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Coco Bandicoot
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Coco Bandicoot in Crash: Mind over Mutant
Series Crash Bandicoot
First game Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)
Created by Naughty Dog
Designed by Charles Zembillas
Voiced by (English) Vicki Winters (1997)
Hynden Walch (1999)
Debi Derryberry (2001-2008)
Voiced by (Japanese) Haruna Ikezawa (1997-2000)
Ema Kogure (2001-2004)
Satomi Arai (2005)
Risa Tsubaki (2006)
Fictional information

Coco Bandicoot is a video game character and a secondary protagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series of video games. In the series, Coco is described as the highly intelligent and spirited younger sister of Crash Bandicoot, the main protagonist of the series. She often aids her older brother by building gadgets ideal for the situation or even tagging along with Crash in his journeys, using self-taught martial arts to defend herself.

Coco was created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, and was originally designed by Charles Zembillas. In response to games in which only "a male character or a sexpot" was available as a playable character, Coco was intended to give female gamers a character they could identify with. Coco is voiced by Vicki Winters in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back,[1] by Hynden Walch in Crash Team Racing[2] and by Debi Derryberry from Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex onwards.[3][4][5][6][7] In the Japanese version of the series, she is voiced by Haruna Ikezawa in the PlayStation games,[8] by Ema Kogure in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Twinsanity, by Satomi Arai in Crash Tag Team Racing and by Risa Tsubaki in Crash Boom Bang!. Coco's inclusion as a playable character in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was met with a generally lukewarm response among critics, while her voice has received mixed reviews.

Conception and creation

On creating Coco Bandicoot, Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin stated that he understood the frustration females felt when "facing the restricted choice of playing either a male character or a sexpot" and had Coco created mainly to give female gamers a character they could identify with. Rubin felt that Coco helped the Crash series reach female gamers and become one of the most highly-played titles by female gamers during Naughty Dog's time with the series.[9]

Characteristics

Just as her brother Crash was, Coco was genetically engineered through the use of Doctor Neo Cortex's and Doctor Nitrus Brio's Evolvo-Ray.[10] Coco's most notable trait is her high intelligence;[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] her intelligence quotient is said to be as much as 164.[17] Like her brother, Coco has a fearless nature and is willing to take any chance,[16] unafraid of making mistakes.[10] She is a fan of martial arts films[10] and masculine sports such as wrestling[18] and NASCAR.[19] She is also shown to be a skilled scooter rider, using this talent to outrace a Japanese tsunami on one occasion.[10]

Plot overview

Before the events of the series, Coco was an ordinary bandicoot until she was taken from the jungle and genetically enhanced by Doctor Neo Cortex.[10] Coco is first seen in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back living on N. Sanity Island with Crash. One day, when the battery for her laptop runs out, she sends Crash off to find a replacement battery for her.[20] When Coco discovers that Crash is gathering Crystals for Cortex, she becomes suspicious of Cortex and decides to hack into Cortex's computer and see what he's really up to. What she finds are detailed schematics for an improved Cortex Vortex and a suspicious-looking space station.[21] She learns of Cortex's real plan just as Crash has gathered all the Crystals, and reveals Cortex's intentions to Crash before he can give the Crystals to Cortex.[22] After Cortex's plan is foiled, Coco is called upon by Aku Aku in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped to use Doctor Nefarious Tropy's Time-Twisting Machine and gather the powerful Crystals in their original places before Cortex does so. Coco helps by gathering the Crystals in 17th century China, the 18th century Pacific Ocean, and World War I Europe. She is also responsible for the defeat of Cortex's right-hand man Doctor N. Gin on the Moon, with her new pet tiger Pura assisting her.

