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Darn you, Crash Bandicoot!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex

Dr. Neo Cortex is the main antagonist of the Crash Bandicoot franchise. He is an evil scientist who uses his great intellect in his plans for world domination, and is both the arch-nemesis and creator of Crash Bandicoot. He is also a servant of Uka Uka, the younger brother and archenemy of Aku Aku.

Although Cortex's intentions are to destroy Crash, he has on occasion worked with him to defeat an even greater threat, making him an anti-hero.

For his English voice actors, he was voiced by Brendan O'Brien, Clancy Brown, and Lex Lang as an adult, and Debi Derryberry and Corey Burton in a younger form. For his Japanese voice actors, he was voiced by Shōzō Iizuka as an adult and Yōsuke Akimoto and Noriko Suzuki when younger.


In the main series, Cortex appears as the main antagonist of the 1996 video game Crash Bandicoot and its 1997 sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the secondary antagonist of the 1998 sequel Crash Bandicoot: Warped, the titular main antagonist of the 2001 sequel Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the deuteragonist of the 2004 sequel Crash Twinsanity, one of the main antagonists of the 2007 sequel Crash of the Titans, the main antagonist of the 2008 sequel Crash: Mind over Mutant and the central antagonist and final boss of the 2020 video game Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.

In the non-canon spin-off games, he appears as a playable racer in the 1999 video game Crash Team Racing, a playable character in the 2000 video game Crash Bash, the main antagonist of the 2002 video game Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, a mentioned character in the 2003 sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (while also being a multiplayer character), a playable character in the 2003 video game Crash Nitro Kart, one of the two titular main antagonists (alongside Ripto) of the 2004 crossover video games Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, a playable character/secondary antagonist of the 2005 video game Crash Tag Team Racing, a playable character in the 2006 video game Crash Boom Bang!, one of the two main antagonists (alongside Uka Uka) of the 2017 sequel Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and the main antagonist of the 2021 mobile game Crash Bandicoot: On the Run.

He also appears as a playable character and a sensei in the 2016 video game Skylanders: Imaginators and as a playable character in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (the 2019 remaster of CTR and also features content from both CNK and CTTR).


Cortex appears as a rather short man with a large head with a flat top and a large "N" on his forehead, as well as yellow skin and black hair. He sports a goatee, bushy eyebrows and hair only at the top of his head and going around the back of it with two large twirls at each side of it. For attire, he wears a white labcoat with what appears to be a black leotard underneath and yellow gloves. For some reason, he also has a dolphin tattoo on his left thigh.

As a child, Cortex had a full head of hair, no goatee and his "N" was lowercased.


I'm an evil scientist, what did you expect? This isn't a game.
~ Dr. Neo Cortex to the player after shooting a civilian.

Very much like any other mad scientist supervillain, Dr. Neo Cortex is vindictive against every other scientist for ridiculing his outlandish ideas, even if they did work. Initially, it was believed to be his main reason for wanting world domination. However, after Uka Uka was freed and revealed to be his superior, it is now known that he was doing it under orders. Cortex tends to be very bossy, conceited and authoritative because of his knowledge and intellect, but it also makes him very childish whenever his plans are constantly foiled. At times, he is shown to be quite cowardly whenever he feels that his life is being threatened, often leaving his minions to do all of the hard work for him.

Because of his child-like behavior, Cortex can be extremely obstreperous, pompous, loud and boastful, as well as unable to tolerate any form of delays and failures. He is also known to have a temper, which he can sometimes lose if things don't go his way, and can get so bad that he will even engage in a physical brawl with his tormentors, regardless of the situation. For the most part, Cortex doesn't care about anyone else but himself, with the exception of his niece Nina. But after she betrayed him and took over his plans to destroy Wumpa Island, he cast her off to Public School of Evil as punishment, showing that he is still highly selfish. Also, it is also unlikely that he regrets replacing her hands with bionic replacements.

