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So... you are helping Cortex to gather crystals, and yet you have acquired a gem! Interesting! Heheheheh! Well Crash, heheheh, know this: as long as you are allied with C-C-C-Cortex, you are my sworn enemy and I will do everything in my power t-t-t-to stop you! Heheheheheh! If the fate of the world is truly your concern, you must g-g-gather the gems, not the cr-cr-cr-crystals!

Dr. Nitrus Brio (a.k.a. N. Brio) is a scientist who formerly worked under Neo Cortex. Brio's loyalty has fluctuated throughout the series, working on his own accord in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, with Nefarious Tropy in Crash Twinsanity, and even returning to Cortex's side in Crash: Mind Over Mutant and Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. His name was a play on the word "embryo" (a fact that he himself alludes to in Mind Over Mutant).

History

Pre-series history

Like most characters in the series, Brio's age is uncertain, though a piece of Crash Twinsanity concept art suggests that Brio is the same age as Cortex and N. Gin. As a child, Nitrus Brio was a classmate of Neo Cortex and N. Gin in Madame Amberley's Academy of Evil. Brio is responsible for taking Neo's faulty prototype Evolvo-Ray and refining it into a fully functional weapon. However, his lack of self-esteem allowed Cortex to take full credit for the creation.

In the alternate ending of Crash Bandicoot, it was revealed that he worked as a bartender at some point.

Along with Cortex, Brio created the "Cortex Commandos" before setting up base in the Wumpa Islands.

Crash Bandicoot

Dr. Nitrus Brio in the first Crash Bandicoot game

At the start of the series, Brio is Cortex's assistant. While he is somewhat loyal, he has his doubts over whether Cortex's plans will actually work. Brio acts as the penultimate boss of the first game, attacking Crash by throwing beakers at him. Some of these explode and some of them transform into sentient blobs that attack Crash. Finally, the battle reaches a climax with Brio drinking one of the same dangerous potions and transforming himself into a hulking monstrosity to combat Crash. The castle goes up in flames soon after his defeat.

Crash Bandicoot (manga)

Nitrus Brio is first seen alongside Dr. Cortex and Tawna in the first issue of the manga, though he does not take a prominent role in the story until the second issue, when Crash and Aku Aku arrive at the castle. Like Aku Aku, Brio is exasperated by Crash and Cortex's antics. Though initially successful at attacking Crash with his explosive potions, he is put out of commission when Cortex accidentally shoots him with his ray gun. Later, Brio initiates the castle's self-destruct sequence, ending the battle between the three.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Nitrus Brio reappears one year later in the form of a hologram when Crash got his first gem, attempting to convince Crash Bandicoot to gather the gems for him instead of crystals for Cortex. Double-crossed, Brio no longer works for Cortex by this point and seeks to destroy his space station with a laser beam. He also threatens to destroy Crash if he does not comply. When Crash continues to gather Crystals, Brio recruits Ripper Roo, the Komodo Brothers and Tiny Tiger to assassinate Crash. Brio finally manages to convince Crash to gather the 42 gems needed for the laser to be operational, and gives him the honor of activating the weapon, destroying Cortex's space station.

Crash Bandicoot: Warped

Despite not appearing nor mentioned in the game, Brio is indirectly responsible for Uka Uka's release from his prison. A piece of the Cortex Vortex, which was destroyed by his laser beam, inadvertently crashes into the temple where Uka Uka was sealed.

Crash Bash

In Crash Bash, Brio is called by Uka Uka to fight on the Evil side in the battle against Aku Aku's Good side. Similar to Cortex, he uses a blue ray gun to stun his opponents. He has the same characteristics of Cortex. In the Crate Crush levels, he has a very powerful throw, a high jump, fast running speed, but a weak laser. His battle cry is a stock laugh sound effect that was also heard in the Disney films Fun and Fancy Free and Aladdin. In the Tank Wars mini games, he has a green laser that bounces off walls. Much like Cortex, in the Pogo Pandemonium and the Polar Push mini games he has a jetpack.

Crash Twinsanity

In Twinsanity, Brio teams up with Nefarious Tropy to defeat Cortex and gain the Evil Twins' Treasure. He appears alongside N. Tropy in a boss fight, immediately following Crash's escape from N. Gin's battleship, in which Brio, at Tropy's request, drinks a potion to transform himself into a large, green frog-like monster. While in this form, he bounces around on the iceberg trying to squash Crash. He then appears (in his human form) alongside N. Tropy and N. Gin again in the Evil Twins' fortress, claiming the Twins' treasure for themselves. However, they are thwarted by Spyro the Dragon, who had been trapped in the Twins' vault, when he breathes fire on them.