When the Elementals wreak havoc on the Earth in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Coco activates a new Portal Chamber for Crash to use. She helps Crash gather the Power Crystals needed to stop the Elementals by collecting them in a tsunami-ravaged China and an avalanche zone. She also stops an armada of Cortex's space stations from striking Earth. Near the end, she helps Crash and Crunch escape from Cortex's malfunctioning space station. In Crash Twinsanity, Coco is ambushed by Doctor Neo Cortex, who disguises himself as her in order to lure Crash into a trap. Many moments later, Coco believes that Cortex kidnapped Crash, and travels to the Iceberg Lab to confront him. With a swift kick, she attacks Cortex and sends the Power Crystals he was holding flying into the Psychetron. The resulting chain reaction leaves Coco paralyzed until the end of the game. In an earlier version of the game, Coco was to have a much larger role, helping Crash and Cortex gain access to the Airship by hacking into the security system of Cortex's old castle in stages that parodied the Matrix series.[23]

In Crash of the Titans, Coco is on the verge of creating a device that will be able to recycle butter when she is captured along with Aku Aku by Doctor Neo Cortex. When Nina replaces Cortex, Coco is brainwashed and is forced to finish the Doominator. She ends up completing the Doominator, but is rescued by Crash and is able to stop it at the end of the game. In the Nintendo DS version of the game, she appears as a vendor selling upgrades for Crash's abilities. Coco is a playable character in the cooperation mode of the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of Crash: Mind over Mutant. Because her animations would take up too much memory in the PlayStation 2 version of the game,[24] she is replaced by a white-furred version of her brother named "Carbon Crash".[25] At the beginning of the game, Coco converts the Doominator's eye into an entertainment system.[26] After seeing an infomercial advertising the "NV", a do-anything personal digital assistant, she receives an NV along with Crunch and quickly becomes addicted. Soon enough, the NV transforms her into a ferocious beast who tries to kill Crash using a giant basketball-launching machine. After being defeated and informed (to her disappointment) that the NV had a negative influence on her,[27] she uses the Doominator's eye to access Cortex's blog and learn what Cortex is planning.[28] She is accessible as the second player's character from that point on.

Other appearances in the series

Coco is a playable character in Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash. The epilogue of Crash Team Racing states that Coco opened up her own Internet dating service after the events of the game.[29]

In Crash Bandicoot: the Huge Adventure, Coco builds a device that reverses the effects of Cortex's Planetary Minimizer. In Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Coco is abducted by N. Trance and is brainwashed alongside Crunch and Fake Crash. Coco battles Crash in a large battleship inside an active volcano, with Crash attacking the craft while it is reloading its weaponry. Upon snapping out of N. Trance's control, Coco becomes a playable character, gathering two Crystals in space while escaping the wrath of a fireball created by N. Tropy. Coco is a playable character in Crash Nitro Kart as well. In one cutscene, she uses her hacking skills to put the hyperactive Nash to sleep. In Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, Coco teams up with the Professor to track down Ripto and Doctor Cortex. Later in the game, they're both kidnapped by Doctor Cortex's niece, Nina Cortex, who keeps them locked up in cages. After being freed from her cage, Coco suggests that Crash and Spyro put a tracer on Cortex and Ripto as to allow the heroes to track the villains back to their hideout.[30] Coco's last major contribution to the story is constructing a portal to Cortex's and Ripto's lair.

Coco is a playable character in Crash Tag Team Racing. In the game's story, Coco discovers the sole clue to whoever stole MotorWorld's Power Gems, which is Wumpa Whip.[31] Because of Crash's high consumption of the beverage, she briefly believes (along with the others) that Crash is the culprit, despite the fact that Willie Wumpa Cheeks is the park's lone source of Wumpa Whip. At the end of the game, Coco returns the park's deed to Von Clutch, to whom it belongs.[32] Coco plays a central role in Crash Boom Bang!, in which she is invited by the Viscount to the World Cannonball Race in his search for the Super Big Power Crystal.

Cultural impact

Merchandise

Coco has been featured in two series of Crash Bandicoot action figures produced by the now-defunct Resaurus. For Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Resaurus produced a Coco Bandicoot figure bundled with figures of a penguin and lizard from the game. The Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped series featured two different figures of Coco, including one bundled with Aku Aku and Crash Bandicoot figures.[33]

