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The Komodo Brothers are a pair of characters that appear throughout the Crash Bandicoot series, first appearing in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. They are both villainous anthropomorphic, sword-wielding Komodo dragons. Komodo Joe is the slimmer and cleverer brother, while Komodo Moe is the more physically powerful one.[1]

Designed as antagonists for the series, the Komodo Brothers work with N. Brio to stop Crash Bandicoot from collecting crystals for Neo Cortex, who wishes to use them for a nefarious scheme, in their first appearance. Likewise, the Komodo Brothers show up in similarly antagonistic roles for their later appearances, although they're not in association with anyone other than themselves.



Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back[]


The Komodo Brothers in their boss arena in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.

The Komodo Brothers first appear in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back as the second boss fight of the game. In the game, the Komodo Brothers are allied with N. Brio in order to stop Crash Bandicoot from gathering crystals for Neo Cortex, who wants to use them to harness solar energy for use in a device that can brainwash the entire planet. Cortex speaks of them with familiarity upon Crash defeating them.[2]

On his way to the third floor of the Warp Room, Crash is teleported to a room where the brothers are waiting for him. Joe attacks by having Moe spin him around the room; meanwhile, Moe throws swords at Crash. Whenever Joe gets dizzy and falls down, Crash can spin him to knock him into Moe and deal damage.

The Komodo Brothers reprise their boss role in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy's remake of Cortex Strikes Back, only this time with a dedicated portal to their boss fight in the Warp Room itself.

Crash Team Racing[]

Komodo Joe

Komodo Joe speaks to the player character in Crash Team Racing.

Komodo Joe is the third boss and a playable character in Crash Team Racing. Komodo Joe can be unlocked as a playable character by completing the Blue Gem Cup. He can also be unlocked by entering a cheat code on the game's main menu: while holding L1 and L1, input Down-Circle-Left-Left-Triangle-Right-Down. He shares the same driver statistics as Crash, Cortex, and Fake Crash in the game. Like other playable series antagonists in the game, Komodo Joe uses Uka Uka as his Invincibility Mask.

Like the rest of the cast, he is competing for the right to race the alien Nitros Oxide and stop him from turning Earth into a parking lot. He also holds the key to the fourth map area, Citadel City. Once every track is beaten in Glacier Park, Komodo Joe can be faced in a boss race in Dragon Mines. He throws instantly-exploding TNT Crates and the occasional Nitro Crate behind his kart to try and slow the player character down. Upon defeat, Joe awards the player character the key to Citadel City, but maintains that they are not fast enough to beat Oxide and that the eventual destruction of Earth will be their fault.

In the game's epilogue, Joe goes on to open Honest Joe's Wedding Ring and Rare Gem Outlet in Zurich, but is eventually caught and convicted of laundering stolen cubic zirconias for the Couch Slouch shopping network.[3]

Komodo Moe was intended to appear alongside Joe, but was ultimately cut from the game.[4]

Other major appearances[]

The Komodo Brothers share the third boss fight in Crash Bash, in the level Big Bad Fox, as a challenge in the contest between good and evil. Fifteen trophies, ten gems, and seven crystals are required for entry. On an alien planet, the brothers attack the player character from a large multi-tiered fortress. Once it is destroyed, they pursue the player character in tanks. Successfully defeating both of them opens up the fourth Warp Room.

Joe reprises his role as boss and playable character in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, a remake of Crash Team Racing. He is unlocked by winning his boss race, and his Driving Style is Balanced. His pre- and post-boss race cutscenes were reanimated: Joe introduces himself by throwing his swords and sharpening their blades on his kart's wheels, and disappears in a puff of smoke when defeated. In his epilogue, a new line added that Komodo Moe opened a jewelry auction house following Joe's conviction.[5] Additionally, Komodo Moe was added as a playable character during Nitro-Fueled's Spooky Grand Prix on October 4th, 2019.[6] He can be purchased from the Pit Stop for 1500 Wumpa Coins, his Driving Style is Balanced, and he uses Uka Uka as his Invincibility Mask.

Minor appearances[]

Purple Gem 1-A

Komodo Joe in Crash Twinsanity concept art.

In Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, a portrait of both Komodo Brothers hangs on the wall of the castle in both Wizards and Lizards and Medieval Madness. An ornament on a temple in Jungle Boogie of Crash Nitro Kart resembles Komodo Joe. In Crash Twinsanity, one of the concept art pieces unlocked by obtaining purple gems in the game depicts Komodo Joe playing a card game with Cortex's other animal minions. In Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, bust portraits of both Joe and Moe were embroidered on the back of Crash's jacket in his Glam skin.

Other media[]

Crash Manga Vol 2 Chp 1 Pg 1

The Komodo Brothers as they appear in Crash Bandicoot: Dance! Then Jump! Na Daibōken.

Both Komodo Brothers appear in Ari Kawashima's Crash Bandicoot: Dance! Then Jump! Na Daibōken, a manga series that loosely follows the plot of Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. They are only in the first chapter of the second volume, "Duel! Enter the Komodo Bros!". In this story, Joe and Moe are highly experienced treasure hunters searching for the Power Stones for themselves. Crash Bandicoot befriends Moe, but is offended by Joe's haughtiness; they challenge each other to demonstrate their treasure-hunting skills. Joe handles each task with skill and ease, unlike Crash, who succeeds only through sheer force of will. Moe eventually finds out that Crash has one of the Power Stones, so Joe and Crash fight over it. Joe orders Moe to attack Crash, but Moe accidentally sits on Joe instead. Eventually Moe convinces Joe that Crash worked hard for the Stone and that stealing it would make them thieves, not treasure hunters. The brothers leave, with Joe assuring Crash that he may one day become a great treasure hunter.

Komodo Joe also makes a brief appearance in the Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Digital Comic, which depicts the events leading to and following Nitros Oxide announcing his challenge for the fate of Earth. Oxide orders his surveillance robots to hide Area Keys across the Wumpa Islands. Joe finds one of the keys in Dragon Mines after the robot carrying it gets torched, presumably by the resident dragon.


Physical descriptions[]

Crash 2 Komodo Brothers

Promotional art of the Komodo Brothers for Cortex Strikes Back.

Both Komodo Brothers are green anthropomorphic Komodo dragons with blue-green brow ridges and spiny tails. They very often carry at least one scimitar with them. Starting with their debut appearance in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, they each wore small spiked Ottoman-styled helmets, indigo Arab shemaghs, purple robes with yellow scalloped patterns along the hems, and plain white undershirts.

Komodo Joe is thinner and slightly taller than his brother Moe, and has a long snout with two protruding fangs at the end. He also has three-toed feet. The Japanese manual for Cortex Strikes Back states that he is the older Komodo Brother.[7]

Komodo Moe is a heavyset character with a short nose and a large underbite. He also has a small beard and two-toed feet. The Japanese manual for Cortex Strikes Back states that he is the younger Komodo Brother.[7]

Drawn in Ari Kawashima's art style, the Komodo Brothers were redesigned for the serial manga Dance! Then Jump! Na Daibōken!. Their shemaghs are gone, and they instead have wide flared collars on their robes. Joe has a shorter and more snake-like face, while Moe's face was simplified to a blob shape.

Komodo Joe N. Sane Trilogy
Komodo Moe N.Sane Trilogy

The Komodo Brothers' most recent designs, seen in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy's remake of Cortex Strikes Back gave the Komodo Brothers each solid golden hems around their robes, replacing the previous scallop pattern. Additionally, Komodo Joe's face was redesigned such that his cheeks are more prominent and the end of his snout is wider. These changes were retained for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled two years later.



Though Joe is spun around by Moe in their boss fight in Cortex Strikes Back and the N. Sane Trilogy, the original game's manual describes him as "the brains of the operation" and a leader to his brother.[1] He and Moe are both described as "cold-hearted". Joe is physically weak, but speedy, cunning and adept at samurai swordfighting techniques.