Cortex is not above lying to get whatever he wants, such as when he manipulated Crash Bandicoot into collecting Power Crystals so he could enslave all life on Earth. His lying also applies to feeding his own ego, such as when he proudly stole N. Brio's credit for inventing the Evolvo-Ray. Cortex was not above betraying his master Uka Uka, whom he initially feared, and would go on to have him captured and drained of his Bad Mojo for his plans. Through many of his actions, Cortex is displayed as a sadistically power-hungry and psychopathic megalomaniac, willing to ruin any form of life for his own selfish purposes. Throughout the series, Cortex becomes more and more obsessed with destroying Crash Bandicoot for constantly ruining his plans, bursting into tantrums whenever he is beaten.

In Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, Cortex is shown to be increasingly tired of his life of villainy and constant defeats against Crash. He showed little enthusiasm over N. Tropy's schemes to take over the multiverse and after being defeated by Crash yet again, he broke down and cried about wanting to end his constant battles with Crash. Cortex temporarily formed an alliance with Crash when N. Tropy reveals his true motivations behind the Dimensional Rift Generator, and for a while was genuine about wanting to be a helpful ally, but after N. Tropy was dealt with, Cortex's obsession with defeating Crash got the better of him and he backstabbed Crash yet again in a desperate attempt to rewrite history and prevent Crash's creation. When this failed and Cortex was banished to the end of the universe, Cortex took his defeat well, feeling he finally had the freedom he wished for away from Crash, though this was short lived when Uka-Uka appeared in front of him.


Moron! This bandicoot will be my general, and he will lead my Cortex Commandos to world domination. This time I shall reign triumphant!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex to Dr. Nitrus Brio (his very first quote in the series).
You fool! You think I'm unaware of the situation? If we don't have any friends left on the surface, then we need to find... an enemy!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex to Dr. N. Gin.
Well, well, well... if it isn't Crash Bandicoot. Welcome! I apologize for the crude means used to bring you here, but I rather expect a written invitation would have been turned down. I need your help! Surrounding you are a series of five doors, through each door lies a well-hidden crystal. The crystals look like this. Bring me the crystals, Crash! That is all I can say for now. We will speak again!
~ Cortex tricking Crash into helping him gather the Crystals.
Crash, Crash, Crash, why must you always muck in my mud? Oh, look. I have a mask helping me, too! We will find out which one is more powerful soon enough!
~ Cortex readying to soon defeat Crash and Aku Aku with the help of Uka Uka.
Defeated again! It's not fair! Maybe I should retire and go to a nice big beach, and get a nice big drink, with a woman with nice big... bags of ice for my head.
~ Dr. Neo Cortex
Right. The Elementals, that's it! If we leash their destructive energy, could create enough power to bring my secret weapon to life, we have a weapon capable of crushing mountains, demolishing entire cities.
~ Cortex formulating a new plan to destroy Crash Bandicoot.
Get ready to face my wrath, Crash Bandicoot! MOWHAHAHAHA!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex
Can't you ever let me win?! What do you want from me, you cretin?!
OUCH! WHOA-HO-HO! No, wait! I can explain! AGH! I'll get my revenge, Crash Bandicoot! JUST YOU WAIT!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex's last lines in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, while dodging fireballs from Uka Uka.
Surprised to see me Crash? Like the fleas in your fur I keep coming back.
~ Dr. Neo Cortex
I'm an evil scientist. What did you expect? This isn't a game.
~ Dr. Neo Cortex after stunning Farmer Ernest with his blaster.
Crash, I've been like a father to you. I created you, nursed you... tried to destroy you. So what do you say? With my mighty intellect and your vacuous stupidity, we'll be unbeatable.
~ Cortex teaming up with Crash in a bid to defeat the Evil Twins.
You know, Crash, for all these years, I've been wrong about you. Your creation was a mistake, and your existence has been a constant reminder of that mistake. But now I learned something from all of this: I learned that you can't run away from your mistakes, but you can bury them! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOUR RIDICULOUS FACE AGAIN!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex
Is... is this thing on? Yeah? HA HA! I'm back babies! Surrender to Cortex!
~ Cortex's first line in Crash of the Titans.
Uka Uka taught me a new process called "Mojo Mutations". I will use the stolen Mojo to create a huge army of loyal mutants, not rejects like you guys. But best of all, I will this army to construct a mighty robot, the largest doomsday device I've ever built. I will smash Wumpa Island, then take over the world! And I shall call this robot the Doominator!
~ Cortex revealing his plan for world domination.
Oh Nina, betraying me is the most vile, evil you could have ever done! You were a skank. I'm just so proud of you right now. I promise from now on, I'll be more evil, more villainous, more horrible! Horrible! Oh, and go kill bandicoots. I'm still going to spank you stupid for this.
~ Cortex's last line in Crash of the Titans, promising to be more villainous while also swearing to punish Nina for her treachery.
I used to run this operation, and it's time I did again.
~ Cortex betraying Uka Uka in Crash: Mind over Mutant.
I can't believe you dim-twits are trying to ruin my plans again! Seriously, don't you have lives? Get a hobby! Woodwork or crocheting, something!
~ Cortex growing irritated with Crash and Aku Aku foiling his plans once more.
It's not fair! It's not fair! I want to win! It's my turn! I've been trying for flipping years!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex having a tantrum.
At last! Twenty years of meticulous planning, preparations and machinations have all built to this single moment! The fathomless rhythmic energies of Wumpa Island itself shall power my Cortex Matrix Chamber, and create an unstoppable army of loyal minions! And this time, none of my stupid henchmen will be around to ruin it for me! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
~ Cortex in Skylanders: Imaginators.
Crash Bandicoot... You banished me to the past. But all it did was give me more time to plan your doom.
~ Cortex during the Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time announcement trailer.
Blasted bandicoots! Must we keep going around and around like this? Tell me, Crash. Is this all there is? Forever?
~ Dr. Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.
I need to stop him from making you, but I can’t kill him because that would kill me, so I guess that means I'll have to kill you!
~ Cortex to Crash before engaging in battle in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.


