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Villain Overview
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
Get ready to face my wrath, Crash Bandicoot! MOWHAHAHAHA!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex

Dr. Neo Periwinkle Cortex, simply known as Dr. Neo Cortex, is the main antagonist (sometimes an anti-hero) of the Crash Bandicoot video game series and he is Crash Bandicoot's creator and archenemy. He is an evil genius who uses his intellect in his plans of world domination.

Although his intentions are to destroy Crash, the two of them had worked together; in the 2004 video game Crash Twinsanity, he appeared as the deuteragonist and forcibly worked with Crash to stop the Evil Twins; in Skylanders: Imaginators, the two of them teach Imaginator Skylanders how to use certain weapons and are both senseis.

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.

Personality

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 but yet very sophisticated and refined, being 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.

Quotes

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.
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
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
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.
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 get run away from your mistakes, but you can bury them! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOUR RIDICULOUS FACE AGAIN!
~ Dr. Neo Cortex
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.
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

Trivia

  • His 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 likely stands for his first name "Neo". However, the back stories say it was tattooed on his forehead at age 3 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 with his skin tone being yellow, having high intelligence and 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 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 4 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 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, 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

Navigation

           Crash Bandicoot Logo Villains

Humans
Dr. Nefarious Tropy | Dr. Neo Cortex | Dr. Nitrus Brio | Dr. N. Gin | Nina Cortex | Madame Amberly | Papu Papu

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

Other
Ant Drones | Crush | The Elementals | Emperor Velo XXVII | Geary | Gnasty Gnorc | Gulp | Krunk | Lab Assistants | Nash | Nitros Oxide | Norm | N. Trance | Ripto | Tikimon | Uka Uka | Willie Wumpa Cheeks | Zam and Zem

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