In Dance! Then Jump! Na Daibōken, Joe is a highly skilled but prideful treasure hunter. He is so focused on his quest to find a Power Stone that he won't make time to have a conversation. However, he makes an exception for opportunities to show off his skills, such as picking many locks in a few seconds. He is easily irritated, especially by Crash Bandicoot and Moe's foolishness. When Crash drops his Power Stone, Joe fights mercilessly to take it from him, but respects Crash's determination in getting it back. Moe appeals to Joe's sense of honor and pride as a treasure hunter to persuade him to return it, as he feels he should be able to find treasures without stealing them.

Crash Team Racing marks Joe's first speaking role in the games. He drags out sibilant sounds when he speaks, a common trait of reptile characters in popular culture. Joe demonstrates a serious and pessimistic personality. He believes that Earth's racers will lose to Nitros Oxide and blames the player character. However, he also displays some silliness, dancing on the podium when he wins a race and weeping when he loses. In this game, Komodo Joe has no issue with thievery to make a profit; in the epilogue, he laundered stolen cubic zirconias for the Couch Slouch Shopping Network, for which he was eventually arrested.[3] Each of these character traits was retained in Nitro-Fueled.


The brothers' dynamic illustrated in concept art for Cortex Strikes Back.


In Cortex Strikes Back, Moe helps to carry out what is presumably Joe's plan to defeat Crash in their boss fight. He also laughs menacingly when Crash first arrives, supporting the statement in the manual that both brothers are cold-hearted.[1] Also in the manual, Moe is loyal to Joe, and uses his brute force strength to make up for his lack of intelligence. However, he can also get angry with him as well; in the N. Sane Trilogy remake of the game's boss fight, animations were added of Moe becoming frustrated when Joe gets dizzy and roaring at him when hit.

In the manga Dance! Then Jump! Na Daibōken, Moe is an experienced treasure hunter and not particularly evil. Unlike his brother Joe, he is friendly to Crash and willing to explain what they're up to. However, he is also klutzy. He gets himself stuck in a hole while digging for the Power Stone, and accidentally attacks Joe instead of Crash later in the chapter. Moe is mostly ordered around by Joe, but looks up to him, referring to him affectionately as "aniki" ("big brother"). It is ultimately Moe who convinces Joe to let Crash keep the Power Stone, on the grounds that he worked hard to get it and that stealing it would make them thieves.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was the first game to give Moe a speaking role. He also hisses when he speaks. He claims each victory for the Komodo Brothers as a team, and is overall a confident racer. When he wins a race, on the podium, he juggles his swords in the air for the audience. However, he loses track of one of them and seems surprised when gravity pulls it back down. When he loses, he assures the winner that he will return faster the next time. On the podium, he sulks and sharpens his blades, glaring threateningly at whoever won first place. Moe presumably assists Joe in his shady dealings, opening a jewelry auction house following Joe's arrest.[5]

Behind-the-scenes information[]

Creation and early development[]

Concept creation for the Komodo Brothers began as early as preproduction of the original Crash Bandicoot game. They would eventually be named Kimono and Kimodo, though exactly which brother had which name changed throughout development. They were planned to share a boss fight in a ruins area at the end of the second island.[8][9]

Early designs[]

Joe pearson komodo and ripper

Joe Pearson's initial concept of the brothers.

Originally designed by Joe Pearson on an unknown date,[10][11] the brothers' character designs were radically different compared to the final versions seen in their debut, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. They were specifically influenced by samurai and martial arts films, and thus given katanas and spotted, loose-fitting robes. They did not yet appear to be named at this stage, nor did the collective name "Komodo Brothers" exist. The prototype Komodo Joe was a smaller lizard than his brother, with dark scales, two large fangs, a bald head, and a scaly spine running down the back of his neck. The prototype Komodo Moe was stocky with a sharp-toothed underbite and a small beard. He sported a small spiked helmet with two bent horns on either side, resembling a kabuto (samurai helmet). Both brothers had spotted skin.

The Crash Bandicoot Files Kimono page 170 concept art
The Crash Bandicoot Files Kimodo page 170 concept art

Charles Zembillas' concepts of the brothers.

