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Nina Cortex is an antagonist in the Crash Bandicoot series. She is Neo Cortex's beloved niece (or daughter).[1] She is a gothic girl with bionic hands made for grappling and crushing soft objects. Since Crash Tag Team Racing, she has developed a fierce rivalry with Coco Bandicoot.


Crash Twinsanity[]

Prior to the game's events, Nina had an unnatural love for cute furry animals and was also generally kind-hearted. Doctor Cortex did not approve, so he replaced her hands with bionic steel fists so that she would be unable to get close to animals without crushing them by accident. He then sent her to study at his old school, Madame Amberley's Academy of Evil.

In Crash Twinsanity, Crash and Cortex arrive at the Academy of Evil to look for Nina as they need her to repair the Psychetron. After searching various classrooms and hallways, Cortex finds her in her dormitory. She pranks her uncle by using a fake head and jumping out at Cortex. She proceeds to scale the rooftops with her bionic hands, battle the Ant Drones and is briefly pursued by a runaway school bus which Crash tied to Cortex's airship.

Nina's prank

Nina is only playable in two parts of the game, one being Rooftop Rampage and the other being the first phase of battling the Deathbot. She has the ability to use her robotic arm to punch and she can also spin. Like Cortex, she can only jump once, but it's much higher than Cortex's jump. Her arms can grab onto grappling hooks to scale high heights. Their impressive reach also gives her the unique ability to safely break TNT and nitro crates from a distance without the need for a countdown, Nitro Switch Crate, or Detonator Crate.

Crash, Cortex, and Nina go back to the Iceberg Lab, where she fixes the Psychetron by giving it a good smack, to Cortex's surprise. The team then head into the Tenth Dimension. Nina is then kidnapped by the wild Evil Crash, the alternate-dimension counterpart of Crash, and he takes her to his house, where Cortex soon rescues her by foolishly offering himself to Evil Crash. She later helps in defeating the Evil Twins by destroying the power sources of their Deathbot. Her voice is briefly heard in the ending.

Crash of the Titans[]

I really didn't wanna do this myself. I really wanted one of my idiot underlings to destroy you. I really didn't want to get hair all over my clothes! But if you want something done right... USE A GIANT SPIDER-BODY!

Nina Cortex, Crash of the Titans

During the events of Crash of the Titans, when Cortex's attempt to dispose of Crash Bandicoot was foiled, Nina is called upon by Uka Uka to replace her uncle as the main antagonist of the story. From there, she has brainwashed Coco into finishing up the construction of the Doominator. When Crash confronts her inside the Doominator, Nina boards her giant Arachnina Titan and battles Crash, only to lose. When the Doominator is disabled, she is rescued from the falling contraption by Doctor Cortex, who reveals that he is proud that she betrayed him but claims that he is still going to "spank her stupid" for all that has happened.

In the Nintendo DS version of the game, Nina attempts to take over Cortex's plot on her own accord when she realizes that she's merely a "henchperson" and temporarily teams up with Crash to get revenge on her uncle. Her bestiary entry states the following:

  • She likes scheming and dislikes command structure.
  • Her height is 1.50m (~ 4'11") and her weight is 50kg (~ 110lbs).

In the mobile phone version of the game, Nina was the second boss. She steals the second mask with the help of her spider bot and tries to escape, only for Crash to jack her machine and run it into rocks until it explodes.

Other major appearances[]

Nina is a playable character in Crash Tag Team Racing, in which she aids Doctor Cortex and Doctor N. Gin in trying to take over Von Clutch's MotorWorld. At one point in the game, Nina gets a part-time job handling the park's edible meats in order to purchase the Angsterator car, going as far as to practically beg Crash to help her get the job. Also, in this game, Nina acts a bit bossy at times. While briefing her first mission, she asks Crash to find her keys that she lost in the Midway.

In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Nina is dropped off at the Evil Public School by Doctor Cortex since the events of the previous game. When she is eventually visited by Crash and Aku Aku, she accuses them of ruining her life and at first refuses to help them stop Cortex's ongoing plot. When Crash and Aku Aku get desperate, she forces the two to kiss each other and defend her science fair project. Crash needs to deflect projectiles from the other students' projects to progress. Afterwards, she uses her project to determine the location of Crunch and Brio.

