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Papu Papu is a recurring antagonist in the Crash Bandicoot series, He is the leader of the tribesmen who appears on N. Sanity Island and lives in the Native Village along with the other tribesmen. Papu Papu debuted in Crash Bandicoot as a villain and the first boss of the game, and then kept his villainous role in his appearances since.



Crash Bandicoot[]

Crash Bandicoot PS1 Papu Papu Boss Screenshot

Papu Papu's boss fight in Crash Bandicoot

Papu Papu's first appearance was in Crash Bandicoot, where he is the first boss. He is infuriated when Crash awakens him from his slumber in his throne. Papu Papu attacks Crash and a battle ensues. Papu Papu uses his tribal staff to fight Crash; however, the marsupial outsmarts and defeats him by knocking him out. This is accomplished by jumping on his head when his staff is down on the ground.

In the game's epilogue, he sells the castle ruins of Cortex Castle and opens the Big & Tall Shop to raise more money.

Crash Team Racing[]


Papu Papu, the Second Crash Team Racing Race Boss

Papu Papu reappears in CTR as the second boss in the game. His home track is Papu's Pyramid in The Lost Ruins. He throws both green and red beakers to try to slow his opponent down, both by dropping them and by throwing them backwards. Like Tiny, Dingodile, and N. Tropy, Papu Papu was a speedy racer at the expense of poor turning and acceleration. He can be unlocked by completing the Green Gem Cup in adventure mode or by holding L1 + R1 buttons while pressing Left, Triangle, Right, Down, Right, Circle, Left, Left and Down on the main menu. His kart is yellow.

After the events of CTR, he became a wrestler and changed his name to "Mr. Bad Belly". Unfortunately, his signature move, the Bad Belly Bounce, was eventually banned after several of its victims suffered severe rope friction burns.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled[]

Papu Papu retains his role as The Lost Ruins' boss, instead being carried by his servants as he meets the player character. He is also unlocked upon being beaten, and retains his stats as a speed-type character. In his new epilogue, he still becomes a professional wrestler under the moniker of Mr. Bad Belly. His signature Big Bad Belly Bounce would be so popular that it created world-wide dance phenomena.

Other major appearances[]

In Crash Bash, Papu Papu is summoned by Uka Uka as the first boss of the game. His battle arena is similar to boards like Jungle Bash, etc. He is surrounded by a ring of fire for protection. He summons Crash clones to fight the player. When they are defeated, Papu Papu laughs, disabling the fire and leaving him vulnerable. At this time, he must be hit with a block or TNT. After the third hit, he is ultimately defeated when a block crushes him. After suffering injuries, he goes back to leading his tribe.

Papu Papu returned as a boss in the N. Sane Trilogy. While his boss fight in the remake of Crash Bandicoot is similar to the original one, Papu Papu now sports five hit points instead of three (like in the Japanese version of the original game) and will spin around in the air before collapsing on his back upon his defeat, allowing Crash to use him like a trampoline.

Minor appearances[]

Papu Papu has a minor appearance in Twinsanity. He is first seen when Doctor Neo Cortex reveals he envies the life of the tribesmen in Totem Hokum. Cortex later bumps into Papu Papu, who captures him, takes him to the native village, and has him tied to a totem pole. Crash storms the village and uses a worm to save Cortex. After Crash frees him and destroys the totem pole, Papu Papu sends the rest of the tribe after the Bandicoot.

Papu Papu is referenced to in It's About Time. While he himself isn't depicted, in the level Rush Hour, a holographic sign with the word "Papu" on it can be seen in the background. A small gold triangle is also on the sign, which is likely referencing Papu's Pyramid.

Other media[]

Papu Papu appears only in the first issue in of the manga. He tends to add "papu" to the end of his sentences when he speaks. Crash and Aku Aku arrive at his hut by crashing through the ceiling, landing right on top of Papu Papu. He at first claims not to want any trouble, but feels insulted and attacks when Crash says they don't have time to talk to him. He swings at Crash with his staff, but their battle soon turns into a dance. He is eventually defeated when Crash baits him with a "flame spin attack", then spins him from behind. Afterwards, Papu Papu points them in the direction of Cortex Castle on a faraway island.