Critical reception

Coco's inclusion as a playable character in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was met with a generally lukewarm response among critics. Hilary Goldstein of IGN felt that Coco was a "less powerful" and "less enjoyable" character than Crash and that "she was just not fun the way Crash is". On the subject, Hilary added that "Crash is a silly creature to look at. He's almost absurd, which works great with his various animations. Coco isn't really silly at all. The game isn't called Crash and Coco so why must I be forced to play her? Rather than add variety, Coco detracts from the only real selling point of the game -- Crash Bandicoot."[34] Matthew Gallant of GameSpot noted that "When you play a level as Coco instead of Crash, there's no explanation or warning given--you'll simply enter the level's portal as Crash and come out the other end as Coco. It's not all bad, but compared with (Super Mario) Sunshine, it seems very uneven."[35] Coco's 3D flying stages in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced have been criticized by Mark MacDonald of Electronic Gaming Monthly as "sloppy".[36]

Coco's voice has garnered mixed reviews in the series as a whole. Arnold Katayev of PSX Extreme was positive about her voice in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex,[37] while Matt Keller of PALGN felt that her voice in Crash of the Titans was "annoying".[38]

References

  1. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back for PlayStation - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  2. Crash Team Racing for PlayStation - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  3. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex for PlayStation 2 - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  4. Crash Nitro Kart for PlayStation 2 - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  5. Crash Twinsanity for PlayStation 2 - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  6. Crash Tag Team Racing for PlayStation 2 - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  7. Crash of the Titans for Wii - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  8. Haruna IKEZAWA - Anime News Network. Anime News Network. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  9. Interview with Jason Rubin. Crash Mania (August 16, 2008). Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2001. pp. 16. 
  11. Crash Team Racing Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1999. pp. 24. 
  12. Crash Bash Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2000. pp. 16. 
  13. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2001. pp. 6. 
  14. Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2002. pp. 18. 
  15. Crash Nitro Kart Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2003. pp. 20. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Welcome to Crash Village. Sierra Entertainment. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  17. Radical Entertainment. Crash Tag Team Racing. (Sierra Entertainment). Multiplatform. Level/area: Any race. "Coco Bandicoot: (when starting her car from a standstill) Time to show you what a 164 I.Q. can do."
  18. Radical Entertainment. Crash: Mind over Mutant. (Activision). Multiplatform. Level/area: Bandicoot Home. (October 7, 2008) "Coco Bandicoot: Oh, hurry up, Crash! We're missing wrestling! I wanna see the evil wrestler briefly become champ!"
  19. Radical Entertainment. Crash: Mind over Mutant. (Activision). Multiplatform. Level/area: Bandicoot Home. (October 7, 2008) "Coco Bandicoot: Finally, Crash. Gimme this stuff and let's fire this sucker up! Watch us some NASCAR."
  20. Naughty Dog. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Opening sequence. (October 31, 1997) "Coco Bandicoot: Crash, my battery's fried. Make yourself useful, big brother, and go get an extra battery for me."
  21. Naughty Dog. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Third Warp Room. (1997-10-31) "Coco Bandicoot: Crash, thank goodness. I've hacked into Cortex's computer and found detailed schematics for an improved Cortex Vortex and a suspicious looking space station. I'm not sure, but Cortex might be trying to..."
  22. Naughty Dog. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Fifth Warp Room. (1997-10-31) "Coco Bandicoot: Crash, Cortex isn't going to use the Crystals to contain the planet's energy! He's going to harness the force and use it to power the Super Cortex Vortex he has built on his space station! One blast of the ray will cover the entire world, turning everyone into Cortex's mindless slaves! Crash, don't let him have those Crystals!"
  23. SpaceCat (2005-01-07). SpaceCat's Topic Regarding Unused Ideas. Crash Mania. Retrieved on 2009-03-22.
