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Lights Out is the twenty-fifth level (including boss fights) in Crash Bandicoot and the N. Sane Trilogy remake of the first game, and the eighth level that the player must complete on the third island. It involves Crash sneaking around the dark corridors of Cortex Castle while being aided by an illuminated Aku Aku mask. It is also the first type of level to introduce the iconic gameplay mechanic that involves Crash traveling through dark levels with a tiny source of light. The player can use a gem path after acquiring the yellow gem to get extra crates to obtain the purple gem.

Level design[]

Lights Out takes place in the dark corridors of Cortex Castle, possibly the attic portion of the castle as there is no stable floor or light source available. The corridors of the castle are decorated with many different memorabilia including shields, chairs, and embroideries with "N" on them, which line up against the walls of the castle. Along the way, Crash will be using the beams and moving platforms of the attic to maneuver around. The level is filled with traps of all sorts including swinging blades and falling platforms. The path is also littered with rats.

The whole path Crash will be traversing lacks any source of light. To compensate for this lack of light, he will be using special Aku Aku masks to help illuminate his path. These special Aku Aku masks act different from the ones collected in other levels. Crash will be unable to collect 3 Aku Aku masks in this level, so he will be unable to achieve an invincibility. Losing an Aku Aku mask means that Crash will be losing a source of light. To make up for the high probability of Crash losing his personal source of light due to the traps and enemies scattered around the level, there will be an abundance of Aku Aku masks for him to collect. It's still important that Crash keeps his masks as long as possible though as there are plenty of jumps and enemies lurking in the shadows that could easily cause him to lose his source of light.


Enemies and obstacles[]

  • Rats - The rats typically appear along Crash's path in the level, and usually creep up from the darkness. They are brown with red beady eyes and they have horns. They usually appear in groups also, so avoiding them will be kind of a challenge. The simplest way to defeat the rats is to just spin them away. This will allow Crash to defeat more than one rat at once.
  • Swinging Blade - These swinging blades cut away ferociously at Crash's path. They can be avoided easily by running around while they are not blocking the path. If a blade hits Crash though, he will lose his Aku Aku mask.


Tips and strategies[]

  • The player needs to be careful about spinning rats, because spinning them can break Aku Aku crates in the distance, which would mean Crash would have to go for a period in the future without a light source. It is recommended to always jump on such enemies in this level, instead of spinning them.
  • In the N. Sane Trilogy, it is recommended to get the level's gem in Time Trial mode. It is the only colored gem level in the first game without a Bonus Round and dying (which won't cost any lives) will always respawn you back to the start, not locking out the gem.

Translation of Aku Aku hints in the Japanese version[]

  • As this stage is pitch-dark, I become light. As time passes, my power will run out, so you should hurry. When I was young, you could carry me even longer.
  • If you mess up on timing the platforms, you can jump to the sides to shelter, but only if you're in emergency.
  • If you have mastered this stage, you can even clear it without relying on my power. Don't give up if it becomes dark, advance using the eyes in your heart.

Names in other languages[]

Language Name
Japanese くらやみで ドッキリ
Kura yami de dokkiri


  • The level's name is based on the old saying at bedtime.
  • This level is the only instance in Crash Bandicoot where a colored gem is required to acquire another colored gem.
  • This is one of the shortest levels in the game but it's still not the easiest.
  • There is a standalone Aku Aku in the yellow gem path and further ahead of the gem platform, the only instances of this in his ghostly form in the game.
    • In the N. Sane Trilogy, the mask in the yellow gem path is no more, leaving the one on the normal route as the only one in the game.
  • There is a glitch in this level where if Crash enters with 2 Aku Aku masks and does not die, then towards the end of the level one of the swinging blades will be swinging backward and forward instead of side to side like normal. This does not always happen however. Fumbling in the Dark has a similar blade in the middle of the level.
  • In the first version of the prototype, Lights Out appears unfinished and without textures making it very easy for the player to find their way even in total darkness. Fumbling in the Dark however has textures and looks more complete. The game will also freeze towards the end thus making the level impossible to complete. There is however one known emulator that allows the player to complete the level without it freezing.
  • In the prototype, there is no yellow gem, and the area that requires the yellow gem is not there.
  • In the prototype, the swinging blades are not present, and they were most likely added later to make the level more difficult.
  • In the prototype, Aku Aku has his normal look instead of his ghostly look in the final version. He still lights up the path even though Crash does not really need him to complete the level. The reason for this is unknown.
  • If the player turns off the SFX, then the music will play without the small gap in the first part of the track
  • In Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, chapter 7 is called "Lights Out." This is possible a reference towards this level, as Naughty Dog made both the original Crash Bandicoot series and Uncharted series.
  • It is recommended to get a Platinum Relic in this level by taking the yellow gem path.