  • Cortex's full name interestingly happens to be a pun on the neocortex, a part of the brain.
  • What is also interestingly known is that Doctor Cortex's full name is derives from Greek and Latin origins meaning that his name "Neo Periwinkle Cortex" translated as "New Bark Flower" or "New Flower Shell".
  • The "N" on his forehead most likely stands for his first name "Neo". However, the back stories say it was tattooed on his forehead at age three for "Nerd".
  • When Doctor Neo Cortex was an infant, he still had a beard. Strangely enough, he did not have a beard when he was 8 years old.
  • In one concept design, Dr. Cortex appears to have a hunched back.
  • Doctor Cortex bears a very strong resemblance to the British actor Roger Delgado. This could most likely explain his somewhat British accent and debonair in Crash Bandicoot 2-3 with him finishing a sentence with a "ta ta for now". Ironically, to some of his minions (namely N. Gin) Cortex is replied to gracefully as "The Master", a role Delgado was famous for playing in the British TV series Doctor Who.
  • Dr. Cortex's nationality can debated among fans as to weather he is British or Hispanic in origin. Some evidence can be pointed out that he is British given his elegance and cunning in the sequels made by Naughty Dog, along with his ending catchphrase "Tata for now" and him sporting a cup of tea in Crash of the Titans (stereotypical traits of British people). It can also be proven that Dr. Cortex favors big game hunting as a hobby since he kills his own Titans for fun and hangs their heads as trophies. It may also be possible that Cortex is of Asian descent as he points in Crash Tag Team Racing that his family's metaphor is "Revenge is a dish best served with fava beans" which are commonly grown in Asia.
    • His first part of the sentence is a reference to the Klingon proverb "Revenge is a dish best served cold" from the Star Trek franchise.
    • His second and final part of the sentence is a reference to Hannibal Lecter's famed catchphrase "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." from The Silence of the Lambs.
  • Doctor Cortex has always been the last boss in the main PS1 Crash Bandicoot games.
  • Through most boss fights with Doctor Cortex, each theme goes through a subsequent pattern, going from slower to faster and then slower again.
  • In Crash 1's level 'Generator Room', the 'N' on his forehead is missing whenever he appears on the TV screens.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Doctor Cortex is revealed to have red irises. However, promotional art from Crash Bandicoot have shown Cortex to be having pink irises.
  • When he is turned into a baby at the end of Warped the 'N' on his forehead is lower case.
  • Cortex has appeared in three stages (adult, child in Twinsanity, and baby in Warped).
  • Cortex's middle name has been revealed to be "Periwinkle" by Ebenezer Von Clutch in Crash Tag Team Racing.
    • Cortex's initials are, ironically, "NPC" (an acronym for "Non Playable Character" in videogame lingo).
    • Since then, Cortex's full name has been revealed to be "Neo Periwinkle Cortex". However, since the game itself was never canon, the middle name is somewhat debated by Crash Bandicoot fans. However, he does refer to himself as "Neo Periwinkle Cortex" in the Nintendo DS port of Crash of the Titans.
  • Cortex, along with Crash, N. Gin, and Coco are the only four characters that are playable in all of the Crash racing games.
  • In CTTR, one of Cortex's quotes is: "1.2 gigawatts of power!". This is a reference to Doc Brown from the Back to the Future franchise.
  • Ironic to the general opinion about them, the Spanish dubbing of the Titans duology has the most similar portray of Cortex in the games where he was voiced by Lex Lang. Being Twinsanity the least similar.
  • In CTTR, Cortex has a chance of saying "Burn baby, burn! ...Disco Inferno!" when destroying another racer's car. This is a reference to the famous song "Disco Inferno" by The Trammps.
  • In Crash Tag Team Racing, it is implied that Cortex had once served in the Vietnam War, in the Da Nang Air Base. This give much of clue of what Cortex's age was during the war, though it is highly unlikely what year he did join. If he did serve at Da Nang back in the beginning of the war, he chronologically would be 37 years old during the years of the Naughty Dog trilogy.
  • Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is the only game not to feature Cortex because he blundered to stop Crash Bandicoot again. But he does appear on multiplayer mode.