  24. Overview: Crash: Mind over Mutant Q&A. Gamer's Hell. Retrieved on 2009-03-22. “The only thing we weren’t able to squeeze into the game was Coco as the second playable character in coop mode. It's not her character model that’s the problem, but animations. To make Coco believable as a platforming, fighting character we felt she needed her own combat style and moves. It would have looked too weird if she moved the exact same way Crash does. And so she has her own animations. She looks great, but animations take a lot of memory.”
  25. Stern, Zack (2008-04-28). Joystiq impressions: Crash Bandicoot: Mind over Mutant (Wii). Joystiq. Retrieved on 2009-03-22. “A friend can join in on the same system, too, with drop-in cooperative play. In this mode, they can play a second Crash-like character or his sister, Coco.”
  26. Radical Entertainment. Crash: Mind over Mutant. (Activision). Multiplatform. Level/area: Worst Contact. (2008-10-07) "Coco Bandicoot: If I get this Doominator eye working, we'll have the best entertainment system of all time!"
  27. Radical Entertainment. Crash: Mind over Mutant. (Activision). Multiplatform. Level/area: Klepto-Brainiac. (2008-10-07) "Aku Aku: The NV loaded you up with some sort of dark Mojo. I could feel my brother's influence pervading you. / Coco Bandicoot: Ohh, but it was so cool! Are you sure it wasn't nefarious? / Aku Aku: Oh yeah. You practically grew horns. / Coco Bandicoot: Oh, fudge! Well now I'm mad! The best gizmo in ages is evil!"
  28. Radical Entertainment. Crash: Mind over Mutant. (Activision). Multiplatform. Level/area: Klepto-Brainiac. (2008-10-07) "Coco Bandicoot: I'll use the eye to hack into the villain's network. Just gimme a sec. I think I've got something. There's a video posted in Cortex's blog. / Aku Aku: Cortex has a blog? / Coco Bandicoot: Oh yeah. All the cool kids do it now. Well, they did two years ago, anyway."
  29. Naughty Dog. Crash Team Racing. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Epilogue. "Text: Coco went on to start her own Internet dating service. Although her company is still in the red, the share prices are going through the roof!"
  30. Vicarious Visions. Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage. (Vivendi Universal Games). Game Boy Advance. Level/area: After the battle against Nina Cortex. (2004-06-03) "Coco Bandicoot: If we can lure the two of them out, maybe we can put a tracer on them and follow them back to their base. Then we can stop them for good!"
  31. Radical Entertainment. Crash Tag Team Racing. (Sierra Entertainment). Multiplatform. Level/area: Midway. (2005-10-19) "Coco Bandicoot: Well, the pattern I've concluded from deductive reasoning is that whoever stole the Power Gems has some connection to... Wumpa Whip!"
  32. Radical Entertainment. Crash Tag Team Racing. (Sierra Entertainment). Multiplatform. Level/area: I Hate Chicken. (2005-10-19) "Coco Bandicoot: This is really cool and stuff, but we'd like to return the park ownership to where it belongs: to Ebenezer Von Clutch."
  33. [ Crash Bandicoot - Toys ]. Naughty Dog. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008 Retrieved on June 21, 2009.
  34. Hilary Goldstein (April 26, 2002). IGN: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Review. IGN. Retrieved on March 22, 2009. “Crash isn't alone in fighting the forces of evil. He's assisted by Coco, a less powerful and less enjoyable playable character. Coco pops into specific levels and must be used to pass that area. She's just not fun the way crash is. Crash is a silly creature to look at. He's almost absurd, which works great with his various animations. Coco isn't really silly at all. The game isn't called Crash and Coco so why must I be forced to play her? Rather than add variety, Coco detracts from the only real selling point of the game -- Crash Bandicoot.”
  35. Matthew Gallant (September 24, 2002). Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Review for GameCube - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on March 22, 2009. “When you play a level as Coco instead of Crash, there's no explanation or warning given--you'll simply enter the level's portal as Crash and come out the other end as Coco. It's not all bad, but compared with Sunshine, it seems very uneven.”
  36. MacDonald, Mark (2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Electronic Gaming Monthly 164 (March 2003): 134. "...and 3D stages with Coco flying through space are sloppy." 
  37. Arnold Katayev (November 11, 2001). PS2 Game Reviews: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. PSX Extreme. Retrieved on March 22, 2009. “Even though Crash doesn't speak a word throughout the game, Cocoa's voice sounds great too.”
  38. Matt Keller (October 31, 2007). Crash of the Titans Review - PlayStation 2 Review - Australia's PAL Gaming Network. PALGN. Retrieved on March 22, 2009. “Other characters such as Coco have really annoying voices that make you want to take a power drill to your temple to make the pain stop.”

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