Physical appearance[]

Papu Papu is generally depicted as an obese, tanned skin indigenous man and chief of a native village inhabited by his tribesmen. In Crash Bandicoot, Papu Papu wears long green skirt, red cuffs on his arms, a blue necklace, and a large totem hat or mask that covers the upper part of his eyes. He also has red tattoos on his cheeks and red lips. He is usually seen carrying a scepter with a skull located on top and some feathers.

In CTR, Papu Papu as seen in the cutscenes, still retains his original design, as do the other characters, although his model is much more detailed and textured than before, with his hat and collar having a new color scheme. In-game, his model in Kart has a greatly reduced and less polished graphics than the main one for better game performance, just like the other characters.

In Crash Bash, Papu Papu's design is drastically changed. His skin tone appears much lighter and the cuffs on his arms are yellow instead of red. His hat again has a different color, being yellow instead of purple. His necklace is also different and has a larger size.

Papu Papu gets a more complete retouch in his appearance in Twinsanity. This time he has visible nails on his fingers and toes, which now look much less cartoonish. He has also gained a new body shape, with a more rounded belly, and also features several red tribal tattoos on his body. The cuffs on his arms have been replaced with gray bracelets that are closer to his shoulders, and his necklace is back to blue, but in an entirely new shape, with a red crystal located in the center. His skirt has also been redesigned, appearing slightly shorter and having several square designs with different colors on the top and bottom and a skull made of stone located on top. His hat retains a similar shape to the classic design, but with a much more extensive and colorful color scheme, which makes the face shape at the top less visible. Probably his most detailed character design yet.

In N. Sane Trilogy and Nitro Fueled, Papu Papu now has tribal art tattoos along his belly and shoulders. His head is less oblong, and the top of his eyes isn't covered by the hair ornament. The red tattoos on his face are longer and he has one on his chin too. His nose is bigger, and his teeth are now visible, with the upper center ones having a gap between them. The necklace his brown instead of blue and sports tribal art of a similar style to his tattoos.


Papu Papu is described as having a short fuse in the manual of Crash Bandicoot.[1] He is bilingual, capable of speaking at least two languages: English and his own native language. In Crash Team Racing, Papu Papu speaks in third-person and with lack of pronouns, much like Tiny Tiger. In Crash Twinsanity, however, he speaks his native language, though mostly only to the tribesmen of his village. He is capable of operating a race-kart and is implied to have knowledge of magic.

Generally, Papu Papu is a neutral character, but initiates conflict if disturbed. He is often seen asleep. Crash's trespassing into his village tends to anger him into attacking, as seen in Crash Bandicoot and Crash Twinsanity. Uka Uka describes him as an "old friend" in Crash Bash,[2] and is used as his invincibility mask in Crash Team Racing.

Behind-the-scenes information[]


  • In the Japanese version of Crash Bandicoot, Papu Papu has 5 hit points instead of 3 and he swings faster whenever he gets hit, making him harder to beat. This was carried over to N. Sane Trilogy.
  • He has had many headdress variations in each one of his appearances.
  • In Crash Bash he has his yellow hair ornament which was seen in his artwork for Crash Bandicoot.
  • In some early copies of CTR Papu Papu had a different icon: his mouth was a darker shade of red and the hair ornament was a blackish grey.
  • The original CTR is the only time Papu appears without his staff. Every other game he appears in, including Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, features it.
  • In the design bible for Crash Bandicoot under the placeholder name, Willy Wombat, Papu Papu was described as a warrior in his youth and that Aku Aku was once a member of his tribe.[3]

Additional information[]



  1. Crash Bandicoot US manual. "This animated mountain of a feller has a fuse as short as he is big."
  2. Crash Bash. Papu Pummel introductory dialogue for Uka Uka's teammates. Uka Uka: "I am now well on my way to defeating that feeble brother of mine. But before you can continue, you must first meet an old friend: Papu Papu."