FakeNina (FN): These were incidental dialogue lines for the Academy of Evil. They would have been spoken by other students of the school, and play in the background as Crash and Cortex were traversing the hallways. There's a whole bunch of them. I've still got the sound files for these. I'll send you the script for them if I can find it. [The script can be found below the interview]
FN: Crash had a flying kick that came out of the slide jump, but it was removed quite late in the game, as the damage it caused tended to trigger set-ups in the level design (for example all of the platform pieces would drop out of the MechaBandicoot arena if you used it!)
Crash never had a ledge hang in Twinsanity. It's possible that people are remembering the early build of Crash Tag Team Racing from Radical. That was the first Crash game I saw where he had a ledge hang.
- At various trade shows, Crash was reportedly shown to have a scissor kick and could hang off of ledges.
How did the former work and why were those abilities removed?
FN: There wasn't a soccer minigame, but we did discuss Cortex having to traverse a Football field (American football) while there was a game going on. That's what this concept art represents. It would have been a lot of fun.
A lot of these ideas didn't go that far, but Keith Webb is works really fast, and he would draw ideas up just to get a sense of what they might play like.
FN: This mechanic would have been used in a few places, once with Cortex riding it, and later with Crash riding it, but standing on it backwards. There was a rule in the game that Crash would not use vehicles, but improvise (like using Cortex as a snowboard), and that if he did use a vehicle he would use it wrong. I think the hover board was for the dry ocean bed, and somewhere in the Twins' core.
- We have discovered that Crash has a flying kick, and Evil Academy janitors can act as goalies.
Does it mean that there used to be a soccer minigame? Is it related to this piece of concept art?
FN: Yes! He had lots of hint dialogue in that fight. The idea was that he didn't realize that his microphone was switched on, and that his voice was being broadcast from the MechaBandicoot for Crash to hear. I've still got that dialogue somewhere.
- A Cortex voiceline that goes unused (DRC033) reads "Now be careful not to let him spin back the green plasma blast(...)".
Was Cortex ever going to say that in the Mechabandicoot boss fight?
FN: That level went through so many revisions and changes, I'm sure a lot was made and remade and removed. There was a part of the level planned to use the deck of the ship, where Crash was jumping on cannons, which he would redirect so that they fired into the deck, and launched themselves in the air. With all of these ideas, and in most game development, a lot of ideas come up, but never make it into the game.
- A lot of enemies were cut from Hi-Seas Hijinks - Rhinos with swords, spinning blades, etc.
Was there any specific reason for them being gone? Was a part of the level cut that took place on the ship's deck?
FN: Ha! The Chi Chi Grass was a remnant from 'Crash Evolution', where Crash himself was meant to swing like Nina does using an alien called 'Foofie', which he wore on his arm. We kept the mechanic in Twinsanity, and gave it to Nina instead.
- You've once said that "The hooks that Nina grabs hold of and swings from were originally meant to be cute birdies and lizards".
We've found that they're called "Chi Chi Grass" and that they can have the model of what appears to be a coral. Did her hooks go through more iterations like that?
FN: The Wumpa Pump was also a remnant of Crash Evolution. The twins were stealing all the Wumpa juice using these pumps, and Crash could use it for something, I don't remember what.
- A device called the Wumpa Pump was created. We've speculated that it was going to be the representation of the Vice-Versa Reverser Device.
Was it going to appear in existing levels? We did find some references to it in Totem Hokum and in the Uka Uka fight.
FN: Yes! There was a really great complex AI system developed, where the little ants would call for back-up from the bigger ants, and could ride the ant mites like vehicles. Also the blue monkeys would fight with the ants. It was really cool, but I don't remember why it didn't make it into the game.
- Concept art depicts many Ant Drone types that didn't make it into the game, like Riders, big ones, one with a big brain.
Did any of them almost make it into the game, in which case what kind of attacks did they have?
FN: Yes! That's exactly right. It was meant to be a way of spawning in Enemies elsewhere in the world. It only appears one more time in 'Rockslide Rumble'.