Nf gp title nina

In Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, Nina's portrait appears within Cortex Castle and Nitro Court alongside her uncle, N. Brio, and Fake Crash. Her name is also tagged in purple on the side walls of Tiny Arena.

Nina appears as a playable racer and the main star of the Spooky Grand Prix. She can be unlocked by filling the Bronze Tier in the Nitro Gauge. Her track, Nina's Nightmare, is a representation of her own deranged psyche.[2]

She is now purchasable in the Pit Stop for 1500 Wumpa Coins as of the Rustland Grand Prix update.


Speed: 7/7
Accel: 3/7
Turn: 2/7
Difficulty: Advanced
Driving Style: Speed

Nina appears in Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! as a boss for Crash or Coco to defeat. She attacks by firing her fists at the player like rockets, making TNT and Nitro Crates fall onto the path, and making rows of fire across the path with lightning. Like all bosses, she is defeated by chasing her and throwing Boom Berries at her to reduce her health bar to zero, then using the Portal Weapons crafted beforehand to send her back to her own dimension.

Other appearances[]

In Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, Nina is recruited by Doctor Cortex to kidnap Coco Bandicoot and the Professor. When Spyro and Crash arrive to save Coco and the Professor, Nina chases down Crash as he speeds off on the back of Polar, only to soon be captured in a cage dropped by Spyro, where she is left to weep over the unfairness of the situation. Nina was very young at this point, as she called Spyro "purple puppy" and spoke like a toddler.

Nina has a cameo in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. She can be seen in Coco's 100% ending illustration after losing to her in an E-sports competition.


Physical description[]

Original design[]

Nina is a short, goth-like human girl with partially spiky black hair with side-swept bangs and a bluish skin color and a tiny dark red N, representing the first letter in her name, located on her forehead. She has a few freckles under her eyes and two buck teeth, and wears black mascara and lipstick. She also has a head with a slightly skull-like shape. She also has incredibly strong metallic hands that are capable of stretching for a long distance, which are a result of some "adjustments" Cortex has made to her in the past. Her attire includes the Evil Academy's standard female school uniform, which consists of a dark blue jumper dress over a white collared shirt with a red tie, as well as a belt with a large buckle, white socks, and black shoes with things that look like buckles attached to the top.

Crash Tag Team Racing[]

Nina hasn't changed much from her original appearance to this one, although her metallic hands now have a new shape and are noticeably larger, in addition she now has four fingers on each hand instead of five and appears shorter. She also has a grayer rather than bluish skin color and wears dark red lipstick instead of black. The N on her forehead has gone from red to metallic and looks slightly deformed. She now has a visible blue iris in her eyes and now her mascara is visible from the top as her brows are no longer covering the top of her eyes.

Crash of the Titans/Crash: Mind Over Mutant[]

The first major change to Nina's design happens for the first time in this game. She reverted to her bluish skin tone, but now has a more human head, nose and ears shape and now has thin visible black eyebrows and her metal N on her forehead has been replaced with a painted N. Her hair now looks less straight and the spiky part is bigger and more visible, as well as being turned slightly to the side. Her eyes now have larger pupils and her lipstick has gone back to being black. Her teeth are much shorter than they used to be, and they are now more aligned. Her school uniform has been replaced by a black shirt with rolled up sleeves and a purple pleated miniskirt, though she still retains her red tie. Her socks and shoes have been replaced with black tanker boots and her robotic hands look much smaller than before and look more like metal gloves. In the second game, her design is basically the same, only with a little more detail and with visible screws on her hands and a slightly longer skirt.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled[]

Like most other characters, Nina returns to her classic design, albeit with some changes. The sheer number of polygons and details aside, she now has a less dark color scheme, with her hair now being blue instead of black and her jumper being much lighter than before. Her robotic hands still retain four fingers each, and they've been given a new, more robot-like shape again, with the finger parts being split by articulating metals. Both her shoes and her hands are now a bright purple color and the belt on her jumper being a little smaller and straighter, as is the collar on her shirt that looks better fitted. She also has a much rounder head shape than before, and her pupils still have a visible blue iris. Her mouth also looks smaller and located closer to her eyes, unlike her nose which looks a little lower. Her mascara is now going more towards the top of her eyes than the bottom. The N on her forehead is now a brighter color than before and her hairstyle looks slightly different.