Concept artist Charles Zembillas produced new art of the brothers for an updated version of the bible, completed May 5, 1995. This draft and the accompanying artwork would later be published in The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania in 2018. Though an earlier draft of the bible from February had named the brothers Kimono and Kimodo, the May edition was the first to specify which brother had which name. Kimono was the brother most analogous to the modern Komodo Joe, while Kimodo was analogous to Komodo Moe.[12] The new concept art touched up Kimono's design, making him slightly taller than Kimodo, with a longer nose and hair tied in the style of a Thai topknot. These would be their final designs until their concepts were revisited during production of Cortex Strikes Back. A test animation produced by Universal Animation for Crash Bandicoot also featured these designs, though it was rejected by Sony out of preference for 3D animation and not made public until 2015.[13]

Early characterizations[]

The brothers were first named Kimono and Kimodo in the February 20, 1995 edition of the series production bible, though it did not specify who was who.[14] They were two of Neo Cortex's many animal henchmen with a brief appearance in the early script of the game's opening sequence. Later editions of the bible would revise the script, but their appearance was left unchanged until the cutscene was rewritten entirely for Crash Bandicoot's release.

The brothers received their specific names, as well as unique character profiles and histories, in the May 5, 1995 edition of the bible. Considering his previous mammalian experiments, Ripper Roo and Koala Kong, to be failures, Cortex picked a pair of Komodo dragons as his next subjects.[12] Koala Kong's obsession with the Rocky film series left him believing he was literally Rocky Balboa; to avoid this, the brothers were only shown Asian films in the Cortex Vortex. As a result, they shared a proficiency with the katana and ruthless personalities influenced by samurai culture. Together, they were called the Dragon Brothers. Their dynamic was based on that of Abbot and Costello.

Kimodo concept

Kimono as portrayed in the May 5, 1995 edition of the bible.

An agile and merciless swordfighter, Kimono's profile emphasized his arrogance as much as his cunning. He believed himself superior to "ssssstupid mammalssssss", including his creators Cortex and N. Brio, whom he only pretended to be loyal to.[12] In reality, he aimed to conquer the world for himself with a race of super lizards. Kimono held others to the samurai code, but never himself; that Cortex's other creations refused to commit ritual suicide for their failures disgusted him. He would also issue commands to Kimodo the way a daimyo would for their employed samurai. Refusing to accept that a reptile could be incompetent, Kimono's plans for world domination would always fail due to his reliance on his dimwitted brother.

Unsure moe concept

Kimodo as portrayed in the May 5, 1995 edition of the bible.

Kimodo was described to be "as stupid as brother dragon is smart and as slow as his brother lizard is fast".[12] His main strengths were his physical prowess, stubbornness and blind loyalty to his brother Kimono, whom he considered as his daimyo liege lord. He was also said to be able to cut through solid rock with his sword.

The August 15, 1995 draft of the production bible abridged Kimono and Kimodo's profiles, but added new information as well. Most notably, though, their names were swapped: the brutish, stronger brother was renamed Kimono, while the scrawnier, more conniving one was named Kimodo.[15] Kimono's stupidity was attributed to the Evolvo-Ray being unable to raise the intelligence of two creatures at once. The brothers had claimed a section of the ruins on the second island for themselves and the island's reptiles, though they still maintained a dubious "friendship" with Neo Cortex. Desiring a more loyal henchman, Cortex created Pinstripe (also called "Pinstriped Bandicoot" at the time), who advised him against trusting the Dragon Brothers. Their lizard army warred with Pinstripe's bandicoot mafia, and each would send their own hitmen to attempt to eradicate the other.

Disinclusion from Crash Bandicoot and official debut[]

Much concept work was done for Crash Bandicoot, but the Komodo Brothers did not appear at all in the final game. Developer and Naughty Dog co-founder Andy Gavin cited both a lack of time to implement them and the feeling that the six existing bosses in the game were enough.[16] Although Kimono and Kimodo were originally intended to be fought together, composer Josh Mancell produced a demo song attributed to a planned Komodo Joe boss fight.[17] It was not included on the disc of Crash Bandicoot as Naughty Dog determined early on that they would not have time to implement the fight.[16]


Concept art of the Komodo Brothers' finalized designs in Cortex Strikes Back, originally posted to the Naughty Dog website.