  • Doctor Cortex appeared in all main series Crash games as a final boss except Crash Twinsanity, and Crash of the Titans.
  • Dr. Cortex is one of the few characters to ever break the fourth wall during the series, along with Coco, Dr. N. Brio, Tiny, Ebenezer Von Clutch, Dr. N. Gin and certain Crash of the Titans enemies being the only others.
  • Apart from Dr. N. Brio, Dr. Cortex is the second mad scientist to ever actually resurrect prehistoric animals back to life (i.g. the Titans).
  • In Crash: Twinsanity, there was a glitch that enables the player to play as Doctor Cortex at the Iceberg Lab level.
  • In Crash: Twinsanity​, Cortex will frequently perform acts of superhuman speed in order to reach distance or to return to Crash Bandicoot after he has thrown him. This ability cannot be used during stages where he is a playable character.
  • Doctor Cortex once called Nina his daughter but covered it up when he saw Crash Bandicoot coming up behind him, which means only the doctor knows the real relationship between him and Nina.
  • After Crash: Twinsanity, Cortex seems to have somewhat befriended Crash in a way. In Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash helps Cortex out a lot, though they are still enemies. This might be a direct homage to DBZ characters, Goku and Vegeta who started off as enemies once and later off befriended one another despite their history.
  • In Crash of the Titans, Doctor Cortex proves to be more ruthless and maybe even evil compared to Naughty Dog's Dr. Cortex as it is shown in one of the last levels that his Titans' heads are placed on mantles in the corridors of the Doominator.
  • Despite Doctor Cortex claiming that Crash Bandicoot is his worst creation, logically, Crash is Cortex's best creation, being able to operate many mechanical items with ease, being able to fend of any enemy or boss, and being able to survive most conditions and hazards. Crash mostly appears to be brave, running into dangerous situations with a clear head (whatever that may be for Crash). There have been times (other than boss battles) that he's even outsmarted and reacted to events faster than his creator, like in Twinsanity. Even if it does mean Cortex gets put through some pain and distress.
    • This technically makes Ripper Roo Doctor Cortex's most destructive creation. Despite being almost hyper intelligent, he is completely unstable, highly destructive, and extremely erratic. The irony of it is that Cortex was not able to control Crash and is rather annoyed on his personality. It is also that Cortex's high bolstered ego is what also ruined his chances of controlling Crash, if he had listened to Doctor N. Brio and took more caution into the Cortex Vortex machine, he most likely would have complete control over Crash to this day.
  • According to the famed actor Clancy Brown during an interview, he stated the reason why he stopped doing the voice of Dr. Cortex was because Universal Studios gave minimum wages to the actors and that he was never told about the Crash Bandicoot games (Wrath of Cortex and Crash Nitro Kart) during the time. Another reason for voice actor Lex Lang replacing Clancy Brown was that in an interview, Lang stated that parents did not like Clancy's impersonation of the character and thought it was too mean for younger audiences and wrote letters to Universal about the problem.
  • Because of his appearance and personality change in Crash of the Titans and his voice being provided by Lex Lang, Cortex has met mixed receptions among his fans. Some fans have preferred Cortex's original appearance and have favored Clancy Brown as the iconic voice for Doctor Cortex while others are more accepting of the changes and have praised Lex Lang for his voice work of the Doctor.
    • Lex Lang actually started voicing Cortex in Crash Twinsanity.
  • In the original versions of the first three games, Doctor Cortex uses a different boss icon for each of them. In Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Cortex uses the same boss icon for the remastered versions of the first and second games. Since the icons Cortex uses in the original first and second games are very similar anyway, it is understandable why the developers did not trouble themselves in making his icon different for all three remastered games.
  • Apparently, Cortex does not like clowns or anything he considers very similar to clowns, like mimes. This is shown when he insults Big Norm after defeating him in Crash Nitro Kart.