Crash: Mind Over Mutant

Brio reunites with Neo Cortex once more in Mind Over Mutant, in which he aids in the development of the NV, a personal digital assistant that can control both mutants and bandicoots. He uses recycled parts from the Junkyard to mass-produce NVs and create a new space station for Doctor Cortex. Throughout the game, he claims to be the inventor of numerous things, including recycling, and also claims to have an interest in falconry and "classical" cheeses. He is found in the Junkyard with a brainwashed Crunch Bandicoot by Crash and Aku Aku, who are then attacked by Crunch under Brio's orders. When Crunch is broken free from the NV's control, Brio is forced to reveal the whereabouts of Uka Uka, who is acting as the source of the negative mojo needed to control those wearing NVs. He is then told to leave the island. He reluctantly complies, but promises the trio that it isn't the end.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Brio repeats his role as boss in the remake of the first game, and helps Crash in the remake of the second game.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Brio appears as a playable racer as part of the Spooky Grand Prix. He can be unlocked in the game's Pit Stop for 1500 Wumpa Coins.

Stats

Speed: 4/7
Accel: 7/7
Turn: 3/7
Difficulty: Intermediate
Driving Style: Acceleration

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Taking place after Warped, Brio returns in It's About Time, once again serving Cortex (despite his previous actions, though dialogue suggests he's planning on betraying them) and N. Tropy on their road to multiversal conquest. He appears in Tranquility Falls where he challenges Crash and Coco to complete his tests and defeat his diabolical creations. He can be heard speaking through potions scattered across the world. He later appears as the third boss battle. Once the bandicoots defeat him, he transforms into a pterodactyl-looking creature about to attack the duo, but is quickly stopped when he feels a rumbling in his newly developed cloaca causing him to lay an egg, complete with head bolts, then flies off while scattering inverted gems and Bumpa Berries across the multiverse. During the game's ending, the egg is seen laying besides Crash on his couch (It's unsure if anything will actually hatch from it). He is later seen in the 100% ending, where he is seen on display at the taxidermy wing of Ripper Roo's Curious Cabinet of Curiosities after being mistaken for a flying squirrel.

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!

N. Brio appears in On the Run! in his monster form as a boss character. He attacks by beating his chest to make blocks fall from the sky to form obstacles, and by throwing large boulders at the player. Like all bosses, he is defeated by chasing him and throwing Boom Berries at him to reduce his health bar to zero, then using the Portal Weapons crafted beforehand to send him back to his own dimension.

Characteristics

Personality

Brio is a shy and meek man, which serves as a contrast to Doctor Cortex's megalomania. He has never had people respect him or take him seriously (a fact he laments in Crash: Mind Over Mutant), resulting in a low self-esteem. It is this weakness that originally caused him to join Doctor Cortex in his plot for world domination. However, it is also this weakness that allowed Cortex take the full credit for an invention that Brio was more responsible for attaining any sort of effectiveness, resulting in the development of intense inner-contempt and jealousy of Cortex on Brio's behalf. The most notable examples of Cortex stealing from Brio was the first functional Evolvo-Ray, which Brio did not actually create, but perfected its original faulty design into a more effective weapon. This betrayal on Cortex's part is a continuing source of disdain for Brio and is the prime motive for his abandonment of Cortex following the events of Crash Bandicoot.

As a way of making up for his mistake of allowing Cortex to take credit for his inventions in the past, Brio has developed a notable level of self delusion, as he cites himself as being the actual inventor of the Evolvo-Ray (even though he only perfected it). This worsens even further where he constantly, almost impulsively reminds anyone in his presence of his inventions, even crediting himself with several other things that he couldn't possibly have created, like recycling, slinkies as well as claiming to have written a bible. This trait carries over to Nitro-Fueled, as he credits the Skull Rider kart (previously named Bone Machine), Crunch's vehicle in Tag Team Racing, as his invention.

In the earlier games, he stuttered and occasionally laughed like a madman whenever he spoke. In the N. Sane Trilogy, his personality in the first game is more solidified. He now acts like a bumbling but cautious assistant with incredibly eccentric mannerisms, a strong stutter, and much more manic laughter. In Nitro-Fueled, he is also shown to be very sensitive, as he shows discomfort when hit even when he's shielded.

Outward Appearance

Brio appears as a taller figure than Doctor Cortex, with an equally tall head, which has twin electrode-like bolts attached to the sides like Frankenstein's monster. While Cortex and N. Gin wear white lab coats, Brio wears a green one in most of his appearances, but wears a lab coat similar to that of Doctor Cortex's in Crash Twinsanity. In some instances, his lab coats do not feature sleeves. Unlike Cortex, who has black hair, Brio has almost no hair to speak of, with his eyebrows being the only pieces of visible hair on his body, though a piece of concept art for Crash Twinsanity suggests that Brio had a strand of blonde hair on his head during his childhood. In Crash Twinsanity, Brio's skin has become more wrinkled, and has noticeably darkened, taking on an almost grayish hue, possibly due to the not insubstantial amount of mutagenic chemicals he's been known to ingest over the years. It is also implied that the mutagen has an addictive effect on Brio, as he's almost always seen carrying and sipping from a beaker of the stuff, although it appears he does this to keep himself in a relatively human state, turning into a musclebound green monster whenever he gets sufficiently enraged and drinking the mutagen to reverse it.