The Komodo Brothers made their official debut in Cortex Strikes Back, but not before being redesigned again by concept artist Charles Zembillas. The earliest known concept art of their finalized designs is dated to 1997, produced as reference for a toy line. The brothers' katanas were swapped out for scimitars, and they were each given Arabic-styled robes and headdresses with Ottoman-styled war helmets. The goal was to stay faithful to Pearson's original concepts while making them easy to animate in computer graphics.[11]


  • In Crash Bash, the Komodo Brothers' health bars are mixed up. Attacking Moe deducts from Joe's health bar and vice versa.

Additional information[]


Main article: Komodo Brothers/Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cortex Strikes Back American manual, p. 11.
  2. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Cutscene after completing the Komodo Brothers boss fight. Neo Cortex: "Good show, Crash! The Komodo Brothers obviously lacked your mettle. But now is not the time to get cocky."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Crash Team Racing. Komodo Joe's epilogue. "Komodo Joe started Honest Joe's Wedding Ring and Rare Gem Outlet in Zurich. / After a series of sting operations, Joe was convicted of laundering stolen cubic zirconias for the Couch Slouch shopping network."
  4. Pop Fiction: Season 3: Episode 27: Crash Course. GameTrailers. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012 "Over the course of development a lot of things change, we had changed the roster of characters ... and Komodo Moe and Joe were both supposed to show up, but one of them had to sit on the sidelines."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Komodo Joe's epilogue. "... Shortly after, his brother Moe announced the opening of a jewelry auction house..."
  6. The Thrills and Chills of the Spooky Grand Prix Are Coming to Crash™ Team Racing Nitro-Fueled!. Activision. Archived from the original on May 23, 2022 "Wreak havoc on the track with Nina Cortex, Dr. N. Brio, and Komodo Moe, the devious trio of fan favorite Crash universe characters that make their way to CTR Nitro-Fueled this season."
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cortex Strikes Back Japanese manual, p. 16. コモド兄弟 ... コモド・ジョー(兄) ... 頭もいいし、さすがお兄さんだわね。/ コモド・モー(弟)
  8. The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania, p. 170. "These characters are located at the end of the Ruins area, and must be defeated before proceeding to the next island."
  9. The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania, p. 221
  10. Crash Bandicoot - Artwork - Joe Pearson. Crash Mania. Archived from the original on March 27, 2023
  11. 11.0 11.1 Crash Bandicoot - Komodo Brothers rotations 1997. Charles Zembillas (Blogspot). Archived from the original on March 8, 2021 "Credit for the original creation of the Komodo Brothers goes to Joe Pearson. I followed up on what he conjured. ... I stayed very true to Joe Pearson's initial concept designs for the characters. If anything was changed it was to make them animatable from the rough sketch he came up with. Figuring out how the graphics would work in animation was a big part of what I was attempting to accomplish whenever a design came from a source other than myself."
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania, p. 177.
  13. Crash Bandicoot Cartoon. YouTube. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019 "This video is test animation that was done for Crash Bandicoot. Produced by Universal Animation early in the development of the game. It was based on ideas for where we were going with this IP at that time. It was probably too ambitious in nature and was also trying to be humorous. It was never used or even embedded in the game as a hidden 'easter egg' treat. / Once UIS licensed the game to Sony for publication, Sony did not want it utilized since they were heavily pushing the '3D' agenda."
  14. Crash Bandicoot - Production Bible. Crash Mania. Archived from the original on December 30, 2022
  15. Crash Bandicoot production bible (August 15, 1995). Naughty Dog, Inc.. Archived on February 27, 2020. Accessed May 13, 2023.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Crash Bandicoot — Interviews "R" us. All Things Andy Gavin. Archived from the original on January 31, 2023
  17. Crash Bandicoot - Komodo Joe xp2 (demo). JoshMancell Soundcloud. Archived from the original on May 13, 2023 "This is a demo for the Komodo Joe boss round which ultimately got cut from CB1… When the Komodo Bros appeared in CB2, a new theme was written."