See also


           Crashnewlogo.png Villains

Dr. Neo Cortex | Dr. Nefarious Tropy (Female | Traveller's Tales) | Dr. Nitrus Brio | Dr. N. Gin | Nina Cortex | Papu Papu | Madame Amberly

Crunch Bandicoot | Dingodile | Tiny Tiger | Ripper Roo | Scorporilla | Evil Twins | Fake Crash | Koala Kong | Komodo Brothers | Mega-Mix | Pinstripe Potoroo | Rilla Roo | Rusty Walrus | Evil Coco | Evil Crash

Nitros Oxide | Emperor Velo XXVII | Norm | Zam and Zem | Krunk | Nash | N. Trance

Uka Uka | Mr. Crumb | Thorn Thing | Louise | Ant Drones | Crush | The Elementals | Geary | Gnasty Gnorc | Gulp | Lab Assistants | Ripto | Tikimon | Willie Wumpa Cheeks | Kaos | The Noid

           Skylanders logo.png Villains

Main Antagonist

Doom Raiders
Golden Queen | Wolfgang | Chef Pepper Jack | Chompy Mage | Broccoli Guy | Dreamcatcher | Luminous | Nightshade | Dr. Krankcase | Gulper

Bad Juju | Blaster-Tron | Bomb Shell | Bone Chompy | Brawl and Chain | Brawlrus | Bruiser Cruiser | Buzzer Beak | Chill Bill | Chomp Chest | Chompy | Cross Crow | Cuckoo Clocker | Eye Five | Eye Scream | Fisticuffs | Grave Clobber | Grinnade | Hood Sickle | Krankenstein | Lob Goblin | Mab Lobs | Masker Mind | Pain-Yatta | Rage Mage | Scrap Shooter | Sheep Creep | Shield Shredder | Shreadnaut | Slobber Trap | Smoke Scream | Tae Kwon Crow | Threatpack | Trolling Thunder | Tussle Sprout

Adventure Pack Villains
Angry Mutant Tree | Cap'n Cluck | Captain Dreadbeard | Evilon | Evil Flynn | Evil Persephone | Fake Crash | Luminous | Nightshade | Noodles | Occulous | Rubble Maker | Sheep Mage | Vathek

3DS Villains
Captain Frightbeard | Count Moneybone | Dream Sheep | Hektore | Nightmare Villains

Baron Von Shellshock | Brain | Brute | Chompies | Conquertron | Count Moneybone | Cyclops | Dark Spyro | Doomlanders | Drill-X | Drow | Evil Sea Monster | Fire Viper | Geargolems | Glumshanks | Greebles | Hydra | Kaossandra | Lord Stratosfear | Malefor (Academy) | Mesmeralda | Noodles | Pandergast | Sheep Mage | Spell Punks | Spellslamzer | Strykore | The Darkness | Trolls

Guest Stars
Bowser | Donkey Kong | Dr. Neo Cortex | Fake Crash | Koopa Troop | Uka Uka