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run![]

Another slight change from Nina's original design. Her eye color has gone from blue to a light brown and the N on her forehead looks bigger. Her school outfit was replaced again, though this time with a similar school uniform, consisting of a blue sweater and a dark skirt with black suspenders, and a white shirt similar to the previous one but with the addition of red stripes on the sleeves. and a smaller, tidier collar. The belt looks the same as before, albeit with the buckle being located on the side and a plain white color. Her socks are smaller and yellowish in color and just like in the last game, her shoes and robotic hands are a purple color, although her shoes have a black bottom. Her head shape, unlike her last design, is much more similar to the original, although her ears are smaller, her brows are thinner, and her nose is slightly larger and is lower than her eyes. Now her freckles are also present on her nose and her teeth are bigger and much less straight than before. Her robotic hands are similar to her last design, though with a larger, much more robotic frame and some pink skin color accents have been added to her nose, ears, cheeks, knees, and elbows. Her hair has a similar black hairstyle, albeit without the presence of a spiky part. Like the other characters in the game, she gained a much more cartoonish body shape than her previous designs.


In her first appearance in Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, Nina has an infantile personality and speaking pattern, referring to herself in the third person and calling Spyro a "purple puppy". This partly carried over to her next appearance in Twinsanity where she was more brooding and essentially mute. In subsequent games, however, these traits were removed in favor of a more intelligent, albeit sometimes childish and bratty personality. Canonically, Nina is known to be more ambitious and egotistical than her uncle; even Aku Aku believes that Nina is "a lot smarter than Cortex ever could be", though it is unknown if she really is smarter as she needed Coco to build the robot in Crash of the Titans. Nina seems to be more "street smart" or has more (or less) common sense than her uncle. She is very spiteful and sadistic and enjoys her gothic look (though she seems to despise being referred to as such). She also has an antisocial demeanor, only working with people if she gets something out of it. The only feminine trait Nina really has is taking care of her 'nails'. She dislikes the Evil Public School as of Mind Over Mutant due to the perceived inferior value of her schoolmates (whom she describes as the "dregs of society") to those of Madame Amberley's private academy, where she saw herself as "the queen". She additionally hates Crash for being the reason for her stay at the Evil Public School, and also calls him "furball". She still however has a love for cuddly animals.

In Nitro-Fueled, her personality is taken from the Radical Entertainment era. She takes losing maturely in this incarnation, only expressing mild disappointment but also understanding that she needs to work harder to gain desired results.

Behind-the-scenes information[]


  • During development of Twinsanity, Traveller's Tales Oxford were uncertain whether Nina should be Dr. Cortex's niece or his daughter. Dr. Cortex's line during Rock-Slide Rumble was intended to cast mystery on their relationship.[3][4]
  • Traveller's Tales Oxford intended for Twinsanity to be Nina Cortex's debut. When a preview screenshot for Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage showed Nina Cortex, they were surprised, as Vicarious Visions had used the character without informing them.[5]

Additional information[]


See: Nina Cortex/Gallery


  1. Cortex says: "My daught... err... NIECE!" when Nina is kidnapped in Crash Twinsanity.
  3. Crash Twinsanity - SpaceCat Trivia Part 1. Crash Mania. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023 "At this early stage, it was not clear whether she was going to be Neo's daughter or Niece. Hence the deliberate discrepencies regarding her relation in Twinsanity."
  4. Paul Gardner interview. Crash Mania. Accessed 29 May 2023. "Q: At one point, Cortex almost refers to Nina as his daughter. What does this mean? / A (Paul Gardner): "This was a joke added to make the relationship between Cortex and Nina mysterious. Is she his niece, or a secret daughter? Maybe one day well find out."
  5. Crash Twinsanity - SpaceCat Trivia Part 2. Crash Mania. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021 "Nina Cortex was created by TT Oxford ... Now we were under the impression that Twinsanity was going to be Nina's debut - so imagine our surprise when we saw a preview screen of Crash Purple on IGN that showed Nina playable in a bonus game! How about that? No one mentioned anything to us!!"