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Blue gem path platform

A blue gem path platform from the Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back level, Hang Eight. The Blue Gem from Turtle Woods is required

A gem path is an alternate route in a level that's only accessible after obtaining the required colored gem. Gem paths are similar to death routes in that they are a more difficult separate path from the main level, but don't require a one-life run to access. However, unlike the death routes, the correct colored gem is required, meaning some of them cannot be accessed on the first run. The gem necessary to unlock a path is designated by the color of the outline of the transport, like in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure. In the original Crash Bandicoot game, the path was determined by the color of the small gems that would expand into a path as soon as the player collected the correct colored gem.

Crash Bandicoot[]

The Great Hall

The clear gem path exclusive to Crash Bandicoot, found on The Great Hall

In Crash Bandicoot, gem paths are used to pick up crates in specific levels, which are a necessity to acquire the level's gem. A single colored gem can unlock multiple routes. For example, after obtaining the red gem from Slippery Climb, the player has access to the gem paths found on Native Fortress and Road to Nowhere. Taking these gem paths allow the player to break the crates in areas formerly inaccessible in the level, leading to the player obtaining the clear gem in that level. Both of these levels are originally found before Slippery Climb and so the clear gem on these two levels were unavailable at first. This game also exclusively features the clear gem path in the 'castoff' level, The Great Hall. If the player obtains all of the clear gems in the game (which also requires every colored gem), the entire path is complete, allowing the player to access the 100% complete ending.

Unlike in future titles, many of the gem paths in the original game do not pose a challenge to the player and simply lead to extra crates, for example in Jungle Rollers, Rolling Stones, Boulder Dash, Lights Out and Castle Machinery. However, those seen in levels such as The Great Gate, Upstream, Cortex Power and Jaws of Darkness are longer and contain hazards, which have since become a staple of alternate routes in the series.

Castle Machinery has a different type of gem path. The green gem opens up a path at the beginning of that level, which allows the player to skip right to the end of the level, picking up 27 lives on the way.  This path is not required for box completion, and in fact, the player will have to play through the level the normal way to collect the level's gem.

The gem platforms are smaller and rapidly rotate when the appropriate gem isn't collected and shrink further when the player gets close, but stay enlarged and rotate more slowly when solid.

Levels whose gem paths can't be accessed the first time you enter this level through normal gameplay are listed in bold, the same holds for other games.

Gem Path Levels Gem Required Crates? Alternate Exit?
Jungle Rollers Green Yes No
The Great Gate Yellow Yes Yes
Upstream Orange Yes Yes
Rolling Stones Blue Yes No
Native Fortress Red Yes No
Road to Nowhere* Red Yes No**
Boulder Dash Purple Yes Yes
Cortex Power Blue Yes No
Lights Out Yellow Yes Yes
Jaws of Darkness Blue Yes No
Castle Machinery Green No No
The Great Hall All Clear Gems*** No Yes

*In the Japanese version, this level's gem path can be accessible the first time you enter

**The N. Sane Trilogy version of this level adds an alternate exit.

***In the N. Sane Trilogy version, the path is accessible with any 20 Gems, regardless of their color.


Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back[]

Blue gem path hang 8

Inside the Blue gem path found in Hang Eight

In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, unusable gem paths are not defined by the trails of small gems, but rather by a skeleton of a large, flat, platform gem of the appropriate color. When the player obtains the appropriate gem, the platform solidifies and rotates, and the player is able to jump on the platform, which will carry them away to the gem path in another part of the level, rather than contained inside the same path like in Crash Bandicoot. But the idea of multiple gem paths unlocked by one colored gem was kept in this game. For example, the red gem will unlock the gem path in Snow Biz, and a portion of the multicolor gem path in Spaced Out, which requires all of the colored gems to complete. This game also keeps the function of the gem paths of obtaining the rest of the crates for a single level, although the gem paths which contain no crates instead have a clear gem as a reward. This is the only game that does not have an individual gem path for the purple gem, and also the only game besides Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time where all gem paths can be accessed on the first visit of the level without using glitches.

When in outline form, the platform does not rotate, but it spins at a moderate speed when available.

