to the original Crash Team Racing commercials that aired in 1999.
- There are four racers of every type, except for Acceleration characters, of which there are only three.
- Though the karts are largely identical besides their color, the steering wheels vary greatly in shape and size, which is most noticeable in their width. For example, Tiny has a very small steering wheel, since his long arms can easily reach it. Penta, on the other hand, has an abnormally wide one in order for his puny flippers to be able to hold it.
- Tiger Temple and Cortex Castle don't have rain in multiplayer due to technical limitations.
- Though Chip Chinery is the voice actor for Crash Bandicoot in this game, one of the "Woah" quotes was recycled from previous games, which was provided by Brendan O'Brien.
- Crash and Ripper Roo have opposite color schemes: Crash is orange and drives a blue kart whereas Ripper Roo is blue and drives an orange kart.
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