Profiles

Crash Bandicoot

  • Manual

“Not as pushy or driven as his boss, Dr. N. Brio has relegated his position to chief henchman of Dr. Cortex. Actually, it was Dr. N. Brio who created the Evolvo-Ray, but his lack of self-esteem let the other (more twisted) Mad Scientist take the credit.”

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

  • Manual

“Doublecrossed by Cortex, this one time partner in crime will now do anything to stop Cortex and his fiendish plans, regardless of the consequences.”

Crash Bash

  • Manual (NTSC-U)

“He’s the poster boy for mad scientists everywhere. This beaker clanker is back in partnership with his old colleague, N. Cortex and is ready to make his own mark on the world. Like Cortex he is armed with a laser and he is also a master of long tank shots.”

  • Manual (PAL)

“DR N. BRIO – the megalomaniac who refuses to give up”

Appearances


Portrayals

Brio was originally voiced by Brendan O'Brien in the English versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bash. He is voiced by Michel Mella and Sergio Tedesco in the French and Italian versions of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bash. He is voiced by Maurice LaMarche in Crash: Mind Over Mutant and the N. Sane Trilogy, and by Tom Kenny in Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled and by Roger Craig Smith in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About time. He is voiced by Vincent Violette and Angelo Nicotra in the French and Italian versions of Crash: Mind Over Mutant respectively. In the Japanese version of the series, he is voiced by Mitsuru Ogata in the games up to Crash Bash.

Quotes

But Doctor Cortex, we haven't determined the cause of past failures. Heheheheheheh!

Dr. Nitrus Brio, Crash Bandicoot

But Doctor Cortex, the Vortex is not ready. We have no idea what it could do! Heheheheheheh!

Dr. Nitrus Brio, Crash Bandicoot

Yes! Go for it, Dr. Cortex! Eye of the tiger! Hadouken! Paper covers rock... but paper can't stop rocks. IT MAKES NO SENSE!

Dr. Nitrus Brio, Crash: Mind Over Mutant

See this piece of machinery? I invented it!

Why don't people take me s-s-seriously?

And my potions will make me- uhh- them unstoppable!

Gallery

See: Nitrus Brio/Gallery

Trivia

  • In the Japanese version of the original game, it is revealed in the Aku Aku hint for the level Castle Machinery that bouncing on the green blobs hurts N. Brio because the green blobs are N. Brio's evil souls.
    • In the N. Sane Trilogy, a different reason is revealed as to why they hurt him; when jumped on, the blobs spray a green juice into N. Brio's face.
  • Crash Twinsanity is the only game in which N. Brio appears, but has no speaking lines.
  • Brio's theme in Cortex Strikes Back is somewhat hard to hear because Brio is talking over it. How it was supposed to sound remained a mystery for 15 years until Josh Mancell shared the song.
  • His name is a pun on the word "embryo," and in Crash: Mind Over Mutant, he says that his name "sounds like a fetus."
  • Nitrus Brio's first name is derived from "nitrous oxide", commonly known as "laughing gas".
    • In the Russian version of Crash: Mind Over Mutant, N. Brio's name has been localized as "Н. Брион" (translit. "N. Brion") to accommodate the pun on the Russian word for "embryo" which is "эмбрион" (translit. "ėmbrion"). In the Russian localization of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, his name is stylized as "Эн-Брион" (translit. "Ėn-Brion"), maintaining the primary pun but removing the implication of his first name starting with the letter N.
  • In the N. Sane Trilogy remake of the Crash Bandicoot, instead of 9 Hit Points, he has 7 Hit Points when facing his normal form, and 3 Hit Points when facing his monster form, which adds up to 10 Hit Points. However, the 7th Hit Point automatically goes down when Brio drinks his potion which turns him into a monster.
  • In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, he shouts the word "Hadouken", a reference to the character Ryu from the Street Fighter franchise.
  • Curiously in Crash Twinsanity, N. Brio and N. Tropy are shown as working together despite never sharing a scene in prior games, on top of that in each of their respective games it is never both of them that are present.
  • He is one of the characters from the original Crash Bandicoot not to have made an appearance in Crash Team Racing, along with Tawna and Koala Kong. However, his beakers are included in the game, called "N. Brio Beakers".
  • Although Brio has a new outfit in Mind Over Mutant, most cutscenes show him wearing his old uniform from the first Crash game.
  • The monster he turns into in Crash Bandicoot bears a slight resemblance to The Hulk.
  • Dr. N. Brio may be influenced by the character Dr. Jekyll from Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
  • The bolts lodged into his head are based on Frankenstein, as the character similarly has bolts in his neck.