Gem Path Level Gem Required Crates or Gem? Alternate Exit?
Hang Eight Blue Crates No
Snow Biz Red Crates No
Sewer or Later Yellow Gem No
Ruination Green Gem No
Spaced Out All Colored Gems Gem Yes

Crash Bandicoot: Warped[]

Buglite path

Visible is the beginning of the multicolor gem path starting with the blue gem platform, in the level Bug Lite

Crash Bandicoot: Warped follows the exact same rules as Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. All colored gems unlock a single gem path, and a portion of the multicolor gem path similar to the one found on the previous installment's Spaced Out, now found on the Egyptian themed Bug Lite level. Unlike Cortex Strikes Back, all gem paths contain a clear gem regardless of there being crates in the route.

The paths that don't contain any crates will take Crash back to the Warp Room, the ones which do will return him back to the main path. Of these, backtracking will be required on Tomb Time and Dino Might! to break any missed crates. Gone Tomorrow will take Crash back to first segment of the level to break the crates activated by the ! Crate on the gem path. Additionally, Dino Might!'s gem path also contains the entrance to the secret level Eggipus Rex.

The platform spinning works exactly as it does in the prequel. The gem path in Tomb Time, however, is not accessed via a platform, but rather a split path, where the left path has a door that opens when Crash has obtained the purple gem. It's possible to enter this path from the back side, without the purple gem, if the player has the Death Tornado Spin, though this is easier to do with the gem, as the platforms leading back to the main path only appear if Crash has it.

Gem Path Levels Gem Required Crates or Alternate Exit?
Bone Yard Red Alternate Exit
Tomb Time Purple Crates
Dino Might! Yellow Crates, Eggipus Rex Entrance
Sphynxinator Blue Alternate Exit
Gone Tomorrow Green Crates
Bug Lite All Colored Gems Alternate Exit


Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex[]

In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the colored gems will only unlock one gem path per gem, and there are no multicolored gem paths. The platform design changes in this game as well. The platform is similar to the ones in the original Crash Bandicoot game, being large gems rather than a rimmed jewel as they were in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. Sometimes, the gem path blends into the level, like it does in Compactor Reactor, and is simply a fence with the emblem of a colored gem.

Although the red, blue and purple gem paths do contain regular crates, they are in close proximity to Nitro Crates and so are opened when the Nitro Switch Crate is activated on the main path, meaning the gem path is not required to obtain the level's box gem.

All gem paths in this game have an alternate exit. Banzai Bonsai also contains the Super Charged Body Slam power-up on its path.

Gem Path Levels Gem Required
Compactor Reactor Yellow
Banzai Bonsai Red
Tsunami Blue
Droid Void Purple
Cortex Vortex Green


Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure[]

Like in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the colored gems only unlock one path per gem. Like Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, the platform is a colored outline until Crash retrieves the gem. Like the bonus and ending platforms, when Crash steps on a colored gem platform, he will be teleported to the gem path. There is no purple gem in this game, but the other original colors are kept.

None of the gem paths in this game have an alternate exit. Gem paths in this game will set a checkpoint both when entering and when exiting. For the purposes of Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, a gem path will only award an extra Aku Aku Mask if Crash's life counter drops to zero.

Gem Path Levels Gem Required Crates?
Temple of Boom Red No
Snow Crash Blue No
Just Hangin' Green Yes
Ace of Space Yellow Yes


Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy[]

The clear, blue, green, purple, red, and yellow gem paths reappear in the N. Sane Trilogy remasters of the first three games where they reprise the same roles they had in the original versions of those games. The orange gem path reappears in the N. Sane Trilogy remake of the first game, where it reprises the same role it had in the original version of that game.


Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time[]

The red, green, yellow, and blue gem paths appears in the It's About Time in the levels: Crash Compactor, Jetboard Jetty, Bears Repeating, Crash Landed, and Toxic Tunnels with the multicolor gem path. Entering or exiting a gem path will set a checkpoint beside its entrance.




  • In the second and third games, the purple gem platform is only seen in the multicolored gem path.
  • In Cortex Strikes Back, gem paths only contain a gem if they aren't required for box completion. In Warped and The Huge Adventure, gem paths always contain a clear gem, even the ones that are required for box completion. In The Wrath of Cortex, gem paths contain a clear gem, and none of them are required for box completion.
  • In Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, gem platforms can also need clear gems through hacking. As expected, the platforms are colored like the clear gems, but which of the gems needed is impossible to determine.
  • The second and third games also feature a multicolored non-rotating gem platform that does not need any gem to be accessed, accessible only through hacking.
    • In the alpha build of Warped, this platform was used to enter the sixth warp room.
  • The yellow gem platform is bigger than the others in Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.
  • The green gem platform is the final singular gem platform in every core game.
  • In the N. Sane Trilogy, the gem paths make a hovercraft-like noise when in motion.