- Were Ant Drills going to play a bigger role in the game by showing up all over the place?
The ants in Cavern Catastrophe do like to collect crates, so was that going to return?
FN: I think the walking Camerabots didn't read well on-screen, as their legs were so thin. I'm not sure about the turtle or Big Gargoyle.
- Any ideas why the following enemies were cut: Turtle, Walking Camerabot, Big Gargoyle?
FN: Hmm, I really don't remember submarines, sorry!
FN: No, the lost Gone a Bit Coco video was a really long playthrough of the level, showing the cute animals attacking Cortex. The video you linked to shows a much older version of the level, that was remade with new art later.
- Submarines were created for the game. Were they going to be a part of Hi-Seas Hijinks, Ocean Commotion, or something else?
FN: This was just made for promotion, as you thought.
- The official website for Crash Bandicoot used this picture to promote the game.
This kind of setup was also seen in one of the commercials. Was it a cut (part of a) level or was it just created for promotion's sake?
FN: Wow, that's really close!
Bonus Level - Ocean Commotion
Bonus Level - Gone a Bit Coco
Bonus Level - Cortex Carnage
Bonus Level - Megalomaniac Mind Mania
I think they just repurposed that track from the worm chase once the flying saucer was cut.
- The Worm Chase music was originally called Flying Saucer Chase. Was it then part of the cut level where Cortex would fly in an UFO?
Also, one pre-release article states that there were going to be "16 distinct missions (...) as well as four additional bonus missions".
Would the bonus levels be: Harbor in N.Sanity Island, Ocean Commotion in Iceberg Lab, Gone a Bit Coco in Academy of Evil and Flying Saucer Chase in Twinsanity Island?
FN: There are two short scenes cut from the FMV. Here's the dialogue.
The twins exit the airship:
INT. AIRSHIP - DAY
Cortex defeats the Ant Drones.
Alrighty then, mister! The gloves are off! Prepare yourself as the end is near!
The Twins disappear as the zipper closes shut!
(screams from being caught in the zipper)
Cortex finishes telling his story about the twins:
Dr. Cortex, the Twins and all of this mess are the result of your meddling with the natural sciences.
In the background we see Nina and Coco. Coco is still paralyzed and stands on a little wooden trolley. Nina pokes curiously at her with a finger, Coco teeters precariously before settling again.
Oh, I see, it's my fault again.
I'm only evil because you need me to be.
- According to a soundtrack listing missing there was going to be an FMV in the Academy of Evil before Cortex's flashback FMV.
Did such a movie exist at one point? Could Red Eye Studios still have some assets leftover from their work on Twinsanity?
FN: Yes! This was placeholder text, written by a game designer.
- A text file in the game indicates an early form of what appear to be subtitles ("you gotta help me crash!! they want to dress me in drag!").
Is that the case, or was the text just placeholder? In Super Monkey Ball Adventure, the very same text file was used for subtitles.
FN: That's definitely not official! It was only translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German and Japanese.
- A Russian version of the game was made, though nobody is sure whether it's official or not. Any idea if there was talk of such translation?
FN: He wasn't a part of the fight, I'm sure. Perhaps he was going to be in the cutscene, still mad at Crash for riding on him in Crash 2 :)
- We found Polar in the Henchmania boss fight (N.Tropy & N.Brio). Was he going to be a small cameo in the cutscene, or was he going to be a part of the fight itself?
FN: The extended scene is from an old playblast video captured from a Maya animation file. Some scenes do still exist though, I'm sure various members of the team kept some parts to use in their portfolios.
- Did the extended scene you showed come from a video or someone's still existing assets from the game?
FN: I'll maybe answer this one in the future! I guess I can say that I did all kinds of things during the course of the game, everybody on the team really did a bit of everything (we were not so specialized on one specific aspect of the game as development teams are now).
Thanks for bearing with me for so long, I hope these answers help.
- Finally, if you don't mind me asking, what was your role on the development team?